UnReal World forums

UnReal World => Stories => Topic started by: JEB Davis on March 10, 2018, 04:24:33 PM

Title: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 10, 2018, 04:24:33 PM
This story may be a bit fragmented until the posts catch up to his current experiences. The early pics were made a couple of years ago.

Rauko was a big, strapping lad who loved to hunt with his father. When Rauko was only 14 his mother sickened and died. Shortly thereafter, he set out with his father on a long journey, traveling all the way from Kaumo territory past the Owl-tribe settlements and into Seal tribe areas.

They grieved for the lost beloved wife/mother until their hearts healed enough to talk more freely about her. Rauko was reassured by how much his father had loved her as he told stories to his boy. One day they had ventured into no-man's-land to hunt and father was up ahead, when Rauko heard the roar of a bear and curses, then shouting of his father for help.


It was too late when he arrived to find his father's life flowing out of him onto the ground.

Rauko was devastated... too sad even to seek out the bear.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 10, 2018, 04:34:32 PM
After sending his father's spirit to the wind in the smoke, Rauko lay on the ground in sadness.

He was not sure what to do now as he began what was to become a life of wandering.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 10, 2018, 05:30:51 PM
Before the fateful day is finished, Rauko daydreams and hears his father's spirit beseeching him to seek the bear that killed him.

Rauko finds the bear's tracks and follows it, only to be severely mauled and left for dead by the huge, wounded beast.


Later, he wakes hungry and parched, and crawls away to find water.

A small lake is close by and he makes a shelter for the night.

He is awoken by noises which sound like a deer or elk in the trees nearby. Half-awake, he sneaks toward the trees with knife in hand, driven by hunger. An elk bursts forth from the trees and runs... he has no chance to catch it.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: Blxz on March 11, 2018, 07:22:24 AM
Wow, never been that close to an alert wild beast in UrW. A magical experience.

On the otherhand, 71% injury - somewhat less magical.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 11, 2018, 04:22:33 PM
(Yes, it was unique to get so close! And in r/l I've often joked about hunting deer with only a knife.)

Beginning to starve, three days later all he has found to eat are grouse eggs.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 11, 2018, 08:30:24 PM
Finally the hunger can end the next day as he brings down an elk!
It was a long chase with only a javelin to kill it with.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 13, 2018, 12:52:46 AM
Many weeks pass in the story...

Rauko has traveled into Owl territory and traded the elk fur for a good bow and some arrows.
He is now well nourished and feeling much better for being in the company of others, but the loss
of his parents is still right there in his mind when he sees a mother and child or an older hunter.

A wounded woodsman asks for help getting his axe back after being injured by a bear. Rauko hires
a man named Jussi to go with him and get it back, which they do after killing the bear.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: koteko on March 13, 2018, 09:26:26 AM
Finally the hunger can end the next day as he brings down an elk!
It was a long chase with only a javelin to kill it with.

..how on earth did you chase down an elk with those penalties? :D
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: Dungeon Smash on March 13, 2018, 09:55:16 PM
I was wondering the same thing!  Must have been some spectacular tactics.  I find I often have a hard time even with an unencumbered character and a bow.  Would have liked to see that part of the story in more detail!
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 13, 2018, 10:29:45 PM
It happened too long ago to remember the details, I'm still catching up with the story from the highlights that had screenshots. I put my money on a javelin throw to the leg that slowed the beast enough that persistently following it's tracks eventually caught up with it. That's a common way for my hunts to go. Anyhow, he would never have only one javelin, probably 3 of them, so he might have scored a couple of hits over the course of the long chase. Rauko's base speed it pretty high, so even with his injuries he could do a decent job at following.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 14, 2018, 10:25:18 PM
The woodsman rewards Rauko with knowledge of a secret treasure in a cave.


On the way to search for the treasure, Rauko explores a cave and makes some interesting finds.
He's sure this is not far enough away to be the one described by the woodsman.
The spirits must be generous!

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 17, 2018, 03:02:05 PM
Rauko wonders what treasure might be waiting at his destination, if he can find it.
After a long search, he finds the mountain cave and enters cautiously...


It is a treasure of worth beyond his wildest dreams!
More wealth than several of his home villages would possess has come into his hands.
The spear immediately becomes his most prized possession, he is almost under a spell
when gazing upon it's beautiful workmanship.

Rauko stays in the cave for a few days and makes it a place of refuge when needed.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: Dungeon Smash on March 18, 2018, 05:46:06 PM
a wondrous treasure indeed!
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 18, 2018, 09:00:21 PM
Rauko has hidden many of his things away in the treasure cave and after staying the two days,
the urge to wander has taken hold of him again.

His travels take him to a couple of Owl villages and then back near the place his father was
killed by the bear. The memories flood back to nearly overcome him with grief. What good are
material possessions without his beloved mother and father?

Owl folk have told of a river to the north-west, and Rauko decides to journey there. The river
turns out to be only two days journey away, and after sleeping on the shore he builds a rough
canoe from a fallen tree and a crude paddle.

The river is slow-flowing and it is easy to manage the craft, so he travels up-stream paddling
hard a few days to wash away the sadness, not finding much of interest until...


He was able to kill several of the deer and obtain their hides & meat, then continue on the river
and trade at Kuikka villages.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 20, 2018, 10:57:23 PM
Two weeks pass...

He leaves much of his heavy gear at a point on the riverbank, and travels downstream to the
north-east and finds the sea. He paddles along the coast to the west, then the east. He finds
no settlements, and nothing but hunger as his food runs out and he has no luck fishing with
only his prized spear.

