Completed An Education In Jungle Life IV

Taz and Randal take to the jungle in search of snakes.

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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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An Education In Jungle Life IV

Postby Tazrae on November 16th, 2020, 6:30 am

Timestamp: 46th of Fall, 520 A.V.

Continued from: An Eductation In Jungle Life III


Tazrae was glad to know more about her machete. It gave her confidence in swinging it around Bree’s head as she rode behind Randal’s long-legged strides. Bree seemed at ease too, which made Tazrae sit her saddle better. She was getting the hang of riding the Ixam across the jungle floor, though Bree promised her they’d learn climbing and tree hopping later on when they could go out alone. She watched Randal’s trailblazing a while, picking up pointers from his actions. She noted – and started doing – that he looked back often, so the trail behind him was as familiar as the trail moving forward. He also tended to mark the trail with slim crimson ribbons that could be seen from either direction. She’d have to pick up her own inexpensive cloth for such things as well. He was careful to hang them at eye level and make sure they could flutter enough to draw attention.

Most of what he did was habit, Tazrae noted. Randal spent a lot of time in the jungle and seemed to love the place. The young Innkeeper did too. Life was piled on life in the verdant green. Insects and birds and small lizards, snakes, even bigger things like cats roamed here in dense numbers, making the place less than safe. But out here, she felt alive. And with Bree alongside her, she had a constant companion that made her absolutely forget what loneliness was like.

“Randal…” She said suddenly. “Are there any more laws or rules to the jungle you can tell me about?” She asked, curiously. “There’s so much more I want to learn, but I feel like I’m not seeing the whole picture… a list of do’s and don’ts would be helpful.” She added, smiling at him as she shifted her weight in the saddle and readjusted her hold on the machete.

Randal paused, dropped back, and looked thoughtfully at her. “I’d say there was about fifteen rules, Taz. Can you remember that many?” He asked, amused, as she switched her machete to her left hand as he had fallen back on her right side. She didn’t want to take a chance of hitting him as she swung to relieve their pathway of greenery.

“Fifteen sounds reasonable… do they have an order?” She replied as Bree snorted, curious as to what the rules would be.

“Sure. I’ll start with number 15. It involves traveling…. When is the best time to do it?” He asked, looking at Tazrae thoughtfully. She flinched, thinking she hadn’t asked for a quiz, though his question did make sense to her. She took time to reflect and gather her thoughts before she answered.

“I would say you’d travel during the day and not at night. During the day you can see whats coming at you, where you are going, and hang markers you can visibly use to navigate. You can see the sun, moss growing on sides of trees, and you can easily see the direction of the flow of water which is also important. You can see weather coming, especially if you climb a tree, or even use that same climbing of a tree to try and see where you are. You can’t do any of that at night. Walking around at night is dangerous… you can trip over things, miss seeing traps, and get easily lost.” She added, looking thoughtful.

They moved on as they spoke. Randal agreed with her. “Yes, very good. But you missed the one critical thing you need to remember when you travel. Night is when all the big mean creatures come out to hunt. Big cats, predators of all sorts, and even certain snakes are nocturnal and they will be far more aggressive and looking for food at night. You can travel safely from some of these things during the day and then find a secure place you can hold up for the night and then do so until morning light again. That’s rule number fifteen.” He reiterated, then looked thoughtful. They’d come to a large stream and Randal had turned to skirt up its right bank to find a better place to cross.


Word Count: 693
Last edited by Tazrae on November 16th, 2020, 6:33 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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An Education In Jungle Life IV

Postby Tazrae on November 16th, 2020, 6:31 am

Bree jumped right in though, causing Tazrae to laugh, as they followed Randal from the water. The Ixam was large enough she splashed through the water with long legs, only getting Tazrae’s ankles and knees wet from splashing. The two females laughed and Randal looked amused as he found a stretch of rocky reach that allowed him to cross the stream in ankle deep water rather than wade over his boots. He paused his rules list to give her a micro lesson on crossing water.

