==== September 13, 2013
==== Nathanael, Sytin
==== The Southern Mud is too much to resist when Teenage Boys get their hands on it.

Who Nathanael, Sytin
What The Southern Mud is too much to resist when Teenage Boys get their hands on it.
When There is 1 turn 2 months and 27 days until the 12th pass.
Where Jungle Stream

Sytin-Young.jpg teennathanael.jpg


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Jungle Stream
As the clearing is left behind, a deep silence permeates and soaks into the very ground that towering trees grow out of, accompanied by the humid heat of the enclosed rainforest. The silence is broken by the chittering call of wild firelizards, the chirruping of distant avians, and the ominous rustling of large, feline predators that stalk the deeper, heart of the jungle. Vines drape from the trees, falling to the jungle floor, which carries the hint of decay. Water drips from the canopy above, the soft sound almost musical against the echoing call of the jungles denizens. Westward, with the tangled overgrowth and the shadows of the deeper rainforest, the forest looms dangerous. A small stand of banyan and sandalwood trees grows here.


Late afternoon finds Southern covered in thick gray clouds which hold the worst of the heat at bay but create a terrible humidity that clings to flora and fauna alike. The sound of avians fill the air, bright and high, while the dull thrum of insects fills up the lower ranges, creating a jungle symphony that grows in intensity the deeper you go. The scene is almost serene in a way, the mid-ranges filled with the sound of the babbling stream as it rushes over the stones and through the forest.

The soothing serenity cannot last, however, as the sound of foliage rustling approaches, branches and leaves pushed aside as one very sweaty Smith makes his way up to the summit, treading carefully to avoid slipping on the damp rocks. Sytin is wearing his usual ensemble, covered in a bit of soot, but most of his face is clean — no doubt due to the humidity and sweat pouring off him — and he beams triumphantly as he reaches the top, moving over to the edge of the stream to kneel and splash his face with the cool water with a refreshed sigh, repeating the maneuver.

Having been ordered to take a day off, something about allowing boys to be boys, Nathanael has escaped from the confines of the deck and moved away from the slight relief water brings from heat to venture into the jungle. Scraps and scratches already lace his fair arms and dirt and green leaf junk is smugged along every part of his skin. A wide grin spreads across his face though as he slowly jumps from one slippery rock to the next. Safety always a question though, he grabs hold of a particuarly strong looking branch before jumping. At least once he needs the support of the branch as his jump doesn't quite land him on the rock and insteads leads to him plunging hip deep into the stream. So focused is he on his forward progression, he doesn't notice the fellow apprentice who has come another way to splash in the same stream.

The sudden rush of water around his ankles and the huge SPLASH are enough to startle Sytin backwards, resulting in an undignified rear landing that most likely soils his trous with mud. It makes a rather satisfying squick sound as contact occurs, as if to emphasis the point. "Oopmh." Eloquent as always, Sytin. The Apprentice double bats his amber eyes and swivels to peek in the direction of the splash, finally spying Nathanael. "Hey!" he calls, trying to right himself now. "Are you all right?" He's on his feet again in a moment, ready to dive in should the Seacrafter be in trouble.

A rather unmanly giggle from Nathanael, who uses his trusty grip on a branch to pull himself dripping, again, from the stream. One mud streaked hand pushes hair out of his eyes leaving fingermarks on the blond strands and sticks them in place. "Sorry 'bout that, didn' see 'e there." He jumps down from a nearby slippery rock to land firmly on the forest floor again. "Y' got somethin' on 'e pants there."

Said unmanly giggle is echoed by Sytin, partly in relief as he realizes the Seacrafter is okay, shaking his head in response to 'Thanael's comment regarding not seeing him. "I don't know how I'd carry you if you broke something!" he explains, part admonishment, part relief, and all grins. The second comment causes the Smith to twist about and attempt a glance at his rear. "And you've got something in your hair!" he retorts smartly, but all in good fun, attempting to first brush off his pants by hand alone — something that results in a 'eugh' face and hands promptly stuck in the stream to rinse — and promptly rips off the nearest large plant leaf he can find to handle it instead. "I didn't think I'd see anyone out this far." He peers at Nathanael, somewhere between question and accusation. "Why are you out here, anyway?"

"You're leaving?" Sytin looks a mite crestfallen at the notion. The Seacrafter is, after all, the closet friend he has so far. "Hopefully not for long, right?" Question might get glossed over by the grand gesture that has the Smith contemplating their surroundings, what with all its noisy fauna and whispering waters. Oh, and that mud. A wry grin starts to creep up Sytin's features, amber eyes lighting with mischief as the implications sink in to his brain. "You know, I think we should test that theory…" He bends down, scooping up a palmful of the black gunk and molds it into a sloppy ball that is quite suddenly hurled in Nathanael's direction. It's sure to make a satisfying SPLAT should it hit home!

