Solo Can't See the Prey for the Trees

Zach turns out to be terrible at hunting in a woodland.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Can't See the Prey for the Trees

Postby Zach Grasswind on August 11th, 2018, 7:02 pm


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62 SUMMER, 518 A.V.




Zach had been in Lhavit for a short while now, but he was still getting used to the shining city. Mountains were just so different from flat grassland. He had quickly gotten over any qualms he may have had about heights and over the past few days had let himself explore properly. Two days prior the Drykas had managed to locate the Jugged Hare - the butcher shop that the helpful woman at the Cosmos Center had directed him to. Varda had been more than happy to have another hunter bringing in meat, and Lomki had informed him where he would need to go to find it.

The where in question would be the mountainous woodlands that surrounded the city. Zach decided he should probably go and try his luck and have a hunt in the new terrain. He had been given a few pieces of advice, namely, under no circumstances was he to kill a misty fox, and to look out for the large solitary predators like lions and bears. He understood that deer, rabbits and game birds roamed out on the peaks, and that those were the ones he would need to find.

It was mid-morning when Zach shouldered his bow and headed out from his room at the Solar Wind Apartments. He wound through the streets and over various bridges, occasionally stopping a local to ask if he was heading in the right direction. Eventually, the young man found himself past the Shinya guards, and at the point where the city turned to the wilds.

Stepping carefully along the path, Zach was relieved to see that the mists weren't as thick outside the city, though they were definitely still about. He hadn't realised quite how steep the sides of these mountains were, and he slipped once or twice, causing his heart to staccato in his chest. Slowly he moved down the slope until the mist all but vanished and the trees started to grow closer together.

The Drykas approached the trees with trepidation. This landscape was so vastly different than what he was used to, but he hoped that the actual act of hunting here wouldn't be. Oh how he was wrong. His clumsy and uneven footfalls over the sloping terrain had appeared to scare of any rabbits that might have been out for their morning meal. Zach frowned. He would have to get used to gravel and noisy twigs underfoot.

Moving slowly into the woodland, he pulled out his bow and held a single arrow loose on the string. He had to pause for a short while to let his eyes adjust to the dimmed light. The woodland was like a whole other world, a dark, damp smelling world where everything moved at a whisper. He felt enclosed, the trees pressing around him. It was not a feeling he particularly enjoyed and he felt almost short of breath from it.

Squinting ahead, Zach moved forward at an abysmally slow pace. He constantly caught his feet on tree roots and snagged his shirt on low branches and bushes. A particularly thorny shrub caught his arm, ripping a tiny hole in his sleeve and leaving a thin trail of red blood snaking up his forearm. The Drykas cursed and smeared it away with his hand.

After a bell of his ridiculous pace, a branch cracked somewhere ahead. Eyes narrowed and Zach was just about able to pick out the form of a small deer through the trees. Slowly, quietly he raised his bow to his face, squared his shoulders and held his breath. He pulled the string back and after a tick to perfect his aim, the arrow was let loose, flying through the air to land in the rump of the deer. Not quite what he had been hoping for, but at least it had hit. A further arrow would hopefully find a cleaner mark.

The impact had obviously pained and startled the deer, so Zach quickly whipped his hand up to grab another arrow. Instead, it found solid contact with a tree behind him with a rather loud thwack. "Agh!"
In a shock of surprise pain he dropped his bow and clutched at his hand. Cursing, he glanced round for the deer, but the poor creature had leapt away and out of sight. Zach hoped that it would manage to lose the arrow and heal. If the deer wasn't to be killed by him he would have hated to let it flounder in pain.

Now irritated and in pain, the Drykas turned on the tree. "Petching... Shyke..." Each word was interspersed with a kick to the lower trunk. "I hate trees..." His voice trailed off into grumbling. "How does anyone hunt in this damn place..." Zach unceremoniously retrieved his shortbow from the ground, flexing the fingers of his right hand. With a sigh, he made to continue on, to find that poor deer or some other creature.

+821


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Zach Grasswind
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Can't See the Prey for the Trees

Postby Zach Grasswind on August 17th, 2018, 11:19 am


Zach trudged onward through the woodland, trying his best to keep his feet quiet. No matter where he stepped, there seemed to be something that would make a noise. A brittle twig breaking, stones rolling away from his foot, and even the spindly branches that continued to snag on his clothes and then snap when he pulled himself away. The hunter sighed. At this rate he would never catch anything.

