Topic: [Brygun] The Story of Calle (long story style)  (Read 24296 times)


« Reply #60 on: May 11, 2023, 09:11:00 AM »
Calle had confusion fill him now. Over two hundred and fifty pounds of elk meat was in the cellar. He can make use of as is forty to sixty pounds. He looks at the huge 200 pounds that would spoil.

Should he attempt another trade run? Would the villages even still want more food?

To make a smokehouse he needs to enclose the space. He has enough gathered trunks for a small smoke house or to enclose a more modest donut cabin, like the size he had at Axe Rapids. There is a lot of work to do for that. Would the meat stay okay in the cellar long enough? Two to three days to split thirty trunks to logs. 5 to 8 days to mount them. 2 days for boarding the gaps. Ten days or more.

That’s just too long.

Its a river dash then.

Calle lightens his load even leaving his two big axes behind. Clothing is likewise trimmed. Over two hundred pounds of meat and his punt are portage to the northern rivers. Going south, sleeping briefly then continuing on the punt is beached. Calle carries the meats in to the Kuamo village of Maiden’s stream.

Trading away meat for preserved foods and good for trade. Goods include a short bow, 2 baskets of hemp seed, two bags of rye grains. Calle also did chores toward getting an arctic fox fur that would be good with the foreign traders.

Village woman Marja stores away the bulk of the elk meat.

“That’s all we need Calle,” Marja said, “That will feed us long through the winter. Remember North Wind comes soon.”

“Yes he does,” said Calle, “I left more elk meat at Swan Cabin. Well stocked with roasted elk alongside rows of Owl perserved meats and stacks of wild harvest. Food won’t be a problem this winter.”

“Don’t let it spoil or be raided,” warned Marja, “Nor over hunt the game. You have things to do other than get too much food?”

“Carpentry is my families trade,” Calle said, “Though I’ve helped at other trades as we all ought.”

After a rest Calle made it farther south to Button Stream. The last bits of elk meat were welcome enough there traded for smoked meats.

The round trip was less than two days. With still a bit of warm weather Calle was pondering Marja’s words. He realized there was another trade that needed to at least start before the snow: clay work. He could for instance make a kettle for healing drinks keeping the main iron pot free. Walking his peninsula shore he picked a likely spot and started digging. His first pit was a miss on good clay. A second pit was dug.

Squishing the mud in his hands he felt it was close enough to what he remembered his mother and grandmother using. It was dirty work and Calle didn’t want to filth the cabin. He waded in the cold shore waters to clean up. A small fire in Swan Cabin dried him as he fell asleep amid the mix of the bear, elk and other furs.

In the morning Calle made a decision to keep peace with the forest. He was overstocked with foods. It wouldn’t do to trap more game. If the only set traps were guard traps at the cabin he could focus on work here, like building up the cabin. Respecting the animals also meant treating their hides. That to distracted form the core work needed.

Going to the fields he disarmed the traps, including the pit traps. He mourned the failed pea crop. There are those who warn its not hard crop to grow. His northern location didn’t help nor his mid season planting.

Today’s weather was pleasantly warm. Calle used this as chance to really pull up clay. Then another cleaning wading.

<CALLE 067 disarmed traps and clay>


« Reply #61 on: May 12, 2023, 12:13:26 AM »
Able to focus on the cabin a heavy work cycle began.

Day 5 of the 2nd week before winter season, Early Dirt Month

The ground is now cold enough that the snow is staying on the ground.

Calle has already hoisted up Swan Cabin’s eastern mixed wall. It will be improved later. What it does do is provide at least some wind protection. The dominate winds are south west making it perhaps not the best choice in that regard. It is the east that follows the natural ridge Calle is building with. He wanted the ground workable and not icy while heaving the structure up higher. That is the lake side with lake affect winds coming from that side.

Shortest is the north wall which is what he is working on now. Its on this side that will become the main entrance and first courtyard. Material outdoor storage is southeast with a south door shielded by spruce trees already in place. His plan is that the west side will eventually have a set of small rooms. One room for water casks and another for a closely defended cellar. In the corner will go the secondary chimney for a smoking as a room that can be closed off on its own. Those will also make an inner wall. For the first winter Calle can use the inner wall to limit how much cabin to build before the snows come.

Those foreign traders seem to have camped out to the north east. For weeks they are still visible. Are the expecting Calle to bring more furs? Swan Cabin is near the boundaries of both Owl and Kauma lands. For someone wanting furs that is a good place. It hadn’t been part of Calle’s plan but a little break from the walls would be refreshing. Among the furs is the fine elk fur and trade furs like an arctic fox and beaver. That still leaves two bear furs for Calle to sleep with.

Going out to meet them Calle had to track them a bit. They were foraging around their camp. It turns out this is a different group of traders. Now that is interesting. That means now and then new traders with new goods will come right close to Swan Cabin.

Calle cut off a spruce branches making two piles.

Calle spurted with his limited words in their tongue, “Trade furs. Show things. Blanket trade.”

He put down his furs next to one spruce mat. The traders nodded approvingly. A blanket trade where each puts goods on a blanket, in this case spruce, to show the negotiation.

Calle passed on a battle axe.

Gerbrand held up a silver ring gleaming in the sunlight. Such a rare thing. Silver is used in rare rituals. It is expensive though. That also makes it an incredible trade good as so light to carry. Calle tilted left and right to show he was uncertain right now.

Next Gerbrand put onto the spruce a metal rimmed round shield. Calle studies it closely. It was made of a foreign wood. Harder than spruce or pine that he was using.

Gerbrand patted the wood, “Oak.”

Then Gerbrand turned it over patting the handle, “Leather and iron”.

