Completed How Much Wood?

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How Much Wood?

Postby Karyk on April 17th, 2017, 8:39 pm

Dorrin already had them now heading westward, probably not far from their destination. He kept his head on a swivel, on high alert from the wolf howls, but not having the sharpest eyesight to pick out the wolves through the moving landscape. Often times his eyes landed on the woman wearing his clothes, lingering for just a moment longer than one might expect. He really hoped they all survived this, if only so he could let his eyes linger a bit more. But he needed to stay focused, he nearly tripped over that tree route just now, and nearly led the group through a briar patch.

He leaned in just a bit when she began talking, grateful that he needn't slow down for her. It was amazing how much she knew about the wolves and their tactics. Clearly quite adept as a hunter. The gist was simple. They attack from all sides, and they look for those that are alone. And try to kill the big one. He assumed the Alpha would be the big one at least. He watched her shed his clothes, again averting his eyes as she stepped naked into the forest once more. When she handed him his clothes, and addressed him directly, he found it easy to hold his sight on her eyes as she finally gave her name. Karyk nodded decisively, "Stay safe Salara."

When the sparking white light came through, and Salara became a cougar, it all finally made sense to him. She was a Kelvic. He should've guessed, he'd met a handful in his years. With her knowledge, and the strength of a mountain lion, she'd surely be a formidable foe, and impressive ally. At the very least, he was going to buy her a beer after this. He then found himself wondering if Kelvics drink beer. Aside from turning into animals, he didn't really know much about them. They weren't terribly common, and he didn't know of any off the top of his head that worked in the ship yard. He pressed on, even more determined to get through this successfully.

As Karyk climbed a rise toward the pine copse, a strange scent of smoke invaded his nostrils. He looked back and saw Kesh smoking from a pipe, a sight most strange indeed, while he spoke to Dorrin. Dorrin seemed to be bored and distracted by the cloud of smoke clogging his breath space. Karyk smirked at this, knowing Dorrin would complain up a storm later at the bar.

Karyk pushed upward and into the tree line of the copse and stopped cold in his tracks. There was old blood everywhere and the smell was nauseating. There were flies everywhere, maggots crawling about, the stench of blood, rotten flesh, and shyke so thick it felt as if it were a warm, damp blanket around him. Karyk had to hold his breath to keep from vomiting. He tore off a piece of his damaged shirt, doused it in water from his water skin and wrapped it around his nose and mouth.

"Petching hell..." was all Dorrin could say.

Taking a moment to see it all, it was an awful scene. Blood was all over the ground, the roots of the trees, thick and clotted, mostly black now, a feast for flies and other insects. He saw a fleshy pile of bones at the base of one tree, another near a few felled trees. Axes laid about, covered in blood, metal already ruined from a full day's exposure to the thick liquid. It seemed that they managed to fell five decently sized pines, and had been preparing to turn them into lumber, as some branches were shorn off already. The sap from the trunks was oozing out at the cuts as well, adding to the gruesome visage before him.

Karyk's eyes missed it, but on the north side of the copse, there were drag marks with a blood trail leading from one of the felled trees and out of the copse. To a trained eye, it would seem as if it was done voluntarily, albeit in a panicked state, rather than dragged off by a wolf. Karyk removed his axe bundle from its place on his pack and unrolled it on the ground. He slipped his handaxe into his belt, and grabbed his hatchet. Dorrin was doing the same. They'd need to strip the branches, using the thicker logs to make a couple of crude sled. Then cut the trees into crude planks, that would be smoothed down at the ship yard. The jamoura said he was strong but Karyk doubted he'd be able to haul five trees himself. So they'd have to process them here.

Looking up at their tall, furry companion, he offered up his adze, "Me and Dorrin will get all the branches off first, and if you want to help, you can start debarking them. Or just watch our backs while we work, whichever you'd prefer. Once we get enough branches, we'll build the sleds, I guess at least one bigger one since you're stronger. Branches and bark removed, we'll cut crude planks, load up, and head out. Sound good?"

