Born to a humble family within the village, your surroundings are smooth stone walls and the sweet aroma of plantlife all around you. Nestled in a quality-built crib, much of the world is unknown to your young self. Held close by your parents, they love their sweet little;
[[Girl]] Welcome to "Tlaotl", a tale of a world isolated yet in paradise. An eden realized by those within, and kept in meticulous balance. Continue on to learn of a life as a villager within, grow and aid in its story, and, learn of the legacy carried on as you live amongst its people and ways.
[[Begin Your Life]]
(set: $strength to 0)(set: $agility to 0)(set: $tenacity to 0)(set: $comprehension to 0)(set: $instincts to 0)
(set: $all to 0) As you are coming to figure which role you could pursue to aid the village, you hear of a sudden loss at the stockhouses for the village. One of the hunting parties accidentally led a wild Grand Onen too close to the village. The large beast broke apart many of the storehouses and ruined the supplies. Sounding out a call for aid, the village divided itself to replenishing the major losses, giving you another opportunity to aid and learn. Will you;
[[Help restock the lost meat supply?]]
[[Help count and tally the damage and losses?]]
[[Help the village and rebuild what supplies and tools were lost?]]
[[Try to come up with new ideas to quickly recover from the harder to replenish losses?]] You decided that restocking the meat lost from the incident to be best. Gathering with the other providers for the village, you've been told that there are three major ways to aid the village.
[[Aid in hunting down new, fresh game.]]
[[Help the scout's find herd nests and migratory trails.]]
[[Look into a few suspicious tracks found in the attack aftermath.]] Wishing to stay and tally the damage and losses, you seek to aid in gathering information and determining where to best aid inside the village. A group of other like-minded gather with you and you discuss your best courses of action. Deciding that there are three main points to address, you decide that you will;
[[Seek out the Hunting Parties to learn of their results.]]
[[Gather the amounts the shops and crafters have in supplies and tools.]]
[[Travel to the Farmlands to check on the harvest.]] Knowing the hard work the village does to keep itself supplied, the loss of inventory is a hard blow. Wishing to help share that burden of resupplying, you keep to the village and seek out labor work. Though, there are other places in need of that hard work too. As you speak to the villagers, you find there are three distinct jobs that could use the most attention. Do you;
[[Travel to the Farmlands to harvest some crops?]]
[[Aid the smiths and crafters inside the village?]]
[[Help tally exactly what was lost and ensure the numbers are correct?]] With the loss of food and supplies, you wonder what the best way might be to restock quickly. As you ponder, you find you aren't alone in this pursuit. There's almost an entire branch devoted to the pursuit of new techniques and ideas, ways to make living just a bit easier. Accompanying this like-minded group, you look to challenge your mind and see what you can do to improve on the current means of collecting some supplies. But to start, you decide to;
[[Research and study the older and past ways to innovate and invent.]]
[[Travel to where the village's fish comes from, seeking to make the harvesting process easier.]]
[[Head off for the Farmlands, looking to learn and study the beasts and livestock to better put their materials to use.]] You depart with the hunting party, given your choice of a spear or bow to hunt with. Never having been offered the chance to hunt before, you are nervous. Assured that having the extra hand will be of great aid alone, you get to pick which tool you think you'd be best with. Since each has a different spot to use for a hunt, you are offered the spear to use for being up close and right in the thick of the hunt, or the bow which is used for chasing or getting game down from afar. You decide to take the;
[[Bow]] You side with the scouts, looking to help explore the dense jungle and find new game trails or a nesting ground to recover your losses. In order to try and amend the lost supplies, knowing where the nests or trails are would provide the hunting parties a quick option to respond in case this possibly repeats. As you join with the scouts, you are given a choice of which you want to pursue. Seeking the trails would allow you to better locate the herds, aiding the hunting parties immediately. But, going with the nesting grounds would let you see more of the jungle and if found, would be an ample find for future use by the hunters. You decide to pursue the;
[[Nesting Grounds]] Volunteering to aid the village guard, the guard is ecstatic for the new hand. Given your task to accompany a pair, the three of you start right at the ruined storehouses. Thanks to the cleared path, you are able to find a mess of small tracks all leading to and from the storehouses. Normally the underbrush and ferns of the area just outside the village's paths conceal the soil beneath. But thanks to the damage done by the lost beast, the dirt is now exposed and revealing clues to something intriguing. One of your guards tells you they belong to Tyqon, small omnivorous beasts that scavenge and are known to steal. With having found fresh tracks, the guards agree that they'll have to be addressed now before they keep making a habit of thieving from the village's supplies. This has to be dealt with, and you suggest your group;
[[Lays a trap.]]
[[Track the Tyqon.]] Armed and ready, you begin to aid in tracking down and seeking an Onen, looking to replenish the village with a grand kill. Though the village tends and raises Shellbacks in the Farmlands, the wild ones are much different. Growing to double the domesticated sizes, the meat is also more flavorful and the extra size provides more hide and plates to bring back. With the strong plating to them though, only a spear can take down an Onen properly. Assigned to one of the parties tracking them, you depart and begin your hunt for one of the formidable beasts.
(set: $spear to 1)
[[Track]] Equipped with a bow and arrow, you and the rest of the hunters pursue an Onen, looking for a big kill to provide a lot of food. The armored beasts can only properly be felled by spears to their underbellies, but, archer's are still an asset in guiding their path. From afar, the archers are able to guide and spook the beasts towards ambushing spearmen. This has been the village's proven way to take the mighty beasts down quickly and prevent extended suffering to them. Given your quiver of arrows and bow, you depart with your group and ready to aid them in the hunt.
(set: $bow to 1)
[[Track]] You and the hunters follow the Onen tracks, eventually finding a group grazing in an open meadow. Banding together, the party takes positions to hunt one of the large animals. Picking out an elderly female, she's too old to reproduce and would be a target of predators. Told to keep back for now and just watch, you lie in wait with a couple of other fresh hands to watch the experienced engage the herd. Using the bows, the archers fire warning shots to divert and split the targetted beast off from the others. Guiding it towards the treeline, the ambushers spring their trap. Lunging ahead, their spears get into the underbelly and quickly bring the Onen down. Beckoned over, the hunting party begins to reform at the fallen beast. Tasked with going back to the village to learn of the other villagers results, you've gained insight into how quickly the village can adapt to a surprise.
[[Regroup]] You determine that if you can find the trails, you can easily map and locate any nests along the routes. The lush woodland spans farther than the eye can see through it. Each towering trunk of the gigantic trees spanning multiple times your height until they reach the underside of the canopy, the vibrant ceiling only letting small pockets of light through it. Carrying on with your small scouting party, the old trails you've been following begin to taper and narrow, their dereliction starting to let the jungle reclaim them. Guiding you out to an opening in the brush, your party quietly sneaks into cover to observe what lays ahead. A small river flows through the trees and rocks ahead, only a few feet wide but large enough to draw the thirsty creatures of the crater in for a drink. As you watch along its length, you and the others can see a Smoothhide herd sating their thirst. Taking time to carefully watch them, your party waits in case they may show which trails they used to reach the river once they finish their drinking.
[[Observe River]] You pursue your veteran scouts, finding signs and hints of an Omete herd. As your group narrows in you find an old nest site, the old mounds looking to have been left abandoned for some time. The veteran scouts on your party inform you that the Smoothhides migrate quite often through a cycle for the crater, this being the middle of their southern migration. This is one of their northern-most nests, which is why the need to relocate the herds is of importance. Examining the soil mounds built up by the beasts, you can hear something beyond a thick wall of green ahead of you. Signalling the other scouts, your party carefully moves forward. Looking out to a small river running through the dense jungle, a gathering of Omete enjoy a drink, relaxing peacefully along the calm strip of river.
[[Observe River]] Watching the herd, you notice something beyond the riverbank moving in the brushline. Staying low with your other scouts, you are amazed as a rare creature emerges. A towering beast, called a Coatl, leaves the dense jungle to take a drink too. A behemoth of a creature, each of its four legs looks as thick as a tree trunk. These support a stocky, rounded body that tapers towards a small head and the tip of a short tail. The head rests at the end of a narrow and long neck, perfect for letting it reach to eat from the canopy just above it. Its short tail looks like a small stub compared to its enormous mass, the sight of it managing to bend down for a drink leaving some of your party in awe of it. With its size, you and the other scouts know that this beast will not only resupply your losses, it'll also give an abundance of food. But with its size, it'll take a proper hunting party to down. With your success, you look to return and regroup at the village.
[[Regroup]] Deciding to trap the thieves to stop the losses, you and the guards make a simple disguised net trap. Laying in wait and using a little bit of meat as bait, a pack of Tyqon emerge near dusk from the jungle. The small little beasts roam on two legs, letting them hop and sprint away from larger danger when it is near. A sleek and lithe body has a pair of arms with flexible digits to it, letting them grab and carry things off with. The head is narrow and pointed, showing the focus to the Tyqon's strong sense of sight and smell. Laying low and waiting, the guards give you control over when to spring the net to ensare the pack. Waiting until they gather entirely on the trap, you spring it and cheer at the success. Not only did you stop the thieving critters, you caught a bit of food once the Swiftfeet are cleaned and carved.
[[Return to Village]] Being stealthy and sneaking along the trail left behind, you and the guards find all the tracks group back towards a large fallen tree. The tracks lead into the stump and as you squirm inside, being the smallest of your trio, you find that the Tyqon have been at this for a long time. A hidden stockpile of dried and preserved meats is still untouched, a stash the pack made to survive on. With how large the stump is, the supplies within might be enough to not only restock what was lost from the damages to the storehouses but may also even give a surplus of a few things too. Reclaiming your village's supplies, you and the other guards destroy the nest. Without a stash to store what they steal, the Tyqon, even if they remain, will be limited in how much they can try to sneak off with. Now rid of the Tyqon problem and carrying all the supplies back, you feel accomplished and proud at your successful work for the day.
[[Return to Village]] For your success in restocking the village's supplies, the guards speak to the rest and acknolwedge your efforts. You are given an accolade for your effort, being presented a guard's spaulder to wear and show off your achievement. Feeling pride in it, you feel like a representative of the guard and the good you can do for your village. With feeling and knowing you helped to keep the village secure, you feel that you have potential in continuing to pursue this as your role for the village. As you smile on, the rest of the providers begin to return, allowing a chance for you to regroup.
[[Regroup]] Regrouping and hearing of the successes across the village, you feel proud and finally feel you have found a place for yourself among them. As they all talk about their tasks and work, you think on which role you might be best at. Providers for the village range in everything from providing food and shelter to even security and information. Thinking on those aspects of the work, you think you've narrowed down your pursuit to a few options. You decide you should be a;
(set: $provider to 1)
[[Scout]] A builder. Helping repair and mend when the village's structures or their work begins to crumble. Usually working with stone for much of the village's needs, you also would help cleave trees for lumber and help expand the village as new needs arise. Maybe not the most exciting of work, it does allow you to gain deep knowledge into the village's people and layout. Perhaps the constructor's life is the life for you.
[[Become a builder.]]
[[Regroup]] A hunter of the wilds. Seeking out the wild beasts of the crater to take down and bring back for the village. Spending days if needed tracking down the wildlife all around the village. It is dangerous work, the beasts don't go down easily all the time, but, it does reward you with the thrill of the hunt and the admiration of the village. Someone has to put meat on the table, and this role, definitely is the one to do just that.
[[Become a hunter.]]
[[Regroup]] The diligent protectors of the village, the peacekeepers and lookouts. The village's guard thankfully isn't an overly busy role, but, it does help the villagers feel safer and keeps problems from growing larger within it. Needing to be called to action quickly right away, the guard is a role of both extremes. One of peace and one of life-threatening danger. Though the village enjoys a lazy peace to it, there is always a chance that may change with the uncontrolled nature of the crater and the beasts within it.
[[Become a guard.]]
[[Regroup]] The resilient and fleet scouts. Those who delve into the jungle looking to locate and identify for the village. Working in tandem with both the guard and the hunters, the role of a scout is one of constant movement or observation. Whether it is seeking out herds of wild game or tracking down where a possible village got themselves lost, you will always be on the move for you role. For anyone enjoying getting an idea of what is going on around them, this is the role for you.
[[Become a scout.]]
(if: $provider is 1)[ [[Regroup]] ]
(if: $info is 1)[ [[Recollect]] ] Deciding the hunting parties will probably harvest the most to resupply the village, you decide to depart as a runner to see how they are making out. Ensuring that the income of new meat won't be wasted or an overstock is a key to keeping the village in balance with the crater's ecosystem. This chance also lets you head out to explore the jungle more, taking in the lands beyond the village. Normally you'd have little reason to venture into the hunting grounds for the village but now you are able to truly explore the winding trails left behind in the jungle. The towering trunks look like weathered bronze columns holding up the sheets and blankets of green canopy high above. The cacophonous cries of birds and bugs never leaves silence in the air while you hike and trek. While out and following one of the trails, you find a split in the trails. You decide to take the;
[[Right Fork]] Wishing to help out the crafters and smiths, you help take a tally on what the crafters and smiths have on hand. The forges and crafting quarters have an ample supply of equipment on hand. Hammers and picks, bellows and anvils, nails and pries. Seeing the wide variety of tools and goods makes you realize that though some things were lost, the villae is properly equipped and ready to smooth those losses out with some proper work. Getting another chance to see all the village can make and produce, you decide you'd better check and gather the numbers on the;
[[Tools at the smiths.]]
[[Crafted goods around the bazaar.]] Seeking to learn more of the Farmlands, you venture with a group to get an amount for the upcoming harvest. Venturing to the lush plains, you find the crops and plants plentiful this year. Cut out from the dense jungles, softly rolling hills are contained within simple fences. A wide range of crops grows on the southern fields while pens to the north keep the livestock penned and together. Enjoying the tranquility of the Farmlands, it isn't too often you get to come out to the area unless you'd decide to work out here. Speaking to those tending the Farmlands, you learn there is always work to do, and, that they'd welcome an extra hand for the day. Between tending the fields or the stables, you'd rather work;
[[Out in the fields.]]
[[With the livestock.]] Taking the left leads you along the crater slopes, venturing through the dense jungle and leaves. You find the path of the western-most hunting party and decide to track and catch up to them. On arriving, you see they successfully took down a Hardback and will be bringing back ample food soon. Though there isn't much you can do to aid them, you at least can gather the news about their success. Meeting up and speaking to them, they are all in good spirits with the fresh kill. Watching the hunters work, the veterans snap you back to your job and task still to be done. They recommend you head back to get the smokers prepared for the incoming shipment.
[[Make your way back to the village.]] Taking the right fork, you follow it as it leads you to a gently-flowing river. At the river's far bank, the hunting party you were seeking is quietly stalking a group of Omete. Laying low, you watch them work as they successfully down one of the large herd beasts. Working as a calculating force, their silent and slow stalk lets them set-up a perfect ambush for their prey. As the unaware creature they are after bends down for a drink, the ambush is sprung. The entire chaos of the attack seems to flash by in seconds, soon, only the hunters are upright as the rest of the herd fled. Their prey, down on the bank with its life now passed. Approaching and congratulating the hunting party, they recommend you head back to the village so they can prepare to preserve the day's fresh meat while they work on cleaning the fresh kill.
[[Make your way back to the village.]] Delivering the news you got, you see the others returning as well and go to regroup. Learning about their experiences, you find yourself happy with the knowledge you gained and put to use for your day. Though it isn't the most action-packed or enthralling job, the delivery of knowledge and communication is key to ensuring everything runs smoothly for the village. Taking a moment to yourself, you think over what you've seen and done so far with your work.
[[Recollect]] Heading to the smiths, you find they have the materials to resupply the losses, but, it'd take time. Wanting to pitch in, you offer to aid and help them with their work. Happily accepting, you get some quick lessons in crafting and go right to work for them. Hard work gives you a great feeling as you look to see you've made some decent tools. Even the crafters are able to recognize the quality. Requesting to use some of what you made to help them shape up the numbers again, the also decide to reward your work ethic for aiding on the more difficult work. With happy smiles they let you keep your best piece and send you back to the storehouses to add your new tools to the supply stock.
[[Return to the storehouses.]] Travelling to the bazaar, you look to see what is up for barter. Learning more of how the village operates, everything is on an honor and bargain system. The smiths provide their trade in exchange for a service back. So as a hunter needs a new spear, they promise something from their hunt in exchange for the spear from the smith. With this system the village uses, wealth and currency doesn't seem to exist. But in doing so, everyone is on the same level and happily does what they can for each other. As you learn and chat, you find and gather some new supplies for the storehouses, many things were just forgotten as nobody needed until now, providing an extra backlog of supplies overlooked in the stalls and shops of the village. Hauling back a good amount, you make your way to deliver your goods.
[[Return to the storehouses.]] Bringing back the crafted and new goods for the storehouses, you see many are delighted with the new stock. Getting a chance to learn where they came from and putting your hand to help collect it all, you are a proud provider and know how the rest of the village must feel to all contribute a part into the grand scheme of things. Seeing the others returning with their hauls, you have a chance to think and ponder on what your possible role could be, now that you've gotten some time to experience what the village does on a daily basis.
[[Recollect]] Heading out into the serene plains, you work with the tools to water and toil the fields. Sowing new seeds to get another crop ready, while checking and ensuring the current growth is good. Seeing and learning how all the fruits and vegetables for the village come from these lands, the feeling of being so close to nature amazes you. Working hard and long into the day, it comes to an end as the afternoon shifts to dusk. Given a crate of your harvest and work, the farmers proudly send you back to show the village the spoils of your hard-earned rewards.
[[Make your way to the village.]] Curious of what beasts are raised within the farms, you take the chance to interact and aid them. You come to learn there are three main livestock the farms have domesticated. Though the Farmlands only have two kinds of creatures as livestock, the numbers for each keep a healthy population that has been present for generations. Each provides something for the village and needs their own method and habitat to grow on the vast farmlands. The Onen provide their meat and shells when they grow of age, while the Omete provide their leathery hides and bones. At the day's end, you are able to take back a crate of eggs, hides, and meat for the stockhouses. Happily, you make your way for home.
[[Make your way to the village.]] Bringing back your spoils of work, you drop off the tools and are praised for the craftsmanship. Seeing your hard work pay off and bring smiles to the village, you are an accomplished crafter already. As the others return and help bolster the supply numbers, you take a moment to think and ponder what you'll do now. Getting a chance to be out on the Farmlands, maybe a route as a farmer is in store for your future.
[[Recollect]] Thinking on about all the work done not just by you, but by all the village, you think you've found the role you'd enjoy doing the most of all. You decide you'd be a great;
(set: $info to 1)
[[Farmer]] Information is a key piece to everything done in the village. Whether it is delivering news between hunting parties or informing the village of warnings, a runner always has a task to complete. Usually kept closer to the village and its operations, a runner is less about the gathering of information and more focused on spreading it. If the village is to keep its balance with the natural world around it, then spreading and gathering information of what and how much is hunted or gathered is critical.
[[Become a runner.]]
[[Recollect]] Primarily focusing on knowledge and numbers, the messengers are the field hands to those working to keep the archives in check and keep the village informed of changes or successes. Whether it is how much lumber should be gathered for a new project or the cheer of a new birth, someone has to be sure to keep everyone in the loop. Thinking you wouldn't mind being the bearer of good news, you think and find that perhaps this line of work is exactly up your alley.
[[Become a messenger.]]
[[Recollect]] After having spent some time in the Farmlands, you know more about the staple and stable income of crops from the land itself. Mostly focusing on raising the next harvest and tending the fields, the farmers are a diligent and humble group of hard workers. Seeking the reward from the effort before praise or appreciation, their simpler work might be just what you were thinking of pursuing. It'd be a life of work, but, it'd also be worth it from what you've seen.
[[Become a farmer.]]
(if: $info is 1)[ [[Recollect]] ]
(if: $village is 1)[ [[Reflect]] ] Wishing to aid in recovering the lost food the most, you head out with some others for the farmlands. Seeing the vast plains and growing crops, you know there's work to be done. The Farmlands are a calm, rolling pasture carved out of the jungle. Cleared and flattened, all of the village's vegetables and fruits come from the vast fields and orchard established in the outlying area. The sweet scent of the open grassland is a warm welcome as you arrive and meet with the farmers already hard at work. Given an option by the farmers, you can either;
[[Aid in the fields and harvest a new crop.]]
[[Help process the livestock and butcher the meat.]] As you seek out helping to remake and craft some replacements goods, you also find a lot of people getting hungry from the effort. Though the village does need to have tools to work, it also can't be done on an empty stomach. With how busy and distant some of the village's work also tends to be, a dedicated few cooks always let those in need have a meal at the day's end. Knowing each needs to be addressed, your preference falls on;
[[Cooking]] As you wish to stay and help record the losses, you begin to learn how important your role is. Aiding the clerks and lorekeepers, you begin to take counts and learn more on just how much a village needs to survive together. Yet, as you tally through old records, though some only as old as a couple of days, some numbers don't seem to add up. With this, you realize something might not be right, but aren't sure. Taking a breath, you focus on;
[[Coming up with the quotas to replace what was lost.]]
[[Getting to the bottom of these mysterious miscalculations.]] Worked hard and long out in the fields, you help to reap an ample harvest of fresh vegetables right from the soil. Though the work is hard, you feel the effort rewarded as you look to your growing harvest. Seeing that you picked all this food before you, a farmer's life is one of hard work for a great reward. Gathering your harvests so far, you decide to take them back for the village to see how you've helped remedy the food shortage.
[[Venture back to the village.]] It isn't exactly clean work, but it is needed. Helping to butcher and process the livestock once it has come of the age, you get to learn the best cuts of meat and how to harvest the hides and bones properly. Nothing goes to waste from the livestock, each part a gift from the natural world itself. Admiring it and paying respects to the exchange for this necessary part of survival, you have a good supply to bring back with you. At dusk you begin the hike back with the others for the village, carrying your new supplies with you.
[[Venture back to the village.]] Getting set to help out, the smiths and crafters immediately put you to work. The day consists of learning everything from a bit of blacksmithing and grinding, to basket-weaving and woodworking. Pitching in and taking in all the lessons they had to offer, you found yourself learning more and more. And also making more and more. By the day's end, you had yourself a small collection of goods to add to the village stock. Proud of your handiwork, it was time to turn these back over to the storehouses.
[[Make your delivery to the storehouses.]] Seeing the hunger in your fellow villagers' eyes, you head to start helping meet that need. Getting taught how to cook and spice, you prepare meal after meal with the other cooks and see almost the entire village stop by for some food. The feeling on unity and pitching in is surreal in a way, bringing everyone together for a good time. Even after their hunger is met, the work continued. Smoking and preserving the meat, the day ends with a new shipment of preserved meat ready for the storehouses. Given the honor of helping carry a load over, it's time to add it to the growing pile of food.
