Topic: [Brygun] Cornan the Barbarian  (Read 5495 times)


« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2020, 09:18:17 PM »
ooc: Added a link in the first post to the story blog of Novrus

Link to earlier story of Novrus:


« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2020, 09:28:09 PM »
Leaving the traps Cornan wondered how to get food. If he stayed away from both sets of traps for a while game might come in. He would need shelter though. Following ermine tracks he found sparse cranberries still edible on the bush. They the tracks became numerous and pushed cleaned up. Minutes later he had the ermine in sight.

<<Cornan 010 ermine in sight>>


« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2020, 10:20:13 PM »
Cornan slid back a few steps. He tried to circling south then west. The camp was somewhere to the north and a little east. The chances of a javelin hit were slim. Pushing it toward the camp traps gave a second chance of a kill. Both odds were slim. Stealth and cunning brought Cornan to four man heights.

Now was the time to throw!

A miss. Frustration flowed through his heart. Now the ermine was alert. It had also run the wrong way.

The hunt was over. Cornan let a deep breath out. At least the ermine had led him to scatterings of cranberry bushes. Those berries he ate quickly.

Cornan laughed.

What ever he ate was just a little more to encourage the ermine into the traps. He laughed with a mouth dripping in berry juice.

He went back to chores at the camp. A squeak to the west would be the ermine. If it was this close then it would smell the baits.

Working in the evening Cornan looked at the flowers he had been eating. Finally a memory from grandmother came to his mind. Heather they called it. It could make a tea to help with lung issues. If he caught a winter cold it would come in handy. 

The next day found a bird caught by the camp. A necessary meal. His hands were shaky again. He needed several days eating meat to recover now. Ice fishing was a possibility except Cornan had only stories of it. He could well starve trying it. Today was a day to tend to the the rest of the camp traps. The nearby traps at the narrows would be left alone to give animals a chance to explore.

At noon Novrus looked at the fox trap he had set up. The notches at the top would catch a paw as the fox leapt for bait. He knew a ritual to leave the board for a time where women would walk on it. Cornan decided to visit one of the other Reemi villages in hopes of work. He’d take the fox board there as well.

There he put the fox board in the doorway. An older woman nodded while a younger looked confused. Cornan went about making torches to trade for three for a cut of meat and six for a smoked lavaret fish. These he ate hungrily needing proper nutrition for a change. He spent all the next day doing the same. Torches and labor for meat and fish. He could feel his body restoring itself. Also he had been away from the traps for some time so the next day would be time to go check them.

<<Cornan 011 torches for meat>>


« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2020, 09:08:39 PM »
In the main hall Reko the sage of this Reemi village handed white flakes to Cornan.

“Soap. Wash best you can then sleep in here.”

“Thank you.”

Cornan was trying to figure out how much of that was an insult and how much of that was a kindness. The momentary looks from the other villagers were focused on the sage. The sage, their elder, had just said he could sleep inside again.

Using a bucket of water Cornan washed his upper body then shirt. Villagers glanced at him. He was taller than them. Thick muscles were notched with fading scars. Scents of spruce floated in the air. It must have been mixed in with the soap.

A woman scowled taking the bucket outside for dumping. A minute later she returned with fresh water. It had been meat for a soup! Cornan’s shoulders hunched giving her an embarrassed nod of his head. A child came asking of the soup stamping his foot that it wasn’t ready. The woman’s glance to Cornan was as frigid as falling into icy water.
Cornan stayed quietly on the side as villagers talked in the evening. Soon they all drifted into sleep.

The morning would be day 3 of the 7th week to midwinter point. Cornan could still himself slackened by the starvation. These villagers had been kind in their way and profiting from his need for labor. He wished he was in better standing. With slow steps he moved as quietly as could to slip out into the dawn. There were traps to check at the camp and narrow.

With the blackened javelin for a walking stick he probed through a mire. Berries were still managing here. He gathered a few perhaps delaying an hour.

At the narrows his heart was sad at the unsprung traps. Then Cornan chuckled as he turned around the trees. The ermine was there! Wiggling is trap, its leg pinned by the stone weighted wood shaft. To avoid forgetting he first changed the bait on the triple log trap to a cut of bird meat. With the stone axe the ermine was soon dispatched. It took another hour to reset the traps, clearing gathering snow and making berry baits were in good spots.

At the camp there were no captures.

“Good thing I went out,” said Cornan.

