• PM To Join • [Krome] Learning the Skills

In the absence of her captor, Alexa tries to get a grip on what it takes to survive.

The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.
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Alexa
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[Krome] Learning the Skills

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5th Trial of Cylus
Unknown Break
Arc 717
The arrow struck the bark of a nearby tree with a resounding thunk, the feathers at the end of the shaft quivering in the wind once it was solidly lodged. The archer lowered her bow to inspect her work. It wasn't a very skillful shot to be true. The tree was one with one of the wider trunks in the forest and thus the easiest available target. Really she'd just hoped to strike it at all. The archer procured another arrow from her quiver and repeated the process. This time she attempted to imagine the tree as a person and aimed for the height she assumed a head might be. The arrow loosed from her fingers to fly off target into the brush beyond. The archer lowered her shortbow again and pursed her lips. From afar it must've looked like a simpler task than it was in practice. After all, how hard could it have been to pull something back, point, and release? Perhaps that's exactly what the other woman was thinking where she stood awkwardly behind the Burhan girl.

"For a hunter you're not a great shot," the second captive voiced critically with hands on her hips. Alexa turned to glare at the girl over her shoulder with her fierce, golden eyes. "Would you like to brave the woods alone today and bring back our dinner?" the Burhan girl retorted, fighting the urge to bare her elongated fangs at her only other two-legged companion. After a few moments of telling silence she rose her voice again. "No? I thought not." Alexa turned back to study the target again. Rather than be deterred, she instead sought to hit the same part of the tree. This time when she notched her arrow, she pulled it back until its feathers tickled at her lips. She focused on the target and waited until a complete, slow exhale before she loosed it. This time she found her shot was far more powerful. "Yes!" she whispered her victory beneath her breath when the arrow lodged into the upper quadrant of the tree trunk. She trekked forth to retrieve her limited supply of projectiles.

"Who taught you how to use a bow?" the nameless captive woman asked as she bounded up beside Alexa, whose lips pressed into a line at her very approach. The Burhan girl paused before the tree to liberate the arrowheads from the bark. It was a few trills too long before she finally answered. "My father," she admitted simply without further detail. She inspected the arrows for imperfections before she slipped them back into her quiver. Then it was on into the woods in search for the stray. "Where are you from?" Alexa crouched and reached into the brush in search of the last arrow with a sigh. "Burhan." Eventually she managed to grasp the shaft before thorns cut up her hands in her blind search. Again she stood, inspected the arrow, and then slipped it back into the quiver before heading back toward the cave.

"How long have you had your wolf?" The Mixed Blood stopped in place and slowly pivoted around to eye the other woman. "You ask a lot of questions," she pointed out before continuing on her path and sliding her bow onto her back. "Sorry." Sure enough the second echo of steps launched again behind her. For the duration of the short hike back to the mouth of the cave silence between them persisted. Once inside where the warmth of the fire filled the shelter, however, The Mouth started back up again. "Did you find it? Did you train it yourself? What's its name?" Alexa ran her hands down her face and willed her more primitive impulses into silence. She scooped her hand-axe up from the cave floor and slipped it into her belt. "It's a long story. No. Her name is Tala," the Mixed Blood addressed the flurry of inquires in one quick response.

The other girl huffed and looked toward the mandrill where he had his head mournfully pressed against the cave wall. "Where do you think he got the monkey?" Alexa was a few bits away from cleaving her own ears off. Her golden eyes looked toward the ape, his slouched and unresponsive stance seeming like some indication of deep depression. Her lips curled downward at the sight as much as she disliked the creature. "Sky said he saved him from someone travelling in the woods that kept him in a cage." Aomaru turned his head to blink his beady eyes at the girls at mention of his master's name. He whipped his attention next to the mouth of the cave almost as though he expected something to happen. When nothing more than the wind whipped by, he went back to shoving his face to stone. "That's nice."
"Not if you were the ones transporting him," Alexa pointed out darkly. The other woman seemed to consider that for a moment. "Well he looks like it mattered to him." The Burhan girl slung a game back over her shoulder and turned to eye the melancholy animal again. Sympathetic thoughts swirled that she found difficult to strangle. She shook her head after a few trills. "Tell that to The Crown."
word count: 908
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Alexa
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[Krome] Learning the Skills

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"Where are you going?" the other captive asked suddenly as Alexa made her way toward the mouth of the cave. Outfitted with her bow and quiver, hand-axe, and game bag, the hunter seemed well prepare for the task at hand. "Killing your dinner. Tala will be here soon," she answered. Aomaru peeled his head away from the cave wall to stare at the captive intending to venture from Sky's stronghold. "How can you possibly know that?" the nameless woman asked with brow skeptically raised. To that Alexa turned and offered a shrug and small smile. The large black wolf emerged from the forest several yards away. "I just do." Then she stepped beyond the dismal dwelling to greet her familiar with a head scratch.