Karyk didn't wait long for a response, determined to get through this as quickly as possible. He lined up next to a thick branch, did a tap against it right at the base, swung the axe up, keeping his close arm straight and bending the far at the elbow, til his wrists were by his ears. Then he recoiled it back down, making sure to twist at the hip as he did, feeling a deep, satisfying thunk as his hatchet buried deep into the branch. He jerked it free, and repeated the process two more times until the final swing lopped it off. He tossed it into the bigger branch pile that Dorrin had started, and continued up the first side of the tree.

Hacking away, sweating and breathing a bit heavier, Karyk lopped all the branches off of this face of his tree, while Dorrin was nearly done with his. He had two piles of branches, useful ones in one, and smaller ones in another. He grabbed two large branches, and laid one down on the ground pointed at the center of the tree. He punched the other down below the curve of the tree, sinking it into the hard dirt a bit. Then he pushed forward on it with as much of his strength and weight as he could muster, and the tree began to roll a bit. As he kept pushing, he used a leg to nudge the other log up under the exposed curve. Pushing, and grunting, using his arms, back, ass, and legs to push, he eventually rolled the tree over, always keeping the other log in place to keep it from rolling back on him. Then the debranching process began anew.

While Karyk and Dorrin hacked away, the wolves continued their wide patrols. The alpha was in a rage, snapping at the other wolves that got too close. It was getting impatient, but it didn't become alpha by being dumb. Its pack was ten strong, and had the enemies surrounded, albeit with a wide berth. They'd killed his mate and one of his sires, as well as another of his pack. The one that killed his mate, the big one, would feed him for many moons. He let loose a blood curdling howl through the area, letting the others know that the attack would come soon.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on April 18th, 2017, 3:07 am

As soon as Salara stepped away from the group she became the prowling hunter. She knew It was imperative in her compromised condition that she remained undetected so only the surest odds would push her to attack any of the pack. To do otherwise was to jeopardize not only herself but the companions who counted on her to make it back to their side for the most solid defense. Each paw was placed with care as she navigated bramble patches and forest debris, always keeping the wolves to the outside of the tightening perimeter. This terrain was much more to her liking as the pine copse and deciduous woods were older and many trees had fallen to the ground in the stronger winds. Jumbled piles of stone, Semele’s bones, which had been pushed above the surface of her soil flesh also added to Salara’s advantage for cover and elevation.

In some ways wolves were highly effective hunters, especially as a coordinated pack, but she hadn’t met a wolf yet that took the time to look above its head. Using this to her advantage she traveled the higher pathways leaping silently from mossy green trunks to boulders pitted with erosion. It was a fact that the wolves’ sense of smell was much more sensitive than her own and there was no way she could stay up-wind of all of the creatures; so each time she was forced to leap to the ground she sprayed her scent. If they could smell her anytime she made sure they would smell her all the time.

At one point, resting amongst the branches of a tree fallen over the trail to catch her breath she watched one bold bitch that had closed more distance to the copse than the others approach unaware. Laying low to blend against the limb Salara waited for the chance of revenge for being treed earlier. The shaggy black beast, which looked so much smaller now that Salara had Kesh to compare it to, moved quickly down the trail. Settling her hindquarters in a series of small adjustments and flexing her claws into the wood she waits otherwise motionless. Just as the female passes below her, Salara’s solid 150 stone weight lands upon its back as her broad jaws clamp tight around the base of it’s skull. A short scuffle ensued with only a panicked whine and Salara’s answering growl through clenched teeth heard before the bitch dies suffocated. One down…

Releasing her hold she watches self-satisfied as its eyes begin to glaze in death’s embrace. Spitting foul black fur from her mouth, Salara begins to close her circle yet again moving more northward. Crossing one game trail in particular she notices a path of scuffed blood. There was no rhyme or reason for it to be there before the attacks started so she chose to investigate. Closing the distance and watching attentively she pauses with paw held mid-step to see a wounded man who had managed to pull himself up into the crook of a tree. As she moves in to see if he still lived she was encouraged when he spied her and made a weak effort to shake a hatchet at her in warning. She wished she could speak to him but she knew her energy was limited and shifting would expend it wastefully. Deliberately catching his eye she moves to a tree opposite his perch and rakes her claws in three parallel swipes before turning to stare south in an attempt to communicate the number and location of her companions. She really didn't expect he would understand.

