Solo Surviving The Jungle

Nya trails a Wilderness Expert to learn a thing or two.

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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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Surviving The Jungle

Postby Nya Winters on November 3rd, 2016, 12:36 am

Timestamp: 20th of Fall, 516 AV


Fresh meat in exchange for some lessons on Wilderness Survival here in the jungle? That was Nya's deal with Randal Zor and she felt it was a good one. And in exchange for the supply of meat, Nya would get to shadow him and he’d run a dialog with her to teach her what he knew about the jungle and surviving it.

This morning she’d delivered him a large male tapir, something she’d found easy to kill though harder to stalk. Moving in the jungle was different and it was one of the first things she wanted to talk to him about. He’d told her to meet him at midday and he’d take her for her first teaching walk with him. Nya had readily agreed and now she was waiting at the edge of his home.

He joined her shortly with a nod and smiled at how she was dressed. “You should get sturdy boots and long sleeves, Nya.” He said simply. “Loose clothing will help you survive and adapt to the jungle. I would suggest heavy boots which we stock in the mercantile and layers of clothing. A tank top, long sleeve heavy shirt, and pants that can be rolled up into shorts to protect your legs. That tunic that you are wearing and your bare feet will get torn up out in the jungle and it opens you up to snakebite.” He said, gesturing at her attire, as he led her away from the settlement and into the jungle without taking one of the trails.

Nya nodded, pulling out the hem of her lengthy tunic. All she carried with her was a belt and a machete in a sheath strapped to it.

“I wear this because I shift often. If my feet get wounded, I will wear my Kelvic form. I will not be able to talk with you that way, but I can listen and I will understand. I can do this until I get the needed clothing or make it.” The Kelvic said, tugging at the tunic that acted as a dress. Leather seemed to be the way to go here in the jungle. That reaffirmed her career choice as well. She was going to get a job as a leatherworker while she was here, learning the trade for herself. Bare feet might be a problem but she’d wear boots next time.

Randal nodded and gestured for her to follow him. He was dressed in heavy pants, a light long-sleeved shirt and had a pack on his back. Strapped to the pack was a short staff and strapped to his belt was a machete. Nya carefully noted what he wore as she joined him for the trip.

They set off through the jungle at a brisk pace. Near the settlement the underbrush wasn’t thick, but the deeper they went the thicker it became. “The first thing you need to understand about jungle survival is how to move through the jungle. You need to look forward, Nya, not at the vegetation around you, but at the vegetation in the distance. Train your eyes to see beyond what’s just in front of you. If you don’t, you’ll walk off a cliff or into a depression and it makes jungle travel very difficult.” Nya nodded as they entered thicker jungle outside the settlement. It was true that the vegetation distracted her right in front of her and easily caused her to lose her way.

“It’s easy to get lost if you just look at what’s right in front of your face and not what is at the distance, right?” The Kelvic said, her gaze at the distance though her peripheral vision aware of what was right in front of her. It made moving easier for certain.

Randal nodded and then gestured at his body. “It’s not hard for you since you are a Kelvic, but pay attention to how I move. I loosen my hips and turn my shoulders. I don’t hold my body ridged and instead bend and twist it, lengthening and shorting my stride as necessary. You move sinuously through the underbrush, Nya. You move like an animal, not like a stiff framed human.” Nya understood what he meant and consciously made an effort to mimic his motions. She found the going easier and when she was consciously moving as he’d instructed Nya took less damage to her frail human form.

“You get less scrapes and cuts don’t you? Paying attention to how your body moves, right?” Randal nodded and smiled.

“You are catching on. People think how you move through the jungle isn’t about survival, but it absolutely is. You want to minimize your opportunities for injury because out here the smallest injury can equal death if it is acquired in the right place or gets infected.” Randal added, his expression softening in approval.

“When you consciously move effectively, you’ll go further safer and that’s half of survival there. This is where the clothing comes in. I’m going to teach you to look ahead. And because of that you need to protect yourself from the cut and scrapes and even stinging things you might brush up against while focused forward and not focused on what’s right in front of you.” Randal gestured, pointing out thorns, and even a thick spider’s web that they would have walked through if they hadn’t ducked and undulated through the brush to avoid. “Look out, glance in front of you, look further out, glance back… keep shifting your gaze. Be aware. Even glance behind you. Keep your eyes roaming, Nya. Things here will sneak up on you. They will try to eat you. You might be out hunting and be in turn hunted. So always look forward. Keep your eyes and ears open.” He added, instructing Nya in the basics of Wilderness Survival. And she was glad for it, following him and absorbing what he said. Without that insight she probably wouldn’t understand or have thought that how she moved and how she took in her surroundings mattered in being able to survive out here in the jungle.

