Game Thread The Wend: Chapter 1 - Homeland - RPG Crossing
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  #1  
Old Jan 14th, 2021, 04:40 AM
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The Wend: Chapter 1 - Homeland

The Nuthe River was cooling due to early snows in the uplands. Slavista easily navigated through the beech trees, reeds and blue caps that populated the riverside. She was young, and athletic, her extra load scarcely hindered her. Slavista had covered more than 6 leagues by the time the sun was dying, it was time to rest, she had another 10 leagues to go, and the ground would get steeper, and the air colder.

Slavista gathered dry twigs from low hanging trees as she walked and scanned for a place to overnight. She spotted two downed logs in a criss cross, one over the other. She dropped her bed roll near it. Then she moved to the riverside, and found 3 flat stones, 2 and 3 times as long as her hands. Two were plowed into the sandy soil near her camp spot in a V pattern, the third was layed over the top.

Slavista then, reached behind her back, at her waist, pulling a long thick single braid to her front. Then with a small two inch knife that hung from a tiny scabbard around her neck she cut a small lock from her hair. Then gathered up several handfuls of yellow and orange beech leaves. A bed of larger twigs was layed between the stones, then the beach leaves, and a feather she found by the rivers edge, finally she balled up the lock of hair and set in on the pile. Flint was struck with the backside of her knife four times before a curl of smoke rose. Slavista’s pink lips pursed as she gently blew the smoke into flame, added more twigs, and blew again until thumb sized branches were burning.

The young woman moved back, still kneeling, but now sitting on the back, stretching her sore back and taking a moment to give thanks for the fire. Then she got up, retrieved her spear and walked to rivers edge. The char were spawning, and brightly colored for the mating season. Slavista looked to the slower water, where the females that had already spawned would be resting after their irresistible mission had been completed. It was difficult to ensure that the fish was thin, not full bellied in this light. But Slavista was part of the cycle of life too, and she must have meat. She looked for the most lethargic of fish, and thrust her spear into them. The 3 pound fish was retrieved, riggling on the spear as the others scattered. The fish was gutted, still full of roe.

Slavista set the roe aside, careful not to break the eggs sacks, along with the heart and liver. The remainder of the entrails were tossed back into the river, then the fish was placed on the hot stone to cook. The roe, heart and liver were salted. She picked a few blue caps and added them to the cure, the small berries would add sweetness. She ate half the trout, and wrapped the remainder in broad bison leaves found on the edge of the reeds. She checked the rest of her gear for the journey tomorrow. Her leather boots, he clothes, pack, tools, and tool a long moment to gently run her hands over her special cargo, hoping to safely get it to it’s destination the day after tomorrow. She faded off to sleep, looking at the geometric tattoos on the back of her hands and forearms in the twinkling firelight. Blue Lines that represented the Sun, the Nuthe and Havel Rivers, and more.

The next day brought her through the foothills and to the base of the plateau. The second day she climbed the steep ridges, spurs and escarpments. It was a challenging climbing, sometime clinging to pine branches, roots or rocks, footing was slick with frost in the morning, and water in the afternoon. Nearing the top of the crags Slavista’s footing just gave way. She tumbled 20 feet, by the time she maneuvered to her back, increased her contact with the ground and slowed to a stop. She checked her cargo, it was in good condition, thankfully. If the cargo had been damaged, she would not be able to return to her tribe.



Finally reaching the top of the plateau and the source of the Nuthe River. The plateau, 1200 feet above the valley, was covered in a foot of snow, the river flowing from a small lake. Where the Nuthe River broke free of the lake Slavista built a small hut out of pine bows. She was more patient this time, building stronger lodge for a longer stay. Wrist sized branches were cut with a hatchet, the lodge was conical shaped, laid down around 4 inch pine tree. Next was a healthy supply of firewood was to be laid in, but before she could complete her goal of it was time to delivery her package.

Slavista crouched at the central pole of the lodge, grasped firmly and in a few minutes delivered a child, a boy. She took a moment to catch her breath, but only a moment, scooped up the child and waded into the cold waters of the Nuthe, submersing the child fully under the water. Then pulled him out and took him back to the lodge. That night the two snuggled in the lodge next to the fire, the child wrapped in a badger fur as he suckled. Slavista walked out and looked at the stars and moon. Said a prayer, and returned to sleep.