“Not counting that fact you might be riding that giant lizard you have there… there are a few things to remember about water crossings with her or on foot. You have to decide if its safe to cross any waterway you come too. I want you to avoid crossing if you can, but if you can’t… you need to know how safe it is to cross. There are three main factors you need to remember: speed, depth, and obstacles. Speed is the easiest to figure out. All you need to do is this…. “ He added, reaching out while they were all three on the opposite shore now, and broke off a twig from a nearby tree. He tossed it in the water.

“What do you see?” He asked, looking at her thoughtfully.

Bree shifted beneath Tazrae as the woman stared at the stick floating by. “I see a stick floating… speed. It indicates speed. Its going fast here, but the water is shallow just over stone… how do I judge what’s too fast and what’s safe?” She asked, turning from watching the stick to meeting Randal’s eyes.

“You walk along side it on the bank. If you can’t keep pace, its too fast and the crossing too dangerous for you on foot all things considered. Here now… with it over stone a few inches, it’s far safer. The stick is just one factor. Substrate is another. Firm hard substrate with no slickness to it makes it safer. Dry rocks is the best. Wet rocks are slicker… dangerous. We take into account the next factor… depth. It can be a little trickier. Here, you can see the stone and that the water is just inches deep. Your goal is mid-thigh and with Bree I would say her belly. Always be cautious and if you aren’t sure label it too dangerous. You can tell depth using a staff… probe the water before you if you can’t see the bottom… that’s especially true if its fast flowing. If you can see the bottom but its quiet and the stick floats slowly, its absolutely safe to cross though there might be predators.” He added, glancing at Tazrae to see if she understood.

Bree was still watching the stick float by, her scaled tail lashing as she shifted jostling Tazrae slightly. The Innkeeper smiled. “You paint a very clear picture, Randal. What about Obstacles. Is that the substrate you were talking about?” She asked, slipping out of Bree’s saddle to walk a bit and stretch her legs. She was using muscles she hadn’t used much riding the lizard. But the moment she was out of the saddle, she realized the ground was saturated and she was in the mud, sloshing around. Glancing at Bree’s claws, she saw how much easier the lizard stood in the soft silky earth than Tazrae could.

The girl stroked the lizard’s neck then scratched her playfully under the chin, waiting for Randal’s answer.

“So obstacles are things like downed trees, which if you get caught up in can drown you by holding you underwater. Boulders can cause whirlpools… drop-offs, uneven footing, thick brush, all that can deter you. Even look at the banks on either side of your crossing… can you get up them? Off them safely? Anything can be an obstacle. Watch all of it. Err on the side of caution. If it looks risky, don’t do it unless it’s the absolute last choice.” He added.


Word Count: 663
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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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An Education In Jungle Life IV

Postby Tazrae on November 16th, 2020, 6:34 am

“If your chosen crossing doesn’t meet the three criteria safely, look someplace elf for a wider area where the water is generally slower and shallower. If its after a storm and the water is raging, wait a full day and let it calm. If you are ready to spot, make sure your pack is loose on your body. Don’t have it secured to your body. Be able to get out of it at any moment so it doesn’t get full of water, wet, and drag you under.” He paused took a breath and glanced at Tazrae. They were walking parallel to the stream now as if assessing its changes. She knew they had come out here looking for snakes, but so far she’d not seen any at all. All the other training, like this Water Crossing lecture, was getting in the way.

Bree had smelled a few, but nothing that Randal had talked about wanting to collect. And even then, she wasn’t sure why they were collecting them. She needed to question him further, but she also needed to learn what he had to teach.