Randal had more to say. “Don’t let your mind wander while you are out here. Stay alert and move slowly and steadily. Stop and listen periodically. You can catch your bearings and breathe at the same time. It’s important Nya. Carry a machete to cut your way through impassible vegetation, but don’t hack away at everything out here. It will wear you out too quickly. And when you cut with one…. “ Randal demonstrated. “Use upswings because they are quieter. If you swing out or down, the sound carries a long way. It’s one thing if you are lost and want to be found. But you do not want a predator to notice you or hear you when you are just passing through.” Nya agreed but secretly smiled. She wondered if Randal was aware that she was probably the type of predator he was trying to avoid.

“What else should I carry to travel?” Nya asked with a raised eyebrow. She had noticed he had a staff strapped to his back as they started out. Now he reached for it and drew it off its ties where it was secured to the pack. “Use a staff, either one that’s a weapon or a stick you cut from a sapling to part the vegetation as you walk. Sticks and staves can also help move snakes, or even a gentle tap can rid a bush of stinging ants or spiders. Use it for balance to move up and down places where you might otherwise need to grasp at the vegetation for balance. You never want to use the underbrush itself to help you move through it. The brush may have poisoned spines, thorns, or even poisonous insects or animals on it.” Randal cautioned, demonstrating to Nya how he used his staff then handing it to her for her to use.

Nya found it uncomfortable, unwieldly and knew she’d have to practice to begin to learn to use it without finding it distracting and awkward. But she tried, taking Randal’s corrections as they came and really trying to listen to what he had to say to her.


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Nya Winters
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Surviving The Jungle

Postby Nya Winters on November 3rd, 2016, 2:41 pm




“What other kinds of things do you need to think about in regards to Wilderness Survival that might not be obvious? I mean I thought it always meant what you packed in your pack or where water is or how to build shelter?”
The Forest Cat asked, curious what other things might be obvious that she was overlooking.

“Well, it’s about that too, of course, but if you want to survive out here, you need to look at the whole picture.” Randal added, gesturing around him. “I’ll for sure take you by the mercantile and get you set up with a survival kit to take with you once I go over what you already own. But all the right gear in the world won’t protect you from the jungle. You need to know everything you can from the way to think in a survival situation to shelters to water procurement and even firecraft. Nya, even knowing the weather of a jungle is important.” He added, gesturing around at the sky.

The forest cat in human guise tilted her head. “Weather? What do you mean? There’s not going to be any freak snowstorms that will freeze us to death here. How can the weather affect anything?” She asked, truly surprised.

Randal nodded. “That’s what most people think. But we get violent storms out here, usually in the late summer early fall. You can drown getting swept away with a flash flood by building your shelter in the wrong place. And you need to understand sun patterns. Tropical days and nights are fairly equal in length. They don’t change like they do north of here. You need to understand that darkness falls quickly and the sun comes up suddenly. You aren’t in Sylira anymore where there are warnings. And with the changing of the light comes the changing of the dangers. There are far more predators at night than there are during the day. I mean small things from tiny insects you can barely see to huge jungle cats. Everything changes and the world becomes a different place here in the dark.” Nya nodded at the man’s words, knowing he was right. When she hunted, she preferred the night. Things were calmer, quieter, and she could see just as well as she could during the day. What Randal said made sense.

“Tell me about the storms. I’m not afraid of them, but I suspect I’ll have use of them.” Randal didn’t know Nya was a Stormwarden. It was one of the things she didn’t talk about. And while she was here, hopefully Syka would not fall prey to storms if she could collect the energy and create Stormgems.

“Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are the worst. But we do have flash flooding as well. The first three develop over the warm water in the sea and rush inland packing huge winds and bringing with them flooding due to huge waves. You always need to think about the potential of a flood and camp above such things. Be mindful of the winds as well. During the day we have onshore flows. During the night we have offshore flows. We have prevailing winds that change seasonally and cause monsoons to flood areas as well. Avoid low spots in the jungle. You are always more susceptible there to all of this.” Randal added, gesturing at the topography. It was hard to see traipsing through the jungle, but there were indeed natural changes in the landscape where it dipped low and grew higher. It seemed the further they got away from the coast the higher they climbed up until the Maw itself plateaued out.

