Solo Where the shadows lie II

Cleon sets out on a wilderness expedition with Uta and Indigo.

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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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Where the shadows lie II

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:24 pm

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4th of Summer, 522 AV

There was more to it than just that he was sure, such as being cognizant of the edge of the machete, and striking the bamboo just above the joint, things he just didn’t understand be he hoped to with enough practice. He was trying to clear his mind to remember this moment, but it was difficult so flush with his earlier embarrassment. Perhaps he would take up Zayne on his offer of meditation classes. He could certainly use the help focusing, especially in a situation like this where Yoga wasn’t exactly applicable.

“That, and I saw there was a spot of old damage the bamboo had grown around. Something had scraped the side of it, and that area was slightly off color to the rest of the body. It gave me the in I needed to let gravity do most of the work.” Uta said with a wry grin, pointing out the subtle darker spot on the base of her walking stick. Cleon nodded and took up the other two bamboo sticks before looking around. “Where do you think Indigo has gone off to?” Cleon asked.

“Oh she’s probably looking for a suitable place to camp. We’ll want to do so soon if we are going to hunt before the light runs out, and shes not one to waste time.” Uta said as she started to lead the way through the jungle once more. “I don’t think she really likes me.” Cleon admitted after a few chimes, not really sure why he did so, just that he kind of felt the need to get that off of his chest at the moment. Uta chuckled.

“On the contrary, I think you might have grown on her. She volunteered to come on this little expedition. I think she feels bad for the way things went between you two last season, but that isn’t really for me to say.” Uta explained, and to say Cleon was surprised would be putting it mildly. He didn’t know Indigo as well as he might like to so he’d just assumed her standoffish demeanor of late meant she still didn’t like him for how they left things last season. Of course Cleon was willing to accept full responsibility for his actions but so far had been too nervous to approach Indigo about it. If she truly decided to let past remain there past then he was beyond thankful that he wouldn’t have to broach such an awkward conversation with her. Then again, Uta could just be telling him this to get his mind right for the trip. Most of wilderness survival was a mental game, staying up beat and calm despite the pressures of the wilderness. Cleon strived to remember that, but it wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to bring to mind when there was so much information being thrown at him out here. He quickly decided his attention would be put to better use focusing again on what Uta was doing instead of kicking around in his own head so that was what he did, their conversation lapsing into silence as they walked.

WC - 517

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Where the shadows lie II

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:24 pm

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Eventually Uta stopped by a plant that Cleon recognized. “Remember this?” Uta asked. Cleon nodded. “Curare right?” He asked more than stated. Uta nodded and turned towards it. “How about you demonstrate your memory and try harvesting some for me. Later on tonight at camp we will prepare it together.”

Cleon nodded, and then walked over to the plant that looked like a little tree. Putting away his machete, he drew out his survival knife instead which he used to scrap off the bark near the top of the plant, occasionally looking at Uta for assurance. The scrapings he collected in his free palm at first till Uta took over that part of the process which allowed him to get a little more traction when it came to getting the scrapings they would need. He held both ends of the blade, being careful about where he held his fingers on the unfamiliar knife as he pulled it back and forth across the new growth of bark on the plant until Uta stopped him from gathering anymore. Then taking a step back to clean his knife, he watched as she gathered a few other parts of the plant, namely a small bunch of dark purple berries, the flowering part of the plant and then a few of the leaves all of which went into a clay container Uta produced from her backpack.

