Completed The Teachings Of The Jungle II

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 II

Postby Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:34 am

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




The blood was as fresh on these people as it was on the first corpse. Tazrae couldn’t see how it hadn’t just happened. What she’d been hearing was real. Her heart raced and her breath came fast. She’d never seen any sort of battle and she found herself – even with Uta as company – scared. She drew back the bow, keeping an arrow at ready, and tried to calm her breathing. She scanned the scene like Uta did, but moved slowly to one side, wanting to get out of the middle of the clearing. Uta followed suit and both women found themselves sidelined and whispering quietly.

“Who are these people? What happened here? There shouldn’t be anyone out here.” Tazrae whispered furiously.

Uta nodded. “I don’t know who they are… what they are. They aren’t Myrian. And it looks like they were killed with other weapons so animals didn’t do this. But this blood is going to draw the big predators. We need to get out of here fast.” She whispered, beckoning to Tazrae to follow her. The younger woman nodded, close on her heels, and the two made to quietly slip out of the clearing on its far side.

They didn’t make it two steps.

The man that came at them was hurt. It was evident because he had a hand across his stomach as if he was holding the contents in. He went for Uta immediately because she was in the lead. Uta sidestepped him and gave Tazrae room. She had her arrow drawn and let it fly. She was close, close enough for a point blank shot across the ten foot distance, but she was shaking so hard the arrow went wide.

She drew again even as the man screamed in defiance and lunged at her. Taz was thankful for the training she’d had on her compound longbow and had the arrow locked and loaded without thought, pulling back and firing. The bolt went through the guys heart and he went down. She drew another arrow immediately, still shaking and looked around.

Uta whistled under her breath. “That man could have killed us.” She said, stepping close to examine him. His skin was pale and his face painted with greens and browns to camouflage it. So too were his clothes. Tazrae kept backing up and up, away from the man she’d just killed. It was the first life she’d ever taken.

There was a numb denial spreading through her. It kept her legs moving, shuffling her backwards. Not looking where she was going, she thumped into something surprisingly warm, smooth, and mobile. Tazrae half-froze then screamed as the thing she bumped into moved, twisting about and lunging at her snapping its snout. She whirled, backed up, arrow still nocked. Tazrae almost fired until she realized the thing hadn’t actually hurt her because it couldn’t.

It was one of the lizards that were the size of a horse. It was fully tacked up but laying on its side partially bound in a net. It was breathing heavily and its eyes were wide with fear. It had snapped at her, but the reins from its bridle had bound its head to one side so it could only move so far. Taz couldn’t get a good look at it in the dark to tell its color or actually how big it was… but it was big.


Word Count: 565
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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
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The Teachings Of The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:39 am

The creature made a soft hissing sound, shuffled as if trying to get up again, and slapped its long tail against the ground – the only part of it not bound in netting. A rider looked to be partially trapped beneath it, lacking at least one limb with its head tilted at an unnatural angle.

Uta came up then and stared at the animal. She had her machete gripped in one hand and started to advance. Tazrae stopped her. “It’s a victim in this. Look how it's bound?” She said, whispering softly.

The herbalist gave Tazrae a sharp look that even the Innkeeper could see in the near dark. “We need to get out of here… tell the Founders. We don’t know what happened here.” She hissed, her tone almost matching that of the bound mount. Tazrae didn’t disagree.

“I know. It won’t take but a moment.” She said, deciding suddenly. The young woman looped her compound longbow over her shoulder, drew her axe and advanced on the creature lying prone. It didn’t snap at her this time, but its brilliant eye studied her intently. “I’m not going to hurt you.” She said clearly, walking up to the creature cautiously, and using the sharp blade of her hand axe to begin to cut away at the net that ensnared the creature. The lizard didn’t stop studying her, its tail thwapping nervously. However, it didn’t hiss or make a sound either. Tazrae worked quickly, knowing full well the moment it was free it might choose to attack. She wanted to think it wouldn’t. Holding her axe close to its blade, she used it more like a knife and drew it down the woven strands of the net, slicing the heavy material neatly. More and more of it fell away until the animal looked to be free.

Tazrae backed away carefully, rejoining Uta who had opted not to approach.

The creature stretched out one front foreleg slowly, then another, and heaved itself onto its stomach. It breathed deeply, arched its head to scent all around it, flicked its tongue out snake-like, then slowly stood up. It shook itself, the reins of its bridle pulling themselves free where they were trapped beneath the corpse of the rider the creature left on the ground. It flicked its tail, studied the two women, then bent its head low curling around to sniff at the blood and then at the dead rider.