[[Make your delivery to the storehouses.]] Starting to tally and add everything together, you find you are doing a more important job than realized. Getting to know what each villager needs, and how much, you determine and help build the entire plan for the village's collections and gatherings. Seeing everything down before you, it makes you amazed at the mentality and organization needed for the entire village. Happy with the new numbers and how they came to be, the other lore keepers and clerks admire your quality of work. Congratulating you, they take you back to the storehouses to ready for the new shipments and arrivals to bring the village's supplies back up.
[[Help receieve the shipments.]] Going through the old records, you ask a clerk to aid you with what you've found. They too, see what you mean. The numbers lead to supplies suddenly being less than they should, well before the loss of the storehouse. With his second opinion, the two of you decide to investigate some of the other stockhouses. Going over the numbers, you spot something strange in one of the other storehouses. A track of a small creature that shouldn't be present. Getting down, you find a small hole in the house's wall. And more tracks hidden leading in and out. Bringing the clerk over, you realize you've stumbled on some thieves to the village's supplies! Talking to the guards, it is your discovery that is able to send a group out to stop the thieves and to secure and repair the hole in the wall. With your success, the clerk and you head back to the storerooms, eager to share the successes with everyone else.
[[Help receieve the shipments.]] Making your way back to the village, you help add your contribution to the pile. Thanks to all the hard work, the village has fully recovered its losses. As the new storehouses is nearly completed, you take a breather to reflect a little. It feels like you've found a possible place here in the village and what you can do best to help.
[[Reflect]] Returning to put your contribtuions with the others in the storehouses, you feel accomplished and proud of your hard work. Having worked to make and aid everyone, you relfect a little and think of what your place would be in the village, and what you've felt the best at in your work so far.
[[Reflect]] Taking the last inventory for the day as the stock arrives, you also have a chance to reflect on all the work done. Getting a view of the numbers and where they came from, you think you've found your perfect role here in the village now.
[[Reflect]] Putting all you've done into mind, you decide that your best fit would be as a;
(set: $village to 1)
[[Lorekeeper]] A thinker and worker, the crafters are the source behind the tools and equipment that help keep the village running smoothly. Whether it is sharp axes to chop lumber or sharp chisels to shape stone, your work and time as a crafter would teach you to make anything and everything the village needs. Offering a chance to work alongside many others, you take a little longer and think on whether this is the role for you.
[[Become a crafter.]]
(if: $info is 1)[ [[Recollect]] ]
(if: $village is 1)[ [[Reflect]] ]The core to every villager is their stomach. And without someone having food ready, the delays between work or tasks would be much grander. Being able to make delicious meals and seeing the happy smiles of a fed neighbor is always a rewarding task. Thinking this is up your alley, maybe this is the role you could do to aid the village.
[[Become a cook.]]
[[Reflect]] The dedicated few, the Lorekeepers. Where the village work with might and muscle, these archivers and tenders to history focus on mental work and calculation. Spending time going through old archives and researching the past, they provide key numbers of what the village needs and what the seasons and even weather will be like. Though not a thrilling task to many, everyone could use someone that keeps everything in check and in balance. Perhaps this is the pursuit for you.
[[Become a lorekeeper.]]
(if: $village is 1)[ [[Reflect]] ]
(if: $thinker is 1)[ [[Ponder]] ] Going into the older archives, you find diagrams and sketches previous generations have made in inventing. Going over their successes and failures, some simple mechanics come into your head. Pulleys, levers, and a few other efficient simplistics make clear sense to you. But you also see room to improve. Knowing the storehouse needs to be repaired, well, practically rebuilt, you see a way to try and improve on the construction process by;
[[Planning out a multi-pulley system to make the heavier beams easier to move.]]
[[Attempting to use a lever-fulcrum and a wheel to create a personal wagon for more materials to be moved.]] Some of the most hard-hitting losses were the fish. Not always easily caught, and easily spoiled, it is always a struggle for the village to keep some fish in stock. Seeking to lend a hand and remedy that, you also think if there are better ways to harvest and collect from the rivers. Arriving, you find that the methods are fairly simple, though strict. To think and innovate, you have some rules that must be followed. First, the river cannot be dammed or blocked to ruin the natural run for the fish. Second, you cannot catch all the fish. There must be sustainability so only a certain size of fish can be caught and harvested. And lastly, you cannot kill the fish before getting a chance to see if they are of size worth keeping or not. With these in place, you can see some ideas to work on.
[[Inspect the current fishing methods and see if there's something missing.]]
[[Why focus on the fish? The river might not be able to be dammed, but, could it be adjusted to be a natural aid?]] You've always known the village to use livestock for some meat and supplies, but, maybe there's even more potential to your animal companions. Departing to the farmlands to study this potential new workforce, you begin to watch and study how the animals here live and grow. You focus your efforts onto two of the more commonly-raised creatures the farmlands has. The Onen and the Omete. Their materials often aid the village deeply for clothing, resources, and of course, meat. But, what about if they could be of use while they just grew and lived too? Watching each of them live, you get an idea to test out, if you can find a beast-tender who wouldn't mind, of course. You decide to try;
[[Using the Onen to seek out and collect jungle roots and plants.]]
[[Using the Omete to be ridden as easier means of travel.]] Deciding that the village could use a better way of getting heavier objects like stonework or wooden beams around, you begin to think and tinker on your idea. A few other innovators check on your work, spotting a great potential and do their best to aid and begin assembling your idea. Going to the worksite, you and your small group begin to assemble your idea and make it a reality. A square-based stand rests, tied down by a few heavy beams, and extends above to a height of around the village homes. With a framework of extending supports, the 'arm' reaches out to the pulley assembly. With a small network of ropes, you ask the builders to try it out. To their delight and yours, it works wonders! Easily lifting what would take several men to do, your machine lets only one do the job. Praised for your work, the other innovators applaud and recommend you aid on more projects. That sharp mind could help out a lot around the village.
[[Take a break and then watch the supplies come in.]] Working on your own, half craftsman and half innovator, you put your prototype to use. A single wheel rests between two arms with a deep bucket held just behind the wheel. Where everyone else takes time and struggles with crates and loads of stone, you easily and contently wheel along double their sizes. Amazed and inspired, the builders flock and test the small device for themselves. Cheering your inventino, it catches on quickly and soon you see more of these single-wheeled wagons rushing back and forth. Sometimes all it takes is a new eye to spot a solution and put it into practice. Now, making more to meet the demand for it, you outfit the builders and see them happily working away. Perhaps you've found your place all on your own. With the last request filled, you decide it might be time for a rest.
[[Take a break and then watch the supplies come in.]] Watching the builders work and build, the storehouse comes together as the supplies funnel in. Seeing the entire village's efforts combine to remedy the problem within a single day is truly inspiring. And with that inspiration, and helping achieve that single day recovery, you think you have found a spot and role for the village that you can fill. Now, you just have to ponder a little bit and come to your own conclusions.
[[Ponder]] Taking some time to see how it's done, you start to understand why it can be so hard to gather the fish for the village. Because debris can clog the nets, the village has been using simple fish traps to harvest what they can. A woven cone leads into a basket, meaning only a certain size of fish can be caught and trapped within. Though it works, it also can be clogged easily by fallen branches or debris floating downstream. Learning that the fish only swim upstream at night, the traps have to be turned often as the day goes on. You can see some have attempted to alter the traps, making them open at both ends, but those have allowed the fish they're after to swim straight through as well. It took some work, but you begin to watch and observe your results.
[[Observe the outcomes of your experiment.]] Perhaps the problem here is a matter of perspective. The focus is on the fish, but, why not include or even focus on the river? Have it naturally aiding you. Looking along its course, you find an area with some large rocks and the water flowing quickly along it. Accompanied by an experienced fisher, they tell you others thought this might be a good spot, but encountered problems. With the speed of the water, the larger fish often knock traps out of place and even break some with the impact. Watching the flow of the water, you start to solve the puzzle in your head. Adding some rocks into a couple of the traps, you carefully also tie a rope to them. Wading into the river ahead of the current, you let the water drag the traps and lodge them down into the stones just ahead of the quicker current. With the rope, you walk out of the river and tie them to a nearby tree. The fisher asks you why you did this, and you are happy to explain the reasoning. If the traps are anchored down by the rocks inside them and the natural rocks of the river, they are braced and can better take an impact from the flow. And since the water naturally will push against any barrier to keep flowing, debris that might clog the trap would more likely hit and be swept above it as the river keeps going. Impressed at your thorough lines of thought, the fisher applauds you and recommends you two wait and watch, to see the outcome of your planning.
[[Observe the outcomes of your experiment.]] Thanks to your efforts aiding the fishers, you noticed a little increase to the amount brought it. Though not giant leaps or bounds, it is the slow and steady progress that gets you furthest. And with the actions and thought you put in, you've begun to witness the growth already. Whether it was innovating or putting a plan into practice, perhaps you've found a spot in the village to lend your talents best to. You head on back for home, taking a moment to ponder your role.
[[Ponder]] Thanks to your ideas the tenders have some new work ahead of them. Praising the little change you showed, it is the tiniest of starts that can give big improvements. Letting your pride show a little, you feel you've found the calling for you. Sent back home to the village, you take a little bit of time to ponder and decide what future is best for you.
[[Ponder]] After a little bit of time pondering your role, you've decided that you would be the best fit for the village being a new;
(set: $thinker to 1)
[[Beast-tender]] The patient and the determined. The crew of fishers is a dedicated group that works the rivers to the village's east daily. Working to maintain a steady haul while also keeping the balance of the river's fish population. Working on single-hook fishing poles and rarely nets, the work can be hard but also relaxing. Perhaps a fishing life is the life for you.
[[Become a fisher.]]
[[Ponder]] Ingenius and inventors, the innovators for the village have a rough task. It's not many that can see things others can't. Nor is it a simple thing to bring about ideas into reality. Getting a chance to be a bit of everything, the innovators work equally at construction and planning. Looking to develop new and improved means of getting tasks done, you'll always be sharpening and using your mind with any task you're given.
[[Become an innovator.]]
[[Ponder]] Only a select few have the potential to be a beast-tender, the size and tolerance of the village's livestock being a limiting factor. Yet, you have the potential to aid and help tend the Shellsbacks and Smoothhides of the Farmlands. Needing patience, understanding and a good eye, the role of beast-tender will keep you out on the Farmlands but will also give you a better connection to the wild creatures of the crater.
[[Become a beast-tender.]]
[[Ponder]] Despite the good days working, a sudden incident sent the village alight with talk. The village has always been small, only 200 people at its most. And there is a good reason for that. But that 200 was now looking to become 201, one of the women prgenant with the next child to make it 201, adding another life to the already happy village. This poses a serious problem for the village for some reason you do not understand. When you try and speak with your new co-workers about the matter, the older generations don't speak much on the topic. Instead of a bright tomorrow, there almost seems to be a solemn reverence for the happening, as if expecting an upcoming event to unfold. This turns into an almost ominous feeling after a few days. And as you, and many other youths, listen more in the coming days, what you believe is a tragedy occurs to this sudden happening.
[[The child is lost, reducing the population down to 200 again.]] You and many others soon get told that it was no accident the child was lost, no, it was what has to be. Confused, some of you are heartbroken and others are enraged. Yet, the answers to your questions do come, in the form of the lorekeepers. Led along a march, you, and two dozen others, aged from the oldest of about seventeen to the youngest of six, are brought to a gathering, instructed to sit and listen. Gathered around a few large fires to keep the quiet and sacred grove you were led out to lit, your instructors arrive. The lorekeepers bring out a giant stone tablet, the ancient history to your village scrawled into the stone. It is now, with what happened, you begin to learn the beginnings of your village, and, of the codes which has kept it to be for so, so long. It is time to learn of the Losses and, of the Oath of 200. Ancient traditions that have granted the village its enjoyed peace and prosperity for far longer than you realized.
[[Listen on.]] The village has existed for 50 generations, each generation spanning around 50 years. It doesn't take long for many to feel the greatness of that span, stretching into numbers they've never imagined. The biggest factors to this grand legacy lie within the 3 Great Losses, and of the Oath of 200. To begin, the Lorekeepers begin with the 3 Great Losses. Your kind has faced much trial and hardship in the past, fighting not just nature, but against itself. The source of the conflict came from the 3 Great Causes of Loss, which shortened to the 3 Great Losses.
The first, became known as Greed. It stemmed in the meeting of needs, to the indulgence of more. It started simply, one getting all the food, water and shelter to live and survive. But then they wanted more. They wanted food to feed more than themselves, and more shelter for their family. Want is the driver of your race, but, want is a dangerous line. Want for food became a want to control food. Want to keep it for yourself and hoard. Want to not let any others have any, and to fight to keep it to only yours. Such a small thing, yet, it could cause deep and bloody results. It then became known that though want is what drives us, it must be kept in line and in check. For when it is not, Greed controls and consumes.
[[The second Loss grew from the arrival of the first, the Loss of Sloth.]] Those lazy with Greed giving them so much, no longer worked or labored for their needs. Met, they grew distant and emotionless to others who had to work and labor. This bred contempt and diminishing knowledge. And as time and Greed spread, Sloth grew rampant too. When it came time that Sloth was no longer seen as power but lacking will, Greed fuelled great conflict. Wealth and currency became symbols and means of finding Greed and Sloth. In their wake only violence and death trailed behind them. Sitting upon their Greed, those who had all they'd gathered taken away by their Sloth then fell to death and suffering. Losing their ways to understand the labor and work needed to provide and meet their needs, they passed on.
It is the second Loss which reminds us of the reward not just at the end, but the process to attain it as well. For when you become Sloth, and do not work to know how to meet your needs, you fail to be able to survive should that all be taken away. That lets the end and death trail close behind you, awaiting for that moment to claim and hold you. Those who continue to always understand the struggle will always be ready to carry on, not succumbing to their needs. Yet, the Losses of Greed and Sloth became mates to spawn something else. Something truly terrible. And they gave birth to the last Loss, that which tarnishes and poisons and can be fatal to all things, no matter if they can carry the first two Losses or not.
[[The third Loss, the Loss of Hate.]] Greed and Sloth bred a Loss so vile it is responsible for death widespread and rampant. Hate. Hate grew bold, Hate grew large, and Hate, turned in upon itself. The three Losses consumed and broke apart all that could have been built. A village like this merely a shadow to what mighty things once stood. But the greater things stand, the harder they may crash down. And so, to avoid the Losses, they became just that. A lost part of the world as the origins of the village found their way. Losing Greed, Sloth, and Hate, the village began amongst a small number here. No wealth or power came into place, everyone realizing they were equal and that only in unity could they survive and naturally be happy. No leader stood above, nobody was poor, none were different. All were allies and family here. And that mindset led to prosperity, and, also, to ruin. For sustaining such a growing group caused the world around to suffer. And so, an Oath was sworn as the reality was realized.
[[That became the Oath of 200.]] The deep valley in which the village and the entire jungle rests only can sustain so much in numbers. When it is exceeded, starvation and harm befall the village and the jungle. To meet this, a number was eventually found that allowed sustainable living indefinitely. This, 200 citizens, was the number to found the Oath of 200. Sworn in to allow the village a happy and infinite lifespan, all villagers when they come to learn or come of age, swear it to allow themselves and the village a deep and long lasting life, for themselves and the generations yet to come. As members die or pass on, we honor and cherish them, while that also allows new life to take place. The village may dip below 200 at times, but, it must never exceed 200. This example is of the reality to attain eternal survival for yourself and those who succeed you. And with what has happened, with the noble acceptance by the woman, it has been upkept. With this information, you are asked now for the Oath of 200 to be sworn, to keep the legacy not only alive, but to continue to the future and forever for your village, as one united people.
[[Swear the Oath of 200.]] With the Oath of 200 sworn, you learn that in the future, there is more to be taught. Lessons of the Passed, but, those are to wait until adulthood. With the event subsiding and days going on, you continue to grow and aid as days turn to weeks and weeks into months. Growing and working, you continue on to labor with your work and find new problems faced at every turn for the village. And you, alongside your villagers, must look to solving them and ensuring the future for not just your own close to you, but all those who will follow the village too.
(if: $builder is 1)[ [[A shrine has fallen into disrepair, requiring effort to restore and return it to its proper honor.]] ]
(if: $hunter is 1)[ [[The time for the hunters to gather draws near, a herd is migrating close to the normal hunting grounds.]] ]
(if: $guard is 1) [ [[Some of the guards reported loud sounds near the village, possibly another Great Beast enroaching again.]] ]
(if: $scout is 1) [ [[The scouting parties have noticed the wild beasts have left their nesting grounds for good. They'll need to be located again quickly.]] ]
(if: $runner is 1) [ [[A rumor has started to go around about a 'knocking wall' among the village, it's time to track it to its source.]] ]
(if: $messenger is 1) [ [[A patrol on the village's far outskirts has encountered a dangerous threat. A runner NEEDS to get the others informed quickly.]] ]
(if: $farmer is 1) [ [[A number of the new crops are not taking, and without them, the village is going to be in trouble for its foodstores.]] ]
(if: $crafter is 1) [ [[You've begun to finish and hone your crafts, and now, it's time to learn how to barter and bargain with your trade.]] ]
(if: $cook is 1) [ [[As you've cooked and made your meals, you've found the flavors starting to blend. To keep the village happy, it's time to go ingredient hunting yourself.]] ]
(if: $lorekeeper is 1) [ [[Diving deep into the village's history, you've come across something seeming lost to time. It might just be a small treasure for the village, if it is real.]] ]
(if: $fisher is 1) [ [[Working the river and fishing, you've heard them tell stories of a Great Fish to rival the Great Beasts. Maybe it's time to prove yourself and catch this legend if it exists.]] ]
(if: $innovator is 1) [ [[Having found your success early, you've begun working on these simple mechanics more and more. Now, it's time for your next big invention.]] ]
(if: $beasttender is 1) [ [[Having tended and helped raise many of the livestock in the Farmlands, you've been given a special opportunity. You are now asked to help hatch and raise your first Onen all on your own.]] ] Though the village isn't devout, it still has shrines set up to the deities blessing the lands. Yet, on the southern stretches of the village's territory, one of the shrines has begun to crumble and fall apart. Travelling with a small work crew, you find the message of 'disrepair' to be more like pile of rubble. A Great Beast must have knocked into the shrine, breaking it. Now, it basically needs to be remade from the ground up. Given reign over it, you decide it best to make the shrine with;
[[Wood. If it breaks again, it's easier to replace than stone.]]
[[Stone. It'd be much harder to break again though it'll take some hard labor and effort.]] With the passing seasons, the time of the great Omete migration also nears. Gearing up with your fellow hunters, it's time to get to work securing a kill. Grouping up, your weapon will guide you in which role you'll take as the herd begins to near.
(if: $bow is 1) [ [[With your trusty bow, adept in its use now, you are assigned as an ambush group along a ridge overlooking the trail.]] ]
(if: $spear is 1) [ [[Armed with your spear, you're told to take a position at a bend at the end of a ridgeline.]] ] Working and patrolling the village's outskirts, some of the other guards reported loud sounds and noises. Looking to have someone investigate, you volunteer if someone else can take your patrol route. Given the chance to investigate, you narrow down the sounds to stemming from around the northwest of the village. Departing out, you quickly find evidence of a Great Beast having been around. With the evidence, you start trying to track it down. The route is fairly easy and after a little time, you find the beast itself. From the looks of it, the Coatl fell into one of the small gulches littering this region of the dense jungle which covered by the vines now entangling its other legs as it dug itself deeper into the gulch. Bellowing out, it looks to have injured its right leg. Unsure how to help, it looks like there are two options.
[[Fetch more guards and put the beast out of its suffering.]]
[[Seek the Farmlands and see if the tenders can aid the Coatl.]] Though it has turned to the season of migration, you and your fellow scouts have found the nesting grounds of many of the wild herds to be abandoned. Not knowing where they are can be a troubling issue for the village, for emergency resources are suddenly gone. To remedy this, it's time for the scouts to embark into the deep territory of the jungle to track down these missing herds. Given a choice between two regions, you decide to;
[[Search the southeastern valleys.]]
[[Scout and survey the northwestern ridgelines.]] As you've been working hard as a runner, you've started to hear rumors of the 'knocking wall'. Unsure where they started, it spread slowly but surely around the village. From all accounts, you can piece together a few small pieces of info from your work running as a courier and messenger. It's somewhere along the outer most edges of the crater, and, it only seems to knock at specific times of day. Finally setting about to solve this rumor or find its origin, you start your search;
[[Amongst the crafting stalls in the village.]]
[[Questioning the guards and scouts, given the wall's location being beyond the village.]] Running back and forth between the hunting parties, you come across the aftermath of a terrible attack. It seems that a predatory Great Beast somehow found its way close to the usual hunting grounds for the village. With the beast harming many of the hunters, messages need to be relayed quickly to get both the guard and other parties to unite to deal with this threat. You quickly head to;
[[Inform the other hunter parties to retreat to the village.]]
[[Rally the guard to be prepared to take on this threat.]] For some reason, the soils of the Farmlands have started to grow smaller and smaller harvests. The crops aren't as strong or as healthy as normal. Unsure as to why, you and the farmers discuss and know you need to find a way to fix these issues. It seems that there might be two ways to best deal with this problem. If the old crops aren't growing as well, maybe it means a new type of crop must be planted. Or, perhaps the soil is too low in nutrients, meaning it must be replenished. To try solving this matter you;
[[Review the crops not being grown and select a new one to try.]]
[[Look into replenishing the soil with fertilizers and hope it restores the crops.]] Now that you've become a hardened crafter, you can begin learning and dealing with barters and bargains yourself. Though fairly new to the system, you're being escorted by an older crafter to show you the ropes. Right off the bat, you've been given two options from two different villagers. They are humble deals, but, everyone must begin somewhere, after all. The exchanges seem fair, so you decide to pick;
[[Exchanging a new axe for a yet to be made pair of pots.]]
[[Craft a brand new set of pans in exchange for some hide blankets.]] The village has had its usual stock for years now, letting you master the recipes. Yet, it also makes you want a little change now and again too. Given how you've seen some of the other cooks trying small recipes here and there, you want to try some experiments for yourself. Setting out, you know the jungle has to hold some new flavors to try. You decide to;
[[Seek out new spices for giving the dishes you know different flavors.]]
[[Try hunting some different meat to try some new gravy and sauce recipes.]] As you've researched and read the tablets kept in the village about the past generations, you've come across something interesting. A record of maps, detailing where some old watch towers and outlying posts rested, seems to indicate where there was once a sizeable outpost. Talking to your fellow lorekeepers, the records are accurate but nobody can determine why this outpost was left behind and forgotten. You decide it's time to learn why. You decide to;
[[Venture off for the lost outpost on your own.]]
