Solo Jungle Curiosity

While foraging, Sophia comes across an abandoned satchel.

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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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Jungle Curiosity

Postby Sophia Sunshore on July 26th, 2018, 5:56 am

30, Summer, 518 a.v.

Sophia wiped at the back of her neck with a grimace, little damp hairs that had escaped from her messy bun sticking to her hand. She didn't know if she would ever get used to being in this type of humidity. It wasn't so bad nearer the beach with the sea air to cool things down. Here in the jungles though it was almost suffocating. The trees loomed on all sides and their huge canopies blocked most of the sunlight while keeping both the dampness and the heat in. Sophia had come to strongly dislike being sticky.

The young woman was accompanying Uta - Syka's resident botanist - on yet another trip into the deeper rainforests. She had been on a few of these recently, and a few was a lot more than she had been expecting considering Sophia had only been working under Uta for a short while. Although, to be completely honest she actually had no idea what she would have expected otherwise. Syka was definitely not like any other place she had been before. Riverfall had it's beautifully curated and managed orchard and conservatory, and perhaps she was expecting to be put to work in a place akin to that. She hadn't realised just how accurate the word 'settlement' - thrown at her by a local during her time there - actually was.

A small smile worked at the corners of the Svefra's mouth as she trudged after the botanist. She figured this was much more exciting that poking at a rose bush in a pot, as pretty as roses were. The loud caw of a brightly coloured bird snapped Sophia out of her thoughts, just in time for the woman to trip over an exposed tree root. A small "eep!" of surprise left her as she hit the ground, landing solidly on her left elbow. Thankfully the floor of the rainforest was fairly soft, covered with plant detritus and exposed soils, and she hoped she hadn't squished any bugs under her arm.

A hand appeared in Sophia's vision and she looked up to see Uta standing over her. She grabbed it and hauled herself up, offering a sheepish smile to her colleague. Uta grinned and patted her once on the shoulder. "That'll teach you for not keeping an eye out for our fruit!" The botanist chuckled while Sophia stretched out her arm, plucking at her now damp sleeve. She hated wearing the skin-tight clothing but it was necessary in the jungles unless you wanted to be eaten by hundreds of little bugs and flying things. There was a small twinge in her elbow which she rubbed at, but it was nothing too bad, she'd get over it pretty quickly.

Sophia brushed a few bits of plant material off her trousers and attempted to straighten her hair a little - the bun was now listing to one side - before stepping after Uta again, this time more carefully. Her eyes flicked over their surroundings, scanning over the trees that surrounded the pair. They were looking for a particular fruit tree that Uta had once come across, but hadn't been able to find again. It was meant to be a fairly bushy tree and nowhere near as tall as a lot of the trees you could see from the beaches. The botanist had described it as being part of the 'understory', "...the ones that aren't super tall and creating she shade, but they're not bushes either." She figured it wouldn't be too hard to find.

Sophia mentally chided herself for even thinking that ridiculous thought. She could swear that every single tree they walked past was a totally different species to the one next to it, and there was hundreds and hundreds of trees. As the pair went, Uta pointed out various things to the Svefra. "See those huge plate things growing on that tree there? That's a big fungus. It kind of eats the tree trunks that it grows on." Sophia raised an eyebrow. "Surely if it ate the tree then the tree would just fall over?" Uta nodded. "I'd guess so. Haven't seen it yet though."

Sophia took a moment to peer closer at one of the eye-level fungi. She couldn't really see any sign of decay on the tree itself - other than the growth of course. Perhaps it was all inside the tree? She would have to try and find a fallen one soon to see if her theory was correct.

As her gaze slid away from the tree it caught on a much smaller one a little off the path the pair were following. "Hey, did you say that the fruit we're looking for is a bit spiky?" She stepped carefully over to what she had found, Uta coming up behind her. "I did indeed! Good eyes girl. It's called soursop by the way." Sophia squinted at the fruit. It was pretty unremarkable, almost ugly compared to some of the other fruits that grew here. A little larger than a man's hand, the fruit was almost the same green as the leaves of the tree it grew on, with small spikes all over its skin. Some had darker markings. She reached out to touch one and found that the spines weren't particularly sharp. "Why have you been looking for this one in particular?"Image

Uta had picked a couple of the fruits off the tree and was examining them closely. "Well, it's good for drinking and I reckon that this one might also have some medicinal benefits. Pick a couple okay?" Sophia obligingly reached up and gently pulled a few off the hanging fruits from their stalks and placed them into her backpack. When she had a fair amount stuffed in there she closed the bag and paused to take another look around the rainforest.

