Completed Finding Food In The Jungle

Tazrae takes another educational walk with Randal, this time

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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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Finding Food In The Jungle

Postby Tazrae on November 29th, 2021, 5:05 am

Timestamp: 20th of Fall, 521 A.V.


Tazrae had made plans to meet Randal today at the edge of the jungle. The pair had planned another lesson, this time with finding food in the jungle in mind. This was the day Randal had finally promised to meet for a trek and talk in the jungle. She’d been hounding him on helping her find more exotic foods to serve at the Inn and wanted a talk on Wilderness Survival based on food. The youngest founder had agreed to meet her a few days from the time they’d last spoken… both liking the idea of a break and a hike in the jungle.
Taz had enjoyed a lot of lessons from Randal, but none of them had talked very in depth about food and how to acquire it. She knew more about clean water and how to survive utilizing the rain than she did about what to fill her belly with. So, in direct reflection of that, Randal had offered her foraging lessons with a bent towards Wilderness Survival if she ever found herself lost in the jungle and all alone.

It was one of her fears…. that she would be on her own and alone with no way to feed herself. So, she dressed for the outing, sliding on her tall boots, and long sleeved Isuas shirt and matching pack and then swung her survival pack up on her back, which was just her magical backpack stuffed with her survival gear. That had been one of her first lessons, never leaving home without being prepared. She added a survival knife to her belt, slipped her hand axe in her backpack, and strapped on her machete. Then she cut a walking stick partway down the path on her way to meet Randal, and quickly arrived at the rendezvous point.

Randal was already there to greet her, offering her a smile and holding something out to her. Taz paused, frowning, and looked at what was in his hand. It was a wand of sorts, made of metal with an ornate handle and an ornate translucent clear crystal sticking out from a second equally ornate end. “It’s a Plant Tester.” Randal said gently. “I brought it as a gift to you. We find them periodically in the Stairstep Falls or washed up on the beach. I think it was something they made here at Pavena since this is about the sixth one we’ve recovered. They all work the same way too…” He began to explain, as Tazrae took the item and examined it.

“First, to use it you touch the stone to a plant you want to test. It’s a very complicated magical tool… we haven’t figured out how to replicate them yet. But once you have one, they don’t seem to wear out or stop being useful, whatever went into crafting them. Once you’re touching a plant… something dead or alive… the tester will turn a certain color to give you an indication if it is falling into several categories. If it remains colorless – the color it is now – then the plant has no value to you. However, if it goes red, then the plant is poison.” He said, instructing her carefully. Then he continued.
Last edited by Tazrae on November 29th, 2021, 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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Finding Food In The Jungle

Postby Tazrae on November 29th, 2021, 5:06 am

“Just holding the plant tester will give you some indication of how it poisons you… you will for example feel your throat constrict or feel immediate body pain, maybe feel like vomiting, that sort of thing. If it goes blue, it is a healing plant and the tester will give you some idea of how you can use it… it will feel soothing to your throat for a moment just as an example. If its good for wound healing, you’ll get an image in your head of you making a poultice out of it. That sort of thing. Green means food and some idea of how to utilize it for that will pop into your head if its not immediately evident. Purple means crafting or building… and again it will give you some idea. Go touch it to that palm tree over there… and see what I mean?” He instructed, then crossed his arms and gave Taz some room in the small clearing to go test the device out.

She carefully turned the plant tester over and over in her hands, then walked to the palm and touched the palm with the device. It flared green in the crystal tip and she immediately got a visual of coconuts in her mind and more surprisingly the palm falling over, and exposing what looked like a juicy delicious core.

She frowned, confused, and turned to Randal. “The core of the palm tree is edible?” She asked, having never heard such a thing.

He smiled. “We call it the heart of the palm, and yes… its completely edible and very healthy for you.” Randal looked thoughtful for a moment. “We don’t actually go around cutting down palm trees, especially those with coconuts, because we need them to keep producing the coconut… but in a survival situation, the heart of palm will do nicely.” He said, joining her and patting the palm. “It’s one of the reasons I advise you to always carry a small hatchet at you.”

Then he gestured up the trail. “Let’s walk. That plant tester is yours to keep.” He added, and they both started out side by side up a small jungle trail that looked overgrown and little used. Randal pulled his machete and Tazrae did likewise, moving to his right side so she could hack right while he hacked left being a left-handed person.

