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Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:06 pm
They couldn’t have picked a better day. The sun shined brightly in the autumn sky, warming the otherwise cool day. A faint breeze flittered through the vineyard every so often, barely having enough strength to play with a stray leaf that had fallen from the trees that boxed in the once abandoned farm. It was perfect weather for some manual labor and group activities, and Skana wasn’t about to let the opportunity pass them up.
Vepar and Sully had found the peculiar find during one of their patrols, and the rest had been history. Ember had broken out a book she’d had for a long while when Skana had brought the subject up to her over tea at the café. Its waterlogged appearance had told of its neglect over the years without humans, and its stiff pages revealed that the baker had rarely used it due to its lack of cooking-related material. Within it, was a prize to be had with the discovery of the vineyard, and the café owner and the Polaris had put together a plan.
It seemed fairly easy to make. Grapes, sugar, some yeast. The fine-tuning parts, Ember was confident she could handle, all they needed was a few willing bodies for the labor-intensive part of the process. With the approval of the Centauri, Skye, Skana had raised a summoning howl across the island, beckoning any that were free and able to join her and Ember in the vineyard in Kingsweald.
Ember and Skana had made preparations in the weeks beforehand. With the help of Malus’ talented handiwork, they were able to refurbish a large, old, wooden barrel for the crushing process. Vepar and Sully had helped as well, and had even helped scavenge for smaller, watertight barrels and containers left over before the human extinction. They had been unable to find the original corks intended for the empty containment bins though. A few sizeable strips of cork wood had been traded for by Trident prior to the eventful day, and had been cut to size for the holes in the barrels.
The newly-promoted Polaris stood atop the porch that lead into the decrepit household of the vineyard’s original owners. It was her first time being the main figure of authority for an event. She had played roll of a host before, but, never had she been given the reins. The Creo hoped that she wouldn’t make a fool of herself. Beside her stood Ember, who would was there to make sure the process went along smoothly for what they would need to make the wine.
Malus stood off to one side, leaning lazily against the open-top barrel he’d fixed up. He’d done a few tests on it to make sure the newly installed wood could handle the weight of a full-grown Luperci jumping and stomping around on it. Skana’s children, Asura and Saleos, stood by readily. They had only recently learned to shift, and their gangly, small, teenage bodies easily showed their age amongst all of the adults present. Still, the two siblings were eager as ever to help their mother out, as well as have some fun.
Skana waited for others to gather, nodding and smiling to each Midnighter that arrived. Once she felt enough had gathered, she spoke up, her voice loud and clear for her gathered audience. “Thank you everyone for coming. I’m sure many of you have heard of the rumors about this place since it was discovered. If you haven’t been here before, this is one of the human vineyards left behind from long ago. Even without someone to constantly care for them, it seems this place has thrived, and, we plan to take advantage of that.” Naturally, she felt nervous, but her anxiety slowly dissipated as she continued, getting straight to the point of why she had gathered everyone. “We will be helping make wine today, and hope that our labors here will bring about a good batch and give the pack a valuable trading material as well as stock for our own use.” Her lips curled as she chuckled, “Now, we won’t be able to taste it today, but, you’ll all be rewarded for your efforts here with a good, hot meal afterwards.”
Ember smiled and nodded pointedly, indicating that she would be helping with such. Once it was clear that the efforts there were going smoothly, she would depart and prepare the haul of meat that had been caught earlier that morning, as well as some of the fruits and vegetables from the month’s harvest.
“We’ll need to collect the grapes from the vines first.” The Polaris turned and indicated to the twisted and interwoven vines out in the nearby field. She then turned to gesture to the various-sized, leather pouches near her feet. “We have bags here for everyone. When your bag is full, you’ll need to dump it in the open barrel over there by Malus. Once we’ve gotten enough grapes, we can move on to the next part of the process.” Skana returned her attention to look at her gathered group, “If there aren’t any questions, let’s begin!”
Asura and Saleos both obtained a leather pouch each, and quickly set off together, word of a competition heard at their retreating backs. Skana held back for a moment, waiting to make sure everyone understood what was being asked of them. Once everyone had departed to go about their collecting, only then did the Polaris grab her own bag and set out.
Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:30 am
Well, he was here. Surely he had to get some sort of prize for showing his face to this little get together, given the fact this was certainly not something he’d ever imagined himself being roped into. Not that his reluctance showed in anyway, for he would never conduct himself in a manner that showcased himself as unwilling to lend a hand to the pack. Rolling his shoulders, eh shoved his hands into the back pockets of his trousers, listening with an ear twisted towards Skana as she spoke, attention otherwise wandering around himself in his boredom.
