Completed Foraging For A Fib Of A Feast

Tazrae agrees to put on a feast for Randal of revolting cuisine.

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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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Foraging For A Fib Of A Feast

Postby Tazrae on November 30th, 2021, 2:42 am

Timestamp: 50th of Fall, 521 A.V.


Taz stared at Randal incredulously.

“You want me to WHAT?!?!?!” She said, studying him intently with a look of horror on her face.

“You heard me. Come on Taz. You know if anyone can do it you can. I really just want to shock these blokes into hightailing it out of here and never coming back. They are interested in DEVELOPING some trade here, and it’s the kind of trade we don’t need.” He added, holding his hands wide and appealing to her better nature. The man did seem sincere, even if what he was sincere about was almost horrific.

“First off… Gross! Second of all, I know nothing about what’s edible and let alone how to prepare it in the insect world!” Taz said, curling her lip as if she was fighting off almost instant nausea. She’d turned about four different shades of color and Randal had no difficulty reading the emotions playing across her features. But she owed him…. owed him deeply and it was almost impossible to say no to Randal because of that unspoken debt. “Just a feast then? A feast of all insects for some fancy people from Riverfall that think this place is paradise and want to flood it with Akalaks?” She added, knowing just how well the Akalaks ate and how much they would be horrified themselves if all the food on the menu was used to crawl and squirm before being used for food.

“Taz, be reasonable. Bugs are delicious. I’m somewhat of an expert on the subject.” Bree added, suddenly picking a side and that side wasn’t Tazrae’s. She was team Randal all in and Taz could see it in her reptilian gleam. “I can help you find things… things even this man doesn’t know about. That would be things high in the canopy you can now have access to because you have an incredibly talented and smart jungle Ixam that is more than able to climb for them. Just think of how much fun it would be learning about what’s edible in the jungle besides nasty fruit and things you have to battle to kill… like a tapir. Give it a try. Bugs aren’t bad, Taz. They can be very good… and if you serve them to the Akalak that I suspect will hate them, they will turn tail and run out of here so fast and look elsewhere for business opportunities.” Bree said, agreeing with Randal.

“It’s like being a Guardian of Syka without actually invoking the statues.” Randal reasoned, smiling his most charming smile at her.

Taz simply stared between the two of them, utterly dumbfounded. “Do you even cook bugs?” She asked, not even sure where to start with her counterargument.

“Sure. But I’m talking more than bugs here, Taz. Bugs, possibly tarantulas, bats… anything and everything that is somewhat questionable in Riverfall’s culture. I want them served up everything edible yet incredibly revolting. Snakes too would be good. Frogs? Can we do that? Bree, can you tell edible frogs from poisonous ones?” Randal asked the Ixam, confident she knew what humans could stomach in the amphibian world too.

Bree nodded. “Of course. Bullfrogs are good eating. I used to slaughter them when I was a hatchling.” She said, puffing up slightly and licking her lips. “Now they are like that popcorn that Tazrae makes some evenings. Just crunchy little kernels.” She said with a toothy reptilian grin. “Besides, it will be fun foraging for all of them. It’s like no work at all to catch them.” She added, nodding at Randal.

Taz slowly nodded. She had a way of finding good eating snakes quickly. Magic items that located snakes helped tremendously. But spiders? Grubs? Frogs? They could do all that, she supposed, and it might be kind of fun to put on such a ruse to Randal’s ‘friends’.
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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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Posts: 1055
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Foraging For A Fib Of A Feast

Postby Tazrae on February 28th, 2022, 12:14 am

“We aren’t going to tell them about Swine Swells… and they just have one day planned to stop here. I have an outdoor feast sold to them, with a lot of the blander native plants, minus the delicious fruits, and if I can get you to cook with bugs… we’re going to be golden. Bree said she’d help… she knows a whole lot more interesting varieties of species than I do. It could be fun.” He said, giving her his most boyish grin.

“We need to fool them and send them on their way. And you are the perfect person to host a ‘shindig’ at the Inn. We can lay the beach out Syka party style…. I can handle those details. But you’ll need to handle the food. I’ve even got Duncan talked into lending you some Reimancy help to get you started… ice and fireworks, that kind of thing.” He added, sweetening the pot.