“What does it do? I mean… test plants for what?” Taz said, realizing the name should be telling. But truthfully she had no idea what one did or how one worked.

“It’s a magic item.” Randal said, gesturing around. “It works on living plants and dead ones as well, such as dried herbs. It changes color when its touched to a plant and the colors it changes to has different meanings.” He added, looking thoughtfully at Tazrae turning the wand over and over in her hands. “If it turns red, it means the plant is poison. If you then touch the crystal, you’ll get an exact idea of what kind and what effect it has… you’ll feel like you are choking, for example, if the plant swells up your throat.” He said, then moved on.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
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Finding Food In The Jungle

Postby Tazrae on November 29th, 2021, 5:08 am

“It will turn blue if it has healing properties. Touch the gem for more information. Green means its food and again touch it for an idea of how to use it in cooking. Purple means it's used in building and construction… most of the trees and vines will give a purple response. That’s all the colors we’ve identified so far.” He said, taking the wand back from her and demonstrating by touching bamboo which lit it up bright purple.

Taz nodded her agreement and took the wand back, slipping it carefully into her backpack with the rest of her survival gear. “It’s a lovely thing, the magic wand, but Randal… I can’t always rely on magic for things. I want practical knowledge too.” She said thoughtfully, hoping the youngest Founder of Syka could understand.

Randal did, for he nodded. “At best it’s a crutch, you are right. Because odds are if you are in a survival situation, you’ll need your brain most of all. And you won’t have any nifty toys with you, especially magical ones.” He added, proving he did know what was going on in Tazrae’s head and was willing to teach her beyond gifting her with new tools.

“Most of the time when you are out here alone, your menu choices will always be one of four things. You can eat edible plants, fruit, insects, and sometimes fish. People think killing and eating snakes is a good option too, but stay away from the vipers. Just kill the constrictors and give all the rest a wide respectful pass. Always keep a bit of fishing gear on you. Secret hooks and line into your jungle clothing for those just in case situations. There are a plethora of streams and rivers out here, even ponds, and they are all well populated by edible fish. In fact, almost every kind of jungle fish is edible in one way or another. Avoid the eels though. They can be delicious, but some of them can give off jolts that can stop your heart. Catfish and perch are a far better choice.” He added, looking around as they walked.

Taz nodded. “What about plants? What can you tell me about them? Are there any do’s or don’ts involving them?” She asked, looking thoughtful. Randal would talk on his own and indeed give her a bunch of useful information, but often the conversation tended to wander unless Tazrae gave him a prompt or two.

“There’s really a list of things you need to watch out for in plants. You have to have some way to figure out whether a plant is edible without having an herbalist with you or someone like say Uta. Fortunately, I’ve spoken with her enough I know that it can be deadly to eat a plant you are unsure of. So, by far, it's better to try and find food anywhere else than risk eating something toxic. Avoid all mushrooms, for example, because some of them will outright kill you. And it almost takes an expert to determine the good from the bad among them.” He said, looking thoughtfully at Tazrae.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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Finding Food In The Jungle

Postby Tazrae on November 29th, 2021, 5:10 am

“Are there certain types of berries I can eat? What do I look for?” She asked, having hoped he’d get to this question sooner rather than later. Berries were her favorites.

“Sure… avoid eating any plants that have white or yellow berries. The one exception to that is cloudberry which is yellow and low growing. It looks exactly like a raspberry only its pale. Otherwise, don’t even remotely touch any plant with those sorts of berries.” He added, catching her gaze until Tazrae nodded her agreement and understanding.

“What other indicators on plants should I look for? Is there a coloring?” She asked, hoping to say every plant that was maybe white or yellow was toxic. Instead, she saw Randal shake his head in denial.

“Its not a coloring, but a texture. Steer clear of leaves that are shiny or waxy. I know that sounds odd, but most edible plants have a soft muted texture to their surfaces. The shiny ones are almost all deadly poison.” Randal said, pointing out several plants and shrubs along the way with shiny leaves. Tazrae took the information in, attempting to commit it to memory as she did so. It was an important fact.

“Is there a way to tell if something is poison by the way it smells or tastes?” She asked, curious if one could tell a poisonous plant beyond its texture. She figured there had to be clues, beyond the obvious visual ones like shiny or waxy leaves and white berries.

