Topic: [Brygun] The Story of Calle (long story style)  (Read 24312 times)


Brygun

« Reply #45 on: May 08, 2023, 10:40:22 PM »
That turnip hill at “Burbot rapid” did start giving up a harvest. The turnip harvest was much smaller than Calle had hoped. However turnips are used by some as pit trap bait to lure in elk. Certainly worth trying! Interestingly this hill has different berry bushes, herbs and nettles. The nettles would need a week or more to ripen. Those fibers take a lot to process to make yarn, strings and clothing like the cloak he traded for. A nearby hill also grew flax and sorrel spice herbs. Calle took what was ripe now planing to return later. He even found several grouse nets yielding over a half dozen fresh eggs.

Returning to Linenfell Calle delivered the turnips. A check of the field traps looked like a bird or two had been caught then eaten by the lynx. Heading north Calle dreamed to find such a useful hill. The hills he did find were part of a range running to the north west. He spent half a day going out checking them only occasionally finding plants more useful than berries though few were ready to harvest. An interesting sight did come into view of a detached small lakes and a larger lake. Calle decided to make a shelter there for winter hunting and as an emergency shelter. Using a naturally fallen tree Calle split up firewood for such an emergency. Perhaps someone Calle never mets would find it and survive because of it.

A sniffle had gotten into Calle. Continuing his hill climbing farther and farther north now a was wheezing started. He decided to turn back to Linenfell. There he settled in at the shelter enclosure. With his cask full of good water he poured some into the metal pot. He added in a small amount of nettle leaves wishing he had more. Boiled it should ease the flu growing. Calle ate from the better foods as even the cellar the roasted bear meat had soured. Ignoring the spoiled bear meat he had a few weeks of meat alone enough things to make bread from to extend that to at least a month.

Calle rested wiping his runny nose with leaves. He should be fine if he took care of himself. This wasn’t a time for wide traveling adventures. He just wished he could recall where he saw wild growing nettle. Nettle teas would really help right now.

<CALLE 051 sniffling>

Brygun

« Reply #46 on: May 09, 2023, 03:01:22 AM »
Pacing himself for a day Calle gathered two more logs toward the cabin wall though held off trying to setup the wall. Roaming the area on a forage was easier on his lungs. He gathered ripening herbs for exterior wounds and many more cloud berries. By the evening Calle was breathing smoothly again. Between the nettle tea and lighter duties his health was back.

The next day Calle grinded hemp seeds for flour. He still had a large surplus of those from trading. It was good to taste the bread again. Safe times like these flow smoothly. Working away Calle set another pocket of ash turned field planted with fast growing turnips. The defenses for that was the start of trap fence with pit traps. The bear cuts ran out with Calle grinning when he took out remaining dried reindeer. By the end of the week after the summer solstice Calle had gotten the useable space in the cabin to include a fireplace, sleeping bunk, wood pile area and a cooking area.

<CALLE 052 fireplace>

Brygun

« Reply #47 on: May 09, 2023, 06:07:47 AM »
Since the solstice had passed now was a good time for planning. While more spots could be ash turned it wouldn’t be productive to plant in them. Having chosen a cabin site to homestead Calle started quarter logs to dry to be late fall or winter trade for longbows. A healthy array of boards were already upright under spruce drying since work had begun here. Food needed to be considered. For a wilds homestead late summer was a good time for foraging.

A project also to plan on is making a smokehouse. Another large animal like a bear would yield more meat then an earth chilled cellar could safeguard.

Making for a foraging Calle went to the nearest mountain. Once again he met the elk! His arrow sang out. It passed high and left of the elk. Pursuit was ineffective.

By land to the hills and by paddling along the lake shores Calle continued gathering. He retrieved shore plants of use, many good sized stones and various natural fall trees to tow back. Repeatedly he saw the lynx or the carcasses of birds and a hare. Its the two predator problem. Though not wanting to fight each other they certainly were competing for the same resources. One night the Lynx was prowling very close to the unfinished cabin. Calle set out even larger traps as the ones so far the were only gathering food for the cat.

After hauling the found trees up the hill Calle decided to set about making a sledwagon. In the winter it runs on skis and in the summer, like now, on wheels. Lashing a trunks to it would be so much more efficient than what he just did! To make it would take a lot of ropes or rope-strong material. A harness should have multiple passes on the person to avoid strain. Then the ropes to secure it. Calle made ropes of leather for the harnessing and of birch bark for the tie downs. Boards, skis and wheels of wood were simple enough.