And then the Alpha howled….

With a final glance over her shoulder at the treed man, he was safer where he was for now, she tried to convey meaning with a deliberately human-like nod and feline yowl of encouragement before following his bloody trail back to the pine copse.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on April 19th, 2017, 11:13 pm

Breaking into the clearing, Salara’s senses are immediately overwhelmed with the stench of rot and decay. Her feline face becomes pinched as she hacks deep in her throat at the stench invading her mouth and coating her tongue like the grease of rancid fat. With heart dropping, knowing now where the fellow had come from, looking at the gruesome scene it was a true wonder he had survived at all. Still feeling the injured man would have a better chance of survival where he currently rested and being one less person they would need to look out for; as bleak as their situation was becoming it was important to make the others aware of his presence. Should something happen to her it would be two lives instead of one that would be lost if Dorrin, Karyk, or Kesh lived and didn’t realize there was another precious life to save.

All three males labor hard to process the great tree trunks that had been cut down around the clearing. Karyk was leveraging heavy logs with a fulcrum, the swings of his hatchet steady and deliberate. Dorrin seemed to be constructing some type of sledge from the boughs and limbs. She bounds up to Kesh, the one most likely able to understand her unspoken efforts to communicate and who could most successfully retrieve the wounded man when the time was right. Pacing to and fro before him until catching his attention she pointedly looks up into his eyes with an air of expectation. Concentrating she tries several times, “Mrow, Mowu, Maaw,” before successfully forcing her mouth to articulate, “Maaan.” Tail whipping in agitation she repeats the guttural sound again and hopes he asks the right questions.

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How Much Wood?

Postby Kesh Baldur on April 20th, 2017, 4:05 am

Kesh watched as Salara changed into her cat form and left the woods, he wished he well as her wounds had not fully healed and there was a chance that the woods would ambush her. But he always knew that as humans of whatever kind, they were persistent and strong. He asked for another blessing from the woods to keep her safe and hidden, and the strength to fight if she needed to.

He then turned to the men Dorrin and Karyk, they asked him to debark the already fallen trees or to act as a lookout. He decided to do a little bit of both, he didn't exactly know what he had to do but figured that he could make his way by trial and error. He faced himself with his back to the men and his eyes looking towards the woods, this way he has a good vision in the case that anything made a move in the woods. He then looked at the tree, it's bark had been dry for a short time, he ran his hands over the rough bark and imagined the life it had lived and hoped that its future would be destined for the great bodies of water. He took a hook from his chain on his left arm and dug it into the tree to break the bark. He then reached into the crack with his right hand and tore off a large piece of the bark wood and placed it beside him. Seems easy enough, he thought and looked to the men seeking some kind of acknowledgement that he was doing alright.

The the howl came, a gut wrenching one, a call for preparation he thought.

Salara, all of a sudden reappeared, he thought she was bringing company, but she seemed worried about something. He caught on that she was trying to tell him something but had to pay closer attention to what she was saying, verbally and non verbally. Her one meow sounded almost like she was saying man. Man, why did it sound like she was saying... he then began to piece it together the bodies, the blood the number of axes. There was a possibility of a survivor! His eyes opened wide and he nodded and let out a couple grunts acknowledging, hoping she understood that he did as well. He then turned to the men.

"Dorrin! Karyk! There's something or someone in the woods Salara-" another howl followed, closer, much closer than the one before. He then looked back into the woods and saw a shadowy figure, it's eyes staring straight into his soul, it was then he knew what was happening. They found their moment when Kesh's eyes left the forest! "Salara! Get behind me or get clear, it's me that is focusing their rage!" He snarled. He heard pounding of dirt and turned to his left catching a glimpse of grey fur and raised his arm in reaction, the wolf bit into his arm, his hide just strong enough to not be pierced completely and suddenly the wolf was staring straight into his eyes trying to bite harder and growled.

