Solo Snaking Is A Jungle Contact Sport

Nya delves even further into Wilderness Survival involving snakes.

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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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Snaking Is A Jungle Contact Sport

Postby Nya Winters on May 10th, 2017, 2:20 am

Timestamp: 25th of Spring, 517 AV


Nya had found a sort of fascinating with snaking. To her serpents were bright gems straight from the jungle designed solely for a cat to play with. She’d slink into Syka proper of the night, in the deep moonless shadows, where she was disturbing no one save those she came to hunt. The creatures of the jungle slithered into the settlement as if they had every right to be there. And in Nya’s mind they had no right. Some of the settlers found the miniature battles tasteless and overly bloody. Nya just didn’t kill them cleanly, she played with them until there was no life left in them, no sport left though in truth no one would exactly consider what the Kelvic did true sport.

It had a bit to do with the curse. It was a darkness she never talked to anyone about, not even Shai when they’d been bonded. It had started with angry dying words from a Blacksun Priest and Nya stole his life and he stole her joy. And now she couldn’t look into a mirror, a sluggish slow stream, or even the gleam of shined armor lest she see her reflection. It would look back at her dark, twisted, with eyes that were hungry and empty. And that was only if she was in her skin. In her fur she became monstrous with jagged broken teeth and a bloodstained mangy matted pelt. It happened only accidently, when Nya wasn’t paying attention or her attention had waned. Syka wasn’t a place full of glass reflecting visages. It wasn’t full of vain mirrors or still waters. But sometimes a wave would crest and wash the sand, and the water would slip back out leaving nature’s mirror in place for brief seconds and she’d see it.

And she’d not sleep… not for days after. The priest had died with his bowels leaking out onto the earth, but he hadn’t gone quietly and he hadn’t died alone. Part of Nya had been torn from her with his death. Calinthar… the priest…. sometimes haunted her because of it. She’d seen him as a snake. And though she’d killed him once, it was decidedly a situation where once was never going to be enough. So she snaked, and feasted on snake flesh, and kept the settlement safe and the images that haunted her cleared out of her soul.

Randal, however, worried. He knew what Nya was up too. He knew she knew wasn’t exactly right in the head at times. And he also knew the signs of someone slaying monsters from the past in real things from the present. They’d all been there, all three of The Founders and truth be told, half the settlement. And he thought, not more than once, that Nya was going to get herself killed taking on the wrong snake at the wrong time because she’d grown reckless and everyone knew reckless equated to stupid.

So the next time she went snaking, Randal went hunting her. He caught up to her stalking through the settlement coming up empty and feeling frustrated. Randal had simply shaken his head and rubbed his forehead and stepped out into the open in her pathway.

“Look Nya… what do you know of snakes? I know you like to kill them, but you are being stupid here… out in the dark fighting anything that slithers. How about you come for a walk with me and I’ll teach you a thing or two about them.” He offered without naming a price, knowing she’d bring him meat or something scrounged later because she couldn’t stand taking anything for what she considered ‘free’. Besides, he was worried. The Kelvic was going to bite off more than she could chew soon.

Randal knew The Kelvic was lonely. He knew she’d take the bait. She liked learning almost as much as she liked company. When both was offered, the Kelvic couldn’t resist. He gave her a teaser even as she turned to follow him doglike through the settlement and back into the jungle. “In general, Nya, you can tell if a snake is venomous or nonvenomous just by the shape of its head. Did you know that? Most venomous snakes have an upturned nose while nonvenomous snakes have a rounder snout. I bet you didn’t know that.” He said seductively, luring her into following him along the main jungle trail leading out of The Syka Commons and into the jungle where it branched off.

“What else is different about them?” She said, knowing she’d have to see one to truly understand what he meant by snub and pointy noses… no rounded snouts and upturned noses.


