Topic: [Brygun] Journal of Novrus  (Read 37274 times)


Brygun

« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2018, 06:39:20 PM »
Norvus changed weapons from holding the spear in two hands to holding his short bow. Its arrow might hit the bear, anger it and trick it into the trap. The bow’s power was more suited to hares and foxes. Even the glutton had been resilient to several arrow hits.

His legs gave out. He fell. The slap on the ground pained him awake. If he fell asleep there was no assurance the bear would enter the pit. It might be able to parade up to its meal of him.

The bear was circling back and forth at a distance. Perhaps standing his ground was making bear rethink its own risk in a fight.

Darkness deepened as the night grew longer. It was getting harder to see the bear.

Norvus thought of the bear’s view. It might be thinking he had been driven off from hunting the elk that was the bear’s real prey. Well that much was true. Norvus wasn’t going to stalk the elk with the bear there!

A few moments without seeing the bear. Nor sound of its roars. Norvus creeps through the gap amid the traps and trees to the south east. Creeping eastward he goes dozens of yards. Then he breaks into a run back to the camp.

Hundreds of yards past as he ran south around the small lake then west to his camp. Finally at the branch marked path he slowed. His quick breath choked him. Adrenaline had carried him here. It was leaving now.

He fell to the earth again. His eyes fluttered in the call for sleep. Staggering he managed back to the shelter within its ring of trees and light traps. Clutching his spear he fell asleep.

Morning came. He was still alive. The spirits here surely had watched over him. To keep his mind off the “Raven’s Day” he continued work on the glutton’s hide.

It was also time he made a shield. It would have to be all wood without the benefit of wooden fittings. Boards fitted by crossbars joined together by dowels. The largest center would be his handle. Looking over his stocks of boards only a few had turned out well. Most were rough. Suitable for planking a house. Wanting decent materials for the shield he split another tree already rolled to his stockpile. The shield making went on past midnight. He had already eaten the last of glutton roast. To partially fill his belly for sleep he ate the last two already made rye flat breads.

In the morning he felt a combination of calm and wary. At first he advanced out of the shelter wielding spear and shield. It was already the afternoon. Hunger was gnawing him. First of his chores was to check and reset the camp traps. No game there.
Aging elk and glutton tracks gave him practice. Having studied these exact tracks before he could note how weather and time changed them. How the grass recovered. How pushed branches were settled back by wind and sun.

Now came the time to check the fields.

Wonderful! An elk stag was wiggling in the one spiked trap pit he had managed to finish. Tracks were all over the place. As the elk bawled in panic he moved to a cluster of tracks on trampled crops. Fresh bear tracks.

He paused. He turned this way and that. No sign of the bear. The only pit he had was now full of the elk. The bear was near.

He moved back to the elk. Could he kill it before the bear came? It would take hours to skin it.

To the north a tree swayed differently from the others. There was the bear. Perhaps twenty paces from him.

This time he was awake. This time he had a shield in one hand and spear in the other. If he gave ground now he would lose the elk. If he won this there would a huge bounty of the two animal’s meat and hide. His lips pushed together. Nostrils flared. He would fight.

<save Norvus elk bear>

Brygun

« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2018, 08:12:43 PM »
Norvus circled west to a gap he knew in the perimeter. Turning to wear the bear was seen he stomped his feet with each step. Spear shaft banged against shield. His fur overcoat’s lowers swayed around his legs.

The bear wasn’t there.

He stomped over. He still couldn’t see the bear.

He could figure out its tracks a short distance. The bear had made turns as it left.

A smile came on Norvus’s face. He couldn’t chase the bear. He needed to slay and process that elk. All with a bear roaming nearby.

“Raven you are a funny one.”

The Raven had squaked around the camp while he was making the shield. Norvus liked to think it was a blessing. Perhaps a sign of friendship with the spirits.

Returning to the pit trapped elk he studied it. It was a small bull elk. The trap had made a wound in the thorax. Blood showed but was no longer flowing out the wound. Norvus first thrust at it with his spear, catching it the hindquarters. If he kept stabbing it would leave many holes in the hide. He switched from spear and shield to the woodsman’s axe. Reversing it he swung to land blunt blows. Soon the elk was unconscious. Knife cuts to its neck bleed it. Its weight was heavy as Novus wrestled it out of the pit. He guessed at it being over four hundred and fifty pounds. This was a small elk.

For safety from the bear he reset the pit trap. Wary of the bear he faced north as much as possible during the work to skin the elk. Cutting into the elk he pulled off a length of meat. This he placed out for the spirits. Another he put on the pit trap, hoping to bait the bear.

It seemed wise to finish the second pit trap. This would double the chances of catching that bear. He put a bloody section of elk on the balanced spruce as bait. Beneath sharp spikes awaited their visitor.

It was pleasing to patrol the crops. He had protected them and they were going to feed him. They were growing well in the freshly ash fertilized soil. In the center of fields there was a shallow dell. There he had baited  a fox trap. He decided to set a cooking ring there. Hungry was urging him to eat but his senses to cook the meat still held sway. He cooked a dozen cuts worth to eat over the next few days. Then he returned to butchering the elk.

Amid the processing he ate the roasted elk cuts. He pulled out the backstrap, the tendons that ran along the elk’s spine. He gathered the leg bones and the gut. It was hours of work cutting the animal. The night grew late.

A roar. The bear was back. Glaring at the bear Norvus watched its reaction. The bear moved off again. This bear was looking for an easy meal not a fight.

The unusable portions of the elk were strewn around. Norvus had many cuts of meat. Using the elk’s hide as a giant sack Norvus placed into it the sections of meat and the last of the carcass. He would finish this at the camp. Here in the fields he was leaving two baited spiked pits for the bear to play with. Sheathing his knife Norvus rolled the hefty hide sack of meat onto his back. He shifted the shield to be quick to ready and held his spear as a staff to balance his burdened walking. He trudged to his camp.

His waddle with over three hundred pounds of load was slow. No challenge was made by the bear. At the camp he put the cut off portions into the cool cellar. This would give him time to do things. He figured most of the meat would be traded to an Owl village. He worked through the night to finish the butchering and many hours of cleaning the hide, collecting bones and removing the antlers. The sun rose for dawn with a few hours of work still left. Tanning was begun by rubbing the elk’s own fat into the clean skin. Though it was day he curled up in the shelter to sleep. He slept feeling safe in his camp’s defensive ring.

He awoke in the evening. In friendship he shared an elk spirit with the camp’s spirit. Norvus wondered what the Raven had thought of all of this. It was more work tanning and cooking a few week’s worth of the elk cuts. The rest he would take to a village. The village take would be at least one hundred pounds of meat. Thinking of the elk hide he thought of a cloak, the foot wraps for skis and other fur tasks. So to did he think of many things leather would be needed for. It wasn’t even midsummer so the winter furs could wait. Norvus would soak the elk hide again to dehair it for a large sheet of crafting leather. He set it to soak at the camp’s hideworking station. It would take nearly two weeks of soaking.

Having energy left by evening Norvus swung his axe to gather woods for the construction projects ahead. This also meant a day away from the fields. A day when the bear might stumble into the now two spiked pit traps. Norvus slept with grin while keeping his spear close.

The next day Norvus felled a spruce tree for the stockpile. Then cheerfully he walked for the fields.

There in the same pit trap was the bear!

“Thank you Raven,” said Norvus as he placed out a cut of elk in thanks.

Moans came from the bear. A stake ran from the ground through its right shoulder. Another stake through its left foreleg had been broken free from the ground by the bear’s strength yet the limb could hardly move. A shard of wood stuck out of the bear’s head where likely it was stunk in the skull.

