finishing a trade

POSTED: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:20 pm

Alma had finished the bows a week or more before she had chosen to walk to Ezekiel's cave.

The last time she'd seen him, there had been an attack on Inferni's puppies, which she preferred not to think about. Logically, she knew there was nothing she could have done to prevent the elder's passing. She was without either her bow or spear when she saw the attackers, and didn't know how to fight without a weapon. She could have only gotten herself injured.

Still, guilt seeped into her consciousness when it was still and quiet and she had nothing to do. She busied herself with carving, with hunting and spying on Inferni's smallest member, all to avoid thinking about the events that took place before. She still didn't want to talk about it - which was why she delayed meeting Ezekiel for so long, because he was there and he had seen what had happened.

It also hadn't helped that she'd started to see strange things after she'd figured out her father's secret to drying bow-staves. White things, in the corner of her eye. She was either losing her eyesight or going insane. She wasn't sure which.

Even after all that, though, she still needed to give him the bows. She made a deal, and she didn't want him to think she'd forgotten - or worse, that she wasn't able to craft the bows and was looking for excuses to delay their meeting.

Though the sun was still high, the sky was a worrying shade of gray. Alma clutched the bows protectively, making small noises of annoyance and worry. She was relieved when she reached the entrance to Ezekiel's cave. The coywolf carefully set each one down, then set about stringing them while she waited for Ezekiel to appear. There were three bows, each one made of black ash - although the name was a bit of a misnomer - the wood wasn't black at all. More of a light brown, really.

POSTED: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:25 pm

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Thanks for starting :>

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Things had been moving quickly around him. There had been the trip to gain the newest animals that now took up space in the barn near the mansion, training Max, and…well, everything. His half-brother added an interesting factor to this equation, and it was one that Ezekiel now saw as useful. Aemon was not simply some son come to whine about family ties, but a well-trained warrior who had an eye (and ear) for things. This pleased the Aquila, who had been acutely aware of his Optio’s disappearance.

Yet he continued about his routines well enough, and was returning from one when he caught the scent of another clan-member. It was Alma, and to his delight, she had brought the bows promised upon her arrival. Ezekiel, four-legged, trotted towards his cave with his tail high and red ears forward. As much as he showed his excitement for the acquisitions, he still carried himself with an almost wolfish dominance.

“Hello Alma,” he greeted, and slowed upon reaching her. “Give me a moment, eh?” With that he ducked into his cave. Several moments later, a much taller Optime hybrid emerged. “Three? I hope my half of this trade stacks up.” Gingerly, he reached for one.

POSTED: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:58 am

Hearing the pawsteps of the Aquilla, Alma looked up. Surprise shown on her face; she hadn't expected to see Ezekiel in his four-legged form. She had so rarely used her own that it hadn't occurred to her that he might arrive in that form. "Hello," she replied. Her body language began to change automatically, in response to his. Her ears were pointed away. Her tail was pointed down and did not move, though her eyes met his.

He seemed happy, and for that, she was relieved. That meant they were unlikely to speak of the event that occurred the last time she'd seen him. Some nervousness still existed in her, though she was determined not to show it. To distract herself, the coywolf made a last minute check for cracks or deformities while he was inside.

Alma had almost satisfied herself with the inspection when he came back out. "Thought you might like to test them. She said when he reached for one. She'd tested them herself before walking up here, although she'd forgotten to bring any arrows. It was just as well; her own arrows were an embarrassment, hastily made and lacking in feathers. No time to hunt the wildlife that hadn't already gone south.

"I got lucky. My test staves turned out well with the new drying process, then the first two... so I did a third. I was out of suitable wood after that." It took more time than carving the bows. Building the drying structure itself took her a week's time: she had to dig a pit and line it high with stones, to prevent her wood from being burned. Then she had to wait more than a day, standing beside the fire and making sure it didn't go out and her wood didn't burn. The bows still carried the scent of ash and fire, although the wood itself held no smoke stains or signs of being burned.

POSTED: Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:32 am

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Word Count »

Even without an arrow, he could feel the spring of the wood, and how much time had gone into making them. Ezekiel had not made his own bow, but seen others beginning the process—it was pleasing that she was far more capable than he had expected. The smooth wood under his fingers was not the one he was used to, but these were not for him. The clan was in mind, as it always was. He nodded as she spoke, and then rose to his feet once more. With a bow still in hand, he retreated back into his den. Moments later, he returned with his own prize in hand.