Starving, he returns to where he left his gear. Next day he manages to kill a hare in a rather
unusual manner.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: Blxz on March 22, 2018, 12:04:42 PM
No way! I can't believe the luck you seem to be having with some of these unusual and chance events. Good stuff.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 24, 2018, 01:46:35 PM
Maybe the spirits pity Rauko for having lost his parents and send him luck, who knows?

Now we are catching up toward Rauko's current activities, but not quite yet...

After the hare meat is gone, he's not having any luck finding food, so he heads out in the
canoe to trade for food. Soon after, Rauko spots a strangely dressed man and goes ashore
to see who it is.


Closing in on the man in an open mire it's obviously one of the evil foreigners, carrying
two swords. The fight is over quickly!


From there Rauko goes to Kuikka lands for 3 more weeks of exploring and trading.
Several villages are on the shore of a huge lake.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 25, 2018, 03:56:18 PM
He arrives near the lake-mouth of the river by canoe at a village the local Kuikka call "Hiisi's stream", which he has visited many times in his travels. Rauko trades some clothing and a staff for lots of food and a dozen arrows. Also 2 heavy elk furs for a glutton fur and fishing rod. They have nice bows, but none better than what he already owns. He has lightened his load by 40 pounds with those trades!

Rauko has no skill with swords and has taken 2 scimitars, a shortsword, and a big sword from his enemies. The friendly Kuikka suggest he travel south along the coast to the Driikaiset, who would have valuable rare goods worth trading for the swords. This sounds like good advice to Rauko and he plans to do so.

Meantime, Koupia needs a message delivered to Ilpo in a nearby village to the south-east. The message (something about pine tree spirits) is delivered and reply returned. He gets more food and a loop snare as thanks from Koupia. (Hiisi's stream is at the quest marker on map in previous post.)

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 29, 2018, 11:45:38 PM
Rauko bids the Kuikka goodbye and sets off, carrying his heavy canoe south-east toward what he hopes will be the sea and trading with the Driiklaiset people. The canoe is quite a heavy burden and he wonders would it be best to leave it behind? Well, at least some of the heavy furs are not on his back anymore!

Still morning, and he sees a herd of reindeer but passes by...

By midday he is tired and stops in the trackless wilderness, baits a loop-snare with blueberries, and finishes tanning that rabbit fur, which doesn't turn out so well. He sleeps until dusk.

Continuing into the dark, he sees a squirrel and fox but can not catch them. He finds a grove and sleeps until morning.

Morning brings an elk. Rauko sneaks, but not too close. His 2nd arrow is a long shot that cripples the bull elk! Now the chase should be easy enough to recover the first arrow along the way.


The elk limps away toward the lake... and the chase ends:

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on March 31, 2018, 03:19:56 PM
After roasting about 200 elk cuts, he leaves the partially tanned hide and most of his possessions at the lake shore and backtracks toward Kuikka territory to trade the meat before it spoils. It is mid-morning and he's starting to get tired.

On the way he sees a badger nearby. It's raining, he's weary, it's afternoon, and there is no village in sight. Unable to go on, he drops to the ground and sleeps until waking to the continued rain. Finally in the dim evening light he sees the light of fires in the village! Rauko trades every piece but one for a nice wolf fur, then falls asleep in their kota.

In late morning, Rauko wakes and hurries back toward the lake, hoping the tanning is not spoiled.

After passing by one deer herd, he sees a 2nd herd and thinks it would be smart to hunt one because he saved none of the roasted elk meat. So...just a small one that he can carry with him to the tanning lake.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 01, 2018, 11:17:00 PM
Early evening brings Rauko back to the lake, and the elk hide is still good so he rinses it. Time to build a shelter because it is raining and the temperature has dropped near freezing.


Rauko rises early in the morning and butchers the tiny deer. He knows he needs a better knife for skinning and ends up with about 2 dozen cuts of meat, which he roasts after cleaning the skin. By then he's very hungry and the deer is delicious!

He finishes tanning the elk fur and is exhausted but it turns out about average quality, sleeps in the shelter, then packs up and canoes across the lake in the morning.

Arriving on the far shore, he picks some berries and sees some tracks. Then looks up and there is a wolf!


Remaining calm and going about his business seems the best thing to do, so that's what Rauko does... and the wolf also minds it's own business and nobody gets hurt.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 02, 2018, 06:17:03 PM
Continuing on south-west, another big lake will give him some relief from carrying the heavy canoe. First, he rinses the tanning fat from the small deer hide, then paddles around the lake enjoying the peacefulness of the cool morning.

Returning to shore, the hide is not ready so he takes a brief swim and nearly freezes! But the pile of spruce branches he'd made ready beforehand makes a quick fire and he's warm again.

Then it snows briefly for the first time in the year, and when it stops he finishes tanning. He tries
sleeping but the snow starts again in evening so he canoes to the southern tip of the lake. Snow turns to freezing rain and Rauko realizes he forgot to sacrifice for the killed deer... are the spirits telling him something?

He shurgs off those thoughts and presses on south-eastward, but the rain won't stop so he makes a shelter.

Rauko recites a ritual his father taught him to avoid angering underground folk, and sleeps well, waking late in the morning to light snow. The land is devoid of hills... just an expanse of trees and mires with few lakes.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 05, 2018, 03:44:21 AM
Rauko will be glad to reach the seashore and get the weight of the canoe off his back, regardless of
how helpful it has been to have made it. He happens upon a lake with an elk seen in the distance,
and puts his canoe into the water to cross it.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 06, 2018, 03:07:23 AM
He travels a bit longer and finds the land becoming hilly. A rocky hill ahead seems to have a cave entrance, so he makes a torch, explores it with only spear and axe, then shelters for the night.

