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Escapism

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Maurr Ulfrsson
Thrall

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Age : 21 y/o
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PostSubject: Escapism Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:47 pm




damned if i do
damned if i don’t.

The familiar sounds of hammers bashing against nails and wood reached his ears when he got closer to the shipbuilders’ place. Sometimes it was clear someone missed the nail and hit their hand instead, by the sound of very rough insults. Maurr couldn’t help but smile when he picked up on something like that. It was the proof his life was not the only one that was miserable. It was almost noon and he was looking forward to having his break. Even though he had nothing to eat today, he wanted to just sit down for a while and do nothing. Most of the shipbuilders took a break too, and it was one of the only times they left him alone. No random ‘Maurr do this Maurr do that’ to disturb his peace.

For now he was carrying a pile of planks, freshly sawn into straight and workable pieces of wood. They weren’t that long, but they sure were heavy. By the time he arrived at the right station, he was half out of breath. Before he put down the stack, he looked around for a second and made eye contact with the person who needed them. ”Freyja. Where do you need these?” He asked her, loudly so she would be able to hear him over the sounds of the waves and the noise of the seagulls fighting for leftover fish.

&Freyja

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Freyja Stafnsdóttir
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PostSubject: Re: Escapism Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:07 am

Everyone was hard at work down at the docks, Freyja included. Despite her decision to take things a bit easier than she had been in recent years, she still had a lot of hard work ahead of her every day. Honestly, after five years of shipbuilding, and years of spending time down at the docks with her father before that, the sounds that filled the air as people worked just blended into the background for her; She barely registered them anymore.

Turning to survey the work being done, Freyja spotted Maurr hauling planks and started in his direction. When he asked her where to put them, she pointed to the dry, mostly level spot a short distance to his left. “Right here would be great, thank you,” she told the young man. She was about to immediately return to work when she felt her stomach growl, telling her it was nearly noon. Break time.

Turning back towards the thrall, Freyja called out to him, “Maurr? You should be good to take your break now, if you’d like?” Freyja didn’t particularly care for the idea of thralls, and owning other people. Perhaps it was the fact that she was so independent, and when she put herself in his place, she could barely stomach the thought. She knew most of her sisters shared her opinion on the matter, but whether they’d gotten it from her or because they’d been friendly with Maurr as children, she didn’t really know.

Visna was a bit over eager when she packed my lunch this morning, so I’ve got plenty, if you’re still hungry after you’ve finished your meal,” she offered. Freyja didn’t want to make any assumptions, but knew she’d noticed sometimes that he didn’t have anything to eat while he was on his break, and had taken to bringing her lunch with her to the docks instead of going home to eat, just in case. He worked hard; She couldn’t very well let him go hungry. And from a purely practical standpoint, starving workers were not good workers, and whether she liked the position he was in or not, she had ships to build.

I’ll be down by the beach if you need me for anything. Or decide to join me,” she added with a wave, and headed to grab her basket.
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Maurr Ulfrsson
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PostSubject: Re: Escapism Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:15 pm




damned if i do
damned if i don’t.

Every day seemed to be fast paced. No one was slacking, and he had to keep up as well. Sometimes he was in awe about how everyone appeared to know exactly what to do. Getting everything done in time, and with an eye for detail and quality. The ships from Skagen were the best in Scandinavia, and he could experience first hand why. He would sometimes imagine he was a part of all this too. Someone needed to provide the shipbuilders with their materials right? Or at least carry them all across the docks to the right building station. Even though it was his job and he didn’t really have a choice, sometimes he kinda enjoyed it. Especially when he was assigned to one of the only friendly people working here. Freyja was always polite and seemed to appreciate his help. He patiently waited for her instructions when he arrived at her station. “Right here would be great, thank you,” She said, pointing at a spot to his left. He turned around and grunted softly when he carefully put down the pile. He didn’t want them to tip over or something.

Just when he was about to get the next stack, the shipbuilder drew his attention by calling out his name. “Maurr? You should be good to take your break now, if you’d like?” She said, and he nodded. ”Thank you”, He said, a lot more cheerful than seconds ago. When she continued, he didn’t really know how to feel though. She basically offered to share her food with him. For now, he wasn’t that hungry. But he knew he would feel more and more faint the longer the day would go by. “I’ll be down by the beach if you need me for anything. Or decide to join me,” She said, not waiting for his answer. Maurr watched her leave for the beach, still not quite sure if he should go and ask for her leftovers or not. He didn’t want to be so depending on other people. But she was being generous and he would be stupid if he didn’t accept the offer.