“Most poisonous plants have a bitter or soapy taste to them. If you are sampling a plant for taste and taste either soap or bitter, spit it out immediately and rinse your mouth. As for smells, the only one I know of for sure is an almond smell. That’s bad. Avoid anything that remotely smells like almond.” He added, pausing to break the leaves on a few plants around them, and letting Taz smell at them. None of them had an almond smell until she came to the last one which had big shiny leaves. “This one is thorny salamis. The Myrians use this to poison the tips of their spears when they are hunting large animals. It only takes a few drops of its leaf oils to do so. That brings me to another rule. Never eat something with thorns. Thorny plants almost always give people some sort of bad reaction or even death.” Randal explained, watching to make sure Tazrae was paying attention.

“Okay that’s texture. Are there any other physical signs that a plant is poisonous?” Taz prompted, hoping to keep Randal talking as they walked. The man studied plants as they passed, gesturing first to one side of the trail then to the other.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
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)

Finding Food In The Jungle

Postby Tazrae on November 29th, 2021, 5:12 am

“Steer clear of plants that have leaves in whirls of three. Groups of three never turn out good for our health. They are often poisonous. Also flower shape is important too. Plants with umbrella shaped flowers are never good to eat. They are almost always poisonous. I’ve never found an exception. Avoid beans or plants with seeds inside a pod. Some of those are edible, but only with certain treatments like boiling or fermenting – and then only if you know what you are doing. So go ahead and avoid those pods.” Randal said, pointing out first umbrella shaped flowers, then showing her a long dangling plant that had seed pods. Most of them, oddly enough, had shiny leaves and groups of leaves in whirls of three. To Tazrae it seemed the jungle had a secret code. And she wondered as well if that code applied just to humans or if other animals found what humans found poisonous.

“There’s one more thing.” Randal said, nodding to a sapling tree that he hacked off nearly at the base with his machete. He held it up to her and squeezed at the young tree, bending it a little so that sap dripped out of the base. “If a plant or something like this tree has milky or discolored sap, avoid it. Almost every time that sort of sap indicates a toxicity to us.” He added, looking thoughtfully at Tazrae.

Tazrae looked like she was not only paying but trying to memorize everything he’d said. She mentally ticked things off in her head and lingered over the appearance of the flowers and the leaf arrangements. Then the girl nodded her understanding. ’It’s quite the list, and I’ll have to memorize it for sure.” She said, stopping for a moment to take a portable sketch book out of her backpack and pulling out a piece of writing charcoal. She quickly jotted down the list and read it back for Randal to approve.

Rules for Finding Food In The Jungle


  • No eating mushrooms.
  • No white or yellow berries were safe.
  • Avoid plants with an almond smell.
  • Avoid plants with thorns.
  • Avoid shiny or waxy leaves.
  • No groups of three whirls.
  • No umbrella-shaped flowers.
  • No beans or plants with seedpods.
  • No milky or discolored sap.


“Good. I don’t think we left anything out. Anyhow, everything else is fair game.” He said with a grin, then looked her over carefully. “We still need to talk about the ocean, what washes up on the beach, and about seaweed. Seaweed is very important. But first, before we talk about that, I want to teach you all about what’s called the ‘universal edibility test’. He said, making quotes in the air with his hands.

Tazrae smiled. She’d never heard of a universal edibility test. But it sounded like something she really needed to know in order to thrive in the wild. She wasn’t just trying to survive anymore. She wanted to thrive in the feralness of the jungle.

“Okay, tell me about this test…” Tazrae asked, curious and eager to learn more.

Words: 2541

Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
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)

Finding Food In The Jungle

Postby Tazrae on January 14th, 2022, 3:14 pm

Grading


Tazrae-

Wilderness Survival +5, Interrogation +5, Socialization +3


Plant Tester – Appearance, Use And Function, WS: Heart Of Palms As Food, WS: Jungle Food Includes Plants, Fruits, Insects and Fish, WS: Always Pack Fishing Gear, WS: Never Eat Mushrooms, WS: Avoid Eating Plants With White Or Yellow Berries, WS: Cloudberry Identification, WS: Steer Clear Of Waxy Or Shiney Leaf Plants, WS: Poisonous Plants Have A Bitter Soapy Taste, WS: Poisonous Plants Can Sometimes Smell Like Almond, WS: Poisonous Plants Often Have Leaves In Whirls Of Three, WS: Avoid Milky Sap Plants, WS: Thorns Often Indicate Poison, WS: Avoid Umbrella Shaped Flowers, WS: Don’t Eat Beans Or Plants With Seadpods


Items Acquired: Plant Tester
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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