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Honi, Widow in the North ((AN: Hi, will be looking for a Beta. Able to send over Steam/Discord/Twitch. Please Message if wish to.)

Honi was maiden of the south, a Driiki lady through and through, maybe a little plumper than most due to her keeping her family stores and her habit of snacking on left over cuts when they failed to sell. She grew up with an keen eye for trading and values in her safe fortified village.

She never thought of leaving until she met her beloved; a handsome strong fur trader from the north. It was a whirlwind romance over a few winters when he came down to trade for nets and salt. He gifted her a superior Arctic fox winter fur and her father received fine Red Foe and Robber iron blades and bear furs; proving he could more than provide. When they spent the harsher winter nights curled around their fire, her beloved told them of his homestead he was building up north.

After another Harvest season of her holding her fox fur close waiting for the snows and with them her beloved to appear, did her father conceded that she was now 16 winters old and can head up north with her beloved as his wife. She hugged her father, knowing she wasn't likely to see him again for a year or so.

Her beloved followed the next snowfall. She told him of her father's words and soon they were packed unable to wait to start their life and family together. The first week was romantic but that soon ended, her skis making her ankles sore, the food cold and stale, the shelters cold and the dark forests terrifying. She tried to keep her complaints inside but occasionally they slipped out as they headed more north and she grew tired and sick of bland bread and meat. Her beloved was struggling to keep his own words gentle as he coached her on wards. She told herself it would be better when they get there.

It wasn't.

It was nothing like the bustling town she grew up with, it was silent apart from birds. The buildings was plain and lacking in trinkets and small things that made a house a home, the floors were still sticky from being new cut and soon a muddy mess. It felt like she spent more time scrubbing her floors than walking on them.

The worst was the dogs. The dogs she grew up with was quiet house pets, the ones her beloved kept was hunting and war dogs. Big mean beasts who stared her down like a deer. It was more of a semi feral pack her beloved kept in a pen behind the house. They were so loud! It seemed they were always barking with hunger. She was thankful when her beloved took them on his trips. It made her shiver when she had to tend to them.

Soon enough her duties were laid out; Keep the home. All day and night. Keep it warm and lit and well stocked with food and torches. To keep the dogs fed and watered. She did this quietly day after day as her husband came back from trips with carcasses and fish expecting her to prepare it. She missed her family, the busy trade route filled with strangers and friends with goods from all over the place.

One evening she woke up to barking. She nudged her beloved into waking. She heard the sounds of a fence being broken. She swore. The dogs had weakened a bit the day before but she left it. She had been waiting for her beloved to take the dogs out on a hunting trip and meant to fix it when the pen was empty. She grabbed a bit of meat by the smoker and a leash and headed out to see if she could tempt the dogs back in doors, knowing the cost of each one.

She soon couldn't see her hand in front of her face and was lost into the woods calling terrified for the dogs. She was almost in tears when she heard a small snuffling noise and one of the dogs came out from the dark. She recognised it to be Hari, a male dog who wasn't so big as the others. She managed to slip a leash onto him and fed him a cut.

She waited shivering holding onto the dog until day break. Thankfully the dog seemed to know the way home, tugging on the leash until they reached a familiar clearing... devastated.

Her home now fire and ashes and dead on the ground was her beloved. Tears fell quickly as she approached his body. She knew she had to get out, the bandits were probably still close. She quickly stripped his body and prepared a funeral pyre.

She dressed in his clothes quickly and held the leash tighter and left. There was nothing here for her now.

October 27, 2019, 02:57:15 PM
Goats! Goats are hardy breeds, producing fur, meat and milk. They can survive in rougher environments than sheep.
They are also cheaper, more self reliant and judging by these reports was introduced in the Stone Age never mind Iron Age Finland!

October 27, 2019, 05:13:14 PM
A Few Ideas: Agricultural help, Snake fangs and more... 1) Agricultural help from companions.

