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exploration and new acquaintances

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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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Unexpected Developments

Postby Dust on September 26th, 2016, 2:46 am

Fall 10, 526 AV
early afternoon

After lunch, Dust set off on an adventure. Admittedly, exploring would've been the more correct term, but adventure sounded way better. She took along her rather travel-worn hat, because the sun could get really bright; and her sling, because when it was useful it was really useful; the lucky red pebble that always lived in a pocket, that went without saying; and the book with all the maps she'd made, because of course a new adventure needed its own map. That was just about the most important thing of all!

Even if it was also the most annoying to carry. But when she got tired of it, it'd just go in the backpack, so that was fine too.

Dust had left the pathway near the end of the bungalows with the plan of voyaging into the jungle for a little while, then cutting back in the direction of the Mercantile and Commons. To go along with that plan, she'd already started her map with a sketch of the pathway itself, threaded down the left of the page and across the bottom. Simple boxes drawn with no great concern for scale roughed out the positions of Mercantile, Commons, and each of the six bungalows she'd walked past; an 'X' marked where she departed from the road.

And then the exploration began.

It didn't take very long before Dust couldn't see anything of the bungalows behind her; and, somewhat surprisingly, not very long before she couldn't hear the waves rolling over the sand, either. The jungle foliage did a lot to block out that background susurrus. Other noises came out of the jungle beyond -- mostly birdcalls, pairs and flocks keeping tabs on one another with intermittent chirps. The occasional other noise she couldn't identify, but which had to belong to something larger -- something with a respectable pair of lungs behind its volume.

Here was an interesting tree, one that deserved a landmark on her map! Its top vanished somewhere up into the canopy, in a manner reminiscent of the bloodwood trees she hadn't seen in years. Its roots made ridges and valleys, like miniature mountain ranges fading down into the forest floor. Dust wasn't able to do it any kind of justice on the map -- a line, a curly bubble for the top, splayed divisions for the roots. A tree.

Afterwards, she stood and stared up into the green vastness for a little while -- and spotted something moving. It looked like the very biggest squirrel she'd ever seen! ...but no, the tail was wrong. And the whole shape, Dust realized, as it hopped to another branch and stopped, looking down at her. It looked more like a mini-Jamoura than a squirrel... if Jamoura came with very long tails and fuzzy pointed ears.

"Hello!" she exclaimed, waving up at the critter. It didn't do anything but stare back. So maybe whatever-it-was was more like a squirrel than a Jamoura. The Kelvic shrugged and continued on her way...

...and tried to sketch a mini-Jamoura-squirrel in the margin of her map while walking. Which in practice meant she made it all of about seven steps before tripping over a tree root. "Ow!" Fortunately, the leaf litter made for a soft landing... even face-first.

flora and faunaThe tree is a kapok tree, and the monkey a squirrel monkey, for reference.

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Unexpected Developments

Postby Izuyanai on September 27th, 2016, 3:39 am

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Izuyanai roamed about the jungle thicket in hopes of running into some more of the brightly colored lizards. She only had her daggers, carefully knotted into the sash that cinched her otherwise loose shirt. So far she was having no luck. Apparently the three she had spotted before had trekked off in search of a better haunt, away from strange monsters with pitch black feathers. She had at least managed to get their species name during the interval. Someone whom the other settlers referred to as Indigo had imparted her knowledge of the local area, and eventually along the line, Izuyanai had come across the information.

The creatures were called Vom and the raven now had an eye for their bright, iridescent scales. As an added attribute, she was told that they were good to eat as well. Izuyanai let out a low chuckle as she imagined the various uses she would have for the slow and vulnerable creatures. Any in the vicinity had best hope they were well out of sight.

Suddenly, the Kelvic's schemes were interrupted by a greeting. The call carried over cheerfully, resounding slightly in the enclosed jungle. Unless she was very much mistaken, it was a woman's voice. It was odd that two people should be so close in the vast jungle.

Slowly spinning on the spot, Izuyanai tried to make out a figure among the confusion of tropical vegetation. However, all her eyes were met with were varying shades of viridian green. Even her Auristic abilities were of no use, as she could sense no sentient aura brushing against hers. Speculating that the owner of the voice was not far off, Izuyanai crept toward the general direction, wondering who she would run into, this far in the jungle.

It was hard, trying to be discreet in this new environment. Leaves whispered her presence as she brushed past them or stepped onto dying plant life littering the floor. A straight path was almost impossible to keep as Izuyanai had to skirt around trees and mud spots. She had not gone far, dodging vines and persistent leaves, when the voice rang out again. It was slightly to the left as to what Izuyanai had initially assumed, and this time seemed to be an expression of pain and surprise. The Kelvic would have been instantly wary of danger had the person been experiencing any real fear or distress. However, from the sounds of it, the voice seemed more surprised than pained. Perhaps some indignation was woven into the tone as well.

