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Nya decides to test Jade's determination to fit into Syka.

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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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Can You Keep Up? (Jade)

Postby Nya Winters on November 24th, 2017, 3:36 am

Timestamp: 15th of Fall, 517 AV (Late Afternoon)


The Kelvic woke stretched out stark naked on the sand. She purred, rolled over, and yawned loudly. It took her a moment to realize she was wearing her human skin and not her feline fur. Sometime during her nap she’d traded claws for fingernails most likely due to the heat. But her stomach had happily digested The Tidepools roasted pig and she was restless for some afternoon and perhaps well into the evening activity.

It took the Kelvic a moment to realize she had agreed to meet the new woman…. Jade. Nya smiled in pleasure. She wasn’t sure the woman could keep up. And even if she did, Nya wasn’t sure the woman would listen to her. IF she didn’t listen, she might be as good as dead. There were several times Nya would have been dead as well if she hadn’t listened to Randal.

The Kelvic rolled over and stood up abruptly, stretching out her arms to the sky. The woman grinned then took off at a loose-hipped trot towards The Syka Commons where she’d agreed to meet Jade. Taking a moment at the edge of her property to pick up her backpack, belt with Kukri and her boots, she stuffed everything into her backpack along with her normal jungle supplies and shouldered the pack. She continued at her slow jog until she came to The Community Pool. There she took a quick bath, washed the sand off, cleaned her hair, and took a moment to get ready for her ‘date’ with Jade.

Nya rooted around in her backpack until she located her boots and pulled the socks stuffed into them out of the tall leathers. Rolling them up her legs then lacing each boot on, Nya added a loincloth to her wardrobe and left her chest bare. She was going to run today, and run hard, so she didn’t need clothing to burden her. The Kelvic then got her pack, pulled out her insect repellant from it, and unscrewed the tin and smeared some on her torso and back. She repacked the repellant, added her Kukri to her belt that held the loin cloth in place, and tossed her mane of brindled hair so it fluttered down her shoulders partially concealing her breasts. It would dry faster loose and pull free of vegetation better if not caught up in a ponytail.

Sniffing the air for Jade’s scent, Nya continued through the settlement until she found her way to the commons and headed up the wooden steps. She jumped up on a table to perch on the end and swing her legs, eager to get started and put the young mother through her paces. Jade had looked fit enough to Nya, but being new to the area didn’t necessarily mean she was fit enough to withstand the humidity and the warmth of the tropical air. A part of Nya hoped the woman was successful. Jade was company and definitely something for Nya to actually do that involved someone else. The Kelvic would never admit it to the other woman, but she was lonely and actually wanted some company… especially if that company didn’t complain and could keep up.

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Can You Keep Up? (Jade)

Postby Jade Laken on November 24th, 2017, 5:47 am

Image
Jade woke up from her nap and stretched feeling the heat. She had to meet up with Nya soon for their run. The blonde had not expected her companion to test her. But the girl would not break down from a challenge short of breaking something. Looking over, she smiled gently at Dina as she slept quietly on the bed. It was well past her nap time, when the mother finally got her laid down. The child had endless energy, but the girl had managed to find someone to watch the little one. She was not comfortable leaving Dina alone at the bungalow since there was so few people within the settlement.

“Dina, wake up baby girl. Its time to get ready,” Jade said gently and kissed on her head gently.

Dina whined not ready to get up just yet. The little one curled up with her face in the pillow making the mother chuckle. Shaking her head, the blonde got ready for the running trip with Nya. Opening her chest, Jade dug around finding her loincloth and chest wrap. She had not used her chest wrap much after leaving Endrykas. Most of the times, the woman would have just walked around the tent city without a shirt. But at the time her hair was long enough to keep everything hidden that needed to be. It was not long after arriving in Syliras that in a scrap, she cut her hair short in order to keep fighting. Soon she was ready to go, walking over to the little one Jade made sure to have a bag full of things to keep her occupied once she awoke. Picking her up, the woman hefted her into place on her hip before leaving and locking the door.

“Okay little one time to drop you off,” Jade stated and walked down the steps heading towards the commons.