[[Rendezvous with the scouts and seek out this lost post.]] Working along the river, you've heard legends of the Great Fish. Rivalling the Great Beasts, this legendary catch has been seen yet never caught. It'd be a feat to be the one to land the giant catch, and, given your talents already, you decide to undertake it. Given what you can learn, you figure the best place to try landing the Great Fish is;
[[Near the river's sources. Where the waters stem from.]]
[[Down at the lake. Where all the waters flow to.]] Taking your innovative ideas and putting them to practice, you've started to invent and advance your understanding well ahead. Crafting more of the simple machines you learned early, you've also become more ingenius in your inventing. Mastering your craft, you've put your efforts to solving one of the larger problems facing the village, one that could help ease the labor needed across it easily. You focus on;
[[Making a more efficient smoker for meats.]]
[[Creating a system for keeping water flowing around and through the village.]] Given the chance to raise an Onen all on your own, it's a tremendous opportunity. Eager to hatch it, you are given the small egg and a nest to tend to it at. For the first days, little changes. It's an egg, it isn't exactly going to run away on you. But, after some time, the cracks in the shell signal the arrival of the new young creature. Watching and helping it break free, soon the small bundle of scales flops out with a little squeal. Looking at the tiny, innocent critter, you love it already. The first thing you do is;
[[Put a few crushed berries in the nest, giving it some food.]]
[[Damp a cloth and help clean around the eyes, helping the Onen to open its eyes.]] Set to lie and wait, you see the herd begin its trek. At least three dozen of the large beasts, waddling along with a sharp gaze. With the herd's size, no predator of the jungle would try taking one down. But now, now, it's the village's hayday. Watching closely, you've spotted a few good targets. Old, round-bellied, and slow. The aged beasts look good for several days worth of food. Looking to your lead hunter, you've been given the go ahead. Aiming true, you look for the closest elder and loose your shot. Landing it, you've sent the herd into a stampede, and your wounded prey bolts off into the jungle.
[[Chase down the injured beast.]] Lying in wait, you hear the sudden commotion of a stampede on its way. Thanks to your higher perch, you don't have to worry about being trampled. Dust and dirt become disturbed as a low-hanging cloud consumes the feet of the rushing beasts. Spooked and sprinting, they are quickly approaching your ambush. As they come in, you spot a good target cruising along the narrow ravine. Throwing your spear out, you pierce the beast's hide but it breaks off, running into the jungle. With an ample blood trail left, you have an easy trail to get your spear back and secure a good kill for the village.
[[Track down the wounded beast.]] Following the blood trail and broken foliage, you track down your quarry. Aided by a pair of hunters, you find the injured Omete on its last breaths. Fallen and suffering, you know what you must do as a true hunter. Taking your knife, you speak a small prayer for the beast and let it pass on with a quick release. Now, having a fresh kill, the party with you can help you carry the body back to clean and process. With how far the kill is, the three of you joke and begin to make light as you know the effort ahead. But together, you haul and bring out the slain creature, a sign of a good hunt and that there will be fed villagers when the night is done.
[[Make your way back for the village.]] Thanks to the grave wound your spear inflicted, it isn't hard or long in tracking down the Omete. Dropped and dead, you come upon the fallen beast and speak a prayer of respect for it. Thanks to its loss, the village has more food and hide to live another day happily and growing. The cycle of life isn't kind nor cruel, it just keeps turning. Stowing your spear away, you begin to bring out the fallen, assisted by some other hunters so you can bring back the spoils for the village.
[[Begin your return for the village.]] Choosing wood for its versatility, you and your fellow builders begin to make a small camp and start chopping. With the size of the trees, even a single one should provide all you need to rebuild the shrine. Hacking and cutting, eventually you get the titanic trunk felled, the sounds of cracking and snapping wood echoing through the forest. Taking shifts, you and your colleagues work to clean and ready the limbs for use. With the materials prepared, and a delivery of paints and supplies, you're all set to reconstruct the shrine.
[[Rebuild the wooden shrine.]] Deciding to use stone to ensure the shrine remains strong, you and your colleagues seek out a rock cut, deep in the jungle. It's a good distance away, and, with the work needed to shape the stone, it's going to take some time. But, it should add some strong faith into the deity you're erecting the shrine to. Making a quarry camp, you and your fellow builders get started. It takes several days, but, at their end, you have the stone shaped properly. Thanks to the time needed, you've been given paints and supplies to properly decorate and ornament the holy piece. Using some logs, you and your fellow workers roll the stone into place, finally planting the shrine again.
[[Admire your hard work.]] Choosing to make it out of wood, the task is easier and faster to accomplish. Though one of the builders argues stone would have made it last longer, by choosing wood, it means more will need to see and tend the shrine so it remains intact. And in doing so, it means there will be more reverance for the deity the shrine is made to. With the extra tidings, it should hopefully give more blessings in the future to the village. Satisfying not just the one builder, but the entire group with you, a new eagerness stems to see the shrine built anew. After a few hours of dedication, the new holy site stands, welcoming all who would come to pay respects to the deity. Packing up, the work leaves you feeling both fulfilled and humble. Doing good not just for the village, but also, the gods who overlook the world too.
[[Venture back for home.]] Heaving the great stone shrine into place, you and your other builders admire it. Though one argues wood would have been much easier, making the shrine with stone has other benefits wood lacks. For with a strong, stone shrine, it will stand for many generations. A sign of the village's long legacy and bright future. Unmoving and unshaking, it will always be a sign of your work and craft to honor the deity. Feeling like the deity is blessing them now, the entire building party jokes as they start hauling their gear back for the village. A warm pride emanates from you as you start the long walk home.
[[Make the hike back to the village.]] With the size and threat the beast can pose, ending its suffering looks to be the best option to you. It can't survive for long alone without being able to stand, and with its size, the hide and meat would keep the village overstocked for days. Fetching the guard, the person to give the beast peace is up for debate. Since you decided on it, you're given the task yourself. Saying a prayer for the beast, you put it out of its suffering. Now, accompanied by some guards and villagers, you set to work gathering and cleaning the Coatl.
[[Work on collecting and harvesting the Great Beast.]] Getting some tenders, you all agree you can aid the Coatl with some effort. The tenders speak and calm the beast as you and some guards help free its leg from the trap it landed itself in. To help support its weight, you held build a brace around the wounded leg. Though it won't mend quickly, it will eventually heal. The tenders are able to take it to the Farmlands, giving them a new beast to try raising. Given its size, it is going to be quite a change for them. But now, the big, hurt beast could use a little aid in making it to the Farmlands.
[[Escort the Coatl to the Farmlands.]] The village rarely has ever taken down or had the chance to harvest a Coatl. The colossal beasts rare around the reaches the village sits in. Saying prayers to every deity for the beast's blessing, you work with the other at a processing camp where it fell. Too big to move, you harvest the meat and hide slowly and carefully. With all it provides, the hunting parties will be able to take a break for a couple of days, giving them a needed rest. All around, the village will celebrate this great gift while also praying and mourn for the tragedy of harm that befell the Coatl.
[[Bring back the good news and some of the spoils.]] Getting the Coatl to the Farmlands proves to be quite an effort. Trying to lead it along the smoothest ground to make its trek as easy as possible takes it by the village. Seeing such a grand sight brings the entire village out. Kept back to keep the wounded beast calm, the slow and lumbering stride slowly brings it beyond the village to the Farmlands. Though it will need a lot of food, the task of restoring it and letting it mend is seen as a test from the deities. Undertaking it, if you hadn't found the beast, it would have died and been lost. Now, the village may have not just a trial, but, a great blessing. For nothing challenges a Coatl, and having one around the village, will keep any threats far at bay.
[[Leave the tenders and return to the village.]] Deciding to seek out the southeastern valleys, you begin the long trek to them. Known to be some thick jungle to work through, you blaze a trail as you go, making sure the marks are easily visible from a distance and keeping the spacing low. Hiking through the rough bush, you eventually come to a small overlook, able to gaze down into the valley. Some of the lowest points of the crater, you are able to spot signs of a herd. Making your way down to the small meadow, you find fresh sign and begin to track your way deeper into the wilderness.
[[Follow the trail to its end.]] Seeking to travel to more remote reaches, you opt to seek the northwestern ridgelines. Embarking to scout and explore, you take extra rope for the ascent. Though not as dense with forest, the trek and hike to the northwestern does take some time and eventually brings you to the crater's walls. The sheer and rugged cliffs should give a good overlook of the crater and signs or hints of where the herds went. Climbing carefully, you ascend and gaze out over the forest. Unfortunately, the signs seem to point to the herd heading to the southeast, into the dense valleys. But your climb wasn't without success. For you found the nesting grounds of another group.
[[Study the Totoc nesting grounds.]] With how widespread the rumor is, you decide to look into the matter in the village. Walking around the main stalls and craft district, you question and get to learn a little more. The 'knocking wall' seems to be along the patrol route for the western guards. And it seems they only hear the noise for an hour. Trying to learn more in the village though comes out with wild stories of beasts inside the wall itself or the land's heart is beating stronger for some reason. Casting the odd aside, you know you'll have to find the wall yourself now.
[[Examine the western stretches of the guard's patrol.]] Looking to find the rumor's origin, you look into the matter with those closest to the wall itself. Speaking among the guard, you narrow down and get a general idea of the location. Along the western route for the afternoon patrols, a certain section of the wall seems to ring out with stone on stone knocking. Uncertain as to why, the sound only rings out for an hour each day. And it only occurs one for that hour. Given a general direction, you decide to take a trip out and encounter this odd phenomenon for yourself.
[[Venture off for the 'knocking wall'.]] With the dire threat the rogue beast poses, the other parties need to know what they're dealing with. Though you don't know exactly where the beast is, you do know the trails the parties are using. Sprinting off, you begin to seek out the remaining four parties, hoping to find and send them back. Continuing along the trails, you find two other parties on your route. Relaying the info, they begin to hike and rush back to prepare with the guard for the oncoming danger. Having found the party at the eastern end of the trails, you need to double back now to get the remaining two back safely.
[[Run doubletime to reach the other two hunting parties.]] Making a sprint for the village, you quickly inform the closest guard and the horn bellows out. Summoned by the call, the village's guard rallies and unites at the border of the village. Split into their divisions to ready and hunt the threat down, you are tasked to relay the plans between the hunting parties and help organize the hunting guard. Given a scroll of orders, you venture back through the jungle, finding the hunting parties coming back, able to head them off before they'd lose time getting back to the village.
[[Hand over and explain the plan.]] The village has always grown the same types of crops, those always producing a good harvest. Yet, now, with their numbers falling short, perhaps its time for a change. Reviewing how the plots of farmland are sorted, you are given a small plot to experiment on. But in order to try new crops to grow, you'll need to find them in the wild and gather some seeds or bulbs to grow. And for that, it means it's time to head off and begin doing some foraging to see what other options there are.
[[Embark into the jungle to begin your search.]] Seeing that the crop isn't growing well, you look at how the village has grown. With proper food and water, everyone is thriving and doing well. So maybe that's the issue here. Knowing the fields are well irrigated, it might be something due to the nutrients of the soil. Given how heavily grown the soil is, there wouldn't be much time to allow for it to recover properly. In order to remedy that, you're given a small plot of fields to try for yourself. Along each of the rows you have to work with, you try different fertilizers. Along the first row, you try the Omete, hoping their rich grass diet might be a good boost. Along the second, Onen. Given their varied diet and tastes, they have a good mix of nutrients going through their system. And the last field, you have an odd idea. You know there are some rare Coatl out in the wilderness. With their deep and heavy diet, perhaps that fertilizer can be a miracle trick. But, finding that, is going to be an endeavor.
[[Start your search for some Coatl fertilizer.]] A small trade, yet, a big step. With the pride in your craftsmanship, you decide to look more into the pair of pots you were offered. Exchanging your goods, you inspect to see how well made the pots were. Though a little rough around their edges, you could probably hone them a little bit and get them to be exactly what your home could use. As for your possible business partner, he seems content with the axe. Coming to terms and agreeing, you shake hands, securing the deal. Learning how the barter works, you also find that there's a chance to make another deal already.
[[Let's hear what the next offer is.]] Though you normally make grander tools, like shovels or axes, a pan isn't out of your scope. And given the idea of having some warm and comfy hides to sleep with, it's a good prospect. Accepting the deal, you ask the requirements of the pans from your new business partner. Telling you her needs, she hands you a small list of requirements. All simple and fairly easy to meet, you close up your stall and go back to begin forging. As you begin, you are approached with an offer for something to go with those blankets. Alongside you making a little something else too in exchange.
[[Hear out this second offer.]] Thanks to your time behind the grill and in the storerooms, you've come to recognize the spices you use by their plants. Knowing to look for something aside from these, you depart into the wild stretches of the jungle. Looking high and low, you slowly come across an assortment of goods. Some roots, a few small stalks, and even a couple different types of mushrooms. Collecting your wild harvest, you head back to ask a few more experienced cooks about what you found, and, hope you can expand on the recipes you know.
[[Get an assesment on your findings.]] The village has usually been very strict in what it will hunt as hunting parties. Wild Omete and Onen are the general meats to work with, alongside fish from the rivers. Now though, working alone, you have a chance to take a single specimen as your hunting limit. Debating where to try first, you find your answer as you look skyward in thought. A shadow glides slowly overhead. A Totoc. Rarely hunted because of their nests being so high, ambition takes you. Heading off, you begin to trek and see if you can catch one to try cooking.
[[Begin your hunt for the elusive creatures.]] If there is glory to be found, you want to be the proud first to discover it. Though embarking alone can be dangerous, you feel it is better to seek it alone than bother a group with the search. Following the etchings you made of the old tablets, you come across monuments having been overtaken by the jungle. Piecing the ancient map together, you work and stumble onwards. Yet, as you stop right as the map does, you can't seem to find anything. No ruins or stonework like the village. The post just seems to be gone. But, you do notice something small glinting from a nearby tree trunk. Slowly, you walk closer to investigate.
[[What is that little shine?]] Wanting to secure this lead you found, you decide to seek aid from the scouts. Able to form a trio, you venture off on the trail. Though the jungle has grown in, thanks to your scouting companions you find forlorn landmarks and monuments matching the old maps on the tablets. Thanks to the etchings you made, you are able to follow the steps right to where the outpost was supposed to be. Yet, when you arrive, it's nothing but dense jungle. As you begin to look around, you hear a sudden shout and stone landing hard against more stone.
[[Rush to the source of the sounds.]] If there is a legendary Great Fish, it must need to eat a lot. And for that, it must be somewhere that has little for it to compete with. Under that idea, you decide to trek to the rivers' source. Hiking through the thick brush, you make your way to the break in the crater wall where the waters begin. Pouring out from fissures in the crater wall, the waters pour into a clear, deep pool before running down to create the river system the village has fished from for years. Setting up a camp near the water's edge, you wait and watch. From your time on the job fishing, you know night is when you will have the best chance at your catch. And so, you ready for the coming eve.
[[Get everything ready for the night.]] A Great Fish must eat a lot. And if food travels downstream like the water, there must be a buffet at the spot they all meet. Going down to the lakeshore, you set up a small camp to ready for the long wait. Taking the lessons of the legends into account, you know you need the mid-day and a large piece of bait to entice your quarry if it exists. Because the lake is a stagnant pool, a line and float will be your best tools here. And the bait, something rare that might be a delicacy. Venturing into the jungles, you seek out a tiny White-Tailed Gecko. These lizards have little to do with the water, and with their size, it might be big enough to only have one predator. The Great Fish. Securing your bait, you feel ready as mid-day draws near.
[[Cast the line and wait.]] Something the village has always had to try and curve has been its spoil times. Though the village goes through a lot of food, sometimes, it cannot keep enough meat stocked and preserved before it rots. And though more smokers might help remedy the problem, that means more fuel and more room is needed. Instead, you try to think of solving that problem without needing to use more fuel or space. To do so, you begin to study the smoke itself. How it flows and what wood makes a better smoke source. In time, you notice how the smoke follows and will snake to find escape from an enclosed space. Realizing that, you have an idea of a multi-layered tower of sorts to try making.
[[Get some help crafting your ideas.]] Knowing a baby needs its food to grow, you immediately grind and crush up some berries. Putting a small scoop of paste by the Onen's head, you watch happily as it eats. Your new little companion has had its first taste of life and squeals happily. Making more, you spend much of the day giving the Onen anything it needs. Food, water, and shelter. With how much effort the first day has needed, you decide to sleep right in the stable where its nest is. Laying down after seeing your little companion is sleeping, you rest your eyes to join it in sleep.
[[Get a little shut eye as a new parent.]] If your little beast-child is going to eat or drink, it should be able to see what it's doing. Dampening a cloth, you gently wipe and tap at its eyelids, moistening them so the little Onen can see. And its first sight is you, its new parent. Already in love at first sight with the tiny beast, you give it some water and watch its first steps. Starting to understand the meaning of each sound and cry it makes, you feed, provide water, and even play with the newborn. Noting everything it does, you and the small Onen make a deep and lasting bond. That night, you decide to sleep nearby. Though only the first day with it, you found yourself a new family member.
[[Get some sleep with your new little beast-child.]] Following the faint signs left, you track them down to find not only one of the previous herds, but also, a new herd having joined them. With double the nests now, the village's hunting parties now have a secure herd to hunt with twice the reliability now. Noting the trail needed to make it to them, you study the beasts and can see they are completely calm here. It will make future trips easy to spot, knowing they should nest here for the rest of the season if not even longer. Sneaking away, you've done all you can.
[[Report back to the village of your findings.]] Having gotten up to the Totoc nests, the beasts are highly docile and relaxed. Four limbed creatures that are half your size, they flap on leathery wings spanning the length of their stubby little body out to their armtips. Never having been hunted or targeted often, you are even able to take a few eggs without much notice from the Totoc. Given the high population, the nests can be sustainably harvested for a long time to come now, perhaps even hunted with the sheer numbers on the ridge and in the skies. Taking a couple of eggs with you, you've also spotted an easier route to and from the ridges. Hiddden by a fallen log and some draped moss, it acts like a curtain blocking the path but can easily be moved aside for access. Proud in your discovery, you head for home to inform the village of the discovery.
[[Make your way proudly back.]] Gathering the info you could, you walk the entire length of the western wall trying to find the knocking. But even after three hours and no results, you feel like you've been misled. It isn't until a guard finds you resting and questions you that answers finally arrive. The wall does exist, but the knocking only happens for one hour each day, at that same hour every day. Just at its tail end, the guard brings you to the spot and you see for yourself, or rather hear, the wall. Stone seems to knock against stone loudly for a few beats, about ten seconds apart, before it stops. As it does, you notice some water leak out of a few cracks in the stone wall. Finally, you get the explanation the guards could piece together. Thanks to the sun heating the cliff face, it seems to heat water that causes a geyser to shoot loose stones against the stone wall from the inside. And once the peak of the day passes, the pressure subsides and the water drains out. Though an odd explanation, there isn't any other answers you can think of. With that, you decide to keep the secret to yourself. The village feels more alive with the rumor anyway, so why harm that?
[[Return to the village with your new secret.]] Thanks to the precise notes of the guards, the 'knocking wall' and time are easy to remmeber. Finding the spot and waiting, you indeed begin to hear the stone knocking the others reported. Listening for the entire hour, the knocks around ten to twenty seconds apart, you see some water leak down from the cracks in the cliff face. Using that, and thanks to a guard following your logic with their own theory, you two have an idea of what is happening. Thanks to the specific hour being the mid-day peak, the cliff face must be heated by the sun. And that heat builds a geyser pressure to shoot water and send stone colliding against the wall, making the knocking sound. And once the heat dies down, the geyser drains out. Sounding as logical as it can for you, you head back. Though you could stop the rumor, you decide to let it stay. The mystery has kept the village enthralled and given everyone something to talk about. Why ruin their fun?
[[Head back home with the new secret.]] Moving as quickly as you could, you get in touch with the other hunting parties and get them headed to regroup with the guard. Assembling a great hunting guard now, the entire force begins seeking out the threat. Finding the tracks and traces, they are unable to find the rampant beast that caused such harm. But they do discern it returned back to the wild. With the one hunting party out of comission to mend, the rest of the hunters split to aid the guard now, reforming to just two large parties able to handle the beast. Though not able to end the threat, you are highly commended for your good work relaying the info needed quite quickly.
[[Head home to rest after the day of sprinting through the jungle.]] Relaying the plan the guard has provided, you work in conjunction with the other parties to secure the village's outskirts and seek the threat. Through diligent tracking, you are able to uncover the trail of the predator, leading out of the village's furthest outskirts. Though not ended, the foe is at least gone. Regrouping, the guard and hunting parties merge. With one party injured and out of comission, the merge allows the loss to be minimized with the current goal. Now moved into two large hunting parties, a small group of hunters also reinforce the guards until the threat is truly gone. Thanks to your actions, you helped prepare and also ensure the village's security in the face of such a threat.
[[Return home to rest after the frenzied runs back and forth.]] Relying heavily on well water, the village needs a lot of labor to travel and maintain its water supplies above ground. Barrels are plentiful and uses for water many, meaning many also have to work and deliver the water throughout the day. Seeing that this is one of the major back-breakers for the village, you set to work trying to create a system to remedy this. To start, you want to siphon water easier than using buckets to drop down and scoop the water up with. To do this, you think of how you yourself can drink water. Sucking water from a pool you wonder and think what that can be realized as in materials. Going to the rivers, you find some hollow reeds, and realize that you can suck water up them if you hold them to your mouth. But the wells are all much deeper than the reeds are tall. Yet, they still have given you the beginnings of an idea.
[[Seek at recreating the reeds from the village's stockpiles.]] Venturing off into the jungle, you find that the crops the farms grow do not even seem to exist outside of the fields. With how wild and dense the jungle is, such domesticated plants can't seem to grow at all. But that also means many new crops do. And one thing that you really notice is an abundance of fruit-bearing plants. The farms have only grown ground vegetables, fruit-bearing trees something seeming too hard to properly grow aside from a cluster of small trees. Studying the environment, you think you see why. Such trees need a whole support system around them, not just the usual food and water. Root systems look to intertwine and insects help the plants remain healthy. Noting these, you decide perhaps the fields need time to mend on their own, leaving the current crop to grow and tend itself. In the mean time, perhaps a new crop like harvesting the fruit would be a suitable replacement.
