Topic: [Brygun] The Story of Calle (long story style)  (Read 26012 times)


Brygun

« Reply #90 on: May 16, 2023, 07:35:16 PM »
Dwindling away the blanket of snow was still enough to block farm work. The lakes were starting to slush making them unsafe for skiing on. Skiis still worked over land on that annoying remnant snow. Stuck like this Calle chopped firewood where the new fields would go, crafted gaming sets for his use and trade then towed over the snow the third punt. He took it to the south river network.

At the Dreamwood lake he decided to move the shelter away from the water edge up slope. He might not be here is the waters rose or a storm blew it over toward the water. Stones and rocks were gathered to make a hard raised bed with drainage. This would be the long term storage of the punt, upside down under the shelter’s spruce with the stone raising to reduce the risk of rot. Extra spruce was lain on the side and top.

“Wonder if someone will make their home here,” asked Calle.

It sure would be a dry spot. Great for an animal to use as a cave for their burrow.

The punt here, like the one on the north side, meant when going trading he could carry more goods between Swan Cabin and the waters. Otherwise he would have to portage the punt each way as he did last year over and over. Trail markers were set with the 3-3 pattern to point Calle back to the stowage shelter.

<CALLE 097 South punt house>>>

Brygun

« Reply #91 on: May 17, 2023, 07:18:55 AM »
Day 6 of the 13th week before midsummer

Stretching arms reach for the curves in the log wall. With a solid yank Calle pulled himself from the layers of sleeping furs. His muscular arms enjoyed the alternate position from yesterday’s preparing firewood out on the icy fields. As his tongue brushes across teeth to pull out roasted meat. A great inhale to invigorate the body. Eyes look to the north shutter that looks out blotches of green and white.

Calle slaps his feet onto the floor running to the shutter’s window. Its melted! Its finally melted!

“Preparation is all it takes to live,” Calle repeated as he took the time wipe the skis of their last moisture before sliding them under the bed platform. There service for the season has ended. Proper storage would have them ready for the next snows.

He gathered up his seed stocks. These were packed in amphora and birch-bark containers. Food stocks were separate. On this day he didn’t need to sort or count. Preparation had them ready for this day. Bundled up he slogged the different types to the fields north west of Swan Cabin. Seed stock included peas, broad beans, rye, sorrel, hemp, turnip, barley and flax.

Going into pocket fields today were broad beans, considered one of the best crops, and hemp, for protein rich flour and its structural strength. Perimeter traps from the fall were reset and baited. Once again they stood guard. Animals that would come to feed on the small seeds could become portions of meat for the dinner table.

Shearing turf parts like flesh under a knife to the iron headed shovel. The hands of Calle that forged it are the ones to wield it. With wooden shovels the end is a thick as the wood needs for strength. With iron its thin with a slope ground to slice far better than push the earth. Bits of ground resist where the cut goes beyond the fire warmed layers. Turning and swirling takes far less energy. Calle figures he is turning over planting spots more than twice as fast.

His plan calls for making the new spots on the inside of J pit trap fence. Then an animal drawn to one set of crops may wander to visit the other. Taking the paths left by the fences is a drop into a pit! Light deadfalls and loop snares will come later in to deal with small raiders like hares and birds.

To avoid the risk of forest fire each ash burn is a small fire. Each time one is lit it is several paces from any other fire. Combined their updrafts might draw sparking ash high enough to land on fuel spots on the trees. As they form it creates a spotted pattern like a speckled bird chest. Only once these cools can the seeds safely go in.

Seeding now becomes a mix of the types he has to plant. Calle can watch how the plants grow in Linenfell. Like a hunter studying animal habits a farmer studies the habits of plants.

Preparations for planting the seeds are improved by making wooden cup sized containers with scrap furs tied over the top. These will hold the seeds currently being planted. This will leave the food stocks in the cabin and bulk seed reserve in the cellar.

Calle checks the seeding cups to review his planting stocks:
Broad beans
Hemp
Peas
Barley
Rye
Flax
Sorrel
Turnip

That’s eight types of crops!

“Preparation is all it takes to live,” shouts Calle.

<CALLE 098 Planting begins>>>

Brygun

« Reply #92 on: May 19, 2023, 04:50:07 AM »
Calle reached down to stuff seeds into cooled turned over muddy earth rich with the flakes of ash and charcoal of the small fires. This is the way. What he understood was the spirits made the plants at the beginning of things. The trees were big plants that stored nutrition. It wasn’t the sort a person could it. By making the ash and turning it was food for new plants. Plants that could be chosen by a person.

Making the fires, shoveling soil, mixing mud and ash then resting was a massive amount of labor. Roast elk, turnips and the odd hard tack gave Calle the energy to do all this. Already two weeks of this had taking the time into Seedtime month. The time of planting. The time of plating indeed!

Calle put down kindling branches and a piece of firewood. Once more striking for sparks sharp iron on flaking stone. Another mystery to him is how the stones came to be. The iron though, he had seen the basics and managed his first few iron tools. The shovel was one being hurled at the task of ash turning.

Fire accidents had happened! Three trees and one of the fence gates had taken sparks. Even organizing to keep ash fires spread out was no guarantee.

Calle wiped his sweaty brow. Nearby fires warmed him and his leathers. The fur layers for winter and fighting were at the cabin. It rained though. He chose to wear the traded for linen undershirt and trousers as a comfort layer with a layer leather. That leather mostly for shedding rain or on the legs for taking the scrapes of bushes, rocks and the heat of fires. One of the nettle cloaks was bundled onto the backpack in an upside down U. He planned to use it if he did get cold or too wet. Often he would just stagger exhausted back to Swan Cabin to sleep under the swaying Swan figure. Letting the spirit see him work and rest felt loving.

With flailing arms Calle tried swimming now and then. He was miserable at it. Its something he never did amid working carpentry and spying on the blacksmith. Nor had his fight training touched on it. Now he could paddle quite well. Swimming tempted the water spirits. One day he hoped to be in mutual respect with them. For now he flailed like a foolish bird with one foot in a snare!