Randal launched into another lecture. “You should always cut a staff to cross the water if you are alone. And when you do actually cross, cut a diagonal path against the current. Move slowly upstream and test each step for solid footing. If there’s more than one person, you can be more stable. If you are paired up with another person, cross sideways with the stronger crosser’s back to the current… hands on each other’s shoulders. A bigger group of three can all put hands on each other’s shoulders and cross in a triangle formation. Larger groups can form a line with the strongest person in front and the next strongest in the last position. Keep weak people in the middle. If you do end up falling down, shed your pack quickly, point your feet downstream, and paddle for the shore. You need to get out as soon as possible. Being in the water makes us vulnerable. Don’t be vulnerable.” Randal affirmed.

Tazrae nodded. “I understand.” She nodded, her head filling full of his advice. She glanced at Bree and tucked a foot into her stirrup and swung back aboard. “Back to the rules now?” She asked, moving Bree with leg pressure, nudging her over to Randal’s side. The big man patted the lizards neck, finding an itchy spot, causing the green and blue Ixam to trill in pleasure.

On the other side, he continued listing his rules. “Of the fifteen rules, I’ve only gotten one out … lets talk about number fourteen.” He added, then smiled and laughed. “Never touch any vegetation with your bare hands. Wear gloves, use a stick, your machete… anything else. It will protect you from bites, stings, and inadvertent cuts… the vegetation isn’t kind around here.” He added.

“That’s an easy one. Uta talked to me about it too. She also forced good gloves on me.” Tazrae said, holding up her hands.

Randal nodded. “Gloves won’t save you from snakebite though… even a young snake or hatchling can bite through that leather. Don’t let the gloves give you a false sense of security.” He chastised.

Tazrae agreed. “And the next rule?” She asked.

He nodded… “Thirteen… there is a universal sign in the jungle between people. If you ever find a rope or vine stretched across a trail – avoid the trail. There’s something dangerous down it… and be sure to leave that sign if something dangerous is down a trail… cut it off… stretch vines across the path. Warn others.” He added, then moved on.

Word Count: 606
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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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An Education In Jungle Life IV

Postby Tazrae on November 16th, 2020, 6:36 am

Tazrae thought that odd… it was hard to kill most jungle vines… moving them would just cause them to grow that direction, maybe over the trail altogether. It made sense, knowing that fact, and understanding how the world of the jungle works.

“Rule number twelve… getting caught up in vegetation. First things first, don’t panic. Keep your head… try backing out of the entanglement, not pushing through it. Take slow and measured steps, using a bowie knife you should be keeping at your side to gently free yourself.” He added, tapping his long-knife hung from his belt. “A Kukri or a Machete will help as well.” He added.

Tazrae nodded. “Can you easily back out of entangling vines that quickly?” She asked. Randal shook his head.

“Different circumstances mean different things… it’s a rule of thumb you can but not always. There are actual vines that are carnivorous out in the jungle that will ensnare you to eat you. So always be mindful. And in general, yes you should as long as you haven’t forced yourself too deeply into the underbrush. If the going isn’t that easy… pick another route. This is just like crossing a stream. Be smart about it.” He said, offering her a smile.

By now they were moving again, both walking quietly. Bree was far more relaxed now, and seemed to not mind the slow pace the Founder on foot set. She glided past obstacles that Tazrae would have had trouble with if she were on foot. Thankful for the Ixam, Taz clung to the saddle and tried to absorb all of Randal’s teachings.

“Number Eleven is our water crossing rule. Cross slowly and only at shallow narrow places. Cross angling upstream. Use the stick test… err on the side of caution.” He added, then skipped to the next rule. “Rule ten… Never camp near stagnate water, at animal crossings, or at high traffic areas where game trails cross. Its far too dangerous.” He added, looking thoughtful and glancing at her.

Tazrae nodded. These things were common sense, but definitely something she wouldn’t have known arriving freshly at Syka. She knew them now… but it wasn’t something she’d consciously put thought into. Now she did. Her mind was full and she had secondary questions, but Randal was forging on, slowly counting down his list.