I recently was harvesting my herb patches and I had a companion. As I cut down the nettles, I wished I could ask him to either thresh the plants behind me or pick them up for me. It would make agricultural fields a lot more easier to manage and maybe even I could ask him to sow seeds for me in the spring if I gave him the seeds and harvest/thresh if I give them a grain flail. 

2) Putting branches in an ice hole to help delay refreezing.

Putting branches in an ice hole will help it stop freezing. It is annoying when you cut a hole in the ice and it freezes over so quickly. It won't permanently stop it from freezing just delay it just like real life.

Please note I know this is not going to be a popular idea:

3) Player characters shouldn't start with perfect knowledge of traps.

It would be nice if they are higher level, then they will know more types but I don't see a Driiki maiden at 16 years old with 12% trapping knowledge, knowing how to build and set bear traps.  Perhaps it can be added to the quests. A village trapper with a cold asking you to check his traps for him? Re-bait them? And in return he will show you how to build them? Could be snares, paw traps, lever, pit or dead fall.

Based on your starting Tribe you know different traps. Driiki starts off with knowledge of snares. While Owl Tribe knows about pit traps from capturing reindeer. Reemi knowing lever traps from protecting their fields from game.

4) Snakes should drop fangs/teeth.

Maybe could be a spell component. A Sage request item? 

5) Trading with different types of people should mean what items you trade with should have different values.

The Craftsmen will put maybe a 5% increase value on any boards/furs you have. Trading with Sages have increase value on herbs. Trading with Maidens put an increase value on jewelry and valuables.  Adventurers will value armour and weapons. Maybe to balance this maybe they have items they don't care for. Such as trying to trade with a Craftsmen using a sword makes them go "Hmmm I don't have a need for this but I suppose we could find a use."

November 03, 2019, 12:25:33 PM
Re: Honi, Widow in the North Honi wandered confused, letting the dog tug her along. Going home was an option. Getting revenge was another. But both required resources, costs. The spring would be upon them soon and the ice and snow she skied across to get here will turn into impassable slush. She only had a few items on her.  The clothes on her back, a few tools, her axe and knife luckily. She took to carrying them always as the night up north seemed more hostile than the ones she slept peacefully through in the south. Her fingers brushed over the last things of her Beloved and sighed.

Her musings was stopped by Hari giving a sharp tug and a low growl. She looked around fearing a red foe or robber instead she saw a reindeer herd in a mire. A source of fur and meat. Something to trade with. She readied her Beloved's bow, flushing red as she almost dropped it. She notched an arrow and watched the herd, graze over the soggy ground, nibbling at the sparse plants. 

She slowly made her way towards them, entire body shaking with the effort to stay hidden. She chose a doe, away from the herd and close to her. She aimed her arrow carefully at the broad grey back, guessing where to aim. She released the arrow, holding her breath only to yelp as the bow string caught her hand. Her yelp startled the herd who began to flee causing the first arrow bury itself straight into the pine next to the doe. Another attempt and a miss. A third try and it wasn't even close.

She watched the herd escape, the doe almost mocking her as it circled a tree just out of reach. Almost in tears Honi released her dog, remembering how her Beloved hunted. “Attack the doe! Hari” She called out and watched as the dog flew across the snow and went after the doe. The dog was well trained and soon had herded the beast to her. Again she send arrow after arrow after the doe and missed all, even when the doe was almost in touching distance from her. She felt like even the dog was looking at her strange for missing so badly, distracting it and causing the doe escape.

She followed the tracks mostly to pick up the fallen arrows and found it breathless. She sent Hari after the doe again, only to see the doe gore Hari from stomach to chin, leaving the dog almost gutted and passed out.

Honi saw red and hurried over and began to kick the doe mercilessly. Each kick was getting out the stress from losing her home, her Beloved and now the only thing she had left was a dog who was injured by this beast. She only stopped when the beast was passed out and she was breathless and unable to move from exhaustion.

