Solo Where the shadows lie III

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 III

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:27 pm

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4th of Summer, 522 AV

“Here let me see your hands” Uta said calmly, taking his proffered hands to look them over and then smear a white paste across the raw parts of his palm. Cleon winced slightly then smiled. “Do you think I can borrow some of that for my feet? I think I’ve already worn them ragged in this heat.” He said, and then started taking off his shoes after Uta nodded. His feet looked a lot worse than his hands. The skin on top was pale and puckered like they had been in the water too long which only made the welts and split skin on the underside of his foot look worse. Uta stopped him from touching the underside of his foot with a gesture, and produced a clay jar along with some bandages.

“We’re going to want to dry out your foot a little before we put on that salve. Here, put this powder in your boots. This will help wick away your sweat which will keep you from getting jungle foot which is essentially what happens when you walk around for a long period of time in a pool of your own sweat. No reason to be embarrassed. We all have had to deal with it at some point, and just be glad you are not a woman. Lets just say the cramps hit different when you are out in the jungle on your own and leave it at that.” Uta said, chuckling as his expression changed to a ripe shade of red.

“Anyways, put this powder in your boots and let your feet air out for a few chimes then we’ll salve and bandage them up.” Uta said, and Cleon did as he was asked, liberally sprinkling the chalky powder into his boots before handing it back to Uta. “What is this stuff anyways?” Cleon asked as he tenderly checked the underside of his foot.

“An herbal powder we use to keep our feet fungus free, and its pretty good about stopping them from itching as well. I’ll show you how to make it sometime if you remember the next time you stop by.” Uta said replacing the jar in her pack before going back to arrange the fire. Then she pulled out a tarp that he helped her cover their fire pit with before they weighed down the edges with stones. By that point he was ready to salve his feet, and Uta then helped him with the bandages. “Let me know if its too tight. Make sure you keep rotating your foot. I don’t want this to impact your movement too severely. We’ve still got some hunting to do.” Uta counseled, and Cleon nodded, rotating his foot in small little circles as Uta wrapped him up. When they had got it just right on both feet, Cleon slipped back on his shoes and was feeling slightly better as he stood up and took a couple of test steps. When he was confident about his stride he looked up at Uta who was waiting for him.

WC - 509

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Where the shadows lie III

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:28 pm

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“Ready to set up the hammock?” Uta asked. Cleon nodded, and together they walked over to their packs which had been laid by the trees they’d picked out earlier. His feet were still tender but not so bad off as they had been before so he only favored them slightly as he walked his way across. “Hammock? Aren’t we going to set up more than one?” Cleon asked, picking up on Uta’s choice of phrase to which Uta gave an amused grin.

“Actually I thought about it, and I’ve decided it would be better for us to do one larger hammock instead. It’ll save on time, which is a precious resource out here in the wilderness. Plus I’ve got a hammock with plenty of room for two. Have you ever slept in a hammock before?” Uta asked, and Cleon looked away slightly embarrassed. “A few times, on a ship. I haven’t hung a hammock myself though.” Uta chuckled, and helped guide him up the slight embankment as they made it back to their packs. There she went to her own and fetched from it a large hammock that she swiftly unrolled.

“Don’t worry, once I show you how you’ll realize there really isn’t a whole lot to it. You just need to memorize a knot and make sure that your cordage hasn’t gotten all twisted up or the hammock will spill you out when you try to get into it. Here hold this ends so I can see which way we want to tie it.” Uta said, handing him part of the hammock that he held as she walked a few paces away, inspecting the cordage before motioning for him to put his end down. “Lets get this part wrapped around the tree. Do you remember why we want to sleep above the ground?” Uta asked.

