Solo Another String to the Bow

Pluckett learns how to use a shortbow.

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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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Another String to the Bow

Postby Pluckett on September 9th, 2019, 7:58 pm

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10th of Fall 519

Pluckett trotted down the path to the Hunter's Guild. It was another hot day, a relief from the previous seasons. Sweat had lined her brow despite it being barely past dawn. Ready for another hunting lesson, she wondered what would be learned today.

The guild was directly ahead. She was about to head in, before she heard a man calling out. She looked over to see Liard gesturing over. She quickly made her way over and was led to the back, where two targets had been sat up about ten feet away from each other. They were at one end of the feild, the rest bare except for a bow and quiver resting on the opposite end and a man standing near the middle.
"This is Orim. He's going to be showing you how to use that bow today," Liard said, "his idea."
"And what about you?"
"I'm going out to hunt."

Pluckett was ready to protest - she wanted hunting training, not just bow skills. She knew that Liard knew how to bite back, though, and kept her mouth shut. She walked over to Orim.
"Nice to meet you. I'm Pluckett, and I'm told you are my guide today?"
The man looked her over, head tilted, and replied "yes. My name is Orim. Liard told us... plenty about you." The pause indicated to Pluckett that whatever Liard had said, it wasn't positive. She could prove herself today, though. She felt herself steel up and prepare to impress.
"You seem like you could form a decent hunter. A little small, but... full of spunk."
"I'm excited to learn, sir," she proclaimed, standing straight, just a little sweaty from the sun.

Orim simply nodded, and walked over to the bow resting on the ground. Pluckett sat her belongings down aside from the bow and arrows.
"First things first. Can you tell me what kind of bow this is?"
Pluckett stared for a moment. Shyke. "Not... a crossbow..." she mumbled. She looked at her own bow, then answered louder, "a shortbow?"
"Yes. We'll be using the same type of bow. Mind if I look at yours?"
She handed it to him.
"Bought it used?"
"Yes, it's secondhand."
"Looks a little rough, but it'll certainly do. A little imbalance," he tugged the string, "could be refreshed." He handed it back, then turned. "We're going to be shooting these targets. You take the right one. I want to see what you can do from... let's say... 12 meters, real close."

He walked about halfway down the range. "Right over here."
Pluckett followed, then proceeded to do what she assumed one was supposed to do to shoot a bow. She lined herself up, lifted her bow, docked the arrow. She pulled back on the shortbow's string, trying to hold the arrow in place as it attempted to wiggle away. She let it fly. It flew all the way to the targets... and landed in between the two.
Orim nodded. "Try again. Two more times."
Pluckett was determined to impress him. She repeated her motions, this time carefully lining it up, closing an eye to get the line proper. She let it go, and it flew over the top of the target. She glanced at Orim, who was patiently watching. Much quieter than Liard.
She tried once more.
Pick up arrow. Hold up bow. Dock arrow. Line it up. Pull back and... hit the target!

Kinda!

The arrow stuck out of the outermost rim of the straw target. Either way, it was a hit.
"Alright. I can see where the issues lie. First, go retrieve your arrows."
She made quick work of collecting the scattered arrows before jogging back. Already, the afternoon sun was crawling into the sky, and she knew she'd be covered in sweat in no time.
...
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Another String to the Bow

Postby Pluckett on September 11th, 2019, 3:09 am

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Arrows gathered, Pluckett walked back. Orim was waiting.
"First things first: your stance. Get into a shooting position, but do not pull back."
Pluckett followed the instructions. She stood, held her bow in front of her, nocked the arrow, and held her elbow out.
"Here we go. First, open your stance. Stand straighter, legs more apart. Open your hips towards the target. Point your shoulders where you aim. Mind if I touch you?"
Her mind was reeling from all the tips. "Go ahead."

He pushed her shoulder back, lifted her elbow, rotated her, lifted her arm. She felt like a clay statue being manipulated and held the position.
"Alright. Now, when you pull back, keep your elbow straight, eyes on the target, release and follow through. Also, hold your bow vertical."
She tilted her bow, trying to straighten it.
"Gets easier with practice. Now, shoot."
She released, with an attempt to 'follow through', whatever that was referring to. She hit the edge of the target, closer than last time but still not even without the outer circle.
"Better. Try again."

She took up the same position, took a breath, then released. It missed by a long shot, falling short in the grass.
"You went too quick, and not far enough. One more time. This time, let the bow drop slowly after you shoot, follow through."
She was determined. She kept herself straight. Opened everything. Pointed. All of the tips she was given. Then she shot, keeping her bow held after the shot.
The shot actually landed not only on the target - but in the inner circle! Not a bullseye, but a lucky shot. Pluckett beamed. This wasn't so hard at all. Orim gave her a nod.
"Good job, that one. Let's do a few more, then take a break. We'll be moving a bit further back after a drink."
Confident from her last shot, she tried again. Arrogance led her to miss entirely once again. Her follow-through was too quick, leading to the arrow shooting much more down than she wanted, but with so much force that it planted the tip firmly in the ground.
Meanwhile, he had taken up his own shortbow. Pluckett couldn't help but notice the state of the bow - despite obvious frequent use, it had to have been well-maintained. He didn't even look over at her pathetic shot as he nocked an arrow and launched as if the bow itself was an inherent part of him. The arrow landed cleanly near the center of the target. He shot another, hitting precisely the same spot on the other side of the bullseye.