She tried to aim the kicks to the head and missed. In the end she used her axe to cut it's throat. She watched it die and sobbed. She had yet more work to do, she pushed the body to an icy mire pond. She paused knowing the work was exhausting and she was near collapsing. She would need her strength to do this. So she left the body to make a basic shelter. Her Beloved voice coaching her into balancing the wood and the branches to keep the weather off her as she slept. It was a little lob sided and the wind got in a little but she was sure she could sleep well in it.

She moved back to the deer, knife in hand. She had done this before for her Beloved and soon she had a pile of meat, bones, antlers and gore splattered skin. She crawled to her shelter with blood and tufts of  fur still drying on her hands and forearms.

Dawn came and went, and only the bright midday sun woke her. She washed aching body down and started to process the fur. She ended up using the leash to start drying a good chunk of it next to her shelter and she roasted the rest knowing that she would need food for her and Hari in the mean time.

The first of the sizzling fresh meat was fed to Hari. The dog was badly injured but stayed by her side. She now knew why her Beloved kept so many. Brave loyal things she thought as she fed the dog until he refused to eat. She ate a few herself, the warm meat filling her with energy. With the new energy she finished tanning the harsh fur over a near by fallen log and draped it over her shelter for warmth at night. With a full stomach, supplies to last her and a large fur, she could finally think.

She lay on her fur, one hand on Hari's head, rubbing his silken ears as she thought about life and her place in it. She could go home, a broke widow, if she was lucky she might remarry but most likely would spend her days working in her father's store until she passed on.

If she stayed she could get her revenge for her Beloved. She lay on the new fur, aching, she realised that either way she would need resources. Fur and leather needed to make skis and tools to travel. A rich widow was always better received than a poor one. She knew about value, her fingers skimming over the rips and cuts in her fur lessening it's worth.

November 03, 2019, 03:22:03 PM
Re: A Few Ideas: Agricultural help, Snake fangs and more...
Snake fangs are rather small, as the snakes are rather small. I don't know if they had any ritual value in iron age Finland, but my guess is that they didn't.

When it comes to crafting knowledge restrictions (why stop at traps specifically?), there would have to be a balance between "realism" and playability.
For instance, removing the smallest lever traps would have caused all of my characters in trouble, because the birds caught in them is what keeps them fed until the first big kill (and the intervals in between them). Snares will work, but only if you have suitable tying equipment that doesn't rely on kills (and I think some of the new typing equipment might work).
If you remove bear traps you also remove trap fences where you can't dig (marshes, for instance) and when you can't dig (i.e. when it's frozen).

If you are curious about Ritual Animals in Iron Age Finland I would suggest these reports.



My favourite is called Snake Court Stones, a bit of Finnish Magic stories.

There is evidence that snakes were used ritually. Their skin particularly as well as they did decorate many ritual objects like Cairns with images of snakes. Made gold staffs even and more. There is an indication that snakes were viewed important ritually. They also used bear claws which maybe considered another suggestion.

Crafting knowledge is an odd thing. While I can see a village person who was raised in a village understanding the building of fences/homes and crafting of clothes and tools because these were daily/weekly/yearly chores occurring around the village. Perhaps not kotas, such a thing may be learnt from the northern tribes for tribes who don't build them. 

I would suggest that you ca also be self taught? If you trap enough you figure out how to build traps. If a character is 30-40% skilled in trapping, it is not unreasonable to imagine they could figure out how to build a lever trap on their own.

November 03, 2019, 06:55:52 PM
Jutta's Tales: The Bog Mother. (A URW Horror Story.) Hi, I want to try something different. Instead of a character story, I tried to write a horror story based in the URW. There might be more. I think Jutta has a few stories to tell.

This is a little dark, and based on true things.


Jutta was my mother's mother. She came from the far north, away from the coast we call home now. Mother told me that she came from the Owl Tribe, before settling down with her husband, a Seal Tribe man in his homeland, our homeland. He had been killed before I was born and Jutta had moved in with us. Father, was a Seal Tribe man through and through, and didn't like Jutta. On good days, he said she had the touch of the Spirits. On his bad days, he would say she drank too much of them instead.

