Completed An Education In Jungle Life VII

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 VII

Postby Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 11:10 pm

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

Continued From: An Education In Jungle Life VI


They walked and discussed more about jungle survival. Tazrae had questions as Bree darted back and forth trying to track more Mussurana. The Jungle Ixam seemed so happy here among the wilds. She didn’t exactly blend in though, which was something that Tazrae considered odd. “Bree doesn’t blend in with the foliage. Do you think that’s odd?” Taz asked Randal as they walked along, skirting vines and slogging through what was getting to be more and more muddy terrain.

“No… it just tells me the Ixam are apex predators. Her colorful green and blue patterning is just so she can attract mates. If you think she’s lovely, you should see the males of her kind. They are even more striking.” Randal commented.

“Do you think she’ll have babies?” Taz asked, curious, having no knowledge of the real Ixam reproductive patterns.

“I suspect she’ll lay a clutch in the spring if she’s old enough to be bred. Some wild male or another will come along and catch her. I’ve seen her kind’s eggs tucked up against the base of trees in a nest. I don’t think they even guard them… much like snakes they lay and take off. You’ll have to have a talk with her about not running off if she gets egg heavy so we can watch her and take care of the eggs as well. It would be nice to have a few more Ixam around Syka like her. I wouldn’t even mind mounting the Rangers up entirely. They’d get places faster.” Randal mused.

Taz nodded. She knew that any eggs the jungle ixam laid would belong to Bree and ultimately it would be up to Bree what would happen to them. Tazrae was certain of that. But if the Ixam grew as slowly as Bree seemed to suggest to her they did, then it was years and seasons into the future they’d need to worry about such things.

“So you’ve talked about fruits and nuts in the jungle, but what about meat? What’s the best way to go about hunting here?” Taz asked. “Can I just use my bow?” She added, looking thoughtful.

Randal nodded. “You can. But what if something happens to it? I’ll show you how to make a deadfall trap, set snares, and create a four-pronged fishing spear so you can get meat for yourself.” He said thoughtfully. “You never know when you are going to be stranded in the jungle with nothing, perhaps not even clothing.” He said, knowing it was true enough. And then at that point he began looking around long enough to spot something useful and he whistled to Bree to bring her back to them. “We’re stopping for a moment to teach some skills…. Deadfall and fishing spears and snares.” He added for the jungle Ixam’s benefit. Bree nodded, bent her neck to nibble at one of her legs, and waited quietly while Randal got on with his explanation of Deadfall traps.

“The first one I’m going to show you is a trap you can make with almost no tools. You need a knife, but in a pinch, you can just try and break the stick in a certain way or use a rock to cut into the stick. The thing you need is a large flat heavy rock, a sturdy stick you can cut into, and some bait. Bait can be anything from already dead vermin, to crushed berries, to bread… just anything that something might eat in the jungle... even some mushed-up grubs or termites would work.” Randal explained.

“It sounds very primitive. Does it work well?” Tazrae asked.

Randal nodded. “It actually does. Its easy, takes very little energy, and there’s no complicated snare knots or cordage. It acts with tension and the natural tendency for rocks to fall. Here, let me show you.” Randal said, hunting around until he had located a large flat rock, and broke off a branch that looked sturdy enough to maybe hold the rock up if set up right.
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Tazrae
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An Education In Jungle Life VII

Postby Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 11:14 pm

Tazrae trailed after him, feeling like a duckling following a momma duck. She watched intently, interested, and noted each step as important. “You can do it with one stick… like this. He cut a notch in the stick, broke it one place, and set the stick up in a sort of number four shape with the four facing upwards and balancing on its back. Then he showed her how to balance the stick with just one stick. Don’t waste your time and energy hunting animals. Everything in the jungle will be better at evading death than you. Unless you have your bow, just don’t bother with it. It’s better to conserve your energy or fish. You can make any variation of this trap you want too. You can use a log to crush something, a rock, almost anything. The more of these you make the more chances you have of catching something and crushing it so you have a fresh meal the next day. The key is to place the trap where it will get animal traffic – on a trail, close to the water, anything like that.” Randal finished.

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Then he made the sticks three separate sticks and showed her that way again. “If your rock is say a foot long, the stick needs to be three feet long. You’ll need a smaller rock to make the flat rock a bit top heavy. Then set it up like this.” He demonstrated neatly. By the time Taz and Randal were done making several with the stones that Randal saw laying around, Taz had a good idea of what to do. She was confident she could set them, though not as sure if she could catch anything. They might be good traps to set around The Protea where she could control some of the smaller rodents and feed what she caught to Bree.

Randal was moving on though. Like all things, he piled a lot in his lessons and got going swiftly expecting his students to keep up. Tazrae found that incredibly daunting, even though it challenged her intellect and made her feel good that he didn’t coddle her or treat her as if she were simple. He just gave her the information, and waited to see if she absorbed.

