• Graded • Catching of a Velox

Alex searches for a Velox in the forests outside of Etzos

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Vluharqih
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Catching of a Velox

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Arc 706, 1st trial of Ymiden
Alex stood still, the cold wind whipping through her thin clothes. The winter had been a rough one, and the temperature hadn't warmed up as much as it should've by this point.

Ahead of her, there was a thin layer of frost covering the scraggly grass sprouting between the trees. The waves crashed on the rocks along the shore behind her, the buffeting wind pushing past her. Her small tent sat alone atop the cliffside, the stained canvas flapping in the brisk wind. A large steel cage sat beside it, empty. The crates of supplies she had hauled out here sat beside her tent, the solid wood unmoving and solid on the skyline. She slowly turned in a circle, absorbing the sounds and sights of that remote location.

She had led a wagon for the last few trials to get here, in Central Idalos. Her parents couldn't accompany her, nor could she stay with anyone along the way. It was a time-honored ritual. A passage beyond childhood. Alex had spent the last trial of the journey completely isolated, and off the road.

She had, after many debates and discussions with herself, decided on her animal form. She was going to become a Grey Velox. Quhbah had helped her along this path, and she felt a pang of sadness that he couldn’t be here to witness her first attempt. She wriggled her bare toes into the ground, feeling the dark, right earth between her toes. The cool air blowing through the trees wafted across her face, bringing the smell of the pines to her nose.

She thought back to the hundreds of books she had read on the Grey Velox. Over the last arc, she had become aware of an animal part of her, primitive and wild. At first, she had been worried, however after speaking to Vluhome, he had explained that many Yludih begin to feel that way as they become attuned to their animal.

He explained that the intense studying required to achieve that seemed to provoke a biological change, though he admitted that many argue it's simply a side effect of puberty. He continued explaining that it is a phenomenon, and that she should not feel uncomfortable with it. Like that helped.

She brought herself back to the present with a shake, focusing on her body. The light sled attached to her back, and the two vials of tetrodotoxin from a far off salamander were vital to her task, and she patted the case where they were stored, deciding to coat her knife before she headed out.

She re-sheathed the knife, and trotted into the forest, her breath coming in measured puffs. Her eyes scanned the underbrush for any of the signs associated with Grey Velox dens. She paused, and veered off to the right. She knelt beside a waist-high scuffmark, her knees crackling on the icy ground.

Hmm, it looks like its about the right height off the ground, about four feet, but the number of claws is off. It looks like whatever this was had five long claws per foot, not the three that the Grey Velox should have. Besides, the angle is off. It'd be a sharper angle if it was...

She stood, brushing off her knees, and loped off. A brush suddenly shifting to her right startled her, causing her to jump. The small mouse scampering out saved her life, as a blur slammed into the ground next to her

The crash as the shape plummeted beside her caused her to shriek, and leap backwards even further. Her hand dropped to the knife at her waist, coated in a non-lethal dose of a rare tetrodotoxin, but she only had one extra vial of the poison and she needed it to capture a young Grey Velox. She eyed the black shape, but it lay still. She cautiously approached, poking it gingerly at first, and then with increasing confidence as it showed no sign of moving. She slowly touched it, the warm scales heavy against her hand.

She looked in curiosity at it, and wondered if it was a canopy anvil. She had heard about them only as rumors from traders and adventurers who came into her mother’s shop for various cures. Whatever it was, it was curled in a sphere but was slowly straightening. As Alex peered at the small opening it made, she saw a blank orb of an eye staring back at her, when suddenly it blinked!

She yelped again, and looked around ashamedly. Luckily there was no one around to hear her. The shape finished unwravelling, and she recognized it as the Anvil. The beast looked at her, and made as if it was going to come after her, before it sank down to its stomach, heaving up blood to splatter on the ground. She backed off, unsure of how fast the animal was, but it made no move to rise.