"Anything?" she inquired of the animal without spoken word through their bond. The beast shook out her pelt. "Just the wall to the south," Tala reported. Alexa pursed her lips but nodded her head. When the warm cycle came, following the great wall west until she could pass around it to find the Burning Mountains was a last resort if she couldn't find a better route away from the savage's lands. "Come on. Let's find something to eat."

The pair moved toward the forest much to the irritation of the depressed ape. Aomaru blinked between the escaping huntress and the more helpless woman now cozying up beside the fire in the cave. He flipped his upper lip up and scratched the top of his head with one of his long arms. As Alexa seemed to trek from view, he shrieked and followed on all-fours after her. "Dammit," the Burhan girl groaned as she heard his approach. Sky was no where to be found and hadn't been back in several trials. Nonetheless, the loyal monkey continued to follow his master's wishes by babysitting the women the savage claimed as his property. Tala turned on her heels with ears pinned and tail out. Her teeth were bared and a menacing growl ripped from her throat. Aomaru shrieked at the aggressive display and started one of his own, slowing his gallop to slam his arms on the snow and bare his own fangs. "Enough!" Alexa commanded her wolf. "It's not worth it. Let's just go."

Tala reluctantly lowered her jowls and the monkey seemed to calm. "I mean it, Tala. Let's go." She trudged forth and the wolf indeed rushed back to her flank. The ape was quick to follow after them despite the cold. Originally she thought the colorful creature was no match for a four-legged wolf larger than the average one found in the forest. Her first encounter with both the monkey and Sky proved that notion wrong from the get-go. Tala had disappeared upon her defeat, not to manifest again for a trial. Though the wolf was immortal, there was no need to let the animal suffer for either of their prides. Alexa chose instead to focus on the hunt at hand as though the third wheel didn't exist at all. In a few moments she found her prey sense manifesting and guiding her in one particular direction. She slipped the bow from her back and notched an arrow upon the string preemptively.

After several bits they finally reached the hunting ground. Alexa bid Tala to ease the pace of their stalk as they approached, both pairs of eyes looking about wildly for potential quarry. Aomaru only continued to hobble behind them, occasionally offering up hoots that Alexa tried in vain to silence with a shush. "Hare. A few paces ahead. In the brush." Alexa looked through the twilight but her own eyes were no match for the canine's. She pressed her lips together. "See if you can't herd it from hiding toward me." Without further instruction Tala darted forth with near-silent steps into the dark forest. Alexa fixated on the brush ahead and crouched low in wait. Aomaru hobbled up behind her and gave his belly a scratch.

"Now!" the wolf alerted the huntress moments before there erupted the sound of skittering from the brush. Sure enough the scent and approaching presence of the wolf had stirred the hare from hiding. It started into the open and paused closer to Alexa with its nose twitching like mad. Alexa slowly pulled the arrow back on the string, aimed while the wolf remained far from the shot, and loosed. The closeness of the creature made the shot an elementary one even in dim light. A broad smile crossed her face when she watched the hare keel over. She rushed from her position and slipped her bow back over her shoulder. "Good work!" The hare was scooped from the ground and promptly stuffed into the game back. "See if you can't put your nose to the ground and find another. There's got to be a rabbit hole around her somewhere."
word count: 838
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Alexa
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[Krome] Learning the Skills

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The black wolf emerged from the bush and obediently flared her nostrils. Alexa cautiously glanced about the dark forest before she closed her eyes in an attempt to concentrate harder upon the instincts gifted by Karem she was just beginning to unlock. She breathed in through her nose and out through her mouth deeply a few times, feeling things coming into focus the more she set her mind to the task. Eventually she felt it again, the prey sense bursting to life as though a rope had been tied to the front of her belt and someone was tugging her along. When Alexa felt sure of its direction her eyes flashed open. "East," Tala communicated almost at the same time the Burhan girl honed in their quarry. With the monkey at their heels they moved in.

"Another hare?" the Burhan girl asked hopefully. The wolf lowered its head and sniffed at the snow as they trekked. "I think so," the black canine offered with wavering confidence in the bitter cold. Alexa slipped an arrow from her quiver and notched it upon the bowstring. Suddenly it felt as though her cord had been cut. The invisible tug ended as suddenly as a stilled heart, leaving the trio at an abrupt pause in the cold with snow whipping about their legs. The Mixed Blood furrowed her brow but the forest around them was silent save for the whistling wind. A hand dumbly lifted to prod past her lips only to indeed find her canines were still elongated. Nope. Still blessed, she thought while relief though her confusion only grew. That's when she spotted the small white head peeping out from the ground nearby. A smile curled upon her lips.