Rauko dreams... unpleasant dreams of the bear and his father's death.


There wasn't any sign of a bear having lived in the cave... why the dream and what does it mean?
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 07, 2018, 04:31:36 AM
It's probably best to forget the dream and just focus on the journey ahead.

Walking up a rocky peak gives a beautiful view of a river in the distance. It will be a great
blessing to be on the water again, and Rauko hopes the river will lead him to the sea rather
than just a lake.


Changing direction, Rauko heads straight for the river!
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 07, 2018, 03:11:47 PM
The river ends up flowing into a large lake, and Rauko is disappointed that he has not reached
the sea. But his spirit has risen with the ease of the journey in his canoe, so he doesn't let
this bother him. Continuing across the lake, he finds the river continuing on to the west.


Downstream a few hours later he sees a swan ahead and takes it as a good sign indeed!

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 08, 2018, 05:00:46 PM
A little while later there is a tall hill rising from the shore. Rauko goes ashore and climbs
for a look at the surrounding area. He sees a man who looks like a hunter moving through the
trees across the river.


He canoes across and walks until he finds boot tracks, which lead him quickly to a rough-looking
character, a tribeless wanderer. Rauko's father had told him never to trust these vagabonds...
better to strike first and not bother asking questions. There had been two times that his father
had been attacked and robbed by such men.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: MrMotorhead on April 09, 2018, 12:27:29 AM
Watch out, he could be a berserker with 2 axes like that!
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 10, 2018, 01:53:20 PM
Rauko heeds the words of his beloved father and slowly approaches with arrow at the ready.

A bit nervous, his first arrow misses badly, and the man pauses and turns, listening and looking.
Rauko is not spotted however, and his 2nd arrow hits!


Rauko charges and the battle commences!


The man tries to escape, but Rauko will not let him get away with his prized spear. Rauko picks up
the man's dropped axe. Now he will follow and finish the vagabond with arrows.


And so it happens. The spear is recovered. Rauko feels his father would be proud.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 13, 2018, 01:46:26 AM
Leaving the body, he walks back to the river and builds a shelter for the night. Dreams come to him and disturb his sleep and he wakes in the night, hearing noises of fighting in the distance. He lays on his furs and listens but the noises are gone. Sleep comes once more and he wakes to cold morning rain and cold roasted meat.

Heading down the river, Rauko paddles across one good-sized lake and then another, both by late morning. Climbing a hill reveals that the river exits in three streams.


He's starting to feel like the river will go on forever, and stops for the night to make another shelter in the cold rain. His roasted deer meat is getting stale, but still edible. At least he has a fire to ward off the wet chill.


Again, his sleep is fitful and plagued with another dream - that of his father's body burning. The spirits are not giving him rest. What would his father say if he were here? Something like "Make it through and the day will dawn, and with the sun, fear will dissipate like the morning fog." Rauko misses his father and pulls the furs up over his head and eventually falls back to sleep.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 14, 2018, 01:00:28 AM
Next morning he feels better. He made it through just like his father would have said. Back in the canoe floating downstream after a while the air has a new smell to it and Rauko wonders what this would be. Climbing a peak near the bank, there is water ahead for as far as he can see. If this isn't the largest lake he has ever heard of, then it must be the sea!

He hurries back to the river and not long after he's out in the body of water. Deciding that if this IS the sea, he should follow the coast southward, that's the course he takes. Hopefully he will end up at a settlement on the shore or be able to see one from high ground.


His roasted cuts are now spoiled and he has failed in a hunt for an elk during one of several climbs on the shore to look for villages.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 14, 2018, 03:30:54 PM
He continues paddling along the shore heading southward, and becomes convinced this must be the sea because it seems to go on forever. Finally after several attempts to see a settlement, he spots one in the distance!


Rauko heads inland.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 15, 2018, 04:30:35 PM
The village sage loves to talk, and Rauko learns that this is a village of the Driikilaiset in the western part of their territory. There are many more villages to the east and south, some even are surrounded by walls! Rauko has never heard of that and is interested to see it.

This village has swine and are willing to trade for them, but Rauko has no need for a pig. The villagers say that nearby settlements have dogs he could trade for.

Mostly, Rauko is impressed and even a little bit in awe of the wealth evident in the villagers' clothing and the finely crafted goods and weapons they possess.

He finds an incredible mail shirt the Driik call a "habergeon" that looks like the armor of legends and falls in love with it. Even offering everything he can spare (besides his furs, which his father says are for trading with the foreigners), Rauko doesn't have enough goods to trade for it.


Disappointed, but hopeful for a similar find in another village, he barters his hunting knife for a fine-quality round shield. This could be a lifesaver the next time he encounters an archer.

The villagers invite him to sleep for the night in their common lodge.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 17, 2018, 02:37:17 PM
Early morning Rauko takes his leave and journeys further inland and climbs to high ground... ice is beginning to creep from shore. The herd of reindeer beckons to him.


Dropping everything except bow and knife, the hunt begins as Rauko moves stealthily across a mire until the deer are seen. A lucky shot hits the deer's lower leg and the rest is a simple chase.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 18, 2018, 01:29:31 PM
With all the gear and the canoe he's been hauling around, there is no way he can carry all the meat the deer will provide, so he makes a shelter and plans to tan the hide and carry the meat back to the village to trade most of it.


On second thought, he grabs some cords and hopes the villagers will let him smoke the meat in return for a portion of it.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 20, 2018, 03:13:15 AM
The villagers are happy to let him smoke the meat in exchange for 1 of every 5 pieces. Rauko sleeps in the common building and returns to his camp in the morning. He spends the day making & setting some loop snares, and making fibres from elk tendons he's been carrying since the early part of his journey to the sea. These will be useful for making arrows.

