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The Multiverse

Setting

A dense jungle that houses some of the worst and most dangerous predators in the land. In addition, there are many exotic plants both delicious and deadly.

The Shrouded Claws are named after horrific perceptions, rather than fact.


Bestiary of Xamoyos
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The shrouded claws

A dense jungle full of some of the worst predators in the land.

Minimap

The shrouded claws is a part of Xamoyos Wilds.

1 Places in The shrouded claws:

3 Characters Here

Treda [10] Large Xamoyan turtle. Docile until provoked. Carnivore.
Adapa [10] Adapa is a semi-bipedal mammal, primate or rodent closely resembling a squirrel, tarsier or lemur. He is more genetically related to lorises and nagapies, but his sentience and sapience is more similar to hominids, neanderthals and modern homo sapiens.
Belle LeTroix [5] Shifting as she is, she never changes her stripes. Slow to anger, quick to mercy.

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Adapa materializes from the void.
Treda has arrived, coming from Dracos Valley.

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Treda lumbered from the brush, chewing the rest of a mouthful of those berries they had found in transit.

The giant turtle admittedly had nothing better to do than explore a new scent, so that's what they did.

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#, as written by Adapa
As the miniscule sized 2 foot tall squirrelly proto-primate with sapience hiked casually along the giant Xamoyoan turtle Treda's large tortoise trail through the Xamoyos Wilds, he entered the area between the wild forest and the thick dark jungle. Adapa pushed some large ferns aside which had leafy petals even bigger than himself and looked around at the clearing surrounded by what appeared to him to resemble a small rocky mountain range. Other more larger animals probably thought they were just giant pointy boulders or a strange C-shaped curving row of pointed sharp rocks. But to the tiny little sentient rodent, everything seemed massive and so his tiny yet intelligent brain interpreted everything disproportionately large and overly exaggerated by size comparison to bigger lifeforms.

Adapa was a unique specimen, although not the first of his kind or even the only creature of his species in existence. There were other rodents or lemurian primato-sapiens where he lived, here in this very oasis. The enormous row of pointed rocks was the gateway to Adapa's paradise, his beloved home and family in the jungle. Oh and by "paradise" we do mean this was an *incredibly* dangerous area, home to perhaps the largest and deadliest predators on the planet. This was Hell's uterus, the earthy womb that gave birth to your darkest nightmares. Alas, the squirrelly creature had ascertained the shrouded claws and reached his destination, traveling relatively safe this time as opposed to others. Of course, life and survival always involved minor detours here and there, but Adapa made it back again in one piece, as he had often done several times before on previous ventures into the jungle. He smiled, his incisors and bucky long teeth baring as his whiskers flinched, his black and brown round eyes beholding the monument in his sight.

The shrouded claws...

Unbeknownst to pretty much every normal-sized lifeform in the deathbourne jungle, that large enormous C-shaped row of tall pointed rocks was actually not a grove of boulders or cyclopean stones, and they certainly weren't anywhere near large enough to be rocky mountains as the lorises, nagapies and magpies perceived them to be. The shrouded claws were actually the remnants of fossil remains belonging to some ancient extinct creature. The bones from that creature, much like the lost ruins in the Xamayos Wilds where Adapa had just come from had long been reclaimed by the wilderness. It's skeleton had decomposed and no longer remained, apart from the shrouded claws, the name that had been given to the place by another species. Oddly enough, the rocks were not even the remnants of fossilized claws either, despite their iconic C-shaped arrangement as if cupping or gripping whatever had once been in the center. "The Whale's Belly." Adapa muttered to himself out loud.

Despite looking cute and comical, the tiny squirrelly rodent-like lemurian primato-sapien plesiadapis was not off the mark, or off his rocking chair. Adapa's species had come to perceive the pointed mountains in a different spectrum, associating the mountains with a cave that lemurian plesiadapiforms called "the belly of the whale." Well as it turns out, those C-shaped mountains are in fact a more accurately U-shaped stone formation and somehow Adapa's species has managed to preserve the fact that they are actually fossilized carnivorous extinct giant whale teeth sticking out of the earth, sprouting up from what appears to be the lower jaw of a now extinct marine reptile. And by "reptile" we mean Leviathan, an extinct prediluvian sea monster or whale that would probably eat a dragon if it thought it could stand a chance. The shrouded claws did not belong to a land beast or wind demon with legs, but to a finned sea monster with jaws that could bite a Xamayosauros Rex in half with one snap, and did regularly in days gone by, before the jungle dried up and the whale went extinct.