She sighed, then concentrated for her final shot.
Somehow, this one hit. Barely a finger's length from the bullseye. She beamed.
"That'd kill it!" Orim exclaimed, before giving her back a quick pat. During her shot, he had managed two more, both concentrated at the center. "Problem is, you need to work on consistency. Even an expert wouldn't hit every shot, but they aren't going to be missing often. Let's go get those drinks."
...
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Pluckett
If I cannot fly, let me sing.
 
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Another String to the Bow

Postby Pluckett on September 16th, 2019, 3:19 am

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Pluckett followed the hunter into the guild. The windows and doors were all open in a sad attempt to cool the building down in the heat. The smell of something metallic hit Pluckett and nearly made her queasy. She looked over to where a woman sat with two fluffy-looking piles before her. Pluckett stared as she grabbed a thing from the first pile, used some tool to cut a wire around what she realized was the neck of the creature, then plopped it in the second pile.
"Snares," Orim stated simply as he went to the bar, "are Tess's specialty."
He walked over to observe and ask "Do you think you got them all?"
"I got enough of 'em," she replied, "there's a dozen here."
She picked up the final animal, then took its wire, then sat it down.
"What are they for?" Pluckett asked, getting closer. She recognized them as gophers. She saw them often around the city, especially in the less-populated areas.
"A few of the folks on Shirai were complaining that they were getting into crops. That time of year, you know. I catch 'em, then we cut 'em up and put them in stew. Not the best meat, of course, but they have a good bit of it." As she said the last part she hefted one, showing off its stiff body. The smell that was in the air was simply death.

"You caught them with those wires," Pluckett noted rather dully. She did realize that even if her bow skills were not great, setting traps could be a good way to gather food.
"Yeah. It's simple, really, one of the first things the kids learned, and one of the first the grandkids learned. The messiest ones can still usually work. Just make a loop and secure it," she held up the broken wire of her own. Pluckett observed the knot that had slipped tight around the gophers' necks, and a similar loop in the other end. Both were cut, but the idea was transmitted well enough.

Orim came back with three ales. "On me," he stated as he sat them on the table, right beside the pile of fresh corpses. Pluckett almost felt disgusted, but she became aware of her thirst that demanded to be quenched. The heat only made the smell of the animals worse, but she was getting used to it.
She sipped. It was very standard ale, and was decently chilled.
"So who is this young lady? A recruit?" Tess asked, giving Pluckett a look-over similar to the many she had already recieved by the hunters.
"Nah. She's learning how to shoot. She nearly got a bullseye just now - but her hits aren't very consistent yet. Half of them didn't hit."
Pluckett felt a blush rise.
"Everyone starts somewhere," Tess said, "and somewhere is usually nowhere close to the target. Unless you're Stan, then you still miss after years and resort to just throwing things."
The joke made Orim chuckle, but it flew over Pluckett's head entirely. Nobody bothered to explain, so she took a drink absent mindedly. She did think of something to ask, at least.
"Do you think I could make a trap?" Pluckett asked. Tess's eyes lit up.
"Of course! I'll show you how," she took a quick sip and stood up, walking quickly for a woman of her age over to a set of drawers. She came back in a moment with a roll of wire. Neither Orim nor Pluckett even managed to get a word in before she sat and motioned for Pluckett to sit beside her.

"First, you need a good length of wire. What are you planning on catching?"
"I, uh," Pluckett sat down. "What about a... rabbit?"
Tess nodded. "So you'll want about this" - she pulled a length of wire from the coil - "much. That's about twenty-one inches, you'll want to measure it out at first until you can just eyeball it." Pluckett watched with wide eyes as she used the shear tool to cut the wire off, with one precise snip.
"Then you'll want to wrap it like this." She took the end of a wire and made a small, fingertip-sized loop, wrapping the wire around itself a few times. "Pull the other side through, and slip it until its a little bigger than a fist. That way you'll get 'em around the neck, where it'll kill 'em quick and easy. When they run into it, it'll tighten, and won't slip off easily. The more they fight, the tighter it gets, until they just suffocate."
The morbidity of her statements contrasted with her enthusiatic tone.
"Your turn," she stated, handing Pluckett the wire coil. Pluckett unraveled it to about the length from her elbow to fingertip while Tess nodded and handed her the wire cutting tool. She struggled to cut the wire, but eventually managed a ragged cut. She took the tip the same way Tess did, but found the wire didn't bend as easily as she made it out to. Pluckett made a messy loop, then measured just a little more than her fist and . Tess assured her it would still probably do the job.

"Up next, you'll want to find a runway. This'll be something they can travel through easily. Usually if it's a garden, it'll be a hole in a fence, in the woods it'll be a small tunnel through brush. Then you secure it by tying it in a similar way to something sturdy and just pull until it's tight. Make sure the snare's about head height for your catch, and then wait a day and come back. Easy."
Pluckett tried to keep track of all the information being dumped on her. Runway. Check. Something sturdy. Yeah. Come back after a day. Can do.
She realized she had managed to finish her ale in the time.
"Well," she said, "thank you."
Tess smiled and nodded. "You can take your snare with you! Just be careful not to catch yourself, and maybe buy some wire to practice with. You could even practice the knots with string or anything like that."
Orim was already heading out the door to continue his own practice, and Pluckett stood to leave.
"I'll be sure to practice," she said. At least someone was willing to really teach. She followed Orim back out into the hot daylight.

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Pluckett
If I cannot fly, let me sing.
 
Posts: 48
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Joined roleplay: May 4th, 2019, 7:14 am
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