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Debts and Courtesies

Sat Jan 7, 2017, 9:14 PM
Some early morning around dawn, in the city of Creya...

        Near the end of each calendar year, the tradition of Korharagii, or "Repayment," turned the isles upside down. Those who owed tabs at the tavern repaid them. Those who owed favors did them and those who were owed asked their favors. Those who had debt paid them. And sometimes, those who were owed debt forgave them. It was the simple belief that people could begin fresh more often than the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, presided over by the Rain Goddess of Mercy, in prayer that she would grant rains worthy of their collective character. As it was her holiday, the Alliance held it after the first rain of the last moon of the last season, and if it didn't rain, on the first day of the new year.

        It was odd to think of it that way now, Cadenza mused. The Three Isles Alliance was practically on top of the equator. Every day was evenly split between day and night. Every day was warm. There were no meteorological seasons, only the seasons defined by the monsoons, the crops and the hunt, and yet the citizens there insisted on counting their ages in seasons rather than calendar years. In fact, Korharagii was one of the few events that involved a calendar at all, and only during droughts. Connected to the mainland by only minor trade, the export of human labor and the single magic telegraph in the Craftsman's Guild, most Islanders didn't even know that other nations around the world celebrated, at a similar time, a similar holiday of exchange.

        At St. Reverie, she heard it called Yuletide, called Midwinter, called Schwarznakt... and here in Creya, it was called Hógmanay. It would make sense that the solstice meant something to these tundra-men, she thought. So far north on the latitudes, the days were short and the nights were nearly perpetual... not that it mattered much to her. Everything was dark to her all the time. She paused at her work to put a hand up against her right eye. The back of her hand was cold from hours of desk work and soothed the strange ache behind her eyeball. Lately it had begun throbbing again, as it did before the students made their encounter with Nivisia in the caverns. A warning? Or an ultimatum, to remind her that while she lived on borrowed time, she ought to be figuring out how she will logic her way out of an impending deathtrap, not getting herself wrapped up in mortal traditions... or tape, for that matter.

        Plum red paper the same color as her uniform wrapped neatly -- or as neatly as she could, being blind -- about cardboard boxes. Most of them came in with the caravan last week. Some more trickled in sometime earlier this week. Two packages, under secure courier, arrived three days ago. The rest she bought locally. Cadenza put her stylus against a gift tag and inscribed the name of the recipient. As usual, she wrote from right to left, in mirror text, on the back of the cardstock, so that when she flipped the tag over, the proper letters were automatically embossed and could be read with her fingers in a few seconds' time. With one hand she held wrapping paper in place and with her other hand, she put put the glue bottle up to her mouth, popping off the cap with her teeth so she could apply it to the paper in question. Press and hold for one... two... three... four... five... six... seven seconds. And that was the last one. She mused at her handiwork (and the potential mess on the table).

        It was wasn't in her nature to adhere to tradition under normal circumstances but Korharagii was different. It was an obligation to an aesthetic whose utility was greater than its sentiments, or so she believed. Equivalent exchange. She lived by that concept of giving only as much as was taken, taking only as much as was given. When the world functioned on equilibrium, the rippling of chaos narrows and efficiency rises. What better time than Korharagii to set her accounts in order? There would be more book-keeping to do (and taxes to pay, most likely) later on in the season. If the Creyans were going to celebrate 
Hógmanay, there was no reason for her to not ride the currents, was there?

        The chair squeaked and scraped against the floor. Cadenza stood up and began to ferry the boxes to the top of the dresser where they'd be out of the way. Taking advantage of local culture could come later. She had to clean up for now. When Asteria woke up, she would have things to say if Cadenza left glue, paper snipping and nearly 20 boxes on their shared table. She was confident that none of those words would be "bless you." About to put a particularly small box away, she stopped.

"Korharagii evens the ebb and surge of debts and debtors, but also eases the difference between prices.
What one person believes them-self owed is not always what another person believes ought be paid.
In that situation, the diplomatic solution would be a debt of courtesy."


        Cadenza put her fingertips up against her collar. It took a few tries but she found the soft end of the thin, red ribbon around her neck. A tug... and it came loose, pooling into her hands, still warm from her neck. For several seconds, she merely held it in silence.

A debt of courtesy...