But she seemed so ancient, so wise to me, I was just a little boy at the time. I took her word as law much to my practical father's annoyance. I was forever panicking over spilled salt, casting the expensive substance over my shoulders, refusing to whistle indoors for our dogs and all sorts of old Spirit ways. It seemed for beings who didn't care for humans, they certainly cared a lot about all sorts of things we do according to Jutta.
Even though it has been many long winters since she left us, I still remember her sitting in front of the hearth. A broken net over her lap, her curled and swollen fingers deftly passing the bone shuttle needle through the cords, stitching it. The little clicks of bone, almost lost with the wind whirring past the window, sending snow against the sides of the cabin we were in.

My job was to hold the lengths of cord taut as she worked. An important job she always told me. Fixing Father's fishing nets was my favourite job, not just because I get to stay in the warmth, curled against Jutta's leg, but because Jutta would tell me stories.

Now I sit in front of the fire now, my children's children around me, watching me whittle, I still remember her stories or was they more warnings? I clear my throat, the children looked up expectantly. They were waiting for the next tale, as I did when I was their age. The wind howled and made them jump and look around skittish like deer and I smiled. “Have you ever heard the Bog Mother?” I started, echoing Jutta's words from so many moons ago...

Winters on the coast are cold but with the sea air keeping the worst of the snow out, it is nothing like the far north. There was a village that was on the tip of the world it seemed, so far north and so cold. But nothing was colder than the people.

Hunger and death was a constant companion to the people,  Nothing would grow in the stony frozen soil for most of the year. The kept reindeer was scraggly starving beasts but the people made do. Yet they didn't move on. Some say they were cursed, banished to the far frozen north for some evil deeds, land and bloodlines cursed. All I say is that when the milk of a doe was ending, they often mixed it with the does' blood, bleeding the beast slowly keeping it alive and the hot blood mixed in with the thinning milk was their favourite treat.

In the leaner years, when the villagers, deep into the dark months felt their stomachs ache with hunger, what little food there was, was shared out to the village hunters, trappers and crafters first. The men eating what they could as they needed to find more. The scraps was given to the womenfolk to pick whatever they could from the lean bones, breaking them for marrow like starving wolves. Whatever, if ever, anything was left it was scraped into the pot and boiled, the thin soup dished out to the elderly.

There was one year though, it seemed the Spirits was plaguing the village, traps were sprung but lay empty and half the reindeer does lost their calf, the other half just didn't carry. The villagers already was gaunt from one bad winter but a worst spring? Followed by a tragic summer since the hunters was bringing barely any food in, just enough to keep them all from dying.

The Summer Solstice brought the village leaders and the Sage, to the middle of the village. The old Sage, was barely able to stand but still chanted and cast a few bones into the fire and watched them burn. A sharp snap from the bones made him fall back. “A bad winter!” Was declared, the omens black.

Worry filled the village far faster than food in the stores. Was it worse to die slow starvation or quick? People muttered as they walked past the storerooms again and again, looking at the small amount of food as if it would change.

In the midst of summer, a young outsider housewife, who married into the Tribe but a year ago gave birth. The first one in many years. However births was not celebrated like yours. They marked another mouth to feed, another drain on scarce supplies they had. The other women, the ones who hasn't bared in years talked in hushed tones about it, how not right it was, how did she bare when even the does were barren. Even the Sage couldn't answer. The babe, seemed not quite right; small, pale and silent. The Tribe women whispered about it, how it wouldn't survive the night.

Summer ended, and so did Autumn, the hunger and whispers grew as the child survived. Curses, and promises with Spirits was muttered, why else this year was so barren when the mother wasn't so? Didn't all the trouble start when she arrived?

