Completed What's Hard Work?

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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What's Hard Work?

Postby Merevaika on June 29th, 2017, 11:45 am

8th Summer 517

Merevaika squatted in her tent, thinking as she pushed through her belongings in search of a machete. There had been bamboo style coops in Endrykas, she remembered them clearly - and only let herself dwell on that city for a moment, before pushing it out of her mind. Large half-circles, they were made from twisting bamboo across itself, forming a weave pattern. She knew she could do it herself, if she tried. After all, she had spotted bamboo shoots back where she had first seen the jungle fowl. And what equipment did she really need to have?
 
Finally finding that machete, she slung it into her belt and pushed out from the shade of her tent into the sun. It wasn’t midday yet, but it wasn’t exactly weak, burning her skin as she moved out. She’d have to do something about that, she realised, remembering the flaking from the other day. Staying out of the sun wasn’t an option - so there had to be a better way.
 
Thankfully, the jungle offered plenty of shade, and she moved into it gratefully. Where the plants and trees clashed with the sand, it was easy to move, striding as normally as she would anywhere. But then the plants started building up, and Merevaika gave a sigh, ready to duck and jump over the branches masking her way.
 
The path was well trampled, the woman following the same route she had taken many times. It wasn’t hard to miss: the foliage was slashed at where it had been particularly thick; the branches were pushed back and a few even hooked out of the way; and the mud still held her footprints. It made it easier, travelling through the rainforest, so she stuck to it closely, letting herself focus less on the route she took and where she stood and more on everything around her, on the lookout for dangers. Shadows watched her closely, and she stared back, trying to see danger in any corner.
 
None came to surprise her, and the short walk to the brook was uneventful.
 
The machete found her hand, and she felt the weight, testing it for a second, before approaching the cluster of bamboo and taking a pick. She wanted some thinner pieces, that she’d be able to bend to form the overall form. And some thicker ones, to split and weave between those thinner ones.
 
But there was so much bamboo, varying from the brightest greens to a dusty brown, and it was impossible to decide where to start, especially for someone who had no experience in it. Deciding to go with one that sat in the middle of the spectrum, but just about the right size, in her mind, for what she needed, she pushed through towards it, and ran her eyes along it. Big. Would make transporting it hard - but they were all big, and it saved cutting several pieces when she only needed one.
 
Bending over to be near the base, she bit her lip, trying to figure out how and where to cut it best. After a chime in that squat, she realised there was no point thinking about it - she didn’t know. Readjusting her grip on the machete, she brought it up and into the stalk, hearing the chop slice through the air. The blade caught in the bamboo, slicing slightly at an angle, and it took a foot against the base of the shoot to heave it out. This time, trying to put more force behind the blow, she pulled the machete up higher, above her head, and let the weight pull it down. It dug in harder, but missed the first mark completely, hitting just above.
So with strength, she lost accuracy. She had to keep that in mind, and kept her blow more steady for the next one. Although it didn’t cut enough, leaving the bamboo hanging from one side, it sliced straight through that second cut, with almost perfect accuracy.
 
She wished she could say that about her next few cuts, that maimed the stalk horribly. With her latest blow, the bamboo had started to split too, something she didn’t want to see. Merevaika gritted her teeth, not letting bamboo of all things defeat her. Knees sinking into the ground, she held the blade over the deepest cut, letting herself take tiny blows that would definitely it. The bamboo shook as she chopped, ready to topple at any second, but wasn’t showing any sign of actually budging. With an annoyed fist, she knocked against the shoot, and the whole thing tipped away.
 
Not only away,  but down, and she let out a smile, sawing at the few fibres that still connected it and letting it lie flat on the ground.
 
It was hollow? Why had it been so hard to chop through then? But it was down - only a million more pieces left!
 
What Merevaika tries to make

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What's Hard Work?

Postby Merevaika on June 29th, 2017, 12:42 pm

Each piece came down easier than the last. At first, they took several blows, and split, and a few refused to come down at all, but towards the end, she was hacking away at the thinnest pieces with one blow and watching it topple before her. With every shoot down, she picked it up and pulled it - often awkwardly over the stumps of old ones - onto the pile. It was growing dramatically, and the woman grinned at her progress, taking a break to have a drink and wipe the sweat from her blade handle and hands.
 
