Completed How Much Wood?

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

How Much Wood?

Postby Karyk on April 4th, 2017, 8:09 pm

Spring 25, 517
Morning

Karyk yawned loudly, much like a bear, as he stretched wide, raising up on the balls of his feet at the entrance to the shipyard. He started toward his current project, a small fishing vessel in need of repairs known as Shirley's Ripples. Apparently she'd been pulled into a reef during a squall, and took pretty major structural damage. As the reef punctured ship came into view, set up on wooden scaffolding so that the underside could be easily accessed, Karyk heard a workmate, "Oi, Karyk! We got a different job today, that petched whore there can wait, damned thing. Better off scrap donchya think?"

Karyk laughed quietly, but disagreed with the man. All ships were worth fixing so long as they were loved. "Sounds good Dorrin, lead the way." Karyk plodded along after the man where a small gathering of the various employees of the Shipyard stood around one of the other Foreman standing on a crate. "Oy, settle down you petches. We have a job for any willing to take it, today only. We were expecting a shipment of pine today and desperately need it. As you all know, the Golden Porpoise is behind schedule, and if we don't get it done soon, we'll lose payment as well as face with the merchants. The timber team we're waiting on was apparently attacked by wolves or something, and were unable to complete the job. We know where they were going to harvest the pine from, so we'll be sending a team there to gather the timber and bring it back. Because of the danger of the wolves, we are only sending volunteers, and you go at your own risk. We can't afford any extra pay on this, and those who remain will be expected to fill the gaps for those that are away on this expedition. If we can't get enough volunteers from the yard, we'll accept volunteers from the city as well. So who is willing?"

Dorrin raised his hand lazily and Karyk followed suit as well. The general consensus was that most of the shipbuilders were disgruntled, for many didn't want to go, but also didn't want more work today either, especially without increased pay. Not many hands were raised. Dorrin slapped his hand down on Karyk's shoulder and squeezed it, "Oughta be fun friend, think we'll get some wolf pelts too?"

The crowd dispersed leaving only those that volunteered. Foreman Grey handed Dorrin the map to the copse of pine, "You need to have the wood here by sundown. Try not to get killed. Also, one of the jacks, a man named Horva is missing. If you find him dead or alive, please try to bring him back, his missus is worried sick." Then he dropped into a low whisper, "But not if it means not bringing the wood."

Dorrin was grinning ear to ear like a child who just found a bag of coins. Karyk was pleased by this change of pace too. He walked over to his work footlocker and grabbed his bundle of axes and gear, placing his handaxe on his belt. Most of the rest of the volunteers seemed to be preparing as well. Once it seemed most people were prepared, Dorrin spoke up, "Alright, lets pass out some names and duties. I'm Dorrin, and I'll lead the group, help cut wood, and can fight."

Dorrin looked expectantly at Karyk, "I'm Karyk, I'll cut and haul wood, fight if I have to." He looked around to see who else was coming.
Last edited by Karyk on May 14th, 2017, 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Riona on April 5th, 2017, 2:39 am

Riona must have been insane. There was a number of reasons for this, her current plan was topping the list. Before she left she looked in the mirror. She wasn't exactly cross dressing. She simply was not looking like a woman in dress. There was a practical reason for this of course, she wasn't exactly going to go hiking though the woods in long skirts, that never ended well for any one.

The reason she wanted to go was two fold. The first and most pressing was she was not fond of starving and buying food required coin. The second it would allow her to scout the woods with out facing many of the risks she would come across if she was alone and female in the middle of the forest a fact that would not end well for all people involved.

Dressed in a loose tunic and pants, with her hair pulled back Riona hoped she would blend in the crowd enough to not attract any undue attention to herself.As people began to wonder into the area, she kept her head down and tried not to draw attention to herself. She was betting on most people being too busy with their own affairs to notice that she might not be as wide in the shoulders as some of the more burly folk filling the area.