"Jus' for…" Nathanael's explnation is cut off suddenly by the thick smelly GUNK that smacks him right in the chest. "Cheap shot!" Scrambing away with another giggle Nathanael gathers up a ball of mud his own and tosses it with scrawny seaman strength back at the boy and slips, literally, the wet ground is slippery, behind a tree for cover. Not all all caught off guard by the sudden meeting of his butt and the ground Nathanael already works to gather up more black gunk.

"Slow poke!" is Sytin's less than clever repartee as he dives away himself, though not quickly enough to avoid his side getting plastered with nature's gumbo. It might have something to do with the fact that his own two feet fail him — or perhaps the ground just has a sense of irony — and cause him to fall to his knees, crashing halfway into the surrounding foliage with an undignified "Oomph!" as the wind is briefly forced from him. There's no time to wait, however, and he quickly slithers into the surrounding jungle, trying to avoid detection and sneak up on Nathanael. Bit hard with all those rustling leaves though, eh?

Nathanael peeeeers out from behind his tree, blond everything showing up well among the green. He sees what he thinks is a bum sticking out and he tosses the messy goop at it. Perverse as nature is, the ball flys apart, splattering a bush intead of landing with a plop. "'Faster 'n 'e!" Nathanael calls back, casting around for more amo.

A missile of moss and mud flies from the dense foliage and streaks toward Nathanael in an arc, dripping liquid the whole way as it careens for the Seacrafter. Nearby the bushes shudder rapidly, Sytin trying to quickly scamper away and ending up giving away his position instead. A giggle escapes him, quickly muffled, but clearly having a blast as only a boy can with muck. "You're gonna have to swim with the Shipfish to get all that mud off you!" he lilts in a playful taunt, lobbing a drier projectile in his general direction before scurrying across the river.

"They're called Dol-fins!" Nathanael calls out, the blob of gunk just missing him. The movement of the bushes shows him where the the other boy is, and he tracks him, ducking to miss the second projectile. Out of cover the young man scampers, SPLASHING into the stream to chase the other boy, ball of gunk held high above his head to keep it from disintigrating into the swift moving water. "Take'e that!" Blop is heading right at Sytin's rear end.

"Whatever! You'll be swimming with them!" Sytin replies cheerily as he flees through the stream. Misfortune seems apt to follow in his wake, however, for no sooner is he up on his feet than his trous are being freshly soiled with more muck, this time splattering in seemingly random directions upon impact. "Gah!" Never say this Smith isn't eloquent! Already dirty fingers claw off the remaining mud and the boy turns around, spying the blonde-haired youth and returning the mudsplosive — or what's left of it — back to Nathanael before he swings back around behind a tree, giggling but not waiting to see if it lands.

Nathanael giggles as mud splays across his full front, sticking firmly even when hit with splashes of water. Once out of the stream Nathanael dives under a lowbranch, the front of his clothing now a clear loss. A particularly smelly batch of stagnant water is located and Nathanael gleefully digs both hands into it and begins to creeps, small and quiet like, towards the other boy.

Crouching at the base of the tree may not have been the smartest hiding spot, but that's where Sytin is none-the-less. Fingers are digging into the soil between the tree's roots, bits of flesh peaking out between the soil and other brown/green bits that intermingle and compost on the jungle floor. The Apprentice is so engrossed in his task that he doesn't hear Nathanael's sneaky approach until it's almost too late. He spins around, promptly trips on a jutting root, lands on his backside with a squelch, and throws a large mass of muck and wriggling insects at the Seacrafter with a startled yelp, amber eyes wide and panting breathlessly.

"EW!" Comes Nathanael's gleeful retort to the bugs suddenly showering all over him. "'e okay?" Even this is said at a giggle as he wiggles out of his sneakyneess and rises to offer the much taller boy a hand to help him up.

Sytin giggles gleefully at Nathanael's expression, which turns into breathless coughs after a moment, tears starting to run down his face from the spasms amusement wracking him. Sucking in a deep breath he wipes at his eyes, only to smear mud across his cheekbones, eliciting a few more giggles from the boy before he clasps his fellow Apprentice's hand firmly and hoists himself up with another wet sounding squelch. "I'm fine!" he assures the Seacrafter, still giggling. "I haven't had this much fun in Turns!"

"Ain't mud like this up north." Nathanael says this will all the wisdom of a 13year old. "'e should probably get back, 'n get clean afore our journeymen be lookin' at us." Nathanael takes stock of his fully muddified body.

"Never seen the like myself!" Sytin agrees, inspecting the hopeless cause that are his tunic and trous. The Smith is traveled too, or so he'd like to believe. "Maybe we could slide down and wash off most of the muck at the same time!" Trust a twelve-turn-old to come up with a brilliantly reckless plan like that. It's high and rocky. What could go wrong?! Futile attempts at brushing the muck off are made, but it's good and plastered now. It's in the Smith's hair even, though it's harder to see than in Nathanael's.

Nathanael eyes the swift stream. "'m not sure 'bout that, 's pretty swift." But, not wanting to look the less brave, he draws himself up to full height. "I'm smaller, I'll test it, 'e stand here 'n cathc me if'n it dun work out well." And with that Nathanael is scrambling further up the stream to test our this idea.

