Topic: [Brygun] The Story of Calle (long story style)  (Read 15726 times)


« Reply #120 on: May 29, 2023, 10:36:29 PM »
Weapon check… bow in hand, arrows in quiver, river sword, axes and knives.

Defense check… oaken shield on his back,  layered in cloth, leather and furs. Missing was the metal armor, battle bear cloak and bear overcoat. He was in a middle armor state.

That roar was close. His heart pounding he wasn’t sure from which trees the bear was.

Calle backed up watching the spruce. It could easily charge from another direction.

“All right,” Calle said, “These are your blueberries.”

No sounds. No roar. No foot prints. No spruce brushed by fur.

Calle steadied his breath. He turned south staying alert. A patch of heathland could yield preferred berries. Approaching a mix of bilberries and lingonberries a spruce sapling rolled over into fur.

A bear!

It was rolling over to waddle amid the berries.

Thinking Calle pondered. He must have startled it before. With lots of food around bears tended not to attack. Tended doesn’t mean never. It was content to move away to gather berries. Calle though began following with a broadhead notched.

Fire, miss. The bear’s head turns to the thud of the arrow into a spruce tree trunk. It knows someone is around.

Positioning for a long shot Calle fires. It goes skimming clipping needles to fall onto the bear. It turns and rushes him.

A frenzy attack getting the shield up. Pounds and swipes trading to the sword.

Howling roar of pain.

It came from Calle. The bear’s teeth tugging out of his left shoulder.

River sword cuts and slashes. Blood seeps from the bear’s abdomen. Cut legs give out.

Calle circles away. It can’t keep up.

“Porcupine time,” Calle says.

As he fetches his bows he begins the barrage of arrows.  Pulling to fire Calle twists in the pain of the shoulder bite. This can’t be good for the wound. Crippled the bear drags after him. Fire, miss… miss… hit… more misses than hits. Arrows are fetched, fired, some go long.

Calle grabbed a large stone and hurled it at the bear with a thump into the ground beside it.

Finally by sword and arrow wounds countless the bear passes.

Calle looks to himself. A serious bite to his left shoulder. There is blood on his chest too from a shallow claw tear. His left upper arm is bruised from the pounding. No wonder he could hardly shoot.

Its a painful necessity to tend himself. Heather in the washing water and nettle in the binding bandage. He’d only brought two bandages, both were on his left arm. He’d redress the torso cut once back.

<CALLE 124 Bear brawling>>>


« Reply #121 on: May 29, 2023, 11:29:11 PM »
“Preparation is all it takes to live,” said Calle.

They are close the Swan Cabin homestead. The smoke house ready means the meat can be treated. Medicines, food and water are in stock.

With his own made broad knife Calle is able to be more delicate in removing the fur. Its holes from the fighting are almost all small. The leg and abdomen hits are straight enough to be sewn up easily or just planned around. It will make a decent fur.

His left arm is in a sling when walking. It has to be out to butcher, work the hide and hang the meat to smoke. As tradition the teeth are pulled for their strength and the skull is hung from a pine tree. Calle wishes the bear spirit to enjoy the berries it was foraging for when they met.

It aches in his left arm. The wound of the bite worries him. He can clean it but it will surely scar.

Calle debates on the hide. Its looking good enough for trade. Though he could use good leather too. Its not a winter fur. The battle bear fur is pretty ragged. The ice is coming and going. Calle decides takes this to the lake. With rocks weighing it down he sets it to soak. He will dehair this one to become leather for large piece crafting. Later furs might not have the water access needed.

A day of tending to himself, the hides and meats.

Awakening at the dark of night Calle was off gathering when he saw an elk skeleton near the shore. He gathered the bones and antlers. How it died he didn’t know. The fish surely enjoyed the meat. Maybe it fell through the ice but that was a full summer ago. Ah! It tried crossing the recent thin ice and drowned.

A rock outcrop is nearby. Calle swims out a second time. Climbing up he makes a small warming fire. Undress he stands naked through the midnight hours. Nothing came to him. It wasn’t an ideal spot as it was a T shaped amount of land. He had stood on the tip of one arm with room enough for a fire beside him. It wasn’t quite like the lore given him. Hopefully they would appreciate he had tried.

He delivered the antlers and elk bones to Swan Cabin. They could be used in deep winter crafting. Strolling out in the dim small hours a reindeer glimpsed then it disappeared. Calle suspected that was the fields. Stalking over indeed it had been. The reindeer had been lured by a few of the unharvested turnips in what state they were. Then it had fallen to one the pits. That is two large animals caught close to the cabin!

Soon dispatched its hide is set to soak next to the bear. He like to have good stocks of leather for whatever projects would come. Part of him wished the bear was kept for fur now but really he had a whole stack of trade furs.

<CALLE 125 add a deer>>>


« Reply #122 on: May 30, 2023, 08:29:31 PM »
Peaceful days again. Staying close to the cabin and fields to avoid new injuries until the current one healed. Cleaning with heather in water and binding with nettle on bandages brought him out safely. Amid the treatment he had taken one of the herbal blends when just quickly taking things to eat. His diet may have helped too. A mix of turnips; leaves and flowers from nettles, hemp, and flax; bits of smoked meat and most days roasted meats from fresh kills.

