"Well...there are many different kinds of waterfalls." Mahin told her. "And some are very small."
He nodded, his face a mask of empathy to her next comment.
"It is only natural that you miss your home." He said, a look of sadness taking over his features. "I miss mine, also. I have not seen it for a full turn of the seasons." He sighed. "And I doubt I can ever go back." His father would have made it impossible.
Then he brightened.
"But if I had stayed, I would have missed so much. In that time I have seen such wonders, experienced things I would never have dreamed of." He smile at her. "And met many wondrous people who have had a profound effect upon my life." He bowed his head to indicate he included his present company.
"Still..." He gazed up the cliff-face. "This location...it reminds me so much of my home..." He sighed. "Though our cliffs are much brighter, almost a dazzling white in comparison."
He glanced at the ocean the falls plunged into.
"Still...I wonder..." He frowned, squinting in an effort to see through the spray. "Perhaps the locals indulge in a similar pastime to one I enjoyed..."
Post by Maala Shae on Nov 14, 2011 14:58:37 GMT -5
Maala nodded once but didn't look at him. She was not convinced. "I follow God Aang." She said, placing her hands together in prayer. "I am his humble servant." It was his words, his promises, that had made her brave enough to travel. The new beauty spoke to her little though, as she viewed it with a certain level of scientific detachment. "You are kind to me, and pleasantly attentive." It wasn't so much a complement as a thank you.
"Does it?" Maala tried to imagine white cliffs, but her mind merely changed the slate grey of the rocks to the rich reds of the adobe her city was made of. It felt so far away, the glistening sand and feverishly hot sky. "Perhaps one day I will see your homeland." She told him quietly, "Expressing interest in such things without any real intention of going is customary in your culture, am I correct?" She asked, a moment later. In Jibade, if you said that you were going to do something, you did it. Words were tools of action there, not emotion.
Ever curious, she too followed his gaze as it roamed about. "I am unsure what it is we are looking at in particular." It was all water, rock, and air to her. Though beautiful in itself, there was nothing to stare at.
...And there he went with his strange cultural habits. "I would appreciate it if when you talked, you would modify your statements for me." Was stated as he mused to himself about past times. "I find it rather jarring attempting to decipher your subtext." He should know that she had no idea what the locals of his village did! God Aang often spoke to himself too, and left her miffed about what he was rambling on about.
Maala was quite a puzzle to Mahin with her strange and literal way of speaking. It seemed that she liked him at least.
"I believe it is but a courtesy to feign an interest in something when it is closely connected to the person you are conversing with even though they are most likely as certain that you have no intention on taking any action on the spoken interest." He said. "But you are correct, it is a part of our culture. As odd as it is to lie right to their face in such a way with no offence meant or taken."
He noticed her follow his gaze, and showed confusion at his musings.
"I take it you do not voice your thoughts in such a manner." He surmised. "It must seem odd to you, but sometimes we find it easier to process things if we speak them out loud. I was merely wondering if the local inhabitants dive through their waterfalls. It is something I myself would do at my home when my parents were otherwise engaged and I was left with nothing to do. It is quite a wondrous sensation."
Post by Maala Shae on Nov 23, 2011 10:20:30 GMT -5
"No. I do not speak unless there is someone or something to direct my words at." But she'd seen it before, and she'd see it again. Often when the God Aang was musing, she would attempt to answer him, misunderstanding his nonverbal cues. Nevertheless, there was now new information to consider. "Dive through their waterfalls?" She stared at him, appalled. "That sounds unpleasantly terrifying."
She looked up at the water cascading down with equal parts reverence and fear. Sure, that much water was astonishing, and she truly appreciated it, but jumping through it? She looked at the basin next to them, shaking her head. "You would not find me engaging in such a diversion." She said, voice finally tinting itself to shades of uncertainty, "I do not even know how to swim." There had been little water in the desert, and she could wade, but not swim.
That, of course, was a little unusual here, as she had learned that most people did in fact have that skill. Children and even canines were always in the water to escape the heat and 'humidity'- whatever that was, during the summer months. "It is too cold for such things anyway." The air was cool, still chilled from the natural disaster earlier in the year.
"Yes it is frightening." He admitted of the diving. "But that is essentially the point. The rush of adrenaline it causes is quite intoxicating." He grinned at the memory. "And it does not come with the unfortunate after-effects of true intoxication."
The grin faded. Yes...true intoxication was not something he wished to repeat any time soon. It had brought him far more pain than elation. he still could not fathom why Rain would voluntarily repeat the experience on so many frequent occasions.
He followed her gaze up the thundering waters, marvelling at the way they broke and refracted the light, sending a myriad of tiny rainbows shimmering across their surface.
"I suppose it is not for everyone." He nodded. "And I would certainly not recommend it to anyone without the ability to swim."
"Cold?" He questioned. "I had not noticed." He certainly didn't feel cold, but then his clothing was far more substantial than the gossamer coverings his companion was wearing. And there was also their vastly different places of origin to take into account.
"But then, Ansheng is far more to the north. It is likely that I am simply more accustomed to cooler temperatures." He said. "There may even be snow there now." He added with a sigh.
He may not share the same spiritual tie that Maala seemed to have with the desert, but he still missed the quiet splendour of his home. But he knew he could never return there.
Post by Maala Shae on Nov 25, 2011 21:03:58 GMT -5
If he couldn't handle the after-effects of true intoxication, then he was hardly a man. Jibade's culture practically revolved around wine, and Maala had herself been introduced to it at a very young age. In fact? The idea that jumping off of a cliff was more fun than a good glass of wine was hardly convincing. It sounded like the sort of half-baked idea that the Avatar would pitch to her.