Calle looked closer. Its handhold was indeed steel not wood. It was bound in good leather. There are a few metal braces on the inside of the shield boards too. This was a very good shield. Picking it up Calle moved it about. It flowed like rain over a leaf. A masterwork of wood and metal combined with strength and balance. This he wanted!

Calle put onto his own spruce mat different sets of furs. Finally settling on hares, a badger and a fox.

Gerwin was next offering a round shield though Calle waved that off. Gerwin yammered to Gerbrand and the two laughed.

Gerbrand replied, “Next time,” to Gerwin.

Gerwin had broad head arrows, axes and mail leggings. Broad heads were always good. Axes Calle had and he doubted being able to afford the fully metal legs. The shuffling of goods on the spruce blankets began. Finally from Calle a squirrel fur and that trade arctic fox for eight broad head arrows leaving one arrow out.

Trading with Halfrey was much faster. There was a fine spectacle helm, iron for the skull and across the face! Well made with superbly smoothed broad rivet heads. Halfrey was quick to point to Calle’s elk fur. Calle puts it out then adds the badger fur. Halfrey looks them over waving for more furs. Gerbrand and Gerwin speak to him. Halfrey picked up the helm, no trade.

High valuable goods like the ring meet the same fate as the fine spectacle helm, just not enough furs. The other goods Calle wasn’t eager for. Leather leggings with foreign patterns and good stitching were interesting. The spruce blanket trading fails though. They aren’t worth the fine elk fur and the badger isn’t worth as much as them.

After the time together they part happy. Each gained things they didn’t have at the start.

<CALLE 068 master shield>


« Reply #62 on: May 12, 2023, 03:13:23 AM »
The next day Calle was working while debating where to lay the west wall or to make the south west corner into a smoker now rather than later. Looking to his sleeping space he had the two bear furs, one mangled from fighting the other in good shape. He could try offering it for the helm with the fine elk but… would it be enough? Ah, and a fine ermine hair in the piles too! He’d forgotten about that.

It comes to nothing though as Calle can’t find them. Seems they had moved on after the trade. That makes sense. There would have been risk though as its good to have three furs, one below you sleeping, one above you sleeping and one to make clothing. Had he done that trade he’d be down to just one, the battle mangled bear fur that was used for the below sleeping.

Day 7 of the last week to winter season

This day of the fall equinox. As a special celebration he goes to over night where he first saw the Swan Spirit. Kirri’s rapid hasn’t been visited in months. The darkening nights make it hard to find. Arriving he spends time in prayer.

“Swan Spirit, Swan Spirit, Swan Spirit,” Calle called out, “I am Calle of the Reemi from the lands to the south where is the sea the rivers flow too. By here is where you first showed yourself. On the edge of this great home. Thank you for telling me it is here. There is a prosperity here that shall be respected.

Time and time again you smiled at me. When the wolves were on the east mire you warned me to sleep on the island. That kept me safe. You have led and allowed animals into the traps. They were a great bounty. It was a mistake at times to not make use of all of them. I did not know how great the bounty was. For now my traps sit idle for there is plenty. Thank you so much!

Here is a gift of a sign of blessing back to you, heather and my favorite berries… raspberries.”

He then began chanting until falling asleep.

Fluttering snow tapping onto ice greeted the opening of morning eyes. Yes there is ice. The edge of the lake is frosting up. That time has come. On the ice there was a pattern of broken ice. It looked a little like the curve of a swan’s neck. Its angle is close to how she could have looked to the shelter, Calle and the raspberries.

The east of Swan Cabin is almost fully enclosed. Two or three days more will see that done. From there it will be safe to make improvements and add the western rooms.

<Calle 069 Fall Equinox Swan Ice>


« Reply #63 on: May 12, 2023, 06:23:34 AM »
Returning to Swan Cabin first on Calle’s mind was to turn over the water stores. His first cask, wooden tub and traded leather skin were emptied. Taken to the shore the still thin ice was cracked. Fresh water for the season filled them up. When they ice thickened this would be harder. With an enclosed cabin with a fireplace the water would be accessible. With the cask he could cut down on how often he needed to break ice and even sit out the deepest cold indoors.

Day 2 of the 13th week before midwinter

Swan Cabin is now fully enclosed! The Lake Room, as Calle calls the eastern half to the non-existing west half, has almost twice the interior space of the Axe Rapids donut cabin. He will be able to sort goods, organize materials and life decently. The east wall needs improvement to switch out boards for thicker logs is true. The cellar still has a few weeks of dried meats let alone stocks of berries and herbs.

A bench and table for working inside. A

Wild splashes snap his attention. Hurrying to the shore the ice is splattered and pock marked. A pair of goldeneye birds have been … frolicking? They waddle on the ice and it breaks.

Head tilted Calle says, “All right Swan ice is dangerous. If it can’t hold birds it can’t hold me. I shall tell you the punt has been punt under spruce already. I won’t be going on the river when its dangerous. Letter I might ski but for now my tasks are on land. Thank you for sending the goldeneye to warn me. Their game has brought joy.”

Flapping a golden eye went through the ice and backup, with a fish in its mouth.

“Do the village folk in the south know how good it is to talk with the animals and spirits? Do they think that people are the only ones to have joy and sorrow?”

Accepting their gift Calle drink out of one of their splash holes.

With the safety of the enclosed cabin established now is a time to accept the splitting of tasks by again setting the pit fences to bring in game. On the east J the ground was still workable to add two more pits and guiding fences. Bait was set out on west and eat with a mix of turnips, berries and spoiled meats. Smelly stuff to lure them over. A mix to confuse the scents enough to mask his. As built the J were designed that when Calle came from the cabin if her startled an animal, even if he hadn’t see it, they would be stuck in the J unless they stepped into a pit.