She had to drop off the little one at the mercantile to the shop keepers daughter for the afternoon. The blonde had told them to discipline the child as needed if she acted out. The ex-squire was very aware of her child's antics with new people. Most had refused to watch her again after the first time. Walking into the business, the woman moved her hair behind her ear waving to the other woman. Jade meet Juli and handed Dina over along with the bag that held the child's toys. Walking out, she looked up seeing that the sun was just barely moving from the center of the sky. Hurrying down the stairs, the woman went ahead and jogged over to the commons. It did not take long to find the other girl as she was sitting there in much of what Jade was wearing. The main difference was that one had a chest wrap and the other didn't. Walking up the blonde called out a greeting to the other.

“Hey, Nya,” Jade called walking up to her.

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Can You Keep Up? (Jade)

Postby Nya Winters on November 25th, 2017, 12:26 am



Nya was still perched on the table, swinging her legs child-like, and only looking a little annoyed at Jade not being there to meet her when she got there. One of Nya’s hardest adjustments with Syka was Syka-Time. Syka-Time meant that people showed up ‘whenever’ and never took the time of day serious. The Kelvic spotted Jade the moment she hit the stairs, coming up to the lofty Common’s proper. Nya slipped off the edge of the table she was perched on and landed light-footed in front of Jade.

“Hey.” Nya responded. She looked Jade up and down, approving of her boots and noting the daggers sticking out of them. But Jade had no long knife to cut her way through the jungle and had that silly wrap around her breasts. Quickly, Nya grinned and drew her Kukri, reached out and grabbed the cloth tightly binding Jade’s breasts. She pulled it straight out and slit the fabric in one clean slice with her Kukri, freeing Jade’s breasts from their cloth bindings.

“Don’t do this to yourself. You will sweat. Your breasts will get hot and moist beneath them and you will get a painful fungus. It smells like bread but it hurts and peels the skin and is almost impossible to get rid of once you get it. It will hurt so bad that you will weep in pain. Trust me. The men here are polite. They will not stare and it is not a bad thing to be free from the confines of cloth. Besides you are beautiful. Don’t conceal your beauty.” The Kelvic said as she let the two halves of Jade’s wrap flutter to the ground. She was poised, tense almost, as if expecting the other woman to react. Nya’s own chest was bare, her loose hair cascading down to partially give her a bit of modesty.

Nya showed Jade the Kukri. “You need one of these… either a Kukri like this one or a Machete. You can get a weapon like these at The Mercantile. The only difference is the Kukri is curved… the Machete has a slightly longer reach. You really need one in the deep jungle, either or…. It becomes an extension of your arm and chops at the greenery, helping you ease your way through the deep jungles. I like your boots. They will block snakebites. And we stumble upon snakes a lot. But those daggers are too short to do much damage in an emergency or to help you through the jungle. They are better than nothing but not by much.” Nya added, stepping back and giving Jade a chance to respond.

Once she gave Jade a chance to absorb everything she said, Nya would head off to The Mercantile. They’d get Jade a better weapon more suited to the jungle and a sheath to keep it in. Then the Kelvic would put her through her paces.

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Can You Keep Up? (Jade)

Postby Jade Laken on November 25th, 2017, 5:05 am

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The blonde watched as the woman jumped down from the table and walked over to her. Jade allowed the other girl to assess what she had chosen for the day. Everything seemed to be fine till Nya's hand gripped her binding and the sound of cloth being ripped rang out. Wincing the blonde closed her eyes for a few seconds preparing for the blade to hit her heart or throat one. Gently opening her eyes when the material fell a sigh of relief left her chest. The girl was more worried about being sliced open than her bindings being cut off. The breeze on her chest felt weird, Jade was not normally bothered by her body being exposed seeing as how it was a very natural thing in Endrykas. But she had changed in order to belong in Syliras. Dina also came from the clothed world, so the habit had become like breathing to the blonde. She was thankful that Nya told her about the fungus; the girl had never heard of such a thing. Though it did not surprise her in the least.

“Thanks. Back where I'm from, I wouldn't have bothered with the wrap. But when I moved to Syliras, everyone wore clothes to some extent; those that didn't were taken by the guards. So I learned to accept the materials, and my daughter as raised by an orphanage for most of her young life. To keep her comfortable, I kept up the lifestyle of the castle,” Jade explained looking at the woman.