Occasionally a bird was caught in the cellar guard traps. When preparing the meat Calle used a settlers trick he had heard of. In the summer time rather than use the fireplace he cooked outside. Then when the cooking was done he turned the soil over as an ash turned planting area for next year. These little plots would be good for spices or medicines like nettle.

When the sled wagon was finished Calle’s heart was filled with the jot about winter sledding down the slopes! Well so long as he didn’t go into icy water!

<CALLE 053 Sledwagon>

Brygun

« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2023, 07:08:38 PM »

Day 6 of the 12th week before winter, Late Hay month

Long term homesteading planning needs to account for the seasons. Its not quite yet harvest month. There can be time to do other tasks. Calle takes the time to consider the possible projects.

An odd thing has come up at the main cabin. Using the elevated ground to gain height has also meant that its hard to see out the shutter (in game mechanics). The cabin has enough going with a central fireplace and roofing to sleep into early winters very well. With a sled wagon moving logs will be much easier too.

Carpentry crafts has a small stock of drying quarter logs for longbows, dried boards for furniture and a collection of quality boards. The best ones boards by Konsta and Sampsa. If he had large food stocks they could be hired again. Making trade goods could get food.

Agriculture could benefit by turning more ash soil for next year. This didn’t seem like an immediate task.

Large game hunting was proving a difficult spot in Calle’s life. His broad bulky frame could haul nearly 300 pounds of equipment. What it couldn’t do is move fast making persistence hunting prone to failure. 

Trapping was working on the doubling up principle. The guard traps at the cabin and the growing network at the fields. It was a matter of time though.

Fishing by net was possible. Calle’s general failure with net fishing was trying him. It would be a problem that this cabin wasn’t at rapids. When North Wind to Axe Rapids a bit more food was always possible by fishing the rapids by net or line. In theory he could break the ice here. It likely would be risky and less productive.

Calle also wanted a second or third punt to leave one at the river networks flowing to the villages. He could portage his own of course. Linenfell’s lake was isolated, there are the north rivers and the south rivers making three locations for a watercraft. Extra punts could be traded or on those shores as a luxury thing. That’s not a priority.

Food was slimming. He did have a month of mixed meats and baking easily. This isn’t critical though it is an issue. Foraging might be beneficial though more so in a few weeks in Harvest month.

He had an extra beaver pelt from trading.

Pondering his options. Calle decided to do things. First was a general reset and clean up of the traps at the field. Then a few days carpentry before visiting the villages a bit farther south. Trading like this would also mean a visit to socialize, share stories and know each other a bit more in case of troubles ahead.

<CALLE 054 Late Hay month planning>

Brygun

« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2023, 07:36:25 PM »
Carpentry was something Calle missed. Honestly missed. He decided first to assemble another wooden shield. It would be a good spare if the current one was damaged and a trade good if needed. He leaned it up inside the cabin space.

Strolling from the cabin he took a different path. Today he would walk due west from the courtyard to the pennisula’s bank. Then follow the bank it. This was a scenic stroll. A few birch-bark trees reminded Calle to harvest one or two for stocks of bark for cordage. That would be a “soon” task.

Arriving at field Calle was happy to have several captures. Three birds and two hares! He had found fox bones which likely was the arctic fox being eating by the lynx. The lynx was potentially still a problem. This time the lynx hadn’t stolen away these captures. Coincidental hunting has yielded a week of meat.

It would take time to process all those hides here on top of resetting the traps. Calle would live at the fields overnight. Small cooking fires were made in new spots to turn the ash over for future planting next spring. Sure enough as the smell of roasting bird was in the air the Lynx came to see. It had learned to work the trap line too!

A bit bothered Calle turned over the ash of the recent fire. Perhaps he could put out the loop snares he carried. The cat might not expect those.

Success!

Over there!

The lynx is in one of the predator traps!

Built with cord holding a wider set of trunks and weighed heavier this sort of trap could pin things bigger than birds. There trying to dig out is the Lynx.

<CALLE 055 Caught the lynx>

Brygun

« Reply #50 on: May 09, 2023, 08:52:36 PM »
Bashes with woodsman axe were met with fanged growls. Up close it was a big cat. A really big cat! It was trapped good though. Once it was slain, skinned and butchered Calle figured on nearly twenty pounds of meat. Combined with the bird and are meats this was pushing weeks of food. Plenty to see to other tasks!