[[Gather the fruit you can and return for the farms.]] With the fields being tended to with the same fertilizer, maybe even crops need a change too. Knowing that Coatl consume vast amounts of leaves and high-standing plant material, they could be the reason the forest grows so strong and well. But seeking them out is a quest in itself. Asking a scout to aid you, the two of you venture deep into the jungle's deepest reaches. Coatl live unimpeded by predators, so they don't care much where they roam. That though makes their habitat hard to narrow down. Thankfully, the spread trees allow you to easily find a trail and go along it. Once you travel down them, you find your motherload. Or, your heaping helping of crap, if you would. Thankfully, instead of coming empty handed, you brought along a single-wheeled bucket and some shovels. Gathering what you could, you make the trip for the fields, a trip you take very slowly and carefully with the crap you have, and toil the field with it. After a few days, you already see a difference. The plants have already begun regaining their color and health. And you've also created a brand new job; poop harvester. Congrats!
[[Enjoy your newfound achievement, you crappy hunter you!]] Recieving the two pots, you are quickly met with another villager seeking one. Offering to trade a new smithing apron for one, you are left to think a moment. Though you do have an apron already, the age and continual use are leaving it pretty worse for wear than it should or could be. And since you craft mostly with the forges, sewing and leatherworking isn't exactly your strong suit. Agreeing to the trade, not only do you end the day with a new pot to use, but also a clean new apron to wear too. Learning a little more of how the bargain and barter system works, you know you'll fit right in.
[[Take your new things home.]] As you start to smith and hammer the new pans to shape, another villager meets you in the forge. Seeing your quality of work, they offer you another small side deal while you work on the current pans. Looking to craft a new storerack for their home, they're hoping to find some nails to hold it together. With how easy the task is, making a few nails and the pans won't take any time at all. But you do want something in return, the entire economy works this way. To compensate you, the villager offers some freshly made bread they'll bring by towards the end of the day. Wiping some sweat off your forehead, you shake the villager's hand and make the deal. As you finish off the day, you give the two villagers their things. It's some of the best bread you've ever had and that night you sleep better than you ever had. The blankets perfecting a good night with the bread as a dinner side.
[[Get some sleep and look forward to tomorrow.]] Bringing back all the crops you could find, you are unfortunately not the master gatherer you hoped. Many of your findings are potentially lethal. But, you did find a couple of diamonds in the rough. A few of the mushrooms are a rare delicacy. Some of the older villagers know their taste well, and, would trade quite a few good things for a dish made with them. Cutting your mentor into the deal who told you of your findings, the two of you prepare some food and wait for the offers to come in. With all you get, each of you take some time to think and make amazing deals. Finishing up the day, you decide that you should go shroom hunting a little more often.
[[Enjoy a great night with some new treasures.]] You may not be a master tracker, but you do know that your quarry like high places. Going to the northwest, you find the cliffs they nest high up on. Thanks to your determination in cooking, you work and try to find your way up. Thankfully, the dense trees and vines make it something you can do. Reaching the top, the Totoc are all docile and tame. Even as you pluck an egg from each nest, getting half a dozen. Surprised that they don't care, you carefully make your way back down. Apparantly they don't have predators with their remote reaches, meaning they don't lose eggs frequently. Taking back your prize, you have a lot of ideas to try out and a secret source of some new ingredients too.
[[Do some experimenting.]] Noticing a small glint in a tree trunk, you slowly approach to try and figure out what it is. As you get to a few feet from it, you suddenly hear a cracking and feel weightless for a moment. That moment though is brief before you're dragged down and land with a heavy and resounding echo into a shaded chamber. Coming to your senses as dust settles in the sunlight, you've found the outpost. It seems a sinkhole opened and swallowed it, explaining why it suddenly went missing. But within its depths, you do spot some treasures. All the stored food rotted away long ago, but, some of those spears and armor pieces are still good. Thanks to the sealed vines, they aren't too rusted and could probably be salvaged. Laying claim, you decide to head back with a little bit of treasure and the knowledge of this secret place too.
[[Take your spoils back to the village.]] Rushing over, you find that the third of your party found the outpost the hard way. A sinkhole swallowed the outpost, and the jungle grew over it. Just that wrong misstep seemed to send the scout falling down into the post. Heading down with them, the three of you peer through the dim underground to see what lies within. Much of the chamber has collapsed in, and though some rusted spears and armor lie within, none of it seems very usable. The scouts do find something though. On the south wall is an ancient map, etched in stone. Though it's outdated, it is quite the historical find. Getting a few rubbings, you at least have something while the scouts think the outpost ruins would make a good rest spot in their patrols. With all of you content, you head back for the village with your discovery.
[[Return to the village with your rubbings.]] Deciding a Great Fish needs big meals, you prepare a special treat using the day. Making a sizeable bait ball, you wait until the moon lights the waters before tossing in the bait. The ripples ring out across the smooth surface until silence overtakes the night. Letting the bait ball rest in the flowing waters, a few hours pass uneventfully. It isn't until a little between midnight and dawn that the pole in your hands jerks violently forward. If not for your planted feet you'd have been pulled in with it. Fighting the tremendous power at the end of it, you pull and struggle until you see the legend yourself. A Great Fish, as long as you are tall, erupts from a plume of foam only to dive right back down as the moon illuminated every magnificent inch. Yet the stress of handling your weight and the fish causes the string to snap. Left bewildered on the shore, you'd need a bigger fishing pole for the Great Fish. Admitting defeat for now, the fish will be bested by you one day. Just not today.
(set: $fish to 1)
[[Get some sleep and return to your normal routine.]] Waiting with your line in the deep lake, little changes in the water. Around you, the jungle is alive and well. A few rare beasts take a drink then scurry back to cover. As you wait though, you feel a few small tugs to your line. Bracing yourself, you suddenly feel the weight of something enormous draw down. The fishing poles bends down deeply, barely holding the stress with your feet dug into the dirt. Fighting as the weight feels like it slowly rises, you manage to get up...something from the lake bed. You're not sure this is the Great Fish you've heard of, but, it is something you know. The wide, flat head and gaping, whiskered mouth is a Mec. Though, you also know, this fish is all muscles, and, gigantic compared to the ones you're used to. Probably laying on the bottom, it gorged on the flow of debris and food coming down the rivers. Just before you can get its fat head to break the water, its entire body twists and pushes itself deep. Snapping your line, you flail back with a thud onto your back. Though you didn't find the Great Fish, you did find something else. A new legend, the Icomec.
(set: $fish to 2)
[[Share your new tale amongst the fishers.]] Talking not with another inventor but instead, a cook, you get a bettter idea the system to make inside your new smoker. Creating a network of racks the meat can hang on, you also have to make some extra panels to sit everything inside. Instead of extending the racks horizontally and taking more ground space, you opt for a vertical extentsion. Piling racks over the other, you gain more usable space yet sacrifice no ground area. Laboring hard on the invention, you finally get a prototype made and bring it to the cooks. A little unimpressed to begin, once they load up four times the load a regular smoker can, their attitude changes. Now, you just have to wait and let the smoker do its job.
[[Chat with the cooks and wait for the results.]] Trying to reproduce nature isn't always easy. But, you do learn a few things. First, there can be no holes in your artifical reed. Else the water will leak or the air won't let you suction out the water. Another thing is that you'll need to try and figure out a better way of getting air moving to draw the water. Talking to some crafters, they start working with you on the idea. Everyone would like a way to draw water without the effort. And together, you come up with an idea. Using a modified set of bellows, you can begin to pump air through your leather reed system. Though it needs a lot of tweaks, in time, you get water moving! Celebrating, the ability to just push down a bellow is easier than trying to haul up a bucket from any well. Though a rip forms shortly after, you do have something to work on.
[[Continue your research and your artifical reed tinkering.]] Able to get a few hours of sleep, you awake to the squealing cries of your companion pretty early. Starting to realize the labor of being a parent, you feed and give the small Onen some water. Though it gets to be an easy routine to pick up, you also feel it take its toll. But as you do continue for a few days, already, the tiny beast starts growing. First it was barely big enough to fit in a hand and now, you can see it is the size of your two palms side by side. Helping nurture the small Onen, you also learn a lot of how the entire species lives. How they herd, when they go for certain foods, and, how to approach them. Not only does this help you bond with your Onen, but, it also lets you approach other beasts more easily.
[[Continue to raise your little animal companion.]] Dozing off, you wake up to find your little Onen not only got out of its nest, but, took its nightly sleep on your stomach. You can't really be mad at the cute little thing, so you just pet it as it wakes up. The two of you almost become inseperable now. Eating together, sleeping, walking and playing. You're a proud parent of the little Onen and have also found it easier to approach and handle the other beasts too. Watching proudly, your little scaly waddler grows to fit in both of your hands in several days. Aging and growing, you know you're going to spend a lot of time with them. Talking to the handlers, and the bond you have, it's obvious. You've got a new family member and a companion who wants to escort you everywhere.
[[Enjoy life with your little scaly child.]] Arriving back to the village with the quarry in tow, the village greets your return. The younger children who are playing watch the hunting party as it goes through the quiet village. Taking the beast's remains to the crafting quarters, many of the cooks and crafters come out to inspect the kill. Already coming up with ideas of what they could make from the meat and hide, your entire hunting party is given a free dinner along with their families. Getting to join together for a triumphant dinner, the bond between you and your hunts has grown. With your first hunt done, you know much still awaits you and your days ahead.
[[Grow and mature.]] Hauling the slain beast back, your party is in great spirits for your work. Though it is a slight trek to return with the distance of the hunting grounds, your party arrives just before sunset. As you enter into the village you already see the smiles and welcoming waves of the people. Hailed in and guided to the crafting quarters, you are able to unload your hunt and leave its processing to the crafters and cooks. Rewarding your party for its hard work, the cooks have prepared a grand dinner for all members of your party and your families. Sharing a great time at the feast, you've found your place in the village. With many days ahead of you, you look forward to whatever awaits you next.
[[Grow and mature.]] Returning after the restoration, you feel as if you've been blessed by the deity who's shrine you fixed. As if a sign to that feeling being true, you find a gift left behind at your home. The Lorekeepers have gifted you with a special sash for the foresight into ensuring more visits will be conducted to the shrine. Wearing the soft violet sash across your chest, it helps fill you with pride. Not only was the hard work rewarding in spirit it also granted a way to show your dedication to the village and its deities.
[[Grow and mature.]] Though it was fun to spend the few days with the other builders, it's hard to replace your own home and bed. And on returning, it seems like the deity itself decided to reward your dedication. Gifted a ruby sash from the Lorekeepers, they heard about your choice to use and shape stone to rebuild the shrine. Such a devotion to the deity and the village's traditions has earned you their respect. Wearing the sash with pride, you finally get to lay back and enjoy your own bed again. Resting deeply, you know there are going to be many good days ahead for you.
[[Grow and mature.]] In honor of the lost Coatl, the village holds a small festival to its memory. Cherishing all the crater and jungle gift it, the villagers all uphold the wild as sacred and vital to their lives. Singing, dancing and feasting, the ceremonies continue long into the night before they slow to a stop. As the last joys of the festival tire and look for rest, you feel you made the right choice. Even if there must be a loss, it should not be one to mourn and weep. There should be a way to try and see the better of it, or, to remember and cherish the blessing that the life was before it was lost.
[[Grow and mature.]] Travelling to the Farmlands over the following days and weeks, you watch the Coatl recover more and more. Though the towering beast does require a bountiful supply of food, its height lets it feed from the trees around the Farmlands perimeter. It's only a few short weeks before its leg is mended and the beast-tenders inform you of the success. Knowing where the Coatl truly belongs, you join the tenders as they see the beast off for the Deep Wilds. Watching it slowly leave into the woodland, you know you chose the right path. All life is sacred, and as knowing how to protect it, you feel it is the village's duty to save what lives can be saved.
[[Grow and mature.]] Coming back to the village, you head for the Lorekeepers first. With how they tend and mark the maps for the hunting parties, they are the ones who should be told of the nests. Relaying your trail and the location, the Lorekeepers easily mark and ensure to copy down the information to distribute. Applauding your work, they see you off as your day comes to an end. Feeling the success of your scouting, you know you'll have a lot of great days ahead out in the jungle, doing your duty.
[[Grow and mature.]] Taking back your new discovery to the cooks, you are given a special treat in exchange for them being able to try the eggs in a recipe. Enjoying the dessert as you reach the Lorekeepers, you let them know of your findings. They decide to mark down where you found the nests but don't want word spreading too much of how easy the Totoc are to exploit. With the village's usually stable income for resources, it's best to save the Totoc nests as an emergency ration. Accepting their decisions, you know you've done well for yourself for today.
[[Grow and mature.]] Returning with your hunch to keep the reality to yourself, it does sound like the village enjoys the mystery. More villagers chat and laugh, the stories now just sounding like fun to up one another. Not sure what story you'll decide to pick or make for yourself, you're left to ponder that as the day goes by. Even as the day ends, you do feel like you've got the right mind for the work you do. Sometimes information does need to be spread, but, that doesn't always mean it has to be the correct information either.
[[Grow and mature.]] As you make it back for the village, one of the youngsters of the village heard you were doing some detective work. Curious about what you found, you decide to continue the fun and give your own story of what the wall is. Telling the young child that the wall is actually the crater's heart, the wall is meant to remind everyone how connected we are to the land. All of our hearts beat with its own. Seeing that bit of wonder in their eyes, you send the child off to play and smile. Information is a key part of the village, even if it is false at times.
[[Grow and mature.]] Exhausted after going back and forth to find the parties, some of the veteran hunters begin sharing information about the beast they encountered. Called the Xoch, the towering predators are unchallenged in the crater. Thankfully keeping to the southern stretches even beyond the Deep Wilds, they've rarely come north to the hunting ground for the village. Though some worry with this encounter, the veterans are certain it was just a fluke. There's nothing this far north the Xoch cannot enjoy in greater number and availablity in their own territory.
[[Grow and mature.]] Thanks to the rapid response of the village and guard, the village feels safer than it looks. Though all you can get on the beast is a name, the Xoch, you at least know the hunters don't seem too nervous on the matter. And as you witnessed how quickly and efficiently the guards and hunters converged, you can understand why. With how long the village has existed, it is no wonder there isn't a deep worry to the Xoch. A united and firm village and community can handle whatever might come its way.
[[Grow and mature.]] Bringing back the fruits from the wild and jungle, you share your finds with the others. Seeing your line of thought, they sadly can't provide the means to grow the same system in place for the wild fruit. But, if they do divide their focus and split it between picking the wild fruit and growing the current crop, it should meet the numbers needed for the harvest. And, thanks to the usual tedium of harvesting the fields, many are eager to be out in the jungle collecting the fruits of the wild for themselves. Finding a good solution, you and the rest of the farmers carry on and find small changes that help the days go by faster.
[[Grow and mature.]] Normally people might not approve of a crappy job. But, restoring the fields and giving the harvest its nutrients back has earned you a place of fame among the Farmlands. Granted it's because of the crap, but hey, it's far better than nothing! Getting help hauling back more loads of the fertilizer, the Farmlands quickly recover from their weaker harvest. The new addition grows larger and healthier crops. Also opening up a new task to complete, some people actually volunteer to go fertilizer hunting. Having found just what was needed, you are a little surprised that a little crap was all it took to set things right again.
[[Grow and mature.]] Putting your goods to the test, they work perfectly. The new pots and apron make cooking nice and easy for the night. Even after a slight moment of clumsiness, the apron protects your front from a bit of boiling water that splashed at you. Finishing making your meal and then shortly after devouring it, you wonder what tomorrow might bring. Perhaps the house could use some more ornaments...maybe some curtains there, or maybe, even a new set of plates too? You rest for the night, eager to see what tomorrow brings, and what deals are to be made.
[[Grow and mature.]] Enjoying the filling dinner and the refreshing sleep under the blankets, a new day dawns with new deals and work to be done. Getting more comfortable in the barter system, you find deals come quick and easy, the work often the same. Thanks to the village's simplicity, much of what is asked for and needed can be done the same day. This leaves each day with something new to barter or bargain for while also keeping everything new and shifting. Though it might be a closed market, there is always a different deal with each passing day.
[[Grow and mature.]] With how well the extra ingredients went over, you are inspired to try and make more special and rare dishes. Coming up with recipe ideas throughout the night and into the morning, you work to keep record of all your ideas. Your mentor spots your writing and peeks at your work, laughing warmly. Reminding you of how their first days cooking began, it feels to them like they are watching their younger self now. Offering some of their secret recipes from time to time, you find new joys in the kitchen working away to keep the village's stomachs full and their lips smiling.
[[Grow and mature.]] Only taking a few eggs to start on, you begin doing a little secret cooking at home. Trying out some ideas you thought of gathering the eggs, you are met with both success and failures. Trying to use the eggs for more baking than just as eggs, you find you'll need a hand. Bringing an egg with you to the cooks the next day, you find someone who agrees to show you some methods to using the eggs to their fullest. Now paired with a mentor, your days of culinary discovery are just beginning.
[[Grow and mature.]] Bringing back the antique pieces, you stop by the crafters to see what they make of them. Seeing potential in the old pieces, you're able to exchange them for some better clothes and furniture for your home. Also taking your findings back to the Lorekeepers, you fill them in on the sunken post. Adding it as a landmark to their maps, they start wondering if there may be other lost structures in the crater. Sparking a new drive for knowledge, you at least take some time to rest while everyone else starts diving and seeking. You've perhaps sparked a new gold-rush for the archives.
[[Grow and mature.]] Venturing back for the village and archives, you share your antique map with the Lorekeepers. Going over it meticulously, you see there may be other outposts littering the jungle. Though, much of them lay in the Deep Wilds, a place that'd need multiple day expeditions to explore. At least noting the success and the outpost you found, a new landmark is recorded and will allow more navigation for the hunting parties and scouts. Accomplishing your goal, you wonder what you may find next in your days following your first triumph.
[[Grow and mature.]] Adding your encounter to the growing legend, you find your tale sparks all kinds of others. Fish as long as the river, some too heavy too reel in, and some looking incredibly bizarre. It seems the fishers always enjoy a good story, keeping the mood high as they wait for their next catch. Knowing the routines of working the river too, you can't blame them. Instead, you decide to listen in on other stories. If your legend turned out to be real, what others might also be waiting for someone to land them?
[[Grow and mature.]] Eager to recount the Icomec to the other fishers, you've found you now have a fish tale worthy of the Great Fish and others. Each fisher seems to have found their own mythical quarry that just got away from them. Before you thought they might have just been telling bluffs to show off their skill. Now though, you think there may be a little more to things than you first thought. Keeping an ear open now, you wonder when you might decide to go after that mythical Icomec next.
[[Grow and mature.]] Though it doesn't give you the uniformed results you hoped for, the cooks are still quite pleased with your invention. Normally, the smokers could only do the lone rack and swapped that out when it was done. With your multi-tiered method, they can swap out each rack once it was done at different times. With the higher ones smoking slower than the bottom ones, the cooks can adjust and preserve more meats than before. Possibly saving dozens of pounds in food with the new invention, everyone is eager to see what your genius might bring next.
[[Grow and mature.]] Focusing more effort and time onto your idea, you finally succeed in making a leather-tube system and a pump for it. Setting it up into one of the central wells for the village, water can quickly be drawn by pressing a food down onto the bellows. Relieving the backs of many, you've successfully given the village its most efficient improvement in years. Celebrating your genius, your focus shifts on what you could do to top this. As one of the leading innovators now, you look to demonstrate your insight and prove the genius you have once again.
[[Grow and mature.]] Communing with the young Onen and working with the other livestock at the Farmlands, you're able to truly appreciate the delicate balance between the village and the animals of the crater. As your Onen grows more and more, a deep bond of respect has formed for you two. Seeing the Onen as your companion, it's not long before it begins tailing you on your time in the fields and with the livestock. Raising it and training it to respect the other tenders, you've shown great promise at becoming as good as the veteran tenders, possibly being the best in the generation.
[[Grow and mature.]] Allowed to accompany you home while it stays small enough, your Onen is less of a companion and more of your own child at this point. Watching proudly as it learns how to follow and keep its distance when you need it too, the growing hatchling is one of your best friends. As it grows more and more, so does your understanding and awareness of how even the animals have their own way of speaking with you and the other tenders. The days with your Onen friend are happy and peaceful, giving you both time to grow and learn.
[[Grow and mature.]] Finding success in your work and feeling fulfilled, time flies by for you. Each day goes by almost as a blur and before long weeks and months have gone by. Now coming into adulthood for the village, a new time has come to your generation. Growing old enough to seek out a partner to share your life with, you have a number of options open to you to try and pursue. There are no limits or restrictions to love, and, it all depends on what your heart wants. Thinking hard on who you might share your life with, you decide to think back to those you've grown close to or have admired from afar, or, perhaps decide you need more time alone rather than seeking a partner.
[[Pursue Auquet, your neigbor right next door.]]
[[Pursue a Pochaloc, the inventive and intelligent.]]
[[Pursue Chaaquan, a strong and capable soul.]]
[[Pursue a Valchaqli, a masterful huntress and distant heart.]]
[[Choose to remain single.]] Seeking a partner to share your life, a sweet young woman has caught your eye. Kind Auquet always helped you and your family out as you've lived your entire life next door. Always out playing or exploring together, you've enjoyed her company for a long time now. But as you went to try and find your work, the two of you started to see one another less and less. Usually working hard in the market district, you've watched her for some time. Admiring her dedicated spirit and work ethic, you'd love to learn and spend more time with her. But to begin, you have to think of what you could do to gain her attention back to you. Do you;
(if: $strength is >= 1)[ [[Show off your strength, trying to amaze her.]] ]
(if: $comprehension is >= 1)[ [[Speak honestly about your feelings, hoping she shares the same.]] ]
(if: $tenacity is >= 1)[ [[Bring her a small gift you made yourself and open up about yourself.]] ]
(else:)[ [[Think of staying friends only to enjoy her company as a friend.]] ] Perhaps it is too early to begin sharing your life. You are just finding your way and what you want to do for a living, after all. Using the time to reflect on yourself, you find it easier to adjust and accept the changes coming with age. Though, you also think of what a single life might have in store too. With the village's population, you'd have to stay at your parents home or live with another. Since the village stays humble new homes aren't made very often. Faced with another crossroads, you either have the trail travelled alone or the road shared with others. Perhaps this is one of the great crossroads to life. Taking a breath, you decide to;
[[Grow and mature.]]