Instead, the animal heaved again, and more blood spattered across the ground. It looked up at Alex, and this time she saw no murderous intent. Instead, the animals pain was reflected in its eyes, and the anguish Alex witnessed there stopped her in her tracks. I can’t leave him like this!

Cautiously approaching it again, she watched the animal heave again, this time barely raising its head. She approached it, as if in a dream. The knife appeared in her hand, and she looked in shock down at it, wondering what she was doing. She walked around behind the beast, kneeling on its scaly back. She watched in horror filled fascination as she brought the knife around the neck, and quickly drew back in a swift motion.

Its blood spattered out onto the cold earth, steam rising where it painted the ground. She looked down numbly, to see her hands covered in blood, and she detachedly noticed them shaking. Huh, that’s weird. Alex heard the bubbling of a creek nearby, and somehow managed to get herself over to it. Sitting on the bank, she looked down and saw her reflection. She closed her eyes, and opened herself up to all the sounds and smells of the forest. She let them float through her, and focused on her breathing. In…..Out……In……Out. She remained motionless for a full break, not noticing the cold that began to seep into her bones.
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Vluharqih
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She slowly opened her eyes, and looked down at her hands. They were caked with dried blood and were looking rather purple, but she felt much more herself as she leaned down and washed them off in the creek.

Soon, she had removed all traces of what had happened from her body, and had gently reapplied the tetrodotoxin to the knife. She stood, her stiff limbs reminding her of how long she had been sitting. She gently began to jog, warming herself up, and returning to her calm, meditative state as her eyes began to scan the forest again.

She dodged through the trees, mentally reviewing the signs she was looking for. The long vertical scratches I was looking for earlier would be nice. They mean that I’m close to the den, which would make my job even easier. She also looked out for the tell-tale blood trail they left. Grey Velox had a tendency to roll around in a fresh kill, which dyed their light fur a dark, deep red. When they then ran through the forest, their fur left smears of blood through the scarce underbrush.

After several breaks, she turned around and began to head back when she noticed it: an unmistakable Velox print in the mud beside her tracks. It had been hidden by a rock on the first pass, and she felt her heart rate begin to climb.

I have to be careful- I don’t feel like tangling with a fully grown Velox. Crouching beside the track, she made some quick measurements of it. Huh, so it’s not fully-grown yet, since the track is much too small. But it appears to be about at its adolescence. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s male- I remember reading that the younger males will have a much longer middle digit, and that's definitely the case.Rising back to her feet, she began to quietly try to follow the trail. But she was no woodsman, and she found she could barely follow the trail, and she had to double back again and again to try and find the last evidence of the Velox.

And try though she may, she was hardly silent moving through the woods. She cracked branches underfoot, and snapped tree limbs as she clambered over them. Oh god, I’m horrible at this.

Half a dozen breaks later, she stumbled across her own path from earlier in the day. Confused, she looked for the Velox trail, to find that it had led her right back to her own trail. She was perplexed for a moment, until she remembered the Anvil. Of course! Its free meat! She smiled, realizing that the tetrodotoxin on the knife wouldn’t have diluted itself in the blood stream, since it died so quickly, and all she needed to do was wait until it ate that section. Since the Grey Velox devourer their prey from the head first, she wouldn’t have to wait very long.

Her own trail was easy to follow, and Alex took her time, creeping from stone to stone, ensuring her balance was perfect before taking the next step. All the while, she focused on her breathing, smothering her excitement and exhilaration. It took her almost a break to travel the few hundred meters to where the Anvil lay, but her patience paid off.

She crested a small incline, to see the Grey Velox. Her heart leapt at its serenity, its grace...and then it turned. Its face was covered in blood, spattered across its chest and neck. A scrap of meat hung from its jaw as it sniffed the air, curiously. She noticed it begin to list to one side, before it caught itself and went back to eating.