Wine making - it was a skill many a trader dabbled in or at least had some experience with, given how popular alcoholic products were. For any desirable produce he tried to learn enough about it to know what he was trading for, to understand the work put into it and the complexity of it all to gauge whether a price is fair or not. Wine making wasn’t much of a complex or challenging of a task in itself; getting it to taste a particular way and refining it was an art, yet the process at it’s very core was rather dull and simple.
There was some light at the end of the tunnel thankfully; the small offer of a warm meal was not to be scoffed, given his ineptitude with cooking. During his travels he lived off raw or dried goods, so a meal of some design was always an indulgent treat.
Drawing his hands out form his pockets, he cast a look around the gathering, following everyone’s lead and grabbing a bag himself before walking off in a random direction, a hand lifted to discreetly cover a yawn as he moved.
Art by Remarin
Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:27 pm
A small silver female moved closer to the front to hear the speaker. She was quite different from most of the Midnighters, her size and breed setting her apart, not to mention her bright-hued fur. The petite creature was clad in a moss-hued, long-sleeved mini-dress and black leggings. Her ebon hair was in a ponytail with her bangs in front of her left eye. Beside her was a tall jackal hybrid with black fur and teal eyes. He was wearing a black shirt and jeans.
Avinalora had been drawn here by the task of gathering grapes, being a healer she was drawn to tasks that had to do with gathering plants. She didn't participate in the consumption of alcohol, but hoped that perhaps she could have a non-alcoholic beverage such as simple grape juice without the alcohol component. She predicted that she probably didn't have a very high tolerance level because of her size. After looking around and seeing the young Creos, she would guess that they might have some sort of beverage for pups and she hoped that she could snag one. After hearing Skana's speech, the vixen was more excited about the hot meal than the wine that would come later. She knew that her adopted brother also felt the same as he didn't drink either.
Once the Polaris had finished, the medic picked up a small bag and the trapper grabbed a medium-sized bag from the pile. And then both jackals set out in a random direction.
Optime | October 27th | Vineyard | Jarix |
OOC Text Here!
Image courtesy of [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/48141388@N07/5321022942/[/url]; table by the Mentors!
Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:10 pm
His tongue lolled sloppily out of his mouth as he lopped after Skye, tail in the casual midway point between dominance and submission, ears relaxed and posture slack. They arrived at the old vineyard as Skana took the head, gazing around at the rest of the Midnighters around them. Felix mingled in the middle of the crowd while Skye, taking advantage of a small path, strode forward to the front, crossing her arms and silently nodding as Skana began to speak.
His eyes left his grandmother and he switched his gaze to the silver woman on the porch. He'd known there'd be a few Midnighters here, and he'd been right; he was never one to turn down a social situation. He stared, still and unblinking, until Skana was finished with her speech.
He allowed another grin to take over. Not necessarily a grin of happiness, although that did happen often - it was a default reaction of his, to smile, to be at ease. He swiped a bag and scanned the crowd before spotting Avinalora, whom he'd met a while ago. He thought he'd left a good enough impression. The ghost of a smile still on his lips, he jogged over to meet her.
Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:42 pm
Skana was happy to see the turn out for the event. A good portion of the pack had shown up, which meant that the process would go by a lot smoother and quicker. Skye and her two grandchildren, Trident and Felix, had joined in, and even the two jackal siblings, Avinalora and Jarix had come too. A few others of the pack had arrived as well, and it looked good on them for joining in on the festivities. The Polaris made mental note of the faces there, and filed their names away on an internal list. She would make sure everyone was rewarded for their work.
With everyone out gathering grapes, a few small groups had formed. Individuals talked and worked together, collected, and dumped their bags before going back out again. When it became clear that everyone knew what they were doing, Malus even left his post near the collection barrel to join in to help expedite the process. Ember helped with a few bags before she had excused herself to go finish preparing the meal that everyone had been promised. Skana and she had already gone through the steps that were needed to make the wine, and the next stage of the event didn’t require Ember’s presence to ensure it was done right.
In the distance and amidst her picking, Skana heard her two teenagers playing as they gathered their share. Asura was the more vocal of the two, of course, and seemed to be the main instigator to the siblings’ competitive game. At one point, the two young Creos had been gathering near Skana, and the mother had been temporarily dragged into their game to see who could clean a vine the fastest. Saleos had won, more from Asura being too distracted trying to sabotage their mother’s attempts to beat the two of them, than for any other reason.
The two had eventually moved to another part of the vineyard and Skana was left to continue her gathering unmolested by their playfulness. She held a few conversations with those that approached her or when she approached them. Over all, it was a pleasant part of the event for Skana.
