Completed A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

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

A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

Postby Karyk on April 19th, 2017, 6:47 pm

Timestamp: Spring 36, 517

Karyk slowly trudged through the town, heading for the pass, fishing pole in one hand, pack hanging from his shoulders, with his bundle of axes tied to where a rucksack might normally go. His tired eyes saw all of the other people on East Street, looking tired, bedraggled, irritable. Zeltiva was starving, more so than normal. Morwen's name spoken aloud would incite hatred. The fishing boats were struggling to adapt to the weather that had been altered by Morwen's absence, with fish finding different places to migrate. There were no crops, hunters unable to find anything more than a squirrel, for many of the bigger animals moved further from town. Karyk had only had kelp beer for the last four days.

He needed real food. And if the coast wasn't being productive, maybe he could find some luck in the small lakes and such outside of the city. Karyk ignored the guards telling him that it is dangerous out there in the woods. And he wasn't the first one to do so. Whenever the city gets really low on food, more people turned to the wilds. Karyk pushed forward into the woods, his stomach grumbling loudly. To distract himself from the hunger, while looking for a pond, he decided to sing a song he'd heard a while back.

"Well it's all for me bread, me moldy moldy bread,
It's all for me fish and potato.
For I spent all me coin on the lassies servin steak,
Far from the eastern ocean I must wander.

Where are me boots, me soggin', crackin' boots,
They're all gone for fish and potato.
For the heels they are worn out and the toes are kicked about
And the soles are looking out for better weather.

Well it's all for me bread, me moldy moldy bread,
It's all for me fish and potato.
For I spent all me coin on the lassies servin steak,
Far from the eastern ocean I must wander.

Where is me shirt, me sweaty, salty shirt,
It's all gone for fish and potato,
For the collar is all worn, and the sleeves they are all torn,
And the tail is looking out for better weather.

Well it's all for me bread, me moldy moldy bread,
It's all for me fish and potato.
For I spent all me coin on the lassies servin steak,
Far from the eastern ocean I must wander.

I'm sick in the head and I haven't been to bed,
Since first I felt the roars of hunger,
For I spent all me dough on them suppers don't you know,
Far from the eastern ocean I must wander.

Well it's all for me bread, me moldy moldy bread,
It's all for me fish and potato.
For I spent all me coin on the lassies servin steak,
Far from the eastern ocean I must wander."


By the time he'd finished, he'd found himself standing in front of a scummy, algae covered pond, heavy with insects flying about above it. It didn't look healthy, at all, and he wondered if anything actually lived in there. He bent down and grabbed a rock, and chucked it out into the middle of the pond, it landing with a shplunk, dispersing some of the flies. Karyk watched the waters not covered with scum to see if anything had swam away. And all he saw were tiny minnows and some other dark looking things that moved a lot more slowly. But he did need some bait first. Minnows were a pain, but maybe whatever those slow things were would do. He grabbed his bucket and tried to scoop some of them out, as his boots squelched in the fetid mud.

He got a whole lot of murky water but no critters in it. He stepped out of the mud and slowly dumped out the bucket just to make sure he didn't miss any. There were none. He went to try again, when he saw a black, worm like thing stuck on his boot. He reached down and plucked at it, finding it had a decent grip on the leather. But it did eventually let go. He held it up to his eyes. It was wriggling, fat, shiny and black. And it just latched onto his finger. He pulled and pulled, not feeling any pain, but still found the whole thing odd, until it let go. His finger was bleeding once he'd gotten it separated.

Aloud, "What in the hell are you?"
Last edited by Karyk on May 16th, 2017, 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

Postby Oleander Soleran on April 20th, 2017, 8:41 pm

Oleander
When Oleander had looked out of the window that morning, the sun had blinded him for a moment before his vision returned with a touch of blue to everything. Through the gaps between houses, he could see the glittering water of the harbour and the masts of several ships that had anchored there. The idyll was of deceptive nature, of course. What could have been a flourishing university city was a starving hole with a port, thanks to Morwen’s absence in winter.

