Wrecked II

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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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Wrecked II

Postby Cleon on May 20th, 2022, 4:54 am

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67th of Spring, 522 AV

As Randal moved around the smoking log to approach him, Cleon reached out to the charm to activate it. Instantly he felt a wave of revitalization wash over his body. The ache in his muscles and hands melted away as did the dull throb in his head as Cleon suddenly felt a surge in clarity.

Randal’s expression changed subtly to one of surprise. Cleon gave a glance to the silver bracelet clasped across his wrist, and Randal’s gaze lingered there for a moment before he looked up a little confused.

“Its something I found shortly after the last tenday meeting we had. Every tenday it has an effect that makes my body feel like I got in a full night’s sleep.” Cleon said, keeping his answer short and simple because he didn’t really know how else to explain it. Randal nodded slowly at his explanation, scratching his chin before looking him in the eye.

“Handy. You’ll have to tell me more about it sometime. For now, lets finish this blank. Since you’ve got the magical trinket, I’ll let you take over for this part as I haven’t had a proper rest yet.” Randal said after turning the charred log over so its curved side was facing up. Then after handing him what looked to Cleon to be a porous stone, Randal gestured to the log.

“This is a coral block. I’ve laid out a couple of grades here in the sand in the order that you need to use them. This grade is best for smoothing out these large ridges. The next grade over is good for the sides, and the grade after that to trim down the rest. We want to get this a smooth as possible while following the natural curve of the wood so use both hands to follow along with the natural shape of the log. Then well flip it over to work on the flat side.” Randal said before taking a step back to sit in the shade of a palm.

Feeling much better after his little break, Cleon stepped up to the log and with both hands on the block started to scrape it along the length of the Koa wood. As he did so he got used to trying to find what felt most natural, and settled on pulling it to his chest with both hands before pushing it flush with the wood away from him. It reminded him a little like swimming but instead of his arms continuing out to his sides, they stayed together as they brought the little block towards his chest to continue the process.

Because the log was charred, it gave him a sense of progress every time he scrapped along the outside of it as little lines of sooty wood formed along the edge of his reach where he could no longer push the block across. As he worked the block deeper into the curve, more charred wood scrapped off the outside of the blank and occasionally he would clear his working surface by quickly brushing it off into the sand before continuing where he left off.

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Wrecked II

Postby Cleon on May 20th, 2022, 4:54 am

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With his body feeling like he hadn’t just spent half a day carving that wood blank, it was a lot easier to throw himself into his work trying to smooth out the rough ridges in the Koa log which resisted mightily to his attempts. It took him more than a few chimes on each strip he worked on just to start seeing bits of wood come up and even longer to start working some of that char off of it. However at least he always knew when he had finished when the char was for the most part gone and you could see the beautiful inner layer of Koa wood underneath.

He worked like that quietly for at least a bell as his upper body and arms started to burn with the effort, until finally he switched grades to work on smoothing out the edges which he had ignored up until this point. Taking a good look at the block he had in his hands now which had a finer grit to the bottom than the other block did. With this he was able to take the sharp edges off the corners by sliding it back and forth across while working a gently rocking motion into his movements.

Having already experienced working on different boards throughout this season, he had an idea of the kind of curve he wanted although he didn’t think they were at the detail scale yet with these blocks or maybe he wasn’t good enough to understand how it would be possible. These had a certain thickness to them that made them to really work against the wood but it would be hard to manage getting everything even with such a large surface to work with.

As he worked his way around the board he found himself having problem parts that really needed him to put his elbow into buffing out some of those edges. Even with the log being held in place on slats so it didn’t move, he had to use every bit of muscle he had to scrape along the edge of the board to remove the charred grit and even still he was left with finer patches here and there that he would have to get to with the final coral block. Occasionally he would look back at Randal while he worked, and when he got a final nod of approval he would work with the last block which was much finer than the rest.

With this he went back to those charred patches he couldn’t get to earlier with the other two blocks, and really worked his elbow into scrapping the block lengthwise across the block. Always up and down he kept it to go along with the grain as he smoothed away the roughest edges of the board. It was grueling work, but he liked it better than he had the chiseling. It felt oddly satisfying to swipe away those soot patches. To really work the fine grade of the coral block into the grooves of the wood until those charred patches eventually disappeared. Slowly too the grit started to come off the board until he couldn’t even tell it had been charred before although the wood still was suitably dark in patches along its length.

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Wrecked II

Postby Cleon on May 20th, 2022, 4:55 am

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Eventually though after working those blocks across that log for what felt like bells, he started flagging and before he knew it Randal tapped him on the shoulder and took over smoothing the flat side of the log while Cleon took his turn to take a break in the shade. Randal did it all with smooth practiced strokes, whittling away at those rough edges with a steely determination of a man who knew what the finished product was going to look like and had the knowledge to make it happen. Cleon tried to memorize the technique which wasn’t all together dissimilar to his own as Randal finished brushing up the length of the board before switching over to the next grade. It continued on like this for a while till it looked like Randal was finished with the flat side.


Next he brought out a bucket of water and gestured for Cleon to take a look. Hesitantly, Cleon took him up on the offer, peering over into the bucket where he saw what looked to be a strange cloth at the bottom. Reaching inside he felt something unusually soft on one side while very rough on the other. It was a texture he couldn’t quite place even when he pulled the cloth out of the bucket to find it suddenly dry.