He also makes a nice club and finishes tanning the deer fur, but he is not happy with the result.

Rauko's dreams have not plagued him for a couple of nights and he wonders if being among the villagers has anything to do with this. He's exhausted and hopeful for a good sleep.


Waking refreshed from dreamless sleep, he thanks the spirits. What would his father do now? With only 7 roasted meat cuts, the answer is obvious... HUNT.

He gathers his bow and arrows, then stops in the middle of eating because a reindeer wanders near his snare trap, grazing.


Apparently the spirits have brought the hunt to Rauko!
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 20, 2018, 10:51:06 PM
More deer show themselves. Knowing a bit about the habits of reindeer, Rauko waits rather than jumping at the first one. Soon a doe is targeted and hit in the chest, and she bolts in fear. Rauko runs as the herd flees to the west.


The herd runs west again and he chases... they stop, and Rauko sees the first missed arrow near them. The wounded doe is sheltered behind two others. "The spirits' wrath falls on the careless hunter," his father once told him... "when you wound an animal, finish it, don't go after another and let the first suffer a slow death."


So the chase begins again without a shot. The herd runs fast, but the wounded one slows quicker, is separated from her fellows, and becomes doomed by exhaustion and the original arrow wound. A strong kick to the stomach knocks her down, and Rauko knifes the vein in her neck and she bleeds out.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 21, 2018, 05:23:02 PM
Returning to his camp with the meat and hide, he begins tanning. Roasting most of the meat, he keeps some raw because he plans to find another village and trade for a dog. The dog would probably eat the raw meat; otherwise he could roast it tomorrow.

Heading east, it's evening when he finds a village and meets two woodsmen there. They have dogs and Rauko likes the look of one, which Eero says should hunt well. He trades a handaxe, 8 arrows, and about 7 dozens of roasted deer cuts for the dog, which reminds him of one his parents had.

It's late and he tells Jeremiah he will return tomorrow to help gather the stones for his fireplace. In the morning he feeds the dog some raw meat. While checking snare traps he sees an ermine running out of a heather patch. Rauko commands the anxious dog to attack and she bolts after it for a while then stops and looks back, panting. He repeats the command and another chase ends with the ermine escaping into spruces. The dog barks and Rauko catches up to find she has killed the animal already.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 22, 2018, 12:46:44 PM
The rest of the day is resetting snare traps, making bone arrowheads, cooking the ermine and a few of the remaining deer cuts, and finishing tanning the reindeer fur (which turns out poorly). It's afternoon and Rauko is too tired to gather stones for the village woodsman. By late evening, only one of more than a dozen arrowheads is what he would call average. Exhausted, he falls asleep in the shelter.

Morning comes and he heads back toward the "new" east village looking for stones and gives them to Jeremiah, then returns "home" to gather goods for trading. It's a very warm day for late fall and the sun is shining beautifully, so the long walk with his new dog is a joy. For a while he forgets the loss of his father and mother.

Traveling back to the village, they tell him of other settlements to the north-east. He finds nothing to trade in the northern one and heads back to the shelter.


On the way they find a squirrel and Rauko tests the dog's skill at chasing it up a tree. After a while she calms down and they continue on, leaving the squirrel chittering on a high branch.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: Dungeon Smash on April 22, 2018, 03:04:20 PM
Enjoying this play-through, thank you for sharing this :)
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 26, 2018, 02:04:27 PM
After another peaceful sleep, in the morning he is again impressed by the dog because she is awake but did not eat from the pile of deer meat until Rauko told her to eat.

It's time to pack up and move to another camp, closer to the other villages in the north-east. He's never carried such a heavy load, so he straps some items on the dog's back. They walk east, find a small lake, and build a shelter on the shore. Rauko sets 5 snare traps and makes some more bone arrowheads.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 27, 2018, 03:28:18 AM
"You need a name, but I don't know what to call you yet," Rauko says to the dog as he shares some roasted deer meat with her. He ties her to a tree so he can do some fishing without her disturbing the water.

"Launching the canoe into the water backwards is said to give a fisherman good luck," an old man once told him.


There must be some truth to that, because by evening 2 fish are caught. After setting the dog loose, Rauko sacrifices the trout to the spirit of the lake in thanks, and gives the roach to the dog but she must not be hungry yet. Then it's time for sleep even though it's not very late.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on April 30, 2018, 02:20:39 AM
In the small hours, Rauko wakens with an uneasy feeling. The lake spirit should be happy after his sacrifice the night before, but then he wonders if perhaps leaving the grouse in the snare was not the right thing to do. Should he set it free or go ahead and kill it?


After giving the roach to the dog again, he decides to kill the grouse and sacrifice half of it's meat after he starts tanning the leather. The uneasy feeling doesn't go away and he is starting to feel a bit afraid of what might be going on at this lake. Is the spirit of the lake being protective of the fish? Or is there a spirit of the woods angry about the grouse?

Early morning comes and Rauko decides he will stay there one more day and night, but not do anymore fishing until things improve.

Gathering goods for trade, he sets off with the dog toward the 2 villages nearby that he has not visited yet. Neither village has any armor available. A craftsman tells him there is a village to the north-east.


After walking all the way to the river's mouth, Rauko finds there is no village!
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 03, 2018, 12:04:40 AM
It's mid-day and the pair have been following the river north-east in search of a settlement. It's been a long day walking and Rauko is weary by evening, so he stops to spend the night on the riverbank.

