PM to join [The Maw] Widespread Foraging [Taln]

Taz and Taln head out to do some serious foraging.

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[The Maw] Widespread Foraging [Taln]

Postby Tazrae on November 13th, 2022, 5:54 pm

Timestamp: 72nd of Fall 522 A.V.


Tazrae fastened the last buckle on Bree’s saddle. She had Sunny with them too, the golden Ixam was harnessed with a sort of set of saddlebags that were almost as big as Tazrae. Dawn Swiftwater had sewn them for her out of sturdy oiled canvas and helped her rig some harnessing to keep them in place. The packsaddle was designed for foraging, with the bags meant to carry all sorts of foodstuffs back to The Protea for Tazrae’s icebox and pantry. The truth was, she had been running low on supplies and there was no putting off a major foraging trip into the jungle to resupply.

Bree wasn't alone. There were other adult Ixams with them… a large sapphire female and a deep burgundy female that Taz hadn’t seen often before. She suspect the rich burgundy creature had been a wild one that was drawn to the abundant food and easy living of Syka. She wasn’t sure, however, because the Ixam roamed where they would and came and went as they pleased. Taz did notice, however, that the sapphire female had a rather nasty claw mark on her hip, one that Taz thought would need treating. She’d swing by Nora’s on the way out of the Settlement, and see if the animal healer could put something on it and convince Bree to talk the other Ixam into not licking it off.

Sometimes Taz wondered how any of the Ixam survived to adulthood. They played rough, lived savagely, and had a heck of a good time while they were in the world. It was inspiring to her because it reminded her that life was to be lived and she planned to do that fully. She had a second chance. She had children, even if both weren’t with her, and she was more than she started out being. And now… after the time loop, she was going to have a lot of time to do a lot of living. Tazrae made sure she was going to enjoy that time.

Thankfully, Kami had been willing to babysit Khari, and instead of dropping by the Panacea to drop her daughter off, Taz had been pleasantly surprised to find her sister had decided to come over to The Protea. All on her own, Kamrae had decided to hang out visiting with guests there and doing multiple things that would mean her socializing with strangers. That made Taz a bit happy because she felt her sister kept to herself too much. There was still so much she didn’t know about Kami, but she wanted to learn. The problem was that her sister kept herself close, her experience wrapped around herself, unwilling to share with anyone. Taz honestly didn’t think her sister had ever had anyone to confide in and that broke her heart.

Khari normally went into the jungle with Tazrae. But with the amount of foraging Taz planned to do, it wasn’t a good idea to drag a newborn with her. She’d be loading up the Ixam with food – primarily fruits and vegetables – but some meat as well. Taz planned on hitting Swine Swells on the way home so she had more than enough supplies for the Inn for the next tenday or so. Having the Icebox helped because it kept things fresh longer. And what she couldn’t use right away, she’d can or preserve. She’d gotten really good at that, living in Syka. And if there was time, she’d make some chocolate and get that supply restocked.

She didn’t always manage to make things perfect. Sometimes the recipes she tried weren’t the best or didn’t turn out as she wanted them to, but she kept experimenting, hoping that she’d find the best way to make food last and still keep it delicious and fresh. The stuff that didn’t work out as she planned often went to the Ixam who would eat anything. The rest? She put out for other wildlife and birds. But the vast majority of things she made went to the guests and in the worst-case scenario the birds or chickens if there was no meat involved. Taz liked feeding people, but she wasn’t going to feed them the same thing day in and day out. She needed to innovate, and to that end, she needed to discover new sources of food. The jungle was vast and there were a million things out there to discover and experiment with. That was another reason for the big saddle bags on this trip.

Taz slipped onto Bree’s back and rode her carefully to Nora’s place, trailing the other Ixam behind her. As she suspected the blue and burgundy came with her. When Bree halted in front of the healers, Taz dismounted and climbed the steps. “Nora? You home?” She called, hopeful the woman was there and had time to clean the Sapphire Ixam’s wound out before they started on their jungle trek.

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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."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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[The Maw] Widespread Foraging [Taln]

Postby Taln on November 13th, 2022, 7:37 pm



It was hot and quiet as he moved the food sacks to the outside pen and he watched the parrots avidly. Perched high above him, the birds rested, darted, flew in varied shades of blue red and gold flashing as their wings caught the sunlight. Their voices added to the overall ambiance of literal creature comforts, which made him smile at the simple joy of it.