There had been no breakfast beyond half a bowl of thinned porridge that morning, and chances were lunch would equally fall through. The only cure Oleander knew to a rumbling belly that did not involve food was distraction. Luckily for him, the one thing he truly excelled at was distracting himself, from important duties and otherwise.

He had given up his garden when the family had moved from Mithryn to Zeltiva, a price he had deemed worthy for the university and chances he was gaining in exchange. But enrolling as a student was proving more difficult than he had hoped, and between getting their furniture together and his father having to start up a new business in a city where nobody knew their name and in a trade he had not practised for several years, their financial situation did not exactly allow for extensive study fees. All of a sudden, Oleander spent entire days without any greenery and the potted plants he had placed around the house did little to make him feel more at home.

He had started exploring the forest beyond the city gate a few days ago. The stories that were whispered about the Zastoska - he turned a definite deaf ear to them. Even on the road to Zeltiva, he had heard about too many monstrosities to count, but from what he knew, the same was said about the rest of the Wilds and even the roads. He had come to terms with the fact that all of Mizahar that was not enclosed in robust stone walls was dangerous, and that he’d be damned before he adhered to the warnings and lived that boring life between cobblestones.

He was not stupid enough to venture so far he could not remember the road back, of course. While he passed between the pines, he kept a very straight path that other courageous feet had paved out before his own, careless steps. From time to time, markings were etched into trunks that indicated something close to a trail.

While he tried an air that did not exactly smell like home, but fresh enough to let him breath freely, Oleander let his gaze wander over the plants growing between the conifers. there was not much to behold, really. A ground full of needles did not provide much for other plants to live by and the lack of sun did not help, either. He spotted several wide ferns the spores of which he was reluctant to touch and recognized, with a smile, the fragile stems and buds of starflowers, whose white blossoms would open up later this season. It didn’t hold any practical use he knew of, he just remembered it for its pretty looks.

Further ahead, he heard a splash and a shout, loud enough to draw his attention. Apparently he was not alone up here. “Hello?”, he called, a little bit of uncertainty colouring his voice. He did not like talking to people he did not know. It always put him to stress, he could not do anything about it. “Is everything alright?” He could see the other man now - hardy and bearded, likely a craftsman. He was eyeing his own hand from which blood was trickling slowly to the ground. Along the shore of the small, black pond he was standing at, black, large, slug- or worm-like creatures were gathering, obviously drawn towards the red substance.

Oleander subconsciously tugged at his small herbal pouch as he drew closer. “Are you hurt? What are these things?”
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A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

Postby Karyk on April 25th, 2017, 9:52 am

Karyk was holding the wriggling black worm creature up and scrutinizing it when he heard a man's voice call to him. He saw a very young man, about his own height. Karyk immediately saw the smooth face, the more slender build, and knew this was a boy. He looked like the University type to Karyk. Which is why he found it odd for him to be out here in the wilds. He didn't even have inklings of hair on his face like a proper man. He looked like he could use a few seasons of hard labor to toughen him up.

When the boy asked if he was hurt, Karyk gave him a puzzled look, and held up his very lightly bleeding finger, not noticing the other leeches in the water dashing for the blood that fell below. Clearly it wasn't a serious injury in Karyk's mind. Gruffly, "I dunno what they are, but this one," shaking it out in front of him, "took a nibble on me." Karyk had an idea forming though. Even though he'd not seen any proper fish in this pond, perhaps there were more of these bitey worm things. And maybe fish in another pond would bite at them. He bet they moved a lot in water, unlike land worms, and for longer, which maybe fish would enjoy.

He looked down in the waters, and saw them frenzying around his diluted blood. Interesting. He reached down and grabbed the bucket he'd used moments before to futile try and catch minnows. He thrust it at the boy, "Time for some baitin'. Get some mud and water in there. We're gonna catch some of these bitin' little petches. If we're lucky, we can catch some nice fish later, split it even with ya if ya want?" He figured if he pushed the boy, as an older adult, that maybe the boy would join him. After all, everything was better with a bit of company. And maybe this boy was more of a man than Karyk's first impression thought.