The following day the child was taken to the Nuthe River, and plunged under the water. Then Slavista gathered birch bark, and split pine branches, and dry reeds. By the end of the day these materials were fashioned into a pack to hold the child. The pair would head home the following day.

The day started with dunking the child in the river first thing in the morning, this would continue for the next two years. The child thus far was strong and healthy and showed no sign of illness, no sniffles or chills, this child could be presented to her husband and tribe with satisfaction. If the child took on a chill, or showed signs of sickness, it would have to be left to the wolves. The tribe had to few resources to care for sick children or feed the weak through life if they were not strong enough to provide for themselves and others…………………………………………

Last edited by Horseman; Jan 14th, 2021 at 05:15 AM.
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Old Jan 14th, 2021, 04:42 AM
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The line of Dragomir

More than 6 generations ago the Saxons moved east of the Elbe River in more than a raid. It was the first time they had come to stay, and they carried with them a new religion. The religion of the Saints.

Within a decade it was clear they were there to rule over the Wends. An alliance of tribes gathered, the Obordites led by Nako and Vilki led by Dragovit joined forces and met the Saxon army under Lord Hermann Billung at the Battle of Raxa River. The battle was won by the Saxons, and as the tribes regrouped. Nako was pledging servitude to the Saxons in exchange for lands and titles. Many Vilki still suspect they lost the battle because Nako was already working with the Saxons.

Thirty Years after the Battle of Raxa the Saxons were threatening the sacred site of Rethra, ancient home of Radigast the Pure. The Slavs joined once again, this time led by the Vilki Confederation intent on hitting the Saxons before they could gather their army.




Radomil the Fair called all the Wends to gather at Rethra. The Wends gathered within a week, and set out on attacking in the south first. The hit the Bishopric of Havelburg first. Havelburg fell and was plundered in the same day. The Bishops Crozier was the first war trophy passed amongst the tribes. Three days later the war party hit Brandenburg Castle, joined by the Obotrites, the castle fell in a day. The Wends moved on to destroyed the Monastery at Kalbe, the Bishopric of Oldenburg was torn down and its stones scatterd, Luneburg was razed, and even the great city of Hamburg was assaulted and more than a hundred wagons of salt was brought back.

The Horde of Wends returned to Rethra and held a victory celebration and gave thanks to the four headed god. Then the Wends went home to their villages with their loot and stories. When Radomil returned to his family in the village of Jutterborg he discovered the latest treachery of Obotrites. Prince Mistivir of the Obotrites claimed the crown of the Margrave of Brandenburg, fortified the castle and renamed it Nako Castle. Prince Mistivir swore not to attack any of the allies he’d fought with during the Saxon War. While the remainder of the Wends harvested their crops and went through winter that year, Mistivir was busy. He married his daight Tavo to Harold Bluetooth the Dane, then entered into trade agreements with Saxon Lord Wichmann the Elder. By the time Spring came and the tribes held council it was decided that if Mistivir and his descendants kept their word, the Wends would not remove him. And so, for 120 years there was relative peace in the region.

However, over the years the descendants of Mistivir became more and more like the Saxons that were removed. They took up the way of the Saints. They married to Germanic families and eventually welcomed in Teutonic Knights who were set on civilizing the area. They came as rescuers, building castles to protect trade, bishoprics to educate children and then Teutonic Knights patrolling. Then the current Margrave of Brandenburg, Pribislav Henry, descendent of Mistivir and Nako, gave the land between the Elbe and Spreewald to Deitrich, son of Albert the Bear. Albert the Bear was Teutonic Knight and Marcher Lord intent on civilizing the region. The Vilki knew this was a direct threat to their ancestral lands. Tensions rose in the Havel River region, this was a violation of the agreement.

As the tribal leaders discussed what to do around the central fire many eyes and ears paid attention to the discussion and could be partially seen in the flickering light. A young warrior, seeking to make his place in the tribe and gain a wife tuned out of the discussion early and was lost in his own thoughts.