Local chores did have to be done. Daily stocking the smokehouse fire kept the bear and reindeer meat progressing to preserved. The reindeer’s hide had been worked through dehairing and tanning to useable. As his arm healed he worked on more iron building up stocks and bringing in wood for the smokehouse. There was a large store of wood by the main cabin. That was reserved for the deep winter.

Lingonberries grew on the pennisula in such quantities that several days of wild gathering hadn’t gotten them all. Calle was sure he could keep gathering form the forests farther out. They made a nice treat. Unless dried they filled you up too much without the other things the body needed. Dried as part of the mixed diet they did well.

It occurred to Calle to attempt the water spirit meeting. Not seeing a standing lone stone near Swan Cabin he hiked out along the north river system to the good fords he found. They were shallow spots of rock. As part of preparations he prepared to warm himself by building a shelter, making a fire ring, laying in a fallen log and preparing kindling.

He started the fire around the appointed time. Naked he went onto the nearby rock. He waited for hours. Numbing cold was starting to take his wet exposed body. He slid into the water the short distance to the still burning fire. He wasn’t sure if the water wasn’t deep enough, the time was wrong, the fire had scared them or that the spirits of this river just didn’t want to meet him.  After all this wasn’t Swan Cabin’s lake where he lived.

Calle setup to try again. This second night he planned his timing better he hoped. With the fire making light near the shore a farther out rock was picked. Calle was still out there getting numbed and dazed. He felt a presence and still held himself shivering. He wasn’t almost as bad as struggling against North Wind when he fell through ice.

Calle turned himself to at least see the warm fire to give himself hope. There between him and the shore was a man with long black hair. The man was in the shallow water but not standing. He floated as if bent or without legs at all. He was looking to Calle and had been for some time. The man was smiling. An acknowledgment of the respect shown. Calle made the open hand signs of greeting and the man lifted a hand palm up then palm down into the water. Calle didn’t understand what that meant but it seemed friendly.

“Thank you,” Calle said, “For fish, for travel, for safety. Water spirits you are stronger than Calle. Thank you for letting me be among your waters. Now my body is that of a land thing. I need to go to my fire. Please do not be offended.”

Calle slipped into the water. The man swam closer steering for the rock Calle just left. Not understanding Calle climbed back onto it. The man than dove under the water… head… arms.. body… but thats all Calle saw in the moonlight.

Back into the water naked Calle went. He waded waist deep in the same waters. Pulling onto the shore he scrambled shivering arms and legs into the shelter next to the still blazing fire. Drying and dressing into fire heated clothes Calle curled up on spruce to sleep in the shelter.

Morning came with snow falling outside. To learn what the meeting met Calle took the land route to “Maiden’s Stream”. There Nyri, who he had traded a bow to, waved to him.

“Your bow has done me well,” Nyri said, “It needs an equal in arrows. You made fine broad heads too? Let me us trade. Those arrows for hunter teachings.”

Calle agreed.

Nyri explained a strange method. To carry a capercaiillie feather. When hunting a lynx when it first starts escaping on its very first escaping tracks to put the feather. The spirits will then burden the lynx to soon tire. These ways confused Calle but they were the ways of spirits not men.

Calle went on deeper looking for Herppa who had told him of how to meet the water spirits.

Herppa now told how to share hospitality with the water spirits. When the first fish of spring are caught out on a lake in open water to make a fish soup or boil them right after returning to shore. Leave the pot and give them space. Then the water spirit can come to try what you made. Sharing in a meal is part of the ancient traditions of hospitality.

Calle thanked him for his elder teachings.

<CALLE 126 water spirit>>>
« Last Edit: May 30, 2023, 08:31:09 PM by Brygun »


« Reply #123 on: May 30, 2023, 10:42:24 PM »
Maiden’s Stream homestead trade piles were stacked with a disturbing amount of armor. A mail harbegon, spectacle helm, another helm and more mail pieces. Shields and weapons as well as grains and meats. There was a decent looking wool overcoat that Calle admired.

Herppa explained, “We just met traders. One of their company passed away from eating bog mushrooms. They traded his goods for valuable furs to take him to his family. They just went north.”

Calle did catch up to them but once again none had anything of silver to spare. They confirmed the poison story.

Calle pointed out a spirit mushroom, “Those take you places. Most mushrooms don’t provide any where enough nutrition to be worth the risk of getting it wrong.”

Moving north another group of traders was on what Calle was understanding as a trade route. One called Bevisin had a silver necklace to trade but all of Calle’s furs were back at the cabin. Calle started hurrying to get them and return but it wouldn’t be in the same day.

“Woah hey!” shouted a man.

Calle was startled. His hand shifted for an arrow to notch. The man made the signs of peace.

“I am Herppa,” the man said, “Herppa the younger. Safe guarding these lands. Many foreigners about and they sometimes draw trouble behind them like when a wolf has caught the scent of a kill.”

“Trouble isn’t may name. I am Calle of Swan Cabin,” replied Calle making the signs of peace, “Yes there are many foreigners this time. Just passed two groups of them south of here.”

Calle decided to give them man a bowl he’d made while passing the hours to meet the water spirits. They departed peacefully.

Hurrying on to Swan Cabin the recent berries were set to dry. Importantly a greater amount of wood was put in the smokehouse. He needed to make up for having not tended it that day between the two overnights to meet the water folk.