When presented with the weapon, the drykas looked at it without touching. She knew from personal feelings how much it would bother her if someone just took her blade from her. Looking down at her boots first, the girl was happy to hear an approval from Nya about them. She nodded in understanding about the daggers, and followed the blonde when they turned to the mercantile. The young girl hurried behind her “teacher” for the afternoon knowing that she was right. The woman needed a proper weapon or machete at least in order to function within in the jungle.

“Following you,” Jade stated not knowing much about the blades.

She watched the woman's gait ahead of her for a moment. The woman walked with power and pride as if nothing in the world bothered her. Taking a deep breath, the girl looked at Nya seriously or rather more serious than previously. She wanted to thank her for the compliments that had been given to her. It was rare for her to hear someone say and mean them.

“Thank you. Where I'm from, I was never told that I was beautiful. Most men wanted me because of how young I look, which I suppose to them was saying beautiful. But it made me grow to hate the way I look and how my body moves. I'm sorry about Dina's manners earlier today, with the move here. I have let some of her teaching give way. She took it hard when her father left us; I thought I was doing the right thing by cuddling her. Now it is very obviously the wrong choice. Unfortunately, I do not know how to raise a child properly. If there are any pointers you could give from your travels. I would really appreciate it,” Jade said quietly looking up at the girl.

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Can You Keep Up? (Jade)

Postby Nya Winters on November 25th, 2017, 11:22 pm



Nya learned two things about Jade in that moment. First she was above everything polite. The Kelvic had all but attacked her and instead of reacting or fighting back, Jade had thanked her. That made Nya blink in surprise. The second thing Nya learned was that Dina had come from an orphanage not Jade’s own body. That explained why the woman was trim and without stretch marks or scars that childbirth always seemed to leave on a woman’s body. Maybe the woman would be less attached if something happened to the child. Nya still didn’t think Dina would thrive here. It was too dangerous, especially for an ill-behaved child that didn’t listen. Just once wandering into the brush out of sight might be the death of her. Nya would be sad for Jade when she lost Dina, but knew it would happen.

Jade also seemed to listen to Nya about the fungus. It wasn’t a true fungus, of course, but a nasty yeast infection on the surface of the skin. It was just easier to call it a fungus. She also learned that Jade wasn’t shy, just sensitive to her surroundings. Jade had seemed to understand that too. Nya made a mental note to add a few things to her speech to help the newcomer as well. “Keep your feet bare or well booted in good clean dry socks too. On the beach is safe to go without shoes, and in the settlement for the most part too because we keep the snakes cleaned out. But in the jungle if you get your feet wet and your socks soaked, you are going to get another sort of fungus on your feet and they will turn white, wrinkle, and your skin will begin to sluff off. It is very hard to cure foot rot too. So when you get wet, stop, dry your boots out and change your socks. Always. I carry this pack with me. It has six pairs of socks that roll well up to the tops of my boots just for that reason. I’ve seen bad foot rot and you don’t want it to happen to you. IF you do get a patch of it, keeping your foot covered with honey in that area, then wrapped, and absolutely dry will help. Going barefoot on the sand for a few days in the heat will help as well too. The fungus can’t live without hot moist conditions.” Nya added, already moving them away from The Commons because Jade had said she’d follow.

So instead of waiting for Jade to react, Nya decided to keep the blonde moving, talking as she went and slightly beginning to enjoy the company. Nya would have enjoyed Jade pacing her instead of trailing behind her like a derelict child, but such things would come later, perhaps. The Kelvic kept her pace at a light jog – her usual movement around the area – and they were back at The Mercantile in just a short chime or two.

“You are very pretty. The men here will want to enjoy your body if you are open to such things. I don’t think it will be about your age. In my experience it has nothing to do with age… only looks and personality and willingness or unwillingness. Depending on what men want.” They were bounding up the stairway now, and Nya pulled up short next to a weapons display filled with long knives, machete and Kukri. “Pick something with a sheath. Long, straight or long and curved… Pick something. Juli will add it to your debt and we will go.” Nya said, then got back to one of Jade’s other questions while the woman was looking over the weapons.

“I don’t know anything about your child. I don’t like children. They are a liability and a weakness. You should get rid of her. She serves no practical purpose, especially if she is not of your body but some other woman’s cast off. Perhaps the woman and her sire left her for a reason. My own mother had me because my father would not quit covering her. He was a kelvic stallion and such was their way. I was nothing but trouble for her even as a child. It was worse as I grew older, bolder, and rebellious. She had to lock me up when I went through early heat cycles too. Dina will be trouble. If hunting grows poor she will be tempting for big jungle cats.” Nya said, knowing how easily the child could be killed.

