Nanuqai smiled in what he hoped was a reassuring way at Elina's comment. "You're always welcome to join us in our hiding spot, if the guards do try anything," he said with amusement. "But don't worry, I'm sure you'll dry off in no time."

He'd been lucky enough to have a form here in this world; back home only the strongest and oldest of the shamans could borrow a spirit's form for a time, but it had seemed like as soon as he'd touched the water he'd heard the sea lion inside him calling. The form had allowed him to reach the Castle with ease, even with frequent checks back to check Ashkii's much slower, steadier progress. The bear hadn't been pleased at all about their little adventure, but seemed quite content now that they were back on dry land - even if said dry land was deep beneath the water. It had also dried off rather quickly, meaning he hadn't left too many puddles around the garden to get the guards' attention. Still, he thought with concern, he hoped she wasn't too cold, especially if she was still wet enough to drip.

He startled a tad at the thought, dipping his hands into his pack until he found what he was looking for. He hesitated, flushing a tad again, then held the item out to the woman. "It's... not much, but if you're cold..." he said shyly. The garment - a jacket - was somewhat plain but carefully made, crafted of tanned hides on the outside and soft fur on the inside, the stitches neat and clasps designed of clean bone. He'd received it from an admirer many years ago, and treasured it - he wasn't much a fan of the cold himself, even though he had his mother's Qua blood pumping through his veins - but loaning it to the woman for a time seemed the least he could do. After all, it wasn't really polite to let a lady drip on the carpet if you had something to offer.

He smiled as Elina and Askii greeted one another, pleased to see - or rather hear - that the meeting was going well. Elina laughed, and Nanuqai smiled in reply. She had a nice laugh; she seemed rather nice all around. After his encounter with the woman on the Peaks, it was such a relief to meet someone normal, and gave him a bit of hope that not everyone on Shaman would be as unsettling as Bohdi had been.

He cocked his head to the side as Elina stood - he could make out the blur of her as she got to her feet again - and mentioned she couldn't remember her name - or anything else. A concerned frown formed on his face. She hadn't seemed injured, at least not from his brief glimpse of her, and her voice wasn't undercut with pain or fear either. All in all, she seemed to be handling her state much better than he would have under the circumstances.

"I'm sure that must be a bit startling," he said, trying to put himself in her shoes. "It was bad enough waking up on the beach here in Shaman with all my memories, I can't imagine what it must be like to be here without them... You'll have to let me know when you find out, then!" He added with another smile, clearly confident that she'd find the answers she sought one way or another. The conversation slid into where he'd come from, and Nanuqai leaned up against a nearby banister (or what he hoped was one, at least), while Ashkii sniffled lightly at their feet in search for any bits of honeycomb she might have missed.

"I'm from a place called Kebra, near the southernmost tip of our nation, Furla. It was beautiful there, golden plains stretching as far as you could see. My rowidi was Qua, from the north where it's cold and icy, and she always said she missed the snow. After they..." he swallowed once, hard, and cleared his throat. "After they passed I visited once, for a while, but it wasn't to my taste. So I sort of wandered, after that."

His shoulders lifted and dropped at her second question. "I lost my tribe when I was sixteen, so I guess I never felt very connected to the land after that. I did like knowing what I was meant to do, though, something I can't quite seem to figure out here. I was a shaman back home, connected to the Spirits, and helping them solve their problems and work with the humans in their territories. There doesn't seem to be much of a market for it here, though. Guess they don't need shamans in Shaman."

He smiled at his jest, but it was a bit tinged with sadness. He missed the Spirits almost as much as he missed his family. Then he paused; it had felt nice to talk to someone normal, so nice he'd forgotten that it wasn't exactly standard "just met you" fare to discuss such things... Hopefully she wouldn't be too offended by his trip down memory lane!

lineart from Russian Blues on DA

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