If some one did take notice of her, Riona figured it would be a good idea to have some excuse and quietly tried to come up with one just in case some one would ask her.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Karyk on April 5th, 2017, 6:14 pm

Karyk stood aloofly, his thick arms crossed over his chest as the few people joining them spoke up and said their names. A couple of fighters, a couple of lumberjacks, or at least people capable of swinging an axe, and a couple people who are simply used to being outside the city. It seemed like a decent enough group, hopefully better than the previous one. However, one person stood out to him, if only because they seemed to be trying to not stand out. It was a woman, a curvy, pale woman. She hadn't introduced herself like the others had. Karyk stared, like he always did. He had never seen her working in the yard, and her extremely pale skin seemed to support the idea that she was a normal citizen. Maybe that was why she was avoiding speaking up, perhaps she didn't want to be excluded from this expedition for shipyard workers only.

Karyk decided to try and allay these assumed worries. He walked over to her, and stated simply, "You can be in my group. Ever swung an axe or explored the woods?" The group started walking westward through the city, and Karyk led the way for his new partner. Karyk wasn't much for small talk unless he had a drink in hand. Dorrin was out front, loudly attempting to recruit any passerby for this expedition. At least he had enough sense to realize that more people would likely mean a more successful trip. To his companion, "Swingin an axe ain't so hard, its just findin the right tree. I ain't so good at that part, still tryin to learn the trees."
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How Much Wood?

Postby Riona on April 6th, 2017, 8:57 pm

Riona did in fact have her reason. Of course life had taught her that the less attention she drawed to herself the better. Not that she was shy or the like. Far from it, she was however cautious when it came to certain situations, and this was one of them. Her plan thus far was to keep her head down see if the plant she was looking for was growing, doing the actual work and making her way back home without some major crisis occurring.

When some one seemed to be speaking to her, at least part of her plan seemed to have not worked. But, there was no reason for her not be civil after all. He was simply asking her a question, one she would likely have asked if she were in his place. "I've been in the woods before." She admitted with a side wise look of amusement, that much at least was true. "Trees aren't that hard."

Which was true enough. She knew most kinds of trees in the area, even if she didn't cut them down on a regular basis. "As long as you hit the same spot you'll be fine." Riona wasn't sure if that was all to it. But, she had seen trees felled before and it seemed like a good way to start out.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Karyk on April 6th, 2017, 10:54 pm

Quite uncharacteristically, Karyk broke into a deep bellowing laugh. Tree cutting wasn't that hard? Hit the same spot over and over? Well if she did end up swinging an axe today, she'd learn there's a bit more to it than that. It was good that she knew plants and the woods though. He was still struggling to identify the best trees. Some of the other shipbuilders that gathered their own lumber could look at a tree and just know how many planks or other pieces of lumber it would yield, and of what quality. Some of them could tell if the interior was rotten even if the exterior seemed to be find. Karyk wanted to learn this, to be a better ship builder. So maybe this seemingly overconfident woman could help with this.

"Well it certainly takes more than a sturdy swing to fell a tree. But it's a quick learn. Maybe you can help find the best pine trees. We need straight trees, that are big enough for planks, aren't rotten, twisted, and such. Shouldn't be too difficult I guess, I'm not good at judging the health of a tree. Maybe that's something you could do?"


He and the rest of the group continued westward, toward Mirahil Pass. Everyone knew just how dangerous it was beyond there, especially because the High Guard could only do so much patrolling in the wilds. Karyk had been surprised to hear that anyone survived a wolf attacked. Usually people just disappeared, or had been found slaughtered. He was starting to think that maybe this was an ill prepared venture. His own skills included, he started to wonder if they truly could be able to defend themselves if attacked. Maybe they'd get lucky and find people willing to gain favor of the Shipyard at Mirahil Keep. The High Guard wouldn't escort them, they had their own jobs to do after all. Karyk found himself finger his handaxe lightly. He promised himself that if he survived this, he'd practice with it more, so as to not have to worry or rely on others.

Plus if he died, his sister would kill him.

As they arrived at the unofficial gate leading to the pass, Dorrin started discussing their business with the High Guard stationed there, and it looked like it could be a while. Karyk leaned against the steep rock face that made up the sides of the pass, staring like he always does at this woman who'd not given her name. Karyk had felt a small sense of distrust since noticing that. What harm would it do to give a name unless you were hiding something?

Arms crossed now, ignoring the bickering of Dorrin as he and the High Guard debated, "So what sort of plant work do you do? If not a timber gatherer, then what? Food?"
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How Much Wood?