Three weeks in Calle shuddered. The forest under a half moon felt like it was stalking him. An anger behind the trunks looking out but never quite seen. Calle took a deep breath. Holding up heather petals in an upright palm he waited until the wind chose to take them. In all the work he had fallen away on rituals of peace. Many trees had been felled.

Ah!

There was one day when to clear a section it was easier to burn down a half dozen trees. That may be what angered the spirits. Birds weren’t being tanned all the time either. So much work to do on the fields.

A thud with a cry of pain. Calle walked that way. A black gray Luikka was thrashing in a trap. There song’s were beautiful. Calle thought of luikka as a friend to the Swan spirit. For that friendship with hopes to calm the wood he let the luikka go.

On return to Swan Cabin a thought was with him again. Taking a break from the burning, ash turning and planting that had led him to be in anger with the spirits. A trip with the trade goods is possible. This would be easier as with whatever river set he picked their was a punt ready for him. Recent trips had been to the Owl in the north east and Kuamo on the north river. Then it would be time for the Kuamo on the south river. First a rest and ready.

Under moonlight of the half moon by Swan Cabin and the lake he blew heather petals in the wind too the Swan Spirit. Like a lover not spoken too he had been too busy for too long. It was time to be among the spirit and people again. In the silvery landscape he hiked with bows and other goods to the south punt camp. Lifting the spruce mat and brushing bits away gave him that third punt and its paddle.

Down the rivers a few hours then landing to make for a stead. This route revealed the site of another stead. He approached this new one at Sheephead.

“Nice name,” Calle said, “Wonder if they have wool.”

Old Olesa and young Aune watched him search the trade goods. Calle picked up a spool of nettle yarn. Always useful for crafting and traps while with enough might make clothing.

“Well what do you have to offer us,” the old man Olesa asked.

The young girl Aune peeped up around behind, “Anything fun?”

Calle reached in to his bundle to pull out one of the game sets, “A board game. Here with its sets of pieces.”

Aune was quick to run up to look at it. Olesa scrunched his lips.

Calle looked to the elder of the two, “Well a board game is something you play… sitting down.”

Olesa smiled then. He accepted that for trade after all. In the days ahead he could get Aune to sit down for a change!

Coming out of the hall was a hunter. He gestured to the small knife on Calle’s belt, the one he had forged. This the hunter would trade for knowledge of a ritual. It was agreed.

The tale was a bit odd to Calle. That loops for birds and hares be left on an ant’s nest for three days then picked up and set to catch. Calle had seen ant hills now and then. The planning ahead of the three days seemed problematic to his travels. Still it was a teaching. Some day it might matter.

<CALLE 099 Loops on ant hills>>>

Brygun

« Reply #93 on: May 19, 2023, 06:27:57 AM »
Trading away bowls and bows Calle collected a squirrel fire and a beaver fur. These he hoped would make their way to foreign traders with their armors. Then a hike to homestead of Gorge Trail where more bows where traded for a wolf fur.

Shortly past the sun’s highest path Calle was back at the punt shelter. In the winter bizzards the distance to people seemed immense. With the rivers flowing it was a quarter day each way. A nice change of pace form the ash turning. Islands had been scouted just to know the lay of their land. Plants were popping up in spring. Strolling to Swan Cabin and up to the bunk he added a squirrel, beaver and wolf fur to the piles.

As prepared to go back to agriculture he noticed the paddle in his pack.

“Darned silly lad,” accused Calle of himself.

He meant to leave the paddles near the punts so he could use the punts. Taking the paddles was a way to stop a thief getting very far though of course if they really needed to they’d find a way.

Heading back through the woods south a rustling of spruce gave way to game. A reindeer herd. Calle fired a broadhead which cut a leg but yet in all that spruce and jumbled herd trails he couldn’t pick out just one. At the punt camp a hare was near enough for a shot though a miss. Calle took the game presence though as a sign of peace. The cycle of life was around him again. The offerings and trip had helped restore peace between his heart and the spirit world.

Calle’s heart stirred his memory of his traps. There was good chances with animals on the move, like the reindeer herd, they would come to him by the traps. This was true as a lynx was caught at a fields predator deadfall.

Calle gave the lynx a blow with the flat of the river sword. Its twirling body paw swiped at Calle! It wasn’t fully pinned. Calle eyes were wide as his legs thrust him back.

“All right,” Calle unhooked his round shield, “A fight then.”

Raising river sword’s crossguard before his face he let it drop to his side, twirl the wrist with the blade spinning half behind to come up high in a guard alongside the shield. A quick exchange with the boldness of a shield has the lynx trying to flee. Blows stun it then the pommel strike cracks the skull.

While preparing the game Calle planted seeds in prepared ash turns that had cooled. A stench lingers. Looking over the source may explain the spirit’s anger. An unused bird carcass was added to a trap as bait. Its body worm wriggling still lingers. It had been found too late in a trap for use. At the time Calle thought adding it to a predator trap would draw game. Maybe it had lured that lynx in to be caught at the other trap. This animal though wasn’t properly honored. Calle took the time to set bird in the center of a new field. Stack it with kindling and firewoods then as the fire was started added a block stump for a tall funeral pyre. Into the smoke he released heather petals.

While at Swan Cabin preparing the hides and roasting meat the luikka birds sing to Calle. A happiness that he has now twice released them from his traps. A flutter over his head startled him as through the open door a goldeneye bird swished around. His place and life were so attuned with nature they actually flew into his home!

A third luikka is released though sadly a fourth is put down. It is found unconscious in the trap with a misshapen torso of thrusting rib shards. Calle put that one down with respectful players as it is skinned and butchered. If slain it would be worse to waste the bounty given from its life.

Day 4 of the 9th week to missummer

Calle had now drained a fourth seeding cup. A new planing circle has been ashed with the inner core now waiting to cool considering all things Calle felt he had done enough. It was still mid seeding month. His life had many aspects to it. That included needing to go ore hunting to make a new knife to replace giving to the hunter for the loop magic. As if he needed to catch even more birds!

After time away he could in the later spring or early summer set another field patch. Turnips and perhaps sorrel could be sewn in time to harvest. Turnips are such a fast grower and sorrel never starts early.

Storing the seeding tools Calle rekitted to go hunting in the bogs and lakes for iron bearing lumps.

