Completed An Education In Jungle Life VI

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 VI

Postby Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 6:03 pm

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

Continued From: An Education In Jungle Life V



Tazrae followed Bree alongside Randal. The Jungle Ixam was scenting the area, looking for more Mussurana. The enthusiastic Ixam was doing her best to mimic a bloodhound, darting this way and that with her long tail flicking. She was, however, finding no Mussurana. Randal didn’t seem surprised. The young Innkeeper didn’t think it would be a quick process either. She knew they’d wander a while. Snakes weren’t densely packed in their habitats. They had room to roam out in the jungle, especially these snakes which were harder to find. She did see Bree come across other snakes, then reject them as being vipers or rattlers of various kinds, and not what the pair of explorers were looking for.

Randal, ever practical, decided it was time to shove more Wilderness Survival knowledge into Tazrae’s head. “Getting lost out here is a real and true danger. Its easy to do so if you can’t see where you are going or where you’ve been due to thick vegetation. If you do get lost, remember one thing, Tazrae. S-T-O-P. Stop, Think, Observe, and Plan. Your biggest enemy out here is… well besides everything else… you panic. You can’t panic. One of the best ways to decrease your panic is to teach yourself to recognize it.” He added, looking thoughtful.

“Your brain is your main tool for survival out here. It stores your knowledge of how to survive. That knowledge includes things like how to spark a fire from sticks, how to build a shelter, how to find your way home… but you can’t access those skills if you can’t think. Your mind also provides intuition and judgement that will help you decide to stay put or move on…. where to build that fire… how to go about deciding which way is home.” Randal ticked off, seemingly going down a mental list.

“I understand that getting lost can be frightening. I’ve been very scared out here before. The Jungle can really unnerve you and when that happens its really hard to think. It’s really hard to plan or use common sense. And later when I am calm, I think to myself… why didn’t I just do this… do that… “ Tazrae went on, engaged in the conversation as her Ixam still searched for more snakes.

Randal nodded. “There is a fight or flight response in humans that fear triggers. This can be bad, causing you to blindly run away, or this can be good… giving you the strength to climb up a mountain face you might not be strong enough to climb to safety without fear driving you. It increases your heartbeat, your breathing, and gives you extra energy to run. You can always use that fight or flight response to get things done…. but you have to engage your mind to do that. How?” He asked, studying her intently.

Tazrae looked thoughtful. “First, don’t automatically blame yourself for getting into your situation…. Be it lost, turned around, etc. Things happen. Stay busy? Plan lots of things. Recognize your panic and fear and address them by doing something instead of just freezing? Maybe repeat to yourself that you are going to be okay until you make it a reality?” She suggested, looking at him hesitantly.

“Very good. Keep busy to occupy your mind. Use Affirming statements like you are going to be alright. Recognize and deal with fear and stress. And don’t beat yourself up mentally for your current situation.” That was exactly how Randal would have answered that question himself. Tazrae was picking this stuff up fast.
Last edited by Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tazrae
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Posts: 426
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An Education In Jungle Life VI

Postby Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 6:05 pm

He suspected her having Bree around helped. The Jungle Ixam needed to be in the jungle to thrive and that need would drive Tazrae to learn as fast as she could.

“Positive thinking is powerful. I know that myself through experience. I was so worried about building that deck, and then the dock, but look at me now? I’m practically a carpenter.” Tazrae bragged, laughing a little.

Randal laughed.

About then Bree made a snorting noise and stopped at a large coiled snake in a tree above the Ixam’s head. At first glance Tazrae thought it was as big as their previous female, but a second glance confirmed the Mussurana was even larger. The Innkeeper approached when the snake paid Bree no mind… and climbing up into the saddle and standing on Bree’s back, Taz was able to get face to face with the creature. She waved her hand in front of it and the snake just looked on mildly curious. Tazrae reached out, gently, and gathered the snake’s tail in her hand and inverted it slightly to get a look at the scales on the bottom. “Female.” She said to Randal who was busy procuring a second cotton sack and handing it up to her. “Bigger than the first one, I think. Good Job Bree!” Taz said, gently uncoiling the snake from its above ground perch and sliding it into the sack. She handed it down to Randal until she could get herself down.

