Solo Waiting for you to Awaken

Sophia looses, and then finds herself, in the jungle.

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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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Waiting for you to Awaken

Postby Sophia Sunshore on May 25th, 2019, 6:40 pm

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17, Spring, 519
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The jungle pulled Sophia to it like it was a magnet and she was a pin. Her feet barely paused in their running as she crossed the tree line, a bubble of laughter rising in her throat as her eyes filled with towering trunks and vibrant green leaves. This close to the beach the trees were sparser, allowing her rapid pace to continue. Sophia was running for the joy of it, running to the thing that she had spent her entire life dreaming of.

The air was thick and humid around her and eventually Sophia was forced to slow her pace as her chest heaved with the effort of breathing the thicker air. Sweat was running down the back of her neck and her hair was in a state of fuzzy disarray but she didn’t care. Her eyes were alight with excitement, her heart singing as she wondered how many of the plants and animals surrounding her had never before been seen by anybody else.

A large velvety leaf caught her eye, white veins standing out against the dark leaf lamina. She drifted over to it to touch it, surprised when it didn’t feel as soft as it looked. The leaf was huge, dwarfing her hands so that they almost looked like those of a child. Eyes ran along the stem, following it as it wrapped around the trunk of a huge tree, with more of the beautiful leaves drooping from above.

A rustling from behind caused Sophia to spin around, her gaze searching the branches for the source. A bird, far brighter than any she had ever seen before, had alighted in a tree opposite her. Its chest was a beautiful golden-orange that contrasted the blue feathers adorning it’s head. As it shuffled along the branch, turning as it did so, Sophia could see the feathers over its back were as green as the leaves around it. It didn’t look real to her, and she stared at it till the bird let out a squawk before taking flight again.

The Svefra laughed again, eyes following the beautiful bird until it disappeared out of sight. Yet another plant caught her attention, vibrant red stems standing out among the lush foliage and she rushed over to inspect it.

Sophia continued to weave her way through the trees like this for some chimes, feet carrying her from plant to plant. Not once did she see the same species twice, and she wondered at just how many different ones there were in the entirety of Mizahar if just this amount were here on Syka.

After a while of this, the sound of water started to appear over the rustling of leaves and she pushed past some particularly large leaves to find a stream winding its way through the jungle. The water glittered in the dappled sunlight shining through the canopy and Sophia laughed again at her unexpected discovery. There was a sort-of path running alongside the water, a space where the trees didn’t want to grow, and she took off along it at a run again.

She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt so happy, with nothing but sheer joy filling her mind. The anger she had let overwhelm her on the beach was forgotten, her frustrated words left to the rolling waves of the sea. Her feet made light imprints in the soft, mossy earth and she threw her arms out in elation. Unfortunately for Sophia, the swing of her arm combined with her speed threw her off balance, and her next footfall met thin air.
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Sophia Sunshore
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Waiting for you to Awaken

Postby Sophia Sunshore on May 25th, 2019, 6:41 pm

A searing pain along the inside of her left calf bought her sharply back to reality, and Sophia just had time to throw her weight over to the right to stop herself falling into the stream. Her left foot had missed the track and she had essentially tried to step into the water, but since the water was a little way below her she had started to fall before her foot could hit solid ground. The side of the bank had a few ends of tree roots and some sharp stones, and it was one of these that her leg had caught on.

Crouched on the ground, the Svefra gasped for breath as the shock of the pain and the realisation that she had run headlong into the jungle overwhelmed her. After a few moments, her breathing steadied and she glanced down at her leg. The cut was shallow, but long and a thin line of blood was snaking its way down to her ankle. Ahead, there was a break in the stream in the form of a shallow pool, and she moved over to perch on a flat stone near its edge to sort out her leg.

