Solo To Find Your Way, You Must First be Lost

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forum. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

Moderator: Gossamer

To Find Your Way, You Must First be Lost

Postby Okara on June 30th, 2018, 9:36 pm


Summer 43, 518
”Hey Uta!” Okara called out. The botanist looked down from her work space and waved as Okara strode up the steps of dwelling.

”Well, what can I do for you today?” Uta asked with a small smile. She looked Okara over and raised her eyebrows, wondering what brought on the sudden visit. The Konti was dressed in her jungle boots and her backpack of supplies was firmly slung over her shoulders.

”The Panacea needs ginger and I was hoping you could show me where to find it.” Okara said with a smile and rested back against the railing. When Jansen had asked nonchalantly asked her to find ginger roots she had been nervous but felt she had to accept the task. If she didn’t go then someone else would have to take on the task and that didn’t sit right with her. She had considered her supplies carefully that morning and packed her backpack with journal, a stick of charcoal for writing wrapped in wax paper, filled waterskin, kukri, suvai, and healing kit. She considered bringing more for her venture into the forest but she needed room for the ginger and weighing herself down unnecessarily would only tire her out faster.

”Well I already have commitments today so unfortunately I can’t join you. However, I can show you what you are looking for. Ginger is popular so a lot of what was nearby has been harvested but it tends to grow in clumps so once you find some you should be able to harvest enough. You might even want to consider saving some for yourself so you can propagate a supply of your own.” Uta said and waved for Okara to follow as she walked to her desk and began paging through her journals to find what she was looking for.

”Propagation?” asked Okara, trying to keep the disappointment from her voice. She had planned on the naturalist joining her in the forest and the thought of venturing in alone was daunting. Looking for a plant she had never seen before in the enormous density of plant life that made up the jungle was doubly worrying.

”Oh, sorry, propagation is the process of plant creation. Planting seeds, using cuttings, or grafting are all ways of propagating plants. Here we go, here’s my ginger entry. You know I find ginger quite interesting, it has a pseudostem, the stem is actually made of the rolled leaf bases. Isn’t that cool?” Uta said as she pushed the open notebook across the desk towards Okara.

Okara took her own journal and charcoal from her backpack and studied the detailed drawing before she began her own. She drew a straight stem with alternating, linear leaves and a cluster of flowers at the top with a small note and arrow pointing to indicate that the flowers were yellow. At the bottom of the stem she drew a line to indicate the ground level and a lobed bulb beneath.

”Now that’s the part you want, the rhizome. It’s where all the good stuff is, you can discard the stem. It can get fairly tall, maybe a couple feet, but don’t forget to look for younger plants that might be shorter. The flowers are yellow but before they open the buds are actually white with pink edges. Very beautiful, in fact.” Uta explained, pointing around the drawing. Okara carefully noted and diagrammed her own drawing with Uta’s explanations. If she was going foraging alone she wanted all the details she could get to make sure she found the correct plants.

Word Count: 595
User avatar
Okara
Great stories start with humble beginnings.
 
Posts: 281
Words: 219137
Joined roleplay: May 30th, 2016, 12:34 am
Location: Syka
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

To Find Your Way, You Must First be Lost

Postby Okara on July 1st, 2018, 12:25 am


”Well, thanks Uta. I appreciate your detailed notes.” Okara said as she tucked away her journal.

”No problem. Sorry I can’t go with you, I know it can be hard out there alone. Just make sure you keep your bearings and if you get turned around don’t panic. Let me know how it goes when you get back.” Uta said with a warm smile as she ushered Okara toward the stairs.

The two women bid each other farewell and Okara slowly walked down the stairs, a sense of unease growing. In truth, she was scared of going into the forest completely alone, but she couldn’t bear the humiliation of begging out of it. Everyone had to do their part and she would need to gain the confidence for trekking out sooner or later. She told herself that the best way to gain confidence was through experience. She had to at least make an attempt and if she came back empty-handed, well, it was better then not even trying.

Okara followed the cobbled path east towards the Mercantile, giving herself time to gather her courage. When she passed the store, Juli was standing at the railing of the terrace and waved down at her. Okara waved back and kept walking, starting to feel a little foolish. It was now or never. Turning north off the path she plunged into the forest, pushing bushes and vines out of her way.

