The Adventures of Krond and Cricket!

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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:36 pm

The morning air is cold and dry and the ground is peppered with the mornings frost; winter has come. Krond packs his nap sack with the materials and provisions that he’ll need for a couple weeks worth of roughing it in the wilderness. Once he has the things he needs, he puts on just enough Armor to protect himself yet still be able to move deftly through the woods. Then he covers himself with his fur pelt and poncho for maximum warmth; he’s ready to go. Picking up Gram and shouldering it, he waits at the edge of the trail near the fire circle where he promised to meet Cricket. As the sun begins to rise he waits patiently for his young, light hearted buddy.
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:10 pm

About twenty minutes pass before the slapping of Cricket's feet against the damp earth can be heard coming up the path. He lightly jogs up to Krond by the Circle with his bag snug to his back. Smiling, he holds up a leg of chicken. 'For the road! I can nap later. Ready?'
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:48 pm

Krond nods in approval. “Very well, then we’re off.” Both Krond and Cricket turn to face the trail. With an energetic skip in their step, they head on the trail towards Applevale; and into the wilds on Annwm.

After a few hours of hiking and bantering back and forth between the two unlikely companions, Krond thinks it is time to have sit and rest for a brief moment before continuing on. He takes out a piece of parchment and gestures for Cricket to come have a look. It is a map of Annwm; with towns and known landscapes marked all over it. He points to a section on the map not far from Applevale and faces Cricket, “this is where we’re goin. We’re gonna travel around this area and scout out some locations that would be considered ‘safe’ for human habitation. It might take a while since I’m unfamiliar with the territory; but that’s where you come in. You know these wilds better than I do. With your help, this should be considerably easier.”

He turns to face Cricket to see if he understands the mission.
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:06 am

Cricket looks intently at the map. Though he cannot read, he has seen many maps of Annwm and the words upon them are hardly a barrier. 'Mmm.' He looks up the ridge, still off the path westward, and then towards the coast about 100 or so paces to their East. 'Got it. We can do it. It ain't gonna be easy, but challenge is good.'
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:28 am

Krond nods in agreement, “Mhmm, challenge makes us stronger.” He then takes out his water skin pouch and takes a sip of water. “Make sure you drink plenty, we have lots of travelling to do before days end.” After they both hydrate themselves and rest for a few minutes, they set out onto the road again.

After so long silence falls between the two of them. As time goes by Krond begins to feel a little awkward. He doesn’t usually know what to say to someone he hardly knows; and he’s terrible at making small talk. But Cricket will be with him for the next little while so he thought maybe it’d be good to know a little more about his new travelling companion. Krond takes a deep breath and exhales slowly, “so Cricket” he asks “where are you from originally? You were born on the island right?”
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:44 pm

Cricket walks along with a slight spring, humming quietly but not saying much. When Krond speaks he lights up. He nods. 'Yup! Never left the Island. I was born out west, in a lil' settlement by the coast. Not sure if it's still around, honestly.' He looks to the west as if he could see it from there. 'Where you from, Krond?'
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:41 pm

Krond notices when Cricket looks in each direction as he talks about them. For someone who seems so air-headed, he certainly seems to know his way around. Though impressed, Krond responds to Cricket's question, "I come from the mainland, my clan resides in the Dragonspire Mountains. But we're a wandering tribe so we don't stay in the same place all year long. The mountains provide enough resources to live but it can be quite dangerous; large beasts can be found wandering the wilds there." Krond looks down at the ground for a moment with a somber look on his face, "But its been a long time since I called those mountains home. I've been wandering the mainland since I was 17 years old . . . and because of that I was able to make my way to Annwm."
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:47 am

Cricket looks a bit mystified. 'Dragonspire... I've heard of it, it sounds exicting... maybe someday I can explore the mainland. See all the people and creatures in the west.' His countenance is wistful, but he focuses back. 'People are scared of this area of Annwm, but this is a good place to settle, if you can ignore the devils.'
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:05 am

“Well that’s what we’re gonna find; a place safe enough for people to live. Despite the monsters.” A slight breeze wisps by and sends chills down Krond’s spine, making him shiver. “Honestly I think the winters here are worse than the devils. This cold goes right to your bones; It’s a much different kind of cold than the mainland.” Krond then puts his hood up to keep his ears warm. Despite spending 4 winters in Annwm he still hasn’t quite gotten used to the winters on the island. They’re always so wet and damp, and the wind that comes off the ocean only intensifies the already freezing air. Krond never thought he’d say this, but the crisp and cool air of the Dragonspire Mountains seemed like a warm summer breeze in comparison. He turns to Cricket, “how do you Annwmians deal with this cold? You look far less uncomfortable than I do and you’re barely wearing any footwear.”
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:23 am

Cricket shrugs. 'Unno. We dry out easier I guess so the wet don't bother me as much at least.' He smiles and exclaims, 'Like a frog!' He points northwest. 'But there are some places on the Island that are dry and weird... shouldn't be that way but it is. People stay away from those places.'
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:06 pm

Krond raises an eyebrow and looks at Cricket admirably, “you really do just know every direction at all times don’t you? How do you do that?” He asks inquisitively.
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:39 pm