Moving toward the sound, Izuyanai slipped past the last particularly obstructive frond and finally came into view of the figure. A slender, blonde woman lying face down on the jungle floor.

Stifling a smile behind her hand, the Kelvic stilled her movements and waited for the other to notice her, all the while examining the stranger. They didn’t seem dangerous, indeed from the looks of it, the jungle had been doing a number on her instead. She seemed to have carried a book with her and Izuyanai eyed the object with interest and a small glint in her eyes.

OOCDon’t worry about it if you’re busy. Also, did NOT know ‘susurrus’ was a word until I looked it up. Learn something new every day.
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Unexpected Developments

Postby Dust on October 2nd, 2016, 3:20 pm

Dust picked herself back up from the ground, scrubbing bits of leaf and loam from her face. Similar bits dotted her white shirt and better-fitted pants, but that was a far lesser concern to being able to see and not having stuff tickle her skin. "Pfft!" It also didn't taste very good.

Her next concern was in collecting all the things that had gone places other than with her. The hat had landed right in front of her; Dust scooped it up and plopped it firmly right back on her head. The book was... not too far away, and the ink stick by it. She was just kneeling down to pick it up when motion caught her eye -- the not-squirrel again, now scampering down the trunk of the tree that had tripped her. At ground level, it alternated between eyeing her and inspecting something in the dirt. Something roundish... and red?

Dust patted her pockets. No lucky rock. "Hey! That's mine!"

Startled by her shout, the not-squirrel snatched up its prize and scuttled right back up the tree. A rather tall tree, at that; not to mention, the troublesome thing scampered pell-mell out one bough and leapt off to another on a wholly separate tree... just like a squirrel.

No way could she climb those trees like that. Dust was lucky to climb any tree at all.

"Ugh! It's not food! You don't even want it!" Not that the critter was listening. It was comfortably perched a long ways up from the ground, intensively inspecting its prize.

It probably thought it was safe, being all the way up there.

The Kelvic all but stomped over to the base of its current tree, pausing momentarily with her hands on the hem of her shirt. She would've called last chance but -- meh, the thing clearly didn't understand her anyway. Instead, she just yanked the shirt off and shifted, becoming a pale-feathered raven atop a puddle of clothes.

Not that the raven stayed there long; no, she promptly winged her way up into the canopy, the better to harass the not-squirrel into giving back her rock! Not that the critter was inclined to give up easily; instead, at the sight of the white bird heading for it, it chittered anxiously and took off running, its prize still gripped securely in hand -- certain the thing was a prize, if it was wanted so badly!

That they had an audience lurking in the brush through all this... Dust, at least, hadn't the faintest clue.

oocBook's still on the ground if Izu wants it!

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Unexpected Developments

Postby Izuyanai on October 5th, 2016, 10:37 pm

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Izuyanai watched wide-eyed and alert as a strange creature clambered down from one of the lofty trees and plopped down onto the cushioned earth. She had just been about to call out a greeting to the stranger, but now, her breath had frozen itself halfway, sitting square and unmoving inside her chest.

At least the creature didn't seem to be dangerous. It had a long, slender tail and was covered head to toe in light fur. Thankfully, there were no menacing talons or gleaming fangs. However, the most disturbing thing about it, Izuyanai decided, was its strangely humanoid hands and feet. To go along with this unusual feature, intelligent, beady black eyes flashed from the blonde woman to something on the ground. In any case, Izuyanai was glad she could keep it in sight while it did not appear to notice her presence. There was nothing wrong with a healthy sense of caution.

In the next instant, the woman across from her exclaimed possessively and startled the furry animal back up into the emerald canopy. Izuyanai could actually feel her eyes scrambling to keep up with the creature's limber dance from branch to branch. In fact, she would have missed the second spectacle unfolding before her had it not been for the swirling lights.

The flurry of clothes and brightness left a sizable white bird nestled in the fabric of what was once a woman's attire. Instantly recognizing the all too familiar shift from human to animal, Izuyanai burst out of her alcove, craning her neck to track the snowy bird taking off after the apparent thief. The result was that in her haste, she tripped over an obscured rock and almost planted herself in the exact same predicament as the Kelvic before her. She only narrowly avoided the leafy fate by throwing out her arms and catching herself on the trunk of the tree. Her palms stung from the sudden contact with the rough bark and when she drew away, they were scraped with superficial wounds. There was little to no blood, but she couldn't deny it hurt a little.

Still floundering and righting herself after the narrow miss, Izuyanai squinted after the bird who was now almost level with the thief. It, or rather she, looked a lot like herself if the color was to be ignored. Could there be such a thing as a white raven? Or was she another type of her feathered kin? In either case, the tree dwelling creature was now attempting to make an escape from the oncoming bird. If Izuyanai delayed any longer, the pair would soon be out of sight.

