Completed Innkeeping and Archery III

Tazrae goes out on the hunt with Xander to restock her larder.

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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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Innkeeping and Archery III

Postby Tazrae on August 30th, 2020, 1:05 am

Timestamp: 70th-71st of Summer 520 A.V.

Continued From: Innkeeping and Archery II


“Stand at the ten-pace mark, Taz. I’ll show you how to hold the bow and then you can take some practice shots.” He added. He quickly showed her how to nock an arrow and draw back the bow with her mechanical release and how to release it without releasing it. Before she actually shot the arrow, she had to do something else first. That something was completely surprising. He had her take off her pack and quiver, set them down, and hold a single arrow. Then he had her turn around so her back was to the target, turn, nock the arrow, and fire towards the stump with only a quick aim and release. As she did so, Xander watched what she did with her feet.

The arrow went right of the target wide. He nodded to himself as if this wasn’t unsurprising, and had her do it again more than ten times, fetching the arrow himself each time until she was consistently hitting on or near the target. Then he pointed at her feet. “People use a square stance, closed stance, or open stance… all of them having to do with toe position. You hit most consistently with an open stance. So have your body facing the target, your hips open, your toes wider than your heels pointed towards the target. Your body doesn’t fight itself when you do that… you are more comfortable shooting that way too. That’s your stance you want… memorize it.” He added, smiling. “I’d guessed that’s the type of shooter you’d be.” He admitted, then took her bow.

“Take your stance, twist your body so your left shoulder is pointed at the target, and let your arms hang down at your sides comfortably. Now… look at the target. That’s your natural head position. Got it? Don’t tilt your head back, lean forward, tilt your chin down, anything…right there... that’s the natural spot.” He said, handing her bow back to her.

Tazrae nodded, learning the stance and position, attempting to memorize its level of comfort.

“Now, proper grip. If you don’t have the right grip, you will not only have a hard time tuning your bow but also will suffer from a lot of shooting that is inconsistent. You want accuracy. Juli has tuned the bow to what she thinks is right for you. We’ll fiddle at it. When you hold your bow, you apply pressure. It’s called hand torque. What I mean is that as you fire, you might squeeze the grip, move it, unintentionally twist or turn it during the shot. You want your bow to be held firmly in the center of the strong part of your palm where all the meat is. It needs to line up with your thumb. You shouldn’t be squeezing your hand or moving your fingers. This needs to be an easy hold, confident, and firm, without any additional movements. The key is the focus. The most common archery problem is grip. If you are aware of this from the get-go, you won’t make it… hopefully.” He added, laughing lightly.


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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Innkeeping and Archery III

Postby Tazrae on August 30th, 2020, 1:07 am

“Now, you have the stance… let's get the grip. With your holding hand, make an L with your index finger and thumb while folding up the three remaining fingers.” Xander instructed. “Now slide that L into the bow grip, allowing it to settle alongside your middle finger and into the center of the meaty part of your thumb. Start pulling the string back, adding tension, so you start loading pressure onto your holding hand. Now, with that pressure on your hand, relax the holding hand and fingers… that should be your normal grip. It’s not really a grip… it's more of a hold… think of it as seating the bow in your hand. Now you can assume your shooting position and draw your bow then shoot your arrow.” He added with a smile.

This time unprompted, Tazrae stepped forward, took her stance, nocked an arrow, and pulled back the string bringing the bow up to seat it. She pulled back the string, aimed then took the shot. The arrow flew true and lodged itself deep in the flank of the marked off wooden pig target. It was wide of where the vitals were she was supposed to hit, but it was great for a first shot.

She drew another arrow, seated the bow, and shot again, making an adjustment for the sight pin and sight lineup. The arrow got closer this time, just above the lungs and heart. She smiled and put a few more arrows in the target, some of them hitting but most just off. Xander smiled, standing by encouraging her, giving her a few hints here and there as she fired. When she was out of arrows, they took a break to go gather them and she then practiced sighting in at the twenty and thirty marks. She did better as the evening progressed.