       
She laid the ribbon flat against the table in a single long, straight line, and placed the small box against it. A twist... a tie... another twist... a loop... a loop... tie. Small fingers slowly pried and teased the length into a crooked bow. Cadenza pressed her fingers against the knot to ascertain that it wouldn't come loose. Yes... that will do. And she bore it away to put it with the rest.

- - -

Click on the presents and read the descriptions to find out more about each!




   



- - -


:iconproject-revelation:
Happy Yuletide!
Those listed who didn't get their presents at the group RP can find them delivered anonymously to their rooms or contact me for an RP about it later.

Angeline - Shiiraa-x
Aquila - Tashea 
Asteria - Saphirinne 
Celeste - Trix-ster 
Dante - Kultasuu 
Lorea - Dreamer-of-Star
Miguel - Huuni 
Narci - Vanilla-Cherie 
Oriana - BlazingBacon 
Penny - Witchere
Remy - ErraticRhapsody
Roh - Moonania
Severo - Tashea 
Skylar - Trix-ster 
Viktor - CuddlyBunneh
Winona - suikakyuri
Winter - POPLICA
Yhuria - NGC1705
Yira - rain-ee 
Add a Comment:
 
:icontashea:
Tashea Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this lots <3  HC he is actually super secret fond of this... 
He has his weapon for slicing and his weapon for writing sick burns on the paper

HUEHUEHUE
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2017   Digital Artist
Can you imagine one of those calligraphy gifs and you think he's writing something fancy and elegant and it is but
it just says 'fool'
Reply
:icontashea:
Tashea Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Canon. 
Reply
:iconngc1705:
NGC1705 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2017
AWW OMG NYAAAAN these pixels are adorable!!! i love the descriptions on each gift Q wQ yhuria would be so delighted about the tome///
i couldn't make it to the group rp, so let's hc the gift-giving!! yhuria will have something to give cadenza in return ~
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2017   Digital Artist
Surestuff. Lemme know what you'd like to do. o ^o)b
Reply
:icondea-star:
Dea-Star Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Dawwh this is so cute and a great idea. Love how each thing is personal. Lorea is stoked to get the tenderizer. Inspires her too cook more. She'll have to show her gratitude through cooking just for Cadenza just name the dish and I got you!
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017   Digital Artist
LET'S GO MAKE SCHNITZEL!!!!
Reply
:icondea-star:
Dea-Star Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
YAS YOUR ON!!
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2017   Digital Artist
Should we RP this
Reply
:icondea-star:
Dea-Star Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
If we do I imagine it not to be too long, so yeah I am down to rp it! 
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2017   Digital Artist
we should... grab a BlazingBacon and have Oriana power the fryer.
Reply
:icondea-star:
Dea-Star Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes we should.
Reply
:iconerraticrhapsody:
ErraticRhapsody Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017
SCREAAAAAMS!!!! Nyan!!!! This was so sweet of you and oh my gosh this is so cute! Thank you for thinkin of my son! It's perfect! ;v; He's gonna end up giving her a big hug and twirling her around! Awwww <3333

everyrhing looks great. I love he little details to each person and each icon. 
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017   Digital Artist
I'm happy you like it. XD;;;;;
I personally... really love mackerel...
Reply
:iconcuddlybunneh:
CuddlyBunneh Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cry forever Viktor will use these all the time and never take them out!!
Totally want to RP getting these at the event or through HC possibly tomorrow though
trying to reply to all my RPs today -drowning- 
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017   Digital Artist
We should totally do the thing.
Reply
:iconcuddlybunneh:
CuddlyBunneh Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
;A; I've been waiting for Kiowa to give Viktor his gift and make one post....
That's why Viktor hasn't responded.... 
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2017   Digital Artist
Sorry ; v; I got dragged away by enthusiastic Sky 8D;
Reply
:iconshiiraa-x:
Shiiraa-x Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
;; Thank you so much Nyan! You're really kind <3 Thanks for thinking of my child
Reply
:iconnyanfood:
Nyanfood Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017   Digital Artist
LOL NP. It's mostly a courtesy on Cadenza's part, cause Angeline participated in the training thing.
Reply
:iconshiiraa-x:
Shiiraa-x Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
mall>It's the thought that counts, not the reason <3 I appreciate it regardless.
Reply
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