<CALLE 100 switch to iron>>>

Brygun

« Reply #94 on: May 20, 2023, 02:04:01 AM »
Ore hunting began. First a day of scouting on land again. Though there were mountains, hills and cliffs they didn’t have bogs right next to them. This would need to be a hunt in the lake where all the run off eventually flowed. Traders were spotted but when Calle gathered his furs he couldn’t find them. They must have been in transit then.

Along the south side of lake a cliff rose up sharp. At the nearest bank Calle tapped with the long pole, sesta, to find hard things. The dip net pulled up rocks, tree parts and at times the oddly formed lumps that contained the iron he sought.

A forgotten teaching came to Calle. Collecting a portion of the nettles he had set aside for retting he too the grain-flail too them. The wooden handle flicked by leather smashed a second wood section down again and again. Tiny seeds popped out of their shells. Now he had a ninth crop to plant. That would need more ash turning.

Scowling shadows looked from the trees. A second and third bird suffered a long time decaying in traps. Calle burned them with heather offerings hoping to bring peace.  More burnings and ash turning might be making the forest wary of the rate of change. Villages would slash and burn swaths but they had elders and shamans with them. Calle was having to understand this on his own. Kuikka hopefully was pleased with being freed but maybe it was angry about being trapped. The swan spirit hadn’t shown herself in some time. This also troubled Calle. One day he might go look for her.

To break up his tasks he took to working the iron he had gathered so far. It was good to be back at the outdoor workshop. It also reminded him with the warm weather he could gather clay to shape. Fires in the forge glowed from charcoal blown super hot by the leather bellows. Pounding with stone and iron hammers shaped the work across the anvil stone. Into the graying evening Calle held up a small knife. It was a good blade though wasn’t as fine as the one that went to the teaching hunter. It was a good tool for small work and easy to carry. Later he might try again keeping the better for himself to use the others in trade.

“Scunch the others but nettle is your friend,” grandmother said, “bend, pull, twist and then to the spindle nettle goes.”

Calle put the image of grandmother in his mind. She wasn’t talking to Calle but to one of the village girls. Teaching her to make nettle yarn. Calle was trying his best to do what he hadn’t paid attention too. Just what was the pull? Bend the stalk open then pull the fibers? Twist it how? Strong thick fingers squeezed the nettle fibers. Spinning it around a spindle he struggled with consistency. Bigger, thinner, notched and smooth all on the same yarn.

With a deep breath Calle took a look at the result. Far from the quality of his grandmother or the traded yarns it was nettle yarn. Rough and crude would work for traps or fences. What this meant to him now was being able to use his rough yarns for construction. Fences had done up with lots of split spruce. Loop snares were made with trade hemp and nettle lines that could have gone into clothing. In time he’d get better. For now he just looked at the spindle with its jagged threads missing his grandmother.

Her bright smile among a wrinkle tanned face under her grayed hair tied under a nettle thread cloth she had made. The scent of spiced breads flushed his nose from the memory.

Shaking from thoughts Calle walked to the beach. Putting a hand in the water what he knew it was too cold for retting. Nettle he cold extract manually. Strolling in thoughts of his family and how the female side dealt with this he plucked up stray feathers. Happily two of them were from Swan. She hadn’t been seen a while. It was like these were a keepsake while she was traveling just as Calle did on his visits to villages.

He tied those swan feathers to the stop fence by the water. This fence was at the end of the upright branches that made a handrail for use in whiteout blizzards to find his way between lake and cabin. The stop fence was from his skiing too fast that one time. This would literally trip him and stop him in time to face plant onto the shore before the ice. Shivers went through him the one time he decided to walk across melting ice to the pennisula and had gone through.

“Preparation is all it takes to live,” repeated Calle.

Back to the cabin Calle kept his heart on his family espically the grandmother as he clamly worked at the nettles. Rubbing the stalks with a stone to bend them, pulling away the outer to access the fibres then reverse twisting. Two small strands twisted one way while the strands were reverse spun around each other to lock them in. Hung by the spindle there was a weight that acted like a third hand to keep the tension. Humming like his grandmother Calle made a much longer yarn with a consistent shape. Now he could when needed make the threads he used in crafting.

Calle smiled, “Thank you grandmother,” feeling that her spirit had been with him here at Swan Cabin.


(note: Ive been saying Luikka a lot but the game name is Kuikka. Guess Im blurring how we Canadians call them Loons.)

<CALLE 101 nettle thread>>>
« Last Edit: May 20, 2023, 02:19:16 AM by Brygun »

Brygun

« Reply #95 on: May 20, 2023, 05:39:52 AM »
A happiness flowed in Calle’s heart like a river to a calm lake. From his memory of his grandfather he was now in harmony with memories of the village smith. Staying in that harmony Calle had brought to be another small knife with a good smooth clean edge with even wrinkles on the flat back to brace the thumb while whittling. Following the guidance to make your tools first Calle had been heating and pounding on a large mass of roasted blooms to bring them to shape, squashing on the smoothest part of the anvil stone then while hot refining with a whetstone. Finally he worked in a handle with good straight grain to make a well smoothed flat iron hammer with none of the bubbling of the first one. This tool would carry him onward farther.

Next Calle tried held the a wedge of iron in one hand with pinches of charcoal in the other. The balance needed to be slight but present like one part in a hundred. On heating the wedge of iron Calle pounded it out thin and wide. The carbon was dusted on like a gentle snowfall. Bending the iron flat onto itself trapped the charcoal inside. He pounded it into a pastry roll. Heating again he flattened it down, bent it in the other way and repeated this. This continued until it was mixed like a delicate after dinner sweet. As its bright glow cooled to a hue the smith had waited for Calle stuck it into the water. Steam hissed. Pulling the shape out Calle studied it by looks and tapping it lightly. This had been transformed from iron to steel.

After those days Calle took a hike looking for a source of iron. The lake was there though the search was time consuming. The drainage to it was slow making that source slow to replenish.

