Solo Where the shadows lie VI

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 VI

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:42 pm

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4th of Summer, 522 AV

“Part of the reason we need to wash these cloths is to keep from getting infections and such, but also because after walking all afternoon these clothes are pretty thick with our scent which is like an alarm in these jungles. We don’t want that sort of attention so we’re going to wash them clean with soap and then let them dry out tonight next to the fire. How does that sound?” Uta asked.

“Sounds reasonable.” Cleon agreed hesitantly, drawing a chuckle out of Uta as they proceeded to quietly wash their clothes. Cleon made sure to scrub his garments throughly, especially around the sweat stains, scrubbing hard until his fingertips tingled and his hands were all wrinkly. Then he rinsed off the garments in the cool stream before they wrung out the water and folded them into a neat little pile that Cleon helped carry back to the camp.

While the meat was still cooking, and their clothes were drying, Uta guided him over to the perimeter of the camp were he noticed something immediately obvious once it was pointed out to him. There on the ground was a thin loop of thread attached to a forked stick that was sunk into the ground. Around it, foliage had been placed strategically which obscured the larger body of the stick while leaving only a small avenue for entry which the loop of thread was loosely across. Uta knelt beside the contraption to explain.

“Indigo set these up earlier. Snares, and a few other things just enough outside of the camp that we might get a lucky catch for breakfast in the morning. When you are putting a snare together it is just as important to make sure you build your trap right as it is to structure the environment around your snare. You see small animals like the one this one is meant to catch will look for the space of least resistance which is why she has laid the loop of thread across it like so. When the animal crosses through here, it will snare itself by the neck and make enough noise that we can come and finish it off before it has the chance to break free. If you plan on staying for a long period of time in the jungle, building traps and checking them often will be crucial to your survival. Staying well fed is one of the hardest things to do in this situation so you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of opportunities to catch food so it’ll be there for you when you need it.”

“Now I know we talked about how food doesn’t exactly keep well in this environment which is why you’ll need to make sure you catch it often, and dry what you don’t eat for later. Maybe even if you are nice, Indigo will show you how she makes that dry rub I mentioned that will help the meat keep for longer. She’s already gone through the effort of setting up several snares already so we won’t go into that now, but I just wanted you to realize that this is an important aspect of making camp. As is the other measures she has taken to secure our camp.” Uta said, gesturing him over to check out around a nearby tree.

WC - 554

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Where the shadows lie VI

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:42 pm

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He saw it then, an unbroken line of small twigs laid over top of each other in a sort of cross hatch. It wasn’t hard to imagine what this might be for but he stayed silent as Uta explained.

“This sort of trap isn’t meant to capture prey but warn us of anything that might be trying to sneak into our camp be it beast or otherwise. Setting up at least a layer like this for detection is important when you plan on spending the night out in the wilderness, and maybe even several layers if you suspect a Myrian or Dhani is nearby. Remember, your effort is extremely valuable in this situation as is your time. More layers of security is always good, but in the end you need to act on the information you have and work based on a list of priorities. Food, water, shelter are all up there but so is keeping track of your supplies and making sure you remain mentally strong enough for the situation. If you ever run into trouble with any of those things you should always try to make your way back to the settlement, especially if you detect a humanoid presence and you are alone. Myrians tend to travel in small to medium sized hunting parties while Dhani are often singular or duos. Both are extremely dangerous and until you get better with those weapons of yours and petch even when you are better with those weapons of yours you should always seek help and not try to force it alone in the jungle. It is too dangerous to try by yourself and you’ll end up in over your head.”

“I understand” Cleon said nodding, looking down at the line of sticks again then meeting Uta’s eyes as the woman nodded slightly. Together they returned back to the campfire where the meat was smoking rather nicely. Stripped of form, hair and shape, capybara meat looked like any other of the red variety and as it blackened over the fire pit he could feel his mouth watering from the smell of it. It burned a lot of energy through his efforts today, meager as though they had been and it had stirred up a substantial hunger in him, one he was used to sating as the need arose at the Protea Inn. He knew not to expect much of the fare hear, but what he didn’t expect was how mentally refreshing that first steaming bite was of charred flesh after the afternoon they’d had. It was almost like he was a new man biting into that warm flesh and gratefully chewing those few bites, soaking in the companionship by the fire. They must be feeling something similar for they all ate quietly though the more he thought about it, he suspected they were probably getting tired. This part must seem so mundane to him, but for him it was a memorable experience he was not soon to forget. He imagined it would taste even sweeter when he managed to bring down some quarry on his own, but he couldn’t say for sure. Just had a hunch it would be a bit like a successful score.

