Closed Scout Testing (Khara)

Azira demands that Khara go hunting with her

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

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Scout Testing (Khara)

Postby Azira on November 2nd, 2014, 10:41 pm

21st Fall 514AV
Khara had been on her mind when she awoke. It was a bit strange to the huntress as she had no idea why the little Chiet game scout had entered her waking thoughts. There was a vague sense that the girl had made some sort of appearance in her dreams although what she'd been doing in them was becoming rapidly hazy now that she was conscious. Regardless of what impression the young woman had made on her sleeping mind she'd now entered her woken mind as well, mingling with thoughts of hunting preparations.

She'd told the girl that she would bring her on a hunt but thus far she'd neglected to even think on it let alone act upon it. Now that she considered though it was something that she was going to have to do so why not today? She wasn't adverse to the idea, this day was as good as any other and she could certainly use the scout's tracking aid. Tracking was far from Azira's forte but there was no shame in using a scout, not really. The Chiet couldn't irritate her this time either. It was part of the agreement that they'd made during their encounter in the Enclave. The other had to remain silent unless it was required that she talk. Such an idea brought a smile to the girl's face. Oh what a relief it would be to have such a meek companion this time!

The teen dressed unhurriedly slipping on her work clothes that could probably blend in better than they would have originally. The green vinati was grubby stained with blood that hadn't completely washed out and smears of earth and grime from where she'd wiped her hands across it in the past few days. It might soon require a wash. Her black bryda weren't much better the true colour somewhat obscured by the layers for dirt and the knees almost worn through from repeated kneeling. Boots were tugged on over dirty feet. Today after her hunt the huntress decided she'd have a bath. She certainly needed one. The rest of her body wasn't much cleaner than her feet after all, her face and hands the only really clean areas thanks to some splashing of water from the basin in her room. The Chiet girl was sure to find her a fright; Avora were normally clean.

Azira did an inventory of her backpack. Bedroll, blanket, some stock for soup, her empty waterskin. The bag was closed and slung over one shoulder, quiver secured at her side along with her hunting knife and with shortbow in hand she left her room.

The Warrens were coming to life so she assumed that the bell was far enough advanced for such activity. Dek scurried back and forth hurrying off to gods knew where, Chiet and Avora thronging the passages from the Darniva Commonrooms. As she grew nearer to the Kitchens there was a definite direction for the flow of foot traffic, the majority of the population - now including the Endal - making their way to break their fasts. The teen carried herself with confident authority, shoving Chiet and Dek out of her way if they happened to obstruct her path. There was no mistakes or assumptions made concerning her caste this morning and so she arrived in the Kitchens in a contented mood.

Food for now and food for later was collected by the huntress before she sat herself down at an empty table and wolfed down her breakfast of cold meat and bread. The eating area wasn't as busy as she'd expected, which coupled with the activity in the Warrens could mean that it was later than she wouldn't like. In spite of that she didn't rush herself. Even if it was the Chiet's day off, she knew that Khara wouldn't be hard to find. If she was working then no one was likely to employ her services so she was confident that she'd find her amongst the other game scouts. If she couldn't find her there she'd assumed that she had a day off and so some searching would be in order. A Dek would suffice for any running she might need.

Once breakfast was complete, the girl navigated her way to the headquarters of the game scouts - if it could be called that - and set about scanning the many faces for Khara's. The Chiet bowed and scraped as she made a path amongst them, looking for all the world like skittish prey in the presence of a possible threat. They had no idea what to do and watched her with a mixture of fearful awe and hope. The Avora's expression was far from friendly but she supposed that they still hoped for the chance that she would require them. The more seasoned scouts looked more relaxed around her. They didn't fear Avora but they still treated Azira with respect when she passed them. They were listening to someone, Orthin, who was explaining different animal sightings. There was an Endal standing at his elbow, surveying the proceedings with disinterest. As soon as the respected scout finished speaking he departed with the higher caste member and took a number of the scouts with him.

As the more experienced scouts were removed from the throng, Khara came into view. Of course nobody wanted her. That is except Azira.

The huntress approached her doing her best not to sneak up on the girl by keeping to the front of her, other scouts moved out of her way to allow her to do so. She didn't care if she frightened the girl but she didn't want to listen to her babble if she was startled. She's not supposed to talk though, remember? The thought elicited a soft snort from the huntress. She'd believe that when she saw it in practice.

