Solo if it wasn't for bad luck...

Job thread, little fishy

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forums. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

Moderator: Regime

if it wasn't for bad luck...

Postby Nellie Hawkins on July 16th, 2018, 2:27 am

Image
.87th of summer.
.11 bells.


The net sailed out over the water, landing almost delicately on the surface where it rested, suspended, before slowly sinking into the depths. It was a good cast, and Nellie watched it with satisfaction for several ticks, until the slight pull on the leash attached to her arm told her the net had reached its maximum depth. With a grunt of effort, Nellie began hauling the net toward shore, curious to see what she’d caught in it. It wasn’t an ideal time to be fishing – there would be a better haul if she waited several bells, but Nellie wanted to get the delivery to Kane this afternoon. The timeline dictated the method, as well; when the fish weren’t biting, all the baited hooks in the world wouldn’t fill her buckets. The net would pick them up from where they whiled the day away, the cool and shadowed depths of the shallows.

Hand over hand, she pulled, watching the net as it neared her. Below the surface, it looked almost luminous, and Nellie could see that she hadn’t been wrong. Several fish were thrashing within the confines, and though they weren’t overly large, they would do for Kane. They, and a few more nets’ worth of their unfortunate brethren, anyway. Kane was a more reliable buyer than old Merv had been, but the man made Nellie slightly uneasy. She would fish for him, and take his money… But she missed the days of haggling prices over a mug of ale in the Drunken Fish.

Tensing her arm, she lifted the net from the water, the weight of the now-soaked net and the six or so fish held within it wasn’t great, and Nellie easily carried it up the shore a bit before releasing it. It dropped to the ground, and Nellie pulled the weighted edges apart to reach for the fish inside. They would sit in her bucket while she recast. There was enough water in the bucket to keep them alive, but not for too long. From start to finish, she would only have a bell or two, and that would still mean a fast pace to Kane’s shop. One more reason she preferred to deal with Merv. He would buy what she had, when she had it, with no fuss. Kane would only do business with her as long as she had a decent catch to sell. Five fish were not decent.

Tossing the last two flopping fish into the bucket, Nellie began picking out the assorted bits of debris her net had caught, along with her prey. Seaweed littered the white net, it must have landed on a patch of kelp, she reasoned as she plucked it out. The watery vegetation was brown, and could grow to great lengths, but this was a smaller bunch. Flat and a dark ruddy brown color, it look wholly unappetizing. Nellie eyed it critically, although it could be eaten, seaweed wasn’t one of her favorite meals and Kane would have nothing to do with it. But she was a firm believer in not wasting food, not wasting anything, really, and so she set the strands of slick brown stuff alongside the bucket, knowing that her pile of the stuff would likely grow with each cast-and-haul.

wc 543 / total 543

Nellie Hawkins
". . . most of us have gears we never use . . ."
Last edited by Nellie Hawkins on July 16th, 2018, 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Nellie Hawkins
Player
 
Posts: 128
Words: 125691
Joined roleplay: August 19th, 2014, 11:54 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

if it wasn't for bad luck...

Postby Nellie Hawkins on July 16th, 2018, 2:28 am

Image
Plucking her net up, Nellie gave it a shake to straighten the weights along the bottom. It was a bit of a puzzle after every cast to clean, straighten, and arrange the net, and to loop the length of the leash into a manageable size. Affixed to her arm just below her elbow, the leash line kept Nellie from accidentally losing hold of here net completely when casting it. It was something she’d done a time or two before, and aside from the wasted mizas buying new nets, she hated to think of all the caught fish pinned down, unreachable and unsellable.

With the leash secured to her satisfaction, Nellie lined the net up; to cast, she would need to grab the center of the net, the weights hanging down to the muck at her feet. The net was then draped over her arm, and the bottom gathered in her other hand. When she threw the net out over the water, the entire net would spiral, unfurling into a disc of netting ringed with weights. She could essentially “fish” a large surface area of the water in a short amount of time with this method, but it lacked the relaxed pace of pleasure-fishing, and after four or five casts, her arm would begin to tire. Sooner, if the net caught more than a scant handful of fish at a time, though Nellie had never caught so many that one cast was all she needed.

She moved closer to the water, sparing a glance for her fish bucket – it was set back far enough that if the fish tipped it over, they weren’t likely to flop themselves back into the water, but the thrashing was strong enough to make little metallic clangs with each impact. Killing them before delivery was an option, but the longer they were kept alive, even in a bucket, the fresher they would be. She hoped the bucket would hold another two catches. She’d brought another, as well, and her plan was to deliver them both, full of fresh fish. She’d happened to be nearby one day when a hunter had tried to sell Kane some game that had a not-so-fresh smell. The two men had exchanged words, and though she hadn’t heard Kane’s, she had seen the other man’s face lose all color as he’d hurriedly apologized and scuttled back out the door.

Actually, she hadn’t seen him back at Kane’s since then.