A laugh bordering on hysteria left her lips as she realised what she had to work with. Sophia had run straight into the trees wearing a dress, with no shoes and carrying absolutely nothing. Carefully, she ripped the hem off the bottom of her dress and tied it around her leg. It was a rudimentary bandage at best, but hopefully it would at the very least lessen the trickle of blood.

Her gaze travelled down to her feet and she sighed. Tiny cuts and scratches littered the skin on the tops and soles of them that she hadn’t noticed before in her excitement. Sophia glanced at the pool of water, debating whether or not she should wash the wounds in it. A warning at the back of her mind told her that it might not be the best idea - who knew what was in there?

Sophia pulled her knees up to her chest and put her head in her hands. How could she have been so stupid? She had let her thoughts run away and had ended up stuck in the jungle. It was a miracle that she hadn’t injured herself even more severely or been eaten by something. ’Idiot!’ Sophia chastised herself, digging her fingers into her scalp. ’Just because you don’t belong on the sea doesn’t mean you belong here either.’

Her eyes prickled again with the start of tears and she angrily blinked them away. ’It’s your own petching fault. Pull yourself together Sophia.’ Hand clenched into fists, grasping her hair. She had been so naïve, thinking that she could come to this place and simply start living the perfect life she had imagined for herself. Nothing would ever be that easy, and it had taken this to realise it?!
’How am I going to survive here…’ Sophia couldn’t fight. She couldn’t build anything useful. She could barely even fish from the shoreline and she was supposed to be a Svefra!

Sophia raised her head and stared at the surface of the pool, eyes tracing the ripples dancing over its surface. She sat in miserable silence for a few chimes before a buzzing near her head drew her attention, and she swatted at the sound without thinking. Ticks later a sharp, stinging pain flared on her right arm and she sucked in a surprised breath. She could immediately see where the bug had stung her for a red welt was starting to rise around a black dot - the stinger that whatever-it-was had left behind.

She groaned before rising to her feet. If she didn’t try to find her way out soon she would surely perish in the jungle. The first part was easy enough and Sophia took to the trail that ran alongside the stream, retracing her steps from before. Her leg ached, and the soles of her feet were uncomfortable, but she was determined not to let herself stop until she was out. The stream curved away to the right, and she knew that was the point where she had stumbled across it. Sophia pushed through some leaves ahead, finding herself surrounded once more by only the trees, blinking into the dappled gloom to try and figure out which way she should go.
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Sophia Sunshore
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Waiting for you to Awaken

Postby Sophia Sunshore on June 2nd, 2019, 1:09 pm

Even though every single tree and leaf was different, at this moment they may as well have all been the same. Sophia had no idea which way she had come from. She had not marked her previous path with anything, and she certainly hadn’t been registering any useful ‘landmarks’ such as fallen trees or dead stumps.

Or had she? Sophia had been following a trail of her own, a trail of plants that had drawn her eye. She just needed to remember which ones she had found. Uta had told her previously that it was unlikely for you to find two plants of the same in a particular area, minus a few exceptions. With that reasoning, if she could locate those plants again, she should be able to find her way out.

The Svefra sucked in a few breaths in an attempt to calm her racing heartbeat. She pushed the various pains she was feeling to the back of her mind for right now they were not her most pressing issue. If she couldn’t get out of here, it wouldn’t matter if she was injured or not. After a few ticks, she lightly shook her head, eyes narrowing as she squinted at the trees ahead of her.

Sophia cautiously took a few steps forward, trying to remember the last plant she had found before the water. It was incredibly distinctive. With bright red bamboo-like stems holding up fans of lime coloured palm leaves she knew that she couldn’t miss it if she tried. Step by step, she worked her way forward, her back to the path she had come from. Her gaze flickered from side to side, trying to spot the splash of colour among the foliage.