A fox was caught in the paw trap, its winter coat already in. By the time that was skinned and the tanning started evening was starting. It would be risky to try to rush out in the darkness. Instead Calle went to bed early and rose in a few hours while it was dark. He trudged the stack of furs to Maiden’s Stream but couldn’t find the trader with the silver.

Called decided to trade away some of the lesser furs for the woolen overcoat. It would be warm without being as heavy as the bear overcoat. It wasn’t as protective but for around the cabin that should be fine.

In the morning Calle checked on chores.

He let out an angry howl.

He had forgotten about the bear leather. The leathering hide of a whole bear was ruined!

Calle paced along the shore. He had gotten distracted. Was it … a week over due? More than that. He really had no one to blame but himself. The reindeer hide had been dehaired as leather well enough. That bear leather he had planned for many big pieces for.

Calle took a breath then another. Had to focus on what’s working. The bear’s meat had been smoked up now. That was an important success. He had plenty of meat for deep winter. The reindeer was almost done.

Calle also decided that for the next while to travel with the more valuable small winter furs. Those might trade off a silver thing for the spirit ritual. Silver for that was a big thing on his mind that he was missing. Meeting the traders was uncommon but finding them with silver to trade was rare. He had see it offered only twice since his First Winter challenge. The other thing to try would be take more furs and seek the traders or maybe the Driik. Winter and skiing season was coming. Traveling meant carrying the skis or just wait until then.

For now Calle needed to focus. Crafting helped get his mind on producing. Back to the smithy. He began bonding steel to an iron shaft. Then flattening the steel to a rectangle, then flaring the corners, then twisting it for an even turn. This would be the cutting part of a drill. Attached to this would be the middle weight fly wheel, a top handle, cross bar and the cords. By twisting the top bar then pushing it down the steel would both turn and be pressed. A pump drill.

That drill was the tool needed for making a steel dome. Iron turned to steel pound over the hollowed stump and the iron anvil. Holes then worked in by the pump drill. It was a rather wobbly looking piece and he’d need a second.

Striding to rest his arm Calle saw across the lake an elk. He’d got a lynx at the same spot before. Circling the land Calle closed in only to result in two arrows onto the lake and one broken on a tree. Shaking arms shivered with frustration.

A determined wrath came over him to get the lake arrows. Circling the lakeshore back to the cabin he brought the punt down to the water. With his hand axe he smashed the thin ice inch by inch into yard by yard. Slowly the punt crept through the band of forming ice into the central lake where the waves still lapped. From here he recovered at least two of the arrows.

Shifting around he saw the elk again.

Gritted teeth and glaring eyes shined as he chipped ice to beach the punt on that shore. He stalked again on the shore pinned elk, fired and the arrow broke.

A strange idea came to him. It would be his strangest hunt yet.

He slide quietly as he could to the peak of land the animals kept trying to cross at it. He crouched among the trees and just waited. A blind spot to them. Half an hour went when the elk bawled, probably smelling him it was that close. Calle fired and missed. The elk trotted away.

Calle slipped back nearby to a different hiding spot. He waited. He hummed tunes in his mind. He waited.

Before him the green spruce turned brown. The brown of the elk’s fur!

He raised but they were so close he hadn’t got he bow fully up when his instincts said to shoot as the elk had seen him too. It scarred a leg badly squirting blood. Confused where to run and flopping a leg Calle swung up not his bow but a leg and kicked out. He kicked it again and again. The battering, startled, wounded confused elk took several before making for a path out of the pocket. It flopped now dragging its hind quarters. Calle pulled out his round headed smithing hammer to smash its skull once and twice to be done.

Now he crossed through his cuts to take the skin back to start dehairing to replace the lost bear hide. The next day two more crossings were needed. Each time he had to chip the ice at each shore. The freezing was quickening indeed!
Into the smokehouse the elk meat went. The reindeer meat had finished. Calle’s food stocks would be quite deep now.

<CALLE 127 shore elk>>>


« Reply #124 on: May 31, 2023, 02:18:10 AM »
Continuing to work Calle was debating the well or water collector in the courtyard again. One reason for it is to have lot of water for major hide work. Really running water is better and lake volumes second. The risk had happened of not checking the lake shore at the right times. The courtyard water would avoid that. However, there is another way. At the table workstation he put the large elk bones. They were there to remind him to check the shore.

Next in smithing was an auger. That’s the name he knew for it. Its a larger drill for big holes like the thickness of man’s thumb. The kind for structural work with pegs hammered in. Like the pump drill it needed a steel cutting head, then a shaft but this time to a circle at the top of the shaft. In there would go a cross bar for the high torque turns. The drill was small and fast while the auger was large and slow.

“Build your tools,” Calle said.

He pumped the bellows onto the forge’s coals. Metal heated, hammer sang on anvil, eyes studied shapes and blows were struck again. The crossbar auger came to be.

That night was the fall equinox. Dirt month had begun.

A fancy took him to change the trail markers for the smoke house to hare bone stands. He had so many of them now. Then he realized they were so small the snow would hide them. So he changed them to elk rib bones.

Day 3 of the 13th week before midwinter

At noon Calle pulls the leather straps secure on the knee cups. Each a steel dome from a plate given a sphere with the hammering in the stump hollow and anvil, the pump drill to make mounting holes then bird leather to make the securing straps.

Deciding to do a test dressing Calle laughs. He had bought better knee cups than he made. He laughs.

“Well,” Calle chuckled, “I can sell these then and make elbows.”