He sits on the shore and wonders what a water spirit would look like if he ever was to meet one. Would it look like a person, or a faceless horror?


He lays down after feeding the dog and falls into a deep sleep. Again, he is troubled by dreams of his father's death and the bear that killed him haunts him until the small hours before sunrise, when he awakes. The river water is shockingly cold as he splashes his face to dispell the night's dreams.

Walking along the river, just before dawn it snows for a little while. Then he sees what looks like an elk to the south and tells his dog to stay quiet until they get closer. He walks across a mire and into spruces with bow ready, but finds no tracks or sign of the animal, so he returns to pick up his items and heads back to the river.

Or could a water spirit even be made of water?

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 04, 2018, 01:52:40 AM
They have now run out of food and Rauko didn't bring his fishing pole. Heading south should get them back to the shelter, but by late morning he spots 2 villages! The first has basically nothing but grains and turnips, so he bids them goodbye.

Just to the west is the 2nd village, and he trades fur footwear for smoked meat and 2 ropes. Then he finds an elk fur, a pot, a finely made knife, and a bag of barley to make stew with, and trades the shortsword he's been carrying since he came down the river after losing his father.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 05, 2018, 02:45:44 PM
The journey has been long since that fateful day, but Rauko is happy that the Kuikka suggested he travel south along the coast to the Driikaiset. Still hopeful to find a mail shirt like that work of art he found in the first Driik village, he travels the road south-east toward a 3rd village.

The craftsmen there have some fine swords, but Rauko is not trained to use those. There is a battleaxe which tempts him, but he will hold out for some good armor and trust in his handaxe and shield. So he journeys on...

Early afternoon brings him to a 4th village, in which he trades his shortbow for a badger fur, then finds they have several swords available. The last workshop he visits has what he is looking for, a long mail hauberk (which he gives up a huge amount of his possessions for) and perfect mail cowl (which he does not barter for).


Inside, Rauko is very proud and excited to have such a piece of armor, but he tries hard to act casual about it. Anyway, he can certainly find something other than barley to cook in his new pot. And now his load is considerably lighter too!
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 06, 2018, 11:45:25 AM
Walking south toward his camp through many, many spruces and along the west shore of a large lake, 2 more villages come into view. It never hurts to meet more people and see what they have to trade, so he enters the first village, which has a wall around it. They have cows and a fine-quality battleaxe.

Rauko makes his way back south to his shelter and is grateful to lay down and rest after scraping the tanning fat off a grouse skin with snow falling on his head.

Waking in the small hours after peaceful sleep, it's still snowing so he stays in the shelter and makes some arrow heads. The snow stops and melts on the ground without sticking, but now the lake has thin ice around the shoreline.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 08, 2018, 04:25:26 AM
It's late morning but he sets off to hunt, leaving his hauberk in the shelter, taking minimal gear. He picks some blueberries and finds some bearpaw mushrooms and knows they are not safe unless boiled.

There are no hills near camp to the south, so seeing animals is not very easy, and the snowfall reduces visibility. Evening is near and it's time to head back. Exhausted, he falls into a deep sleep and wakes refreshed in the small hours to a warmer day with moderate rain.

Cutting down a small spruce to make stakes, then arrow shafts occupies his time until the rain stops. Looking inland, his snare has caught a black grouse!

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 09, 2018, 04:54:57 AM
Worried about angering the spirits by this lake with the previous grouse snared, Rauko makes sure to sacrifice 1/2 the meat. This time he has a good feeling and thinks the spirits must be happy. The leather looks like it might turn out better than the last time, too.

Early morning brings another overcast day with some drizzle, and with only bow and knife, he sets out hunting. Tramping through spruces, they spot a badger and Rauko commands the dog to attack. Following, he can't see well through the trees and rain, but then hears barking to the south-west and the dog has made the kill.

He names the dog "Badgerbane".


The hide is too mauled to bother trying to tan, but the meat is very welcome and he sets a piece out for the spirits.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 11, 2018, 02:19:16 AM
Badgerbane enjoys playing with the bones while Rauko makes some wood stakes and fashions a few arrow shafts from them. Another grouse is caught in a snare, and he is pleased with the abundance of game by this lake, even without baiting the snares. After killing the grouse, he resets all 5 snares and this time puts some blueberries in each one.

By the time he has finished doing this, 2 more grouse are caught!

While he is killing the first grouse, a 3rd and 4th are snared. Blueberries! This is unbelievable!

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 12, 2018, 06:05:11 PM
His excitement is dulled a bit by the feeling he gets when sacrificing some of the grouse meat. But he does have four skins to tan now. Exhausted, he falls asleep in late afternoon. Nightmares return and more images of angry spirits haunt him during the night... he wakes, sweating and afraid.

Rauko decides he should set free any more grouse if they are caught, and sure enough, there is another that has gone for the blueberries. This bird is very lucky because it flies away to live another day.


For now, he picks up all his traps, makes a few arrow shafts, and finishes tanning the 5 grouse leathers. Tired, he shares a roasted badger cut with his companion and beds down for the night, wishing he still had a large elk fur to sleep on.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: zer0lis on May 14, 2018, 01:12:21 AM
I am enjoying this series of posts a lot!
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 14, 2018, 02:49:02 AM
Rauko wakes while it's still dark and can't help thinking that as plentiful as the food has been around this lake, it's not the place to stay any longer. He can't shake the feeling that the spirits are not happy here. Besides, winter is not far away and finding a place to spend the winter is important.

Where should he go?
Stay with the Driik? ...... no, that doesn't feel right.
Travel back to the Kuikka or Owl tribes? ...... this seems better, he felt more of a connection with them.