Once a good portion of grapes had been gathered into the barrel, Malus had flagged Skana down so that the next stage could be started. The Polaris had let out a rallying howl to gather everyone around the grape-filled containment bin. Once the last of the stragglers had made their way out of the mazework of the vineyard, Skana spoke up loudly. “Aright everyone, we have enough here to start the next step. We need to get the juice out of the grapes, and the easiest way to do that is to squish them. And the most efficient way for us to do that is with our feet.”
She gestured to the troughs of water that had been moved next to the grape-filled barrel with an open palm. “I only need a couple of volunteers at a time, as the rest will be gathering whatever’s left in the vineyard. You’ll have to wash your feet off before you start stomping around. We don’t want our wine to be part fermented juice, part dirt. You don’t need to jump either, just think of yourself as a cat kneading something.” The Polaris demonstrated the motion she wanted them to do in case the analogy was lost on anyone.
“We can probably fit two or three at a time in the barrel, and, we’ll take turns so that you aren’t too sore to walk back to the café,” Skana continued with a light chuckle. Her hands suddenly came together in a clap, “Alright, the first few volunteers, wash off your feet. The rest, continue collecting grapes.”
Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:46 pm
Athena and Rocky had heard the howl earlier in the day, but the golden-furred trader had some work to finish up to secure themselves a place in the human city. It was a quaint place, in Sherwood, enough that they could make themselves at home. The two companions made their way hastily across the ruins and to the vineyard, where most of the Midnighters were already out picking grapes.
Their late arrival caught the attention of Skana, and Athena walked up to explain to the wolf why they were late. "I'm sorry we're late, Skana. I had some repairs to do to a house in the city that we decided to live in." e jackal woman lowered her head and apologized. She looked out onto the vineyard at the other packmates already hard at work picking grapes.
She turned to her non-Luperci companion. "Sorry, Rocky, but I'm afraid you'll have to sit out for this part. Although, if I remember right, there'll be a part where we mash the grapes up once we've picked them so you can help with that." The knowledge of wine-making wasn't something the female jackal hybrid wasn't particularly skilled in, but it was a valuable trade commodity and Athena would be a foolish trader to not try to get her hands on something like homemade wine, even if she didn't enjoy the taste of it herself.
The golden jackal woman then grabbed a leather bag and set out into the vineyard to collect the purple-colored berries, getting her hands stained in the process. With a slight glance back to the others to make sure no one was looking, she quickly licked her tongue over her fingers to draw the stains out and taste a little of the fruit, then went back to work. before long, her pack grey heavy from the weight of the berries inside.
Once Skana had howled to announce the next stage of wine-making, Rocky got up from his seat on the ground outside the vineyard and moved with the others to the containment bin. The silver-furred Polaris explained the next step and demonstrated what they were to do with their paws. Once she finished, Athena emptied her bag and went back to collect more grapes as Rocky stayed with the other volunteers and began to wash his paws in the water trough.
Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:22 pm
Simple in nature, the task was quick to bore him and he fell into a mindless routine of gathering without much thought to that action itself – rather he began to day dream, as well as entertaining himself by sneaking glances Skana’s or Asura’s way when he was certain no one was looking. Despite the fact he knew she and her daughter were very much off limits, that did not mean he could not appreciate the beauty of the older female and her young daughter, to which was much more an entertaining and interesting thing than picking fruits.
Suffice to say, when the call for a split in the task came, an outline given for some of those gathered to begin actually stepping on the fruit, the change was very much welcome by the Collins male, whom was quick to drop his last haul with the rest, stripping off his clothes; because he was not, under any circumstances, having them stained and ruined, especially not for something as trivial as crushing fruit. He was a trader, not a farmer, after all.
Waiting for the water trough to be free, he was quick to clean of his paws, the water cool against fur and skin, the chill lingering more than he’d of cared for in this season. Still, it stepped up onto the fruit and threw himself into the task, only to realise within a matter of seconds that he’d made a very poor choice.
Having fruit squidgy and burst under his paws was absolutely disgusting and much to his growing horror, the fruit was making his fur in the lighter section. Truly, if he wasn’t surrounded by others, he’d leave now and go soak somewhere warm for several hours. He could only help it would wash out without too much hassle when he attempted to do so later.
Art by Remarin
Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:14 pm
Avinaora and Jarix both went on their separate ways once receiving their bags. The silver jackal began picking grapes off the lower vines. She worked quickly with both hands and dropped the grapes into the bag below. Once the vixen had picked the vine clean of grapes, she went on to the neighboring vine and quickly worked. She was reminded of how she used to harvest juniper berries from the bush and now this seemed like second nature for her. The medic moved methodically and was basically on auto-pilot which left room in her mind to ponder and think.