WC - 534

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Where the shadows lie VI

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:43 pm

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As it was, this was still among his top experiences in Syka so far, perhaps even overall as he stretched out his bare toes by the fire for a bit, hoping to dry them out before he had to slip those boots back on. He was vigilant about watching for any insects or other critters that might wander into his boot, but of course he would shake them out before it came time to put them on as he didn’t want to make a fool of himself now that he had come so far. After all, Uta had stressed more than once the importance of being prepared and checking ones equipment several times a day. He understood that well enough out here where the failure of one tool could be the determining factor for how the expedition went. Cleon knew he would want to make sure all of his items were in top shape, and would remember to do so before bed, particularly his axe and machete which had taken their fair share of punishment today. For now though, he’d let himself simply enjoy their company for a few chimes while they ate.

Eventually Uta drew out a drawing pad while Indigo laid on the ground next to the fire pit, staring up at the stars. Cleon leaned forward, and rubbed his greasy fingers off on the side of his pants, something he sort of regretted immediately after as he started speculating about what sort of attention that would draw for him tonight. He decided quickly he would touch it with a bit of soap but first he had a few things on his mind that needed speaking. “Is there something I should be doing now? For the camp I mean?” Cleon asked, and slowly Uta looked up from her drawing pad. “Well, now is a good time for a break. Our minds need relaxation after staying sharp for such a long period of time so I suggest you simply relax and enjoy the night. You’ve earned it.” Uta said with a soft smile as she went back to her drawing. Cleon looked around for a moment then down at his wrist, remembering he brought his books with him. He looked down at his empty palm and there it was, the Guide Book, as unassuming as when he first found it. It was a rather beautiful book all told, with a finely tooled leather cover and gold thread lettering. He opened it to the first page and hesitated a moment. This was dominated by the drawing of a large plant growing up the side of a tree, over which was written the name Tuba Root.

Beneath the image red a short description. The tuba root is in essence a large, fast growing climber that has its most important properties localized in its roots. It is an exceptionally dynamic and hardy plant that does best in a tropical climate. Once harvested, the root is typically dried and powdered at which point it can be used as fish poison if added to water or more commonly as an insecticide. In a survival situation, this powder is exceptionally useful to kill fleas and keep them off of one’s person while they are roughing it in the wilds.

WC - 544

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Where the shadows lie VI

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:44 pm

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The page ended there, and curious, he turned it over to Uta who glanced up and set her drawing pad aside to take a look. “Oh, I recognize this. Yes, we’ve studied this plant before but… I love the detail the book went into on this drawing. It even dissected the root which was a nice touch. Very beneficial!” She said, handing the book back over to him. “Have you been making any progress on your journal?”

Cleon smiled slightly, and nodded. “Sort of, my writing is what I’m practicing first because its honestly illegible at this point, but I hope to get it at least somewhat salvageable so I can start sharing with you more information.” He said quietly, and Uta nodded. “Well keep working on it and you’ll master it in no time, I have no doubt.” Uta said, and Cleon closed the book stowing it away before he considered briefly drawing out the more talkative one but he decide against it, not exactly wanting to deal with it right now.

“Who can I go to about magic?” He asked after a couple of chimes. “I mean, well I’ve got a talking magical book that refuses to tell me anything until I learn about djed which honestly seems like backward logic in my opinion.” Cleon explained drawing a curious look out of Uta. “Well you could go see Duncan or Zaye, or Tazrae. Any one of them might be able to answer your questions better than Indigo or I can. I guess it just depends on whom you think is more approachable, but they are all very kind people, and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind helping you out with your problem.” Uta explained, and Cleon nodded quickly. He understood that advice, he just had to make his decision about whom to approach and when he wanted to do so. There was of course a bit more to it than that, his visions and Orenmir factored in and he just didn’t have the capacity to sort that out now.

