[P] the hardest hands make the softest hide
(364) | Form: Optime | NPCs: –
Main thorough faire, set up with an arrangement of things in her rabbit skin coat. Foredate to March 18th

Maria had procured some supplies from around Charmingtown, her hands anxious for a job. There had been hides in storage in desperate need of processing, a few tools that looked intended for the job. She had posted up along the main thoroughfare near the Painted Pony. Surrounding her, she looked at the hides in varying stages of processing. However, all were dry and dusty.

She'd acquired eggs from the chicken coop early in the morning and a large bowl, the yolks were a perfect substitute if the brain of the animal wasn't available. Maria mixed the yolks with water and applied it to a dry pelt, kneading it in liberally. She sat on the ground working and stretching the underside, careful not to dirty the fur side.

Preparing and working a pelt is a laborious and loving process. One spent hours working on a single piece, every inch of the hide touched throughout the process. Maria enjoyed the work, though it was often made more difficult alone. The final stretching of the pelt and smoking it required was made much easier with many helping hands, especially with larger game.

Her eyes scanned over her pile, the impossible task in front of her. There would be many more days before her of similar labor. Some hides would need to be scraped of flesh and hair before they could be turned to rawhide or buckskin. Buckskin would mean stripping the hair and more work to ensure a pliable product. She looked at the hide in her hands, it looked to be a beaver pelt its fur thick and dense. Already it was more supple in her hands with the added oil. She stretched it more firmly by hand before moving to a stake she had driven into the ground earlier in the day.

Maria had cut it to a chisel tip which happened to be the perfect shape for catching the hide. She held the hide taut between her hands and leaned its center on the chisel tip in slow, broad strokes. She worked every edge, applying even steady pressure throughout the hide. The time fled away to her work, letting the exertion melt away her thoughts.

Cheyenne was starting to branch out from Charmingtown's saloon, quickly growing bored with the same scene day in and day out. It wasn't her business she was bored with, but rather the longing to dive into Del Cenere's politics. Despite her determination, she was stuck in limbo. 

She'd met with few Ashen thus far and it had her restless. She wanted to know them all; pick apart what made them, them. Maybe she was simply far too curious for her own good, but this thought wouldn't stop her from reaching. She'd get to know them all however long it took. For now, she'd settle with the occasional meet and greet until she was allowed to explore further into the Ganglands unattended. She wasn't a fan of being escorted and so she kept to herself in Charmingtown, grooming those who passed through as potential clients. 

Shy wasn't about that scene today. She felt the need to be busy. See, growing up she had little time for her own passions. The grind was all she knew, but there was no grind until she was accepted fully as a member of the gang. She didn't know how to keep busy other than carousing the town in search of prospective clients. She was, however, curious to know what more there might be to life. Now that she'd left mama's nest, the possibilities were seemingly endless. She best test the waters and find what passions might satiate her need to keep busy while also being productive. 

The red rock female sauntered around the town, purposefully searching for something to do. It didn't take her long to find a lone female with piles of fur stacked in front of her. She was deep in her craft, her concentration sewn into the pelt she vigorously worked on. Shy paused to watch the woman work carefully, unsure what it was she was trying to accomplish, but curious to know. 

Long legs carried her closer before she came to stop beside the seated female. A fist rested on her popped hip. Her free hand corralled her mane to one side of her neck. 

Afternoon. She greeted, pale hues scanning over her supplies. Y'look rather busy. What's it you're doin' anyway? Jus' curious. She was clearly working on the hides, preparing them for whatever fate awaited. Shy was more interested in the nitty gritty of it. She took note of the stack of hides before the tawny female. Been at it a while too, haven't ya? It seemed like something Shy could help with. Even though she knew nothing about it, she was willing to learn. 
(356) | Form: Optime | NPCs: –
OOC text

Maria was grateful for the cool weather as she worked at the hide, it was no greater than a meter in length but each small part needed attention. Time melted beneath her hands though she hardly noticed. She took her time until she was satisfied with how pliable the hide had become. It would still need to be smoked and stretched once more before it could become anything. Maria was glad that it took time, more reason for her to stay, for her projects to come to completion.

She didn't even realize she was being watched until a voice rattled her from her thoughts. Maria blinked, a tall figure, no, she was about the same height. Though, she appeared to stretch to the heavens from Maria's position on the ground. Her gaze slid up to her face, framed by a tumble of tawny waves. She felt her face grow warm suddenly and her eyes dropped to the hide before her.

