Solo Where the shadows lie V

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 V

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:37 pm

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4th of Summer, 522 AV

He started getting into the habit of putting his foot down with extra care every time he made a small movement. If he felt something hard, and brittle like s stick underfoot he would move his foot to find a more forgiving perch if at all possible which often required looking back and double checking as he went. Meanwhile with his hands, he tried using his free moments between strides to remove any problematic debris out of his way so the going would be a lot easier and quieter in the long run. He kept all of his movements extra slow like Indigos, perhaps taking too much time in comparison, but he was still learning and didn’t want to make any mistakes. Eventually Indigo held up a hand that was the signal to stop, and Cleon did, holding his position mid crawl until she gestured again and then made herself more comfortable sitting on the ground. Likewise Uta did the same so he followed suit, slowly putting himself into a sitting position before letting his weight down onto the forest floor.

After their stalking through the woods sitting down was such a relief, and the muscles of his lower back felt significantly better for having the brief respite. Indigo unslung the bow off of her back and notched an arrow slowly. Cleon reached to do the same but Uta stopped him with a hand, and shook her head slightly. After a moment Cleon nodded and then let go of the bow. He understood the silent reasoning behind that gaze. He was clearly unpracticed with the bow and they didn’t want to scare off their chance at game. He didn’t know exactly what they were hunting yet, but he felt fairly confident that Indigo had a good idea of how to catch it now. Watching her, he was surprised at how easily she drew the powerful bow back while in a seated position braced against the trunk of a tree. Her muscles were tense with anticipation holding the bow at a half draw as she listened carefully to the sounds of the forest. Cleon tried to help the only way he could. By making minimal noise and breathing in and out as slowly as possible. He watched her for what felt like several chimes until finally she drew the bow back completely and appeared to be following something with her eyes.

A couple of chimes later she released the draw sting and then whooped in excitement as something not that far away let out a muffled squeal. Indigo was fast on her feet, bolting from the brush and running over to a large, rat like animal that ran a few paces before slumping over into a pile. Cleon followed Uta out of the brush, and it was like noise returned to the jungle once more with them being the loudest contributors. “That’s a Capybara. A male from the looks of it, and a decent size too.” Uta said in a hushed whisper as the followed Indigo over to where she finished the kill with a swift knife thrust to the creature's neck.

WC - 521

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Where the shadows lie V

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:38 pm

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He was surprised at hall efficient this had all been from the stalking to the eventual bow strike through the ribs. Indigo truly was formidable as was that bow of hers. He wondered as an aside if he would ever be nearly as good with his as she was with hers. Well there was one way to find out, and that meant practice, practice, practice. Another weapon to add to the list. Cleon smiled and followed Indigo over to grasp the creature by its legs. While he was holding the forepaws, Uta produced some rope and started tying them together and Indigo went to chop down a length of bamboo. Once they were done with the forepaws they did the rear ones as well and by that time Indigo had returned with a bamboo pole that they then latched onto the rope they had tied the Capybara up with.

Helpfully situated on a pole, it was a great deal easier to carry than he suspected it would be when he had first sighted the beast as him and Uta were able to evenly distribute the weight between them. It did make him wonder however how he would do this on his own, and wondering was something that he had plenty of time for on the way back to their camp. He supposed he would approach it by making a little bed of bamboo or something similar to lay the Capybara on. Then with a bit of rope he could pull it like a work horse which would be significantly easier than trying to haul it on his back. However the more he thought about that idea, the more he had doubts about his improvisational strategy. It didn’t count on the jungle’s rough terrain, and the fact that his little bed would likely get hung up on every other tree he passed. If not the tree then there root systems which would mean he wasted a whole lot of time for nothing. It would probably be better if he quartered the animal into more manageable pieces and then binded those pieces together in a way that evenly distributed the weight. How he would do that was another matter entirely and would take some experimentation, but that did seem to be the better strategy of the two.