"Home!" the squirrelly lemur-like bipedal mammal with the walking stick, the woven wooden basket/backpack full of tinkers and gizmos, and the longer than usual foxy tail with equally long whiskers and happy ears with a bucktooth smile said with a grin. He quickly darted into the belly of the whale, running up to a very tall and familiar tree. We just would like to remind you that everything is monstrous and ridiculously large in the jungle encompassing the shrouded claws. We're not exactly sure what's going on, but this squirrel is dope as f*censored*(ssstttatticc). Adapa twitched his tail and flinched his whiskers, his ears pointing straight up as he froze before the great tree. He thought he could sense something approaching. Or maybe it was nothing. There was a frog skeleton on the ground nearby. Adapa wanted it's head, as it looked good for body armor. He scurried over to the mummified carcass and grabbed it, dragging it up the tree with his tail as he darted suddenly before pausing, looking over his shoulder before peaking around the corner to see if anything moves.

He was frozen in place...

His head and body never flinched. But his tail kept twitching and flirting wildly back and forth. He thought he smelled something, and bolted around the whole entire tree like it was a hamster wheel. But upon returning to his original place, he crinkled his nose and climbed up to a branch high above any of the larger predators and threats in the jungle, not because he felt endangered but because that's where *home* was located. Adapa's species was sentient and sapient, having not only the expression of emotion and pain, but also the impression of devotion and intelligence. The entrance to Adapa's realm was high up in the giant jungle tree. Luckily for him, the sacred ancient tree was in all actuality the root of the root system that had partially spread and serpentined its way out over the Xamayos Wilds, and provided a sanctuary for his kind, for the tree itself was poisonous and dangerous to most predators, itself having some strange and mysterious connection to the squirrellish rodential hominid that sat atop it's highest branches, looking up at the skies while thinking about his family.

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Treda slowly trudged to the tree that was more than a tree. Treda hadn't ever noticed things were living in this. Hunkering down a slight distance, the large turtle creature took to watching.

Then, suddenly, the squirrel thing was bolting around the tree faster than the turtlething eye's could track! It almost made Treda dizzy, so they blinked long and hard.

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#, as written by Adapa
Adapa looked right. His eyes bolted left. He looked up, he looked down. His vision gazed everything diagonally in all four directions. This was merely the beginning of his assessment. However, Adapa was a rodent with a long snout and two eyes. His eyes were not in the front of his skull like a human, they were in the sides of his skull, allowing the squirrelly rodent to see quite clearly in many directions without even moving. To the unobservant witness, Adapa never even moved. His head remained frozen as a statue.

It was only when he tilted his head slightly to peer over his shoulder that Adapa even seemed to flinch. Otherwise, his eyes appeared wide open and his body perfectly still as he assessed the surroundings. He watched as the large Xamoyoan turtle approached the poisonous tree he was perched in, her large size and slow bulldozing loud tread through the high brush being his que to freeze. The species itself was rare, ancient, and timeless of age. As a natural instinct, Adapa froze, perhaps hoping that the ancient gigantic Xamoyoan turtle wouldn't see him high up in the tree. Apparently, the small mammal had already forgotten their previous encounter, having still the mindset of a primeval prehistoric primate which was ingenious compared to Treda, but like a certain blue surgeon fish named Dory compared to other species, Adapa was still squirrelly with a very short attention span.

His mind wandered at what workings he might invent to domesticate and tame such an enormous predator. Luckily for the enormous small-dino eating turtle, Treda had more than just a shell. Her immune system and diet was such that Adapa's home tree, poisonous to most other predators, was not a threat at all to the semi-marine reptile who often dug holes and crafted turtle nests in its root system. Adapa was not a stranger to the beasts which fed on his kind. On contrary, he was a neighbor to many a carnivorous species in the remote vast jungle, including even scarier and more dangerous reptiles which hunted and preyed on Xamoyoan turtles. Or more accurately, upon turtle eggs. But life was never easy in the jungle amongst dinosaurs and other large predators, at least not for Adapa or his arboreal family.

