Completed Edge-a-cation Part I

Tazrae and Gracelin talk about machetes.

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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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Edge-a-cation Part I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 5:05 pm

Timestamp: 72nd of Spring, 522 A.V.


Tazrae made her way carefully down the cobbled path at a jog southward until she took a left turn at a newly carved sign that read Komorebi Estuary. She followed that path a way back out to the coast until she found herself in a deeply shadowed spot speckled with sunlight and smooth tropical water. She would have thought it was a cenote if she hadn’t been paying attention to the fact it was instead a rather sheltered estuary tucked well back from the ocean. It was truly beautiful and teaming with life. Taz could tell it was rich with plants and animals because she could feel it with her wildling status.

Life exploded here, unlocking her Nura senses and making her feel right at home. Several Ixam trailed after her, including the violet and gold pair. She’d would have ridden them, but she needed the exercise and going under her own power felt good. And she was glad her shadows came with her. She was having another lonely day, and feeling it acutely. Stopping to take in the view, Taz caught her breath and looked around. A woman was sitting on a large rock overlooking the Komorebi Estuary and reading what looked like to be one of Mathias’ texts.

“Hello there.” She called, though there was no need to call attention to herself. The woman was already watching her and the pair of Ixam flanking her. “You don’t probably know me, but I’m the local Innkeeper. My name is Tazrae. Mathias suggested I seek you out. He said you were good with a machete and might trade some lessons with me for something like help building, learning to cook, anything really. I think he was worried about you living out there with alone.” She said, offering Gracelin a smile.

“I have to warn you though. I’m cursed. People can’t remember me. Once I’m out of your sight, you will forget me and any deal we make.” She spoke. “It’s good to write things down… write meeting me down, that sort of thing.” She added, hoping that someday the curse might be over. “I’ll give you a sheet of paper saying that the Inn owes you ten free meals. That way when I leave your sight and you forget me, you’ll still have the paper to remind yourself to come get some dinner. Then before I leave, you can note down on it that you met the Innkeeper, and her curse was to be forgotten as soon as she was out of sight, and this paper proves that you talked to her about machetes and traded lessons for food.” Taz added, smiling, solving a neat little problem before it began.

Gracelin smiled. “Hello there, Tazrae. Yes, it gets lonely out here. But I enjoy the solitude as well.” She said, studying Tazrae. “That actually sounds fun… I haven’t got much of a chance to practice my machete with anyone and it will feel good teaching someone something. I don’t particularly like cooking, but I wouldn’t mind a few free meals at the Inn. I hear the food at The Protea is delicious. I wouldn’t mind treating myself to some. But I’m not into charity, though I’m almost always without coin. I’ll gladly take a trade like that.” She added with a smile. Was it Tazrae’s imagination, or did Gracelin’s eyes change color slightly to blue from green with happiness? Taz immediately ignored it, not wanting to think of the repercussions if what she thought she saw was true.
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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Edge-a-cation Part I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 5:07 pm

The woman was guarded but friendly, open but not revealing too much. Taz could appreciate that. “Sounds like a deal to me. I’m in the same boat.” She said, then glanced at Gracelin’s hands. “You talked about your curse at the gathering… trembling hands. Will that hinder your ability to teach me?” She asked, thinking it a fair question.

Gracelin shook her head. “Nope. If your just learning, there’s some basic things we can go over first before we spar. I can’t do fine work with my hands at the moment… things like weaving or playing the flute, but I can grip things tightly and fight.” She added, smiling. “In fact, it would help me feel useful.” She said, smiling at Tazrae. “May I see your Machete?” She asked.

Taz nodded, unsheathed the blade at her hip, and handed it over hilt first. It was a very serviceable good quality one that she’d gotten from the Mercantile. “Oh, one of Juli’s weapons, I see. They get them from a nice crafter in Riverfall. This will do nicely. Come, sit with me… and I’ll show you a few things about it.” She added, beckoning Tazrae over to the big rock she’d been perched on. Truthfully the rock was a huge bedrock slab that was almost thirteen feet in diameter and flat. It was an excellent spot to perch on and a good place to actually train a weapon in the absence of a fighting circle.

“You seem to have a backpack. Do you have anything in there to take notes with?” Gracelin asked curiously.

Tazrae nodded. She always had a blank notebook with her and several notebooks that were already started. There was no reason why she shouldn’t start one on Machetes. She pulled out her writing supplies, a blank book and labeled the first page ‘Machete’ and started from there. Meanwhile, Gracelin pulled out her own weapon, a slightly smaller Kukri.

“These are smaller, but they have all the same parts as yours and they do all the same things. Kukri’s are just slightly different and more common around Lhavit whereas here we mostly have machete’s… a longer drawn out form of the kukri. So, I’ll show you some things on mine. Go ahead and sketch out a picture of your machete or my Kukri and I’ll show you how they are measured and what all the parts are.” She said, smiling and laying out her Kukri. Since she still had a hold of Tazrae’s machete, the Innkeeper sketched out a picture of her personal blade instead of Taz’s longer machete.

