Solo Where the shadows lie

Cleon sets out on a wilderness expedition with Uta and Indigo.

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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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Where the shadows lie

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:03 pm

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4th of Summer, 522 AV

It was a fine day for a wilderness expedition, or so that was what Uta had told him. This was to be a short overnight trip to introduce him to the finer points of wilderness survival, and reinforce what he had learned the previous season. There was a sense of urgency about this trip as well, for him at least. He’d heard the call go out that Syka needed everyone they could get to volunteer for the rangers. Cleon understood the need after the events of last season. He wanted to help out, and more than that, he wanted to protect this community that had selflessly taken his family in. It was hard for a ex-sunberther to fit in anywhere but slowly over time these people had grown on him. He had more than a few friends among their number now, and Faye was getting along fantastically. So joining the rangers was the right thing to do, but first he needed to understand how to survive in the jungle wilderness.

To do this he arranged a meeting with Uta a bit earlier than they were originally going to meet. Unfortunately he hadn’t learned much about plant life from his book in the intervening period between their last contact, but Uta was very understanding. As was Randal who let him off of work earlier that afternoon so he could attend this trip with Uta in the jungle. Of course they met at her house where he found Indigo also waiting to come along for the trip. He smiled pleasantly at both of the women after knocking on the threshold and walking through Uta’s open doorway. Setting his backpack down on the floor, he stretched his shoulders for a moment as his eyes met Uta’s gaze.

“Did you bring everything?” Uta asked. Cleon looked down at his back before nodding slightly. Building a survival pack was something he had been practicing for quite a while, but still he had his doubts that maybe he had made a mistake in putting it all together. He tried to shake those doubts knowing that it was probably just nerves but when when Uta walked over to check for herself, he felt an odd sense of relief. He’d packed his bag as he’d been taught to, and any mistakes Uta would be sure to point out.

He’d started with putting the iron pot in at the bottom of the pack and filling it with the stuff he didn’t want to get wet. The tinder, an extra set of clothes, his rations, flint & steel, and a tin of insect repellent all went into the pot before it was sealed up. Then over the pot went about twenty feet of rope and some insect netting, followed by a hammock then some odds and ends he might need for grooming. The rest he kept on his person. Namely a machete, a hatchet, and a composite short bow along with a quiver full of arrows. Of course he’d left Orenmir at home for the jungle was no place for such a large sword.

WC - 514
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Where the shadows lie

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:04 pm

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It would just get in the way, and add extra weight he didn’t need. He was also dressed for the occasion with long pants and high leather boots. Similarly the sleeves of his dark green shirt were long and over his hands he wore a pair of thick leather gloves. To protect his head and neck from the sun and somewhat tame his hair, he decided to also wear his broad brim hat that had been given a rainproof treatment.

Altogether he was feeling very prepared for their little expedition although he realized belatedly that he’d forgotten to procure a knife. Uta stood up after looking through his pack and dusted her hands off together. “Better. You are getting much better, though you might want to stop by the mercantile the next time your out to procure a first aid kit. Maybe a knife too while you are at it.” She said looking up and down at his person. “You certainly remembered how to dress though.”

Cleon smiled slightly, and rubbed the back of his neck. “Thanks. I’ll be sure to do that. So, um what’s the plan for today?” Cleon asked, looking at both Uta and Indigo. Uta smiled.

“We are going to venture a short ways into the jungle and set up a camp to spend the night in. Afterward Indigo is going to help us hunt for our dinner and then we will spend the rest of the evening at camp. In the morning we will rise early to forage for breakfast, break down our camp responsibly, and return here. Does that sound good to you?” Uta asked, and Cleon nodded quickly. That sounded beyond good, although he was a little bit nervous about spending his first night in the jungle. Still the opportunity of such a trip was obviously valuable to him, and stoked his curiosity about what all they would be doing this afternoon.

“Indigo, do you have an extra knife for Cleon?” Uta asked, and Indigo seemed to think about those words for a few ticks before nodding slightly and producing a knife from her pack. Though she didn’t immediately hand this one over, instead turning it over in her hands to look for something before putting it back and drawing out a different one to hand over to him.