“Is rain ever a problem? I know you said monsoon but I’m not sure what you mean by that?” Nya asked, curious, because Sylira never experienced these sorts of weather issues.

“The Rain of a Monsoon is heavy, Nya. It can rain in a huge cascade for days filling up all the water drainage basins and causing water to rush out to sea. I’ve seen it rain so hard here that the sea turns brown from the runoff on the land. We get heavy rainfall normally too when its not monsoon season. We get thunder, lightning, and a whole host of things like hail. When the rain starts beating on the trees, it can bring down all sorts of insects you’ve never seen from the top canopy. But it can also bring new foods in the form of fallen fruits, nuts, and even some of those insects. I’ve seen rain knock a monkey clear out of a tree killing it instantly. Don’t pass up those sorts of food sources. They are essentially gifts.” He said, drawing a sharp mental picture for Nya.

The Kelvic nodded and looked thoughtful. The Jungle was far more complex than she’d thought. “You said that the way you think in a survival situation is important too. That there is ‘survival thinking’. Can you tell me about that?” Nya asked as Randal lead them across a game trail that he paused to point out.

“Sure. But first, note that game trails often lead to water and food sources. Take note of them when you pass them. And if you get lost, there’s an intelligence in following a game trail. They can often cross pathways or lead to civilization since animals fairly often like to live where people live… the coast, near water, at the apex of rivers, etc.” The man added then decided to answer Nya’s question.

“The way you think when you are in a survival situation is critical. You can have all this survival knowledge but it doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have a specific mindset.” Randal said, raising his arms and slightly turning around as if to take in the whole jungle. “It takes so much more than actual skill to survive a survival situation. I’ve seen people with absolutely zero training survive while fully trained professionals won’t. You need a strong mental attitude. That attitude is one of having a WILL to survive. You can’t be easily discouraged or defeated. You can’t let fear and uncertainty rule you. Having skills is vital. But without the willpower to carry out the actions you have learned are needed, you have nothing going for you. Humans, Nya, call it Psychology. The psychology of survival. It’s very stressful out here and those stresses will impact your thinking. They can get you thinking thoughts and feeling emotions that if you don’t understand why you are thinking them can actually kill you because they can transform a strong confident person into someone who is ineffective and worse yet indecisive. It’s like when you are hunting or being hunted. If you keep your wits about you then you don’t make stupid mistakes that can get you killed.” Randal said, meeting Nya’s gaze. She was a woman and in a lot of ways forgoing her Kelvic Nature he expected her to get stressed in survival situations as well.


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Nya Winters
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Posts: 754
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Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
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Surviving The Jungle

Postby Nya Winters on November 3rd, 2016, 6:05 pm




“What exactly is stress? I think I know what it is but I want to make sure I understand. I think I have felt stress before.”
Nya was extremely uncomfortable with the conversation now. It reminded her of her time in prison in Ravok. And yet, in a way, she wondered if she would have known these things that Randal spoke of if it would have made a difference about how she would have reacted to the pressures in that situation.

“Stress is simply a mental or emotional strain or tension that results from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Anything can cause stress, Nya. Being lost. Being hunted. Injury, Illness, even death. Uncertainty and lack of control can cause it as well. Bad weather or other things in the environment can bring it on. Hunger and thirst. Exhaustion. And in survival situations Isolation can also bring on stress. You need to be aware of the state of your body and your mind when you are trying to survive the wilds. Tend to it. Are you excessively thirsty and as such is your body dehydrated? When we are dehydrated a whole host of physical and mental problems can happen. There are signs to it. Let me think…” Randal tapped his head and glanced at Nya. He’d lead them to a water crossing and they were lingering there in the coolness of the breeze across the water while they talked.

“If you are dehydrated your mood will suffer. You can get anxious. But physically you can have blood clots, seizures and your organs can shut down. You need to make sure you have enough water all the time.” Randal added as he kneeled down and cupped a handful of water to wash the sweat off his face and neck. Nya did the same thing still listening.