Dragomir stared into the rolling flames of the fire, leaning over a half-eaten plate. Girls giggling snapped him back to room, he looked over his left shoulder at three young willing maids who pretended to look away from his gaze, their cheeks becoming rosy. The young man not giving much acknowledgement turned back toward the chieftans discussion, then locked on the sandy blonde haired daughter of Chief Drascon. He was transfixed for several minute until her stunning green eyes met hers. There were unsaid words between them in that glance, then she turned back to the duties as required her. Dragonmir promptly left the table and his plate.

He travelled through the remainder of the night and the next day covering over 20 leagues. By that night he was in position, nestled in a hide. He’d done this many times hunting before, observing a heard, learning their patterns, who the lead females were, the dominant bulls and if there were other predators in the area. He looked at Nakos Castle the same way. Observing the people and soldiers coming and going. Herds always observed certain dangers, and were oblivious to blind spots as well.

He knew he must get some rest, and be observing as the sun rose. He wrapped himself in the large Krenshar robe, he’d killed the cat two years earlier. The robe was warm and durable, had seen him through many nights and would see him through this one. Dragomir closed his eyes, a bit of a smile on his lips. He didn’t have a plan, just to strike back at Pribislav for violating the agreement between their peoples. By the laws of their lands, retribution was required.

As the sun rose Dragomir was nibbling on pemican, a mixture of dried meat, fat, crushed grains and berries. He watched the Castle all that day, in the night he moved to another vantage point and observed for another day. Six days and nights he studied Nakos Castle. He found a possible way, it would be difficult, but doable.

Dragomir returned to the village ten days after he had left, riding a black horse, and leading a grey, with a sack full of loot, the missing Bishops Crozier and a half dozen wounds, including a dwarven crossbow bolt still sticking in his shoulder blade. Ignoring his wounds, Dragomir went to the lodge of Drascon, and called his name at the top of his lungs.

Drason and his family came out, to see the young, battle weary warrior before him, other villagers gathering to watch. Dragomir tossed the sack of loot at Drascons feet, then dismounted walking up to him, he handed over the gilted Crozier of the Bishop of Havelburg. They both looked to Drascons daughter, her eyes bright, her face exuberant, Drascon nodded.
Dragomir picked up Slavista and set her on the grey and the two rode away.

Two and a half years later, Slavista had covered the 16 leagues and returned to Jutriboc, known as Juterbog to the Germans. Slavista presented the child to her husband, Dragomir. Dragomir inspected the child, smiled and nodded to the quickly gathering villagers. Then the village burst into activity, celebrating the birth of the boy to be known as Boromil

Last edited by Horseman; Jan 14th, 2021 at 05:25 AM.
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Old Jan 14th, 2021, 05:00 AM
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Young Boromil

Boromil was now 12 years old, sitting in the branchs of a Purple Beech tree looking at Lake Teltow. He was on the hunt for eggs. There was a Garganorn nest on a small twenty foot mound just off the east shore. Garganorn's were huge geese, weighing 40-60 pounds The young man would need to find an approach, sneak in and get at least one egg. Garganorn's were dangerous too. They were able to exert enough force to break bones with wing strikes from their 10 foot wingspans.
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Old Jan 14th, 2021, 09:50 AM
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He had been shown how to hunt by his father and his uncles. They had taken him out into the surrounding lands, placed him at the periphery and told him to observe. It was their way.

But he was being truly taught to hunt by Slavista, his mother. Not in the fields, but around the fires. In the days following his return with the men, she would ask him to walk through the hunt in as much detail as he could recall.

At the time, Boromil thought his mother envious—a feeling he could easily recall from the first 11 years of his life when he wasn't allowed to accompany the hunts. But not much later in life, he realized what his mother was doing, she was teaching him to assimilate what he had seen, to commit it to his memory and recall the important parts so he could observe them again, afresh on the next hunt. His father and the uncles taught him to preapre and to go on the hunt, his mother taught him to see and to be on a hunt.
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Even when he had not yet understood what was happening, his mind was absorbing his mother's lessons. Sitting in the Purple Beech with the branches alternatively still and undulating, he recalled his mother asking him about the direction of the wind on his previous hunt, about what smells it brought, about how the animals reacted to shifts in it. He recalled her asking about whether his tongue could perceive moisture in the air and about the direction of the light. He looked around and answered those questions, and then he thought about what they might mean in relation to him, the Garganorn nest and the prospect of lifting an egg.