That lynx weight though made Calle stop to think. On top of useful meat there was three pounds of bone, a pound of useful bones, unused digestive track and the wastage like paws. That cat was at thirty pounds? Thirty pounds! Calle recalls the night the spirits woke him to the lynx prowling outside. A thirty pound fanged cat leaping on your sleeping face.

Calle shuddered.

He gave the first cut of meat to the spirits giving the chant of thanks.

Happily working away Calle had solved the two predator problem. By eliminating the other this had made a hole in the forest’s balance. A hole were Calle could live. In time more animals would breed to challenge. For now his need for food was balanced by one less meat eating animal.

Reseting the traps took a day then another to expand the trap fence. It was being set so that if Calle rushed form the cabin it could push an animal between the coast and fence. There the pit traps could claim it. Animals wandering to explore from mainland to the peninsula might step in the pits as well.
 
His hungry had been satiated on the birds, hare and lynx. Without realizing it Calle had been eating up just the meat. His strength was flowing good. It really would do good to mix in plants or baking to spread this out.

Having put out berries for bait Calle went to the east mires for more. Only the crowberries had ripened. These he found on the pine mire collecting over fifteen pounds in the one day. Two attempts at fowling caught him a grouse as well.

After resting in the cabin Calle went to process the fresh grouse. Sadly he had forgotten two bird skins tanning at the lake edge. He let those sink into the waters asking the spirits to forgive his wastage.

Now he planned to use the sledge to bring in birch, for their bark and material for carving. There was also the new pits that didn’t have turnip bait yet. Calle picked a few out of the cellar and made his way to the field.

A reindeer is frothing about in one of the new pits! His crescent hook shaped fence and pits had worked! Another hare as well! After dispatching them both Calle reset those traps and put out the turnip bait. The reindeer had been bashed with the back of a big axe until numb. Then Calle’s hunting knife tip had slid into the neck to bleed it out with minimal hide damage.

It was a small doe reindeer just over 200 pounds. Calle guessed her to be four years old. Calle hoisted it over his shoulders to process back by the cabin. This would mean enough meat to hire workers. Either to work up the cabin or a separate smoke house? Calle had to think about that.

<CALLE 055 Caught doe>

Brygun

« Reply #51 on: May 09, 2023, 09:37:46 PM »
Processing the deer Calle figured on 95 pounds of meat. Yields of one half meant that the lynx would have closer to forty pounds. Calle shuddered. Calle roasted a third of it along with the hare meat. Chilling in the cellar would give time to the rest.  He could perhaps trade the rest for workers and already preserved foods.

Working the hides was next which would take a few days given the size of the reindeer skin. Calle brought in his first sledge pull of a birch he took the entire trunk of bark off.

It was a few days later Calle carved a lynx figurine. It would join the household carvings of the elk and bear. The fox figure was on guard inside the cellar. Calle planned to make a few more later. The reindeer hide was done and a second birch tree brought in and wholly debarked. In the morning he would take extra reindeer meat and the beaver pelt to the villages for trade and hiring.

<CALLE 056 Carved lynx>

Brygun

« Reply #52 on: May 10, 2023, 04:56:10 AM »
Of to Maiden’s Stream he went. There Sampsa and Konsta greeted him openly amid their work. It was a little disappointing that the settlement still needed them. Their own harvest was coming up and they couldn’t be spare. Not for this small community. It was still possible to trade a good portion of the reindeer meat for persisting goods like furs.

Late afternoon brought Calle’s arrival to the larger “Button Stream” settlement to the south. First to greet him is old Kuopia. He needs Calle to collect a stock of 40 pinches of heather flowers. A barter is also struck for the rest of the uncooked reindeer for a half filled bag of broad beans. Holding the bag Calle really hopes to make it last to the next planting season.

While searching Calle checks their pasture. Yarrow, sorrel, goldenrod and milkweed are up. A small supply is harvested and picked for his own medicines and next year’s plantings. Paddling across the rivers to mires Calle does find flowering heather farther north. Certainly farther out than old Kuopia would roam. There was luck in the strangness of finding nettle growing amid the rises of a rapid. Calle collected a healthy portion for medicine and seeding. As he had been taught he always left a little of the wild find to grow more, feed the animals and show respect to the spirit world.

With the herbs collected Calle paddled back. Kuopia was happy to get the supply.

“Well done youngster,” Kuopia said, “It takes different herbs to make a truly powerful blend. Here, this dose is yours. Use it if you ever really bad off. Save it until then.”

Calle nodded, “Thank you. It is a great thing and will be treated with respect. Used when the need is great.”