Words: 971
Last edited by Sophia Sunshore on July 26th, 2018, 4:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
NOTE: During the Fall Sophia is a Dhani, specifically a golden eyelash viper. See here for more detailed info.
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Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 209
Words: 188372
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
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Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

Jungle Curiosity

Postby Sophia Sunshore on July 26th, 2018, 5:59 am


Another bird caught her eye. Sophia let out her breath in a little gasp - it was beautiful. The plumage was iridescent, shades of gold and red shining in the small beams of light that filtered through the canopy. Her gaze followed the little bird as it flitted up into the branches of a tree and disappeared from sight. However, something else had already caught the woman's eye. It seemed this jungle was filled with secrets and hidden things. This particular 'thing' happened to be a small satchel slung over a branch of the tree the bird had flown into. She wondered how it had got there - the branch in question was a fair way above her head - and then noticed a succession of branches that could have served as a sort of climbing path.

Curiosity piqued, Sophia carefully placed her backpack on the ground and wandered over to the tree. Uta was busy peeling the skin off one of the fruits they had found and just waved her hand at Sophia when the girl mumbled her departure. When she was directly underneath the branch she placed her hands on her hips and craned her head to look up and the pack. It had definitely been placed there by someone.

Slowly, Sophia reached out and placed her palm on the wide trunk of the giant before her. How did it get up there?... There was a pause and then a faint feeling of panic followed by a flash of yellow eyes. It was faint, but it was there. Sophia was still getting used to her gift from Mother Caiyha, and in the jungles it felt muted almost, as it was not her assigned biome. But despite that, she knew what the tree was trying to tell her.

She glanced up at the backpack again, palm still resting on the tree. She wondered if it's owner was still alive. The tree had fallen quiet now, apparently having shared all that it knew about the event, or perhaps it was unwilling to communicate further to a non jungle witch. The yellow eyes danced behind her vision as she wondered, somehow doubting that the poor soul was still about.

She wouldn't be able to grab the bag by jumping as it was too high above her to reach. It didn't stop her from trying anyway. You know, just in case. Sophia crossed her arms and examined the other branches. She could see how the owner of the satchel had reached the branch in question, however the real question was whether she could reach it too.

Steeling herself, Sophia tried to jump and reach the lowest branch. Her fingers just scraped the side of it but she failed to grab hold. She took a few steps back to try again, putting more momentum behind her jump this time. She managed to grab with one hand and wrap the other arm over it simultaneously, chest slamming into the branch as she did so. Pausing for a moment, Sophia sucked in a breath, wondering for a moment what sort of crazy plan she was following.

After a moment in which her arms began to twitch, she hauled herself up till she was sat on the branch. She braced a hand against the trunk so she could stand and looked over at the next one up. It appeared that things would be slightly easier from here, as this one she could practically step onto from where she was. The next was fairly smooth sailing too, and then she was confronted with the final step. It wasn't far away, it was very... up.

Sophia reached up as high as she could without loosing her balance, fingers brushing along the sides of the branch. Another jumping one then. That wouldn't be so bad if she weren't already a ways off the ground. Sophia swung her arms at her sides for a moment. She'd come this far... Forcing herself not to close her eyes, she bent her legs a little and jumped, hands reaching up to cling to the top of the branch. Muscles strained as she pulled herself up onto it. She inched herself forward till she was able to reach out and unhook the satchel from where it hung.

Words: 713
NOTE: During the Fall Sophia is a Dhani, specifically a golden eyelash viper. See here for more detailed info.
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Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 209
Words: 188372
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
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Jungle Curiosity

Postby Sophia Sunshore on July 26th, 2018, 5:59 am


It was at this moment Uta appeared below, squinting at the blonde halfway up a tree. "...what are you doing?" Sophia carefully pulled the strap of the satchel over her head. It wasn't very heavy at all, though it was solid. "I uh, I found something that somebody left behind. I got curious." She couldn't quite see, but she thought the botanist rolled her eyes. "And how are you getting down exactly?" That particular comment gave Sophia pause. "Uh..."

After another short while, Uta giving her directions and with Sophia gaining a few scrapes here and there from the rough bark, she was back on the ground. She placed her palm on the tree again, thankful to have made it back down in one piece. "So, what is it?" Sophia opened the satchel to find a few scraps of paper and a book, with a few miscellaneous leaves and plant parts at the bottom.

She pulled out the book to take a closer look. The cover was fairly plain green leather with lettering stamped onto the front. Botanical Recipes... There was no name on the cover anywhere, so she flipped it open and flicked through a few pages. There appeared to be lists of plants and some recipes for what sounded like tea, making oils and a few miscellaneous things. "Hm, interesting. That could be useful. Does it say who it belongs to?"

Sophia closed the book and placed it back in the bag before pulling out one of the stray papers. It wasn't part of the book - there was no ripped edge and it was filled with a scrawling handwriting. She assumed it was written by whoever owned the satchel. At the bottom she spotted a name. "Jonas Filter?" She glanced over at Uta who shook her head. "Haven't heard the name before, he's never been in Syka." The papers went back into the satchel too. "The tree showed me the eyes of one of the jungle cats. I don't think this person is about any more..."

Uta grimaced. "Mm, not likely by the sound of it." She motioned to where Sophia's backpack still rested against the fruit tree. "We should probably make our way back, don't want to get caught out here when it starts to get dark."