She smiled as it finished off the shoulders, and she settled down to wait. About a dozen bits later, it lay its head down on the Anvil, and didn’t move. She remained where she was, and slowly counted to a thousand as she ran through some basic calculations, leaning heavily on her mother’s knowledge of body mass to medicine dosage. The paralysis should last for a few hours, given that the Velox is about as heavy as me- a fair estimate.

She creeped over the crest, and slid down the other side, her knife out and ready. The grey and red mass showed no signs of moving, so Alex crept closer, and experimentally poked it. Getting no response yet again, she unwrapped the sled from her back, and laid it down beside the Velox. She slowly rolled it over onto the sled, and tied it down using straps. They won’t hold if the Velox wakes up, but I should feel him twitching as the poison wears off, and can just cut him using my knife to apply the rest of the toxin.

She walked off, dragging the sled behind her. It was slow going, and she had to pause many times, massaging her shoulders. The harness system was mainly around her waist, but there was several straps that lead up to the shoulders, and they dug in painfully. While she was paused, she began to breathe slowly, and ignored the other stimuli around her. She made it to tranquility, and continued to walk, simply following her path from this morning. The light was fading fast, and she pushed herself to make it before dark.

When she finally made it to the campsite, she sighed in exhaustion. Her feet dragging, she pulled the sled over to the heavy, reinforced steel cage her father had bought her. She opened the door, and simply pushed the sled inside. It had done its job, and she didn’t need it any more. The velox was beginning to come to, and she quickly undid the straps holding him down, before slamming the cage door. Now to spend the next three seasons studying this animal… should be interesting! She sarcastically thought as her shoulders screamed at her. She was excited to learn more about the beast first-hand, but to spend this long alone? It'd be tough on her, she knew that. She climbed into her old canvas tent, too tired to bother with a fire tonight. She grabbed a handful of the dried bread and berries her mother had sent her with, before crashing to the bed, fast asleep.
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Last edited by Vluharqih on Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:27 pm, edited 3 times in total. word count: 1076
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Vluharqih
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Arc 706, 1st trial of Vhalar
Happy birthday me! Alex thought as she slowly woke up. Today was her last day, the day she began the trek back to Ne'haer. She climbed out of bed, and packed up the last of her supplies- the small tent, the sleeping bag and the few random knickknacks scattered about the site from the past few seasons. She walked over to the fenced in forest, and looked through the fence at Lupe, the Grey Velox.

Over the past few seasons, she had watched him daily, trying to gain a deeper understanding of what drove him, and trying to memorize his form, how he moved, everything. Ha, listen to me. Making Lupe sound like a person. I really must be loosing it.

Her first season had been a whirlwind of activity. She had rushed building the makeshift fence, and had spent the better part of every day building and hammering the planks she had brought with her into the trees. By the second week of Ymiden, she had enclosed a full acre, give or take. The first time she set Lupe free in there, he sprinted the outside, testing it for holes or weaknesses. She had run along beside him, outside the fence, but had stopped halfway around, bending over and gasping for air. She decided then and there to run the enclosure twice a day, every day. She had soon been able to match Lupe for the whole enclosure, and in her mind, they began to have a competition.

It was then that she began setting out live traps for rabbits and other smaller game. When she set them free in the enclosure, she watched and followed as Lupe tracked and killed them, her mind tracing the path he took, and memorizing it. After watching his sleek form, she began doing other exercises, dedicated to toning her body.

She once sat in a tree for a full trial, waiting for a deer to come by. When it did, she dropped onto it, making sure to cut it with the poisoned dagger she had. She had landed heavily, and injured her ankle for the next week, but watching Lupe follow it, and take it down was well worth the pain.

She shook off the nostalgia, and slowly opened the gate, her knife at the ready. Lupe was standing on the other side of the gate, his mismatched eyes warily watching her. She normally used the cage as an 'airlock' of sorts, and he wasn't sure how to react to this. She took several steps back, and gestured to the woods beyond the fence. He tentatively stepped outside the fence, and when nothing happened, he sauntered the rest of the way out. He made as if to head off into the forest, when he stopped and turned around. His head came up, and he walked towards Alex.