Calle rubbed his head. He was trying to make the best of the mistake. Lonliness, isolation had a toll. If someone else was around they likely would have pointed this out much sooner.

A few days of hot smithing saw Calle often just sleep outside at the forge. Finally he had made the elbow cups, coudes as some foreigners call them. The same idea as the knee cups just smaller.  A fist shape with a dome over the joint center and the tail flaring on the side.

Now he did the test dressing for battle. Battle damaged spectacle helm, mail mittens, battle won lamellar torso, bought knee cups and made elbow guards worn with the bear overcoat and battle bear cloak. This over other furs, leather and cloth. Its great weight felt secure inside.

“Like a turtle that stuffed the inside of his shell with fur than put a fur wrap on,” Calle laughed.

Now what dangerous adventure might he try?

<CALLE 128 Armor dressing>>>


« Reply #125 on: June 10, 2023, 06:49:15 AM »
(OOC: Calle being continued on a 3_80 with BAC build.)

Calle felt a shift in the woods. It would be hard to say what it meant. Needing silver for the ant hill ritual was gnattering like a squirrel in a nearby by tree. It wasn’t vital but it was there. The woods at times seem to have a hint of darkness in the shadows more than there had been before.

Studying his homestead the view out the north window to the smoke house was decent though one spruce prevented seeing the whole wall. Reluctant to feel trees near the home was slackening in its firmness. Once down they won’t come back for decades. Calle decided to bring spruce down. Now from the safety of the house he could see the smokehouse’s south window.

Day 7 of the 12th week before midwinter

This morning Calle stocked the smoke house fire once again. Once it was glowing he checked the meats. It actually had dried with the smoke covering preserving it from the filth that rotted them. The elk meat was done then. That was the last ongoing chore. He was free to travel a time. Following the rotation plan the previous meat, from a reindeer, was moved to the courtyard cellar. The recently made elk smoked meats were then the new reserve in the outer cellar.

Heavy rains gave a feeling to stay close for a few days yet. A few more broad head arrows were assembled and a long bow finished. At the forge he restored to billet an aborted shape of iron and an unused steel dome. Both hadn’t come out quite right. Even rusting material can be worked back to a billet and shaped anew.

Called strolled around the lake circling south. At a narrow junction he debated setting a pit trap but didn’t have his shovel with him. Calle decided to return with his shovel setup two such narrows for occasional trapping. A night out in the bush was needed for that. With his layers of fur and armor Calle was quite warm. A check on the punt at the south rivers was done finding it as before needing to be cleaned out of small critters.

During these he was carrying several of the better trade furs. Light ones of higher trade wealth. This was in the hopes of meeting traders. So far that hadn’t happened.

<CALLE 130 south walk>>>


« Reply #126 on: June 14, 2023, 01:52:32 AM »

Day 4 of the 11th week before midwinter point

Calle was strolling back up the west side of Linenfell lake. With no snow covering he might bog for a few more ores to work over the winter. For now the spirits seemed to call him back to the cabin.

“Check and fix up the traps every few days,” father had told him.

It proved to be good advice. There swaying out of pit trap at the west fields were the antlers of bull elk. Approaching happily Calle pondered now if after this he should disarm the traps a while. Kneeling at the tracks in what was once mud from rain Calle guessed the tracks were a day old. 

Without stakes these pits injured legs snaring big ones alive for days until found. Spiked pits were far more dangerous with the meat often spoiling as blood loss claimed the life.

Calle began the laboring task to skin, quarter, tan and smoke the elk. It took over a day process. The hide process would take a few days with this elk giving up a thick elegant hide surely worth trading. Two weeks is the amount of time to smoke meat in the smokehouse. If he as was going to travel he really did need to disarm the pit trap.

Strolling first to the east fields… another beast thrashed in a pit. A reindeer this time. Calle flopped his arms up and down. He had enough meat! He wanted to travel. Shaking his head he chuckled.

“Thank you Swan for the great bounty,” he said, “I have enough now. Its okay for months.”

The reindeer joined the elk at the smokehouse and tanning table. Now he’d have to stay around here for two weeks to tend the smokehouse. Calle hoped he could get more bog iron to add to the bits still at the forge. He took over the metal armors, bear layers, the large axes and traveling things. All the extra weighed a hundred pounds on its own. How much more would it be if he ever got the chain mail the richest warriors strode around in?

Calle went to the fields and disarmed their pit traps. He didn’t want to anger the spirits with wasting food.

<CALLE 131 elk end reindeer>>>


« Reply #127 on: December 01, 2023, 12:51:49 AM »
Waking Calle noted the moon height made it nearly midnight. Strolling his cabin he started a fire in the sauna room and in the main room’s fireplace. To the yard room cellar he went next. The lid was secure on the cellar. Lifting it up he sniffed finding no signs of rotting foods. Restoring the lid Calle weighed it down and patted to make sure it was secure again. Winter would come soon. He had months of food here to keep himself sheltered from North Wind.

Following the elk bones to the smokehouse a fresh smoking fire was started. Here even more food was ready. If it was just him at the Swan Cabin homestead, as it was, this would go on into spring.

A sense of belonging led him to check on the nearby shore then the fields. There the guard traps were down save for one pit he had missed. This he disarmed. It would be unwise to kill game he didn’t need. Catching one would mean either smoking it or trading it. Perhaps he would trade with the villages he came to know.