Today he will think on this while trying to make a better arrow shaft... unsuccessfully.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 16, 2018, 03:34:55 AM
Frustrated with the poor quality of arrows he's making, Rauko shoots them at the large spruce, only hitting it twice out of two dozen shots. The arrows are not worth keeping, so after gathering those he can easily find, he shoots until they are all lost.


As the day passes, his mind becomes made up. He will travel back up the river if it still flows. If there is ice, he will leave the canoe at the mouth and travel up-river on foot.

He's going to leave the shelter and the arrowheads & shafts, along with some ratty cords here. Using a rope, he packs 3 furs onto Badgerbane's back. Rauko's own load is just about all he can carry when the canoe is hefted onto his back.

He says goodbye to the capricious spirits that inhabit the area and heads north-west toward the river.

Around mid-day, they find a squirrel in a large mire and his faithful companion trees it. Rauko takes this as a good chance to practice throwing his knives. The squirrel ends up on the worst end of it.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: MrMotorhead on May 16, 2018, 06:08:57 AM
Heading north with winter looming, good times.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 17, 2018, 12:07:00 AM
Just a few hundred paces further and yes, it's another animal... this time the favorite quarry of the dog... a BADGER! And true to form, she chases it down and kills it without being injured.

Rauko will stay here by this ice-covered pool for the night.


To pass the time while the badger fur tans, he makes arrow shafts from branches using a fire to help straighten them. The fur turns out looking ragged and none of the arrow shafts are very good.

As a reward, the dog gets a roasted badger cut along with the bones.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 18, 2018, 11:22:27 AM
Waking in the small hours before dawn to a cold rain, Rauko gathers his gear, wakes up Badgerbane, and heads north-west again. He will find a tree trunk to finish beating the badger fur later on... the weather is too miserable.

Walking through the rain in an open pine mire, his good tracking ability reveals what could be badger tracks that are too fresh to be from yesterday's victim. He decides to follow the tracks for a bit and drops his canoe & heavy gear, also unpacking Badgerbane.

In the rain, he loses the trail and decides it's better to continue his journey. Soon he enters a large spruce forest, then some heathland and up to some high, ground. From there he thinks he might see the river in the dimness far ahead.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 20, 2018, 03:23:25 AM
As early morning comes, we find Rauko on the river, navigating downstream and steering around areas that have iced over. Then the river is blocked and he decides to go ashore until he's past the ice.  Soon he reaches the river's mouth.

The plan now is to head briefly south along the sea's shore to the Driik village where he had hung meat to smoke and share with them. Then he can turn back north and find the "original" river that leads back to the Kuikka.

It's good to be on the water again!


Seeing a wisp of smoke to the east, he recognizes the shoreline near the village he is seeking. Going ashore through thin ice, he lights a fire and roasts the last 3 badger cuts after feeding a raw one to Badgerbane. There are lingonberries here and he picks some, then moves inland to the village.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: aat on May 21, 2018, 03:08:05 AM
Wow, such nicely organized map markers!!

Just a question: how can Rauko sacrifice so much meat without angering the spirits?
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 22, 2018, 12:53:27 AM
@aat - There have been times when it seems the spirits were unhappy. He tends to sacrifice one cut from every animal, or one fish from each catch... but not always exactly.

Arriving at Murhikolkka (not the nicest name, but the people have been friendly), he finds the deer meat is not ready yet and looks like it may take a few more days. Rauko reaquaints himself with all the villagers, assuring them he will share the meat as agreed.


He then finishes the badger fur, and a hunter named Vetka snickers at the ragged result.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 25, 2018, 01:37:33 PM
"A rest from all your traveling is not a bad thing, why don't you stay for the few days until the meat is smoked," says the young maiden Veera. Rauko tells her thank you and she says it's okay with her father and the village elder.

He spends some time trading stories with the villagers and Veera, while he practices making arrow shafts and heads. Niko the woodsman offers an elk fur for barter, but Rauko politely declines.

Outside it's raining and snowing, but inside the common building by the fireplace, it's comfortable and warm. By the end of the day after many attempts, he finally makes some worth keeping, and has 4 arrowheads and 2 shafts that are what most would call decent quality.

The next two days are spent much the same way, but on the second he walks back to the shore and sets five loop snares among the lingonberries. He hopes to be leaving the next day and has been eating sparingly, not wanting to run out of the few dried elk cuts he still has.

Then Rauko makes his first arrow that's worth keeping!

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 26, 2018, 03:02:25 AM
Finally the smoked meat is ready! After sharing 1 of each 5 pieces with them, he bids the villagers goodbye and whistles to Badgerbane. Off they go...

Dropping his heavy gear at the shore, he retrieves the five snares in the berry bushes. Then they cast off and head north along shore. The sea is clear of ice, the weather clear and above freezing.

Twice now, he has stopped to rest, eat, and give Badgerbane something to eat. The second stop brings an arctic fox.


Badgerbane notices the fox and starts running after it, barking. Rauko calls her back and she obeys, "that's a good girl, there will be other foxes to chase, but we need to get back on the water."

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 27, 2018, 09:59:58 PM
The river comes into view now, and he summons up his strength for the upstream paddling to come. Not far up the river is a shelter, but it will be hard to see it with the increasing snowfall.


The shelter is found and he goes inside to get out of the wet snow, light a fire and dry off. Rauko gets sleepy watching the flames and drifts off to the world of dreams... waking in early evening, he doesn't remember any dreams if he had them, and the storyteller has temporarily run out of creativity.