At the water’s edge, she stopped, drawing the arm with the net across the front of her body. With a quick twist, Nellie spun forward, thrusting her arms out and releasing the net with a small grunt. It spun flatly as it arced upward, the weights pulling the net apart to settle gently once again over the water. It was a sight that never failed to bring a smile to her face. For a moment, before the net sank out of view, it was as though the moon had fallen onto the water, ghostly white and round.

wc 504 / total 1047
Nellie Hawkins
". . . most of us have gears we never use . . ."
User avatar
Nellie Hawkins
Player
 
Posts: 128
Words: 125691
Joined roleplay: August 19th, 2014, 11:54 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

if it wasn't for bad luck...

Postby Nellie Hawkins on July 16th, 2018, 2:31 am

Image
It took longer to clean and rearrange the net than it did to cast it out, and in almost no time the net had sunk to rest again. Nellie could feel the gentle ebb and flow as the waves played with the leash holding the net to her arm, and she swayed slightly with the motion. It was an instinctive dance, happening without her knowledge, a response formed from years of making her living hunting on and in the water. Planting her feet firmly shoulder-width apart, Nellie began to haul her net back to shore.

As before, there was little resistance pulling the net through the waves. Feels like another small catch. But it was what she expected, and Nellie wasn’t too bothered by the lack of abundance from the water today. At this rate, I’ll catch as much seaweed as fish. Ticks later her thoughts proved true as she raised the net from the water and found still more weedy growth twined through the net, and just a few fish. Time to aim the net somewhere else, she thought as she carried the net over toward the bucket, gratified to see that her fish were still twitching and the bucket was still standing.

When the net lay on the ground, four fish flopped and struggled along with her catch of sea salad, and Nellie reached for the shimmering bodies. Sunlight sparkled on the scales, glistening as the woman quickly plucked them up and dropped them back into their temporary home. They didn’t seem any happier to be there than the others had been. Nellie stuck her tongue out at them and turned her attention back to cleaning her net, which had caught more seaweed than fish.

Looks like its fish stew for supper tonight, she thought. The kelp made for a tasty fish broth, at least, even if she wasn’t fond of chewing through the stuff. Left long, it would be easy enough to pluck out of the broth, and the local cats would make short work of whatever she didn’t want.

Sunberth’s cats, like most of its residents, weren’t too picky about what they ate, and Nellie enjoyed feeding them everything from fish innards to boiled seaweed to anything else she couldn’t force herself to consume. She’d learned not to do it right outside her own door, though, once she’d found a group of them trying to scratch their way into her home. Although Nellie had been fairly certain the walls of her shack could withstand siege by cat, but felt it was better not to test the theory and started feeding the animals her scraps further away from home. If the rest of the street thought she was a bit odd for feeding strays when it was a struggle to feed herself, it was no concern of hers, and she’d noticed a distinct reduction in ‘berth rats since the cats had started frequenting the area.

But I probably have plenty now, she thought dryly, gathering up her net and bucket, along with the slippery pile of kelp. She debated a moment, before deciding to head up shore to try again. Down the shoreline, the docks were more populated and the movement and noise of people kept most fish away, even during the quieter times. Moving up the shore, she placed her bucket and water weeds down and positioned herself for another cast of the net, hoping for more fish and less forage to be caught in it.

wc 580 / total 1627
Nellie Hawkins
". . . most of us have gears we never use . . ."
User avatar
Nellie Hawkins
Player
 
Posts: 128
Words: 125691
Joined roleplay: August 19th, 2014, 11:54 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

if it wasn't for bad luck...

Postby Nellie Hawkins on July 16th, 2018, 2:33 am

Image
Casting a glance at her bucket of fish, nine now, Nellie decided she would only risk the time for one more cast. Whatever she caught within her net, she would deal with quickly and then walk the lot of them over to Kane’s shop. Nothing was as fresh as living fish, and Kane would pay more accordingly.

With practiced motions, Nellie quickly shook out and arranged the net over her arm. She gave a gentle tug to the leash, ensuring that it was still knotted securely around her forearm before gathering her net to launch it on its final throw of the day. Saying a small, quick prayer to Ovek, she twisted and hurled the net out, watching it grow in the air, spinning open to land with a small splash on the open waters. She wait a few chimes for the net to settle, and began the process of dragging it back to the shore.

The leash collected the weights around the bottom of the net, drawing them together under the water, and holding fast anything unlucky enough to be caught within its spread. Nellie had caught things other than fish and seaweed in the past; frogs and the occasional crab had been landed that way, but not enough of either to make the fishing method worthwhile if they were her goal. But as she pulled on the net, the drag increased beyond what the weight of a few fish or tagalong sea creatures could account for, and Nellie grimaced at the sudden resistance.

“Petch.” The net had snagged on something below the waves. Rocks, or possibly a downed tree had decided to fight back on the fishes behalf, and Nellie stopped pulling for fear of damaging the net and losing whatever she may have caught in it. Her net had stuck a good distance out, but the water wasn’t all that deep. Still, it was impossible to tell how big the snag might be, or how badly the net was stuck, without getting closer to the problem. “Petchpetchpetch.”

The curse flowed from her lips as easily as air, as she reviewed her options: tug the net free, and almost certainly damage it. Or swim out to see what the petch it was caught on, try to free it, and pull it in. She knew what the choice would be – there was no way she was going to ruin a perfectly good net unless she had to. She had no love of repair work, if the net was even fixable after its tangle with whatever lay below the surface of the water. Nellie would have to swim out and investigate.