It amused him near the pit were a few lingonberry bushes still dotted with their gift. He gathered a few and nibbled. Dawn’s small hours crept into the sky. Such as it would be for this time of year the sun’s dance was so short lived. Amid the broad moon’s light the clouds began to a gentle dance of fluttering snow. Their white sways reminded Calle of the swan that had guided him to choose this area to settle in. It had been some time since he had seen the Swan Spirit.

“Are you guiding another traveler?” Calle asked, “Swan maidens never stay for long they say. You were a blessing to me and made my life better. Come visit me when it is your whim to do so.”

Scooping up more berries he remembered to leave the forest their share as in the “dish with one spoon” teaching. There might always be another, human or animal, that desperately needed that last bit of food.

Making his way back he turned to check the outdoor work space. There the fence, kiln and forge sat along with stores of material like charcoal. Roasted ores awaited smelting. A task he could do amid the warmth of forge fire on a cold winter day.

A few more steps took him to the outdoor cellar. He disarmed a trap to pass within the ring safely. Here had been his first lean-to shelter while he built the cabin. In this cellar the smell of faint rot was felt. A few cuts of elk he pulled out.

“Bait,” Calle said, “I left you here as future bait. I’ll hang you in a tree away from the cellar foods.”

The rest of the outdoor cellar was in good order. Leaves for herbs and medicines along with the stock of planting seeds for the spring. Over two hundred smoked elk cuts were tucked in and over two hundred turnips. A few more months of food then. Having some out here meant if some disaster did happen to the yard-cellar there was enough food to live on with. All told Calle estimated six months of food.

The real question was would should Calle do now?

It is day 1 of the 10th week before midwinter.

<CALLE 132 day 1 of the 10 to midwinter>>>


« Reply #128 on: December 01, 2023, 12:53:46 AM »

Still debating whether to play again. I've certainly had a lot of fun and learning with Unreal World.

With a character well established like Calle is now not really sure what direction to take him if any. Never been one to want to massacre the Nerjpez. Pure survival is well in hand with 6 months of food, a homestead, fields and the surrounding lands both known and dotted with shelters.


« Reply #129 on: December 01, 2023, 07:20:05 AM »
One chore did come to mind: stockpiling firewood.
Fetching up the sledwagon Calle pulled it behind as trundled into the forests. With the slushy waters using watercraft to collect from afar could go badly. This was a safer choice though with far more labour.

“Dying is easy it’s living that’s hard,” recited Calle.

Three trees on the way to to north west fields were taken. On the way red mushrooms were spotted. These Calle knew were poisonous. To protect future dwellers he set branches around each find and burned them out. On return to the homestead an arctic fox was snared near the smokehouse. A good addition to the trade furs, bait for homestead traps and a hot meal once the rest was roasted.

His day and the next went into treating the arctic fox fur and finishing up an elk and reindeer fur.

The third and fourth day was simple: tanning hides, finding new small game in traps this time grouse, tanning those and building up wood stocks by the house and smokehouse. Smokehouse’s fire was continued. To thank the spirits lingonberries were dotted about.

Over ninety blocks of wood sat in the wood pile outside the house door. In the work piles over a hundred boards were ready for crafting or if needed burning. Then there was the piles already inside the by house’s fireplace, by the sauna and in the smokehouse.

Food was plentiful, firewood was plentiful, shelter was sturdy and water would come from the lake to be stored in the casks and amphora. Calle truly felt ready for the next time North Wind came looking to test the people and choose those to join the forever dance in the ice palace.

After a stroll to the hill tops and eastern coast Calle came back to the cabin. There was also many straws that could become thread and weaving. Perhaps this winter would see that chore done as well. One day he may have a wife, or the swan maiden, to share such work. Certainly the company would be good to talk with.

<CALLE 133 wood stocks in>>>


« Reply #130 on: December 02, 2023, 02:42:15 PM »

In his main cabin room Calle does ponder the dangers. North Wind is known to be a friendly dancer if you respect that they are stronger than you. Bears though. Bears could be a danger. With all his food stocks bears might come. It is time then to apply a teaching from Beodrin Two-bears.

Triple log bear trap made by hoisting each on a pole all lashed together. This giant tripod waits with meat tied to the lashing. It takes something strong like a bear to move the lashing which pulls the poles letting fall the great logs.

With his sledwagon its a moderate chair rolling onto a second day. His real limit is the rope strength ties. He does have enough for one. His trade stocks though are full of furs for trading and his bed had a spare rope. That first bear trap goes up between the cabin and the smoke house where he can see it from a window. Checking around his cabin Calle finds his tool stocks which is thankfully littered with leathery bird skins and a large dehaired elk hide. There is even some leather ropes here! A definite issue then is how the piles get in a small cabin. Its like his mind had been away in another world forgetting where things were.

For the next bear trap after felling two more trees near the fields Calle remembers the saying, “Seek for the forest may provide.” Going near his look out hill several fallen tree trunks are found. They are in various states of fresh to decay. As a weight for the trap these will do nicely. For its binding birch bark harvested in the right season has been waiting for a use. Twisting it into a rope takes time. Time he has in the season of fall slush. Soon the second bear trap is up slightly closer to the smokehouse. Both can be seen as can various medium predator traps. Spoiled meats left near the cellar are moved over. It is hoped those will draw the predators, foxes to bears, into that kill zone.