The Founder already had the snake attached to Bree’s saddle alone with the other one. “That’s a good haul. Now we need to find a male.” He added, and they started walking again once Taz had her feet on the ground. Standing on Bree’s saddle perched on the Ixam wasn’t the most secure stance around.

They continued onward. So far, with Bree’s ability to hunt things, they were enjoying the teaching and time to continue Tazrae’s Wilderness Survival. “So what are the most important things in the jungle when you find yourself out here alone?” Taz asked, curious. She knew some of it… like food and water were important, but she wasn’t sure what else was.

“There are four main things to stay alive. You need good drinking water that’s fresh and clean, a shelter to hold up in overnight when the jungle gets really dangerous, a weapon or tool to defend yourself if you’ve lost your won, and a source of food.” He advised. “Food gets kind of dicey. You might think the jungle is full of it, but there are things here that are far more dangerous to you than you are to them. Snakes for one. Any source of meat here can be deadly… but there are great plants to eat too. Let me show you a few.” Randal said, as Tazrae nodded. She was taking mental notes that would all be written down once she got home.

“Palms are amazing. You know what a palm tree is. If you are sure to carry your hatchet with you, young palms can save your life. Old palms might not be worth it. Palms can give you a number of tools and supplies, roofing for a shelter, and if you cut off the tops of small palms and eat the tips or any soft part of the tree, the flower, the seeds and the heart of palm you will survive quite nicely. The heart of palm has a really good source of fat in it, believe it or not. You can also melt it down and fry things in it.” He added.
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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 VI

Postby Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 6:06 pm

“I should serve some of these things to my guests to get them used to jungle foods… in case they wander off lost they will know what they look like.” She added, then asked him a question she felt paired well with the palm situation. “I’ve seen all kinds of nuts we’ve passed by. Are any of those edibles?” She asked.

Randal looked proud. “Its good you’ve noticed it. I have yet to find a nut in the jungle that ISNT edible. They are great to stock up on, carry with you, and they don’t spoil. I’ve kept them for months around my place and have several favorites now that I’ve sampled almost all of them. Another thing most people don’t know is if you have a good supply of nuts, you can wrap them in cloth then pound on them or beat them against a rock to extract the oils. Sometimes we need oil to sooth skin or to help start a fire. Nuts are invaluable for that.” The Founder added.

“Do coconuts count as palms?” Tazrae asked.

Randal laughed. “Only a few varieties of palms grow coconuts. And they are incredible plants. You can eat any part of the nut except for the brownish hairy bark. That’s called coconut silk. And you’ll want to save that because it will make a great bedding for your snake cages. It will hold moisture without rotting. The Coconuts themselves can be difficult to get too, but I’ll teach you how to climb a tree to cut them off and which ones are ripe and which ones aren’t. The milk is like fresh water with nutrients, and the white palm center is very nutritious. You need a knife or sharp rock… even a fallen log with a sharp branch broken of fit will help open the coconut. And as for climbing the tree, the best way is to take a thick rope, tie your ankles together in a sort of hobble like you’d hobble a horse, and climb the tree using the hobble as a brace. It makes it soo much easier to grip the tree this way.” He added.

Tazrae laughed, but she’d seen others climb trees with similar hobbles so she knew Randal wasn’t joking. “Papayas… and Mangos.. I’ve seen them everywhere.” She added.

Again her companion nodded. “Dragonfruit too. I know you know what that looks like. One thing you might not have seen is Bamboo. If you find shoots of bamboo its definitely a bounty. They aren’t that good raw, but if you boil them in water, they are delicious and make a very good meal.” Randal added before stopping by a little marshy patch of ground that was growing thick green shoots. “This is sugar cane.. and its where we get our refined sugar from here in Syka. It’s growing wild all over the Maw and in established patches in the settlement. It looks like this…” He said, stroking the plant in front of him like he admired the plant.

Tazrae nodded, she took a close look at him and nodded. “So much more than I would have thought.” She said, referring to the bounty he had in front of him.

“There’s one more thing I want to show you out here that’s a great find in the jungle. That’s Taro root… it cannot be eaten raw… but once boiled like bamboo shoots, its really good. When you harvest it though… stick the tops back in the ground and they will regrow roots for you for next time you visit.” He said, looking around. They walked in silence a bit before he caught her attention and pointed. “Taro”. He added, as if it needed not explanation.

