Completed The Teachings Of The Jungle I

Tazrae and Uta set off into the jungle and run into trouble.

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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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The Teachings Of The Jungle I

Postby Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:19 am

Timestamp: 20th of Fall, 520 A.V.


“It’s going to be dark soon.” Tazrae said softly as she followed Uta carefully, walking where she did, and trying to pick up as much as she could from the woman about The Maw.

Uta glanced back over her shoulder, glanced at the sky, and nodded. “We will be okay. Light or no light, Tazrae, the jungle still remains. The only thing that changes is perspective … don’t let perception alter either.” She added, catching the young Innkeeper’s gaze. Taz had her bow, arrow ready to fire, and was moving in a way that followed Uta’s forward motion. It was her first lesson about jungle survival. Uta was teaching her slowly how to move and see things in the jungle. It was making Tazrae feel like she was a bumbling child. Uta had a loose-hipped stride that had her weaving and bending through the vegetation with an ease that Tazrae hadn’t yet picked up. She felt stiff, unyielding, and as a result, she moved less easily through the underbrush. She tried relaxing, letting her hips swing, her knees flex like water, and to bend and twist through the vine-ridden brush like she was an animal. But it was hard. Here, all the rules were different. “Don’t slouch, Tazrae…” echoed through her mind – words from her mother – as Uta slouched and ducked, her body aiding her rather than stiffly hindering her. Things were different here for sure.

Uta glanced back over her shoulder. “Don’t stare at my back, or anyone’s back if you are following them. Look beyond me. Always look ahead, Taz. You are dressed to protect yourself against anything that will cut, bite, or scrape you… even stinging things. You have leather boots on so you don’t have to worry about stepping on a snake. Your gloves protect your hands. Teach yourself to see beyond what’s just in front of you. If you can’t do that, you’ll walk yourself off a hidden cliff or fall into a hole. Jungle travel is difficult. The obstacles are varied. You will find yourself lost if you just see what’s right in front of your face and not what’s in the distance. The proper way to do this is to look out in front of you, look further out, glance behind you, look down, look up, be aware of what you are seeing but keep your gaze moving. Always keep your eyes moving. There are things out here that will sneak up on you and eat you. Everything out here is hungry and everything out here is a potential meal.” She added, ducking through a twist of vine and disappearing into the vast green on the other side.

Tazrae nodded. “Okay… I understand. I can tell just by looking out further that I am recognizing places, getting a better overall feel for everything around me. If I just watch your back, I move through this place without actually seeing it. And if I got lost, nothing would look familiar because I’ve been staring at your pack or my feet and not the land and terrain around me. Changing how I move is going to be harder, but I’ll try. I was always told not to fidget, not to slouch, to stand straight and stiff… be as tall as I could be. This is about as different as you can get from that.” She said, following Uta’s trail and disappearing into the same twisted swatch of vine. They came out on the other side, still in thick vegetation, but moving faster now.

Word Count: 588
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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The Teachings Of The Jungle I

Postby Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:22 am

“You are getting better.” Uta praised, then smiled. “I do wish you’d put away that bow though. It hinders you. Your axe hanging at your side or a machete would be a lot better.” Uta added, gesturing to the machete she had in her own hand.

“I thought it was best to have a weapon ready?” Taz queried.

“What do you think a hand axe or a machete is?” Uta laughed, and gestured at Taz. “Go on… Put it away.” She added, then pointed at the hand axe hanging from Tazrae’s belt. “It’s really a better weapon in these tight quarters. We aren’t hunting big beasts today to roast over the fire. We’re hunting plants.” The Herbalist said, offering a smile.

Taz paused when Uta did, slid the arrow back into her quiver, and slung her compound longbow over her back. Strangely, it didn’t catch on things like she thought it would. It was easy to wear – easier to wear than to walk around with it drawn – and she took out the hand axe. “ Okay… now what do I do with this?” She asked, having had a full view of Uta’s back most of the trip but not a clear view of what the herbalist hacked away at often repeatedly.

“Carry that axe of yours to cut your way through impassible vegetation. But refrain from hacking away at everything out here. You will get too tired too quickly. Also, use upswings, instead of raising it and bringing it down on the vegetation. Believe it or not, upswings are far more muted than the downswings or side cuts because you use less energy. It doesn’t take much to cut most vegetation out here, Taz. Sound carries a long way in the jungle. You don’t want to alert everything to your presence.” She added and looking back at Taz. She paused, turned, and carefully adjusted the girl’s grip on the axe. Uta moved Tazrae’s grip backward on the handle, so she wasn’t so choked upon it.

Taz nodded her thanks. They continued together and darkness fell.

Taz didn’t know how she was going to handle it. Uta talked her through it though, so she shouldn’t have had to worry. “The number one thing about being out at night is focusing, Tazrae. Don’t let your mind wander. Stay alert always and move slowly and steadily.” She added. They stopped, cut long walking sticks, and continued on with the aid of a sapling they could lean on and tap the ground in front of them.

