[DND] Run of the Mill
Mill Project thread #2 - Asterope and Lucian
[[Mill Project thread #2 - Npc Ezra Vahn
Building the first story walls out of planks]]

[Image: Arrowportraitbg.png]Arrow clapped his hands together as he dropped the last plank to the ground, then ran his forearm across his head to move the stray hairs from his sight. The pillars were already set, and had been for some time, but that was for the better. With all the time they stood standing, they settled, and they wouldn't have to worry about the mill shifting.

“Wha'cha think?” Arrow turned an eye back to Ezra.

The elder was standing, shoulders forward as he leaned on his carved cane, “Those planks look fine,” A single nod shifted the black hair around his features. With that, he turned and made his way to Fantasy who was tied not far from the project site. He didn't want her free roaming just in case something went wrong.

From her pack on her saddle, Ezra pulled out a leather wrap. Arrow moved to stand beside him and put out his hand for the wrap, “I've brought the nails and a few hammers. The others should be here, shortly,” The sighthound mutt spoke with a smile on his aged features.

Arrow took the wrap in his hands and carefully unwrapped it. There, within, was three hammers and another leather skinned package that jingled. Without looking, Arrow knew those to be the nails. Turning up from his inspection of the tools, he gave Ezra a smile, then turned back to the planks on the ground. He set the tools to the side and started stacking the planks in neat stacks to make grabbing them easier. All left to do now was wait until the others arrived and they could get to work.

[Image: Muse.png]
Asterope had sought out an opportunity to assist in this project, absolutely for the good of Casa, but also because they had an interest in being part of the birth of the paper mill. Asterope had been handmaking paper for some time, and had even traded their paper with the Del Cenere Gang for other goods before. The paper mill was exciting because it could also mean more books, though it seemed that interest in producing texts was still relatively low, what with all of life’s burdens. Still, who knew what, or who, the mill would bring, and how it would change things? Asterope had high hopes it would be for the better.
So it was with a chipper, jaunty step that the oaken wolf approached the site of the mill. They could see planks laid about, as well as a horse nearby, who had likely been enlisted for helping move things, too. With time and exposure, Asterope was becoming a bit more accustomed to the presence of the large beasts, but they were still very wary of them. One wrong kick from a spooked horse could change one’s life for the worse. To minimize danger, Asterope made sure the horse could see them before coming closer and strafing around to survey the scene.
“Hi! It’s nice to see you, Arrow!” Asterope nodded, grinning. “Good day, Ezra!” Aster again inclined their head in Ezra's direction. Asterope didn’t know either of the canines well, but hopefully, they’d get to know them better through helping with the project. Asterope hadn’t ever built anything before, so this was also an opportunity to do something new. “How can I help?” Asterope’s eye caught the hammers. They’d seen such tools around Casa and knew what they were for, but had never wielded one before. Hopefully, though, they’d get the hang of it quickly—they certainly didn’t want to embarrass themselves in front of these craftsfolk.

WC: 319

The Lionheart loved his pack, they were his family, every single one of them, sure some of them didn't see eye to eye sometimes, but that didn't change the fact he would do anything in his power to protect them. He would also help in any way possible to help advance the Cavaliers, and that was exactly what he was doing today.  Now that the snow had melted and spring was upon them, it was time once again for the Mill project to take off, and Lucian had happily volunteered his services for whatever was needed. 

Of course he had started his day with a run and then quickly shifted, grabbed a bite to eat and stopped by the stables to check on everything.  The stable master knew that Levi and Winnie could handle anything thrown at them, but it just felt wrong not to at least step foot in the stables for a quick visit.  What was supposed to be quick turned into not so quick when they got to chatting about things, and then before he knew it he was running late. 

Lucian didn't even bother saddling the chocolate flaxen stallion and hopped up on him bareback as soon as they were through the Fort gate.  Lightly he tapped the side on the equine and they took off in a blaze and the marbled man had a giant smile across his muzzle.  There was nothing he enjoyed more than riding at full speed, it was thrilling and he loved feeling the air cut through his thick fur.  The duo moved through the backwoods of the pack lands, trees and bushes flashing by in a blur, and it wasn't long until his destination came into view.  Slowing Artan down to a trot and eventually a full stop, he hitched him out of the way next to a patch of grass that he could graze on while he joined the group to get to work.  Before he stepped away, he gave the stallion a few pats to thank him for the ride.

With a giant smile the wolfdog approached the group and gave a wave,

"Good morning everyone, sorry I'm late! Though I hope not too late."

From the looks of it, Artan and him had made good time and arrived just a few minutes after Asterope.  Clapping his creamy hands, her rubbed them together.