His eyes glazed in depression. Had he stayed the last few days here rather than work in a village he might be close to death now. Maybe the legends like Beodrin and Novrus could live like this but Cornan had to accept he new little of trapping.
Taking a breath he also reminded himself those legendary survivors were not always magnificent. They to had once struggled to live through their first winter. Novrus had left home with tools. Beodrin had his tools plus those of his bear killed father. Cornan had fled with only a rusty knife.
Setting up the fox board he had carried and reseting the camp tramps took into the afternoon. This land’s northern position meant that already the sun was halfway lost to the horizon. Hurrying to the third closest village might be possible. He had no trade goods ready anyway.

Taking pause of himself he put heather flowers on top of the lean-to as an offering to the local spirits. They camp hadn’t been ransacked. They might also help draw in game.

Simple labor of binding torches finished the evening.

Waking late in the morning Cornan went exploring a short way. To the south east a heathland still had lingonberries and heather suitable for harvest.

<<Cornan 012 from the village>>


« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2020, 02:18:47 AM »
The night went quiet. A night alone. A night to his own choices. No tugs on his leash. No punishments for not understanding a language he didn’t know.

To the heathland he roamed. This patch had heather though was devoid of berries. Exploring on a lone farm house with fields, a stead appeared. Cornan strolled over to visit them.

They were friendly enough. A pair of pigs mucked about a snowy pen. Their store house was full of many bags and boxes for trade. A wondrous site to a starving man!

Cornan haggled with old Jerkko. The name fitted the snarling trader. Cornan wanted meats and a smoked salmon. Jerkko took a now empty bag, a bowl and torches. Settling on the amounts though had taken multiple barter of more of this or less of that. Cornan was happy to fill his mouth with meat and walk away from Jerkko.

Villagers talked of a cave to the north west near Scrutchland. Cornan decided to explore at least a little with his new meats. The traps would have new calm times to catch animals again.

Around noon he spotted a high cliff. High up Cornan saw an elk. With no bow nor skis he knew he couldn’t hunt it. Thoughts of one day being wrapped in furs from head to toe warmed his heart.

Looking for more cliffs Cornan thought he saw a flash of red. The color of the slavers. It was only for a moment. He might not be alone. With the few weeks it might not be a slaver but one of their kinfolk hunting the elk.

His circling came back around without finding more cliffs and certainly not the cave. He arrived at what he recognized as the village of Black forest. This would be the third nearest his camp. It was the early evening. Time for the custom of trading stories for warmth.

Among the houses Cornan explored. Opening one found stocks of food. By a peg on the back wall hung a pair of fur mittens.

His body sagged and mouth drooled in anticipation. No more cold fingers! Calling over a man named Asko they bartered. Cornan gave up two of the three trade arrows, a wooden bowl and the ten torches he had.
Sliding the mittens on he was so proud. Cornan patted his covered hands together. Seams glided smoothly. It was a skilled hand that made these.
To the mooing of cows Cornan went to the main hall. There they traded stories by a large fire in its chimney.

<<Cornan 013 got mittens>>

OOC: You know its a real survival game when you are dancing around the real world because your Unreal world avatar got mittens!


« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2020, 04:11:46 AM »
Heading back to his home zone found no catches in the narrow’s traps. These he cleaned and reset. He started to wonder if large game was in the area at all but then he remembered seeing the elks. They were around not just in the traps. The home traps were likewise empty.

Cornan would spend a few days crafting and trapping. A bird was caught again. The real source of food would be the Reemi stead and villages. Food traded for by the crafting. This wasn’t his ideal but it was survival.

Which would be great if he didn’t go to look in at an elk and meet the pack of wolves stalking it!

<<Cornan 014 wolf pack>>

OOC: Awww crap


« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2020, 04:17:41 AM »
“Spirits of the Earth!” Cornan cursed.

He spun on his heels running to make the fur cloak billow out behind him. He glanced pack the wolves were at least three seemed to eye him in puzzlement. Running more then looking back it was now four wolves!

He had a thought. A way to live. To lead them to the elk. His lungs burst for air as charging through the ankle deep snow only added to the strain.

<<Cornan 015 wolves at elk>>


« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2020, 04:28:57 AM »
There was the elk. The wolves mixed in purpose turned heads between the elk and Cornan. The alpha made its choice. Snarling wolves made for the elk.

Cornan shifted in dread. Now what? It was an open mire. He shuffled to a meager pine tree. There he dove into the snow around it. The ankle deep snow pitiful at hiding him. His lungs gasping made noises he dreaded the wolves would hear.

A flicker of time perhaps yet each breath was measured in agony.

Movement on the snow to the west. Where the elk and wolves had gone.

A firm breath in as Cornan grasped his stone-axe and fire blackened javelin. What was coming?

A weasel.