After two chimes she stopped to dig her kukri and suvai out of her backpack and catch her breath. She was in the forest now, the hardest part was over, or so she thought. She knew she needed to slow down and be more purposeful or she would blindly walk herself into trouble. Sticking her suvai in the waist of her pants, she moved forward again with kukri in hand. Okara had no fear of the small, forked weapon as its poison did not affect Konti. Moreover, the weapon was not a blade so she was unlikely to poke herself with the puncturing tines laying against her hip. It seemed the best place for it, it wouldn’t do much good in her backpack. She made a mental note to make herself a nice belt and scabbard to hold the weapon on future trips.

Okara slowly moved forward, slicing lianas that blocked her path and stepping carefully over knotted roots. She swept her gaze around her for signs of danger, at her feet for tripping or slipping surfaces, and the surrounding plant life for ginger plants. Keeping watch for everything at once was overwhelming and she seemed to progress at a snail’s pace. She tried to keep her mind clear, so her senses would be sharp to the environment around her. It could almost be a form of meditation if the occasional swarms of insects weren’t breaking her concentration as they darted at exposed skin.

Occasionally beams of sunlight poked through the vast canopy above her and she would correct her bearing. She knew she had struck out north from the Mercantile, so she wanted to keep the rising sun to her right in order to continue north. As Syna rose higher, the humidity rose as well. Droplets of sweat rolled down her neck and in between her breasts, soaking her shirt. She stopped periodically to drink from her waterskin and renew the water that seemed to be in a hurry to leave her body.

Word count: 572
User avatar
Okara
Great stories start with humble beginnings.
 
Posts: 281
Words: 219137
Joined roleplay: May 30th, 2016, 12:34 am
Location: Syka
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

To Find Your Way, You Must First be Lost

Postby Okara on July 1st, 2018, 1:15 am


After half a bell, Okara crested a small hill and slowly made her way down the other side. She stepped carefully to avoid slipping and sliding down the wet leaves beneath her. When she reached the bottom of the hill, she noticed small hoof prints through a patch of mud. Studying them, she noticed different sets of prints moving mostly in the same direction, meandering through the cleft of two small hills and then moving beyond her sight around a bend. Clearly she had stumbled upon a well-used animal trail, perhaps some type of deer judging by the prints. Deer were common enough to be recognizable to even the inexperienced Konti.

Okara decided to follow the narrow trail. She wasn’t really intending on finding the deer, but if they had found the path of least resistance through the topography of the forest she was going to pay attention. She figured it might be less exhausting them fighting against the jungle to force a path. She wanted to remember where she had turned off however and looked around thoughtfully for ideas. She spotted a few rocks roughly the size of her head but still small enough to be moved around. She made a small pile with the rocks just off the edge of the trail. Okara plucked five flowers from an orchid clinging to the bark of a tree and arranged them in a rough arrow around the cairn she had built, pointing in the direction she had come. She hoped the brightly colored flowers would catch her attention on her return trip if the cairn did not.

Pleased with her marker, Okara set off down the small deer trail. She was feeling rather proud of herself and more confident in the task at hand. If only she could just find some ginger now. Whatever deer lived in the area were clearly shorter then her as she still had to duck under tree branches and lianas, but the hoof prints marking out a zig zagging path that avoided any elevation saved her some energy and potential falls. She noticed a few other prints in the occasional mud patch but she didn’t know enough of the local animals to read what she was seeing.

Okara followed the deer trail for almost a full bell, covering much more ground then she had previously. The trail opened into flat ground, or at least flat as far as she could see through the dense vegetation around her. Her eyes caught a glitter behind a thick tree trunk. She took a few steps and yes, water! The deer trail may have helped her cover ground more quickly but the heat of the rainforest had continued and she had emptied her waterskin. She considered that she might need to carry a second or get a larger one to replace hers.

Okara moved closer and after a few steps she saw that it was a decent sized pond obscured by hanging branches. When she reached the edge she was delighted to see that the water was clear and glittered invitingly in small beams of sunlight. She shrugged off her backpack and drew out her waterskin. Okara began to lower the skin to the water and then paused, noticing several dead frogs at the edge of the pond. She drew back the water skin and furrowed her brows as she stared down at the dead amphibians. Finding a twig she flipped the carcasses over for further inspection. There were no bite or claw marks, no signs of predators having caused the frogs to die. Looking out over the pond, she realized the ever present insects of the forest were not skipping and darting across the surface of the water. It was completely calm, undisturbed by even the tiniest creatures movements. She stood and backed away from the pond, uneasiness creeping up her spine. Something was not right with this place and she did not wish to find out what may happen if she drank from the water.