The sun had risen, she could just make it out through the trees, but where to, she couldn’t tell, and didn’t want to. Her sense of time was lost in these rainforests, and it made things so much easier. Days would fly past as she busied herself with these pointless tasks, and that was what she had been hoping for.
 
Once her arm had stopped aching so much and her throat was a little less parched, she picked herself up from the pile of bamboo, and faced her next foe.
 
A thick one. This one would be a bit of a struggle, but she was certain she could do it. Rolling her left sleeve up a little tighter, she yanked herself down, finding a place to make a cut where those joins in the bamboo weren’t. Marking an imaginary line in her mind, she attacked it with her machete, practising a blow she wouldn’t have to use against anything. As dangerous as the jungles were, with snakes, spiders, and larger predators, Syka seemed safe, in her eyes. Where were the Zith, the pirates, the slavers to fight?
 
Another life, she forced herself not to remember, and return to slicing the shoot. Her blade glinted through the air, slapping against the shoot, and she wrestled to get it out, feeling the strain as her muscles tensed. Her foot slipped as she did, and the woman tumbled back, blade flying over her head and she released it quickly, letting it fly away from her to avoid accidental cuts. As her bottom met the ground, the shock shuddered up her body, and she took a moment to settle to the feeling, before picking herself up, pretending she was fine. Turning, she searched for the glint of metal of her machete, knowing it couldn’t have fallen far. Her eyes searched with no result, and she stepped cautiously in the general direction, unsure where it could be hiding. Ducking close to the floor, she moved in small movements, determined to spot it.
 
Out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of the blade, a completely different direction than the one she had been expecting. What was it doing there?
 
Gathering it up, she returned to her task, slicing away at the shoot like before. Each time she got stuck, however, she took that little bit of extra care to check her footing before pulling the machete out. Eventually, the whole shoot began to fall, and the woman just about managed to duck out of the way before it crashed to the ground.
 
Now, that had to be enough, right?
 
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What's Hard Work?

Postby Merevaika on June 29th, 2017, 12:43 pm

Merevaika looked down on her pile, wondering how she was going to drag everything back to her tent. It wasn’t that much, but it was still a significant amount, and although she wasn’t certain how many trips it would take exactly, she knew it would be a lot. And they weren’t going to be easy, either - just getting each long piece onto that pile had been hard enough.
 
But she couldn’t think of a better solution, and so snagged as many bamboo branches under arm as possible, and bent her knees as she dragged them upwards. A few slipped, and she tightened her grip, pushing a large section in front of her so less would get snagged behind where she couldn’t notice. Then, in a desperate attempt, she tried to balance it so nothing would trail on the ground, feeling the weight in her arms as she struggled with it. Pushing more forward, she used her other arm to steady it, before trampling through the undergrowth, this time wishing the path was more broken than it was.
 
Every movement was hard and rocky, the woman struggling with the weight of the bamboo shoots but also with the trees in the way.
 
How hadn’t she noticed before now? The place was coated in trees, and it made walking around with long sticks under her arm so much more complicated. They caught for the millionth time, and the woman struggled to find her balance, letting her body sway with them to avoid falling forward without the shoots.
 
There it was - she adjusted the shoots in her arms so they were weighing down on her equally from both sides, resembling a trapeze walker who was facing the wrong way. With that part of the balance sorted, she continuing, straining her arms under the weight.
 
Finally, she arrived the beach, dropping the shoots in the first clear patch of sand she could find. With a sigh of relief that the ordeal was over, she slumped on the ground next to them, burying her hands in the sand as she let her body relax. Over. It was all over.
 
Then her machete began to dig into her leg, and the woman pulled it away, and remembered she was only half done. Less than that, even. There wasn’t a chance of her resting, not at all. With another sigh, this time a lot more irritated, she pulled herself off the ground, forcing herself to continue. Still holding the machete, she looked down on it, trying to figure out a plan. Clearing the route, as long as it would take, seemed that it would be a good one.
 
