As Gren collected himself after being tenderly doctored up by his fellow Runt, he took the hefty stone axe in hand and tried to use the same power he'd activated
to kill the Tatzelwurm. The "magic," or whatever it was, had apparently made his strike against the creature stronger somehow, so would it do the same when chopping a tree?
Tungem Tree's defenses are too high! [Breakthrough]'s effectiveness decreases!
Again, that crackling red energy seemed to spread through Gren's arms, and as he brought the axe's stone head down it bit deeply into the wood---deeper than it would have normally, even given the Orc Runt's larger size and strength compared to his same generation. But now he was starting to feel extra tired, and his already numbed arm had more pins and needles as the shock from his own swing rattled his hands and wrists. He might be able to do that one more time before the strain was too much
. This first blow sped up the process considerably, though, and it only took a few more swings to cut the branch off. It was around three feet long, and about four inches in diameter across the thickest part of its base.
While Gren continued looking for suitably sized branches, Vola began the drawn out process of attempting to field dress a creature she'd never encountered before with nothing more than a sharp rock and a bit of ingenuity. The end results were...mostly as expected? Probably a great deal messier than they had to be, but at least she hadn't ruptured anything that looked too
important when cutting the beast open...
Mangled Tatzelwurm has been dismantled!
Some items have been damaged or are unusable.
Usable Items Acquired:
Tungem Branch x4 (Gren)
Tatzelwurm Fangs x2
Tatzelwurm Claws x2
Tatzelwurm Coilbone x1
Tatzelwurm Meat 10 lbs (16 lbs w/ blood, bones, organs, etc)
Tatzelwurm Eye x1
If Vola or Gren could start a fire somehow, they could try cooking and eating their catch with what seemed to be a decent chance of not poisoning themselves...unless they wanted to try it raw. Even without poison, who knew what procedures orcs might follow, if any, to clean or disinfect their food?Also, if the two of them looked up at any point
, they might notice a thin trail of smoke coming from somewhere else in the forest...had someone else already started a campfire, somewhere?
Lazash continued to use her [Creature Analysis] skill on the Elwet parts and her companions
, finding out a little bit more each time since it seemed like the Skill itself built upon previous data over time. However, like with Grunthor, the additional information for each Runt was a little bit sparse, only giving her a vague description based on their physical attributes and state of their health. Considering that everyone except Grunthor had basically made it out of the fight unscathed, there wasn't much else for the skill to contribute. The information on the Elwets' organs was more confirmation that (save for the fact their flesh was extremely gamey and their livers apparently so high in concentrated iron that it ruined the taste) these creatures were, more or less, giant angry chickens. Although, given another tidbit of information about the males of the species...could it be possible that all of the Elwet they'd encountered thus far had been female?
While Akeno, Esfir, and Grunthor discussed what skills they'd obtained and what to do next, Lazash also took on the task of setting the dissected Elwet over the fire and breaking down her own bird--though she also took the head off of Grunthor's as well. Although she had fended for herself in several survival scenarios back home, the female Runt found that Esfir made the whole process look much easier and cleaner than it really was--if she were as old as she seemed to sound, that would imply the other ex-human had probably lived quite the self-sufficient lifestyle back on Earth.
Damaged Elwet has been partially dismantled (Head)!Esfir wanted to know what Lazash had learned from Auguz in their short-lived talk, while Grunthor wanted to make armor somehow.
Lightly Bloodied Elwet has been dismantled!
Some components have been damaged or are unusable.
Usable Items Acquired:
Elwet Feathers x4
Elwet Beak x1
Elwet Antlers x4
Elwet Talons x3
Cracked Gizzard Sparkstone x1
Gizzard Sparkstone x1
Elwet Meat, 15 lbs (24 lbs w/ bones, blood, organs, etc)
Could they even do that, given their current resources? Wood and cordage might be plentiful in the forest, but other than that they currently only really had access to feathers and...maybe bones? Would overgrown chicken bones make suitable armor? If any of them looked around, they would find that aside from the tall hardwoods and coniferous trees (which didn't have many branches within reach of Runty arms) the only other plantlife of note beyond scrubby grasses was a foul smelling bush
that produced dark seed pods that looked like...well, like what the adult orcs would call grukh
, or in plain language...feces. It would take about an hour for the Elwets to cook thoroughly
, given their large size. Though cutting them into pieces had helped, the fact that their small fire could only be fueled by already fallen and dry wood meant that its coals did not get very hot, and it was in the open air rather than some form of stove or on top of some kind of grill to contain the heat. The Runts might run out of things to do or talk about during that time...but maybe the wait would be worth it? By the time the juices bubbling up out of the Elwet pieces ran clear and the flesh had begun to brown and even char a little around the edges, the trail of smoke from their fire carried a pleasant scent like spicy barbeque...
Consumed: Elwet Blood
Consumed: Crackling Elwet Skin
Consumed: Elwet Scales
Current Ingestion: Elwet - 20%
Ingested Skill(s): Elwet - Further Progress Required.
You've discovered compatible Skill(s)!
Continue Biomass Accumulation?