“Number nine… you need drinking water. Rain water trapped in plants is the safest water to drink without some sort of filtering or purifying. You don’t need to boil it or anything. Even rainwater trapped in a tarp works like that. Consider all other water in the jungle contaminated.” He added.

“Will you show me how to make a rain trap with a tarp?” Tazrae asked.

Randal shook his head. “I don’t need to .. its fairly easy. Take any tarp that’s waterproof, stretch it high and wide between two trees… on the high side and two trees on the low side… grap a handful of the middle of the lowside tarp and tie a rock in it…. All you do is take a thumb sized rock to a small baby fist sized rock… put the tarp over it.. and tie leather sinew around the tarp and rock so the rock is covered with the tarp… that will allow you to tie off a weighted bucket on that side. That protruding nob is a perfect tie off… you can do rocks on all four corners like that to tie the tarp to the trees… anyhow the water runs down the slanted tarp – creating lots of surface area for rain to strike – and the weighted bucket tied off halfway across the middle of the lower edge of the trap will cause the water to run down the tarp in the exact middle to the lower side and fill the bucket giving you fresh rain water to drink.” He said, gesturing with his hands so she understood the slope and scale of the rain catchment system.

“The rocks as tieoffs are neat. I can’t stand cutting tarp, it always rips bigger. That rock trick will save your tarp in its original size every time….” She said excitedly. Randal nodded his agreement. Randal stepped over a fallen log lush with vegetation. Bree leaped it which almost unseated Tazrae and reminded her to pay attention to the trail. “What’s number eight?” She asked, prompting him.

“Number eight is simple. Plants that have a white milky sap and taste sour or bitter are very unsafe to drink. Don’t cut them and drink the sap… most will kill you.” He affirmed.


Word Count: 763
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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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An Education In Jungle Life IV

Postby Tazrae on November 16th, 2020, 6:37 am

Tazrae nodded. Making a mental note. She’d update her survival journey when she got close to a place they were going to stop. But until then she kept repeating the rules from the last to where they currently are until she felt she could recite them blindfolded.

“Rule seven is simply watch where you sit. Before you take a seat, always check the seat for snakes, bugs, or other reptiles that will hurt you. Even some plants will hurt you, so get to know what plants you can’t sit by or under or around.” He added, leaving her to climb higher up on the bank and eventually lead her away from the stream.

“Gotcha. That’s an important one to know for sure.” She added, knowing she’d note this down in her Wilderness Surivival Journal when they stopped.

Randal continued on before she could ask any more questions. “Never urinate in the water and always check yourself for leeches after a water crossing. Ours was too shallow to check, but I need to tell you that there are serious leech problems around here. And you can get sick very fast urinating in the water because there is a parasite that will swim right up your urethra… the urine gives them a path to follow back to your body. Don’t tempt yourself, hold it until you are on solid ground.” He added with a chuckle.

“While an infestation of parasites in your urinary tract is curable, it isn’t pleasant.” He admonished and moved on taking a breath. He wanted to get through these last five rules before they got distracted. “Five left… lets see…” He added.

Taz nodded, following him as he ran down a few more of the rules. She was busy listening intently.


“Rule five we already talked about. Avoid walking on slippery substraight like wet logs, rocks, water you can’t step over or around… those kinds of things.” She added, then smiled, nodding for Randal to go on.

“Snakes… lol. Half the reason for this trip. Rule number four is if you see a snake, go around them, encourage them to move, or kill them. They are mostly a nuisance but they won’t hurt you unless you provoke them.” He added.

Tazrae nodded. “I got it. That seems very important. Rule three?” She couldn’t even begin to guess where that rule would go. Randal’s rules seemed all over the board.

“Rule three involves coconuts. Light brown coconuts are safe to drink and eat, but no more than four a day. Darker brown are rotten and green are immature and will make you ill and cause you to vomit. You don’t want to loose stomach content or water through throwing up, especially not in the jungle where you are trying to survive.” He added.