His tail twitched.

This wasn't exactly a fear reflex. It was a survival tactic, not meant for the giants of the earth, but moreso to confuse the giants of the sky, like giant owls and carnivorous birds of prey which might be watching Adapa as he was watching Treda, their sinister minds hellbent on hunting and capturing an easy target. Adapa was intentionally standing still, his tail waving side to side in order to make it appear as though his tail was actually his head. Apart from this very subtle offbeat motion, Adapa remained motionless like a tree pod, his brown and black and white and grey shades of fur blending in almost perfectly with the tree bark he was clung to. Xamoyoan turtles were absolutely massive compared to the 2 foot tall sapien, but they couldn't climb up that tall thick tree like other carnivores such as snakes and wildcats, which the tiny little rat-like plesiadapis dealt with regularly.

After a moment of hesitation, Adapa climbed up the tree again for several more branches before reaching a small perfectly round hole in the tree trunk about 2 inches in diameter. Given the creature's size of nearly 4.5 feet long, it didn't even seem possible at first. But given the small rodent's internal skeletal structure and dexterity, Adapa somehow managed to squeeze himself into the tiny hollow bark of the otherwise seemingly impenetrable tree and disappeared into it's interior, as if stretching himself like a common ferret and making his plump little body much thinner. Alas, the primato-sapien rat seemed to be safe, as he left the dangerous jungle behind him and entered a whole new world which seemed very alien and different opposed to the dangerous dog-eat-dog world outside in the shrouded claws, in that sacred place his species referred to as "the belly of the whale".

Just then, and without warning, Adapa passed wind. It was not planned or expected, and in a slight jest of humor, his own flatulence seemed to startle him and trigger a completely frozen response. His ears perked, his eyes widened, turning to confront the horrible odor that suddenly attacked his behind without warning. Wtf was that?! he thought to himself, his whiskers flinching as he raised his tail to investigate. But there was nothing there, no explanation for the vibration which rattled him so deeply. It didn't take long for Adapa to sniff around and realize that nothing was amiss, apart from the smell of whatever that was that left his body. But that was momentarily, and very soon he was gasping for air at the sight which lay before him.

Home...

It was beyond words...

A somewhat subterranean abode, at least from the mammal's perspective, entirely hollowed out and carved of wood, from the inside out or so it would seem, equivalent to some kind of ancient Hindu stone temple in the mountains or some ancient Krymménos city made of primitive lost technology, as if the rodential gods themselves had crafted the remote interterranian, cyclopean architectural design of the hollowed out tree, a megalopolis city or kingdom which stretched throughout the large banyan-like flora that stood not exactly in the center of the whale's belly, 50 feet in diameter and over 300 feet tall like some kind of prehistoric relic. It's hollows and cave-like infrastructure strongly resembled the behavioral making of carpenter ants or termites, or even tree-dwelling Apoidea, but this was not a haven for insects or arthropods. It was a spider trap for such critters, as Adapa's species was intelligent and had already discovered ways of surviving in the shrouded claws by preying on such creatures despite their enormous size. This included dragonflies, centipedes, tarantulas and millipedes, wasps, small outwitted reptiles and other species that happened to be unfortunate enough to enter the wormhole of Adapa's paradise, a place inhabited by hundreds of rodent-like primates exactly like himself in sentience and sapience. Every indigenous lifeform in the shrouded claws was both predator and prey, and the very cute squirrel-like rodent, nagapie, lorise, lemur, mouse or hominid was not even as unique as it seemed in such a foreshadowing atmosphere.


