First off, the arrakoa are located along the northern side of the jungle. There are a lot of big birds out there too so be wary of those. They don’t know anything about the blood mage we were seeking. Interestingly though, Kaya managed to find some of the elven refugees, who at least know who Xacalli is though they didn’t know she was in the jungle. They also know who Kaya is because apparently she had a habit of sneaking around their old village a long time ago. I have a feeling this is going to be a recurring trend with her.
However, they do know of someone three people that miiight be her. Based entirely on the knowledge that she is a trained healer and female. There is a healer that lives with a clan called the Ranoni in the south who notably does not fit the rest of the clan’s general look. There is a mysterious one that lives to the north near the arrakoa territory that seems a good bet, though the mysterious one is called that because no one knows exaaactly where they live. They are very elusive and only ever seem to pop up in stories from those who have been healed though can never find her again. The last one is towards the “eastern waters” as they call it and is known to come and go and seeming random as they are more connected to the clans who travel the waters.
Also while she was there she managed to touch down on a topic the Dozen keep bringing up. There is a Crow in the jungle who was formerly a member of the Akoa, most interestingly they were a druid before the ritual…supposedly afterwards they became very hard to deal with. Their name is Anakoni. They aren’t thaaat fierce of rivals though, as Anakoni didn’t sacrifice other members of Akoa or anything and is off hunting Xiomac, who is a mutual enemy for the Akoa as well. So there isn’t much reward in defeating Anakoni for them, given that they might be one of the strongest that is definitely a note to maybe pass on to the Dozen.
Finally, she managed to diplomacy with them so that we can land our gryphons at their big fancy tree. So we can use the Akoa as a staging ground, apparently they definitely want to avoid a conflict with the giant flying island people. They just said to be wary of bringing Avonaco around.
Speaking of, its worth noting, that all the Akoa elves look more like Avonaco then the others we’re familiar with. They’re all pretty buff and wearing a ton of tattoos. They seem to utilize a more savage culture, less words more stabbing. He would probably like their whole ‘law of the jungle’ philosophy that involves a lot of brute force. Which also indicates to us they’re much more powerful than the clan from the plains, they have actual warriors instead of the run and hide shifter strategy. This may be why they’re one of the dominant clans in the jungle.
When it comes to keeping the forest warm…we could use Sawiri’s big eternal bonfire though fire might be a questionable solution for keeping trees warm.
Sawiri made a bone that “holds things together” though its not very helpful in building things because it causes the thing to behave very…strange structurally. Though maybe with some experimentation we can find a way to use it. Though its definitely not a good replacement for just tying things together. Can fetch things if you drop them in a small crack though.
As for blinding people with shadows, that’s a job for Rohaka and she’s away dealing with that whole Masani thing. Though I don’t suspect she has anything quite like that, its hard to place shadows directly onto people with such finesse. I’ll have her look into the concept though.
Also the mount thing has issues, mostly my peripheral vision and the fact that its wings flap up and down the whole time. Did learn to steer the beast though so thats something.
As for teleporting to other places, Sawiri says its theoretically plausible maybe. Would have to find some sort of bones with an affinity for that, the lightning circle just goes straight down like lightning. Not sure how to reach to anywhere specific like that especially from a moving position.
Rohaka is still with Saizawhatever keeping tabs on the Milanawhatevers.
Also due to voting I suppose, Hakenu’e obliged to tame Usukan before Mor could. It was disappointingly uneventful. Usukan actually seemed to recognize Hakenu’e as the alpha just upon seeing the old bull. Might be some shaman fuckery going on there, I wouldn’t know though, BECAUSE THEY WON’T TELL ME HOW SHAMANISM WORKS.
The bottom of the island does indeed have a few cave entrances though they’re not exactly cave networks. More like little holes that something could crawl into, we did find a few bird nests this way. A particularly large one can be found in a crevice that goes a good ways in and has some more of the various rocks we’ve seen though lacks for much else of interest. Some bats though.
Kennae brought a few plants back to stick in the ground and we’ll have to see what comes of it.
We’ve dispatched the drider to try and find this spider woman. We’ll hear back from that eventually…hopefully. Its a long trip and we still haven’t quite secured a landing area near that place. Interestingly it turns out driders are really effective in jungles. We may consider extending their duties while we’re here.
As for intelligent creatures on the jungle floor, the intelligence level varies heavily but there are quite a few interesting ones. There seems to be a sort of large cat that is quite intelligent but does not know any language. However, it is incredibly empathic and seems to know whether or not things are a threat to it just innately. There’s also a bush that tried to eat Kennae, apparently the bush is alive and quite sentient. Though not that bright, still interesting though. Still on the hunt otherwise. It is slow going when half of the things try to eat you if you come anywhere near them.
Avonaco has made relatively good progress working with Perxtli. He’s managed to start entering the cage and handling feeding. Though there might be some concern about his long rambles with the creature about strength and survival of the fittest.