Before long, it was growing dark and Boromil had to return to his village.

There would soon come a time when he would be sent on a hunt. Soon, these observations would become crucial missions to help feed his village, rather than hours stolen away from chores which he could quickly complete (well, quickly if he could convince a few other younger children to assist, and usually he could). There would become a time when he was a hunter. But for today, he was observing. He would report back on everything he had seen; he would hand his mother the fuzz of feathers he had gathered around his observation point; he would wait for his mother to remark on something, to ask a question of something around him that he had missed. And he would return to the spot. One day—one day soon—he would return with an egg.
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Old Jan 15th, 2021, 05:00 AM
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Boromil walked into the village of Jutriboc as the last rays of light cast a warm glow over the roof tops, turning the thatched roofs a vivid orange, the huts casting long shadows on the ground. Borisu, a boy a couple years younger than Boromil had just returned himself with a large bundle of kindling gathered from the forest. Small twigs, gathered together and rolled in a canvas sheet, then bound and slung over the back. Borisu waves and walks into his hut.



Boromil is the last of his family to enter the house for the night. His mother Slavista immediately looked to the doorway as Boromil entered. Then Boromil was attacked, hit in the back, small arms choking him. It was his younger brother Sobeslav had ambushed him, leaping from log beam where he'd laid in wait. After a brief scuffle, Boromil was able to pin Sobeslav. Boromil hears the giggling of Radana and Slava, his little sisters, younger than Boromil, but older than Sobeslav.

Then the deep warning from the unmistakable voice of his father Dragomir. Stop that horseplay, your mother has dinner ready. He is inspecting a broken strap on one of the horse collars, he hands it to Dragan, Boromils older brother by 2 years.

The family of eight assemble at the table, grandmother Militsa the last to sit down with a wooden bowl of goat cheese. Sobeslav and the girls are figetting and elbowing one another, one gaze from Dragomir and it ends. Slavista and Dragomir look at one another briefly. Then Slavista starts a prayer to Radomil, the great ancestor of the family who led the revolt against the Saxons. Boromil was to taught to respect and worship his ancestor that lived in the hearth of the family home. After the prayer, Dragomir fills the plates of Militsa first, then the youngest kids, then Slavista, finally himself. The meal is Haluska, cabbage cooked with onions, garlic sausage, and small potato noodles, topped with goats cheese.

The discussion at the table is lively with each family member relating what happened during the day the disposition of the farmstead and animals in all aspects. After the meal the young girls prepared tea that was served at the table, Dragomir poured vodka from a brown clay jug into his tea. It helped with the pain from many battles and years of hard work building this farmstead from nothing. The discussion passed on to what was planned for the next day and what the weather might be. Dragan busied himself with repairing the horse collar. The discussion came around to Boromil.

His father asked Boromil, Tell us of your day, we see you brought no food home tonight, what will you do tomorrow?

Last edited by Horseman; Jan 15th, 2021 at 05:08 AM.
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Old Jan 15th, 2021, 10:01 PM
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"Tomorrow?" Boromil repeated the question." Tomorrow I will bring honor to my family, father."

And it was true, only that Boromil didn't know how he would do that just yet.

He would like to have had one more day to observe. But since he had promised results by tomorrow, then perhaps he would have to rely only on the morning hours. Or perhaps, the thought struck him, perhaps honor could strike during the night.

He realized this as he and Slava were putting away the chickens for the night, a task which had been his but which he was now outgrowing and passing on to his younger sister. The last part of this task was to ensure that there were no holes in the fencing or burrows leading under it. If the predators were to attack during the night, they would have to work at it and allow the roosters to raise an alarm loud enough for the family to hear. But it was the idea of predators at night that intrigued Boromil.
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The Walrus from the Westminster Bestiary

If there were predators who attacked their chickens, then surely there were larger predators who would attack the nests of the Garganorns. And if they did, would the Garganorns not try to fight them off? And if they did, could not an agile young boy run unnoticed during the heat of the battle and grab an egg? Or even two? Or ... trap a predator.