Cold was setting in too. Having traded fur clothing earlier Calle needed to make new pieces. For now key items like badger mittens, hare fask mask to shield from North Wind’s claws and from scraps of an earlier bear wraps to go over the great shoe’s his mother gave him. Calle sat down at that.

Its been a year since he started the challenge that took him away from them. Would they be proud of him? Calle looked around the Swan Cabin he built in a remote place. The stocks of food the friends he made. The two angry bears defeated and robbers driven off. His spirit tie to the Swan glowed with the energy of his heart. Yes, they would be proud of him.

Day 5 of the 12th week before midwinter, Late Dirt Month

Calle stands in the main door of Swan Cabin. Finally the eastern wall has been restructured to all logs without needing the blank bracing. That had been a fast build expedient. Now the east wall supports the roof properly on that side, long before heavy snow loads. The ground outside has no snow with the odd spurts of warmth melting it.
Lake Room, the only room right now, is the main hall. On the north side is the table and bench for crafting. Storage is possible on the west and middle walls. The east passage carries on to the sleeping bunk. There is room later to expand the bunk when a family is started. Near the sleeping is the central fireplace making it great at warming the sleeping and easy to tend the fire when ill. Shutters let in light from the north and east wall for multi-direction lighting reducing shadows.

A notch in the south wall goes around an exterior spruce that felt lovely to lead in. While the north main door is fairly open the south door is hidden by spruce. It was always meant as a secondary door for supplies or in case of an out of control fire. On the west wall is three doors that will one day lead to the three west rooms. For now Calle will pile up spruce outside them as extra protection from the winds.

There is a good amount of space, light and heat to work here for days. Currently the cellar is outside, closest the south door but only a short walk. Calle’s cask and a tub sit near the fireplace so its warmth works to keep them from freezing. Its a good cabin already. Building shelves and other furniture will make it even better.

Over the bed the swan figure sways on its cord as the air draw from the fire place shifts the air.

<CALLE 070 Swan Cabin strengthened>


« Reply #64 on: May 12, 2023, 09:11:11 AM »
On a restful stroll on the hills Calle came across a mother elk and calf. Firing away one of the new broad head arrows it struck the thorax but high on the ribs. There wasn’t any major bleeding. Tracking for hours was a mix of wanting to stop the animal’s pain and to recover the valuable broad head. A half dozen bone tipped arrows were fired with no hits. Calle’s mind also pondered that the calf ought to stay with the mother for a few more months.

After recovering a volley of arrows Calle broke off taking the chance to scout out stones to use as an anvil later. While carrying a candidate the elk and calf came across him again. Dropping the stone to use the longbow he didn’t get into a good shooting position. Heading away to find another stone he sees her again. Dropping this stone and tracking fails to get a shooting position. At least he returned to collect the second stone.

Putting out heather on a tree branch, “Forest spirit. Calle has been hunting and it neither goes well nor seems right. This is a peace offering for the pain she has. May you pluck my arrow from her to ease her pain. May the elk spirits and Calle met again in a better way. She is cunning and strong. Today she bested Calle of Swan Cabin.”

The next day he spent the hours smoothing the anvil stone to have a working area. Calle paused putting his elbows on the stone.

“That hunt brought me a stone for working metal. It is still a blessing that the elk led me to,” said Calle, “Thank you.”

Getting up he gave a light tap to the swan figure. It flew on its yarn back and forth.

Day 4 of the 11th week before midwinter, beginning of dead month

One of several projects draws to completion. A set of well made shelves go up in the south notch of Swan Cabin. Swinging light panels turn on simple cords. This becomes a safe place for storing ready foods, spices and herbs.

Next morning Calle went to another project. In the hollow just to the west of Swan Cabin he started stacking stones, rocks and packing with clay. Large and small branches gave a framework for the topside clay. A fire was started inside to start drying. This would be a kiln for latter projects, like a clay tea kettle.

Food stocks were still quite good. Random catches of birds or hares attracted to the cellar provided fresh meat while stocks of traded for perserved meats was still worthy of couple of months. Since he no longer had to rush for food nor warmth Calle was able to focus on the building. Having a cask to refill a more manageable tub of cool water in the cabin had made chores and getting a drinking free of the smashing lake ice each time.

The worst storms were yet to come. He hoped the use of the hollow would protect the clay work. A half wall smithy might be a good idea for shielding the charcoal mounds that would be needed.

Calle took a moment to list out Swan Cabin projects for this winter:

Make charcoal
Perhaps build a guard wall for the charcoal making
If charcoal smelt iron
If iron make a metal shovel

When kiln dry make a tea pot
Other clay perhaps for pot for more water

Check trap pits every few days for captures

Check food stocks every few days to warn in time to get more

Build more shelving boxes for tools, bones and supplies

Grind flour from available grains keeping seed stocks in the cellar

Turn wool stocks into sheets
make wool clothing layers especially spares for feet and hands

If available time expand cabin with smoker room before spring

Calle then realized he could make the smoker as part of the shielding wall for the hollow. It was going to have a wall of sorts anyway. He would consider how to lay that out if it was going to be possible. Then the south west room of Swan Cabin could be something else.

<CALLE 071 homesteading plans>>>


« Reply #65 on: May 12, 2023, 05:49:23 PM »
The clutter of tools and materials was awkward. Calle had been preparing to make more shelving. Then it occurs to him that is all work that can be done indoors. That can be saved for the stormy days.

Taking time to consider the hollow workspace, Hot Hollow, Calle took note of how long it took to raise walls for Swan Cabin. Each section area takes about two days to fell and move the trees, one day to shape them into to suitable building logs then two days to get them in place. Five days for each set. Two or three of those for a one sided shelter. Two weeks. That would take into the stormy weather. For the limited amount of metal he gathered that is a lot. Calle figures instead that this winter he will use fencing on top of the hollow’s lip to break up the winds and snow. The better system can come in later years when there is much more ore to work. By putting the charcoal mounds just inside the windward rim will help too.