“When you are out here at night, stop and catch your breath. Get your bearings and breathe. Refocus. If you find your fear rising, tamp it down viciously. Fear will do stupid things to your common sense, like cause it to check itself out. Do not accept it. And if you are at all sure something is stalking you, climb. Many things in the jungle can climb too, but by going up when the danger is near, you can eliminate about half the things that want to eat you. Sometimes its easier to break up your scent trail that way if you absolutely need to duck something stalking you.” She added, then set off again.


Word Count: 537
Last edited by Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
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The Teachings Of The Jungle I

Postby Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:24 am

“Your walking stick can move snakes out of the way, knock bugs or spiders out of your path… and aids your balance. Lean on a stick instead of the vegetation around you. That green stuff all has poisoned spines, thorns, or harbors insects or other creatures that bite and have venom.” She added, and continued on.

Taz’s eyes gradually adjusted to the quickly falling darkness. Uta stopped periodically, harvesting plants as they went. Taz did the same, only taking the most beautiful of flowers with complete root balls for her Inn. The gathering slowed their progress a bit, but it was worth the effort for what they were collecting. The new flowers all got tucked neatly into her backpack, which was starting to fill up fast. While Uta carried her own treasures. Tazrae’s pack also had survival gear in it too, so the spare room was fast withdrawing itself.

Full darkness eventually fell, and Taz found herself a bit scared. She didn’t mean to be. Uta was with her after all, but the jungle was frightening in the full dark. Especially since she thought she kept hearing sounds that shouldn’t be there. A sword slash, the hiss of the pain of something, and inhuman breath. Taz knew her mark from Rhaus made her hearing abundantly acute but was it just her mind playing tricks? Finally, she said something to Uta.

“Uta, I swear I keep hearing something… like a distant battle. Weapons, and bodies crashing into each other…. Even grunts and cries.” She whispered, lowering her voice and moving closer to the woman who she could almost see ahead of her moving away. Taz suspected they’d been walking The Maw in a giant circle, and that Uta would lead her home often enough.

Uta looked at her curiously. “I hear nothing like that, Taz. You sure you aren’t letting your mind take over?” The herbalist asked.

Taz tilted her head. “What do you mean?” She said, her voice puzzled.

“Your mind can play tricks on you out here. It turns shadows into monsters and normal jungle sounds into battles, Tazrae.” Uta said thoughtfully. “When we are out here talking about survival, all the skill in the world won’t save you if you don’t have a good mental attitude. I’ve seen really skilled trackers and even rangers lose it and die because their mind was overactive. You have to be mentally tough and develop a strong attitude. You need to WANT to survive. You can’t be easily defeated or give up hope. You can’t let your emotions rule you. Having skills is imperative, but without the willpower to carry out the actions you need to accomplish, you’ll have nothing going for it. That’s basic psychology. And survival has phycology too.” Uta said, looking thoughtful. “Randal is really better at explaining this than I am. He understands the mind more.” She added.

Tazrae nodded. “Can you give me some examples?” The Innkeeper asked as they both ducked a low bowed tree and came out on top of a draw above a game trail. Taz studied the obvious trail. It was as big as the cobbled pathway but looked well used by all kinds of large jungle animals. Tapir tracks were the most common along the path, but she thought she saw a big cat and humanoid tracks as well. Parts of it were dry, but some of it was underwater and wet enough to leave tracks.


Word Count: 573
Last edited by Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
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The Teachings Of The Jungle I

Postby Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:25 am

“Sure… lets talk about game trails really fast though since this right in front of us. These trails are a blessing if you come to one in the jungle and think you might be lost. These trails always run from water to water or from food to water and back. Be sure to note where they are in your mind. If you get lost, its never a bad idea to follow a game trail. They often cross things that lead to civilizations… like streams or rivers. Always remember a stream will run downhill and into a larger river or into the sea. If you can get to the coast here in Falyndar, you have a better chance of survival and a better chance of finding civilization. So, if you can, follow them down. Occasionally they run into small lakes but those lakes around here almost always have an outlet to the sea.” She advised.

Taz nodded, knowing how important that was. Streams were a way out… “Follow them downstream not upstream right?” She added. Uta nodded.

“Upstream is further into the wilds. You never want that.” She reiterated. Then tangent over, she went back to the talk they were having on survival psychology.

“Examples huh? When we get stressed or have medical issues like exhaustion or dehydration, our thinking gets all messed up. You need to be able to assess the problems you are experiencing and do something about it. If you are dehydrated, get water. Water is abundant in the jungle. Climb if you have too… there’s freshwater trapped in the greens of the trees in the plants that grow on plants and its usually clean. Collect rain with your slicker… or chop down a banana tree… the center will fill with water. Coconuts can help with dehydration too… drink the coconut milk inside. If you are tired, stop, and rest. A fresh perspective is important. If you get stressed… because of emotions, tamp them down. Stress is the emotional strain that happens under adverse conditions. The jungle is very stressful… you can be lost, hungry, thirsty, bad weather could hit, or you could have an injury or be hunted. Exhaustion can cause stress. Being alone is also a stressful situation. Be able to step outside of yourself and evaluate the state of your mind. Then once you identify the problem, tend to it.” She added, smiling at Taz.