Kesh let out a cry and stood up, he grabbed the wolf and squeezed tightly, the pain opened the wolf's mouth. But then he felt a weight fall on his back, it was another wolf striking at his back clawing and biting. Kesh growled and threw the one in his arms hard into the ground and heard its bones break, the other on his back would be more of a problem and was most likely acting as a distraction for another one. So Kesh rolled, hoping the weight would make it let go. But it was determined as if there was a worse punishment if it let go. He kept fighting with it and walked back into a tree closing his eyes on impact. The wolf finally let go, and when he opened his eyes and he knew why. There were three more now encroaching him, and he could hear the others running in the woods looking for a flank.

Kesh roared in defiance, words didn't matter here, only primal instinct and if the alpha male chose him for revenge then he would welcome it to try. He loosens his chains a bit to keep them close, the hooks in his hands they are loose enough to throw at the immediate three for when they came at him. At this point they were in a standoff and he could see past them the alpha looking on hungrily, waiting for his perfect moment. A moment that Kesh hoped to never give them. I should have kept one of those rusty axes nearby, it seems better for this situation. He grunted in disappointment but didn't lose focus.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Karyk on April 20th, 2017, 5:36 pm

Dorrin had finished the large sled, easily tying together the largest of the branches that he and Karyk had cleared. Karyk was finished debranching and debarking the first tree, now starting on the second. His cuts weren't as clean or as precise as they would normally be, for he was rushing. The faster they finished, the sooner they could all be heading for safety. He and Dorrin were so focused, they hadn't noticed Salara's arrival or her communication with Kesh. They were relying on their two companions to keep watch and warn them, let everyone play to their strengths.

Then he heard Kesh call his name, and looked over at the massive, furred being. That's when Karyk saw the wolf rush out and jump up at Kesh, followed by another on the Jamoura's back. It was an enlightening moment, reminding him of what Salara had said about wolves' tactics. Which meant if his eyes were on the Jamoura...

Karyk immediately dropped his carving axe and drew his handaxe, turning to where his back had been, and found two wolves there, snarling now. They'd been attempting to sneak up on him, and had been doing fairly well. They both charged at him, one at Dorrin, the other leaping at him, as they'd done earlier. Karyk reacted, remembering how that one went, by swinging his axe up heavily from his hip, planning to hit the wolf in the chest. But the swing had forced him to turn his body, his inexperience causing him to close his eyes and he missed his mark. Not completely, but the axe just lopped off a small bit of the left side of the wolf's face.

It crashed into him, knocking him on his ass, but the wound was enough to cause it to scramble, leaving deep clawed grooves in his left arm before scrambling off. The wolf regained its aggression, and lunged at the exposed Karyk. The shipwright grabbed a thick branch and swung it hard defensively, catching the wolf in the head. It knocked it away and stunned it. Karyk painfully pulled himself to his feet, staring down the wolf, that now glared at him, realizing the man was a genuine threat.

Karyk could see the predicament Kesh was in, but his own wolf was between them. Dorrin was fighting with his as well, and it was impossible to tell how it was going. He had no idea that there were still two wolves completely unaccounted for. Until he heard the growl from behind him. He peered over his shoulder and saw one, trying to ignore the warm blood streaming down his arm, the splashing of it on his boot that he could feel against his leg. Axe in right hand, log in left, he knew he wouldn't be able to use either well. The log would just slow him down. But an idea was forming in his mind.

He stepped toward the one in front of him with his right leg first, left arm cocked back, and heaved the log forward, twisting his entire body as he swung it in a big arc. He let go and it flew at the wolf, hitting it bodily, stunning and distracting it momentarily. Karyk quickly spun to face the other that he assumed, correctly so, to be charging at him. As he spun, he raised his axe, but didn't get the blade turned as the wolf came in close. Karyk knocked away the the snapping jaws with the back of the axe head. He ran over to the log he'd been working on. He kicked out the log being used as a wedge to keep it from rolling, feeling a crunch in big toe as he did, a blinding pain up his leg. The log moved free, and Karyk kept moving out of its way. The large log didn't roll far, but it did move just enough to catch one of the wolves hind feet as it had been in pursuit of Karyk. It was trapped and injured.