Last edited by Nya Winters on December 20th, 2017, 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nya Winters
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Posts: 748
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Snaking Is A Jungle Contact Sport

Postby Nya Winters on December 20th, 2017, 2:40 am

jy


Randal absently cut a branch off with his machete and neatly trimmed it so it was a long slender stick with a simple hook at the end. “Well, think of your pythons you are so fond of killing. Their noses don’t come to a point or arch upward. They are seriously blunt. Right?” He asked Nya, still getting his ‘stick’ ready.

Nya nodded, and Randal continued. “Well, not all snakes look like that. They look vastly different but you can categorize those looks into two basic types… venomous and nonvenomous. I’m glad to see you have your survival pack with you. Do you still have that journal in it? Can you take it out? I want to give you some clear insight into what’s what when it comes to snakes and I want you to take notes so you have something to refer back too. Okay?” Randal asked and Nya nodded.

As they walked, Nya pulled out her small leather covered journal where she took notes about survival, plants, and a few other things. She kept her ink and pen ready, in a smaller pouch on the side of her survival kit. Randal reached up suddenly and snagged a small snake off a branch above them using his forked stick.

He put it on the ground by them and showed her some of its features as the little guy squirmed around, Randal herding it back into the center of where they were standing as he spoke. “This is a simple tree snake. Not that its head doesn’t look prominent from its body… its nice and rounded. The body is slim and doesn’t look bulky. The tail is slender and doesn’t end with anything special like a set of rattlers. Some poisonous snakes have rattles, Nya.” Randal said, then gestured at her notebook.

“Quick, make a sketch of it and we’ll label some of the things about it before I pick it up so you can look at the head.

Nya squatted, well out of the snake’s range even though it was a small thing, thin like a stick and nothing she would have considered threatening. She pulled out her ink, a quill, and began sketching the snake. She added notes where Randal suggested she do so and nodded. When she was done, he let the snake go.

“Tree snakes are often hanging out in trees. It’s easy to accidently grab one and get bit. It will hurt and it might make you sick because they have a bit of a nasty bite. Just learn to look for them. They move certain ways and won’t let you get close if they can help it.” Randal said, eyes already scanning the jungle as he let the little tree snake slither off.

Randal stopped, gestured with his stick, and forked down another snake. This one he acted more cautious of. Not only was it bigger, but now that she was paying attention to them, Nya noticed its body shape was different too. It had a bigger angular head that was distinct from its body. And its body was slender behind its neck but fattened out and looked really significant. It’s tail was also unique… distinctive… coming to a point and not just ending like the other snake had.

Randal took out his machete with one hand, still keeping the snake occupied with the other and killed it cleanly. Nya looked at him curiously, because she was surprised to see him do so. He rolled it over and then waited until the head stopped moving before picking both the body and head up.

“Sketch this one too, before I beheaded it, and label the differences. Then we’ll look at the head and the belly scales closely.” He urged.

Nya did what he said, carefully working on her journal entry so she’d know the difference and could compare the two different snakes.


Image



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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 748
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Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
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Race: Kelvic
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Snaking Is A Jungle Contact Sport

Postby Nya Winters on December 20th, 2017, 2:59 am



Nya finished her drawing and then Randal sat the snake head down on her empty journal. Nya poked at it and then got to really looking at it. She blew on the wet page that didn’t have a snake head on it and when the ink was dry enough, she sketched a small picture of the viper’s head. Indeed she could see the pointed nose, and some of the other features.

Randal, while she dried the ink and then sketched the head, wandered off. He was back in a few minutes with a small snake in his hands that was a brilliant green like the color of most of the vibrant leaves of the understory and knelt down next to her. This one was alive and squirming, but Nya was also able to add a second head sketch above the viper’s head and she looked over them.

“Now, tell me what’s different between the two.” Randal instructed.

Nya looked thoughtful and then began to speak. “Well, like you said the head shape is different. But there’s other differences too. The one you are holding has a round eye and a round nose… nostril. The scales on its head … the top of it are different. And this one, the venomous one, has this funny pit right here….” Nya added, then added another set of sketches. She sketched the top of the snakes heads, carefully labeling them as well.

Randal smiled. “Good good. You have a sharp eye. Now…. Set the head aside and look the body. Make some sketches, and tell me what you see.” He asked, tapping at the dead snake.