Tazrae nodded. It looked like Rhubarb with its pink stalks and large arrow-headed leaf. “I’ll be able to spot it again.” Taz added, even as Bree doubled back to sniff at the root as well. She knew she could find it again easily also.
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Tazrae
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An Education In Jungle Life VI

Postby Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 6:08 pm

“Any other wonder plants out here?” Taz asked.

“If you ask Uta, yes… most of her medicines comes from the jungle. This places is almost like visiting an apothecary, Taz. Many many plants here heal.” He said thoughtfully.

Taz smiled. “I bet just as many will kill. This places is no walk down mainstreet.” She added.

Randal laughed. “You have a point. Hrm… Water lilies. They grow along the flooded margins of lakes, streams and rivers around here. The tuberous roots of the water lily are an excellent source of all kinds of good nutrition and fill you up. You just need to boil or roast them. I won’t try to show you any since they are more prone to grow over by say Jellyfish lake… but they look long and have regular nobs on the rot where the shoots grow out of. Very distinctive…” He added.

Then Tazrae gestured up at what looked like a tremendously oversized chestnut green coat. “Are those edibles? I’ve seen them before and they’ve intrigued me.” She said simply, pointing out the Sop growing above them.

“Indeed. Those are Sops. Peel off the green nobby skin and they are deliciously sweet with a ting of sour fruit beneath. They are really good to find and feast off of and they can travel well too. Sometimes some varieties are really sour. But they are a good kind of sour so just keep eating them.” He advised.

Tazrae nodded.

“So any other general advice?” Tazrae asked, looking thoughtful.

“Sure. Orientation is important. Figure out what direction you are going and stick to walking that one direction. Anywhere in the Maw that you go east or south east, you are eventually going to hit the ocean… that’s your easy way home following a beach north or south home from there. Walking in one general direction is always important. Just stay in a straight line if you can… if you are trying to be found break lots of branches and cut lots of trail like we’ve been doing today. If you are trying to evade someone, pass without trace. Don’t touch anything, don’t break any branches, and try not to leave prints. Everything out here is situational. Each time you find yourself in trouble… and it will happen more than once… it will be different. You need to understand your situation, Tazrae. That’s critical. Think your way out of tough spots.” The Founder added before continuing.

Tazrae could only nod. She was keeping up the pace with Randal fairly well, which was something she didn’t think she could have done a season ago. “If I get truly lost, do I still walk in one direction? The same direction?” Taz asked curiously.

Randal shook his head. “Try to orientate. Try to figure out where you are. IF you get on high ground, you might be able to see depressions where significant streams or rivers flow. Try to follow those downstream. They will lead to civilization in many many situations…. out in the Maw like this… if your lucky they will take you straight home to Syka.” He added.
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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 VI

Postby Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 6:09 pm

“What about animal trails? Follow? Don’t follow?” Tazrae questioned.

Randal looked thoughtful. “Animal trails can be very useful. They are great for fast travel in the jungle especially if they are heading in the same direction you are. They often lead to water and food sources or even open areas where you might more easily find your way out or camp in safety. Just stay off them or near them at night. Big predators use them to traverse the jungle looking for easy meals. You are absolutely easy pickings for them.” He advised her carefully.

“Okay, I understand. Use them during the day, camp off them where you aren’t in immediate notice of the predators who use the trails. Got it.” She said cheerfully. Then she almost tripped over a branch as they ducked around a tree where Bree seemed to have another Mussurana cornered. This time Randal got there first and smiled as he carefully approached the snake and examined it.

“Great job Bree!” Randal said. “She’s found us a male. We needed one.” He said, taking out a cotton sack from his pack and carefully removing the snake from its resting spot at the base of a giant tree. The male seemed to just be sunning himself in the broken sunlight. Taz pointed at the bulge in his middle.

“Did he just eat?” She asked, as Randal slipped the snake into the bag.

The founder nodded. “Looks like it. He might throw up his meal though… they tend too when moved around after they eat. They like peace and quiet to digest. You’ll need to feed him again if he does. The girls, I suspect, won’t eat because of their clutches… pregnant snakes might go a month or longer without eating.” He said encouragingly as he attached the male to Bree’s saddle. She was getting quite the load of snakes.

“Do we need many more?” Taz asked.