As she returned through the rainforest, Merevaika hacked away at the branches and leaves that surrounded her, moving her muscles in different ways to the lifting in a pleasant stretch. Moving left and right in an almost zigzagging pattern, she picked out any branch or plant that seemed to be in her way, and slashed at it furiously, letting her annoyance of all the work left to do ring through the blows. Leaves fell around her like confetti, and she ignored the showers, moving swiftly forward. Now was a good time to kick that large log out of the way. And slash at those ferns. If she had the strength and time, she almost would have chopped trees down too.

Behind her, she left a trampled path that scarred the jungle, but was going to make her task so much easier.

The bamboo was exactly as she left it, except for the jungle fowl sitting on top of it, pecking away at the branches. With a smirk, she watched it flap away at her arrival. In not very long at all, it would find itself in her coop - and all those eggs would be hers for the taking.

Gathering up even more bamboo, she tried to take every last piece, but her arms weren’t large enough. Surely there was a better way to do this? Something to hold them all together, like some rope or…

Remembering the vine she had chopped earlier, she hurried back down her path of rampage and found it curled like a snake on the ground. She snatched up the pieces, discarding those that were clearly too short and finding the largest. Hopefully, it would be strong enough, too. Slinging it over her shoulder, she hurried back, pulling it under the bamboo and tightening it up into a loop. It seemed to hold, and she began to knot it, crossing the two ends over and over, bringing various pieces through the loop, until the monster of a knot seemed to be tight enough to hold it altogether.

Then the test... Merevaika grabbed the top of the loop, using the other hand to stabilise the shoots, and lifted slowly, testing its strength. It was holding – it was holding! Just about stopping herself from exclaiming loudly into the empty jungle, she heaved it up a little more forward and marched forward.

The front caught against a tree, bending sharply. The back seemed to twist. And the vine decided it wasn’t going to hold at all. Watching helplessly, everything seemed to break – one of the shoots snapped in half, noise echoing away, the vine tore and the contents of the sling slipped, and Merevaika curled her lips in disgust, watching her hard work roll away.

Now she had to go about collecting it all too, before she could get it to the beach.

Chasing after the pieces further away, she decided that she wasn’t going to risk the vines again. It may have made it easier, but that had only been for a moment, and Merevaika didn’t want to lose everything again. Bamboo under arm – both arms, this time, although significantly less in each one than before – she began the journey again, moving quickly through the jungle. Not stealthily at all, however, as branches smashed against each other and the trees and sent uproars of leaves, and as she broke sticks and twigs underfoot. She was lucky the noise scared away predators – because if not, they’d all know exactly where she was.

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What's Hard Work?

Postby Merevaika on June 29th, 2017, 12:44 pm

Exactly three and a half trips later, she found herself back at her tent, breathing heavily through her mouth to recover from all that carrying. It had to be late afternoon by now – far too late to start anything, surely? But at the same, she didn’t want to stop now. It would only mean there was more to do tomorrow, and for once in her life, Merevaika couldn’t see the benefits of being lazy, or an easy way out. She was going to finish this, because the sooner she did, the sooner she could work on capturing those chickens.

Machete in hand, she began to sort through the shoots. Those that were for splitting she mainly left, apart from stripping the leaves and smaller branches. Her blade ran along the shoot, slicing these smaller parts away much more easily than the actual bamboo. She cleaned up the thinner shoots too, but took more care over them over everything, moving her machete over to where the ends had split or were uneven and slicing away the bad parts with a clean blow.

Once all the shoots were as good as she could manage, she spread them out, letting them dry out in the sun. She did need a break after all, and she was hungry. Somehow, in all her work, she had missed lunch – so Merevaika was quick to find the smoked meat from a few days before and devour it, washed down with another gulp of water and followed by one of those “bananas” she had seen some of the others – and a monkey! - eating. They were odd, with their strange curves and bright yellow colour, but at the same time, fairly tasty.

Then, she returned to her work.

Taking one of the thinner pieces she had planned on making the frame with, she dug one end into the sand, twisting it in her hand to dig it in. Once she was happy that she had got it in deep enough, she worked her hands along the shoot, pulling it down so she could snag the end. With all the strength she could muster, she tried to pull it into the semi-circular shape she had pictured, but even as she did, she felt the bamboo slipping from her hands.

