Solo Shooting Arrows

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

Shooting Arrows

Postby Ruvya on June 10th, 2018, 10:10 pm

 
67th SUMMER 1
1 Mile from Ravok's lakeshore
11 Bells


    " Pitiful."

        He was not here with her on these lakeshores, yet Kuhamahama heard her brother's deep, confident voice scoff in her ear nonetheless. Her third eldest brother, and fourth in line to the ankal, Taeg'r. He liked her the best among his sisters but perhaps it was just because she was the baby of the family. The Nighthoof daughter cleared her throat and trekked down the clearing to retrieve the arrow she had shot. Composite shortbow in hand, she past by the thick tree trunk it was supposed to have hit. Taeg'r, memory or not, was right, her aim was pitiful.

            The drykas' leather boots made dull thuds as she trudged under the shadows of the trees that grew thickly in the wildlands. Kuhamahama was struck with a persistent, irrational surprise—not for the first time—at how little grass there was beyond the Cyphrus plains. As she stooped to pluck her arrow from the dead, crumbling bark of a fallen tree, Kuhamahama's thinking of the grasslands turned it real in her thoughts. In the quiet of the woods she heard the soft rustling of grasses, chased by the rhythmic beat of hooves against semele's earthen skin.

         Her lips flickered with a faint, soft smile.

     She couldn't help the thrum of her heart at the mirage sounds, that the strider still visited her in her thoughts this way, though everything in her faith and her head told her the strider's spirit had not followed her across the continent to the lakeshore city. He was in The Web—the intricate knot-work of djed laid across the vastness of the grasslands that tied the drykas to their pavilions, their animals, their ancestors and the land itself. Yet she felt him, here, with her, wherever she wandered.

                 "Grief-sick." Her grandmother had said she was one evening after Kuhamahama had described the kinds of visions she was hearing and seeing. "These are not visions, child, you are only seeing ghosts stuck in your heart."

     "Semekhe." blessing, the drykas breathed, despite herself, and regretted the utterance as soon as it fell into the thick, heavy wood, hushed by the trees. Kuhamahama felt the twinge in her spirit where the threads of the bond were frayed. When the drykas looked up, though, there were no grasses. There wasn't a strider galloping across the steppe, lit golden by syna's fervent summer's warmth. Kuhamahama was in a land of trees and shadows.

    Even as warm Summer winds striped the land of moisture, Ravok felt cooler—somehow darker—than her grassland home. Although she was glad she had worn her light wool leggings and linen blouse, and left her coat, realizing faintly that she was acclimatizing to Ravok's northern temperate climes. Drykas were so used to Syna's unrelenting touch in the grasslands, where trees were sparse and where life was lived all under the open sky so that their skin bronzed and their brows were worn in almost-permanent scowls. Was she losing her roots so quickly?

            Kuhamahama thumbed a piece of dried moss off the tip of her arrow, gently shrugging off her thoughts.
 
Last edited by Ruvya on June 11th, 2018, 7:04 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Shooting Arrows

Postby Ruvya on June 10th, 2018, 10:16 pm

 
       Kuhamahama strode back to her mark. "Straighten your shoulders, lift your elbow, and for caiyha's sake, pull with your back and down through your legs." He had said those words a thousand times, and so ingrained in her they were, she heard them now, insisting and impatient. Right, I'll get it this time. Her inked brows furrowed a determined promise as she nocked her arrow.

         But she was all thumbs performing even that task. The archer pointed her bow downwards and set the bone tip just past the bow, rearranging the shaft in between her thumb and up into the crease of her forefinger along with the bowstring, while aiming at the ground the archer leant her elbow on her thigh for support until she got a good grip.

    In one steady swipt swing the archer lifted and drew back her right arm. "Draw, breathe in." Advised the echoes of her brother's voice, so deeply ingrained in her that she was saying the words herself without realising. The drykas filled her chest with the heady woody air. "Hold it, and aim." Kuhamahama didn't even feel the thick pine fragrance shroud her lungs, as she bent all focus into aiming.

