Azuri the Pooka
The Aqua Feli
Age: 3 years, 10 months, 3 weeks
Born: February 27th, 2016
Adopted: 3 years, 10 months, 3 weeks ago
Adopted: February 27th, 2016
- Level: 108
- Strength: 177
- Defense: 10
- Speed: 10
- Health: 10
- HP: 10/10
- Intelligence: 686
- Books Read: 674
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Couture Designer
Water Wimp. Teal Tinkles. Scaredy Cat.
These were some of the more mild nicknames the bullies would scream as she clutched her little bundle of books and walked past with her head hung low.
Sometimes they would do their best to push the books from her arms. Sometimes they would give her a shove, laughing cruelly as muddy water sloshed up the back of the pretty dress Mama had sewn by hand. She would sit in the cold mud until the bell called them all inside, too stunned and miserable to even think about fighting back.
She was small for her age, with fur a brilliant turquoise that stood out among so many black, white and tan coats. She lost at every game of hide and seek she played and she was the favorite target whenever they played dodgeball in gym. The other felis never got tired of hiding springing serpenths inside her desk. They would roar with laughter when she fell back out of her chair, crying and curling into a small ball. The teacher would never be in the room. To place the cherry on the cake of injustice, she would be the one sent to the principal's office for disrupting class when all of her classmates were settled into their seats and looking eagerly toward the chalkboard.
The principal was a kindly old telenine, despite his stuffy black suit. After twenty years in the education system of Riverside, he knew what was going on. He never put a mark on Sakaria's record or called her parents down to the office. It was as if the other students could sense his pity.
Her parents had put up with their share of bullies and cowards growing up but they had never experienced behavior that left them lying in bed for days feeling sick with fear. They tried conferences with her teacher. They pulled her from the school bus and began to drive her to and from school. Her mother even called up a few fellow members of the PTA. Nothing helped. Sakaria grew more withdrawn every day, neglecting her lessons in favor of random doodles on the edges of clean notebook pages.
She had always been a little artist. Her attention to detail was astonishing and her ability to color in the lines at just two weeks old had earned her much praise and a whole stack of coloring books from a doting great auntie.
Natali saw her drawings accidently one day during recess. The ruffie wasn't one of the popular girls but she was well enough liked that the other children left her alone. She asked Sakaria to draw her portrait.
Sakaria was suspicious. Would this be another cruel prank, a way for the bullies to taint art as they had tainted everything else she used to love about school? She wanted to scream at Natali to go away but the other girl was alone, not surrounded by a giggling group. She was not looking over her shoulder and making secret hand signals that Sakaria could not interpret. She was genuinely interested in the shapes of Sakaria's doodles.
Third grade was almost tolerable with a friend at her side. Fourth grade was a whole new level of torment when Natali's family moved to Arctic Frost on her father's research grant.
Sakaria wrote Natali almost every night and they delighted in talking on the phone but without a good friend to have her back, she faced more bullies than ever.
She was not a little kitten anymore. Her body was growing, taking on curves that frightened her as her fur deepened to an even richer shade of light blue. Boys would jeer, sidling up to her to pluck a bit of fur despite her cries of pain. Her father was furious the night she came home with a bald patch on her shoulder, flinching at even the gentle tick of the clock on the mantle.
It was the next day that Azuri came into her life. The pooka would tolerate no nonsense from Subetan youths that wanted to hurt his mistress. He never bit so much as a pinkie claw, but he made it clear that subtle threats would be met with bared fangs and raised hackles. Though minions were not allowed on school grounds, Azuri always found a way onto the playground and he had a way of knowing which bullies had given Sakaria a hard time in the classroom. Those children would go to the coat room to find their lunches devoured though they could not find as much as a clump of fur with which to accuse Sakaria. Azuri had all the stealth skills of a ninja.
Sakaria smiled over at Azuri who napped on the plump cushion nestled at the center of a wooden frame that kept Azuri from feeling the cold stone floor even on midwinter nights. She had settled Azuri's bed directly in front of the fireplace and it always brought a smile to her face when her minion's dark eyes followed the sparks that danced from the backs of small driftwood logs.
She could not help dwelling on her past from time to time, but she made it a point to bring herself back to the present by looking around the house she had designed with pride and admiration.
It was a Craftsman style home tucked away in a secluded cove of Veta Lake. A bright blue shed to the south housed her eight-passenger plane while the boat dock stood serenely at the water's edge, housing Spirit of the Water until those glorious summer days when Sakaria insisted on lazing on deck with Azuri sitting on the prow and grinning her Pooka grin into the wind. As a cartographer for Subeta Geographic, Sakaria could live in a Centropolis high rise but she much preferred her little corner of lakeside paradise.
Her personal office featured framed maps from seven different spans of Subeta's history, along with a number of globes shaped in every material from clay to spun glass. Her big office was paneled in rich, dark wood with dark blue accents giving the room a hint of mystery straight out of a genie's bottle. Craftsman stained glass lamps stood on two side tables beside a row of bookshelves. A large window faced the lake, granting a spectacular view.
She had waist high cabinets with map drawers all along one wall, with her special maps hanging in custom-built frames above. A small selection of the many awards she'd won over the years hung over her drafting table. A tall glass and wood curio cabinet held compasses and other antique cartography tools that saw no use but were pleasant to the eye. Her desk was a large L-shaped work station with a hutch and a very comfortable and well-used leather chair. Her computer was state-of-the-art, equipped with all the latest cartography software programs, but ink, paper, and her antique wooden drafting table would always hold a special place in her heart.
