To the root of it II

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

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To the root of it II

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:02 pm

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61st of Spring, 522 AV

Chipping away at the ends, she made grooved slots on either side of the thick end then took out a small piece towards the middle of the narrow end before moving so he could get a good look.

“This design will allow us to lash it across the back and front to keep it secure for chopping. Now another tool like a knife you wont really have to do that because the handle is more straight forward. Here why don’t you give a knife a try while I try breaking off a few larger flakes for us to work with?” Uta said, and nodding, Cleon decided to try just that.

Picking up a small piece of Carbonado he laid it flat against the rock before he started chipping away a roughly vertical shape. It was more difficult that Uta made it look. Most of the time he couldn’t even strike it properly as the stone kept slipping, and when he did, his strikes didn’t seem to make much of a dent in it until he started hitting the bone tool head on with the piece of rock. Then he finally started to see some results as he started chipping out a roughly blade like shape only to split it in half a few strikes later.

“That’s alright. It will take some doing before you get used to it. We can work with what you have left though for our next step. First watch how I put a sharp edge to the ax with this flaking tool. Its similar to that chipping tool you are holding only this has a point on it. When you are striking the rock make sure that you are directing it so that the pressure goes down and out so you put a fine edge on it. Like this.” Uta demonstrated, pushing the flaking tool straight down near the narrow end of the rock and slightly tilted. It reminded him a lot like using a chisel which he supposed it sort of was in a way.

As Uta struck the rock small horizontal flakes came off of it along that narrow edge, and then she flipped it over to do the same to the other side. What she ended up with was something that looked a lot more like an ax blade than it had before, and with a fine edge that she handed to him to get a good look. Brushing his thumb gingerly against the side, he could tell it was sharp just by looking at it but felt it just because that felt like the right thing to do. Cleon looked up at Uta in surprise.

“Oh, this is really cool.” Cleon said with a slight smile as he turned it over in his hands. How are we going to lash it onto something?” Cleon asked.

“Well you’ve got some rope and I’ve got a few sticks I’ve prepared to make my tools with. I try to keep everything around this area so I can readily make a new one as needed.” Uta said, and from under a light brown tarp that the rock pile was helping to partly weigh down she produced a short, thick stick that looked like it had been part of a sapling once.

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To the root of it II

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:03 pm

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Taking the ax head from him she slid it into a split she had carved into the top of the stick and slid it down until it reached a notched hole that allowed the two ends of the stick to come back together. By that time Cleon had managed to produce a bit of rope from his bag. Uta took that and used the sharp edge of the stone to cut it before she started tightly wrapping it across the top of the stick then put an overhand knot on it that looked a bit like a snake wrapping its way across the wood and stone.

“This is a constrictor knot. First make an x shape around the object you want to tie up, and then put this end under the x before tightening it the rest of the way. This will make sure that your ax head won’t come loose to bite you when you are trying to chop something. Its probably the most useful knot you’ll come to use in the jungle.” Uta said, demonstrating it again after untying it, this time slow enough that he could see how she made the x across the wood and stone before looping the end through the bottom. He hoped he could remember that though if he didn’t he knew who to ax.

Uta gave the ax a couple of practice swings and then handed it to him. “There, you’ve got your ax. Now lets finish up this knife before we go out into the jungle.” She suggested with a smile. Taking the flaking tool from her, Cleon grabbed up the pieces of his broken knife and settled for the largest piece to try flaking. Emulating what she had done before he put the pointed tip directly on the piece of rock before giving it a slight angle towards the edge. Then picking up another rock in his free hand, he gently tapped on the back of the piece of bone, letting the stone flake off gradually instead of doing it quickly as he had done before.

The result wasn’t satisfactory but at least he didn’t break it. It wasn’t exactly a straight edge but the stone had done most of the work for him resulting in several grooved edges along one side of the knife that were quite sharp. It almost looked like little teeth. Uta smiled, and examined his knife briefly before she dug out a spool of hemp fiber to wrap around the base of the knife. Then doing a similar x pattern as before before working the tip of the thin rope underneath the x and pulling it taut. Then she handed it back to him. It was a small thing, barely touched the sides of his palm but he rather liked it anyways.

“Not bad for your first attempt. I have a couple of spares if we need, but I want you to try using this one to get a feel for it so you’ll know next time how you want to knap the stone.” Uta said, giving him a gentle pat on the shoulder. “Okay, ready to go?”