It turned to Tazrae then and glanced back and forth, trilling softly and walking up to her. She caught its reins and gathered them up in her fist. It wore packs and a saddle. Tame, it didn’t seem to mind her picking up the trailing leather. She muttered a sweet soft reassuring sound to it and the creature took a step even closer and nudged Tazrae’s stomach with the tip of its lizard nose. She reached out then, a soft smile creeping across her face, and gave the creature a gentle touch across the ridge of its right eye. The eyelid blinked closed and the creature trilled again.

Word Count: 513
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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Race: Human
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The Teachings Of The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:41 am

Uta, meanwhile, made quick work around the clearing, counting bodies and dead lizards. When she got back, she shook her head at Tazrae standing there holding the reins of the lizard she’d freed. “That’s the last thing you should bring back to camp.” She said disapprovingly. “Someone might come looking for it.” She added.

“I think its rider is dead.” Tazrae looked over to the fallen form of the man that had been pinned beneath the creature. “I don’t think there is anyone here left alive. Did you find out anything?” She asked.

Uta shook her head. “No… just a body count. And these appear to be mixed, blooded humans. I have no idea who they are. They aren’t Myrian.” She said, thoughtfully, then nodded to the southeast. “We should get back. If you are going to bring that thing, you aren’t leading. If you are leaving it here, take its tack off.” She said, then turned to go.

Tazrae followed with a slow hesitant look at the creature. Would it come with her? As she made to move away from the blood and gore of the clearing, the lizard – indeed the size of a horse – set off behind her keeping slack in the reins as she lead it through the jungle following Uta.

It was going to be a long trip back, that much was for sure. And moreover, it was going to be a long conversation with the founders. They would need to know what happened here and perhaps would want to come back after it got light. Taz wasn’t sure she could find the place again, but certainly, Uta would be able too. She had no knowledge of any other settlement in the jungle beside theirs nor of any of the denizens of The Maw. What were these people doing here? A thousand questions filled her brain, about the massacre and about the creature carefully following her.

Tazrae kept her voice low. “Uta, will you teach me more about Wilderness Survival as we walk back? I know it's going to take us a while.” She said, glancing down at her hands that were now in a different arrangement. She had her hand axe in her right hand and the reins of the lizard in her left. It seemed to move with her easily, going to the places she could go even though it was bigger than she was. The difference was that even in the dark she could tell it was agile. It moved exactly as Uta had tried to teach her to move, with undulating motions that caused it to dart along her pathway in short bursts and pauses, navigating easily.

Uta glanced at Tazrae and didn’t say anything until they were quite a ways away from the site of the massacre. “It appears your hearing is better than most, Tazrae. If you hear anything else, tell me. I’m sorry I dismissed you before when you said you heard a battle.” She said softly. Then she glanced over Tazrae’s shoulder at the lizard. “I wish you would have left it.” She added, frowning at the lizard. But she too needed a distraction after what they’d witnessed.

Word Count: 529
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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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The Teachings Of The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:42 am

“You’ll need to know how to get around in the jungle, especially if you get lost. Your hearing is excellent, but your sight will be reduced and you’ll need to know how to navigate. I’ll teach you firecraft later, but if you know orientation, you might not need to lay a fire and build shelter. You might just be able to get home. I’ll do this without a map or a compass, because if a situation arises, you might not have either of them… though I would urge you to acquire both. Out here in the jungle, you plan for the worse case scenario, and hope you have the best case scenario." Uta said.

Tazrae nodded, listening carefully.

"That’s where orientation comes in. Orientation is the ability to determine your position in reference to a known point. That means, to orientate, you’ll need to know where you want to go or where you are at. If you don’t know either of these two things, you are officially lost and you will need to figure out where you are and where you need to go. This ability is a huge part of Wilderness Survival. If you don’t move, you’ll often die. That’s true especially if you are hurt or being hunted. And you want to be able to make your odds of survival better by having an educated guess as to where to go. The first way to do this is via compass. You don’t have one, so we will skip this for right now and move on to Astronomy.” She said, stopping to cut a walking staff for herself. Taz couldn’t cut one because both hands were occupied.

The lizard creature was still following on a loose rein, seemingly listening to their conversation intently.

“The best friend you have in the jungle – if you can see her – is Syna. Tracking the sun’s progress across the sky gives you direction. She travels east to west, rising in the east and set in the west. Its not easy to track Syna in the jungle. The upper emergent layer of trees often blocks her view and even shades us from sunlight at all. Find clearings… they are always about. Use them for orientation. They are most often found along streams, rock outcroppings, and areas holding bodies of water. Areas trees have fallen via storms are also great places to check the sky.” Uta added.

