To the root of it.

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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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To the root of it.

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 9:56 pm

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61st of Spring, 522 AV

Cleon was careful before visiting Uta. Remembering the last time he was there he made sure to leave all metal implements back at the inn which actually didn’t leave him much in the way of survival gear. In his backpack he had a simple first aid kit, a couple of snares, a couple of candles, rope, and a tarp to keep it all from getting wet. It was striking how much metal he actually carried on him to go out into the jungle. The whole experience gave him a distinct appreciation for how much he depended on such implements outside of his trade.

Besides, he hadn’t come to Uta’s solely hoping to go out into the jungle although if she said yes, he would be glad to. He’d actually come to confirm a few things about his book. It had been giving him daily information since the day he borrowed it, and he was curious as to how accurate the information was so who better to ask than Uta. An he would be lying if he didn’t admit he was curious to see how she was getting along. He didn’t have a whole lot of repertoire with her yet, but he was curious all the same. Perhaps because it helped him to see how others were getting along with their curses. Randal he saw deal with his every day, and Faye as well. There were others too that he had gotten to know along the way, each with their own hidden pains brought out into the open by their curses. He didn’t feel the need to help all of them, but sometimes their burdens struck a cord with him when he was feeling particularly nostalgic. Today was not one of those days. He was feeling pretty clear headed, and a little detached from it all as he tried to put space between what he viewed as his body’s curse.

When Uta’s place finally came into sight, he took a moment to appreciate the unique structure before crossing the rest of the path towards it. If he ever had a place built, or better yet, helped build one he liked to think it would be something like this with a bed over the water. It just meshed so well with the jungle that he couldn’t imagine it apart from it. Going to sleep to the sound of the stream burbling below must also be nice, but he actually liked going to sleep to the sounds of the sea slapping against the beach. It had a calming affect on him that wasn’t something he had quite anticipated coming out here. For the first leg of his journey he couldn’t get used to the constant jostling that happened on the ship, but then he got marked and that changed everything. Now he couldn’t get enough of the sea and longed to go out on the water again when he got a bit more competent with his swimming.

He hesitated just outside of Uta’s door, listening for a moment before finally knocking. Hearing a voice distantly from within he held off for a moment as he heard the creak of footsteps before her door swung open. She looked a bit surprised and a little confused to see him at first, but then some recognition flickered across her features. Cleon saw a lot of that after the tenday.

“Hey Cleon, do you need anything?” She asked, leaning in across the door frame slightly. Dressed in long sleeves, and thick trousers she looked ready for the jungle. Cleon took that as a good sign.

“I was hoping you could help me with something if you don’t mind. I have this book that gives me advice everyday for surviving out in the jungle and I was hoping you might be able to confirm its accuracy.” Cleon said, and felt embarrassed about the way he was explaining it. This wasn’t how it had gone in his head at all, he had planned on being more direct but something about Uta just had him stumbling over his words. Fortunately, Uta didn’t seem to notice, or mind for that matter as her look turned into one of curiosity as she took a step back.

“Sure, come on inside. Make yourself comfortable. I was just finishing up something.” Uta said, gesturing him within as she walked over to a desk, and Cleon followed her a short ways before finding a seat on the floor. Propping himself up on a cushion he drew out the book he had brought with him, laying it carefully open to the first page which had changed to an in depth diagram about a plant known in short hand as Quassia. The name beside it didn’t look like common to him so he didn’t bother reading it, instead proceeding along with the rest of the diagram which depicted a small shrub having been pulled up from the ground so that its roots were visible. Underneath the name was listed the location that it was commonly found which happened to be the understory of the rain forest which made sense. This book tended to show him only things that related or applied to jungle survival, or could be used in a jungle survival situation. It would occasionally mention tangential things but wouldn’t go farther than referencing the material enough to clarify what was being covered in relation to that.

Further along the diagram it made several arrows that pointed to different parts of the plant. The leaves and the bark had apparently medicinal uses and after the bark was boiled the extract that was left over could be used as insecticide which was particularly useful for protecting crops. It could also be used as a muscle relaxant, but the text followed that with a caution about actually using it for such purposes because apparently it was very easy to take an excessive dose which could lead to vomiting and potentially a weakness of vision.

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To the root of it.

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 9:57 pm

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Underneath that warning it went into further detail about processing the bark. Apparently after gathering the wood chips in a bucket of water it was left like that for a full day before cooking it for about thirty minutes. Then after removing the wood chips you mixed it with water to dilute the concentration before putting it on crops. Given its potential glaring side effects with human ingestion, he suspected it wasn’t much safer on the skin so if he was ever going to try this he would need to make sure he was well covered from head to toe.

At the end of the passage it explained why this was important for protecting ones crops in the jungle before leaving a final warning about avoiding long term ingestion of the extract if one valued their vision. By the time he was finished rereading the passage, Uta finished whatever she had been doing and had come over to take a look at his book. As she knelt beside him he turned the book slightly towards her, and she smiled, reading it with a slight upturned smile.

“Huh, interesting..” Uta said slowly turning the page to find the rest of them blank before she turned it back to the one it had been on. “And you say this book gives you advice everyday?”

Cleon nodded. “Yes, its always on the first page and it changes everyday. It always has something to do with the jungle though or surviving out in it.” He admitted, looking at Uta now.

“Well it is correct. We use the bark of the quassia to protect the Isuas and other crops Tony has got going. Its very useful, and this book doesn’t skimp out on the detail. Does it always leave drawings like this?” Uta asked, getting a closer look at the diagram, appreciating the detail for a moment before handing the book back it him.

“Most of the time yeah, especially if it is describing an animal or plant. I’m glad its actually telling me relevant information though. I haven’t been much out into the jungle so I could use all the help I can get.” Cleon said with a slight depreciating laugh as Uta smiled back.


“This is quite the relic if it is what I think it is. Where did you find it?” Uta asked, glancing down at the book.

It was Cleon’s turn to look briefly confused as he tried recalling that day and remembered stepping into an ancient structure nestled deep within the jungle.

“I’m not sure what the place is called. It was deep in the jungle though and felt like stepping into a bit of history. There was a ghost there. Talia I think. She let me borrow this book. I’m sorry, my memory of that day is spotty.” Cleon explained, scratching the side of his scalp as he spoke.

“That’s alright. I think news of your exploits precedes you. Randal mentioned you had found a structure in the jungle that you called the Dias of the Forgotten.” Uta said.

“Yes, but I was with.. I wasn’t alone I don’t think.” Cleon said, his confusion only continuing to deepen before Uta fixed him with an apologetic smile.

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To the root of it.

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 9:59 pm

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“That’s alright. I think we are all having problems remembering when it comes to a certain Inn. I’m sure you’ve read the signs all around Syka. Someone is forgotten and I think they took you on a little jungle adventure. Don’t worry about piecing it all together right now, just enjoy the fact that you got out there and came back with something like this. It’s not everyday Talia is so forthcoming with knowledge from the Reclaimed Library.” Uta said with a soft smile as she stood up.

“Do you write Cleon?” Uta asked, and when he shook his head she continued. “Well I’d like you to start. Get some paper and a quill as soon as you can and try writing every day what appears in that book of yours, then every few days come back to me. I’d love to see what all it tells you about, and in exchange I can take you on outings in the jungle.” Uta said.

Cleon’s eyes widened as a smile formed, though he was still blushing a bit from the earlier comment.

“Sure, I can definitely do that for you. When can we start?” Cleon asked fairly excited.

“Why not now? I was just about to go forage for some supplies I’m short on. You can join me if you don’t have any other pressing matters to attend to.” Uta said.

“Okay, yeah I’d like that.” Cleon said, standing up and replacing the book back inside of his backpack. Across from him Uta walked to her desk, gathered up a few things then paused for a tick as she seemed to be deep in thought.

“First why don’t I show you a little bit of what I have been cataloging out here in the jungle. It looks a lot like the notes in your book so it’ll be familiar to you.” Uta explained as he walked over to the side of her desk where she was opening up a book she had stored in a waterproof container. “Books rot out here pretty quick so you have to take good care of the one you use to write your notes into.”

“Here, you see these bunched up seed pods with a furry exterior? They are from the achoite tree, and we use these to make annatto which is a dye that ranges from bright yellow to deep orange-red. We have a quite a few sources for dye out here in the jungle and if you want to see it in action pay a visit to Tropical Fever Fashions. Isuas holds dye incredibly well which results in some very beautiful clothing that Dawn has made there.” Uta said with a smile that turned into a slight frown.

“Once you split open a pod and retrieve the seeds, you have to grind them up into a fine powder before mixing them with water. Then you put the cloth that you want to dye in the water to soak overnight. The seeds look like tiny red triangles so its best to already have a bowl ready before you open up a pod. Aside from dyes, you can also use these seeds to season food. Indigo taught me that. She’ll grind these up and mix them with other spices that she’ll then use to make a delicious pork rub. She says it makes the pork last longer so I’ve started using it when I jerk anything to add to my jungle provisions.”

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To the root of it.

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:00 pm

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“Speaking of, lets see what you’ve brought with you.” Uta said with a gentle gesture. Feeling suddenly a little embarrassed, Cleon took off his pack to hand over to her so that she could go through it. She fussed around a bit, shrugged then looked at him.

“Well I suppose I know where to start now. You removed all of your metal tools and weapons but didn’t replace any of it. Don’t worry, I’ll show you how just in case you need to replace tools in the future while you are out in the jungle.” Uta said, brushing back her hair as she resorted his pack. “You’ll also want to keep your provisions in a dry, preferably air tight container. The damp air of the jungle with spoil them quickly if you don’t. Stick to things with a long shelf life like jerked meat, and candied fruit that will sustain you over a long period of time. Just make sure you keep it dry. I’d recommend carrying a pot around in the bottom of your bag. Keep your food and tinder in there along with anything else you don’t want to get wet. Also spare clothing, some insect netting and a hammock would be a good idea. You don’t want to sleep directly on the ground.” Uta said.

Cleon nodded. “Yeah James mentioned something about scattering ashes around my sleeping area to keep the bugs off if I use a tent. I bought a hammock just in case though and some netting. I just left it back home. I’ll get a pot though. That sounds like a good idea.” Cleon said.

Uta nodded with a slight smile.

“Well how about we get you a few tools crafted and then we’ll go foraging?” Uta asked, already heading for the door as Cleon followed her outside.

From there they climbed down the ravine that ran underneath her house, Cleon taking it more slowly that Uta, grabbing what holds he could along the dirt slope until they came across a flat patch that Uta stepped out upon. There she poked around with the edge of her boot till she dug up the edge of a large, flat stone. Then she crouched down beside it to start trying to uncover it from the earth.

“Come help me with this.” Uta said. Crouching beside her, Cleon started to dig his hands through the dirt, scooping at the soft loam that covered the flat rock until they had uncovered most of it. Then with both of them pulling on the large flat end they pulled up the rock so that it was laying flat on the ground between them.

“Okay I’m going to show you how to make your own tools out of stone so you’ll know how to do so if you lose one of yours out in the jungle. This process is fairly simple and chipping particular pieces of stone to get the right results. To make a chopping tool that is going to last a while, you’ll want to use something hard like granite or quartz on the rock you plan on shaping into a tool.

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To the root of it.

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:01 pm

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Both are usually light colored, and granite has large grains that are easily visible as you can see right here.” Uta said producing a small fist sized reddish brown rock from a pile she had made at the opposite end of the clearing. By striking this hard against another rock we can try to get it to flake properly. Since this curse I have been exploring a few caves in the region and found a handful of rocks I have found that make excellent tools. Here this one is called Carbonado.” Uta suggested, laying the muddy brown rock across the flat stone. “Now strike it with that piece of granite until it flakes, then I’ll show you what to do next.”

Grabbing the large fist sized rock, Cleon was surprised at how heavy it was and had too heft it for a moment before winding his arm back. Then bringing it down quickly, he struck against the top of the other rock with a blow that jolted his bones a bit. He turned the rock over and not seeing much of a mark on it, he struck it again off the top of the rock. He kept doing so until finally the rock split radially with a distinct curve that pointed towards the ground. When Uta picked up the piece he saw that the other side had split off as well giving it another curve on the opposite side. It was almost like a disk now, with one side thicker than the other. Uta put the rest of the rock in another pile before placing the shaped piece that they wanted to keep back on the flat rock. Then she produced a small, flat piece of bone with a blunt end and handed it to him.

“Okay this is a chipping tool. If you want to make your own, the first thing you want to do is break a bone into pieces by slamming a rock against it. Then find a piece that looks like this and blunt the end of it by scrapping it flat against a rock. We are going to use this to shape this piece of rock like an ax head that we can then use to lash onto a handle. Practice on one of these other pieces if you need to or I can show you what I mean with this piece.” Uta said.

“Okay I’ll give it a shot.” Cleon said as he took up one of the discarded pieces of stone. Laying it on its side, he lined up the blunt edge of the tool before hammering across the back of it with the rock. It slipped the first few times, but eventually he managed to get a good strike on it and a piece sloughed off the stone. It kinda reminded him a bit of working with wood, except he felt much less in control of this material. Uta though just smiled.

“See how you chipped off a big piece of material there. Thats what you’re going to want to do while you’re visualizing the tool you are trying to make in your mind. Here I’ll show you the shape we desire for this ax head.” Uta said, taking back the tool to demonstrate what she meant on the piece of rock they had selected earlier.

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To the root of it.

Postby Cleon on June 7th, 2022, 12:31 am

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Grade Award!

Cleon:

Skills:


Botany: 2
Herbalism: 2
Endurance: 1
Flint Knapping: 1
Geology: 1
Negotiation: 1
Observation: 3
Planning: 1
Preservation: 1
Socialization: 2
WS: 5

Lores:


WS: Putting a survival pack together
Planning: Not bringing metal around Uta
Uta’s Place: Appearance & Location
Uta: Appearance & Mannerisms
Botany: Quassia - Physical appearance
Botany: Quassia - Where it grows
Herbalism: Preparing Quassia bark by soaking it in water for a full day
Herbalism: Boiling Quassia bark for thirty minutes to make insecticide
Herbalism: Insecticide is useful for protecting crops
Herbalism: Concentrated Quassia extract can be used as a muscle relaxant
Herbalism: Prolonged ingestion of Quassia extract can cause blindness
Uta: Bargaining information for experience
Botany: Achoite tree pods - Physical appearance
Annatto: Comes from Achoite seeds
Annatto: Dyes a bright yellow to deep orangish-red colors
Isuas: Holds dye really well
Botany: Achoite seeds are stored in the pod.
Grinding up Achoite seeds makes Annatto powder
Mixing Annatto powder with water makes Annatto dye
To dye cloth it must be soaked overnight
Botany: Achoite seeds - Physical description
Cooking: Annatto powder can be used safely on food
Preservation: Annatto powder helps preserve meat
WS: Storing important tools in waterproof container
WS: The importance of keeping moisture away from perishables
WS: The importance of flint knapping
Flint Napping: The process of making tools out of rock flakes
Geology: Granite - Physical appearance
Flint Napping: Sourcing stones in caves
Geology: Carbonado - Physical appearance
Flint Napping: Flaking large rocks with bigger rocks
Chipping tool: Physical appearance & Usage
Chipping tool: How to make one out of bone
Flint Napping: Using a chipping tool
Flint Napping: Chipping a stone axe head

Feel free to pm me with questions or concerns about your grade, and don’t forget to edit your grade request! :)
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