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A large white room was spread before her, one wall was transparent and outside she could see the creatures that brought her here. They stood on two legs, relatively little fur on them aside from their heads, and they draped much of their bodies in in non-natural coverings. Some of their coverings were white, and these tended to observe her intensively as they do something with small objects in their hands in response to every behavior she exhibited. They others, fewer in number, wore more elaborate coverings, wielding what she had observed to be weapons they used on the more aggressive creatures who gnash with teeth and claw. She had those too, but didn't use them, she didn't want to attack, she had no reason to. She knew they were studying her, she studied them too, watched them watch her. She wanted to be here, she chose to be here. She felt wanted, needed. They found that strange, but to her, she was strange anyways. There was no others like her, she was alone, but now she had other creatures who thought and felt and that gave... comfort.

"If it is artificially made then it isn't one of ours," one of the creatures in white utters as an assembly of complex sounds, she didn't understand but his tone was frustrated. "And there is no match against any known native species. At first appearance it had morphological similarities to Didelphis virginiana, but that is clearly not the case anymore. It is mammalian, anatomy isn't too strange, but it... changes, adapts? I'm not sure what to call it, but it isn't random."

"Whatever it is, it is too smart, look at it, it feels like we are the ones under the microscope. I mean, it didn't even put up a struggle, that is not normal. Are we even sure this cell is enough to contain it? It is more than capable of killing us, you saw what it did," another speaks, this one's voice sounded... scared. Poor thing.

They had given her a small box that rotated with different colors on each side. They were testing her smarts, she did this so many times before, she knew she had to match the colors but she was bored of that. It was too simple, she had to reach out or she would just be cheating them. Maybe this would offer comfort, that she appreciated them? She began to take the box apart with her claws piece-by-piece, assembling the pieces on the floor.

"Wait, what is it- what is it doing?" uttered one that had been close to the transparent wall.

All eyes were now on her, it made her... happy. With hushed voices they watched her as she made her picture out of the smarts box. What she had made was a recreation of the pattern they wore on their coverings. The one near the transparent wall leaned in, placing his smooth claw upon it, she felt it appropriate to respond, placing her own against it, matching his.

"I- I think it just said 'hello'," he uttered in a hushed voice.

Her tail tapped against the soft floor, she felt bliss, it seemed to have worked.


She awoke to the hard dirt floor of her den, only softened by leaves and down she had collected. She had dreamt of a time she longed for, of a warm clean place with those that she could bond with. She knew now she was little more than research, but that didn't mean she had no connection to them, but now they were gone. They were long gone and she had felt an emptiness since. The creatures here were mostly driven by simpler things, eat or be eaten, it is too base, too simple. Simply put, she needed something that thought through something deeper than its stomach. Perhaps it was time to try again?

She went to a small pit in her den where she had placed some plants together that smelled nice. It helped in somewhat masking herself from annoyances, but more than that... she felt it made for a good impression. The other smart ones would use a similar method, she just adapted it. She dropped herself into into the pit, wading in the herbs and flowers, before pulling herself out and shake off the excess. She exited her dark den to greet the outside. Not too many of the predators bothered her, but she was also quite large, they didn't seem to like bothering other creatures with lots of teeth and sharp claws... that and eating them made a statement that even their rather simplistic brains could comprehend.

She stretched, and set out on the prowl for something interesting. She didn't have too high of hopes, but who knows? Today may surprise her.

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Character Portrait: Treda Character Portrait: Adapa Character Portrait: Belle LeTroix
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#, as written by Adapa
Adapa was not the first of his kind, or even the only one from his species in existence. Adapa was actually the 147th generation, he himself having never been born in a laboratory, but born naturally out in the wild after the time of his great ancestors who originated from the stars and were brought as slaves to the continent around 3,500 years ago in tiny cages to be used as lab rats in sapien genetic experiments. The true origin of Adapa's species was obscure, but they spoke Galactic Common and learned to preserve their history through oral myths and legends, albeit not entirely historically accurate as the stories seemed to evolve and change for 147 generations afterwards. Adapa knew the stories, but his adaptation of the mythology left more questions than answers, for his version of the Creation Myth started not in a science lab or a great banyan-like tree, but with a very simple cosmic egg.

Or rather, an acorn...