His little musings got him part of the way back to camp, and the rest he spent observing Indigo, looking at what she was paying attention to and occasionally how she continued to move through the jungle. There was a confidence in her stride, and perhaps a certain pride and why not, she was in her element out here. He was thankful just to be given the experience to be able to watch her work, which was well worth the nights he’d spend nursing the aches and pains earned today. They kept their pace reasonably quick back at the camp, taking a rather circuitous route that Cleon didn’t quite realize until he recognized it had taken them a lot longer to get back to camp than it had to find the Capybara.

WC - 517

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Where the shadows lie V

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:39 pm

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He assumed that Indigo did this for the same reason Tazrae had. To avoid unseen nearby danger which again he was thankful for. Though that didn’t compare to the relief he felt when they finally reached camp, and he felt that he could finally somewhat relax without realizing just how wrong he was at first. There was still plenty of work to do after all.

They set down the capybara away from the fire pit, flat on the ground before they started untying the ropes. Meanwhile Indigo knelt on the ground before the animal with her survival knife out now, and Cleon watched as she split open the creatures to take out its guts and other organs. He realized belatedly that she had set out two large wooden bowls into which she separated the organs she wanted to keep while putting others on the ground. Cleon watched it all with wrapped attention until Uta cleared her throat and he realized he hadn’t finished untying his side yet. Cleon did that rather quickly then retreated to follow Uta over by the fire pit where she placed the remainder of their bananas.

“While she is getting that ready, lets get this fire going and prepare a spit.” Uta said, leaning down near the pit with a set of flint and steel. Cleon got right down there with her, laying prone on the ground so he could better reach the interior where he was able to plow into the sparks Uta was casting after they removed the tarp. The oil soaked tinder caught quickly, engulfing the strips of bark they had placed around it for immediate fuel until it could catch onto the larger longs they’d framed the pit with. When he was confident that the fire wouldn’t go out on its own, he sat back and the followed Uta over to where they had sourced the saplings earlier to grab a few more sturdy sticks to make a spit out of. Cleon was beginning to realize just how much hatcheting jungle survival required and why exactly he should take better care of his tools. Already he had used it several times for conventional reason, and some not so much, the metal of the head taking a beating through all that he was putting it through. He recalled that he had brought a sharpening stone through that same merchant he had acquired Orenmir through. He’d intended on using it with the sword, but the thing never seemed to lose its edge, which due to its unusual nature, Cleon wasn’t exactly surprised by. Perhaps he would use it later to put an edge back on this hatchet. For now, it was serviceable enough to chop through these bamboo stalks with a bit of extra effort.

Several thunks later the two of them brought back two long poles and one slightly shorter one to the fire pit and Cleon buried the tip of his pole in the dirt parallel to the one Uta was placing.

WC - 500

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Where the shadows lie V

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:39 pm

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It took several tries to get it in enough that it wouldn’t wobble, and by that time Uta had lashed her end of the pole and had come over to help him with his. Together they managed to get the pole set and the piece that spanned the middle tied off so that it wouldn’t fall apart while they were cooking. Then the both of them went over to bring cuts of meat to hang off the book to slowly cook over the fire. When the pole was all covered up Cleon took a break to take a pull of his water skin and wash off his bloody hands.

“A good idea. You want to be careful what you touch with bloody hands because it can easily get you sick. Myrians and Dhani might be able to stomach it but I’m afraid our stomachs are much more fragile and we are more susceptible to diseases here in the jungle so its important we clean our hands and our clothes whenever possible, especially on long journeys like this. You brought an extra set of clothes, why don’t you go get changed and we’ll wash ours together. I’ll get a line set up for us in the meantime.” Uta said, and agreeing with her, although a little too tired to speak just yet Cleon went off to do just that. He considered briefly finding a small spot of privacy, but there really wasn’t any to be had in their small little camp so he resolved to strip down with his back to them so he couldn’t see any of them as he quietly undressed and then pulled on the older set of gray clothes he kept in his bag. Once he was completely dressed he bundled his dirty clothes into a small pile that he brought back with a bar of soap over to where Uta had hastily changed herself.