Image


Taz took her time, sketching both a picture of the blade, Gracelin’s scabbard, and yet another bigger picture she could label. Then, when Gracelin started pointing out parts, she carefully labeled them. For such a simply designed weapon, the machete had a bunch of parts.

“The Machete has a spine, edge, a cho which is sometimes called a Kauri, a chirra, and a buttcap. The edge is what is sharpened on the blade. Machetes can have the concave parts sharpened on the ones that are curved like my kukri, or it can have the spine sharpened as well, like on your machete. The buttcap is where the full-tang is capped off on the butt of the handle. Swordsman get fancy and call it the pommel. The cho or kauri is a small notch near the handle. The chirra is the fuller main body of the blades. The fullers are used in blades in order to decrease the weight without decreasing the strength of the blade. Some machete’s don’t have chirras, but they will always be the thicker ones. The thinner curved Kukari’s often have multiple chirras.” She said, as Tazrae nodded, following alone.
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
Words: 1417733
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
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Edge-a-cation Part I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 5:09 pm

Tazrae carefully labeled everything she could find, marking it down when Gracelin told her what the part was. She’d have to study her machete and the diagram later, comparing the kukri to the machete and figure out the differences. For example, she already knew her machete had no chirra. “What’s this smaller groove?” She asked, pointing at the fuller running along the upper part of the spine. “I’ve heard them called ‘blood grooves’ on other blades.” Taz said, turning to Gracelin and raising an eyebrow.

“That’s an aunlo bal. It means ‘finger of strength, force, or energy … its just a fancy design element with not a lot of purpose.” Gracelin said, looking thoughtfully at the design on her Kukri and gesturing at Tazrae’s machete that had none. “Its odd they have named parts that really have no purpose but decoration.” She said with a grin, settling next to Tazrae with both weapons now on her lap.

Tazrae laughed. “I bet there’s a story behind it. It’s just probably been lost over time or maybe because of the Valterrian.” She speculated, looking thoughtfully at the weapons resting between the two women. “What’s next?” Taz asked, curious, as she picked her quill back up, dipped it again, and wrote the notation about the aunlo bal. She was taking notes furiously.

“Handle Rings.” Gracelin declared. “Machete and Kukri both have a number of rings carved in the center of the handle. Another meaning lost to time….” Graclin declared. “But many of them have a pair of rings maybe a quarter of the handle length from the bolster – that’s the part of the blade which abuts upon the end of the handle which we sometimes call the guard because it divides between the handle and the blade – then there’s a small space, another pair of rings, then a ridge with a single ring, and then a final ring just below the ridge. All the well-made weapons have these. But none of the makers will say why other than tradition.” The woman said softly, her eyes going a deep green.

Taz shrugged. “Maybe it’s a smithing secret. I bet if we asked a smith, they wouldn’t tell us or say it wasn’t know. But it might be something to do with the grip or the way its made. Who knows? Does it matter?” Taz asked.

Gracelin shrugged. “Not really… moving on.” She said with a grin. “Cho… sometimes it’s called the kauri. It’s a small notch in the blade near the handle. I’ve been told… it’s the penis of Ruros… the clitoris of Myri… I’ve even been told it’s the blood drip.” She said with a grin. “It’s another ‘who in the ukalas’ knows.” The other woman said, then gestured to a new spot. “This is the Ricasso… the unsharpened portion at the base of the blade before the handle.” She added, then flipped Tazrae’s machete and ran her finger along the handle where one could see the metal piece sandwiched between the two parts of the handle.

“Tang… this is the unsharpened section of the blade that extends reward and is contained within the knife handle. See these small rods driven through the handle? Those are the pins, and this piece here? The small single device added to a keeper or right on the pommel to secure the tang? That’s a Tang button.” Gracelin said.
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
Words: 1417733
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)

Edge-a-cation Part I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 5:11 pm

“Wait… whats the keeper?” Taz asked, trying frantically to keep up both labeling her diagrams and adding to the list of definitions she was keeping.

“Oh, right. The keeper is bigger than a tang button, but it's always the diamond shaped device on the pommel.” Gracelin said, then seemed to look around.

“Recurve… is the fact that the edge is on the inside curve of the blade. And this is the belly, the widest part of the machete or kukri when it's looked at from the side. Then the tip… the end of the blade furthest away from the handle.” Gracelin paused, then looked thoughtful.

“That’s about it. When you talk about measuring them… the overall length of a machete is measured from the tip to the butt cap in a very straight line. The machete is measured from the center of the buttcap where the tang is peened over straight to the point. The handle is measured from where the tang is peened over to the center of the bottom of the bolster. Finally, the blade is measured from the center of the bottom of the bolster to the point.” She added.

Taz added quick sketches to the diagram to make sure she got down everything Gracelin said. And when she was done, the other woman looked over her sketches, made some suggestions, and added one place Taz needed to relabel and they were done. Taz then switched from the diagrams, went over the list, and carefully picked up both weapons. She went through it carefully, naming each piece of it and its purpose until she was sure she had a good handle on it. Then she laid the Kukri aside and left her machete sitting on her lap.