Image


“Well, the scales on the belly are different. The venomous ones have straight scales all in a line across their belly. The non-venomous one has staggered scales in pairs… by their anus.” She said, pointing out the belly of the corpse verses the one squirming in Randal’s hands that the man helpfully flipped upside down. His hands got soaked with a fluid that looked a lot like snake pee when he did so. Nya wrinkled her nose at the horrible smell.

“Their ‘anus’ is called a vent. Snakes and lizards have vents, not anuses.’ Randal said with a laugh as he nodded his approval at Nya adding notes to her journal entry and then blowing on the ink to make it dry. She looked thoughtfully at the drawings, knowing they would actually help her remember over time. She’d write down all she learned about snakes and show some of the new colonists, because they most of all would need the knowledge.

“Randal, can you eat venomous snakes? I know we can eat pythons, but they have no poison. These don’t look like they have a lot of meat on them, but is it safe?” She asked, curious.

Randal nodded. “They are safe to eat. Just don’t eat the heads. The venom can hurt you even if the snake isn’t alive.” He offered helpfully, nudging the severed head with his foot.


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Nya Winters
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Posts: 748
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Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
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Snaking Is A Jungle Contact Sport

Postby Nya Winters on December 20th, 2017, 3:19 am



“Pay close attention to the eyes, Nya. They are vastly different between venomous and non-venomous snakes. Venomous ones have vertically slit pupils. The non-venomous ones have nice round pupils. They make a very big difference in appearance if you think to check. Then, don’t forget if it has a pit it ALWAYS is poisonous. Pythons have a little depression but its nothing like the pit.” He said, making her do a more detailed drawing of the heads.

Nya obliged, shifting her squatting position to kneel so she could get more comfortable in her drawing. She took more time this round, carefully labeling the eyes and pits.

Image


“It doesn’t seem safe to get close enough to see the pupil shape.” Nya pointed out much to Randal’s amusement.

“No, of course it’s not. But there are other tells. Remember, I’ve said it a dozen times. The nose shape is important. But there’s other tells…. You know what a tell is right? It’s a sign or a behavior or pattern that clues you into something.” He said, continuing on. “Ask yourself is the snake muted in color or bright?” The kelvic nodded, listening closely now. “Bright colors are a very good sign of danger. Some of the most poisonous snakes in this jungle are very brightly colored… some striped, some with diamond patterns, and some just solidly colored. Muted snakes are brown or mud colored, or even maybe leaf colored like the one I had a moment ago. Venomous snakes do come in brown though, so don’t make the color the first choice in determining venomous or non-venomous status.” Randal instructed.

Nya noted all this, taking a few notes in her journal but ultimately doing more listening than writing.

“I wonder if they have a distinctive smell.” She said, giving the wiggling little grass snake he had in his hands a sniff, then leaning over to sniff at the corpse. Nope… they both smelled like snake. Strongly of snake…. a scent she didn’t like.

“There are exceptions to the color rule too. Some snakes mimic other snakes much like some butterflies mimic each other. They will look like the brightly colored poisonous ones but are different. There’s a snake called a coral snake around here… it has yellow bands that touch red… and the king snake which has red touching black…. We have a rhyme we learn to tell them apart. “Red touching Yellow – can kill a fellow. Red touching black – Nice and Mellow.” Randal sang a little, smiling.

Nya tilted her head curiously. “Interesting rhyme” She said, looking thoughtful. “So basically unless I learn every kind of snake in this jungle, I cant count on any sort of color identifying them at all unless I know every detail of every snake?” She asked, exasperated.

Randal just shook his head. Kelvics. “Pretty much. But there’s one other thing… venomous snakes of the rattler family have rattles on the end. That’s a super easy tell. If it has rattles, its venomous. Always. There are non rattlesnakes that don’t have venom.” Randal added.

Nya nodded, adding more notes to her journal.