Postby Kesh Baldur on April 7th, 2017, 6:04 am

Kesh was walking eastwards in the woods beside a trail keeping to the forests so that he would not be spotted. He was heading towards a great city, well he had at least hoped it was a great city. He had only heard of it recently while listening to a group of travelers that he had come across recently.

I sure hope that I reach this city soon, the knowledge that this place must hold, the things I could learn. It seems to be the most logical place to start my journey. He thought as he walked along keeping an eye out for anything else out of the ordinary.

The trees reminded him of smaller versions of his home, the trunks strong, filled with many stories that were different from the ones back home. But much like his home, this land was filled with life, and he took it all in with every step further towards his goal.

He then heard sounds of footsteps coming down the trail that he was walking beside, out of curiosity he made his way over to get a better view of the path while remaining in the forest. He dropped his pack and the rest of his belongings that he was carrying, then began to concentrate on his natural skills that changed the colour of his fur to match that of the surrounding area as well as covered up his scent and kept very still.

Probably just some more people passing by, but my training and teachings remind me to stay hidden and safe unless caught or threatened.

He watched closely now as the sounds began to get louder and could now hear voices, human voices that spoke the common tongue. Soon he could see a wide range of men walking along the path. He saw that some of these men were carrying hatchets, others with just their swords, they all dressed similar to each other except for the man at the front he seemed to be a bit more put together than the others and assumed him to be some kind of leading figure. He then sniffed the air, *sniff* they smell of water and sweat, they must have come from some body of water, possibly somewhere close to the city that I am looking for. But there is something else, there is an unusual scent coming from the group that does not smell like the rest of them, I can't make sense of it but it definitely stands out, further observation is needed. At least they might give some information on where I am exactly and if I am any closer to reaching my destination, he thought as he sat there observing this new group.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on April 7th, 2017, 1:42 pm

Everything near in sight whizzes past in a jostled blur as briars and branches unseen grasp at her heaving body. Squinted eyes stream rivulets of tears that roll along gasping cheeks to shower from the tips of rust-gold fur below ears pressed tightly to skull. The cougar races… dangerously…psychotically… down the game trail only half-successful in avoiding the dark shadows that dart and nip relentlessly at her heals. She bled from torn wounds on her back and haunches but felt only the pain of air rasping past her teeth to feed screaming lungs. If she could only pull ahead far enough to leap toward the tree tops…

Out for an early morning hunt, nothing a-typical as nature had seemed to reset itself by aligning with what one would expect of spring weather. Truth, the insects were a nuisance in abnormal abundance and Salara would certainly need to pay special care to be clean of them all when she returned home. But as with all spring times the land’s fauna had become fertile, or was on it’s way to becoming so, making even canny prey rather stupid by distraction. Easy pickings, yet they were not the only prey distracted to their detriment.

Breaking-fast in easy content Salara lingered too long over her last catch, her tummy already sluggishly full. The sun lulling her to laziness, she realized she wasn’t alone until it was nearly too late. The pack could have scented her, simply stumbled across her, or most likely heard the death squeal wrung from the last coney just as its neck was snapping between her jaws. Unaware, she may have sung her own death in similar fashion but for one young wolf jumping too soon to the attack. She’d managed escape after a snarling scramble that left her attacker disemboweled for its inexperienced mistake.

In righteous rage, pack mates had dogged her heals taking pieces of her at each chance over what seemed like bells but was likely only chimes. Their efforts as well as her own were driven by the ululating howls of companions trying to circle ahead of her on easier paths. One? Two wolves? Perhaps even three, if her luck held, would not be insurmountable; but the coordinated efforts of an experienced pack counted toward her life’s end with each heaving breath. Experienced - but this one was not entirely as yearling cubs new to the hunt were learning. Perhaps her visage was terrible in its desperation as the dark shadow stepped across her path in more hesitation than aggression so she leapt over it, her hind feet finding slashing purchase across it’s back giving her just enough lift for a lunge into the air clawing, clinging, scrambling towards the lowest branches of a knurly oak becoming green with new buds and baby leaves.

Blood streaked gouges up the tree’s trunk point to her perch just beyond canine reach as her screech of defiance echoes over the nearby pine copse. Then all goes quiet but for heavy panting of all as the pack circles her tree to lunge in slavering threat or sit staring through jaundice-yellow eyes, daring her to descend or become too weak and fall. Body quivering in shock she clutches the limb with throbbing claws as pain reveals itself like fire across her body.