“There are signs of dehydration too. Bad breath. You get it because your mouth and skin go dry since there isn’t excess water in your body to create saliva and sweat. If you can’t get sweaty, you’ll start to get dizzy. That’s because you don’t have enough blood flow. That’s also what causes skin flush or you to look red. Blood lingers instead of moving through the body like it should. You can get muscle cramps, fever and chills during dehydration as well. You can even start to think of food cravings, like sweets. Your body will crave sugar and salt if you are dehydrated. Worst of all you’ll get headaches. There’s a lot of fluid up there in our brains so when that gets low on water, we get splitting headaches because that fluid cushions our brain from banging into our skulls inside. Not enough fluid to cushion equates to a high risk of headache caused from your brain not being protected. Luckily the solution is easy. Drink lots. That’s also where rainfall patterns can come in. If there are no streams or water bodies around to safely take water from, rainfall can be a great source. You can trap rainfall in tarps, leaves, cooking pots, almost anything. Lost at sea fresh water becomes a problem. Sudden rainstorms or squalls out there can save your life if you are prepared to gather the water and drink it when you can get it.” Randal said, knowing he’d show Nya how to set up rain traps when they were working on shelters later that day.

“So is that all to mentality of survival?” Nya asked, feeling there might be more to it than just that she was going to be scared. She knew scared. But she didn’t know how to NOT be scared at certain situations. “I mean, can we counteract some of these automatic emotional reactions?” She wondered, still thinking back on her time in the prison. Maybe if she had indeed had some mental tools to fight what had happened then maybe she would have not lost so much time in Ravok recovering.

Randal nodded. “Indeed there is.” He answered, pleased that she was taking this side of Wilderness Survival so seriously. Most people didn’t. They wanted to just build survival shelters and know how to collect rainwater and to them that was survival. There was so much more to the skill though. Nya had asked him to teach her and he was going to utilize his teaching skill and teach her everything he could think of to help her manage in the jungle.

“Let’s go through them one by one starting with fear. Fear is a natural emotional response to any sort of dangerous situation or circumstance. This is doubly true when you think harm might come to you or someone you care about. Fear can be positive because it can keep us cautious. Afraid of bodily injury? You might take greater care if you are afraid. But you need to be careful, Nya, because fear can cause you to freeze up. If you are so afraid that you forget critical steps in survival then you can fall prey to adverse conditions and surroundings that are treacherous. A headlong fright filled flight through the jungle is reckless. You can fall and break your neck, stumble into a hidden cavern, or even tumble down a slope. If you train train train you condition yourself to move automatically through survival steps that keep you alive. These activities that are essential for survival are food, shelter, and warmth. So be aware when you are afraid. Take the time to calm down. Move past the fear and take care of your basic survival needs before anything else. It’s incredibly important for your life.”
Randal added, beginning to move again. He forded the stream cautiously and lead Nya up the slope that took up the other side. It was obvious they were going to head out into The Maw.

“Anxiety is next right? Isn’t that closely related to fear? What is the difference?” Nya asked, her sharp mind curious. She missed Abashai’s presence in the back of her head because she suspected she wouldn’t have had to ask that question otherwise.

Randal looked thoughtful for a moment. “You’ve been to Syliras right?” He asked suddenly causing Nya to nod. “Yes, I lived there for a few years.” She answered puzzled at where he was going with this.

“Well, its easier to give you an example between all of them than it is to actually define them though we can.” He said… and then added. “I’m including stress in here too because they are all close kin, these feelings… stress, fear, and anxiety.” He man said before launching into his example.

“Imagine yourself walking along a cobbled street in Syliras. Then suddenly a cart pulled by a horse rushes towards you out of control. Maybe something spooked the horse. You automatically start breathing heavily, your heart races and with a surge of energy you leap out of the way to avoid being trampled by the horse and the cart its dragging along behind it. Once safe, you might stop for a moment and then you will realize you are shaking. Your knees might quiver or feel weak. Your heart will still be pounding and you will still be breathing heavily. It takes a while for your heart to slow and your breathing to return to normal. That’s why they call it ‘shaken up’ when you are untouched even though it was a close call to an accident.” The man said, drawing a clear picture in Nya’s mind. So far she was following him and she nodded saying as much.

“I can picture it.” Nya muttered, knowing it had in fact happened more than once.

“The horse and cart rushing towards you….” Randal broke it down. “… becomes the stress. It is physical danger.” He added. “Your heavy breathing, you’re jumping out of the way, your racing heart… those are all signs of fear. Fear is a response to stress.” He continued.