Sytin picks his way after the Seacrafter, making an effort not to mis-step for a change as he trundles behind, randomly depositing muck as he goes. "You're a good swimmer, right?" It only seems logical, after all. "I'm sure it's not as far down as it looks!" Which is quite. "The river'll catch us for sure." Or the rocks, hard to say. He sneaks closer to the edge and leans carefully forward, peering down the waterfall with a mix of trepidation and excitement. "I gotcha!" he encourages Nathanael with a nod.

Nathanael eyes the water, then jumps into the water. "AHHH!!" a delighted scream issues from the youngling's mouth as the water catches him and sweeps him along swiftly right towards Sytin.

Sytin braces himself as his cohort is carried along the rapid waters towards him, and he reaches his hands down to catch Nathanael before he goes too far down the stream's winding road. "Grab hold, Thanael!" he calls, doing his best to not be hauled down into the river with the Seacrafter or lose his footing, lest they both suddenly find themselves partaking in Ichabod's Wild Ride. Still, if the Apprentice makes a bad grab that may just be what happens regardless!

"Waah, woah!" SPLOOSH! Sytin looses his balance and takes a lovely tumble into the river, sliding after Nathanael with a splutter that is soon a chorus of laughter. The river is doing a surprisingly good job of scrubbing away the muck with its turgid flow, too. Bonus? The Smith doesn't seem to notice as he squeals with delight, following the Seacrafter 'round the bend and toward the less dense jungle. Whee!

jungle.jpg

Jungle
As the clearing is left behind, a deep silence permeates and soaks into the very ground that towering trees grow out of, accompanied by the humid heat of the enclosed rainforest. The silence is broken by the chittering call of wild firelizards, the chirruping of distant avians, and the ominous rustling of large, feline predators that stalk the deeper, heart of the jungle. Vines drape from the trees, falling to the jungle floor, which carries the hint of decay. Water drips from the canopy above, the soft sound almost musical against the echoing call of the jungles denizens. Westward, with the tangled overgrowth and the shadows of the deeper rainforest, the forest looms dangerous. A small stand of banyan and sandalwood trees grows here.

There is totally a stream over there, just barely hidden behind the trees. The yells grow louder and a boyish giggle echos from the water. "AHHHH!!!" Swiftly Nathanael, mud splattered and wet from head to toe is swept past, a huge grin on his face.

"We are going woman." Jedi gets a swift retort, as Renalde picks up the pace away from where they are at. As the yell breaks the stillness he almost finches, knife pointing towards the stream. Relaxation comes just a moment later, though he keeps out the knife.

Not far behind the Seacrafter, Sytin is swept along, letting out his own whoop of boyish enthusiasm as the rushing river carries them along. "Waaahooo!!!" Equally muddy the Smith zips through the thinning jungle toward the clearing, laughing and splashing the whole while. He's gone almost as fast as he arrived, however, swept along like a muddy log.

"…maybe Dimitri was right," is Cerise's lone comment, seconds after she nearly suffers a heart attack again thanks to the boys. That just about does it for her. The performer breaks into a trot after tucking her knife away, moving as quickly as she can without bouncing the flowers right out of the basket.

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Boardwalk
Ancient-cut stone stretches broad, smoothed by the wind and the weather and the rain to create a boisterous center of commerce. Wood overlays stone in places, patterned and pretty, to attract the eye of those traversing the strip to particular vendors. Though not the size of the tremendous markets of the North, the boardwalk's offerings show the knowledge of ageless crafters: Smith contraptions, Herder-certified animals, Starcraft maps and Weaver textiles are only some of the things that may be purchased, among the spicy scents of beach food and the contrast of bright shells and dark stones from the shoreline.
It is Spring and 69 degrees. It is heavily overcast.

The stream carries the younglings safely enough, though a few bruises might show themselves later on. As the stream pours into the ocean it begins to slow, widening out so that it can no longer push Nathanael along. More mud covers the youngboy as he pushes himself upright.

Pushed somewhat over to the side of the stream, Sytin just lays there for a few moments breathlessly panting as the water continues to wash over here — for all the good that it does — and he lets out a breathless chuckle. "Can we do that again?" he asks, joking with Nathanael. "Shards, we should do this more often!" Another chuckle and the Smith shoves himself upright, looking at Nathanael. "You look like someone buried you alive," he grins, eyes dancing. "In a compost heap."

"Yes!" Nathanael looks down at himself, then up at the other boy. "'e don't look much better!" A loud yell from behind them has Nathanael jumping a bit guiltily. "'Thanel! Ship off 'n half mark!" A glance over his shoulder at a far away person calling into the jungle. "'s my pa, see 'e around?" And then Nathanael is scampering off towards the weyr, perhaps to get clean clothing before his father can get a good look at him.

Sytin laughs and then cuts it off abruptly as Nathanael's father gives a shout. "Yeah, see ya around!" he grins, waving after the Seacrafter as he scurries off, soon hoisting himself out of the sand to go and stealthily demuck himself as well, disappearing off toward the Weyr.

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