Calle asks Kuiopa about the plants and their seasons. On hearing the answers Calle thinks now is a good time to harvest from the wilds. Though Calle failed to get workers the collection of herbs and the medicine dose

Traveling north Calle pulled off to the shore several times. These searches turned up more useful plants well away from the settlements. Remembering the hill at Burbot Rapid he found it growing well with many things to harvest now. Squishing red juice slid between Calle’s teeth as he enjoyed his favorite raspberries fresh off the vine!

It was a double portage to bring it all in. When unpacking Calle found the carved lynx still in his pocket. This he placed at the fields shelter to bring peace to the lynx spirit and hopeful encourage other lynx’s to stay away, like with the fox figure inside the cellar. One exposed set of peas was found raided with the culprit now trapped. A hare was waiting as fresh food after the long trip!

Humans moved in the distance too. Calle recognized at least their style of dress. Gathering up the better furs he went to meet them. This group had met Calle months before. This time he had furs worthy of their interest. It was going to be costly though. Amid the items of interest Bevisbert offers a broadsword whose fine blade ripples like a river. Other traders have broadhead arrows, a simpler broadsword, a long mail cowl for the head, a fine battleaxe, hefty battlesword and even mail leggings.

Having had lessons in the sword Calle does fancy that elegant river sword. The barter goes on at length over the different furs. It will certainly take the bear fur. Along with it goes that fine lynx fur, reindeer fur and the trade beaver fur. For what comes to seven broad head arrows is given a badger fur and a fox fur. All memories Calle had. These though have a purpose in trade.

“Lets share a meal,” Bevisbert said, “You can tell us how you got these.”

Sitting amid the forest Calle began his tales. A few traders had little of Calle’s language. Others explained to the partners. Calle asked about certain words too. Each side gaining a bit of the other’s language.


<CALLE 057 River sword>
« Last Edit: May 10, 2023, 04:59:08 AM by Brygun »

Brygun

« Reply #53 on: May 10, 2023, 05:45:28 AM »
Calle tacked the flat of the river sword on his all wood shield as he walked up the bear. The bear scrambled to the other side of the bit. Its left hind leg flailed with a floppy knee. It couldn’t stand to pull itself out. Wanting to keep the pelt in good shape Calle whapped the side of the river sword onto the bear. A solid bruising hit squishing on the fur, fat and meat without the crunch of bone damage.

Calle’s eyes popped wide as the bear spinning bear jaw first slammed at Calle. The wood was whacked hard saving his legs. A fear of being pulled into the pit with the bear flooded like a howling wind through Calle’s soul. Mastering his fear Calle gave blows to the bear. The shield twisted his arm stopping mighty blows. A recovery was slow with the bear sliding the scrapes of a bite across his clothes. Upper most the leather belt twisted in the jaw with a slight seep of blood showing where a fang had scratched through.

Calle took a step back, “You are mighty bear. That is a respect you deserve. I am Calle of the Reemi. I have come after passing the First Winter quest. Your strength is greater than mine. The ways of the ancestors were followed. That is the advantage Calle has to face your strength. You will be honored. I promise to place your skull high on a lonely pine.”

From the safe distance Calle calmed his breathing. Stepping forward with the shield low Calle had to cross the swing range of the paws. Whacked wood held the shield together. Flat blows were landed then Calle stepped back. Furiously frantically the bear tried to get to Calle and out of the pit. The stones below wobbled making the ruined leg slip.

Calculating the risks Calle stepped forward, blocked, landed blows then withdrew in cycles of rest.

Amid the blows river sword sung as it cracked a rib on its prey.

On the next closing to range the bear’s fatigue and wounds were telling. It slipped again.

Hyvaneuvo the adventurer flashed to Calle’s mind. The lessons included timing a thrust to an oncoming attack. It made the effective motion twice as fast and twice the impact.

Calle crouched as the bear came up. Knee dropping on his sword side, hip twisting with arm guiding.

A glint of sunlight from River Sword was the last that bear eye would see as it split like a grape to the thrust.

Silent gaping jaws flop over as the bear passes out from pain.

Calle repeats his thrusts to the bear’s neck. Striking hits slide along the floppy bear skin like chainmail dragging a saber. No responses from the bear. Thinking to save the pelt Calle switches to his hunting knife. Caution might be said but would it really be correct? Calle slid into the pit with the bear. Shield readied the knife is precision pushed in through the layers. Blood spurts out and again as an artery lets out.

Calle watches. His senses sing with adrenaline. If the bear rose he could die. Burbling blood slows to a seep as clots form on fat and fur. Calle sends in his knife again this time deep. Bone pushes the blade for a moment then gives way. Breathing stops. The bear has ceased.