It may be boring to think only of chores. That is price of success. Its not a desperate time shivering in hopes a clumsy trap catches a clumsier critter for a single day of food. Being able to focus on improving only comes from having prepared so well.

“Well for the glory of chores!” laughs Calle.

His hands go into twisting birch-bark into ropes. A good stock may be needed for future tasks where decent is good enough. With a chuckle he fashions two sets of birch bark slippers for use inside the cabin. Hopefully the Swan Maiden or a lady guest will use the second pair!

By the time he stops in a couple of days nearly 200 feet of birch bark rope is hung up. Each day the smokehouse fire was reborn. Those meats were coming along well.

Day 3 of the 9th week before midwinter

Having finished the birch rope Calle took a walk in the crisp air to the northwest fields. Perhaps some work could be done there. It felt right to check on it. A small test burn was started to see if the soil could be turned in this Dead Month.

While the burned the sun edged over the woods not even a quarter of hits full disc. In the near lake ice there was a hole. Curious Calle moved along the shore being sure to stay off the ice. The tracks of a small elk were seen. Perhaps it had gone exploring the ice. It wasn’t a big hole. Perhaps it went in and got out again? Reviewing the tracks they lead onto the shore.

All the traps in this area were disarmed. Bait was left on them. There was plenty of turnips for the spring baiting. New meats would come from birds or other catches sure to come near the cabin. Perhaps he could have caught this elk. He didn’t need the food, leather nor fur. It was better bonding with the woods to leave life in the place.

Leaving the numerous baits out over the winter was also a way to be a grand gift back to the forest spirit. Game animals would still know to come here for food. Once the fields were planted what did get taken was less than the meat the game caught would give. There is a wisdom to over planting crops so that you can hunt and trap meat from the field.

The ash fires finished burning. Testing the ground found even the iron shovel unable to make a worthy go. Only the very thinnest dirt near the fire could be shifted. Perhaps though he could stock up firewood and stakes for the spring.

In the darkening winter even the early winter grew to a cloud of barely seeing. At Swan Cabin the current eating plan continued. Nettle leaves, hemp leaves, heather flowers and uncooked turnip supporting smoked meat cuts. Diverse sources in quantity making his body strong and mind pleased.

A grunt ruffled the darkness.

“Ah!” Calle said, “Is that you young elk?”

Stepping outside the snow held in its grip the young elk’s tracks from earlier in the day. This was right next to the porch. The woods seemed determined to gift Calle or was this a test?

There weren’t any pit traps here, the kind Calle used for elk.

Still he should check. It may have gotten hurt in the various defense traps.

“Cracked boards!” Calle blurted out.

The second bear trap had tipped over pinning the elk.

Calle ponders his place here. This is another chunk of meat that he doesn’t need. It is right here. It is very tempting. What is his place here? To bring down all he can?

Calle shakes his head.

Swan Maiden wouldn’t have led such a man here.

Sushing and humming to keep the elk knowing of him he pushed and heaved on a tree trunk of the trap. Big brown eye of that side of the young elk looked at him. Bursting in its own strength the elk calf got clear.

Calle called out, “Be free! Come back when you’re bigger! You can stay then! Tell your friends.”

He laughed a long chortle of bellows.

Come morning the forest had gifted a bird in a trap. This Calle accepted. A small fresh meal.

Now concerns for an accident on the ice Calle went about preparing to improve the safety fences. He had put a few to the west by the north west fields to stop a rushed westward run. Swan Cabin being on a peninsula it was possible to get to the water that way too. With plenty of birch-bark in stock he twisted length of cord, not rope, thicknesses for use. Many were done when movement went by the window.

It was an elk cow!

Had she come as the mother of calf?

Calle laughed. Was this the same elk spirit coming back bigger like he said?

Stepping out he wanted to guide here away. The snow obvious tracks led though to the calf! Even over an hour later it was still here. It moved around the shore. The mother wasn’t in sight. Called shifted his position to guide it inland. It really didn’t want to go west!

Was Swan Cabin now in the middle of an elk migration path?

Shrugging his shoulders Calle went back to the planned chore. As he adjusted the safety fence to the east the elk motion ceased to be heard. There was no signs of broken ice. Hopefully the family pair had found their way along. Hopefully the spirits understood this. Calle felt they would.

It felt strange yet needed to set up fences a short distance from the predator traps. Calle hoped these would guide future elk away from harm. There had to be spaces still for the predators. They target animals could circle in drawn to the bait.

On his next wake the darkness was deep for hours in what would normally by the small hours. There was no sun and no moon. Calle stumbled failing to even get the fires going as he couldn’t see enough to work. Wrapping up in the furs again he waited for a few hours to pass. On the moonless days of each month in winter this would be a challenge!

The dark shroud was only a few days. Then either sun or moon was aiding the living again.

Simple chore days of working on fences by the north west field were well fed by fresh catches of birds and hares. These smaller game Calle accepted. He ate them freshly roasted.

Around the fields en elk passed, darting when it saw Calle. He was fairly sure this was a different elk. With the pits disarmed the elk could see what to avoid. As well as being fair with the spirits Calle didn’t want to trap himself to weeks of the smokehouse tending. The current batches were moving along well.

Day 2 of the 8th week before midwinter

Finally the smoking is done. The elk and reindeer are shifted into the outer cellar. That’s the one just south of the cabin in the original cellar-shelter ringed area. With all the birds and hares caught only a few pieces of smoked meat from before had been eaten. This homestead was very good at providing. Thanks of course to the Swan Maiden and Calle’s willingness to follow the spiritual teachings of grandfather.