"I am told I am more sensitive, due to my home climate." In the Si Wong, the days were blistering and the nights were freezing, and one had to adapt accordingly. Here? It felt to her like the chill never left the air. "Snow..." She'd never seen it, "God Aang conjured ice once, he told me snow is similar."
Nevertheless, if he was going to mention it, she was hardly going to allow him to walk away. "Well, What are you waiting for, Mahin?" She gestured to the falls. "I must insist that you demonstrate this odd past time of yours." At the end, she smiled, though it had the air of something planned, not something instinctual. As though she had to mentally remind herself to smile at him when making a joke. "I would be most impressed if you accomplished this stunt without personal injury."
It was the closest thing to an 'I dare you' that she knew. Taking a step back, she looked up the falls. He probably wouldn't do it. It was a horribly bad idea, as the rocks appeared to be slick, and hardly safe for climbing up, let alone jumping off.
"Snow is...softer than ice..." He said. "It is much like very cold rain that drifts to the earth. But then I do not suppose you have had much experience with rain either." Though it DID rain in the desert, he knew it was not a frequent occurrence. He guessed that she had experienced rain perhaps only a handful of occasions in her lifetime, if at all. He was not at all familiar with her people's area of the desert.
"I am not certain that a demonstration would be a good idea." He said as he squinted into the depths beneath the falls. "I am most familiar with the cliffs near my home so I know that there are no rocks beneath the surface to cause me injury. And though I could clear the area by bending any rocks out of the way, I could be upsetting the homes or feeding grounds of aquatic animals that dwell here."
He smiled a little sheepishly.
"There is also the possibility that there is fauna in the water that could cause me just as grievous injury as the rocks."
Post by Maala Shae on Nov 30, 2011 19:42:43 GMT -5
When he talked about snow, she merely stared blankly at him. Maala was not imaginative and she didn't even try to recreate the substance he described in her mind's eye. She did however incline her head a few inches in gratitude for the description.
She had not expected him to refuse, what with the way he had insisted it was fun. Hands went to hips, and an eyebrow rose. "I see." The cliff wasn't too far, and the water below it reflected them back along with layers of rock and sky beyond. She stood there in silence for several long moments, feeling the ache of homesickness and longing in her chest. Feeling the desperation of regaining the love and forgiveness of the Desert Spirit. Feeling the unusual sensation of loneliness that she had come to accept as a state of being. Jibadies didn't last long outside the desert... She raised her hand and made the sign of her god over her chest.
"I had not realized that you were so adept at manufacturing reasons not to do something." Maala was from the desert. Water was scarce and something to be sought out and worshipped, not feared. "I am unimpressed." That probably clouded her judgement a bit. Or perhaps she was losing herself all together?
Reaching up, she unclasped her nose chain with one hand and pulled off her headscarf with the other. A shower of silvery tresses fell around her shoulders as various jewelry and fabric rained to the grass.
Then? She jumped.
A brief sensation of rushing wind, and a still view of the world hanging suspended in the collapse assaulted her senses. Then with a crash of water, everything froze around her like night in the desert, and for the first time in her life, she looked up at the surface of a lake from below. It was beautiful, the sun shining through the ripples flecking the world around her with light. The water compressing in on her as it cushioned her descent to a drift of silky cloth and undulating pale hair as she settled on the rocky bottom.
Instinctively her hands moved to keep her balance. Gravity was odd down here, and her limbs struggled against the push and swirl of the water. It took a second, but feet were gotten under her, and she pushed off, following the shower of bubbles up and up until her head broke the surface. Then sunk under again, then broke again and she spat out the mouthful of water. "I underestimated the temperature!" She called, trying to shake her hair out of her eyes, where it plastered her face. "It is horribly uncomfortable!"
Mahin was a little taken aback at her bluntness for once. Did she seriously wish for him to risk his neck, possibly his very life, for her amusement?
Before he could even formulate a response, she had removed her head covering and several pieces of jewellery and jumped.
Instinct took over and he mirror her dive even before he knew what either one of them was truly doing. He may not have been able to get into a proper stance, but he reached out with his bending as much as he could to shift any large earthen obstacles in their path.
He hit the water scant seconds after she did, prepared to pull her to the surface if necessary, but natural buoyancy seemed to have taken care of her in that respect.
He wanted to berate her, question her sanity, but it would accomplish nothing.
"Yes." He agreed in regards to her assessment of the temperature, in a tone far flatter and much more terse than his usual. "That would be another of those reasons manufactured not to do this."
"Mahin?" She asked, finally shifting the hair out of her eyes. After all, she'd called upwards blindly, and was surprised that the answer came from mere inches away. "Did you change your mind?" She didn't realize he was angry, mostly because he didn't tell her he was.
With a series of rather undignified splashes, she started a small effort at movement. Mostly it just sunk her down under the water again. By the time she came back up, she had a fresh mouthful of water to spit out, and some aquatic plant life had stuck in her hair. "You will have to explain to me why your people find this recreational." She said to him, a little at a loss as to where the 'fun' was. Then, somehow, with a better look at him, she tilted her head to one side. "How do I do the paddle you are employing?" It looked awfully convenient.
All those robes must have gotten heavy once soaked with water. Even so, he could probably swim a lot more efficiently than her. It felt like no matter how she moved, keeping herself on the surface was difficult. Then, watching him, she noticed the strange tightness to his demeanor. "Wait... are you angry?" She asked, completely taken aback. "Have I offended you again?" It seemed like everything she said or did had an adverse effect on the man. She found him tiringly delicate. "I do not understand your emotional process. Please elaborate once we have emerged from the water."
She peered around for the shore. How did they get out?