After the thanks Norvus began pounding the bear with backside of his two handed woodsman’s axe. At times when it wasn’t moving he used his knife to stab and cut the throat. It was a tough bear. Finally it passed on through the veil of mist. Struggling to get it out of the pit Norvus guessed it to weigh around five hundred pounds. He moved it a little ways off before repairing and reseting the spiked pit trap.

Raven croaked somewhere to the south.

Norvus grins.

“Indeed my friend. Indeed.”

<Norvus raven croaks at bear kill>

Brygun

« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2018, 10:51:09 PM »
Norvus begins the work of processing the bear. Having already begun turning the elk into the leather the tougher warmer bear fur would be kept for winter clothing.

During a break Norvus thought to check the other pit trap. It was still awaiting its visitor. Patrolling the perimeter light traps he found an a struggling hare and an expired mallard. In the trap next to it something black flapped. At first he thought it might be a loon. It was a big raven.

Recognizing his friend Norvus shifted the trap to release its catch. Though wounded Raven was able to take to the skies. He heard Raven croak to the south. It seemed like a thanks.

He carved off much of the bear and skinned the other game. Meat was hauled to the camp then he returned to bring the rest of the carcass to the main camp. To his surprise Raven was again caught in a trap!

“You should be more careful,” said Norvus.

When freed Raven again flee off. He set out another cut here at the camp and tossed a cut into the lake that floated.

When he awoke the next day Norvus felt frightened. Was freeing Raven the wrong thing? Had he insulted the spirit by not eating its offered meat? Had he stumbled in some ritual? Was it because of the meat he tossed at the lake as an offering? Or was it that he had slept next to a bloody bear carcass?

Finishing the butchering Norvus looked at the skull. He remembered the  ritual to put the bear’s skull in a pine tree. He headed back to the fields to do just that. He put in a pine  near where the bear and elk both had left tracks. Hopefully it would be a spot the bear knew so it could start its journey to the spirit world.

 Norvus studied the aging tracks of the bear and elk. He patrolled the field perimeter finding no more game this time. Well enough as between elk and bear there was over 300 pounds of meat in the cellar. It would be hard to even carry that much for trade.

The next day he began his tasks making another offering. He still felt unsteady. Was he offering too much. Thinking again on the floating meat he swam the cold water to collect it. Returning to the shore he gathered branches and burned it as way of apologizing for any mistake he made.

As he went back to the tanning station he heard Raven croak in the east. Norvus nods. It seemed Raven had forgiven him. After working the hides it was still late morning. He decided to carry the one hundred and fifty pounds of elk meat to the Owl village to the east. He arrived around noon.

Norvus was much happier arriving with a huge stock of meat. During the harsh times of fielding he had thought often of coming back here as a starving laborer desperate for food. Now he looked and felt like a survivor. Elen told him old Eljias was having troubles with a reindeer doe. Finding the elder he explains the doe had slipped out of the herd. If he could find it to the northwest they would appreciate it being guided back.

 While there he traded most of the fresh elk for a handaxe. A backup and lighter tool to his own large woodsman’s axe. The handaxe was also good for fighting as axe and shield. He also traded for two more arrows. A lighter form of currency. With about ten pounds of fresh elk left Norvus gifted it freely to one of the villagers. The village had on offer a mighty northern bow but they knew its value perhaps wanting 300 pounds of meat or more for it.

The shaman said that part of the ritual to find the doe is to burn spruce twigs on its recent tracks. Then is magic can bring it back from the invisible world to be guided back to the village.

Norvus left the village going north west. He did keep checking for the doe tracks. He came to area but found no tracks by the time he fell asleep. The next day a black grouse talking woke him. He continued the search. A man was noticed on the mire. Norvus went to approach him. They spoke briefly. Both were looking but neither had seen reindeer tracks. He could trade a shortbow and arrows but these Norvus did not need more of right now. Norvus searched just a little longer before guessing the forest spirits were not accepting him as a searcher. He made back home.

Patrolling the fields found all in order with no game in the traps. The bear’s skull still sat in the pine tree.

Returning to camp he past time felling a few trees. Finally he heard noises. Checking Raven was in another trap. It was now grievously wounded from having gone into three traps. Norvus took this as a sign he should send the suffering bird onto the spirit realm. Perhaps the spirits were mad he had not used the Raven for its intended purpose in the first trap. One day a shaman might be able to figure out more of this. Today Norvus took pity knowing this Raven was sure to get trapped again.

He gave the first cut of Raven back to the spirit world. Norvus felt comfortable with this decision. Perhaps he might again try to find the doe.

The next morning’s work was the hours or stretching the rinsed bear hide. The process of tanning had made it start to shrink and bind. By rubbing it hard over a log made it again move like the skin it once was. It was tiring work taking to the middle of the afternoon. Raven made up the evening meal.

It was now day 5 of the 4th week before midsummer. The elk hide still needed over a week to soften for removing the hair. Today he would take a large amount of bear meat northward, seeking a new Owl clan village. Checking the cellar Norvus saw the meat was starting to go stale. It would be better to cook it up before spending possibly two or more day searching for a village. Certainly if he did not already have the cellar made they would have spoiled. As the roasting was at work a quarter of the bear meat was too far gone. Those portions he put into the kitchen fire. The black smoke rising up to the spirit world. It was still morning when the separating and roasting was done. Norvus departed northward.

Gruelfen village was found and entered in the evening. He traded first for a stack of smoked bear cuts. These would last a long time as a reserve foodstuff. He also traded for a wooden mug, two leather ropes, a cord and ten arrows. The arrows as many know make a good portable trade item. They did offer an impressive northern knife and a mighty northern bow beyond Norvus’s value in trade goods.

<Norvus Owl trades>

Brygun

« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2018, 03:15:34 AM »

“…that’s when I found the bear was in the pit,” said Norvus.

He spent the evening telling the Gruelfen villagers of how he got the bear meat. The two shamans of the village debated about Raven and his tricks.

Norvus asked them about how the smoke the meat. He had seen it done of course. He wanted a reminder. Traded roasted for smoke was about two and half to one. If he really wanted to make good on the meats he needed to set up a smoker house.

The next morning Norvus prepared to leave. He wandered in a circle around the village at a distance. He hoped to spot mountains. Bogs near them collect iron pooled into bog ore. If he was going to smith he needed a source of ore.

He marched much farther north hoping to sight the mountains. Amid a distant mire he closed on reindeer. Steady and true his arrow flew striking a reindeer. It struck hard off the reindeer’s face making it stumble to the ground. Yet it burst to its feet before he could get close. The herd shuffled this way and that in their confusing runs.

For what seemed like an hour he pursued the herd. Sometimes running, mostly walking and taking a few missed shots. The one he first it was likely the alpha male. The female reindeer and a calf kept circling back to him. It was so strong though that the wound didn’t seem to tire him. It was a long chase before a reindeer was trapped in clump on the mire. One arrow hit but three more missed. The reindeer was now staggering with a wounded leg and exhausted. Switching to his spear Norvus moved in closer. His first thrust missed. The second struck right into the heart. It dropped at his feet. After skinning and butchering Norvus recovered two of his missed arrows. That meant only one arrow was lost in this hunt.

Out in the mires he processed the reindeer. Even taking two nights to tan the hide. He would take the now roasted meat farther north to try to find Owl and mountains.