“What’s next? You going to show me how to fight?” Taz asked, eager.

Gracelin laughed. “I thought I’d give you a good education on Machete’s first… what they can be used for… then all the various types they come in… and then we’ll fight.” She said, laughing slightly. “But I appreciate your eagerness. Mind you, I’m no master, but I’m competent enough to teach you something of them and teach you safely so you won’t hurt yourself learning how to fight with one.” She added.

Taz nodded, eager.

“So…” Gracelin started. “Tell me all you can think of in terms of the purpose of a machete?” Gracelin asked, then leaned back on the rock, hooking an arm around her uplifted leg. She brought her ankle back to her torso and stretched the other leg out, getting comfortable.

Taz thought for a moment. “Well, for me I use mine for hunting, foraging, splitting fruits and nuts, opening coconuts, clearing and maintaining trails… that sort of thing. Am I on the right track?” Taz asked, curious where Gracelin was going with this.

She nodded. “You already use a machete for a wide variety of things, but I doubt you have a grasp on exactly how widespread their use can be. So you mentioned clearing and maintaining trails. I would suggest that’s probably the most common use for them around Syka. But they also clear brush. The wide cutting blade makes quick work of overgrown areas and removes unwanted vegetation. We all know things grow like crazy around here.” Gracelin added.

Tazrae took her writing materials back out and started a fresh page, dipping her quill in her ink pot and writing frantically.
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
Words: 1417733
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Edge-a-cation Part I

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 5:13 pm

“Rainforest soil around here is thin. It’s important to make compost out of our vegetation that would otherwise be wasted. That augments the nutrients in the soil. So every time you peel something, chop something, have unused parts of that… like carrot tops, potato skins, that sort of thing… you chop them up and toss them into compost piles and that creates really great soil once it breaks down. You can add a cut brush to the compost too… keep stirring it up every few days, and pretty soon you will have amazing soil you can add back into your garden.” Gracelin said, smiling at Taz.

Taz nodded. “I’ve never heard of compost before, but that makes sense. I should start saving all the waste food scraps and cuttings or peelings from the Inn then. We get quite a few, and most of them I put out for the birds. But there are things the birds won’t eat.” Taz added, taking a few notes and underlining a few things so she wouldn’t forget.

Gracelin didn’t pause long. She loved talking about machetes. “They are great for cutting grain… here we have no wheat, but we have a ton of seed and fruit and they will do a great job with harvesting those. They are both light and accurate with a bit of a reach, so you can do very little damage while you harvest plant crowns and things like that. You can use machetes to clear weeds from crops too. Their accuracy allows the person wielding them to remove the plants they do not want while leaving the desirable plants, especially crops, undamaged.” She added.

Taz nodded, starting to see a pattern here. She added more notes.

“In botany and herbalism, there is a term called scalping. It means removing the above-ground vegetation. It leaves the root systems intact so they can expand either from bulbs or stronger roots without putting their feeding into growing more above-ground vegetation. Gardeners use them a lot.” Gracelin said, smiling at Tazrae. “Are you interested much in gardening?” She asked, curious.

Taz nodded. “I’m the owner of the Protea Inn. Every time I roam into the jungle, I forage for new flowers for my Inn… it's not lush with flowers by accident. I’d love to know more about growing green things, but right now there’s very little time. The Inn has been full this season. Hopefully, most of the new guests will have found housing by next season and things will be calmer.” Taz said, sighing hopefully. She wasn’t sure that would be true. But she hoped it would be.

Gracelin seemed delighted. “I’ll give you more gardening examples then. We use machetes quite successfully in Coppicing. That’s the act of trimming back or felling trees and shrubs at the base particularly woody plants that grow by shooting. This allows new shoots to grow and provide longer-term, sustained materials, that can be then harvested like a crop, felled again, producing more new shoots without killing the tree or shrub.” Gracelin explained.

Taz nodded, understanding. Gracelin was talking about things like bamboo. It was one of the ways she kept harvesting and growing bamboo around The Protea like a crop. She was getting the idea that Gracelin loved machetes and had given this a lot of thought.

Continued in: Edge-a-cation Part II


Words: 2902
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
Words: 1417733
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)

Edge-a-cation Part I

Postby Tazrae on June 17th, 2022, 3:27 am

Grading!


Tazrae –

Running +1, Rhetoric +1, Negotiation +1, Writing +2, Machete +5, Drawing +3, Interrogation +2, Gardening +2, Herbalism +1

Komorebi Estuary: Location & Layout, Machete: Parts Of A Machete, Machete: Terms Used Involving Machetes, Machete: What Each Part Is For, Machete: How To Measure A Machete, Machete: Various Types & Their Uses, Gardening: Making Compost, Herbalism: Scalping – What It Is And What It Does, Gardening: Coppicing
Image
"There's a place that I go that nobody knows. Where the rivers flow and I call it home.
And there's no more lies. In the darkness there's light.
And nobody cries. There's only butterflies..."


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
Jungle Witch
 
Posts: 1004
Words: 1417733
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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