As soon as she was within easy earshot of the teen, Azira stopped to address her. "Said I'd bring you on a hunt, didn't I? Well, today's the day and gods help you if you don't have the stuff I asked you to bring I'll throw you off the mountain and leave your carcass for the Wind Eagles," she greeted her pleasantly. Some of the nearby scouts who were also within hearing distance retreated from the huntress leaving Azira with ample space around herself and Khara. The threat hadn't even been aimed at them and they'd been cowed so the same had better be true for the Chiet that she was stuck with. "You can sort out rations for yourself if you're quick about it. I'm feeling generous so I'll let you have fifteen chimes to sort yourself out and meet me at the Sanikas Gate, got it?" Without waiting for an answer the huntress turned on her heel and stalked out.

Once she reached the gate herself, she'd lean her back against the nearest available surface and watch for Khara's approach. The girl had better be damn fast.
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Scout Testing (Khara)

Postby Khara on November 2nd, 2014, 11:57 pm

It had been something Khara had both dreaded and looked upon with barely restrained eagerness since Azira had mentioned she would take the scout on hunting trips in the future. The days between their encounter in The Enclave and the prior day's market, however, had been tense and filled with trying to find ways to tell the Avora she didn't have the proper equipment. Then the twentieth had come and Khara purchased everything she could remember being told to; and not a moment too soon, apparently.

The Chiet had felt her stomach knot up and clench as Azira had approached her, managing a meek nod of her head in understanding as her mind practically screamed the stipulation that she keep her mouth shut at her. The lingering ink stains on her clothing were a constant reminder of the milder side of the huntress' anger and so the threat seemed very real and as Azira left the other Chiet didn't seem to know whether to look upon Khara with sympathy or mocking amusement for her predicament. The teen could barely pay them any mind, however, as she quickly took off back towards the Common Rooms to grab the backpack she'd purchased filled and ready for just the occasion.

She didn't bother checking the contents until she was already back on the move, hurrying towards the kitchens to try and grab something for the day. Proper heavier rations had been stowed away in the pack, but Khara wasn't planning on breaking into those unless absolutely necessary; they had been rather expensive, after all. The scout wove through the crowd, glancing up as often as possible from making sure everything within the pack was in order: A bedroll and an extra blanket took up the majority of the space no matter how tightly she had rolled them, but there was room enough for the length of rope and rations. A pat at her side assured her that her brand new hunting knife was with her, the comforting familiar weight of the quiver at the opposite side and the bow slung over her shoulder seemed to confirm everything she needed. Except... Oh petch me, the tent! It was the one item she'd been having trouble with fitting into the pack and was still sitting in her room. Hopefully she wouldn't end up needing it! The weather was supposed to remain clear that day and the pre-chill of Winter's fast approach hadn't been too bad. Too late to worry about that now, anyway, the thought came to her glumly as she quickly got in line in the Kitchens and received her day's rations an tucked it away inside of the pack as well.

She stumbled, just once, on her sprint through the caverns towards the Sanikas Gate. The effort hadn't been easy and a few quick spins and dodges had to be taken to avoid accidentally bumping into any of the passing Avora and Endal. The warmer air from inside of Wind Reach began to give way to the cooler Fall air of the outside world and she gave Valtyrrk an apologetic glance and wave as she hurried through the gates.

Flushed from the run through the warrens, Khara couldn't help but think that Azira looked downright bored in contrast as she waited. The scout hurried one last bit to approach the Avora, mindful to keep her gaze downward in a respectful cast. A breath was taken in in anticipation of saying something, most likely an apology for making the huntress wait even a little while, but the reminder of her agreement to be silent came lurking from the back of her mind, a taunting voice that somehow twisted to contain elements of Azira's tone as well as the older, dispassionate voice that normally scolded Khara's thoughts.

A wary glance was given at the huntress as the Chiet attempted to square her shoulders and make herself look as ready for the day as she ever would be.


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Scout Testing (Khara)

Postby Azira on November 4th, 2014, 1:08 pm

The speed that the girl obeyed her orders amused her. She watched as she continued her hurried pace even when Azira was in her sights, not even stopping to give Val more of a greeting than a quick wave. The huntress braced herself for a flurry of apology from the other but no words came. Not one sound escaped the scout as she brought herself to a halt by the Avora's side. She didn't even look up, eyes cast down in a respectful air that only further heightened the teen's amusement and sense of superiority. The silence was allowed settled comfortably between them, the Chiet glancing up as if waiting for orders before Azira chose to speak.

"You took your time, didn't you?" There was no reproach in her voice but there was no pleasant note either so the scout might take it that way unless she happened to meet the Avora's eye. If she did then she'd see the glitter of amusement in her golden orbs and realise that she was being teased. A checklist was gone over in her head silently before she put a list of queries to the other young woman. Of course it also meant that the other had the freedom to actually speak.