Once Jade had selected her weapon and belted its sheath onto her belt, Nya would have them off again, running down the stairs and hitting the cobbled pathway that lead through the settlement. The Kelvic had a notion to take the woman into the jungle – far out into the maw – and show her something of what was there so the woman would understand what she was facing if she took any steps out past the boundaries of what they had settled by the beach. The Cobbled Pathway was a good place to warm up tight muscles and get their bodies loose enough to do a run through the jungle.

Nya headed them roughly northeast, along the path, calling out landmarks and bungalows as she went. When they reached the end of the path, a trail darted off into the jungle and Nya followed it. They never went very far from the beach but traversed dense vegetation until they came out on the shores of a small beach that laid around a slightly inland lake. “It’s salt water and full of jelly fish. Don’t swim in it or drink it…. The jelly fish will sting you and make you stupid with pleasure.” Nya said, continuing along with her loose jog. They traversed the shore northward and once past the lake lost the trail. The jungle was thicker here and Nya drew her Kukri so she could slash and hack at the vegetation as they went, tracing along a ridgeline that lead up past the lake and out into a peninsula that Nya claimed was called The Maw.

Not yet winded, the Kelvic’s voice was normal as she jogged, ducking vines and leaping over fallen trees. She climbed embankments and slide down little ravines cut by streams draining to the sea. The woman seemed to be enjoying the jaunt as she cleared a pathway through the foliage and kept right on moving. “This is The Maw. If you cut straight across it you will find the sea again because it is a sort of peninsula that sticks out into the Suvan. It’s shaped like a beasts snout full of teeth. And its just about as dangerous. Sometimes Nya darted off her course to avoid a web. She’d point out the weaver with her Kurki and name it as dangerous or not if she knew it. They passed fruiting trees as well and Nya was sure to point out their names and if the fruit was good or not to Jade also.

The kelvic moved a certain way in the jungle, the way Randal had taught her. She undulated through the vegetation, twisting and turning, bending and jumping, being more tangled than straight to fit through the vegetation. They came out into a semi-lightened clearing where lumps rose from the jungle… tall unnatural mounds.

Buried in the dense jungle just north of Syka are a series of mysterious mounds. The most obvious odd thing about them is the fact that while they are wholly surrounded by dense jungle, the mounds themselves are just covered with what appears to be a thick layer of soil and ash in which nothing besides a sickly sort of moss grows. Plants on the fringe of the huge clearing tend to be stunted and thin. It takes several strides into the jungle before one would reach healthy normal vegetative growth.

The mounds themselves number around a dozen and are easily larger than most buildings. They are climbable, but it does take a bit of work to scale them due to their height. Unlike the rest of the jungle of The Maw, there are no animal pathways on or around the mounds. There is a sort of odd feeling about the mounds that may likely cause the hair on one's arm to stand on end when standing close.

The mounds are around a bells or two's trek out of Syka proper. Interestingly enough it is ringed with banana trees. If the ground was flat and unhindered by vegetation, the trip would be significantly shorter - a few chimes - from where humans have started habituating.


Nya paused on the edge of the clearing to catch her breath and let Jade catch up. “I rarely come here. These mounds make me uneasy…” Nya said softly, staring at the sight before them and starting to work her way around the clearing on its outskirts rather than cut through it.

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Can You Keep Up? (Jade)

Postby Jade Laken on November 26th, 2017, 9:58 pm

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Jade kept up with the woman as she moved through the settlement at a slight jog. The blonde was not bothered by the gentle gait that the pair had taken. She was sure that they would be doing a lot more running coming up after making it to the mercantile. The blonde nodded listening and made a note to duck in her bungalow on the way back. Her breathing went up some as the two arrived at the mercantile. She had not been long dropped Dina off, so there was a good chance the child would not be awake yet. The little one had always been weird about the mother being naked around her. Nya had suggested that she let Dina go. Jade had felt useless around the child after Ferrin and Ball left; she was still just a teenager trying to figure out how to survive on her own. Now though the young Drykas had to keep another life alive.