When winter began to creep into the village, one of the village women who lost her only child years ago began to tell the others about the unnatural sickly looking child who had weaned. Eating food. Even though it wouldn't survive till Spring. A waste. It's portion of food could feed her husband who brought that seal in. At the start of winter, it was just hot words in the cold air but as winter continued, and the hunger sank deeper in their bones, she wasn't the only one saying it any more.

Winter is bad time to get a head full of bad ideas. No one had the energy to shake them off or think, all they kept hearing is how they could get more food for them, for their family. The mother hid herself and her son away, while her husband a crafter, unskilled was low in the village so kept quiet. He was already distrusted for marrying outside the Tribe. So he wasn't told when the leaders went to have a meeting on a nearby hill, out of eyeshot and earshot of the village.

Hunger was a desperate beast that day, it's growls echoing in all the leaders' stomachs, the wicked anger clawing through them as they decided. In the older times, in leaner times, ones they thought they had passed, they would send the elderly off, into the woods with no supplies. One less mouth to feed. The outsider's child should be banished first, not one of the elderly. It was decided in harsh but quiet tones.

They waited till the next full moon on the solstice, the Sage had said it would be best. The Spirits could snatch up the child before it's soul was left to howling void. The next words was heavy on his tongue, blood ritual offering are best on the solstice. One of the leaders jumped in his skin and admonished the man for his crude words. Blood rituals hadn't been done in generations, though they still drained the does when hunger set in.

The mother found out only when the Sage knocked on the door of their cabin as night fell that evening. The leaders were just behind and with a glance into their solemn gaunt faces, she knew what they were here for. She screamed, cried as her husband held her. She tried offering them anything but her son. Food, valuables but in the end she offered her life up. Surely an adult's portion was far greater than what a babe would eat?

The leaders accepted it with a jerky nod. Better on their soul, a woman give herself up then condemn an infant. She followed them out into the night, each of the men holding a burning torch, the guttering flickering lights surrounding her leading her deep into the marsh. The frozen ground crunching under her leather boots. She was sobbing to herself, the icy cold night freezing the tears on her face. The moon came out from behind a cloud, bathing them in the silvery light. She was handed a torch and ordered to walk away into the bog away from the village, away from her child, sobbing.

The babe didn't survive long, neither did the husband who followed within a week. The woman was never seen again, but she was heard. The next full moon, an eerie call came from the bog. The village's best hunter grabbed his bow and arrow and crept out. He was shaking as the cold wind blew across him and a thin woman's sob drifted over him. He raised his bow and arrow thinking the outsider had returned, but there was nothing. He approached slowly and carefully thinking she must have been hiding behind a tree. He scurried home terrified.

Again, the next full moon, the sobbing was closer now, the edge of the marsh now. The leaders gathered up as many men as he could arm, and marched them out to see what was happening. He heard the thin sobs and spun around, the noise seemingly surrounded them. They scattered, fleeing in haste away from the painful wretched sobs.

They thought they were safe in the village, the cries moon after moon, never left the bog. The village learnt to live with it, the Sage drumming on full moons to banish the evil and stop the sobs. Maybe it was that, and not the offering which made the game plentiful, the traps full and the nets bursting with food. The village recovered even, the next winter easy to get through, even the bog was silent. Years past, the old Sage passing on, and drumming stopped. It was waking up the children who soon filled  the yards of the village, horrors forgotten.

It was after that winter solstice, when the children first mentioned her. The Bog Mother. The lady in the marsh, who called to them to play who promised them that she would be their mother. The children told the adults fled, all of them except one. One who had argued with his mother that morning, one who didn't know the dangers of the bog, one they found the body of face down in the mud, dead. They told the children never to play near the bog, to ignore any voices, any lights.

It didn't stop there, a child woke up next full moon to a voice outside his window, calling for him. His brother sleepily awoke to see the boy leave the room and never return. Another child, and another, soon they were gone. The village died out but they still say she is out there, the Bog Mother, looking for her child every winter. If you sit quietly you can still hear her calling, or sobbing for her child she lost.