<CALLE 059 River sword pokes out an eye>

Brygun

« Reply #54 on: May 10, 2023, 07:10:50 AM »
“First give thanks,” grandfather said, “then care for yourself.”

Calle set out a gift for the forest spirits, “Thank your for meat, skill and protection.”

Next he swung out his water skin. It was a handy trade from long ago. Looking through his carried herbs he crushed heather leaves. Water poured on the palm with the leaves scrubbed the scratch. When bandaging strands of nettle leaves are added. Its known for giving both a barrier by structure and its own inner goo fighting infections.

Nearly 300 pounds of bear took a great struggle and levering with trunks to get out of the pit. On the surface Calle set about skinning and butchering. There was a great stock of meat once again. Meat that would be very hard to find a place to trade. Putting it in the cellar would be first.

Turning to take the first portions back Calle notices motion on the lake. The swan. Softly paddling about as a spirit showing its agreement with Calle. It was the swan that had told him he had gone far enough north to camp. It was the swan that accepted either river network was fine. Here the swan was approving of Calle, the bear fight, the cabin and all the work so far. Being in harmony with the spirits left Calle speechless. His breath choked and eyes watered. A moment was needed to start walking in a song of praise to the spirit friends.

At the cabin’s east lake shore Calle toiled to clean the bear skin properly. A mallard began singing a pleasant call. Then another stronger sound. It was the swan singing to Calle. A deep proud breath filled his lungs.

True to his promise Calle set the bear skull up in a pine tree. It wasn’t quite so lonely as it was in sight of the other. Calle hoped the bear spirits would agree with each other. This he wasn’t sure about. It was a hope though. It was that or set it up far away. This seemed better for the bear.

Across the lake to the north east wolf shapes loped over a rise. A pack of wolves close to here. Calle had to hope the pennisula would confuse them. His cabin defense was far from complete. There is though a small island on the lake. Perhaps sheltering over night there would be best.

Working the bear’s fat and brains with water made a soupy mix. As Calle worked this onto the cleaned hide the swan came close to the shore. A wide smile came to him. He still thought about whether the swan spirit could protect him at the cabin or was it warning him of the wolves?

If the swan and he were in harmony then wouldn’t his thoughts on the island be the swan’s as well?

Calle paddled over to the small island in the lake. It would be bizarre for such a long swim by the wolves. There a cappercille was walking around. Walking not flying meant it felt safe. It was easy to find a pocket of trees on the north side. A trio of guard traps for noisemakers were set. Calle slept happily on the island.

In the morning he disarmed the traps to avoid unnecessary harm to the forest. A lean to was put together in the pocket. If he ever needed to come in the winter it wold be here. Rocks and a pull stone were set up for a fire ring. Already fallen branches including a big one were gathered as ready firewood.

Returning to the cabin shore Calle looked to the east. Movement had changed to the foreign traders.
Calle laughs.

Were those traders werewolves?

Calle laughed again.

Well if they were then they had already done a trade with him. That should mean they were at peace. They would want Calle to get them more furs.

Did they wear the furs to turn into animals?

Calle’s laughed echoed over the lake.

Setting to work again Calle attempts to make smoke in his half walled cabin. Without the proper ceiling and walls the smoke just won’t collect. Its a huge work to make an independent smoke house.

He could try sailing north in hopes of meeting Owl tribes folk. Its no guarantee but maybe they have someone willing to come work.

<CALLE 060 Too much meat>

Brygun

« Reply #55 on: May 10, 2023, 07:52:11 AM »

Exploring by paddling is troublesome. The lakes are separated with no navigable ways between them. Leaving the punt on a shore Calle climbed up a hill. Though seeing far he couldn’t see a settlement. Owl tribe is one that herds reindeer thus always moving to graze them in new places.

Walking back down on a different path he saw smoke rise far across a lake. There was a tribe over there! Crossing the lake Calle tried two landings before finding them. They were settled at Hanging Wide.

Trading gets arrows. Calle has quite a few arrows already. They are a trade good now. Something that doesn’t spoil. The only possible helper is too busy. There is talk of Nerjpez setting outposts northward. Ahkejuoska is acting as a scout to make sure new places are safe for moving the herds and family.

Calle becomes troubled that the location given is near the harvest hill he used. That is getting quite close to him! Its also north of several of the Kaumo settlements.