More pigs had gathered on the beach by that time as well, so by mutual agreement, they both turned and quietly headed that direction after arrows had been gathered up and quiver refilled. By this time Xander pulled his simple longbow, and had a handful of arrows out of his quiver also held in the hand he held his bow. The pair walked quietly and calmly side by side down the beach towards where the pigs roamed.

In the end, they were able to get quite close. Both the bards walked straight up to a group of pigs which crowded around snorting at them and begging for treats. Xander dug out the bread he brought from Tazrae’s kitchen. He laughed as he fed them, the pigs snorting and fussing over the treat. Tazrae glanced at Xander as Xander scratched one behind the ears. “How can we even think about killing one of these?” She complained, reaching down to scratch a particularly handsome spotted female. The little thing was as cute as she’d ever seen something and friendly too.

“You need to think of it this way, Tazrae. This beach is overcrowded. There’s too many of them and once they eat down all the vegetation, they’ll be complete without food. The settlers here at Syka have thinned them down so the ones left are healthier. Big cats get a few too. Its okay to kill one as long as we don’t kill them all.” He encouraged. With that, Tazrae stepped back and started looking around. There were pigs all over, wandering here and there, even a few sleeping.

Word Count: 575
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Innkeeping and Archery III

Postby Tazrae on August 30th, 2020, 1:11 am

Tazrae picked one that looked like it just woke up from a sunning and was stretching. She noted it was male and looked relatively healthy. It was also big enough for her to carry alone. So she nocked an arrow, pulled back, and before she could release it, Xander touched her elbow. “Not that arrow. That’s a slim head. Get a broadhead.” He advised under his breath. Tazrae glanced at the arrow point, nodded, and traded out the arrow for one with a broadhead. She nocked it, pulled back, took her stance, and sighted down the arrow onto the pig. She took aim and gently caressed the trigger of her mechanical release.

The bow was almost silent as it released its arrow. Tazrae tracked its flight. It wasn’t a perfect shot, but the compound longbow made her work a whole lot easier. It struck the pig hard, causing it to jerk in a motion Tazrae wouldn’t soon forget. She bit her lower lip, slowly dropping the bow as the pig jerked, screamed, and went down about twenty yards from where she was standing. She hit it higher than the heart, deep into its lungs, and flew back. It flopped to its side and struggled, its little hooves digging into the sand a bit. Tarzae's heart sank. It was so hard to watch.

Xander threw her out of the stunning moment. “Move. Come on.” He headed right for the pig, drawing out a knife. He knelt down with a knee on the shoulder of the pig, holding its head still for a moment while he slit its throat. It died quickly than from blood loss, it's suffering over. Tazrae stared between the pig and Xander, as the bard stood up and offered her the knife. “This one isn’t that big. I’ll get a second one if you gut this one and get it ready to pack.” He added. Tazrae nodded, knowing she could do this part.

The Innkeeper nodded and offered a quick prayer of thanks to both the pig for its life and Kihala for granting the pig life on Mizahar, to begin with.

Then Tazrae rolled over the still warm pig, putting it on its back. The other pigs on the beach were giving them a wide berth, moving away towards the waves and up towards the tree line. She slid her knife into its belly button and cut downward in a shallow sharp slice, opening up the visceral cavity. Once she had the belly opened wide, she began removing the offal and organs. The organs she bagged up in a burlap bag then removed the creature's head at its axis/atlas vertebrae.

She also took off the genitals and tail, along with the thin legs that had almost no meat. The wild things in Syka would enjoy the head and leftovers far more than she would. She did remove its tongue and then hesitated. Normally she’d skin the creature, but she honestly wanted the skin on to protect the flesh from bugs on the way home. The pig wasn’t truly that big once it was prepped to carry home. She carried all the discards to the sea and tossed it in, gifting it to fishes rather than welcoming predators to compete with the humans over the pigs.

Word Count: 550
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Innkeeping and Archery III

Postby Tazrae on August 30th, 2020, 1:13 am

Xander laid a second male at the side of her kill and Tazrae made short work of prepping it for travel home. The two pigs would feed the Inn well in the next five to ten days, and what was excess Tazrae could preserve or give away. She wasn’t above canning meat for emergencies or to send with the sailors ‘just in case’. Their trips across the Suvan were often short, but that didn’t make them any less dangerous.

