Fire and Fish

Xanadu Weyr - The lonely Beach

Though perhaps nothing to write home about, the Lonely Island's beach is peaceful enough, a long stretch of white sand just big enough for two golds to sprawl out comfortably without touching. Shells, agates, driftwood, and other watery detritus litters the beach in bits and spots, just enough to make things interesting. East-facing, the beach is ideal for watching the sun rise, the view utterly unimpeded by the dense forest that otherwise swallows the island. Natural stone jetties and pockets of sand create excellent spots for fishing and swimming, while others play home to tiny ecosystems in the form of tidepools.

It's been roughly a full day now since they've been whisked away and LEFT ON AN ISLAND! With nothing but the clothes on their back. First challenge was to create fire. Out. Of. Nothing. Well surely something but to these candidates who perhaps have never spent an evening in the wild it was clearly from nothing. After however long it took to get it done, team JAMZ finally accomplished the task first. One will assume that eventually Bluefin followed suit with flames. We meet up with this survivors about midmorning the day after which means they had to sleep somewhere. Zak is emerging from the forest onto the beach. From the looks of it he's been up for hours already. He carries a large stick that's been sharpened to a point. His destination seems to be the water for he's stripped off his shirt to tie around his head like a bandana and his shoes are on the beach somewhere. Above him his young fire lizard does dips and wheels with many a chirps and cheeps of encouragement for whatever her human is up to.

Like primitive humanity before them, the candidates have unlocked the secrets of fire. Or at least one of those secrets. They made fire, okay? Good enough! Janaya's sitting near that example of fire, keeping it alive by feeding it twigs. She looks up at the sight of Zak going by, apparently having unlocked another primitive technology: spear! She tilts her head to the side, curious, then tosses a couple larger sticks onto the fire as she stands up and heads to meet him as he heads for the water's edge. "Find anything interesting in there?" she asks with a gesture back toward the woods. Besides the obvious Pointy Stick, that is!

Xanadu Weyr - The Lonely Beach(#1875RFJg)
Though perhaps nothing to write home about, the Lonely Island's beach is peaceful enough, a long stretch of white sand just big enough for two golds to sprawl out comfortably without touching. Shells, agates, driftwood, and other watery detritus litters the beach in bits and spots, just enough to make things interesting. East-facing, the beach is ideal for watching the sun rise, the view utterly unimpeded by the dense forest that otherwise swallows the island. Natural stone jetties and pockets of sand create excellent spots for fishing and swimming, while others play home to tiny ecosystems in the form of tidepools.

"Trees. Lots of trees." Zak can state the obvious fairly well. His steps pause as he looks towards Janaya. "I'm starving. Think I'll find any fish in there?" one hand gestures to the wide expanse of water. Seems like it would be a safe bet. "And we'll need more fire. And maybe some giant leaves.”

Janaya looks to the forest again. "…can see that," she says, and shakes her head before looking back to Zak again. "Uh, well… there's bound to be some, yeah." Her eyes fall on that pointed stick, and she grins. "So you're gonna try the spear-fishing, huh? Too bad we didn't get any practice with that in." They could have been experienced! But no, they had to do the boring, usual sort of pole-fishing before. "We can build up the fire when it's time. Gathering wood is boring." Even if there are a lot of trees.

Who else has been up for hours? Maorin. Whether he slept much on the hard ground or not, he's been out frolicking in the water since dawn. Or at least occasionally waving his arms about and throwing things. What thing that is happens to be a bit of netting. Netting that he carries with him now that he's heading back up the beach, wrapped around a few fish that have quite politely gotten themselves all tangled. "Wow, Zak! You made a /spear!/ That's a spear, right? You know, if we sharpened enough of those, we could form a ring of them around the camp and be completely, totally protected." Maybe. From anything not willing to go around. The teenager grins though, lifting up his net of fish with a slight tilt of his head. "Nobody mention these to Quill, alright? Or at least not where we got them? I am never../ever/ going to hear the end of it.”