With talk of another herd village to the north east Calle pushes on exploring. Exactly where no one knows after all they move as a herd. A traveling shelter is raised at a pond. Next morning he goes a little farther north east then does a T search. That is where go wide of the expected direction then turn as if making a T. Its a technique good at finding lost tracks. Calle was about to end the T to turn back when over a mire he spotted the tents of the Hair Wild village.

Thankfully they have dried meats. Its a 3 for 2 of roasted bear for what is… dried squirrel. Squirrel? Over two dozen squirrels. Had their children been sent out to devastate a wood? Calle laughed at the image of a swarm or rock throwing children pinging squirrel after squirrel out of trees.

Fortunately they also have smoked meats traded for a few arrows. Hair Wild is certainly larger with Calle guesses three times the population of Hanging Wide. Talk speaks of a cave southward called Pine Mountain. For now Calle just notes that as he needs to finish his winter cabin. There is another village just a few miles to the south east. That Calle can try to find.

Draught Mire is the third village’s location. Legends of the dried reindeer meat are found tree. For a partial quiver of arrows Calle will be coming back with 40 dried reindeer cuts along with the squirrel and smoked meats. Over 80 servings of preserved meats can be stretched over two months with wild greens Calle collected. Now that’s something he can build a cabin on even without hired hands.

Calle overnighted with tribe of Draught Mire. Now he had to go find his punt and get back to the cabin.

<CALLE 061 Owl meats>

Brygun

« Reply #56 on: May 10, 2023, 09:09:53 AM »
On the way back Calle found another Owl herding tribe at Bad Mire. They say it smells bad but the grazing is great! A trade of eight bone tipped arrows gained nearly 30 more dried reindeer cuts. This trip worked out well!

Still in morning Calle found his punt. He had put it on a projection of a lake so once finding that lake it went quickly. Roasted bear tasted great. A few portions were held back as fresh food for the trip back.

On the large island made by the northern river system Calle saw a figure moving. Seemed they were dressed in local clothing. Calle paddled around to try to meet them. With the person not found Calle figured they went into hiding. No need to frighten them. Calle moved on.

At home the field guard traps provided two birds fresh enough to process. Blueberries at the cabin had come into season too. Being latter Harvest month there is the challenge of do you build or do you harvest. Building tires you out with wild harvesting, foraging, a way to relax.

While building a southern section the swan flies between the walls and the spruce. A blessing to the cabin!

On a round of gathering Calle sweeps to the northwest. On the hills are a few more herbs and blueberries. Checking mires finds the crowberries still in season. Experimental herbology though has brought on a fever. One of the plants, a lovely looking one, has brought on a fever. Eating spoiled meat has made him vomit a lot. In this case he may have saved himself by ejecting the toxic plant before it was too bad. The danger could certainly grow.

Quickly back to the cabin site Calle sifts through his herb collection choosing to take heather. A pot of boiled heather soothes his belly as he falls asleep. Come morning he has lived. Still a bit off another tea is made.

It was a struggle now. Teas were helping and not helping. It seemed to ease then get worse. Calle was getting worried. He had the special mixture. Part of him wanted to get through this without using it. After a few days on heather tea he used what yarrow leaves he had.

To call for help Calle whittled a swan figurine. An invitation for the swan spirit to visit, be welcome and come in the time of need. Once it was done he hung it by a yarn to sway high over the bunk.

In the morning Calle’s aches were softer. The poison was still at work. Its power was weaker. Had Swan come as he prayed?
Staying at the cabin expanding the floored and roof parts kept him busy. The teas and swan presence were holding off the worst of the poison. Searchers for more heather or yarrow were going to be needed before those plants withered.


<CALLE 062 Bog poisoned>

Brygun

« Reply #57 on: May 10, 2023, 05:14:13 PM »
Day 2 of the 8th week before midwinter

Concerns for his health Calle sets off on a forage. The goal is heather to keep making medicinal tea. On the way out he checks the fields. Crops are growing up.

Turning a pea pod back and forth he says, “Two weeks.”

Crouching at the turnips he pushes a little dirt aside to look at the base, “Four weeks.”

Looking up to the sky Calle adds, “There’s time.”

The harvest should come in before the frosts come. Peas and turnips. Peas are a pretty low yield. What he expects is to perhaps double what he planted. All that to be saved for planting next year. Turnips are pretty durable making them great to extend winter stores.

Considering where to get heather he strolled to the eastern pine mires. Around were he fought a bear on arriving to the area. Crow-berries are showing signs their abundance will pass. With berries its a rotation from one to another until even in the snows lingonberries can be gained. Wiping his face Calle realizes his fever has gone down. The heather tea, yarrow tea and swan blessing have brought him safely across the folly of experimental herbology.