Boromil had to think. If it was the eggs he was after, then he could convince his friend Borisu to go with him. In that case, they Boromil would be the predator, lure away the Garganorns and allow Borisu to run in and grab some eggs.

But if he wanted to trap a predator, then he would need to ask Dragan to come with him. Of all his brothers and close friends, only Dragan was strong enough to take down a wolf or a boar or ... well, whatever other wild creatures might be drawn to a Garganorns nest.

Boromil decided to ask his mother about the creatures around here that preyed on the Garganorns. As they cleaned hides around the fire, he listened to any tales, the quick true information to be imparted to a young hunter, and then the fables and lore tales of the animal kingdom to entertain—and perhaps educate—his younger siblings.

The part about walruses from the north seas allowed Boromil to make his decision. Yes, he knew these might be only legendary creatures, and, yes, he knew a hunter-warrior should not be afraid ... but Boromil decided he was still too young and too small to fight off being dragged into the frozen palaces of the frozen lands. It would be eggs then. He would run over to Borisu's cabin and tell his friend to be ready—just before dawn the two of them would set out to bring eggs home to their families.
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Old Jan 16th, 2021, 01:17 AM
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Boromil did not sleep well, too much excitement, he was feeling obligated to produce for the family, but sleep did find him for several hours. He awoke early, fed the chickens, cows, and pigs as was his duties. Then he caught Borisu who was doing the same. Borisu agreed to the adventure, and in short order they were off. They walked for 90 minutes to get back to the Purple Beech tree Boromil had sat in the day before.

Looking at the Garganorns nest, Borisu looked to Boromil for direction.
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Old Jan 16th, 2021, 09:20 PM
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Boromil returned Borisu's stare ... and then realized that he could hardly expect Borisu to give instructions for a mission that he had only volunteered to help with. It unnerved Boromil to have someone look at him as if he was the authority. Sure, his younger siblings did that, but that was just the way of his family ... out here, in the world, Boromil had never been a commander until now. And he wasn't sure how he felt about that.

He reviewed the plan in his mind before detailing it to Borisu. When he finished, he realized that he had to say it with confidence, if for no other reason than for himself to believe it.

"So, I've noticed the birds fly off early in the morning. Most of the time, they leave one mate at each nest. But on some mornings, they will leave one or two of their own to guard the entire nest. I don't know if today will be one of those mornings, but we can hope so. Besides, when there is one Garganorn to each nest, I notice they tend to guard only their own nests—that's what happened one day when a small fox wandered in. They would chase it from their nest, into the territory of another nest, and so forth until the fox had been chased beyond the most distant nest."

While he hadn't yet outlined the plan, Boromil grew confident as he spoke. He had spent time observing the nests, and it wasn't in vain.

"We don't want to grab an egg from the closest nest. I don't know why, but the largest and meanest Gorganorns seem to be at the edge. We want to grab from the secondary nests, or even from one in the center. Here's what we do. I will be the predator. I am going to run from that side, with the breeze and dash into the center. If there is a Gorganorn at each nest, they should chase me back out the way I came. If there are only three or four left, then one of them will probably try to herd me, like we do with our goats or the village cattle."

Mentioning the cattle reminded Boromil of the scar he wore on his left arm, the even, squarish imprints of a cow's teeth, the cow who had bit at Boromil when he tried to mount on top of her and play Teutonic Knight as she was being milked. First she bucked, then she bit ... and then—Boromil swore—she laughed at him.

But today the geese wouldn't laugh.

"Now, once I am in and being chased out, you come from the opposite direction, or somewhere in the opposite direction as long as you are going against the breeze. True, your scent might carry slightly if the winds shift, but by that time they will be full of mine and hopefully still chasing me. If they chase me out of the circle of nests, I'll keep probing at the edge and try to pull them away until you are gone. Go out with the breeze. After I see you have gone, then I will leave, probably with a Garganorn or two in procession! Maybe I'll march them right back home and into our mother's kettles, do you think?"

With that, he was ready.

Ready, and almost believing in his own plan.
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Old Jan 19th, 2021, 04:58 AM
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Borisu nods, fascinated. That's a great plan. I have woven sack, I'll get as many eggs as I can. This will be easy.