Taz sighed. “I don’t know anything about edible insects though. You’ll have to teach me. When do you have time?” She asked curiously, knowing she had mere days to plan the event and do the research, test recipes, and prepare dishes… dishes she had no interest in eating. Randal nodded, then sat down a large basket he had slung over his shoulder. It was woven and the size of his torso. “I brought you a foraging basket. It has a special spring trap on the top when the lid is fastened down. The lid buckles tight, sealing the basket, while this little door here…” He pointed to a square reinforced ‘door’ on the top of the basket.

“.. this door is spring-loaded so you can push your hand through it, release something into it like a tarantula or a frog, and it snaps closed until you push it forcefully open again…” He said, offering a smile. “You can keep it for putting on this feast.” He said with a grin.

The somewhat grossed-out Innkeeper nodded. “I’ll do this for you, Randal, but I won’t like it.” She added.

Randal smiled. “I’ll tell you what I do know. Monkeys, chimps, aardvarks, bears, and a whole host of ground creatures like moles and shrews eat insects. Bats also eat insects. Insects eat each other all the time. Insects have a really high nutritional value and are abundant. They are a good food source because they are all over the place. Myrians routinely eat beetle larvae and locusts.: He added.

Then Randal continued. "They also eat cicadas."

"They prepare them by boiling them in salt water and drying them in the sun. I know you can eat some of these huge moths around here by cooking them in the sand. You burn off the legs and wings and shift them through a net which removes the head leaving nothing but the chunk of moth torso which is all meat. Any kind of grub you can eat raw. When you cook them they tend to taste like almonds. Here in the jungle, you can eat ants, bees, and wasps. You can also eat butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, crickets, and above all spiders, especially tarantulas. All you need to do for them is singe off the fur, cut off the pointy back off the abdomen, and then fry or boil… everything else including the head is edible. Most people de-fang them before they cook them too.” He added, grinning at Tazrae.

“I’m confident you can figure it all out.” He said, grinning in one of those confident winning smiles he always wore when he was trying to talk someone into something. “Take Bree… she knows where big spiders are… and go collect them. Take your paddleboard and collect frogs at night. Grab snakes. I know you can get them, and prepare a feast.” He said, pressing his palms together as if in prayer. “Make it look legit everyday… and we’ll fool these idiots and send them on their way.” He reiterated.

Tazrae nodded. It was for a good cause, that was for certain, so she’d do her best. “I’ll do it.” She finally said, and at that moment, Randal seemed to finally decide he’d talked her into it and departed. Taz sighed, sat there in her common room for a few moments, and gathered her thoughts. Spiders? Snakes? Bugs… okay. She could do this… and she rose, went to the room she was currently using, and changed into jungle wear.

Then she grabbed her backpack, which was full of her survival gear, and added a few more things from her philtering lab – tongs, extra gloves, and small jars to put things in if she didn’t want to put all the live creatures together in the collection basket.
Last edited by Tazrae on August 24th, 2022, 3:31 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
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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Foraging For A Fib Of A Feast

Postby Tazrae on February 28th, 2022, 12:17 am

Next, Taz waited until almost full dark and tacked up Bree in her full gear – saddle, bags, backpack, and collection basket. For the first part of the night, they’d look for spiders. Then they’d sus out snakes before they headed home, the snakes being the easiest part. When both of them were ready, Taz swung up onto Bree’s saddle and the pair of them set out north and west straight into the jungle. Riding Bree was always breath-taking to Tazrae. She’d give anything to move like her friend on her own, but it was satisfying all on its own to ride.

Gripping Bree’s barrel and clinging to the saddle as the Ixam took to the trees, leaped between branches, and bounced back to the ground as they traveled. They came out in a small clearing in the jungle where a year or two ago a giant tree had fallen against what looked like a crumpled pile of boulders. Taz dismounted, and together she and Bree began to pick through the jungle to the actual floor where the rocks and rotting wood provided excellent tarantula habitat. The collection basket was set aside, and Taz grabbed her tongs that were as long as her forearm and slipped on her night googles.

Bree gave Tazrae a toothy grin and began rooting through the underbrush. Taz, with her goggles in place, and her tongs at the ready began the hunt. They turned over rocks together, rooted through the deep brush, turned aside leaves, and slowly the pair of them built a search image and began to learn how to spot the spiders. Taz skipped the juveniles and instead focused on the bigger ones, snagging them with her tongs and throwing them into the collection basket through its special trap door. The Ixam was handy as well, for her rooting would often cause creepy crawlies to flee and scatter, alerting Tazrae to their presence. Bree even found Tazrae a termite mound deep in the jungle that Taz was able to partially excavate and achieve handfuls of the wiggly white almost ant-like creatures.

They caught ants the same way they caught termites when they came across an anthill and collected a big jar of them that Bree told her would be delicious mixed with honey and drizzled over bread. Taz was assured that the honey would be eaten as well as the spiders if her unexpected guests didn’t care for them. Waste wasn’t in Tazrae’s wheelhouse, so knowing things would get eaten helped tremendously. And Taz soldiered on with Bree’s guidance.

In Tapir dung, the Ixam rooted out grubs that were the size of Tazrae’s thumbs. And those she collected with gusto so she could make bbq skewers with them that would highlight the insects like Randal wanted. When they had roughly a hundred tarantulas, about five pounds of termites, and a large number of grubs, Taz packed it up and then returned to the Inn. She separated out the termites, which she had in jars, and stored them in the fridge, while she plucked the spiders out of the collection basket and stowed them in tall glass jars that she normally used for stowing huge muffins and home-baked goods for the Inn. She left the glass lids propped up with silverware thrust through the rims so the spiders wouldn’t suffocate. She was going to kill them, so they could be consumed.

Then she hefted a paddleboard with its stowed oar over her shoulder and long with Bree, she headed to Estuary Cave a few bells before dawn. The walk was only about fifteen chimes past the Commons so it was relatively close, but the paddleboard was heavy. Taz was sweating after they got on the cobbled pathway and was downright dragging by the time they got to the Estuary. She’d used the goggles on the way.

When they arrived at the mouth of the cave that formed the Estuary, frog song greeted her in a cacophony. Taz swung the paddleboard off her back, launched it, and then slid onto it to straddle the wood and dangle her feet off either side. A stream formed a freshwater lake that filled a cave, ripe with vegetation and amphibians. The lake then drained into the ocean, allowing a nice big open space for the paddleboard to drift through.

Taz balanced on her paddleboard, resting the oar across her lap, and removed a torch from her backpack. Taz decided to light the torch with her Reimancy. She held the torch high and dry as Bree splashed into the water and concentrated extruding Res out onto the tip of the torch. With a flick of her awareness at igniting the res, she lit the torch and swung it around the cavern. Eyeshine filled the space, as frogs of all shapes and sizes stared back at her.

There were bugs everywhere too; flying, diving, even skittering across the water.
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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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Foraging For A Fib Of A Feast

Postby Tazrae on February 28th, 2022, 12:19 am

It took Taz and Bree a while to figure out the best way to capture frogs. It turned out nets weren’t the answer. Traps weren’t the answer. The answer was simply sending the paddleboard across the water, sliding through the vegetation while the creatures within it were blinded by the torchlight. Then, as they slid by, Taz would make a grab for the biggest frogs, snagging them out of the water with her bare hands. The eyeshine of the frogs in the torchlight gave them away.

The Innkeeper’s grab at the first dozen resulted in little to no yield, but after that she got the hang of the drift by and grab technique, filling up her forage basket quickly. When she had what she figured was enough large frogs – and when she meant large, she meant huge – for a feast, she called it a day. Bree and herself trudged home carrying the paddleboard, loaded down forage basket, an oar in their wake.

Then the sun was just breaking over the jungle as she got home and tucked herself into Bree’s side, leaving the foraging basket in the shade. Not having any guests that couldn’t fend for themselves currently present, Taz caught a long four-hour nap before she got started on the feast. She did it out on the sand in front of the Inn facing the ocean.

She’d either get very warm as the sun climbed higher or she’d wake up in the rain. They slept deeply and well, the rain not touching them. In fact, Randal was the one to wake them when he dropped by to see if they had been successful in finding the creatures they needed to prepare the feast for the guests that were due that evening.

Taz smiled, nodded, and showed him her loot. The frogs were more than enough and Randal assured her many people would drop by to eat the frogs if they advertised the fact Taz would be cooking. Randal wasn’t too impressed with the haul of frogs and snakes though. He wanted to see the spiders and grubs. She took him inside, showed him the huge number of termites she had gathered, the dung grubs and the tarantulas. Randal softened when he saw these things, hope sparkling in his eyes. “You are going to do well with this, Tazrae. They are already here. I’ll bring them here around sunset if that gives you enough time.” He added, checking with her.

Taz nodded. “That’s perfect.” She said, knowing she’d get things ready by then.

And get them ready she did. Tazrae started with her outdoor clay pot stove. It was a massive clay pot with one side missing that she filled with sticks of wood and lit on fire. A nice metal frying wok sat up top of it and she got it all ready to make the spiders in. They would actually be the last thing she fried, so they were still warm before serving, but she left a jug of oil by the wok, packed in the firewood, and pulled out the jars of spiders which she filled with saltwater to drown the arachnids in. Once the spiders were dead, she hacked off the back tip of the abdomen as Randal had advised and then carefully lit the fire.

Instead of bringing something burning from the house stove, Taz was getting used to using her Reimancy and leaned over to exhale her sunset glittery res out onto the clay pot stove fuel load, and then willed it to ignite. The fire blazed up, catching the sticks of wood afire.

It took a moment.

Taz wasn’t quite in the hang of ordering the Res to do what she wanted it too… which was to burn. But once the Res finally ignited, it burned well. There was a sort of unspoken connection between herself and her Res… she owned it in a way she’d never owned or wanted to own anything in her life before. There was a learning curve and the existence of the connection to accept.
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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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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Foraging For A Fib Of A Feast

Postby Tazrae on February 28th, 2022, 12:22 am

Then, one by one, with the spiders still wet, Taz used the tongs to hold them over the flames high enough to not cook, but low enough to singe off the hair on their bodies. The wet kept them from cooking but quickly singed off all the fur. It took time, for certain, and the morning grew late as she got the spiders ready. Then there was a ton of cleaning to do, both with the snakes and frogs.

With the frogs, she used special pliers to clean them with. She found chopping their heads off with a machete made excellent repetitive motion then she used the pliers to grasp the skin that was freed around their neck and inverted the frog's skin. Once the skin was inverted, she chopped off the long-clawed feet and gutted them, throwing all the waste into the bait bucket for her crabs and shrimp trap. Taz worked quickly and meditatively, trying not to think of all the things that were actually on her mind.

She skinned and gutted the snakes as well, then laid the frogs all out on a grill on the deck where she could cook them all evenly. The snakes she coiled into cinnamon-roll-looking swirls of meat. The fire that was roasting that set of meat was low and slow, so she was able to skewer and season the grubs to add to that big grill as well. The termites she boiled and would add to a tossed salad she gathered greens for just before the sun dipped low enough to indicate it was time to fry spiders so they would be done about the time the grilled meat would and the guests would arrive.

Taz seasoned the spiders, filled the wok fryer with oil, and added a whole lot more fire to the clay pot. Then, once the oil was bubbling nicely… she fried the spiders in batches, adding flour and chili’s to the exoskeletons of the arachnids before she tossed them in. She used a metal spatula to keep flipping them over and over until they seemed crunchy and done. At about the third batch, Randal showed up with a group of ‘investors’ in tow – Akalak by the looks of them – and he jumped in getting them settled.

Taz added the last batch to the top of the pile of fried tarantulas and set it on one of the big tables she had going on her deck. She had tiki torches out, so as the light got lower, Taz concentrated in roaming to each torch, blowing Res on the wicks, and lighting each tiki up until the deck was burning with torchlight. She also used the same methods to light the candles on the table, and laid out places for each man. She took meat off the grill, plattering up the snakes, frogs, and skewers of grubs.