I finish my story and look at the spell bound children, just then the wind blew past the window, a thin almost wail, sending the children to tears and screams. You know, it did almost sound like a distraught woman calling out.

May 26, 2020, 09:12:49 PM
Re: What are you doing while being fatigued? I go to the map view and wait there, it is so much quicker due to the fact the game isn't processing much else in that mode. It means a wait for a second or two IRL will mean I am no longer fatigued. I reenter the map in the place where I left it and continue.

June 04, 2020, 12:49:17 PM
Jutta's Tales: The Story Teller. (A URW Horror Story.) The men and women were busy getting ready for the seal hunts. Every year, the young men of village all go away for a month to hunt the beasts. From the window I could see each of the teams of four men standing by their large canoe, full of supplies. Hopefully by the end of the season, they would all come home with the canoes, stuffed full of meat, bones, fat and skins for the women to process.

I could hear the Sage solemnly chanting, a handful of herbs smouldering away as he used it to draw runes on each of the boats, protecting the men from angry spirits while they hunted. I was too old to hunt now; seal hunting was a game for young men. The month was a true test of manhood and I could see several of the older children I was watching, sulking; their mother's deeming them too young to go.

I was left in charge of the children, to keep these young men from sneaking off to join the hunt and to keep the children busy as the adults prepared so I turned to what I did best; I started a story, one told to me by Jutta, of her brother actually and his run in with a spirit while hunting.

In the Owl Tribes, they didn't hunt seals but instead the reindeer. Just like us, the men would go off in groups to hunt the herds as they moved from the northern lands they bred and calved in, to the south, to fatten on the ripe berries and grasses, peeking up from the snow during the summer.

The Tribe Sage has announced the season had started and the forest was ready to release some reindeer to them. Jutta's brother, Veli was often chosen to go on these hunts, not because he was a good shot with spear or bow, or even that strong but because he was a storyteller. A good storyteller could sit by a fire and his words could distract them from the aching of their bodies from walking for miles, from the tough dried meat that was dinner and the cold dark forest that surrounded them. When night fell there was nothing but to do, except eat, talk and sleep. The men carried as little as possible with them to ensure they could carry as much meat and fur back with them. To carry whittling tools or instruments to amuse themselves were considered selfish. The meat and furs would be shared between them all and if someone didn't carry a fair load, it was stealing warmth from their beds, and food from their children's mouths.

Veli knew he was the weakest one and became the camp tender, ensuring the fire was lit and there was clean freshly boiled snow in the pot for the men to drink. He made up the stew from dried meats in a pot over the fire for them all. He didn't begrudge his work as this time his group was made up of two friends, Onni and Topi. All three had been friends for many years and if it wasn't for the last of the group, Olavi, it would have been a great time.

Olavi was only son of a village leader and deemed his father's position was his position. His father's earned respect and wisdom was his too. He had joined the group solely on the fact that the Sage had 'seen' a great Reindeer Stag in his dreams, an unusual coloured one, splotches of white and black on it. The Sage was uncertain what it meant; a white stag meant good fortune, pleased spirits but a black one, meant ruin, unlucky. Olavi believed it meant the Stag was out there to hunt. Such a skin would turn many a head, the hunter would be part of many a story and poem for bringing back such a fine thing. In fact it might be good enough to impress a maiden he had his eye on.

So after much begging of his father, Olavi went on his first hunt with Veli and friends. To someone who had never travelled far, the days of walking was hard for Olavi, and the complaints of walking for days was hard on the others. By evening of day three, the group were stressed and settled down to make camp in a grove. Veli made started the fire as the others cleared scrub away and built the shelters.

Night fell soon and the men gathered silent for once around the fire, waiting for Veli to finish the food. The men almost jumped out their skins as they heard footsteps approach in the dark. The men's hands shifted to their weapons only to see a woodsman of sorts approach the fire. “Well met.” Veli greeted him.

The man lifted a hand in greeting. “May I join you?” He asked.

