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Archery Practice Chapter I: The Tranquil Meadow Chapter II: Old Bagshaw's Residence Chapter III: The Poacher Chapter IV: Making Camp Chapter V: Solitary Council Chapter VI: Escaping Home Chapter VII: Waylaid Chapter VIII: Archery Practice Chapter IX: Honour the Fallen Bonus Landscape: Avalonian Countryside Averil trod through the forest, bow in her left hand and knapsack in her right. Dawn had just broken and the grass was still wet with dew. This was Averil's favorite time of day, when everything was quiet. Her hunting party would not meet up for another couple of hours, so she had some time to herself. Time she preferred to spend alone with her thoughts. Her thoughts and her bow. Before long she reached her usual practice spot. There was an archery range in town of course, but Averil preferred to be here, away from the noise and the people. She grabbed an apple from her knapsack and put it on the top of a small rock in front of a tree. It wasn't exactly the perfect target, but at least it wouldn't damage her arrows the way a wooden target would. - 'Perhaps I should swipe one of the straw targets from the range', she muttered to herself. It wasn't a very big distance, but then, the apple wasn't a very big target either. She was just here to warm up, not to push herself. Although she hunted daily it could sometimes go days without her taking a shot. That was not enough to keep up her skills with the bow. Practice was very much still a necessity. She nocked an arrow, aimed carefully, and released. Pieces of the apple flew as the arrow drilled straight through its core. Averil walked up to the tree and picked up the apple. She carefully removed the arrow and wiped the apple clean. - 'No point in letting you go to waste', she told the apple before taking a big bite of it. She sat down on the rock, savouring the silence just as much as her snack. However, the silence did not last long. Something stirred back on the path. Averil's grip on her bow tightened. It wasn't an animal, the movements were too rhythmic. A moment later she saw a man heading up the path towards her. It was Jarvis. Jarvis was the leader of her hunting team. He was old and had a weathered look, but he was by no means fragile. Not exactly a good shot, but an excellent tracker, lithe and knowledgeable. Averil liked the man, but him appearing here made her a bit suspicious. As Jarvis came closer he greeted her with a wave and a smile. She returned the greeting half-heartedly. - 'Enjoying your morning practice?', Jarvis asked as he came up to her. - 'Have to keep up my skills with the bow, sir', she replied hesitantly. Jarvis chuckled. - 'Do I look like a 'sir' to you? Well, no one can deny your skill with the bow, but why not come train with the others?' - 'Well, I enjoy practicing out here.' - 'I'm not asking this for your benefit, I'm asking for the benefit of everyone else. I'm sure you could help improve the bowmanship of the men, myself included. Why not come and help out?' - 'I'm not that good' - 'Hogwash!' Jarvis laughed. 'You do remember I handle the cadavers right? I don't think you've made a single shot that didn't pierce both lungs. And you don't get carried away like some of the others, you always wait for the broadside shot. I could probably send you alone into the forest and you would produce as much game as the rest of our team together. But I'm sure you've never hunted alone, right?', Jarvis said with a wink. Averil froze. Did he know about her poaching? - 'Relax, I don't care about your past', Jarvis continued. 'We all have them, and for most of us that is why we're here in this remote, upstart colony where anonymity comes easy.' - 'I... I don't belong here.' Jarvis chuckled. - 'You think any of us do? But you are here, right? And if you are not planning on leaving you might as well make what you can of the life you lead here. Help build this colony into something great. Not for lord dimwit's sake, but for all of us. Help keep everyone fed, and help keep your hunting fellows safe. Did you know the other hunting teams have all lost men over the past month?' Averil nodded. Out of the four teams, only theirs had not lost anyone to the forest, at least not since she joined. - 'You can help teach the men how to defend themselves against whatever is out there. Let go of your past and live your life here and now. People need you here. Won't you let them depend on you? Or are you going to continue living in your past?' Averil looked down. - 'I'm not sure I can do it.' - 'You won't know until you try. Why don't you come shoot with us?' Averil knew why she held on to her past. Because her father was still out there, somewhere, and she was still waiting for him to return. Even after more than five years she was still holding on to hope, and moving on with her life meant she was giving up on that hope. She didn't want to do it. She wanted all this to be temporary. She wanted to be his precious, mischievous daughter again. She wanted her family back. But Jarvis was right. That would never happen, even though she wanted it with all her heart. She had to live her life, like Gammy and Leeson were already doing. Maybe her feelings would subside in time? But yes, she wouldn't know until she tried. - 'Ok, I will go shoot with you', she replied. - 'Thank you. We really are quite a merry bunch, once you get to know us, you know?' As they went on their