To the south west at the tip of the lake end of south river system he found it. A cliff joined by a bog. How this worked to Calle was limited to the knowing that it took a cliff with iron bearing rocks, rain, the flow to a bog and somehow the bog slicked the iron together. Oily slicks gave a seeing clue to dig for a muck of bog ore. Just such a combination of cliff to bog was found. This he would learned was had a name from the ancestors of “Iron Corner”. After depletion such places refill with ores after a time, perhaps half to a full generation.

Strong hands tilted the iron headed shovel to hoist out of the muck just such a bog ore. Calle smiled. This was close enough to Swan Cabin to come, dig and return in the same day.

Checking close by Calle laughed. This place grew heather, he used in rituals, nettles for yarns and even better wild raspberries!

Knowing he would be here often Calle took the time to locate a near complete close wall of trees, build a shelter, set guard traps, add a spruce floor mat, spruce sides, lay markers to the shelter and a marker for one of the pools of water to drink from. Stocking up on foods; dried elk, nettle leaves and turnips; from Swan Cabin would let the spirits and Calle have a break from the strain of the ash turning.

Over half a week was spent bogging at work camp. A truly well named place. No one had harvested there for a long time. Returning the load to Swan Cabin’s smithy his collected ores now weighed over a hundred pounds. That of course was a lot of muck around the iron. It was a great amount to work up kit with.

<CALLE 102 Iron corner>>>

Brygun

« Reply #96 on: May 20, 2023, 07:39:36 PM »
Calm days now mixing trades. Roasting ore and getting a bit more. Adding small amounts to the fields… and burning down trees and a section of fence!

“That was careless!” said Calle.

He pulled away the rest of the fences on both sides. The fire spirit had leapt to find its pleasure. It had no where to go now. Two trees were lost. Troubled at the lost Calle consoled himself with turning their ash into the new fields.

Stocks of reserve dried elk Calle counted his stacks at one hundred left. That’s still a month of half or more of food. It is however a good time to keep an eye out for big game.

From the lonely mountain outcrop on the south west of lake an elk cow was seen to the east. Contacted wasn’t established. It was good to see the game was around.

Day 7 of the 7th week before midsummer

Another sighting of traders, passing the forests north of the lake passing close to the cabin. Calle gathers up the trade furs and heads out.

With signs of peace are made with open hands.

Calle mutters through, “Trade furs, show goods, two blankets.”

The traders agreed. One put down his cloak as a trade blanket. Calle mirrored with his own woven nettle cloak.

Calle became surprised that there various goods didn’t interest him. There was a mail cowl though he could trust to the spectacle helm, damaged as it is. A crossbow was offered though with no experience in it Calle doubt it being productive in hunting and a liability in combat. Fine broad head arrows were offered to which Calle pulled from his quiver their equals he had crafted. As always there was a huge mail harberk for the torso that is well beyond the furs Calle had to trade.

Puttering for a few hours Calle felt the desire to be among people. Trade goods were minimal with a few bone tipped arrows, light crafts and a decently made gaming set. He chose to go to the north east Owl villages.

Having explored the lands a few times he had first reached them by boat. This time he hoped to use his increasing knowledge to travel by land. Cold as it was Calle crossed at a ford. Now on their side of the water it was growing dark as he neared the village. Ahead a shape in the distance was moving that had to be very large… and it had wide antlers! A bull elk! A stag!

Calle’s heart filled with joy. It was a challenge so needed after the month of ash turning. Instead of snorts of fine ash dust in his nose he inhaled the scent of the wilds.

Shifting to where he last saw it he began thinking like the elk. A few minutes later he had the tracks. A few minutes more they were within bow shot amid the large pools of the mire. A self made fine broadhead arrows lashed out from his best trade bow. It caught a leg and a bleeding wound.

Closing at run Calle was ready for it collapse when it started to run off. Lots of blood was pooling on the mire. Compared to the great beast it was only a weakening. He closed again and it moved off. The next time he started shooting. A broadhead over its back, one under its legs and other arrows until one more connects. As the bull elk sways off Calle took from his tinder pouch a few of the sticks setting three of them down in a supporting triangle. This to be a marker from where to hunt for the missed arrows.

Blood pools and its slow speed left the elk easy to track now. It finally fell over on one side with a soft baying moan. Approaching careful, for it was a great beast, Calle skulled it to dispatch it while he slept. Quickly now came the work. With his replacement small knife he made a shallow careful cut from chest plate to circle the butt. The digestive track as a whole be spilled out and was pushed across the mire. None of the meat would be spoiled and the cooling began. His hunting knife joined in for the removal of the hide.

Calle blew heather petals toward the fallen elks nose. A gift of thanks for its life joining the circle.

A few first cuts where removed to cook by a small smoky fire while Calle had to give into sleep.

In the morning we awoke undisturbed. Animals are naturally afraid of fire. That fire had been hoped to add confusion to the scent if any big animals had been around. A search found three of the stray arrows, a decent recovery.

Calle patted the bloody skinless shoulder of the beast. Now came the quartering of meat and edible organs for transport. With an Owl village in sight this meat would feed them mightily. Three hours it took with the sun already passed noon. Though slow in his pace Calle was a broad shouldered man. The hide containing all the meat was hoisted high with the large bones and magnificent antlers tied to the outside.

So bundled Calle trudged across the mire to Hanging Wide.

Ahkejuoksa was on sentry. He gave signs of peace with open hands, “Greetings hunter. A worker saw your fire. We wondered what was going on. Elder Hiege says if you brought us game to send you to him. Let me help you with the stacks.”

“Grateful,” said Calle rolling the bundle that weighed as much as large man off his back.

Elder Hiege was nearby leaning his back on a tall tree, “The forest has sung to that the time has come.”

“Time?” asked Calle, “Chores to be done?”

Hiege patted the ground in front of him as he slid down to sit at the base of the tree.

Looking to the bundle Calle saw a young woman came to hold up cuts of meat to be seen by a grandmother at one of the tents. They were already planning their feast.

Hiege began, “There was a time when man and spirit where in one real world together. Where we are is separate from them. They are not easy to see when they come here to this unreal world. There are those who learn to live in harmony with the ways. Oh they may get angry but when you know the way you make peace with them again, as you have. This is the way.”

“We aren’t the only lives out here,” said Calle, “I found my home because of a Swan spirit. She has visited me many times as a welcome guest though perhaps I am her guest.”