It seemed there were perhaps 8 reddish-black creatures not counting the ravaged one left behind with fur, blood, and guts strewn. She could identify the alpha male and his mate, three yearling offspring - one wounded - and a few adult subordinates in the pack that came and went like shadows among the trees – too difficult to keep track of. At least two pairs of wary eyes watch her at any one time announcing every shift of her position with yips and growls.

Her limbs and wounds begin to stiffen through forced inactivity as she watches with ice-hard eyes for any chance to escape.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Kesh Baldur on April 7th, 2017, 8:34 pm

Kesh was focused on the group of men, when heard the howlings of wolves, they sounded as if they were chasing something, it's sounds were more of a cat, but again a scent went off in his nose that indicated something else. Something that he had not encountered before.

He looked behind him towards the sounds and gave it a thought, then looked back at the group of men, there was a chance that he would miss them and lose his chance at reaching the city. But there also was a chance that when he went to investigate the noise he could find something or someone that might be able to help him. The curiosity of the noise soon seemed more interesting, besides, he had only seen and dealt with wolves in his home and wanted to see if they were similar to them.

So he slowly got up from his hiding spot as to not give signal to the group of men that they might have been watched and marked his pack to come back to, he then began to make his way over to the pack.

When he got to a safe distance he saw and confirmed what he had heard, there were a number of wolves wandering around a tree, he realized that they were hunting something, something that had the mysterious scent. He looked up to the trees and grabbed ahold of the trunk, it was sturdy enough to hold him so he began to climb his way up. When he reached a good enough height he began to use his hands and feet to move from one tree to the other to get closer to the scent.

He saw that then scent was coming from an animal of the feline kin, a very uncommon type that he had only rarely seen since they were ambush type animals. It's coat was covered in blood and the wounds looked quite bad, enough that he had a hard time believing that it was still alive. He looked down at the wolves, now barking loudly again since they noticed him. His kinds gifts could only work so well, and he concentrated to be the jet black fur that he was born with.

He looked over to the large cat and grunted at it since he thought it was just an animal and couldn't speak common and wanted to catch its attention, he kept his arms open to indicate to it that he meant no harm. He then pointed down to the pack of wolves and then made a scratching movement across his chest. He hoped that it at least understood that he meant no harm and if it was the wolves hurt it.

He then waited patiently for a reponse of some kind hoping that it was still alive before he made any decisions of action. Although he felt that as he waited he was putting more of the cats life in danger.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Karyk on April 12th, 2017, 6:34 pm

Before Karyk could hear his new companion's response, if she ever gave one, a soul splitting howl filled the air, albeit distantly. The various High Guards, including whoever was in charge that had been arguing with Dorrin, all stiffened up, hands on hilts of their various weapons. Karyk hadn't reached for his hand axe probably because he wasn't exactly proficient with it. He'd bought it on a whim recently, but really hadn't done more than swing it at the air a few more times. The man who sold it told him to not treat it like swinging an axe at a tree, for it was far from the same thing.

The High Guard in charge spat on the ground, "This is all that lazy cold-hearted bitch Morwen's fault. The wolves are hungry, attacking at patrols, woodsmen, coming much closer to the pass than they ever had. A couple of hunters said that sometimes in times of starvation, wolves might merge packs, go after more dangerous prey. It's a nightmare out there right now. But hey, if you bilge-wives wanna go out to die, by all means. Don't expect us to come save you small-masted men. You've been warned."

Dorrin's eyes burned with rage, but he knew it would be incredibly foolish to attack a High Guard. It didn't bother Karyk, he knew many shipwrights to sling insults at guards as well, it was really more of a professional courtesy than anything. If you were in a profession that other professions insulted, then odds are you were doing worthwhile work. Scum jobs on the other hand, didn't even get acknowledged. Gruffly, Dorrin stormed out of the pass toward the wilds, Karyk and a few others in his group followed. It seemed that a couple of them had decided to not follow through, likely spooked by the wolves.

