A new wonder

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Dragondarium, May 7, 2012.

  1. "No, I know, you don't have to remind me fifteen times that the desert and mountains are dangerous mother," came the voice of a twenty-three year old man as he stepped out of his parents two story bakery-home mix. Outside the house stood a caravan, one that he would be joining in order to make sure that their foods got to the right places. Of course his mother--this being his first time out of the City--was worried. Most people of the City of Deser had never left the peaceful place. They lived, breathed, survived in the city walls. It stood just on the side of a desert that spanned from the city walls to the mountains. On the other side of the mountain was the foresty farms that supplied the city with most of it's food. Once a month caravans would go out and collect the food and deliver what aid that the City could provide to it's people out there. Being one of ten bakery families in the city, Kalif's father had offered to send prized dough with the caravan that his son would create into their best loaves once they reached the farms.

    Kalif--tall, muscular but delicate face Kalif--had been more than happy to get out of Deser. He had always wanted to try new things. He didn't like baking though he had a skill at making anything he cook turn out good. His shoulder length black hair that day had been pulled back into a braid to that it would stay out of his way as they traveled. It was his eyes that most people couldn't trust. A dark red color that meshed with the black of his pupils, people tended to believe he was magic touched. While that wasn't always a bad thing--for there were people that could control the different elements which came in handy--it was not a good thing either. But as far as Kalif could tell, the only gift he had was for cooking and being able to find trouble no matter what he did.

    It wasn't long before the caravan was out of hte City and on their way towards the mountains--a good two weeks travel from the city. In all the trip would take a good month to complete one way. And then another trip back. About halfway there--on the mountain if everything went the way they were supposed to--they would meet up with the last caravan and Kalif would be able to see Travelen his old school friend that had turned into a caravan guard.
  2. The sun toiled down, heating the desert air with an almost suffocating heat. It was the middle of the day and at this time most people- the sane ones anyway- would have sought shelter to wait out the intense heat. Not Lirael.
    She huffed and groaned as she dragged the bucket of water along behind her. Not for the first time she wished she really did have an affinity for water. Nearly every person she met assumed she did because of her eyes: they were a brilliant azure that reflected the depths of the water, the dark blue of the lakes and the green flecks the surface of the sea.
    Right now those eyes were narrowed with effort and she suddenly cursed. Her father was a man who believed in the virtues of hard work and refused to use anything that would make his life easier, prefering hard labour for as he would say "a better and more well earned outcome."
    Lirael's hair escaped from the many pins holding it place and strands started falling into her eyes and nearly blinding her. Putting aside her last shred of patience, she yanked all of the pins out and threw them on the ground.
    She heaved the water into the shade and sat down, not caring to drag the heavy bucket all the way to her own tent a fair while away.
    It wasn't that she was spoilt that she refused to drag the bucket any further to where her father waited- no, it was the caravans that annoyed her and they'd be here soon.
    It wasn't the people that annoyed her but the presence of the caravans themselves. They seemed to be a constant reminder that not all those living in the desert were independent- some relied on the aid the caravns bought and if they stopped coming..well, it wouldn't be good.
    But for now Lirael was able to relax before they came.
    "Lirael! Where are you?" a voice suddenly shouted,
    "Damn girl, always doing what she's not meant to," it muttered close by.
    Lirael grinned,
    At least, I'd be able to relax if Father let me.
  3. Kalif was part of the caravan that would be stopping off at various points to deliver products to the nomads that traveled to meet them once or twice, sometimes more, a year. This had been a choice he had not told his mother about. While his father would have understand, seeing as his father had also been a caravan runner in his life, his mother would never have given him a moments peace about going off to meet those 'savages' as many of the City called the nomadic tribes that came to trade with the caravans. In truth he had always found their little tribes to be fascinating. When he had been a boy there had been a tribe that had come to the City to warn them that the caravan from the month before had not returned. That tribe he had hoped to meet again for his older brother had been part of the caravan that had been lost to thieves along the way. That was another reason his mother did not want him leaving Deser.