The first of them charged at him, and Karyk was too slow to defend. He felt the jaws clamp around his lower leg, just above his boot. He yelled in pain, as the wolf started pulling at the leg, probably hoping to pull him off balance, and doing a fine job of it. His hand axe was too small for him to reach the wolf at this angle. Karyk tugged at his leg hard, and fell backwards, the wolf holding on. The shift in balance gave Karyk a momentary advantage and he managed to kick the wolf in the head with his other leg and it let go to avoid another.

But it was already darting for him, looking to go for his throat. Rather than a sloppy, wide swing as he'd done before, he punched the axe out toward the wolf, the metal hitting it in the snout. It snapped and snapped and Karyk kept punching at it, fending it off while he managed to get standing. It wasn't so bad by itself. It seemed true that their strength was in their teamwork. Karyk did one large punch toward it while stepping forward, and the wolf flinched away from the attack. But Karyk stepped onto his injured leg while kicking his other forward heavily. The boot connected to the wolf's throat, and there was a bit of lift as the weight of the contact followed through.

Karyk's injured leg crumpled beneath as once more he hit the ground. The wolf thudded against the ground hard. Karyk rolled over and sank his axe right into the skull, killing it. He slowly picked himself up, his left leg in pain from the bite and broken toe, moved over to the trapped wolf, and sunk his axe into its skull as well, much easier being trapped. He reached down and grabbed his carving axe with his other hand, looking over as Dorrin finished off his wolf too, having a healthy amount of claw marks to show for it. They caught eyes, nodded, and turned toward the situation before them with Kesh.

Karyk knew four wolves against one Jamoura would still be difficult. But Karyk felt as if his skills were honed, that he was focused, that he was in control. He swapped axes, his carving axe in his dominant, right hand now. He pulled it back, leaned into it as he threw it forward, aiming at the closest wolf, completely confident at the kill strike he knew was coming, as it tumbled end over end.

Except it was hubris.

The axe bounced off the wolf's side, pulling a yelp of surprised mild pain from it, but no lasting damage, since it struck handle first. The wolf didn't even pull away to attack Karyk, was just momentarily distracted. Karyk wasn't sure which of them was more surprised, but he started limping toward the fight, determined to be helpful somehow, still unaware of one unaccounted for wolf.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on April 24th, 2017, 12:51 am

A lot happened in a very short amount of time. Just as Salara felt relief wash over her that Kesh had understood there was a survivor, the wolves took advantage of their moment of distraction. Kesh’s roar of warning had her leaping to race down the large trunk he had been de-barking to get out of the Jamoura’s way. From that higher elevation she paused to see where she would be of most use. Her unexpected arrival had obviously triggered the impending attack so that no wolves had targeted her, only the men in the glen. In a flash of insight, she gave credit to the dirty beasts in how they had chosen to divide their numbers – the majority on the biggest threat.

Quick appraisal revealed she was too far a distance to help Dorrin and Karyk; but perhaps she could help Kesh by dispatching his wounded attackers. Dropping down on the far side of the log, Salara quickly slinks along its length back toward the embattled Jamoura to watch for her chance. Out of sight out of mind, she had effectively taken herself out of the picture. Concealed behind the log she watches as Kesh backpedals into a tree to pinch a wolf between him and the trunk. The tree shudders at the impact shaking twig tips and leaves loose to fall in a shower around them. Kesh moves forward and as the wolf slips to the ground Salara leaps from cover, arching high over the short distance to land astraddle closing her strong jaws around it’s neck. Ears pressed tight and a hard-maniacal glint in her eyes she tears it’s flesh with her claws while twisting her head savagely until she hears the SNAP of it’s neck.