Word Count: 668
User avatar
Okara
Great stories start with humble beginnings.
 
Posts: 281
Words: 219137
Joined roleplay: May 30th, 2016, 12:34 am
Location: Syka
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

To Find Your Way, You Must First be Lost

Postby Okara on July 5th, 2018, 11:58 pm


Okara put her waterskin away dejectedly and turned to study the area around her with pursed lips. She knew she didn’t want to be out in the wilderness for much longer without water. Dehydration was a terrible thing that she knew was often the first step in a chain reaction of small events that culminated in death. If she didn’t find some ginger or a clean water-source soon, she was just going to head back to the settlement. It was better to return empty-handed then not return at all.

The small animal trail she had followed appeared to have ended or continued where she could not see. Okara picked out a tree near the animal trail and cut chunks out of the bark on several sides so she could see the marker when she approached again. Marker in place, Okara set out into the forest again.

Without the animal trail to follow her progress slowed significantly and she frequently cursed inwardly that she had chosen to forage in the jungle alone. She was beginning to realize the extent of her foolishness and that she should have waited for a day when Uta was available to lead her. She promised herself she would not make that mistake again.

The ground began to rise in elevation and she trudged upwards, irritably swiping aside fronds and carefully skirting slick rocks. Okara tossed her leg over a log and ducked beneath some low-hanging branches when she spotted movement out of the corner of her eye. She turned her head slightly and faced a slender, green snake curled around a branch that eyed her with beaded interest. The snake began raising its head back and Okara lurched backwards fearfully. Her ankle caught on the log and she stumbled, her arms windmilling uselessly, her breath in her throat and eyes wide with shock for half a moment before tumbling backwards. The Konti rolled down the hill with furious momentum barely broken by sticks and bushes.

She came to a pitiful stop at the bottom of the hill and moaned miserably as she struggled up on her hands and knees. Luckily, she had not hit any rocks, though a pain her thigh and a spot of red on her pants told her that the suvai tucked into her waistband had lightly pierced her skin in the tumble. She shook off her backpack and checked the contents, she had packed nothing breakable so all the items insider were fine. She pulled her suvai from her waistband and tossed it into the backpack with disgust. Standing, Okara brushed the leaves and dirt from her clothes and hair before shrugging on her backpack on again.

”Get me the petch out of here.” She grumbled to herself and turned to retrace her path through the forest. She was thoroughly done for the day. Petch the ginger. Petch the Panacea’s supplies. Petch this whole cursed jungle. If anyone asked, she was going to say she hadn’t felt well and slept all day.

Okara walked for several chimes before stopping with a frown. The hill was not very far from the animal trail, she should have reached it again quickly. She didn’t see any sign of the trail or the tree she had marked. Perhaps she had walked further then she had realized. Okara continued on for another couple of chimes yet still she did not recognize anything notable or spy her marker.

Her heart began to beat a little faster as she studied the forest around her. Even if she missed the tree she ought to have seen the pond she had stopped at, they weren’t terribly far apart. How could she have misjudged her direction? Was she too caught up in her frustration to realize how much time passed? Was it only still a little further on?
User avatar
Okara
Great stories start with humble beginnings.
 
Posts: 281
Words: 219137
Joined roleplay: May 30th, 2016, 12:34 am
Location: Syka
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

To Find Your Way, You Must First be Lost

Postby Okara on July 6th, 2018, 12:43 am


It had to be close by, it had to be. Okara’s pace quickened and she fought a rising sense of dread. She didn’t want to be caught out here in the wilderness for much longer, especially with an empty waterskin. Her steps fell faster until she was rushing as quickly as the thick forest would allow her to. When her breath became ragged she stopped and looked around, her lips trembled and her eyes moistened as a small voice within wondered if she was lost, if this was it for her.

She forced herself to take several deep breaths and told herself it was going to be fine, she had clearly misjudged the direction she had come from. Okara decided to go back to the hill and try to pick up her original path again. She turned around and began to trace her way back, her frightened, alert eyes picking out every broken twig or trampled grass that indicated she had passed by while desperately fighting panic every step of the way.

She wanted to run, to seek and be comforted by safety as quickly as she could, but she forced herself to move slowly and purposefully. Okara reminded herself that she would only get more turned around if she rushed and missed signs of her passage. She was out here alone, and no one knew the direction she had gone, if she went missing the likelihood of her being found was very small.