Putting away the knife, Cleon nodded. “Yes, looking forward to it actually.”

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To the root of it II

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:04 pm

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It was not unlike how he remembered his first visit in the jungle, the parts he remembered anyways. Uta took him up the ravine, followed an animal trail for a ways till they reached a point that she stopped next to a massive tree with a thick tangle of vines grown along its base with broad leaves. He watched as she carefully took one of the leaves between her gloved fingers studied it for a moment before looking at him with a slight smile.

“This is curare, another plant we make good use of here, mostly in the Panacea. When mashed and boiled it can make for a powerful muscle relaxant which is why some of our hunters also use it to poison their arrows. So long as it doesn’t get into your blood stream your fine with eating an animal that has been brought down by this sedative. Over at the Panacea though they keep a small amount on hand just in case someone needs serious medical help. It can help make certain surgeries possible. Its been a while since I’ve harvested any so might as well grab a bunch to have on hand.” Uta explained as she pushed her hand through the vines to grab at the stalk and saw through the base with a stone knife she had brought with her. Then picking apart the edges where it was still attached she kept trimming until she had a decent sized bundle of the curare that she then wrapped up in treated canvas before putting into her backpack. “Now make sure you don’t harvest anything on your own that you can’t identify, especially without using gloves. A lot of the plants out here look similar so it is easy to make an honest mistake and pick up something that is actually not what you are after. Curare has these broad leaves with evenly spaced veins that curve out towards the tip. Its also attached by these thin little vines to the larger stalk that wraps around the base of this tree. You’ll often see them like this, but you could find some in smaller patches. You just have to keep a keen eye out, alright?” Uta said before moving on.

Cleon nodded, taking a long look at the tree as they passed by it. He had to wonder who had been the first to discover the utility of this plant. Probably humans much older than them if he had to guess, but it could have also been Uta who self discovered it. She did seem to know a whole lot about this jungle and the plants that dwelt within it. As he followed her along she took them briefly vertical, using a vine to climb up until she reached a broad branch that made a path to a nearby tree creating a small network above the jungle floor. There was an odd sense of dejavu as he grasped the vine as if he had been here before but he couldn’t quite place it as he pulled himself upright on the vine before putting his feet against the trunk of the tree.

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To the root of it II

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:05 pm

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Grasping the vine tightly as he pulled upon it he walked his way up slowly, his feet occasionally slipping until Uta helped pull him up the rest of the way. There he took a moment to take a breather as Uta made sure everything was secure on his backpack and hers before they moved on. Following along the broad branch went on for a while till they reached another one they could hop onto. Because the distance wasn’t that far, he decided to straddle the distance with his leading foot before pushing off with his left as he didn’t much fancy the idea of his foot slipping off the edge of the bark to cause him to fall below.

They traveled that way for a while till Uta seemed to reach the area she had been heading for and one Cleon recognized from his tour around the settlement. A grove of ripe yellow fruit that was surprisingly tasty. They traveled among the branches till they reached a suitable set of vines that they could work their way down upon. This he managed a lot easier than he had on his vertical journey as it was mostly releasing tension every once and a while as he walked his way down the tree. There was a brief scary moment when his foot slipped and he was spinning helplessly but Uta helped by pulling the vine taut at the bottom and then pulling him along till he could place his feet on the tree once more. From there he was able to walk the rest of the way down by himself. Then once on the ground they headed into the grove which James had told him was a banana grove that actually a part of multiple cultivated fruit groves that they had found in and around Syka. Walking up to one of the tree’s Uta patted it.

“Do you know what this is?” Uta asked.

“A banana tree?” Cleon said, wondering if it was a trick question. “James showed me told me about this grove when I first disembarked from Syka.”

Uta smiled and nodded. “These are great to bring along with you into the jungle as a supplement to your provisions. You’ll want to eat these first though so they don’t spoil once they’ve been picked. When they’re a nice golden yellow that’s when they taste best though if you pick them while they are green you can keep them around for a while though you should wait till they yellow up. Also if you’ve got a bunch that has gone brown you can make a pretty tasty desert out of it if you’ve got any interest in cooking. You might see some of that if we ever figure out these curses. Our tenday festivals usually aren’t all dour and serious as they have been but happy occasions were all of Syka can pull together as a community to keep track of what everyone has been doing. You’ll see once things go back too normal.” Uta said as he watched her scale the small tree as easily as if she had been born to it. While he watched her do that he took a little bit of hope in those words.