“Is thirst the only sign of dehydration?” Tazrae asked.

Uta shook her head. “You can get cramps, especially in your legs. Your skin can become dry where you won’t sweat even when you should be sweaty. Your mouth goes dry. You can’t salivate and your breath will turn bad. Blushing or skin flush is a sign. Fever, headaches, even chills can be dehydration.” She added, glancing at Tazrae. Taz nodded in response.

“So, you drink a lot, as much as you can, to recover from it?” She asked.

Uta nodded.

“So what happens if someone gets terrified? I can see how someone could bolt or get so frightened they run away… fall, break their leg or neck, fall into a cenote, get snagged by a predator they didn’t see because they weren’t being careful. When you get scared, how do you counter it?” Tazrae asked.


Word Count: 546
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Teachings Of The Jungle I

Postby Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:30 am

Uta lifted an eyebrow. “Good question. All you can do is train so hard and so often that you can automatically move through survival steps to keep yourself alive. You need food, shelter, and warmth. So when you get afraid, take back your fear by finding or building shelter, starting a fire, and eating something. Its harder to be afraid when you have a job to do and are desperately trying to do it. You focus on the job, not the fear, and it will calm you. But you need to know how to take shelter, start a fire, and where to find food to let it calm you.” Uta said firmly and Tazrae understood. She’d often distracted herself by cleaning or doing other work that took her mind off of something that was making her anxious.

With Uta though, there was no anxiety in the jungle. There was no fear or stress. There was just a student and teacher using a living classroom to study with. And besides, the noises Tazrae had been hearing were all but gone, as if they were a figment of her imagination.

Or so she thought. Until Uta took a step forward, her head still turned over her shoulder to talk to Tazrae and tripped over the first body. She almost fell and might have if Tazrae hadn’t reached out to grab her. The Innkeeper steadied the herbalist and both women turned to study the body sprawled at their feet.

It was a man with dark skin and paint on his face. He was run through with a sword and most of his intestines were scattered across the jungle floor in a surgical strike that looked like a gutshot. The kill was fresh, with the intestines still steaming and the flood still sickly oozing.

“By the Gods…” Uta uttered and looked stunned.

Tazrae bent to examine the man closer. He had weirdly pale skin and long long limbs. His skin was still warm, though everything in the jungle stayed warm. She glanced up at Uta then rose. She exchanged her hand axe for her bow and nocked an arrow.

Uta nodded approvingly as they both stepped out into what appeared to be a battle scene. Bodies lay strewn about. At first, Tazrae thought they were all people, but soon enough she realized some of them were of animals. At first, they looked like horses in the dark, sprawled dead here and there. But the closer they moved about the bloody clearing, the clearer it became that they weren’t horses at all but some sort of lizards wearing tack – saddles and bridles – and sprawled dead.

Some were gutted, some missing limbs.

The people that had been on them were no different. They were just as bloody. Tazrae crept silently into the clearing, cautious, and looking everywhere yet seeing not much in the darkness. Uta was ahead of her and holding up a hand as if asking for silence.




Word Count: 493
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Teachings Of The Jungle I

Postby Tazrae on May 2nd, 2021, 2:53 pm

Tazrae-

Wilderness Survival +5, Socialization +5, Interrogation +4, Observation +5, Hatchet +2, Foraging +1, Psychology +3, Medicine +1, Navigation +3

WS: How To Move In The Jungle, WS: How To Observe One’s Surroundings, WS: Nothing Changes After Dark Besides Perspective, WS: How To Properly Travel Through Jungle, WS: Always Keep Your Eyes Moving, Hatchet: Use Upswings to Conserve Energy When Traveling Through The Jungle, WS: Control Fear, WS: When Situations Change (like time of day) Stop And Catch Your Breath; Get Your Bearings, WS: If Something Is Stalking You, Climb, WS: The Importance Of A Walking Stick, WS: The Mind Can Play Tricks Under Stress, WS: The Importance Of Game Trails, WS: Streams Run Downhill Into Larger Streams, Rivers, Lakes, and The Ocean, WS: Upstream Is Further Into The Wilds, Downstream Is Civilization, WS: Freshwater Trapped In Plants Above You, WS: Collecting Fresh Rainwater, WS: Coconuts As Food & Water, WS: Exhaustion/Solitude Causes Stress, Medicine: Signs Of Dehydration, Psychology: Dealing With Fear, WS: Train So Much Survival Steps Are Ingrained
Image
User avatar
Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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