With the ground frozen with thin snow Calle took the bright days to wander the wood now. With the sledwagon he gathered fallen trees. Into his pack went lingonberries still in their late season.

Calle’s mind was stirring. He could build around the north porch to make it a snow room. Where it would be the main entrance with the cold and wet person closing the outer door, removing wet things and only then proceeding to the warmer interior. This would take perhaps 50 trees. Another project would be to convert the outdoor work area to having the half walled structure that was preferred. A roof to work under to stop rain landing on hot work. Walls to limit the winds yet open enough for lots of air flow to clean out smoke. That would take 80 to 100 trees. There was also weaving that could be done but that wasn’t his favorite thought.

Calle laughed.

<CALLE 134 smoking done>>>


« Reply #131 on: Today at 02:01:56 AM »

Starting the gathering of many trees for the building Calle debates on which types to use. Spruce is slightly stronger with pine more durable. For this work Calle will use pine. Swan Cabin sits with good edge affects, the mixing of different terrain. The lichenous pine forest to the northwest will be the source of harvest.

A glutton is snuffling about in the woods. Its thick fur and long claws quite distinctive. Calle paused his work briefly. It snuffled then moved around in its area. It wasn’t hungry enough to attack a person. The whacking on wood must of disturbed it. Calle was confident the Swan Cabin predator traps would keep him safe.

These days of thin snow with frozen ground were good for sled pulling. Skis weren’t needed yet letting him push his feet hard for good power. Where he found poison redlegger mushrooms he burned them out. Tree trunk gathering for a few days was going well. This was a productive time to bring them in. Then he could work near the cabin warmth to shape them properly. Having a sledwagon was very helpful!

On this day he was gathering a third load of tree trunk on the same day. On this third outing he spotted the red dots of lingonberries. Just north of here they hadn’t been seen making Calle pity he had set so many to dry by the cabin fireplace, for preservation. He wanted some for trap baiting. Well here just a little south the lingon bushes were still waiting. It was growing dark quickly as it does this time of year. Two pounds worth were fetched into pockets. He came back in the silver colors of the half moon. Crisp icicles formed on his clothing furs dripped away once he was back at his bed near those drying berries.

Once enough trees were gathered for the planned snow room expansion there was still good season for gathering more. These were now being piled by the outdoor workshop.

Water being a source of life is tended to. Though the amphora is full it hasn’t been changed in some time. Calle takes it big clay vessel along with the cask and buckets to the lake. The water is poured out and the inners scrubbed with snow. Once cleaned they were refilled. Taken back to the cabin they would be good in case the presence of North Wind dancing blizzards should block him in.

As another preparation a portion of the blocks of drying firewood are moved into the inner courtyard. North Wind is more powerful than you. You can dance with her but you must respect her. When she decides to dance don’t go out with her without your protections. Her greatest coldest dance will beyond even the greatest protections you can muster. Those days just stay inside.

Moon and sun in late Dead month moved in a strange dance. The gathering by sled would go well when there was light. Days of both in the sky would be followed by work only by moonlight. That moonlight depending on how much of the moon was showing.

Snow was now fist deep on the ground. Standing still the snow just crested the top of his feet. He could still pull the sled without skiis. There was though a slow draining fatigue now to walk. Within a moon this would be deeper making motion without skiis burdening.

Calle spoke, “Dead month, the time of dead plants. For those with a sledwagon a time to gather the dead trees else fell them to make them dead. A great gather can be brought in this way. Wood for fires, building and crafting.”

Before the end of Dead month Calle figured on having enough tree trunks for both the expanded porch and workshop. A few more to make floor and roof boards plus a stack of spares, to offset any of pre-fallen he rejects as unsuitable. Slender trunks in number were in for bracing poles. Soon the preparation of trunks to logs would begin, right next to the safety of Swan Cabin.

From under his bed Calle slid out the skis and ski poles. Bringing them to the table he laid them down. He began rubbing on remains of fat trimmings to reseal the wood and leather. He stacked them near the door to dry before use.

<CALLE 135 tree trunks in>>>


« Reply #132 on: Today at 05:21:12 AM »
Day 4 of the 7th week before midwinter

End of Dead Season

Stepping out of the cabin to the cool air with a noon sun that shows only half its bright disc Calle hoisted Truth Cutter out of belt. Its masterwork steel edge gleamed from its recent sharpening. Eyeing the many trees brought in during dead month now was logging time. Bark and chips fly into the air.

In the days of logging Calle whittled together an elk calf. One for telling the story of the one he let go. A squirrel and ongoing bird captures kept adding fresh meat the well balanced diet of smoked meats, leaves, flowers and turnips. Daily fires in the cabin’s over fireplace kept heat emanating

Day 7 of the 5th week before midwinter

The fitting out of the snow room is complete. With good fortune no major storms had come during the building.

It added almost half the space of the main room. This space would give places for new piles for sorting. The trade furs would come here. Without a fireplace it would get cooler even cold. Most important though is it things could dry out here and snow could be shaken off before going into the main living cabin.

Calle gave it two doors, one to the lake for water and the other to the smokehouse. Shutters were on each of three exterior walls. The now inner wall to the main cabin has its original door and window. The snow room could get light from many directions or air flow if desired.