One day an acorn fell from a tree and was split open. From out of the acorn emerged the first therianthrope, the ancestor of plesiadapis and all other mammals including primates, lemurians, koalas, nagapies, lorises, squirrels, possums, mice, armadillos, platypuses, raccoons, rabbits and all other rodential creatures. At first they lived in harmony, until the giants came down from heaven and destroyed their world, using science to enslave them and torture them, wiping out entire species and habitats as they abducted and murdered everything, doing all sorts of evil experiments and even forcing them to interbreed. This episode continued for over 500 years until one day, there was a great flood that forced some land-walking reptiles into their territory. A great war ensued, but the aliens used superior advanced technology to suppress the giant lizards and continue their operations.

Soon the monsters were mixing reptile DNA with mammal DNA, along with their own sapien genomes to create artificially inseminated eggs which hatched chimaeras and hybrid life forms in their creepy white laboratories. The first slave race was invented and kept in glass containers for observation. There were many glass tanks and cages, but it wasn't Adapa's species that triggered the events that freed them all from enslavement. It was the Great Goddess, a reptile far more predatorial and intelligent than any squirrel or rodent. The bipedal raptor had figured out how to observe and communicate. It was even slightly capable of mimicking other species with its unique vocal adaptations, and had managed to sabotage the facility where it was contained by aliens who were trying to study its intelligence.

All hell broke loose as soon as the door locks were opened. Despite all of their intelligence and advanced technology, the monsters were not expecting the Xamoyoan raptors to escape and sabotage the scientific research center. They went after the largest and easiest prey at first, which included the aliens who had been experimenting on them. But once these sapiens were hunted to extinction and food became scarce, they started looking for ways to break through the metal cages and glass tanks that harvested other smaller life forms. Of course, Adapa's version of the story was slightly different. But it still contained elements of actual truth, for the small rodent-like survivor had been taught a mythology which reflected somewhat of an accurate history, based on very ancient events that did in fact happen 3,500 years ago and for which there remained certain evidence, albeit very scarce, located precisely in the Xamoyos Wilds where such events were said to have taken place. Adapa's species had survived, but how they managed to escape was left entirely up to the imagination.

Home sweet home...

3,500 years later after 147 generations of tiny loris-like rodents that managed to survive in the jungle, Adapa beheld a remote and secluded metropolis of hollow-tree architecture, the inner makings of a tiny city or kingdom that he himself had helped to create using tiny little teeth. Like a badger or woodchuck, his species possessed the inbourne skill of lumber jacking, woodworking, carpentry and interior design. Adapa was an architect, sort of. It was all much more crudely built and probably more exaggerated in his tiny little brain than others might imagine. But the squirrelly hominid was nevertheless impressed by his own opposable involvement in such a humongous project. This hollow oasis was the center of Adapa's animal kingdom, the very capital and birthplace of his immediate family. It was the only true place in the entire jungle, the entire continent, the entire planet, perhaps even the entire universe or Multiverse that gave the little guy any sense of security and feeling of any comfort. This was the Tree, the heart of the jungle, the belly of the whale. It was the only place he felt safe, and even then, he only felt a little bit safe.

Adapa still recalled his old neighbors, a pair of plesiadapiform-like squirrelish rodents much like himself who had fashioned a rabbit-skin canoe and ventured out into the murky marshlands in search of adventure. Hoping to discover new lands and return home as famous adventurers, they instead found remnants of a lost civilization. Perhaps it belonged to the same aliens who created Adapa's species, or maybe to someone else. But they stumbled across some kind of decomposing battery or broken nuclear device that had been chewed upon and ditched into the swamp, and which the pair of travellers had coincidentally stumbled upon. Their fate remains a mystery, but it is believed that they may have died, possibly drowning in the mucky water or being eaten by a large predator. Remnants of their broken canoe had been found, along with a monologue of their adventures and discoveries, but no bodies were ever recovered. Instead, the rescuers encountered a small tribe of viscous green goblins which were very aggressive and caused them to abandon their rescue mission.

