Solo Light My Fire

Azira gets a nasty surprise

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Light My Fire

Postby Azira on May 30th, 2016, 10:06 pm

26th Spring 516AV
The rain was relentless, falling in a fine mist that was hardly noticeable but could soak through you in moments. It was enough to make her bow useless to her because she couldn't bring it out hunting; if it got wet, the string would be ruined. The Inarta had to hunt, especially considering how abysmally she'd been doing lately. Unlike at home, her place here wasn't protected. If she failed to provide more kills to her employer then she might lose her job. Lhavit wasn't really a city of hunters, they had other means of feeding themselves, and hence she didn't know where where she could go to get work if the Jugged Hare fired her. The young woman had no idea what other skills she possessed that would be of benefit to the city.

Well, you'll just have to avoid losing your job then, she told herself as she set her short bow aside. Considering how miserable the weather had been lately, she doubted that it would clear up any time today. Instead, she'd have to check the traps she'd set the previous evening before she came home and hope that they yielded something. If she waited around for a few bells then she might be able to get something more out of them. She certainly hoped that they'd have something in them at this stage, but it was just a matter of getting to them before something else did.

The huntress fetched the rest of her gear before setting off the Sunrise Nook to buy herself a fresh loaf of bread to bring with her and pick at for the day. Once that was sorted, she headed for the city's gate to deal with the hated task of riding one of the Okomo down the mountain. She despised the creatures and was fairly sure that the feeling was mutual. Still, she trudged on until she reached the little stable at the city's main entrance where the Okomo were held. She took down one of the special saddles and the associated tack before approaching one of the beasts. It gazed at her with interest and Azira looked straight back at it, wondering if this was the same one that had let her land on her backside the previous day when she dismounted. She couldn't tell; they all seemed alike to her. To be on the safe side, she decided to start things out on the right foot and so she took a treat and offered it to the animal on her palm. Its lips moved over the food and rippled against her skin as it ate it up. She kept her hand there until it drew its head back then promptly rubbed it on her bryda.

"Right, let's get you set up, shall we?" she murmured in Nari. Taking the saddle pad that would protect the beast from chafing, she placed it on its back before placing the saddle over it. The various straps were pulled under it and tightened, but not too tight, which she made sure of by making sure she could fit a finger comfortably under the leather. Satisfied, she fitted reins and loaded her belongings. She eyed the animal suspiciously for a moment before placing her foot into the stirrup and throwing herself upwards. She struggled and wiggled onto the creature's back, panting as she positioned a leg on either side. A quick dig of her heels into the Okomo's flanks set it into motion, a steady walk bringing them to a door that a Shinya opened for them. After that, her mount was quite content to handle things on its own, well-trained enough to make its own way down the mountain with its passenger.

It took over a bell but the huntress was glad when they reached the end of their journey. Swinging her right leg over its back, she slid down off its side, bending a little at the knees as she landed with a hand on the saddle to steady herself. Leading the animal to the hut set aside for the purpose, she hitched it up and added some firewood to the blaze that kept the hut heated. The pile was running low and so she determined to bring some dry wood back with her if she could find it in this weather. She took a few moments to revel in the fire's warmth, the cold dampness of the weather seeming to have seeped into her bones on her trip down. Drawing herself away reluctantly, she patted the animal in an absentminded way and left it there as she went in search of her traps and what she hoped would be in them.

Expenses-4jk for loaf of bread
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Last edited by Azira on January 8th, 2017, 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Azira
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Light My Fire

Postby Azira on January 1st, 2017, 10:13 pm

The young woman set off through the tangle of woodland that marked the edge and beginning of the Unforgiving. The Inarta walked as softly as she could, treading on pine needles that squelched slightly underfoot. The rain came down more steadily, droplets filtering down through the firs to patter on the earth. Steadily, she grew wetter, her clothes growing heavier with moisture until she was soaked to the skin. She trudged onwards, clothing sticking to her skin. It moved uncomfortably against her flesh, the material unpleasant to the touch. Once she checked the traps, she'd find somewhere sheltered and see if she could start a fire to give herself a chance to warm up and dry off. In this weather, it might be difficult to find the materials for a blaze that were sufficiently dry.