Though it may just be funny to see a city boy flail about too.

Karyk stepped back into the mud, picking a spot so that it almost came up over his boots, but not quite. He dripped a bit of blood into the water a ways out, wondering why it hadn't yet stopped bleeding, and why it didn't hurt. He watched the worms swim toward it, more than expected. He wondered what would happen if a person fell in there. Would these things kill them? Or just be a major nuisance? He wondered if the lack of much other obvious life in the pond meant these things were starving too, just as he and most of Zeltiva were.

He dripped a second drop closer than the first, and was pleased to watch the leeches swim to that one next. So they could be lured. "I think we might be able to trap several of these in one go. Just gotta work up somethin'."
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A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

Postby Oleander Soleran on April 25th, 2017, 12:18 pm

Oleander
Oleander shut his mouth and watched the man, who did not seem majorly concerned by his injury, but actually rather intrigued. He nodded a little nimbly and only barely caught the bucket the older man was throwing his way. "But I'm no good at..." he started, then second-guessed his willingness to admit his own inadequacy and ended with a very silent "...fishing", murmured mostly to himself.

He would simply have to do his best, try to show this man that he could be helpful. He had seen other men fish before with traps, and some of the other boys had even done it with their bare hands. He also had a very faint memory of sitting by a riverside with his father, who had tried to teach him to fish with a rod, to no avail. Small Oleander was more interested in digging up worms for "bait" and chasing his sister with it than actually feeding the worms to fish. And Hortense running in circles screaming had not encourages the fish to bite especially well, either.

He put his herbs back to where he'd pulled them from, convinced now that the man was in no immediate danger of succumbing to his bleeding wound. "And it doesn't hurt at all?", he asked while filling the bucket with mud and water a safe distance from where the fisherman was playing with his new friends. This was interesting. It meant the worms spit probably contained a pain-numbing substance.

 He managed to accidentally spill some of the murky water over his boots in the process. It stained them a darker shade of brown and he hoped that his feet would remain dry. He wasn't too eager to catch any of these wriggling, black worms. They were close to triggering his gag reflex, but he was determined not  to let it show.

If asked, he would not be able to put his finger on where this sudden urge to prove his worth to a stranger, especially in a skill that was entirely out of his comfort zone, was coming from. Maybe it was the prospect of bringing some actual food home that afternoon.  Maybe it was sympathy, or a welcome pastime.    Herbs were scarce here, he needed to leave some things to be explored the next days and weeks, when he would be faced with the same problems of hunger and boredom. And if he could pick up a new skill in the process, he wasn't about to turn down the offer.

"Here, will this do?", he asked, hauling the bucket, now filled with water, dirt and one stray worm which had probably smelled Oleander's hands in the pond when he dipped them in there, over to the other man. "I'm not sure what we need these slimy things for, but I trust your better judgment." Hopefully he wouldn't make Oleander touch any of these worms.
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A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

Postby Karyk on April 25th, 2017, 9:29 pm

Karyk chuckled, "Nah, it doesn't hurt at all. If I hadn't seen the worm bite me itself, I probably wouldn't have noticed. That damn thing won't stop bleedin' though, and is just a small little bite. Should've stopped by now."

Karyk eyeballed the filled up bucket and nodded. It was as good as one could expect, being just mud and water. Karyk grabbed a work glove from his pack and slipped it onto his right hand, the one not bleeding. It was time attempt a trap for these little buggers. He pulled his foot free of the thick, stinky mud with a squelching sound, letting murky water fill in the hole left behind. He then reached down and scooped away a bit of mud blocking entry into the hole. He then dribbled his blood out into the water, watching the 'bitey worms' all rush at the cloud. He dribbled more, leading the group to the hole. He then dribbled a healthy bit into the hole itself. And lick a herd of cows being driven into a paddock, the worms swam in, filling the space. Karyk moved quickly, sealing the exit with mud to prevent escape. He then stuck his gloved hand into the mud next to the hole, and scooped it toward the hole, and picked it up, letting water drain away a bit. Eyeballing it, he smiled, for he saw several of the black worms wriggling within. He held it out for the kid to see, before he dropped the smelly mass into the bucket. He repeated this process several times until he had many worms in the bucket.