Training of the the tribal vanguard is continually underway. In the theme of the squad we have had them running around to get training from all members of the tribe. I asked each clan to have one of their most prominent warriors go over something they felt was important but not overtly obvious with each of them. To help them collect a little bit of wisdom from each clan. That somewhat goes with the mention of how to deal with crows. Though that is something we’ll have to see if can be tested soon. As you suspected, there is a high chance all six of the crows in the jungle are more dangerous than usual.
We managed to abduct a few members of the Misani after negotiations broke down. We learned a bit about their clan, and specifically the demon they keep among them. Apparently they believe them to be something of a prophet, they even predicted the arrival of Auwana albeit in rather cryptic terms. What is more interesting is to learn is that it is a demonic druid, and a powerful one. The reason the tree they live on is so hard to attack with its convenient layout is because the demon druid helped to make it so. That makes them the first non-elven druid we have heard of, which I thought stood out as interesting. Though they are -thought- to be fragile and so they dedicate themselves to protecting this sacred figure. They also don’t seem to realize their abilities either are druidic or share a lot in common with it at the least. The Misani are much less traveled than others.
On to the topic you actually wanted to know about, the one named Nihaul was their greatest warrior and was notably was in opposition of their clan’s dependence and unquestioning worship of the demon. His brother in particular spread the ideas to him, and later his brother died in an assassination attempt against the demon. He traveled to other clans around the jungle and learned much, “claiming” that the demon wasn’t really any sort of prophet but just a druid who had somehow stolen the secrets from the elves through a deal made with Xiomac. This also tells us that Xiomac knows druidic magic as well. Nihaul would learn about the ritual of the crows through the Raven Witch, which adds up with what we know from the southern grasslands about Xiomac and his associates being hunters of the crow folk. So Nihaul, who was in direct opposition with a potential minion of Xiomac’s, took the crow route to try and avenge his brother as well as retake the clan back from the demon. Though he has yet to succeed but is the reason for their overt hostility now due to the threat he has continually posed to them and their sacred prophet. Nihaul is considered dangerous enough that he could very likely destroy the entire clan, but it is notable that none of their stories end with ‘and then nihaul killed them’. We suspect his motives don’t call for him to kill his own clan mates, he’s only after the demon. Their fervent protection of the demon prevents him from reaching them without clawing through his own people, so he waits for better opportunity. His talent as a warrior is hard to discern as the Misani’s talents as fighters in general have not yet been seen. Though it is known he has battled with people associated with Xiomac and is allied with the Raven Witch in a hunt for Xiomac himself. Though we also don’t know how much any of these people are worth in a fight either. Its a bit of a complicated mess.
In regards to the crow situation with the Kapiya, its less so that they want any crow dead. It’s that they want a specific one, you may start to notice a recurring theme here. There is a crow who was a former member of the Kapiya. Their name is Mikaere, and they are a member of the Kapiya who lived during a time when the Kapiya were ruled over by another clan that was trying to become more of a tribe like the Chanai. They demanded ritual sacrifices from all the clans they controlled, and at one point that sacrifice was Mikaere’s mother. These sacrifices utilized the ritual to keep their ruling cheiftain in power. He became hellbent on revenge and blamed the Kapiya for not doing what it took to fight back. In the end he started doing the same thing and started sacrificing members of the Kapiya to build his strength enough to target the other clan. Apparently there was a long drawn out conflict between him and their crow chieftain in a struggle for dominance. It all came to an end with the interference of Xiomac who gave Mikaere enchanted weapons to gain an advantage. Evidently Xiomac’s plan was to trade one crow ruler for a smaller warrior that he could more easily manage. Though he failed to kill Mikaere, and has since demanded his whereabouts. He refuses to deal with or trade with the Kapiya until Mikaere is dealt with. So the Kapiya want Mikaere dead if nothing else just for economic reasons, and perhaps just a little bit of revenge.
As for payment they offer something very specific, no doubt brought on by the Nezatl and their perhaps forthcoming negotiations. They know of a very specific couple of fish that live within the somewhat landlocked pools of water that form on the jungle floor. They’ve offered to harvest and hand over a large harvest of the eggs of these creatures as well as a full guide on caring for them. They are apparently very sturdy creatures and effective at keeping water a little bit cleaner. As well as anything else they might be able to catch that is transportable to the island by gryphon and sturdy enough to survive the air up there. Though this payment has a secondary problem, we need somewhere to land the gryphons and pick them up quickly to hasten the process of delivery. Alternatively we could just take the food and a bunch of wood.
The problem you mention about the crows level of intelligence is in line with what we have been discovering about the ones here. As we now know, the crow folk are not a unified lineage or group. This is further evidence that crows are simply created by pursuing the ritual in some way. The ashen plains were host to a clan that built themselves around a culture of pursuing this ritual, though it seems in other places it is various individuals who acquire this desire. We also notice that most who become marked by the crow are those with very violent tendencies and solutions to their problems. It stands to reason the clan in the plains exists by cultural upbringing to be that way, but elsewhere individuals find their own motives and reasons to pursue the path of the crow’s mark. This might make them more dangerous, as only those who are already qualified to pursue it have succeeded as opposed to being handed their first kill for free by an elder clan member. Which does bear some credence to your theory that the six in the jungle might all be vastly more dangerous than the average crow folk we have come to know. I suspect there is a catch to the ritual, otherwise everyone with murder on their mind might have found it and used it. I would need more details on how the ritual is actually conducted to come to anything useful though. Avonaco learned a little about their culture, but not precisely how the ritual works…or more importantly how so many people across such distances all found out how to do it with no cultural upbringing to pass the knowledge onto them.
