52 Ashan 716Heart racing. Bronik shortened the reins of the horse he was on and steered the animal through the city gates. Brujo had invited the man to his farmstead in order for Bronik to accompany him out to the local forest and sawmill to see where boatbuilding truly began. Not fond of horses, Bronik followed Brujo's mount, holding the reins tightly, afraid to do the wrong thing and send his horse into a mad dash along the road and across the countryside. Twice he had to fight with the animal to stop it from eating the grass in the roadside and Brujo gave them the hurry up, calling back over his shoulder with a short, loud whistle.
When they arrived at the mill, Bronik was happy to be off the horse and felt his legs shake beneath him as he found his feet on the ground again. Brujo tied the animals and led the way once more, walking off into the surrounding forest to point out a few trees, but there was one in particular he wanted his apprentice to see. "Redwood," the old man pointed.
Bronik looked up at the tree which must have been older than a thousand arcs, though Brujo soon assured him it was no older than five hundred, this didn’t make it any less impressive. "You want to use that?" The young man inquired.
"Not for the building of the boat," Brujo admitted. "The heartwood of Redwood is hard, resilient to rot, water damage, fire, and insects."
"Too hard to use for boat building?" Bronik asked.
"Right," the old man agreed, "but perfect for building the deck of a large ship which only needs to be straight."
"And resistant to rot and water damage," Bronik smiled.
Brujo grinned, "Now you are seeing the big picture, being difficult to set alight to helps a tremendous amount on a boat too.
"Do they have any cut that we can order for our next big project?"
"No," Brujo smirked, "that's your job."
"What!" Bronik stepped back and looked at the tree, "I've never cut a tree down before!"
"First time for everything," Brujo told him, "besides I'm here to walk you through it."
For the first time since he had known Brujo, he found it difficult to trust the man, but ever the optimist, Bronik agreed. "All right."
Bronik was dressed with a special belt and leather harness that the mill workers used to climb trees. The belt held a sharp woodcutting axe in place for the duration of the climb and his harness was attached to a long, double folded strap of leather that went around the tree. The trick was to throw the leather strap a few feet higher than he was on the edge of the tree and lean back, using his body weight as a counter to make sure it held while he scaled the side of the tree. The first few attempts saw him slip and one of the mill workers offered Bronik a special pair of spikes to attach to the tread of his boots, spikes that would dig into the bark and help hold him in place.