The pair make their way to the lake Teltow early that morning, mist is still rising from the waters. The bulk of the Garganorns are drifing on the water, plunging their heads below the sruface and scooping up small fish. Near the nests, three Garganorns are nestled on broods of eggs.

Borisu looks to Boromil for instruction.
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Old Jan 21st, 2021, 01:44 AM
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Boromil spends two or three minutes studying the wind and to see if any other predators are near.

Then he signals to Borisu that the hunt has begun. Running with the breeze so his scent is forwarded like a barbarian calling card, Boromil swoops toward the edge of the nests, loops around one of them to show that he is a predator intent on separating eggs from gaggles. When he has their attention, he will make as many feints and dashes as he feels safe doing, probably until the entire flock joins in thwarting him ... or until he sees Borisu running out the other end, his sack full of eggs.

 
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Old Jan 25th, 2021, 05:47 AM
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Many of the Garganorns are feeding in the deeper waters this morning, with several scattered around near the nests.

Upon studying the situation Boromil can see the morning thermals have begun, the warming air is flowing upstream, to higher elevations of the hills. Boromil directs Borisu to swing around til the breeze is in his face, then watch for an unguarded nest.

Boromil positions himself so that his scent is carried across the nesting grounds. The Garganorns quickly turn toward the threat. The giant geese start honking and flapping their wings, with two running, flapping and taking to flight, headed directly toward Boromil. The massive birds land 10 yards from Boromil is confronted with the 10 foot wingspan and shrieking brays of the the geese. One goose charges, while the other hangs back for some reason. Boromil see the wing buffet attack coming, tries to dive out of the way, but is too slow. The wing crashes down on him and drives him into the soft ground near the water. Sharp pain shoots through Boromil's back, his face is in a puddle of mud.

Boromil is stunned, he hears bubbles, is having trouble breathing, then has the sense he is drowning. He thrusts himself up, gasping for air. Cool air enters his lungs, his mouth is filled with gritty mud and grass. Spitting it out he sucks more air and wipes the mud from his eyes and face. In the distance he can hear his and honking of the Garganorns.


Boromil...................Boromil, over here

As he clears his eyes, he sees Brorsu hiding in a thick cluster of brush and trees. Moving slowly Boromil makes it over to Borisu, he see that he has a sack bulging with eggs, 5 in fact. But they are huge, each equal to 6 or more normal chicken eggs.
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Old Jan 26th, 2021, 11:52 PM
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Keeping downwind from the Garganorns, Boromil and Borisu carry the bag to a relatively safe distance and begin gathering moss and green grass to mix with the eggs so they do not collide together in the bag and break open. The grass, Boromil suspects, might also keep the eggs warm—something he thinks might be necessary. After all, Boromil isn't entirely sure if he has stolen the type of eggs like his sisters gather from their hens, a gooey substance ready to eat, or if these are the eggs that they leave when breeding, full of life.

His mother and father will know. So the only thing to do is to take the eggs to them.

Or, not all of them.

It is only fair that Borisu take two to his own home. And then the odd egg. Two friends cannot divide one egg easily—a problem perhaps, until Boromil belatedly releases the solution. One egg should go as offering, to the carved figure of Svantesvit that stands in their village.

If it is an egg for eating, the priest can leave it as offering to their God. If it is an egg for hatching, then the priest can have himself a new guard goose. Every house—even the house of the priest—could always use another guard goose.

Pleased with his plan, he shares it with Borisu and the boys set off for their village.
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  #13  
Old Jan 27th, 2021, 05:25 AM
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Boromil got his first really good look at a Garganorn egg. While he'd seen them at a distance, and seen a hunter come back with a couple in the village oncem he'd never held one. They were very heavy, and large. About 6 inches long and over 3 inches around. They were tan in color, with black spots. The eggs were carefully packed away, and the pair started to head toward home.

Boromil had finally calmed down from the incidence, and now his body was beginning to ache, and hurt. He noticed his left arm was tingling. As they walked and talked of their success, the tingling became aching. More miles and it became dull numbness and pain. To add to his discomfort his back was hurting. But the conversation with Borisu, and his excitement was intoxicating and made him push the pain to the back of his mind.