Back on the river, paddling hard upstream, Rauko moves as quickly as he can because ice is forming along the shore and he doesn't want to resort to walking... there is still a long way to Kuikka territory.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on May 30, 2018, 02:23:00 AM
The temperature has now dropped and the river is freezing over! He has reached the first of the large lakes along the river and looking out, the view is disappointing indeed.

Now there is a decision to make: cross the river and walk, or wait and hope for a warm-up that will melt the ice.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 01, 2018, 12:09:45 AM
Getting to those rapids across the river looks like the best plan, then wait for a warm spell.

Crossing the river is a chore, and Rauko was smart to tie his axe onto his wrist with a cord because more than once he lost his grip while chopping the ice.

He puts up a shelter while Badgerbane frolics... she has grown to like being in the canoe.


Now it's time to put out his loop snares, do a little fishing, and then get some rest.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 03, 2018, 05:08:01 AM
After fishing the entire morning, he has caught 5 perches, sacrifice one to the river spirits, and made some good fish soup with motherpipe flowers added.

It feels just a little below freezing, and he sits in the shelter making arrows... all 5 turn out less than desirable. It's time to feed the dog, finish off the soup, and sleep.

The 2nd day there is snow, and he continues to make arrows to pass time hoping for the ice to melt, but the weather doesn't cooperate. By afternoon he's only made 2 decent and 5 rough arrows, but has run out of fibres to make any more.

The 3rd morning Rauko fishes again, catching 11 perch by midday! Looks like more fish soup coming up.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 05, 2018, 11:40:42 PM
Today the temperature is hovering around freezing and the ice is not melting. Rauko gives one of the 11 perch back to the lake spirits, feeds one to Badgerbane, then boils some bearpaw mushrooms to eat, knowing they are poison when raw. He then makes perch soup and roasts the 5 remaining fish.

He's set for food now for a couple of days, so he decides to do a bit of exploring. Since he's not planning to hunt, it's a good time to wear the mail hauberk and get used to how it feels. After walking a while, one thing becomes clear... he needs a belt to hold some of it's weight at the hips and take the burden off his shoulders.

Having walked around to the far side of the lake and back by evening, he's ready to turn in for the night.

For the first time in a while, his sleep is disturbed by that old dream of the bear killing his father. He jumps up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat to find not a bear, but his dog looming over him in the darkness.


Grateful, he falls back to sleep.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 06, 2018, 11:49:28 PM
In the morning he continues exploring to the north and north-east, returning in late afternoon after finding nothing of note other than an elk in the distance. He's relieved to take off the heavy mail, and works on some more arrow shafts. It's a little warmer than yesterday and as he turns in for the night he's hopeful for the ice to melt soon.

Early morning brings a wet snowfall. Rauko needs fibers to bind feathers and arrowheads and has run out of the ones he made from tendons. Remembering his father taught him to make fibers from rowan, willow, or alder bark, he searches to find those trees, but has no luck. Afternoon comes, and from a hill he sees a herd of deer.

"Come, Badgerbane, let's hunt."


But the deer have left the area, and searching until the sun gets low he finds them not. Following the river they return to camp for the night, exhausted, and unsuccessful in everything that day.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 08, 2018, 01:56:22 AM
Rauko's sleep was dreamless and waking refreshed, he boils a pot full of bearpaw mushrooms. There have been no birds or other animals caught in his 5 snares since he began staying here, but the fishing has been very good.

The ice is still not melting and the temperature hovers around the freezing point. It's time to go back and look for that herd of reindeer so he takes minimal hunting gear and sets out east along the river.

Searching and watching from several hilltops in and surrounding the place where he saw them yesterday results in no sightings. By late afternoon he turns back, and nearby they corner a squirrel against a sheer rock wall. Rauko tries some of the arrows he has made himself and can not hit the small moving target. Lazily, he whistles to Badgerbane...


It's nearly dark after picking a large lingonberry patch and arriving back at his shelter. Boiled mushrooms for his late meal and then another dreamless sleep.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 09, 2018, 12:39:26 AM
In the morning he checks all the traps and baits them with lingonberries, finds some browncoat mushrooms, then gets branches for a fire. The squirrel's skin is too damaged to be useful, so Rauko gives the fat to the dog and sacrifices the meat.

Launching his canoe backwards as he was taught for good fishing luck, he catches a salmon... this will be tasty! Lighting a fire, he roasts the salmon with some sweet-tasting leaves, but it doesn't turn out as tasty as hoped for.

While he eats, Rauko wonders if there even will be a warm-up that will melt the ice. He makes some arrowheads and observes the hare that has been sniffing around near his loop snares today. Sending Badgerbane after it results in her returning "empty-pawed" a few minutes after chasing it away.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 11, 2018, 02:47:11 AM

Badgerbane is behaving strangely as if she is afraid also and she won't eat when offered food. Rauko becomes very sleepy and can not keep his eyes open any longer.


Rauko falls into a nightmarish sleep in which all the bad dreams he has had since his father was killed come back and assail him. He tosses and turns and cries out, waking and being pulled back into the dreams.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 12, 2018, 09:31:11 PM
Finally, the dreams pass and he sleeps until he wakes in the middle of the day to Badgerbane's barking.

The fear of what is in the forest is fading a little, but Rauko must leave now and can not face another night in this place.

Hastily gathering his belongings after laying aside a cut of smoked meat to the spirits, he leaves his canoe & paddle where they lay and quickly gathers his snare traps and heads north around the still ice-covered lake.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 14, 2018, 03:28:31 AM
Walking north around the lake, his mood lifts the further he travels away from that awful place in the spruces.