So, after 10 minutes or so, he got up and sauntered to the beach. He didn’t want to seem too eager. He spotted the blonde sitting on a piece of driftwood not that far away. Hopefully she really meant what she said earlier. He approached her with a more open mind than he had spoken with her younger sister. Maybe Sofie had been right.. Maybe they were really different. ”Hello again”, He said, with what could be interpreted as a friendly smile. ”Mind if I sit down?” He then asked, pointing at the other end of the improvised bench she was sitting on. Of course he would keep his distance, but at least he would have someone to talk to for once. That should make his break even more fun than usual.

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Freyja Stafnsdóttir
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PostSubject: Re: Escapism Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:36 am

Freyja was not the sort of person who was good at conversations when she felt uncomfortable. She was honest, and said what she was thinking, but sometimes she had enough tact to know when certain things were inappropriate. For example, coming right out and telling Maurr that she didn’t think he should be a thrall because she didn’t like the idea of it wasn’t really going to help anyone. Just because she thought such things didn’t mean he suddenly wouldn’t be a thrall and  his life would suddenly be any easier. And if he mistook her words for pity, he may grow to resent her, and that wouldn’t help either of them.

So, while she wasn’t surprised when he came to join her on the beach, she did feel awkward and was worried about saying something dumb to the young man. This wasn’t a feeling she was very familiar with, as she rarely worried about how her words affected others. Her sisters were frequently embarrassed by the things she said to them that she probably should have phrased better or simply kept to herself. But she was going to try.

Hello,” she returned his greeting with a smile, and quickly added, “Of course not!” when he asked if she’d mind if he joined her. “I wouldn’t have offered if I minded,” she added, but almost immediately realized she probably didn’t need to. He was likely just being polite. First dumb thing she’d said. Moving the basket with her food in it to her other side so it sat between them, Freyja gestured to it before biting into the fruit she was eating. “Help yourself,” she told him, turning her attention back to the ocean. There was bread and fruit and salted fish in the basket. Freyja didn’t love the fish, if she was being honest, but it was common and fairly cheap in Skagen, so she suffered through it quietly.

A few moments passed in relative silence and Freyja finally sighed before turning her attention back to him. “We don’t have to talk if you don’t want to, but I don’t want to seem rude or for you to think I was lying when I said you could join me if I don’t say anything?” Freyja was totally comfortable in silence. It was something she didn’t see a lot of when she was at home. “I’ve been meaning to ask, how are things going since you’ve started… working down here?” She wasn’t sure if 'working' was exactly the right word to use but didn’t know how else to phrase it.

If you ever need more than one break, just come find me. I can send you on some bullshit errand or something so you can catch your breath.” No one else has to work until they dropped, with little to no food to get them through the day, and she didn’t need him passing out from exhaustion. “And, uh, Visna over packs my lunch every day.” She hoped he was quick enough to understand what she was telling him.
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Maurr Ulfrsson
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PostSubject: Re: Escapism Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:43 pm




damned if i do
damned if i don’t.

After putting some thought into it, he decided to join her anyways. He also had a reason to speak to her, and this might be the best opportunity they would have to talk about the matter privately. He was planning on accepting Sofie’s offer about her mother’s party. He didn’t want to tell Freyja in public though. He didn’t know if she wanted to keep it a secret or not. He knew the party was a surprise party and their mother Kara wasn’t suspecting anything, but asking a thrall to come.. It was controversial, to say the least. He now knew the opinion of most of the sisters was that thralls should be free, but he was quite sure they kept their opinion to themselves. It’s what he would do too, if he was in that position anyways. But here, on the beach, they could speak freely without being scared someone was eavesdropping on them.

When she gave him permission, once again, he sat down on the other end of the driftwood. She placed the basket containing her lunch in between them. “Help yourself,” She instructed. Still a bit reservedly, he took a peek inside the basket and picked a piece of bread along with some dried fish. He didn’t want to seem too eager, so he took little bites instead of devouring his food as he would normally do when he got the chance. After a few moments, she started talking. She told him she wanted to have a conversation, but only if he wanted to participate too. “I’ve been meaning to ask, how are things going since you’ve started… working down here?” She then asked. He swallowed his food before replying. ”It’s alright”, He said, forcing himself to smile lightly. He had nothing much to add to that. Not without complaining about it.

“If you ever need more than one break, just come find me. I can send you on some bullshit errand or something so you can catch your breath.” She then suggested. He was toying with the idea for a bit, but he didn't dare to say 'yes' immediately. He was somewhat scared she was testing him. "One break works for me, thank you", He said with a polite smile. "Besides, it wouldn't be fair to the others and if they see me take more breaks, they might report it and it would get you in trouble as well", He continued. He didn’t want her to take the risk for him. She loved her job and although he didn’t like his, he would do it anyways. He might take the opportunity when he was sick, but for now it was fine.