        Her dark narrow gaze traced the jagged bone point laying against her forefinger and lay her sight down the shaft to the tree across the clearing. There was the familiar hot pull in her bicep, the tell-tale sign she was holding the energy in her arm and not her back. Kuhamahama adjusted by lifting her sagging elbow until her arm lay straight from her shoulder and felt the tension shift, like an amicable snake slipping from her arm down into her back, where it settled and coiled comfortably.

             When then she tweaked her stance, shuffling her footing slightly, feeling the scuff of the mud and pine needles wiggling out from underfoot, so that she was standing truly shoulder-width apart, the curve of her back twisted lightly from her hip up to her straight, quivering shoulders, it all clicked into place, invoking a deeply satisfying feeling of rightness. Kuhamahama exhaled slowly. As her breath hushed by her lips she felt the tautness of the bow quivering with its eagerness to fling back into its natural resting shape. She loosed the arrow—


               THWACK.
                Zwiiishh
                 THUD.
             
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Shooting Arrows

Postby Ruvya on June 11th, 2018, 7:00 am

 
      " Kuhamahama stared at the feather arrow butt sticking out of the same dead log she had just retrieved it from with a frustrated frown. "Well at least I'm hitting the same target twice!" She defended herself aloud. The bluebells waved faintly in the tiny breeze that brushed lazily between their bowed blue petals, as if they were giggling at her. It was true but it was not the target she was aiming for and that was what mattered.

      "Focus on your form and your breath, aim will follow." Was the last of her brother's sagely advice before she shrugged off the nostalgia that had snuck it's way into her mood. Taking a deep breath that lifted her shoulders, Kuha reached for another arrow from the harness holding them neatly by her left thigh, and pointed the curved bow downward again as she fidgeted to nock another arrow. Once her grip was sure, she rose the bow and fell into the motion of pulling the draw, breathing in deeply.

      She adjusted her elbow, straightened out her bow arm, pulled her shoulders back and lengthen her back, working her way down her body with her awareness. Like a tinkerer she was, making tiny adjustments here and there, until she had tweaked her stance all the way down through her legs to her feet and the soft, dry ground beneath. When she lifted her gaze down the arrow shaft and to her mark, there was such a steadiness in her body she felt as if she were a tree herself. The drykas breathed out slowly, and in, and out, and in.

                Her breaths quiet, shaking a little as her arms and shoulders began to quiver with the strength it took her to hold the bow taut. She felt it shivering in the wood and bone and string. The archer took in a deep breath and tried to steady herself, checking in with her stance to make sure she was holding her form well, before she inhaled for the final count and drew the arrow butt back even farther, until the knuckles of her hand nearly reached her ears.

As she anchored the arrow, she felt the ridged edges of the arrow feathers brush against her cheek. The bow trembled with anticipation, so did she. Not for the first time as her heart thrummed and she felt the softness of the feathers, there was that thrilling, imperceptible sensation of taking off, like a hawk ready to dive for its prey. Just a tick to fix her eyes on her target, and


               TWANG.
                ZiiiNGG
                 THWACK.
             
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Shooting Arrows

Postby Ruvya on June 14th, 2018, 9:09 pm

 
      " ya!"
            Kuhamahama danced for joy.

     The sight of the arrow shaft vibrating lightly as it settled in its mark made the drykas grin and her heart skitter. The rush of hitting her mark took her by surprise and the drykas took a moment to revel in it. Then, as a breeze kicked up, a sharp stinging sensation burned across her skin. Kuhamahama hissed as she looked down at her inner forearm where the bow-string had left behind red marks. The temptation to call it a day snuck in under her determination.

      The sight of her victory, though, spurred her on.

                  Kuhamahama shook off her arm for a few ticks in the breeze, letting the cool air take away some of the heat of the burn. When she felt ready, she took an arrow and nocked it, feeling her fingertips brush down the shaft and over the soft feathers as she aligned it against the bowstring much more quickly as she did. As she raised the bow and arrow together, she smiled. I'm getting better. The drykas scuffed her feet until she was standing side-long, shoulder width apart and rocked lightly as she settled herself into the pose.