She wasn't quite as familiar with this part of the Unforgiving as to that near her home but Azira had become proficient enough to navigate in this area without becoming lost. In places, she had left markings for herself on the bark of trees to provide herself with easily recognisable landmarks if they land did not naturally yield up any. Her hunting knife had bitten deep enough into the bark to ensure that the diamonds she'd etched into the wood wouldn't fade or be mistaken for anything natural. When the marks became less defined, it was a simple matter of going over them again, not that that had become necessary as yet, but she had no idea how long she'd be staying in Lhavit.

The path she followed was one that she'd traversed numerous times over the preceding days and it showed in the depression of the earth underfoot, a depression marked by her tread. It helped to know that she was on the right track and half a bell from where she'd left her mount, she came upon her first trap. It was an animal snare that she had purchased long ago. It was small so it was only capable of catching a rabbit, or maybe an unlucky squirrel if it happened to run along the ground, but that was sufficient for her; she couldn't carry anything bigger than that unless she butchered it herself, a skill that was far from being her strong suit.

At first glance, she knew that she had caught something but she quickly realised that the set of the animal looked unnatural. When she drew closer, she spotted the blood and entrails and discovered that what she had seen was the creature flopped onto its side, its back presented to her whole and intact. The belly of the former rabbit was a very different matter. Something at disemboweled it and stripped it of much of its meat. The huntress made a soft noise of disgust, more due to the loss that had come of her efforts than the sight before her; she'd been hunting long enough to have seen grislier sights than this. The young woman doubted that anything would be caught here if she allowed the snare to remain in place. Even if she cleaned everything up and did her best keep her scent off it, there was no guarantee that she would get rid of the smell of blood; no prey animal would venture near a recent kill spot. Sighing, she paced away from the trap before bending to muddy her hands. Walking back to the trap, she carefully extricated the rabbit from the wire and pulled it free, leaving the carcass there to rot. Returning to the place she'd muddied her hands before, she repeated the exercise and then coated the wire in it. The smell of blood would be on the snare as well and that was something she needed to remove. She washed it in a small puddle that had collected before muddying it again, praying that some god would deem it enough to mask the stench of death.

When she'd finished masking scents, the redhead stepped off her customary trail and in as straight a line as possible she walked thirty carefully measured paces. At the end of it, she knelt near a small hardy bush and carefully parted some of the gnarled foliage at its edge. The noose of wire was placed just outside the bush while a small piece was threaded into the foliage and coiled into a small circle. Removing a small stake of deadwood from her pack, Azira hammered its tip into the circle with the flat of her hunting knife. It was a careful business but the ground wasn't too hard, the stake sinking down the first inch or so with ease before she hit firmer earth. She hammered it down patiently, resorting at last to using the handle, which she gripped tightly, leaning away so that she wouldn't inadvertently stab herself as she pummeled the stake deeper into place. When she was satisfied with the depth, she re-holstered the knife, walked away to muddy her hands again and then returned to position and hide the noose of wire. It took pine needles, leaves that had come loose from the bush and little twigs, but she succeeded in propping the noose open and hiding it. She took a step back, scrutinising it from every angle before returning the way she'd come.

As she made her way back to her customary path, the Inarta sawed at shoulder height into the trunks of two or three of the trees she passed. There was no harm in being on the safe side. After that, she set off to check the other traps she'd set, hoping that she'd get something in them that was still in one piece.
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Azira
Prodigal Daughter
 
Posts: 923
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Joined roleplay: August 31st, 2013, 3:43 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Human, Inarta
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Overlored (1) 2014 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
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Light My Fire

Postby Azira on January 14th, 2017, 9:14 pm

The huntress retraced her steps from the previous day, keeping an eye out for any recent signs of animal activity. She didn't move too hurriedly, eyes shifting from the ground to the surrounding undergrowth and trees in her search for anything from scat to scratches, anything that would hint at a creature's passage. Her scent was probably clinging to the path as she'd only passed down it the day before. The rain might have scattered the smell, but she couldn't be sure. Animals were far more sensitive to these things and it was entirely possible that she'd left some indication of her passage that could have kept them from the trail. As far as she could tell, no animals had been this way and that could be the reason why. Of course, there was also the fact that she wasn't that good at tracking and so she could well have missed something obvious.