"Where's the net?" Zak absently pats the knife he's sling around his waist using a vine. We'll just hope that it doesn't slip out of the knot while he's trampling around in the water. Above head Nazneen dives into the water eagerly with a loud screech. "Or they could drop us off some poles, a line, and some bait." a hopeful glance is cast upwards to the skies. No such luck. Upon his return gaze to the water he'll see ( and then hear also ) Maorin frolicking like a shipfish. "It's a spear!" this is confirmed then by his lifting it up above his head. "What are we needing to be protected from?" he calls out. Walkers? no wait, not in this game. "You got fish?!" by now he's stomping through the water up to his knees. Most likely he's scaring every fish from here to…well Xanadu with all his noise.

"Someone already took it," Janaya says of the net to Zak. Who? Eh, she doesn't know, but they don't have long to wait on that information, because there's Maorin coming out in the waves with it. It's really quite obliging of those fish to have shaken fins with the net like that. Janaya beams at this demonstration of their courtesy! "Oh, nice!" she says, and grins. " I guess we do need that fire up." Janaya glances back toward Bluefin's camp - any spies? No? - then nods. "I'm certainly not going to tell him," she declares to Maorin, then shrugs. "And who knows what we need to be defended from? There might be wild felines in the woods for all we know, just 'cause we haven't seen any doesn't mean they aren't there." Absence of proof is not proof of absence!

"Dad's a fisher and all. What do you think I did growing up?" They have the fire-maker and the fish-catcher! Hopefully they don't also have the eye-poker. That remains to be seen. But Maorin seems satisfied enough, shaking his head just a bit. "If you're gonna use that for fish you need to stay real still. I never got good at it myself." Sitting still? The horror! He points at Janaya though, waving at her statement of safety necessity. "See? There could be felines. Whole slew of other things live in the wild. No telling what's out here. /Hey!/ Who wants to clean these?”

Speaking of spies and cheats, Bluefin's camp has spent a fair amount of the night constructing a shelter. Not a /very good/ shelter, but one that is likely to keep their secrets secret this time around. There's a fire as well, it took a lot of the night as well and it looks as though it's close to going out as they worked late and are just now starting to stir. Rubbing at her back and looking like sleep wasn't exactly something she got much of, Maelle carries some of the scraps from with in the little shelter to toss into the fire and hopefully keep it alive. Now, food is next on the menu and the bellyaching of a few of the younger members it met with a roll of her eyes. "Go take the nets and try and catch some fish." She tells one of the older ones that looks slightly more reliable and glances at the group at the other camp before heading towards the woods.

Zak finally stops his flailing aka walking once the water gets to his waist. Standing really, really still he watches the water around him with spear clenched tightly in hand. And watches. And watches. Nothing much is happening thus far which is hardly surprising considering the ruckus he caused getting this far into the water. "I'm not sure which is worse." he comments idly. "The chores or trying to surivive out here without starving or getting eaten by killer fish." not killer land animals mind you. Killer fish. Cause they are out there for sure! "'re the fish b…expert! I have no idea how to clean them." Zak doth protest. "I've got the knife" which could mean that he clean them by default but his thinking it he'll just hand it to whomever gets to clean them.

"Lounged on ship decks and played cards?" Janaya suggests with a teasing look to Maorin, then grins. "Anyway, I'm glad you did!" Now they have food! …well, they will once it's cleaned and cooked, anyhow. She looks to Zak, then leaves him to his standing-there as she heads back up shore to stir the fire and add a few more sticks to it. Flame on! Make with the heat to cook the fish that… uhm. She wrinkles her nose. "I think I remember how to do that?" she says, though she sounds pretty dubious about it. She did technically get a lesson. "So as long as these aren't any of the ones with poison bits…" Yet another way for the sea to be deadly! In addition to the snapping fish that Zak and some of Bluefin's junior members seem to be claiming surely exist in those waters.

Maorin tilts his head, although his grin remains as he watches Janaya. "Nah, that was /after/, when I worked on a trade ship. Dad would've tanned my hide if he caught me slacking off!" He makes his way over to the fire though, waving his hand at Zak to head over. "We're gonna need that, yeah. I dunno about you but I'm not all for biting their heads off and tryng to gut them with my fingers." That all sounds just /delightful/. The brief appearance of Maelle is taken note of at least, his free hand lifting to wave before she starts to head for the woods. "Hey! Mooorning!" Once he plops down next to the flames though he shakes his head. "I can do it if nobody else wants to. Fish are pretty quick. I dunno /what/ to do with like…bigger animals. Probably the same concept but there's just a whole lot more… them.”