      Straightening up, she pulled the arrow back into the string and the bow creaked lightly as it flexed. Kuhamahama could feel the tug in her bicep and pulled her shoulders back until it slipped into her back where her stronger muscles took the energy more easily. Relaxing her bow arm, the archer pulled the string back farther until the feathers of the arrow brushed her cheek where she settled her knuckles. As she looked down the arrow shaft towards her target, where her third arrow had settled nicely, the drykas realised her breaths had become shallow.

            Reigning in her anticipation, Kuhamahama made herself take a deep breath of the earthy air, which seemed to gush into her very soul and settle her nerves. Focus. She reminded herself. Breath. The breeze swept wisps of her black hair, which had come loose from the artful knots she had braided into the long tresses, playfully across her face. "Zulrav." As her whisper fell off her lips, the whole forest seemed to hush. A creak of the trees here and there, deep in the trees, like an audience trying to get settled in their hard wooden benches.

    Kuhamahama breathed, and waited, until the chime felt right. Her arm began to shake and she knew it had to be then. With a last deep breath, the drykas felt the bow quiver like an excited hound, begging to be let loose. She breathed out and the string slipped past her fingertips, rushing forward with all the energy of a raging river—


                 SHHOO.
                ZiiiNGG...
             
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Shooting Arrows

Postby Ruvya on June 14th, 2018, 9:48 pm

 
      THWACK-PSHH~

                   Kuhamahama watched with surprise as her arrow spun through its flight and ricocheted off the tree's thick, gnarly bark, taking chunks with it as it slid past. Losing its momentum, the arrow thumped meekly to the ground. "Ahg!" The archer groaned at the miss, she knew the tick she had let the arrow go that she had held the bow too long, her draw had been weaker. The breeze drifted hazily through the clearing and the leaves of the trees chattered quietly.

      Kuhamahama peered at the arrow that had so effortlessly made its mark beforehand. Her breathing had been steadier on that shot. Her brother was right, she needed to focus on her breath and her form. Her aim was terrible when she didn't. To boot, her arm stung with the rebound of the bowstring. With a frustrated huff the drykas blew her hair from her face and marched down the clearing to retrieve her arrow.

      Before returning to her mark, the archer inspected the arrow that was firmly lodged in the tree. She lifted her hand to feel the shaft and gave it a tentative tug. It was really stuck in there. With a thought, the drykas inspected the arrow in her hand by holding it up and looking down the spruce shaft. It was straight, as far as she could see, and the feathers were glued well and of good quality. Nope, nothing wrong with the arrows, her misses were definitely her aim and her form.

                  Determined, the drykas trudged back to her mark where she took her stance and nocked the arrow by aligning the tip between thumb and forefinger against the string and the pulling the shaft into the string. It was beginning to feel like second nature now. Before she drew, the drykas lifted her string hand to fix the unruly wisps of her hair behind her ears out of her face. As she pulled the string back, the drykas breathed in. She held it as she fixed her gaze down the shaft. Then breathed out steadily while she checked in with herself, aligning her body just so.

            Draw with your back;
            relax your bow arm;
            breathe.


              Focus.

      Kuhamahama fixed an intent brown gaze past the arrow tip and to the tree as she breathed in a deep, satisfying breath, feeling the energy reach down into her toes. Semele felt solid and comforting under her feet. As she did, she anchored the arrow and honed in on the tickle of the feathers against her skin to bring her into the moment. Half a tick slipped by as she settled into her breath.

            As she did, a gentle wind kicked up and rattled through the trees. The drykas smiled at Zulrav, wondering idly if it was encouragement or mischief meant to put her off. In that few ticks it took for her to notice the wind, though, Kuhamahama's expression dawned with a thought. The wind could take her arrows off course as much as her form or her breath or her aim. Hastily, the drykas adjusted her aim ever so slightly into the wind before letting go


                TWANG...
             
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Shooting Arrows

Postby Ruvya on June 14th, 2018, 10:30 pm

 
             Darn, too far.

    Kuhamahama watched with a sinking heart as the arrow whizzed past the tree and landed somewhere behind in the thicket of bushes. As the breeze tugged her hair from behind her ears, the drykas huffed. Father Storm was indeed being mischievous rather than encouraging. The drykas hissed lightly as the cool air caught at her arm where the red marks were reddening, however stubbornness edged its way in to bolster her determination and the archer reached for another arrow. Just one more successful hit and then she would be content with the day's practice.