Hiege took a sip from his water skin. The water seemed scented.

“Young Calle,” Hiege was speaking softly now, “The spirits have their head men too. Their rulers. Their kings though their ways aren’t our ways that is a word that can be used.”

Halle nodded listening quietly to the elder’s wisdom.

“Rulers are busy eve spirit rulers,” continued Hiege, “Only some are worthy to met them. They might let you be in their court. Their court is the forest in which they stand. Any part of it can be should they chose to come. For a hunter or a homesteader it is a way to know how the spirits feel about you and make peace if needed.”

Calle listened, “If its the Swan spirit or this ruler she answers too then yes. I would like too. To tell them how kind she is and thank her for her protection. Her friend the Kuikka has been by several times but she hasn’t been seen in a while. Is she all right?”

Her fate isn’t known to me, “Hiege said. My ties are to the ruler of the forests are herd are in.”

“There are different rulers?” asked Calle.

“Of course. Just as we have different tribes in different lands the spirits of different rulers of different places. I’ve heard of only a few and met only one. Now to meet them you must do a certain thing in a certain way, a gleam of silver on an ant hill for as they travel between the above and below they can travel to the spirit realm with your gift of moon like gleam. Do this in deep night that the sun is farthest away so its light doesn’t hide them.”

“They want silver because it looks like moon light?” asked Calle.

“That is how it was told to me when I was young,” said Heige, “Now then they want to start the feast. Go make a trade with that fresh game you brought us.”

“Thank you elder,” said Calle, “As a sign of respect please take the elk hide.”

Calle was convinced to give up half the meat for a smooth coated winter fox fur. This was the sort of goods the foreign traders loved. He might need it to get silver. For the rest Calle thought it best to return the meat to Swan Cabin to try out his smoke house. If he tried for the village of Quarrel Forrest it or the hide might spoil before he started on it.

He made it back that second day out.

“Preparation is all it takes to live,” Calle said entering the smokehouse.
It had room to walk about for the meats of different animals to sort out when each was ready. He closed the shutters on the north and south for those were for airing when now it was to be filled. Stocks of fuel were ready from small kindling, bundles of scrap from logging, flawed boards and stump blocks. On wall pegs hung dozens of split spruce for tying up the meat. The bench was beckoning to be stood on to hang the meat high up from the rafters where the smoke was thickest.

Working the meat to thin cuts exposed more surface for faster penetration of the smoke. He remembered another youngster making the mistake of starting the smokey fire first that blinded him while hanging the meat. Calle made sure to hang the cuts first then start the fire. The chimney block stones were shifted inward forcing most of the smoke to find its way into the room.

In the morning the fire was restarted to make more smoke before Calle resumed his journey.

(I thought Calle had skinned the elk first but couldn’t find the hide. Gifting seemed a way to explain its lack. Sometimes as I write and play I may have written it but not hit the keystrokes in the game.)

<CALLE 103 meeting learned>>>
« Last Edit: May 20, 2023, 07:44:31 PM by Brygun »

Brygun

« Reply #97 on: May 20, 2023, 09:53:02 PM »
It was a long but still one day hike to Badmire. Their Doaivu and Doaivvot greeted him. It was good to be among familiar faces. A cousin Eaddji had joined their camp. They told stories all night long. They two were glad to hear that Swan Cabin was doing well with a sauna, courtyard and detached smokehouse. Trade was simply a spool of nettle yarn for a bone tipped arrow. Likely a generous offering from Calle. It was in part a gesture for their hospitality.

Next morning Calle still didn’t feel like returning to the Swan Cabin. A part of him wondered into worry that Swan was in trouble or held back by him needing to meet the ruler of the forest. Food on hand was good though he was without is full furs and battle gear. It was a hot summer day. This would be good time to explore even more north, maybe to another Owl village or the coast.

On this walk Calle spotted a distant herd of reindeer on a mire. Moving in he got to within range. He counted seven adults and one young. This was a mire good for tracking not the spruce woods he lost game in.

<CALLE 104 reindeer herd>>>

Brygun

« Reply #98 on: May 20, 2023, 10:11:47 PM »
Broadhead flying fast skimmed the leg of one of the reindeer. It tipped off on impact skipped by a bone. Its bleat alarmed the herd. A bone head arrow flung out missed to rustle into the spruce. The reindeer darted into the spruce.

Calle recovered the broadhead with not seeing the bonehead. He let the herd shift around. With the young they weren’t going to run far at speed. His hope was to locate the leg wounded one and focus on that. He even took the time to eat a dried cut, turnips and nettle.

Searching in spruce frustrated Calle so much. Even if he did get a sighting the chances of deflection was very high. With the herd you can track the herd but the herd keeps hearing you and moving. It was the leg wound he hoped would be slow enough to catch. Calle was also angry at himself. He hadn’t dropped the three sticks as a marker where he fired. He’d never see that arrow again.

If it wasn’t right there dangling in a spruce!

Calle laughed hard holding his stomach.

<CALLE 105 found arrow>>>

Brygun

« Reply #99 on: May 20, 2023, 11:28:45 PM »
This spruce forest hunting was madness. He caught sight of them again trailed and gave up. Going to a hill top he looked around. Couldn’t see them yet when he came back to their trail he soon saw them. A bone tipped arrow gut wounded a doe leaving a trail of blood. Briefly it bleed before it made off. That’s two of the herd wounded now. Would the forest spirit be pleased or angry with Calle?

A lone doe was seen on heathland. Being out of the spruce Calle had hopes. He ran and walked in alternation. The reindeer seemed to tire but it was still evading him. When he lost sight of it then it could rest.

From a hill top to try locating again Calle spotted a figure. Approaching it was a member of the Owl tribe.

“I’ve been tracking that herd for a week,” he said.

“They are all yours,” Calle replied, “Wounded two but still the forest shrouds them.”

“They are truly beloved,” the man said, “But you give me hope to catch them yet. It is my quest. To follow that herd, no matter how far.”

