Day 038: Herbal Lessons
Summary: Benning takes Elias foraging for herbs for the Skaikru doctors.
Date: 07/06/16
Related: None
Elias Benning 

Lake Arkadia & Wilderness Outside of Camp Jaha
Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and rolling foothills, the Lake Arkadia — or known as Lake Audo to the Trikru — is a sprawling, crystalline body of water that joins the Potomac watershed. It is encompassed in low grasses and young alder trees. The forests start to thicken to the west, where the rocky peaks of this small mountain range poke up out of the groves of hemlock and cedar. Following along a newly flattened path is the road to Camp Jaha. The Skaikru city is what remains of the crashed Alpha station. The enormous ring stands vertical some many hundred feet in the air, and it has already begun to be salvaged for materials.
Day 38

"Oh, 'sorry' is 'moba'," Elias says with a smile as he moves to catch up at a jog. Again, he pushes his tongue out to wet over his lips before speaking again when he makes it alongside her. "And for your knowledge, mochof." Apparently, he's picked up on a couple of things at least. After that, he's content to travel as quietly as she wishes and keeps an eye out for any cues she might give.

Benning gives a smile as he comes up and holds out a basket to take, "I could not find any yarrow or lavender but I was able to find some willow trees and some wintergreen. Both should help your friend, Morgan." She smiles at his attempt to use her language, "<In Trigedasleng> It gets easier in time." She pauses and then tells him, "I just told you it gets easier in time." She motions for him to follow her to the willow trees first.

A nod is given to Benning and he returns her smile. What she says in Trigedasleng, he squints at a little bit as if trying to pick a word out of it he might know. Finally, he settles on there not being one until she explains. "Oh, so you call it the same," he says, nodding. "There were a couple of clearings I encountered back near Coesbur that had some lavender. Mostly, I am trying to study how us being here is going to effect the local wildlife, game trails…and all that." Taking a deep breath then, he once more rubs at the back of his neck. With a smile then, he gives her a meaningful look. "It's been getting better. Easier. Mochof."

"There is already a disruption," Benning tells him softly as she nods to the metal and glass, "The animals will shy from this camp…you might find some for a few weeks but then they will widen their path." She takes him down to the willow tree and shows him how to carefully peel the lose parts without damaging the tree, "Do not be greedy when you take the bark, only what is peeling and loose. Otherwise you might harm the tree." For Benning, it's all about preserving nature.

Nodding his head, Elias seems to agree with what Benning says. "This is why I study. To understand our impact and to help heal it," he says, making his way along with the woman with a casual and easy gait. "When we plant crops, we have to understand the effect we'll have on the other wildlife in the area, yes?" A brow is raised to her at his question, but he seems content to let it hang while he moves on towards the willow. He watches her in silence as she peels the bark from the tree and looks around for a piece that looks like it's going to come off. When he finds it, he's careful in removing it from the tree. A /little/ too much comes away, but it's clear that he just isn't practiced at it. "Oh," he says and then sucks in a breath between his teeth. "Will this be alright?"

Benning smiles as Elias mentions his hope that they can live with the land and not overtake it, "Yes…rotating your crops to make sure those that steal nutrients from the ground and then growing plants like swiss chard will help the land heal." She watches him as he peels back the bark and then frowns as a little more comes off, "Ahh…yes, it will but you need to help the tree now that it has an open wound." She moves to the river and carefully pulls out some mud and then goes back to the tree, applying it over the raw spot so it seals in the mud. She let's it dry and then adds another layer, "When you pull too hard, you can get rough spots like this. It attracts insects and then they can infest the tree. That is why we seal the raw spot." And help the tree heal naturally.

Smiling to her, Elias nods his head in response and his eyes flash some familiarity. "Crop rotations," he says finally. "That concept I am familiar with. The nutrients you speak of come from the rocks, see?" He pushes his tongue out to wet his lips again before he goes on. "Over time, the water breaks down the rock and the tiny, tiny pieces are carried away into the ground water to nourish the soil. We also have to be mindful of how we treat the water." He does watch her pull up the mud during this and pays careful attention to the way she applies it to the tree. "I understand. Everything we do has a consequence. It's important to keep that in mind."