“Insects right?” Cleon replied as he helped her with her end of the hammock, holding it in place as she wrapped the guide cord around the tree. “Yes insects, snakes and mammals too for that matter, although mammals less so. If we slept on the ground it would be very likely we’d get bit or stung several times by insects that commonly traverse the jungle floor, and at night a snake might seek out our warmth for shelter. Its the same reason we wear thick pants with high boots, and long sleeves to cover our arms. This jungle is teeming with life, and much of that life is poisonous to some degree. Some might cause slight irritation while others are much more severe. We simply cannot be expected to be able to spot everything all of the time so it is best to be cautious, and take the necessary steps to ensure we all remain safe in the jungle. An injury is not something to take lightly in a place like this, and so we must make every effort to avoid such a thing because there is only so many supplies we can take with us on trips like this, and if we burn those supplies on injuries that could be easily avoided then we will have none when it matters. Do you understand?” Uta asked as she pulled the cord tightly around the trunk of the tree and then proceeded to loop it through another section she had bunched up in her hand, pulling it through the opening before yanking the knot taut with a firm tug. Cleon nodded, and Uta continued.

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Where the shadows lie III

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:29 pm

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“This is a simple hitch knot. When tying a knot its important to make sure it is strong so it doesn’t come undone easily in the night but it is equally important that you devise a knot in such a way that you have a strategy for easily untying it. Take this one here, it will resist most common wear and movement that will come from us sleeping in the hammock tonight but if you pull this part up here and then this section out the knot will come easily undone.” Uta explained, and Cleon paid careful attention to the way she folded the knot back up before they moved to the other end of the hammock. This time Cleon helped secure the cordage to the tree trunk, pulling it taut around before he started working on the knot she had just demonstrated. Doing it with his own hands however was much more difficult than simply watching it and after he ended up struggling for several chimes Uta started to help him, putting his hands through the passes. “I like to make a little tune out of making knots to help me remember them. With this knot just think of someone poking their head out of a hole and then you’ve got to pull them through onto solid ground, then here you push the dirt in, and aha! We’ve got ourselves a knot.” Uta said, eliciting a grin from Cleon as he gave the hammock a little tug to check its stability.

“I’m thinking we will hang the insect netting on a rope I’ll strap above our hammock. Insect netting and repellent is fairly crucial as I’m sure you can imagine while we are trekking out in the jungle. Not only is it irritating to be swarmed by biting insects when you are trying to sleep, some of these insects carry serious diseases with them and of course there is the mental side of things as well. If you can’t get a proper sleep in the jungle its going to affect your mentality no matter how strong willed you are, and its important to try and stay mentally strong while you are out here because the wilds can eat away at you if you let them.” Uta said as she started tying off a rope slightly above the hammock they had just set up. The rope was roughly a few feet above their hammock and when it was set, they threw over the insect netting so that it draped nicely over the hammock they were going to use.

With that done, Uta guided him next over to where she mentioned earlier their latrine would be. Cleon started feeling a little uncomfortable as they edged closer but after all they had been through so far, he was starting to feel less and less embarrassed as time wore on. It was starting to feel almost normal, or at least like it belonged to the survival situation they were in. Uta tapped the ground with the edge of her boot.

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Where the shadows lie III

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:30 pm

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“We will dig the latrines here. Its important to remember that after you do your business out here that you bury it, and if you have to get up in the middle of the night that you let someone know because this is very much a dangerous environment and you’ll need someone to look after you while you are in a vulnerable position in the dark.” Uta said, pausing for a moment as she touched his shoulder gently. “Listen, I know its going to feel really awkward at first. It was like that for everyone at one point, but you’ve just got to realize that its nothing to be ashamed about, and that in a survival situation we do what we have to in order to remain safe. Now help me dig these latrine pits.” Uta said, patting his shoulder and then getting down on the ground with her axe.

Cleon swiftly joined her, getting on his knees to start digging the wedge of his axe into the ground much like he had done with the fire pit. Back and forth, repeated until he got a shallow hole dug in the soil before him and his fingers felt stiff and uncomfortable. Looking down at the hole he thought it was deep enough to do ones business in when he looked over at Uta a question on his lips. “Aside from masking the smell is there another reason we bury it?” Cleon asked as he tried to think of any other reason they might bury it.