A thin tiny weasel bounding on the snow. It too fleeing the wolves. It ran closer. Its head popped up halting its body. It had seen Cornan. A long clumsy javelin throw showed it off.

Going to recover the javelin Cornan found blood splatter. Mixed around it is the foot prints of elk and wolf. They had indeed starting fighting each other with a weasel panicked out of a snow burrow.

<<<Cornan 016 bloody and trails>>


« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2020, 04:34:06 AM »
Cornan walked along the trail. His own breath was still heavy. A hundred yards or two there the small elk lay dead. Partially eaten by the wolves.

This was the best deepest rarest hope he had. To get such a swath of fur and mounds of meat. That is his only if the wolves don’t return. Then there is the risk they track him back to the camp. Traps there might make a toll on the wolves.

<<Cornan 017 elk slain by wolves>>


« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2020, 05:15:57 AM »
Conan tried lifting the elk. It must be over three hundred pounds. He got it off the ground. No way could his legs walk him along.

He started the butchering it was exhausting. Ripping branches from a nearby tree a small fire given life. Would it attract the wolves for scare them? Cornan started a few cuts to roast. Foolish as the cooking smells carried.

It was into the fearful setting light of winter evening when a wolf came near. The carcass still had much meat on it. However, with organs and a few bones tossed out Cornan found he could carry what remained. He tossed to the ground bleeding meats in hopes it would fill the wolves belly.

Struggling steps slipped then were recovered. The half butchered elk across his shoulders poured blood over his partially clothed body. Red pools chilled on the snow. Fearful glances could only be done by turning around. In the dim light the wolves could be within javelin throwing distance and he wouldn’t know.

Evening darkened as an ever thicker cloak. Cornan came to a lake shore. He had missed the camp only slightly. Following the shore the camp was reached. Its sets of traps a crude defense from the wolves.

One such trap made a crude door to his camp’s inner sanctum. This is set. It might not kill or even hold a wolf. It would at least make noise if nothing else.

Cornan began a hurried yet flowing processing of the animal. A fire to roast cuts. More cuts were hung off the shelter to dry in the winter air. For this he used withes made in earlier days knowing that one day they would be useful. His belly was filled with much of the roasted elk. It was midnight when he the laziness of digestion won over his willpower.

When Cornan awoke the sun was directly over head. He had slept peacefully. It was then he realized he didn’t make a sacrifice for the elk. Unless you counted the large side of meat tossed down to appease the wolves. To honor the elk he put out a turnip from the Reemi stead. It represented the food that the elk eats so he hoped the elk spirit would see this as a kindness.

Now came the work of tanning the elk hide. It would have been a yearling calf. With all the wolf chomps and hurried skinning it was quite ragged. Useless in trade. For winter clothing and making skis this would suffice. Planning what portions for what had best be done wisely. It took many hours to clean the hide then rub in fats for tanning. There was a little raw fat left which Cornan used to replace berries in one of the medium sized traps.

Cornan now was in a very different way. Enough roasted elk would last a week at least. The rest could be traded before it rotted though there wasn’t that much spare. Drying other elk cuts would take over three weeks. Now considering the numbers there would be a gap. Newly trapped animals could cover that.

Of course the reminder of wolves in the forest had clearly been made.

Cornan could be glad at least his belly full. His body moved freely. Enough had been eaten to restock the inner nutrients.

<<Cornan 018 elk processed>>


« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2020, 05:57:09 PM »
Wiping his nose with a fur mitten Cornan noticed the smell of blood. When carrying the elk the blood carried all over him. This scent could be caught by the wolves. There was only one thing do. One dangerous thing: an icy bath.

He went to his regular watering place. The stomps into the water were horrid. He plunged himself under the water. This was the shore line without the risk of being sucked under. He washed himself and his clothes. Perhaps ten minutes of cruel freezing grip. In his youth they used to run between icy water and saunas. Pity he didn’t have a sauna.

He should have started the fire first. Wood was on hand as cut firewoods, branches and spruce. Fingers fumbled with the flint and knife to spark. He felt a confusion coming over him. The mind’s temperature falling taking away meaningful thought. Worried he might pass out Cornan pushed a large block of wood onto the fire.

To keep busy he started carving out more bowls. Huddled there in the lean-to with spruce mats to sit on in front of a roaring fire. The choice of a camp nearly surrounded by close in spruce trees held up the winds like a shield wall. Slowly he felt himself improving. By noon a pair of bowls was done and Cornan was starting to get uncomfortably hot. He laughed a deep hearty chuckle.

Cornan strode to the nearby traps. The walk was far tiring than he expected. His body had been pushed hard the past few days. It was still the afternoon when he curled up to sleep.