Calle also hoped the Snow Maiden or a lady love would appreciate the snow room catching all the mud from Calle’s boots!

<CALLE 136 snow room complete>>>


« Reply #133 on: Today at 12:02:39 PM »

A simple table was stood up in the snow room. With all the light approaches it could be a decent workspace, should the weather and clothing be warm enough. Plus it would act as a draining table for very snowing things. Small holes were made then fitted with pegs for more drying and hanging spots.

Day 1 of the 4th week before winter, Winter Month

Awakening after midnight arms pushed through the static strains of healing from the many days of building the snow room. There was no sun of course. At the moment there was no moon. It was so dark all Calle could manage was to find one of the small blocks of wood next the bed. He began whittling feeling the wood as much as seeing it.

Deep darkness persisted into what would be the small hours. Patting rain began to fall. It would melt the snows a little. It was pleasing to know the snow room’s roof was already complete.

He decided to finish the whittling as a stag elk. It wasn’t his best work being done in the dark but decent enough. He put it next to the cow elk and calf figurines. A little family of the forest.

The dark continued.

A turnip and smoked meat form his pack became breakfast. Knowing his way around his own cabin Calle used the water cask to refill his water skin and canteen. Moving into the snow room he pulled up onto the table. This table was added as a workplace in what could be more lit but there was no light outside.

Peering out a shutter he looked to the sky. Clouds were known by the absence of stars form the sky. Star groups appeared briefly as the unlit clouds shifted. Rain pattered down. It seemed sad. Yet Calle felt a soft pride. He was in a durable cabin that had already survived a winter. It was now even larger. The main room, sauna, snow room and inner courtyard. Different places he could be to avoid the sense of being confined in to small a place.

His quest had begun in a challenge to survive a winter on his own not to far from his village. Had he come back too soon it would show he wasn’t ready for a great quest. In the stories told a serious injury was fair reason to come back as was deep sickness. It was allowed to try again but not many would. A few died with bodies found. A few became mysteries perhaps taken by the forest spirits or by the Nejrpez raiders or to try their lives far away. A few made it through their first challenge as Calle had.

Having made his way here, guided by the Swan Maiden, built a cabin and now expanded it was a success. Villages might start this way. Once one homestead was viable another might join then another.

Calle leaned into the corner of the snow room from up on the table. He began reciting the songs of his people and retelling a tales. Half an hour passed when the rain stopped. The light was faint enough to see a few arm lengths. At least he could safely start a fire in the oven place.

Now as light spread from the peeking sun he got to work. The unused logs and tree trunks from the snow cabin work were moved. The fist deep snow now had a crust from the rain freezing. It was a challenge to crunch in and crunch out of it. This would not have been a good time for walk pulling a sled of trees any long way. Here he could rest near or in the cabin as needed. Pulling the logs on the sled from one side of the cabin to another with crusted snow was strain enough!

“Each month has a name telling what to do,” Calle recited, “Winter is homestead work, crafting and perhaps skiing to friends along the rivers.”

He began the work for the open workshop. He planned an L of walls with posts to hold up the far side. This would keep rain off while letting air in and smoke from the hot work.

A few days in the half moon was in the sky and a quarter sun. The clouds were thick but not dropping their blessings. As Calle was working on a wall the wind began to howl. His ears perked. Looking this way and that he was sure he heard the sound of North Wind. She was beginning to move here on her visit from the Ice Palace.

Snows were common now. Winds swirled as North Wind danced. This was the early times. Calle’s clothing was well matched to the challenge. Heavy labor also warmed him. North Wind’s glimmering dances were a joy when you are prepared.  It reminded Calle of being in the village when the men were working while girls danced happily nearby.

This did make setting the workshop walls challenging. It was for an open design making the uneven results tolerable. As the ground would frost, melt and heave it would bend the lay of the roof to come. Without fully enclosing walls it only mattered if the water would be kept out.

Day 4 of the 3rd week before midwinter

Snow had grown to calf deep well covering that icy crust. It was sluggish walking. Working at the homestead he never had to go far. If he did it would be time for the skis and ski pole that sat waiting in the snow room.

The excess of trees brought Calle now planned to hook a short third wall to make the workshop C shaped.  That would help contain the winds tossing snow around. It would also anchor the long wall and long roof better.

Day 7 of the 3rd week before midwinter

Still at work on the workshop C wall. For first time Calle feels cool not warm. North Wind has thickened the world with snow. Icicles hang from the snow covered spruce trees. He will dress warmer now to avoid becoming one too! From his adventuring pile he pulls out the bear fur overcoat. This will do nicely! When North Wind dances you must be prepared or be chosen to stay in the ice.

Day 4 of the 2nd week before midwinter,  Early Center month

The workshop enclosure is done. It had been a week of hard labor only possible by the preparation of the stocked homestead. Snowed came time and again taking clearing it away. The uprights for the roof sat on frozen ground would need adjusting after each spring thaw. Adjusting the cross spars and shingles would be simple enough with the sturdy C layout now used.

Calle’s heart felt proud of the work. Both winter build projects were complete!

Center month had come. Full of the intense dances of North Wind. Deep cold will have taken to the rivers and lakes. Now one could ski along them better than overland roads.

From the yard cellar dried berries were pulled out. Double helping to celebrate.

<CALLE 137 workshop completed>>>