"I asked you to get supplies for these trips and we had a market day yesterday so you should have gotten them. Did you?" The huntress did an inventory of the items that she could see upon the girl. Quiver, shortbow and a knife sheathed at her side. At least she'd managed to get that much if nothing else. "Well you did get a knife so you must have done some shopping. What else did you get? What counts as supplies to you? Have you got food, blankets, that kind of thing? I've no intention of staying anywhere but plans can change when you don't want them too."

As yet the Avora made no move to go anywhere. She had plans to do a little rabbit hunting and maybe set up a squirrel pole or two. If better prospects presented themselves then she'd go with them but if not then she'd go with what she was used to. Orthin had probably been reporting on animal movements in the area so while she might not know anything, Khara should. She would have been there for the whole report if that was indeed what it was. Why else would he have left an Endal waiting or rather why would an Endal have allowed him to keep him waiting unless it was for a good reason. That seemed as good a reason as any.

"Was Orthin telling you about anything interesting in the area? Any more moose that I should keep a rope at the ready for?" she asked. Her mood was more pleasant than usual, the teen more amiable because of the control she had. The scout couldn't say anything without Azira's say so and so her glee was slipping into her speech. Humour was something that she wasn't all that prone to these days after all. "Or have you tracked anything that might interest me? If you haven't then I'll set up some traps and go bag some rabbits."
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Scout Testing (Khara)

Postby Khara on November 5th, 2014, 5:25 am

There were so many questions. Too many perhaps, but Khara did her best to try and remember each one so they could be answered. The teasing way the huntress had greeted her wasn't lost, but it was hard to tell if it was good natured or just paving the way for a new onslaught of not entirely misplaced cruelty. Their last meeting in The Enclave seemed to have ended amiable enough but truth was the scout considered Azira to be a bit of an unpredictable force. She briefly wondered if the huntress was secretly a follower of Ivak or maybe Zulrav. Azira certainly seemed to manage to cause almost as much fear with her presence as the thought of either god seemed to instill within the girl at times.

The thought was quickly abandoned as the Avora finished her interrogation and the Chiet was forced to realize the focus was actually on her and she was supposed to actually say something for a change.

"I-I..." Her voice stumbled at first, barely making any sound aside from a quiet chirp. A rough swallow was forced before she began again. "I brought what you said. A bedroll, a bundle of rope, a hunting knife. I also have a blanket and I packed both basic and stronger rations..."

The girl trailed off again realizing the amount she brought was probably far more than they would ever need. The entire week's worth of the far more simple kind would have been overkill on it's own. Khara only hoped that it really was better to be over prepared than under. Still, the lack of tent made her feel like she wasn't quite as ready as she could have been but it didn't seem like the Avora had brought one either. A flash of far too recent memory, of the amused look in Azira's eyes that Khara had briefly noticed left her wondering if perhaps it was actually for the better she had left it. She was obviously a chick about this whole thing and had to honestly consider that the extra gear may have pushed the huntress' amusement over the edge into annoyance. Error in your favor for once, sparrow, her head chimed in, much to Khara's dismay.

A breath was taken as she tried to pull her eyes away from where they had become focused on a patch of dirt between them. Her small list of inventory had come out far too meek to do the girl any actual favors, sounding more desperate for the Avora's approval than Khara really wanted to admit she just might be feeling.

"Orthin was telling us about reports of a rather large group of elk moving into the area from the farther reaches of The Unforgiving. He was going out with the Endal to see about cutting off most of the group, but he was saying it may not be unheard of for some to have moved into the area prior to the bulk of the herd. Scouts, most likely." The report wasn't the most promising, Orthin hadn't even offered suggestions on where the elk would be headed as they neared Skyinarta, or if they would even come close enough for any hunters on foot to try for them. There was something else though.

"He also said that a lot of skygoats have been seen along the cliff faces, though. Moving to different grounds for the Winter, most likely. Most will be too high up unless you can climb or fly, but he did say they were in decent number so some may be in the lower elevations to avoid contest with the others."

It didn't matter how sure or official she tried to make the repeating of the report sound, Khara still managed to make it seem as if she was entirely uncertain she was even remotely capable of helping the hunter achieve such prey. Maybe it was because Orthin himself had seemed to scoff at the notion that anyone who wasn't paired up with an Endal would have any luck, but if nothing else, the hunting of the moose in Summer had taught Khara that improbability wasn't exactly something that might hold Azira back. It was far better to mention possibilities, even rather outlandish ones, than to leave anything unsaid and have the Avora find out she was withholding information later. It wasn't up to Khara to pick what they went after, any way. That would have been far too uncomfortably close to trying to judge the huntress' skill and there was no way she was going to even remotely allow herself to begin to do that.