Maelle waves at the other group's members before she darts into the woods. She isn't gone /so/ terribly long, and returns with a bunch of what look like weeds. Well, a couple of them have something that may be a flower on the end, but it's hard to tell from the distance. She drops them off near the fire, but not in it. Unfortunately, with all the splashing around of the younger members of Bluefin, it's almost assured that there won't be any fish where they are as they've taken more to splashing each other and trying to capture one another in the net rather than actually catching any fish. "Shards.. You'd think that being hungry would keep them on task.." She grumbles and wanders over to see how far the other team is on getting food - and they have some. Drats.

Zak casts one last longing glance to the waters. He really did want to emerge victorious with a fish dangling from his sharpened stick but alas there is no fish to be hand. Stifling a sigh he makes his way back to land and the fire burning merrily. The knife gets held out handle first for whomever wishes to take it. "I don't think I remember the gutting lesson." he says cheerily as he plops down into the dry sand which quickly become wet sand all around him and on his pants. "Do we roast them on a stick or something?" he asks towards the expert of all things fishy Maorin. And there's Maelle too. She gets a wave from Zak once she is noticed returning with weeds. Yummy dinner? Or rather lunch since it is only lunchtime or thereabouts. "We got enough fish for Maelle?" he asks of his group. After all no one should be forced to eat weeds!

Janaya laughs to Maorin. "I stand corrected." Actually, she crouches corrected, working on building up the fire. "We'll watch this time," she says to him… because while trial and error is a good method of learning, she's a bit hungry to want to try it right now. "Should we save the guts for baiting traps?" Assuming they can build traps before the guts start stinking to high heavens! "I saw some at the docks that were woven out of sticks." And they have plenty of sticks here! Trees and tree-parts are one of the primary natural resources of this here island. Also weeds, apparently! Janaya glances up to Maelle again, waving to her, then looks back to Zak. Hmm. "…aren't we competing? But…" Nobody should have to starve! "… maybe if she has something to trade?" Because that's fair, right?

"I wouldn't say we have /plenty/.." Maorin isn't /that/ good, after all. But he looks from the fish to Maelle before offering a small smile. "But letting anyone go hungry just doesn't sit well with me. I dunno why we'd have to compete in /not dying/. That seems just a bit..harsh. You know?" He waves a hand to try and draw the other team's member over. There's a quick glance at Jan though, brows lifting. "You're gonna tell her she can't have any if she /doesn't/ have something to give back? But /bait/, that's a good idea." That knife is taken from Zak then before he goes through the process of slicing open the fish, starting to pull the insides out and set them aside. "We can do it that way, yeah. Beats trying to make something we can put /in/ the fire and try to get back out again, anyway. We got any thin, long sticks about?”

Even though coming over and squatting at the JAMZ camp may be betraying her own group, Maelle glances at the kids playing in the water with the net and rolls her eyes at them. She turns her attention to watch Maorin gut the fish, and shrugs her shoulders at Janaya, "I'm sure we'll have something you want at some point." Even if that point isn't right now. "I got some plants from the woods that will add some flavor to the fish, well.. if we were to /get/ any fish. They seem more interested in catching each other, and I'm too tired to argue with them." She siiighs. Well, not much she can do about that, though she does seem to knows herbs, so that's something?

Zak simply shrugs a bit as he peeks at the fish Maorin did catch. "How many ya got there?" he clearly has no clue of how much meat comes off each fish once it's been gutted and all that. "I can try to spear more later. Competing really only goes for shelter and stuff like that I would imagine. A bit of fish shared won't go against any of that." he says practically. "What kind of plants?" is asked of Maelle as she comes to join them around their fire.