As it pinged back, slapping Merevaika hard against the wrist, the woman fell onto the sand, watching it flip back and away.

Deeper, she decided, and she’d have to hold onto it a little more firmly.

Having collected it, she continued on her task, this time pushing it even deeper in the sand and placing a few small rocks around the base to secure it. And once she got hold of the other end, she held tightly with both hands, and moved slower, letting the bamboo adjust to her curving it before reaching the ground. Falling to her knees, she began to work that into the sand too, pushing it in before covering the hole she had made up, and patting it down as firmly as she could.

The woman stepped back, admiring her work. It was there, and, as empty and plain as it was, it stood.

Time for a million more improvements.

She snatched up another long piece, placing it under the first and copying her previous method to bring it into a curve. This time, she didn’t even use the rocks, letting the first piece hold it steady. How many more of these did she need, she asked herself, stepping back as she realised she didn’t have much of a plan following that step.

She’d need something to hold the middle of the sides up too – bamboo that didn’t curve all the way up to the sky, but around the coop too. And something at the very bottom, to hold the shape. Deciding that it would help with the structure, she pushed through the bamboo and found a long enough shoot, wrestling it out. Then, with twine wrapped around her other hand, she lined it up with the base of one of the semi-circular shoots, and knotted it, first winding over and under the arms of the cross then around the centre, finishing it off with a thick knot.

With it securely attached, Merevaika pulled the loose bamboo around, keeping it low against the sand as she did. Just as she reached the opposite side, ready to attack it, a deep crack sounded through the air. The other end of the bamboo pinged around, and Merevaika flinched.

Why had it broken? Staring at the rough snap at the middle, she tried to figure out if she could fix it, but the break was too messy. It would only make things more complicated.

Untying the first part, she pulled both bits loose and threw them to the side. Hopefully, more pieces weren’t going to break too.

Redoing the process, she managed to not snap everything, and repeated the process a few times, until the frame was laid out, and she was ready to add the smaller pieces.
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What's Hard Work?

Postby Merevaika on June 29th, 2017, 12:45 pm

But first, to do it, she had to split the bamboo up, which looked like a task much harder than she had expected. Finding a piece of bamboo that looked sort of okay, she turned it around in her hands, trying to figure out some sort of plan. Slicing it down the middle would definitely make it into smaller strips that she could work with to weave out a firmer shape, but she didn’t know how to start with doing that.

Machete out, she began to run the blade over the bamboo shoot, searching for somewhere she could get it through easily. Along the side didn’t seem like a good idea – it had been hard enough to cut it down like that in the first place, and she couldn’t see it working very well if she needed to control her blows a little more. Perhaps if she started from the top...

Spreading the bamboo shoot down the beach, she sat at one end, cradling it with her legs as she lined up her machete. With a sharp movement, she sliced into the top, feeling the blade sink in a little.

Well, now she had the start. And if she could get the blade all the way to the end, she could finish it too.

Only, that part was much easier said than done. Merevaika struggled with the machete, but was unable to move it, both further down to cut it or up out of the bamboo. It seemed like it was stuck, which wasn’t going to help. Searching the nearby area, she found a fist sized rock, and held it comfortably in her hand, judging whether she could use it as a make-shift mallet to help her with the task. Deciding it was probably the best thing she could do, she hit the blade of the machete lightly with it, while forcing the handle side down. The whole thing seemed to shift, only so slightly that she couldn’t tell whether it was just her imagination. Trying again, it moved, this time more clearly that she knew that it was successful. Letting out a smile, she continued, hammering with the stone and shoving the handle down further as the blade slid along the bamboo.

Then it pushed out about halfway along the shoot, cutting it in a way she hadn’t wanted. Instead of achieving a nice clean cut all the way down, she had an angled cut that finished far too early. But at least it was a start.

Merevaika returned to the start, halving what she had left and moving down the shoot, a little slower this time to watch the cut so it stayed fairly central. Occasionally, she stopped completely, pulling the split end apart to centre the blade again, before continuing in her process.

By the time she was finished – with that one shoot – she had several shorter chunks, all of varying thicknesses and length, but she had thinner pieces, that she could use to weave.