Adapa still travelled to the swamps from time to time, despite warnings to stay away. He never saw a goblin before, or a gnome, but he had often heard warnings about their existence. All of these tales were Native Xamoyos legends, ancient oral stories designed to frighten adolescent rodents as far as he was concerned. He understood the moral and ethical implications and life lessons concealed in the mythology, but it never occurred to Adapa that such stories might be based in truth. Adapa sniffed the air again and suddenly jolted, as if some unplanned body spasm had caused him to leap unexpectedly from one wall to another, in an unnecessarily acrobatic half-cartwheel spin kickflip. He didn't smell or sense anything. But instead, it was as if he had been spooked by his own shadow. Adapa's impulsive trigger motion was not the result of some primeval fear or survival mechanism. In fact it was much worse. Much much worse.

Adapa was genetically created...

He scratched and batted at the wall, and vigorously stomped his hind leg several times impulsively, tapping his foot on the wooden floor rapidly and making many light thud sounds in rapid succession. This strange abnormal behavior seemed to represent signs of excitement and climatic impulse in animals with his sort of intelligence. Almost as if he was experiencing some kind of nerve response, Adapa started chirping and barking unexpectedly, almost appearing to squeak comically at the interior wooden surface in front of him. A dormant wooden surface that had not said or done anything to merit such a response from the boxing animal, which suddenly cussed at the blank wall in front of him as he touched it with his nose.

"Tchs tchs chs cht tchs! Ssst!"

Adapa hissed and stared at the blank wooden wall, his eyes widened as he sniffed the surface. Did it just move? That was the question his mind conjured up at the moment. But no. Inanimate objects don't generally do anything at all unless physically moved around by some intelligent life force. The simple fact of the matter was that Adapa was hallucinating, imagining or reacting to something that didn't even actually exist. He forgot instantly, however, and proceeded to unpack his things before running back up to the surface, poking his tiny little head out of the entrance to his kingdom to look around again.

Adapa was not even the king, or ruler of his domain. In fact, he was only one of several hundred commoners which inhabited the banyan-like tall tree which grew in the shrouded claws. He did stem from nobility, but so did everyone else from his innumerable family, as he glanced around before stepping back outside on to the thick long tree branch that partially concealed the tiny hole to his domain. He bolted down the tree vertically, hopping from branch to branch, running upside down it would seem with his head below his tail on all fours. Adapa noticed that despite all the swift and major events that had happened, the large Xamoyoan turtle named Treda had barely moved. She was still at the base of the tree, processing thoughts in her head as Adapa descended from the bark of the tree and froze stiffly upon seeing her.

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As she made her rounds she scratched a mark and a symbol on rocks and trees along the way with the very last plate near the tip of her tail. It was a habit she had acquired from the upright walking ones. It helped her keep track of her home and where she had been. A big part of her had hoped to see complex markings that weren't hers, some sign of higher thinking.

She was smart, a different smart than most other creatures across Xamoyos. She had the introspective to realize she doesn't know any others of her kind, and never knowing the manner in which she came to be. She liked to think that like everything else she was born. She liked to think that she was loved, that the reason she was abandoned wasn't intentional. Even with that thought she found no comfort. The simple fact was, she was abandoned, and was left to grieve all that was lost, both from the facility and thag of her own conception, of that which she may never know and the loneliness of it all. It felt... empty.

As she had began to mull over her thoughts, she saw a peculiar sight, a large turtle standing by a tree looking absolutely entranced by something up a tree. She squinted, tracing the focus of its attention, noticing a small furred animal with a bushy tail darting about. Did the turtle intend to eat it? No, that didn't seem right, not like ot could climb the tree. The little critter itself seemed to move with intent. She hunkered down and began to make an approach to get a better look.

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#, as written by Adapa
The little 4.5 foot long, 3.2 pound omnivorous carnivore whose bushy brownish naturally colored tail was half a foot longer than it's whole entire body was running in circles and darting down the tree before he became suddenly frozen stiff again, his roughly 6 inch skull with bulging round black eyes, elongated snout, pointy whiskers and long protruding bucktoothed incisors gazing down, nearly upside down with his head cocked back at the squirrel-eating carnivorous giant turtle whose shell must have been at least 9 feet long and 5 feet tall, not even including her fully extended height or her overall body length with its large head, legs, long neck and tail which Adapa perceived to make her appear even larger, being himself roughly the same size as the turtle's foot. Adapa played the staring contest with Treda again, as if the first to blink or move would lose the game. But from his perch up on the side of the large banyan-like 50 foot round tree, posted just above Treda's head about 10 feet off the ground, Adapa noticed another animal walking through the jungle, approaching their location.

