Closed Jungle Guide At Your Service Pt. 1

Tazrae meets Kamilla for some good old fashioned Wilderness Surivval lessons.

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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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Jungle Guide At Your Service

Postby Tazrae on November 9th, 2022, 12:42 am

The bard who only played at being a Ranger watched wide-eyed as Kamilla extruded Res and formed perfect obsidian. Alric had that element and this mage did as well. It was the one thing Taz seemingly had no talent at. So she was slightly in awe that someone else did. “Is it hard to know what Obsidian is and then make it? I’ve not got Earth. I don’t think I have a talent for it.” She said thoughtfully, then smiled a little self-deprecating smile.

“There are a few other Reimancers in Syka. It's comforting to know you are one as well. It will be handy in the Wilderness if you can make stone tools and form things like pots and stone furniture. You could probably even use it to make a stone structure off the ground if you extrude your Res around something already constructed and will it into stone. If you are good enough, you could even wall off someplace safe to sleep away from jaguars and other large predators.” Tazrae mused, thinking of all the applications.

“But it could get you killed easily too. Mages are notoriously overconfident and lean on their magics… but it's easy to get distracted and miss a cue that might otherwise save you. It’s easy to be looking in one direction to deal with a foe with magic, and be totally focused on that magic, and miss someone coming right up to you on the other side and killing you.” Taz cautioned. “Though I do think it's better to be with it than without it.” The bard added.

She bent down and gave her daughter a kiss, then tucked her blouse back together and shifted the wrap around Khari so she was once more laying against her chest where the girl could sleep. “Shiress says they are easy at this stage. All they do is eat, sleep, and make messes in their diapers.” She said with a grin. “I do hope she stays small forever,” Taz whispered, giving her little bound bundle a soft smile.

Then Kamilla asked about the Ixam.

Tazrae shook her head after looking thoughtfully at Kamilla’s question. “It’s only Bree that can talk so far. She was the accidental result of a magical item that gave her sentience. The rest are incredibly smart though. Someday, if I get my way, they will all have a voice like Bree… but until then someone has to be their voice for them, you know? I think they are going to be incredibly helpful to the Settlement and as such, we should offer them a place to thrive.” She said thoughtfully and then snuggled further down in the hammock, enjoying the rest. She gave off a large yawn, then glanced back to Kamilla. Her second question surprised her. She remembered her twins’ words about telling no one and pretending Khari was adopted.

But no… she wasn’t going to do that. What would she ever tell her daughter as she grew? That her mother didn’t claim her as her own at first? The little girl wouldn’t understand doing something for her protection like concealing a true identity. Tazrae needed to claim her proudly and just let any man try and take her away. “She was born the 45th... and it's what… the 68th today? Fourteen days old maybe? My children are going to grow up in the jungle, here, where they can be whatever they want to be… mages… rangers… scholars… and no one is going to tell burn them, hunt them, or enslave them. She’ll grow up with magic and weapons and anything she needs to thrive.” Khari had not been long in this world, that was for sure. But she had Taz as a mother and she was going to own being her mother… now and forever. “I take it you don’t have children?” Taz asked, curious, but also thoughtful of Kamilla’s privacy in case the woman didn’t want to talk about herself.

Curling up a bit more, giving the newcomer to the jungle a chance to answer her own question and rest, Taz decided to talk about a few more things whether Kamilla was done answering Taz’s question or not. “Okay, notice how we crossed that game trail and kept going? You looked relieved to see it, but you shouldn’t be…. not really… not unless you use it as a map and not traverse it. Game trails are really dangerous out here in the jungle. You do not want to walk along one. Predators know the game travel from food to food or water to water on these trails and they often just lounge around waiting for the game to come along and kill them. Using a game trail is serving yourself up for a feast… with you being the main course.” Taz added.

“But it's not all bad. You can definitely use them in other ways. As I said, they will point the direction from water to water or from food to food, and that might be something you can capitalize on. If you have any hunting experience, and you come across a game trail, you can become a predator and stake it out and wait for the food to come to you. Usually, that is at night, so be prepared. There’s a million tactics you can take to kill something, especially as a mage, without touching that prey. You just have to get close enough to do some damage… spike it with an obsidian spear thrust up from the ground, sucking the air out of its lungs, filling its lungs with water to drown it on land…” She suggested, thinking how morbid it was to be sitting here talking like this while cuddling an infant and sheltering from the rain.