"Oh, I'm just working on some odds and ends. I found a great pile of hides and I certainly need the practice. Uh, I'm stretching this one, but it will need to dry. I have more soaking that will need the flesh scraped from them and somehow, I need to find a way to smoke them." Maria rambled on, the information coming unbidden to her mouth. "I have been at it for some time." She flexed her tired hands, then let them fall to her legs.

"I'm Maria, by the way," She started again, inclining her head slightly.  Her eyes flicked upwards to meet hers, they were a striking pale color, like chips of ice. "New here, so it feels like I hardly know a soul. So, my idle hands found their way here." Maria gestured to the setting around her. It was a chaotic setup and to the untrained eye appeared to only be branches, long pieces of bone, and a few different tools.

"It's not perfect, yet, but tanning takes ages so I have to start somewhere." Maria shrugged, feeling as though she'd probably said enough. At this rate, she'd scare the stranger away.

What once was a neutral, curious expression gained a hint of mischief. Shy's lips turned upward in a smirk as she noted the female's sudden aversion of her gaze. She was well versed in reading people and was quick to pick up on the subtle shyness. Well that was cute. Cheyenne also couldn't help herself, her ego building whenever she managed to trip someone up or intimidate them. Her tail lifted behind her slightly as she listened to the other begin to explain.

It sounded like a complicated, time consuming process just from the little bit of information the other gave. Cheyenne's headed nodded in affirmation, impressed by the dedication the female held towards her craft.

A lovely name fell from the tawny female's lips. Cheyenne. She introduced shortly, locking eyes with Maria as she gazed upwards with warm pools of turquoise. She continued to explain that she was new, something the two had in common.

Seems we are both fresh. I got here not too long ago m'self. I get the need to stay busy. I feel the same. Back to the work she was busy with. Cheyenne remained unwavering in her curiosity, finally dropping to an empty space next to Maria. She seemed friendly enough and Shy was doing her best to get to know her fellow Ashen. Can I help in any way? I need to occupy m'own idle hands. Her smirk widened, a single brow rising in a mischievous gesture. Maria could do what she pleased with that, but she did wish to help regardless of her constant shameless flirting. 

(296) | Form: Optime | NPCs: –
OOC text

Maria smiled up at the pretty stranger as she stated her name. "Cheyenne." She repeated. "I like it." She locked eyes with her, Maria met her gaze, feeling her heart rate pick up slightly.

"I see we do have a lot in common," Maria stated, a little out of breath. She put the hide she had in her hands to the side, eager to demonstrate something. The woman across her several years her junior, Maria felt positively decrepit beside the lithe jackal. "I would appreciate the help. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by what I had undertaken."

She stood, moving smoothly between the stations she had set up. Going to the barrel, she fished out a sopping section of deer hide. It was only a piece of the beast, about half a meter across. A perfect piece to learn on. "So, this has already had the flesh scraped from the gut side, but we can make this into rawhide or buckskin. If we wanted to harden it into leather, you would need a solution from the leaves of certain trees. Either way, we need to scrape all of the hair off."

Maria moved to a station with a pair of sturdy branches holding up a small log. She positioned her hips at the lifted end and slapped the hide over the trunk. She reached for her final item, a tool made from the long bone of a deer. "You take the flat end of this and basically just scrape it off in short movements. The hide is still tough enough but it may be thinner in places, so you must be cautious at first."

She demonstrated a few short strokes, the hair coming away easily enough. Maria stepped back, gesturing for Cheyenne to take a try.


It seemed she chose the right person to approach for busy work. Maria openly admitted to needing help and being overwhelmed. She was also quick to rise and begin explaining, the information disappearing into Shy's large jackal ears. Curious pale eyes studied the piece of hide the tawny female removed to show her. Her work was much more in depth than Cheyenne would have guessed, but hard work didn't deter her.

Her face lit up with understanding as Maria began demonstrating how to remove the fur with short, delicate strokes as to not damage the thinner areas of hide.

I see. She stepped in and took the tool. Her own hands copied the strokes that Maria had done, although surely she was more clumsy than her skilled teacher. She sought approval from the other as she continued, to ensure she wasn't damaging the hide.

]b]Like this?[/b] She questioned, waiting approval from Maria before she really dove into her work. Once she got the hang of it, she began to really focus on the task at hand. Her brow furrowed as she allowed the work to consume her.

So Maria. I reckon we'll be seeing plenty of each other, best get to know one another. Where'd you come from and why Del Cenere? Other than the older female being clearly of coyote decent, Cheyenne was curious to know why people chose this pack. Sure, her brother and sister were here, but beyond that it was a gamble that she too decided to join the gang.


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