“And, uh, Visna over packs my lunch every day.” Freyja then mentioned, stressing her words in a way he suspected she was trying to invite him to lunch every day now. It was nice, but he knew he couldn’t accept that offer either. ”You know I got no way to pay you for that”, He said softly. He didn’t want them to have another mouth to feed. There were five of them, plus their mother. If they voluntarily would feed him too, it would cost them a lot of money over time. To bring up another subject, he decided to ask her about the party. ”I spoke with Sofie earlier this week. She told me you all agreed I could come to your mother’s birthday party..”, He said, keeping an eye out for her reaction, as he wasn’t sure she was also aware of the fact Sofie had invited him.

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Freyja Stafnsdóttir
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PostSubject: Re: Escapism Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:14 am

Freyja was honestly glad that she had this opportunity to talk to Maurr. At the very least, she hoped that by the end of their break, he’d know that she was someone he could trust. And while she probably couldn’t solve many of his problems, she would help if she could. She was glad he was eating something, as well. Going hungry wasn’t a feeling she was familiar with, but she honestly couldn’t imagine having to perform the work he was expected to perform on an empty stomach.

He told her his work was alright and she simply nodded, assuming he was being polite. Almost all of the work by the docks was hard, physical work, and for someone who had no choice in the matter, hard work was rarely ‘alright’. Freyja might not have wanted to be a shipbuilder, but she’d still made the decision for herself, and she did enjoy most of the work.

He told her one break was fine and she nodded again. “Okay, that’s fine. Just if it’s never not. If you’re ever ill or anything, I won’t mind making an excuse.” Maurr was right, of course. If she was constantly sending him and him alone off for an hour every day, people would notice eventually. But everyone had bad days. Everyone got sick once in awhile. And she assumed his living conditions were less than ideal, and with winter coming, working by the water always came with the risk of falling ill.

She shrugged at his next comment about not paying for the food. Sharing one meal with him every day wouldn’t put a dent in their food supply, but she wouldn’t push the issue. Freyja didn’t want to make the young man feel uncomfortable around her. That would have been the exact opposite of what she’d intended, in fact. “Well, I’ve extended the invitation. If you’re ever hungry, I’ll have some extra, is all I’m saying. No pressure or expectations.” She didn’t want to make his life any harder than it already was, or make him feel guilty or anything, for taking her up on her offer.

Oh, excellent,” Freyja replied with a smile. Sofie hadn’t mentioned she invited him, but she didn’t have a problem with it. She’d told the girls they could invite whoever they liked, and she’d meant it. Of course, she’d heard Visna & Sofie talking about some of the people they’d invited and had thought that perhaps she should have maybe been a little more specific about who she meant. But Maurr was a friend of theirs, so he probably would’ve made the list even if she had been. “I let them be in charge of who to invite, since I don’t really bump into too many people when I spend all day at the docks,” she added, with a bit of a shrug. He probably knew what that was like as well. “But I’m glad they invited you.

She fell silent for a few moments while she picked at some of the food in the basket. She didn’t want to overwhelm him by pestering him with questions or anything. But then she had another thought, and didn’t want to waste the opportunity to ask him about it. “Do you actually have any interest in shipbuilding?” If he did, she could probably talk to the harbormaster about having him work with her a bit more often. At least he might enjoy the work a little bit more, even if he didn’t have any real choice in the matter. If he didn’t, well, there wasn’t too much else she could really do for him, unfortunately.
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Maurr Ulfrsson
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PostSubject: Re: Escapism Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:42 pm




damned if i do
damned if i don’t.

Although it felt like they were only having this conversation because it was considered ‘being polite’, he actually enjoyed the fact that it was different than his usual lunch break. It was a nice distraction from the daily grind. It was something exciting. Not only because it meant he could at least eat a little bit, but also because it wasn’t as lonely as usual. It was also a strange experience though. Especially when she offered him even more help than just sharing her leftovers. But he couldn’t say yes to everything. And honestly he also didn’t really feel like getting into trouble with the other thralls. They might go complain to the harbour master, which would get Freyja in trouble as well. He had no idea what the consequences could be, and he didn’t want to find out either. So he politely declined her offer. “Okay, that’s fine. Just if it’s never not. If you’re ever ill or anything, I won’t mind making an excuse.” She simply mentioned. He nodded. He sure would remember, but he didn’t know when -and if- he would ever make use of it.

