Flashback A Splinter of Knowledge

Ashka helps gather wood and build a beach bonfire

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An inland sea created by Ivak's cataclismic fury during the Valterrian, the Suvan Sea is a major trade route and the foremost hub for piracy in Mizahar. [lore]

A Splinter of Knowledge

Postby Ashka on June 10th, 2017, 4:52 pm


28 Spring 513

The boats grounded on the empty beach in the North Suvan, and the pod piled out onto the sand. Ashka scrambled out onto the sand with the rest of them and balanced herself until her legs adapted from sea to land. It was time to build a bonfire, according to the Lia, which meant gathering wood for it. Ashka looked at the scattering bodies combing the beach, and then joined them, climbing up the dunes to the high tide line and probing through the debris there for driftwood.

She spotted a corner of salt-silvered, sun-bleached wood poking out from under a pile of seaweed, bent, grabbed it, and hauled. It wasn't as long or as stuck as she thought though, and the extra effort she had put in recoiled on her and knocked her off balance, so that she fell backwards with the scrap of wood in her hand, and landed hard on her backside in the sand. Ashka growled a rude word under her breath and scrambled back to her feet. She swiped uselessly at the sand clinging to her pants and then prodded at the seaweed again, with the wood she was still holding.

Two more silvered scraps of tree rolled out of the brown and gold tangle to land at her feet, and she scooped them up and carried them along the beach to add to the growing stack that everyone was piling up. The older boy in charge of the pile grinned at the sight. "Small wood, good, we need more of it. Put it on that end would you?" He pointed at one end of the pile, and Ashka saw that it had been organised in size order, from thickest to thinnest. She dumped her pieces in the scantly occupied 'small' section and turned to go back to the tideline for more when the boy flagged her down again. "We need tinder too - duck into the trees and grab some needles or holly, would you? It's not like any of us can get lost in there - all you have to do is follow your mark back to the sea."


Word count356 words


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Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
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A Splinter of Knowledge

Postby Ashka on June 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm


Ashka didn't have a mark of any kind unless the sand scuffs she'd just acquired counted, but she doubted that somehow. She hesitated, staring into the shadows of the trees as she tried to work up the courage to tell him he'd made a mistake, but before she could get any words out, he was off to deal with someone else's armful of wood. She swallowed hard, glanced back at the sea, and then ducked in under the line of trees.

The way that the dappled light shifted and changed reminded Ashka of the way light danced on the sea and she sucked in a quick breath. It tasted to her of pine and damp and strangeness, and she took a deeper one, letting the scents and flavours cross her tongue and fill her nose. Bird calls jabbered in her ears and the thick layer of pine needles under her feet was both softer and firmer than the sand of the beach. Each step brought out a new wash of pine scent. Hadn't it been pine needles the boy had asked her to get? Pine needles and holly. Holly was the prickly one, wasn't it? It kept well at sea, so there were dried ones for getting the galley stove going.

She bent and picked up a handful of needles. They felt cool and damp against her hands as she let them trickle through her fingers. Damp wouldn't be any use for tinder, that had to be as dry as you could get it, or it wouldn't take a spark at all. She eased closer to one of the pines, where the ground looked more sheltered and tried there. It was hard to tell if this new handful of pine needles was damp, or just cooler than she expected, so she poured them into a pocket to warm up with her body heat and kept looking.


Word countWords: 316
Running total: 1110 words


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Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
Posts: 188
Words: 98782
Joined roleplay: April 20th, 2017, 2:31 pm
Race: Human, Mixed
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A Splinter of Knowledge

Postby Ashka on July 1st, 2017, 8:25 pm


Looking up from under the branches, a patch of orangeish brown stood out against the dark greens of the living needles, and Ashka ducked from one tree to another, looking up each time until she came to the tree in question. The tree was fine, alive and thriving, but one of the lowest branches had died off, but not fallen, and the needles had changed colour accordingly. Ashka reached out and touched the branch cautiously, and found that both the branch and the needles were much drier than the ones she had found on the ground. She gathered them eagerly with both hands, and turned to go back with her find - and realised she had somehow lost track of the shore in her meandering search and her moving from tree to tree.

Panic spiked sharply in her heart and her throat, and she looked desperately from side to side as if that would make the path out suddenly appear. It didn't. She closed her eyes and took a slow breath, then another, beating back the panic. "None of us can get lost," she echoed under her breath, then with disgust at her own lack of abilty, added, "except me, of course." She scuffed a toe on the ground. It left a mark, and her breath caught in her throat again. Of course, footprints! What other marks had she left? Could she follow her own trail out again?

She peered at the ground around her. The piled and matted pine needles didn't hold shapes very well, but she thought she saw a scuff on one side of the tree, where she had ducked in. She went in that direction, passed out from under that tree, and saw a thread snagged from her sleeve fluttering on another branch. As she closed on that one, she began to see the spots on the floor of the forest where she had scooped up needles. That was an easier trail to follow, and by the time she reached the end of it, she could smell salt water on the breeze as well as pine.