As he passed the recuperating raptors, he walked sideways into the aviary, careful not to charge directly at any of them. With quiet steps, he checked, cleaned and filled the water as efficiently as possible.

"Just getting you some more water. You're safe, it's alright. I know your wing hurts." Taln said softly in Nari, keeping his motions slow and deliberate so as not to startle the quick acting birds of prey. With careful movements and soothing Nari, he moved among the open cages, cleaning out the water bowls and replacing the water when it was needed. Soft chirps of Nari and quiet foot steps in the sand added their own atmosphere as he moved on to the next with calm and steady precision.

Taln heard dangerous nails clacking swiftly across the beach sand and his head swiveled around toward the sounds. It was coming from the front of the building, thoroughly out of sight. He filled the last water tray and walked on, trying to see what he'd heard. Some large tails dragged in a heavier fashion than Stoker's had and the nails sounded deeper, so they were larger. How many? Near by?! Nora had warned him of their savage dangers and highly unpredictable ways.

Someone's voice called out to Nora and Taln stood by the back room door to listen curiously, but stayed out of it.

"I'm over here Tazrae." Nora answered and stopped arranging the myriad driftwood perches for later usage.

"Is Bree well?"

While the woman spoke, Taln remembered their earlier conversation Nora had told him about the Ranger's reptiles..

“An Ixam is a walking limbic system, which is pretty much all they have for brain function. It means their entire existence consists purely of fighting, fleeing, fornication, freezing up and eating. They're not reliable as mounts, which is why most societies don't try to domesticate lizards or predators as safe or sensible mounts in every day use.”

“You look tired Tazrae. You really should go home and rest.

Last edited by Taln on November 22nd, 2022, 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[The Maw] Widespread Foraging [Taln]

Postby Tazrae on November 13th, 2022, 9:10 pm

Tazrae smiled at Nora. “Sorry I keep bringing all their problems to you. I just don’t know a lot about medicine.” She admitted, glancing back at the lounge of four Ixam she had in tow. “Bree and Sunny are fine, but I have a couple of females along for the ride, and the sapphire one has an ugly gash on her hindquarters,” Taz said, reaching into Sunny’s packsaddle and pulling out a headstall that she nonchalantly slipped over her arm. She walked past the sapphire to give the burgundy Ixam some attention. Offering scratches and rubs, the sapphire soon crowded close, and Taz deftly slipped the bridle on her to get a good hold. “I was hoping you’d look it over and see if there’s anything she needs done?” Taz added, giving Nora a hopeful look from where she stood among the tall reptiles.

“I know I keep asking you to tend these guys, but no one else knows medicine as you do.” She said, gently soothing the Ixam who was basically trained to ride but hadn’t been ridden in a long time. Taz spoke to her, quietly, a combination of Common and Nura, comforting the sapphire Ixam with her words and emotions of comfort while she waited for Nora to grab her healer’s bag and walk down the steps to check out the wound.

“These guys don’t ever stop squabbling, do they?” Nora asked, concerned. She circled around the Ixam and stopped at the gash clucking her tongue in sympathy. “I’m betting the scarlet gave her a good scratch last time they mated and left her that present.” She said, running her hand down the Ixam’s flank. “She hasn’t laid recently either… and she’s still in a good weight. She either wasn’t in season and wasn’t interested and he was, or this wound is older than it looks. It’s so hard to tell in this jungle. Everything festers and takes forever to heal. If they get cuts like this, encourage them to swim. It should help with the festering. Saltwater can often pull the infection right out.” Nora instructed.

Taz nodded at Nora’s words, then glanced up to the porch. “Hello.” She said, nodding to Taln.

She glanced at Nora. “Did you take on an apprentice?” She asked, curious. Taz really needed to hire help at the Inn and was a bit envious that another busy business owner had helped herself.

Nora nodded. “Taln, this is Tazrae. She owns the local Inn, which is often more of a restaurant than an Inn. You can drop by there for meals.” Nora said, calling introductions over her working on the sapphire’s hide. She had her hands out, fingers splayed open, and glowing healing light was pouring from her palms as she ran her hands down the wound itself, magically closing them using Rak’keli’s power. Taz looked infinitely relieved that the flesh above the hands that appeared as Nora’s hands passed over the scaled sapphire hide appeared whole. Sometimes things couldn’t be fixed so easily.