Olavi opened his mouth to speak but Onni beat him to it. “Of course.” He shifted on the log. “In nights like these, it would be rude to dismiss company.”

Now closer to the fire, Veli could see the man properly. He looked old, in the flickering fire light. Dressed in deer skin clothing, his long silver beard and hair, scraggly. His hands were filthy as he took the bowl of food Veli offered. Manners dictated the guest ate first. The old man did so greedily slurping at the stew.

Before Veli handed the rest of the food out, the old man had finished and held his bowl out for more. Veli refilled it, leaving himself only a little. He ate his own slowly watching the old man who pretty much licked the bowl clean. The old man broke the silence first, placing his bowl down. “After that fine food, let us tell stories. I think you might have a good one.” He pointed to Topi who startled.

“... Okay? I am not much of a storyteller!” He told him sagely. “But... I do have one.” Topi began a tale of his brother and his first fishing trip. “And that's how I ended up with two fishing hooks in thumb...” He told the group the misadventure, causing the others to laugh.

“Two?” Onni gasped between laughter.

“I tried to get the first fishing hook one out with a second!” He retorted, breaking into laughter himself.

The old man was snorting his amusement, tossing his head in laughter. Veli turned to see Olavi staring at the men, stony face. “Not that funny.” Olavi shrugged, determined to sour the evening.

The air picked up for a second and Veli glanced at the old man and felt that off feeling. The old man turned and winked at Veli, seemingly knowing his thoughts. Veli looked away quickly as the old man pointed at Onni. “Your turn.”

Veli knew Onni never told stories. He said he lived too simple life, but he saw him almost bewitched, compelled to tell a story and he did. One from his father. “Drunk on mead the night before his wedding ceremony, he saw a squirrel walk up to him. He thought it was a Spirit trying to bless him. So, he held out his hand and the squirrel instead scampered up him and stole the dowry of a bronze comb, running off with it!” He snorted. “He turns to my mother and told her what happened and she... she said, 'I'll be a squirrel's daughter then!'”

The air was full of laughter again except for Olavi who sniffed and spat into the fire, breaking the mood. “Your father was a buffoon.” He sneered. “We should go to bed soon.” He glared at the old man who looked back baleful.

Veli felt the forest fall silent with his words. Something running through him. The story jarred something in his brain, and he lifted his hand to cover his right eye, as he looked with his left, he saw the old man turn. No longer an old man but instead a black and white reindeer staring at him smiling. Again, a wink. “Who’s left.” The reindeer said. Veli blinked and removed his hand, the image of the reindeer gone, the old man was back.

Topi looked at Veli. “Our best storyteller, that is who!” He preened on his behalf. “Veli is the best storyteller in our village.”

Veli looked away, not ashamed but shy. “No guys, come on.” He tried.

The old man tutted. “False modesty is far uglier than truthful pride.”

Veli paused and nodded, not wanting to upset the forest spirit and sat up. He racked his brains looking for the best of his stories and picked one. The most requested an epic about a strong fighter.

He finished to applause from most of the group apart from Olavi who stood up obviously annoyed. “I am tired of this. You may spend all night entertaining a smelly old man, but I want to be up in the morning to finish this stupid hunt. I am sick of made up stories and tales.” His anger apparent but not as apparent as the old man.

No longer wearing the costume of the old man, the reindeer walked on two legs, like man but stood far taller. The being stalked towards Olavi who didn't notice until the shadow of the spirit fell on him and he fell silent. The old man's voice was quiet but carried. “Made up stories and tales?” The being asked. “It is my turn to tell you a story.” He grabbed the scared human. The others were frozen in their seats, almost bewitched as the Spirit bent low, murmuring too quiet in Olavi's ear. Finally, he released the quivering human who fled as quick as he could.

The being turned around and gave them a bow. “I enjoyed your tales, men. May your next hunt be well.” The being blessed them and walked off into the darkness too.