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Scout Testing (Khara)

Postby Azira on November 5th, 2014, 6:58 pm

A stutter. The girl wasn't even sure that she should actually speak even though she was allowed to. The scout seemed to be under some strain, perhaps anxious that she would somehow speak out of turn and break the conditions of their agreement. Her hesitance to speak didn't go away completely even as she set about answering Azira's question. She was searching for her approval by the tone of her voice also worried about the items that she'd bought obviously. The mention of such a quantity of rations made the Avora's brows rise up her forehead, her amusement increasing.

"Two lots of rations? Well if we go hungry I guess that we won't grow short. Unless of course you didn't pack enough. You're not going to tell me that you have enough for two or three people over seven days or something, are you? At least not with you because that would be incredibly stupid," the huntress remarked pleasantly, watching the girl closely. If she winced or something and showed that that was exactly what she'd done then Azira was never going to let her hear the end of it; it'd become a long running joke. So the Chiet was over prepared but then she'd probably been terrified of not having enough with her. She didn't hunt so how could she possibly know? There could even be more that the scout hadn't had the courage to tell her about. If her pack was overloaded then she'd soon learn a lesson about packing lightly when she was left with the painful aftereffects of it.

Orthin's reports were reiterated with the same uncertainty of tone as before. If she was going to do this every time that she had to talk from now on then the huntress would soon grow exasperated. She didn't want this hesitancy to become as irritating as Khara's incessant talking.

The report of elk and Endal was met with a look of distaste. The Avora wanted nothing to do with something that Endal would be crawling all over. She knew from experience that their aerial support gave them an unfair advantage so unfair that they could actually use their eagles to steal other people's hard earned kills. She wanted no part of anything that one of the higher caste members could take credit for. The report on the skygoats was no more favourable. They were a nightmare to catch sometimes even at lower elevations. They were sneaky creatures as far as Azira was concerned and she didn't enjoy the prospects of trying to catch the pesky things.

Her mind made up about what today's plan of attack would be the huntress pushed herself away from what she'd been leaning. There was a brief glance to regard the landscape, pondering exactly which of her familiar hunting grounds that she'd use before she gestured Khara to follow her. A hand signal was given that the girl she'd walk at her side rather than falling behind or scouting ahead. As they set off down the mountain, the young woman explained what she'd decided for the game scout's benefit.

"The elk and the goats are out. I'm not going near elk if Endal are especially as they're bringing a load of scouts with them. No way. They have the advantage there and I'm not going to waste my time." Her voice had taken on a hostile tone as she spoke of the eagle riders. It returned to a normal tone as she continued. "As for skygoats, not a chance. Have you ever tried to follow the pesky little bastards? Tried to shoot them while they climb out of your range? They're too clever for animals. I'm sure they were people who were only ever up to mischief in a past life. I'll stick with rabbits any day then chase after stupid goats."

They walked on with silence between them aside from the sounds of their feet on the path. Azira felt as if she should be speaking for the simple reason that Khara wasn't. That was just plain stupid. She'd wanted the girl to shut up so that there'd be no attempts at conversation and now here she was wanting to speak herself. After a couple of chimes she couldn't take it anymore and added belatedly to her former monologue. "That's what I'll go after today. Rabbits. There are still a few places where I haven't mapped out the burrow entrances and it'll be easier with another pair of eyes. The one I have in mind is about a bell and a half heading down and away so you know."
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Scout Testing (Khara)

Postby Khara on November 6th, 2014, 6:46 am

There was no shortage of self-consciousness as Azira talked about the rations. Not that the expression was exactly an unfamiliar one to the scout, but she had the feeling that the huntress had pointed out exactly what Khara had done. Truth was she wasn't certain exactly how many people or how long the rations would last except for some vague written explanation she had glanced over when she had purchased the more hearty of the provisions. She must not have been paying very good attention about how much of such things a person actually would need to comfortably survive a day in the wilds when they had covered it in her wilderness survival classes as a Yasi. That too wasn't entirely surprising.