“Thank you.” He said as he took the proffered knife, then hesitated as Indigo left her palm open, outstretched towards him. It took him a tick to understand what she was getting at. “Oh, I’m sorry. How much?” Cleon asked as he felt for the handful of mizas he kept in his belt pouch.

“50 gold mizas” Indigo said curtly.

“Indigo” Uta said, drawing the name out like an admonishment.

“Fine. 23 gold mizas.” Indigo huffed, but Cleon caught a hint of a smile as he handed over the mizas and strapped the knife to his belt. Uta clapped her hands and gave them both a smile before putting on her own backpack which Indigo did herself a tick later.

“Looks like we are ready to head out.”

Cleon and Indigo nodded, then promptly followed Uta out of her house and into the jungle.

WC - 530

OOC: Purchased Syka Survival Knife for 23 gm.

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Last edited by Cleon on July 18th, 2022, 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Where the shadows lie

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:05 pm

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“Remember to be careful about where you step, and pay attention to your surroundings. I know it kind of all looks the same at first, but pay close attention to the position of the trees and try to make mental landmarks to follow. This will help you avoid getting lost if you ever go out on your own, and is generally a good mental exercise to keep your mind engaged while you are trekking through the jungle. Boredom kills just as quickly as anything else in the jungle so do whatever you need to in order to be present and aware of your surroundings. I’m expecting you to guide us back to Syka so give it your best shot.” Uta said as they started to pick their way into the jungle.

“Will do, thank you for the advice!” Cleon said from the back as he picked his way across the trail Uta and Indigo were making through the dense jungle undergrowth. There was a lot to take in. Massive trees surrounded them, rising up into the sky where they formed the layers he knew the jungle for. They were currently traveling across the lowest layer, keeping a steady pace as they beat their way across the undergrowth. Uta and Indigo were very economical with the cuts of their machetes. They struck where they needed to, and in such a way that it didn’t take several swings to get through. Cleon recalled getting that lesson from Tazrae earlier last season, but that was so long ago he’d all but forgot it until just now so he was glad for the refresher. He still didn’t quite understand why they struck the way they did, but he was learning. Like Uta sometimes pulled a bush across to strike at a thicker portioned limb so when she pulled that piece more of it came away. That was something he could wrap his head around and more importantly it left little clues that he hoped he would be able to follow when it came time for him to help navigate them back.

Trying to memorize which piece of the trail looked like what and when wasn’t so simple as batting his eyes at it though. He had to orient himself mentally for the task, first trying to clear his mind somewhat and just hold the image in his mind and then when he felt he was ready he tried to think about how many chimes it had been since they entered the jungle and to that he added how many times they had changed direction and how long it took them each time. It was a monumental task, and one he quickly realized he was ill equipped for because as soon as he tried to think of one thing he forgot another, and then the second piece didn’t make sense when he couldn’t quite remember the first or third. It was a good plan he thought, but he just sucked at execution. He wasn’t adept at holding more than one thing in his mind at a time, and so this sort of navigation was beyond him.

WC - 521

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Where the shadows lie

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:06 pm

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Cleon was stubborn though and kept trying to remember it all until he recalled another conversation he had with Tazrae that gave him a sort of solution to what he was after. His mark. Of course, he should have membered that sooner. His mark would lead him to the sea. Instead of remembering each tick of the path he just needed to keep in mind where the sea was in relation to him right now, and of course on down the line when they finally set up camp. He concentrated on his mark now and he could feel the sea on the edge of his awareness, and of course his back was to it. Cleon let his concentration slip and the sensation went away, but Cleon was satisfied he had a decent back up plan if he was unable to navigate them out using his memory alone. Of course he still wanted to do the former and would continue to work on it, but he would take a break from now from wrestling with it as his head was beginning to hurt from being steeped in concentration.

He kept his eyes instead on what Uta and Indigo were doing, his own machete at the ready. Although he didn’t exactly need to this moment he started looking for a long stick, or length of bamboo he could chop down in order to provide him a walking stick for when the trail grew a little more treacherous. Uta must have been reading his mind because a few chimes later they stopped by a stand of bamboo. Indigo continued forward, disappearing into the jungle but Uta lingered by the stand of bamboo, favoring him with a slight smile.

