Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

In which Ronan and Sama'el hunt for provisions.

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Encompassing a vast wilderness filled with flora and fauna of immense proportions, the Northern Reaches include all the Talderian Forest north of the Suvan and stretch into the vast permanent tundra and ice fields outside Avanthal.

Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

Postby Sama'el Sunsinger on March 4th, 2012, 10:38 pm

"Well, this winter is proving... really, really cold. So here. Let's get it ready, and you can help. But you need a hunting knife to skin a beast. Don't want to dull your fighting blades on this work..."

Sama'el pulled a length of rope from Horse's saddle, threw it over a sturdy branch, and tied it around the beast's neck, just under the jaw. With Ronan's help, he hoisted the corpse more upright, giving them better access to the entirety of its skin.

Next, he took his hunting knife and slit the beast from neck to nuts, careful to keep it as straight as possible, not bunching or tearing the skin more than he had to. Odilosapux skin was tough, and thick, but it was also large, and Sama'el hoped to use it to keep his people, human and equine, alive and, if possible, comfortable during their wintry trek. Next he cut around the neck.

"So what happens now is we start peeling the skin away with our hands..."
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Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

Postby Ronan on March 6th, 2012, 10:57 am

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"Yes... it's freezing," Ronan agreed, rubbing his hands together in a futile attempt to get some warmth back in his bones. The Talderan cold was one that seeped beneath your skin, grabbed hold of your bones, and then refused to let go.

He watched as Sama'el hoisted the heavy corpse up a little, so they would have a better vantage point to skin from. He looked upon the dead olidosapux and mouthed a silent prayer to Semele. The animals came from the earth, and the Drykas fed on the animals, before they themselves returned to the earth. That was the cycle of things.

With his hunting knife, Sama'el slit the beast from top to bottom, and then cut in an arc like motion around his neck. Ronan could see the resistance from the beasts tough hide, hardened even further by the frigid cold.

"The skin... right."

He walked to the hefty corpse, and began pulling the skin away from the slit. He took one side, while Sama'el began to work on the other. It was tough, and made an odd sort of sound as it came away.

"Do you worry about getting to Avanthal?" Ronan suddenly asked, turning to face Sam as he peeled away at the hide. "The conditions... I was so used to Cyphrus, I wasn't prepared for this. I'll cope, of course, but if the weathers gets any worse..."
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Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

Postby Sama'el Sunsinger on March 14th, 2012, 10:51 pm

The thick, tough skin was indeed a chore to remove, but he persisted in the bloody work. Thoughts bubbled into words shared as they shared the work:

"We will have to be quick about it," he said. "The skin will be harder to remove when it cools, and the meat harder to cut. Once we pull away enough skin, you should start in on the meat. Meat will be good food to keep us warm."

He smiled at Ronan's worry. Sometimes he was like an old woman, but Sam supposed he was too sometimes. At least he wasn't the only one worrying, but then he felt like he was responsible for them all. His wife, of course. And Denen, his brother. Ronan and Leto, his good friends. They had all come to support him.

"I'm not so very worried. We have enough of us to function like a pavilion. Issima can cook and tend our shelters while you and I hunt. Pip can even go out in more inclement weather to trap smaller game. Denen can keep us healthy, Leto has magical tricks up his sleeves. We have so many gifts at our disposal. Denen's healing. My Fire and Syna's Sight. The Web that we weave as we move along. We are given much by the gods, so much is expected. We just have to continue to work together and we will reach Avanthal."
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Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

Postby Ronan on March 15th, 2012, 1:50 am

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"You know... I never thought of it like that."

Ronan began to smile. Sama'el was right. Each and every one of them brought skills and talents to the table; individually they would never make it to Avanthal, but as a team they would surely succeed.

"Thank you... I needed that. It's a different outlook, but it makes sense."

Syna. She of the Sun. Warmth, light, and radiance. An intriguing Goddess, if not in Ronan's sights.

