Completed Arrows, Mangos, and Swine

7/24 - 7/27 Weekend Challenge - Hunting

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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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Arrows, Mangos, and Swine

Postby Willjan on July 28th, 2020, 3:45 am

Arrows, Mangos and Swine

Summer 5, 520

In a panic, Willjan bolted upright, waking Des in the commotion.

"What in the world are you doing, Will?" she asked.

"It's an emergency! No time to talk," Willjan exclaimed, hurrying out of bed and out of the bungalow they had moved into the day before. He scurried to a semi-remote spot about 70 meters away, untied his pants, and relieved himself.

Ah. Much better. The previous night, he had chugged water in the hopes that his bladder would rouse him to action. Willjan looked up and was pleased to see that his trick had worked - Syna was just barely peaking over the ocean horizon now. He grinned, time to get started.

He hobbled back into the bungalow. Des was already asleep again, snoring away. He ripped an empty page out of his journal and wrote, Gone to go visit the mercantile. Take a look at what they're selling, and their prices. Specifically, how much is salt, sugar, and other foodstuffs. Will be back later - Will. He set the note under a small stone in the dining area, changed, grabbed his day pack and broad-brimmed Sisal hat, and left.

Moving west along the beach, Willjan enjoyed the cool breeze that seemed so fleeting during the Syka summer. After almost dying when trying to unload The Veronica midday yesterday, he realized that if he were to be productive, he'd need to compartmentalize his workday into two shifts: morning and evening. He'd nap during the day and the dead of night, chugging water as his alarm clock... or at least until he found a better way to make sure he woke up.

Passing the Protea Inn and then Mathais' place, Willjan wondered briefly if Syka could eventually be a sort of tourist attraction across Mizahar. It seemed unlikely, given how hard he had struggled to get here, but he made a mental note to visit and pick the owner's brain regarding the matter.

Finally, he came to the Mercantile; though, no one was manning the shop yet. I guess not everyone had quite the same idea, he thought. Frowning, he moved past into the Community Kitchen.

Here, he found life. A woman he recognized as Indigo from his meeting with the Founders a few days ago. She was standing at a counter, using a knife to prepare what appeared to be caught turtle.

Last edited by Willjan on July 29th, 2020, 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Arrows, Mangos, and Swine

Postby Willjan on July 28th, 2020, 3:48 am

"Morning Indigo! Early breakfast?" he asked.

The woman whirled, brandishing the filleting knife front and center; though, when she recognized Willjan, she let it drop. "Newcomer wakes early," she remarked.

"Yeah... I have an internal alarm of sorts..." he said, eyeing the knife. "Say, did you catch that yourself?"

"You think turtle fall out of sky?" she asked, turning back to her work.

Willjan snorted. Then ignored the sarcasm, "Are you able to catch turtles like that often?"

"Turtles common, yes," she answered, "So are coati, lemur, howler monkey, many birds. Many snakes too, but I don't hunt those..."

She trailed off and Willjan watched her work. First, she set the turtle down on the countertop, laid the filet knife at the turtle's throat, and used the palm of her hand to 'chop' the head from the neck in one smooth motion. Then she grabbed the tail and held the it upside down, letting the blood drain.

"Why do you ask?" she said.

"I told the founders Des and I'd help them with food preservation on Syka."

Indigo nodded, "That's good. We need that. I may bring you meat sometime."

"What about that turtle?"

She looked down at the animal. It was still bleeding out. "No," she said smiling, "Early breakfast, right?"

"Oh, right," he said chuckling, "Good that you'll come around sometime, though. I'll need to perfect my preservation skills."

Indigo's eyes widened, "You don't know how to do already?" she asked, "Why Mathais take you on?"

Willjan winced. I need to watch my tongue more, he thought. "Oh, well, the climate here is very different than Riverfall," he said, rubbing the back of his neck, "I'll need to try a few things to make sure I adjust my techniques to the humidity and such."

The girl looked cross, "Well you'll do no such 'experiments' on my meat," she said.

"Yeah, OK..." he said, rubbing the back of his neck again. "So where are you from? What brought you to Syka?" he asked, trying to change the subject.

"From Syka," Indigo said, bringing her turtle back up to the counter, "Syka's been home longer than anyone else here. Longer than for founders."

This time it was Willjan's eyes that went wide. "So you're a true local!" he said. She'll know the place better than anyone, he thought. "You have family here too?" he asked.

"No family, only me," she responded. She was using the knife to separate the turtle's shell from its backside now. Willjan watched her work, nodding in understanding, and letting the quiet take them. It seemed he'd hit a somewhat sore subject, so decided to wait out the ache. He found these silences comfortable; though, he knew others didn't.

After a time, she looked over at him, "You want to know yes?" she asked, "Why no family?"

Willjan shrugged, "I have no family left either," he said, "Unless you count Des, but who knows if she's even human," he joked.

Indigo raised an eyebrow, but did not laugh. Willjan honestly could not tell if she was amused at him or not. Nevertheless, she continued, "I am half Myrian, half Dhani. Wholly neither. Thus, no family," she said simply with a wave of her knife before going back to work.

Willjan was sure he'd heard these terms before, but couldn't recollect their exact meanings. Something about snakes maybe? Was that what the previous comment had been about? Nevertheless, he had to respond.

"Yeah well, I'm half prostitute, half Svefra- wholly neither," he responded, holding out his hand. He did so and smiled, but he couldn't hold her gaze because she was considering his hand. So instead he focused inwardly, on his palm. There, he brought his Djed to hold a perception of warmth - the feeling one would get when a friend waves them over to sit next to them.A feeling of acceptance.

Indigo continued to look at his hand for another moment. Then, putting down her filleting knife she took it. Willjan's smile widened at the grasp, and now he did lock eyes with her. He squeezed her hand and released the feeling he had gathered to his palm, and she smiled- a big, eye-crinkling beam. And it was nice, her smile.