Sure enough, there it was. Far taller than her, the luminous plant rose up through the gloom ahead. Relief and excitement overcame the Svefra, and she made a dash for the palm. She had to grip onto a stem when she reached it lest she tip forwards and onto the ground, for a wave of dizziness overtook her. It took a chime or two before it cleared and Sophia was able to regain her bearings. She wished she had at least had the sense to bring her waterskin with her, for she was likely dehydrated by now, leading to the dizziness. She glanced down at her arm, and the welt that had risen there. Or perhaps the insect had a little more bite than she had originally thought. Whichever scenario was true, it meant getting out of here was more urgent than ever. She just had to locate the next plant.

Carefully, Sophia made her way across the jungle, making sure she didn’t catch her feet on roots or stones that would cause her to trip. She thought she passed another leaf she had recognised, a large thin one almost the length of her entire body. Her head was growing fuzzier with each step, and she could feel the sting on her arm itching and pulsing with a sharp pain. After a short time, her vision blurred for a tick before refocusing, but it was enough time to cause her to trip, and she flung a hand out to steady herself on the nearest tree.

Fear and retaliation flooded her dazed mind almost as soon as she touched the tree. Eyes immediately shot to her left hand, where it had landed in the midst of a colony of ants parading up and down the thick trunk. Too shocked and muddled to process what was happening, she made the mistake of leaving her hand where it was, her confused gaze simply staring at the ants now swarming over it. The emotions that were not hers still rattled around her mind and before she could try to decipher them, her hand suddenly felt as though someone was jabbing several pins into it.

With a noise somewhere between a whimper and a shout Sophia ripped her hand away from the trunk, shaking any clinging ants free. Little red dots now littered the back of her hand, visual representation of the retaliation of the tiny creatures. Her brain finally managed to slot some pieces together, and her eyes moved up from her hand to rest on the elaborate grassland scene that covered her arm. Was that the true language of Witches? The language Caiyha had gifted to her? Sophia had never properly experienced it before now, had never paid it much heed.

With caution Sophia moved to another tree, one clear of ants, and laid her left hand upon it. Slowly, as if it were from a great creature waking from a long sleep, a shimmer of recognition flitted across her mind. Nothing more followed however, and she removed her hand and peered up at the branches. Sophia gripped her elbows, hugging herself as she tried to think through the haze. ’It…knew me? It recognised I am a Witch?’ Eyes flitted over to the tree with the ant colony as she wondered if all creatures and plants would know what she was. She surmised that they must and the hostile reaction from the ants, aside from the fact that she had interrupted their work rather rudely, meant that they knew she was not of their land, not a Witch of the jungles. She wanted to know more of the tree, but it had gone quiet, unwilling to speak to her again.

A sharp pain in her head reminded the Svefra that she had to get out of the jungle, now. She squeezed her eyes shut till it had passed and tried to focus her gaze on the path ahead. One foot carefully placed before the other, Sophia slowly began to make her way forwards again.
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Sophia Sunshore
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Waiting for you to Awaken

Postby Sophia Sunshore on June 2nd, 2019, 5:43 pm

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The fuzziness in her head was getting worse as she went, though thankfully her vision hadn’t blurred again. Sophia made slow progress, unsure if she was going the right way, but pressing on with little other option. She thought that the trees might be starting to thin out a little, but it was hard to tell from within the jungle.

After a short while she had to stop, leaning against a solid tree trunk as another wave of dizziness overtook her. Holding her head in her hands, the Svefra tried her best to breathe evenly to help it pass quicker. She could feel that she was thirsty but there was something else behind it too, and her gut told her that the insect sting was to blame. Sophia contemplated pulling it out, but a light brush of her fingers over the welt nearly made her eyes water with pain so she abandoned that idea fairly quickly.

She stayed braced against the trunk for a chime or so, eyes closed as she willed her mid to stop spinning. She simultaneously felt a brush on her shoulder and curiosity whisper through her head. Eyes snapped open and what she though was a vine had slipped from a branch and fallen over her shoulder. The vine then licked the air with a forked tongue and Sophia blinked at it. It took a second for her muddled brain to realise that it was in fact, a snake, and not a vine sitting on her shoulder. If she thought she could have moved quickly without falling over, she would have done, but instead Sophia froze in place with her eyes fixed on the snake.