    "Come on Kalif, this is the first stop," called the captain of the guards of the caravan. Kalif found himself staring off to the small encampment not a mile away. While the rest of the caravan would be staying in one place that night where they had stopped along the trail, the group sent to trade would be sleeping with the group of nomads. He laughed and got himself up on the horse-like creature that they were getting to use to cover the distance. "You are mighty cheerful lad. Let's hope this tribe doesn't make you disappointed."

    "Never captain. I don't think they ever would." Kalif replied and rode after him in high spirits, his horse laden with resources that the tribe might need.
  4. Lirael stood on the rock, shading her eyes with her hand. If she squinted hard enough she could just make out the shapes of the caravan further down the road. She stood there for a few moments watching then jumped down. With quick steps she ran back to the tribe's camp and shouted for them to come.
    "Quick! They're here!" she shouted. "They're here!"
    Some people nearby glanced up, irritated at her loudness but when they realised what she was saying they stopped what they were doing and stared at the approaching caravan. Some brushed hair out of their eyes, straightening and brushing dust from their clothes.
    Lirael stood where she was, sorrel hair in a mess and clothes covered in dirt. She could easily have been mistaken for a barbarian if not for the intelligent, narrow peirce of her gaze.
    Her father slowly approached, pushing past people mainly because of his massive bulk and also becausethe power he commanded radiated from him and seemed to unconsciously move people aside.
    Her father too remained silent and waited, but Lirael knew that when the City people came closer he would welcome them with his booming voice and insist their be a welcoming party.
  5. Kalif was astonished by the looks of the nomadic people. Truly he had fallen in love with the people from all the stories he had heard. Now he was finally getting to meet them and he was outrageously excited. He brushed some locks out of his eyes as his eyes roamed over the people before they set upon a large man that was coming to meet them. Surprise filled him as he looked at the big man. "Are they normally that big sir?" he asked softly.

    "No, that is their leader. I met this tribe the last time I went through here. They are peaceful and nice enough, if a bit scary to new comers. Next to him, the girl that looks more wild than tame is his daughter, if I'm looking at the right one. Don't forget though, these girls have been taught to defend themselves," the captain said, giving him a look.

    "Oh, sir, I have no intention of forcing myself on anyone. Especially not nomads," Kalif said as his eyes found the girl that the captain had mentioned.
  6. Beside her, Lirael's father's voice suddenly boomed out, loud and clear,
    "Hello! Welcome!" he said, a smile splitting his large face. "I haven't seen you all for a while. Come come, rest yourselves. You must be tired from your journey."
    He called for refreshments before turning back to newcomers.
    "Now what have you got for us this time?"
    Through this Lirael stayed quiet, not moving. It would be rude for her to leave before the newcomers had a chance to introduce themselves. She looked at the men with a critcial eye, recognising the captain from his last visit. He'd been nice and enough and Lirael smiled at him.
    She looked at the man next to him and blinked as she noticed him staring at her. She found herself blushing and looked away frowning.
    Why's he looking at me? she thought, peeking up at him from beneath tnagled hair. She cursed inwardly at her blushing and stared ahead, trying to ignore it had happened.
  7. Kalif looked away when the girl looked away, hopping down from his horse only after the captain had, his hands taking the reins for his horse and the captain's out of courtesy.

    The captain laughed and stepped forward the greet the big man. "Aye sir, I was wounded the last time I came down from the forests so another came in my stead. Just got better enough to come this time around," he said with a bow to the larger man. "If you have a place we can set out what we have for you, Kalif will be more than willing to help. Sir, this is Kalif, a baker from Deser that's wanted to meet your people for many years--or so he keeps yabbering on about. You won't completely destroy his dreams of your people in one day will you?" It was all joking. the captain had know this tribe long enough to say such things without worry about reprisals. He'd like to call them friends, if a Deserian could ever be friends with a nomad.