He flicked his arm away, spinning off any excess mud from his glove, and stepped out of the mud. He found a few more of the worms latched onto his boots, so he pulled at them until they let go, and tossed them into the bucket as well, not caring that the water would splash up at the boy. Karyk stuck his bleeding digit into his mouth to see if that would stop it. Mumbling around his hand, "The name's Karyk, Karyk Southwind, by the way. Who are ya, and what brings ya out here? Lookin' for food like everyone else?" Karyk knew his large family tended to be known in East Street, though not always in a good light. Typically just viewed as boring laborers that weren't as educated as people in Zeltiva would like.

He took his finger out of his mouth and was happy to see the bleeding had stopped. He pulled off his muddy glove, "Let's go find a water hole with actual fish in it, not this cesspool. We're goin' fishin' mate." Karyk packed up his stuff, leaving the boy with the bucket, and began trudging away from the pond. Shouting over his shoulder, "What do you do for nilos boy? Ya look like one of those book huggers from the university. I'm a shipwright and woodworker myself, work down at the shipyard."

Karyk peered around through the trees, until he found Syna to his left. He turned around so that she was on his right and began going north. "Well come on boy, we can't wait all day on your chin to grow hair."
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A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

Postby Oleander Soleran on April 26th, 2017, 8:26 pm

Oleander
Oleander watched with a mixture of interest and mild disgust as Karyk trapped the bitey worms in the mud. It looked as if the man knew fairly well what he was doing, despite not earning his living through fishing. For a moment, he considered volunteering to give this a try, but Karyk was making progress quickly and Oleander had no gloves and did not want to get bitten, either, so he kept quiet and waited until the man had finished collecting bait. He asked himself if fish would even eat these slimy critters, or if the worms would take a bite out of the fish instead.

He wondered when he had started to feel so cautious and reluctant about worms and other critters. It was not that he generally disliked dirt; he crawled around in it far too often while gardening to claim that. As he started to concentrate on herbs and flora, he started to lose track of the second side of the coin – fauna. He could not shake the uncomfortable fleeing at seeing the worms wriggle in the bucket as he carried it after Karyk, and quickly turned his gaze to the path before him, not terribly keen to stumble across a root and spill them all over himself. In contrast, a single earthworm he encountered while digging up the soil to plant a new tree never bothered him – he actually liked them, because they loosened up the earth and helped the roots spread. If he had to take a guess, it was both the sheer number of the biters that unsettled him, and the fact that they had no use except helping themselves to his blood if they got a chance.

Karyk’s remark about his lack of facial hair made him think. Was he acting especially childish or feminine? His sister would have laughed at the notion, she constantly reminded him that he should try to be a little more like her – keep things clean and tidy. She also remarked that he should grow up and get a job, but he had always attributed that to her usual spite. His father, on the other hand, had never commented on what Oleander should or should not do with his time, and he himself had never given it much thought. For him, his path was clear, and did not involve cutting trees or swinging axes. While he did intend to join the university as soon as possible, it still bothered him to be called a “book hugger”. Karyk made it sound like half an insult. Perhaps, over time, he could open his horizon to other aspects of nature again. But that did not mean he had to grow a beard to be a man.

“My name is Oleander Soleran”, he introduced himself. As a relatively new resident of Zeltiva, he had not run into Karyk’s family yet and connected no associations, neither good nor bad, with the name. “I’m a gardener, actually, not a student.” He chose not to mention that he wanted that to change. “I moved here with my family last season. Seeing now dire this spring is after the lack of winter, most people don’t have the money left to pay someone to tidy their gardens, though, so I have more time on my hands than I like to admit.” He walked quickly, catching up to Karyk as they talked. “Oh, and I could grow a beard, just so you know. I just choose not to. It tickles. I have no idea how you put up with it.” He would conclude the eighteenth year of his life soon; the lack of muscle from hard work did not mean he had the physiology of a twelve year old.