A day of harvest, then a sleep in the comfort of Swan Cabin. Even without a fire residual heat from the fireplace stones, fur blankets and his clothes kept Calle comfortable.

Setting the fence line on top the hollow’s edge went quickly. An upright, a few horizontals of split stakes, a bit of wilderness lashings so they brace each other then weave among that spruce branches. When the wind hits it this will slow it down. That is how snow fences make them drop snow. In this case he’s doing it to slow the wind near where the charcoal mounds will go. With how the forest has grown there are spruce on the south coming to the south west corner. They are a free extension of the wind fence.

Prepping the woods for the charcoal is several days of hard chopping. The whole process is about controlled burning wood to drive out the moisture leaving high density charcoal. Only then when you run the iron making you have the density to make the highest needed to soften iron. Unsure how much charcoal will be needed Calle plans on three mounds which is around four trees of firewood.

Mounds are simple in theory. Pile up the firewood interlocking then cover in dirt to limit the air flow. A full flame will consume all the energy in the wood. The goal is remove the moisture and low density parts without taking all of it. This takes days of watching to cover up openings. Wood burning gets smaller letting small collapses happen causing extra air openings. Shifting winds or precipitation are other challenges. Its a blessing then that the three days of making the mounds is without rain. Calm dry days give promise for Calle’s charcoal stocks.

<CALLE 072 charcoal making>>>


« Reply #66 on: May 12, 2023, 06:35:28 PM »
Eyeing the charcoal mounds in Hot Hollow Calle takes up tasks that can be done there. Fetching another tree for firewood he the bog ores are roasted. That is heated up and burned to drive off the mud, grass and moisture. Nested below the hollow’s rise with the wind fence its like a visiting cousin to the three charcoal mounds.

A few steps away on the east side is the kiln. Its now cooled and hardened. There Calle pats together cold clay lumps with water from inside the cabin. Its chilling his fingers to work with this. First he shapes a cup like shape then adds a pouring spout and a close fitting lid, a clay kettle pot. Enough to make herbal remedies. To tell his stories Calle makes a set of clay figures: a man, a woman, a tree and a cloaked figure.

Now and then he steps over to the mounds to add soil where the smoke is rising too thick. Thin wisps are fine but thick streams mean a flame has started.

Another day of charcoal tending is a day at the kiln. A pair of clay bowls and clay cups for dining in the cabin. A pair of amphora to store water in the cabin allowing the tub to be focused on supplying the Hot Hollow workspace. Also a clay pot for a backup to the iron pot. That used less than half the clay Calle had dug up. Calle decides to commit to a large amphora, like the traders of old. It can backup the cask for storing water.

<CALLE 073 clay projects>>>


« Reply #67 on: May 12, 2023, 09:28:26 PM »

Past the half way point on the charcoal Calle pondered what tools he would need. A forge of stones and rock had been setup in Hot Hollow during one of the clear days. A large anvil stone had been found and worked to be ready. Wood of sorts was around though one could always stock more. There was a tub for quenching hot metal to lock the form in place. A whetsone was already part of his tool kit. The stone hammer he made for carpentry could be used though having different shapes was useful. A bellows would be needed as well.

In his stocks was pitch glue for making another punt. With ice on the waters those could be used for binding a stone hammer. Calle assembled a stone hammer with the stone’s natural contours coming out a little rounded. Useful for some shapes but not for flat. Picking another stone from his mass collected pile he worked up a second stone hammer. He picked it for having a marbling like his carpentry hammer. This one came out with a similar fine flat face. Both these hammers would be used in Hot Hollow.

A flare up was shooting out a mound. Hurrying over Calle shifted what earth he could shovel over the spot. It would have damaged or wasted some of the charcoal. This was why they needed tending. Winter had been mild so far with a few brief snows still more than a thin dusting on the ground. Next he went to check the wind fence. A few spruces benefited from shifting. On the fence he put out heather petals as an offering of peace and prosperity.

Day 1 of the 9th week before midwinter

Calle inspected the first mound he started. Only a faint wisp was coming off it. Using the shovel as a lever he lifted a window of earth to look inside. Blackened warm coals looked back at him. His first batch was ready. Also cooled was the second amphora, intended for the kitchen, and the large amphora for the second level of water reserves. The latter was filled up at the lake. If changed his mind he could always pour it out and drain it.

Onto a bellows. Calle has many bird hides for the leather. It would be full of leaks if made with so many tiny seams. Instead he cuts up his only remaining large leather sheet from the reindeer.  This will have the least amount of air losses. Combining the boards as two flats with the leather between, a hollowed out slender for a short nozzle and handles he pushes it closed with a whoosh. He dashes about the cabin giving pumps at the dust. Swan’s figure is giving a few blasts to feel the wind on it’s face.

Laughing for a while Calle reached for the clay kettle pot. Inside was a mild heather tea like the stronger versions he used when he had bog poisoning.

Ah, he needed to smelt the ore into a bloom. He needed a bloomery now! Having accepted the Swan’s blessing to life here there was great edge affects. This time what he needed was stones and rocks. Large stones he had a plenty. To get the chinking rocks Calle hiked to the nearby hills. With different terrain around each offers different resources so by living on an “edge” you get more access.
As he started to pile them up he didn’t see how to keep the heat in. That’s right there needed to be clay. A giant oven of clay with rock and stone lattice for structure. Calle’s ambitious use of the clay had depleted his stocks to almost done. With a wail Calle ran for the lake shore. He scoured into the pit. The lower ground was still workable. Had he not made the clay pit earlier this wouldn’t be possible. Into the darkening night he dug until he had twice what he figured he would need. Dumping it at Hot Hollow he scurried cold and wet into Swan Cabin.