Khara was thankful once more as the subject switched back to the animals she had reported on, though she could feel a slump form in the pit of her stomach that she hoped didn't echo in her shoulders as Azira dismissed both possibilities. It wasn't that the scout was looking forward to trying to find either animal - The elk were so far out they would probably have been forced to camp for a night at least, and skygoats were almost impossible to track on foot with the way they utilized cliff sides rather than any sort of surface that would actually leave decent evidence of their passing - but some part of her had been hoping what she had learned would at least be of some use to the Avora. Well, the always unhelpful inner voice began. At least you helped her rule out those options and make a decision? It wasn't the typical disappointed tone that reminded her of her mother that echoed in her head though, it sounded far more like herself, timid and trying to offer some form of consolation prize of overt cliché wisdom. Khara wasn't sure if that was better or worse.

So it was rabbits they would be going after. It had been a while since the scout had looked for such animals. Their runs were fairly easily spotted, especially if there was snow on the ground. The season hadn't quite turned cold enough for that yet, though and if it was burrows that Azira was looking for, those could be a bit harder to spot depending on where exactly she was planning on looking. If they were heading into lower elevation that brought back in all sorts of various shrubs and plants that the animals could use to cover their entrances with.

There was another problem of smaller game as well. Smaller didn't necessarily mean easier. A herd of elk passing through an area left far more for the eye to see than a small colony of rabbits ever would. They were far lighter on their feet too so prints weren't as reliable if they weren't disturbing too much of the undergrowth. That usually left their droppings, which while plentiful, could sometimes get lost among fallen leaves and other debris.

She wasn't alone on this, though. Another pair of eyes, was how Azira had put it. It seemed strange to the scout to be used for such a thing, though. Khara, however, wasn't even about to scoff at the notion. The huntress had made it more than clear that she wasn't exactly bringing Khara along with the prospect of good company. If she wasn't dismissing the scout there must have been good reason behind it.

Khara opened her mouth to speak, even if it was nothing more than a simple yes, huntress she caught herself and bit her lower lip to cut it off before it could be released. A quick and sharp nod was given instead, though a slight sound did fight to leave from behind closed lips, far too apprehensive and dainty to be considered any sort of grunt of acknowledgement.


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Scout Testing (Khara)

Postby Azira on November 8th, 2014, 1:58 pm

Khara had been about to talk but had stifled it though not before the huntress had heard something wordless escape. A glance in the other's direction revealed that she was biting her lip. Definitely had been about to speak. Azira almost said that she could say something if she liked but stopped herself as the consequences of it sank in. There was no real reason for the scout to talk and if the huntress allowed her to then she could go back to chattering, not knowing where the cut off point of her speech should be. Worse still she might actually get the impression that the huntress wanted her company. She couldn't allow her to get that idea into her head. She remained silent.

The time of walking was used as a time of contemplation. She considered how she was going to go about her burrow hunting. She had her net with her again but one net wouldn't catch much, she'd more traps than that which meant that she'd probably have to improvise. Khara was going to wonder how she'd managed to become an Avora at all at this rate but she hadn't really taught too hard on the subject before coming out. Hai, she'd only cemented the plan to go rabbit hunting, pending any better prey, while she'd been waiting for the Chiet. It had been a bit late to pack anything extra then so whatever was in her pack was what she had to work with. One net but she had a small animal snare crammed into her backpack as well so that could be of some use. Other than the snare ad pre-made net she had no other trap that she could put to use and her knowledge of making traps was still somewhat limited. She thought that she might just remember how to make a net though so if she took the rope from Khara then they'd have three traps. Not fantastic she could admit but three traps was better than nothing.

The last time she'd had to make the net with the help of an arrow, the only thing she'd had on hand to knot the beginning of her net around, but this time she was sure that she could find a piece of wood that would make net making far easier and it was far from easy that was for sure. It was too fiddly for the huntress to like doing it but she needed another trap and it was through her own stupidity that she'd neglected to make another one at home.

So the plan was a simple one. Khara could be set to find as many burrow entrances as she could and find one that would be suitable for setting a fire in. Meanwhile Azira would begin her net weaving and explain to the scout the best places to put the snare and the net that they already had. The Chiet could then be sent off to gather tinder and kindling for a blaze and hopefully by then the huntress might actually have made a big enough net for a trap. It was perhaps too optimistic a viewpoint considering how long it had taken to make the last one but she hoped that she wouldn't make the same mistakes this time and wouldn't be wasting time constantly checking the book as she'd done the last time. Not remembering how it was done was a bit of a worry but she set her concerns aside with the fact that she could examine the net that she already had if she happened to forget anything.