        Knocking in the same fashion she had so far, as the drykas raised the bow, she settled into her stance more naturally where her body readily found the pose familiar and comfortable now. Relaxing her bow arm, the archer anchored the arrow by her cheek and followed the shaft with her eyes until her dark gaze sought beyond the tips sharp bone point. Taking a deep breath, the drykas let it out steadily, slowly as she let her gaze wander to the bluebells and the scrub waving gently about her in the clearing.

            Watching for the wind. Zulrav drifted idly through the trees, His summer warmth mingling with that of Syna and playing in the golden afternoon glow. Kuhamahama felt sweat slick against her blouse at the curve of her back and tried her best to ignore it as she adjusted her aim. Not too much, just so. Breathing gently, feeling the wind against her skin, feeling the firmness of the Earth Mother beneath her feet. There was that thrill of anticipation tingling through her fingertips, the bow was creaking lightly. The bow, her body, her thoughts—all were in focus.


    TWANG.
      ZiiiNGG
        THWACK.


             The arrow was thrumming lightly, lodged perfectly straight into the tree next to its brother. "Yes! Ya!" The drykas whooped in triumphant relief, just glad to have made more than one hit at practice today. She could positively feel the warmth of the bow in her hand, as if it was celebrating with her. Excited, the drykas did a little dance on the spot.

       She wondered if she should try again. As she was tugging another arrow from the harness, though, her skin seared as it brushed her blouse and she hissed with pain. Kuhamahama held up her arm to inspect her sore skin, noticing with a 'tsk' the hot white marks which told her blisters were forming. A few ticks past while the drykas proded and poked at the marks, wondering how much longer she could go. With a sigh, the archer decided to call it a day, before she tore her skin and would have scabs to look forward to in the healing, so the drykas set about gathering her arrows.

              As she wandered through the bluebell clearing, she let her fingers brush their soft, delicate petals. The drykas realised as she was looking about at the trees that the wind was not as strong as she was used to in the grasslands—she had probably compensated too much in her aim on her last shot. As the drykas worked on the arrow to get it out of the bark where it was happy to stay lodged, she grinned, grimacing at the effort even as she did. She felt pride in herself to have made her mark at least once—and a near miss. It was worth the bow sting and the failures to have that success.

       As she heaved the arrow free, it took with it a good chunk of the tree bark, dry as it was. The drykas laid her hand over the gaping wound and breathed in the heady scent of its sap. In her thoughts she sent prayers of thanks to Caiyha. When she had found and gathered all of her stray arrows, the drykas was ready to return to the lake city. As the breeze danced about her while making her way back to the lakeshore, she breathed in deeply and let the sweet floral scents of summer ease into her aching muscles.

             Ravok was a land of trees and lakes and shadows—and sometimes Kuhamahama missed the vastness of the sweeping grasslands—but she decided then it was also beautifully rugged in its way, too. She liked it.
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Shooting Arrows

Postby Ruvya on July 14th, 2018, 11:08 pm

S E L F G R A D E
XP

Observation +2
Weapon: Shortbow +4
Endurance +1
Philosophy +1
LORES

Kuhamahama: Youngest Nighthoof daughter
Taeg'r: Third eldest brother
Taeg'r: Fourth in line to Nighthoof ankal
Kuhamahama: Hallucinations brought on by grief
Archery: Proper alignment
Archery: Pull through your back
Archery: Nocking an arrow
Archery: Form and breath impact aim
Archery: Anchor the arrow
Archery: String slap stings!
Endurance: Victory is worth the pain
Archery: Adjusting aim for the wind
Zulrav: Father of Storms
Fletching: Evaluating arrow quality by straightness
Zulrav: Mischievous God
Philosophy: Contemplating a god's mood
Medicine: Blisters look hot and white
Caiyha: Goddess of flora & fauna
PENALTIES

Kuhamahama's forearm will bear bruises & minor blisters, which will heal in two days if she refrains from using her bow during the healing time.
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