“Well, its been nearly a bell. How are you holding up?” Uta asked, then took a pull from her water skin. Cleon likewise did the same after quickly responding; “Doing well. I’m still a little overwhelmed with trying to keep track of it all, but I think I have a decent backup plan when it comes to leading us out of the jungle tomorrow.”

“Oh really?” Uta asked, her eyebrows pitching in interest. Cleon nodded slightly. “Yeah, my gnosis more or less tells me the direction the sea is in so I can use that to make sure we are headed towards the settlement, or at least the beach. I may not be able to quite find the way to your house, but I think I can get us close. I’m not going to only depend on that though. I’m trying what you told me to do, and I’m thinking about strategies to make up for my deficiencies.”

Uta laughed, then smiled and patted his arm. “I’m not laughing at you dear, more an expression of joy. Its just you’ve grown up so much since the last time we went out. I’m proud of you.” She said, causing Cleon to blush as he hid the lower half of his face with a hand while pretending to scratch his check. “Umm… well thank you. I try.” Cleon said with a soft chuckle, looking away from Uta’s gaze to stare at the stand of bamboo. “Do you want me to make us walking sticks?” He asked, hoping to change the subject.

WC - 544

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Where the shadows lie

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:07 pm

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“That would be great. Why don’t you cut three down. Indigo could use one when she rejoins the group.” Uta said as she walked a short distance away to give him some space, and he watched her sit on a rock before he turned back around to the bamboo. Holding the grip of his machete, he gave the bamboo a critical look as he recalled what a good height was for such sticks, and figured it would be around his height for best results, and maybe a little shorter for Uta and Indigo. He’d grown up fast with plenty of food and sunshine over the course of last season and was stronger than he ever felt before but when he compared himself to even Uta’s lean athleticism he saw that he still had a long way to go until he was in peak shape for the jungle. That meant more swimming, surfing, and running which he really didn’t have a problem with. It was all about finding the time for it around his other activities, but he was sure he could slice out the time if he really put his mind to it.

Grasping the bamboo by the base, he bent it slightly away with his left hand before bringing his right hand with the machete down. Even after a little bit of practice wielding the blade, it still felt awkward in his hands as he brought it down on the tough hide of the bamboo and it took several strikes before he even formed a rut, and by the time he had chopped clean through his forearm was aching. He set that piece aside and went for another, this time opting to hold the machete further up on the handle before he started swinging. Every hit was like punching stone, jolting the bones in his wrist so he could feel the pain all the way up to his elbow. Fortunately it was a minor pain that he was able to push through as he slowly worked his way through the shaft of bamboo until finally he had two walking sticks.

As he was moving to the third, a hand on his shoulder stopped him and he saw Uta smiling helpfully up at him. “Let me take this last one. I’ll show you how I’ve learned to do it so maybe it’ll save you a bit of effort next time.” Uta said, and Cleon stepped aside to watch the woman work, while he tried to remind himself that he was here to learn and his ego had no place here. Easier thought than done however as he felt throughly embarrassed watching Uta make short work of the shaft of bamboo with three quick strikes that easily separated the larger piece from the base. Smiling awkwardly, Cleon bowed slightly towards Uta as she turned around and made himself swallow his pride before he spoke in a tentative voice. “I… Thank you for the demonstration Uta. Were you using the weight of the machete to do most of the work?” Cleon asked, trying to recall in his mind now the way she had swung it down at an angle and unerringly hit the same place every time.

WC - 535

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Where the shadows lie

Postby Cleon on July 18th, 2022, 1:51 pm

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Grade Award!

Cleon:
Skills:

Logic: 3
Negotiation: 1
Observation: 3
Planning: 4
Rhetoric: 1
Socialization: 3
Weapon (Machete): 1
WS: 5

Lores:

WS: Planning ahead for an expedition
WS: The necessity of a first aid kit
WS: Making a mental map of ones surroundings
WS: Paying attention to ones surroundings
WS: Memorizing Landmarks
WS: Making a walking stick out of bamboo
WS: Using a machete to cut into bamboo
WS: The weak point on a bamboo stalk
WS: How to let a machete do most of the work

Notes: Please subtract 23 gm from your ledger for the Syka Survival Knife.

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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Cleon
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