Calle and him waved as the man continued the hunt of the moving herd.  Calle went father north to a lake whose name would become known as Whitemire. There he built a shelter for the night. He would now have to return to add more fire to the smokehouse. In the morning he traveled into the evening yet still not back. He was now worrying about the smokehouse. A shelter at Tarwide was near giving a place for Calle to shelter. A preparation made in long ago for just such a chance need.

It was only an hour or two from there to Swan Cabin. Perhaps if he had pushed but that can be dangerous in woods. At the smokehouse the meats hadn’t spoiled though certainly the smoke had thinned. A full stump block was set into the stove works and started with kindling. Two birds had been caught in nearby traps. Coming home to fresh meat pleased Calle. He made sure to make a sacrifice of heather petals to the spirits for his safety on the long trip.

“Spirit,” Calle called out, “Swan, Kuikka and the ruler. I am the thankful Calle of the Reemi to the south. My First Winter challenge was won. The trip to follow led me where the Swan showed herself. My ways are what I brought with me. I am learning yours. There are many who live in the forest. Let us know peace, health and travel the circle of life together. Thank you for bringing me home. One day if you are kind that hunter chasing the herd could use your help that he might too return home as you have let me to do.”

Calle wondered a time if that hunter had been one of the spirits. There are tales of those who are on unending hunts. Impossible quests to follow the game. A lesson taught to remind hunters to break off to come home. Had that been such a one?

Calle then set to the chores. As well as those two there were two more birds at the field traps he kept. Kuikka the singer was again freed from a trap. None of the pit traps had a capture.
<CALLE 106 back at cabin>>>

Brygun

« Reply #100 on: May 21, 2023, 08:47:55 PM »
Calle went to the outdoor smithy. In front of him was the bloomery, forge, anvil and just there the kiln. The center of production for using heat to shape the world. To draw iron from the mucky lumps or turn wet clay into shape.

Hands on his hip he turned to the trap guarded cellar hidden amid the spruce, east to the sturdy walls of Swan Cabin with its three sections, north east to the smokehouse with trickles of smoke hiding so much more and over his shoulder to the fields to the north west.

Today heating iron was being given the shape of another stair step in tools, a ball headed hammer. Getting it round is difficult. Its purpose to add round shapes to other work. Where the stone anvil’s flat is the most used today it is the inconsistent portions that matter.

Heating, hammer, heating, adjusting take for hours. Hours that Calle can proceeds on with the confidence of both current and future food stocks in good order. The result still not final. Thinkingo f the breast of the Swan spirit he smoothed the metal with a whetstone. A previously crafted handle is taken from the tool stores of the cabin.

“Victory!” shouts Calle.

Over his head he holds the resulting tool. Its ball head curves as gracefully as the inspiring swan.

<CALLE 107 ball iron hammer>>>

Brygun

« Reply #101 on: May 22, 2023, 07:45:21 AM »

A few simple days followed. Working iron blooms into billets for later use, adding a few ash turns, accidentally burning down another few trees, offering heather in an apology, catching birds, releasing birds and planting a few late season sees like nettle and sorrel. Calle could see how in a second or third year the fields would be bountiful enough for a large family. For himself it would be a good balance to his hunter-trapper diet with the benefit of straws for weaving.

Strolling for pleasurable hunting at times he saw distant figures that likely were traders. Returning the cabin to gather the seventy pounds of trade furs, trudging back to the area he kept missing meeting them. On one such attempt he spotted a bear. Evening was coming on. Best not to sleep in the wilds near the bear. Calle returned to Swan Cabin, offloaded the trade furs and slept.

Come morning Calle dressed in full layers including the bear fur overcoat. This armoring was the best he had for a deliberate close battle with a bear. Adjusting the strap on the spectacle helm was needed to fit over the thicker padding now worn. It would be hot. Filling his canteen and skin both with cool water would help. At the smoke house a fresh load of wood was started to continue the smoke for a night or two he might be away.

First day gave no sightings from the near hills. Calle explored farther west looking across different mires. Swinging south he used the iron gathering work camp to shelter in the woods. His eyes leapt and he laughed as a grouse flopped into a guard trap he had just reset. While away to avoid unnecessary waste, with the anger that can come, these were left disarmed though in place.

“Fresh grouse is wonderful gift!” Calle said letting loose heather petals.

With his veteran hunting knife and small knife set preparing the bird was easy. As a prepared camp site there was already a fire ring of rocks with a large stone opposite. It made life easier to have the tall rock edging the smoke to that side. Dressed in all the armor furs he could have done without the reflected heat! The camp was well stocked with firewood and spruce bed to lay on.

Come morning he walked the way east to the Dreamwood punt shelter. In the spruce shelter turned over was the punt and a few mice. They were given a quick toss out. Spruce was used to sweep out their wastes for it is said that they use their fresh poop to tell other mice the place is safe. Still it wasn’t that anything bigger can along. There wasn’t signs of chewing on the punt.  A little care and a small fire was made nearby to confound the scent.

Making the way north he saw the foreigners. Closing on them failed. Its one thing to see them a many bow shots away. Its another thing to find their camp especially when they might think you are a bear! Giggling Calle shambled with a waddle in his layers of cloth and fur under the bear overcoat.

His game had him turn around a pine to see a bear off to the north.

“Ha!” laughed Calle, “This time Im ready for a battle!”

With great care he measured the distance and patterns between pine and spruce. This guided him across the several bow shots of length. He saw the bear again to the side of his direction. He walked at a steadier pace.

Through the pines he gained on the bear. He guessed it to be a she bear with no cubs in sight. Several trees were in the way. Confident the bear was mulling about at berries. Calle slipped closer the bear moving near attracted to his shuffle.

Fly!

A self made broadhead cut into a fore leg’s shoulder. Howling her paw swiped at the wound snapping the arrow with the head still inside. Limping the bear turned this way and that in confusion. It must have seemed that Calle himself was a distorted bear in all the fur yet not quite nor a man with the spectacle helm and gear. Three more shots were fired with two hits. Thick is the nature of what makes bears good for armor. Her hide was truly thick. Each hit dropped off without burbling wounds.

On she came now. Her foe could lash at her from a distance. She had to strike him down.

