Location: The Valley, Old Chikil, Paonia
Kamino glared at the piece of succulent fruit in her right hand and the nut in her left. Who swam ridiculous lengths on health food?
She’d made it about half-way to the nearest town before reality broke through her hunger haze: She was currently broke and unsightly. She would have to fix both situations before she entered a town. For the time being, she would have to scrounge for food – but she swore that would not last long.
This wasn’t Kamino’s first hand of cards – she always stacked the deck in her favor. She’d landed in The Valley, a territory of Paonia rarely entered by non-Vallians. This made it unlikely the locals would recognize her, but they had a long-standing and friendly relationship with Oceania. Using the small pack of goods carefully secured to the small of her back, she’d be able to pass as that occasional Oceanian Trader.
She simply had to look the part. Hunger dealt with, she surveyed the resource-rich forest surrounding her. People avoided the Valley because travel was difficult and dangerous, forgetting the jungle had everything a clever girl needed to start over. One simply had to know the local tricks.
Trick One: Never travel on the ground. The brush on the floor is thick and thorny and its inhabitants poisonous. Solution? Climb a tree – they’re fairly close together, so if you have fair balance you can pretty much stroll from branch to branch. Additionally, because all Valley towns are at least 20 feet from the ground that’s where all path markers can be found. Which is how Kamino knew she was about 10 minutes from the Village of Vines.
Trick Two: If it’s bright and pretty don’t touch it. There are dangers higher up too, but most are well marked by glaring colors. Even these have their uses, though. For instance, while those glistening, plump blue striped fruits should never come near your mouth, if mashed together with some of those juicy rainbow beetles, they make a fantastic tinted hair gel (perfect for disguising the platinum hair of the Northern Plains).
Plus it gave her hair style extra hold and a nice shine. However, this was only good for short term use as it washed right out with water.
For the long term disguises Kamino would need a skin tint – easily made using local flowers and the tiny little bugs that loved them. (And if you shudder at the idea of rubbing bugs into the skin, never research lipstick ingredients.) She collected these wherever she saw them, keeping them in a hollowed out gourd, carried like a purse with a strap made of de-leafed braided vines.
After generously applying her blue bug-goop gel, adding a few more gourds to her load and rewrapping her clothing in the proper Oceanian style (no one would care the fabric itself wasn’t Oceanian in origin), less than 10 minutes later Kamino made a passable Trader.
She entered the Village of Vines to see the namesake vines forming walkways and ladders between square, skeletal tree houses. The bright magenta hue of these vines was a surprise, but didn’t give Kamino a moment’s pause in her bee line for the local eatery.