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Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 748
Words: 778565
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
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Snaking Is A Jungle Contact Sport

Postby Nya Winters on December 20th, 2017, 3:34 am



Nya stood up, stretched, and Randal continued with his lesson. “Now, there’s another thing I know how to do in order to identify venomous verses non-venomous snakes. Ask yourself… ‘Does the snake swim below or above the waterline?’ because that’s important to know. We live with water all around us, both in the ocean and the rivers and streams around here. Snakes can swim. But the two different types swim very differently. Poisonous snakes will puff up and swim on top of the water. They actually don’t seem to like it as much as non-venomous snakes do. The ones that don’t have venom, like pythons and anaconda, tend to swim under the water and will swim along with only their little nostrils showing. Pythons and Anacondas will both hang out underwater too, holding their breath and hunting for prey.” He added, explaining the swimming to Nya.

The kelvic was pretty impressed. There was a lot of information here that she’d never thought she’d know or even need to know. But there was one thing she was curious about.

“Randal, are snakes even remotely useless to people? Shouldn’t we just kill them all around the settlement then not have to worry about getting bitten?” The kelvic was serious about the question because more and more it was sounding like most snakes were just food and good for virtually nothing.

Randal smiled. “Snakes are fantastic, Nya. They devastate rodents like mice and rats which can make people sick or eat our food stores. Small snakes like this one in my hand eat insects, worms, even slugs that will eat our vegetables. Larger ones will hunt larger game that might bother us as well. We have them all around us and honestly you’ll never be able to make even a dent in the snake population if you kill every one you find. So its better to learn to live with them and be safe around them rather than just kill them because you don’t understand them. Most of them will not bother you if you don’t bother them.” He said thoughtfully.

Nya nodded. She could understand that.

Randal gestured to her notebook. “Now, draw a picture of a leg twice. I want to show you want a snakebite pattern looks like for someone who gets bitten. Then you can look at this little guy or pry the lips open on the head on the ground and look at the fangs. Sometimes you get bitten before you even know the snake is there to identify it… so its important to know what the bite is from if you get one.” He said, and gestured at her journal.

Nya complied and sketched out two legs. Randal then took the journal from her and added in the pictures of a bite mark on each leg, along with a quick sketch of each snake that did it just to remind her what they looked like and the differences between them.

Image


Nya studied the drawing Randal had added to carefully. “I see! The poisonous one has fangs… those bigger punctures there. While the non-poisonous one has no fang marks and a more uniform bite. But pythons have teeth that are curved backwards… once they bite they hold on tight. They will rip your flesh out before they will leave a clean bite like this.” Nya insisted.

Randal nodded. “That’s right. But still the rent flesh is another sign. But the bites feel different too.” He said, prepping her for yet another lecture.


User avatar
Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 748
Words: 778565
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Never Say Die (1) Donor (1)
2017 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2017 Top NaNo Word Count (1)

Snaking Is A Jungle Contact Sport

Postby Nya Winters on December 21st, 2017, 1:59 am

Grading


Experience : Wilderness Survival +5, Animal Husbandry +5, Drawing +4, Deduction +1, Observation +5, Interrogation +2

Lore: Snakes: Differences Between Venomous & Nonvenomous Snakes, Drawing: Making realistic snake images with details on shape, eyes, head and scales, Snakes: Parts of a Snake, Snakes: Safe to eat, Observation: What a Tell Is, Snakes: What Colors Mean, Animal Husbandry: What Animal Mimicry Is, Snakes: If They Have Rattles They Are Venomous, Snakes: Traits Of Venomous Snakes, Snakes: Can Swim, Snakes: Difference Between Venomous and Non-Venomous Snakes, Snakes: Why They Are Useful, Snakes: Bite Patterns Of Venomous Verses Nonvenomous Snakes, Wilderness Survival: How To Act Around Snakes/Handle Them


User avatar
Nya Winters
Let the winds in my heart blow...
 
Posts: 748
Words: 778565
Joined roleplay: June 7th, 2009, 6:53 am
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 6
Mizahar Grader (1) Trailblazer (1)
Never Say Die (1) Donor (1)
2017 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2017 Top NaNo Word Count (1)


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