At noon he found the mountains and a cave at Birchpoint. On the peak stonecrop flowers grew. He picked young leaves as the first to finally be in his medicine bundle. With a newly made torch Norvus explored the cave. It was smaller than most. A single wall and door would seal the entrance. The challenges here were two fold. First you always had a steep climb to go up and down the entrance. The second was how it was surrounded by mires with sparse trees. There wouldn’t be much wood for smithing. Norvus continued his searching.

At Paskonuppi (”Shitty Point”, really that is the translation) he found another cave. One door could seal off the cave or another door could seal off an almost unreachable chamber farther in. Since this would cause little delay Norvus decided to setup a door for the inner chamber. The slopes were abundant with blueberry bushes growing their tasty fruit.

Unfortunately the reindeer meat has spoiled. It was nauseating to eat though one could manage it. It was useless for trade.

Amid “Whirl Mountain” he found a most secluded hill behind a hill. Only be standing on the mountains around the second hill or on the first hill could you see this hidden spot. Still eating the rotting reindeer he set down a shelter in this spot.

He finally got back to camp. Sadly the soaking elk hide to become leather had rotted. It wasn’t the homecoming he wanted. He guessed he arrived a day later than planned.

A swim in the now warm lake lifted his mood. He had succeeded in finding places to seek ore. A question on his mind was whether to go live at Paskonuppi’s cave or make his stead here. The cave was three days journey away. One thing he had learned was he needed a place to smoke meat.

<Norvus returned 001>

Brygun

« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2018, 01:05:06 AM »
It was now Hay month. Midsummer was less than two weeks away. Norvus could do his chores of reseting traps, patrolling the camp, patrolling the fields and felling trees. The most important task now seemed to be to have a shelter with winter that could also be used to smoke meat. If he built one here and adapted Paskonuppi’s cave he would have a wide range for winter hunting. Three days across between them plus perhaps an extra day north or south. As a luxury he could cook at the fields and turn over the cooking fires ash into the soil for another space for next year’s crops. He could also fill in gaps at the field’s perimeter with fencing.

A wife would prefer a stead over a cave. A wife would want a smoke house separate from the living house. (Thanks to Privateer for these ideas).

In his youth he had worked with his family and kin on steads. He had seen a house go up. There was also talk of a simple building. A mix of piled trees and boards. A chimney in the middle. A room on each side. This would give a place to smoke and a place to sleep. Rocks and stones control how much heat, air in and smoke out flows. The sleeping area could also be a sauna. He figured on needing 36 felled trees and perhaps a half dozen trees split into boards. His stockpile right now had six spruce and one birch tree felled. Later he could make a family sized dwelling.

Practicing swimming in the warm summer water was relaxing on the days he did it. Practice was also to be done by checking the fading animal tracks and steadying his walk to be quiet.

As he sat in the evening fishing it came to mind he should put at least one trap for large beasts like a pit trap or three-log bear trap. As this was near his home the pit should be without spikes just in case a friend or himself went in. The three-log bear trap was obvious to people to avoid. Each though represented a day’s work or more.

It was perhaps a week later when he woke to a frightening forest. Something was troubling the world. Had it been all the felling he was doing to make a stead? Was there a ritual to ease the tree spirits? If there was he didn’t know it. His mind thought of this while doing chores. Perhaps he should see a shaman. He should take some trade goods. Sitting in his shelter he used damaged furs to make foot covers and legging. They didn’t seem good enough to sell and he would have need of them come winter. He did have extra arrows so he gathered those.

It was in the late evening when he strolled between two legs. He thought he glimpsed something. His mind was on seeing on the shaman but he felt he should go back to check. It was a Nerjpez. Indeed they did come this far north.

<save Norvus 2nd Nerjpez>

Brygun

« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2018, 01:44:42 AM »
Was this why the forest was upset? Or was the upset forest drawing the enemy foreigner to him?

Ideally Norvus should go dress in all his furs as what armor he could. It was late though. If he went to the camp, leaving a trail, and came back the Nerjpez might be gone. This was also on the way to the Owl village. They might also be at risk. Armed with shield and spear Norvus advanced on the red clad foe.

The two soon to be combatants looked each other over. The enemy seemed a warrior with a fur over coat showing a leather cuirass and the ends of leather arm guards. He held a spear in two hands, had a knife in his belt but is lacking in shield and bow.  Norvus has his spear and shield in hand. A woodsman’s axe and hatchet are at his disposal. He has his shortbow and numerous arrows. He didn’t have much in the way of armor though. He was dressed for summer chores.

As they stood there Norvus leaned his spear against a tree. A strange word was shouted at him. The red shirted Nerjpez, the red foe, had realized what it meant. Tucking the shield behind Norvus smoothly took out his bow. Norvus gave a stern look down his nose as he notched his first arrow.

The two shifted positions. The red foe got behind a spruce. Norvus stepped back, still with his arrow nocked with a half pull on the bowstring. There was a risk the red foe might circle through spruces to close the distance. Novus stepped sideways toward a clearer area. The red foe had a distance to come down a clear way.

Brave or fearful of continued shooting the red foe ran. A snarling phrase in the unknown tongue given. White knuckles around the spear leveled at heart height.

Norvus pulled the string full and let loose. To the left the arrow flew catching amid the spruce.

A strange calm was over Norvus. He felt it once before. When he had made the decision to fight the bear for the elk. Norvus felt like a ghost. Half in the spirit realm and half here. There was no malice as smoothly his hand  put another arrow to nock, drew and let loose.

The arrow flew to the right of the red foe. The warrior’s lips and nose curled in a war cry.

Calm with an intent of death the third arrow was put to string. This would be the last to be sent before it became a melee. A melee of armor and spear versus shield and spear. Norvus’s eyes flickered as drawn bow string sung out in release.

Red foe leaned forward in his run. Gaining in speed. A charge spear. Leaning farther into a stumble. A face plant skidding on the grass. The red foe’s spear sliding unheld along the grass. The spear slowed before Norvus’s feet.

Norvus tilted his head to study the red foe.

No chest heaved in breath. No limb moved for battle.

The third arrow’s feathers protruded from the front of red foe’s neck. Arrow point extended from the back. Red foe had died in an instant.

Norvus breathed in and out. In and out. Left hand still held the bow before him. Right hand was half raised hovering over the arrow quiver. It awaited the command to nock again.

How long he stood like that he didn’t know. As if had to decide the death was real. A human spirit, even a red foe, had just crossed into the invisible world.

Finally he looked away. Storing his bow he leaned down to pick up the spear. He moved forward to strip the foe of armor and gear. Then to gather the two arrows in the spruce.

To ease the foes journey spruce twigs where gathered. The spruce next to where the red foe had face planted in the ground was felled. The now naked red foe was laid across the log. The spruce twigs lain over the fallen as a blanket. Norvus lit the fire which grew in brilliance. It was a smoky fire. Good for guiding a spirit. As if in answer rain began to fall.

<Norvus 2nd Nerj slain>

Brygun

« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2018, 04:01:16 AM »

Delayed bye the encounter it was after midnight when Norvus entered the Owl village of “Flower Wild”.

Hailing a villager Norvus explained the encounter. Warning of Nerjpez activity.

“This is a dangerous day,” said the villager. “We have a wounded adventurer here. Grievously bitten while in the forest.”

“Let me see what I can do for him,” offered Norvus.

Norvus wondered if the spirits were mad at everyone not just him. It turns out no one ever found that lost reindeer doe. Norvus entered their main kota. The kota being leather hides stretched over poles angled in. A structure warm enough though less than wood walls. The benefit being it could be taken down to be hauled to new grazing grounds when the Owl’s herd needed new grazing land.