    Kalif put on his brightest smile and looked up at the man. "The pleasure is mine sir," he said and repeated the bow that the captain had performed.
  8. Lirael shifted restlessly as the captain replied and her father laughed in genuine amusement.
    "I'll try," he chuckled, "but don't blame me if the boy walks away with flaming ears after."
    Refreshments came, ice tea and yoghurt.
    "It isn't much but you're welcome to share," her father smiled about to turn away when he notcied Lirael.
    "Oh how rude of me. This is my daughter Lirael."
    Lirael lifted her chin as she was intoduced and with her earlier embarassment gone, she stared proudly at the captain and Kalif.
    Kalif. The foreign name rolled around her mouth. It was unusual but not in a bad way.
    Her composure, however, was ruined when her father said
    "But be sure to have your boy stay away from my daughter, cap'n. I know what youngsters are like these days."
    Lirael hissed at him under her breath but when he winked outrageously she couldn't stop giggling at how silly he looked.
  9. Kalif had been starting to take a couple of bags from the back of his horse as another nomad came over and beckoned him to follow after a quick nod from the captain. He looked up when Lirael was introduced and smiled and nodded his head as she balanced three heavy looking bags on his shoulders. He wasn't showing off. This was nothing compared to the flour that he had to lug around each day. "Lead the way," he said to the other nomad before stopping at the 'what youngsters are like these days' part. He looked over at the big man and blinked a few times.

    "Are you talking about me, sir?" he asked with an innocent look that for the most part wasn't an act. But int he back of his eyes anyone, should they care to look, could see an intelligence that knew when to play dumb and when to be smart. When Lirael giggled, he couldn't help but look at her before back at the captain and leader with that same 'what did I do' innocent look. While he did think that Lirael had a wild sort of beauty, he hadn't come on this trip to gawk at nomadic girls and try to steal them away. No he simply wanted to learn as much about them as he possibly could.
  10. Without anyone asking her to, Lirael walked over to one of the horses, and shifted one of the bags onto her shoulders. The man who the horse belonged to gave her a grateful smile, which she replied to with a grin of her own.
    "Ignore him," she said to Kalif, stepping beside him as the nomad led the way. "He's just teasing."
    She looked fondly at her father, who still spluttered with giggles. Despite his giant size he could be like a child sometimes.
    A great leader, but a big ugly child, Lirael thought, her smiled creasing her eyes.
    "You wouldn't think he was fit to order a goat around right now, let alone a whole camp," she chuckled.
  11. "Oh I have no doubt that your father is a great leader. It takes a great one to laugh like he does while at the same time making sure that his warnings come through crystal clear," Kalif said as he followed the woman, figuring that she would know where he was to put the stuff. "Your father seems very wise and gentle but at the same time I can sense a darker part of him that would stop at nothing to protect himself and his family and tribe. Not Dark I suppose, but... not light either. It's complicated. I'm not sure what I'm saying half the time anyway. I'm Kalif, it is a pleasure to finally meet one of your people."
  12. Lirael stopped beside the well and leaned the bag of flour against it.
    "We can put them here," she told him. The well was a short distance from the camp but had lots of room to put all the supplies and sort through them later.
    She looked hard at him as he gave his thoughts on her father and siltnely she agreed with him. Her father did have a darker side of him that only showed when his family- and tribe although he considered all the tribe family- were in danger. This was part of the reason why he was the tribe's leader: not only was he a caring person but he wouldn't stop to defend his people.
    She agreed silently with Kalif but decided not to push the topic any further.
    She laughed,
    "Neither do I, half the things I say are complete nonsense. It's only because I'm the chief's daughter the tribe doesn't rule me as mad. And I'm Lirael, 'though I don't think you'll be saying it's a pleasure once you're finally through."
  13. Kalif put his own luggage down next to the bag of flour as he turned to head back before stopping as she laughed. It was so clear and beautiful that it was hard to imagine her with the same stern and non-emotional face that she'd had on earlier. Quickly he tossed those thoughts out before he could get himself into trouble. Giving a shrug, he smiled at her. "Then I suppose we'll be able to understand one another, if we do not understand ourselves? And believe me, Lirael, to meet any of your people will be a pleasure for me. I have been wanting to meet them for a long time. They intrigue me like no piece of flour can," he said before blinking and continuing to clarify, "My family are bakers. I spent my whole life around flour and baked goods."
  14. Bakers? Lirael frowned at that. She thought it strange enough the City had certain professions whereas her people had no specific jobs, they just did what they had to do when it needed to be done. Only some really had specific jobs and they were important people and few; such as priests, leaders and healers. Also those that called themselves 'magicians'.
    "Why are you not with your family then? Are you not a baker too?" she said confused. She wondered why he was here with the other City folk delivering their aid when he was a baker. Surely he would be back at home practising his trade and would have no need to come wondering out to the Desert. Unless, of course, he had renounced his family's trade to become a caravan guard.
    And many people are interested by our people, but few actually come here to watch us as if we are animals in our natural habitat, she wondered further as she waited for his answer.
  15. "I'm with the caravan as a guard and a baker actually," Kalif said with a laugh at her confused expression. "My parents are sending a bunch of their best breads and the like to them over the Mountains. But since it would go stale long before it reached them, they decided to send me along so that I could bake it when I get there. Meanwhile I get to meet your people and have an adventure for the first time since I was a kid." He was an open book, he liked to think. Really if the nomads wanted to know answers about him that the Captain didn't say, he wouldn't object to hiding anything.