Dropping the body even before the last breath escapes she turns just in time to see, as if in slow motion, Karyk’s axe rotating through the air dead-aimed at one of the wolves still harassing the Jamoura…. and miss. Hearing the animal yelp she settles her haunches to leap upon it; when from over her right shoulder, another ax revolves in a tumble echoing Karyk’s throw but instead buries into the wolf’s skull with a sickening crack/squelch. Turning in surprise she watches as the lumberman she had left in the tree stumbles from the path into the clearing. “Good kitty,” he manages before falling flat on his face in what she hopes is a faint. Unable to leave him unprotected she moves to stand alongside his body her face twisting in a vicious snarl daring any approach. They may both be wounded, but there was still fight left in her and she was far from defenseless.
Last edited by Salara Kel'Halavath on April 25th, 2017, 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Kesh Baldur on April 24th, 2017, 7:01 pm

As the men all squared off with the wolves Kesh became more relaxed than he was at the beginning and waited for his moment. He could hear that Karyk and Dorrin were taking some hits, but were also getting some hits in of their own and could hear the cries from the wolves and he smell of blood grew.

He then heard the growl from Salara, Excellent, we are all back now! He thought to himself and let out another cry. He then saw an axe fly through and miss the wolf, followed quickly by another mysterious axe that made its way into the skull of the wolf closest to his right hand.

The wolves made a small cry and lost eye contact for a moment, Kesh noticed it and sprung at the chance. He swung his chains in a semi-circle striking the wolf that was in the middle position right across the face knocking it to the floor with a bone shattering crash to it's face and went limp, the wolf to his left was able to jump out of the way because of the slowing of this swing from hitting the wolf in the middle and retreated a little bit not knowing what to do now since there was a large cat within reach now as well as Kesh. He then made a conscious choice and made a move towards the hatchet that was on the floor, he figured he would have an easier time than having to get the ax out of the skull of the wolf.

As soon as me made the move, the Alpha male saw his chance and pounced on Kesh knocking him onto his back with the surprise attack. The wolf bit at his face and throat but Kesh was able to get his left arm up to block the attack and took the bites to it, instead of his face. He reached out to the ax but realized that when he reached out it was not within reach. The alpha wolf kept on his attack, and would not let up, this was his kill, he killed his mate and he would make this large animal pay. But Kesh was a smarter creature, a step up in evolution and he would not be taken down by such a creature. Sacrificing more damage to his left arm he rotated his right arm's chain and swung it to wrap around the wolf's neck, as it made it's pass back to his right hand and over again he punched the wolf.

The wolf drew pack from the impact, taking some of Kesh's fur with him, a rush of pain ran through his body but he had to fight through it. He grabbed the chain with his left hand and began to pull tightly on the chain, the wolf began to gasp for air and clawed at the him but Kesh would not let go, instead he pulled tighter and and made his way back up and got behind the wolf. The other wolf that was standing not knowing who to go for did now, it leaped onto Kesh's back and started to claw and bite at him, but he would not let go. The alpha male struggled more and more as it became more desperate , but when he did the chains kept getting tighter and eventually the wolf stiffened and stopped struggling.

The alpha was dead and now there was only one, the one on his back, he let go of the chain on his left arm, stinging in pain from the strain he had put it through. He then reached and caught a thick chunk of the wolf's fur and pulled him around to face him at a distance safe enough not damage any of his vitals and roared. The wolf growled and barked in defiance but could not do anything.

"What should we do with this one? it seems it is the last one of this pack." He asked the others, breathing heavily and taking a deep breath to slow things down.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Karyk on April 25th, 2017, 6:01 am

Karyk was still baffled at how his axe had missed. He'd been so sure. But it still served a purpose of being a distraction. But almost immediately after his hit the ground, a second axe flew threw the air from the copse's edge. It buried itself with a satisfying squishing thunk, knocking the wolf over from the momentum. Karyk turned to see who'd thrown it, knowing Dorrin was from the opposite direction. It was a bloodied, fury eyed man, leaning against the tree, nearly twice as far from the wolf than Karyk had been. He had a tourniquet wrapped around his shin, and his right foot was missing from below the ankle. This man must've been one the missing survivor.