"I see it," the wolf confirmed before Alexa asked the inevitable. "What would you have me do?" Alexa pursed her lips for a few trills. Despite the eeriness of the twilight wood, the supernatural sense of patience that came when she was set on a hunt remained. She shrugged. "We wait...and set traps," Alexa declared and reached down to give the wolf a friendly pat. "Keep an eye on the burrow though. If any rabbits venture far enough from it, run them down." That the wolf was far more adept at understanding. Alexa dropped her arrow back in her quiver and slipped her bow onto her back again. Then she procured a simple set of cordage and a hunting knife from a pocket in her game bag. While the wolf stood sentry over the burrow she set to work.

She cast her gaze to the snow beneath her in search of a pattern to the rabbit tracks nearby. For the most part there was little logic to be found. Some lead straight to the burrow, others to the larger forest, and some seemed to circle about each other as though in play. The Burhan girl elected to follow the well-traversed trail toward the woods away from the burrow. Evidently the hares had been intent on rummaging through a collection of leafless brush, maybe both for protection from predators and as a source of food. Golden eyes glanced about to find a sapling growing adjacent to the patch. That'll do, she thought before she gripped at the growing tree.

It was a bit harder to bend than expected. At one point she decided to actually leap up and grasp the highest point of the tiny trunk she could, using her weight as leverage to pull it down. Her left arm shook as she did her best to keep it from flinging back upright from her grasp while she tied one end of the cord to its top. Then she briefly released the tree, letting it return to its original position with the rope hanging from its top. The hand-axe in her belt was placed in her right hand for the next part of the labor. From a low lying branch from a new tree she hacked a section free. From it she made two thick sticks, and with a little whittling with her hunting knife, a primitive locking mechanism was formed. The sapling was bent down to measure placement, and then one of the thick sticks was beaten into the cold ground with the poll of her axe.

Alexa gripped the hanging cordage and tied it about the second thick stick. Afterward, the cordage that remained was tied into a little slip-knot noose that she hid in the brush in a section over-run with rabbit tracks. To complete her work she pulled the sapling down and interlocked the two thick sticks before she stepped back cautiously. A few trills passed and indeed the sapling's bend did hold with her shoddy handiwork. A broad smile erupted across her face. Then she heard the rush of movement behind her.
word count: 818
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Alexa
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[Krome] Learning the Skills

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The Burhan girl spun around in time to watch the large black shadow snatch the bright white hair between powerful jaws. The animal hardly had time to kick into its panicked fleeing before the end came for it. Tala clamped her jaws upon the tiny body, eliciting a sickening crunching sound that implied a plethora of broken bones. The hare went limp. The wolf trotted toward the Velduris-marked with tail high and wagging. All the while Aomaru watched curiously and followed along behind Alexa. The Mixed Blood gingerly took the small carcass from her familiar's jaws. "Good girl!" she praised the animal and rubbed her hands through the wolf's fur vigorously. Two rabbits wasn't much for four mouths, but it was a start. "Hopefully we can catch more with the trap tomorrow." The hare was stuffed beside its dead brethren in her game bag.

"Let's go back and deal with what we have," Alexa suggested and Tala trotted forth to confidently lead the way toward the cave. The mandrill lumbered behind with his proud steps. Tough and furry as the monkey was, there was no way he wasn't colder than both canine and Mixed Blood. Unfortunately Alexa probably wouldn't have known the signs to detect the monkey's discomfort even if he was displaying it right then. Even so, the grudge was still in place. She would not so easily forget the image of the creature sinking his long, yellow incisors into the flesh of her loyal companion.

In a half break they were back inside the cave. The other captive woman dramatically threw her hands up upon their entry. "You're back!" she exclaimed as though they'd been missing for trials. Alexa dropped the game bag at the mouth of the cave and posted up against the rocky wall. "Yup. We're back," she stated the obvious and procured the hares from the bag. She found her hunting knife and drove it into the first carcass. Her blade opened a slit along the back of the animal's neck. Her hands were inserted into the hole to stretch the pelt and pull in opposite directions, one ripping the pelt toward the head and the other toward the feet. At the feet she twisted and pulled to free the skin from the meat. The head was cleaved free at the base of the skull. The feet were cleaved free one-by-one until she was left with a body of meat laying before her.