[[Make your own way forward.]] Spending time around the village, there is one man you've taken a shine to. A hard-working builder, you've often chatted and kept company as he's worked hard to help rebuild and aid in the village. Usually seen hauling wooden supports or helping move stone works, Chaaquan would be a reliable and kind soul to share a life with. Having a strong man around a home with you would make for some pleasant company too. But, trying to figure out how to deepen this bond between you two, you decide to try;
(if: $strength is >= 1)[ [[Try to match his muscle with your own.]] ]
(if: $comprehension is >= 1)[ [[Approach as a friend, looking to learn more about him.]] ]
(if: $instincts is >= 1)[ [[Invite him for dinner and talk about your bond.]] ]
(else:)[ [[Enjoy your friendship and decide perhaps leaving it at that is best.]] ] Though not the feat of physical strength, you do know a rather ingenius thinker in the village. Usually stopping by to help you out and give you a new angle, that kind of friendship and aid has always been a blessing for you. Working hard on his ideas, you know he is sadly a bit of a stranger to great success. His ideas all have great merits yet he always seems to struggle just a bit in making his ideas a physical thing. Pochaloc, with the right help, could be seen as an incredinble genius. Maybe he just needs a partner to keep encouraging him until he finds his place and unravels the hurdles in his way. Deciding it's time to reward such a hidden blessing, you think on the best way to approach him.
(if: $strength >= 1)[ [[Show you could be the brawn to his brains.]] ]
(if: $comprehension >= 1)[ [[Spend some time speaking openly and deeply together.]] ]
(if: $agility >= 1)[ [[Offer your aid as a crafting partner, then also as a life partner.]] ]
(else:)[ [[Take a little time to think on what you're after and whether you're ready for a partner or not.]] ] Thinking more, there is someone you've been really admiring as you've been around the village. A great huntress, she's been able to always bring back a good quarry for the village. Earning a little bit of reverence with how she hunts, Valchaqli rarely if ever returns from anything unsuccessfully. With how devoted she normally is though, she doesn't seem to be someone for idle chatting much, always focusing on the next goal or hunt. Having a dependable and strong partner like her would be amazing. But how would you go about even approaching someone like that?
(if: $instincts >= 1)[ [[Try to impress her and show your worth.]] ]
(if: $comprehension >= 1)[ [[Build something that might help on her hunts.]] ]
(if: $tenacity >= 1)[ [[Offer to accompany her and help haul back her hunt.]] ]
(else:)[ [[Perhaps you need more time finding and figuring things out before looking for a partner like that.]] ] With how dedicated she is to helping, you decide to try and use your muscle to impress her. Helping to carry around and move what she needs through the day, though it is tiring, you help with every task. As the day comes to an end, she stops you. Asking just what is going on with you today. Deciding to come clean, you explain your logic and hopes to her about a partnership. With a sweet giggle, she pats your cheek and smiles. Though the effort was appreciated, it wasn't needed. Happily accepting your offer, the two of you come together to enjoy seeing what a life as partners will be like.
(set: $partner to 1)
[[Though, now you two could use a place of your own.]] Finding a moment during the day to talk to her, you lay out your heart and thoughts right open for her. Listening and paying attention as you explain everything, that bright smile of hers only grows. Once you've finished with your talking, she leans in and hugs you tightly. Accepting your offer, the two of you join for a partnership to see what the rest of your lives will be like together.
(set: $partner to 1)
[[Though, now you two could use a place of your own.]] Taking the time needed to fashion a proper gift for her, it takes you most of the day. Just as the village is starting to ready for night, you take your project with you and search for her. Finding her on her way home, you approach with a smile and a wave. Curious to what you have with you, you hold out the woven basket and the robe you spent the entire day making for her. Amazed at your crafting skills, you explain to her about looking to share your lives together. Swept away with your dedication to doing things right, she accepts happily. Sweetly enjoying the accepted offer, you two look ahead to a bright future.
(set: $partner to 1)
[[Though, now you two could use a place of your own.]] You decide to take the time to think a little longer, reflecting back on your choices and options.
[[Grow and mature.]] Deciding to try matching brawn with brawn, you offer to aid him for a day of work. Helping move the beams and stone the village uses for the day, you get a taste of the hard-working life he lives. At the day's end, with sweat heavy on your brow, he asks what changed to have you try your hand at the job. Explaining your hopes to grow closer and becomes partners, he just laughs and puts an arm over your shoulders. Sometimes the easiest way to learn is just to ask. But admiring the effort and lengths you went to, he offers to make dinner for you tonight and accepts your offer to become partners.
(set: $partner to 2)
[[Now, you two could look at having a place of your own.]] Letting the day end, you offer to make him dinner and talk about his day. With how hard he's been working, he'd never turn down a free meal. Getting a chance to sit and chat together, you find a lot in common and a lot of new things too. A little self-concious, he's always worried nobody thinks of him for more than his strength with his work. Assuring he is so much more, you also let it slip you were hoping to learn more to tryand become partners for life. Now also learning he's a bit bashful, he wants to see just what that might be like together too. Gaining a partnership, the two of you are ready to see what else life has in store.
(set: $partner2 to 2)
[[Now, you two could look at having a place of your own.]] With how long you two have known each other, you decide to talk about that over dinner together. Going back on your memories growing up and how though work has split you apart a bit, you've always been close. Reminiscing and smiling, he actually approaches you first about a partnership. Given that was your hopes at the start, it's an early accomplishment as you happily agree. With you two now ready for the future together, you wonder what awaits you next.
(set: $partner to 2)
[[Now, you two could look at having a place of your own.]] Maybe this isn't the route you think is best. Decide to take more time to think and grow.
[[Grow and mature.]] Deciding that you need to prove yourself worthy to her, you depart on a hunt. Looking to use your quarry as a gift for her, you aren't sure what the best prey might be. An Omete or an Onen might work, but, you also want to ensure it's something truly worthy of a huntress like her. Deciding to take down a rare beast, you've spotted a few Totoc through the canopy above. Following them, you find a narrow cliff they've nested on top of. Knowing they are a delicacy, you decide to trek up and try to bag one. Though, doing so with her on your mind as a distraction, does not end too well. Grabbing for a foothold, the stne breaks off and you can feel yourself falling back and off the rockface. Only a sharp tug saves you from free falling, though, your savior isn't exactly impressed. Pulling you up, Valchaqli asks just what the hell you're doing. A little ashamed at getting her angry, you open up about your entire trip and ideas. Laughing softly, she kisses your forehead and accepts your offer. Though she does still scold you for almost getting yourself killed for her.
(set: $partner to 3)
[[Decide where you two will call home next.]] Opting to use your brains for a gift, you work to craft a quiver for the spears she uses to hunt. With your intellect and understanding, you know you'll need to do some bartering to get the best materials. Using the day, and some of what you own to trade, you manage to get the pieces needed. Working that entire night, you not only make the quiver, but also, engrave a special spear just for her. As morning comes and sleep is calling you, you decide to get ready to go see and give her your gift. But just as you have everything on the table, you lean over it to rest your eyes. That little rest turns out to be a deep sleep, and when you wake up, you find your head is on her lap! Your rather out of normal trading caught her eye and she's been watching you work away on her gift. Giving her the two pieces, you open up about hoping it'd be worth her use. Sweetened by your diligence to her, she not only takes the gifts, she takes your offer too. Now as partners, you've taken your first steps forward into this future.
(set: $partner to 3)
[[Decide where you two will call home next.]] Knowing the hard work it takes to bring back any of the beasts around the village, you volunteer to help her on her hunt today. A little help can go a long way. Trekking way out into the jungle with her, you get to see just how she hunts. Like she's a natural part of the world, she moves easily through the dense forest and tracks even the faintest signs with ease. Caught a little in her majesty, you're snapped back as she calls for you. Moving with her, you get to see a rare sight. A young Laquan and its mother rest by a small stream. The rarely glimpsed creatures are slender things, their four slender legs giving them swift speed even through the dense jungle. Usually spoken of as tall tales or hunted down as trophies, it's rare to ever find one, let alone two of the beasts. You've never actually seen one in person, only heard tales about them yourself. Asking quietly if she'll hunt them, she shakes her head. She hunts to provide, not for the glory in it. She admits, they'd make fine trophies, but, it is disrespectful to focus only on that. A true hunter seeks not to cause suffering, and does not hunt just for the kill. Respecting and admiring her more, you slink back a bit. Though she didn't get a hunt today, you still ask if she'd take you as a partner. Seeing your wholesome intents and knowing and understanding her more, she accepts. As partners now, you've got a lot to look forward to.
(set: $partner to 3)
[[Decide where you two will call home next.]] Rushing into something like this feels a little off for you. You decide maybe you should take a little more time to think things through.
[[Grow and mature.]] Taking a stroll to his place to offer your aid, you find he's already hard at work on his latest idea. With talks of trying to ride the Smoothhides, he's decided he'd try making a saddle for the Shellbacks in the Farmlands. Offering to be the muscle and grab whatever supplies he needs, you find his list of materials and rush out to grab them. Leaving him to work away, you haul back every last item he needed and smile happily to him. As he begins to process the resources you've gathered, you also lend a hand too. Everything is going great and by the day's end, you have a prototype all done. Looking to him though, something isn't right. Moving to take a seat, you ask what's the matter. That's when you find out a completely different side to him. Lacking some self-confidence, he asks if he's just useless with how today went. Rather bewildered at the astonishing claim, he explains and fills you in on how he sees things. He's never been one of the best innovators for the village, often rather weak in trying to work with his frail form. Trying his best, he's felt it has never been enough. And when you offered and accomplished everything to easily, he felt his doubts overtake him. Comforting him, you reveal how you've always thought he's a genius. How he could come up with ideas, maybe not all good, but still try to invent and innovate at every turn. You actually feel like, without his aid at times, you'd be as useless as he thought he was. With this mutual understanding, you two realize your partnership is perfect. Agreeing, you two are ready to face tomorrow, together.
(set: $partner to 4)
[[Begin deciding where to live.]] Always a great listener and conversationalist, you decide to tackle this problem as you two always have with other matters. Speaking right in the open and forward about it. Though he's a little shy, he has felt the same things you have. And also saw the intellectual benefits as well. Sharing your lives, debating, thinking, and working together sounds like a paradise for the two of you. Seeking to bring that dream to a reality, you both accept the partnership whole-heartedly. Making great strides forward together, you two have big plans to innovate much of the village, a pair of bright minds seeking to bring about a utopia for years to come. Though, every big dream needs to start somewhere, and often, that is a small start. maybe the first thing to look at is a proper start for your pairing.
(set: $partner to 4)
[[Begin deciding where to live.]] Knowing your friend well, you also know where he needs a hand the most. Great at coming up with ideas, he doesn't quite have the dexterity or strength to always make his ideas a reality. Offering to be a crafting partner for him, he's thrilled. Almost overwhelmed at first by all the blueprints he hands you, you ask for a moment to start with a small project. Realizing he almost drowned you in his drafts, he apologizes profusely and lets you decide on a project. Starting small, you find one of the earliest ideas he pitched to you still not yet done. Meant to aid the miners collecting ore, his idea was for a stretched length of sewn hides to be spanned down the length of a cavern and back to the surface. Using some wood for rails, and a two-man operation, the idea was rather ingenius. The miner would break rock and put it on the belt, while the other on the surface would crack a wheel that'd draw the belt along and bring the ore to the surface. No lugging it through the narrow caves in crates and no tedious trips over and over again. Making a small mock-up, you two find a few improvements to make. Namely making the winding wheel with teeth and adding a few small metal bars so the winding wheel always has something to grab and tug. Though not overly efficient, you feel you have a great idea in the making. And your friend also sees something else great in the making too. Asking you to share his life with him, he offers himself as a life partner. Given that was your hopes all this time, you accept kindly. With big ideas ahead of you two, you face whatever struggles might come side-by-side.
(set: $partner to 4)
[[Begin deciding where to live.]] Wracking your brain over what to choose or do, you decide it's best to take time to really think about your life and your choices.
[[Grow and mature.]] Having come of age and sharing your life, the two of you could use a place truly of your own. Thanks to the village's generally stable population, there aren't exactly 'new' houses opening up or being built. But, that also means that not every house is taken. As some families are able to grow others, and those who choose to remain single and devoted to their work, don't take a house. Speaking with your partner, she'd love to stay close to the crafting district, but also understands that some distance might not be bad either. It seems you have a few options to pick from;
(set: $partner to 1)
[[A small, single bed-room dwelling that would be perfect for just two. And it sits just outside of the main market district.]]
[[An average sized house just on the outskirts of the northeastern parts of the village. Great for a couple looking to begin a family with that extra space.]]
[[A large homestead styled residence near the Farmlands, though, it would need some rennovations and work to be in better shape for use.]] Happily sharing your lives, you know you could use a place of your own. Though the village doesn't exactly build new houses often, there are a lot of options you still have. Your partner would love to build a house with you, making it truly your own, but also knows the effort needed for that. Eager to hear your choice, you two learn about all the options and decide to weigh each. Each one does have an appeal to it. There are three general choices for housing, with each option being tempting all on its own right.
(set: $partner to 2)
[[A small, single bed-room dwelling that would be perfect for just two. And it sits just outside of the main market district.]]
[[An average sized house just on the outskirts of the northeastern parts of the village. Great for a couple looking to begin a family with that extra space.]]
[[A large homestead styled residence near the Farmlands, though, it would need some rennovations and work to be in better shape for use.]] Generally very humble in nature, your partner thinks a nice, small home would be best for you. Knowing one is open just close to the market district, it'd make both of your lives a little easier, according to her reasoning. She could easily trade her hunts at the market and then is just a step away from being back home to you. Not often seeing this sweet side to her, you do like the idea of getting to see it more. Yet, with how she likes to live, perhaps somewhere a bit closer to the wilderness would be more to her liking than the village. You and her sit down and take a good moment, rolling over each idea before deciding to pick one as your future home.
(set: $partner to 3)
[[A small, single bed-room dwelling that would be perfect for just two. And it sits just outside of the main market district.]]
[[An average sized house just on the outskirts of the northeastern parts of the village. Great for a couple looking to begin a family with that extra space.]]
[[A large homestead styled residence near the Farmlands, though, it would need some rennovations and work to be in better shape for use.]] With your partner and your life both shining, you decide to think about where to live. Thanks to the village's ways, not many new houses are made these days. But, there are options left for both of you to think on. Debating on which would work best for the two of you, your partner thinks that a fair-sized home would be best. A place that has room for you two and the future, hopefully a family. It seems your partner was hoping he'd make a fine dad one day. Seeing his merits, you also think of your needs too, and, of your lifestyles. With how your partner builds, maybe the more room the better is the best fit. But, you also could use a small place just to start with and see too. You both have options, and look them over one last time before picking one to start with.
(set: $partner to 4)
[[A small, single bed-room dwelling that would be perfect for just two. And it sits just outside of the main market district.]]
[[An average sized house just on the outskirts of the northeastern parts of the village. Great for a couple looking to begin a family with that extra space.]]
[[A large homestead styled residence near the Farmlands, though, it would need some rennovations and work to be in better shape for use.]] Deciding the small, village-centered home best, you two move in. Though, you also learn quickly that space can be a resource. Not much of a material village, there are still things you want to keep with you as you move in. Squeezing everything in, the two of you work together and make it work. Looking around, the house feels warm and cozy. It's perfect for you. Sharing your life, having your own home, you've come a long ways in your life. With much further to go still, too.
[[But life always has its changes to it.]] Thinking further ahead into the future, the house just on the village's outskirts should meet both you and your partners needs. With ample room for both of what you brought with you, you also see the potential for much more. Family, friends, and just extra space to work with. Settling into your own home, you and your partner love it. Having come so far in your life, finding your role and a partner, you're in paradise. And your journey is still far from done.
[[But life always has its changes to it.]] Taking on the most ambitious route, you and your partner decide to take the plot of land out by the Farmlands. There are only a few who dwell outside the village, and the homes aren't too close. Taking on the project, you and your partner work hard to build your ideal home. With some help from your families and the village, it comes together just like you dreamed. A beautiful, new home for you and your partner. Ample space for family and friends alike, you two have made it exactly how you wanted. Settling in and moving in, it's an ideal home. That warm, homely feel just fills you whenever you enter. Living happily with your partner, the two of you look on to the bright future ahead.
[[But life always has its changes to it.]] For now, you take the lonesome road. Looking to determine more of your life, you focus on yourself and your journey. Though the quiet path isn't often take, it isn't without its rewards and benefits. Striving out alone, pursuing your path, it's what we all eventually do anyway. Facing the future alone, you know that it's not always going to be easy. But you won't let that stop you. You're alive and have your own trail to blaze.
[[But life always has its changes to it.]] As your life continues, the days turns to weeks and weeks to months. Time flies and so too, does age. Growing and settling into your usual routine now, the village's true peace and prosperity grows more evident. Having the chance to have tried every role the village has to offer, you find that not only does it sustain itself with room for losses or sudden turns, but the population cap also lets a greater bond form between everyone. Enjoying the simple days ahead, you enjoy a soft stroll through the market district. Bustling and busy, you can see all walks of the village present. Young and old, busy minds and lazing muscle. The calm day though shatters with a sudden, deafening quaking from the forest just east of the markets. As in control as the village seems, there is something that cannot be tamed.
[[As nature can never truly be controlled.]] Baffled, the dense woodland to the east rumbles, flocks of birds fleeing rapidly for the air. A jaw-dropping crimson eruption of shattered trunks and wooden shrapnel breaks into the market and sends the village into a panic. The cause of the outburst stands tall and enraged, a sight only told about living within the true deep wilds of the crater. Standing on a pair of massive legs, easily the size of the trees it just rammed through, is the apex predator of the entire crater. Crimson streaks of blood run down its immense hide of thick scales. Its two forelimbs, lifted from the ground look like immense cleavers awaiting to be dropped. Its eyes, deep and emerald stare amongst the panicked crowd as your eyes cannot leave the beast. This is the Xoch, the one thing the village fears. A short breath lets deep clouds of vapor leave its snout, something about it chilling your spine. You suddenly realize its been remaining still just as you have, at least, only for now. There isn't much time before it'll start moving. You decide to;
[[Flee with everyone else. Saftey in numbers.]]
[[Try to draw it from the markets. There's no telling how many it could harm let alone kill.]]
[[Find something to try fighting it. The guards need all the help they can get.]] The massive size of the towering beast is too much to take on unprepared. Rushing with everyone else, you feel the entire earth seem to tremble as those cleaver-like claws slam down to the ground. Turning your head back, you witness the terror only prey feels. The titanic beast starts barreling down the main district road after everyone, instincts causing it to hone onto the fleeing crowd. The sounds of snapping wood and crashing stone ring out in a horrendous cacophany as you keep sprinting. Looking ahead, you know you don't have much time before it'll catch up to you and the crowd. Some have begun to splinter into the small alleys between buildings. What could you do though? Gazing ahead as your head jerks and bobs, you try to determine what routes are open.
(if: $agility >= 1)[ [[Duck into a small side alley, leaping and hoping its safe as the beast seems driven to chase the crowd.]] ]
(if: $comprehension >= 1)[ [[Guide some people near the supports along the marketway. See if you can slow it down as you all flee.]] ]
(else:)[ [[Keep sprinting as long as you can. You don't have an option to stop now.]] ] Rushing by the stalls, you quickly grab a metal pan and a hammer. How you grabbed these two things you don't know, but, it doesn't matter right now. Starting to slam them together, you begin hollering as well. Breaking off from the main crowd you manage to get those piercing eyes focused on you. It seems your display makes the predator slow, eyeing you up sharply. As everyone runs off, you've made yourself the only focal point of the Tyrant. Now, you're faced with a lone instinct as the beast is slowly stalking towards you. Fight, or flight.
(if: $instincts >= 1)[ [[Keep facing the predator and making noise. It's curious, and if you don't provoke it, you can stall it here.]] ]
(if: $agility >= 1)[ [[Start bolting through the narrow alleys. You know a way back out to the jungle where you could lead it to protect the villagers who escaped.]] ]
(else:)[ [[Keep watching the Xoch. You...don't really have another option, literally staring down death's jaws.]] ] In the chaos of the broken stalls, you spot one of the guard's spear laying on the ground. Hopefully a guard only dropped it, you rush and pick up the weapon. Seeing the beast about to break into a full charge. You rush in and land a piercing stab against its left forelimb. A howling yelp leaves it and you find yourself staring down death's jaws with its ferocious stare concentrated on you. The gaze feels like it goes straight through you as you managed to stop the beast's rampage. Though now, you're facing down something you never imagined anyone could really survive.
(if: $strength >= 1)[ [[Give it a fight! You're not backing down now!]] ]
(if: $instincts >= 1)[ [[Stand your ground! You're not the only predator today!]] ]
(else:)[ [[You stopped it, but, you don't really think you can do much more.]] ] Lunging for a small alleyway, you make it just as you hear the market behind you turn into a terrifying disaster. Hiding in your spot, you see the dust from the ruined market start settling and witness the guards and hunters rushing to chase down the Xoch. Slowly coming out, you quickly hear cries for aid and help. Looking back, you've never witnessed something this crushing. The buildings are broken, looking like a ruin as people are trapped underneath and injured. With the guards and hunters handling the beasts, you have work here that needs to be done.
[[Rush in and start helping however you can.]] Managing to speak and get some others to travel with you, a small group of you begin rushing near the columns of some of the market buildings. As the Xoch focuses on your group, it bashes and smashes through the supports. As it does, the falling buildings slow and delay it from reaching you. But its roars are more than enough to keep everyone sprinting for their lives as they wind down the road. Hearing soft shouts and hollers, your group dcusk along a small alley and witnesses the armed guards and hunters already fighting against the monstrous predator. Seeing them leading it away from the village, you also see the wake of destruction left behind. Starting for the wake, you see people hurt and in desperate need of aid.
[[Rush in and start helping however you can.]] Fatigue and exhaustion set in. Looking back, the last sight you see is one of those giant cleavers coming down on top of you. You don't even make a sound before you're crushed and cleaved under the immense weight.
[[Your life has come to its end.]] Your loud distraction keeps the Xoch's focus on you as you slowly back your way towards a narrow alley. Hoping it can't demolish the buildings on either side, you back right in and duck down for cover as the Xoch suddenly realizes you've gotten yourself hidden. Its large forelimbs begin to claw and pound against the structures, the ground quaking and dust an debris starting to fall down. Through the chaos you hear the shouting and hollering of people, your plan to buy time having worked. Gazing up, you see a flurry of arrows land into the scaly hide of the predator. With a vicious snarl, it begins rushing off, the village's guard and hunters all in hot pursuit. Starting to get up, you find the tight quarters you hid in have become even tighter. Some of the building came down over you, binding you in place for now. Though not injured, you will need time to get free. As people rush back to help the wounded, you send them on ahead. You know others are in far worse shape than being stuck like you are.