It took a bit longer than the Avora had said it would to reach their destination, the young woman moving at a slightly slower pace than usual to accommodate her companion. The Chiet was no doubt more than used to traipsing all around the mountain and into valleys but she didn't want to exhaust her or herself anymore than necessary. They might only be going after rabbits rather than a big ass bull moose today but that didn't mean that it wouldn't be hard work. They were only little creatures but getting ahold of them in the first place was the challenge.

The place where Azira led them to was flatter ground just below the main treeline although there were trees scattered about the area here and there. There was still plenty of cover provided by various bushes and a stream could be heard gushing somewhere nearby. The huntress knew that the water was on the other side of a line of thorny bushes to the right of where they entered the space. She deposited her stuff, bow, backpack and quiver on the ground beside the thorny bushes before turning to Khara.

"I have a list of things for you to do. I need to make a net so if you can do them for me it'll save time later. I'll need the rope that you have with you for the net though and I'll give you some stuff that you can set up later." She began rooting in her backpack, still talking to the scout as she searched for and retrieved the small animal snare and the tangled, poorly constructed net, which were placed on the ground at Khara's feet. "I need you to find as many of the burrow entrances as you can so that we know where they are. I need one for building a fire in and three that are suitable for setting traps at, one for the snare and two for the nets. Once you've found them it'd be good to have one a bit more visible than the others so it might be a good idea to clear space around it so I can shoot rabbits if any come out. After that you can find me materials for a fire. Dry leaves, dry grass, anything that'll catch alight easily. Then some wood, preferably fresh from the trees rather than dropped off it. Green wood. I want it to smoke."

Her orders given the huntress held out her hand for the rope that she was sure Khara wouldn't protest giving up to her and set to work.
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Scout Testing (Khara)

Postby Khara on November 10th, 2014, 8:33 pm

Khara had to fight back the hesitation that came with the Avora's demand for the rope. She had just bought it, and while the Chiet wasn't certain as to what all was involved with making a net but if the tangled mess that Azira had pulled from her pack was anything to go by the new length that Khara had gotten from the Market the day before wasn't going to be good for much else afterwards. Despite the thought she still found herself opening her pack for the bundle and one last glance was cast to the existing net on the ground before she handed it over. Reluctance or not, the huntress had stated she wanted it and so it became hers. There could be no arguments, after all.

As much as the Chiet girl wanted to stay behind, to see how exactly a single length of rope could be turned into a net, she'd been given tasks that would keep her plenty busy. Maybe, if she was feeling brave or thought the huntress was open to the idea, she could ask later- The line of thought was cut off as quickly as it had started. The scout was grateful enough to just be taken out on another hunt with the Avora, at the chance of learning anything the other was willing to show her. Asking about anything in particular? Better pretend you didn't even consider that one.

The tick or two it took to linger and chastise herself were too long for Khara's liking and she half expected Azira to look up from her preparations and shoo the girl off with a disapproving set of harsh words. Not wanting to give that a chance of actually occurring, the scout quickly set off to find what she could. Rabbit burrows weren't particularly difficult to spot if you were already in a known active area. Thankfully they wouldn't have to go wandering around all of Skyinarta as the huntress had already had a place in mind. Ground cover was fairly sparse, though, so spotting runs wouldn't be as easy as if they were somewhere with tall grasses. Not that Khara had any idea what that would even look like, the word sea came to mind unhelpfully as she considered how she had heard it described by someone who used to live among such things. Still, signs of rabbit activity where they were was fairly plentiful.

The first confirmation came from the trees in the area themselves. Near the base of several she had spotted the places where the bark seemed to be lighter in color and closer examination showed not that it was a different tone but that it was missing outright where the rabbits and seen fit to strip bark away. Khara wasn't entirely sure why they did it, food maybe, but the ridges where teeth had dug into the wood of the trees was easily seen when looked at up close. The Chiet ran her hand along one of the damaged portions, noting how clearly defined the grooves were, she could only guess that meant they were fresh. Fresh enough, at least.

Khara tried to remember what she had learned about rabbit behavior when it came to where they placed their homes. The middle of a clearing seemed outright wrong, that much she could tell. But would they favor closer to trees? Closer to water? Maybe near the thorny bushes so that way a potential predator could be discouraged. It's what she would do if she was trying to hide something in the area. Thinking like a rabbit now? Great. Just great, Khara. Demoted from sparrow to bunny.