"You never told me much about your mark... had you always been a follower of Syna?" Once Ronan had pulled a good spread of skin away, he turned back to Sam again. "Oh. Do I need a hunting knife to cut the meat out?"
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Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

Postby Sama'el Sunsinger on March 18th, 2012, 9:26 pm

Sam smiled. It was a good way to think of things, he thought. At least, it worked for him. He continued to make incisions through the tough odilosapux skin, figuring he should take his own advice. Then he had the skinning planned out, at least. Going back to merely pulling the skin away from the flesh, he made enough progress with knife and hand that Ronan could go in with his dagger for the meat. While thinking about Syna, he answered the other question.

"If you don't have a hunting knife, we'll have to get you one in Avanthal. Best to keep your daggers sharp for people and monsters, your hunting knife sharp for skinning and dressing game. More tools, each with their purpose." Of course, he was parroting long dead family members, but their wisdom was sound. "Just use your dagger for now, I guess. You can get in there now and start cutting steaks off that shoulder."

The fat still glistened along the bright flesh, and it would sizzle and soak into the meat when it was cooked to great effect. They were none of them amazing cooks, but fresh game was more difficult to mess up. It was just good.

"My pavilion..." He could not speak its name for it was dead, not until he raised it up again. It would be soon, he promised himself. He had a wife. Perhaps when they returned from this quest, he could afford the materials for her to construct their pavilion with her weaving skills, and he could get her pregnant and they could reclaim their name. Sunsinger.

"Well, we've honored Syna since time out of mind. She sent my ancestor back from the Ukalas to help me escape from slavery in Sunberth. He's ethaefal now, so the elders won't let me teach him to Web, so he has gone for a while... Anyway, he taught me the old songs, the ones that were forgotten, to sing to Syna in the twilights." Surely Ronan had heard him singing them, greeting Syna at dawn and wishing her safe travels as the evening passed into true night. "Syna and Viratas, Semele and Zulrav. I've been trying to honor them since I came back to Cyphrus. Zulrav gave me Dohaina. Syna gave me a fever, but Denen and Kasb'el, they kept me alive through the trial and I dreamed of Syna. She marked me then, I think, but it didn't appear until the wedding. Her blessing on the match, I like to think.

"Who are your gods?" he asked. It was a forward question, but they were friends now. Good friends were allowed some leeway, some secrets, some boldness beyond etiquette.
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Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

Postby Ronan on March 19th, 2012, 1:38 am

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Perhaps he would buy a hunting knife. It seemed to make sense. And though he would use it this once, it felt foolish, sullying his brother's dagger with animal butchery.

He tugged more skin away, and plunged the dagger in to the shoulder. Coming from an angle, he wiggled it slightly to try and loosen the meat somewhat. He began to carve chunks, removing them, and salivating at the thought of a hot meal.

"The songs," Ronan replied, nodding, "that's what they were. That's beautiful, Sam. I think Syna's mark... well, she could want to see your pavilion rise again. Someday soon."

He spoke of the God's with a renewed vigour. There was beauty in faith. Though Ronan had never been devout, his prayers were quiet and often, very personal to him. But he didn't mind sharing.

"Semele," he said quietly but resolutely. There was admiration in his voice. "She is the Mother Mizahar, of the Drykas, of the Grasses, of the earth we walk. She's always meant a lot to me... I'd like to think she watched over me when I spent so many years on the edge of society, crossing the line between the wild and the civilised."

Should he speak of his experiences in Sanctuary? He could tell Sam briefly... and then withhold other facts.

"I... I spoke to Nysel once, too. That was enlightening. I wouldn't say I was entirely faithful to him yet, but he has carved a gap which he may fill one day."
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Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

Postby Sama'el Sunsinger on March 19th, 2012, 3:35 am

Sam nodded. "I would hesitate to guess at the goddess' mind, but marking me at my wedding, well, that seems to be a sign that she approves of all I'm doing."