[[Struggle and dig yourself out.]] Getting the predator's eyes on you, you begin your mad dash for survival. Rushing through the alley's narrow passages and alleys, you hear the hunting Xoch close on your tail. Rushing through the crahsing stalls and crumbling buildings, you weave your trail through the village's district and suddenly find yourself looking to a wall of green. Rushing into the jungle, you hear the snarling maw behind you is still hunting you. Now, free from the buildings and into the dense jungle, you have more obstacles to slow you, but also, slow the Xoch. Sliding under roots and hopping over fallen trunks, you spot a deep burrow under a towering tree. Bringing your arms tight to your chest, you leap and slide right down into the buried shelter. The dirt and soil shakes and crumbles as the Xoch's weight begins clawing to try and reach you. Thanks to the ancient roots, all the beast does is claw off the bark from the root system. And as you wait, you hear salvation on its way. A rush of guards and hunters begin assaulting the Xoch, driving it off and giving you some breathing room. As they pass, you crawl out and start back for the village. There's a lot of people who are going to need help.
[[Run back towards the aftermath.]] Though successful, you don't really have a plan now. Looking on in awe and shock, those giant jaws part and lunge for you. The final sight in your eyes is of the large fangs coming in to clamp down upon you.
[[Your life has come to its end.]] Holding your footing, you jab and show you won't back down in front of the rampaging Xoch. Proving your trouble, you've managed to stall it until the guards and hunters can be heard coming to aid you. Hearing this as well, the Xoch recognizes the numbers difference and makes for a retreat. As it flees back for the jungle, you hand off your weapon to one of the guards and rush to help tend the aftermath of the beast's path. As much as you might want to help take it down, there are people who desperately need help first.
[[Try and aid with the clean-up.]] Waving the spear and yelling at the Tyrant, you stand firm and hold your footing. Not looking to provoke it, but instead, keeping calm and firm, the Xoch takes time to eye and judge you. Keeping its focus, you've stalled it long enough for the guard and hunters to catch up. As their voices make the beast turn to see them, you quickly duck from sight. Now, facing the resistance of the numbers against it, the beast turns and flees through the market back to the jungle. Watching it run, then, followed by the guards and hunters, the village is again secure. But, it is in need. The beast's rampage has left much in ruins, and people hurt. Rushing forth, you know what you need to do.
[[Try and aid with the clean-up.]] Seeing the sheer size of the Xoch, you've come to understand your place before it. Not on your knees, but standing, you watch your death open and lunge to bite down on you. A brave stand, a valiant last stand.
[[Your life has come to its end.]] Shaking off the dust and dirt from yourself, you rush over to help the trapped and wounded. Helping lift broken stone and beams, the village tries to save as many as it can with the wake of destruction. As everyone rushes for bandages and splints, you hear a faint crying in one of the caved in homes. Rushing to it, you find a young child trapped by how the stone fell into the home. Calling over more support, you and the rescue party carefully prop the stone up. Calling the child to you, they meekly seek your arms. Scooping them up and comforting them, you start leaving just as the building caves in further. Saving the life, the rescue party feels some success but there is still much to do.
[[Try and aid with the clean-up.]] Though perhaps not how you thought things would unfold, not all paths end at the same point. Meeting ones end is rarely sought out, but, it doesn't always mean that it is truly the end for the tales of 'Tloatl'. You could either seek to let the story end here, or, allow yourself to choose your paths and see what other outcomes lay in wait. The choice is yours.
[[A New Story]] Getting yourself freed from the debris, you can already hear cries of pain and for help. Many of the villagers are already returning and trying to help save those hurt or trapped by the chaos. Quickly sent to help with the rescue parties, you work on bandaging and even stitching closed some of the deeper wounds that those who were caught in the midst of the rampage suffered. As a few guards return, they look to see what work you've done and if anyone needs their aid. Sending those guards to trail the beast and ensure it won't return, you set out to try and help anyone else that you can. With all that happened, you know there have to be far more injuries amongst the village.
[[Try and aid with the clean-up.]] Thanks to the beast's incredible size, much of the district is in ruin. Homes are collpased in on themselves and dust clouds still block some sight through the village. Hearing the suffering cries, you and other start tending to the wounded and injured. One of the worst cries you ever hear comes from a small alleyway. Looking down it, you've found one of the villagers pinned down by a great slab over their chest. Too heavy to move alone, you hold their hand as they grow paler and colder. Even if you had the help to move it, it'd have been too late. Comforting their last moments, you feel the life passing right in your arms. Hollow at the sudden death, the world seems to silence around you. It isn't until another desperate cry rallies you to rush and help. One life was lost, you'll do your best to see no others are if you can help it.
[[Try and aid with the clean-up.]] The true account of the damages comes to the whole of the village a few hours after the last dust settles. With the rampage from the Xoch, at least half of the trade quarters are in complete rubble. Shops, tools, homes, so much was lost in the span of just a few minutes. And amongst the village, there were worse losses. At least two dozen suffered serious injuries. Eight needing amputations with how their limbs were crushed in the chaos of the collapse and crashes. Six suffered broken bones, either from the debris or from being trampled in the fleeing masses. And then the final ten, though with deep wounds, thankfully came off luckier. However, the worst of the tragedy were the deaths. With the grip of fear in them, some sadly fell and were crushed in the chaotic events. Others were killed when they were struck by the crumbling village. With the total gathered, the village suffered nine deaths in total in a single day. Though perhaps small compared to the full population, the truth stung far more once accumulated. That one event resulted in thirty-three casualties. Almost a sixth of the entire village suffering in the span of barely twenty minutes.
[[But those were not the only things wrought by the Xoch.]] As the weight of the harm done burdened the shoulders of all, the guard and hunters had come back with a sudden change to the world as they all knew it. Recounting their effort against the Xoch, they managed to bleed it out and bring it down with continued effort and chasing. But at its end, chasing it to its fall, the dying beast sparked a great change. Collapsing against a stretch of cliff-face that'd become known in rumors as the 'Knocking Wall', it created a chain reaction as its massive weight slammed the stone. Knocking down the heavy rock, it was like a curtain fell to reveal something entirely different than they'd ever seen before, no, than anyone had ever seen before. There were no words they could describe it with, only ushering people to see for themselves. But with the dead needing their rest, that would come later. First, the Passed needed to be put into their eternal places of slumber.
[[Fulfill your duty to honor the Passed.]] Encountering death for the first time in your life, this was a learning lesson for many in the village. Usually, the traditions to put the Passed to rest were more intimate and personal with those who lived with the Passed. But with how many were lost, now, all the village mourned. The first step was to transport the Passed to the site of sanctity. Placed onto a flat bed with a pair of long poles on the sides, each Passed was hoisted overhead and carried to the sacred site for the ritual. Held over a dark, rectangular pit, the Passed were given a ceremonial verse to bless their eternal sleep, before being lowered down into the pit. Within this chamber, the life that was lost returned to the earth and its beasts, the flesh and blood stripped away by the creatures until only bone remained. With how many were lost this time, three were lowered per time into the darkness. After a day had passed, the beds were drawn back up, only scarlet-stained bones left. From here, the Passed were then carried back to the village, ready to be cleaned and placed amongst the Hall of Sleep.
[[Carry on.]] Once brought to the Hall, the Lorekeepers prepared the remains for their rest. Thoroughly washing and cleaning the remains, the bones washed to be a soft white hue. Now ready to receive their place of rest, they were placed to rest into a small box with the skull resting on the top of it. Marched down long stretches of the previous generations, the nine who lost their lives were honored and put to rest as the newest Passed to join the rest. Carefully set to rest on the shelves, the way deeper into the Hall had no remains while the village's entire past lined the ways back to the entrance. With a prayer and verse to see the Passed off to their sleep, the ceremonies slowly came to their end several days after the chaos erupted. With this the first time you've entered the Halls of Sleep you saw for yourself the long legacy of the village. Hundreds of remians sat on the shelves, each skull a person who preceeded you. Feeling that length first-hand, it left you with a lot of questions. And you weren't alone. For many, this first entry into the Hall left them with many questions needing answers.
[[Unfortunately, more questions arose with what happened to the 'Knocking Wall'.]] Though the deaths brought mourning to the village, talk abounded about the other result of the Xoch's rampage. The 'Knocking Wall' already was a hot topic in the village, though, it had an answer that satisfied many. Now, skeptics were baffled and the truth was hard to believe. Behind the cliff-face was now something beyond reasoning or explanation. Now, it was named the 'Gate'. A massive piece of intircate, advanced stonework that seemed buried beyond time measurable. Detailed engravings without words spanning every smallest inch that depicted much the crater in a stylized, sharp angled artform. But the biggest attraction for the eye was the 'Lock'. A giant, stone and gold structure at the middle of the 'Gate' with no openings, keyhole, or answers to its purpose. The only reason it was given the name the 'Lock' was because of how it rested within the middle of the giant stonework slabs. Baffling and alluring the village, it created a stir not just in the talk of the villagers, but, within their minds too.
[[Something changed...]] Never in your life did you think you'd witness what is unfolding before your eyes. Once, the village was gathered in unity and working side-by-side without issue. Now, today? A divide is building. Two main arguments begin to rise and form with every mention of the 'Gate'. Half want to open it, a sign that the Xoch might mean something with the lives lost in its rampage. The other half, seek to keep it closed and avoid it. If it was buried away and so well hidden, it never should have been revealed again. As the talks grow and people's minds start becoming set, and the sudden divide feels more drastic. For the first time in your memory, people argue and feel at odds to each other with firm, and angry stances to their ideals.
[[But work must carry on.]] Even as the talks and arguments grow, the main goal of the village's well-being comes first. Returning back to the more normal routine after the losses and the revelation of the 'Gate', there is plenty of work left to do.
(if: $builder is 1)[ [[After the destruction wrought inside the village, a new drive is focused on fortifyting the village to prevent another tragedy.]] ]
(if: $hunter is 1)[ [[Despite the slaying of the last Tyrant, there is still unrest to the village as a whole. It's time to determine where the Tyrant came from.]] ]
(if: $guard is 1) [ [[After how many lives were lost by the rampage, the guard is now stepping up. Now, every able villager is going to be given lessons with weapons.]] ]
(if: $scout is 1) [ [[With the talk within the village and the opnions of the 'Gate', a new role for scouts has come up. Patrolling the 'Gate'.]] ]
(if: $runner is 1) [ [[Before you helped to learn more of the rumors of the Wall, but now, even more have begun and are causing problems regarding the 'Gate'.]] ]
(if: $messenger is 1) [ [[As the village begins focusing on the 'Gate', a new need to ensure any changes or happenings are forwarded to the village.]] ]
(if: $farmer is 1) [ [[With the deaths of the rampage, a new need to keep the village together has risen. Now, more of the village wants to try getting less people in the Farmlands in case of another Tyrant.]] ]
(if: $crafter is 1) [ [[Following the damage and terror of the Xoch, a new demand for weapons has grown. Now, weapons are sought by almost everyone in the village.]] ]
(if: $cook is 1) [ [[In the days following the loss of the village's Passed, a depression and tension has arisen. It's time for a good home-cooked meal to try and fix that.]] ]
(if: $lorekeeper is 1) [ [[While everyone else seeks to repair, the Lorekeepers are in chaos. How did something like the 'Gate' never get recorded?]] ]
(if: $fisher is 1) [ [[With the focus on loss and sadness, it's time to ignite the village with hope. Now, the test to land the Legend you once saw has come alive once more in your heart.]] ]
(if: $innovator is 1) [ [[Always focusing on aiding the village and keeping things running smoothly, now, you're being tasked to create something else. Something meant to bring harm.]] ]
(if: $beasttender is 1) [ [[While everyone seems too lost and caught in mourning or drama, you still have a friend and companion to tend. Perhaps focusing on your bestial comrade will help distract you from the growing unrest.]] ] With the destruction so vivid still in the village's mind, a new want for security emerges. The answer to that is to fortify the village in a way that immediately brings a feeling of safety. To do that, a perimeter wall is decided to be erected. Beginning immediately, the focus is on a rapid defense made quickly. To do this, the material is chosen to be wooden pikes with sharpened tips so anything that tries breaking through might harm itself in trying. Working away, you begin to see the change that's been brought to the village. Instead of feeling connected with the world around the village, this wall feels like it's starting to severe those ties and make you lose sight of the harmony once revered by the village.
[[Try to persuade changes to the wall, maybe the whole village doesn't need to be fortified.]]
[[Continue erecting the defenses, it's a necessity with what happened.]] Though the Xoch was a natural enemy, some still want blood and answers. As part of the hunters, you also want to do something more about what happened. Putting your focus into the Xoch, the entire hunting party of the village agrees to start locating where the Xoch dwell. If they can locate their lands they can then monitor and be better informed of when or if another great predator makes its way too close to the village. Departing into the deep wilds of the crater, a choice comes up that has split the hunters down the middle. If they can find a way to drive any Tyrants they find away, it'll help prevent more possible encounters with the village. Or, as the oposition argues, it'll provoke them to bring them closer to the village. Facing the decision, you have to pick a side to pursue.
[[Put your vote into the half watching the Xoch. We don't need a repeat of what just happened.]]
[[Get some vengeance for those killed. If the Xoch can be repelled, the village will feel the losses weren't in vain.]] With how damaging the rampage was, the village must ready itself better. The guard has now begun to train all able villagers to fight. Dividing into a morning and afternoon shift, you are tasked to aid and train everyone on your shift to be capable of defending themselves with a variety of weapons. The village, after the deaths, has become open to this new training. Assigned to the afternoon shift, you are in charge of five villagers, ranging from a youth at the youngest of nine to an adult at the age of thirty nine. All of them seem to take the training well at first, but, the youngest child seems to be more focused on playing than focusing.
[[Scold them and discipline them on the importance of the training.]]
[[Spend more focus one-on-one with them, explaining and guiding their training more than the others.]] With how on edge the village has become regarding the 'Gate' the scouts are filling in for the guard regarding the 'Gate' and its watch. Dividing into day and night shifts, the scouts watch and ensure nobody tries to do anything stupid to the 'Gate' as the village works to rebuild and reunite on what to do about it. Given a dreary night shift, your patrol is quiet and uneventful. It's not until about midnight that you spot a small light along the 'Gate'. Rushing in, you find a group of young villagers wide-eyed at being caught. Though breaking the warnings the village agreed on, they don't have tools or look to be doing more than investigating the 'Gate' for themselves.
[[Tell them they can go with a warning, but this is the only exception they will be allowed.]]
[[Keep it a secret and talk with them about their ideas about the 'Gate', the village needs to find a way to reunite again.]] You miss the old days. Where the only talk was wild rumors of the 'Knocking Wall' and everyone enjoyed them with a smile or a laugh. Now, with the Passed and the 'Gate', the tension is clear among the village. Now though, you find the messages you run are feeling off. Headed towards distinct spots for certain people, only passing along strange lines and letters. Going on another of these strange messages, you're stopped by one of the village's elderly. Finally, you get some possible clarity. It seems there have been some small gatherings in the village discussing the 'Gate' and opening it. And you, and the other messengers, have been working to aid them. Now, you're left deciding on what to do.
[[Continue to run the messages around. You are only doing your job, and, you don't want to cause further discord.]]
[[Spread the news to the other messengers. This feels like it could get out of control with how tense everyone is.]] Working in conjunction with the scouts, the messengers are relaying any changes or developments from the 'Gate' while also keeping the village informed of changes and development. In matters regarding the 'Gate', no news is good news as you can focus on keeping the village as the top focus. However, you've also been finding more and more people growing irritable and impatient. One small group seems to be the focus of this. Working at the innovators, a demand has been growing high for supplies and materials the messengers are being tasked to bring.
[[Figure out what's behind the stress on the innovators.]]
[[Learn anything you can about the 'Gate'. Any answers must be able to help.]] As the village has recoiled from its attack, a new urge has grown to bring in as many of the outlying people as possible. Thus, a new change is looking to be made that would limit the time spent beyond the village's limits. Normally, the Farmlands is a short hike from the village, but now, the goal is to bring the Farmlands to the village. Headed-up by some of the older farmers, the idea is to make the rooves or the second floors of the village and to keep the space open to sunlight. Though the workers on the Farmlands don't exactly like the idea, a sense of unity is definitely needed for the village.
[[Volunteer to help with making these new farm-spaces. See if this could be a viable change.]]
[[Remain working the Farmlands. You chose to be out there in the fields for a reason.]] With the aftermath of the Xoch's rampage, the guard has put in high numbers for new weapons to supply the entire village. Shifting your focus, as well as nearly every other crafter, you all undergo the work of preparing new and better weapons for the demand. With the village arming itself, there is a race going on to meet the needs and competition for every resource out there. As more products are rushed out, there also grows to be disatisfaction to the quality of the metals and arms produced. Feeling the stress building more and more, you decide you could use a shift to your work to better focus again.
[[Head to the mines. At least bashing against those stone walls will produce more resources to use.]]
[[Look at helping harvest the lumber. Some time swinging an axe should help blow off some of this building stress you have.]] Nobody knows the woes of the village better than you and your other cooks. Seeing the depression and hearing the chatter as they eat, you can see the village is sorely aching from its heart. Feeling down as you prepare the best meals you can, it still doesn't seem to be enough to help mend the tensions and divides. Putting a firm foot down, you aim to fix that. A good, home-made meal has always been a way to bond and connect a family. And with the village one large family, you are going to do all you can to mend its weeping heart. All you need to do is determine the dish to bring back some cheer to the village.
[[Craft a hearty and filling feast for dinner. Let's get everyone together to sit down and eat.]]
[[Share a special treat only made during the sacred days of the year. If there was ever a need to remember those times, this is it.]] One of the biggest issues is the lack of answers regarding the 'Gate'. As one of the Lorekeepers, this has sent your entire group into a panic. Going into the deepest records and trying to get any semblance to what the 'Gate' is or why it exists. Even the oldest of tomes, fraying apart, have become treasures to scour for answers. Each day, more villagers come seeking answers you just don't have. Remembering what happened to you long ago with the outpost, perhaps there's an answer there. Quickly talking about it to a few others, they agree. It's worth a shot since nothing is turning up in the village. But at the same time, the tablets used are so old and the records so vast, maybe you'll find an answer here. It's elft to you to decide how you wish to embark on this duty.
[[Keep helping in the village, see if you can figure out something.]]
[[Depart for the outpost. If it was forgotten, maybe it still holds older records there.]] Though you and the fishers work out of the village, even its tension and gloom carried to the waters. Slowly bringing in each catch, there is a depression as everyone toils away. Normally the group is alight with laughter and tall tales. But in the wake of the Passed, only coldness has been left. The fishers need an inspiration, a goal, a legend come true. A legend you witnessed yourself. You tried when you didn't know your craft. Now, oh, now is the time to spark stories again and land a living legend for yourself!
(if: $fish is 1)[ [[Take on landing the Great Fish!]] ]
(if: $fish is 2)[ [[Put yourself to the test and land the Icomec!]] ] As an innovator, you always looked to bring efficiency and innovation to the village. Think of new and better ways to help and grow the village. Yet, now, in the wake of loss, a new task falls onto you. Never before have you had to put your mind to work like this. Tasked by the guards and hunters, you've been asked to create new ways to defend the village. To invent a way to kill a Xoch. This is the first you've ever been asked to try and make what you invent do harm to something. Feeling this dread of the unknown as you think, you know that the Xoch has been hunted by spears and bows. But they've been too small for such a giant task. That stand to reason that the means to inflict some harm or fell one might rely in a larger tool for the job. That puts you and your innovators to work devising a prototype. Your focus decides to land on;
[[A larger spear. Maybe there's a way to reinvent even the simple spear.]]
[[A greater bow. The mechanics are easy enough for one to hold in your hand. What about one ten times its size?]] Something drew you to tend the beasts out in the Farmlands and in the recent turbulence of the village, you seek that isolation again. Fearing how the village seems to be dividing, you need any escape from the talk and rumors spreading. Venturing out onto the fields of the Farmlands, it helps to alleviate some of the tension. Yet as you spend your time tending your friend and the other creatures of the Farmlands, you know something is deeply amiss. As talk has grown more, the Farmlands is looking to make a drastic change. The farmers are already seeking to bring their focus and even their work within the village. And with that, it means the Farmlands, and the livestock, would be abandoned and set free. Thinking this over in the fields, your companion nudges your hand. How could you part? But, if another Xoch came, and they found the Farmlands...it'd be a massacre of the poor trapped livestock.
[[Fight to keep the Farmlands. You can't just send the livestock off and hope they survive.]]