The pass gave way to forest, the sunlight piercing through the new growth of leaves, as the small group, counting four now, sauntered through. He spoke up, "How far in do we need to go, Dorrin?" Dorrin pulled out the map, "Looks like a few bells north from the pass, then a while to the west, near a small pond."

Another howl split the air, from the north. The group looked at each other worriedly, before pressing on. Karyk had since drawn his hand axe, holding it at his side. The wind was blowing north to south, which aided the group in their approach, even if they didn't know it. Only a few chimes forward, and the group could hear the yips and yelps of the pack. They all stopped, and listened. It sounded as if the pack had stopped. Dorrin motioned for Karyk to come with him, and the two moved closer to the sounds. They peered around some trees, while the other two members stayed behind. A bit ahead, it seemed as though that a pack had managed to tree a large feline.

Dorrin smiled, whispering as soft as he could manage, "Seems we're in luck. That cat will keep them busy and away from us. We can just go around the area, and make our way to the trees. That cat is a blessing." Karyk nodded, smiling at their good fortune, before the pair moved to slip away. As Karyk turned though, he stepped on a slick spot of wet, dead leaves, and slid down on his ass, crunching several sticks in the process and making a lot of noise.

Everyone froze, and the wolf yelps stopped. The wolves stopped and smelled at the air, finding nothing, ears twitching as they listened, paying little attention to the treed feline, for she wasn't going anywhere. It seemed as if they didn't detect anything. They moved to turn their attention back to the tree, and the leaves in the trees rustled, the grass bent a different way. The wind had shifted, carrying the impromptu group's scent to the wolves.

The wolves snarled, many of them turning. Four of them split off, rushing through the trees at them. Karyk scrambled to get up, bringing his sloppily held axe with him. Him and Dorrin regrouped with the other two, just as the wolves broke through the brush. They looked young, not particularly mature, and were skinny from hunger. They fanned out, spreading out in front of the group. Karyk gripped his axe tightly, too tightly not knowing any better. Dorrin drew his mace, the other two had a sword and knife. Karyk stared down one of the wolves, seeing them calculate their threat behind those primal eyes. He didn't know why, but in that moment, Karyk made himself look bigger and from his gut, he bellowed, "RAHW!" loudly and suddenly. He watched the wolves flinch for a moment, before gaining composure. Everyone seemed to be waiting for someone to make the first move, unsure of what was to happen.
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How Much Wood?

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on April 12th, 2017, 8:38 pm

Clutching the limb as exhaustion and pain begins to overwhelm her body, Salara isn’t certain she could hang on much longer. The pack’s constant attentiveness was beginning to make this scene feel hopeless. If something didn’t happen soon there might be nothing left of her but a ragged scrap of gnawed hide blending with woodland debris as a mournful monument to a dreadful end. Desperately she watches for any break in their attention; but still, in the weakened moment of a long blink, she misses the first hint as two wolves’ attention is taken by something in the trees across from her. A deep chested grunt finally draws her attention as well to a massive darkness hanging among branches nearly level with her perch.

*BLINK* Her eyes shutter in disbelief as more than a little touch of fear slips along her spine to perceive a massive creature, much more broad and hairy than a man, watching her as intently as the predators below. Her mouth drops in a distinctively non-feline O. Grasping claws scramble and slip, she nearly loses her balance in retreat until hindquarters press tight to the tree’s solid trunk. She can feel her hackles rise high upon her shoulders and along her back while the wolves below her throw themselves against the tree in eager anticipation of retribution. And then the massive beast points in a most certainly human gesture. Eyes widen and ears tilt forward in stunned amazement, Salara tries to understand this monster must be a thinking creature. Certainly not – she must be mistaken. It could climb trees…

It. Could. Climb. Trees. Terror clenches her guts as any lingering hope leaches away. She doesn’t even hear the men approach, doesn’t hear four of her stalkers begin their attack on the lumber jacks. "RAHW!" Her sight dims to pinpoints at the primal sound. She could almost feel her racing heart dying in dread anticipation. Instinctively knowing this form was now useless – it could climb trees - her body flashes through sparkles of light and the woman gives voice to a very human scream of finality. With no claws to dig deeply into the wood and no strength left in her weakened state the woman’s grasp loosens as she slips and falls in a tumble of blonde hair and pale wounded flesh amidst those wolves which remain.
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