The adventurer Doaivvot explained after making a shelter he had fought with a bear. Wounded and fearing for the bear he had staggered to the village leaving his family’s northern spear behind. Recalling his own plight with a bear Norvus agreed to search for the spear, in the morning.

For provisions Norvus traded left over furs from his making the recent leggings and footwear. The villagers roast was delicious. Norvus slept in the same tent as Doaivvot to help keep an eye on the recovery.

In the morning Norvus waved to his various friends among the “Flower Wild”.

Hiking past a few lakes he was surprised by what he saw. Hurrying closer he had found a grove. It wasn’t Doaivvot’s shelter. Norvus didn’t there would be any so far north. This meant new plants perhaps even nettles to turn into threads for clothing. Bandages also could be made that way. At least now he had a piece of the red foe’s clothing he might use. He laughed because he wasn’t sure if what the tall grasses he was gathering were. At least there was a large supply of Alder and Rowan. Those had barks and sap good for tanning.

He nibbled on the grasses leaves. A pity he wasn’t more like his sister. She knew well the different herbs, grasses and mushrooms of the forest. For Norvus he refused to even carry mushrooms he didn’t know. A single poisonous bite could end your journey in this realm.

He searched the rest of the hours he could. At night he made a shelter  next to a large lake. The loop snares long kept in his pouch were set around the pocket amid the spruce he had chosen. He left out a portion of the Owl’s roast for the local spirit. Then he slept.

The next day he gathered the snares and resumed the search. It was on this day he found a wandering reindeer doe. If it was the same one missing from “Flower Wild” it was far from where they had first said it to be. Just in case he gathered the spruce and set it alight as they had told him to do. Though the lone doe was often near it never followed him. Norvus decided to leave it in peace.

He slept again then resumed the search. This was proving difficult. At least the crowberries were now in season. It was also a sign of the advancing time toward winter. He kept a very close watch as he patrolled the joint of spruce mire and pine mire like Doaivvot had mentioned.

It was in the evening on this day he found a blood trail. Very like Doaivvot’s. Norvus nocked an arrow. After all there had been a bear in Doaivvot’s tale. He explored it a short distance then thought to trail maker of branches.

That is when the fever started. He had tasted different herbs including an unfamiliar one from the mire. He dumped the rest of the mire plant samples to be safe.

A hour or so later in the darkening evening he spotted the shelter. Sure enough the spear was there. A water skin, cord and food had been left behind. Fresh bear tracks were just to the south. Norvus decided against fighting it. He moved off, ran for a while then resumed walking back to the village.

His fever was growing hotter. At the village he sought at Ravdnar the shaman. The shaman gave Norvus a bitter tasting leaf to chew and swallow.

Daivvot was still healing in the large kota tent. There was a moment of joy on seeing the northern spear returned. Norvus smiled then passed out in feverish shakes.

When he awoke the fever was gone.

Norvus bartered with Heandark. The spear and shoes from the red foe where traded for their northern bow. The laminate of woods graced with perch skin yield a powerful draw. Arrows would fly much faster from this than his simple shortbow.

<Norvus northern bow>

Brygun

« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2018, 09:39:04 PM »
Pondering the work ahead it sure would be great if he had help. A part of him wanted the pride of doing it himself. A wiser part said to get help before the snows came. Norvus looks over the villagers. The one he was just trading has a hand axe of his own. Heandarak was about to leave. Norvus gestures with his right hand to get Heandarak’s attention.

Heandarak asked, “I see you are a better this morning. What did the shaman give you?”

“I don’t know,” said Norvus, “It tasted awful and it worked.”

Heandark laughed, “Sounds familiar.”

“I could use some help now. Its not far to my camp. I need trees felled to stock pile for making my first building before winter. Being summer we are between the planting and the harvest. Now is a good time to do work.”

“We don’t really grow crops here. We do graze our Reindeer. The can graze here a while yet. You showed a good spirit helping Daivvot. Yes, I will come. You will feed me during the work?”

Norvus agreed handing over some of the Owl villages own roast and smoked bear meat.

On the way back to camp Norvus showed Heandarak where the fight with the red foe had been.

“Uggg,” said Heandarak, “You mean him?”

Norvus looked. The red foe hadn’t burned away in the tree fire. It was burnt and now bloating with rot. Norvus felt a little woozy.

“We shouldn’t leave it like that,” said Heandarak.

Norvus consented and they set about making a better bonfire. Now three trees were piled around the swollen burned red foe. A fire was started and left to burn.

The two went back to the camp. Norvus stored his short bow as a spare to the laminated northern bow he now carried. All seemed in order at the camp. Having been gone for days Norvus also led them to the fields. Heandarak was surprised at them.

“I didn’t expect someone to try this,” said Heandarak.

Heandarak brushed his hands on the growing rye and hemp. Like a patchwork quilt the fields were growing in clumps based on what strips Norvus had ashed and turned when. Peas, turnips and the rest greeted the eyes.

“They are growing,” replied Norvus, “Though I am not sure if it would feed a family it will certainly make my winter better. Let me show where I caught an elk and drove off the bear. I should show you the other pit trap. There are a few paths to safely move between the fields.”

Heandarak followed Norvus as carefully as a second hunter stalking game.

The ground was still mottled with many tracks. Heandarak knelt down studying them.

“Your story is true.”

With the fields patrolled they returned to the camp and began felling trees. A swan swimming on the lake watched them as they followed the coast.

The worked late the night. A camp trap went off snapping down on a small hare. Heandarak felled trees while Norvus shaped them into logs suitable for a cabin. When they cooked the hare Norvus used the ash to show how the fields had been made, by turning together soil and ash.

“It is too late in the year to plant now,” said Norvus, “Next spring is when I can use this spot.”

Heandarak added, “In a way the ash is like giving wood back to the earth. In a way to make different plants grow.”

“That’s right.”

They went back to work. They chatted at moments about people they knew in their different homelands. Come night the tanning of the hare hide had finished. It was a fine piece of work. Norvus had gotten much better in both crushing skulls with the butt of his spear and in treating the hides. This hide he gave to Heandarak as a gift.

Before going to sleep Norvus reset all the camp’s traps. He thought about doing that at the field but with so many there that would take half a day. Heandarak asked about the traps. He was especially curious of the large trap that had caught the two gluttons.

The next morning they got right back to work. Heandarak was felling trees almost three times faster than it took to smooth them to be cabin logs. The stocks where growing larger and larger. Norvus began to entertain the thought of building more than a minimum building. Though it might still be necessary to stay small for this year’s building.

Come afternoon Norvus was getting tired. Heandarak too. They strolled to the fields. This was a good time to do the lighter chore of reseting the field’s traps. They only did a half dozen, including the successful pit trap, before returning to their chopping. Heandarak could only stay a few more days. Norvus only had a few days more food in stock. It seemed to work out evenly.

Work and work they did. During the next day Heandarak called out.

“You know we are past midsummer? Winter is coming.”

Norvus paused. That meant they were counting toward winter season. A greater sense of urgency came over him.

Heandarak continued, “With all these logging you are sure to have a nice home before the first snows. I’m sure to tell my kinfolk all about these days. The trees, the logging, the fields, the traps but I can’t stay to see you build the stead.”

Norvus said, “I am glad for all your help. It really has changed my outlook for my first winter in the north. I’ve been thinking of the area we cleared. I might make it into an animal pen.”

“Reindeer?” Heandarak said before laughing.

“Perhaps. At least a run for dogs. I was thinking of other southern animals. Reindeer might do better here though.”