It was amazing that he'd managed to last this long, and to Karyk, even more so that he was skilled enough with his axe to hit the wolf from so far, while both injured and exhausted. By the time Karyk turned back, the Alpha was dead, and Kesh was holding up a wolf almost mockingly by the scruff. The Jamoura asked what was to be done with it, and Karyk knew what the lumberjack would say, Dorrin too. But Karyk had been in charge up to this point. He stepped forward, "Let it go, scare it off. Let it share with its kin that we killed its pack leader, and are not to be messed with. It's over anyways."

Karyk limped over, eyeing the carnage around them, old and new, glad that it was done. Only now did his arm, and chest, and leg and toes all truly begin to hurt. He watched the injured lumberjack slump down against a tree, eyes closed, tired, taking deep breaths as he rested there. Karyk's eyes moved over the mountain cat, and she seemed to be whole. Kesh seemed to have a few dark, sticky spots in his fur, and it wasn't easy for Karyk to tell just the extent of his injuries. Dorrin was a bit bloodied, but mostly just angry. Their group was whole. Injured, but whole. And with that, Karyk smiled.

"Everyone okay? Let's get each other patched up and rest a bit. Then we can finish this gods forsaken job, and get back to town." He pulled off his ruined shirt, and began tearing it into rough strips, sitting down in the process against a log. He wasn't about to take off his boots, worrying that he wouldn't be able to get them back on with however many broken toes he had. Pulling up his trouser leg, he saw that the bites while semi deep, were just punctures. He sighed. He'd have to visit a proper medic or herbalist when he got to town and pay for some medicine. So now this job not only didn't make him any extra money, but was costing him more.

He reached down and tied the rag around the bite and did a simple knot around it. He examined his bleeding bicep, and the bandages on his chest from earlier. They were lightly blood stained, whereas his arm was oozing, the sticky blood matting the dark curls of hair on his arms. He tried to wrap a strip around his arm, but couldn't quite get the knot to stay. Frustrated he tossed the bloody thing away, and speaking over at Dorrin, "Let's just debranch these bastards and square them up. Those petches back at the yard can strip and plank them."

But for now, he just laid back against his log, and rested, listening to the sounds of songbirds returning to the vicinity now that it was deemed safer.
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Karyk
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How Much Wood?

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on April 26th, 2017, 5:20 pm

And just like that it was over. Salara watched Kesh finish off all but one of the remaining wolves. There was no doubt of her inclination to kill the mangy cur. She believed to her core that the only good wolf was a dead one. In a flashing sparkle of light the woman stands. Wiping both sides of her mouth with the back of her hand she pitches her 2cm into the decision, “Kill it. The town is starving and while one more canine carcass wouldn’t go far, it might dampen the hunger pains of a child or two for a few more nights.” Any would consider it a charitable suggestion, and it was, all but for the glint of wild in her eyes. This, however, wasn’t her show and she didn’t hold its life in the balance of her hands. The final decision would be Kesh’s. Besides, she could always come back….

Leaving the side of the unconscious lumberman, she searches the grove until she finds where Karyk had left his pack to retrieve her borrowed clothing and a water skin. Donning the shirt and breeches she returns to kneel at the man’s side. Tearing the loaned small-clothes into strips she dampens a corner and dabs at the abrasions on the man’s face and hands while wiping away blood and debris. He must have had trouble getting out of that tree with only one foot, not to mention getting into it in the first place, and then to return and still make a kill with one shot? One Tough Bird. The will to live always amazed her. He moans, but does not awaken, so she saturates the cloth and wrings trickling water over his parched lips. Moving down she checks the tourniquet around his calf. The stump was gruesome. The dirty torn flesh, pale for lack of blood and stark against yellowish fat and white bones, was beginning to seep again. Breaking a thick stick short she pushes it behind the material and twists it clockwise between the folds to tighten it. He grunts in pain, as pressing it firmly, she gives it another good solid twist then tucks it into place. Elevating his savaged leg over a chunk of dead-fall she arranges him to be as comfortable as possible for the moment as there wasn’t much more she could think to do.