“And don’t forget about me.” A deep emerald green Ixam stepped forward. She had sapphire patterning on her flanks and something of a purple tongue. “I’m Bree.” She added, nudging the sapphire as if to give her fellow Ixam comfort as well. “We come as a set… Taz and I.” She explained, giving Tazrae a reptilian grin. The Innkeeper returned her grin, reaching out to rub her nose lightly.

“That we do. Nice to meet you Taln.” Taz added, offering him a smile now that she knew his name.

“Bree and I were just going to head out to the jungle to do some foraging. I desperately need to restock the Inn. My pantry is empty. Once we do some foraging, I need to take a pig or two at Swine Swells… that’s why I brought Sunny to pack. These other two are just along for the fun. I’m hoping to find some new food sources while I’m out there.” Taz added, reaching over to adjust something on Bree’s saddle that wasn’t to her liking.

Nora lifted her eyebrow. “You know, you never pay me. You offer me food in payment, but I’ve never seen cold hard coin from you.” She said bluntly to Taz.

Taz smiled, swallowed, and nodded. “That’s because I never have any. I barter everything. I might have enough to pay you this time though.” She added, wanting to make sure the healer wasn’t irritated with her. Nora just raised an eyebrow and then glanced between Taln and Tazrae.

“I have a better idea. We’re low on stores too. How about you take that tall lanky oaf up there and teach him how to do some foraging. He can help you do some heavy lifting and you have enough Ixam here to make another mount and another pack animal. If you have the gear… take him. We’ll call you square.” She said, stepping back from the sapphire’s newly healed wound. Taz could swear she saw relief in the sapphire’s eyes.

Taz nodded. “Of course. Thank you so much for your help, Nora. I’d be glad to take Taln out with me. Company is always welcome. She thanks you too… look at how relieved she looks.” The Innkeeper said, running her hands down the Sapphire’s neck and scratching while the creature sighed once, twice, and then turned to put her head against Nora’s side. That broke a smile free from Tazrae’s face followed by a genuine laugh.

She turned, looked again at the man on the porch of Nora’s clinic, and nodded. “We’ll, we’d best go hit The Commons. I have a tack room storage under there that we can grab some gear for these other two since they seemingly wanted to come anyhow.” She’d have to get a big saddle and saddlebags for whichever Ixam he didn’t decide to ride.

“Which one do you want to ride?” She asked even though she’d already decided the dark burgundy might be the better option because of her size. She was big, and Taln was big… it might work better than the sapphire who was young sleek but more dainty than Taz thought best for someone who was going to carry Taln. “I think I have a bigger saddle too… grab whatever gear you want and I’ll show you where the tack is and give you a lesson on how to tack up an Ixam.” She added, pleasant and not at all seemingly minding company heading out into The Maw with her.

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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."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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[The Maw] Widespread Foraging [Taln]

Postby Taln on November 13th, 2022, 11:45 pm



Nora wouldn't insult Taln as an oaf. She would try to keep people to positively and safely stay in Syka, not rudely drive them away or threaten them. Please see first post.


Your PC purposely tried to endanger mine, going against her Ranger oath. Please see top post.
Last edited by Taln on November 22nd, 2022, 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[The Maw] Widespread Foraging [Taln]

Postby Tazrae on November 14th, 2022, 2:15 am

“Was that Mitt? I met him this season on the beach.” Taz said, offering Taln a smile. “I believe he’s he’s one of the new blacksmiths.” She added, not sure what that made Artik if anything. Was the blond drunk out of a job now? Taz hadn’t really kept up on that gossip. Or at least no one had said anything about it within her hearing.

Taz had to admire the way Taln treated the Ixams. He wasn’t afraid of them, and he was a little reverent of them as well. It was a nice mix. He actually talked to the deep burgundy one as if her opinion mattered to him. And in response, she dipped her head, and nudged him a bit, actually looking for a handout. Taz dug into her backpack and discretely passed him a slice of dried fish to treat the Ixam. She gave Taln a little wink as she waited for him to pass the treat on. She pulled a few more from her backpack, making sure the redhead was outfitted to bribe his way into their hearts if he wanted to. She liked to come prepared, even though she hadn’t thought she would have company on this trip.

Bree, not falling for the ruse at all, rolled her eyes. “Seriously?” She asked Tazrae, who only grinned and shrugged. The burgundy female didn’t answer Taln, of course, but she did seem eager to follow him over to The Commons and waited while Taz opened the locker under the lofted buildings and showed Taln the tack room. She walked down the saddles, finally settling on the largest one, and pulled it and a pad from the racking. Then she handed the pad to Taln.