At the north end, an elk is spotted and the chase begins with Badgerbane running it out of sight. Rauko is carrying only a bow and club but has no chance of keeping up, so starts following the tracks. Soon the dog's barking starts and he arrives to dispatch the staggering, exhausted elk with his club.

It's evening by the time he has skinned and butchered most of it, also removing the backstrap. At the lake shore nearby he builds a shelter for the night, cleans the skin, and works on the backstrap to make fibres.

In the morning he needs to return to the carcass and collect the fat for tanning, he's too tired now.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 15, 2018, 02:04:57 AM
The night passes without dreams. With over 9 dozens of elk meat cuts and no known village nearby, he decides to dry most of it rather than let it go to waste. Even if he never returns to this shelter, maybe some hungry wanderer will find it.

Now he heads back to find the elk carcass and it's already late afternoon. It wasn't easy to find because he didn't pay enough attention to landmarks yesterday.

Back at the lake, Rauko tries boiling some elk meat in his pot... he has no vegetables, but it turns out pretty good. The rest of the meat is divided between roasting and raw for the dog. Then he works on tanning the hide.

Next morning he starts the long, laborious beating of the hide and is happy with the result.


The snow on the ground has melted, but the lake is still iced over. In the night, there is rain.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 16, 2018, 03:30:57 AM
Morning sees Rauko leaving the shelter to continue along the river north-east. Leaving most of his worst arrowheads & shafts in a pile, he and Badgerbane set out along the river.


Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 16, 2018, 03:23:41 PM
They travel along the river, which is about 1/2 mile to their right, taking advantage of high-ground to see the surrounding land and look for signs of any villages. Once they see an elk in the distance and then further on meet some foreigners who have some very interesting items to trade. Rauko finds something that should be very useful indeed.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 17, 2018, 11:04:20 PM
A bit further along the river Rauko climbs a rocky hill and a surprising sight greets his eyes!


He's certain there is much distance still to reach Kuikka territory. Who are the people living here?
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 18, 2018, 11:47:02 PM
Caution prompts him to arm himself with his mail and new helm before heading down. He finds the man that was seen in the distance and discovers he is a Sartolais adventurer. But the man is confused and is acting strangely, talking about being lost when Rauko could see the settlements not more than a mile away. When told this, the man says he must be under a spell, covered by the forest mists that led him astray from familiar paths. Rauko says he can help get Heikki to a village.


They find a small settlement near the river, and Heikki is relieved to have that ordeal over with. He teaches Rauko a couple of tricks to use when knife-fighting.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 20, 2018, 10:11:34 PM
Rauko visits two more Sartolais villages and finds they have no weapons or armor to trade, only food and crops. So the journey continues along the river until weariness forces him to stop.

The next day, he becomes certain that he's not traveling the same route as when he came down the river, this is unfamiliar land. After skirting around the large lake, he finds yet another very large lake, and is a bit lost, not finding the river again.

Badgerbane chases a hare, but can't catch it. She followed its scent in and out of spruces, startling it out of hiding, but was not able to find it in the end.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on June 21, 2018, 12:09:10 PM
Rauko decides to turn back north, hoping to find some territory that is familiar.

Suddenly, traveling through a large forest mostly of spruces, a dirty-looking wildman sees them. By the time Rauko can drop his heavy gear and arm himself with shield, axe, and knife, Badgerbane has run to attack!


Rauko runs to the fight and is halfway there when his dog is hit two times by the man's two-handed axe and has trouble staying on her feet. By the time Rauko closes with the man, she has been knocked down and isn't moving.


Angered, Rauko stabs the red-clad man in the hip with a knife thrust, then moves over to protect his fallen companion. The whistling axe strikes Rauko in the side, but the wound is minor thanks to his mail. After trading blows a few times, the man stabs him deeply in the leg with a knife.

Wounded, and with his shield seriously damaged by the axe, Rauko is worried. As the fight goes on, he struggles to overcome the intense pain of his wounds.

The man strikes a blow to his shoulder, but loses his grip on the axe. Rauko's shield also slips from his grasp.


Both retrieve their dropped weapons and the wildman is quicker and Rauko sustains another hit to his thigh.

They trade blows a few more times and Rauko is knocked down, blacking out only for a moment. He rouses himself quickly and struggles to get up as he is hit again.

Blood on his hand is slippery and he can't hold his handaxe.


Rauko sees his father's face, calling to him...


He goes to be with his father.

Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: aat on June 21, 2018, 06:11:13 PM
oh damn, such a pitiful end for such a long-lived, hardened character....
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: Dungeon Smash on June 28, 2018, 12:43:40 AM
RIP, Rauko!  All great adventures must some day come to an end.  Rauko's life was greater than many.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on August 24, 2019, 01:51:26 AM
Since tinypic.com is shutting down soon, many of the pictures in this story will be lost August 26, 2019.  >:(
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: JEB Davis on September 28, 2019, 02:07:57 PM
Now all the pictures have been restored  :D
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: Brygun on September 29, 2019, 03:26:14 PM

I always appreciated the extra effort for the pics. I'm more of a writer myself (see Novrus etc). Glad you managed to keep it.

Query: Wonder if Saami can archive the thread in such as way as to store the pics? Its a good example play for his game.
Title: Re: Rauko
Post by: Sami on November 11, 2019, 04:04:07 PM

I always appreciated the extra effort for the pics. I'm more of a writer myself (see Novrus etc). Glad you managed to keep it.

Query: Wonder if Saami can archive the thread in such as way as to store the pics? Its a good example play for his game.

The work with the pics here is indeed absolutely fantastic. The forums don't support archival of threads with automatically fetching and storing pics (at our servers). That would be super cool option, though.