She picked up her cell phone from the desk's surface as it began to vibrate. The cover was the same vibrant teal shade as her fur. It was the sort of cover that could fall out of a pocket and land directly on the pavement without allowing harm to come to the phone. It was the only kind of phone suitable for a cartographer always out in the field.
"This is Sakaria."
"Heeey, Saka. Have I got a project to make your fur stand on end! We're being given another go at mapping the Crypts!"
Sakaria smiled. "Hey, Norn. That's fantastic! I'll be there in half an hour."
Her small plane had special gear for landing on water at the flick of a switch. It would hardly prove useful in the forests of Shadowglen, but there were detailed maps she had captured in Arctic Frost where others had failed. Her colleagues loved and hated her for the hand-drawn maps she could produce from both ground work and aerial shots.
The three members of her regular team were waving madly as she touched down. Azuri bolted down the small staircase that led up to the plane's body, tail waving as she greeted Takari, Norn's bouncy Furball. Mayla and Benet also brought their minions on explorations. Those loyal companions were every bit as useful on scouting trips as the ones that fed them, spotting details low to the ground that could hint at whole sections of hidden land it would take their masters hours to discover.
Always the practical one, Mayla had already set out their last two attempts at Crypt mapping, scribbling notebooks in the little purple notebook she always carried. "Hello, Sakaria."
"It's good to see you, Mayla."
"Likewise. Now about our course. I really think we ought to approach this with a grid pattern, like we did for those canyons of Darkside."
Norn slapped Benet on the shoulder. "No need for all that fancy mumbo-jumbo. Ben here can find diamonds in a pile of dirt, can't you Ben?"
Benet smiled but didn't say anything. His abilities as a treasure hunter were legendary but he was very modest. Sakaria had never heard him speak more than five words at a time.
As for Norn, he was an adventurer to match Sakaria's own zeal for the unknown. His only downside was that he never stopped talking. Sakaria was rather glad it was her day to partner with Mayla. They might actually get a few base lines written down before they stumbled into an inevitable dead end. Even Subeta's best cartographers could only be allowed in the dry air of the tombs for so long before Blake Steele would insist on calling them back to base camp.
Sakaria always had to bite back a laugh at Mayla's choice of minion. Bob the Blob certainly gave them an advantage in his ability to suck toxins out of the air without coming to harm, but his willingness to eat anything smaller than him nearly drove tidy Mayla mad.
"No, Bob. Don't you even think about putting that disgusting thing in your mouth. Did you hear me, Bob? Do you want to spend the night in your crate?"
Bob turned mournfully away from the piece of frankenpie he'd been inspecting, gurgling a protest. Mayla smiled.
"I knew those training classes were worth it. I won't have my minion running wild like Norn's. She doesn't even know how to - BOB! You spit that out. This! Instant!"
Bob's trill of happiness caused a few little glowing blobs of mutated orange pie filling to fly through the air. Azuri exhcnaged looks with Sakaria, the minion's way of rolling his eyes.
When the whole team met up that evening to compare notes, Sakaria and Mayla had seven routes to Norn and Benet's four. None had even come close to discovering a valid path to the treasure room.
They laughed over shared tales of misadventure and Sakaria's latest round of jokes. (She could not tolerate a crowd but among friends she was a real wit.) The sound of companions snoring was one that comforted Sakaria as she slowly drifted toward sleep. There were scars of youth deep within her that may never fully heal, but she would be grateful every day that she had fought to achieve her dreams, refusing to give in to the voices of scorn that could not hope to recognize her true value to the world.
Extra Code by:
Bug Tashamon Celestial
Edited by: Chrysariel
Overlay by: Libr4
Story by: Pureflower
Box Background by: SlideShare
Gossamer Clouds by: Clipart Library
Name Art by: Chrysariel
Cartographer Tool Kit
Junior Archaeologist Tool Kit
Large First Aid Kit
Guide to Reading Maps
Uncharted Land Map Piece 1
Uncharted Land Map Piece 2
Uncharted Land Map Piece 3
Pirate Treasure Map
Uncharted Land Map Piece 4
Uncharted Land Map Piece 5
Uncharted Land Map Piece 6
Uncharted Land Map Piece 7
Uncharted Land Map Piece 8
Uncharted Land Map Piece 9
Arctic Pirate Map
Treasure Map Piece 1
Treasure Map Piece 2
Treasure Map Piece 3
Dangerous Pirate Map
Treasure Map Piece 4
Treasure Map Piece 5
Treasure Map Piece 6
Spirited Pirate Map
Treasure Map Piece 7
Treasure Map Piece 8
Treasure Map Piece 9
Island Pirate Map
Ziara Privateer First Map Piece
Ziara Privateer Second Map Piece
Ziara Privateer Third Map Piece
Ziara Privateer Fourth Map Piece
Ziara Privateer Treasure Location Map Piece
Space Pirate Map
Desert Pirate Map
Ytiva Privateer First Map Piece
Ytiva Privateer Second Map Piece
Ytiva Privateer Third Map Piece
Riverside Pirate Maps
Ytiva Privateer Fourth Map Piece
Ytiva Privateer Treasure Location Map Piece
Shadowglen Privateer First Map Piece
Unkempt Schematic Parchment
Bundle of Old Maps
Dusty Old Map
Sacred Lands Map
Treasure Map Pizza
Battered Golden Doubloons
Veta Lake Pet Bed