By the time they walked into the village it was mid-day and Borisu had the Garganorns 10 feet tall, with fangs and flaming wings. Upon entering villagers started to look at the boys, wondering if they were successful. Boromil sees Militsa, Radana and Slava just returning from the forest with bundles of twigs and small branches for the fire. The young girls spot Boromil, drop their bundles and start to break away, but they are stopped with a soft voice.
Girls, we must not disturb men who are hunting, we shall know soon enough. The girls dejected, return and retrieve their bundles, and follow Militsa to the house. Boromils grandmother smiles a little as she heads for the house.

The first to approach them is Ladislav, the local Volkhv, who presided over religious rites and could foretell the future from watching and communicating with horses. Ladislav greets the boys, he is dressed in a grey tunic, brown pants and weathered boots. His face nearly matches his worn boots, and is covered in a long beard. His voice is rugged You were successful, and you have brought me something.

After Boromil gives one of the eggs to Ladislav, and two to Borisu, the pair finally part ways. Boromil approaches the home. His mother is weaving Garlic into ropes for drying and storage. The girls, and Sobislav are standing by the door quietly. Boromil presents the eggs to his mother. Slavista smiles proudly. We cannot wait to hear your story at dinner, girls take the eggs carefully and wash them. We will eat one tonight. Then she turns back to Boromil. Since you are already dirty, go clean the swine pens. When you are done, you can get cleaned up for dinner.

Boromil could see his father and older brother Dragan scything hay in the fields. Each pass their blades a smooth rythym, small blades of grass flying in the air. They were covered in it. This was the first day of cutting. Boromil knew that he and the rest of his family would in the fields tomorrow bundling the hay, which would be left in the fields to dry. The next 3-4 weeks was going to be all about the haying. If he had been unsuccessful today, he would have had to wait an entire year to get a fresh Garganorn egg.

Boromils body hurt all the way through his afternoon chores, but the day passed quickly. While he washed the grime of the day away he started to smell wonderful things from his home. Sitting up to the table with the family his mother presented the family with a special treat. On a large round wooden platter was the egg, cooked gently, it's yoke bright amber, surrounded by white, taking up half the platter. Surrounding the platter were small sausages, fried potatoes with onions, tomatoes, freshly sliced bread and roast garlic. A prayer was said to the Leshi, the forest spirits and to their master Svyatobor who provided for hunters and those in need. Then the feast began.



Boromil recounted the tale of his hunt to his family, all listened, rejoiced and giggled. As the meal wound down, and the family sipped their tea and your father his vodka. He looked to Boromil. You did well today son. You assessed the problem, gathered allies and achieved your goal. Upon your return, you payed proper tribute to our people by giving a portion to Ladislav to dedicate.

You have proven you can hunt......................... tomorrow you shall start your training as a Warrior.



OOC
Boromil took 3 hp subdual damage from the Garganorn attack.

Last edited by Horseman; Jan 27th, 2021 at 05:31 AM.
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Old Jan 31st, 2021, 03:40 AM
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The following morning Boromil rises early to do his chores so they will not get in way of his new training. This was it. He was going to become a warrior and become a valued member of the tribe. Completing the journey to be a warrior was always crowned by a test. There would be many hardships, many trials and danger. Boromil thought of Neko, the bitter old man who wove baskets. It was well known he broke he was maimed during his training, maybe it was testing, but he was never able to become a warrior. Never able to take his place among the honored of his tribe that all men strived for. So Neko stewed in his failure, wove his baskets he traded for enough food to survive. Children avoided him, young women mocked him as being less than a man, other men looked at him with pity.
Boromil had slopped the hogs, checked the suckling piglets, and carried water to all the animals. He was just making the last of the 12 trips to stream he made morning and night. Carrying 5 gallons in two buckets. Then he saw his father in faint light of dusk.

Boromil saw that his father was ready to travel. He had seen his father outfitted for travel many times, a small pack slung over his shoulder, a spear in hand, a hound on a tether. Tucked in his belt was his hunting knife and hand axe, Boromil knew it well. While he’d never touched the axe, he had seen it everyday of his life. Hanging from a peg in the house in an honored fashion. Boromil had seen that when his father carried the axe people in the village paid him more respect, even looked at him with some wonder and whispered amongst themselves.