In the morning the elk calf’s chewed up hide was finished. Hours of stretching the tanned and rinsed hide with stones over a tree trunk. During the work there was a snap and a yelp. Something was trapped.
Wandering over was a hare. That was good. Cornan hadn’t seen any squirrels in his time here. The birds had thinned. Now if the hares were coming out there would be both meat and furs. After skinning and butchering Cornan was mindful to put out a piece of meat for spirits. Before cooking the rest of the hare Cornan realizes he should use it for bait in various traps.
To his surprise there was a dead bird in one of the traps. In the cold weather it was still fresh enough to use. Cornan decided to shift this trap where it was more useful.

The next few days were simple ones. Plenty of elk meat, traps to reset and a few catches in the traps. Most important the elk calf’s hide was transformed into clothing. There were many holes from the wolves and his clumsy skills with a rusty knife. Still he had done much to shield himself from the deep winter. There should hopefully still be enough left for the skis.
Furs for a hood, mask, shirt and furs tied on over top of his boots for a little more warmth. With his fur mittens, fur cloak, wooled trousers, linen undershirt and leather Reemi boats he was pleased. 

<<Cornan 019 fur outfit>>


« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2020, 04:33:49 AM »
Awakening to a new day Cornan was warm though the air was well below freezing. Snows had thickened to calf deep making long walks tiring. Skis would be needed soon.

While the roasted elk was lasting things were a steady routine. Thinking bow hunting would be good he began preparations trimming thin strips of elk hide into a pair of bowstrings. They weren’t very good but should work. It was then he realized he no longer had the fur for making skis. That is at least until he caught more animals.

Day 3 of the 4th week to midwinter Cornan went to the stead. He traded for a beans and fish. Then he went wandering westward spotting another settlement. On the return stroll a humming voice started.

An enemy in an iron helm. A bow was on his back. There was no shield, spear or sword. Signs of hunting.

Cornan went quiet sliding next to the rising ground. The hunter didn’t see him until there was only a half dozen yards separating them.

<<Cornan 20 enemy hunter>>


« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2020, 04:34:18 AM »
(*cough* die, reload, die, reload, die, reload)

The last steps are a blink of an eye. Cornan threw his javelin for a hit of little affect. Jumping onto each their shoulders smashed each other. Each warriors free hand grabbing the weapon hand of the other. Ice under snow skidded them apart. Stone-axe tumbled from Cornan’s hand and the gleaming broad knife from the hunter.
Cornan’s hands were faster for the broad knife. Snarling the helmed hunter took up the javelin. They fought in a flurry snow. Cornan taking wounds the hunter little. When the javelin broke the hunter took out a club. Its shape was more fitting for scrunching drying hides than fighting.
Cornan wished he had avoided this fight. He should have known better. Only the noble warrior men afforded such helmets. This hunter was a skilled fighter out for leisure hunt!
Rocks were tossed and smashed inside fists. Cornan’s ragged furs tore open seams. Somewhere in the fighting Cornan managed a few minor hits.
Neither could bring death to the other. Had the hunter another weapon it would not have been the case. Cornan backed up when he could. The hunter wanted his knife back! Down into the snow each tumbled.
Cornan remembered gladiator fights like this. He started saving his strength. Kicks and empty handed punches thudded into his furs.
Finally after what seemed hours the hunter shifted away in the fading light. Words in that foreign language were scowled. With the hunter still having that bow Cornan ran as fast as he could. Around a few trees then hiding among them.
Cautiously he retreated onto a mire where he could see a long distance. He wanted to know if he was being pursued. Perhaps foolish if the hunter had come to shoot but he hadn’t.

Cornan staggered into the woods dazed on which direction to go. A vision of a village with its healer came to mind. In the moon light the hunter’s broad knife shimmered.

<<Cornan 21 escaped with knife>>


« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2020, 04:36:11 AM »
OOC Tip:

Your new characters are not your old characters. Don't get in fights that the old ones could handle that the new ones can't!

Tip 2:
Dropped weapons are fair game. Plus it stops them from stabbing you with them.


« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2020, 10:34:56 PM »
As I forgot to put it in the original post I've added it now and posting it here for those already reading:

Fair disclosure as this is a writing project this isn't a purest iron-man play through. Reloading game saves may and has happened, for example when numb in the real world I didn't notice how much ice he had fallen through. There are times when reloading won't happen and that will be his end. However that likely will mean I take another break from playing for other activities. If someone is a pure one-death type feel free to read up to a death note then ignore the rest of the thread. The goal is self fulfillment, writing and sharing experience with the community.