Calle wrangled the bow away to bring up the shield. First and second blows fell on the shield as he worked a moment to get the river sword free. As he was trained Calle twisted about his leg, rolling the shoulder that side forward to lash out with the edge. It carved down and forward at the same time across the she-bear’s skull. She fell dazed. Calle thrust getting a light strike on a shoulder.

She rose again, rearing up on her hind legs. Her mass outweighed Calle as it slammed his shield. Twisting his arms took all his strength. She was without restraint making it hard to have the range for the sword. A thrust is made but she falls to the side dragging his shield side low making the sword go high.

Its enough for a cut that lashes her fore leg. She’s stumbling. For a moment she looks too the trees as if wanting to flee. Calle steps back with a debate to try the bow if she makes distance. She rolls her head to the left and right. Plodding steps bounce her toward Calle.

Calle catches the scent of his own blood. She smells it too! Looking to his upper left arm there is a shallow tear as she fell. She knows Calle can bleed and if it bleeds it can be killed as food. His worry is a moment of distraction she gains on him.

Once more oaken shield confounds bear with splashing river sword. Her courage had her readying to rear up when like a snake snapping the sword sung onto her chest. Dense fur and thick skin resist with only the energy left for a shallow cut. Horrendous roar of hate bellows upon Calle. Stunned by the painful noise his shield arms moves slow. Her blows are sloppy as her wounds make her limbs fail to respond as they should.

Calle pants. He is also tiring.

Its a mighty beast bearing many wounds still full of power. Calle is tiring. He slows the pace of his swings, she doesn’t.

Fear beats his heart like a woodpecker when tired leg skids on bloody grass. She wallops striking the ground his ankle was at. Stones fly pinging off the trees. Twisting and pushing with his shield Calle gets back up. He might yet die in this!

Fearing indeed the risk of falling he moves from the bloody spot between a pine and a spruce. She waddles with eyes of death and hunger. Stopping in this gate Calle times a swing to duck under the shield slashing across what would be a man’s waist. He cleaves across her unboned belly. Burbling blood splatters forth. She bleeds continuously from the many cuts of a slash through the intestines.

Calle steps back and she waddles bleeding. He steps back again and again into a clearing. She follows bleeding. Backing up Calle’s pant rush in air to feed his tiring body. She pauses too. Whatever breath she is catching is being lost to the blood blobbing out her belly. She licks her paw and squeezes her belly. A soft moan as matting hair is pushed into her wound. Around it the blood flow slows.

Lumbering forward dragging her hurt body Calle paces his energy chopping on her as she reaches step forward range. By the time of her paw swipe he already stepped back.

Patiently Calle backs up. She is dragging along the ground now. Sword to scabbard and shield to back. The bow is brought out. Before he can fire he backs up to regain distance. Now he can pelt her from a distance. A hit, a miss and broadhead to the belly leaks blood.

She lays. Calle breathes.

Calle breathes.

She rose up before.

Calle breathes.

She is still laying.

Calle takes a deep breath and stows the bow.

Eyes locked on her closed eyes for any glimmer of movement Calle advances sliding the clip pointed hunting knife from its sheath. A quick tug by his free hand to tighten the skin of the neck and thrust. Then he steps back. 

Her breathing is faint. The blood still flows from her neck.

Circling facing her Calle lets her go calmly. Taking the time to gather the nearby arrows when she checks she has passed in her own time. Calle blows heather petals with the wind in thanks.

By hunting knife and small knife the guts are lets loose and skin removed. As her body cools Calle tends to his own wound. A wash with nettle mixed in then a bandage with heather mixed in. Pondering Calle wonders if perhaps the other way around would have been better.

Chuckling Calle sees the evidence of the sword cuts and stabs in the bear fur. It will be hard to craft with now. 

An ant hill is nearby. Calle decides then to commensurate the battle with a shelter that he might come do the silver gift to the ants here, should he ever get silver. Trail markers are laid to point the shelter’s very hidden spot, to the ant hill and four stands of three branches to honor the bear’s final resting place.

Amid the places they fought is a pine tree standing in the bottom of hollow. It is well spaced with an easy walk between it and birch or it and other pines. It is here that Calle places the bear skull. Her tracks pass right by here already. Before leaving Calle added a stack of stones and rocks to her death place.

“How fitting,” Calle said.

Its now that he notices next to the stone cairn is a spirit mushroom. He’ll leave it for the bear. A part of him wonders is this was a trial or a test? How would the spirits see what was done here? How he hunted, how he fought, how he let her breath out quietly, followed the skull ritual and the honored her with other works.

It was still that evening when Calle returned to Swan Cabin. Smoke still lingered in the smoke house. Checking the texture Calle figured the elk meat had a week and a half to go. From the next set of rafters Calle went about hanging all the bear meat. With this stocks of food plenty to make it to the elk’s readiness all of it could be preserved. Again his bench was useful to stand on while tying the meat up high to be in the thicker smoke.

Working the hide would take more energy Calle had in the one night.

As he slept he dreamed of the Swan carrying him flying over a forest where at the circle of ground all the bears he honored danced on their hind legs as Kuikka sang.

Kuikka sang in the bird language with her chortling cry. Calle didn’t understand it but the bears new the tune. They shuffled around in a circle, the circle of life.

Come morning contentment led Calle to go back to chores with more smoke for the smokehouse. Tending his wound he remembered to do heather first for its cleaning powers then nettle for binding. Its look was pink with little red. He felt safe from infection if he kept to the practice.

Inspecting the clothing the damages were minor. The bear had tried to claw through the bear fur overcoat, a leather shirt and a nettle undershirt. Thinking of how much the she-bear’s own fur had protected her he wondered how deeper the gash would have been had he not worn the bear overcoat. It truly was an important piece of armor for him.

<CALLE 108 bear honor>>>

Brygun

« Reply #102 on: May 22, 2023, 05:05:44 PM »
With the summer having started getting wet was safer. Calle used this chance to dig up more clay at the lake bank. The iron headed shovel could actually cut not just mush the clay. It went so much faster. By evening the two amphora, for setting aside planting stocks, and a large amphora were complete. The large would simplify being in the workshop area by refilling a quenching tub as needed.

The night was the straining work of stretching out the rinsed and dried battle bear hide. It proved to be even more exhausting than the fight! Calle passed out on top of fur at the work table.