The moon-washed maiden soon noticed that her small bag had become full. She plucked one last grape of the branch and then picked up the sack just as Skana's summoning howl echoed through the vineyard. She walked as quickly as she could towards the direction of the Cygnus and then listened to her speak. Then, the monochrome fox emptied out her bag and then returned to the vineyard to continue the task. She wouldn't be much help with the grape-smashing with her crippled leg but vine picking was quite easy.
Form | Time | Location | NPCs |
OOC Text Here!
Image courtesy of [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/48141388@N07/5321022942/[/url]; table by the Mentors!
Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:40 pm
Amidst the grape gathering, the rest of the pack’s resident jackals appeared. “Rocky, Athena,” she greeted as the two made their way towards her. The golden-furred one of the two offered a hasty apology for their tardiness, but Skana shook her head dismissively. “It’s alright, Athena,” she reassured with a smile, “I’d rather you make sure you’re safe for the winter than worry about this. We have plenty of hands here already.”
She nodded to the various individuals as they picked the round clusters of fruit as if to prove her point that there wouldn’t be any repercussions for the two’s late arrival. Her glacier gaze moved back to the pair. “I’m glad you were both able to make it here though. The more, the merrier, and the faster this’ll go.” When Athena and Rocky split off to do their share of picking, Skana resumed where she’d left off.
When the time came to do the next step, the silver she-wolf stood off to the side, supervising—mostly, she was sure to take her turn in squishing the grapes—as members alternated between smashing grapes and plucking what remained on the vines out in the vineyard. Skana was proud to see the Midnighters participating in something that was probably new or unusual for them…even if it was obvious from a few of their faces that they didn’t particularly enjoy the unintended side-effects of stomping the grapes’ juices out. It was as much of a learning experience for Skana as it was for likely everyone present. The Polaris made mental note of what to expect for the following year.
Asura and Saleos went into the open collection barrel together after washing off their feet. While her daughter seemed to find the activity fun, her son seemed less enthused by the odd sensation of grapes sliding between his toes. Still, Saleos continued to squish the grapes and go along with Asura’s goading to yet another friendly, sibling competition.
Soon enough, the containment bin began to become more juice and empty skins than it was rounded fruits, and Skana motioned for Malus and Gerard to retrieve the barrels and containers that the juice would later ferment in. Janus retrieved a few jugs and thin pieces of cloth that would be used as a crude sifter. Once the items were moved close enough for easy transfer, Skana rallied the gathered Midnighters once more.
“We have enough juice now that we can start putting it into the barrels.” She looked out into the vineyard, scrutinizing it for any obvious spots that hadn’t been picked over yet. “It looks like we’ve gathered most of the grapes, so, we can concentrate more on squishing what we have remaining here and transferring the liquid into the barrels.” Skana gestured for Janus to step forward. The Stormfall did so and pointedly showed off the items in his arms.
“We don’t want the skins in our wine, so, when you pour the liquid into the containers, make sure you do it over the cloth so that it’ll strain it. It’s not perfect, but, the cloth is thin enough that it will allow the liquid through if you pour slow enough. Kenna should be here soon with the cart to take all of this back to the city with us, so, I’ll need a few of the men to help load the barrels into the cart when she shows up with the mules.” With that, she let the gathered Luperci disperse into whichever group they wanted to be a part of, be it scouring the vineyard for any missed grapes, squishing the remainder in the bin, or helping transfer the liquid over to something more portable.
Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:50 pm
With each squirt of fruit or extra juicy squdige beneath his paws, the Collins male cringed – he couldn’t help it. The sensation was just that strange and frankly, gross. He was bordering on throwing in the towel, his frustration and disgust over the task coming to a head when Asura and Saleos washed off and joined them. Then and only then did he smile and find some enjoyment in the task.
Stepping intentionally heavily upon the fruit, he slipped and stumbled a little, bumping into Saleos in the process, pale blue eyes flashing up to the male apologetically; although he certainly wasn’t apologetic in the slightest. With Skana’s good looking children here, the least he could do was get away with some harmless flirting, whilst forever traumatising himself in the name of aiding the packs production.
“Sorry about that,” he added when he once more had stable footing, looking repentant and putting as much charm into his voice and expression as he could just then, tucking a strange of hair away from his face in the process. Male or female did not matter; if they were pretty, he’d try his luck with them or, in this case, simply flirt because he was bored and wanted attention.
Art by Remarin