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Never Going Out of Style - Printable Version

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Never Going Out of Style - Jigano - 06-04-2019

The Wildwood was full of beauty, wonder, and cool shadows in the Longheat afternoon, making it the perfect place for a wandering Loreseeker to explore as he sought to avoid the punishing sun of the Hollowed Grounds. Much as a person in the place had become his home, Jigano's feet still itched with the desire to explore and see new things in the world that had opened up for them.

He walked with Arduinna's permission, or so he hoped, through the great old forest, Isuma bounding along at his feet or flapping her clumsy way up to his shoulder to ride for awhile. He wore his long silver hair pulled back in a simple tail, plain except for one tress that was braided with a white raven's feather, its tip painted in shades of blue and silver dust from the forge brushed over the top before it had been sealed against wet and weather. He wore his green wrapped tunic with the leaf patterns, a bit of artistry worked by Rexanna's skilled hand, over his looser summer breeches and the elegant rapier at his side. A bag slung over his shoulder held a grey journal and a writing stick, at least until his wandering feet brought him to another new marvel.

The pool was red, or at least it appeared to be from a distance. As he grew nearer he thought he could see that it was actually clear, but it was lined in a reddish substance - plant? Algae? - that colored the pure water as afternoon light played across its surface. Laughing quietly to himself in honest delight, he retrieved journal and pen and began to write as Isuma curiously approached the shore, leaning her little head out just far enough over the water to sniff it warily.

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jiao - 06-04-2019

Jiao did not often come to the Crimson Cataract; the water creeped her out and there wasn't really anything exciting there anyway. But she had found that if you wanted a nice, very faint pink dye on white fabric, if you soaked it in the waters there, it would take after a couple of hours. A colour that was almost-pink, so light you had to squint to see it, with ripples and soft shifts in tone. Lovely material for making light, airy summer dresses.

So she came to the water with a bundle of white fabric in her arms, not at first noticing the company of the bard as she set it down next to her and sat at the edge, began to unravel the roll. But when she did she stopped, her hands freezing on her work as she took him in.

That hair is amazing was her first thought, but it was quickly overtaken by some disdain. Since the meeting with the traders, she had found her opinions of the barrierfolk had fallen down somewhat. They'd come off as pretentious and presumptious, cocky. Combined with her collection of rather dull experiences, she wasn't sure if they were worth bothering with anymore. She wasn't quite as angry as Delah about it, but was anyone really as angry as Delah about anything?

So she decided to keep doing her work, letting the man do his. Slowly she dipped the first edge of her fabric into the water and hoped his weird pet wouldn't come to destroy it.

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jigano - 06-05-2019

He hadn't expected anyone to join him in such an isolated pocket of the woods, but a Fae should not have surprised him. Isuma heard the young woman approaching first, her head popping up before she touched the water as she turned to look into the woods where Jiao appeared from. Jigano turned to follow her golden gaze curiously, and his single brow rose as he took in the petite woman's elegant appearance. Her raven's-wing black hair was long and lovely, but her arms were full of white fabric, and the bard's eyes narrowed in speculation. He continued to write in his journal, but his pen slowed as he found his attention taken by the newcomer.

Isuma looked curiously from him to her, cocking her head as her abortive bounce towards Jiao was held back by a silent command from her companion. He urged caution for the moment, uncertain whether this woman was a follower of Delah, or if she was more like Eliza in temperament. Though, given that she seemed intent on ignoring him, she was more likely in the former camp than the latter. There was only one way to be sure, though, and just because she was being discourteous didn't mean he should be.

"Hello," he offered quietly, in a rich, mellow tenor. "Would you like any help with that?"

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jiao - 06-06-2019

Of course, the one time Jiao had chosen to be quiet, the human started the conversation. She lifted her head, not looking at Jigano, and took a breath before turning to him. For a moment she considered ignoring him until he just went away, but..her grumpiness about barrierfolk did not exceed her natural curiosity and chattiness.

"No, I know what I'm doing." She said, in a flat voice, pushing the fabric down where it was floating to the surface and weighing it with rocks. "That's what's annoying about everyone from in that barrier. You all think you know better than us dumb Fae, when you idiots had to stay inside a dumb dome for years." Jiao paused after speaking, surprised at her own sudden outburst, when she had only planned to say the first sentence. Perhaps she was more angry than she thought.