“I like to rest it across her neck then slide it down to where it sits above her shoulders. That way you don’t accidentally brush scales backward or put her hide in a bind.” She waited until Taln did as she instructed, and nodded when he’d slid it tailward down her neck and into place on her back. “That’s perfect. Leave it right there.” Then she showed him how to gather up the stirrups, the girth, and the breeching and fold it all across the back of the saddle so he could sit the thing on the burgundy Ixam’s back properly. She demonstrated first, then she made him do it all on his own.

“Once you get the saddle on in the right place, make sure you aren’t interfering with her shoulder movement and her ability to flex side to side. Then we do up the girth and fasten the breast collar and breeching on.” Taz said, demonstrating both for him, but then unfastening the whole lot of it, and letting Taln secure it himself. Once he did, she checked to make sure all the belts and fasteners were set correctly and the girth was tight but not too tight. Then she carefully got out a bridle that would fit the Ixam and slipped a bit into her jawed mouth and showed him how to hook the buckles on the headstall. Then she ran the reins back to the saddle and tied the loose ends off so he wouldn’t lose them in traversing the jungle. Then, patiently, she did everything backward, removing the bridle and handing it to him.

The burgundy stood patiently, waiting for him to re-fit her with the bridle. It was a good way to teach because Taz had a chance to adjust everything to the proper fit, then let the learners figure out how things went back on. Once Taln had it back on, Taz took a moment to show him how much room everything should have to ensure a proper fit. The throatlatch, for example, needed to be loose enough to slip two fingers under. The chin strap? The same. Taz would have never known all this, but she had a talking Ixam that had informed her the moment tack got too tight or was ill-fitting. So, in essence, she’d learned from the best source of first-hand knowledge.

While Taln was checking everything out, Taz rigged the sapphire up with a packsaddle and bags that attached firmly to that packsaddle. “Sunny has my gear, and we can stow your loot in the sapphire’s packs,” Taz told Taln as she gestured at the tack room. “You can use this stuff whenever you want. All I ask is that we clean it after every ride. The mud and just flat-out gross stuff from the jungle aren’t good for the leather which needs to be kept clean. And here, at the beach under The Commons, we can keep it dry. IF you help me when we get back, you’ll know exactly how to do it and can take one of the bigger Ixams out whenever you can talk them into it. They like company and humans, so it's usually not hard to do so.” Taz added, offering him a smile. “You will need a bigger one though. Don’t try to ride someone Sunny’s or the sapphire’s size. I don’t doubt they could carry you, but not as far and not as easily as say the burgundy one can.” Taz told him with a smile. The redheaded man had a bigger frame and she wanted him matched up with the Ixam that could do him justice as a mount. He wasn’t fat… far from it. But riding an Ixam wasn’t like riding a horse. And the reptile's frame had to be able to carry the frame of the man.

“Jungle Ixam aren’t like Mountain or Desert Ixam that get a lot bigger. They are lithe, flexible, and able to really move about places. Their bigger counterparts just have to scurry across the desert or climb straight-up rock faces. I think that’s why they are sleek and colorful.” Taz said, looking thoughtfully at the now-outfitted Ixam. “Ready to get started?” She asked, demonstrating how to slip her foot into the stirrup and slip up into the saddle, hooking her other foot into the opposite stirrup.

Then she briefly went through instructions on how to lean forward in the saddle… how to sit to control the beasts by using leg pressures and leaning forward or sitting back in the saddle. The instruction was done quickly and she gave Taln a chance to try it out before they rode out. “Any questions?” She asked before they hit the road and started their trip. She’d make sure Nora got full saddlebags if it took both of them all day.

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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."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1245
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
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[The Maw] Widespread Foraging [Taln]

Postby Taln on November 14th, 2022, 6:40 pm


Secret :
Nora wouldn't insult Taln as an oaf. She would try to keep people to positively and safely stay in Syka, not rudely drive them away or threaten them. Please see first post.


Last edited by Taln on November 22nd, 2022, 7:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Taln
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[The Maw] Widespread Foraging [Taln]

Postby Tazrae on November 15th, 2022, 4:22 am

Tazrae shrugged at Taln’s question about them being responsive. “I haven’t ridden them all. Just Bree. So maybe? You’d have to compare with others.” She said, reaching out to scratch a ridge on Bree’s neck affectionately. Unlike Taln’s mount, Bree wore no headstall and Taz had no reins to fight with or manage. Instead, she could just hold on.