Calle started a fire with kindling and a poorer board from all the splitting work building the cabin. A nice long lasting fire. Calle dashed down to the lake, following the line of upright branches to the lake. He pushed himself into the frigid ice with it collapsing as expected. Being right at the shore he gave himself a long over due bath. The clay would clump up if not removed!

Teeth chattering Calle staggered in the night following the branches uphill. Back inside Calle went beside the fire. Undressing he hung his clothes up. With the tub Calle washed himself and his clothes in detail.

Under the furs next to the fire Calle slept a warm sleep. In the morning the clothes were dry. It was a good time to check them all for wear. A few minutes of repairs now might stop disaster later. It reminded he still planned to make wool socks, lots of them!

Going out to Hot Hollow Calle assembles the larger bloomery. It towers over the first forge he built. Both have their uses.

<CALLE 074 Bloomery up>>>


« Reply #68 on: May 13, 2023, 01:14:57 AM »
Day 2 of the 9th week before midwinter, Dead month

Pounding with the new flat stone hammer Calle is sweating. The bloomery heat is flowing onto him. With his free hand he works the top bellows handle while his foot holds the bottom in place. Releasing the bellows he resumes smashing on the glowing bloom. Forced charcoal heating is the hottest he’s ever been around. Dense charcoal with air blown on into a confined space. So many strange scents shedding from the bloom. As he pounds it more unbound slag falls away. The useless parts like unwanted bark to a carpenter. Hours of heating, pounding, turning, heating and pounding.

Hooking it with the stone of the hammer, the only part that wouldn’t burn, the first ingot of iron is pulled off the striking rock. Fluttering snow instantly sizzles on its heat. As it cools Calle takes it to the cabin to show the Swan figurine. Fresh bread of hemp scents the cabin today.

Three days later Calle is stroking his whetstone against the iron edge. Grandfather had said that the first things a smith should make is tools. This is the first tool. A shard of iron now flattened in the front then half the front slopped. On to the square back is fitted and lashed tight the wood of handle. That front slope now run to consistent fine edge. Now honed to be a very fine small knife. Useful in all sorts of crafts. Getting this first tool made is a proof of the forge and the smith.

<CALLE 075 first iron small knife>>>


« Reply #69 on: May 13, 2023, 03:06:19 AM »
Day 1 of the 8th week before midwinter

The fine small iron knife made elegant curls of wood as it whittled the handle. Its shaft narrowed just near the top so that the swell became a brace for a short cross bar. A little rubbing of thinned pine tar as a sealant. A little more onto the lashings to the cross bar would dry like a glue. On the business end of the handle Calle slid on an iron scooping body arcing into a broad cutting triangle. He sit it against the fireplace stones where the heat would continue to dry it all together. This would be a fine shovel indeed. Come the spring the ash turning would go so much faster!

Third of the iron goods made is a flat iron hammer. This would be vital to even heavier build projects with a strength beyond that of his best stone hammer. As it came to life there were small spots of gaps on the surfaces. Impurities had survived the blooming and working to release now. It left the facing a bit rough in spots. Strong but not the best. Called took a deep frustrated breath. That was the end of the iron stocks he had gathered.

With a few deep breaths Calle focused on having made three iron tools: a small knife, shovel and the iron hammer. These would be a great advantage in crafting to come. As a further soothing Calle puttered with the clay to make two more amphora for the kitchen. A small clay kettle pot is shaped up with two ring handles. These are for cords to secure to a pack while traveling or hung by cords from a tripod over a fire.

After the few days of that tool making the ground is without snow. Its still possible then to make a good hike. Calle elects to attempt active hunting. Preparing seems a luxury. Flours are ground both rye and hemp. Fresh swirl breads are made. Hard tacks and dried meats for stable reserve foods are chosen. Berries are set by the fireplace to dry out for better storing in the cellar.

When it comes to medical supplies Calle has choices as well. Kuopia special mixture is still with him in case things get really bad. Having a travel kettle means being able to access boiled treatments.  The medicines of choice are nettle, heather and stone crop. Nettle is for covering cuts, teas for lungs and nutrition in general. Heather is magnificent as a treat all tea and for keeping wounds clean. He has a small amount of stone crop for surface wounds as well.

For drinking and making teas Calle has his skin and cleaned out a kitchen canteen as a reserve.

For fighting there is the fine broadsword that he is getting better at using, his fine handaxe that is always useful, a woodsman axe for double handed hitting, his hunting knife for bleeding and small knife if it comes to it. The splitting axe will be left behind. The fine trade longbow is supported by a dwindling number of bone tipped raven arrows, a few fowling arrows and a good supply of foreign broadheads. The first trade longbow, a few arrows, stone knives and hammers are being left here. That superb oak roundshield with leather bound iron grip will come as well. Clothing is layers of cloths with leathers and furs in many places. He has the iron knees but never did get an iron helm.

As he leaves the cabin heather petals are blown with a kiss to the Swan spirit.

<CALLE 076 going hunting review>>>


« Reply #70 on: May 13, 2023, 04:37:04 AM »

Calle's been coping with his isolation by not being alone. His view is he is with the area spirits (forest, river, lake) and animal presences (lynx, bear, fox, elk). For the animals the spirit is in just one animal but a spirit of the group. So killing a bear for valued hunt is honoring the bear spirit, or spirit of the bears. Rampage killing can anger the spirits leading to them attacking, or asking the spirit bear to send one of his warriors.

In his saga Calle has mad various figurines to represent them. Using them to tell their stories connects the spirit to the people. Having it in a place can be an invitation for the spirit, like the Swan to his home, or to show that the spirit is already present, like the guardian spirits.