“I’d like to see them when you have them,” said Heandarak.

“You would be most welcome.”

Their axes took back to pounding on the trees. It was good to have another human with him. Someone to converse with. Soon Norvus would be back to the lonely life of his quest.

Later in the day, while rain was coming down, Heandarak bought up the matter of payment for his services. The gifted hare fur he would count toward it. Checking his stocks Norvus selected a second hare fur. Heandarak agreed that together they were fair payment.

The next day was the morning Heandarak left. There was quite a lot of trees still be cleaned into logs. Certainly enough for more than a minimum first shelter.

Norvus selected another lowering in the ground. It was smaller than the one he planned for the main house. This first building would be split in two as planned. Just that each side could be a bit larger now. A smoke on one side while the other would be a sauna and first winter shelter.

Food for himself was getting low. At least in terms of meats. Some berries were already in season. Norvus decided to do a gather while watching for tracks. Clasping the northern bow in his hand he grinned at the thought of getting to unleash its might.

<Norvus Heandarak logging>

Brygun

« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2018, 03:20:30 AM »
During his search for Doiavot’s spear Norvus recalled the crow berries were in season. Those grew in mires. The pine mire a few hundred yards to the south east did indeed have a harvest of crow berries waiting.
As he had been taught he always left a few for the forest. For the shamans it showed an agreement with the spirits. For the hunters it left something to lure in game. Reminded of his uneasy times with the camp spirit amid the tree felling Norvus paused to make a ritual offering of crow berries.
By the time he returned to the camp he figured on sixteen pounds of berries. He would split his diet between them and the bit of meat he had left. That is pending any other game to come to his traps or tracks to be seen. Fishing will also extend his food supplies.

On Day 5 of the 13th week before midwinter in Hay month Norvus began to erect his first wall section.

It was hard work alone. Of his two axes neither was a carving axe nor a broad axe. It was those types that were best shaped to do this work efficiently. That small handaxe proved to be worth its weight at doing finer placements than the woodsman’s axe. By the afternoon the first section was mounted with Norvus too tired to start another.

He had also used a rest break to finish reseting the field’s trap protection. The traps had weathered their days without care well. Repairs or replacements were done here and there. He could leave it for a longer period of time between care. A part of Norvus hoped to lay a trap line before winter. It soothed him to think that the field’s near circle of traps was effectively a trap line.

Amidst these days he finally committed to slicing the red foe’s linen pants. The strips Norvus fashioned into bandages. It was so far the only cloth, other than the clothes he left home in, he had. Well perhaps he could tear up the bags that had held seeds. He would need containers come the harvest. An extra pair of pants he could manage without a while longer.

All the while the swan, or swans, were honking around the lakes. It seems they had replaced Raven as the spirit watchers. Norvus never made any attempt at a swan. Something just didn’t feel right about hunting them. They seemed to be friendly or at least neighborly.

Day 1 of the 12th week before winter season the first of the turnips came up. These were the first clumps planted amid the camp. The next day he would check the fields again. A few of the turnips were ready. Everything was growing fine. Another grouse had waddled into a perimeter trap. There didn’t seem to be large animals grazing on the fields. This part of his homestead seemed to be going smoothly.

Norvus rubbed one shoulder then the other. Was it six weeks of fielding he had done. It was a cruel chore with unsteady food. Now the bounty would be coming in for years with just light chores and patrols. He also had to remember to gather some not for food but to gather seeds from.

In a week and a half the framing outline was coming together. Norvus had decided to make the sauna, and sleeping, section properly of fully logged walls. He seemed to have the time before winter for this. It would make it safer against attackers, mostly Nerjpez red foes that might come up in the night. The meat had also run out. Fishing was spotty. Some days all he had to eat was turnips and crow berries. His body was feeling improperly fed now even when he did get a spot of fish or bird meat. The progress of the work though was worth the suffering.


<Norvus stead halfway>
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 04:19:05 AM by Brygun »

Brygun

« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2018, 04:19:12 PM »

Again at work Norvus was happy to have grouse and fish today. Patrolling the garden left his burdened by all the turnips pulled for eating and harvesting of seeds.

He thought of Heandarak, the Owl village who had felled trees for the stead. Norvus’s quest was to bring iron to the north. Could he not also bring them crops? The cellar could easily spare a hundred pounds of turnips. There was several hundred more pounds of the bulbs stored already. Being alone Norvus didn’t need that much did he? Not with other crops growing well. Heandarak and his kin would surely enjoy the turnip in their meals for the variety if nothing else. It would also show Heandarak the result of the fielding. A part of Norvus just wanted to get rid of some of the turnips he’d been gnawing on anyway.

At the village the trading went well. It was agreed at a little more than 2 turnips per cut of meat. Much of the meat was preserved already. Norvus had a good supply to eat, along with more turnips, to finish the first building. The villagers began chattering of making a stew. This reminded Norvus he still had no cooking pot. That would have to come later. For now Dougi had said Andde needed help with chores. Considering how helpful the village of Flower Wild had been Norvus felt bonded to help.

Andde was soon found. It was a simple chore of gathering smaller woods like branches for kindling. With his woodsman axe, hand axe, broad knife and a knife from the red foe’s belt Norvus chuckled.

“Oh we will find some way to manage.”

Soon it was done. The payment was agreed on five arrows. Those easily carried bartering goods that could also get came.

Norvus decided to head back likely to return to camp the same day he left. For some reason he felt like taking a different route. Using a narrow path between lakes he normally skirted around as if they were one large one. That’s when he saw another red foe to the south.

He took out that powerful laminated northern bow. His right hand patted his quiver. Those new arrows might get some exercise already!

<Norvus 3rd Nerjpez>

Brygun

« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2018, 02:27:35 AM »
Norvus hopped along the land bridge between the lakes. As he circled closer he lost sight of the red foe. He had a good idea of where to start searching for tracks. Then farther south east he saw other people moving. Their clothing was different making them likely to be traders. Had the red foe been setting an ambush?

Golden sun was lowering to the tops of trees. It was early evening.

Norvus ran a hub and wheel search. Wheels run at different radius of his guess failed to find red foe’s tracks.

He searched the area wider now. A mountain poked out of the trees. Norvus went up. Turning around he had a wide view. There was spruce mire near the slopes. To a smith to be this is a wonderful thing. It is in such places that bog iron form. This was less than half a day from his camp!

Though he couldn’t spot the red foe nor trader Norvus was happy for the diversion. The mountain provided many good stones. It would be a great spot for hunting as well.

Arriving home at night Norvus offered one of the Flower Wild village meat cuts to the spirit. This was done as if to tell the spirit of the short journey. Norvus spoke his tale out loud. Gathering turnips from the cellar to balance the meat meals he slept peacefully.

Into early Harvest month the routine was going well. Part of the roof was raised over the north end of the building. Now wood preparation could be done standing up under the high roof free from the rain. The meals of turnip and meat was nurturing.

It came to day 4 of the 10th week before winter. The meats were again almost depleted. He would have to do something about that soon.

He had been debating how to plot out the interior. The sauna and sleeping area would have a door to outside on the east end. Near it was now a window shutter so one could see the weather without opening the door. At the entrance would be an inner door to the southern smoking side.

Norvus wanted the west end of the sleeping sauna to be well protected. He had debated back and forth on where to put the fireplace and chimney. On the west end or in the center. He had decided on the center so that a solid trunk wall would be the southern side of the sleeping bunk. If he was attacked by many foes he could make his stand there with them coming only one at a time. A center chimney would more evenly heat the building. The other way around would put the fireplace very close to the sleeping area perhaps more prone to mishap. However that would make the center solid logs and a better roof support. His decision had favored defense in battle.