Despite the sentiment lingering in her head, it did give a starting point and the Chiet could hardly fault herself for trying to think about the best possible place. Moving as silently as possible, Khara rounded the patch of bushes, each step taken carefully to avoid snapping twigs or causing unnecessary crunching of other debris. If she was right about what Azira had mind, then caution and stealth weren't entirely necessary, but the girl made a habit of not trying to make herself more known than necessary no matter the situation. Her eyes scanned the edging of the bushes, searching for an obvious darker patch that could possibly lead to a burrow opening. It was the softer dirt she noticed first, pushed out and away from a patch of particularly low lying brambles and lead her closer. The hole itself could barely be seen under the bush, but it did seem that it had been cleared out enough that animals would be able to quickly dart in and out without snagging on anything. The entrance itself seemed clear of extra debris, no sticks blocking the way or spider webs to give the impression it wasn't currently in use. Another look over the area showed there was some amount of droppings, but Khara couldn't tell if they were fresh or not.

Probably a good place for the snare, she considered and nodded to herself before glancing around the rest of the area. So that's one burrow down. Now to find three more. Maybe a fourth if Azira will let me try to shoot some as well... She cringed at the thought. Right. Just three, then.


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Scout Testing (Khara)

Postby Azira on November 15th, 2014, 2:26 pm

The rope acquired the Avora set about finding a suitable stick to use for her net's foundation. Skinny wood would work best and it didn't have to be too long either. If the foundation turned out to be shorter than the width of her net then she could always move it while she worked. She searched under the thorny bushes without much success, not that she'd really expected to find branches under there but it was worth a shot. Leaving her rope behind her, Azira backtracked a bit to where there were more trees and she hoped more branches that she could nab. She scoured beneath them for the sort of wood that she wanted. It needed to be at least a foot in length, fairly straight and be an inch thick at the very most. Any twigs and knots could be sliced off to make it fit for its purpose.

No branch fitting her requirements materialised on the ground, at least not immediately, but one still attached to its tree did. It was about a foot and a half long by her judgement and the right sort of thickness. Exactly what she needed despite the twigs that jutted from its surface. Her hunting knife, recently sharpened by a weaponsmith cut through the wood close to the tree's trunk. The blade sliced through green wood, the teen twisting and snapping it free. Once she had it she carried it back to where her pack was, sitting cross legged on the ground as she tried to get comfortable. This was going to take time and so she needed to be ready for the long haul.

Her eyes found Khara, the scout moving around and examining different areas. No doubt looking for signs that Azira could only guess at. The huntress had been hunting rabbits for awhile now and yet there were bound to be signs that she wasn't aware of. She was tempted to call out to her to ask her what she'd found but there was no point making more sound than really necessary. Just because the rabbits were in their burrow didn't mean that they couldn't go running out one of their back doors.

Setting her foundation stick across her legs she picked up the rope. It was long, not something easily worked with but she'd done it before and she could do it again. Taking hold of one end of the rope, the young woman draped it over the stick at the far right and pulled it downwards. The rope in between the two ends pooled beneath it until the tail end was almost ready to fall over her foundation stick. She held the tail in place with one hand, the other guiding the top of the rope in front of the dangling piece. It was brought back behind the stick and over the top and under the piece of rope that looped in front of everything. The loops when pulled tightened in a knot against the foundation stick.

She allowed a gap of a little over two inches to hang from the rope to create a loop for her net before starting on another knot, the action made clumsy by the length of the rope. Rope pulled over the stick from front to back. Under the stick and crossed back over the rope. Over the stick from back to front with the rope kept behind the other loops as the the knot was tightened. Again she made a loop of two inches and made another knot, continuing the process until she'd knotted along the length of the stick, leaving loops in her wake from right to left.

The huntress turned the stick around so that the loose end was at the right end. The teen pulled the end of the rope through the bottom of one of the loops that she'd already made from behind. The end of the rope was brought behind the right hand part of the dangling loop and in front of the left hand one. It was pulled behind the loop from left to right and round to the front again. Down and under the section of rope that she was currently working with but over the loop. She pulled it tight but it tightened under the loop instead of around it. Scowling at it, she loosened it again and pulled it tight more carefully this time so that the knot was where it was supposed to be.