With a split second of hesitation, Izuyanai teetered between the book and the chase, but she made her decision by snatching up the discarded book and clothes, hurrying to take off after the white bird.

She ran, or did as best she could to keep up with the two creatures above. The thick vegetation prevented an all out sprint but the angry chittering from the furry creature helped the raven to know where exactly the thief was headed. Waving her free arm, Izuyanai tried to signal the other Kelvic that she was willing to assist. If they could somehow trap the strange animal between them, perhaps it would relent that whatever it had stolen was not worth the attention from two other persistent animals.

"Hey! Down here!" Izuyanai shouted up as she leapt over a crumbling and decaying branch. The moisture of the region seemed to keep the cycle of life and death moving quickly. Whatever fell to the forest floor was engulfed in a rapid process of deterioration. There were already strips of moss and other unidentifiable matter creeping onto the sorry slab of wood.

The raven on ground level continued to weave her way after the pair in the canopy. Her newly acquired book was secure under her arm and the extra set of clothes fluttered madly around the crook of her elbow as she swung this way and that to avoid the tree sentinels. Spotting a fallen trunk caught on the boughs of another tree, Izuyanai sped up and pushed off with her hand in order to vault over the obstacle. The initial momentum helped her legs clear the obstruction and there was a slight soaring sensation, not unlike flying. What was more, it helped her keep what mobility she had acquired in the cramped space. The earlier wound stung with protest but she continued to follow the white bird.

Whatever the fur covered creature was, it was amazingly mobile in the high branches. "We need to trap it! See if you can coral it downwards...it has too much freedom in the trees!" she called out.
OOCOr Izu can fly up to you, whichever Dust prefers.
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Unexpected Developments

Postby Dust on October 29th, 2016, 12:59 am

Flying through the interlaced branches took a great deal of attention. Here a strong downbeat, giving her the lift to arc up and over a bough; but only one of them, wings tucked in promptly after to avoid fouling them on another limb above. There a heavy twist of her body to put her shoulders nearly vertical, squeaking between a forked branch with feet and head stretched forward, tail feathers folded tight for the beat it took to pass. Only for her to spread them wide again, and her wings as well, braking to follow the critter through a sudden turn. The dratted squirrel-thing had a definite advantage in the branches, able to scurry along them rather than dodge through the negative spaces between. But she hadn't lost yet!

An unfamiliar voice called up from the ground, catching Dust's attention -- a woman, dark-haired and small, sprinting after them with suspiciously familiar bits of cloth fluttering from the crook of one of her arms. The white raven was more than willing to let that detail pass, though, as the woman's words declared her firmly allied with Dust in the chase. In that case, Dust was more grateful than anything for the assistance, however unexpected. She cawed a brief acknowledgment to the stranger, while contemplating the problem still ahead.

Trap. Corral it downwards. Easier said than done. Especially when she had to detour around what seemed like a whole shrub growing in the middle of a tree -- whatever it was, it seemed quite full of little leaves and twigs. Not something Dust could fly through at all! But knowing she had a partner on the ground helped boost her resolve; and with it, she dug deeper into herself, looking for that extra energy that would drive her past the critter.

Maybe if she went all the way up, above the main layer of trees. That would give her more room to fly in, with only the tallest poking up, not to mention the necessary angle for trying to drive the creature down. On second thought, that seemed like the only workable approach. The white raven pointed her course upwards, breaking out of the main canopy and spreading her wings wide in the full light of the sun -- oh yes, this was already better. Dust hadn't even quite realized how the demands of branch-dodging had cramped her wingbeats; now that she could work them more at full extension, her pursuit surged forward, closing the squirrel-thing's lead.

By contrast, the intervening foliage made it harder for her to see the thieving creature, but its progress was loud, and motion in the trees was a signal all on its own. The pale raven swooped up over the tree the critter was presently running through, then tucked all but her wingtips in and dove down, using them and her tail to guide her descent through the branches. She aimed for a spot ahead of the squirrel-thing, about where it should arrive when she reached the same space...

Either Dust misjudged, or it had seen her coming and slowed down. Either way, she couldn't reach the thing with claws or beak -- more's the pity. She settled for hissing instead, a loud angry noise that surely no creature could fail to comprehend, wings splayed wide to make her look as large as could be.

The creature backpedaled towards the tree-trunk. Dust was quickly developing a great liking for tree trunks -- they were surrounded by larger boughs and more open spaces. She could wing up and through the forks -- wing-shoulders raised high, tips tucked in, claws forward -- then drop to harass the creature on the other side, herding it back towards the center.

And down, when it started realizing it might yet be cut off. The thing sure could jump!

oocFeel free to have them continue progressing down the tree, if that suits.

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