“Well masking the smell is a large part of it yes, but if it rains we don’t want shite washing down into our camp now do we? Also, we don’t want to accidentally step in eachother’s shite either, so burying it gives us the piece of mind that we can walk around camp without accidentally stepping in fresh shite.” Uta said trading an amused look with him as she helped him out with his hole, digging it just a little bit deeper. “Is that also why we designate an area for it. Just so we know where to keep foot traffic to a minimum?” Cleon asked, and Uta nodded. Together they made short work of the holes and afterward Cleon found funny enough he needed to take a leak which he did behind one of the nearby trees while Uta got everything set up for hanging their food off the ground.

It was really rather ingenious. First she tied a rope the the trunk of a tree before handing the end of it off to Indigo whom had come back from her scaling adventure to help with this part. Because they didn’t have a low branch readily available Indigo wrapped the other end of the rope to a nearby tree, forming a rough diagonal line with the rope. Then in the center of that line they hung a mesh bag with all of their dried goods. With another rope they were able to pull it down within arms reach but it took a considerable amount of tugging to do so.

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Where the shadows lie III

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:31 pm

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Otherwise the mesh bag hung several feet off of the ground where Cleon suspected it would be able to avoid casual predation. Still he tried to remember what Uta had said earlier about a determined animal being able to get at it anyways, and he suspected that was why they had wrapped the goods in cloth and put them in a large iron pot in order to minimize the smell. He was more than a little surprised about how much effort went into making such a simple camp, and remembered back to a time that Tazrae made it seem so effortless.

Of course they had just been traveling around back then, but still, he wanted to be like her. Traveling the jungle like she was just as much apart of it as it was of her. Like Indigo or Uta. He was determined to do so in fact so he could help the Rangers out with their duties. It was the least he could do for these people that had taken him in. He followed Uta and Indigo back to the center of the camp. With it all put together now it was time to prepare for their hunt, something his growling belly was looking forward to. Indigo had her bow out so Cleon went to retrieve his only when he went to string it he realized it was a lot harder than simply sliding a bit of string in place. Indigo did hers seated, but moved too quickly for his eyes to follow so by the time he sat down he couldn’t exactly remember how the rest of it had went. That didn’t stop him from trying however as he tried pushing on the end of the bow towards the others while reaching for the end of his string. He’d managed to pull the string almost all of the way there but couldn’t get it the final few inches without twisting.

Then Indigo shouted something he didn’t quite understand and he lost his grip on the string. She was shaking her head at him as she took the bow and then to his surprise sat beside him. “You need to take good care of your weapons out here in the jungle. They are all you got. If you lose this bow, no hunting, and you will starve. Do you want that?” Indigo asked, and Cleon shook his head. “Then why do you twist the bow?” Cleon could only shrug which drew a hrpmh from Indigo as she demonstrated how to pull the ends together using only her feet and hands. Then holding it stable between her legs, he watched as she carefully strung the ends of the bow together before releasing her hold. “Every took is precious out here. Take good care of them and they will take good care of you in return. If you don’t understand how to use a tool, ask and I will help. Better to ask for help then lose an expensive tool like this.” Indigo said, handing the bow back to him. “Thank you.” He said as Indigo walked over to her pack to put it on. Likewise Cleon did the same, shouldering his backpack before going over to join Uta and Indigo by the firepit. Once he joined them, Uta started speaking.

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Where the shadows lie III

Postby Cleon on July 18th, 2022, 5:14 pm

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Grade Award!

Cleon:
Skills:
Logic + 2, Planning + 2, Observation + 3, Weapon (Hatchet) + 1, WS + 5

Lore:

WS: Keeping feet dry in the jungle
WS: Making sure bandages are wrapped correctly
WS: Setting up a hammock
WS: How to tie a simple hitch knot
WS: The importance of taking proper precautions
WS: Minimizing potential injuries
WS: Managing time wisely
WS: Putting effort to best use
WS: Why insect netting is important
WS: Why its important to dig a latrine
WS: Why its important to bury waste
WS: Why placement is important for Latrines
WS: Why you want to separate food from gear
WS: Making food hard to get for animals
WS: Minimizing smells from food
WS: How to string a composite bow while seated

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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Posts: 367
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