The knotting would have to continue down the length of the stick, tying into each of the loops that she'd already made. She was frustrated by the thing and had spent a lot of time on it thus far. The idea of having to spend another age on the thing wasn't something that she wanted but it had to be done. She was tempted to get Khara to take over but then she'd have to teach the girl and she'd probably be right handed, which would make matters worse. How long would it take to teach her something that she only had a poor grasp of herself. Even as she considered it she realised that the knots that she'd made on her foundation stick weren't very tight. With a sigh, the girl tugged them tighter before glancing up to see how the other was getting on. She could be finished at this stage for all Azira knew.
Knot noteAs poorly described as I believe it is, the knot that I first described is supposed to look like a pretzel before it's tightened. The second kind of knot is a sheet bend knot. Azira's left handed so hence it's from that perspective. Just in case that wasn't clear.
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Last edited by Azira on November 20th, 2014, 11:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Scout Testing (Khara)

Postby Khara on November 16th, 2014, 10:18 pm

As chimes passed, Khara found other burrow entrances. The next two hadn't been as promising as the first; one with the entryway partially collapsed and the second with more debris in the opening than Khara had thought would ever be possible from the small bush it had been located under. The third, however, was much better. The dirt surrounding the entry looked far more freshly moved and other disturbed patches looked like the rabbits had been digging nearby recently. The smell of freshly turned earth was present as well, confirming that it had been moved recently, but there was something else to it. The girl had noticed the musty smell but hadn't thought much of it when she came across the first burrow that looked active, but it was certainly here at the second one and far stronger. The girl had been so used to using her eyes and ears to track and locate game that she'd never really considered taking scents into consideration as well. Two was enough of a pattern for it to draw her attention, at least. She would have to see if the same held true on other active looking burrows.

The positioning of the burrow was up against a tight cluster of thorny bushes once more, but not nearly as hidden underneath as the first had been. A quick glance around her to survey the surroundings showed it was a strong contender for the one that Azira may want to use to shoot at. There didn't seem to be a lot of obstructions and you could keep a fairly good distance from the burrow without losing sight of it entirely. That's two, Khara thought. Halfway done. She hoped that Azira wouldn't be waiting on her when she finished, at least not for too long as to test the huntress' patience.

The game scout continued to scour the area, keeping in mind the requirements for the last two burrows; a place to set the other net, and one to build a fire. The first was going to be simple-ish enough as she already had found two that filled that requirement so a third wouldn't be too difficult to compare. That last thing, though. A fire? Khara could only guess that what Azira had planned was to set the fire at the entrance of the one, hopefully driving the rabbits out of the others but... Were they all connected? The burrows seemed like they were close enough there could be tunnels between them but admittedly Khara didn't know that much about how rabbits lived aside from underground.

It was something she'd no doubt find out later, so for now the Chiet just needed to focus on finding the last two burrows. As her eyes scanned the ground she once more came across a patch of ground littered with rabbit droppings. More scuffed up portions of ground where the creatures had tried to dig or simply had moved quickly from were followed until she came across another burrow, much in the same state as the second plausible one she had found. The same traits were there; clear entryway, fresh droppings and fresh dirt, and the same musty scent that Khara could only guess was going to be typical of a place where rabbits clustered together. Once again, however, it was mostly under brush which made it another potential place for one of the nets or the snare, but not very good for starting a fire unless they wanted to set the whole area ablaze.

That was not something she had considered. Khara looked around once more, a frown tugging at her. The area wasn't thickly overgrown or anything, but a small fire could easily spread if they weren't careful. She would just have to trust that the huntress knew what she was doing. Maybe she could find a burrow entrance that was less covered though, reduce the risk somewhat? If nothing else she could clear around it a bit, maybe that would be the best method.

A few more obviously inactive burrows were come across and discarded from her mind as of being of any use. It was good to know where they were, though, just in case the rabbits tried to get smart and escape from the older passages. It seemed like ages before Khara finally came across one that looked to be in use once more. It wasn't nearly as hidden as the others, but rather wedged between two bushes that had a fairly clear run that lead up to it. It may not have been the best to set a fire at, but maybe the Avora would have a strong opinion on which she wanted to use for that and Khara could always work towards making it more suitable. Either way, it was time to make use of her new knife. The branches of the bushes were fairly small, easy to cut through or snap off with her fingers. A particularly stubborn piece snapped in her hand and caused a twinge of pain that jolted her. You never did buy those gloves, she was reminded. Next market for sure. No excuses.

While not entirely cleared out, the burrow was now far more accessible than it had been and the bits of fresh sticks, twigs and small branches were a good start to the last requirement that the Avora had. Khara decided to leave them by the last burrow for now in a neat pile, if she had to fetch them and pull them to another she could. Her way back towards where Azira waited was taken with pausing steps to gather up more dry materials for the fire, a small bundle forming in her arms when she finally approached the other to see how she was fairing in her own task.

"I found four burrows, I can try and-" Khara stopped short as she realized she was simply speaking again. Her mouth clamped shut, lips pulled in a bit between her teeth as she waited to see if she would receive permission to continue.


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