In the end, Xander cut a long sapling and they threaded the sapling through the two bodies and carried the meat between them. The walk home was dark, and when they arrived Tazrae’s work wasn’t done. She had to properly cut up the meat and do what she could to store it in the icebox overnight so it would chill but not freeze.

Then, after her morning chores were done, breakfast served, beds and rooms made up clean, Tazrae got to the pigs and carried them one at a time outside and hung them on a hook off the deck. Butchering was easier when the weight wasn’t laying on a table. There, she cleaned the first animal thoroughly and began to skin it. She used a bucket of warm soapy water then rinsed it clean with clear water.

Tazrae pulled one hind leg out straight towards her and inserted her knife unde the skin and cut towards the center. Her knife was sharp and she gently pulled the rubbery skin away from the flesh, cutting the connective white tissue clear as she did so. The hooves were gone already so the flesh peeled off the legs easily and she was able to take the skin upwards off its rump and back pulling it until the whole piece came off at the neckline.

Tazrae kept the skin pulled back and folded over, not wanting to contaminate the meat with dirt from the skin and fur. Once she had the skin completely off, she reversed how the pig hung and laid it neck down off the hook. Cutting her pig into usable sized pieces was an easy job. She kept her knives sharp and removed the hams first. She trimmed the belly back, saving the bacon, and cut straight from top to bottom with her meat saw to remove the pelvis and freet hat part of the carcass to be cut into smaller steaks and roasts.

She took off the backstrap, separated out the loins and chops, then pulled off numerous muscle groups to make into stew meat and roasts which she’d can. Once she had the first pig cut up, she trimmed up the meat, then rolled it in waxed butcher paper and labeled each piece neatly. The paper was secured by twine and each tied in a neat little bow above where she wrote on the paper with a black wax pencil.

Word Count: 481
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Innkeeping and Archery III

Postby Tazrae on August 30th, 2020, 1:18 am

Tazrae then pulled the second pig from the icebox, gave it the same treatment, and put all the wrapped meat back into the icebox. Tazrae really needed a meat grinder and decided then and there to talk to Juli about acquiring one. The very last thing she did was cut the belly into bacon strips and repackaged them into Inn-sized portions where she could store them in the ice box in pre-packaged wraps that would serve all her guests at once. All the connective tissue and fat she'd trimmed off went into its own bucket as well. When she was done with the processing, she had to clean all her knives neatly and then sit around sharpening them on the back deck while she waited to see if anyone would show up hungry for lunch.

The woman had a ton of bones leftover, some of which she gave to Creech for a snack, but the rest went into a huge soup pot to make pork stock. The pork stock could be used for soup bases, rice, and to flavor almost any kind of dish. The stock, once done, would need to be canned into sealed mason jars to sit in her ever-growing larder for use with the guests in a pinch when no fresh meat was available. Time passed fast and her break between breakfast and lunch was over before she knew it. Guests needed to be tended too before she could get back to working on processing the pigs.

One guest showed up and she served them a complex fruit salad with a yogurt dressing and a sandwich made of fresh pork she fried up in thin slices. Xander wandered in soon after that, and Tazrae fixed him the same, adding freshed sliced tomatoes from the garden since the bard had the taste for such things. He complimented her on the meal and talked with the guest entertaining them as she went back to work on the pigs.

She pumped fresh water from the well, and while the guest enjoyed their dining, she went to tackle cleaning up the blood from outside where she’d actually butchered the pigs. Bleeding them out at the beach had served a good purpose of keeping the blood and offal off her property.

Then and only then was Tazrae finally done. The pigs were processed, wrapped away, and laid on the icebox so she could use them up or pass them out in the next few days to come. The meat was beautiful, lightly marbeled with fat, and coated with enough extra fat she could make candles with the scrap lard. She certainly had enough to render down and purify for cooking.

Tazrae hauled the bucket inside, added wood to the stove to stoke it up since it had burned down quite a bit making stock, and put all her scraps of trimmed fat in a big pot and set it to warming slowly as to render the impurities to the top that she could skim off and keep the beautiful lard underneath for cooking.

Word Count: 511
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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