“So…. Fishing in the jungle is effective. They aren’t used to predators with spears. Those who get lost or stranded rarely have fishing gear. Normally you can make yourself a way to harvest fish easily and efficiently with little to no energy. Just cut a six- or seven-foot piece of bamboo…. “ He instructed, then waited while Tazrae grabbed her hatchet, looked around, spotted a likely pole… and cut the bamboo in question down. Then, she returned with it to Randal who nodded and showed her how to split the ends into four separate pieces with six-inch-deep cuts. He then cut a length of vine and wove it around the ends near where the cuts terminated to splay out the cuts and make the prongs more potent. Then, using her hatchet, Randal showed her how to sharpen the ends.

“If you can’t catch fish with these, especially in jungle pools where there is high concentration of fish, you have no business going anywhere alone. I would also suggest you cut a few of these for your home and practice in the shallow water when the tide is going out. It will allow you to kill rock fish and other delicious things you can feature on your menu.” He added.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
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An Education In Jungle Life VII

Postby Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 11:15 pm

Tazrae hefted the spear, tested it for its weight, and nodded. “This looks good to defend yourself with also. I wouldn’t mind having one of these to discourage something from eating me.” She added and kept the fishing spear, using it as a walking stick for the moment.

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“When you catch a fish, the easiest way to cook it is this way. Dig a hole in the dirt about a foot deep and two feet across. Make sure your fire is ringed with rocks. That way the rocks get hot and you can move them into the hole using a stick. Wrap your fish in green leaves and tie with a vine. Put the wrapped fish on top of the rocks and cover it with dirt. Then, in about an hour, dig the fish up. It will be perfectly cooked, moist, and flake right off into your mouth.” Randal said with amusement.

Tazrae nodded. “But hopefully I’ll have my pan there so I can pan fry anything I find… crispy skin for the win.” She said with a grin. “Though it might be fun to startled the guests with a cookoff like that. They’d enjoy cooking something more primitive. I already thought of crab boils and the like to keep them entertained.” She added, tapping the fish spear into the dirt and thinking about food. Her stomach rumbled then and she smiled embarrassingly. “I’m getting hungry with all this food talk.” Taz admitted. “I need to be getting back soon. I don’t have any guests to tend to today, but I never know who might drop by on the evening tide.” She added as Randal nodded.

Just then Bree made a noise, then shouted for them to come over. She was half in a bush, buried up to her saddle, her ass and tail lashing in delight. “Found another.” She called, then began working her way out of the bush. She had the snake gently gripped in her jaws and was tenderly pulling it out of the brush even though it squirmed and hissed. It still didn’t bite, even after she released it and both Taz and Randal made a grab for it. Their hands connected together and Taz jerked back, giving Randal room to pick the snake up and look it over.

“It’s a younger female, unbred I think.” He said of the four foot creature Bree had ferreted out of the brush. Taz helped him pull another cotton bag from his backpack and they bagged the snake up and she was hung next to the others on Bree’s saddle.

Bree was turning them in a big loop now so they were headed back to the settlement, but still covering new ground. The Jungle Ixam was smart like that, though her bossiness was subtle.

“What are the main dangers in the Jungle, Randal? I would have thought it was the fact everything out there is trying to kill you. But I want to know what you think the main points are so I can commit them to my head and have an idea how to avoid them.” She said, thoughtfully. Taz kept glancing at the snakes on Bree’s saddle and wondering how they were going to get something built for the snakes as soon as she got back.
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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 VII

Postby Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 11:16 pm

“That’s an easy list, Taz. Watch for fallen trees… tripping over trees or trying to camp by one can be dangerous.. Slippery rocks… injuring an ankle or even breaking a leg by slipping off a rock is deadly out here. Choose all your water crossings with great care and never cross water more than knee deep. Things like sunstroke, heatstroke, sunburn and especially dehydration are critical to avoid. When you get dehydrated you can get debilitating headaches and confusion. Those are deadly in the jungle. Watch to make sure your clothes are on. Cover your head and heck, your arms and calves with leather if possible… venomous ants, snakes, spiders and plants with spines or thorns are always dangerous. Even bugs like mosquitos can bite and bite and bite… until your skin is just a massive infestation of bites that can get infected and really give you illnesses. And try not to head to the jungle alone. That shouldn’t be hard for you now that you have Bree…. She’s a total asset to have out here. Just watching her today I can see that. She’s big enough to carry you if you are tired and her sense of smell and direction are astonishing.” Randal said, shaking his head yet again.

Bree, hearing the praise, paused then dipped her head, gave what appeared to be a fallen log a sniff, and said carefully…. “There’s another one under here.” She added. Reaching up with her claws, the jungle ixam began to carefully shred the mostly rotten log until big chunks of the softened wood fell away. It piled up around her until they could see a large black coil press out of it and squirm deeper. Bree caught the snake in her mouth gently – obviously not using teeth – and gave it a tug. She slid a huge male Mussurana out of the remains of what was a hollow log and into the clearing for both humans to admire.

Tazrae was already getting a sack when Randal laughed. “Just about perfect…. Three females, two mature, and two males… both a great size. I’d say we have your starter collection complete, Tazrae.” He said as Taz handed him the cotton sack and he bagged the snake easily.

“At this rate, you are going to be working on my reptile shed all day tomorrow. I hope you have time for it.” She said thoughtfully. AS always, she knew the founder was booked up a great deal in advance in his building projects, and tomorrow had to be no exception.

“Actually, I do have time. A shed is about a full day’s project. And since James is in town, I’ll get him to help. He’s actually not a bad carpenter. He’ll love our idea, by the way, and probably help you in all that you might want to accomplish with it. He’s a great one for progress. I’ll tell Mathias too… he might have some ideas.” Randal claimed, then looked thoughtful.

“Do you have any more jungle questions, Taz? Any more questions on snakes?” he asked.

Tazrae laughed. “I always have questions about the jungle… and I have nothing BUT questions about the snakes. Hrm… but what to ask first?” She said as they slogged through more mud-logged trail probably made by some of the Rangers… on their way back to Syka proper. Bree was done snake hunting, as they both could see the Lizard just heading straight through the jungle, dead center on the muddy path, where Tazrae thought she saw Tapir prints more than any other kind. She said nothing though, knowing she should ask Randal a few questions if he had them.
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
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An Education In Jungle Life VII

Postby Tazrae on November 22nd, 2020, 11:19 pm

“We didn’t do much on shelter building… if I have to be out here, stay overnight, and need to build a shelter, what would you do with one? How would you build it?” Taz asked, looking thoughtful. “I feel like just building a shelter to survive isn’t enough. I feel like other things need to be taken into account… like there are enemies more sophisticated than jaguars in this jungle.

“You are astute.” Randal said. “There are dangers. We think there are even raiders. Look at Bree… she came from somewhere. Questioning her… the man who had her before lived full time in the jungle and raided for a living like some barbarian. Possibly Symenestra because he definitely wasn’t human according to Bree.” Randal said, just as Tazrae caught the Jungle Ixam glancing back over her shoulder, nervously.

“He’s right. They were very bad people, Tazrae.” Bree said, looking thoughtful. “They often hung out at known Svefra landing places, where the sea people would come ashore to get fresh fruit and good drinking water. They’d take the women, force mate them, and they would die when the babies were born.” The lizard said, uncomfortable.

Tazrae simply stared at her. She didn’t say anything for a long time before she glanced at Randal and demanded an explanation. “What does she mean?” Taz said, her teeth clenched. “Is she talking about rape?” The woman said, causing the Founder to shake his head.

“Yes, I’m afraid so. Symenestra women don’t survive childbirth so they often have what they call surrogates from another race. The men go out on what they call harvests. We’ve had one or two show up here looking to harvest. They kidnap young women of childbearing age… women like you, Tazrae. They force themselves upon the women, get them pregnant, and then when the child is born it is Symenestra and its venomous fangs kill the mothers. The Symenestra women then take these orphaned children and raise them as their own…. the fathers are glorified as heroes for having saved the life of their beloved wives and sisters.” Randal said softly.

Taz glanced at Bree. The lizard was watching her over her back, and nodded slowly. A chill ran through Tazrae, and she turned back to Randal. “So… we must be fighters as well as craftsman, Innkeepers, and Settlers.” She said softly.

The Founder nodded. “I didn’t know how to tell you, but its best you know.”

“So, I will have to know how to hide out here at times to. And how to run…” Taz replied, looking thoughtful. “I will need to know so much more than I thought I would have.” She wondered if this is what Kihala had meant giving the settlement the totem statues and marks to activate and control them with. The Innkeeper inverted her wrist, rubbed on the mark a moment, and glanced at Randal once more. “Survival… it makes a whole lot more sense to me now.” She said thoughtfully.

Their muddy path had turned into one that was drier and lined with stone. Taz thought she even knew where they were now. “We’ll build the reptile shed, but then after that, when you have free time… will you bring me back out here and show me how to survive with an active enemy chasing me?” She asked simply, not wanting to ask that question but thinking it was important anyhow.

Randal nodded solemnly. “I will, Taz. I absolutely will. I may not be an expert in evasion, but I can give you some pointers.” He promised thoughtfully. She nodded… even as their smaller path spilled out onto the Cobbled Pathway and they made the turn towards The Inn.

Their work was far from over though. They had five snakes to house tonight and a reptile shed to build tomorrow night. Despite the danger, Taz was looking forward to the project. It would be something different and something to focus on.

Word Count: 3078
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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
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

An Education In Jungle Life VII

Postby Tazrae on May 6th, 2021, 11:01 pm

Tazrae -


Animal Husbandry +3, Wilderness Survival +5, Socialization +3, Observation +5, Interrogation +3, Construction +2, Fishing Spear +1,

Ixam: Males More Colorful Than Females, Ixam: Lay Eggs In The Spring, Ixam: Apex Predators, WS: How To Make Deadfall Traps, WS: Setting Snares, WS: How To Construct A Four-Pronged Fishing Spear, WS: Main Dangers Of The Jungle, Symenestra: Steal Women/Rape Them/They Die Giving Birth, Syka: Residents Must Be Fighters As Well As Craftsman, Innkeepers, And Settlers

Note: Three females two male snakes collected
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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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