“Well then say the next day you are out for another walk, maybe going to work or running to the market to pick up bread. Any little noise might make your heart pound. A frightened neigh of a horse, the sound of a cart wheel on the cobbles… you feel nervous. Odds are your body will react the same way and your breath might come heavy again. It’s a reaction to anticipation. Its anxiety. Now… to easily understand this lets break it down.” The man said, obviously enjoying teaching Nya and pointing out the basic psychology to her.

“There is no stress here. But your memory of the previous day causes anxiety and that causes the same exact reaction as the reality of real danger being present.”
Nya knew she would experience such things if she ever saw an Ebonstryfe or Black Sun in full uniform. Randal spoke the truth and she was just now beginning to understand it.

“So you felt fear in response to the danger of the runaway horse and cart. You experienced anxiety when you remembered the danger of the runaway horse and cart. There is no real danger but you still have the same response and symptoms of stress.”
Randal added, having no way of knowing Nya’s mind was wandering to the events in Ravok.

She pulled her mind back to the conversation and summed up what she thought Randal was trying to tell her.

“So… fear is a feeling of unease, apprehension, or doom in response to immediate danger. Anxiety is the same feelings or responses except when no danger is present. And stress is just how your body responds to these dangers and the associated symptoms. I see the difference.” Nya added, speaking more confidently.

Randal smiled. “Very good.”

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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 754
Words: 784842
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
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Surviving The Jungle

Postby Nya Winters on November 4th, 2016, 6:14 pm



“Alright, so we’ve talked about fear and anxiety. Now it’s important that we talk about a few other emotions. Anger, frustration, depression, loneliness, boredom and guilt are all factors in wilderness survival.” Randal’s voice had taken on a lecturing quality that Nya found a bit dull.

Nya didn’t feel, not anymore, not like she once had. The cat felt. That was their deal. The human was too injured to let feelings rule her any longer. Abashai had broken their kelvic bond and their marriage bond all in one moment. That was her last active heartbreak and the last time she’d let a strong emotion take her. The cat let herself feel… freedom, sadness, hunger… everything the human couldn’t deal with even to this day. Instinct told her that would change, but her stubborn mind didn’t want it too.

“Anger can make you stupid in a fight.” Nya remarked, thinking on how she’d damaged herself and made stupid mistakes when she was angry. Randal nodded in agreement as the two moved more deeply into The Maw.

“It can make you stupid in a survival situation too, Nya. Anger encourages impulsive reaction that’s not based on thought. You can act irrational and make poor decisions. It can give you an attitude that won’t work with you trying to survive… one of being defeated or quitting. That leads to frustration. And frustration is caused by not being able to reach a goal continuously. You want to stay alive when you are surviving until you can reach help or help can reach you, hon. You have to have a lot of knowledge and a lot of luck and of course things can go wrong. Things are always out of your control out here. I am going to teach you to control as much of the environment as you can. And that starts with your emotions. If you find yourself getting angry or worse, frustrated, take a break and take stock. Calm down. Immediately realize and recognize the anger and frustration for something that will harm you and even kill you and get rid of it. You can do this almost any way you want. Hum a favorite song. Think of a happy memory. Do something you enjoy and are good at for a few moments. It might even take as little action as pausing to catch your breath and admire a passing cloud. It doesn’t take much to change an emotional state and set yourself up to succeed.” The man said, smiling to himself. He could tell that Nya was dubious at best in regards to how an emotional state effected survival. He just hoped she never had to find out first hand.

Nya listened. She was after all paying him in meat for the lessons. But she just didn’t think she’d get frustrated or angry. It wasn’t Randal’s fault that he didn’t know her background and didn’t understand that she COULDN’T feel that way any longer. At least, that’s what she told herself.

“What about depression, loneliness, and boredom?”
Again, the kelvic had decided she would not feel guilt. It just wasn’t in her nature.

Randal nodded. “I don’t want to dwell on these things, but its important to note. Depression is a deep sadness or absence of emotion.” Nya almost growled at his words. What was he implying? She was depressed? Hardly. But Randal continued, breaking her line of thought. “You feel defeated when you are depressed and parts of you shut down like your emotional center. Depression is often something that comes hand and hand with frustration and anger. When you get frustrated and it seems you can’t reach goals, you can often tumble on down into depression. This is the point when you give up and it often turns your attitude from one of a survivor to one of a victim. There are many things you could do in survival situations but a depressed person often has the defeatist attitude of ‘there’s nothing I can do!’. You can’t let this happen because it shuts your mind down to being open to possibilities.” Randal said, looking intently at Nya.