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To the root of it II

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:06 pm

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When things go back to normal. He wished he had her certainty, it was so hard these days to stay strong about that but Uta was holding up admirably.

After she came down the tree with a bunch of the ripe yellow fruit in tow she tossed him one, kept one for herself and put a few away in her pack before she started peeling hers. Cleon followed suit feeling fairly hungry after having skipped breakfast this morning. It was nice, pleasant on the pallet and went down easily. Not as juicy as a mango but something else was going for it. Perhaps the creamy texture or just the fact that it tasted so much better than the fruit scraps back in Sunberth. As they munched away, Uta lead them further out from the grove till they came across other fruiting plants but she didn’t stop just yet, working her way between the trees with him following carefully behind to make sure he didn’t step anywhere he wasn’t supposed to.

“Oh I almost forgot. You can use the big broad leaves on the top of those banana trees for a makeshift shelter or to catch water if you are in a pinch. For shelter you’ll want to get some bamboo or straight sticks together, tie them together with that knot I showed you earlier and make sure it looks something like a place you wouldn’t mind sleeping under before you place those broad banana leaves across the top. It won’t keep all of the rain off but, it will keep more of it off than if you didn’t have anything. You can also use that tarp in your bag. Just make sure that your bed is off the ground either use a hammock or build a platform to lay your bedroll across and spread ash around to deter any bugs from crawling up on you during the night. Laying on the ground is a sure way to get a snake to try and curl against you for warm or sneak into your bedroll which is something you certainly don’t want as even if it isn’t poisonous its bite will very likely get infected and infections in the jungle get bad quickly.”

“Speaking of you should probably sleep with your boots on, or hanging off the ground for the same reason. And even still, make sure you shake them out for pulling them on. You can never be too careful out there. The point is to do everything in your power to avoid an injury. Its not only threatening to your health but to your moral which is just as important to keep up while out in the jungle. You want to be as clear headed as possible when venturing out and if you need to, take a break to collect your thoughts before you move anywhere. Don’t go anywhere out of fear. Always act with purpose and conviction.” Uta said, turning to give him a bit of a serious look as they walked out into the commons.

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To the root of it II

Postby Cleon on June 7th, 2022, 5:31 pm

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Grade Award!

Cleon:

Skills:

Botany: 2
Climbing: 1
Flint Knapping: 2
Foraging: 1
Herbalism: 1
Knotwork: 1
Medicine: 1
Observation: 3
Planning: 1
Poison: 1
WS: 5


Lores:

Flint Napping: Chipping Carbonado
WS: Using rocks as tools
Flint Napping: Chipping out a straight line
Flint Napping: Appearance of a bone flake tool
Flint Napping: Using a flake tool
Flint Napping: Making an edge with a flake tool
WS: Making a stone axe
Knotwork: How to make a constrictor knot
WS: Making a stone knife
WS: Using hemp cord to make a grip
Botany: Curare - Physical appearance
Herbalism: Curare - How to extract medicinal properties from leaves
Herbalism: Curare - Mashing and boiling leaves makes a muscle relaxant
Herbalism: Curare extract is safely ingestible
WS: Curare extract can be used to hunt animals
Poison: Curare extract is a potent muscle relaxant
Medicine: Curare extract can be used for difficult surgeries
Botany: Curare leaves - Physical description
Botany: Curare - Where it grows
WS: Using wild produce to supplement food supplies
Botany: Banana tree - Physical appearance
Botany: Banana tree fruit - Bananas
Botany: Bananas - Physical appearance
Botany: Bananas - Edible
WS: Bananas will ripen overtime if picked a little green
Cooking: Over ripe bananas are brown and sweeter
WS: Using banana leaves as a roof for a shelter
WS: Binding bamboo together to make supports for a shelter
WS: The importance of shelter in the jungle
WS: Avoid sleeping on the ground
WS: Infections can get bad quickly in the jungle
WS: Important to sleep on a raised platform or hammock
WS: Important to check boots for snakes and insects
WS: The importance of avoiding injuries for moral
WS: The importance of mental state in the jungle
WS: The importance of having a plan

Feel free to pm me with questions or concerns about your grade, and don’t forget to edit your grade request! :)
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