“I will take that into consideration,” Jade stated in reference to her comment about Dina.

The woman walked up to the weapon rack and looked at the two options. Making a face after a second, Jade grabbed a kukri and walked over to Juli letting her know about getting the weapon and paying upon her return for the day to pick up Dina. Once everything had been discussed and agreed on, the woman quickly returned to Nya's side. Nodding the girl quickly bounced down the stairs behind her as they headed towards the Maw. Jade looked around trying to make the mental notes of the locations that were passed. The jungle was a different challenge all together for the young drykas. She had never traversed a landscape like what they moved through. Jumping over fallen logs, Jade tried to recreate the same movement that Nya was doing. The girl grunted some when a larger limb hit her directly in the middle of her stomach. Wincing, the woman knew instantly that it would mean a nasty bruise come morning. The girl stopped and walked slowly behind Nya while looking a the strange hills before her.

“What is this place?” Jade asked looking over at the girl.

Her breathing was labored from the run making her tired. She was not going to stop though; she had something to prove. Showing Nya that the girl could survive was her top priority, turning to look at her once more Jade nodded her head. Her curiosity about the location was peeked, and she intended to return and look at the hills once more. Popping her neck, the girl was glad to not have the chest wrap after all. The girl stopped just short of running into her guide from the day while rubbing the darkening red mark on her midsection.

“That is going to hurt in the morning,” Jade said gently.

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Can You Keep Up? (Jade)

Postby Nya Winters on November 27th, 2017, 1:00 am



Nya smirked at Jade taking her advice on Dina under consideration. The Kelvic didn’t wish evil of the child, but she knew the child would be vulnerable and that was that. She wasn’t so much manifesting bad things to happen to the girl but prepping Jade for when something did. If it wasn’t a predator or the harsh landscape it would be a illness or her stuffing something into her mouth that wasn’t going to allow her to live. Didn’t children do that often? Nya had seen babies eating things from the ground that other animals had deposited if their parents weren’t attending them. She’d also known them to wander off or to put their hands into fire … almost anything.

Jade would have to be smart, vigilant, and dedicated with love to keep the child alive. And after dragging her through the settlement and out into the Maw, Nya was a little bit more certain that maybe, just maybe, the young woman could do that.

The Kelvic wasn’t impressed as to how the woman moved through the jungle, but Randal had indeed had to teach her as well. So she let Jade struggle and fight with the landscape before she pulled put on the edge of the jungle mounds and paused.

To Jade’s question, Nya shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone does. It reminds me of graves… like there are giants buried beneath the earth. I don’t walk across them if I don’t have too, but I was going to show you something else. There is a boulder pile on the far edge. It’s a good place to traverse since nothing grows across it.” Nya said, gradually leading Jade around the clearing at the edge of the tree line. She didn’t step out or go close to any of the mounds, but she spoke as she quietly moved Jade around the circumference and headed towards the boulder field.

“When you move through the jungle it is so much easier if you loosen your spine undulate your body and bend and twist with the way things have grown. Holding your body ridged does you no favors and makes it hard for you to move along winding ridgelines or streams that weave in and out of vegetation. Never take trails. They are dangerous and that is where the predators roam. Walking is easier there but so is hunting. Also don’t walk up streams. We have large reptiles that dwell in the waters and snakes that often hang out near the water too. If you cross a stream, cross only where you can see the substrate, not where it is deep or the water is milky. Predators will be there too.” Nya added, moving until she hit the boulder field on the far edge of the jungle mounds.

The boulders were huge and looked like someone had tossed out huge roughly tumbled marbles the size of human bodies up a ridge to where more jungle could be seen. Nya lightly jumped up on one of the boulders then started traversing the field in a series of leaps that took her higher up the maw in a sort of short cut that avoided the jungle. “Put your weight on the balls of your feet and hold your center over your knees. Lean forward, and jump from stone to stone. This is a good track upwards and only big cats would take it. Hoofed animals would avoid it, so too would hippos, elephants and some of the other scary things. Snakes might bask out on these stones in the sun, but they won’t bother you if you don’t jump on them. “ Nya said, making like a goat and going straight up the rocks nimbly. She used her arms to help her jump and sometimes reached down and steadied her landings with her hands.