“Its sharkskin. I was going to give you this after you surfed your first wave, but you’ve been working hard today so I figured a bit early couldn’t hurt. Plus its good for putting the finishing touches on these boards. I had it enchanted to last a long time so long as you store it in salt water when its not in use.” Randal gruffed, pawing the ground absentmindedly with his back foot.

Cleon looked up from the cloth in surprise. “Thank you.. I huh, well-”

Randal dismissed what he was about to say with a gesture.

“You deserve it, no buts about it. You had your little slip up because of your curse, but you bounced back. Just make sure you keep a hold on it as best you can, and take care of that cloth. Its expensive.” Randal said before walking away. “You can finish up smoothing out the board. I’ll come back in a bit to check on you.”

Cleon spared a parting look before looking back at the cloth. It did seem to be a very fine cloth with scales that glittered in the sun. Grasping it he felt almost half competent as he started stroking it against the length of the board. He’d almost thought he had done it the wrong way when felt the cloth grip the wood as he pushed it across it. With this he felt like he could do a much finer job with the edges so he worked on those first, slotting it into the natural curve of his hand as he brushed vigorously at the edge to give it a smooth curve as he worked his slow way down the board.

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Wrecked II

Postby Cleon on May 20th, 2022, 4:56 am

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Occasionally he would splash the wood with a handful of the seawater. He wasn’t sure if that would help at first, but it did seem to make the process go a lot more smoothly as he pushed the cloth along getting a nice little curve that wasn’t interrupted by stray bits of wood. Randal had done an excellent job with the flat end so that all he was really doing now on the edges was removing the last bits of roughness left over from the scraping he had given the wood with the coral blocks. What he was left with was a decent curving edge that carried over flush with the other side.

He achieved that almost without meaning to as he pinched the sides of the sharkskin together as he worked the edges of the wood between his grip, doing that again and again until the sides matched up enough that he could be satisfied about its performance on the water. With his prior experience, he had a pretty good idea about how smoothness impacted a board’s performance on the water, and he knew Randal would want him to get it as smooth as possible.

As such he was diligent about working the cloth into the wood grain, feeling it with his bare hand, then working it in again to remove any roughness. He repeated this process for as long as it took to get the board so that he could run his hand along its length and feel a mostly smooth grain throughout. Of course he had trouble getting it perfectly smooth. There was always a little bit here or there it seemed but he got it close enough that he imagined that this would perform well on the water.

He was actually just finishing up when Randal came out with a small pail with a brush sticking out of it. “This is Tung oil. The last part in the process to season the board so that it will be ready for the waves.” Randal said handing him the small wooden pail. Taking it up, he started slathering it onto the board while Randal spoke. “After you get this covered we’ll leave this out to season for a bit and we’ll drag that blank and log into the bottom of the shop to finish another day. I think we’ve done enough to rest easy tonight.” Randal said, occasionally snorting as he scratched at the patch of fur between his horns.

“Okay. Thanks again for the shark skin cloth. I really appreciate it.” Cleon said quietly after a bit. Occasionally he would glance at the bucket as if he expected it to suddenly disappear but it always was still there when he looked, much to his relief.

“No problem. You earned it. Just keep up the good work, and try not to let your drinking get excessive again, and if you have to, don’t do it in the shop.” Randal said clapping him firmly on the back before he went over to the other surf blank and started hauling it into the shop.

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Wrecked II

Postby Cleon on May 20th, 2022, 4:57 am

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Meanwhile Cleon busied himself with coating the rest of the board that remained to him, making sure to slather on the oil evenly to not waste any of it. That was more cultural than anything he had observed Randal doing though he had noticed repeatedly an economy to Randal’s movements and the way he did things though he struggled occasionally with it because of his curse. His last touch up with the sharkskin had turned out pretty good. Much better than he had expected from his middling skill at the craft. Honestly, he was enjoying himself. Layering on this tung oil was almost relaxing in a way, pulling the brush back and forth across the underside of the surfboard before going around to coat the other side. He hoped it would look good after it had taken a day or so to season, however long it took. Cleon wasn't sure yet but some of the other boards they had worked on had taken many days to complete. This one was different, made from a whole chunk of wood.

However long it would take he thought it would look beautiful when it was through. The Koa wood had a pleasing color and texture to it aside from the fact that Randal seemed to think it was a suitable wood for making boards with. He was looking forward to trying this out on the water sometime soon as he layered on another coat of the tung oil as the first side was starting to dry a bit. It gave it a light amber-colored finish that looked pretty and emphasized the darker wood grain. He wrapped things up by coating the top side of the board a second time as his mind started to drift from weariness.

That and the quietness of this work compared to the rest of what he had been doing had his thoughts drifting back to Faye who would be eleven today. She would want an explanation when he got back to the inn. One he wasn’t sure he could properly give. Still, he figured it was coming and as he wrapped up with giving the surfboard an even coat he then went to help drag the rest of the Koa long inside. A paddleboard eh? He couldn’t see it yet, but that was a project for another day. Even having used his charm he was weary from all the work and he had to wonder how Randal managed it without. It was just something he would have to build up to he expected, as day by day his body was getting stronger. Of course, his curse had him walking back in progress more than a few times throughout this season, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him now if he could help it. He just had to keep his mind focused.

After bringing the log into the shop, and saying his goodbyes, Cleon headed back to the Inn to have a nice relaxing soak before the eventual conversation he would have with his sister. A conversation that had been long overdue.

WC - 515(To be continued)
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