A list of his figurines so far is:

Elk = fine wood figurine, from elk that became a bear, at bed
Bear = wood figurine, from elk that became a bear, at bed
Fox = wood figurine, guards cellar, put at cellar
Lynx = wood figurine, trouble maker at the field, put at fields shelter
Swan = wood figurine, finding the north site, blessing spirit of Linenfell, hung over bed

Man = clay figurine, Swan Cabin bed
Woman = clay figurine, Swan Cabin bed
Tree = clay figurine, Swan Cabin bed
Cloaked figure = clay figurine, Swan Cabin bed

Cloaked figure is there to represent anyone else in the story like a trader or worker or a mystery.


« Reply #71 on: May 13, 2023, 07:03:42 AM »
From Swan Cabin Calle emerges in the early morning where it is still dark. The days are shorter. North Wind will be coming soon. Calle figured he had a month or more of food left. That might mean coming out in the middle of North Wind’s prowl. Even a moderate kill at this point would extend that. With the cold air being dry North Wind can be helpful in drying out the meats. Thus he may be able to preserve the meats himself. That takes a month or so to dry which is the month of food he has in stock. Its a good time to match this hunt.

In the warmer season Calle has setup various travel shelters. These are now way stations for a hunting trek. If wounded or cold and unable to get to Swan Cabin he can shelter in those. Exploring to find them also gives him some idea of the ground.

A deep exhale. Last hunt he wounded an elk mother with a calf. A broad head arrow lost. He kneels down. Placing heather on the ground he takes several breaths of regret for hurting her.

Thick soled excellent shoes from his mother get good purchase on the hardening ground. Over them wraps of bear fur wrapped around. Another layer of warmth. So far the snows haven’t thickened. Skiing isn’t possible this is a foot hunt. There is a risk the snows might thicken while he is out. That bear fur and his leather shin guards will be keeping his legs warm.

Heading north west the first camp is at Rest Head. A kindly named pond. Its frozen now. The shelter is still standing with a bit of tumble in the spruce. High winds or perhaps a squirrel climbing on it. Calle smiles. Perhaps the Old Man of the Forest had rested here.

Carrying on north west Calle shifted from ridge to ridge. A person was seen to the south west but contact wasn’t established. Probably a tribesman also spooked at seeing Calle shambling fur warrior on the ridge. At noon Calle decided that a half day’s walk was a good place for a temporary shelter. A small bird was strolling around showing a good sign of life. With that blessing Calle sets up a shelter and fire ring between two boulders next to the frozen lake. This spot would be a watering place if needed.

From the nearby high ground Calle spots a lynx. Closing in gets in bow range. A shot is made as it bolts. A miss that sticks into a birch. Arrow recovered Calle won’t try to pursue. Carrying on into the early dark Calle made another shelter and fire ring on Loss Heath, where spruce meets mire. The mire having pockets of water.

In the morning Calle extends further north west. This will make it up to two nights to get back to Swan Cabin. The sun barely crosses the horizon. In these brief lit hours kota, traveling tents, are seen. Calle moves to meet this Owl village.

Villagers describe it as staying in Lynx Wood. A fair name given how many lynx’s Calle has met. They mention another village currently camped to the south at Bad Forest.

Calle laughed, “Why would anyone want to camp there?”

“Give it a mean name and no one will come to bother you!,” Leja laughed back.

The had good furs which didn’t really interest him, this time. Calle moved off south as was suggested. Another temporary shelter where spruce and mire meet. Shelter and water both. Good things for these safety shelters to have. It was proving a problem to have so little day light. Once it dimmed it would be easy to miss game or the village.

Next morning Calle met another group of foreign traders. Trade gestures are made. Calle though shows his pack is empty of furs. After peace signs get exchanged Calle continued on his way. One of them did have a nice bronze bracelet. Once again no game and another shelter placed near a watering place, this time at Pot Head on the north banks of Wolf’s Land lake. This place is also right to the wonderfully named “Troll forest”. Now there’s a bad name for a scenic spot. Across Wolf’s Lake the islands make a passable chain with good view across the ice in either direction. An interesting spot to endurance hunting. It would be about two days so one overnight between here and Swan’s Cabin on an east-west hike.

At noon its time for another safety shelter. This goes up at Tar Wild being south west of Swan’s Cabin. The last of the swirl bread is eaten with several cuts of meats available to continue. It turns out the lake of Tar Wild is pretty big though at times incomplete water system. Worried about being cut off he is staying on the north or north east banks. On this bearing he is skimming into Kuamo lands.

Onward around the large lake a wolf is spotted to the south. Calle turns east. It is unwise to risk a hungry pack. Going this way he founds the Kuamo homestead of Gorge Trail. Calle heads in to warn them of the wolves. A pair of old men waddle up on their canes to try to get Calle to decide who moves first across the sky, the sun or the moon. Calle steps back saying he needs to spread the wolf warning. That’s not an argument that anyone can win.

Using his axes Calle prepares boards for construction and middle lasting fires. In exchange he collects a bag of peas, a bag of broad beans, roasted meats and a spare nettle cloak. It was also a good time to use their well to refill his skin and canteen. For a bit more trading Calle assembled a table for one of the homes. Housekeeper Hetti gave him a dozen roasted meats. Likely he could have gotten more. He didn’t want to press that she couldn’t spare more. All of them gathered in the hall that night. Calle told of the stories of the Elk that became a bear and of meeting the Swan. The old men told a story of a goblin in a long forgotten cave and the other of a battle in his youth with the red shirted Nerjpez who tried raiding here.

“If you are seeking the towns,” Hetta says, “My sister’s family lives at Quarrel Wide a couple of miles south-east. If you go there tell her my son recovered from his fever and we will visit in the spring.”

Calle agreed, if he did find the village. In these days it was a common thing for travelers to carry messages. Perhaps one day it will be someone’s job just to carry such messages from place to place.