They couldn't find Olavi until sunrise, the man had climbed on top of a hill and clung there like a squirrel. His dark hair now white. It took longer to return home, Olavi silent and refusing to tell them what the spirit had said. The others fell silent too, not speaking to the others about what happened, only that Olavi had a terrible fright.

Olavi was never the same again, refusing to leave the village even to court the pretty maiden he had desired before. He had seemingly been broken by the Spirit's words. Worse still he developed a fear of water, even having to be forced to wash by his own mother.

Veli came across Olavi one night, deep into his mead which he lapped from shallow dishes like a dog. He was drunk enough to swing for Veli, the mead made him slow and Veli easily dodged. Olavi turned to sway as he cried. “It is your fault! If you didn't tell stories!” He shouted. “He wouldn't have told me!” He sat back now, too drunk to stand.

Veli couldn't stop himself. “Told you what?” The words he didn't hear was plaguing him, he thought often of the spirit. It was hard not too with Olavi drifting through the village just like a spirit himself with his wide haunted eyes and white hair.

Olavi sobbed. “He told me, a true story, my story.” He looked at the dish in his hand and threw it. “He told me my life, everything. Even stuff no one else knew!” He covered his face with his hands. “Like I broke the fence that let the reindeer out as a kid.” He admitted. “I didn't mean to!” He begged Veli. “You believe me, right?”

Veli just nodded. They had lost their best does that night, costing the village a fortune to replace and they still struggled in winter to this day because of it.

Olavi continued. “It wasn't just my past, but my future.  He told me all of this. Everything he said came true. But he also told me my death. That I would die... drowning.” He shuddered.

Veli sat back shocked. “How?” They lived in a land locked land, the only well was tiny. “Surely it cannot be true.”

Olavi opened his mouth to respond but his father had walked in, to drag his drunken son to bed.

Veli watched him leave, feeling guilty for not warning the others, what he had seen. He made offerings for the spirits. Maybe Olavi would find peace soon. He went to bed only to wake to a wailing from outside.

He ran out in just his under-things as he watched the leaders carry Olavi out, dead. He caught whispers of the crowd. Dead, drown in the family's rainwater barrel. Must have gotten up for a drink during the night and fell in.

Veli turned around to get dressed and see if he could help the family when he saw in the tree line a large black and white reindeer. The being saw him and gave him a wink before it walked off back into the forest on its’ hind legs.

June 11, 2020, 09:06:18 AM
Why does the stupid throwaway characters live the longest? Hey all,

Anyone else find this?

You create a character carefully, choosing a play style, a back story, desires and personality. You research the perfect Finnish name... And go into the world and.... Died at 16 winters old, having spent 30 days of adventuring life. Lucky Robbers or bear or wolf...

Meanwhile Potaaaaaaaato man is currently random build and living his best life of 3 years+.


June 16, 2020, 11:24:16 AM
Re: Why does the stupid throwaway characters live the longest? I was listing them as joke examples.

I had died from robbers because my character had all their tools stolen and I starved to death in winter before I could find a village to replace them or any big game also from having poor healing; bleeding wounds which I couldn't staunch.

I die mostly from starvation, I don't min max characters and I play like they would with their skills. A Drik would be craftier at trading than a Owl Tribe. So I tend to let those characters make a better deal with items. An Owl Tribe may over pay for items. "That was generous." Yes it makes the game harder and I am choosing to make it so but I think it builds a better story. It balances out, the others all have their areas of expertise. 

Eastern Tribes who see Njepz rarely, will stumble on them thinking they are friendly. Intending to ask the way to village or trade. Only for the first couple of time then that character learns.

I have even refused to build houses or types traps until I am a certain skill level or friendliness to a Village. It is a case of "being taught the ways". Again, I did suggest having this in game and Sami agreed; I do not think a Drik 16 year old maid would know how to build a home.

I ask you guys to try it. Don't min max. Build a character on random, make stupid decisions and amazing stories! Share them below! 

June 16, 2020, 11:33:30 PM