"Put me to work boss, I'm here to help."

Still smiling head gave a few wags of the tail.
Kindness of His Mother, Fierceness of His Father
Ooc here

[Image: Arrowportraitbg.png]It wasn't long until the sound of footsteps grew nearer to them, and while Arrow's eyes were busy with the planks for a moment, Ezra saw Asterope as she neared. A gentle wave came from his pale, willowy hand, “Good day, my friend,” The elder spoke to her with a smile on his narrow muzzle.

With a clack, Arrow dropped the last plank in his possession before standing upright and clapping the dust free from his hands, “How are ya, Asterope?” His confidence was shining today and his usual quiet nature was overpowered by his enthusiasm for the project at hand, “Good I'hope?” A hand reached out to them in order to solidify his greeting with a shake of their hand, a sign of his gratefulness at the helping hand.

Just as the Seadance wolf asked how she could help, the rumble of hooves neared the trio and Lucian appeared atop his stallion, the handsome Artan. When Lucian finally dismounted, and spoke his piece, the two male dogs greeted him happily.

“Not too late. Jus'in time,” Arrow chuckled and looked between Asterope and Lucian for a moment, eyeing up the help and how he was going to divvy up the workd.

“It has been a good one thus far,” Ezra nodded and moved to stand amid the other three, taking a leading position as his voice rose again, “Today we're going to work at putting the planks along the posts to create the walls. We have nails, hammers and planks here for your use. Does anyone have any questions?”

Arrow looked between their two helpers and then back to Ezra's marbled gaze before giving an affirming nod and taking a step back from the lot of them, “We got planks'ere,” A hand gestured to the wood that he'd just neatly stacked up into uniform piles based on their size, “Long planks'll go on dhis wall,” His paws carried him around to the foundation and the posts, giving a wave of his hand over where the wall should soon stand, “Medium'll go here, and da smaller'uns'll go here,” Each place he moved through was respective to the sizes of planks that they'd need.

Standing back away from the build site, Arrow put his hands on his hips with a smile on his face, “Figure me'n Lucian can hold th'planks'n, Asterope, ya'can put th'nails in? How's dhat sound?”

Ezra put his hand to stroke his chin for a moment, then looked at the two souls that were here to help. A nod sealed his acceptance of the work that was to be done, “I'll do my best to keep out of the way,” He said with a wiggle of his cane as his explanation.

“Nail's'er here,” Arrow gestured to the sack of nails they'd brought, and beside it were a few hammers, “Let's get started,” He spoke, moving to the far end of one of the planks, awaiting Asterope to get the tools together while Lucian should lift the other end of the plank.

[Image: Muse.png]
Based on the posts alone, it seemed like a wild leap of the imagination that soon, there would be walls and a mill here. But Asterope reminded themselves it was like any other long-term project—little steps, consistently and over time, would indeed a mill make.
Their ears perked to attention as both Ezra and Arrow explained that there were different lengths of plank involved in the plan, and Arrow swiftly pointed out which would go where. Arrow then delegated—he would hold planks with Lucian, and Aster would nail them into place. It sounded simple and straightforward enough, but they knew there would be quite a bit of work ahead.
Nodding and opting not to waste the daylight, Aster wrapped a long-fingered hand around the haft of the handle, testing its weight. It was heavy, but it felt comfortable after a few moments of handling. They then grabbed a sack of nails, and moved both sack and hammer to where Lucian and Arrow were positioning a plank. Focused on the their task, Aster took one of the long nails and positioned it, holding it carefully between two fingers, then held up the hammer, tapping gently at first. Their gentle tapping was a sign of trepidation—not fear, but uncertainty at how this would go. They were relieved that the motion didn’t feel unnatural, and it turned out the gentle tap actually set the nail in place into a groove in the wood, helping make sure it would stay in place for the other inevitable impacts. Then, still holding the nail shaft, they gave a weightier whack, and after removing their fingers, they hammered the nail home.
They nailed steadily, attaching planks to crossbeams with the guidance of the more experienced carpenters. Arrow and Lucian fitted them closely, and the planks had been well-hewn so that it looked neat. “How’s it looking so far?”

WC: 311

With pleasantries over, the marbled man listened to instructions given and nodded, it made perfect sense to the Lionheart and he had no problem doing the heavy lifting. Asterope gathered the nails and tools supplied, Lucian moved with the Mr. Lee to the opposite side of the plank. Bending his knees slightly he lifted with his legs so no injury came to his back, and they moved one of the longer pieces into place.  He held it in place as straight and still as he could while it was nailed to the frame.  The trio continued and worked steadily together and was really getting a flow going.