Okara slowly made her way back to the hill, thankful to have found a familiar location despite it being the site of a rather frustrating tumble. She stopped at the base of the hill and studied the area around her, trying to determine where she could retrace her way back to Syka. Clouds had rolled across the sky, blocking the sun and any direction it could have given her. Perhaps some height would help and allow her to see more of the immediate vicinity. She was wary of climbing the hill again and so decided upon climbing a tree.

Okara picked a sturdy tree near the base of the hill. It had a web work of knotted roots covered in creeping vines around the base but branches low enough on the trunk for her to grasp. She left her backpack and kukri sitting on a large rock nearby where she would easily be able to find it again when she came down. She had never spent much time climbing trees in her youth, so she grabbed the highest branch she could reach with some apprehension as she pulled and swung a leg up with a grunt of effort. She carefully made her way up the tree, moving slowly to place her booted feet carefully and keep an eye out for any critters that called the tree home.

Ever so slowly she made her way upwards until she had climbed above the crowns of the juvenile trees. She hugged the tree trunk and glanced down, judging that she had climbed roughly 20-30 feet, though looking made bile rise in her throat. She felt a few patters on her head and looked up to see rain begin to fall from the clouds. Given how the morning had gone she should have figured one of the many daily tropical rains would have started while she was up a tree. She tried to ignore the drizzle and focused on analyzing the forest she could see.
User avatar
Okara
Great stories start with humble beginnings.
 
Posts: 281
Words: 219137
Joined roleplay: May 30th, 2016, 12:34 am
Location: Syka
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

To Find Your Way, You Must First be Lost

Postby Okara on July 6th, 2018, 1:20 am


Okara couldn’t make out much of the lines of the land through the layered canopy of trees. She was beginning to think she had climbed up this tree pointlessly when a small breeze ruffled the leaves and between some branches she spotted the shadow of water. In excitement she stared at the spot, wondering if it indeed could be the pond she had stumbled across earlier. She calculated in her mind and if it was, it wasn’t terribly far off from the direction she incorrectly tried first. She hadn’t missed the correct heading by much. It was the best lead she had so she decided to try it, otherwise she would have to wait for the skies to clear and hopefully use Syna to find her path back. The goddess couldn’t have reached her pinnacle yet so she could potentially forge a new path South if she kept Syna on her left, but trying to create a new path when she had been lost once already was a frightening prospective.

Resolution in mind, Okara began to climb down from the tree. The descent was even slower than the ascent as the recent drizzle was making the bark slippery. She inched her way down carefully with each foot firmly placed before lifting the other. She was doing well and feeling confident until she placed her foot on a smaller branch about five feet above the ground, as she lowered her weight onto it, it snapped, and the world seemed to hold completely still for a single moment as her hands gripped their branches precariously. But the bark was too wet, and her fingers suddenly clutched at nothing as gravity pulled her down.

Falling was one of the strangest sensations she had ever experienced, it seemed to last infinitely yet in the same moment she was suddenly laying on her back on the ground. The breath expelled from her lungs in a horrible whooshing sound while her mouth gaped uselessly at the air, unable to suck any in for a few moments. Her mind was completely blank in a swirling confusion that fought to make sense of what had just happened. Another moment passed and pain broke through the confusion in a disturbing clarity. Her lungs suddenly remembered how to work and she drew in air though she was surprised at how painful breathing could be.

Okara lay there on the ground, letting sensation and sense slowly come back to her. She wanted to jerk up and get away from the tree, but the healer in her insisted she stay still. As her breathing slowed she wiggled her fingers and toes, making sure they still worked. Once they proved their usefulness she next wiggled her arms and legs, then finally gingerly moved her torso and head about. She imagined she would wake up one giant bruise the next morning but thankfully nothing seemed broken.

Slowly she lifted her torso to a sitting position and winced at an extremely tender sensation in her calf, she had landed on something. Her braid seemed to have exploded and she had to pull wet, white hair from her face. She reached down into the leaf matter on the forest floor and grabbed the knobbly thing she had landed on. She looked down and in amazement realized she was holding a human bone, badly decomposing in the harsh elements, likely from an arm or leg. Wide-eyed, she tossed it away from her in shock.
Last edited by Okara on July 6th, 2018, 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Okara
Great stories start with humble beginnings.
 