"Nice to meet you Indigo," he said.

Last edited by Willjan on July 29th, 2020, 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Arrows, Mangos, and Swine

Postby Willjan on July 28th, 2020, 3:50 am

Indigo and Willjan strode off toward The Isuas Grove, Indigo leading. After shaking hands, he had convinced her that even if she wouldn't risk her meat on his preservation experiments, maybe she could teach him to hunt so that he could risk his own.

"We practice bow in the grove," she had said, "Flat but sheltered. Protected from the wind. Good for practice." She had also scoffed at his cutlass. He'd never get close enough for most game (that he'd want to hunt anyway). He'd need a bow, specifically a compound shortbow that was easy to carry, accessible, and deadly at medium range against agile jungle animals. To that end, they bought a bow, a set of arrows, and a quiver at the Mercantile (for a total of 96 Mizas no less!).

When they got to the grove, Indigo tied a thatch mat against a tree as a target and had him pace ten steps away. First, she set the standard- drawing the bow, she aimed and released in the arrow in one, fluid motion. It flew the short distance to thud satisfyingly in the middle of the mat. She then showed him in slow motion- exactly how she stood, where she pinched the string, and how she held the bow's grip.

"Once you get these basics down, the key will be practice," she said, "Over and over again, practice. You won't remember all these details, but your muscles will."

He stood sideways, attempting to draw the bow.

"No, no, no!" Indigo chided, "Not like that! Use your back not your arms! Arms too weak."


"Use your back muscles to draw! Bring your elbow in!" she said, making a flapping motion with her elbow.

Willjan grumbled under his breath, but attempted to draw the bow again, pulling the string back with his elbow close to his side before bringing his hand up and extending the elbow out to aim. It was definitely easier that way.

"Good! Now release!"

He did so. And he heard a sharp twang as he released. With the speed of a diving swallow his arrow flew... wide. By a full meter.

"That's OK! Try again. Stay consistent with the way you're pinching the string and holding the grip, but adjust everything else accordingly," Indigo said.

Everything else?, Willjan thought, What exactly does 'everything else' entail?, but he tried again anyway. This time he only missed the mat by half a meter, to which Indigo rejoiced, but Willjan tut-tutted.

"Yes, very good," he said, "Now I'm only half-a-meter away from not starving instead of a full meter."

They continued that way for the rest of the morning. To Willjan's credit, he did eventually hit the mat once or twice, but the vast majority of his shots missed, even at the end. Indigo's enthusiasm seemed to wane a bit as the bells passed, but she entertained herself by coming up with more and more creative ways to insult him.

"OK, enough for now," she said, noticing Willjan's beaded brow and gasping breath, "At this point, you are just reinforcing bad habits. Practice again when fresh."

Willjan slung the bow over his shoulder and chugged what was left of his waterskin. "I can do anything as long as I have a good teacher!" he gasped sarcastically after taking a large gulp.

Indigo rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Come, I'll teach you shortcut. Easiest way to hunt," she said.

. . .

She led him around Syka again. This time, the walk was much farther; past Mathais' place, past his bungalow, and the ranchos he only seen from a distance before. All the way around the jutting edge of the peninsula. There, Indigo began to point out tracks in the sand.

"Many would think deer, but these are hog," she said of the tracks. "Notice the points come outward." She made a circle around the track, and made a fist about the size of its circumference, "Small track, small hog. Easy to see on the beach. Harder in the jungle, but still the same track." She compared the easy-to-sea tracks in the wet sand to the dry ones further up the beach- pointing out their similarities despite the different medium.

Finally, they came around the bend and Willjan began to see little black dots bobbing up and down the shallows ahead of him. When the breeze turned his way, he could hear the dots too- a great ruckus of grunts, snorts, and squeals.

"Swine Swells," Indigo said as they approached, "Easiest hunting there is."

She took out a mango and ripped it open so that its flesh frayed and juice bubbled over her fingers. Then, she crouched, incredibly still in wait...

Willjan attempted to speak after a few chimes, but Indigo only shushed him, throwing him a glowering look. They waited some more.

Maybe a chime, maybe a bell or two later, a hog began to trot up to Indigo. It approached her in an alternating zig-zag motion, eyeing the mango at each switchback. When it finally got to her, it gave her hand two quick sniffs before scarfing down the fruit - almost taking Indigo's hand in the process. She laughed, and patted the pigs head before giving it a quick kick on the rear end that sent the swine snorting and squealing back to its herd.

"Easiest prey can be caught with mangoes and patience instead of bows... perhaps for you most of all," she said, eyes crinkling into a wry smile. "Next lesson better spent learning traps, I think."
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Arrows, Mangos, and Swine

Postby Marino Oceangem on July 30th, 2020, 8:56 pm

Grades Awarded!

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Character Name

  • Hunting: 1
  • Hypnotism: 1
  • Observation: 2
  • Rhetoric: 1
  • Stealth: 1
  • Socialization: 2
  • Tracking: 1
  • Weapon (Composite short bow): 1
  • Writing: 1

  • Lore - Inducing Nocturia to wake up early
  • Lore - Butchering a turtle
  • Indigo: Parentage
  • Hypnotism: Enhancing a gesture with a good feeling
  • Composite short bow: How to draw the string back
  • Composite short bow: How to stand while using it
  • Composite short bow: How to hold while aiming
  • Composite short bow: How to aim
  • Tracking: How to recognize hog tracks
  • Location: Swine Swells
  • Lore - Luring a hog over with a mango

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Marino Oceangem
Posts: 190
Words: 243562
Joined roleplay: February 8th, 2020, 5:33 am
Race: Human, Svefra
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Medals: 1
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