The path took them up and eventually the boulders spilled back into the jungle. Nya took Jade beneath the trees and paused there. “One of my first lessons were about the jungle itself… how to break it down into its layers.” She said, spinning around and opening her arms as if asking Jade to really look around.

“The threes have four layers. Randal taught them to me. The first is near the ground, at your feet…. This is the leaf litter but Randal has a more fancy term for it. Cryptosphere. It’s the rich layer of soil….” Nya said, kneeling once they were off the stone and on soil again. She dug in with her fingers and pulled out almost black dirt. It smelled of decomposition and wet fungus. “Most everything alive lives here including all the things that are sentient like us. If this layer gets damaged, the whole jungle dies.” Nya added, rising and brushing off her hands. Then she gestured to the flowers, the bushes, and even the vines that were nearer the ground.

“The next layer is the understory. It’s everything from the ground upwards to sixty five feet in the air. Its shady here, not much light comes through, and lot of life lives here. There are special kinds of plants just in this layer… I studied them form Uta. She can teach you too.” The kelvic said. “Some of them live in the crooks of other plants, and some of them provide water for the animals by capturing it … the animals that never go to the ground to drink from streams and rivers.” Nya added, thinking these plants were kind of cool.

“After the understory, we have the canopy. It’s higher than that sixty five feet and goes all the way to well over a hundred feet. I think it ends around one thirty maybe a bit higher?” Nya said, gesturing up to where she was talking about. “It’s a mid-level section of the forest that gets a lot of sunlight. Many fruits and edibles get produced up there. They fall down and provide food for the plants on the ground and even some of the animals. The canopy is what is shading us here… making the jungle dark. There are a lot of animals that live up there too… insects as well… that never come down. Strange monkeys and squirrels and all kinds of small things and even some bigger things. Some fly, some glide, and some just swing around in the trees never going to the ground. It’s wild stuff.” The Kelvic said, almost done with her lecture. She finally leaned way up, pointed high, and gave Jade the final layer to the forest.

“Some trees grow so tall… higher than the hundred and thirty feet. They can grow two hundred feet or even three hundred feet high. They are huge…. And very very old. Scholars and botanists call this layer the Emergents…. Because they rise up out of the canopy to loft well above the tree line. We don’t know what’s up there. No one has ever went that high. I don’t even think we can breathe up that high, right?” Nya added, wanting Jade suddenly to appreciate the jungle and what it was all about.

“Syka is not just a wall of trees, Jade. It’s something far more complex. We don’t know everything about it. We only know a little. And we are learning very day. But its unexpected and different. It’s not like the settled lands to the east around Syliras and even Ravok.” Nya said wistfully before she started to move again.

She was taking Jade even deeper into the jungle. And she didn’t seem to care the woman was growing fatigued.

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Can You Keep Up? (Jade)

Postby Jade Laken on November 27th, 2017, 5:11 am

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Jade watched as the girl began moving much more slowly this time. Taking a deep breath, she quickly moved to follow her. The last thing that she wanted to do was to lose her guide even if they weren't all that far from the city. Birds could be heard over head making the girl look up into the sky. She shaded her face gently looking at the animals above them seeming to dodge around the mounds. A shiver ran down her spine as they finally made it to an out cropping of rocks. The girl watched as Nya seemed to be part goat easily working her way up the rocks. She watched for a moment as the woman gave her directions. Nodding the blonde got on top of the first rock with little problem. Turning to face her first jump, the girl took a deep breath steadying her nerves. She slowly opened her eyes looking at the flat surface before doing as the woman had instructed her to do. The jump felt very awkward for the girl, but her feet hitting solidly on the grey mass under her proved it was the right way.

“One down, a whole mountain to go,” Jade whispered.

It took the girl a good ten chimes to make it up the hill. She was not very coordinated when it came to the strange terrain, but her sheer hardheadedness did not allow her to back down. After several times of missing her footing and falling down to a lower rock, the blonde finally made it up top. Panting she put her hands on her back and bent back as the spine popped and cracked in several places. The blonde walked over still panting knowing that she would not be able to move come the following morning, but that challenge was something the woman refused to back down on. Forcing her mind to focus, the girl knelt down watching the blonde explain the different levels of the jungle.

“Cryptosphere is the soil,” Jade whispered trying to commit it to memory for later.