Tazrae piped up. “Around Syka, moss and lichen grow on the shady side of the tree… the northern side if there are no other factors.” The Innkeeper said thoughtfully. Uta nodded her agreement.

“There is another method called a stick and shadow method. I can’t show you because it's dark, but I can tell you about it. You can try it tomorrow morning when you get home.” Uta said softly, then tripped over something on the trail. It was dark, far darker than Tazrae liked, but she knew I was going to be light soon. She reached out to steady Uta, then ended up tripping over the same branch as well.

The lizard’s big head snaked out and gave her something to grab to keep from falling down. She blinked in surprise at the creature, then got back to her following Uta forward. “Tell me more about the method.” She said softly.

“It's easy. You just take a stick about two or three feet long and drive it into the ground where the sun can touch it. Remember, the sun travels from east to west so the shadows actually travel from west to east… exactly opposite. Plant the stick then find its shadow, mark it with a stone, and wait for thirty chimes and mark where the shadow has moved to… a bell would be better.” She added, then paused a moment as if getting her bearings.

Tazrae thought the sky was lightening a bit, but she couldn’t be sure.

“Then what?” She asked… still not understanding.

Word Count: 657
Last edited by Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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
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The Teachings Of The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on September 21st, 2020, 4:43 am

“The line between the first rock and the second rock marker will mark your east to west travel line. You can draw the compass from there… if you know where east to west is, you can find north to south. It’s a quick and dirty way to find your way. But you need the map of The Maw and Syka to understand. I can tell you some of it though. If you walk east… know exactly where east is… you’ll hit the Suvan Sea and the coast will lead you back to Syka… normally south.. but not always.” Uta said thoughtfully.

“Walking west would be bad. It will take you deeper into the jungle.” Tazrae said immediately, catching on quickly.

Uta nodded. “Any other direction besides east is dangerous. You might get lucky and hit the coast, but mostly you’ll hit the jungle. South is Taloba, but it’s a long way. North you might hit the coast but mostly you’ll be walking parallel to it and eventually end up in Kalea.” She added, shaking her head. “But east…. East is the goal.” She affirmed.

Tazrae smiled because they’d been walking east steadily now. And since the sky was noticeably lightening now. “We’re almost back now aren’t we? You took a faster route.” She accused, glancing at Uta.

The Herbalist nodded. In fact, they bent and twisted their way through the raw jungle that soon turned to sand and flattened out on a cobbled pathway that looked completely familiar. Tazrae paused, looked startled, and smiled at Uta. “We’re home.” She said, glancing back at the lizard. The sun was just now rising over the sea and the light was starting to stream through the trees.

The scales on the beast rippled with green and blue colorations. It was primarily green, but the blue threaded through its back and belly in a brilliant pattern of veining. Its tack was good solid leather and it had loaded packs on either side of its saddle. Its eyes were a brilliant purple that matched the inside of its mouth and its darting tongue.

“Your Inn is south of here.” Uta said, turning to walk with them down the cobbled path side by side. “I have no idea what you are going to do with that creature…” She said, while she walked, leading Tazrae home.

Tazrae shook her head. “I have no idea either. First, I’m going to get home, clean us both up, then I suspect we should go find the founders and talk.” She added with a weary sigh. She was tired from the excursion; very tired.

Uta agreed. “Go home.. then meet me at Mathias’ place. Bring the lizard. We’ll see what he knows and the lizard is great proof that we saw what we saw.” She said suddenly.

Taz agreed and turned off onto the path that led to The Protea. She couldn’t wait to get cleaned up… and see what Mathias had to say. She glanced at the lizard when the Inn came into view. “Now…. What in the world am I going to do with you?” She said thoughtfully. “Well… I’ll worry about that last. First, a bath, a bite to eat, and Mathias’ place. We will worry about your fate later. Mathias might have some ideas.” She added, hopefully.

Word Count: 549
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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
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

The Teachings Of The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on September 28th, 2020, 4:55 am

Grading


Tazrae-

Wilderness Survival +5xp, Observation +5xp, Interrogation +1xp, Socialization +5 xp, Compound Longbow +2xp, Hand Axe +1xp, Animal Husbandry +1xp, Astronomy +2xp, Navigation (Land) +2xp, Planning +1xp

Wilderness Survival: Coming Upon A Battle, Animal Husbandry: Calming An Upset Creature, Animal Husbandry: Freeing a Bound Mount, Wilderness Survival: How To Navigate Without A Sightline, Orientation: Where You Are And Where You Want To Go, WS: Move Or Die, WS: Using Watercourses To Navigate Out Of Jungle Or Wilderness, WS: Stick And Shadow Method, WS: Moss Grows Heavier On the Northern Side of Trees, WS: Common Sense Prevails
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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