"Yes…nature will give you her bounty, but you must not be greedy," Benning tells him as she looks over the tree and satisfied that it's doing well she then motions for them to collect the peeling bark from the next one, "This time be more gentle, pull slower and when you feel the tug then move it sideways to break it off." She then demonstrates so he can see how she does it, "If you break it off before it starts to tear, you don't have a rough spot."

"I understand," Elias says to Benning with another nod of his head. "Will you show me and help me to grow more leafy greens and roots as crops? For the people who are evacuating their homes. I want to do it, but I don't want to ruin the land in the process." He gives her an inquisitive look, awaiting her answer while he watches her with the next tree. This time his movements are much more delicate…likely just a bit too delicate. When he feels the tug, he carefully turns it to the side and tears the piece without harming the tree this time.

"Yes, I will help you for as long as I am allowed," Benning tells him softly as they work. She has to add that cavaet because she can't assist if her tribe goes to war. But she hopes that will be the case based on the look on her face, "Plants that grow well here are tomatoes, but you must plant basil…an herb next to them to keep the bugs away. Lettuce, swiss chard and cucumbers also do well here." It takes them a little bit but they manage to gater a nice basket of willow bark for the doctor, "He will need to meet with our healers on how to prepare it properly, but I do sometimes chew it when I have a headache and it works well."

Elias smiles in response to her hopeful look and nods his head. "Well. We all have the same ancestors. More or less." Taking a breath in then, he looks up towards the sky and then exhales. "Our people were explorers. Traveling higher and higher into the sky. There are a lot of things to learn out there, you know. When the missiles went off a hundred years ago, we were just…trapped up there." With a shrug of his shoulders then, he continues walking along, offering to carry the basket. "There was a time when my people really believed that knowledge and understanding, science, was to help everyone. Skaikru or no, I'm not about to back down from that. It's not in my nature to stand by while others suffer."

"You are a good man Elias kom Skaikru, I am glad Wren's Second has a good mate," Benning tells him as she hands over the basket and starts to take him over were the wintergreen grow, "The berries are edible, and can be used to make tea, cordial or extract. It has a minty taste and you can use it to numb the skin. But be careful you do not injest too much. It can make you sick." She pauses as she starts to demonstrate how to harvest this one, "Take only one cluster of leaves…not the whole bundle. And make sure the areas that you take from are a few feet apart. If you see brown or the plant is struggling, skip over. It will not be a good harvest."

"Eh, I'm alright," Elias says with a wink and a bit of a bashful smile. "Both Morgan and Silver should be able to pick up on how to prepare it properly." With a laugh then, he gives a wave of his hand. "But you know, I have medicine I can grow as well that helps with pain. Are you familiar with cannabis? Mixed with lavender and made into a…like a cream? It mostly kills pain in the joints." As if to illustrate, he bends his shoulder and elbow a bit. He does nod in understanding to her tutelage as well, though. "Don't ingest too much," he repeats with a nod. "So that the plants have a chance to reproduce," he estimates, looking to her to see if he's right.

Benning gives a laugh as he mentions cannabis and then holds out her hand and pulls out a stash of cannabis that she has with her, "Yes…I am aware." She passes it over so he can smell it. It's the good stuff because Trikru as very natural when it comes to their pain management, "If you wish…you can have this and there are seeds there so you can grow your own plants." She flashes him a smile, "Consider it part of our 'harvest' for future."

The willow bark and wintergreen are carried along in the basket as Elias walks with her. The sudden laugh and then her motion to produce the cannabis are given a curious look until she hands him the pungent flower(s). "Well, thank you! I will use it well." He smiles to her and accepts the stash of cannabis. "Oh wow," he says, inhaling to smell it. "I will have to look at your soil conditions where you grow this. Mochof, Benning." With that he inclines his head in a nod to her. "I will take this to Morgan and see you back at camp later." Indeed, he brought his tent out so that he could stay with Kai. With that, the two part ways.

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