The arc of a stylized sun was rising over his ocular cavity, a single ray beaming back toward his hairline. Were he her champion, as he thought Kasb'el had been, the last ray would rise up toward the sky. So the legends went, anyway. And if she approved of all he was doing, he hoped that Viratas approved of this bloodletting. It was necessary for their survival and they would make use of meat and skin, horn and everything else they might, and the rest would be left to feed those denizens of the forested mountains skulking about looking for meat to eat.

Now he had just about half the skin removed, he flung it over the side to give Ronan unfettered access to the flesh. He walked around the odilosapux to begin pulling the skin away on the other side.

They had Semele in common, anyway.

"I was almost jealous of Kavala when Semele answered her, and at first all I wanted was to make Water like my cousin Eldon, but now I think I will keep working until I can worship Semele with her element too. Kavala is inspiring like that."

He wondered if he would have that power by the time they returned to Riverfall, that he might help with the construction of the Sanctuary, too. Favors for favors and everyone was friends. Perhaps Semele would bless him, too.

"Oh, really?" He smiled. "The Lord of Dreams. Well, I have heard it said he was born of Akajia and Wysar, the patrons of Riverfall. Was it in Riverfall you dreamed of him?"
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Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

Postby Ronan on March 19th, 2012, 9:30 pm

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Sama'el moved aside, having pulled much of the skin away. Ronan continued to drive his dagger in, managing to wedge great chunks of meat from the body. It wasn't until now that he had realised just how much meat they had here. The olidosapux had not died in vain.

He nodded firmly. "Perhaps it's difficult to choose with things like these. It seems they choose us. Fate has more a part than our own free will."

Suddenly, he wished he'd said nothing about Nysel. Secrets were secrets, and it was difficult to evade the questions. Perhaps Sama'el knew the truth, but he more than likely didn't.

"Uh, yeah it was in Riverfall..." he said carefully, before attempting to divert the conversation to something completely different, yet seemingly related to the Watcher. "You told me a while back about Origin's. Perhaps when we're done, you could show me how to craft one...?"
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Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

Postby Sama'el Sunsinger on March 20th, 2012, 6:35 am

It seemed to be easier once he was half done, the weight of the skin helping him pull at the rest of it. It would be difficult to tan properly in their current situation, but he could at least clean it and cure it in salt. If he couldn't get to the rest of the process by the time they got to Avanthal, he would just have to complete it there. But for now, even uncured, they could use it to carry the meat and whatever else they took between their two horses.

"I don't know much about Lhex," he admitted, "but I feel like there is still free will, even if there is fate. I mean, I could be wrong. But I honor the gods and they help me in turn, so I think we have a passable system going."

There was, perhaps, a hint of sadness around his almond-shaped eyes at the deflection, but he was too Drykas not to mind his own business. When one lived with one's family in huge tents, there were few secrets, and so those things that were secret were all but sacrosanct. Ronan would tell him or he wouldn't, but Sama'el would not press him. He followed the lead of Ronan's conversation.

"Sure, well. I haven't made one for our current cave yet, so if you want to help..."
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Hunters on the Web [Ronan]

Postby Ronan on March 20th, 2012, 9:51 am

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Sama'el seemed to accept Ronan's unspoken words as something he was unprepared to reveal. This was why the man was so easy to get along with. For his age, he was astute, picking out things that many were oblivious too. He had been marked at a young age by the God's, and clearly, they saw the same in him.

He nodded slowly, fathoming the thoughts in his head, "I think it's different depending on how you look at it. If you view the smaller picture, yes, we determine our own actions, our own faiths and beliefs. But to the bigger picture... it is inevitable we will die and be reborn. That is the cycle of things."

He shook his head suddenly, grinning stupidly as he gathered more meat.

"What turned us into such old men, eh?"

The chance of crafting an Origin piqued Ronan's curiosity. He was always discovering new wonders of the Web - and they thrilled him, truly. It was a Drykas magick, it felt so.

"I would love to help. Or just watch. Whatever you think is best, brother."
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