Once they were finished gathering everything up, the got back to moving through the jungle where Indigo soon joined them and started to lead the way. The walking sticks started to become pretty useful once Indigo started leading the party as Cleon used the end of his bamboo stick to leverage staying up right several times across the trail Indigo was leading them on. He watched as Indigo mostly used her stick in her left hand to check the underbrush before clearing it with her machete. He suspected she was checking for snakes and the like as he had been told before that was something he needed to watch out for out here in the jungle. Hence why he’d worn his high leather boots even if it felt like his toes were swimming in a pool of his own sweat at this point. He could feel a soreness developing around the arch of his foot, and knew without having to take off his shoe that he would have some pretty nasty blisters tonight. That was another reason he should be bringing a first aid kit on these journeys. It would be hard to keep up with wrecked feet, and he remembered vaguely something about wounds festering easily in this environment. He’d ask Uta about it later when they stopped to see if she had anything in her kit that might help keep his feet clean, but he wondered if he should do that before or after their hunt. Probably after would be best because once the medicine was applied it would be rather difficult for him to do anything else, although something told him to err on the side of caution and just bring it up when they made camp. He didn’t want his foot to rot off after all.

WC - 531

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Where the shadows lie II

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:25 pm

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It was another several chimes till they finally reached the spot Indigo had picked to set up camp. To call it a clearing would be too generous a way to describe the narrow space Indigo had picked out but he supposed this was the best they could hope for in the thick jungle. It had space enough to set up a campfire, and they certainly didn’t lack for trees to string up their hammocks. The rest Cleon would just have to follow along to find out. He had never made camp before but he’d certainly red about it in his Guide Book. Indigo started climbing a nearby tree as Uta turned to him. “Alright, lets get started by deciding where everything in the camp is going to go. I’m going to show you what is going to go where and explain my reasoning behind it so pay attention.” Uta said, walking toward the center of the area they had picked out. It wasn’t a very large space all told, a slight gap between several trees that afforded about five feet of clearance horizontally. The ground was covered in ferns, weeds and similar shrubbery so he had to figure they would start with clearing that out first before they moved onto the actual setting up of camp.

“This is going to be where our firepit is going to go. The ground around it is slightly elevated which will act as a natural barrier if the fire tries to spread on its own. Its also far enough from those trees there that the smoke won’t be constantly blowing in our faces while we try to sleep. Its also just the sort of spot we can try making a underground fireplace without too much digging which I think is something you’ll want to know as a ranger. We aren’t the only people in this jungle, do you know that?”

Cleon shook his head, looking slightly confused. Not the only people? Was she talking about Talia or some of the people she had mentioned, but no he immediately saw that was not the case when Uta quickly moved on to elaborate.

“This jungle is home to Myrians and Dhani, both of which have been living here far longer than we have. Luckily they live on the far side of the jungle so we don’t have as many run ins but the potential is always there so we have to be cautious. That is part of the reason for this ranger edict. We need more people patrolling the jungle in order to know if we’ve got a Myrian war party bearing down on us, or Dhani for that matter. Both are formidable adversaries and know this jungle and how to traverse it far better than you or I do. Indigo… well she might be the most prepared out of all of us for such an occasion. Anyways moving on, an underground firepit can help keep your camp obscured from prying eyes which is why we are going to learn how to make one today, but first lets run through the rest of the camp’s composition.”

WC - 520

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Where the shadows lie II

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:26 pm

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“As I mentioned before, this is where the hammocks will go. Its uphill from the fire, and if we string them right we should catch the morning sun on our faces. Plus there is plenty of room to string our insect netting up here, and the fact that the trees are so closely packed together means we can all sleep in the same area and save time on making perimeter defenses. Now over here on the opposite side of the fire we’ll dig our latrine. We’ll want this far enough away from the main camp that we won’t have to deal with the smell but close enough that we can keep an eye out for one another and make sure no one gets lost getting up at night for a leak.”

“Finally in this part of the camp, just north of our fire pit we will string up any food we have and make sure it is high off the ground to deter any opportunistic scavengers. Its not fool proof. A determined animal will be able to get to almost anything which is why you want to keep your food away from your general supplies because animals will always make a mess getting to your food. Our general supplies we will keep near our hammocks for security, and we will rotate sleeping shifts with two sleeping and one keeping watch and rotating about every two hours until everyone has had at least six hours of sleep. Don’t worry, you’ll do fine.” Uta said, patting him on the shoulder and then walking over to the spot they had chosen for their fire pit. “Are you ready to dig?”