“Thank you. For everything. Both of you. This break was just what I needed to wind down. Would you mind if I went to bed first. I’ll rise early as you need me, just give me a little tap on the shoulder.” Cleon said, hesitating to stand up just yet. Uta looked from him down at Indigo then folded her drawing pad. “Sure, hold on a tick I’ll join you. We’ll want to stagger our rests so since you are new we’ll go easy and let you get a full six while I will wake up after three hours of rest to take over Indigo’s shift, then I’ll go back to sleep another three hours when your turn comes up. Sound good to you?” Uta said standing up. Cleon nodded. “Um, yeah sure.” He said feeling a little awkward as he followed her over to the hammock. He hadn’t actually thought a lot about sharing a hammock with her tonight even though they mentioned it earlier.

WC - 506

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Where the shadows lie VI

Postby Cleon on July 16th, 2022, 3:45 pm

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More than that he would be sharing a hammock with both women and he was just thankful that this hadn’t occurred last season when he was less in control of himself. A paranoid part of himself briefly wondered if this was a test, but he saw no such guile in Uta’s mannerisms so he quickly dissuaded himself of that notion as he followed Uta to the hammock. First she held it in place for him to climb into it and then she followed soon after.

Of course the thing about sleeping in a hammock was the fact that they couldn’t help but lie close to each other in the middle as it gently rocked itself back into stability and first his strategy was to not move while keeping his occupied with inane thoughts like what prevented insects from climbing into their hammock until he remembered that earlier Uta had worked in some repellent into the fibers, probably to dissuade such an attempt. Uta must have sensed his lack of comfortableness because she rolled over to face him, putting her hand gently on his chest.

“Think of this as another lesson. When you are out there in a ranger group you are going to have to share a hammock or sleeping position like this at times. There doesn’t have to be anything sexual about it either, just think of it as the means to an end and leave it at that. Don’t worry about disrupting my sleep. I sleep soundly once I get going and you will to I imagine as tired as you must be. Just shift into what you feel is the most comfortable position regardless of where it is in relation to me, and stick with it. I want you to get a proper night’s rest so you are ready to take your watch when the time comes okay? Let me know if there is anything I can do to make you comfortable.” Uta said and once she had gotten a slight nod from him she closed her eyes, perhaps to help him somewhat with his own decision. What he decided eventually upon was folding slightly towards Uta in the cradle of the hammock, feeling her breath slightly on the lower part of his neck. It just felt more natural sleeping this way next to her than with his back towards her, and her hand was now on his arm which felt oddly reassuring in that moment as he closed his eyes and tried to get to sleep. Soon he didn’t have to try hard as he drifted off, letting his exhaustion take him as he began snoring softly without even realizing it.

Cleon didn’t wake up when Uta stirred for her shift and switched places with Indigo, though he did when Uta gently shook him awake a few hours later. The camp was still dark and quiet, the fire crackling low . He blinked several times as his eyes focused on Uta’s face, and she gave him a tired smile, gesturing him up, even lending him a hand so he could get out of the hammock without waking Indigo which was a feat he didn’t think he was capable of.

WC - 533

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Where the shadows lie VI

Postby Cleon on July 18th, 2022, 8:50 pm

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Grade Award!

Cleon:
Skills:

Botany + 1, Herbalism + 1, Logic + 2, Planning + 1, Observation + 2, Socialization + 3, Trapping + 1, WS + 5

Lore:

WS: Washing clothes to remove scent
WS: Washing clothes to minimize chances of infection
WS: Setting up snares around the perimeter of camp
WS: Building snares in natural funnels
WS: Making natural funnels for snares
WS: The importance of setting plenty of traps
WS: Making staying well fed a priority
WS: Making an early detection system around camp
WS: Layering twigs over top of each other as a noise trap
WS: Encircling ones camp with noise traps
WS: Myrians tend to travel in groups
WS: Assessing threats in the jungle
WS: Knowing when to retreat for backup
WS: Keeping footwear clear of insects
WS: Tuba root (Physical appearance)
WS: Tuba root (Insecticide)
WS: Tuba root (Fish poison)
Botany: How to harvest tuba root
Herbalism: How to prepare tuba root
Zayne: Potential source of magical advice
Ducan: Potential source of magical advice
WS: Staggering sleep cycles to keep watch
WS: Getting into a hammock
WS: Learning to share space

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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