Trekking in the dark too him to ice he didn’t want to try crossing. Waiting for the brief light Calle figured he had crossed south of Swan’s Cabin. He must be getting close to the long river networks that went to the coast. Sure enough he was now bound by a long river. It led to a village but not the one expected: Fist Stream. Deciding he ought to turn back north Calle spoke with their sage. He agreed to see that Hetta’s message was passed on. He new the village and one of them was expected to visit here tomorrow.

Exploring unfamiliar woods Calle realized he has wandered onto a pennisula with major rivers on each side. This is the sort of thing he was worried off. The ice is to thin to walk on and he has no boat. Turning back he sees an elk crossing the path he’d followed! Notching an arrow Calle raises, then lowers. He doesn’t actually figure he could cripple nor get the meat to anywhere other than the last village. With the elk is a calf. Calle studies them. They do look familiar. Was it the one that he had wounded?

Going south looking for a ford Calle spots a village to the west. Wonderfully located across two rivers!

At Fist Stream is the ford. That’s why they built there. Crossing back and moving north westerly to that seen village Calle is on a mire when a reindeer family moves in sight. Looking over the animals Calle bypasses the doe with a calf. Lining up on a stag he lets loose.

The whizzing sound of the arrow alerts the stag who turns to look. The broad heads punctures in and out of its face. Gushing blood spills out in wicked spurts. The chase is minimal. That’s why hunters use broad heads. Wide cutting wounds that slash arteries.

Processing the stag the herd circles back several times. It must have been the head stag for them to do that. Once the guts are out, antlers taken, meat quartered and main bones collected Calle cleans the hide. He’s not entirely sure he can get it back to Swan Cabin to process in time.

Carrying the meat to the village it turns out to be Death’s Rapid. Not the one with Hetta’s sister.

While they have bags of grain Calle remembered his real point was in getting meat to dry. It is cold. It might last to get it home. He should be able from here to use “hand rail” navigation. Holding the bank of the river as if it was hand rail on a flight of stairs.

One night sleeping on the river bank passes safely. In a few more hours he is on the south edge of of the large lake south of Swan Cabin. It is moon light guiding him in the afternoon. A decent half moon giving the lands a silvery hue.

Having stocked cordage its a quick matter to hang the meat out in the cold to dry. Its over seventy pounds now. It will weigh less once dried. Along with the beans and peas Calle gained five weeks of food stocks in this trip. Sorting the supplies includes checking there is reserve stocks for planting. Calle realizes that the amphora would be even better than the bags in keeping things safe in the cellar. The four amphora become the hosts to most of the seed stocks. That will also avoid him accidentally eating them!

To celebrate Calle nibbles up portions of he dried berries that have been waiting for him. He just couldn’t resist! Probably wasn’t the smartest thing. The rest goes for safe keeping in the cellar.

A set of traps are setup to guard where on the outside of the house the reindeer is drying. Now Calle realizes he could have used the shelter by the cellar which was already guarded. Next time!

Laughing Calle repeats like Gerbrand to Gerwin in the foreign traders tongue, “Next time.”

As for the hide it is being tanned though it has a lot of small tears. It looks like the stag had been fighting to protect the herd before Calle came along. Perhaps the wolves had tried for the calves. Hoping the herd would be all right Calle blew out the shutter heather petals.

As well the smithing tools were moved in. There wasn’t enough ores left to work up anything useful. A small knife for carving, shovel for agriculture and an iron flat hammer for smithing were good tools to have. Sighing Calle wished the iron on the hammer had come out better.

“Next time!”

As for now Calle was breathing deep with a big smile. That was a good quest! Five days at least judging by the berries beside the fireplace. New hunting grounds, new owl villages, new Kuamo villages, the wounded elk with calf survived and a reindeer harvested. Enough meat drying for the times of North Wind’s claws. Fists pounded his chest.

Calle started carving that night. His hands were a bit shaky from the excitement. It came out not so good so he set it into the fire. After sleepy waking calm he started again. What came out was a wooden reindeer figurine with two hare bones for antlers.

Looking up to the swaying Swan overhead Calle told it, “This is inspired by the hunt that went north and came back from the south. The stag that will be with me when North Wind comes. Its also for all the reindeer of the hunts, herds and free in the forest. See it has antlers! Of course it does.”

<CALLE 077 North to hunt in the south>>>
« Last Edit: May 13, 2023, 08:32:10 AM by Brygun »


« Reply #72 on: May 13, 2023, 08:31:52 AM »


Calle’s hands flailed for the edge of the ice. Soaking furs pulling him down.


Belly sliding on top of the ice.

Clawing hands pulling his legs out.

Belly crawl to the shore.

Stagger up the slope.

“Stupid! Stupid!”

Run for the cabin.

Calle had been off checking hills then the west lakeshore for trapping ideas. A dazed thought was in his head to cross the ice as a short cut to the cabin. A bow length north and one south is all that would have saved. If the ice had held! A moment of bored distraction.

Laughing North Wind, “Dare you to challenge me!”

Numbing cold stealing control of limbs and fingers. Shoulder slams the door straining leather hinges.

“Focus,” Calle said swaying into Swan Cabin, “Fire.. 3 by 3 … and something large. 3 stands of kindling laid… 3 fire woods on top as medium start… a board on top of that. Tufts of kindling. Pouch is wet. Use the shelf stock.”

Shaking hands strike iron on flint. Huffs blowing in panic. Ash in the fireplace fluffs into the air stinging eyes. A glow. Its not from the tinder. An old ember coming to life. Feeble fingers sliding the shelf tinder to the ember.

North Wind swirls dancing through the open door.

“Save me Swan.”

Swaying twisting the Swan figurine points to the door. A swirl of snow as beating wings blow outward.