The pair wove their way back along the path, backpacks filled with soursop fruits, the small satchel bumping on Sophia's hip as she walked. The fruits were left with Uta, although she gave two to Sophia to experiment with, and the Svefra headed back to her tent.

Syna had begun to creep slowly toward the horizon by the time she had returned, so she quickly made a small fire and settled herself in front of its soft orange flames. The book was retrieved from the bag again and she turned to its first pages. There were pages titled 'List of Ingredients' and they contained brief bits of information on plants like rosemary and mint, and a few less common ones that she hadn't come across before.

The next section was definitely teas, and Sophia read this more thoroughly, never having realised how much one tea could do. According to the book they could change someone's mood or help to cure common ailments. She would definitely have to learn some of these. A yawn escaped her and she reluctantly closed the book, not realising how much time she had lost in its pages.

Words: 573
Last edited by Sophia Sunshore on July 29th, 2018, 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
NOTE: During the Fall Sophia is a Dhani, specifically a golden eyelash viper. See here for more detailed info.
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 209
Words: 188372
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

Jungle Curiosity

Postby Sophia Sunshore on July 26th, 2018, 6:01 am


The following day...

Sophia had awoken bright and early as usual and had made her way over to the community kitchen to gather a few things for one of the tea recipes she wanted to try. In return, she made sure to water the plants there that had dry soils and she removed some dead material on any plants that needed it. With a small handful of lemon balm and a couple of pieces of lemon grass she returned to her tent, to find that her pot of water was just about starting to boil over her fire.

She didn't have anything to accurately measure the ingredients with, but she hoped it couldn't go too wrong. After all, it was just lemon. She placed 5 of the balm leaves into her drinking cup and then set about preparing the lemon grass as instructed. She crushed the stalks between her hands in order to 'release the oils', and then peeled off the tough outer layers with a little difficulty. She would definitely have to see about purchasing some proper cooking tools at some point.

Her knife wasn't quite sharp enough to chop the lemon grass properly, so she ended up with fairly large sections of the herb in her cup to go along with the balm. Her final ingredient was a large blob of honey that she had brought over from Riverfall with her. Then she carefully poured the boiling water over the top, set the cup into the sand and waited.

The book said to wait for around 10 chimes for the tea to brew. The smell of lemon practically assaulted Sophia's nose as she waited impatiently for it to be done. She had to guess, with nothing to tell the time by, and raised the cup eagerly to her lips. Blowing softly to make sure it was cooled, she took a sip.
Lemony would have been an apt description and Sophia's eyes almost watered. Too much lemon grass probably. Or not enough honey. She would definitely have to do some tweaking but wasn't about to let her work go to waste! Somehow she managed to drain the cup, accidentally trying to drink a leaf or two while she was at it. Must find a way to remove the herbs without sticking my fingers in it... The book hadn't detailed that part. Perhaps you were supposed to keep the plants in there, but Sophia knew she'd end up choking on a twig or something one day.

She set the mug down and picked up the book again. There were so many teas! And that was before you reached further chapters! She felt oddly energised and realised it must have been the ridiculous amount of lemon she had ingested. Flicking through some more recipes it appeared there was a tea for almost everything. To help you sleep, to cure a stomach ache, and even to calm nerves. Her mind whirred with all the things she wanted to try.

Sophia had never really though much past discovering plants before. She loved the idea of finding new species and cataloguing them, but what about all the things you could do with them? She would have to try and research all these herbs the book detailed. Maybe she could even come up with something useful that other people in the settlement could use? She snapped the book shut and looked pointedly at her cup again... It appeared it would take her a little while and lot of trial and error, but for perhaps the first time since Sophia arrived at Syka she felt like she had a real purpose. All thanks to this curious little book.

Image


oocHoney 1sm
Words: 613
Total: 2870
NOTE: During the Fall Sophia is a Dhani, specifically a golden eyelash viper. See here for more detailed info.
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 209
Words: 188372
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

Jungle Curiosity

Postby Okara on July 30th, 2018, 7:19 pm

Image
Sophia Sunshore

Observation 4
Botany 1
Foraging 1
Investigation 1
Climbinb 2
Gardening 1
Philtering 1
Herbalism 1

Botany: Soursop, Identification
Botany: Tree Fungus Feeds on Its Host
Climbing: Plan for Both the Ascent and the Descent
Herbalism: Crush the plant stalks to release the oils
Philtering Recipe: Lemon Balm and Honey Tea

Rewards/Penalties/Notes
(+)Inventory: book, ‘Botanical Recipes’
(+)Inventory: 2 soursop fruits
Nice discovery thread! I loved your descriptions in the jungle. I awarded you a point and lore in philtering for the tea but I wasn’t able to award any herbalism lore for the tea because you didn’t actually note or describe the application or purpose of the tea.


Please edit your post in your grade request to reflect that it has been graded. PM me with any questions.

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Okara
Great stories start with humble beginnings.
 
Posts: 280
Words: 218993
Joined roleplay: May 30th, 2016, 12:34 am
Location: Syka
Race: Konti
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