Bree, however, wasn’t so vague. “Yes, we are all sensitive. Don’t yank on her head and don’t sit there like a sack of fertilizer bound for the Isuas field. Move with her, make your hips flexible, feel boneless and she’ll carry you easier.” The Ixam said, dancing lightly, eager to get going. Bree had two gears… full forward and outright napping. Taz envied her ability to fall asleep anywhere. Taz couldn’t. Often nightmares plagued her and lately the care of her newborn had been taking up all of her time and waking her frequently.

“And yes, we all climb trees – straight up, straight down, leaping across gaps – it's in our nature.” She replied, prancing slightly, in a strange undulating sideways motion. She looked, when she moved, even with a rider, as if she were a boat bobbing on the water and not a horse shifting its feat. Brea undulated, hissed once, and then snapped at Sunny who was also just as restless. Sunny in turn snapped at the sapphire that was standing beside her and they all looked like they were about to start lunging onward.

Stifling a yawn, Taz asked again…. “Ready?” She wasn’t waiting though. Sunny had already started forward, no bridle on her either. And the slimmer sapphire that Taz had outfitted with the packsaddle and bags wore nothing on her head as well. The two females would follow the other two females being ridden, with no issues. The lounges all ran out together. They might even see the scarlet male if he wasn’t occupied elsewhere.

“What kind of things does Nora use?” Taz asked, nudging Bree into a jog. The lizards could pass down the cobbled pathway side by side, and did so with the burgundy sidling up to Bree so the two riders could talk. The pack Ixam came along behind, all the creatures seemingly eager to go. Taz yawned again. “I need to wake up. I have a newborn at home that’s been keeping me up all night and all day. She’s not fussy, she just doesn’t like to sleep. I left her with my sister though so we could ride hard if we wanted to.” She added, then turned the Ixam so they were all headed deeper into the Commons, more towards the Storm Shelter though they passed that quickly. Once past, they turned, not taking the Dovecote path, but running straight into the jungle, past a human trail, and through less dense greenery so they could come out at what Randal had called the Banana Grove.

“There should be bananas around here.” Taz told Taln, as they wove between the great trees, came up then down a little hill, dodging vines and tall kopak trees with ease. There wasn’t a thicker canopy here to support the Ixam going up higher into the trees, so they stayed lower, not truly into deep jungle yet. Tazrae suspected these were the historic food fields of Pavena, next to the coast to enjoy the maritime weather, which was why there was a notable lack of super tall trees. Once they got deeper into the jungle, the trees would get thicker, and bigger, and the Ixam would have to go up. For now, they simply wove through the green, staying side by side as much as they could, but often parting ways and zipping right or left to find a way through the tangle.

Taz found herself ducking often and laughing outright when Bree chose to go up and over things with a jump rather than move around them.

They came into the banana groves and the lizards skidded to a stop, with the two females behind the mounts almost crashing into them. Taz froze, looking around, stunned at what she saw. Banana plants, as far as the eye could see, were withered and blackened. There was no noticeable fungus or blight on them, but they seemed somehow to have been affected by something that killed one and all.

The Ixam danced nervously and looked around, tongues flicking out and back in.

“Gods… have you ever seen anything like this, Taln?” Taz asked her companion, shocked that one of the main food sources of the Settlement looked… dead or in the process of dying. Not all the plants were gone, but a lot of them were affected. “These… didn’t look like this ten days ago when I was here.” She said softly, glancing at Bree.

“Do you know anything about this?” She started to ask as the other Ixam crowded up to look for themselves. All four animals looked incredibly uncomfortable and nervous.

“There’s a really bad smell here, Tazrae. We need to leave. We need to go now.” Bree said, taking off to the right, the burgundy right on her heels. The two pack lizards followed as Bree spent a great deal of energy putting distance between whatever was going on in that grove and themselves. “Bree… wait…” Taz said, glancing at Taln, wondering what in the Ukalas was going on. “What kind of smell?” She called over the speed of the Ixam’s flight.

“A really petching bad smell, Tazrae.” Bree hissed, then reached out and bit the burgundy on the neck as if to encourage her to greater speeds. Taz had no idea where the entire lounge was fleeing to and she had no option but to go along for the ride. They traveled swiftly, staying on the ground, passing through multiple places, some of which Tazrae recognized, and some of which she did not. They went up and over the jungle mounds last but not least before they came to a halt, the Ixam blowing, in a dense part of the jungle that was ripe with all sorts of fruit trees.