While they did not find another pond or lake, Oleander’s ears caught the sound of running water after a quarter bell of walking. When the stream came into sight, it seemed shallow at first, but upon closer inspection, Oleander saw that it was simply flowing rather slowly, but was deep enough to support a population of olive-brown fish with reddish dots close to their belly side. They did not look especially plump, as expected, but enough to fill their bellies if they managed to catch a number of them. When Oleander stepped closer in excitement, the fish scurried away and he regretted his incautiousness immediately. At least they knew there were fish here, now. Karyk had brought a fishing rod, but Oleander had none. "How can I help you? Do I need to make my own rod?" He did not care to keep his voice down, now. The fish had already gathered elsewhere.

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A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

Postby Karyk on April 30th, 2017, 10:46 am

Karyk listened to the boy as he walked, chuckling. A gardener? Only fancy folk employed those. But still, plant work was a noble profession, more so than those book huggers. At least the boy could produce food for himself and others if so inclined. Just as shipwrights build fishing boats. Though it sounded as if the boy was struggling to find work, which was a shame, and far too common in Zeltiva. At the beard comment, Karyk began laughing loudly, from deep in his belly.

"I've had this thing so long I can't remember the last time it itched. I think the salty air is good for that, but who knows? I know the plant lady near my house makes some goos and stuff for beards, but I've never bothered with them."


Karyk heard the babbling of a stream, and began meandering toward it, breaking away from the game path, trudging through the budding growth. The stream was a good lazy one, though it looked as if it might be not as deep as it normally would be. Karyk assumed it was just from not much rain yet this early in the year, not realizing it was more likely from Morwen's refusal to bring about winter. But it had plenty of fish. Good sized fish. He didn't know what kind they were, but they'd probably taste quite nice compared to the nothing he'd been having. The fish scattered, either from the sound or their proximity, but that was something that could easily be dealt with.

The boy suggested making his own rod, and Karyk considered that for a moment. It might be good for the boy to actually make his own. And Karyk had plenty of extra line and hooks. Karyk set his pack down against a tree, and grabbed at his axe bundle from the rucksack spot. He unrolled it, pulled out his trusty carving axe. He turned it over in his hand, so the handle was outward and handed it to the boy. "Go make a rod, I want to see how you do. We'll attach a line when you're done."

He figured the boy might be able to make one most of the way, but while he waited, Karyk figured he'd make him one too. He grabbed his carpenter's axe and hatchet and trudged into the woods away from Oleander. For a regular temporary rod, he'd just use a live, springy branch off of a tree. But that would only be good for a little while, until it became brittle and snapped. So Karyk was gonna make him a heavier rod, more durable and longer lasting. And for that he needed a young tree.

While moving through the trees, he kept having to swat at mosquitoes and flies, which seemed to be more prevalent this season. Again part of Morwen's failure, not that Karyk knew that. He eventually found a decent tree, a young cedar, just a bit taller than him. He set down his carpenter's axe against a tree, and walked around the tree. He was judging for the best place for it to fall as well as where to be cut. It seemed to be a bit northside heavy. There was plenty of fall space to the north as well. The trunk was about as thick as his arm. He marked a notch on the north side of the tree, and another on the south, just a bit higher up.

He moved around to the east side and lined up with the tree. He gripped the hatchet, hand over hand, and set the blade against the notch. He adjusted his feet and stance until he found a comfortable spot. Feet were about shoulder width apart, left a bit closer to the tree. Then he raised his axe up and back, keeping his left arm mostly straight, while bending his right at the elbow, as his axe swung up by his ear. He twisted his body at the hips, and once the coil was taut, he swung it back. The axe came down, his hips twisting forward and soon a deep thud resounded through the forest. The axe bit nice and deep, and he pulled it out and swung again. Thud, thud, thud, as chunks of white wood feel from the tree.