Adapa didn't move, however, his nose still pointed directly at Treda, but his tiny skull or cranium was already shaped and adapted in such a way as to allow the primato-sapient rodent to have excellent eyesight, not only forward at the large mindless turtle he gazed upon directly, but also through his sideview or peripheral as he noticed Belle LeTroix out of the corner of his eye when she hunkered down to approach after the therianthropic lorisidae plesiadapis stopped his descent down the tree. Adapa remained as frozen as a statue, his body never flinching a muscle apart from his wildly foxy tail which twitched side to side randomly. He was watching Belle, but he wasn't making any noises or really doing anything at all apart from staring at the giant turtle, trying to determine if Treda was a predator, or just an enormous rock. He had forgotten their previous encounter already, but he didn't remember that enormous dome-like boulder being there before he climbed the tree. Or was it already there? He remembered seeing something from earlier that reminded him of a boulder. Or was it a mountain? He couldn't recall exactly, but something seemed different. It was at that moment that Adapa remembered the turtle. He flinched his whiskers and sniffed at the air again. He could smell Belle's approach now, his scent being almost as good as his eyesight. This made up for his lack of ability in other senses such as his hearing and taste.

Of course, Adapa's ears were small and open, pointed upwards so that his hearing was still 2.5 times better than humans. Loud noises and high frequencies sometimes drove him nuts, causing the squirrelly rodent-like primate to act crazy and spontaneous at times. He was still diurnal and had better eyesight during the day than at night, but that isn't to say he couldn't see in the dark once his eyes adjusted to less light. The thickness and shade of the jungle canopy had already caused his eyes to adapt as he contemplated whether to start barking and chirping, or whether to just stay motionless and silent. By now he was fully aware of the presence of both creatures, as well as the large nocturnal rodent-eating Xamoyoan owl which had perched in some higher branches above, but luckily was sleeping. Adapa remained still and motionless for a few minutes before slowly and cautiously inching further down the tree trunk, stopping abruptly after about a foot and a half down from where he had first stopped moving, turning his body slightly sideways as he continued to stare at Treda, waiting for her to make her move.


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Character Portrait: Treda Character Portrait: Adapa Character Portrait: Belle LeTroix
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Belle tilted her head and got crawled closer, the very scene seeming utterly bizarre to her. What had Treda so captivated with this... squirrel-like creature? It seemed far too small for its consideration, much too fast to catch even. She had been noticed at this point by the squirrely Adapa at least, she was certain his eyes at least acknowledged her existence. It wasn't like she even tried to be sneaky, just not distract... whatever it was that they were doing. It was a courtesy. She may as well let herself be known at this point.

Her tail raised up and then flopped down on the dirt, and up she lifted onto her hind legs and stood, around nine feet in height. She tried to do this without appearing aggressive, but get their attention. Maybe it wasn't the best choice but she wasn't exactly taught etiquette to that extent. She interlocked her forepaws in front of her face with a thoughtful look, her eyes shifting between the two as her tail tapped against the ground in an alternating pattern. Tap, tap-tap, tap, tap-tap.

"How do I test if either of these creatures have any comprehension?" she thought to herself as she scratched her chin. Her eyes glazed over as she became entranced by her own rhythmic tapping.

Her thoughts went back to a time when she was at the facility, one of the upright walking ones in white stood in front of the clear wall, and he held up his hand and waved. She waved back. This had become a routine between them at this point. Then after that, he held up one finger, one tap on the glass. Two fingers, two taps. It continued to five. She responded in kind. He seemed happy. Was he happy for her? She liked seeing him happy, but the others looked... concerned? They talked quietly amongst themselves, she could barely hear them, but thought she read the words "too smart," upon their lips. Did she do something wrong?

She snapped back to the present, letting out a light sigh. It was time to make yet another attempt to communicate. She held out her right paw and, with outstretched fingers, waved.