The tendrils of curiousness fluttering in her mind were almost certainly coming from the snake. Had it sensed who she was and come to investigate? Had she disturbed it from further up in the tree? Sophia paused as she wondered if she could speak to the creature as it had to her. Each time she had connected with something here, purposefully or not, she had received emotions to feel alongside her own. It would stand to reason then that she would have to send an emotion back to something if she were to ‘converse’.

The snake had not moved, and Sophia could still feel the probing curiosity in her mind. She focused on the creature and summoned feelings of amiability and imagined pushing them to the snake, to tell it that she meant no harm. After a tick the curiosity intensified, but it was accompanied with something that felt like acknowledgement, a mental nod almost. She didn’t know what the snake was curious about, or how exactly to elaborate on feelings without words but she was comforted by the fact that it didn’t seem to wish her harm like the little ants.

Sophia’s head throbbed again, her vision wavering for a tick. She was frustrated that she couldn’t concentrate properly to really appreciate and try to connect with the snake and this language that she was discovering. But all she could think of right now was reaching the beach. She could picture it in her mind - the golden sands with the surf lapping gently at the shores, but it still felt so far out of reach.

The picture in her mind changed, and she could suddenly see the beach from a different perspective. She was up off the ground, looking down at the seafront from somewhere at the top of the beach. Sophia audibly gasped when she realised that the image was not hers, the gentle pressure on her shoulder a reminder that the snake was still with her. Somehow, it appeared that she was able to transfer not only thoughts, but images too. Astonishment and wonder bubbled up inside of her at the realisation, along with immense gratitude towards Caiyha for this gift.

Blue eyes scrunched shut again as she fought off another wave of dizziness. The snake knew what the beach was, or at least what it looked like. Perhaps it knew how to get there? The creature had been amenable to her so far, so Sophia figured she didn’t have anything to lose by asking it for help. It took her a tick to work out how to translate ‘how?’ into a feeling, sending inquisitiveness and curiosity back to the snake. She almost sensed a pause as the slender creature processed the information, and she felt agreeability in return. The Svefra’s shoulders visibly slumped in relief, which quickly turned into surprise as she felt the weight of the snake disappear from her shoulder.

She watched it make its way back up into the branches of the tree and vanish among the foliage. Sophia stared after it. Surely it didn’t want her to follow? Although, if she were physically able to climb the trees it might be a lot easier to find her way out of the jungle. When the snake didn’t reappear for a chime, Sophia’s heart started to beat a little faster. Had it abandoned her? She was back at square one, which equalled lost. Just as she made to push off from the tree to try and stumble her way out again, movement ahead caught her eye.

The snake had lowered itself from a branch a short distance ahead, much like a hanging vine. It fixed it’s gaze on Sophia and her mid once again filled with the distant image of the beach. Sophia raised a hand to her chest in astonishment. She didn’t have to be touching the creature to communicate?! Gathering her strength she wandered over to where it was hanging and as she approached the snake turned its head to look through the trees just ahead and to the left of where she was standing. Was that then the way she should go?

Sophia continued on past the snake, stepping carefully over the tangle of tree roots that covered the jungle floor. As she pushed through more leaves a distant sound filled her ears, one that had never sounded so beautiful before. Waves, rolling to and from the shore. A near hysterical laugh left the Svefra, and she turned to look at the snake over her shoulder. She summoned up feelings of gratitude for it, and after a few ticks in which the creature held her eye contact, it pulled itself back up into the branches and out of her sight.