She had some squirrel poles set ahead, put together with the help of some wire she'd bartered for with one of the hunters. It was nice that they could organise things like that without the use of money, understanding the need to help others for the sake of mutual advantage. Squirrel poles were easy to make, a simple matter of setting a branch between trees and securing some small wire loops to it. A curious squirrel would get itself caught in the loop and when it moved, it would tighten the noose, loose its balance and slip off the log to hang itself. It meant that they'd die, which wouldn't happen with the snares she set on the ground, and so they'd quickly attract predators and decomposers. It was a risk, having a potentially dead animal hanging around but it was one that she had to take. It could always be hoped that the height would protect her kill from interference and that the temperatures would have been low enough to keep the meat good.

When the huntress reached the first of the squirrel poles she'd set up, she found one of the loops twisted out of shape as if the squirrel had dropped and then managed to get loose. That was an error on her part. Only one of the loops was occupied and as she touched it, she found the hide intact except for where the wire had bitten into its neck. She extricated it carefully and examined it, searching it for signs that it had been worried at by something. It seemed to be in good condition, which she was glad to see. Opening her pack, she took out some worn cloth. She nestled the dead creature in the midst of it and tied the ends together to create a loose bag. The knot wasn't too tight so that there was space for her to get more in there and she could slip a finger under it and let the whole thing swing from her hand as she walked. Taking a small loop of rope, she threaded it through the opening and tied it there before tying the other rope end to her belt. She allowed the bag an inch or two of rope so that it would bump her thigh as she walked but wouldn't be too low where it could be jostled against her knee or something.

She reset the loops that had been used, twisting the one that had held the escapee back into shape and placing it at the correct angle on the branch. After that, she moved onto her next two squirrel poles and found that she had been less than lucky. She found squirrels that had been picked at or were full of flies so that they were useless to her. All she could do was take the corpses down and fling them as far away as she could. Once she'd finished with that messy business, she muddied her hands once more and reset the wire nooses, hoping that they'd catch something in the next few bells that she could bring back intact. Azira was disappointed and frustrated that her work had only turned out a single measly squirrel but she knew she had to take what she could get. There were a few simple snares about the place that might have caught something small on the ground but she wasn't optimistic; she knew how the squirrels had fared at a height and had also seen the first rabbit. Still she couldn't afford to be overly pessimistic either or she wouldn't have the motivation to go out looking in the first place.

The young woman made a plan as she walked on to check her other snares. She'd collect whatever was there, reset them as necessary and then she'd find herself a spot to settle down. Azira could go looking for some dry material, get a fire going and hopefully get herself dried off a bit. It wouldn't be much but then she couldn't stay outside all day soaked to the skin. The rain may not be letting up any time soon but she still had to try to keep the moisture at bay. Getting sick was not an option although the redhead was sure that she'd come down with something given the changing temperatures and the wetness at this time of year.
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Azira
Prodigal Daughter
 
Posts: 923
Words: 907811
Joined roleplay: August 31st, 2013, 3:43 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Human, Inarta
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Medals: 3
Overlored (1) 2014 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Light My Fire

Postby Azira on January 22nd, 2017, 11:21 pm

She had honestly never been so disheartened before. It was a miserable turnout, truly miserable. She still held the single squirrel and that was it. None of her other traps had turned out anything useful. What she had managed to catch had been unfit for anything. Something had been picking her kills apart and on the ground, it was easy to suppose that it was some sort of predator. Unless the squirrels had gained a taste for eating their fellows though, it was probably some sort of carrion bird that had interfered with what had hung from the squirrel pole. Damned scavenging beasts! Their need was as pressing as hers, perhaps more so but then she still begrudged them of it. If they wanted meat then they should catch it themselves, not pilfer someone else's.

She'd had to make do with resetting the traps and hoping that something would come along in the next few bells. Now, she was merely focused on getting a fire started. She'd found a spot where the ground was muddy but was relatively firm. She would have preferred stony ground but stone would have meant being unsheltered, no trees to filter the rain down to the ground rather than having it pour straight down. Azira tried to scrape up layers of pine needles in the surrounding area to pile them where she wanted to light her fire, stamping them into the mud in an attempt to make it more solid. Her hands were filthy from all the muck she'd stuck them into so far today, under her nails clogged with dirt despite how short they were.