Beginning his hunt Norvus visited the fields. Patrolling before heading out he pulled up turnips to sustain himself in the search. He went to the nearby hill spotting no game. Marching to the mountain the south likewise spotted nothing from the high point. Exploring east he passed his favorite village of Flower Wild. He slept in one of the shelter’s made during the search for Dioavot’s axe. The next day amid the mire he spotted a reindeer in the distance. He searched the area and found tracks. The tracks weren’t off reindeer. They were fresh bear tracks. Perhaps the man mauler that had wounded Dioavot. Putting an arrow on his bowstring but not pulling hard he began his hunt with quiet foot steps.

Following the bear tracks led mushrooms. Norvus recalled them as bear paws. The dangerous poison that had to be boiled to be eaten. This was the kind Norvus didn’t even want to carry. One hungry confused day one could eat them by mistake. No, he would not carry such poisonous food. The bear tracks led by blue berry bushes not yet ripe. Perhaps the bear had been testing or sniffing them for ripeness. Then came reindeer tracks. Once again Norvus was hunting the same game as a bear.

He paused to consider his gear. He had a laminated northern bow, arrows, rough wooden shield held by pegs not nails, spear, axes with steel heads, knives, fair clothing, tattered red foe leather torso and forearm armor  but was without the extra protection of a fur overcoat. Overall he felt he contest with this bear, largely due to his new bow from his friends at Flower Wild.

Grandfather’s voice echoed in his head, “The ambitious hunter can become the dead hunter.”

Would Heandarak want to join him? Perhaps. Norvus broke off branches sticking them into the ground to mark a portion of the trail.

Withdrawing to Forest Wild Norvus first spoke with Riggu. Riggu had said during fireside chats he was up for adventures. Today Riggu complained of needing a bow or sword as well as food. Norvus didn’t have spares of those on him. Next was Heandarak who was too busy to come though they did barter foodstuffs, Norvus getting a bit of much needed meat. There was also the woodsman Andde who was too busy working with Heandarak. As a frustrated gesture Norvuss asked The woman Ada just flatly refused. Hanno the shaman likewise refused.
Norvus thought about his spare short bow back at camp. That could equip Riggu. However, Norvus felt up to the challenge and made his way back to the trail.

He soon found his trail marker. The tracks were still fresh enough to be easy to follow, for now.

In amongst spruce the trails twisted. Soon the bear seemed to have given up his chase. Norvus was now following the reindeer herd. It was a herd for certain. The stepping was to wide to be just one. In the afternoon he got to be eyes on the herd. A half dozen adults and four calves. Some were even sleeping. There was no way to hide on the sparse pine mire.

His first arrow went to high. The herd began to run. Two adults had gone west while the main herd south east. Norvus knew a technique. He would try to position himself between the strays and the main herd. The strays in trying to get back might get closer. At least he could drive them to the point they were in among spruce. Then Norvus crouched and stepped quietly hoping those strays would do as he hoped. Spying only a calf he held off shooting. The technique didn’t work this time but that is the way with hunting. Norvus returned to the mire and soon had the herd’s trail again.

Now he discovered fresh bear tracks. Once again it was two predators stalking one herd.

The reindeer trail was quite confusing. They had double backed over there steps from a half day ago. It was the confounding sort of thing Grandfather used to speak of.

Finding the herd again Norvus tried to maneuver for advantage. They were quite alert. As one bolted out from spruce trees he loosed an arrow but had misjudged the reindeer’s speed. At least on sparse pine mire he was able to recover that arrow.

Norvus skirted in and out other spruce trees on the edge of the mire. He came out only to keep an eye on the herd. Going in he moved quietly. Over an hour of chase had gone by when he noticed a distant reindeer turned back toward him. Perhaps they were reversing their trail. Perhaps it was looking for a calf.

Norvus became still with the spruce branches brushing against him. The reindeer was jogging toward him. Calming his breathing he raised the bow. He drew back the drawstring breathing in measure like grandfather had taught him. The reindeer came closer.  At nine yards he loosed aiming for the legs. The arrow missed. The reindeer turned to flee. Norvus nocked again and fired for another miss.

Norvus took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He repeated this before going to search for his arrows. Hunting was about patience. Patience and aim.

“With patience you can aim again,” said Norvus repeated words from his grandfather.

Norvus only recovered one of the arrows. He was now down two since he started hunting today.

Even the lone reindeer was doubling back on its trail. The confusion cost Norvus much time.

As the day came to evening he made for Doiavot’s old shelter. The materials were good but there was no way Novrus would sleep in such an exposed position. A little scouting and Novrus reassembled the shelter in a place where he needed only to put two loop snares for warning alarms. He slept and awoke safely in the morning.

Over an hour of the morning was spent looking for tracks using the hub and wheel method. He couldn’t spot any fresh tracks. Only those now a day old were discovered. Fishing until noon pulled in a few. Enough to keep going and of course over a small one back to the lake. While the fish cooked Norvus indulged in a little swimming. He had improved slightly but given how poorly he swam before it was still quite clumsy. Once the fish was cooked Norvus accepted the hunt had failed. That is the way with hunting. Sometimes you don’t make a catch. He made his way home feeling confident departing now was the right thing to do.

As he trudged westward suddenly voices called out.

“What tribe!” they demanded.

“Reemi” said Norvus. He was already pulling an arrow out of his quiver.

Two men rose from their hiding spots.

“Friend,” their leader said, “Traders. Gerbrand.”

In broken tongue they explained they were wary of Nerjpez in the area. Norvus agreed at least one had escaped him. These traders wanted good furs for their goods. Alas Norvus was on a hunting expedition and had no trade furs with him. They sat to eat together then parted ways.

Returning to fields and camp Norvus gathered more turnips and the first of the wild blueberry bushes were now in season. At least with the fish his health had improved. Yet there was more. An arctic fox was stuck in one of the lever traps of the camp perimeter. It must have been on the way to the near by fox-paw board with its smelly meat bait when it stepped into the ground level lever trap.

The next day, Day 1 of the 9th week before winter, Norvus returned to building. He realized he was wrong about his interior layout. He needed a wall to brace the east door. The fireplace would have to later be built next to the sleeping bunk.

As he worked he struggled with balancing his diet. Berries and turnips made the bulk with only a bit of meat now and then. He felt joy when digging out turnips from the cellar he found a trio of dried cuts. He had forgotten they had been placed in there for emergencies. Now seemed as good a time as any.

He also scared a black grouse out of the building construction. It must be a nice place to live if the neighbors were already visiting!

Day 5 of the 9th week to winter season the sleeping and sauna portion of the building was done. The corridor sleeping chamber had a sleeping bunk in the west with access to the double facing fireplace. Under the bunk was storage for valuables like spare weapons. There was a small place to stand or work in the middle. The east portion of the corridor has the shutter north, door outside east and the door to the smoke room south. In the east portion Norvus rigged a small trap as a guard and noisemaker against intrusion.

Stacking kindling, a board and other wood into the fire Norvus heated the fireplace for the first time. He made a good sized fire. He wanted to watch how the rocks might shift, if at all. Stones on both sides would we adjusted to control the air flow in and smoke flow out. The goal being that when wanted smoke would flow into the south portion of the building to preserve meat.

The south side still needed more logs or panel boards. The floor and roof for the building was already in place.

Norvus sacrificed one of his precious cuts of meat to invite good spirits into the house.

Tonight Norvus would sleep inside his own walls.