With each new term, the blonde whispered it to herself numerous times trying to make sure and remember. The last thing, she needed to do was get lost and not know the surrounding area. Of course the basic terms for the forest would not help much, she still wanted to remember them. The blonde intended to survive and teach Dina about their new home. Jade knew that the child had not left a good taste in Nya's mouth, but she planned to change how the woman saw the girl. She would not hinder Jade if the mother could help it.

“Understory is up to sixty five feet,” Jade said and looked up into the sky.

She could not believe that trees ever grew that big. The blonde had barely seen trees in her entire life much less some that stood higher than two hundred feet in the air. Looking at the world around her much like a child would, the blonde understood that the jungle was much like the sea of grass. It had its own life, and its own rules. The place was to be respected and feared just like the plains that were once her home. Turning back to Nya the blonde looked at her with a seriousness that had not been shown very often.

“I will learn to survive in this place, and I will teach Dina to respect the jungle as I do and will. This place as its own life just like the sea of grass. The rules for both places stand in symmetry, respect the jungle and it will respect you. I'm ready to continue when you are,” Jade stated with confidence and a fire in her eyes. She was ready to learn no matter the pain.

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Can You Keep Up? (Jade)

Postby Nya Winters on November 28th, 2017, 3:40 am



Nya found teaching Jade wasn’t actually that hard of a task. The woman did listen and seemed to pick things up even if she moved like an awkward human that never got out of a paved city. That would change. But in order for it to do so, Jade would have to train, harden her body, and learn things Nya could teach her as one woman to another.

Jade certainly seemed to have conviction. Nya watched her as Jade paused at the edge of the jungle where Nya was showing her the layers, and almost spoke to herself as she affirmed that she would survive Syka, teach Dina to respect it, and stand in… what? Symmetry? Nya wasn’t sure what Symmetry meant but it sounded right somehow.

The Kelvic nodded. There was so much more to learn. She pushed onward, leading Jade further into the jungle and back to where the murky shadows flowed. “The first thing to know about the jungle is that its so easy to get lost. Most people get lost when they look at what’s right in front of them and not at the landscape and topography around them at some distance. If you are always pushing away branches and darting around trees, you aren’t seeing your pathway and your pathway will get erratic.” Nya said softly, gesturing in the distance to the ridge line she was actually following. The boulder field had ran up its base and headed up the maw.

“It’s so easy to walk off a cliff because you were too busy dodging a spiderweb. I know so because I’ve done it.” Nya admitted, not proud of that fact. After a moment, she continued her lesson.

“Here, in The Maw, the water always flows to the sea. If you get lost you can find the coast by turning and following a waterway downstream. It might not put you out on the coast someplace familiar but it would be helpful if you had an idea if you were north or south of the settlement and then could walk whichever direction to get back to it. But be careful following waterways. Most animals do as well. So that’s where the big predators and dangerous insects will be.” Nya cautioned, pointing out a stream draining downward, but not turning to follow it. “Streams get bigger as they drop in elevation. They run into rivers and then into the sea.” Nya pointed out, not knowing if Jade knew this or not. She might very well have already made that observation.

Then she glanced at Jade again and snorted in disgust. “Stop moving as if you are tired!” Nya reached out and grabbed Jade’s hips, moving them with her hands, showing her. “Loosen your hips and turn your shoulders…” Nyas hands reached for Jade’s shoulders. “Loosen up your whole body. Bend and twist like I told you before. Lengthen and shorten your stride as the terrain demands. Move like a snake, sinuously, as you move through the jungle, Jade.” Nya insisted, stepping back away from her.

“You won’t get so beat up, bruised, or even cut and scraped. Cuts can really hurt you here. They can get infected in just a few short moments. Everything in this jungle can smell blood. If you bleed, stop and stop the bleeding… “ Nya added, moving forward and onward.

She paused at a rather large stream where she lead Jade across and paused at the far side. “This is getting thick in here. We’ll need our Kukri’s.” The Kelvic said, unsheathing her long knife and demonstrated to Jade how to use it. “Always carry one of these when you move through the jungle. You will come across vegetation that will block you and make the way impassible. Don’t hack away at everything out here though. It’s wasting energy and will wear you out. Use controlled contained upswings. They will be quieter. Swinging down, like chopping, will carry further and alert things you don’t want to know you are here about your presence.” The Talderian Forest Cat said, knowing she was right about it. “Things will start tracking you…. Stalking you. Because of that stop and listen to the world around you periodically. Catch your breath and get your bearings. Do so regularly. It will keep you calm and collected. Half the people that die in the jungle die because they panic.” Nya admitted, knowing Jade might not understand but once she got lost the first time or scared, she’d know what the kelvic was talking about.

“I would also suggest carrying a staff to help you walk or even a short stick. You can cut one from a sapling. They can move vegetation out of the way without damaging it … and leaving a trail. Plus you can use them to gently move snakes or break spider webs. You can even avoid ants with them. Ants are everywhere so watch it if you sit down. Some of them bite hard and sting really bad!” Nya said, pausing to show Jade a trail of ants and point out a rather large spider web as she walked.

“I like staffs to help cross water that you can’t see through. Remember how I told you not too? Well you can do so if you have a staff to prod into the water before you. You can so quickly tell if you are hitting rocks or say the soft body of a crocodile.” Nya pointed out, chuckling at one memory where she had stepped on a croc thinking it a rock and the ensuing scrambling flight that had ensued. Never again would she cross dubious murky water without a stick to tell if something was living or stone.

Nya paused then, her frequent stops making more sense to Jade now that the kelvic had told her why she was stopping. “There’s a thing called ‘survival thinking’ that you need to learn. It’s hard to explain but what it means is that if you get lost or in a bad situation in the jungle, even if you have no training you can survive as long as you think clearly and wisely and don’t panic. If you have all the training in the world and panic, you can actually get in trouble faster and dead easier than you could if your head was clear.” Nya pointed out.

“One thing that happens is panic causes a very strong confident person into someone who is indecisive. And out here being indecisive can kill you. If you let the stress of being lost, alone, or having lost someone like Dina in the jungle, then that stress will have an effect on how you think. You can make extremely dumb decisions Jade, you need to understand what you are feeling and why. You can get stressed by being hurt, being lost, something hunting you…. Even not having control of your situation. Things like bad weather or being really tired can do it too. If these things are causing you stress, you need to stop and fix them if you can. You need to remove the stress to survive. Does that make sense?” The Talderian Forest Cat said, quietly urging Jade to understand.

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Can You Keep Up? (Jade)

Postby Jade Laken on December 11th, 2017, 4:28 am

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Jade panted while following the girl before her. She was not used to the awkward terrain, neither of her homes had just a strange mesh of hills. Stopping a sec the girl coughed before quickly catching up. Looking over the woman spotted the ridge that followed were the rocks had been only now there was no easy way down. Turning back to actually focus on where she was walking the blonde did not want to run into Nya like an idiot or a tree. The blonde before her already seemed to dislike her for the way they had met. The girl walked after the lithe woman before her nearly running into a limb.

“Woah!” She backed up a step and ducked around it.

Even though she was trying to become more fluid, it was quiet obvious that the girl was still not very comfortable relaxing her body. She was in a new place that could kill her without her knowing how and it did not settle well with her. Taking a deep breath while they had stopped for the moment, the girl was stunned when Nya forced her hips to move in a strange way. Sticking her arms out, the woman tried to balance herself only for the woman to shake out her shoulders as well. Finally being released the blonde nodded understanding the importance and moving her body more freely.

“Okay,” Jade stated and pulled her kukri as well.

The girl was nervous seeing as how she had never used the curved weapon before. Watching her teacher, the woman moved the weapon to where the sharp side was pointed towards the sky and pulled up slowly. She had to get used to working with the new weapon before coming back into the jungle alone. Remembering the cliff ridge, the blonde shook her head tossing the idea out of her head. Looking at the woman confused the young Drykas had to ask what would likely be a very silly or rather stupid question of the other girl.

“Um this may sound stupid, but what is a crocodile?” Jade asked when they got another chance to stop.

Moving off to their side caused the blonde to look over a see a rather strange animal at a distance. Turning her head to the side, Jade could not believe the size of the large, grey animal that had ears far too big for its head. Confusion was clearly written on her face for anyone and everyone to see. Her inexperience away from Endrykas was starting to show up more pronounced than ever before. Turning the girl didn't think the question needed to be asked while pointing to the creature as it used a very long appendage on its face to reach what appeared to be some kind of fruit.

“Um should I ask?” Jade inquired.
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