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jigano - 06-06-2019

He raised a brow at her tone, then raised it higher as she spat venom. Clearly she'd been speaking to someone else from inside the barrier - maybe several some ones? And they had not made the best impression. He could guess who at least one of them was, he thought with an inward sigh, and considered how much harder that would make his attempts to mend the bridges that had apparently been scorched, if not fully burned. Whoever she was, this elegant woman wasn't chasing him from the waterfall with a drawn weapon, at least, so there was still hope.

"I didn't mean to imply that I knew any better," he said mildly. "I'm not even entirely sure what you're doing. I was just offering an extra pair of hands, if that would make your task easier." He offered a deep courtier's bow, graceful and elegant and smiling wryly as he rose again. He mentally coaxed Isuma back to his side, and she launched herself from a bounding leap to flap up and take her place on his shoulder. "I'm sorry if anyone else from inside the barrier insulted you, though. Is there some way I can perhaps make it up to you?" Honey went farther than vinegar, after all, and humility and flattery could open far more doors than bluster alone!

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jiao - 06-08-2019

"Mmm. Well, I'm fine on my own. Anyone else might mess it up." This was true in that Jiao believed it, considered herself skilled in the act of dying fabrics, but really it was not hard to leave a cloth in the lake for a while. Still, she continued her task like a holy rite, weighing it down more and lowering further length into the water.

She watched warily as Isuma flew up, but didn't want to ask. Admitting she didn't know something in front of the Outlander was tantamount to social suicide.

"I thought everyone was just boring, but then that meeting with the trades people...that one with the stubble and the hair. He was so...ugh. Like they all think we just sit about eating leaves all day." Jiao looked properly at Jigano for the first time. "What do you do? Let me guess, you do it so much better than us?"

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jigano - 06-09-2019

Sometimes discretion was the better part of valor, and Jigano nodded cordially, accepting her decision and her expertise, though he still watched curiously. To fill the time he took out his journal again and went back to writing, noting the characteristics of the cataract itself, as well as the ritual that Jiao seemed to be performing. Isuma was far more openly curious, though moreso of the woman than what she was doing, but her companion's firm command to stay close kept her from going over to investigate. He had caught Jaio's wary gaze on the gryphlet, and decided against letting her go as close as he had with Weaver.

"Meeting with the tradespeople?"he asked mildly, in spite of the sudden lurch of dismay, wondering what he had missed and when. The one with 'the stubble and the hair' though... that pretty much confirmed his earlier guess of who had been playing diplomat despite all his insistence that he was 'just a humble alchemist' to the contrary. Jigano stifled a sigh, pausing in his writing to reach up and scratch Isuma's ears gently in an unconscious ritual to help himself calm down. "I doubt they thought even that much," he admitted with a slight grimace. "If they bothered thinking things through at all..."

Her forthright gaze and attitude brought a wry grin to his lips, and he swept her an elegant bow as Isuma fanned her wings behind his head to keep her balance in a display he'd been working on with her to make a lovely showing of grace and flair between the two of them. "My name is Jigano, and I'm a Loreseeker and bard. But I don't know enough about your people to know if you even have bards," he admitted ruefully. "Or something different, like skalds or spellsingers. And if you do, I'd hope we'd be more inclined to share our differences and learn from each other, since music has many similarities and syncopations between different people. Stories, too," he added with a wry smile. "As for the Loreseeker part, well, that's all about learning, really. From those that are willing to teach, at least. The land within the Barrier has lost much in the last three hundred years... their history not least of all."

He tilted his head at the petite woman curiously, gracefully folding himself down so he sat crosslegged on the shore and could watch her from a height below her own. "May I ask what you do, and whether you would be willing to teach it to those willing to learn?"

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jiao - 06-09-2019

Jigano seemed to not know of the trade meeting, which shook Jiao's idea of the 'barrierfolk' as a united group set upon embarrassing and insulting all Fae, but she didn't let the surprise show on her face, not even when Jigano seemed to regret, criticise the meeting.

But internally, she thought perhaps this barrier man had intelligence enough to be worth speaking to.

She liked the bow, smiled at the grace of it (a show was always a good way to get on her good side). "I've never heard of a Loreseeker, sounds like a historian, basically." Jiao shrugged, as if she did not think much of this profession. Truthfully, she actually often found herself jealous of those content in bookish, quiet lives, not having to perform and sparkle for internal happiness.

"I am a seamstress." Jiao said simply, pressing the fabric out flat on the bottom of the shallow edge. [say]"I...don't know about teaching people, though. If I teach them why would they come to my shop? And...I'm pretty sure if I taught barrierpeople how to make clothes like I do, they'd mess it up then tell me they do it better."{/b} Even if Jigano seemed more intelligent and sensitive, she still did not hold a good opinion of the barrierfolk in general.