[[Accept that the livestock might be harmed if another attack happens. It's time to accept some hard decisions.]] Seeing how disconnected the village is beginning to become, you try and raise your concerns. Though finding sympathizers, you also find opposition. The families of those killed stand as strong opponents to the proposition brought forward by your like-minded comrades. Putting any weakness into the defenses to them is just inviting more death to fall on them. Infuriated you'd even propose such a thing, they begin targetting you and suggest you want to see more harm fall onto the village. Never before have you felt yourself attacked like this, nor, has the village ever grown so bitter on a matter. Accepting their wishes with their losses, the village erects its perimeter wall. Looking back to the wall, where you once saw the wilderness, you feel a sorrowful change. Something has been introduced into the village, dividing itself and its people. Though you hope otherwise, you can't help shake the feeling this isn't the end to such changes.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Working away, the bright green jungle is soon lost to a wall of towering lumber. The carved walls span the full village, a few gates placed to provide entry and exit. But beyond those, everything feels so seperated and isolated now. Some find security in it, arguing that nothing would naturally come close or try to get beyond the walls. Others though feel it blocks and removes the village from the natural balance it had to the entire crater. Dividing people by their beliefs, the wall at least should serve its purpose to protect and defend everyone inside its walls. The village used to look modest and welcomg to you. Now, looking at the towering pikes that border it, you feel a confinement you've never quite experienced before. Hopefully though, everyone will rest a little easier and the tension will pass in the minds of the village.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] A little annoyed at the idea of provoking the beasts that just rampaged through the village, you vote strongly against disturbing them. Trying to argue, with others, to limit the hunts the hunters take to give the Xoch more food in the wild, you achieve your point. With the deaths and injuries from but a single Xoch, the opposition to your beliefs begrudgingly do admit they see what could happen. Noting and marking where the Xochs' territory begins, the hunters depart back for the village. Now, restricting the hunting grounds, there is a greater sense of safety than there was before the Tyrant lands were found. Though, the divide on the matter doesn't feel like it is truly over. Instead, it feels like those kinds of discussions and divides are just beginning to form.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Rallying with a few other hunting parties, you hold a majority over the matter with your side. Assaulting the Xoch, you work to take on a large female resting in an open field. Making it roar with anger and then anguish as your numbers overwhelm it, the mighty beast drops dead at your battle's end. Cheering and roaring in triumph, you find the victory hollow and bittersweet as one of your fellow hunter's points out something in the treeline. Gazing out, you spot a few small things that had watched the entire battle. Young, juevenille Xoch look on, soft cries heard as your cries of victory settled. Watching on, a tightness holds your chest and gut. You took the blood for the blood the village lost, but was it just? Killing a Tyrant mother and leaving its young orphans, the hunting parties who participated vow to at least put the slain Xoch to full use. After harvesting the downed beast, you're left empty. The village always kept harmony, even with the predators of the crater before. What happened to bring this almost cruel bloodlust to your people?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] With your memories of the rampage still clear and vivid, you start scolding the youth on the importance of the village. Disinterested in your reasoning, they don't even pay attention when you speak to them. Ignoring all the harm that befell the village, the danger you were in, the ignorance builds to a boiling point. Raising a hand, you yell harshly to the youth, but, keep your temper from growing too strong. Shocking them and frightening them, you've at least gained their respect through fear. With that matter resolved, the training continues without issue. Having succeeded in preparing your shift, you still feel off about the matter. Teaching the youngest to hold and fight to kill, did things really need to come to this? Also looking back on yourself and your actions, the sudden anger you had surprised you too. You'd never been so tense or enraged at anything before. Why did it come up so suddenly now?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Spending time to speak more with the youth, one on one, and help them more, your hard work shines. Focusing and working to impress you, the youth gains the skills more easily. The rest of those you trained also commend and applaud your patience in these trying days. Though your group takes longer to train overall, you successfully do so. Unimpressed with the greater time needed though, you find other guards don't show you the same respect as before. Some show you more, others less. Differences like these weren't present in the village, the unity and equality that once seemed universal now feels like a memory. Had times truly changed so greatly in the short time after the Xoch's rampage?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Discovering the small band of youths, you decide they won't receive punishment, so long as they immediately leave. Frightening them off, you continue your rigid patrol. Growing firm with the power to send the young off, the 'Gate' doesn't interest you as much as protecting it does. Instead of questioning what or why it is here, you just hold onto your duty to guard it. Other scouts have also started getting into your mindset, turning into a guard even more strict and cold than the village's guards can be. Is this what power can do, or what duty must bring? Do you even question it, or, do you just carry on?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] After speaking to the young band, you see they meant no harm in coming to the 'Gate'. Knowing you are one of the only scouts patrolling at this time, you decide to walk the 'Gate' with them. They ask you for your opinions of the 'Gate', what it is and why it is here. Not really having any answers, you feel that despite the late work and being out of the village, you're still closer to it than you thought. But, as you finish walking the group to their ending point, another scout hollers at you harshly. Moving to meet them, you send the band of youths home. Getting into an argument about punishing them and not doing your duty, tempers rise but things end without action. Since when did the village, no, since when did you or your fellow scouts ever get so angry at one another?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Encountering this possibly shady matter, you decide to not stir any further unrest. Just going between the group and delivering the messages you were tasked with, you try to keep apart from these forming groups. As you work, you find the divide only keeps deepening on the matter and of the 'Gate'. Some see it as a test by something, others a warning. Building wild thoughts and ideas, your deliveries also begin to include sealed packages and boxes. You used to know exactly what you were taking from place to place. But now, each thing you carry is a mystery and nobody is looking to reveal the answers to you. Back when you used to run messages around happily and receive praise for the work were good days...where are those days now?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Sharing what you were told with other messengers, they too have encountered this unnerving pattern. Speaking as a group and trying to find answers, you know this can't continue without penalty or consequence to unfold. Coming together to form new rules about the messages that can be delievered, the terms are pretty simple. No unknown parcels or packages, and no messages between the same person without other messages delievered in between. As you put these into place, work dries up quickly. Taking the roles onto themselves to circumvent the rules you and your messengers made, a chilling feeling comes over you. Before, you used to know a little of what was happening behind the fronts of the village. Now...now anything could be happening without you knowing...
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Deciding to take a break from your duties, you head off towards the innovators to try and find the cause of their stress. Hiding and watching, it turns out, a great amount of work and demands have been building onto the group. Guards, hunters, and gatherers keep bringing and demanding new and better things, making the innovators scramble and also coming under threats. Unable to keep a priority list with how they're being manipulated and used, you rush back to the runners to speak about this with them. Angry at the treatment the innovators are falling under, one of your co-workers does bring forward the sad reality of the situation. If the guards and hunters are demanding things, then you could be seen hindering the village's progress and well-being. And with how things are going, those are looking at serious accusations. Unable to do anything else but relent, the feeling of defeat never quite leaves you as you get back to work.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Deciding to put more focus onto answering the mysteries of the 'Gate', you find the task becomes more daunting than it sounds. The Lorekeepers know nothing, the village is in the dark, and, nobody can agree on much of anything about it. The great unknowns about the 'Gate' are definitely contributing to these divisions of belief and understanding as you keep working and trying. Building up what you can gather, you know the 'Gate' is ancient, could have been made by the village however long ago it'd have been to make it, and that it's still firm and sound. Sadly though, that is as far as facts go. Rumors though, have begun to abound. A gate to another world. A gate holding back something terrible. A test to prove the village worth something. Without answers, things just continue to grow more and more wild, and, beliefs spread and the divides just keep growing.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Putting your hand into helping turn the roofs and tops of the village into small crop-plots, you and half the farmers go to work. You do admit, being amongst the Village as it still mourns the dead, helps bring more unity amongst you. Hearing the troubles of the people and being there for them, you see that the village suffered more than it let on. Family lost as well as friends, the village has been slow to heal and the 'Gate' has stalled that more. But, getting the planters in place and access to the roofs made, you slowly start seeing sprouts and seeds taking root. Though, the success is also a bitter-sweet one. With this showing promising signs, there is a new focus on keeping the village together. And to that, it may mean the Farmlands will be abandoned and left for the jungle to reclaim. Though you succeeded, was it for the best?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Opting to keep to the fields, you notice little change to your work as you go along. Able to keep from the village as the other half of the farmers work to prepare the planters, eventually, your choice comes with a consequence. Learning that they had success, a new urge is being put forward to bring and gather the village close. This means abandoning the fields of the Farmlands and forcing everyone to live within the village. You and the other farmers out in the fields defiantly oppose the idea, yet, because you were out in the fields among the rest, nobody was present in the village in sizeable numbers to argue against the idea. Though not set, it looks like this change won't be stopped. Now, you're left wondering what to do. Do you leave the fields behind entirely or, do you leave the village and turn the Farmlands into a new village? A wild idea, but, leaving it all behind sounds more ridiculous to you.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Seeking to let off some steam, you depart for the quarry and mines where all the stone and ore is gathered. But, coming here, a new reality greets you. The growing demand had to be met by a supply, and that supply, has literally carved scars into the nature of the crater. The once modest and humble sites are now gashes into the earth, the precious resources ripped out and leaving more damage behind. Sustainability and only meeting what is needed has gone the wayside as more metal is wanted for new things. It was unheard of to imagine the small mine that was barely a cave had now turned into a deep pit, debris clogging its bottom as more workers pick away at the wound. Stepping back, you're left wondering what will happen if this continues. The village sustained itself by keeping its needs low, but now, this feel more like a lust for want than for meeting a need. Was this it? Was this how the evil of 'Greed' started? The questions chills you as you look upon the scar in the soil.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Venturing to the groves where the village would gather it lumber from, you're greeted by something far less welcoming. Stripped bare, the grove is a littered ruin of trunks and dead material that has been left of the wake of the village's needs. Using any wood available, the grove which was once selectively picked for trees has been clear-cut and left to rot away after it was reaped. The soil has been upturned by the workers harvesting and the wood not usable has just been tossed away to decay. The balance the village once kept now looks to be gone entirely, a new, decaying future laying ahead. Turning back, the sudden change is something that is hard to comprehend. And yet, it just keeps going on and on. More needed so more just cut and cleared. When will it end? And even when it does, how long, if possible, would it take for the grove to recover? Without answers, those questions trouble you more and more.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Working hard and convinciong some other cooks to help your plan, you go all out to try and make a feast to unite the village with. Preparing the most lavish food the village may ever see outside of its sacred days, you lay it out for a communal dinner for all to attend. Yet, the turnout is nothing like you hoped. With the shifts in jobs and work for the village, people aren't able to sit and eat for long, or even make it before they need to rest or return to work. Watching the disheartened going, the true divides of the village just seem too daunting to mend. Though the ones who can eat come closer and seem to make amends, you can't help but feel for those who can't. Those who needed this the most, yet, won't receieve it. Cleaning up after it all comes and goes, you aren't sure what is ahead. The village is changing, without doubt. Will it be able to handle it though, you don't know.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Working on preparing some special dishes not seen throughout the year, you feel confident a reminder of the best days will help repair the village's minds and hearts. Though it has issues, it does help on some. The reminder of family and unity brings some together, giving you hope for the current days of unrest may come to an end sooner rather than later. However, others also dash those hopes. Angry that the dishes are being served during these hard times, some question the motives and accuse you of trying to deceive people or waste precious materials in your dishes. Though you try not to, you feel a little insulted and disrespected when hearing these complaints. All you wanted to do was try and help, yet, you get people angry at you? Finishing the day with some disgust, you're shocked slightly to feel that way. Never have you felt like that to the village before. What was happening? And, was this going to happen more often now?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Going down and through the archives, tablet after tome has nothing. Inscriptions contain no knowledge to the 'Gate' and nothing gives clue to who could have built the 'Gate'. Going through more and more, the need for answers begins taking a toll onto all your fellow Lorekeepers. Rushing through the ancient tomes, damage is unavoidable. Losing pages and dropping tablets, it feels like less is gained than lost in this mad hunt for answers. Getting frustrated with them, the Lorekeepers are feeling like they are unravelling in this mad lust for an answer. Going on, after the day ends, nothing has been gained. Instead, more may have been lost. And not just knowledge, either. Patience, tolerance, and understanding all seem to be crumbling like the lost books and tablets as people need answers. Looking back, even if you found an answer, would it be worth the chaos seeking it has caused?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Needing both answers to all the questions flooding the Lorekeepers and the chaos of their hunt for it, you trek out for the outpost you found so long ago. Carefully delving into the depths, you move slowly with a torch to examine the walls and layout more carefully. The light dances across the smooth carved walls as you proceed deeper into the underground structure. Much of its fall into the sinkhole collapsed halls or rooms, but, you do spot a tiny spot you could crawl through to get in deeper. Worming through, you hold your torch up into another small room. Thankfully, it seems to be some sort of records room. Documents on patrols and scouts from a time you can't imagine litter the floor and rotting shelves. Going slowly through all of them, nohting hints or even details any area around the 'Gate'. Packing away some of the more revealing documents of the past that could help add to the records back in the village, you depart back. Though, you are still troubled as you head for home. If even the outpost had nothing on the 'Gate', how old could it possibly be? Could it...be older than the village?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Seeking to give the village something else to distract them from the rampage and the 'Gate', you look at seeking out landing the fabled Great Fish at the pools were you saw it last. This time, armed with better gear and experience, you repeat your set-up from your previous attempt. Waiting until the jungle darkens and the night crawls ahead, you focus on the pool and the dim reflection from your fire over the pristine surface. Having spent years telling your story, actually landing such a legend would help hopefully remind the village of the past and better times. With feet planted firm, you hold the rod and wait, gently jigging the bait down in the dark waters. Almost feeling that the legend is near, you are so wound up a sudden call makes you bolt up in a leap. Turning, one of the village's guards has come to find you. Confused about the reason, you set your pole down and try and ask what's happened. Due to a new want for unity to the village, nobody is allowed beyond the walls at night. Deeply confused, you try to explain your reasons for being out and that there shouldn't be a need for anything like a curfew. Unable to convince them though, the guard escorts you back to the village. Though you weren't doing any harm, it's hard to argue after having seen the rampage and knowing the worries in the village. Though, as you walk, you feel like you've lost a little freedom, unable to pursue what you wish. Wasn't that a core value to the village, being able to pursue your passions?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Having estimated the size of the Icomec, you quickly equip yourself and go to the drains for the rivers. Working through the morning to set everything into place, you feel armed and equipped to reel in the titan that may lurk in the depths. But just before you are able to make that fateful cast to the water, one of the older fisher's rips the rod from your hands. Confused, you are suddenly yelled and scolded by them, the equipment you took being a waste of tools and time on this endeavor. Trying to argue back, your points land on deaf ears as they shout and insult you now. Packing everything away, you return to the rivers to continue the regular routine of fishing. Though this event leaves you annoyed and frustrated. With the losses, the village shouldn't be aching for food. And, the equipment is not in a shortage right now. Angry at the older fisher, the day ends with a disrespect and intolerance to them. All you wanted to do was try and help the village, yet, that was your reward? If that's the case, is it really worth trying to do anything for anyone else but yourself if all they do is berate you for it?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Having known the destruction the Xoch could cause, you know you need to help come up with a way to fell it faster. With how large and think the Xoch's hide can be, you'd need a spear at least three times as long and possibly four times as strong. But, weilding something like that becomes a daunting task. Understanding something of that size can't be used by a person, you try to think of how it could be purposed better. Knowing the village's wall is made of sharpened pikes, you know a sharpened pike would be suitable, but, how do you get one to be mobile? Trying to think of that, you are reminded of the Passed, and how they are lowered into the ceremonial pit. Deciding to start on a small model, you devise suspending a pike in the air and making a release so that it can be sent in a sweeping arc downward. Such a sizeable moving pike would easily stop a Xoch in an instant. Pitching the idea to the guards, they think it can be installed behind the gates to the village. With those being the largest and weakest points in defending the village, you've helped secure the village. But, the idea of making such a defense, a weapon, leaves a haunting feeling to your work as you start to install the swinging pikes in place.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] One of the most versatile and useful tools to the hunters has been the simple bow and arrow. Able to strike at range, the weapon has allowed a steady supply of food and hide for the village over the years. Now, arguing that a good bow can take down sizeable game, a larger one should be able to take down larger game too. Pitching the idea, you and a few other innovators begin working hard on a prototype. With how large the bow becomes, you need to mount it onto a wagon to keep it mobile, but, applying the same principles, a few days of work brings you a completed model. Using a rail to rest the large projectile on, the ballista is powerful and requires two people on a winch to wind back the string. Though the shot in inaccurate after a distance away, until that distance, it proves a devestating tool. Ripping up the soil where it strikes, the reality of how harmful it can be hits. But, that harm is exactly what the guard want. Starting on two more of the wagon-mounted weapons, you're left uneasy about the success. It can easily be used to defend the village but, what happens if its target becomes something smaller than a Xoch? Something less wild and more civilized?
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Putting a foot down, you take your Onen into the village to enforce your point. Showing the village the livestock and introducing them to the helpful beasts, you try to make your point to keep the Farmlands. Gaining support, you also find resistance by the hunters and guards. Arguing that without the Farmlands the entire village can be protected with the full village in its walls, they stand as a firm opposition to your hopes. Arguing back, you bring up the infringement of the village's core ideas. Getting an overwhelming support to keep the livestock and the Farmlands, the guards stand firm and announce they cannot protect the Farmlands if something happens. The farmers and beasttenders accept the risks, holding firm. Fighting and securing the future for the Farmlands, you encountered first hand the divides inside the village. If they were that close to going back upon the village's core beliefs unless brought forward, what else might change for the future while you work with the beasts? That question doesn't leave you feeling hopeful, even with your bestial companion at your side.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Growing up on the Farmlands, you know sometimes there are hard choices to make. Putting down the sick or elderly beasts, you've never wanted to put them into suffering or seen them come to unnecessary harm. Now, having grown and grown with your companion, its hard to just accept it might be time to let them go on their own. The livestock have grazed from the fields for ages, ever since the Farmlands were probably made, but, that also means if a Xoch started hunting them, they'd be easy prey. With how the wild has sustained the wild herds and groups, perhaps, it is time to let the wilderness accept the livestock too. Putting your vote ahead towards setting them free, the divide is half and half. Without a majority, the vote remains still. Though, that does spark concern as the village argues and debates. Leaving their bickering behind, you take some time to get a little fresh air. If people continue like this, maybe it will truly be best for the livestock to be free of the village. With the way things are going, it feels like it will only get worse before anything truly improves.
[[The village's unrest continues.]] Even as time goes by, the state of the village doesn't feel to improve. Instead, those rifts splitting it just grow. It seems sides form on every issue, those in support and those against. Reasoning starts losing grip on arguments and more attacks become personal than regarding the matter. Watching it all unfold, you don't know what to make of things. A pair of simple things spiralled the village's unity into outright division. The Xoch and the wake of its rampage hurt the village, but the 'Gate' sparked an uneasiness across the village. Walled in now, confided much more than ever, the turmoil just seems to remain stagnant and within everbody's minds. And that division has begun forming sides.
One group seeks to open the 'Gate', stating that keeping it closed isn't going to change anything. If another Xoch attacks the village, would they truly be able to do more even with the changes in place? And what might be on the other side? If it provides more land to hunt and farm, more trees and stone to use, the Oath of 200 could be broken. No longer would the village be limited and instead of mourning the losses, more lives could exist and help it grow and prosper. The 'Gate' isn't doing anything except holding the village back in their minds. If the village and the people really wish to move ahead, they must open and see beyond the 'Gate'.
Yet, there is opposition to the opening too. The fear lies in what might be let loose on opening the 'Gate'. The Xoch is evidence of things beyond control and handling for the village. What happens if something is large enough to warrant the 'Gate' and its size? Can the village survive that? And what if the 'Gate' is protecting the village from something, like the walls now in place around the settlement are? Then instead of being a salvation, it'd damn the village instead. Standing firm, the push the 'Gate' should be left shut and buried again if possible. Such a chance can't be taken for the village's future.
Standing at a crossroads to these are the select few neutral on the topic. Whether it opens or doesn't, they are trying more to focus on the village here and now. Repairing, rebuilding, remembering. Why put their heads beyond the village when there are problems to deal with still? And the growing arguments for both sides just continue to build and build. As each side gains more people, it becomes clear this won't go away nor will it end quietly. A side is going to need to be taken, though, which one is the better in the arguments?
(if: $partner >= 1)[ [[Ask for your partner's advice. Talking about it together should help give you some clarity.]] ]
[[Speak to your co-workers on the topic. Spending your days together, working together to find a solution shouldn't be too hard.]]
[[Remain neutral. Leave this debate alone and focus on the village here and now.]] Thankfully, you aren't alone as the village has fallen into these troubles. Able to enjoy your life with your partner, you've come through the rampage and been able to enjoy a peaceful home life. Now though, you need some help with finding answers and dealing with the village and its division. Taking a quiet night to sit down together, the two of you are able to talk and open up. Trying to start out as neutral, you find your partner has other ideas on that. Explaining your stance, wishing to get a better idea before looking or leaning to the Open or Closed sides, you ask them to explain and lay out their reasoning about their choice on the matter.
(if: $partner is 1)[ [[Working in the market, your partner experienced the rampage herself too, and seeks to keep the 'Gate' closed.]] ]
(if: $partner is 2)[ [[Laboring as a builder, your partner admits he is curious of the 'Gate', and thinks opening it may be wise.]] ]
(if: $partner is 3)[ [[Having had close encounters in the past with the Xoch, your partner believes keeping the 'Gate' shut to be a safer side.]] ]
(if: $partner is 4)[ [[Working as an innovator on the requested defenses, your partner thinks that the village is prepared for whatever lies beyond the 'Gate'.]] ] Deciding to speak with those you spend much of the day alongside, you find their opinions range from both sides and to both extremes. Some argue about the greatest dangers and death beyond the 'Gate', while others say this test will reward those who open the 'Gate'. Even as you try and learn why they've formed their opinions, the opposing speak up and interrupt. Instead of finding a better spot amongst this divide it feels like they're more focused on achieveing their overall goals than hearing of the benefits or consequences to the decision. And the arguments you hear from them aren't the only ones the village engages in. Across it, everyone seems to be bickering and fighting more. In some rare cases, even fights have started to break out. Trying to control the chaos, the village has definitely changed into something you barely recognize now. Witnessing the tension building and snapping around you, this doesn't feel like the same settlement anymore. The only thing that seems to stick with you is a sense that things aren't right. That something is now in the village, something that won't let it go nor, let it unite again. Fearing this, you can only hope changes come to improve the village now.
[[The divide has turned to true conflict.]] Watching how both sides have grown silly from the matter, you keep out of such talks or nonsense. As they bicker and fight, the village still needs to heal. Aiding and working to better it, the conflict just doesn't seem to leave. Every turn or every step brings about a small corner talk on the 'Gate'. At worst, a spin around a corner makes people ask for your opinion and side. Even answering without one you get disgusted faces and disrespect shown. What the hell is happening here? Watching and hearing things continue, it seems something long thought gone is now present and festering. Having a possibly clearer mind than the rest, the reality sets in of something discussed long ago. The want for their side to win or succeed, the distrust and divide growing, it hits you like a thrown brick. The Great Losses are back. Greed, and perhaps even more worrying, Hate, are showing and getting more prevalent. Knowing the village has succeeded without these, seeing them present gives an ominous and foreboding feeling to you. Unsure what to do with these revalations, there is little you can do. For time and the village have already come to a divisive head.
[[The divide has turned to true conflict.]] Having survived the rampage like you, Auquet saw the terrible harm wrought by the Xoch. Hearing how talks about the 'Gate' could be holding back larger or worse things, she's firm that the 'Gate' might not be worth opening. The village has survived for its many generations because it kept balance with the world around it. The 'Gate' never existed and the balance was secure. Even with the Tyrant attacking and causing the harm, the village is on its way to mending and repairing itself from the pain it suffered. Though the scars will take time to fade and pass, they still will be mended with enough time. Yet opening the 'Gate' feels like something that can't be undone or reversed. Whatever happens, that change will be permanent and force the village to change to it, or suffer. Holding on her point, she hopes she has helped inform you, but accepts your opinion could be against hers. At least talking openly, the two of you know the other's thoughts and hope whatever choices you each make, you'll still be able to be with one another as things develop.
[[The divide has turned to true conflict.]] For years, Chaaquan toiled and labored to build and keep the village in good shape. Even as the Xoch ripped down some of that hard work, the village could endure it. Now, with the possibility of the 'Gate', he thinks there could be greatness beyond that. Thinking on the Oath of 200, the only reason the village limits itself is because of the crater's capacity. If that crater was bigger, there was more room, resources, families could grow and pop up wherever they wished. Maybe even other villages could come to be. Always wanting to see life continue and grow, he thinks the possibilities beyond the 'Gate' make it worth opening. Knowing that you survived the rampage though, he supports you even if you differ from his views. Each person has lived their own life, which helps keep sound minds when things get difficult. Even if you wish to keep the 'Gate' closed, your partner understands and doesn't see anything different between you two. Thankful to share your life, that does leave you with some things to think on, making you have a better opinion about which side you may pick, if you do see either one as being the right in this matter.