Looking back over the pile she had left, she gave out a deep sigh, realising how much she had to go. Prying herself from the ground, she fetched another few shoots, laying them out in reach of where she sat in the sand. Wedging the next piece into the sand past her feet, she sliced at the end, stone ready in her other hand.

Splitting bamboo was so irritating. Every piece was too thick for just one break – she needed to split it several times, and that was the times she didn’t mess up. Her hand ached from clutched the stone, while the other had marks from pushing into the handle so much. Bamboo splintered off around her, and she was lucky she hadn’t sliced through her leg yet.

Yet, slowly and steadily, the pile rose, and she worked, letting herself focus hard on this and nothing else.

Hard work, surprisingly, was suiting her. It meant she didn’t have to think. She didn’t have to remember. And, in the end, she’d have something she’d be able to claim as made with her own two hands.

But at the same time, she wished hard work wasn’t necessary. It was a shame this tiny settlement was so tiny.
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What's Hard Work?

Postby Merevaika on June 29th, 2017, 12:46 pm

With as much of the bamboo split as she could bring herself to do, she grabbed handfuls of the pile and pulled it over to the cage structure she was planning on finishing off. Setting down a knot of twine beside it, she had her plan set out in her head, ready for the final task.

She was going to make rings that went around the structure first, almost all the way around the top. That part wasn’t going to be hard at all – at least, she didn’t factor it as being hard. She’d just take the thinner pieces and tie them in one place, wrap them around, and tie the other end down. If it took more than one piece, it wouldn’t make too much of a difference either. If the piece was particularly long, she’d tie it in several places.

The next step was to make pieces go diagonally up, weaving in and out of the rings she had created. That seemed like it would be even easier. There would be no need for her to tie anything down, because with the in-out structure she was picturing, the already attached rings would hold them down. It would take time, but she could definitely do it.

The final step, then, would be to do the same sort of diagonal weaving, but the other way. That didn’t seem like it would require much effort either. Then, hopefully, she’d be done.

Twine in hand, she knelt at the base, snatching the closest piece of bamboo. Lodging it behind the bamboo forming the base, she wrapped the twine around it a few times, knotting it in a simple knot as she pulled the string tight. Cutting it off close to the knot, she threw the twine back and snatched the other end of the bamboo, pulling it around in a similar way that she had done with the larger pieces of bamboo. It was a lot easier, this time around, as the bamboo didn’t resist as much, and she had it curved round quicker than she had planned.

What she also hadn’t planned was that she needed the twine, and she had just thrown it away from her. Slowly releasing the bamboo, she still wasn’t ready for the snap back, feeling it leave a red mark through her trousers. Wincing with the pain, she wrapped the twine back around her palm, and repeated the process, this time ready to tie it into place.

Looking at her handiwork, she realised she had done it too close to the base, so that it wasn’t very useful. And she’d need another two – maybe even three – pieces to finish it off.

But she could do it. The woman worked till her hands were coated with splinters, and the twine had rubbed her palm sore, and her fingers learnt to tie knots on their own, but slowly and steadily, it was working. Watching it shift into sight, something that could actually be useful, that she hadn’t bought or stolen or tricked someone into making for her. She couldn’t quite believe it, but there it was.

Merevaika reached up on her tiptoes, trying to add the final few rings, and realised she hadn’t thought this part through. The cage was bigger than her, just enough to make it hard to add those final few rings. Perhaps she could...

Dropping the things to one side, she pulled the sand at her feet around and up, scooping it up as it slipped under her nails, digging deeper in one spot to create a small hill that rose up in another. Once it was halfway up her calf, she tried again, this time successfully. Although it was still a little stretch, she attached the bamboo securely...

And realised she still had to pull that around. There was no way she was building piles of sand all the way around the cage.

Perhaps it would be easier to climb onto her structure, and shift along that?

The problem was, Merevaika didn’t trust it. After all, she was the one who had made it, not someone who had any sort of experience in making anything from bamboo. And the whole cage looked shaky and ready to snap with the weight. She didn’t want all her work being for nothing when she stepped on it and broke it all apart.