    ((I apologize for the random changes in color xD I forgot which was which and then I was using the color for another character o^o Won't happen again, promise. ))
  16. (Haha, it's fine x3 I forgot mine too but now I copy and paste so I have the right colour. I was actually starting to like the random changes and guessing what would be next xD)

    Lirael nodded, understanding blooming accross her face,
    "Then I'm glad you chose to came. It'll was be nice to learn how to bake bread in different ways if you're willing to show us," she said, "maybe we can teach you how we make our bread too."
    She said this all with an honest expression; she loved learning new things and was always restless for more knowledge making her the ideal nomad, always wanting to be on the move and learning all she could about the world around her.
    Right now she wanted to learn more about the City- why would any one want to stay in a permanant home with closed walls when they could live like she did? And right now this City baker seemed like a good place to start. Not to mention that he himself seemed quite interesting.
    "If you want I can show you around our camp later," she offered, "after we finish unloading everything."
  17. "I would be honored to learn your methods. Many have tried to recreate the rare samples we've gotten back at the Deser, but we never quiet are able to recreate it without it tasting horrible. But then none of the city citizins want to come out and learn, which is a bafflement to myself. Please, if you would not mind, I would love to learn," Kalif said, his eyes brightening at the chance that perhaps he might learn something new and get to know the people he had fantasized about for so long. He had thought they would lock him out, not want him to get close, but here this young woman was offering him a look into her lifestyle with such open arms. "And being shown around would be wonderful as well. Honestly, your people are so fascinating. So little is known about them and I'd love to learn more."
  18. "It's nice to know some of your people don't all think of us as barbarians," Lirael smiled warmly, "most- when they come here- stay as short a time as they can and leave as if death is snapping at their heels. Others think we are animals and try to tame us like we are horses to be broken."
    She grinned at the memory of one man who had been terrified to the point that when her father had tried to hug him he'd, well, had to borrow spare pants from a friend. Another had been said to have had nightmares after the celebration party for weeks.
    At least this man had come with an open mind and probably wouldn't be shocked by her people's behaviour.
    "Come, I'll show you to your tent if you're ready," she said, "you'll probably want to get washed for the party. Father has them whatever chance he has but you never want to miss them."
  19. "To tame such noble and beautiful creatures would be an offense to all that is good. Not that you are a creature I mean," Kalif said with a laugh at his own mistake before looking at her. "And I haven't even gotten dirty yet. I would hate to waste any of the water your people have on a little thing like a bath or a wash for myself. Please, take whatever water you were to use for my wash and use it in a way that is useful to the tribe. I can go without. We only just left the city early this morning. I've barely broken a sweat." It was true. After hours of working over hot stoves each day as he baked bread, he was almost, almost, immune to the heavy sun that looked down upon them.
  20. Lirael shrugged- if he didn't want to wash she wasn't going to force him but it was good hygiene to have one now and again.
    "Then before the celebration I would be honoured to show you around. Some of the people here would never forgive me if I didn't toss intorduce you to them; they like a bit of fresh meat now and again," she grinned at him with a mischevious glint in her eyes.
    She spoke mainly of the Old Rashka- not her real name, but one that suited her. It meant Demon. She loved to gather everyone about her around the fire at the end of a long day and tell tales that caused flesh to itch and shiver involuntarily.