Randal looked thoughtful. “Two pregnant females and a male is a good start, but I wouldn’t mind half a dozen of various ages coming out of the jungle. If nothing else we can relocate them to the Settlement if you don’t want to keep them captive for breeding, especially if they are young. So lets shoot for a half dozen or more?” He mused out loud, Tazrae agreeing with him.

“Okay… but remember, you have to help me build this reptile shed.” She said firmly. “I’ll care for them, no worries.” The Innkeeper added.

“And I’ll hunt for them… after I hunt them.” Bree said coyly. Her tongue flicked out and back again and she snorted then disregarded as if she scented something and decided it was probably the slightly squirming packages tied to her saddle.

“Sounds like a team effort.” Taz added, laughing.

They set off again, this time on some sort of animal trail where Bree paused every few feet and sniffed. Luck had been on their side for the most part, having located three mature snakes in the vastness of the Maw and of the species they wanted. Taz was starting to feel excited for the new project. She thought caring for eggs and having baby snakes hatch would be extra exciting.

“So… the jungle is soaking wet all the time, Randal, and it rains constantly… but other than trapping rainfall, which I know about, where else do you find fresh water you can drink without boiling?” Taz asked, since Randal was in a mood to talk about survival out here.

“Hrm… drinkable water. The first thing you can do is find a stream or river, move off it a few feet, and dig a hole down to the water level…. Wait… let the water fill the hole from the groundwater and drink that. Odds are it won’t be contaminated… and wont make you sick. Animals shit in water, piss in water, and naturally live in water like the big crocs… and they polite it. Some of the most polluted watersources over by Riverfall – for example – are beaver dams. You can actually get so sick you’ll die drinking that water. I know people that have gotten sick from it so badly they can’t hold their bowels for seasons.” He explained.

Taz frowned, thinking that sounded horrible and a terrible way to die as well. “So there are more ways than a well? Wouldn’t that taste horrible?” Randal nodded in agreement.

“Those sorts of wells are often muddy, taste terrible, but they are drinkable. That’s the important thing to remember. You can cut bamboo stalks. They collect water in the compartments of the stalks and it's always fresh, tasty, and drinkable. Look for the lines across the trunk… these divide the stalks into compartments. You can also use bamboo stalks on older bamboo for waterproof containers to boil water in. As long as you heat them up slowly and out of the fire, they will boil. It will take forever, but if you are lacking a container, that can be used in a pinch.” He explained.



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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 VI

Postby Tazrae on May 6th, 2021, 4:49 am

Tazrae -


Tracking +3, Observation +5, Wilderness Survival +5, Psychology +2, Animal Husbandry +3, Navigation +2, Stealth +2, Interrogation +3, Foraging +2

WS: Controlling Emotions/Reactions, Psychology: Understanding and Recognizing Panic, WS: Brain Is The Main Tool For Survival, Psychology: Intuition & Judgement Important In WS, WS: Know When To Stay Put/When To Move, Psychology: Fight Or Flight Response In Humans, WS: Can’t Think Clearly When Running On Emotions, WS: Stay Busy, Plan, Keep Your Brain Occupied, Psychology: Keep Engaging Your Mind To Curb Instinct, Psychology: Repeat “I’ll Be Okay” Until You Make It A Reality, Psychology: The Importance Of Affirmation Statements, WS: The Four Main Things To Stay Alive (Water, Shelter, Weapon/Tool, Food), WS: The Importance Of Palms, WS: All Nuts Are Edible In The Jungle, WS: Common Foods – Coconut, Mangos, Bananas, Dragonfruit, Sugar Cane, Papayas, and Tarot, WS: Jungle Is An Apothecary, WS: Water Lilies – Good Source Of Food, WS: Sops – Good Source Of Food, Navigation: Orientation Is Important, WS: Figure Out What Direction You Are Going And Keep Going That Direction, Stealth: Pass Without Trace, Stealth: Don’t Touch Anything, Stealth: Don’t Break Any Vegetation, Stealth: Don’t Leave Any Prints, WS: Animal Trails Used Only During Day/Avoid At Night, Tracking: Using An Ixam As A Bloodhound, WS: How To Find Fresh Water, Foraging: Best Fruits To Harvest, Foraging: Where Nuts Grow
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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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