Still, it was the only thing she could think of doing, and slowly, she balanced on the thickest parts of bamboo, clambering slowly and testing each piece with a little added pressure as she did. After taking a round about way, she managed to continue her task, tying it firmly and jumping back quickly, before something broke.

That was the last ring. It didn’t go right up to the top, but it was the best she could do, and there was no way she was going to spend any longer on the bamboo.
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What's Hard Work?

Postby Merevaika on June 29th, 2017, 12:47 pm

Now, for the weaving. Merevaika picked a long enough piece and tried to figure out where to start. As she had seen, the top part was just out of reach, and she’d need to climb on the structure to reach it properly. Maybe it was best to get that part out of the way.

Wedging her foot on one of the thicker supporting pieces of bamboo, she heaved herself up, wriggling the end of the bamboo under the uppermost ring. Then, she started at the rest, sticking down, and realised it wasn’t going to work like that. She’d have to pulled it through for it to be easier – and just hope it didn’t catch.

Tearing the bamboo back out, she turned it in her hands, until it stuck sharply up into the air. With it orientated the way she wanted, Merevaika pulled it through, struggling at the beginning as she could only grip it with her very fingertips. When it had slid through, however, it seemed to be alright, and she pulled it down further, crossing the next ring closer to her, then pushing it under the next ring.

Once again, she struggled to get it past that third ring. After wriggling her fingers under the ring for a short while, trying to grip the bamboo tightly enough to pull it down, she decided against it, and tried to push it down from above. That didn’t help much either, but it worked better, and through some awkward wriggling, she managed to get it to work. The woman pulled it over the next ring, and once again, struggled to get it under the one after that.

This weaving was turning out much harder than she expected. Giving another tug, she gritted her teeth, using her body weight to pull it down further.

In and out. In and out. Merevaika tried to mutter the words to herself as she worked, reminding herself it was soon over. Look, she was almost at the bottom! Look, she had finished! Look, she had a pile of bamboo ready for her to repeat the process.

Maybe it would have been so much easier to get someone to do it. Even if she had to pay them. Only it was too late now – somehow, she had worked late into the night, illuminated by Leth’s light and the fires nearby.

She could get it finished by day, though. She was certain about that.

Or at least, she was ready to convince herself that.

The next piece was a tiny bit easier, as she knew how to do it. The piece after that was even easier – but the following one messed up so bad, she had to redo the whole section. After that, the task only seemed to get harder with her lethargic state and raw fingers.

But she managed. Somehow, she managed, and step back to admire her work once more.

It was hard to make out, but it was a definite enclosure. Just another set of diagonal strips... And then she’d be done!

Weaving them in and out in the same way as before – although she was certain it looked a little more messy, since she wasn’t quite alternating between the rings and the other diagonal pieces. It was a wild mess, but it seemed to be holding, which was more than she could ask for. In a few places, she used the twine to knot the clumps of bamboo together, adding an extra layer of support, just in case.

They stuck out at the top, too. And other pieces were too short, but she went with it. She wasn’t going to redo more than necessary.

Bending her knees, she shoved the bamboo behind another ring, blinking the fatigue from her eyes.

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What's Hard Work?

Postby Merevaika on June 29th, 2017, 12:48 pm

Merevaika awoke on the sand beside the bamboo structure, clutching a piece of bamboo in her fist with a few more scattered around her feet. Her machete still hung precariously from her belt, thankfully at an angle that didn’t cut her, and she rose shakily, unsure when she had fallen asleep. The cage was almost finished, and there was sand in her clothes and hair, and she felt sore all over.

Shaking the worst out of her, she staggered to her feet, trying to figure out where she had stopped and how she could get this torture over and done with.

It seemed even harder this new day, with Syna blinding her and everything aching from a bad sleep following hard work. She staggered from one end to the other, balanced awkwardly on the bamboo, felt her nails kills as she clawed for the bamboo in her weaving. In out. In out. Over under. Over under.