Crow-berries, crow-berries and more crow-berries. A few pounds could be many pounds if he wanted. Heather though is still eluding Calle. Bog bean flowers are handy, which itself a useful as a spice or wound treatment.

Feather sticking up right on a stick.

An arrow!

Calle laughed. He found one of his raven arrows from fighting the bear. Nearby was the landing shelter. Calle over nighted there.

Exploring north west is a nice hike. Pleasant time in the woods are good memories. Still no heather. Its likely they have withered away in this area. They were so common before! Calle wished he collected more then checked himself. He had collected many things. The heather had been enough for that illness.

At a lake in the north west, they would tell him it was Kolu’s Mound, Calle setup a travel shelter. Having such setup around the main location was a preparation strategy. In later time if injured or cold there would already be placed to seek refuge. Another safety shelter went up where Calle figured he was close to due west of the Linenfell cabin.

Scouting along a large ermine was nibbling on berries. Crouching to move quiet he moved away then resumed eating. With careful placing each foot Calle crept closer and closer. With the bog arrow notched he let it fly, straight through the ermine. Its fine pelt was soon on his belt. Foreign traders wanted these sorts of ermine pelts. To make sure to prepare it properly Calle headed back to the cabin.

At the fields its time to do trap maintaining. One has a grouse and another a luikka (loon). Calle recalls hearing the luikka and swan singing together. He chooses to release the luikka.

Calle lifted the weight off, “Swan is my guiding spirit. I hope you will keep singing with the swan. Sorry you got hurt. Thank you for singing.”

Luikka was flicking its head to Calle and to the sky. It wobbled a step before wings beat it into the skies. Calle smiled wiping a tear from his cheek.

<CALLE 063 released luikka>

Brygun

« Reply #58 on: May 10, 2023, 08:41:05 PM »

Day of the 8th week before midwinter

Once again Calle thinks of the tasks ahead. It is late Harvest season. A dream of gathering heather had come. Old Kuopia of Button Stream was there gesturing across the rivers. Yes, there had been heather to the south. Calle may be north of where it grows. There had been hemp growing along a river bank too. There was a lot of cabin work to do. In harvest season you had to harvest or you wouldn’t have anything later.

Rubbing his chin Calle looked to the swan figure swaying from the ceiling.

“Keep this home safe for all of us,” Calle said, “Elk that became a bear is here too. The fox in the cellar and the lynx at the field. I’m going to take another trip to get things we don’t have here. Things like the medicine that kept me safe. I will be back soon.”

Calle delayed a day to make a wooden tub for trade. Enough boards to make another if wanted would come too. It felt awkward going there without something for the village.  Sleeping early let him rise in the small hours. Plenty of time to travel. He put out the elk and bear figurine on top of his furs to guard them. He gave the hanging swan a pat to make it sway like it was flying. Down to the northern river system he went.

Along the way he stopped at “Turnip hill” of Burbot Rapids. More raspberries were ready as was unneeded blueberries. Every where around here was blue berries. It did give him the mind to check shores here and there. Happily at an island of “Holler Raipids” Calle found flowering heather. His searches earlier were just too far north. Holler Rapids also yielded golden rod, spirit mushrooms, nilberries and more nettles. Other river banks held more and more nettles.

At Button Stream they have set aside flax seeds. This oddly insterests Calle as a new crop for next year.

Villager Apro came up, “Calle. You are of the Reemi. I have a journey to make to them. Would you guide me that way?”

Calle shook his head.

“I am a Reemi is true. My journey of life began there. Up the river with a paddle came Calle. Its not a journey I will be taking this season. Homesteading take a lot of work. Your village can spare you but Swan Cabin can’t spare me for long, not yet anyway.”

“Swan Cabin?” asked Apro.

“Suppose that is the name,” Calle said, “A swan spirit is guiding me there. It welcomed me there and guards the cabin during this voyage.”

Apro’s eyes furled, “A swan maiden? Be careful if it is.”

Calle’s lips pushed together. He hadn’t thought of whether the swan could take maiden form. Would that be a good thing, a bad thing or just a thing?