Come morning he snorted to clear out a bear hair that gone up his nose. One last blow struck upon him!

He laughed.

Now that the amphora had cooled from the firing he move the left over allotment for planting of rye and turnip. The clay inside the cellar would be safer from critters or bugs chewing on them and from temperature changes. His organization now was to store the planting allotment in those cellar amphora scooping out a wooden cup worth at a time for actual planting at the field. Edible allotments could go in other containers letting him know even if dazed which to eat. The ready portion of those would be in Swan Cabin’s kitchen shelves.

It amazed Calle how efficient clay was for storage containers. It couldn’t be shaped like wood and it was certainly more prone to breaking. For long term storage the clay works were great. The small kettles for teas was also such a handy thing in case of sickness abroad.

A routine cleaning and resetting the eastern pit traps discovered a hidden bird amid one of the supporting traps. It had already started to decay. To pay homage to the waste Calle made it a funeral pyre of firewood and let heather petals go into the flames. Sadder still was while resetting the west pit traps one of the support traps had a decaying Kuikka. The same pyre and petals homage was paid.

“This time,” Calle said, “I wasn’t here to let you go. I hope through the smoke you can rise to fly again.”

Thinking on the way back Calle had been debating what to do with the battle bear fur. He could use it as a blanket to rotate out the winter elk fur from being an upper. He did like sleeping with that one. The holes and cuts on the battle bear could be sewn. In the night a draft might get in or they stitches catch a finger or toe. The elk had come away smooth. It fur was finely combed now. The

He decided that the might of the battle bear would come him in battle! It would become a cloak. Even more weight would slow him though the extra layer would be great. In a winter hunt he could even take it off for a blanket below, above or as a wind flap on shelter. As a cloak its cuts and stitches gave it character. Being asked about them would let Calle tell his tale of battling the bear.

The left overs went to join the bedding area. As needed the small ones were curled for pillows, tucked under legs, supporting his back or hung from pegs. Calle gave a shiver. He had recalled those early nights in the First Winter challenge without all the extra layers and a simple shelter on the edge of a mire. Smiling again he gave himself the chance to sit up on the bed and feel proud of his progress. He dreamed of the battle bear’s spirit coming alongside the cloak to aide him in battles to come.


<CALLE 109 bear cloak>>>

Brygun

« Reply #103 on: May 24, 2023, 03:17:55 AM »

A happy summer day with a high sun and high temperatures. Inspired by his recent dream Calle shaped left over clay into the shape of a standing bear. As if it was dancing or fighting depending on how you sang with it. This would be good addition to the story telling set.

His wound was healing well with a scab over it with softening pink edges. His treatment today was to wash with water and heather. For binding he added stonecrop instead of nettle as a mixing of cures.

Attempts at swimming were floundering like a fish on land. At least he found swan feathers, a reminder of the long unseen Swan spirit. He tied a few to the loom inside the cabin. Those waters were horrendously cold.

To warm up he took to smithy a large blade with tangs on each end. This became a draw knife to add to his tool collection. Like this you could grip on either side to tug with all your body. This wasn’t useful for fighting nor for skinning games. It was great for removing bark and shaping concave wood shapes, that is outwardly round. The complement tool is an adze, like the stone adze he had dug out logs with.

The day came when the smoked elk finally looked ready. As he prepared to cellar it Calle decided that now was the time to make the courtyard cellar. Then ready foods could be stored within the over log walls in the unroofed area. This would cut down on many creatures getting at it. Having a two cellar system would also act as a safety if either should get damaged.

It may be a simple thing though Calle had to ponder how to rotate the foods. He decided the oldest preserved food would come to the courtyard cellar. The newest one would be stored at the exterior with the planting stores. Most of the medicinal herbs were brought to the courtyard. A reserve of very useful ones like heather and nettle were kept at the exterior.

Its at the exterior cellar that the fox carving stands guard. Debating what to carve for this guardian he settled on a badger carving, badgers are bold enough to try to enter anywhere. As the hope goes if one is already there then another won’t come.

<CALLE 110 badger figurine>>>

Brygun

« Reply #104 on: May 24, 2023, 05:58:14 AM »
Now in late fallow month the calendar of chores was in a freer time. It was in this summer time that they say other peoples made war. Certainly raiders could leave their crops less attended to have the manpower for the long ships of stories. Calle wasn’t near an ocean shore. He was deep inland though adventures could be done. For a few week any expansion work was optional. Calle chose that he would wait until the battle bear meat was done smoking. Then he could be away more than one or two nights.

Exploring found the berries were coming into season now.

“A sweet food,” said Calle, “but we can not live on berries alone.”

Which was a truth. The protiens of meats weren’t there. It was a great way to have sugars. There taste good be pleasing with the right berries. Raspberries were his favorite but what he found today was crowberries, blueberries, bilberries and lingonberries. He added the few pounds his general search found to the courtyard cellar. In the days ahead he would go scout the mire where he fought the first bear of the area. That mire had been full of different berries.

In those few days it was calm. A proud broad smile was on Calle’s face as he lifted up his first turnip harvest of the year. It was still the 3rd week before midsummer. There should be time for a second turnip harvest. From a seeding cup he pulled out turnip seeds to hand turn them into the spots he harvested turnips from.

On the mire gathering Calle remained alert to avoid the poisoning flowers. They had given him. Several clumps of them he cut the stalks off so they could whither without doing harm. What was useful is the bogbean that grows in the wetter and ponds of the mire. This would be handy herb to carry a few of.

Day 1 of the 2nd week before midsummer

Checking as the sun passes its highest Calle decided the battle bear meat had been smoked enough for storage. As planned it was moved to the original outer cellar. Now with good stocks of meat in both even if some disaster like a flood or fire destroyed one the other would survive.

“Preparation is all it takes to live,” proclaimed Calle.

The evening was spent in final preparations. Among them was ensuring the planting seeds were safe in their clay amphora in the outer cellar. The smoked bear meat was hidden there now. That might attract other scavengers. Guard traps were all in order. Calle felt confident of it all being here when he came back.

<CALLE 111 trip ready>>>