The quiver he had produced had come from a boarskin. It was an older hide, one that had been spooked by Ezekiel earlier in the summer. It had been lucky he was so fast, for the massive animal had gone right after him without fear. Only by scrambling up a tree and shooting the animal through the eye had he managed to kill it. Thick and water-resistant, he had tooled at the leather to fit it into the correct shape. Fluffier fur lined the mouth, taken from a rabbit, and the boar’s tusks hung below this. It was filled with arrows fletched with ptarmigan feathers. “I’m sorry this isn’t very pretty,” he admitted with a slight frown. “But I hope it works for you.”

POSTED: Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:16 pm

((I suspect my lack of knowledge/research will show up here. :x Also, I am tired and I hope this makes sense.))

---

"Pretty is not as useful as..."" She paused, searching for the right word, "Durability is. And it doesn't look strange or out of place." Alma brushed an orange braid out of the way self-consciously. She rather hated the color of her hair - not just from the teasing she received in childhood, but from having to dirty it and cover it up when she hunted. Her hair might be considered pretty to some degree, or to some people, but that did not make it at all useful.

She pulled the quiver close to her to inspect it. Her paws ran over the leather, and the fur lining the top. It certainty felt sturdier than her last quiver, which was so thin that she shouldn't have been surprised when it fell apart. Alma stuck her nose into the rabbit fur. Prey scent is useful. Perhaps it might cover up her own. That would save her from rolling in dirt and pine needles.

Her tail thumped against the ground, showing that she was pleased. She wouldn't have to worry about carrying her arrows around in the awkward fashion she had after her old quiver had fallen apart.

She ran her paws over the tusks, then pulled out an arrow. She balanced it on her paw for a moment, testing the weight. "I was not expecting arrows." She did not know the Aquilla could create arrows as well as quivers, but it made sense. Why trade for something that would need to be created so frequently? After inspecting the feathers on the end, she placed the arrow back inside the quiver.

POSTED: Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:58 pm

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Word Count »

It pleased him to know she was not a woman that cared for looks. He was quite oblivious to “pretty” as it applied to things; in his opinion, almost everything looked the same. Talitha had often criticized his artistic merits, but she was an artist and had this right. This alone was why he kept her painting of them in his home, though it was covered by a reddish deer pelt. He couldn’t stand to look at it yet.

Glad that she liked his half of the trade, Ezekiel offered her an honest smile. It made the weight of days fall from his face, though his eyes were still sharp. They had become like that what felt like eons ago. “I saw you didn’t have any when you joined, and I’m stockpiling for the clan anyway.” This was part of it, at least. He had to ensure that his clan learned how to use the weapons as well.

“Do you want to practice some? I can show you the best place to hunt birds, if you want.” It was a friendly offer, and one he would not have minded if she rejected. Ezekiel was not the sort who demanded much from anyone.

POSTED: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:25 pm

If the next post is a scene change, feel to say Alma stopped along the way somewhere and got her bow.


It would be interesting to see the Aquila hunt. She had not seen anyone else use a bow since she was a child, and she wondered if he had any different techniques or ways of doing things. Knowing the best places for birds would be good, too, for she would need feathers to fletch her own arrows eventually.

And then her thoughts turned to another goal she had in mind: her attack-eagles. Her first attempt at incubating eggs hadn't gone well, but if Ezekiel knew enough about bird habits to know where they lived, he might know what went wrong with her experiment. She was, however, hesitant to tell him of her plans. In the back of her mind, she knew it was a stupid and impossible idea, but she wanted to try anyway.

"Yes, Alma agreed, and strapped the quiver to her back. "Though I did not think to bring my bow." Perhaps they could stop along the way. Just as she said that, though, she realized another problem. Her hair. She always dirtied it or covered it up when hunting, and she realized that the way she looked while hunting would probably be amusing to someone who didn't have her problem. Well, she couldn't back out now. Maybe she could work around it.

POSTED: Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:48 pm

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Word Count »

The walk was not a long one, and they spoke briefly on the various ranks within the clan. They stopped near Alma’s home so that she could gather her bow. Ezekiel had thought to take them to Sal Palus, but the journey was a long one without a horse and he was unsure of Alma’s ease with the animals. Instead he turned north and took them along the length of the Acheron river. Ezekiel had been pleased to find that there was a somewhat think, narrow stretch for them to cross.

While their feet were damp, the majority of the Moors was like this and so Ezekiel was not bothered by it. He would not bring horses here, for fear of thrush, but canines were more than capable of stalking out a living here. The landscape also prompted various land-fowl to take up residence in the area; this was one of the places that they favored. Ezekiel pulled his own bow from his back and turned to Alma, motioning towards the open area ahead of them. “I usually spook them into the air and shoot them that way. If you want, I can flush them and you can see if those arrows of mine are any good.” He winked at this and smiled toothily, as if the idea of his weapons failing was humorous.

POSTED: Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:39 pm

Sorry about taking so long.