Glow becomes flicker on the tinder. A flicker a candle, a candle a flame, a flame a crackle, a crackle a roar.

Calle dumps his many wetted layers. Rushed arms slap the bed furs around him.

Breathing becomes deeper. Steadier breathing. His warmth returning. Fur wrapped Calle gets to the door.

“You are mightier than I north wind,” Calle says, “I never meant to insult you. My mind was confused. Thank you for leaving me alive. Thank you Swan for aiding me.”

Calle closes the door. A pinch of heather is found, flicked out a shutter as a sign of submission. At the bed he pulls out the spare nettle cloak from the recent trade. Rubbed on hair and body as a towel he dries before the glowing fire.

A moment. That’s all it takes to die.

Preparation is all it takes to live.

Outside a grouse whines in a trap. Calle studies over the tens of minute as clothes and body warm.

“Thank you Swan,” Calle says, “You sent a gift of food that Calle can have the energy to live. Thank you.”

Friends, real friends, are there when you are in danger. That’s when they truly love you.

<CALLE 078 North Wind’s Might>>>


« Reply #73 on: May 13, 2023, 08:55:47 AM »
Awakening from the daze Calle was still alive. Swan had even sent two more birds to the traps. Fresh meat to restore Calle’s strength. Clothing was drying still.

This near death taught Calle a lesson. As well as to stay alert in the woods or don’t go out there is that he ought to improve the fireplace. Working to pull out stones the put stones and rocks back may seem odd. In those desperate moments he had wanted to water hot rocks. Then hot moist air would restore his temperature even faster. Rebuilding was for this purpose to go from a simple fireplace to one with access hot rocks to be a wet sauna. Certainly the Lake Room of Swan Cabin was big, nearly twice the village sauna. It was that in desperation anything to warm faster should be prepared.

Preparation is all it takes to live.

The next day Calle rechecked the roof around the changed chimney. Little adjustments made with wedges. The next pieces over resettled as well. Clay and wood shaving were mixed to make a cob to seal the stone to wood joint. A strong fire was started. As it dried out the clay more wood was added. It took far longer than Calle expected to warm the exposed stones. It was the first firing too. In time water poured on the inner stones did spatter into steam. Swan Cabin did bring a swelter of heat. Yes, if in danger again he could make a large fire, stay near it and make steam on fire stones.

Calle hoped others building long term homes would think to do the extra work at the beginning to make more than a fireplace. The sauna stones may save your life. It also can be relaxing on better days to enjoy a good sweat in the middle of winter.

<CALLE 079 Sauna refit>>>


« Reply #74 on: May 13, 2023, 12:01:34 PM »
While hiding after his fearful fall into the water Calle assembled the second set of shelves. This was up on the north side of the Lake Room of Swan Cabin. In there went tools, bones and leather. Now the open spaces would only have out the current projects at work.

Taking stock of his situation for the coming of North Wind’s worst Calle figures on having 2 months of food but one more would be better.

Wood for heating could be gathered if needed though really its safer to stock it now. Figure on a large stump block a day with eight or so from each tree. That makes one tree last a week. With the worst being a month that makes four trees of stump blocks to be nearby. Now if he burned his craft woods that could be extended. Taking out the sledge wagon for one or two days will get the trunks, which can later be stumped.

Today has a full moon for the morning. Its a good chance to do that timber felling. Resetting the pit fences would be good too. When the moon set the sun was rising. It was strange way to have good lighting. In two days Calle had brought in seven trees with half of them split already. On the third morning Calle unleashed his vigorous energy under moonlight to finish splitting the trees into stump sized blocks. The warmth part of deep winter was well in hand.

He had seen a lynx in that time. Looked like it has even stolen a captured bird from a trap near the pit fence. Calle left that trap disabled. Outside Swan Cabin the lynx tracks had come right up to a meat baited trap then left. Calle placed loop snares on those track in case it returned that way.

Looking over his clothing it seemed silly to have a nettle cloak. His legs were without fur too. From the face slain stag Calle put together fur leggings. Though the other wounds left bits of gaps it was a winter fur with the extra hairs. Nettle yarn sewed up thanks to the bone needles.

Calle went off on another early winter hunt. Starting with the north west nearby hills this time he would turn clockwise to north and on to east.

One night in the woods then he closed in on a small elk. Spruces hid each other until close. The ready arrow away hit and it stumbled. A broad head notched and fired as it got up. She fell again. Closing to ready a knife Calle was startled when it got up and bolted. Frustration! He could have just shot it again. There was a blood trail started.

It was a half bow shot’s walk to find where she fell. Calle was arriving as she breathed her last.

Putting out heather Calle knelt beside her, “Elk spirit thank you for your life. Thank you for coming to me in this time before the harshest winter. Your great bounty will be respected. May you find the way back to the spirit realm swiftly to return to us again.”

She was small enough that Calle could lift the hide, backstrap, meat harvest and bone too, yet big enough that it was a near thing.

At the cabin processing continued. A lynx was prowling about attracted by the smells. Calle remembered to use the spruce shelter by the cellar with its guard traps. Much was setup to dry on and hanging from the shelter. Fresh bits were put aside in the cellar for refreshing bait. A portion Calle kept for roasting up now. For a treat Calle took out the iron pot to boil up an elk and turnip stew flavored with sorrel.

As for the hide Calle was so impressed with it that his thoughts of making a large leather sheet were forgotten. It was a very fine hide she had. Young and without damage yet thick with winter hairs.

(possible bug, the sauna stove doesn’t allow baking [bake] so had to put a fireplace back in. for now there is both a fireplace and sauna in order to have all the game functions. Story wise this would mean having expanded the assembly to share a chimney rather than the tear down and rebuild.)

<CALLE 080 Elk soup>>>