Once he was about a third of the way into the tree, he changed sides to aim at the higher notch. By doing this two notch system, he could essentially guarantee his own safety and with what direction the tree would fall. He continued chopping, hard and fast, glistening with sweat, stomach rumbling loudly, until with a shudder, the tree shook. Karyk stepped back a bit, and then he heard the crack. With that it leaned to the north and fell to the ground with a snapping thud. Karyk walked up to the branches, and began making quick work shearing them off. Soon he had a log about twice the length of his arm span. He grabbed the log and his other axe and made his way back to where he'd set his pack, to see what progress Oleander had made.
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A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

Postby Oleander Soleran on April 30th, 2017, 7:18 pm

Oleander
It took Oleander a moment to realize that Karyk was not only agreeing that he should make a rod, which, honestly, had been more of a joke on Oleander’s side, but he was actually leaving him alone to do it. With an axe.

How on Mizahar were you supposed to use an axe to carve something? Weren’t axes usually the tools used to fell trees? Oh, right. That was what Karyk had mentioned he did for a living. Still, Oleander had no clue how to use an axe for anything that did not include accidentally ridding himself of a limb or two. He found carving hard enough with a knife, but an axe was just so much less…handy. Fishing rods, on the other hand, he had seen before, and had tried to make his own, simplistic one, as a kid. Moreover, Karyk’s own rod was lying right next to him, which did seem like an advantage.

For now, he carefully set the axe down with the rest of Karyk’s things and strolled over to the nearest group of trees, looking for a stick long and sturdy enough to be turned into a fishing rod. He found one laying not far from where he had started to look, and picked it up. A bit gnarled, but it would have to do. There was little else to be expected in a pine forest and without the skill to fell an entire tree for the benefit of one ill-crafted piece of equipment. He would leave everything more extravagant to people like Karyk.

He took the stick back to where he had left the axe and stopped a moment to listen. Karyk’s steps had come to a halt in the distance, and he was starting to hack away at a tree. The man had not told him what he was setting out to do, but Oleander guessed that it would benefit their fishing endeavour more than his rod-making would. Still, he hoped that whatever the woodworker was doing was going to work. If nature had to lose a tree, the reason would better be a good one.

Speaking a silent prayer to Caiyha so that she may lend him strength to carve the wood she had granted him without permanently mutilating himself, he fished Karyk’s carving axe from the pile and took a moment to admire it. It was a simple tool, curved and relatively short, the blade slimmer than the one on the axe they used to shorten firewood at home.

Oleander grabbed it near the blade for relative accuracy. He was pretty sure the handle was there for a reason, but he might as well have chopped his stick in two if he was going to try and use it.

The first few cuts were messy and reluctant, but Oleander noticed that this was easier than he had feared, thanks to the blade’s sharpness. It might even be fun, if practised a little. He smoothed out several knots in the wood before the very same sharpness cut into his middle finger. He dropped the axe, supressed any sound that may have escaped his mouth that would have sounded rather ladylike and sucked the bleeding finger. The cut was not terribly deep, but reminded him that he was, in fact, a rookie when it came to the usage of sharp tools.

That was how Karyk would find him as he returned with his tree – on the ground, a hald-finished, rough-looking fishing rod in his lap, carefully picking up the axe again and resuming to carve, much slower now. He was too concentrated to notice the woodworker’s return.
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A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

Postby Karyk on May 1st, 2017, 12:19 am

Karyk was in the middle of dragging his log back when he heard that anything but masculine squeal escaped Oleander's lips. It didn't take much imagination to guess what had happened. Karyk just smiled, shaking his head. Everyone cut themselves the first time, himself included, and still sometimes did. It was good for the boy. Karyk couldn't help but wonder why he was being so helpful toward this boy, but he couldn't deny that he was enjoying it.

He saw the boy was deep in focus, and wasn't about to disturb him. Karyk sat down against a tree and laid the log across his lap. He didn't have his carving axe, but knew his carpenter's axe could get the job done. He started at the thicker end. Karyk bit the axe into the edge of the wood, carving out triangular chunks. He used small, controlled chops of the axe, cutting it as evenly as possible around it, until it was whittled down to about twice as thick as one of his fingers. In order to make it as sturdy as possible, he had to start thick and taper it off.

He continued to cut his way up the log, chopping away chunk after chunk. It took a while, sweat heavy on Karyk's brow, his arms burning from the repetitive work. Once he'd achieved the rough shape he desired, he held it up in his hand. It tapered nicely, with just a hint of natural curve. He flicked it a few times, watching how the tip bent and bounced. Satisfied, he brought it close, examining the thinner end closely. He was looking for any cracks or splintered areas. His eyes scoured the green-white surface, and found none.

He now set about to smoothing the edges, using the blade to shave it down rather than chopping chunks. Now he held the axe just beneath the head, and made very slow, careful cuts. Shavings fell away slowly, the air smelling of fresh cut wood. Once smoothed down, he carve a few deep grooves in the thick end, spiraling around it, to serve as the grip. He reached into his pack and pulled out his fishing kit, grabbing his excess line. He tied a clove hitch around the pole, just above the grip. He then wound the line around the pole three or four times, and tied it with a simple overhand knot to the tip, letting the excess hang down. At the end of the line, he used a fisherman's knot to tie on a hook. Then on the underside, just above the grip, he carefully carved two notches above each other, and then wrapped the excess line with the hook around it for storage.

He held it out in front of him with a single hand, eyeing it over. It was about an arm span and a half in length, bright in color, with a slight bend for fast action. It was rough, but a halfway decent job for a make shift. He looked over at the boy, curious to see how far along he'd gotten.
Follow your heart, and the plot will follow.
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Karyk
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A Stomach More Empty Than A Coin Pouch (Oleander)

Postby Oleander Soleran on May 1st, 2017, 7:48 pm

Oleander
When Karyk’s steps came closer, Oleander stopped in his carving for a moment to look sideways. He had expected that Karyk would bring a tree, so he did not as much as raise an eyebrow to it. Still, he wondered what the man was planning to do with the fresh piece of wood. He had a fishing rod, and Oleander was making his own, so…. Did Karyk not trust him to complete this simple task on his own? Oleander gritted his teeth and went back to work. The gnarls and little buds in his stick were smoothing out into a relatively even surface, and when he had removed them all, he continued to shave the bark off the rest of his rod, for the sake of regularity. Piece by piece, snippets of bark and wood came off the stick, some a little thicker than Oleander intended. His experience with carving axes, or any axes at all, was not going to turn great from a shaving a single stick. Still, he managed not to cut himself a second time.

When he was done, he risked a glance at Karyk’s project. The shipwright had settled down under a nearby tree and was working much faster than Oleander was, displaying skill that the younger boy lacked. His hands were moving swiftly and steadily, and for a moment, Oleander was following them with his eyes, wondering how these large paws could craft a relatively delicate handle while his own, delicate ones, were only capable of producing such sloppy results, even with the right tools. Then he looked back to his own fishing rod and remembered that he was doing this for the first or second time, while Karyk worked with wood for a living. It made him feel a little better about his rough edges and irregular surface.

He gripped the carving axe even closer to the blade and started to carve a notch into the thinner end of his fishing rod, where the snell could be fastened. He was done, and eyed his result critically: The rod was a little shorter than he would have liked, but this was the longest stick he had found, and unlike Karyk, he had to work with what he found on the ground. It was also not as flexible as the young sapling the woodworker had chosen as his medium, but for a while, it would surely do. The wood was rich and brown, and the rims were not as terrible as they had seemed at first, at least he would not draw many splinters from it. There was nothing fancy about it.

Karyk’s product, on the other hand, was much neater, especially after what little time had passed. Oleander was not sure whether he had done okay or failed spectacularly.

In any case, there was not much he could do to change the outcome now, so he got up and weaselled over to Karyk, dropping his makeshift fishing rod next to the man. “Um… I tried?”
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