He paused for a while to assess his surroundings. He had never been in a woodland like this before, so truthfully he had no idea what he was really looking for. He knew the prey he was looking for of course, it was more that he didn't know how to find it. Zach was sure that there were certain signs that fellow hunters here used to tell what had passed by. He knew that different animals tended to prefer select places and certain areas where they would build their little homes. But that was all he knew when it came to this world within the trees.

Zach knew horses and caribou, and he knew the zibri and the glassbeak. He knew where they lived, he knew how to find them. A hunt to him was filled with movement and adventure with moments of quiet and stealth. He knew the open plains where you could see endless waves of grasses swaying. It was nothing like this oppressing, dark place. He scuffed his boot through the soil in frustration before remembering that he was supposed to be keeping quiet. He peered into the space before him, trying to discern detail through the trees ahead. He felt half-blind in here, so unused to this kind of dark.

As he moved his head, something on the ground winked in the weak light that filtered through the leafy canopy. He stepped over with caution, just in case he had come upon a trap left by a fellow hunter. But the thing he found was much too small, and to his surprise Zach recognised the arrow that the poor deer from earlier had carried off in its side. He was relieved to see that the arrow was intact meaning that none of it was left with the animal. Hopefully it would heal properly. He bent to pick it up from the ground and wiped the red smears from the point before stashing it with his others.

The hunter needed to think properly, but his mind felt muddled, confused thanks to the invisible weight of the trees that surrounded him. He hated these trees. Perhaps he just needed a different perspective. Zach squinted up at the tree closest to him as an idea popped into his head. He slung his bow onto his back and hooked a hand around the highest branch he could reach. He pulled himself up, slotting his foot into a join between another lower branch and the trunk. A little more manoeuvring, and he was sat up on a sturdy branch, back to the trunk.

He peered at the ground, and odd feeling in his stomach. This was the first time he had been any way off the ground, not counting being on horseback, and he felt very unsteady. Zach braced his hands on the branch and tipped his head back, looking up instead of down. Feeling a little more stable, the Drykas then took in his surroundings. He wasn't really that high up at all, but everything looked different.

He could see the scuffs on the ground below where he had been standing before making his way into the tree. He could see the layers of trees where they grew next to and behind each other. He could also see small birds flitting about almost at his eye level now. He hadn't noticed them before, probably because he had been so intent on staring at the ground. Slowly, he began to feel more comfortable, and he relaxed into the trunk behind him. His bow dug into his shoulder, and removed it and his arrows, laying them across his lap.

Zach stayed in the tree for much longer than he had anticipated. His mind felt clearer up here among the branches. He grew still and quiet, and let his eyes simply roam about the pieces of the woodland that he could see from his perch. He began to realise that there was so much life within this woodland that he just hadn't thought of before. He even felt as though he could actually come to like it some day.

Chimes passed with only the slight rustle of leaves in a breeze, or the flurry of feathers as one of the tiny birds took flight. A scuffling noise came from somewhere ahead of the tree Zach was perched in, and he narrowed his eyes as he tried to pick out what the source was. A bird was moving along the forest floor, nosing its beak through the leaf litter, probably searching for bugs. The leaves were crackling with enough noise, that when Zach slowly pulled out an arrow and attached it to his bow, the bird didn't notice.

It appeared to be some sort of game bird, plump and brown. Hopefully Zach was about to get a little luck. Slowly, ever so slowly, he raised his arms and pulled the string back on his bow. The bird was at a mere shuffle, so intent on the food it was searching for. The hunter held his breath, arrow point tracking the animal closely. With a quick prayer for luck, he let the arrow fly and it thumped into the bird’s chest, dropping the animal instantly. It had been an incredibly easy target, and Zach was pleased that the day hadn't been a complete write-off.

+959


ooc :
I hope I have played to Zach's ability with the bow. I couldn't see any pages for skill progression to go off, but the bird was basically a stationary target.