<Norvus sleep indoors>

Brygun

« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2018, 04:14:37 AM »
Day 6 of the 9th day before winter season. Norvus’s eyes peeled open to awake. The bear fur beneath him was mounted with other furs as pillows for his head and knees. His overcoat and the mangled red foe overcoat lay on top. There were no uneven bits of ground nor poke of spruce needles. There was thin cracks of light at the shutter. Warm stones of the chimney still lingered with warmth.

Peering his eyes along the only avenue of approach his eyes feel on the enlarged trap he had set. Before going to sleep he had upgraded to do a little more damage to a human intruder. Both the door outside and to the smoking room was closed. Two strides by six strides was all he had to scan for danger.

His spear was leaning upright against fireplace stones. His bow and quiver hanging in easy reach from pegs. Other pegs braced both sides of the handles of his two handed axe and his handaxe. The wooden pegged roundshield lay against the wall. If he had to fight he was a fortress in here.

Rising to meet the day he gathered his gear and weapons.

Hunger was gnawing. In last night’s celebration he had eaten the last of his meat. Breakfast was turnips and blueberries. A little fishing would go a long way to making the deal feel as wonderful as it should.

Stepping out he paused. He now had to remember to close the door!

Norvus laughed over and over before closing the door.

By noon he had a catch of fish. Today’s chimney test would start a fire from the smoker side. As it lit he studied the stones from last nights larger fire. Here and there he tapped a few in though they needed little adjustment. The smoker side was breezy as it had the openings in the wall awaiting door boards or logs to fill in.

Day 7 of the 9th week before winter season he awoke with comfortable breeze on his face. It flowed over him like a mother’s hand caressing her child’s cheek. An accepting love flowed in that breeze. It seems the spirits were pleased with Norvus. This is a good omen for his stead.

Homestead.

Yes he could truly call it a stead now. It was more than a camp. A building, roof, fireplace, chimney, fields, traps and friendly neighbors. A blessing breeze from the spirits affirming the acceptance of the homestead.

Waking Norvus leaned on his south wall as he walk. It was now he realized he could slip into, or out of, the south door without striking the trap. His eyes widened at his mistake. Then settling he realized it had been discovered in time. Perhaps the house spirit had inspired him to lean on the wall like that. It took a bit of time but now the defending trap was closer to the sleeping bunk. Truly an enemy would have to trip it or tamper with it to get at Norvus while he slept.

A patrol of the fields showed it would be a few days before the start of the next crops became ripe. Then a few more days for more. Others were weeks away but wintered seemed even farther away than that. The harvest should be safe. Norvus decided to spend those days giving the smoker side a proper southern wall. There still be two doors, one on the west and the other on the east, so that when needed they could both be opened to air the room out.

After more work Norvus finally gave himself a treat. He took off his clothes and put water onto the hot chimney rocks. The water hissed into steam filling the small room. As planned this wasn’t just a place to sleep but a sauna as well.

There was something else to be done for the building. Gathering flour he had made before Norvus baked his first batch of flat breads. This was proof the fireplace was good for cooking too.

The next few days fish were the meat to the turnip, blue berry and last of the rye breads. The smoker south wall was coming along. Norvus set traps out the west door of the smoker. It only needed to open to air it out.

It troubled Norvus that he had that strong trap so close to the bed. If he removed the east door of the smoker for thick logs and the traps out the west smoker door the trap could be moved outside the east sleeping door. To air the smoker out would mean opening the separating door. Winds could blow from the west smoker door out, or in, the east sleeping door. It wasn’t ideal for airing but it seemed much safer for sleeping. That meant more logging work. With the harvest and berries coming in Norvus felt he could manage this. So much for a low material log and panel build. Soon there would only be the panels for the two doors instead of the original eight.

As he worked Norvus realized when he built the smoker’s replacement east wall he could put a shuttered window in it. That would be more convenient for the airing than exposing the sleeping area.

Day 6 of the 8th week before winter season. The building was now done in its final form. From north to south and west to east it was comprised of:
The sleeping bunk, work space, pathway space with north window and east door;
Fireplace faced for north and south, the center support wall, the separating interior door;
West door and wood stock pile, cooking space, extra space with east window.

Strong traps were set outside the west door while a lighter trap was, for now, the guarding of the east door. The southern corridor would be used for smoking meat. He still needed a stock of cordage for that. Well stocked he could withstand the worst winter storms inside.


<Norvus building done>

Brygun

« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2018, 03:00:26 AM »
It was noon on day 6 of the 8th week before winter. Norvus would needed cordage to hang meat in the smoke house. Considering his options there were many. Good cord, or string, like leather was needed for a bow or laces in clothing. Parts of trees could be made into the crude cordage that is quite capable of hanging meat in the smoke house.

Birch trees were in good number around the stead. He still smiled thinking of it as a proper homestead. Norvus tested his skills with the birch. Peeling strands off he wove the strands to get a feel them. He made a small box. This was also going to be needed for so many chores related to turning crops into food and storing seeds. Next he played with the peel birch into fiber like strands then wove them together in a braid.  To test its strength he tied a rock to it and found he could twirl the rock with it. This cord would do for hanging meat.

The next day he desired to make more birch bark cords. Alas, the needs of diet. He had finished the last of the fish he had. There was still turnips and berries where still in season. Checking the fields a few more peas were ready, the crops were safe and he did maintenance on the pit traps.

Norvus was still working hard over the next days. His body was aching at times from a lack of meat. Again were days with only turnip and berries to eat.

To the west at the tiniest land bridge between the lakes he made a trap fence. With the spot so narrow it needed just a single pit trap. This he left without stakes in case it should be some time between patrolling it. Trap fence meshing and the existing trees would guide a large animal to the path for the pit. On the sides more fencing and light traps to catch small game or wound animals that might wade past in the waters. Once the lakes froze this trap fence would be of little use. It was still fall so still chances to catch game this season. Turnips, those bland hated and beloved foodstuff, were put out as bait. He even left one out as gift to the spirits.

“Please spirits, transform these turnips into meat.”

He returned to camp. Tree trunks remaining from Heandarak’s fellings Norvus moved a few each day until they where sitting near where the next building walls would be. There was at most one third of the necessary wood for the what would one day be the main living house. The sauna and smoke house he was in now was destined to be a secondary building.

He cursed himself for having let a roasted pike rot. There had been so much on his mind he had forgotten it in. That was much needed nutrition lost. At least a grouse was caught for a quick roast.

Patrolling the fields found half the peas ready for harvest. He ate a few fistfuls right away. Most he harvested for the cellar where he would in time sort out seed stocks from what he would allow himself to eat. Norvus had also taken to splitting spruce twigs for hanging cordage. Again not for delicate things but for hanging meat, if he could actually get a large game animal again.

One afternoon he had even put together a birch bark backpack. He would need such containers, he hoped, for the grains when the rye and barley came in. An extension of the branch markers was laid to the entrance of the sauna’s door.

Winter was getting closer. It seemed the crops would come in but an early freeze might catch some of them.

Starvation was taking hold now. Frustrated he couldn’t sleep. To focus himself he worked the bits of bird leather into clothing. He managed a leather cap more suitable to this season than the fur cap and fur hood he had been wearing. Fresh leather forearm guards replaced the damaged ones from the red foe. The fur cap got a patch. What he really needed was meat or fish! Turnips and berries aren’t sustainable forever!

With more days with no luck in fishing or at the traps Norvus could feel himself weakening. He gave into his need for nourishment. The barley grains in the cellar he split roughly in half. One half back to the cellar as emergency seeds if frost kills the fields. The second half was desperately ground into flour to bake into flat breads.