Janaya looks shiftily to the side. "Well, no…" she says to Maorin quietly. "…but, I mean… if she does have something…" A price must be paid! …if it can be afforded. She nods to Maelle, and in a more normal voice (for the benefit of any riders spying on them), she says, "Yeah, okay. We can give it to you on credit." See? It's technically a trade! Even if they never actually collect or even keep track of what's 'owed', the teams are, in theory, still competing. Or at least, Janaya is! As for those sticks… "We might, let me look." She goes digging around in the haphazard pile of wood they've obtained for the fire.

Maorin shakes his head faintly, going back to gutting fish. A head goes rolling off to the side once he chops it off. Whee. "Only four wound up in the net. Not exactly a big haul or anything, but the net's not that huge either. It'd be better if we were out a ways, for deeper fish, but I sure didn't see any boats." Alas, they will have to make do with the smaller ones that come nearer to the beach! "Anyway, this is just a start. I mean, now that we've got our bearings, and a bit of food, I say we explore this place a little better. Maybe there's some animals big enough to trap." Ones that hopefully won't eat them. He doesn't argue with the implied trade though, grinning a little to himself. "We can make snares, and Zak even has a /spear/. He can stay out in front when we explore.”

"You know what? Forget it. I see how it's going to be." Maelle says with a bit of a frown at Janaya. The Bluefin team will have food /eventually/, she'll just wait for it. Quillan will probably turn up with some fish soon, at least, that's what she's hoping for. Or some other kind of delicious food that will make the JAMZ team wish that they could have some. She heads off back to her camp to tuck the herbs she got into their makeshift shelter that is going to need some more work before it can really shelter from any sort of wind or rain.

Nazneen dives for the rolling head. Snapping it up she swoops off over the beach to perch in a tree at the edge of the woods with her prize. "Exploring sounds good!" Zak is all for that idea. "Once we eat." cause he's starving. "Maybe we'll find some nifty ruins or something. Somewhere we could sleep at night." even a partial roof would be better than nothing. He turns a confused look to Maelle as she leaves suddenly. "Shard it what's her problem?" he mutters towards her back.

Eating animals is far better than being eaten by them, it's true! Janaya grins, nodding to Maorin's plans for exploration and poking things with Zak's sharp spear-stick. First, though, there's this little bit of food, to be shared four ways… or not? Janaya opens her mouth, staring after Maelle for a moment, then closes it again. She shrugs. "I guess I'm being a jerk," she says to Zak. "Anyway, we don't have any thin sticks, so I'll go get some." She turns and heads for the woods. Trees and tree-based materials, the best (or at least, most available!) of natural resources.

There went Maelle! And there went Janaya. All while Maorin had his head down working on fish! The boy blinks when he comes back up, wiping his hands off on his pantlegs for a moment or two. "Well that could've gone better, I guess?" There's a quick look at Zak for that, shrugging. "Probably takes offense to being hungry. I know I do. Get all sorts of cranky when I haven't eaten. Maybe we can save one? For later, I mean. I'd feel bad if they didn't find anything at all. Even if one fish isn't a whole lot.."

"Girls!" is all Zak can say with a discontented shrug. "We'll get more later. I'm sure the other team can trade stuff they catch for stuff we catch." he stretches out his legs to dry a bit by the fire. "How long you reckon they'll keep us out here?”

Does Janaya find sticks in the woods? …uh, yeah, kind of by definition. It gets even easier when she realizes that what she really wants, for roasting fish over the fire, is sticks that won't burn well, so she can just rend a few whippy branches off a shrub, strip the leaves, and call it good enough. So, all in all, it's not that long before she comes back, with roasting-sticks in hand… and a few bits of semi-dry firewood, as well. Since she was there and all! It wouldn't do to have the fire go out while the fish was still cooking.

"Yeah, girls!" Alas, Maorin can really only manage that in a fond sort of tone. What? Girls are nice creatures! Their behaviors are interesting! And somewhat endearing. Sometimes. He leans back on his hands a bit then, however, glancing up at the sky. "Who knows? I mean, we'd have no idea when the hatching was beginning all the way out here. It sure diminishes some of the…I dunno. Anxiety?" For fresh, new anxieties! Like starvation! "Hey, Jan found some! That's perfect!”