[[The divide has turned to true conflict.]] Not exactly a stranger when it comes to the possible dangers of the Xoch, Valchaqli can't really fathom how the village might fare if something larger and meaner lies beyond the 'Gate'. To her, the damage the rampaging caused and the threat to you in it, shows the village isn't able to handle what nature can have in store. Until the village is able to find better means to protect and handle itself, opening the 'Gate' just seems to be asking for something bad to happen. If those lives were lost by a single Xoch, what happens if something twice its size arrived and started attacking? Could it be stopped or would the village just be lost? Seeing that a natural order was kept thanks to the village's ways, it feels best to her to remain to those followings. Understanding you may think differently though, she encourages you to be vocal and stand to your beliefs. If people don't remain honest and true, the village will never unite again. Even though it feels at odds, once a decision is met, things should settle down again. At least, those are her hopes. Able to see her wisdom, you hope for the same, and, thanks to her aid, you get a little more clarity into what you may decide will be your side as things go on.
[[The divide has turned to true conflict.]] Never before has Pochaloc seen the village expand and build than it has in response to the Xoch. Seeing how it erected the wall so easily and the new weapons and ideas put into place for defense, your partner sees innovation has granted security to the village. Arguing that the Xoch's damage only happened because it struck an unprepared village, such a thing can never repeat itself now. Defended, strong and now brought closer, even if the sides disagree on that, your partner knows a common goal will unify everyone again. Right now, they're just divided because of what is not known. As long as opening the 'Gate' is done to learn an answer to what's behind it, he sees no reason it should remain closed as it is. Hopeful you find a side to choose, and actually a little more hoping it's the opposite to his, your partner explains his reasoning. He sees a problem needs to be adressed from all sides, meaning to the 'Gate', it has to be seen with supporters and critics. Knowing your sound mind, and enjoying this discussion already, he knows talking more might help both of you learn and understand things better. Ever prudent with his logic, that leaves you with some new perspectives on things, and, leaves you with a better spot to pick a side as things continue.
[[The divide has turned to true conflict.]] Barely any time went by before the village fell into sudden chaos. No longer restrained to small talks or discussions, true tension erupted to build and divide the village formally. Now dubbed the Openers and the Closed, the village has begun setting and squaring off against itself. Arguing and shouting in the streets, it was not long before control was lost. Seeing the need to act on their own, the Openers took a pair of ballistas out towards the 'Gate', disregarding the rest of the population. Outraged, the Closed organized and armed, grabbing spear and shield and bow and sword and chasing after them. Neutrality was now formally lost, one having to pick one side or be seen on the opposite. Forced into the rush of the chaotic departure, you're on hand as the chaos builds higher and higher. As the Openers arrive to the 'Gate', they begin to load the ballista to ready and fire at the 'Lock'. Just before they can succeed though, the Closed arrive. Weapons branded, the Openers only have axes and picks, looking only to have tried opening the 'Gate' and not fighting the village. With hateful yells and shouts, both sides begin losing themselves in the mob mentality as tensions sharpen to a knife's edge. Caught within the crossfire, you realize that the Great Losses have come to be now, the village exhibiting the true and horrific signs of the lessons taught long ago. Something deep down though stirs within you. A sense of something unseen, yet, you can feel still exists. Knowing perhaps only one thing that can banish the growing Losses, you decide to act quickly and impulsively.
[[Walk between the Openers and Closed and approach the weapon-wielding Closed.]] Defiantly and boldly stepping into the no-man's land between the opposing sides, you get eyes and anger directed to you. Hateful yelling and shouts ring out until you stop right in the middle, before one of the Closed wielding a spear. Grabbing its tip, you slice open a cut on your forehead. The self-inflicted wound immediately stops the roaring. None of the village had ever deliberatly brought itself to harm. Even suddenly seeing one of their own hurt, even if they weren't on their side in the arguement, shocked them. All focus and attention had now drawn itself onto you, the silence spreading far and fast. Whatever you're going to do, you better do it quickly. For one split-second, you've gained the entire focus of all this chaos, stopping it entirely and now keeping it stopped depends upon what you do next.
[["THIS IS HATE!"]] "SEE THIS?! THIS IS WHAT WE'RE DOING! ATTACKING OURSELVES?!" Getting everyone to reflect on themselves, the sudden shock seems to be taking hold now. "IS THIS WHO WE ARE NOW? IS THIS WHAT THOSE WE'VE LOST WOULD WANT US TO BE DOING?" Without really meaning for it to come to be, the village had spawned Hate and let it overwhelm them. Thinking they were different, thinking they were divided, the truth was little truly changed between each citizen. All that happened was they lost sight of themselves and of their reality. When they were so ready for blood, looking to truly be lost to hate, you managed to bridge the gaps with something everyone related to. All of them were the same, lived the same, had the same goals. You struck a chord that resonated so deeply it silenced all the Hate that tried to corrupt the village.
Dropping their arms and weapons, the entire village came together now and put it to a vote. Yes to open the 'Gate' and no to keep it closed. Seeing how the village was so violent and at arms, they knew it was worth it to keep the 'Gate' closed. Everyone began to reconcile, disarming the ballistas and even beginning to laugh and joke. Watching around, a simple act to unify worked. With peace coming back in its darkest moment, the village finally had back the unity it had lost since the Xoch incident happened.
[[Yet, some things cannot be controlled.]] "THIS IS HATE! THIS IS WHAT WE'VE BECOME! HATE!" Getting everyone to truly see what they were about to do and how far they'd fallen, the old lessons suddenly screamed to them. Looking to their own hands in disgust and horror, they all tossed their arms and tools aside. Nothing was ever going to be worth killing one another for. And, nobody was prepared to actually be able to take the loves of each other. In its darkest moment about to be gripped by Hate, a single voice of reason and making a defiant stand was enough to turn the minds lost in the madness. Coming to terms and accepting what had unfolded, the villagers peacefully laid their arms down to rest. Though it looked to have taken everyone for itself, Hate was easily lost with one common sight. Everyone sought simply to live.
Deciding to settle the matter of the 'Gate' once and for all, the village came to a vote. With a majority seeking to see the 'Gate' open, with all weapons and tools already gathered, the village stepped forward to begin their unlocking. Starting to aim the ballistas and now cheering to see what lay beyond, the village was truly ready to break the 'Lock', opening up the dividing 'Gate' as a united people.
[[Yet, some things cannot be controlled.]] From the 'Gate' came a sudden spray of water. A hole cracking through the 'Lock' and a strong pressurized burst arcing down before the front of the gathered village. Watching at the sudden outbreak from the stone, the water drained to a stop with nothing seen through the opening left behind. As the seconds went on, a deep silence held over the people. Unsure what was happening, everything rocked with a deafening roar. The ground shook, the villagers buckling to their knees or falling. Their ears left ringing and aching, all eyes gazed to the 'Lock', a great crack spreading as stone started crumbling and giving way. Backing away, the massive stone structure fell to the earth, landing with a heavy impact. Falling away, the 'Gate' itself began to show its weakness after it.
Cracks began to split the 'Gate', the sides where the 'Lock' once rested now falling apart and breaking away. Turning up a thick cloud of dust and dirt into the area, the villagers coughed and choked as they could no longer see. The entire center of the 'Gate' had come apart from something on the opposite end. Some retreated and fled, while others grabbed their dropped weapons or tools in preparation. Some were afraid, some hopeful, some amazed and some in shock. Nobody knew what was happening but the 'Gate' was now gone, and, as the dust started settling, something was beyond it.
In the blotting dust cloud, a silhouette of something was visible. As the shadowy shape came more into focus, features began to become more defined. Two legs held it upright that joined up to a slender body. Spanning up that, a pair of limbs branched out from shoulders at the top of the body. The arms spanned down to the waist, tapering off into appendages at their ends. And atop those shoulders was a round head. Unable to make out more with the dirt and dust, everyone at least knew one thing had happened with the 'Gate' breaking and falling.
[[Change had come.]] Some believe it can be stopped, some think it can be controlled. Those who think either are true are just deluding themselves. Change will never be stopped or controlled. It is true though, that change can be altered. It can be slowed and delayed by isolation. But even then, that will only last for so long. For things outside of that isolation change too. The idea that there is complete balance , what the word 'Tlaotl' means, is something is possible to be achieved and maintained forever, is impossible. It can be held for a time, but, change will always shift that balance. Will that change be good? Will it be bad? Instead of focusing on those, hoping or dreading it, perhaps a new way must be seen. A way that accepts the change to unfold and working with what it has brought.
So you may go about hating change, go about seeking to stop it. And you may see some success, but, know it won't be permanent. For as long as time marches on, days change to night, and the world keeps turning, change will never stop. Change will always come.
Thank you for reading the tale of balance and its changing, the tale of 'Tlaotl'. As a healthy young boy, the world is new and exciting. And as you start to grow, you encounter more of the wondrous world surrounding you. The smooth carved stones of your home shelter you from a lush and humid world beyond them. Towering trees form a deep and lush jungle, the musical cries of birds and insects within always keeping an ambience as the day goes on. Around you are more homes, identical to your own. All at a single floor in size, the families range from families of three such as your own, to just two or even four. Though, with your youth, there is still much you don't have the ability to understand or comprehend yet. For now, your focus is just on enjoying your easy life and growing up, letting time take its course to prepare you for your growing world.
[[Time passes.]] As a healthy young girl, the world is new and exciting. And as you start to grow, you encounter more of the wondrous world surrounding you. The smooth carved stones of your home shelter you from a lush and humid world beyond them. Towering trees form a deep and lush jungle, the musical cries of birds and insects within always keeping an ambience as the day goes on. Around you are more homes, identical to your own. All at a single floor in size, the families range from families of three such as your own, to just two or even four. Though, with your youth, there is still much you don't have the ability to understand or comprehend yet. For now, your focus is just on enjoying your easy life and growing up, letting time take its course to prepare you for your growing world.
[[Time passes.]] As the years went by, you kept expanding and growing into the world. Learning more of the village, you came to see and understand how it lived. Balancing itself well, the village is nestled inside a crater with high cliff-faces stretching out far and tall. The faces were far too high to ever be scaled, but the crater kept the jungle in a state of stable climate. Securing its food by a variety of means, the village had to have existed for a long time to have such a stable income of resources. Hunting parties and fishers secured wild meat while dedicated farmers and beast-tenders grew crops and livestock. Crafters and cooks helped process those natural resources while builders and innovators worked to make the village improve each day. As you started growing more, you also started to lean towards certain activities. Some of what you loved to do was experience;
[[the creatures around you.]] You loved to explore. The lush and wild world always held something new to see or find. The roots and trunks of the towering jungle trees gave you a playground unrivalled by anything the village could offer. Able to climb vines, slide below roots, and swing on branches, the jungle became a second home for you as you grew. Though it often sent your parents scrambling to find you, they never restricted or denied you the freedom to see what the jungle could offer. Experiencing this untamed wilderness firsthand, you got a deep sense and appreciation for it. And growing up with such a training ground, your body also grew with your exploratory drive too. As you grew more, you also started to enjoy;
(set: $strength to 1)
(set: $agility to 1)
[[tending the stables.]]
[[helping the hunting parties.]]
[[being a shop hand.]]
[[being a scout's aid.]] You loved to play. Whether it was with your parents or the toys they made for you, you always liked rushing around and playing games. With how eager you were to play, you easily befriended other children and played with them non-stop when you could. The early and simple days in the village let you grow to be a fast and energetic child. Though sometimes a handful for your parents, they always were happy to see you smiling and enjoying yourself. As you kept growing you also grew to enjoy;
(set: $tenacity to 1)
(set: $agility to 1)
[[tending the stables.]]
[[helping the hunting parties.]]
[[being a shop hand.]]
[[being a scout's aid.]] You've loved making and building small things. Even if it was just stacking small wooden blocks or making things from twigs, you put your hands to work. Though they were simple to start, the more you made the more you learned and advanced. Soon twig piles became pyramids and blocks became towers and buildings. Your parents couldn't have been more proud as you kept making whatever came to your imagination. Such early skills would definitely become a great asset as time would go on. As you grew up more, you as came to enjoy;
(set: $comprehension to 1)
(set: $instincts to 1)
[[tending the stables.]]
[[helping the hunting parties.]]
[[being a shop hand.]]
[[being a scout's aid.]] You enjoyed helping your parents out around the home, learning how daily life went. Even if they were simple tasks, you sought out to do a good job of it. Helping carry food into the house or carry firewood, you were an eager assitant to your folks. Enjoying your extra company and eager to teach you the way to do things, you were a natural when it came to the tasks given. Becoming a wonderful aid to your parents, you also helped your neighbors when they asked too. Coming to meet and befriend many, you were definitely going to be a helpful addition to the village when you were of age. You also grew to enjoy;
(set: $comprehension to 1)
(set: $instincts to 1)
[[tending the stables.]]
[[helping the hunting parties.]]
[[being a shop hand.]]
[[being a scout's aid.]] You were always drawn to the beasts around you in the village, those that helped out. From the first time you saw an Onen moving a wagon of crops to the village, the beasts of the jungle seemed to speak with you. Learning more, you got to enjoy tales told about lessons the wild could provide just before bed. And told of the Farmlands, your parents would often bring you out to admire the livestock raised and tended to out in the fields. Amazed at the magnificent beasts, something about them kept you feeling like you had a bond to all things animal. You would also grow and come to find that you enjoyed;
(set: $instincts to 1)
(set: $comprehension to 1)
[[tending the stables.]]
[[helping the hunting parties.]]
[[being a shop hand.]]
[[being a scout's aid.]] You enjoyed learning of the world and its ways. Spending time with the village and its surroudings, you gained a better comprehension to how things came to be. Materials were harvested by those who needed them, the builders often mining stone and cutting lumber, while the innovators shaped and carved the pieces they needed for their dealings and thinking. Divided into three major zones, the markets held the bartering centers where most items were exchanged, while the crafters quarter kept the materials in stockhouses and provided forges and space for refining. The last district was for housing, this situated in a peaceful grove bordering the wild jungle. Coming to understand the skills that helped to keep the village so stable and prosperous, you had a good insight to where you wanted to go within the village. shaping you towards your role for your village.
(set: $comprehension to $comprehension + 1)
(set: $instincts to $instincts + 1)
[[Learn your Role]] You enjoyed helping the beasts of the village and treating them and their abodes. Granted more time with the beast-tenders and the livestock, you didn't mind doing the harder taskes if it got you closer to the beasts. Watching how the Onen grazed and the Omete herd together, it was incredible to see the animals so close. The Onen were stout-legged beasts, four legs and a heavy tail with a small, rounded head. Looking like a large gecko that lived on the ground, the creatures were half an adult's height at their peak but easily almost twice as long as a person laying flat. Draped from the crown of their head to their tail's tip with heavy plates, this was the trademark of their names. The Omete however were quite different. Standing a little taller than an adult, these beasts were two legged with a tail that balanced their weight. A smooth and pointed snout let them graze easily, and they often bent down to snack on grass out in the open fields. Able to forage from the fields or the leaves of the jungle, both animals were amazing to watch. With your growth, you came to get an idea of the role you could play to aid your village.
(set: $instincts to $instincts + 1)
(set: $tenacity to $tenacity + 1)
[[Learn your Role]] You did what you could to aid the hunting parties, chopping wood for their fires and helping transport back the quarries they caught. Each day felt like you were helping to feed the entire village. Getting right in with helping to carve the fallen beasts from the hunt, you were taught to say a prayer before beginning to work on one. A deep respect was held for all creatures, especially those whose lives were taken to let the village survive. Growing familiar with the dense jungle and the wilderness within, you felt drawn to the outsides of the village. Eager to learn more of the crater, you waited patiently as your lessons continued and you grew more. With your life changing, you came to find the role you could play to aid the village.
(set: $agility to $agility + 1)
(set: $tenacity to $tenacity + 1)
[[Learn your Role]] Staying around the village, you helped the shops as best you could and made for a good shop hand. Able to learn how the crafters supplied the village with many of their tools, you got shown how to operate the forges and the ways to smith metal. Though it was basic, you did help craft the beginnings of spearheads and knives that let the hunting parties provide for the village. Learning the harmony amongst each role in the village, you could see how each piece aided and worked together. Getting this hands-on taste to craft, you felt you had a good making to taking your own place amongst the forges and becoming a craftsman for your part in the village. Learning the fundamentals of the village, you found a role you could play to aid your home and people.
(set: $strength to $strength + 1)
(set: $comprehension to $comprehension + 1)
[[Learn your Role]] Growing and learning, you began to aid the scout's of the village. Running and exploring the jungle, your body honed to the quick pacing of your work. Getting a better idea of the crater's layout, you found it to be a vast expanse more than you imagined. The village sat close to the western edge of the crater, seated at a crossroads for many different features. To the east were the rivers, where the fisher would harvest their quarry for the village. To the north was the lumber grove, where the trees were cut and north of that was the mine to provide the ore. To the east of the grove and northeast of the village was the Farmlands, where the livestock and crops were grown. For those looking to hunt, the woodland south of the village were the general hunting grounds. Beyond those lay the Deep Wilds, a place generally not hunted so the wildlife could recover and be sustained with the village's selective hunting limits. With some experience under your belt to the village and the surroundings of it, you knew you had found a role for your village now.
(set: $strength to $strength + 1)
(set: $agility to $agility + 1)
[[Learn your Role]] Deciding on being a builder, you welcome the new role and work ahead of you. With a head held high, you know you can help build the village into an even greater place to live.
(set: $builder to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Taking on the role of a hunter, you accept the dangers and risks as you put yourself forward for what will come next. You've seen the importance food and hide has for the village, and know, the role is vital for the continued survival and prosperity the village has enjoyed for so many years.
(set: $hunter to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Accepting the responsibilites of a guard, you take up the role with pride. Providing the village with a secure safety, you know the role may seem unimportant at first but, that just means everything is perfect for the village. It is when you are needed and called to action that you must right whatever wrong is happening, returning the village back to its restful norm when things go awry.
(set:$guard to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Taking up the role of scout, you ready to run and weave through the jungle as needed. Having had a small taste of the role before, you know you'll stay in shape and be a vital relay for information for the village. Without you, the village's eyes are a little less observant.
(set: $scout to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Deciding to pursue and become a runner, you know the time spent in the village and with its people will be a good route for you. Always enjoying a good jog or run, getting to be such a crucial role for the village also gives you a sense of pride in what you do. You know that you can be of great aid, running and relaying news or goods between the village's operations.
(set: $runner to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Accepting to take on the responsibility of a messenger, you know you'll quickly grow to learn all the social events of the village. Getting the deeper understanding of how everything and everyone stays together in the village, it looks to be a promising future for you as you've chosen to pursue down this path.
(set: $messenger to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Deciding to pursue the craft and tend the fields, a farmer's life is for you. Enjoying the escape from the village to the open fields of the Farmlands, you may not be the most visually seen provider for the village, but without you, a steayd and reliable staple to the village's diet would be lost.
(set: $farmer to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Putting your nose to the grindstone, you decide you would be a great crafter. Learning how to meet the needs of many other tasks and provide them the best equipment possible, you want to make a name for the quality of work you do. With a head held high, you accept and look forward to getting your hands back to work as soon as possible.
(set: $crafter to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]]Deciding to pursue a culinary role, you've taken up the pot and pan of the cook. Knowing you will spend much of the day laboring, you also get to enjoy being a provider for the village in your own way too. Keeping the village fed is a vital role, one you're sure will be a great experience as you've set down upon this path.
(set: $cook to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Accepting the responsibilites of the researching and archiving Lorekeepers, you seek out a better future from the past. Remembering where one's roots lie is a good way to remain humble and modest, while also allowing the mistakes of the past to not repeat. Proud of this role and pursuit, you ready for what awaits you in the old tomes and texts of time long gone by.
(set: $lorekeeper to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Taking up the art of fishing, you accepted the role of a fisher. Though it will involve many, many early morning hikes, it also lets you enjoy the rivers freely and enjoy a lot of time to think and watch. As much as everybody may think fishing can be easy, there are some fish that won't be quite as simple to land.
(set: $fisher to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] It won't be a simple or easy role, but, you know that there's always a way to move forward. Even though the village has found a stability in its ways, there's always something that could be a little easier on the workers. Looking to you for ideas, you know that though you'll encounter setbacks, you'll also have a chance to overcome them and help the village get past them.
(set: $innovator to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Accepting the rare opportunity to help raise the livestock for the village, you take on the task of the beast-tenders. Helping them to grow and harvesting their resources, the beasts the village raises are an integral part of the village's reserves. Though they don't have too many uses outside of their food or hide, the beasts still play a curcial role in keeping the village in its state of prosperity.
(set: $beasttender to 1)
[[But a problem emerged.]] Seeing how the Onen forage for their preferred meals, you wonder if they'd be helpful for the scouts and foragers. Normally the jungle is a dense, tangled web and weave of plants and vines, making isolating what you are seeking a long task. But, the Onen and their snouts let them easily find some roots or herbs to snack on easily. Finding one of the tenders, you ask about your idea, and find you aren't the first to come up with it. But an adult Onen is hard to get off of a spot when they first find the food, meaning much is lost. Then why not use a young one? You suggest taking a juevenille out into the jungle, letting the little one seek out the food. Because the young ones are slower, many who have thought of the idea didn't have the patience for it. Agreeing, the tender lets you two wander the outskirts of the farmlands for a little bit. And boy, does that pay off. It's not long before you two are back, carrying an armful of freshly found plants and herbs to prove your efforts.
[[Report in about your companion's success.]] The Omete, with their strong legs, easily move around and run. But, for their speed, why aren't they being used as mounts or being ridden? Asking a tender, you learn that they are a stubborn breed. Putting any weight onto their backs makes them lay down and stop until its gone. It's hard to ride a lump around much of anywhere. Any they tried it on didn't accept it and just refused to budge. Thinking more, you wonder about if they need to be trained to do so more. Confused, the tender asks you what you mean. Just as you and the village learns young, start there for the Omete. Going to the pen for the younger beasts, you make a small strapped bag to hang onto the side of one. Also grabbing some rocks and a treat, you put a little load into the bag. Just like the adults, it lays down and refuses to move. But now, you offer out a little treat to make it hungry and wanting. Finally, after some coaxing, the young Omete rises up and waddles to get its treat. Though it lays back down after getting it, you made more progress now than anyone else. The tender sees this too and smiles, knowing you've just found the possible key. He recommends you to relay what you did back and start heading home. Working with animals can make any day much longer.
[[Report in about your companion's success.]]