"...Are Outlander?" She asked, tilting her head suspiciously.

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jigano - 06-09-2019

A smile was a good place to start, and he returned it even though she shrugged off his profession. Be diplomatic, he reminded himself firmly. Besides, it wasn't as though she were wrong... just not entirely right. "Some of it is searching out information from the past that has been lost," he agreed. "But not all lore is found in books or dusty times. We also wish to learn new things, and that means exploring into areas of the world we haven't been to before, and speaking to those who have had experiences that we have not. For instance, I've been learning that there are dangers in the Wildwood that we don't have in the land within the barrier. Things that your people are familiar with and know to be wary of, but that mine do not." He shrugged lightly, tapping his journal with an elegant finger. "So I'm trying to make a record of what to watch out for so I can pass that knowledge along to those who don't have it. Without the barrier, there's no longer anything to stop those dangerous plants and animals from moving into the new territory, and as of yet no one there - not the people, nor the animals - know how to defend themselves from them yet."

Her own profession brought a sparkle of interest to his eyes, though her snap a moment later had him biting his tongue to refrain from his own biting quip. Instead he found a fallen twig nearby and reached it into the water to stir it experimentally in seemingly-idle motion. "Not teach everyone, no," he explained with a chuckle. "But perhaps you and some of the human seamstresses could share patterns and stitching techniques, and see if you know different ones, so everyone involved could broaden their skills? Rather than making the same clothes that you do, the humanfolk might learn to make human clothes with a bit of Fae flair, and maybe there are some plants within the barrier that differ from the ones out here, that produce different dyes you could use to add new colors to your repertoire?" he suggested hopefully. "Not that you likely have to worry too much about any business rivalries. Fae and humans have different enough sizes that I doubt your customers will be going to many human seamstresses, or vice versa." He paused and then grinned at her, mischief bright in his blue eyes.

"Though I would be interested in discussing a trade with you, just so I might have some clothes that stand out a bit more amongst the humanfolk. As a bard I'm also a performer, and it's important to look good for an audience!"

Her question was unexpected but fair, and it wasn't as though it was a secret. Jigano's nod was a cautious one at her obvious suspicion, however, and he set his wetted stick upon a rock beside him while he went back to writing. "I am. Not of my own choice, but... yes. Is that a cause for offense among your people?" Isuma peeped softly in concern at the way her companion tensed a little beneath her, and he stroked her feathered back gently. He'd thought Ianto was accepted among the Fae, for having Arduinna's blessing, but the Fae were no more a monolith than the barrierfolk were. Was this woman someone who had the same biases against outlanders as some of the Natural humans did?

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jiao - 06-11-2019

To Jiao it just began to sound like Jigano was professionally nosy and had stuck a label on it to make himself feel better, but she still tried to nod along to his explanation and look at least kind of interested. Really, she actually thought it sounded quite fun, Jiao just didn't care for pretense, and the name Loreseeker...well. It took quite a lot of restraint to not mock it.

"There's not that many dangerous animals here." She told him, shrugging her shoulders. "The worst thing you're gonna find in this forest is Delah, but...I think you know that already, right?" The laugh she gave out was not quite cruel, but certainly wasn't kind.

She watched curiously as he stirred the water, wondering if there was a purpose to it. "I can make clothes in human sizes, you know. I make clothes for Ianto all the time. I could make you a prettier tunic've got on." There was nothing else said about his fashion but the judgemental eye cast upon it said a lot.

The look only hardened when he confirmed he was an Outlander. "...We don't really like Outlanders, no. You shouldn't be here, and even more than just the normal barrierfolk, you like to meddle."{/b}

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jigano - 06-11-2019

"Not even Cat Sith?" he asked quietly, one brow raised. "Or Banshees? And I think perhaps I would rather have Arduinna's good graces than Delah's, if I could have only one." Arduinna might or might not be an ally of the barrierfolk, but at least she wasn't their enemy. Delah, though, was formidable indeed. Jigano had no intention of provoking the warchief further, but he had his own people to look after, and that meant finding out what might threaten them from the Greatwood now that the barrier had fallen.

He trailed his stick through the fuzzy lichen beneath the surface of the water, lifting it and studying its color as he listened to her words. He raised his gaze to meet hers with a chuckle, and his smile didn't fade as he went back to his writing. "Ianto is also an Outlander," he said thoughtfully. "But you don't seem to mind him. Or at least, you like him enough to make clothes for him. So not all Outlanders are hated." He reached up to tickle Isuma, who chortled at the attention, though her golden gaze didn't stray far from Jiao as she picked up the woman's sharp tone.