“You can also follow the trail off from it… take ten steps away from it and travel parallel to it. You might not be able to see it, but you can move forward so many feet then dart back into it and make sure you are still paralleling it. If you traverse parallel to it, you are in essence still following it yet at the same time staying off it and directly out of the line of sight of a predator. That way the trail may very well lead you to the water you need or even a jungle clearing or some sort of shelter. You never know.” She added, wanting Kamilla to understand how dangerous yet important the trails were.

“There’s also a lot out here in the jungle that you might not understand. If you are well rested… I’ll pack this stuff up and we can start back in a big loop.” She said knowing it was late and Kamilla was getting tired. But she wanted to talk more about other things to Kamilla as well, things that were less obvious and less about eating or being eaten.

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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


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Jungle Guide At Your Service Pt. 1

Postby Kamilla on November 12th, 2022, 10:28 pm

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Kamilla had not been expecting any Reimancy questions from Tazrae, but she was certainly happy to answer, it was not often that she got to talk about magic with a fellow mage. In the past, excluding Sahova and a brief conversation with the blind reimancer who managed Syka’s community pools… Duncan, if she recalled correctly, she’d only really tried to explain her magic to people who had little to no idea of exactly what magic was and how it worked. Jehu came to mind as an example, the handsome chaktawe had simply found it to be another mysterious and alluring part of her charm, even seeking her out for answers when he’d become a zith for an entire season. In contrast, Tazrae was clearly decently knowledgeable about magic, not believing it to simply be able to accomplish anything with a wave of a hand.

”I don’t think so… earth was my first element, my gran used to say that, especially in the case of your first element, it chooses you. Apparently, I simply embodied earth’s characteristics more than the others… She said it was a sign that I was tough, stubborn… immovable…’ she cracked a small smile, this being the first time she’d ever spoken about her gran as her magic mentor with another person, ”Obsidian for me is easy because I’ve seen it before… I just sort of observed the qualities and then mentally replicate them by will. It definitely helps to have a reference… the rest is just intuitive, I think.” Kamilla had never had to explain the process, she realised now that she had also never given it much conscious thought, earth had always come easy to her.

Tazrae went on to think of ways for Kamilla to use her geomancy to survive in the wild, or perhaps not for her specifically but she listened regardless, the previous small smile returning… it seemed her guide was truly passionate about survival, always thinking of new tips to improve one’s odds. It was amusing to watch, now that they weren’t trudging through, mud plants and rain. Tazrae did also think of something Kamilla hadn’t really considered, wrapping her earth around already existing sturdy structures… a sturdy tree came to mind. She would definitely commit that idea to memory. Her ideas of course, came with another warning relating to the arrogance of mages, she made a good point. Kamilla liked to think that at this point, her reimancy was almost effortless, but she would certainly need to focus on remaining more aware when using it… consciously from now on.

Next came a moment the konti could only describe as ’fuzzy’, similar to the feeling she got when Yennefer did something affectionate, but not quite the same. The scene caused a small prick of pain in her chest, a mother and child, she barely remembered her own mother’s smiles, but the warmth in them was an unforgettable feeling.

The information about the Ixam and Bree specifically was interesting. So it was only Bree that could talk… at least for now if Tazrae got her way one day. Kamilla couldn’t help but think how different she and Tazrae were, the woman seemed to always be thinking about ways to improve the settlement, be it training it’s residents or bringing new assets into it… whereas Kamilla only really contributed as much as was required of her, instead focusing on herself and her own little family consisting of Yennefer, Roo and now Jehu. In the same moment she thought perhaps they weren’t too different, both were protecting their homes and families, Tazrae simply looked further than Kamlla did.

Purple eyes widened in surprise hearing the baby’s age, barely a fortnight and yet here her mother was hiking through the perilous jungle with the newborn strapped to her chest. Tazrae was even more impressive than she’d initially assumed. Her drive to create an environment where her daughter was safe and could thrive was inspiring, yet again Kamilla was reminded that while both woman wanted to protect their own, Tazrae thought further ahead. She supposed it was necessary when one had a child. ”I don’t no…” she replied, not having much else to say on the topic at the moment. Vanishing seasonally didn’t seem like an ideal motherly trait, not that she’d ever really considered being a mother in the first place.

Almost as if the subject had never been brought up, Tazrae was back to teaching, this time about game trails like the one they’d crossed earlier. Kamilla was glad to have the woman as a guide because she would definitely have used it as a hiking trail to avoid the thick brush… a big mistake evidently. She didn’t say anything simply listening and absorbing, also taking the time to mirror the other woman by sitting back and getting even more comfortable. She’d need it for the ‘big loop’ the Tazrae was currently describing.

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