Posts: 281
Words: 219137
Joined roleplay: May 30th, 2016, 12:34 am
Location: Syka
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

To Find Your Way, You Must First be Lost

Postby Okara on July 6th, 2018, 1:20 am


Turning, she noticed the creeping vines covered a lump among the tree roots. She pulled the vines away in morbid curiosity, unable to resist seeing what else lay around her. As the vines were ripped away, she found a ribcage pinned against the tree with a dagger. She tenderly searched around but could find no other bones, the rest had been scattered by animals or the elements of Falyndar. She wondered how long the skeletal remains had been there, matter decomposed so quickly in the tropics it was hard to gauge when the former resident of these bones had been alive.

Okara grasped the hilt of the dagger firmly and jerked it out of the tree, the rib cage clattering down into the leaf litter. A blue glow emanated from the dagger and flowed over her webbed hand before quickly dissipating. She slowly stood up and stared at the dagger in wonder. It was a simple looking thing, steel blade and black hilt. The blue glow clearly indicated it was more than a simple steel dagger but in what way she couldn’t imagine.

Sighing, Okara picked up her backpack and placed it carefully inside, now was not the time to consider its strangeness. She still had to find her way out of the jungle. She gently pulled her backpack over her shoulders, already her back was beginning to feel tender from the fall. She knew better to complain though, and instead sent up a prayer to Rak’keli and Priskil that she had emerged without a broken back or leg. Okara pointed herself in the direction she had spotted the pond in and began to slowly walk towards it, taking her time.

A few chimes later Okara spotted the pond through the brush and smiled. She was surprised at how excited she was to see a pool of water she could not drink and would likely die from if she tried. Looking around carefully she spotted the tree she had marked with her kukri. Her smile widened and she hobbled toward it, her muscles had begun to stiffen and the skin on her back crawled painfully.

The tree led her to the animal trail. Okara happily followed it, not minding the drizzle wetting her hair and shirt or the awkward gait her pained body forced her into. She had found the way home and it was the most joyful walk she had ever taken. Tracing her way back, she found her cairn and flower marker. Crawling back up the hill and through the forest was much more difficult but she slowly made it step by step.

Five bells after she had entered it, Okara emerged from the jungle. When her exhausted green eyes fell upon the ocean she laughed. The rolling waves were exquisite and the water was the most beautiful shade of blue-green she had ever known. Even the after-rain humidity smelled sweet to her, heat and wet greenery mingling in her nostrils like the most delicate of spices. She was exhausted, thirsty, hungry, and her back radiated pain but she was so happy she would have danced if she could have managed it.

Losing her way in an unfamiliar place had taught her a depth of fear she had not known before, but it had made finding her way back all the sweeter. Nothing was gained if nothing was lost, and beautiful emotion could only be known by someone who has also known ugliness. Her morning in the wilderness had been a series of mishaps but it hardly seemed to matter as long as she had made it back in one piece. She wasn’t a skeleton pinned to a tree, she was alive. Okara began to slowly make her way to her homestead where a long drink of water and a long sleep awaited her. She made for a strange sight: dirt clinging to her clothes and skin, her hair wild and ratty, limping from stiff muscles, and a big smile plastered across her face.

OOCThe dagger Okara found is the one she was awarded through the weapon challenge weekend
User avatar
Okara
Great stories start with humble beginnings.
 
Posts: 281
Words: 219137
Joined roleplay: May 30th, 2016, 12:34 am
Location: Syka
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)

To Find Your Way, You Must First be Lost

Postby Okara on July 10th, 2018, 2:25 am

Grades and Awards


 
Okara
Experience
Planning 1
Observation 4
Drawing 1
Botany 1
Wilderness Survival 4
Land Navigation 3
Climbing 2

Lores
Botany: Ginger, Appearance
Wilderness Survival: Using Animal Trails for Easier Travel
Land Navigation: Building a Cairn as a Marker
Wilderness Survival: A Water Source with Dead Creatures Around May be Unpotable
Wilderness Survival: Stay Calm If You are Lost
Wilderness Survival: After a Fall, Test Your Limbs for Injury
Persevering Through Injury

Misc Rewards or Injuries
( - ) Bruising along back and legs will take 2 weeks to heal if professional healing is not sought
( + ) Magical dagger, injures those who try to it use it and are not the owner’

Notes
Self grade, yay for me!

Please edit your post in your grade request to reflect that it has been graded. PM me with any questions.
User avatar
Okara
Great stories start with humble beginnings.
 
Posts: 281
Words: 219137
Joined roleplay: May 30th, 2016, 12:34 am
Location: Syka
Race: Konti
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests