To the root of it III

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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 III

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:07 pm

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61st of Spring, 522 AV

“I’m not trying to lecture you. I just want you to understand how dangerous it is out in the jungle so you’ll know to take it seriously if you ever go out there on your own. You should always let someone know where you are going and how long you plan on be. That’s another thing. Plan where you are going to be, what you are going to do, and how long you are going to be there so you can provision appropriately. Then add all the extra supplies you can because it having extras of certain things could save you in a pinch out there.” Uta said, coming to a stop at the base of a large coconut trees.

“We have quite a few different varieties of these around Syka, I’m sure that you have seen more than a few but have you tried one yet?” Uta asked.

Cleon shook his head. “No, what are they?”

“This is a coconut tree. Those round, fuzzy circles at the top are the coconuts. They have a thick hull and tender white flesh underneath as well as a bit of water that they store inside. You can drink the water but I wouldn’t recommend drinking a lot of it as it can upset your stomach. The flesh though is pretty tasty and can be used to flavor a number of things. I think Stu uses it in a few of his drinks so you might have tried some already and not even known it. These are practically everywhere around Syka if you look, though they all wont look like this. After you’re done scraping the flesh you can use the hulls as a decent bowl or to collect rainwater while you are out in the jungle. Here I’ll demonstrate. Step back a little and watch your head.” Uta said waiting till he walked back a few paces to start shaking the tree. Eventually one of the brown nuts at the top dropped down onto the sand in a little spray, and after giving the upper reaches of the tree a wary look, Uta went over to collect it.

“Can I borrow that stone ax we fashioned earlier?” Uta asked, and Cleon went ahead and retrieved it off his pack for her, curious.

“Sure, are you going to split it open?” Cleon said, figuring that was the goal given the description she had given him of the fruit.

“Indeed. Right down the middle.” Uta said, punctuating the end of her sentence by chopping into the brown hull. It split with a hollow thunk and Uta quickly scooped up the halves, handing up one. It had a little bit of water left in the bowl. “Go ahead and drink a little.”

Hesitantly, Cleon put the hull to his lips and tossed it back. It was kind of refreshing even if it tasted somewhat off. He wiped the his lips with the back of his hand before taking out the stone knife and using it to scrape off a sliver of white flesh and hold on the edge of the stone blade.

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To the root of it III

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:08 pm

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“This is safe to eat right?” Cleon asked and when Uta nodded, he popped the sliver into his mouth. The flavor did indeed remind him of one of Stu’s drinks which was an interesting call back. He would have to remember that it came from this fruit and give some to his sister to try.

“Why don’t you keep that half and make a bowl of it later. Leave out out in the rain so you can get a feel for how much water it catches.” Uta said.

“Okay, I will do that. Thank you for all of this advice by the way. It really is interesting and a lot to process honestly.” Cleon admitted.

“That’s alright. I’m happy to help those who are truly interested in learning, and I have to admit, I’ve got a bit of a theory about that book of yours that I’m testing.” Uta said with a slight smile.

“What’s that?” Cleon asked, slightly cocking his head to the side as his curiosity was piqued.

“Well I think that the book won’t show you anything you know already, so I’d like to see if that hold true over the next few days.” Uta admitted with an honest smile.

Cleon gave a shrug. “Yeah, okay I get that I think. I’ll make sure to keep track of whatever it shows me to bring to you a few days from now.” Cleon said, and he knew now that he would have to make sure that he did indeed follow up on that with her. She was being so generous with her time after all, and he really did enjoy learning more from her. From there they went further on towards the beach where James just was coming back from with a string of fish.

“Hey, you want one Uta? We got lucky over at Matthias’ today and figured we’d share with whoever we ran into first.” James said with a genial smile. Uta hesitated a moment then nodded, taking a mackerel before James continued on his way.

“Well this is fortunate. I can show you how to clean and cook this up before we part ways for the day. First lets start a fire. We’ll do it near the fish cleaning station so there won’t be that much of a walk.” Uta said walking him over by a station that was little more than a small lean-to over a table. “Go grab some firewood over by the communal kitchen, and bring it over here.”

Cleon nodded, and headed to do just that, searching the Communal Kitchen briefly till he found the precut wood and hauled a handful over to where Uta was laying out some dried palm fronds.

“These along with the scrapings off the side of these palms makes for excellent tinder when its not wet. Just soak it in a bit of oil and store in in a cool dry place when in not in use and you’ll have a great fire starter even if its windy. Just might take a few tries. Because we don’t have any metal though, I’m going to show you how I’ve been getting along with fire.” Uta said, drawing out two equal lengths of wood from her bag.

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To the root of it III

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:09 pm

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The one she set flat across the ground in front of her looked like it had a circular hole burned into it with black ash around its rim while the other stick had a pinched bottom.

“This is pretty easy to make and so is a good firestarter if you loose yours in the jungle. It takes a lot of work though, and patience so I’ll demonstrate and then I want you to try until you catch a spark, okay?” Uta said, demonstrating then how she wanted him to use it. Taking the piece of wood between her hands she rolled it quickly back and forth with the point spinning in the small circular groove she had made into the other piece. “You’ll put a piece of tinder between the two pieces of wood, and when it starts smoking because of the friction you’ll carry it over to the fire I’m about to build alright? Just bring it on over when it is smoking and be careful not to burn yourself. Oh and blow on it a little first with your hand cupped to get a little flame going like this.” She said miming the action close to where the two pieces of wood joined together before moving over to let him take over. He watched then as she got up to put the wood he had gathered into a rough square, and while she was doing that he turned back to the task of getting this tinder to light.

Fortunately he already had some oil soaked tinder on him, which he used to light his pipe. Using a small bunch, he packed it between the two pieces of wood before he started rubbing the two sticks together like she had showed him. It took a lot more effort than it looked like it had, and he could quickly see what she had meant by that. His forearms immediately started burning as he spun the piece of wood between his hands as quickly as he could manage. Every once and while he would look down to see if it was smoking yet, and to take a little break for his arms before he went back at it again.

It took several more chimes before he saw anything even close to a result and by that time Uta had finished setting the campfire together and was waiting on him to bring over the tinder. When he finally did smell a bit of something burning he looked down rather excitedly to see he finally had gotten it smoking. Uta did as well, and she was crouched in an instant cupping her hand over the tinder as he raised the stick and lightly blowing across it till a small flame bloomed. Then she hurriedly carried the piece of tinder and placed it into the small bed of dried palm fronds she had build the little square campfire over. The fronds caught quickly and before too long they had a pleasant little fire going.

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To the root of it III

Postby Cleon on May 21st, 2022, 10:09 pm

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Standing up, Uta briefly dusted the sand off her trousers before looking at him. “Now were going to clean and cook this fish up.” Uta said with a smile, walking him over to the station where she had laid out the mackerel. Taking out a long stone knife she showed him the belly of the fish before she dug in the knife just underneath its head and swung it down. Then setting the knife down she reached into the cut she had just created and pulled out the guts which she put into a neat pile beside the fish.

“Here in Syka we like to not waste anything you see. These guts we can use for bait in lobster traps or fishing to catch even more things from the sea. The bones when we are finished can be used to create needles, and fishing hooks which is something we all have to rely on given how hard it is to get our hands around metal around here. The metal that we do get is usually used in building projects and other important maintenance so you realize why it is important to use everything we can and not waste needlessly.” Uta said as she worked at filleting the fish open. “This is a mackerel which is pretty good eating if you haven’t tried one already. It tastes even better with some of the rubs that Indigo makes. I’ll have to bring some the next time we go out.”

Cleon smiled. “I’d like that.” He said watching her work carefully as she then removed the strips of flesh with the scales still attached. Then chopped off the head before adding the head and fillets to a pot. Grabbing the handle he helped her bring it over the fire and watched it crackle away for a bit as she came back over with a couple of pieces of bone from the fish. “You see how I snapped it and you’ve got this sharp end now. Well with a little bit of thread, and careful knotwork I can tie this end to that one at an angle that will be enough to snag a fish at the end of a line. Its not as sturdy as something you could carve from bigger animal like a pig, but if you are just going for smaller fish, this would definitely work. Just get a bit of thread like that and- aha! See?” Uta said, smiling slightly as she showed him the small fish hook. “The isuas fiber definitely gives us an advantage here as it can get wet and is hard to break apart once braided like this.”

Cleon nodded at the explanation. It was pretty handy, and he had been wondering how Syka was getting its fishing hooks since he often saw Matthias fishing off his dock. He didn’t have much experience fishing himself, but who knows, if they got this curse solved he might actually have some downtime on his hands that he could enjoy. Plus if he was out in the jungle this would be more than a little helpful for keeping him fed in such an adverse environment. Cleon checked the pot around the same time as Uta. It was sizzling away nicely, and the sun was firmly on its downward trend past the horizon now.

“I had a good time today out learning about the things in and around Syka. Thank you for that. I’ll make sure that I keep notes and share with you as soon as I can.” Cleon said with a small smile as he sat down by the fire. It was a good way to wind down the day, although he had quite a thirst now that was working its way to the fore. He would need to sate that soon, but not for a bell or so.

“I enjoyed it too and feel free to come by any time. I enjoy having the extra help, and a extra set of hands never hurts out in the jungle.” Uta said and after that they settled in quietly around the fire until the fish was ready.

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To the root of it III

Postby Cleon on June 7th, 2022, 6:30 pm

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Grade Award!

Cleon:

Skills:

Botany: 1
Cooking: 1
Endurance: 1
Herbalism: 1
Planning: 1
Socialization: 4
Trapping: 1
WS: 4


Lore:

WS: Always let someone know where you are going
WS: Always let someone know what your plan is
WS: Always have a plan
WS: Bringing extra supplies
Botany: Coconut tree - Physical appearance
Botany: Coconut tree fruit - Coconuts
Botany: Coconut physical appearance
Botany: Coconuts store water
WS: Can drink coconut water in a pinch
Herbalism: Coconut water is a diuretic
WS: Coconuts have edible white flesh on the inside
WS: Can use coconut hulls as a bowl
WS: Splitting open a coconut
WS: Using coconut hulls to catch rain
Uta: Theory about the Guidebook
WS: Harvesting palm fiber for tinder
WS: How to store tinder
WS: Firesticks - Appearance and usage
WS: Using firesticks to start a fire
WS: Lighting tinder through friction
WS: Using dried palm fronds to feed a fire
Cooking: How to clean a fish
Syka: Waste nothing
Trapping: Using fish guts to bait lobster traps
WS: Using fish bones to make rudimentary hooks
WS: How to make a fishing hook with bone and isuas fiber

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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