But she kept surprising him with other offers. She kind of suggested he could sit with her every day, and she would have Sofie ‘overpack’ her lunch each time. An offer like this one was even harder to decline, but he didn’t want them to spend all that money on him. He would never be able to repay them, as thralls didn’t earn any money and had little to none possessions. He also had no time to go hunting, and even if, he did not have the skills either. His comment on the issue only made her shrug lightly. “Well, I’ve extended the invitation. If you’re ever hungry, I’ll have some extra, is all I’m saying. No pressure or expectations.” She said. She didn’t seem to push the matter, but he might actually stop by every now and then to join her on her break. It would mean his breaks would be more interesting as well, so it was actually a double win on his part. ”If I ever can do something for you, you just let me know, alright?” He said with a little smile. Even if it was just helping her relocate heavy stuff, he would do an extra effort to help her out first, instead of finishing whatever stupid job he was assigned to.

For now he just brought up the subject of the invitation Sofie had given him to come to Kara’s birthday party. Apparently Freyja wasn’t informed yet, so now she knew. She didn’t seem to mind her sister getting him involved. ”I’m really looking forward to it”, He said, with a genuine smile. It was probably his first night out ever since he had started working. It was a big deal to him. ”Sofie also mentioned you could maybe come up with some excuse so I can leave a bit early”, He said. ”But if you can’t, I totally understand, I hate to ask favours like this”, He continued with a little chuckle.

For a minute he focused on the food, enjoying the bread. It was freshly baked, which was a luxury for him, to be honest. “Do you actually have any interest in shipbuilding?” She suddenly asked, overwhelming him for a second. He swallowed his food first before answering. ”I am very careful with developing interests, honestly. I try not to like certain parts of my job, as it would make the others even more.. Not enjoyable”, He said, saving himself from saying ‘horrible’ at the end of that sentence. He didn’t want to complain in front of her, as she could not change his situation anyways. "I do like watching the progress though, how the boat takes more shape every day", He then commented. He didn't see much of the work that went into it, as he was mostly focussing on doing his own job, but the process didn't go unnoticed to him. He walked by every day at least two or three times, so he could clearly see how every ship evolved every time.

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Freyja Stafnsdóttir
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PostSubject: Re: Escapism Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:16 pm

This wasn’t as awkward as Freyja had imagined it could have been. She knew Maurr was reluctant to take her up on her offers, and she understood his hesitation. She appreciated it, to be honest. It was clear he wasn’t thinking of only himself when he turned her down, and thought it was exceptionally thoughtful of him to think of her, or worry if she might get into trouble for helping him. She knew the risk she was taking, and Freyja had never really worried about accepting the consequences of her actions, but she wasn’t going to bring it up again. He could take her up on the offer, or not, as he chose.

At his offer to help if she ever needed it, Freyja smiled and nodded, “I will.” She, like him, rather doubted she’d ever make good on such an offer, knowing the amount of work he already had on his plate, but she appreciated the offer anyway.

Me too, it sounds like it should be a lot of fun. I’ll look for you,” she answered, and when he told her Sofie had suggested she come up with a reason for him to be able to leave early and attend the party, she laughed and shook her head at her sister’s actions. “Yes, I’ll figure something out. It’s not a problem. I’ll come find you when I’m leaving for the day and come up with a reason for you to join me.” Organizing the ship fittings or some other materials she had at her house should be good enough, she decided.

When she’d asked Maurr if he actually had any interest in learning how to build ships, his answer was logical. Freyja thought that was an intelligent way for him to go about it, but still couldn’t help but wonder if it might be a little easier if he actually enjoyed some part of it? But she wasn’t going to mention that. She understood the wisdom of living his life in such a way. What if he did truly enjoy shipbuilding? And became good at it? And then in two months, he was sent away from the docks, to work in the stables or something? It would be even more disappointing.

She smiled in return when he said enjoyed watching the progress of building the ships. “Did you know I didn’t even want to be a shipbuilder?” She asked him, before ripping a off another chunk of bread to pick at. “I was training to be a shield maiden when my father died. But the girls were still too young to work, and I knew how to build ships,” she shrugged, because that was basically the end of the story. Rúna was the oldest of her four younger sisters, and she’d only been 13 at the time. Freyja, however, had been 23, and learning from her father since she’d been Rúna’s age. Realizing after a moment how that could have sounded to him, Freyja turned to face him. “I didn’t mean to imply that our... situations are similar.” She wasn’t used to having to censor herself in order to not sound like an ass. “I’m sorry, if that was a rude or inappropriate thing to say.” Good job making it not awkward, Freyja.
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