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Honi, Widow in the North ((AN: Hi, will be looking for a Beta. Able to send over Steam/Discord/Twitch. Please Message if wish to.)

Honi was maiden of the south, a Driiki lady through and through, maybe a little plumper than most due to her keeping her family stores and her habit of snacking on left over cuts when they failed to sell. She grew up with an keen eye for trading and values in her safe fortified village.

She never thought of leaving until she met her beloved; a handsome strong fur trader from the north. It was a whirlwind romance over a few winters when he came down to trade for nets and salt. He gifted her a superior Arctic fox winter fur and her father received fine Red Foe and Robber iron blades and bear furs; proving he could more than provide. When they spent the harsher winter nights curled around their fire, her beloved told them of his homestead he was building up north.

After another Harvest season of her holding her fox fur close waiting for the snows and with them her beloved to appear, did her father conceded that she was now 16 winters old and can head up north with her beloved as his wife. She hugged her father, knowing she wasn't likely to see him again for a year or so.

Her beloved followed the next snowfall. She told him of her father's words and soon they were packed unable to wait to start their life and family together. The first week was romantic but that soon ended, her skis making her ankles sore, the food cold and stale, the shelters cold and the dark forests terrifying. She tried to keep her complaints inside but occasionally they slipped out as they headed more north and she grew tired and sick of bland bread and meat. Her beloved was struggling to keep his own words gentle as he coached her on wards. She told herself it would be better when they get there.

It wasn't.

It was nothing like the bustling town she grew up with, it was silent apart from birds. The buildings was plain and lacking in trinkets and small things that made a house a home, the floors were still sticky from being new cut and soon a muddy mess. It felt like she spent more time scrubbing her floors than walking on them.

The worst was the dogs. The dogs she grew up with was quiet house pets, the ones her beloved kept was hunting and war dogs. Big mean beasts who stared her down like a deer. It was more of a semi feral pack her beloved kept in a pen behind the house. They were so loud! It seemed they were always barking with hunger. She was thankful when her beloved took them on his trips. It made her shiver when she had to tend to them.

Soon enough her duties were laid out; Keep the home. All day and night. Keep it warm and lit and well stocked with food and torches. To keep the dogs fed and watered. She did this quietly day after day as her husband came back from trips with carcasses and fish expecting her to prepare it. She missed her family, the busy trade route filled with strangers and friends with goods from all over the place.

One evening she woke up to barking. She nudged her beloved into waking. She heard the sounds of a fence being broken. She swore. The dogs had weakened a bit the day before but she left it. She had been waiting for her beloved to take the dogs out on a hunting trip and meant to fix it when the pen was empty. She grabbed a bit of meat by the smoker and a leash and headed out to see if she could tempt the dogs back in doors, knowing the cost of each one.

She soon couldn't see her hand in front of her face and was lost into the woods calling terrified for the dogs. She was almost in tears when she heard a small snuffling noise and one of the dogs came out from the dark. She recognised it to be Hari, a male dog who wasn't so big as the others. She managed to slip a leash onto him and fed him a cut.

She waited shivering holding onto the dog until day break. Thankfully the dog seemed to know the way home, tugging on the leash until they reached a familiar clearing... devastated.

Her home now fire and ashes and dead on the ground was her beloved. Tears fell quickly as she approached his body. She knew she had to get out, the bandits were probably still close. She quickly stripped his body and prepared a funeral pyre.

She dressed in his clothes quickly and held the leash tighter and left. There was nothing here for her now.

October 27, 2019, 02:57:15 PM
A Few Ideas: Agricultural help, Snake fangs and more... 1) Agricultural help from companions.

I recently was harvesting my herb patches and I had a companion. As I cut down the nettles, I wished I could ask him to either thresh the plants behind me or pick them up for me. It would make agricultural fields a lot more easier to manage and maybe even I could ask him to sow seeds for me in the spring if I gave him the seeds and harvest/thresh if I give them a grain flail. 

2) Putting branches in an ice hole to help delay refreezing.

Putting branches in an ice hole will help it stop freezing. It is annoying when you cut a hole in the ice and it freezes over so quickly. It won't permanently stop it from freezing just delay it just like real life.

Please note I know this is not going to be a popular idea:

3) Player characters shouldn't start with perfect knowledge of traps.

It would be nice if they are higher level, then they will know more types but I don't see a Driiki maiden at 16 years old with 12% trapping knowledge, knowing how to build and set bear traps.  Perhaps it can be added to the quests. A village trapper with a cold asking you to check his traps for him? Re-bait them? And in return he will show you how to build them? Could be snares, paw traps, lever, pit or dead fall.

Based on your starting Tribe you know different traps. Driiki starts off with knowledge of snares. While Owl Tribe knows about pit traps from capturing reindeer. Reemi knowing lever traps from protecting their fields from game.

4) Snakes should drop fangs/teeth.

Maybe could be a spell component. A Sage request item? 

5) Trading with different types of people should mean what items you trade with should have different values.

The Craftsmen will put maybe a 5% increase value on any boards/furs you have. Trading with Sages have increase value on herbs. Trading with Maidens put an increase value on jewelry and valuables.  Adventurers will value armour and weapons. Maybe to balance this maybe they have items they don't care for. Such as trying to trade with a Craftsmen using a sword makes them go "Hmmm I don't have a need for this but I suppose we could find a use."

November 03, 2019, 12:25:33 PM
Re: Honi, Widow in the North Honi wandered confused, letting the dog tug her along. Going home was an option. Getting revenge was another. But both required resources, costs. The spring would be upon them soon and the ice and snow she skied across to get here will turn into impassable slush. She only had a few items on her.  The clothes on her back, a few tools, her axe and knife luckily. She took to carrying them always as the night up north seemed more hostile than the ones she slept peacefully through in the south. Her fingers brushed over the last things of her Beloved and sighed.

Her musings was stopped by Hari giving a sharp tug and a low growl. She looked around fearing a red foe or robber instead she saw a reindeer herd in a mire. A source of fur and meat. Something to trade with. She readied her Beloved's bow, flushing red as she almost dropped it. She notched an arrow and watched the herd, graze over the soggy ground, nibbling at the sparse plants. 

She slowly made her way towards them, entire body shaking with the effort to stay hidden. She chose a doe, away from the herd and close to her. She aimed her arrow carefully at the broad grey back, guessing where to aim. She released the arrow, holding her breath only to yelp as the bow string caught her hand. Her yelp startled the herd who began to flee causing the first arrow bury itself straight into the pine next to the doe. Another attempt and a miss. A third try and it wasn't even close.

She watched the herd escape, the doe almost mocking her as it circled a tree just out of reach. Almost in tears Honi released her dog, remembering how her Beloved hunted. “Attack the doe! Hari” She called out and watched as the dog flew across the snow and went after the doe. The dog was well trained and soon had herded the beast to her. Again she send arrow after arrow after the doe and missed all, even when the doe was almost in touching distance from her. She felt like even the dog was looking at her strange for missing so badly, distracting it and causing the doe escape.

She followed the tracks mostly to pick up the fallen arrows and found it breathless. She sent Hari after the doe again, only to see the doe gore Hari from stomach to chin, leaving the dog almost gutted and passed out.

Honi saw red and hurried over and began to kick the doe mercilessly. Each kick was getting out the stress from losing her home, her Beloved and now the only thing she had left was a dog who was injured by this beast. She only stopped when the beast was passed out and she was breathless and unable to move from exhaustion.

She tried to aim the kicks to the head and missed. In the end she used her axe to cut it's throat. She watched it die and sobbed. She had yet more work to do, she pushed the body to an icy mire pond. She paused knowing the work was exhausting and she was near collapsing. She would need her strength to do this. So she left the body to make a basic shelter. Her Beloved voice coaching her into balancing the wood and the branches to keep the weather off her as she slept. It was a little lob sided and the wind got in a little but she was sure she could sleep well in it.

She moved back to the deer, knife in hand. She had done this before for her Beloved and soon she had a pile of meat, bones, antlers and gore splattered skin. She crawled to her shelter with blood and tufts of  fur still drying on her hands and forearms.

Dawn came and went, and only the bright midday sun woke her. She washed aching body down and started to process the fur. She ended up using the leash to start drying a good chunk of it next to her shelter and she roasted the rest knowing that she would need food for her and Hari in the mean time.

The first of the sizzling fresh meat was fed to Hari. The dog was badly injured but stayed by her side. She now knew why her Beloved kept so many. Brave loyal things she thought as she fed the dog until he refused to eat. She ate a few herself, the warm meat filling her with energy. With the new energy she finished tanning the harsh fur over a near by fallen log and draped it over her shelter for warmth at night. With a full stomach, supplies to last her and a large fur, she could finally think.

She lay on her fur, one hand on Hari's head, rubbing his silken ears as she thought about life and her place in it. She could go home, a broke widow, if she was lucky she might remarry but most likely would spend her days working in her father's store until she passed on.

If she stayed she could get her revenge for her Beloved. She lay on the new fur, aching, she realised that either way she would need resources. Fur and leather needed to make skis and tools to travel. A rich widow was always better received than a poor one. She knew about value, her fingers skimming over the rips and cuts in her fur lessening it's worth.

November 03, 2019, 03:22:03 PM
Re: A Few Ideas: Agricultural help, Snake fangs and more...
Snake fangs are rather small, as the snakes are rather small. I don't know if they had any ritual value in iron age Finland, but my guess is that they didn't.

When it comes to crafting knowledge restrictions (why stop at traps specifically?), there would have to be a balance between "realism" and playability.
For instance, removing the smallest lever traps would have caused all of my characters in trouble, because the birds caught in them is what keeps them fed until the first big kill (and the intervals in between them). Snares will work, but only if you have suitable tying equipment that doesn't rely on kills (and I think some of the new typing equipment might work).
If you remove bear traps you also remove trap fences where you can't dig (marshes, for instance) and when you can't dig (i.e. when it's frozen).

If you are curious about Ritual Animals in Iron Age Finland I would suggest these reports.



My favourite is called Snake Court Stones, a bit of Finnish Magic stories.

There is evidence that snakes were used ritually. Their skin particularly as well as they did decorate many ritual objects like Cairns with images of snakes. Made gold staffs even and more. There is an indication that snakes were viewed important ritually. They also used bear claws which maybe considered another suggestion.

Crafting knowledge is an odd thing. While I can see a village person who was raised in a village understanding the building of fences/homes and crafting of clothes and tools because these were daily/weekly/yearly chores occurring around the village. Perhaps not kotas, such a thing may be learnt from the northern tribes for tribes who don't build them. 

I would suggest that you ca also be self taught? If you trap enough you figure out how to build traps. If a character is 30-40% skilled in trapping, it is not unreasonable to imagine they could figure out how to build a lever trap on their own.

November 03, 2019, 06:55:52 PM