Taz took a moment to look around, easily picking out that there used to be some sort of palm orchard here, but layers had built up over it over time and had shaded the vast majority of it. Beyond that though, there was still fruit on the trees and Taz was determined to find out what kind. There was also a small stream that flowed through the area that had thick bushes growing up on either side. Taz turned Bree and the pair wandered towards the bushes where she picked a few berries and studied them.

They broke her food rules.

The insides were white going to clear with a hard center that resembled a nut. She sniffed at it, wiped one across her lip, then dug into her belt pouch. She pulled out a wand that was made of woven metal tipped with a clear quartz crystal at one end. Tazrae tapped the wand to the berry and frowned as it turned green. “I knew these looked familiar. It turned green… that means they are safe food to eat.” She added, for Taln’s benefit. “Red means poison, blue means healing, green is for food, and purple is for building/crafting.” She said, gesturing at the wand still in her hand.

She popped the bit of berry left in her hand into her mouth and chewed. “Oh! Of course… these are Camu Camu… Uta calls them Rumberry.” Taz pointed out. They are sour, but edible, and are great made into fruit rolls, and candy and served in ice cream with sweetener added. It’s really good for you… Uta swears by it for her patients with colds and inflammation.” Taz added, then went on looking around.

“I see yellow passionfruit, Quinoa, Maca…. she paused, spinning in a circle. Oranges, mangoes, lemon, and what’s that?” She said, walking over to where a palm was giving off tiny purple berries. She tested it with the plant tester and got a green glow in the stone. “Acai, then… and bacaba palm. Oh and over there Aguaje. This place is a feast!” Taz said looking thoughtful though cautious. “What do you see, Taln?” Taz asked him, stepping back so he could have a look around. If he didn’t know any of them, that was fine… she’d teach what she did know. And maybe they’d get out of here with more than Taz thought they would when she saw the destruction of the banana grove.

“We should stay here and pick a bit. Do you know what Nora needs the most?” Tazrae asked, curious. “I know nothing about her birds or whatever else she has in that place,” Taz added, not actually having been back long enough from her year away to have taken the time to spot Nora, even though she’d spotted them. “And maybe you should tell me a bit about what she feeds the birds… how… that sort of thing?” Taz coaxed. She wanted to be of help to Nora, but she also knew almost all of this around them was edible and functional in Sykan society. So they’d really hit the jackpot on places to find food if they looked around and took advantage of it.

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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."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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[The Maw] Widespread Foraging [Taln]

Postby Taln on November 15th, 2022, 8:34 pm



Secret :
Your PC purposely tried to endanger mine, going against her Ranger oath. Please see top post.


Last edited by Taln on November 22nd, 2022, 7:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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I do NOT consent to any reproduction or publishing of my writing or its content in regards to Taln or any characters I've created on this site. Copyright attaches at the moment of online publication. Aug. 5, 2011, 8:52 pm. DMCA
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Taln
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[The Maw] Widespread Foraging [Taln]

Postby Tazrae on November 19th, 2022, 4:47 pm

“Humans have a beautiful range of motion in our bones the way our skeletons are attached, with our muscles for support. Yet, honestly, we use so little of that range because our muscles don’t get stretched and develop the flexibility to do so. For example, it’s very possible for us to part our legs and presses our pelvis all the way to the ground with our legs splayed out a whole range of ways – front to back, side to side, etc. It’s called doing the splits. It’s the same for loosening the pelvis and shoulders, being sinuous as we traverse the jungle. The Ixam moves naturally that way. We have to learn and adapt our muscles and teach them they actually can be flexible. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with training, you can do it. You just stretch them a little more each day. Sometimes yoga will help as well. You can take classes on that at the Tranquility Center. Zayne teaches it, I suspect. I can do it because I’ve been riding Bree for a while and moving as an Ixam. It has to do with your physical conditioning. You need muscles built up and trained to move. That doesn’t necessarily mean bulk. It just means flexibility and stretch.” She added.

“By the Gods, Taln. Pick up your reins! She doesn’t know you and you don’t know her. Once you can ride better, you can take off her headstall, but right now, you just put her in danger letting those reins dangle. What if they get caught on something when she runs by? They could pull her up short, snap her neck, or get you flung off and dead.” Taz growled, not happy with Taln putting the big burgundy Ixam at risk with being careless.