Agar headed for the tree he'd sensed instead of the other Runt. They acted as if they didn't want to be discovered anyway, and had probably just killed some type of creature, so maybe this would prove the wiser choice in any case. Eager to find out just what it was his Skill had picked up, he clumsily, but effectively, started climbing the tree...
Then something big and blue came rolling down the trunk towards him!A single goey, translucent sphere with eyespots
tumbled into Agar, knocking them both off the tree! Luckily the runt didn't have too far to fall, and so aside from a painful thud he was okay---but the round thing bounced off his chest, before producing pseudopods like some kind of giant amoeba. It seemed to realize it was outnumbered and outmatched as it noticed Duram standing nearby, and started shuffling as fast as its slimey body could manage towards the nearest clump of bushes. However, thanks to whatever had caused those crackling and snapping sounds, the earth nearby had become as loose and uneven as freshly ploughed farmland. The creature was hindered as it tried to pick its way over the broken up patch, and it blurbled something unintelligible as Agar rose to his feet...
[[Character Action via PM, let me know if edits are needed]]
Ushnekh paid little heed to the other Runt headed towards the camp with a dead bird in tow. But upon reaching the camp's entrance, both were suddenly stopped by the broad palms of the two guards.
"Runts can't come back til they finish the hunt! Both of ya have a kill, from the looks of it, but it's gotta be good enough to pass!" they said, before roughly taking the two's prey from them. The other Runt alongside Ushnekh seemed like he was going to protest, but the guards just pushed him onto his skinny rear end. He grumbled as they looked the corpses over, and turned to smirk at Ushnekh.
"You tryin' to speedrun, too? Or didja just get lucky?" he asked, before giggling as those fiery eyes of his twinkled. As if he knew something Ushnekh didn't.
"Roit! Getcher bums over t' Auguz, Runts!" Their prizes were practically thrown back into their arms---which sent the dark haired Runt rolling backwards down the slope as an entire scaly chicken was hurled at him like a medicine ball.
When Ushnekh re-entered the camp proper, it wasn't hard to find the Head Warrior. He stood on a small platform right in the middle of the thoroughfare, made from a couple of barrels that propped up a few planks of wood. The hastily put together dais seemed to be solely for the purpose of making him stand out, as none of the other orcs seemed to be paying him much mind and he wasn't waving his arms or shouting or anything.
"Well well, ain't you a quick one! Good!" The dark-tinted orc hopped down and held out his hand for Ushnekh's kill. Then he lifted it close to his face and examined it with a long, drawn out hum. He looked at it, first with both eyes, then just his right as the left high squinted closed. Then he sniffed it, up and down the Tatzelwurm's length. Then he opened its mouth and peered inside. Then he turned the creature upside down and licked it somewhere that didn't seem sanitary. Finally, he nodded, and held the corpse aloft before grabbing Ushnekh by the nape of the neck and doing the same to him.
"ALL O' YOUSE, LISTEN UP! THIS HERE RUNT--" he turned his head and whispered "What's yer name?" and then upon receiving answer he turned back to the camp--"THIS HERE RUNT, USHNEKH, IS THE FIRST TO RETURN FROM THE HUNT!" He then set the smaller orc down, and turned in a slow circle so that the entire camp could see the body of Ushnekh's prey. "HE KILLED A TATZELWURM! THIS DAY, HE LEAVES THE BROOD PIT!" Several of the adult orcs cheered or pumped their fists, and many more gave the youngster an approving half-smile or a nod of respect. A few even looked contemplative, as if they were quite impressed with either the speed of his hunt or the beast he'd managed to bring down.
Auguz draped the Tatzelwurm around Ushnekh's shoulders, then clapped him on the back hard enough it almost knocked him down.
"Ya barely brought the thing back in one piece, Runt, but against a Tatzelwurm it's you or it! Now, for the rest o' the day ya can do whatever the hell ya feel like...but tomorrer mornin', you be at the Trainin' Circle before first light! And after that, we'll figure out some more duties for ya!" Auguz crossed his arms as he nodded. "But no more babyin'! Don't be goin' back to the Brood Pit---from now on, you find yer own food, yer own shelter, and whatever else!
If somebody will trade ya for it, or ya take it in a fight, then more power to ya! Just be willin' to work if somebody's willin' t' give ya somethin' for it!
With that, the Head Warrior hopped back up on the dais. It wasn't long until he noticed the other Runt huffing and puffing his way towards them, Elwet held high over his head. He wasn't grinning this time when he shot Ushnekh a look.
Quest: Find Something to Eat and Bring it Back Whole
- Kill a Creature
- Keep the Target in High Quality Condition
- Return to Camp Uninjured
- Increase HP (Health)
- Increase MP (Magic)
- Increase SP (Stamina)
- Gain 1 Skill Rank Point
A New Quest is Available:
Quest Giver: Head Warrior Auguz
Quest Details: Fulfill Duties within the Tribe (0/2 Minimum)
- Be at the Training Circle before sunrise tomorrow morning
- Find your own food (1/3 meals provided for)
- Find your own shelter
- Accept an optional Quest from another Tribe Member