Alma did not know where she belonged in the clan's ranks. There seemed to be no room for a pure craftswoman, and she knew nothing of plant growing or repairing buildings, as the Aedile was to do. Inwardly, she had already dismissed the idea of becoming a scout. She had been skulking at the edges of packs for too long, when she had been traveling alone. She was tired of doing that - she wanted to do something, not sit at the edges and wait for something to happen. The path of the warrior appealed to her, and she said so, though inwardly she thought it would be a hard one because she had little experience. She had never killed another canine; never had to.

Alma picked up a pelt of a rabbit along with her bow - if she needed to, she could place it over her head and cover up her hair. By the time they reached the moor, however, such things had long slipped from her mind. Instead, she was worried about how the water in the air would affect her bow.

She nodded her agreement with Ezekiel when he suggested a plan. Her usual method of hunting involved watching her prey's movement for several days, and then waiting patiently for the right time to attack - not flushing it out and then attacking. This was simpler than the long process she was used to.

The coywolf found a place that concealed her form- at least partially, and still allowed her to see what Ezekiel was doing. She pulled an arrow from quiver and drew her bow in preparation for the prey that would soon emerge.

POSTED: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:48 pm

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

Word Count »

Most fowl-birds, by instinct, know the best form of defense is to lay hidden in tall grass until the last possible second. Ezekiel had found this out early on during his training, when he had baited the things for Tristan. Such hunting techniques worked best with a partner, but he had since evolved the method to the point he was capable of doing it on his own. It was a simple way of hunting, and one that kept a lean body like his full on a daily basis. Larger prey took more time and more energy, often without success. This was nearly flawless.

He studied the grass for several long moments, watching for the subtle signs of birds moving about. This was easier on days without wind, but even then a flutter of motion going against the breeze would betray them. Ezekiel was so used to this technique that he spotted the signs far faster than an amateur might. There were not many, in this small flock, but he felt certain at least one of them would go down to Alma’s bow.

His strong arm released the arrow, which flew with a surprising amount of force behind it. The style of his bow was such that the power within it was nearly double that of a standard crescent shape. One red-feathered arrow shot through the air, cutting it with a sharp whistle, and struck into the tall grass. This sudden intrusion tricked the birds into panic, and several grouse took to the air.

POSTED: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:12 am

Sorry... again. >.<


Her body was tense. She was not familiar with this form of hunting, and so doubted her ability to do it well. She watched the Aquila as he shot an arrow, then turned her eyes to the horizon. The birds would be flying upwards; that was what she should be looking for.

The sky was suddenly a flurry of feathers and fleeing birds. Some were closer than others. With very little time to think, she scanned the group and determined which one would be the right range for her bow. Her eyes locked on her chosen target, releasing the arrow. It arced across the field and hit a grouse in the breast. It fell with an audible thump.

Another grouse was startled by the fall of its comrade and took flight. Automatically, the coywolf pulled out another arrow and took aim. She wasn't sure this arrow would hit, but it wasn't like her to not take advantage of an opportunity.

POSTED: Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:52 pm

The savage in man is never
quite eradicated

No worries! :)

Word Count »

His sharp eyes did not miss the direct and well-aimed shot. Alma was certainly talented, and he was thankful she had come to the clan. Ezekiel, like the woman, had redrawn his bow. He managed to strike one bird as it fluttered from the grass, but hesitated for another shot. This was not the case with the orange-haired coyote, who was already aiming for a second kill.

Inwardly, he was quite pleased. Beyond her ability to craft bows, Alma had proven to him that she was a highly valuable woman when it came to her skill with the actual weapon. Ezekiel pondered whether or not she would be willing to shoot a stranger, a wolf, an enemy of the clan, if the time came. He hoped she would not hesitate. One day, he imagined that no force would be able to stand against this place. Not with marksmen of his caliber, like this woman, at the ready.

He said none of this to her, but instead smiled in a peculiar manner and slung his bow over his chest. It was often worn in such a manner as to leave his hands free, something of particular use when it came to gathering and dealing with the kills accumulated while hunting.

POSTED: Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:41 am

crap post.
*at least I think it would have?


The arrow passed through the bird's feathers, knocking some loose and putting the bird off balance. It spun and dove in the air a few times, before righting itself and flying out of her vision.

Alma lowered her bow and glanced at Ezekiel. "Do you think it will have landed somewhere, wounded?" She wasn't sure whether it was worth going after the bird, nor was she sure what to think of the Aquila's smile.

Her own bow was much too large to be slung over her shoulder like Ezekiel's was. If she had tried, it probably would have fallen off.* She set it on the ground to retrieve one of the dead birds. She tied the grouse's feet together and attached it to the rope she always wore around her waist. Finally, she picked up her bow and made sure to brush off any moisture that may have collected on the wood while it was on the ground.

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