Word countWords: 349
Running total: 3307 words


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Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
Posts: 188
Words: 98782
Joined roleplay: April 20th, 2017, 2:31 pm
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
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Medals: 3
Featured Character (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1)

A Splinter of Knowledge

Postby Ashka on July 9th, 2017, 6:37 pm


She followed her nose towards the smell of salt water, and eventually ducked out of the shade of the forest into the dazzle of the sun and the sandy beach. She blinked as her eyes adjusted to the glare. It hadn't seemed this bright before she went into the gloom of the forest. She blinked again and turned toward the woodpile, which had grown quite a bit in her absence. "I found dry pine needles, but no holly. Here." She held out the dry ones, then dug the less dry ones out of her pockets.

The boy looked up from the area he'd cleared on the sand, a stick still clutched in his hand. "Great! Put them down right about - there." He hesitated for a moment, studying the ground, then pointed to a patch of sand that looked like any other patch to Ashka's eyes. She didn't see why that patch of sand in particular should be the right place to put them, but she bent down and dropped the pine needles there anyway. He grinned and placed a thick branch on one side of the makeshift fireplace, then a second on the opposite side to make two parallel lines of wood.

Ashka looked from him to the wood, curiousity alive in her eyes and face. Always before, she'd been told to make a pyramid of sticks to start a fire, but this didn't look like any kind of pyramid she'd seen before. He looked at her, then reached for two more big sticks, and laid them across the first two so that the four sticks formed a square with a gap at the bottom. "Look," he said, "pyramid fires are great for little fires, but a big bonfire like this, you risk it falling on top of you when you're setting up. A square set up like this, or a harpoon shape," - he traced an A into the sand with a finger - "are far more stable and burn just as well."


Word countWords: 332
Running total: 3639 words


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Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
Posts: 188
Words: 98782
Joined roleplay: April 20th, 2017, 2:31 pm
Race: Human, Mixed
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Medals: 3
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A Splinter of Knowledge

Postby Ashka on July 14th, 2017, 5:43 pm


Ashka nodded, trying to absorb all the information that he was casually tossing at her. The idea that fires could be different shapes and styles, but still a perfectly good fire gave her hope that some day she would find a place where she fitted. The boy continued to add sticks to the square, each layer slightly shorter and thinner than the previous one. Ashka watched for a few layers, and then offered him one she thought fitted. He considered it for a moment, then grabbed up a different stick for that instance and took hers the next time.

Ashka swallowed the pang at his initial refusal and looked for a better stick for the next one. He raised his eyebrows, looked it over, nodded in approval and told her to put in place. She obeyed, and he snatched up a matching stick for the other side before she had a chance to, his grin daring her to match him at this. A challenge was it? Something she could rise to meet instead of a prank that she needed to endure? She found her own mouth curling into a grin and tried to match him. Gradually it became a game to get the next stick in place as the fire rose and narrowed. At first he mostly beat her to it, but as it went on, she got faster, until she was beating him almost half the time. Then they slapped down their final two sticks at exactly the same moment. He laughed, and Ashka smiled in response.

He knelt and propped a handful of thin sticks over the tinder to use as kindling, then pulled out his flint and steel, bent close for easier lighting and began to strike sparks. The pine needles that she had gathered caught and burned hot, licking up over the thin twigs. Ashka quickly scooped up another handful of them and held them out so that he didn't have to move to add them to the budding fire. When he ran out of twigs and breath, she blew gently across it, until it latched onto the bark still coating the lowest sticks and danced upwards through the wooden tower in sparks and flame. "Thanks," he told her, but she shook her head. "No. Thank you."

Word countWords: 382
Running total: 4873 words


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Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
Posts: 188
Words: 98782
Joined roleplay: April 20th, 2017, 2:31 pm
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 3
Featured Character (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1)

A Splinter of Knowledge

Postby Madeira Craven on September 15th, 2017, 6:56 pm

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Grades Awarded!

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Ashka

Skills
  • Foraging: 3XP
  • Organization: 2XP
  • Wilderness Survival- Forest: 2XP
  • Land Navigation: 1XP
  • Tracking: 1XP

Lores
  • Holly and pine make good tinder
  • Holly: basic characteristics
  • Dry tinder burns best
  • Tracking: following your own trail
  • Wilderness survival: How to build a fire

Awards & Retribution


Notes
Great little thread with little Ashka. I would have liked to read our child heroine being lost a little longer, personally. You can't get invested in a characters panicky, stressful problem if it gets wrapped up in the next paragraph. But overall a great day-in-the-life snapshot of the not-quite-Svefra! If you have any questions or concerns about your grade let me know. :)
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Madeira Craven
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