“I cook a lot with coconut now… when I first game here I had so many bad ones and I didn’t even know what a good one tasted like. It took time, but Juli showed me… now we use them all the time in everything.” She added, pleased the coconut got a prominent position on Randal’s list. “Two?” She prompted.

“The next rule is about insect bites… to reduce bites, build a smokey fire or smear mud on the exposed skin. Also… once you’ve had a fire burning for a while and have produced lots of ashes, spread ashes as a base around your entire camp… make it a thick layer if you can. Something in the ash causes ants, scorpions, and spiders to not like it and they won’t walk over ash. It will keep these pests out of your camp.” He said, then smiled at her.

“Guess what the first rule is?” He said, urging her to think.

Tazrae looked thoughtful. “I think it would be something mental… like don’t panic. Use your head. Talk to things… the world is a good place if you are strong and willing to understand your place in it?” She asked.

He laughed but shook his head. “Close though… it is psychology. Rule number one is simply…. When you think things can’t get any worse, it will, so stop feeling sorry for yourself and actually do something to prevent what is coming from coming.” He said with a laugh.

Tazrae nodded her agreement to that one.. .and even Bree bobbed her head in agreement.

“Randal?” Tazrae asked suddenly.

“Yes?” He said turning to study her.

“I thought we were coming out here for snakes?” She asked cautiously. He nodded.

“We are, but there’s no sense in not giving you this information. Use it… and use it will. Pass it on to others. You are growing in what you know in leaps and bounds, Tazrae. But unless you take book learning to practical application like we are here, it won’t do you much good out in the world.” He added.

Tazrae nodded. “I understand.” She decided not to ask him again about snakes. It was, however, already too late. Randal pulled up alongside what appeared to be one a beautiful black snake coiled up over a low hanging branch.

“Ahh… here we go… snakes in the jungle 101.” He said with a grin and gestured to the snake.

Tazrae laughed, swung off Bree’s back, and walked to Randal’s side to face the creature bravely.

Continued In: An Education In Jungle Life V

Word Count: 888
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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)

An Education In Jungle Life IV

Postby Tazrae on May 5th, 2021, 3:02 am

Tazrae -

Riding (Ixam) +4, Wilderness Survival +5, Interrogation +4, Observation +3, Logic +3, Socialization +5

WS: Watch Trails Front And Back So Its Familiar Both Directions, WS: Mark Trails With Visible Markers Both Directions, WS: Develop Good Habits, WS: The Fifteen Rules Of Survival, WS: Travel Only During The Day, WS: Avoid Crossing Water If One Can, WS: Take Speed, Depth and Obstacles Into Account In Crossing Water, WS: Water Crossing Using The Stick Test, WS: Cross Water With A Loose Pack, WS: Cut A Diagonal Path Across Water Using A Staff, WS: Crossing With A Buddy, Back To Current, Hand On Each Other’s Shoulders, WS: Falling In Water – Shed Pack, Point Feet Downstream, Paddle For Shore, WS: Rainwater Trapped In Plants Safest Water To Drink, WS: How To Make A Rain Trap, WS: Rocks As Tie Offs, WS: Plants With White Milky Sap/Sour-Bitter Taste Are Unsafe To Eat/Drink, WS: Look Before You Sit, WS: Never Urinate In Water, WS: Check Yourself/Companions For Leeches After Water Crossing, WS: Never Walk On Slippery Substrate, WS: Snakes- Go Around Them, Encourage Them To Move, or Kill Them, WS: Light Brown Coconuts = Safe To Drink/Eat, WS: No More Than Four Coconuts A Day, WS: Dark Brown Coconuts Are Rotten, WS: Green Coconuts Will Make You Ill, WS: Spread Campfire Ash Around Camp To Prevent Spiders, Ants, Scorpions, Etc, WS: Smokey Fire Or Mud To Reduce Insect Bites, WS: Things Will Get Bad, Never Feel Sorry For Yourself, Prevent Things Getting Worse
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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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