The Marino gave a wag of his tail and looked between the two others with a smile,

“It’s looking damn good, if I do say so myself.  We all make a pretty good team.”

Lucian chucked and placed his hands on his hips to admire their work so far, he was no carpenter, but he thought even Guin would give her stamp of approval and he nodded confidently.  He took the opportunity of the small break to take a drink from his water skin and offered it to others in case they were thirsty as well. 

Not wanting the day to get away from him, he clapped his creamy hands together and walked over to the pile of planks, ready to pick up one end when the others were ready.  They had made a good dent in the job so far today but there was plenty more to do.
Kindness of His Mother, Fierceness of His Father
Ooc here

[Image: Arrowportraitbg.png]There weren't any hiccups as they worked the boards into place, each set of able hands taking to their assigned duties well. Aestrope didn't disappoint with their nailing and Lucian was well in tune with Arrow's lifting. All in all, they made quick work of the wall that they were building piece by piece.

Aestrope took a moment to step back, Arrow's golden eyes watching her curiously until she spoke. A smile grew on his features. He took a look at the wall for himself and nodded to her question. Before he had a moment to reply, however, Lucian's words came to the both of them, “We do,” Arrow agreed as satisfaction had grown with their efforts. If they kept this up, the walls would be up in no time.

Ezra, too, smiled as he watched them admire their work, “Well done. It looks fantastic,” Encouragement came from the elder man with a tap of his cane against the earth.

Now, they were at a point where the next wall was to come into place. These boards were shorter than the others, the part of the wall spanned less distance between the posts. This part would make the area where there would be a covered patio of sorts, where the horses would be tied to. The hitch would come later, of course.

Arrow was able to take one whole plank in his arms this time, but he'd still need Lucian to hold them to keep it level and steady, “Ready when y'all are,” He spoke warmly, enjoying working with the two Cavaliers. They really did make a good team.

[Image: Muse.png]
The positivity of Lucian, Arrow, and Ezra helped Aster feel competent. They were by no means a skilled carpenter, but it was good to feel useful. Graciously, Asterope drank some water from the skin Lucian passed, and passed it on again.
In some ways, it turned out that building a structure was like anything else—it was all the little steps, and the consistency of continuing to do it, that would get it there. It could be hard to keep this perspective in mind, balanced against imaginings of the final product, and how far away that felt. But Asterope didn’t let it discourage them to despair. This was a lesson they knew from working on texts, or smaller projects, but the sheer scale of bringing a structure into being made those other endeavors seem comparatively tiny.
After a brief rest and assessment of their progress, the next wall was being prepped to come together—this time, with shorter boards. Asterope looked to Arrow and Lucian, nodding to affirm that all were ready. Asterope was grateful for these other Cavaliers, who accepted Asterope and allowed them to work alongside them, though they were still relatively new to Casa, only having lived there a few months.
Just as before, Asterope nailed the boards in place with care as the others positioned them. Though they kept enough of the front of their mind on the task to nail evenly and avoid injury, the rest daydreamed about the fully completed paper mill and all its possibilities.

WC: 252

It seemed like they were all in agreement of a job well done so far on the base, there was a strong frame and the boards were mostly straight and in alignment, tucked tightly together. Praise even came from the elder that over watched the project make the Marino smile and stand up and little taller with a few wags of the tail.

“Thanks Mister Ezra, that means a lot.”

While the break was a nice reprieve Lucian was itching to get back to work, the marbled man had a hard time being idle when there was work to be done.  Lucian gave a forceful nod, he was very ready to get back to it, melded azure and marigold hues turned to Asterope and they seemed willing to more forward as well.

Though Arrow could handle the smaller boards by himself, the marbled man brought over a few extra so they wouldn’t have to go far as they moved along.  Creamy hands helped hold the boards level and in place while the nails were hammered in, being careful not to get his digits in the way.

As they worked a warm breeze ruffled his downy pelt and he could hear song birds in between the hammering of nails.  He thought of his momma then and how much she would have liked this project, though the occasional chill he felt, Lucian was pretty sure the old ghost was watching over them from time to time. With the last nail in for the side, he stood up straight and arched his back as he placed his hands on the small of it to stretch it out.  It felt good to elongate his spine once more as he rolled his head from shoulder to shoulder. 

“Well would you look at that, you’d think we were old pros at this!”

The Marino let out a loud, deep belly laugh and clapped his hands together,

“It’s coming along, that’s for sure.”

Though the Mill Project was a still in it’s beginning stages, he could already see the finished project in his mind’s eye, and what a beautiful thing it was.
Kindness of His Mother, Fierceness of His Father

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