'G-Go away Lupe. Go o-on." Alex's hands shook as she tried to hold the knife between them. He prowled closer, his eyes meeting Alex's and not wavering. She backed up quickly, stumbling over her own feet and landing heavily on her backside. Lupe continued to approach her, until he was inches away from her face. He sniffed her forehead once, and his long, coarse tongue licked across her brow.

Alex was frozen in fear, but he turned and left, his blue-grey tail disappearing between the tall trunks.
Last edited by Vluharqih on Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:29 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 583
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Catching of a Velox

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Come and get your Loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


Vluharqih:
Skills:

  • Animal Husbandry (Velox) +2
  • Carpentry +1
  • Endurance +1
  • Foraging +1
  • Meditation +1
  • Navigation +1
  • Observation +3
  • Poisons +1
  • Research +1
  • Running +1
  • Stealth +1
  • Tracking +2

Knowledges:

  • Basic
    • 706 was a Cold Arc.
    • Canopy Anvil attack: Saved by a Mouse
    • Emulating Grey Velox Moves and Habits
    • Grey Velox: An Arc of Book Research
    • Grey Velox: A Season of Observation
    • Yludih/Animal Connection is More Than a Side Effect of Puberty
    • Yludih/Animal Connection Goes Both Ways
  • Specific
    • Animal Transformation Must be Learned Solo
    • Basic Survival: Concentrate on Breathing to Help Ignore Pain
    • Canopy Anvil Can Die if it Misses
    • Poisons: Estimating Body Mass Ratio to Dosage
    • Poisons: Effects Continue up the Food Chain
    • Trapper's Tactics: Using Your own Trail as a Lure
    • Velox Tracking: Three Claws, Not Five
    • Velox Tracking: Males' Middle Digits are Longer
    • Velox Tracking: They Leave Blood on the Underbrush
    • Velox Tracking: They Eat Prey Head First

Loot:

Sorry, not that kind of thread


Injuries:

Wrenched ankle. If you launch right into another thread, around that date, requiring mobility, you will be limping and clumsy on your feet


Comments:

Good Job. I can see you are wanting to describe some detail. You are pretty much the test case for this process. :D

Okay, a few things. None are a big deal, just for future reference.

1.) You refer to "months" a few times. These are not part of the Idalosian calendar. There are 3 cycles, each made up of two seasons. It throws off the implied timing of some things to use the term "months", since one portion of your entire process is said to take up the entire season of Ymiden. That would be half of the full time spent, and you hadn't even gotten the Velox into the fenced area yet. Don't feel bad though, it's no different than the many instances of people using "years" instead of "arcs" and you were on top of that.

2.) I saw that you got a knowledge about making Tetrodotoxins from salamanders from your character sheet grading, but I don't see any reference to it there. You don't really account for possession of the few doses you used in the thread, but since it's a memory thread, it doesn't really create a discrepancy with your starting packages. Don't get me wrong though. I WANT players to develop poisons for me to consider adding to the lore, so no big deal. I don't know if I'm going to bother with the term "tetrodotoxin" though...lol

3.) I gave you "Foraging" because you accounted for the need to procure food for the Velox for observation of its stalking and eating habits. I would have given you specifically 'Trapping" instead, but you really didn't describe any of the methods of trapping you used. But hey, there's nothing wrong with the Foraging skill.

4.) I specifically gave you "Stealth" because of your description of how lousy you were at it...lol...It displayed some awareness of what you were doing wrong and that implies learning.

5.) As a general rule, you'll see lots of knowledges starting out this sort of thread series, but it will probably taper off in the following ones. I consider you to have met the "Knowledge" and the first of two "Observation" threads.
PM me with any comments or concerns :)
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