way, Averil paused and turned back towards the tree one more time. - 'Goodbye, father', she whispered to herself. *** So, this is the build I used for my tutorial on the axe tree technique, which is one of the reasons it has been so delayed (the other reason being that another little human being has joined our household ). I grossly underestimated how much work it is to put together a tutorial, but now it is finally finished, and I'm certainly happy about that If you're interested in how these types of trees are built, you can check out the tutorial here. Other than that, this was my first try at an irregular base, which made me realise that my arsenal of wedge plates is quite limited. It may not have been the best choice for such a thin build, but it was interesting trying it out. Thanks for watching, hope you enjoyed it! C & C always welcome
Escaping Home Chapter I: The Tranquil Meadow Chapter II: Old Bagshaw's Residence Chapter III: The Poacher Chapter IV: Making Camp Chapter V: Solitary Council Chapter VI: Escaping Home Chapter VII: Waylaid Chapter VIII: Archery Practice Chapter IX: Honour the Fallen Bonus Landscape: Avalonian Countryside The evening sun glistened in the waves below. The wind rustled the leaves above. Soon the sun would dip below the horizon, draping it all in gloomy shadows. But for now everything was beautiful. Averil sat down under the looming tree, took a deep breath and stared into the sunset. Just being here made her smile. She found herself imagining that this here, was all there was. Just the fading sun and breaking waves. The towering tree at her back and the delicate flowers spread out around her. This was a moment she wished would not pass. But it would. And she would have to return home. Return to a home that was not home. Return to Newquay. Averil had joined the colony of Newquay together with her brother, Leeson, and Gammy less than a month ago. It had been a reluctant but necessary decision. Averil's poaching had not been fruitful and the family was starving. At Newquay, at least they were able to fill their bellies. Leeson had been made an errand boy, and was always running all over the place doing his chores. Averil could tell that he liked it. Back home all he ever did was scrounging for food and waiting for her to return with fresh game. Here he had something to do and he was happier for it. Even Gammy had been enlisted to help in the manor's kitchen, cooking for the lord and lady and their friends. Averil frowned upon her entering service, but she too seemed happy. And Averil couldn't deny that the occasional tidbits Gammy swiped from the kitchen wasn't a welcome change to the bland stew they were usually having. Averil herself had been assigned as a fisherman at first, but as she didn't know the first thing about fishing, she was quick to display her skills with the bow, which had earned her a spot on a hunting party. There had been some suspicion as to where her mastery stemmed from, but Averil had explained that her late father, a longbowman in the King's army, had taught her since young. It was a truth with modification, but confessing to years of poaching would certainly have earned her a trip to the gallows. Her fellow hunters were good men and quick to welcome to her, showing her the tricks of the trade. She already knew most of what they showed her, but she feigned ignorance to support her own deception. Learning archery from her father was all well and good, but what reason could her father have had for teaching her hunting? Better to smile and pretend to be learning. Still, being self-taught, there were a few new things that she did not know. Understanding the territorial instincts of many of the animals here had been an eye-opener for her. And the woods around Newquay was new ground for her, as her poaching had kept her at a good distance from the colony. Most of all she had been very surprised to find that there was actually game to be found around here. The weeks before joining the colony she had found nothing during her trips to the isle, and now there was game again. Not plenty, but there was some, which was enough. It made her wish she had held off the decision to move here. If game was coming back, they could've survived by themselves. If only she had waited a few more weeks, she wouldn't have to be here. The truth was that she did not belong here. These people were good, faithful workers, building something together. All of them doing their best to make the colony successful. Even with their witless lord governing them, there was a camaraderie here that she had not expected. But still, she was different. She craved adventure, not fellowship. She did not want to have everything staked out for her. She abhorred routine and despised rules. They may make your life smoother, but they didn't let you live. And that's what Averil wanted - to live. But what good did it do to linger on that now? They were here, and even if Leeson and Gammy would have wanted to leave, they couldn't. They had committed themselves to Newquay and its doltish lord, who would certainly not let them go unless he wanted to. They were trapped. She was trapped. She longed to be back home, her real home on the mainland, but she was trapped. She looked up at the tree above her. It's branches stretched far out over the sea. Perhaps it too, longed for something? - 'I wish we could both go' she told the tree. 'But we can't. Like it or not, we are both rooted to this place.' She sighed. The last sliver of sun disappeared beyond the horizon. It was time to head back. - 'Well, back to reality' Averil said as she got up. 'Be good.' She gave the tree a quick tap and walked away. *** Ok, next build: no trees! I promise! ...maybe Thanks for watching, hope you enjoyed it! C & C always welcome
The Poacher Chapter I: The Tranquil Meadow Chapter II: Old Bagshaw's Residence Chapter III: The Poacher Chapter IV: Making Camp Chapter V: Solitary Council Chapter VI: Escaping Home Chapter VII: Waylaid Chapter VIII: Archery Practice Chapter IX: Honour the Fallen Bonus Landscape: Avalonian Countryside Averil guided her rowing-boat silently through the morning mist. Her fiery hair damp with the moisture of the fog as she waited for the shore to appear. She couldn't see more than a few yards ahead of her, but she didn't need to. These waters were familiar enough, and she welcomed the cover of the mist. Averil had been poaching in the forests of the Overgrown Isle for years now. Necessity had driven her here despite her fears, fears that had turned out to be unfounded. There had been plenty of game, especially as she dared to travel further inland. She would have plenty to bring back; more than the family could eat, so she could even trade the rest. Those days had been good days. But they lay behind her now. Now prey was scarce, even when travelling deeper into the forest, and more often than not she would have to head home empty-handed. In fact, it had been over a week now since she had even seen anything worth hunting. Averil knew the reason to this; it was due to the new settlement, Newquay, that had been set up on the isle. - 'Those fools are scaring everything off' she mumbled to herself. Back when she had first noticed the lack in game she had tried heading further up the coast to get some distance to the colony, but it had not helped. Either the whole forest was affected, or she would have to head even further away, which would make it impossible for her to make daytrips to the isle. She was getting closer to the shore. She could feel it. Soon she would be able to make out the dark contour of the towering forest through the mist. - 'Perhaps I should start spending the nights here?', she thought. Even after the years she had spent her, the thought of spending a night here was enough to make her uneasy. She had done it once, and she hadn't slept at all. It was the noises. They were... different. Not like the noises of any other forest she had made camp in. No rustling of leaves, no chirping of birds. Instead, the noises were low, creaking and groaning sounds, that did not seem natural, or perhaps too natural, she couldn't decide which. The air had been heavy and still, much more so than during the days, and she had been excessively aware of the noise of her own breathing. It was not an experience she would like to repeat. As the shore came into view, she aptly steered her boat to a suitable landing spot. On impact Averil started gathering her things. She opened the hidden compartment in the bow of the boat and took out her spear and longbow. She put a net over the fish she had bought this morning from old man Gent, to keep it from being snatched by animals while she was hunting. It was meant to be her catch of the day, as people would be suspicious of a fisherman that never brought home any fish. It smelt something horrible though, and on closer examination, no one would believe it to be a fresh catch. - 'It will have to do', she told herself. Spear in hand she lithely jumped over the side of the boat and started tying up the boat to a gnarly old tree. Once done, she grabbed her longbow and headed off. - 'Perhaps we she just move to Newquay', she said to herself as she started to make her way through the underbrush. It was a thought she had entertained many times, but the idea of being closer to authority than necessary worried her. As she spoke the words, though, she realised that she was seriously considering it. Perhaps it would not be so bad. Being based on the isle would certainly expand the area she could cover in a day. Nobody knew about her poaching, and if she was careful nobody would. - 'I'll just be a poor fisherman, just like I am now, and no one will be the wiser.' Her brother would probably like it. He always complained that he couldn't come with her on her trips here. And Gammy would be happy anywhere as long as she was with both of them. Newquay would be as good a place as any. She may even have a chance to hunt legally for whatever lord was in charge there, although that may raise the question as to where her hunting skills came from. And moving to Newquay would certainly mean a degree of lost freedom; always someone around to see you. That definitely did not sit right with Averil. She would have to do something though, and soon. They didn't have much left to eat, and unless she caught something by the end of the week they would start starving. - 'I'll catch something today', she told herself. 'We don't need Newquay.' She knew she wouldn't though. The forest was empty, and so would their bellies be. Newquay was their only option. *** Experimented a bit trying to get a nice mist effect. Got some “non-misted” photos on my flickr, as I felt it ruined to atmosphere a bit to add them here. Also, I would like to request UoP DoH credits for the following: Geography: Oceanside or River scene Hope you enjoyed the MOC :)