Without saying a word, he hands Boromil the pack and the tether, then begins to walk south. The pair walked south, as the sky slowly brightened over the Teltow hills. They had walked two miles before anyone spoke. His father leaning heavily on his spear as a staff, limping from old injuries. Dragomir ordered, You will work the cattle up the Nuthe River, allowing them to graze and raise their calves. The hound will help protect the cattle when you rest or gather food, he will also alert you to danger. You will need to move camp every week as you move the cattle to new grazing lands. The Spring and early Fall will be the most dangerous for the cattle. It’s then that predators are the hungriest.

It’s time you learned more about the happenings outside the valley of the Nuthe River. Before you were born, our tribe signed a pact with the Vanir, for mutual protection against the Teutonic Knights who sought to conquer us. This agreement has protected our valley. But outside it wars have raged for your entire life. A powerful Army is moving against the Germanics, they have been attacking them, but they are worse than the Teutons. They are called the Black Sun. You have heard stories of monsters, evil spirits and giants. It’s all true. But due to our agreement with the Vanir, the scouting parties and armies have been going around us to the north and south. Yet, in war, with armies, there are always deserters and pillagers that leave the army and make destruction on their own. The further south you go, when it nears early fall will be your greatest danger of running into these vermin.

Your job is to protect the cattle throughout the grazing season, and bring them back safely in early Fall.
At this point the pair had reached the heard of cattle and the sun was causing the dew on the leaves and grass to sparkle. There with the cattle was Dagon, a man in his late twenties. Dragomir and Dagon talked for a while and exchanged words. Then Dagon grabbed his pack, his dog and headed north. Passing Boromil he said, Bring the girls back, boy, you’ll need to move them up the river this morning. In a minute he was gone.

Dragomir looked to Boromil, There are 14 cows and calves here. These are the beef the village lives on. Without them, the winters will be very hard on all. It’s not just our family we are talking about. Dragomir then takes his axe and clips a sapling at the base, then strips the branches from it. He hands the spear to Boromil, pulls the axe from his belt, and hands it over as well. Do you have any questions for me before I return to haying ?
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Old Feb 1st, 2021, 01:44 AM
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In the end, it was the axe that did it.

And when the axe was handed, Boromil felt elation, shame ... and resolve.
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He had woken that morning eager to begin his training as a warrior and somewhat surprised that he was still expected to do his child's chores. With each trip to the stream, he marveled that this would be the last time he would ever have to do the water-bringing. Not tomorrow, nor ever would he be doing the tasks of a child.

Walking with his father outside of the village he tried to match him stride for stride—and nearly succeeded most of the way (thanks to his father's limp, yes, but Boromil was certain that he could match his father's strides even if he was in his prime).

And then they arrived to the training grounds.

Except it wasn't the training grounds. It was the pasture grass. And it wasn't even training, it was cowherding. In disbelief, Boromil barely registered anything his father said to him in the first moments. Something about predators, moving camp, working with the dog—but he knew all of this! He could do all of this! Yes, granted, he had never done it alone and it had always been as a group of boys assigned the task for some special reason such as when the rest of the men were away on a hunt or a skirmish ... but the point was that this was no warrior's training.

Was his father mocking him? Rescinding his promise from the night before?

"...and bring them back safely in " early Fall, his father said as Dagon came up to them, looked at Boromil, uttered a few words and disappeared.

But perhaps if Dagon—a young man whose strength everyone in the village respected—had this job, then there was less shame in it.

Boromil began to pay attention. Fourteen cows and calves. Essential to the village. Vital to all of us surviving the winter. A spear.

And then the axe—the very symbol of his father's authority in the household. An extension of his hands, and extension of himself.

If Boromil had been given the crown of the Emperor of All Lands, he could not have felt any greater burden or authority placed on him.

Questions? He had dozens.

"Yes, father. Please repeat what you said at the beginning so I know I fully understand," Boromil began. "And then, I ask you to watch as I create another spear with the axe. I have made spears with knives for killing rabbits, but these need to be stronger and I need to know I am doing it correctly. I didn't realize I would not be returning home today. Can one of my brothers or sisters bring me my hide blanket, some flint, my sling and my waterskin. And then, tell me, under what circumstances do I send the dog or even abandon the cows to bring a warning or news to the village?"
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