“Possibilities? You mean ideas to maybe get yourself out of a situation or see yourself through one?” Nya asked, her mind reflecting back on her year in Ravok and the abuse she endured. She remembered giving up, knowing there was nothing she could do, and the guards had laughed and called her broken finally.

Randal, having no idea where the kelvics mind had wandered too, chuckled slightly. “Yes. You see people have an amazing capacity… kelvics as well Nya, to tap into a huge reservoir of creativity and inner strength they hold inside. Half the advances we’ve made since the Cataclysm came from that same pool we all have inside. You can create whatever you can imagine. You just have to be ingenious about it and look for ways around the roadblocks you might find along the way. Is a stream too deep to cross? Build a bridge.” Nya nodded, understanding what the man meant. She had experienced that in her own life as well.

“So how do I fight off Loneliness and Boredom?”
She asked, curious, and waited while Randal remained silent. She took that as a cue to answer her own question. “I rarely get lonely. But I miss certain people like Abashai when they are not around. When I was alone at Lormar sometimes I’d talk to him like he was there. It comforted me and made me feel better. You would think that would make me feel silly, like a cub or an addle minded person, but I didn’t.” She told him, almost as if confessing.

Randal smiled. “You keep busy too. Don’t sit around doing nothing. Plan projects. Always start with those that will improve your situation. And never feel guilty. That’s the last thing we need to talk about. There’s a thing called survivors guilt. It’s where more than one person was in a particular situation and others died while they lived. The ones that live often feel guilty that they survived. Surviving in the jungle often times happens because the situation surrounding ending up in the jungle was tragic. Maybe a ship wrecked. Maybe there was a fire or a caravan got off course. People are frail and die, Nya, and those that survive feel guilty. If it ever happens to you, don’t let guilt eat you alive. Turn the guilt into something positive. Feel like you lived for a greater reason, a destiny, and that those that died would have wanted you to survive. I don’t want to talk too much about it, but I did want to touch on guilt. And anyhow, we’ve arrived at where we were going.” Randal announced, opening his arms and turning around.

They were in the heart of the Maw now in territory Nya had never explored. She was glad he quickly moved on from guilt. Nya knew if anything ever happened to Shai she’d die too. The same would happen if anything ever happened to her. There would be no survival guilt for her unless it involved someone else. And truthfully Nya couldn’t imagine caring about anyone that much to feel guilty for living when they died. It just wasn’t in her nature. She probably would go so far as to say that if someone she was traveling with died and she survived, the forest cat would probably eat their corpse for survival instead of let it waste away rotting in the jungle. The Gods knew she’d fed on enough children in the dungeons of Ravok to make it not such a bid deal to her these days.

“What’s here?”
She asked, curious and excited, drawn in to Randal’s enthusiasm. He smiled at her and answered eagerly.

“Here is where we learn to gather water and build emergency shelters.”
The man beamed knowing Nya had been waiting for this part of the training all day.


Last edited by Nya Winters on November 4th, 2016, 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 754
Words: 784842
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Trailblazer (1) Never Say Die (1)
Donor (1) 2017 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2017 Top NaNo Word Count (1)

Surviving The Jungle

Postby Nya Winters on November 4th, 2016, 7:15 pm



As Randal looked around, Nya noted that they were now on what looked to be an upland plain that stretched across the backbone of The Maw. She could see in the distance the Suvan Sea and there was a cooling breeze blowing. Under the tall trees it was more humid, as if moisture got trapped easier and held next to the ground. She didn’t dislike the humidity though. The cat in her loved it. The human just simply sweated and suffered.

Randal was talking about something but Nya wasn’t paying much attention. She was still thinking about psychology and what she could do to avoid all the things he’d talked to her about. One critical thing she decided was to realize what her strengths and weaknesses were. If she knew her stronger qualities she could lean on them to survive. And truthfully she knew she’d have fears. Nya hadn’t really understood fear until fear itself had become her constant companion in Ravok. However, if she could anticipate what she would be afraid of and train in those areas that made her afraid, she might have a better skillset to function in spite of being afraid.

Another critical aspect was an attitude. While Randal hadn’t gone out of his way to actually say it, Nya realized that attitude was everything. If she thought she could survive, she would. If she thought she couldn’t, then she was defeated before she got started. Realistically, she needed to be able to cast aside strong emotions like frustration and anxiety and appraise the circumstances realistically. That way she could avoid panic, rage, or anything in between that might hurt her.