“Bree is sentient. That Ixam is not… she needs the guidance of a person who letting her know where they want to go. If you can’t ride as I instruct, you will walk.” Taz said sternly, pissed. She wasn’t about to let one of the Ixam in her care get hurt. And if he wasn’t going to follow directions, she’d yank him off that Ixam’s back in a heartbeat if she had to use her machete to do it. “If you already know everything there is to know about this, then why in the Ukalas am I here? I’m taking you with me as a favor… nothing more nothing less. If you are going to be stupid and put these Ixam at risk, I can get the fruit for Nora myself.” She snapped, unhappy the man was being so selfish and careless.

He switched the topic to fruit and she nodded. “We can get all of those fruits. I know where there are jack trees too if there aren’t any in this grove. I’m surprised Nora doesn’t feed her birds more insects. They are all over. I know parrots in the wild will eat snails, all kinds of insects – even spiders – and crustaceans. They will steal crabs and lobsters right out of my traps if I let my attention stray for a moment when I pull and unload them.” She said thoughtfully, watching Taln carefully. She wasn’t completely decided on how she felt about the man yet. He was odd, for sure, and Taz wasn’t sure that was a good thing.

Taz slipped off Bree and questioned her. “No bad smell here?” Bree shook her head. “What was that back there?” Taz asked, curious, trying to draw more information out of the Ixam. She hadn’t seen a reaction like that in a long time.

“I’m not sure, but most of those trees were bad. Someone needs to go in there and burn them, and let them come back again untainted.” Bree suggested. Taz nodded, agreeing with Bree. “Something was doing something to them. And I don’t like it. That’s a major food source for the Settlement.” Bree snorted, tossing her reptile head and flicking out her tongue as if testing the wind for more of the taint.

“We’ll talk to The Founders when we get back.” She added to Bree, knowing it was best to report the banana grove’s issues to Randal. It was a concern for her as well.

Taln asked her a question and Taz glanced at him, still angry that he had put his Ixam in such danger. She was short in her answer but told him the truth. “It’s a plant tester. It will tell me if something is edible, poisonous, medicinal … that type of thing. It’s magecrafted, I suspect.” She said, tucking it back into her belt pouch. The item came in handy in more ways than one.

Taln abandoned his Ixam without caution, starting on the harvest right away. Taz sighed and took the time to untack the reptiles, all four of them, on her own so they could roam while they were foraging without their tack harming them or interfering with their ability to hunt or find water if they needed to. Taln didn’t seem to have a single bit of self-preservation or common sense. But he also didn’t seem the type to take instruction well, so she said nothing. Tazrae moved with caution, using her armband to seek out and locate the potentially dangerous snakes in the area – and there were a few. She spotted a few spider webs that indicated there was more than one issue around. And she quietly sank down into her Wildling Nature and stretched her awareness out looking for predators. There were a few around, but nothing that would bother the full-grown Ixam and the humans.

Taz knew the local fruits and berries fairly well, having had to learn how to incorporate them into her cooking for the Inn. She was almost full-time the hunter-gatherer of The Protea since there were no other people available to do so for her. Taz only nodded at Taln’s explanation of all the fruits, their colorings, and what they looked like. She watched him walk around, shaking her head. She nodded to the questions she knew the answers to. To everything else, she shrugged.

Keeping an eye on him gathering oranges and lemons. The information about the peels and rinds was news to her. She didn’t know birds needed to work for their food. As far as she was concerned the ones flying around always worked for their food. Did he mean caged birds? Nora kept a few in cages, but mostly the wounded ones. Maybe that’s what he meant. The wild birds around Syka were pests for the most part. They dug into everything and could be very destructive. Even bait boxes and barrels were broken into routinely. Taz had to keep hers locked and underwater held down by rocks and a rope tied to her dock… or else the parrots and gulls would break into it.

“I’ll remember about that. What fruits need to be copped up and the skins and seeds removed?” She asked, curiously. Maybe it was just better to let him talk and do his thing while she kept an eye out. She nodded again when he mentioned the term ‘bored’ and food. Birds were too complex for her liking, truthfully. She liked the reptiles. Her mussurana were excellent eaters. They‘d eat about anything you offered them. The same went for the Ixam.

She looked around for them and saw all four at the far end of the orchard playing chase tail with each other and rough-housing. That made her smile as she began her foraging.