"Can I help?" the other woman asked suddenly. Alexa's brow rose and she lifted her chin to find the woman where she was huddled beside the fire. She shrugged her shoulders. "Not a whole lot you can do." Nonetheless, the blonde rose with animal pelts wrapped about her so that she might plop herself down before the Burhan girl. Her curious eyes followed the huntress's as she worked. Alexa flipped the rabbit over and slit open the underbelly. She inserted two fingers at the top of the spinal column and dragged her hand down toward the rabbit's other end, using the spine as a guide. In a trill the innards slipped from the cavity. What wasn't removed with the simple gesture was carefully cut out from the small animal. From the innards only the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs were salvaged for cooking. Alexa gestured to each with her hunting knife. "These are what we can eat. You've seen how I cook them over the fire. Why don't you grab one of the small sharpened pikes and start?" the Burhan girl offered generously. The blonde beamed and rushed off to grab the pike. When she returned she carefully speared the heart and placed herself beside the fire again to begin the simple task.

With the other woman distracted and a small burden of work removed from her, Alexa set to carving out the meat of the small hare. The forelegs and back legs were severed. Then the loins and spine were cut into three sections for the sake of portioning. The tedious process was repeated with the second hare, but this time she was careful to cleave one of the rabbit's feet free with pelt still attached. At the end she strung the small pelts up to dry for later crafting, dropped the rabbit's foot in the half portion of alcohol she'd ransacked from a bandit camp. At last she sat beside the other woman with a sigh and handed over the jar. The blonde eyed the object with curious eyes, and it wasn't until Alexa pressed it to her chest that she understood it was hers to take. She traded the pike for the jar. "What's this?" she inquired incredulously. Alexa smiled softly and tapped the side of the glass. "Rabbit's foot. Where I come from they're supposed to grant you good luck. Give it a couple days and they'll be done."

Without warning the girl lunged forth and wrapped her arms about the Burhan girl tight. Alexa's eyes went wide before she found her own hands wrapping about the blonde as well. "Thank you," the other woman squealed and rocked the two of them back and forth before eventually releasing her. "Oh, thank you thank you, Alexa!"
"You're welcome," Alexa grinned before grabbing one of the pieces of raw meat and tossing it toward Tala curled up nearby. Then she took a bite from the cooked meat upon the end of the pike. "Wait, why don't I get to eat it?" the blonde protested incredulously. Alexa rose her brow at the woman and gestured toward the black wolf digging into the organ. "Tala and I killed this hare. A portion belongs to her," Alexa answered with pack logic as though the hierarchy should've been obvious. The blonde opened her mouth as though to protest but words failed her. "Don't worry. We hunt for everyone. You get portions, too."


"What about him?" the blonde gestured toward Aomaru looming nearby, drawn to the smell of meat. Alexa glanced toward her wolf and her expression darkened. "He gets his as well. Over there." The Burhan girl gestured toward the discarded organs unsuited for their consumption. The blonde frowned. Aomaru moved closer and reached his hand out only for it to be slapped away. He tossed his hair and hooted in disdain. Upon his second attempt, Alexa instead grasped his hand and led him toward the mouth of the cave. Then she pointed to the mess of organs at her feet. "Yours." She released his hand and then trudged away back to feast on the fruits of her labor beside her familiar and fellow captive. The mandrill lifted the slop and watched it slide from his palm to splat upon the cave floor. Then he lumbered toward the cave wall and pressed his forehead mournfully against the cold stone with a sad hoot. Alexa wished she could strangle that part of her self that emphasized with the savage's depressed creature.
word count: 1197
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Golem
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[Krome] Learning the Skills

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Rewards
Name:
Alexa
Alexa
Knowledge:

Aomaru: Keeps an Eye on You
Appraisal: Ensuring Quality of Arrows
Hunting: Gutting a Rabbit
Hunting: Preparing a Rabbit
Psychology: Empathizing with an Enemy
Tanning: Pelts must be Dried
Loot:
-1/2 Jar of Alcohol
Injuries:
None
Fame:
+2 Fame for Giving away the Foot

Story:4

Collaboration:0

Structure:5

- - -
Comments:

A well written solo- I enjoyed seeing Alexa work through the process, and you did a good job writing it out.

One thing I might mention is to start a new paragraph every time you switch speakers. In the first post I really had to re-read it several times in order to understand who was saying what- a simple enter can make it far clearer.

I took off the point for story due to the fact that you don’t have any skill in Trap Making (which is actually a skill). I noticed that you have several hunting knowledges that are actually trap making knowledges, and you need to PM the graders who gave you those to change them over. In particular,

Hunting: Traps Can Catch Victims and Prey
Hunting: Building Simple Snares (WP)

Both of those should be under Trap Making.

Likewise, you may need to edit future threads if you’re planning on having Alexa catch enough food to sustain you until you can get the trapmaking skill up.

You didn’t get devotion as your actions were not devoted to Karem, despite doing things that she would approve of.

Additionally, I didn’t notice the 1/2 jar of alcohol, but I assume you just didn’t add it to your ledger. Just make sure that you earned it somewhere.

If you feel I've missed anything or if you have questions about your review, please don't hesitate to send me a quick PM. Thank you!
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