Through the late night and again on the morning he baked flat breads. He chewed them down as soon as they cooled. The body’s need for the food increased its taste. When he awoke he felt his body starting to respond. It would be a while before he could recover from the days of bad diet but he didn’t have that many grains to use until the harvest came in. He heard squeaks and squeals outside. Perhaps lured by the smell of baking a hare had gone into a trap. At least some meats!

From the stack of barley biscuits and the hare meat Norvus was feeling much better. He had dreaded the thought of dying of starvation or malnutrition after having done so much work to make the homestead.

With returning strength he patrolled the fields. At long last the first of the barley was ripe for harvest. Just in time!

His diet for the next while was now turnip, blueberries, flat breads and a portion of meat. This was restoring his strength while balancing the availability of meats. Norvus began to start on the other short land bridges between the cluster of tiny lakes. They would eventually have their trap fences and a pit trap. The lakes themselves, when not frozen, acting as gigantic fencing to direct the animals to the pits.

One of the pending needs was for more containers. Norvus wanted to be able to get larger amounts of water to store in the cabin. One of the simplest though time consuming ways is to take a block of wood, burn the center, axe the char out and repeat. In time you have a hollow in the block with the outer wood being waterproof. He started on a few of these.

Day 3 of the 6th week before winter. Its snowing! Waking to that realization Norvus hurried to the fields.

Snow was falling here. The ground wasn’t frozen. Norvus hurried about to find what stands of crops where ready for harvest. A grouse was in a trap, he dealt with it quickly. Barley, rye, peas and hemp still needed more time. Another trap held a mallard, quickly slain to be cooked later. Norvus was flushed with anxiety.

By late morning the snow had stopped. The crops were still safe.

The project now is to continue those short trap fences at the land bridges for the chain of small lakes. The odd grouse or hare was showing up again. There were still struggling days with none or only one meat cut to eat with the turnips and berries. The flat bread had run out all too soon.

Norvus wondered if he kept eating blueberries if it would turn his droppings blue.

Day 7 of the 6th week before winter, Early Fall Month. The first of rye was ready to harvest. The first of the lingonberry bushes had ripened.

Day 6 of the 5th week before winter. Most of the crops are in except for the hemp of which none has ripened. There are now four landbridge trap fences with pit traps. Three in the gaps northwest of the homestead. The fourth a bit farther out west north west. All can be distantly viewed from the hilltop. There is also the protective traps and two spiked pit traps of the fields. The camp, correction homestead, has its own traps that have provided game.

The work ahead would soon need to involve threshing the stocks of crops. He hadn’t chanced planting many broad beans which is a shame as they did manage to come in. There was a fair amount of barley and rye to thresh. There was peas and of course many turnips.

If he was going to do any iron working this winter Norvus would need to get some ore. Once the ground froze that would be nearly impossible.

The homestead had its building, crude cords awaiting meat to smoke or dry, a cellar to keep food fresh, water nearby in the lake and a large supply of felled trees should he need firewood. There was of course huge piles of debris from the log work that was the start of the heating stocks.

Norvus could use a water craft but there was little point right now. Soon the rivers would freeze. What he really needed was to make the skis and ski poles he had so badly needed when walking in deep snow at the start of his journey.

Things were looking good yet there was so much more to do.

<Norvus winter 1 plans>

Brygun

« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2018, 03:49:01 AM »
Norvus decided to go to the south east where the lonely mountain and mire were. He would search for bog ore before the ground froze. In case of a snow squall he bundled his fur overcoat and hood onto his back. It was a casual walk when…

A red foe!  Under 20 strides away in metal armor!

<Norvus nerjpez 4>


(note: oh crap! oh crap! oh crap!)
(note 2: so far I haven't done a save restore to a prior point. Almost did when he nearly drowned but he did make it out. This one looks really bad for our hero.)

Brygun

« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2018, 04:53:19 AM »
“Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap!” ran his thoughts. That was was a lot of metal. Mail coif and lamellar torso. That was a rich warrior possibly a leader. There was a scimitar but no sign of bow nor quiver. Norvus was in fall clothes with the protective fur overcoat on his back. In hand was spear. The mighty northern bow wasn’t ready.

A quick decision.

Norvus ran south!

He twisted around the spruce this way and that. Over a rise and down the other side. A change in direction then back then zig and then zag.

He was half way out of breath when he slide into hiding. This is when he readied his bow and donned the overcoat.

Now he waited catching his breath. He had a good line of sight if the Nerjpez came along his trail. Rain began to fall. Finally he prodded slowly toward where he had seen the red foe.

“This is not the iron I am looking for,” said Norvus.

Novrus spent time quietly circling where he thought was the area he had seen the red foe. Try as he might he couldn’t pick up the trail.

Circling at 100 strides out he did find some trail but it didn’t hold up well in the rain.

At the mountain began his search. Sadly he was disappointed. The outcrop was a cliff. It didn’t seem to give the right run off for ore. That meant he would have to travel several days to the north. He didn’t have local bog ore after all. The only luck he had was finding some Naodi mushrooms for journeys into the spirit realm.

Going home it wasn’t dark yet. Norvus went to check the trap fences. At the farther out lone fence he heard a squirrel. One spear toss missed. Rather than risk damaging his spear over such small game Norvus took out the rock he always carried. A few tries later the squirrel fell to the ground unconscious. Soon it was dispatched. That is when Norvus noticed hour old lynx tracks.

Following them soon led the lynx. With the trap fence to the north Norvus ran to the south. The lynx ran north along the coast of the east lake. Soon it was darting forward and backward. Norvus was confused. Then he realized the dense trees had the lynx cut off. A true flying arrow from the powerful northern bow opened the lynx’s bowels. The scuffle was brief with little danger. Soon it was dispatched though the hide had suffered some damage.

The other pits were clear so Norvus returned to the stead to process the lynx. He was still wearing the fur overcoat wary of possibly meeting that red foe again.

There was a chore now of cleaning the hides and cooking. The lynx hide came off well enough after all.

It pleased Norvus greatly to be start smoking half the lynx meat. It was the start of much more to come. The other half, plus the grouse and squirrel, he roasted to eat over the next few days.

It was even more pleasing to use the smoker side as a work room. The cored out block held a good supply of water to work the hides. He wrestled a length of trunk to use for stretching hides over, until he could put in a table. Work on the hides was started.

Somehow it just seemed right to try one of the magic mushrooms. Another was gifted in sacrifice to the spirits. It seemed so easy now to move that silly trunk out and make a table. All the lovely things dancing around the stead. Such wispy shapes buzzing around the trees. Such a lovely tune they hummed.

Eyes sore with redness Norvus looked at the table. It sat decently well in the west end. Somehow he had even made different sized notches to help with stretching hides. Wood for the fire was stuck under and away from the fireplace. He could stand for now and obviously he was supposed to put a bench in. That’s what the spirits wanted.

The trunk he had first brought in then in the daze taken out was split into boards. Fair ones were used to make the bench. Now it felt like a proper work room with table, bench and storage. Light from the fireplace or the shutter or by opening the door. For now meat was hanging in the smoke coming out of the mid-chimney vent. The room was hazy but so long as he leaned low it didn’t bother him much.

He giggled. He still had too more Naodi magic mushrooms from his journey south.

He giggled again. That red foe in the metal had never shouted a curse. Perhaps he had never even seen Novrus.

Novrus giggled some more. He had ran so fast like an elk through the spruce.

<Norvus visited the spirits 1>

 

anything