At night the elder Kuopia told a story of a swan maidens. In this version a hunter with a decorated cloak saw a swan took off her feathers. She became human next to a cloak of feathers. By trading cloaks the hunter bonded her to him. Though she was faithful her full happiness escaped him. She was exceptionally sad when their child found the feather cloak and asked her what it was. Her hands stayed at her side for she had offered it freely and only freely could it truly come back to her. At the next birthday the hunter turned father asked that if there was anything honorable he could do or give he would. The child asked for the feather cloak. So it passed from father to child who then gave it freely back to the mother. With her cloak she turned back to a swan and left their home. The hunter would wander the lands often seen following a swan who would linger to look at him and the child at his side.

Calle thought of his own swan, “She was always meant to be free.”

Apro warned, “One time you disappear maybe you be trapped in her home.”

Calle scoffed, “As if that would be a bad thing.”

The villagers laughed.

On the morning the voyage home involved a few more landings to gather. It was a full load of herbs and plants gathered. Calle was especially proud to have learned to find heather to the south. Even Turnip Hill had some near, not on the hill but in the pine mire around it. The wild hemp had been a small yield. Only a little trouble as he had stocks of hemp seeds meant for bread that cold be saved for planting. Nettles were very frequent. A decent green for eating and fiber for clothing.

When finally home Calle stored the stocks in mounds in the cellar. The fox figure guardian had to be moved to sit on top of the new stacks. Calle took to eating one of the spirit mushrooms. Then he lay down under the swaying swan figure dreaming of how he would act if the swan came as a maiden to him. Already she had flown right by the cabin and sung to each other many times.

Waking the colors of the dawn swirled all around. Calle felt like he was still floating or was it flying? Flying back from flying beside his beautiful swan maiden. One free that the spirit mushroom had let Calle cross to her world a time. His senses swirled sill flying around the forest. Back and forth the swan figure arced with her sky borne grace.

<CALLE 064 flying with the swan>

Brygun

« Reply #59 on: May 11, 2023, 05:56:15 AM »
All the colors of the world dancing with the wind.

Swaying with the colors Calle went by the edge of the lake where Miss Swan was most often see. There he sets out her portion of spirit mushroom. She is sure to like it!

With things in good order for food and medicines Calle made a hard blitz on logging for the cabin. It was a week at least of work. Sadly Calle learned that at some point an elk had been trapped at the fields. The body in the pit was already decaying past use. An elk would have been a huge yield. Calle set the corpse on a pyre to burn.

Day 6 of the 6th week before midwinter, Early Fall Month

First of Calle’s own turnips have been harvested. Agriculture achieved!

<CALLE 065 Agriculture achieved>

Day 7 of the 6th week before midwinter, Early Fall Month

There is another harvest to be done before the icy days: iron ores. With iron bearing hills to the north west they drain toward the west side of peninsula. Paddling to that part of the bay a long pole is poked around. Somehow the spirits bind up the tiny drops of iron into balls of mixed iron, mud and other lake. Once likely objects are found the dipping net is used to fish it out. Its a long active process.

These will take a lot of work and the heat of charcoal. Gathering them from the lakes need to be done before the freeze. That’s now. Yields are small. Calle’s hopes is to have enough for a metal shovel for that makes the ash turning and bog hunting for iron more efficient. Then maybe a knife for carving, a second pot to keep teas in and so much more.

Forming the iron will take the heat of charcoal. Charcoal making is best done outside of winter as shifting winds can offset the delicate process. Near the cabin is a hollow of ground. That would give sheltering to the charcoal mounds. He could try there even after the snows.

A second day of scooping iron is started.

While on the lake a beautiful fluttering of thousands of tiny feathers sparkling from morning’s level rays. These flashing are the first snow fall! Enjoying the beauty on his tenth ore blob Calle goes to check on harvesting the fields. The frosts must be coming soon too! A few more turnips ready with growing concern if the peas would make it.

Another task before the ground ices is another trap fence on the east side of the pennisula. That is the pits need to be dug before the ground is hard. The covers and fencing can go up later. Calle studies the land trying to thing how an animal would move. Choosing a spot he begins stabbing with the wood shovel into the earth. The dream of an iron headed shovel comes to him again.

Day 2 of the 4 th week before midwinter

Brushing spruce over the lattice of branches on slender poles hangs the covering sheet over the a pit trap on the eastern J fence. Its been hard work to dig the five pits and link them with fencing. Calle approached the fence from both sides imagining himself an animal. Several fences were moved to better guide toward the pits. Four more needed to be covered. This one needed bait. A turnip from the fields would do great.

Strolling to the fields a bawl is herd as an elk thrashes about in a trap! This time Calle is on time. It seems that even small fields with pit fences bring in far more food than the toiling the soil.

<CALLE 066 Caught elk>