Taz had strict rules for what she took, how she took it, and the quantity and quality. With an eye on Taln and his incessant talking, she nodded when he spoke, but went about her methods carefully. If she took herbs, she would break off only one steam or leaf for every three. And if she had fruit trees to pick from, she’d pick a dozen, then move to a new tree, leaving plenty of fruit on the tree she vacated for the local wildlife. Almost everything was useful and she could cook with it. She found Cupuacu, which she used as a strong tea/coffee drink. It gave people a buzz and a boost of energy without the crash that coffee gave folks. It was a lot like Cacao, to the point Uta swore it was a distant cousin. The fruits were the size of mangos but had a thick fuzzy exocarp like kiwi. They actually looked like huge kiwi. “These are cupuacu… related to cacao. It tastes like chocolate and pineapple mixed. It's great as a desert and if you juice it, the taste reminds me of say maybe pear juice? Light and delicious.” She picked a dozen from one tree and another dozen from a different tree… planning on using some and canning the rest.

Near the fringes, she found Aguaje. It was a palm fruit – almost a berry it was so small - but was super healthy. Uta used it to treat burns and skin rashes, but it was super good as food too. Taz cooked with it in almost anything. It was helping her body recover from pregnancy, getting back to its normal shape. She even had cream from the herbalist that was helping with the stretch marks. “This is Aguaje. It’s really good to eat in all kinds of ways. And it's very healthy for you. They come in red, orange, and yellow… all ripe despite the colors. ” She added, even as she packed the fruit into one of the packsaddle bags she had thrown over her shoulder. Of this, she collected more, pulling a mesh bag from her backpack to load the overly large berries – or tiny fruit – into. She filled the whole bag moving as she picked, thinning the crop but not taking it all.

She also found jungle peanuts. “These are jungle peanuts.” She said, pointing out the Sacha Inchi plants. “They are star-shaped fruits, so you can’t miss them. When dried they eat like normal nuts and are a delicious snack. You can make butter and flavorings from them like peanuts are used… “ Taz added, gathering a great bunch of these. Uta had given her a list of things to help her recover from her pregnancy… these little tidbits were on them. It would help her burn her stomach flab and get her belly back to normal after her pregnancy.

When her saddlebag was full, she dragged it back over to the pile of tack and traded it out for another one.

“Rainmere was just being nice. I didn’t adopt a baby. I had one.” Taz corrected Taln. She hadn't seen Rainmere since she'd been back, so she wondered how the Firedancer knew about Khari. Taz would have to pay her a visit. “It’s a long story and one I don’t want to get into. But Khari is mine. She has a twin brother too who isn’t here.” Taz added. She never forgot to mention Kaysen and mention him when it was appropriate. “He’s with his father.” Gods she hoped that was the truth. But she had faith in Nyle and had to believe that was the truth.

With her loaded bags changed out, she went to gather Pacay. “This is Pacay.” She informed him, showing him what looked like a humongous green bean. She broke one open to show him that it looked like it was stuffed with cotton candy beans that had individual nuts tucked into them. It really was an odd-looking fruit. “We make ice cream and other deserts with this because it tastes like vanilla, which is not always easy to find around here. There are vanilla plants, but they are few and far between to find. You can take the pulp when you clean out the middles to use in the desert and brew a sort of liquor with it. Stu takes all my shelled Pacay. He’s been perfecting a recipe, but I’ve not tasted it yet.” She added, not sure what else to say.

Near the center of the orchard, where there were more common fruits and Taz spent time gathering them. She ran into quite a few tarantulas and scorpions but was careful to gather around them. She didn’t bother telling Taln about them. He had eyes of his own. So her last saddlebag was just about full and that made her happy. All she lacked was finding a few jackfruits.

“Did you see any jackfruit? I didn’t.” She added, looking around. The Ixam had never taken her here before, but they might know where other foraging sites would be.

“Bree!” Taz beckoned. The big emerald Ixam swung her head toward Taz and then headed in that direction. Taz was there to tack her up and ask her. “Do you guys know where jackfruit is?” She asked, holding her hand up to describe the size and shape of it roughly to Bree. Bree thought a moment, glanced at the other Ixam who had gathered around to be re-tacked up, and they seemed to consult before Bree shrugged. “We can try and find some.” She said as Taz fastened saddlebags on Sunny and the sapphire that was following the burgundy.

Once everyone was loaded up and the fruits of their foraging were divided among the two pack Ixam, Tazrae escorted them all back to the Settlement, dropping off what Nora wanted - and her apprentice - for her bird supplies and taking the rest to The Protea to start processing for her guests.

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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."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
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