Her attention returned to the path ahead, and the sound of the ocean. She used it as a tether, following it to find her way out. It seemed that in the end, Sophia hadn’t gone that far into the jungle at all, her winding path from plant to plant just making it seem like she had. In reality, on a straight walk through with the right gear, and no injuries a trip to the pool at a steady pace would take a maximum of thirty chimes. Eventually the trees really did start to thin out, slashes of blue sky above becoming larger, and bright golden light creeping in from ahead. On Sophia pressed, till at last she could see the shore through the tree trunks ahead.
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Sophia Sunshore
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Waiting for you to Awaken

Postby Sophia Sunshore on June 2nd, 2019, 6:32 pm

Sophia picked up her pace as quickly as she dared, stumbling towards the edge of the treeline. Her head was swimming, her thoughts more difficult to hold onto now. Her arm felt hot, pain radiating from the sting still lodged in her skin and her leg ached where she had cut it on the stones.

A near-crazed smile plastered itself over her face as her feet hit ground that no longer belonged to the jungles. She made to head forwards, back to her part of the beach and her tent before she realised that she should probably seek some help. Head turned to look along the path she stood on, eyes following the trail over to The Panacea. It was not particularly close, but it was her best bet.

Sophia ran her eyes over her body briefly, taking stock of the various wounds she had picked up. Her arm was the most pressing issue, and she was absolutely sure that whatever the sting had put into her bloodstream was affecting her head. Her aching leg hindered her movements too, and her poor feet were littered with a variety of cuts and scratches. The backs of her hand itched from the ants, and quite frankly all Sophia wanted to do was throw herself into a bucket of aloe vera gel and hope for relief.

Unfortunately, the Svefra didn’t have that option available to her, so she turned and started to trek her miserable way to the healing clinic of Jansen and Kalum. Pain was shooting through her head more frequently now, some of it settling behind her eyes in a permanent ache. She wished again for her waterskin, as dehydration was probably not helping her situation, however she was loathe to extend her walk by going back for it.

It took some time, much longer than usual before the familiar sight of The Panacea started to form in the distance. Sophia was practically dragging her feet along by this point, her legs trembling as she forced herself forwards. Her vision flickered worse than ever, occasionally blanking out completely for a tick.

The help she sought was just that little bit too far, and eventually the blackness overwhelmed her completely. Sophia crumpled to the ground, her journey over with the end tantalisingly in sight. Her mind reeled, trying to force her back to her feet, but the Svefra simply couldn’t. She was too dehydrated and in too much pain to comply with her thoughts. The last thing she remembered before fading completely was a person’s voice and a grip under her knees and round her waist. She had the sensation of rocking, as if she were on a boat, and then nothing more.

-fin-
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Sophia Sunshore
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Waiting for you to Awaken

Postby Ambrosia Alar on December 26th, 2019, 4:43 pm

Grades!


Sophia

Skills
● Botany +2
● Endurance +3
● Land Navigation +3
● Medicine +1
● Observation +3
● Planning +1
● Running +1
● Wilderness Survival +3

Lores
● Botany: Identifying plants via their leaves
● Syka Flora: A seemingly endless number of species
● Land Navigation: Following the course of water
● Medicine: Evaluating a simple wound
● Medicine: Creating a rudimentary bandage
● Wilderness Survival: Retracing your steps to get back home
● Land Navigation: Using botany knowledge to identify plant "landmarks"
● Botany: A plant with a red bamboo stem and palm leaves
● Endurance: Fighting dizziness caused by insect venom
● Phylonura: Hearing the language of the wild
● Phylonura: Interacting with a foreign biome
● Phylonura: Communicating through emotions and images
● Land Navigation: Follow the sounds of water

Comments

I loved this thread. It's nice to see the sense of relief that she has at the beginning in comparison to her usual self. It's always nice to see characters receive even a shred of happiness, and the wonder at her discovery of her witch abilities was fantastic. Your descriptions throughout are strong, and you end the thread with a very well-written line. I think I got everything, but if you feel I've missed something or if you would like lore rephrased, just send me a PM. Don't forget to mark your request as graded. As always, thanks for the read.
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Ambrosia Alar
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