“Come on. We passed a small stream on our way over here that we can use to wash our clothes. The meat will be fine with Indigo washing it.” Uta said, and Cleon followed her a short ways as they retraced their steps from earlier. “There are quite a few ways to find water in the jungle thankfully, but you need to be careful how you source it, and gauge your level of care by its intended use. For washing our clothes just going directly to the stream is fine but if we wanted to drink from it we would have to boil the water throughly first to make sure it wasn’t contaminated. The same goes for any bowls we could make out of large leaves to catch rainwater. It might be fine when it has just recently fallen, but if you let it sit for a while you should boil it as that is when contaminates have a tendency to settle in. You can never be too careful when it comes to your water sources, especially when the result could be you uncontrollably spewing from both ends, dehydrating yourself further and leaving yourself too weak to gather more water.” Uta said, and chuckled when she saw him audibly gulp.

WC - 528

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Where the shadows lie V

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:40 pm

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“Relax, I’m just reminding you so you’ll remember if you are ever out on your own out here. I know your… mark allows you to drink seawater, but I’m afraid you are as vulnerable to stagnate water as anyone else out in this jungle as there isn’t a lot of saltwater available which is besides the point anyways. You’ll also want to make sure you drink plenty and often, not just when one of us is reminding you. A good rule is to always drink when you are thirsty. Dehydration can muddle your mind, and get you confused which will in turn get you lost and have you make poor decisions. You don’t want that, so stay hydrated okay?”

“Yes, I will make sure I keep drinking when I am thirsty.” Cleon said, nodding vigorously. He was glad that Uta felt the need to rehearse his lessons with him. It wasn’t the sort of thing he readily remembered on his own, and it was definitely a core part of surviving out here, especially if he was going to do it on his own someday. This still felt like one great adventure to him, but the reality of its dangers were beginning to settle in for him as he realized that he needed to take everything with a healthy dose of caution out here. The slightest mistake could cause him a lot of trouble, and if he didn’t have Uta or Indigo, that could be a real problem for him. He was glad he had such experienced guides with him, and that they were willing to rough it overnight in order to make sure he understood everything. There was still that overwhelming feeling like he couldn’t possibly understand all of the information that was being thrown at him, but he was more than grateful for the experience and was happy to share the company of such fine people.

“Thank you for bringing me out here Uta. I am really thankful that you did, and also your other gift. The charm. It has been very helpful.” Cleon said quietly as they walked along. Uta looked over her shoulder at him with a smile. “Oh really, have you been putting it to use already? I’m glad you liked it. It was nothing really, just a small token of my appreciation for being so willing to help with my studies.” Cleon blushed at the complement and nodded.

“Yes, I’m carrying a couple books with me and writing materials. Actually I was hoping to look over them tonight if you wanted.” Cleon suggested, again quietly, uncomfortable with raising his voice above a whisper in this jungle.

“I would love to Cleon. We can review the material together. I’m very glad you brought something along to occupy yourself with tonight. As I was saying earlier, keeping mentally occupied is extremely important to survival in these sorts of situations. It will help keep you in the right head space, and keep you mentally strong. Here we are.” Uta said as they approached the stream and knelt together beside it.

WC - 512

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Where the shadows lie V

Postby Cleon on July 18th, 2022, 7:57 pm

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Grade Award!

Cleon:

Skills:

Endurance + 1, Hunting + 1, Logic + 2, Planning + 1, Observation + 3, Stealth + 1, Socialization + 2, Weapon (Hatchet) + 1, WS + 5

Lore:

WS: Moving slowly while tracking prey
WS: Staking out your spot
Capybara: Physical appearance
WS: Using a bow from a seated position
WS: Preparing an animal kill
WS: Strapping an animal carcass to a pole
WS: The importance of improvisation
WS: Remaining observant while in the jungle
WS: Starting a pit fire
WS: How to make a cook fire spit
WS: Avoiding disease by cleaning away blood
WS: When to trust water
WS: How to render water potable
WS: Sourcing water from jungle leaves
WS: Sourcing water from jungle streams
WS: Untreated water is dangerous
WS: Dehydration is a high risk
WS: Staying hydrated is important
WS: Keeping occupied is an important part of staying mentally strong

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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