Raising she turns seeing Karyk catching his breath before their final push to get the lumber down the mountain. They all deserved to take a minute to appreciate the feel of life-giving air being drawn into lungs and to contemplate life in general. At the thought she inhales deeply, exhales slowly, and tries not to feel the painful pull of her own wounds, which would benefit most from a good licking when she got the chance. Walking up to him she clears her throat, “If you don’t get that blood staunched you’ll end up with slippery fingers wielding a sharp object. I don’t know about you but I’d almost rather chance the wolves more.” With no further request she hands him the water skin and squats down facing his shoulder. Holding out the strip of cloth expectantly waiting for him to lift his arm she couldn’t help but notice his earthy, woodsy scent and his natural musk under the pervasive scent of blood; altogether not unpleasant she thinks as she squelches a hum building behind her teeth. With flushed cheeks from recent exertions or his nearness, she deftly wraps his wound, tucks the tails of the bandage within its folds with her fingertips and glances quickly at his face with a gentle smile curving her lips, “There that should save us for at least a little while.”

Pressing palms to knees to stand she looks toward her other companions. Dorrin waves off her intent of aid so she approaches the Jamoura. Standing next to him Salara had time to appreciate just how solidly massive his physical presence was. It was no wonder they had survived an attack from the larger, more experienced wolf pack. Was there any natural creature that could overcome such an individual as he? How powerful would a pack? drove? band?, maybe ‘troop’ was the right term, of Jamoura be? But still, he bled, as the rivulets of crimson from the wounds on his arms and back attested. “I’m not sure we can find a bandage large enough but is there anything I can do to help patch you up, Kesh? Perhaps we could pack your wounds with mud until you can get better care?”

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Salara Kel'Halavath
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How Much Wood?

Postby Kesh Baldur on April 30th, 2017, 1:58 am

Kesh looked at the wolf again next saw the defeat in it eyes, he listened to the comments from the other two and considered what they said. On one side if he let it go there as a chance that the wolf would leave, or it would again ban together with another group be try the same thing again. His ethics told him that he had to let it go, it was following orders of the alpha male, it was apart of its basic instinct, he saw the defeat and sadness in it eyes.

"I cannot kill this one, it no longer has the will to fight, and as such it no longer poses a threat to us or anything else. It's life now belongs to the fate of the forest." He told the others as he put the animal down and watched as it ran into the woods whimpering. "If you so wish to correct this decision Salara, I will not judge you or stop you." He finished as he finally let in a deep breath and at down. He then grabbed his pack again, took out his pipe be filled it with his herb, "if anyone wishes to partake I will gladly offer some, it will help with the pain, it is non-addictive and may help us get out of here sooner. This man that has joined us is not a enemy and needs aid. When we finished I will attach my chains to it and carry it out, my wounds are not too deep, like Salara said some mud should do the trick. You all can get on the sled, unfortunately with the carcasses and can help if I need it. Let us hope for a caring wind that will blow smell away and that we can make some money on the pelts and meat."

He then struck his flint to light the pipe and inhaled deeply allowing the herbs to take effect, he looked at the crowns of the trees as they swayed back and forth in the breeze. The way that they swayed so calmly was mesmerizing as it swayed with the rhythm of his breathing, time seemed to slow down and things were becoming simple again. He now thought of the future, he now had an in to the city, he also now had time to ask Salra questions while they were on their way back. With this new insight in his mind he got a new rush of energy and with that he then got up and passed his lit pipe around to all those willing to take it then looked at the work that was left, he then noticed the axe that he was reaching for before. He grabbed it, the handle was smooth from plenty of use, the blade was battered and beaten but with some work it could function nicely. He felt that since its past owner was gone he would not be missing it, he walked over to one of the lying trees and began to chop at some branches, since the axe was dull it more so broke the branches than cut it, he looked at the group and shrugged as if asking if that was alright.
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