Another shrug. 'That's just how I was taught, I guess. Was taught east and west instead of left and right. Just stays in your head.' He looks a little embarassed. 'Er... I DO know my left and right though!'
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:18 am

Krond chuckles, “haha, it’s alright. I was taught easy and west at a young age to. But I never knew how to keep track nor use them to find my way around. You think you can show me your tricks? It’d be a fine tool to have for navigating the wilds. Mostly I stick close to trails and water bit delving deeper into the wilds would prove fruitful. What say you?”
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:20 pm

The kid nods enthusiastically. 'Mhm! Let's... uh...' He lights up, noticing something beyond Krond. 'Oh! Like that.' Cricket gestures for Krond to follow him and leads him over to a small landfall from the descending hillside. 'North, South, and knowing where they are whenever... you might need to just get used to it. But as long as you know where you WANT to go... that can help.' He points at the landfall, at some scattered rocks and old earth. The rocks seem loose on the ground and the ground is hard. 'What do you think about those rocks there?'
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:35 pm

Krond looks at the rocks suspiciously. “Am I supposed to notice something about the rocks?”
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:06 am

Cricket nods. 'How do you think they got there? They aren't set in the earth and the earth is hard but damp, so they haven't been there long.' He looks up the hill. 'What could have made them roll down ya think?'
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:55 am

Krond raises an eyebrow and tilts his head in thought. He gives a guess, “water and wind slowly weakened the earth over time; and it gave away. Which meant the unsupported rocks fell downhill. What of it?” He asks curiously.
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:37 pm

'Yup! That's for sure something that could happen. Maybe a bunch of rain or snow came down all at once here. Maybe some fell from the trees in one spot and pushed these rocks down. Or maybe an animal caused a small landslide by accident. We know they fell down this way... so we know they came from up there. Which means we can anticipate what the land might be like or where they might have come from... we can anticipate... but we can't expect.' He begins bounding up the hill. 'Let's check! I'll bet they came from a less secured flat by a slope.' They only need to travel about twenty meters uphill before they find a second loose deposit of rocks that is indeed precariously near the steep of the hill. The bulk of the rocks are nestled into the earth on a flatter portion of earth.
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:28 pm

Krond follows Cricket up the hill a little ways. When he reaches the rocks that Cricket was talking about, he lays Gram down on the ground and crosses his arms intriguingly. “And what are we looking at here?” He asks, “It looks just the same as the last bundle.”
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:02 pm

'It looks to me like these rocks were moved by something passing by that made them tumble downhill. Maybe there's a moose trail here?' He looks down the hill. 'Either way... seeing the rocks down there... we were able to guess there would be a source for the rocks up here on flatter ground... which there were. And if there IS a moose trail here...' he leans down and checks the tracks. '...We can guess that parts along the ridge leading uphill even more will have good enough footing for something like that to travel along. What do you think?'
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:10 pm

“Ooohhh I think I’m starting to understand you. It’s kind of like reading the signs of the earth to figure out the terrain; kind of like reading the signs of living things when I track them.” He smiles proudly. “So if I can figure out enough stuff about the terrain I can get a better idea of my surroundings; and maybe even predict where the things that I’m tracking are travelling. Is that right?”
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:17 pm

'Ya! I think that's a good way to say it.' The kid scratches his head, thinking. 'The thing about wayfinding, like with tracking is... you can't actually see your destination. You may have never seen it. But by watching how the land approaches you... you can predict how it might flow by that. The simplest thing is if you see the top of a mountain and you wanna get there, you can expect that at SOME point the land is gonna have to rise. But how it gets there might not be so straightforward. It might slope up and then dip down into a small valley before you finally go up again. So to expect nothing but upwards traveling would be foolish. Even with the rocks...' he points bsck to them, 'They could have all tumbled downhill and then we wouldn't have found anything here. Some being left higher up the path helped us to understand what the land was doing better, but there was no guarantee it would be like that. We could anticipate it... but to depend on that to guide us could be dangerous.'
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:37 am

“Understandable. But how do we use this method to know where north and other directions are? We can’t use a reference point if we’re constantly moving. Not unless we use our map.”
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Post by Rob (Cast) on Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:31 am

'Oh. For knowing where North is? Uh... I dunno. You just gotta train... your gut compass?' Cricket tilts his head. He is confusing himself. 'Just follow whichever direction is coldest, that'll be North. Ya? Anyway, wayfinding like this helps your gut compass get better. So that's a place to start. Knowing how to...' he thinks for a second. 'Knowing how to NOT walk in circles! That's how you know your gut compass is getting better.' Cricket seems proud of this new term. Krond can almost visibly see the kid logging it in his mind for later use.
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Post by Krond Thuliaga on Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:46 pm

With one eyebrow raised and his head slightly tilted to the side, Krond shakes his head in astonished confusion. Cricket’s apparent lack of vocabulary is matched only by his air-headedness. Yet at the same time, Krond understood what he meant. His instincts have rarely, if at all, led him astray. Maybe if Cricket were to show him how to read the land he could improve his navigational skills. Cricket is smart . . . In his own way.

Krond perks up and wipes the look of confusion off his face. “So what else are you able to teach me about this stuff?”
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