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Zach Grasswind
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Posts: 108
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Joined roleplay: August 9th, 2018, 12:56 pm
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Can't See the Prey for the Trees

Postby Zach Grasswind on August 17th, 2018, 11:52 am


He swung himself down from the branch and made his way over to check that he had actually killed the bird. Confirming this to be the case, he carefully pulled out the arrow, cleaned it and stashed it away again. The bird was surprisingly heavy, and the hunter carried it at his side as he tried to find his way back out of the trees.

Zach probably should have been more observant on his way in, for as he walked he struggled to remember the direction he had come from. At a glance, everything looked the same. All he knew was that he had been slowly descending, so in theory he needed to head uphill to find his way back to the city. The bird in his right hand grew heavier as he went, and his bruised knuckles started to ache. He shifted the animals weight to his left hand and flexed his fingers again. That was going to get annoying very quickly.

Even though he was definitely heading uphill, the Drykas was still not entirely confident that he was heading in the right direction. Inwardly he cursed himself for not leaving marks on his way that would then guide him out again. He paused mid-step as a thought came to him. What if he had left marks? Zach absently glanced at the small rip in his sleeve. The hunter had by no means been stealthy on his first foray into the trees - what if he could track himself to get back out?

Immediately he trained his eyes on the shrubs around him and on the ground ahead. He was fairly certain that he had managed to scare off most other things that would leave tracks with his noisy footfalls and so hopefully there was nothing to mix up.
Soon, he came across a large bush that had a snapped twig at elbow height just managing to cling on by a few strands of bark. That must have been Zach's doing. He moved past and onwards, continuing his trek back to the city.

Scrutinising the ground as he went, Zach occasionally found places where the stones had been scuffed away from the soil, or where twigs that had laid across the paths had been snapped under someone's feet. Animals definitely weren't so clumsy, at least to his knowledge, so it must have been him.

Eventually, the trees thinned out around the hunter, and Zach could see a stretch of grass ahead. He picked up his pace, not worried about being quiet, until he had made it to the edge of the forest. The path was a little further up, and he was relieved when he finally set foot upon its surface. Next time he would have to make sure he knew how to find his way out.

He left his catch at the Jugged Hare, apologising that he had not been able to hand over more. Varda was appreciative anyway, and smiled when Zach told her he would strive to do better next time. The hunter knew that he had just gotten incredibly lucky today - the plump little bird had practically walked straight into his arrow. Next time he went out he would need to take his time and think properly about how one should actually hunt out in the forest. He knew there were other hunters in town - maybe he should try to find one so he could ask a few questions.

Before making his way back to the Solar Wind Apartments, Zach wanted to find something he could use to make a path in the forest. He didn't want to rely on marks he could make with his boot or an arrow. Any animal could come along and leave a scuff nearby that might throw him off. As he passed by a particular shop, some brightly coloured material caught his eye. He headed inside, and after a brief conversation with the shopkeeper, Zach left clutching a spool of yellow yarn. He planned to cut it up in to small lengths that he could take with him and tie onto shrubs and branches to leave a trail he could follow out again. Maybe with time he would become so familiar with the trees that he would be able to navigate by instinct, but for now this would do. He still disliked the forest and definitely did not want to get lost out there.

+737
>2517

Ledger -5tk


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Zach Grasswind
What’s a tree?
 
Posts: 108
Words: 104146
Joined roleplay: August 9th, 2018, 12:56 pm
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Can't See the Prey for the Trees

Postby Madeira Craven on August 29th, 2018, 6:37 pm

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Zach Grasswind

Skills
  • Land Navigation: 3xp
  • Observation: 3xp
  • Hunting: 2xp
  • Shortbow: 2xp
  • Stealth: 2xp
  • Tracking: 2xp
  • Climbing: 1xp
  • Planning: 1xp

Lores
  • Location: the Jugged Hare
  • Advice: don’t kill misty foxes, stay away from bears
  • Land Navigation: staying away from cliffs
  • Tracking: you must know the habits of the animals you’re stalking
  • Tracking: following human tracks

Awards & Retribution
+Yellow Yarn: not for knitting. -5tk

Notes
Zach is so very human. I love how unsure he is about this new environment and the steps he's taking to improve himself. This was a great read!

Let me know if you have concerns about your grade!
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Madeira Craven
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