Beast hobbled over to her, moaning about how she hadn’t been fed. Merevaika scowled, wondering why the dog didn’t just tend to herself. Finishing off her bamboo, she realised she could use the dog’s hunger to her advantage. It would be perfect to train her to guard the cage – after all, she’d need to keep predators away from the chickens she planned to fill it with, and the chickens in. Sure, Beast wouldn’t always be able to stay there, but when she could, she’d much rather have her there than guarding her tent from imaginary thieves.

“Guard the chickens,” she gave as an order, moving her hands in the signs for stay and guard. Then, slowly, she stepped back, keeping the dog in the corner of her eye. Thinking Merevaika was going to get her food, she darted forward expectantly, then jumped back at Merevaika’s reaction. “Guard the chickens!” The woman snapped, reinforcing the pavi symbols again.

With a whimper, the dog stepped back, and Merevaika repeated the hand movements and words a few times, before grabbing the leftover food and hurrying back from her tent.

The dog was still standing there, resting with her head on paws, but looked up excitedly at the return of her human.

“Guard the chickens,” the woman repeated, this time softer, and passed over a chunk of meat. Hopefully, that was all she would really need. This dog was cleverer than most. Maybe a few more repeats – but the pathfinding animal was definitely smarter than she looked.

Returning to her task, she continued the training, repeating the instruction, especially if Beast looked like she was about to dart, and treating her when she listened.

Then she was done. The dome was actually complete – Merevaika wasn’t certain whether she could believe it, but there it was, looking beautiful.

Only, it was in the wrong place. She needed a fairly shaded place, with enough weeds and similar for the chickens to feed on when she didn’t do it herself. Along the fringe of jungle, close enough to be spotted on the beach, but at the same time, shaded and wild enough. How could she move it? Plenty of the bamboo shoots were pushed into the ground, held together with sand and stones.

It looked like she’d have to undo all that work. Throwing the stones to the side, she began to dig around the bamboo shoots, until enough sand was dislodged. Then, reaching deep into the hole, she grabbed the shoot as far down as she could and used all her strength to pull it up. Her muscles tensed, surprised at the weight, then she realised that it was a lot of bamboo she was actually lifting. With a deep inhale, she leaned deeper into her crouch, and let the weigh pull on her arms, before heaving it up and balancing it on the edge of the hole she had made.

With everything out of the ground, she tried to lift it towards the area she had scoped out as big enough and well suited enough for what she wanted. But it was impossible to grip, far too big and when she could lift it, she only managed to tilt it.

Instead, she tried pushing it, but the sand created too much resistance.

It was impossible to move... Unless....

Crouching to lift it again, she felt the weight in her shoulder as she brought it up – and over – until the dome had rolled upside down.

With a lot smaller area against the beach, she gave it a push, finding it moving almost easily. And all it took was a quick flip to get it the right way up again. Even if it took her few goes to get it all the way around (it was heavy, she decided, as if it wasn’t obvious already). And even if she accidentally trapped Beast in there too (at least the dog was doing her job guarding it).

Merevaika slumped down, taking a good look.

Now, all it had to do was hold.

wordcount :
+837
=6224
Pavi Common


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Merevaika
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Race: Human, Drykas
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What's Hard Work?

Postby Madeira Craven on September 15th, 2017, 5:01 pm

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Merevaika

Skills
  • Planning: 5XP
  • Weapon- Machete: 2XP
  • Endurance : 3XP
  • Bodybuilding: 3XP
  • Logic: 3XP
  • Construction: 5XP
  • Climbing: 1XP
  • Animal Husbandry: 1XP
  • Patience: -1000XP

Lores
  • Transporting bamboo
  • How to effectively fell bamboo
  • Machete: hitting hard means losing accurancy
  • Felling bamboo: cut around the joints
  • Using a rock and machete to slice bamboo
  • Construction: using whats available
  • Problem solving: if it's too heavy to lift, roll it
  • Lore of how to build a coop

Awards & Retribution
+ Large bamboo hutch

Notes
This was a great thread. You're the only writer I know who can make chicken coop construction interesting. And it was all done so realistically. You didn't just slot everything together like you were building it out of legos, you had setbacks and disasters and problem solving. And Merevaika spent the whole time exausted, frusterated and a sweaty, which is the most realistic of all. 10/10. Would hire you to narrate my own DIY disasters.
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Madeira Craven
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Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
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