Cleon nodded and knelt by the spot when he realized his hands weren’t going to be very good for the task. This wasn’t like the sand on the beach at Syka, or even the dirt around Sunberth. This soil was strong with a network of roots running through it and would take more than a little effort to dig up. Uta seemed to be watching him carefully which made him a little nervous as he took stock of what he had on hand and decided upon using his hatchet for the purpose. It wasn’t his first choice, but he had to admit the more he thought about it, the wedge shaped head had a certain appeal to it when it came to digging a hole in the ground and Uta even smiled slightly as he dug the corner of the hatchet into the ground and started pulling it towards himself. The first few pulls were mostly to disrupt the undergrowth, knotting it up into a pile in front of his knees as he continued to push the wedge of the axe down into the ground, dragging it deeper every time he pulled it towards him.

Before too long he’d managed to dig a slight furrow in the ground at which point Uta stopped him with a raised hand and moved forward to take over from there.

WC - 503

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Where the shadows lie II

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:26 pm

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With a survival knife of her own she dug through the side of the small hole he had made, tunneling an even smaller hole that breached up through the top of the ground scarcely six inches away from the main hole. “This is to keep air flowing into our fire which keeps the fire itself alive otherwise the fire will consume itself and dissipate fairly quickly. Now do you remember how to build a fire?” Uta asked.

Cleon nodded slightly then watched as Uta stood up and looked around. He did likewise a few ticks later, noting a few saplings nearby some new growth in the jungle. He headed that way with Uta following close behind and together they snapped away at the sapling’s twig like branches, clearing them until there was just a solid trunk remaining. Uta motioned for Cleon to hand her the twigs which he did before taking up his hatchet once more, this time for its intended purpose. Of course his arms were already starting to ache from his earlier efforts but gritting his teeth, he started to swing at the base of the first sapling, using the same maneuver Uta had shown him earlier, striking down and at an angle. Surprisingly he took a decent chunk off with his first swing but the next few to follow brought him back to reality as it seemed he was barely making any head way with them. Worse, he didn’t even feel like he was getting a centimeter across with each swing but he kept at it, occasionally stopping to bend the trunk back and forth before continuing until he had eaten away at enough of the base that when he bent it the next time, the sapling broke and he was able to drag that back to their fire pit triumphantly.

Unfortunately that would not be nearly enough wood for there purposes so he went back while Uta busied herself with stripping the twigs of leaves and other detritus. Repeating the same processes for the other saplings took quite a bit longer than he expected to and it was nearly half a bell when he’d finally brought back his third sapling, his hands worn raw from gripping the hatchet so tightly. As he let go of the hatchet to put it away and take his seat across from Uta, he tried flexing past a sudden cramp in his hand as Uta flashed him a slight smile.

“Having fun yet?” Uta asked, noting his hands and quickly turning towards her backpack. “You could say that.” Cleon quipped with a grin of his own as he looked about the pit and saw that Uta had more or less arranged it herself, even going so far as to chop up the two saplings he had brought in earlier. Together they were arranged in a rough square shape that she had shown him last time, and piled in such a way that they would have no problem covering up the tinder once it had been lit.

WC - 505

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Where the shadows lie II

Postby Cleon on July 18th, 2022, 4:14 pm

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Grade Award!

Cleon:

Skills:
Logic + 3, Planning+ 4, Observation + 2, Socialization + 3, Weapon (Hatchet)+ 2, Weapon (Syka Survival Knife) + 1, WS + 5

Lores:

WS: Paying attention to details pays off
WS: The importance of remaining mentally strong
WS: Keeping the group dynamics positive
Indigo: Doesn’t hold a grudge against Cleon
WS: Minimizing injury by using walking sticks
WS: Where to place a firepit when making camp
WS: Myrian and Dhani inhabit the jungle
WS: Where to place the sleeping area in a camp
WS: Where to place the latrine in a camp
WS: Improvising digging a hole with a hatchet
WS: Using a hatchet to chop down a sapling


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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Cleon
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