Also we already taught the Nezatl about making bows when we first came aboard Auwana.
Moving on, four people are dead from attempting to recover resources from the jungle and Maloth as well as one of our own was injured in the fighting with a large four legged mouth full of teeth and a small swarm of spikes on legs. Also a rather peculiar creature ate two of those people before anyone even noticed they were gone, something big and sneaky. That one was the reason they retreated back to the trees, though harvesting wood along the trees in any significant size is difficult without cutting anything. Atop of that, they still got attacked by other smaller things with claws instead of spikes or teeth. The gh…gi…scorpion person and Maloth are definitely the reason there are any survivors at all though. The Kapiya inform us that the big and sneaky thing is actually a local legend of a sort. Known as the ‘great stalker’, very creative I know. Supposedly there are many more of its species which appear as large black felines with spikes at the end of their tail and elongated snouts more similar to a wolf. Though their mouths open freakishly far back from where you think their jaw should pivot. The great stalker is unique among these creatures in that it is significantly larger than they should be able to get. These monsters are known as jungle stalkers and we are cautioned that they are a threat even among the upper branches as they can climb very well. They are also excellent at sneaking up on people.
The quest for other useful resources continues. We’ve found a lot of interesting things that will have to be experimented on by bringing them up here and seeing if any of them last at all, though that will require the gryphons and we have still yet to secure the landing area for them. While we can get away with some smaller drop offs, loading them up with valuable and potentially fragile things definitely requires more than a tree branch.
Among all this, they did manage to kill one of those giant snakes though. That is also where one of the deaths and three of the injuries come from. No one has figured out how to get it up the tree though and more beasts appeared while butchering the corpse. Still managed to acquire quite a lot of meat at least. Though it is worth noting that the clans gatherers are actively scouring the jungle for easier finds and fruit from the trees. As indicated by a current surplus of food.
The travelers are en route to finding the Akoa, though as we learned from Xoco recently, Kaya beat them there already. The girl does have a knack for finding her way into places at least.
Temple construction is still underway with various material experimentation. The jungle wood seems to hold up well so far. Though it does bend a little easily it doesn’t actually break. We’re experimenting with things like drying and burning it to see what else it might do.
Also what is this writing you speak of?
Wehilani went scouting as requested, she spent the last two weeks just flying around. Turns out there are some mountains around hidden in the trees and to the far west appears to be a lot of water. So much water that all the land is drowning in it and what little manages to keep afloat is quite…moist. It is a rather gradual transition she says, she couldn’t even tell where the flooding really began underneath the canopies but by the time she noticed it there was water everywhere and the trees just grew out of it with little dirt in sight. Southward are some woodlands reminiscent of the Huanacan’s forest we originally came from. Smaller trees with less climbing and more walking around. In regards to jungle predators she actually found rather few as she stayed above the canopy most of the time for ease of flight and ability to hopefully see the borders so there is little information there. However, she did notice that deeper into the jungle where the trees seem taller but a bit more spread out that there are a lot of birds. Big birds, with big talons, who patrol beneath the canopy. She said they seemed particularly dangerous and the ‘walk along the branches’ method might start to break down once we go deeper in. This was later confirmed by The Travelers, and The Leper has several injuries to show for it.
It is true we do lack for charismatic members. Though I don’t think the kind of people who spend their lives focused on combat and the applications of combat are that predisposed to the fine art of conversation. Perhaps humorously, our most talented wordsmith thus far is Silas but his physical appearance doesn’t help. This is why we sent the Nezatl to do diplomatics though. Also we already checked with the harpies and other flyers of the rock. Perhaps we’d have better luck recruiting a charismatic member if only we had a charismatic member to recruit them with. Given the stories, perhaps Xacalli would do well. She seemed of a more moderate disposition.
Interestingly, the most difficult part of that prank idea of yours was actually getting anyone to do it. Most of our members are not very ‘fun’ people. Nor charismatic enough to pull it off. Something about our girls being muscular and scarred from battle makes them stand out as perhaps not normal women.
Are you having fun riding the rex skeleton? It doesn’t really move much if not ordered to by the necromancers but I suppose there is still some appeal to it.
So far attempts to replicate any work on the blue rocks have been questionable. Leaving them in the ponds Ragash had made did have some progress in that we could break them by slamming two against each other by tying one of them to a club but that doesn’t leave much room for finer crafting. The people in the south don’t know much about where they got the sacred water anymore either. I suppose that is what makes it sacred. They do say it tastes absolutely awful though. None were all that willing to go with the people associated with the creepy demon to a flying island in the sky.
We put some test snails in the lake, now its just a matter of observation. The problem being that they’re snails and the lake is very big. We have assigned one of the Nezatl to the job of just watching them all the time. They are not happy about this assignment.