"By your words, should I judge all Fae based on Delah's sharp tongue and penchant for violence, then? Or are some of your people kinder than her? With hands and sensibilities turned to gentler arts than those of war?"

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jiao - 06-13-2019

"I mean...yeah, but I've never run into one by myself, and I've lived here my whole life..." Admittedly Jiao rarely went exploring out of the village or the few spots where she gathered materials and dyed fabrics, but she seemed rather confident Jigano was not in any danger. The mention of Arduinna drew a surprised look from her but nothing more, the Fae going back to her work without a word on it.

He had a point about Ianto, but Jiao didn't really have a good answer. Ianto was just...Ianto. It had been okay when there was just one Outlander, a sort of novelty. Before there was danger of hundreds of them spilling over into Sidhe. She just shrugged.

"That's not fair, though. We haven't come charging into the barrier telling you we do things better and trying to sneak into your town unwelcome. And you're new here. We've been here our whole lives and we know what's best for Caido more than you do." With conviction in her voice she picked up a stone and poked at it, wanting something to fiddle with and frown at.

"I just wish you'd all try to go about it a bit slower. Maybe let us go and find you, first. But it's all a bit late for that, isn't it?"

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jigano - 06-14-2019

Interesting. Weaver had been adamant about the dangers of the Woods, concerned for both herself and for him, and he wondered if Jiao were deliberately lying to downplay the dangers and get him to let his guard down. Let the Woods do Delah's work for her, so to speak. Or just to do Jiao's work for her, as her bias against Outlanders was plain to see. He raised a brow slowly, sitting back to watch her openly with a sardonic smile.

"That's not even a little bit true," he said dryly. "The barrier had barely fallen when at least one of your number came to our Fiat Lux festival, right in the middle of our celebration. I saw her myself. And from what I overheard she did indeed try to tell people how they were doing things wrong." He snorted softly "And the very first Fae I met properly had, indeed, snuck over the old barrier line into our territory and was hiding in the trees." He bit his tongue against the sharp retort he wanted to give at her unfairnesses, reminding himself to be patient and diplomatic - as much as he could be when she continued to spout untruths and arrogance the equal of any Northhavener.

"I have no doubt that you know what's best for the Greatwood, but I've lived in the land within the barrier longer than you have. What do you know of it, that you feel you can dictate to us? Have you felt the pinch of hunger when there was not enough food to go around in Deepfrost, because the food that grows there is small and withered? Received bruises and bites while defending your children and livestock from vampire gourds? Cut your hands bloody collecting flinthoppers so they wouldn't set your crops alight and leave you starving before Leafchange was even over?" He shook his head, then pressed his cheek to Isuma's fierce headbump, letting her soothe his quietly roiling temper. "And not all the barrierfolk or the Outlanders want to dictate anything. We just want to learn about the world beyond the barrier and eat food that isn't half-dust, and drink water that's sweet and doesn't taste of weariness. The earth there is tired, miss. It was cut off for too long. It needs help... and we have no one else to ask it from but you and your people." He sighed, abandoning his journal for the moment to lift the gryphlet from his shoulder and cuddle her against his chest.

"I am sorry that we insulted you. On behalf of both barrierfolk and outlanders, I am sorry. Is there a way we can try to make amends? One that doesn't result in more of us dying while we wait for old age to mellow Delah's rage against us?"

RE: Never Going Out of Style - Jiao - 06-16-2019

Jiao smiled a little as Jigano began to speak, noticing the new edge to his voice. Ooh, was he getting mad? She loved to wind people up, especially irritating know-all Outlanders. Though...she could not say whether he was wrong or not about the Fae intruder. Who on Caido would go to watch some boring Barrier festival right away? She scrunched up her nose at the idea.

She was surprised as Jigano set off into an impassioned rant. Actually for the first time, since she had begun to speak to those from inside the barrier, Jiao felt the slightest bit guilty. Once he had finished talking she sighed, shook her head. "Well...I can't do anything about Delah. We aren't friends."

Standing and beginning to walk over with feather-light steps, she stood before Jigano and looked over him and his animal friend. "Fine. If you wanna try be friends, we can try, but I'm still not happy with a lot of them. ...I like Peter, though. I cut his hair." She smiled, twirling a strand of her own hair around her finger. "..What's your bird thing?"