It took a good ten chimes before the ground was suitably packed with pine needles to have given some solidity to the mud. Satisfied that this was a good enough surface, she took off her pack and set it down, taking her katinu off next. She bundled the garment up and wrung it out, twisting the material tightly until water dripped out. She repeated the exercise several times, moving the cloth around to ensure that she squeezed as much rain out of it as possible. When it was as dry as it was going to get by that method, she tied it to the branches over the solid spot she'd created to form a canopy. Next, the huntress went looking for any dead wood that might be lying around, hoping for some that had somehow escaped the damp of the day. She walked in ever increasing circles from her the spot of her future fire in quest of firewood but she found very few pieces and was forced to resort to cutting sections of green wood. It was less than ideal but she sawed her way through sections of springy, live wood. Returning to the spot she'd prepared, she did her best to grate away the outer layer of the wood that she'd cut. Holding the end of a stick between her knees and leaving the other end to sit on the ground. With her hunting knife held sideways against the wet bark, she scraped along it in a direction away from her. The process was a slow and ineffectual one but she eventually succeeded in scraping one side of the wood clean so that the green beneath was exposed. She repeated the activity until she'd gone round the entire piece of wood, leaving her fingers sticky with sap and a miserable pile of wood shavings on the ground.

The Inarta fished through her pack until she found some old scraps of dirty cloth, which she used to surround the wood shavings she'd made. Then taking her flint and steel and positioning them over the tinder, she struck the metal down the stone in a rapid jerk. The blade rasped on the flint and a glint showed their contact but no sparks went flying. She kept it up, trying to coax a spark into the nest of materials. When the spark finally came, it started to smolder on the cloth. The redhead blew on it gently until it grew into a flame that began to spread quickly over the dry cloth. Her hand dipped in quickly to grab the shavings, dumping them on top of the growing flames, sucking her fingers as they felt the lick of heat. As she watched the shavings dry and begin to shrivel in smoky flames, Azira became aware of a strange sensation. Something seemed to be moving within her, loosening and she couldn't determine what it was. It felt strange and unnatural, the feeling not seeming to come from any location she could put her finger on. It was her core, one moment, seeming to thrill in the centre of her and at other times seeming to dance up and down her spine. An internal tingling that made her edgy as she roughly sawed the sticks she'd collected into smaller pieces to add to her infant blaze. She continued to blow lightly to ensure the flames weren't smothered by the living kindling.

All the while, she felt the sensation within her growing and it made her increasingly uneasy. The tingling seemed to move down her arms, a more physical feeling now that made her wonder if something was going wrong with her body. It was as if her limbs had been numbed by reduced blood flow and were coming back to life as the blood returned. Except that her arms hadn't been numb as she'd been using them this whole time. Her breathing increased, the young woman on the verge of hyperventilating as she watched the fire die before her and shivered violently in the cold, damp air. Panic brought the taste of bile to her throat as she wondered if she'd done harm to herself by letting herself get soaked like this. The tingling travelled down to her hands and she froze in place, unable to convince herself to tend to the fire even as it tried to smoke itself out of oblivion.

The feeling moved to her palms and she felt a tickle on her skin, almost as if sweat was coming from her pores. She turned her hands over slowly to look at them and was chilled by the odd substance that seemed to be oozing out of them. It was like gel, translucent but with a slight shimmer to it. It looked surreal, moving from her palms of its own accord to pool there. As she gazed on in horror, its flow increased, the ooze sliding out of her palm with a growing speed before her eyes as if in response to her panic. Panting now, the huntress looked wildly around her, wanting to wipe it somewhere but for some unknown reason, she didn't want to rub it on her bryda as she might ordinarily have done. Instead, she turned to the nearest tree and began to run her hands over the wet bark. The trickling feeling continued, the eerie fluid smearing the tree's rough surface although never seeming to diminish from her hands. Letting out a sob of fear, she rubbed faster and more vigorously. Heat grew from the friction, her hands burning painfully from the relentless motion but she kept it up, eager to get rid of it. She drew her hands away to check them and watched the substance stretch between the tree and her retreating palms. She let out a little scream and then went into hysterics as something in her brain shifted and the substance slathered on the tree bark whooshed into flame.
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Nari | Common
Template courtesy of Khara
4 out of 5 active threads

Image
User avatar
Azira
Prodigal Daughter
 
Posts: 923
Words: 907811
Joined roleplay: August 31st, 2013, 3:43 pm
Location: Wind Reach
Race: Human, Inarta
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 3
Overlored (1) 2014 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)


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