This life was important. She wanted to live it well and had things to do with it. Aressa had a lot to atone for and Nya was counting on doing some of that atonement this go around. That meant finding her more important artifacts, destroying or altering them, and making things right that she’d messed up in lives past. For that she needed training. This was that training, in a way, though she’d have to learn other training as well… stress management for one, magecrafting for another… and she’d have to teach herself definitely how to control how she viewed and felt about a situation. There was a term for that too… one that Aressa knew. Cognitive Restructuring. Nya smiled.

Randal cleared his throat.

“I asked which you wanted to learn first… water acquisition, shelter building, or we could even start with firecraft.” He added, knowing Nya hadn’t been paying attention.

Nya had the grace to look embarrassed. “Which one is easiest? I dislike fire a little so I’d rather save that until last or until tomorrow. You’ve taught me a great deal today so I think I owe you more meat before we get into that.” The Kelvic replied, knowing Randal was going out of his way to teach her. The one Tapir she’d paid him with so far didn’t seem enough.

“Water it is. It’s also one of the most important so we can start there.” The man affirmed, knowing that teaching the Kelvic about fire might be challenging. “So tell me what you know about water, Nya?” Randal asked, taking a different approach on this subject.

Nya looked thoughtful a moment and then responded in a slightly hesitant manner. “I know it is important, like you said, and that we can’t go long without it. I think most of ones body is made up of water – blood, fluids, even tissue has water – and you need to drink a great deal to survive. I know you need even more if you sweat or it’s cold. I know you can lose water from your body if its hot or cold or if you feel stress or do a lot of physically demanding work.” Nya added, wracking her brain for more information. “A lot of animals set up territories based on water bodies too.” She met his gaze, wondering if he approved.

It seemed Randal did approve because he nodded with a smile and launched into another lecture. “Really, there is water all around us. Especially here in the jungle you can get water fairly easily. There should be streams all over and it rains almost daily. The challenge here is to get pure clean water. The best way to do that is to capture it from rainfall. You can do that with tarps and bowls. If you don’t have a container, there are other ways to get water. Now you can always drink from streams or lakes, but sometimes that’s not a good idea. Better ideas are to drink from plants that have captured rainwater for you. “ Randal hiked over to a big tree and climbed partially up into it. He gestured for Nya to join him and she did, shimmying up into the tree carefully by following his footsteps and ending up beside him. There were big broad leafed plants growing all up the tree. Their curled leaves formed a sort of ‘cup’ that contained water. He tipped one of the leaves and took a drink and smiled.

Nya reached forward and looked for herself. She tipped another and drank deeply from it before coughing suddenly and spitting out a tiny frog onto her hand. “You can even find food in these types of water plants, but you need to be careful about what you eat. Some frogs are poisonous.” He added with as light laugh as Nya carefully slipped the frog back into a water-filled leaf.

“This seems to easy.” Nya said, wondering what happened if there were no such platn types around.

Randal shrugged and took out a small hand axe. “There are harder ways. Come on. “ He lead the way as if looking for a specific type of tree and found it. Once Nya joined him he handed her the hand axe. “Cut it down.” He ordered.

Nya nodded and with the axe started swinging.


Continued in "Surviving The Jungle II".

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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
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Surviving The Jungle

Postby Faradae on May 11th, 2017, 3:33 pm

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Nya
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E X P E R I E N C E

• Wilderness Survival +5
• Observation +1
• Land Navigation +1
• Psychology +3
• Medicine +1
• Botany +1


L O R E S

• Randal Zor: An expert of the jungle
• Wilderness Survival (Jungle): Proper clothes
• Wilderness Survival (Jungle): Moving through the jungle
• Wilderness Survival (Jungle): Using eyes and ears
• Wilderness Survival (Jungle): Storms and rain
• Land Navigation: Following game trails
• Wilderness Survival: The importance of attitude
• Psychology: The will to survive
• Psychology: Cognitive restructuring
• Psychology: Stress, fear and anxiety
• Psychology: Anger and frustration
• Medicine: Symptoms and effects of dehydration
• Wilderness Survival (Jungle): Water sources
• Psychology: Depression, loneliness and guilt
• Psychology: Fighting negative feelings with creativity
• Nya: Rejects guilt
• Botany: Water Collectors


N O T E S

The first Nya thread I read, and full of insights. Thank you for the read!


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Faradae
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