Zak is fond of them too. Just not when it comes to that kind of bickering he simply doesn't understand. "Oh great! Lets get those fish on the fire." cause he's about ready to eat his own arm. Nazneen chirrups from where she's still working on her own fish head. "Oh shush, I can't eat fish heads." he grumbles towards her. "That would be a bit funny though if they kept us out here and had to rush us back cause the eggs were cracking sooner than they thought!”

Janaya dumps the firewood with a clatter and holds out the thin sticks. "I saw a rotten apple out there," she says helpfully. "With flies buzzing around." Sounds real appetizing, doesn't it? "So maybe there's some trees or something with fresh ones, if we can find them." Big if! But for now, there's these sticks to gnaw on… er… roast fish on. She extends them to Zak and Maorin, splayed out like cards or something. Pick a stick, any stick! And… she tilts her head, listening to catch up to the current point in conversation, but doesn't say anything to it just yet.

Maorin shrugs, nodding. "It would make sorta sense. I mean, they could've done this at any time, right? But those eggs are pretty hard. They swept us out here in a hurry, I'll bet they can sweep us right back. It's not like we'd need to pack or anything." Just dump the half-starved jungle candidates on the sands with half-starved hatchlings and see which ones survive! "Thanks." He takes a stick though, working at getting the fish on it as securely as he can.
"Mmm…rotting apples. But yeah, stands to reason there's probably some still on the trees.”

"True…we'd just be super sandy and most likely smelly in our white robes." remarks Zak as he reaches for any random stick among Jan's offerings. Leaning over to where the gutted fish are at he grabs one to spear. "Think we can roast apples on sticks too?" once they find some that aren't rotten that is.

Janaya props the remaining sticks in the sand, pointing upward like a very mediocre set of defensive spikes, then takes a fish and pokes the stick through it as she nods to Maorin and Zak. "I dunno if they'd last long enough to roast. I'd probably just eat them!" She grins - then glances toward Bluefin's camp, which has the grin fading and being replaced by a frown. "You think they actually are watching us?" she asks somberly, with a glance up to the (seemingly empty) sky.

Maorin will cook his fish like a marshmallow. One that hopefully will not be as gooey inside. He watches it though, glancing off toward the other camp curiously a moment. "/Maybe/, they'd like to know where the apples are. You know, since they didn't want fish." His shoulders lift just slightly then, shrugging. "..Man though, now I'm thinking about roasted apples. I dunno how well we could cook them with what we've got though. Jan's right about that.”

Reflection of fire dances in Zak's brown eyes as he watches his toasting fish veeerry carefully. "I think it's just a scare technique. They can't really be watching us." he says with some confidence in his tone. "I'm sure we'll find more for dinner after we explore!”

Janaya mmhs, and nods to Zak. She glances to Maorin as he talks about the other camp, and shrugs a little. "I'm not going over to ask them. You can, though." As if she could tell him not to! She puts her own fish over the fire, amidst the smoke and sparks and probably far enough away to not get singed… though when she roasts marshmallows, they nearly always catch on fire. At least she's keeping a hungry eye on it.

"So whatcha gonna do after?" Zak asks Janaya with his gaze still intent on the fish. Turning it over to the other side he waits impatiently. "If you don't find your life mate upon the sands here at Xanadu.”

Janaya glances to Zak for his question, then back to her fish. "Gonna apprentice to tech," she answers. Is her food ready yet? She wobbles it out of the smoke to eye it, then sends the mostly-raw fish back closer to the heat again. "I was about to before, but then Kera searched me, so I didn’t."

You say, “Tech hmm? That sounds fun. I'll need to come up with a journeyman's project if I don't find anyone." Zak draws back his stick to inspect the fish closer. "Looks done?”

"Yeah, it's pretty cool," Janaya says, and grins. "Lots of stuff that blinks or moves or whatever." She gives her fish another turn around, carefully, then takes a look at Zak's. "Uhm… might be, yeah. So… what sort of project are you thinking, anyway?" Keep distracting her from being hungry!

Zak decides that perhaps he too should keep it cooking a bit longer. Just in case! "Not sure, really. I want my specialty to be in healing animals but I hardly want anything to get sick just so I can do a Journeyman project”

Zak falls silent to cook and then eventually eat the fish. Exploring will come later, as will shelter building!

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