Sparing a glance around to make sure she was alone on the shoreline, Nellie began to slip out of her boots. Trousers followed next, and then began the struggle to remove her shirt without losing hold of the net’s leash, a problem she ultimately solved by holding the leash between her teeth as she removed her arms from the sleeves, and retying it when she was done. In chimes, she stood on the shore in her unders, steeling herself for an unplanned foray into the water.

wc 527 / total 2154

Nellie Hawkins
". . . most of us have gears we never use . . ."
User avatar
Nellie Hawkins
Player
 
Posts: 128
Words: 125691
Joined roleplay: August 19th, 2014, 11:54 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

if it wasn't for bad luck...

Postby Nellie Hawkins on July 16th, 2018, 2:35 am

Image
The water was cold, even this late into the season, and Nellie felt goosebumps raise over her body as she waded out into it. Walking through the waves, she ventured the short distance from shore to net without any trouble, though the waterline hovered uncomfortably around her ribcage, splashing against her with each gentle wave that approached. When she’d gotten within a few feet of her net, her foe appeared in the form of a large section of rocky debris. At first glance, Nellie counted at least three snags where her net sat, unmoving, pinched and weighted down by the petching things.

“Ovek, I’m starting to think you use me for your own amusement,” she muttered. She would have to go under water to work the snags out, instead of simply unhooking it, as she’d hoped. Still, even the dunking was better than net repair. Taking a breath, she bent into the water and reached out for the first sticking point.

As her fingers neared the net, a fish moved within it, startling her; her gasp of surprise was inaudible under the water, but a series of bubbles floated up to the surface in silent witness to the event. Nellie narrowed her eyes at the fish and compressed her lips as she grabbed the net firmly, tracing it down to the rock that it had caught under. Lifting the rock was an easy task; it was the size of her head, but not sunk into the seabed, and covered in barnacles. It was a matter of ticks to tilt it up, release her net, and separate the two before surfacing once more.

Picking her way carefully over the rocks beneath her, she pulled at the net lightly, searching for the next resistant spot a few feet away. The fish in her net were frantic at her movements and their own captivity, and the net moved erratically as they tried to dart free. Their presence made her glad she’d elected to unsnag the net instead of stubbornly pulling it loose from the shore. As she ducked down under the water once more, she repeated her previous actions, lifting and parting net from rock with little effort.

The last snag was no more complicated she discovered, as she stuck her head below the waves a final time. Once the net was freed, it floated safely above the rocky impediment, and Nellie saw the full field of rocks. It was old, and had been there long enough to grow complex structures made of barnacles, and its own small patch of seaweed, which she crinkled her nose at. Nellie was almost impressed by the sight, and would have been had she not been forced by, their presence, into the water. The net had just barely caught on them, as it had been pulled along nearly safely above the collection, and only sheer bad luck had caused it to catch at all.

Standing up and gathering the weighted edges of the net in her hands to avoid further mishap as she walked back to the shore, Nellie spoke into the empty air. “I’m not sure what I did to offend you, Ovek, but Kane Baker does not pay enough for this.”

She received no response, and didn’t expect to – if one had come, it would have been a sign of even more bad luck, as net and fish would likely have been tossed freely back into the water in surprise. She’d probably have fallen under water, hit her head on a rock, and floated unconscious miles down the shore. On dry land once more, Nellie snorted quietly, imagining all the ridiculous ways her luck could be worse, while not being lethal.

Since time was not on her side, Nellie dealt with the fish in her net first, pleased to see that it had at least been a good haul for all the effort she’d had to go through. Seven fish sparkled and thrashed in the net, and only a string or two of slimy seaweed accompanied them. They filled her bucket nicely, and Nellie draped her net over the top to keep them from flopping to escape or certain death out of the tight confines while she quickly patted herself dry and re-dressed for the trip to Kane’s shop.

wc 714 / total 2868
Nellie Hawkins
". . . most of us have gears we never use . . ."
User avatar
Nellie Hawkins
Player
 
Posts: 128
Words: 125691
Joined roleplay: August 19th, 2014, 11:54 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

if it wasn't for bad luck...

Postby Kynier on August 1st, 2018, 3:39 am

Grades!


Skill Rewards
  • Deduction +1
  • Fishing +5
  • Observation +5
  • Planning +2

Lores Learned
  • Fishing: When to use a net instead of a baited hook
  • Fishing: Nets can get caught on collections of rocks
  • Fishing: Unhooking a net from rock debris without damaging it
  • Ovek: May be using her for entertainment
  • Self: Don’t feed cats outside your home


Nellie is a great character to root for. I probably enjoy these threads more than I should. If you have an questions or concerns about your grade please feel free to PM me.
Sometimes the only way to win is by relinquishing a superior position.

Character Sheet
Sunberth Map
Midnight Gem Floor Plan
User avatar
Kynier
Delves in Darkness
 
Posts: 625
Words: 833936
Joined roleplay: May 13th, 2018, 3:14 am
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Sunberth Seasonal Challenge (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests