• Solo • Gandersauce Gables, Final Walkthrough and Closing

Oram gets housed!

Darbyton is a well established little village, most of the inhabitants are quick to point out that they were the first proper settlement in Scalvoris history. Although primarily focused on logging, enough hunting and trapping goes on to largely fulfil their own food needs and almost every home regularly grows bean sprouts to help make sure nutritional needs are met. Between that and spruce tips and the like, very little is imported, which fits in with the nature of the people who live here.

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Oram Mednix
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Gandersauce Gables, Final Walkthrough and Closing

4 Vhalar 721

”Welcome to your new home!” Bekka, the Housing Office agent, announced brightly.

Oram frowned dubiously at the rickety-looking footbridge in front of them.

”This spring marks the southern boundary of the property you bought,” Bekka explained, seeing her client’s puzzled look. She pointed across. ”The house is just a bit farther on.”

Following her indication, Oram looked once more towards the bridge. This stood along an old logging trail the two of them had been following for roughly a league north out of Darbyton. Scrubby patches of witch hazel and mulberry just held their own here against the close, spindly ranks of aspen and birch that had flanked the trail for the past half-mile or so. Secondary growth, the hunter recognized, the vanguard of the forest’s re-conquest of this land from the former predations of Shattered Hatchet loggers. His goats would like the scrub, and the young birches would provide plenty of tips for his rabbit snares.

Bekka dismounted her horse to cross the bridge, and Oram followed suit, climbing down off Mule to lead him over the spring, which gurgled and rustled its way beneath from left to right, flowing towards the Whisker a hundred paces away. Oram noticed that the Housing Office agent did not remount after crossing the bridge, suggesting that they were close to their goal. The terrain rose a bit higher on the north side of the bridge than on the south, and, still leading their mounts, Oram and Bekka hiked up a small ridge, atop which they could see a clearing just off to their left. At the opposite end of that clearing stood a hillock with a structure built into its side.

The house’s front was stone and log; it had a veranda that connected its entrance to the service entrance of the adjoining stable. That stable, unlike the house a free-standing structure, was also stone-and-log-built. ”This was a logging camp office?” Oram asked doubtfully. The construction looked more durable -and homey- than he would have expected.

Bekka pursed her lips. ”Not…quite in this form,” she said carefully. ”The Consortium had this idea: re-allot some old logging camp sites and build houses on them. Houses their foremen could reside,” she paused meaningfully and looked at Oram, ”…or senior Rangers with enough coin.”

The Housing Office agent laughed at Oram’s surprised look. ”Ironic, isn’t it?” she asked. ”The Council put a stop to the scheme when they took over, so, among other things, you aren’t likely to have too many neighbors for a while. And yet, here you are, exactly the sort of buyer they had in mind all along.” Bekka chuckled again, but stopped when she saw that the new Chief Ranger didn’t share her mirth.

In an effort to recover an upbeat mood, Bekka fished out a key. ”Why don’t we look around inside?” she offered.
word count: 494
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Oram Mednix
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Re: Gandersauce Gables, Final Walkthrough and Closing

But what if it’s more than just a breeze?

The key unlocked a door bar mechanism that squeaked loudly as it opened. ”Needs oil,” Bekka noted dryly. As loud as the lock was, the door itself swung open smoothly and quietly. Oram stood in the doorway and peered down a hallway that went clear to the back of the house, where there was another door. There were few windows, Oram noted, and the agent had, to her credit, warned him to bring some means of illumination. Fetching his lantern off mule, he slid open the hood to reveal the yellow lightstone within. Its light revealed the interior of the house.

The hallway that went from the front to the back of the house was something Bekka called a “breezeway”, which would allow cool air to circulate through the interior during warm seasons. This early in Vhalar, that would still prove a useful feature for a couple more tentrials. Deeper in the interior, Oram could see two stone hearths and chimneys flanking the breezeway towards the rear of the house, built into the walls that partitioned the rooms on either side. Those would prove useful in the later tentrials, the hunter thought.

The house’s floor plan still echoed its past use as an administrative building, in that all the rooms were arranged in rows on either side of the breezeway with their doors facing inwards. Two large rooms stood on the right hand side, the former now decorated as a great room, while the one farther back was meant to be the master bedroom. On the left were the privy and three medium-sized rooms, the rear-most of which was the kitchen. The interior walls, apart from where the stone hearths stood, were wood paneling spanning between stout vertical timbers. Oram knocked on one of the panels appraisingly, struck by its solidity. ”Oak,” announced Bekka proudly. ”You can see why the carpenters who remodeled weren’t eager to redo the partitions, and largely worked around the interior organization that was already there.” Oram nodded, although he could not really see that. Skai, the attendant he planned to hire to take care of the place, would hopefully be able to tell the hunter more.

The floors were hardwood, as well, and, judging from the lack of noise, were built from planks as thick as they were broad. ”Makes sense,” Oram muttered. ”The Logging Consortium would use plenty of wood, wouldn’t they? And the best kind?” He was guessing that oak was “the best kind”. Bekka confirmed that guess with a nod. ”Indeed,” she affirmed. ”When the Shattered Hatchets were logging here, the trees were big, old oaks, locusts, ash, hickory, all good quality hardwood.”

And now, the Chief Ranger thought ruefully, as he opened the back door to regard the forest there, it was a bristling, spiky domain of young birches, aspens, and witch hazel. He pointed out west from the doorway and looked questioningly at the Housing Office agent. ”What’s back there? I know the road to Egilrun is off to the west and northwest somewhere.”

Bekka shook her head. ”The nearest stretch of road is probably two leagues as the crow flies. And longer by the nearest trail, which doesn’t run that close to your property, I’m afraid.”

Oram shrugged. He might just have to blaze his own back trail to the road, with or without Council permission. But that could all wait. He shut the back door and walked back towards the front. ”All right,” he said, ”let’s take a look at this stable.”
Last edited by Oram Mednix on Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 603
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Oram Mednix
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Re: Gandersauce Gables, Final Walkthrough and Closing

But what if it’s more than just a mule?

A small veranda running across the front of the house offered a covered route from the front door to the service door of the stable, a heavily-timbered, four-stalled affair. There was also a small area in the back for tackle, and a hay-loft overhead, accessed by a ladder that stood in a corner. Oram took the time to assure himself that it was solid and that neither its rungs nor the loft’s rafters were dry-rotted.

”Is Mule your only animal?” called up Bekka while Oram surveyed the loft from atop the mounted ladder. The hunter peered down at her between two rungs. ”No. I also have two pack wethers, and a goose.”

”You raise geese?” the agent asked, sounding genuinely curious. Oram shook his head. ”No, just the one. How I got him is an interesting story that’s a bit too long to tell while standing on a ladder.” For the first time since they’d set out, he managed a smile.

Bekka smiled back. ”Well, maybe you can tell me while we’re riding back to Darbyton if you like.” She waited while Oram climbed back down and put the ladder back. She spread her arms. ”So, what do you think?”

Oram nodded. ”This looks fine. About what I expected. The house is a bit dark, as described, but I’ll figure something out for that. The only thing left is: could we see the bounds of the property?”

The logging trail they had followed continued northeastward, running roughly parallel to the course of the Whisker. Supposedly, it ran all the way to the Sweetwine. ”This stretch of the trail lies within your property,” Bekka pointed out as they walked, Oram having left Mule in the stable that was soon to be his home going forward. ”Maintaining it will be your responsibility. Although there is almost no traffic that comes this way.”

Oram thought a moment. ”Does anybody check? I mean, whether somebody’s maintaining the trail.”

”It’s possible the Council has changed things,” Bekka responded, starting to chuckle at yet another irony. ”But previously the Chief Ranger was the one charged with patrolling and inspecting this road. Looks like you’ve moved in right next to your work, after all.”

Oram sighed and shook his head. ”Does the property extend to the river?” he asked, in an effort to change the subject.

”Technically, no. There’s a right-of-way out to fifty feet from the high water mark, although it’s not marked. And you’re not allowed to build any structures there. No fishing piers nor weirs nor launches. But there’s nothing to stop you from lugging a canoe down here, or coming down here to bathe, fish, or swim.”

Oram nodded thoughtfully at this as they road a bit further until they came to a row of posts extending away from the trail to either side. ”Here’s the north, north-east property line,” Bekka announced. She pointed at a small rise nearby that ran southwest to northeast, eighty or so yards from where they rode. ”The crest of that ridge is the back line of your property. And the course of the spring we crossed completes the boundary. Not exactly the most rigorous survey, I’m afraid, but like I said, there’s nobody else out here right now. Feel free to mark or fence your property at your leisure, I guess.”

Oram scowled at this. Not because Bekka had said anything unwelcome or untoward, but because it occurred to him how wanting the whole administrative setup was. He was Chief Ranger. Patrolling out here, probably even surveying the allotments, would be in his hands. In practice, his property line was pretty much wherever he wanted to draw it. The hunter was being handed an invitation to abuse, and he didn’t like it.

Oram might very well ask the Council to change that. Had he only known a few trials ago, sitting in that chamber in Almund trying to stay awake, he could have asked then. In the meantime, he would definitely be marking his property, clearly and correctly.

”Let’s get back to the house,” he said at last, dispelling those troubling thoughts for the time being. ”I believe I have some papers to sign? And the balance of the money to pay you.”

And after that, the traveler would be something he never thought he would be: a homeowner.
word count: 756
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Doran
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Re: Gandersauce Gables, Final Walkthrough and Closing

Image
Oram:

Knowledge:
[Appraisal] Oak paneling is prized and considered "upscale"
[Engineering] Breezeways help keep buildings cool.
[Field Craft] Recognizing young secondary forest growth.
[Politics] It is important to avoid not just impropriety, but the appearance of impropriety.
[Woodworking]: Thicker and more massive floorboards make less noise.
[Woodworking]: Oak paneling is particularly solid construction.

Loot: One Tier 7 house and four adjoining acres in the countryside NE of Darbyton. House has 1 small, 3 medium and 2 large rooms + 1 stable (=large room).
Lost: -20 WP
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 5, for buying a new house.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: I like that you actually wrote a thread about Oram inspecting his new house. I’ve seen very few people do it, but it’s something that can be a lot of fun in my opinion. I appreciate that you had Oram buy a house with a bit of history – some sort of old logging camp site!

You described Oram’s new house in detail so that I didn’t need a floorplan or anything like that to envision what it’s like, and what more, you mentioned to make this thread entertaining to read. I really enjoyed Bekka explaining the various aspects of the house, for example!

With that being said, I wonder if Oram will ever bring up the matter of property lines during a Council meeting and if he will indeed tell Bekka about his goose while they ride back to Darbyton!

Enjoy your rewards – and your new house!
word count: 256

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