Randal dug in enthusiastically, especially when she set a bowl of salad on his plate, tossed with fruit dressing and boiled termites in the same way a Shrimp Louie would have been served back home. Taz served the men Riverfall Wine and offered sides of baked bread that she had ant mixed into honey to drizzle across. The Founder gave her multiple grateful looks for how seriously she took the dinner, as she stepped back and gave Randal the lead. She acted instead as a server like Taz knew women did in Riverfall. The men didn’t so much as look at her as they interacted with the founder, took a tour of the Inn, and ate heartily.

They put on a good show, but Taz could tell the food wasn’t to their liking. The spiders, however, didn’t go to waste. When the men were upon the quick tour which surprisingly included the reptile garden, Bree snuck in and cleaned the plate which made Taz curious enough to steal the last tarantula on the plate and try it. Surprisingly it wasn’t bad and if she was hungry, she’d definitely keep them as a food source and eat heartily of the arachnids. Bree wasn’t wrong. The reptile stole all the ant honey too, finding it delicious and making Tazrae promise to make it more especially for her.

The men took their leave shortly thereafter, heading back to Randal’s cabana where Randal was obviously putting them up. They thanked her all profusely for the meal and with that, they left promising they’d drop by in the morning if they got hungry.

Much to Tazrae’s delight, they never showed… and Randal came by later to let her know they had taken off shortly after her ‘dinner’ opting not even to stay the night because of the selection and quality of the meal. He had assured her that her meal was a success, and though she was cooking with bugs and snakes and spiders, she’d done a good job and made it look really like this was an everyday thing for Syka. Laughing, the Founder had given her a hug of thanks and they’d briefly discussed when and where she’d be ready for her own residence. She promised him ‘soon’ and he nodded, telling her he’d give her home a priority as soon as she decided she wanted him to draw up plans.

“No later than the first of the year.” She promised him, glancing at Bree. “If we get more visitors, I might do a second story on the Inn but we accounted for that with its sturdy foundation. I’m not going to put an apartment on the second level now, not with Bree. Instead, I’m going to build a separate cabana and probably pick up another acre of land or more just to be able to expand the Inn’s services while Syka is still relatively unpopulated.” Randal just laughed, nodding, because there was far and away enough room around the Protea and between properties to sell Tazrae a few more acres of beach and jungle to make sure she got what she needed.

The Innkeeper and the Founder both knew she was pulling her weight in the settlement and was making sure she was contributing enough that her being there made a real difference at the end of the day in the quality of life the visitors who decided to stay enjoyed.

Randle took another ten chimes to discuss some options on a cabana for Tazrae now that she had finally admitted she was going that direction. They talked about rooms, an open concept, and most important access for Bree. Taz had a connection to the nature of Syka and walls wasn’t something that interested her beyond privacy for some extra bedrooms if she wanted anyone to move in along with Bree. Taz didn’t have anyone in mind, but there were new people in Syka every season, and she never knew who would come along that might make a great roomie along with Bree.

Word Count: 4070
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)

Foraging For A Fib Of A Feast

Postby Tazrae on August 24th, 2022, 3:41 am

Grading!


Tazrae -

Planning +2, Rhetoric +1, Persuasion +1, Foraging +4, Wilderness Survival +2, Cooking +3, Riding (Ixam) +1, Paddleboarding +1, Bodybuilding +1, Reimancy +2, Hunting +1, Machete +1, Subterfuge +1

Planning: Faking A Feast, Rhetoric: Trying To Talk Randal OUT Of Service Bugs, Persuasion: Loosing An Argument, Planning: An Outing To Collect Gross Foods, WS: What Is Edible In The Insect World, Foraging: Finding Edible Grubs, Foraging: Capturing Edible Spiders, Foraging: Harvesting Termites, Foraging: Harvesting Ants, Foraging: Collecting Grubs In Tapir Dung, Cooking: Grub Skewers, Cooking: Ants In Honey Over Bread, Paddleboarding: Collecting Frogs Via Paddleboard, Hunting: Catching Frogs By Hand, Cooking: Prepping Tarantulas for Frying (aka Hair Removal), Cooking: Cleaning Frogs With Special Pliers, Machete: Decapitating Frogs, Cooking: Skinning Snakes & Cleaning Them, Cooking: Deep Frying Tarantulas, Cooking: Grub Skewers, Subterfuge: Pretending Gross Food Was Staple Faire
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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