Day 24, Month 8, 2 After the Night of Fire (ANoF)
The player characters awake the next morning, and decide that they will spend the day in this area, retaining the campsite, so as to cook the hyena meat that they have, make spears for the children, and hunt for game to feed the party, as well as start a cache of food to bring back to Keveli. It's agreed by consensus that Krenai will cook the food, and Phedrin will hunt for food, taking several of the children with him. He chooses to take Anan, Sar, Vacul, Regat, and Ana with him to hunt. Sandor will remain in camp with Krenai, and will make spears for the children, while also teaching them a few other things.
Sandor and Krenai talk, and decide to set some noisy perimeter alarms after the former tells the seamstress that he saw some skorons and what he thought were bark-like tentacles on the edges of the campsite. The smell of meat and the characters themselves may have attracted a few more predators than they might have expected. Sava, who overhears this conversation, asks Sandor whether he's afraid. He says that fear and hunting go hand in hand, and that a good hunter uses fear to keep himself sharp and alert.
Meanwhile, Phedrin prepares to go hunting and is talking to the children that he's taking with him. He has the children takes their knives and attach them to the front of their walking sticks with small grass ropes that they fashion themselves. He is confronted by Tom and Danik about why he is not taking them out and teaching them to hunt. Derun wants to know why he and Patrik are not being taken out on this trip, and why he's leaving out the younger children. Phedrin explains that he's teaching only the older kids because he's never been out this way before, and there could be dangers.
After saying goodbye to Sandor, Krenai, and the other children, Phedrin and his five charges depart, and head into the woods. Teaching the children, he manages to snag several small game animals (for 4 NV) as well as a couple of ducks (for an NV of 2) over the course of about four hours. Sar tells Phedrin and the others that he thinks someone or something is following them. Phedrin catches sight of something dark and blurry in the woods, but doubles back on his tracks and finds what appear to be humanoid footprints, but these are at least several days old. While he's not sure of what's going on, he arranges the redistribution of the meat, and takes the majority of the food weight on himself.
Back at the campsite, four hours go by relatively uneventfully. Sandor has managed to fashion half of the spears for the children, and Krenai has been able to partially cook most of the meat. She just needs to figure out how to preserve the meat. Sandor tells her the best way is to salt it, but they have none, or to use some means of refrigeration. Patrik wanders off and finds a rivulet, that is nice and cold. Sandor and Krenai are not pleased that he wandered off on his own, but the latter says they can use the rivulet as a cache for some of the meat and to preserve it for later use. When Patrik asks what a cache is, Krenai explains it to him. Sandor gathers up the children and decides to teach them another lesson, this time how to cook food in a survival atmosphere, with the emphasis on the survival elements. Sandor accidentally slights Krenai, and she is angry at him for implying that she's not cooking food properly in the wilderness.
As Phedrin and the child hunters are trekking back to the campsite, they are attacked by three hungry wolves. One wolf attacks Sar, but he nimbly dodges out of the way, and then in total terror, races aways and finds the nearest tree. In a flurry, Phedrin attacks the two wolves on his side of the trail. Vacul and Regat find the courage to attack the third wolf, each one damaging it slightly with their improvised spears. After Phedrin's blows render one of the wolves unconscious, the other two wolves flee into the underbrush. Phedrin goes over to Sar, and is able to coax the boy out of the tree, but the others tease him about it. As they continue to travel back to the others, Regat and Vacul establish the beginnings of a friendship over their bond of having blooded the wolf, about which Anan, Sar, and Ana are envious.
When Phedrin and the children return to camp, Krenai is upset over the death of the wolf that is slung over Phedrin's shoulders. She prepares it for a primalist death ritual, and makes sure it is inedible. Derun questions her about why Phedrin brought back the dead wolf, knowing that it would upset her. She says he'll have to ask the hunter. Phedrin tells him that he didn't want the wolf to die without the proper rites or leave it to die in the wilderness, but Derun's empathic nature tells him that this is not true. There are several questions that remain unanswered, but Krenai is too displeased with Phedrin to address them. Meanwhile, Sandor has seen the bloodied children's makeshift spears on the returning hunting party, and is angry at Phedrin for endangering the kids even though he knew that Phedrin would have to. Phedrin informs Sandor about the humanoid tracks, but Sandor considers it irrelevant in the context provided, and is somewhat blinded by his anger at Phedrin. Krenai confronts Sandor about the whole cooking issue, and he is surprised by the whole business, but is able to work out the misunderstanding with Krenai. She asks Sandor what's going on between him and Phedrin, and he explains to her about the disrespect that Phedrin showed to the totem animal.
The two are being observed and listened to by Sava, as usual. Sava talks to Krenai about why Phedrin did what he did to the wolf. She explains that it has to do with a respect for nature, and her like/love of wolves. Sava asks her why he butchered the wolf so badly. Krenai has no answers for her.
The evening arrives with no fanfare. Most of the meat has been cooked, and the spears for the children have been fashioned. Sandor is trying to relax by the fire, still annoyed at Phedrin and his actions. Phedrin comes over to Sandor, and tells him and Krenai that he wants to talk to them, about the tracks of the humanoid prints. Phedrin tells him how he backtracked his own steps and found the other prints, and then found themselves under attack by the wolves. Krenai questions him about the killing of the wolf, and he provides her and Sandor with very unsatisfactory answers. When Krenai asks if he has lost his primalism way, he tells her that he has had problems ever since killing the bear. He tells her it's about the way he treated the bear and the manner in which he killed it. He says that he should have left the bear where it was, and that deep down he knows that he didn't have to kill it.
Sandor says that all this talk is over his head, and that they should all rest for the night. Sandor takes the middle watch, Krenai takes the last watch, and Phedrin takes the first watch. Vacul asks if he can stay up to watch with Phedrin, and he is agreeable to this. The night passes uneventfully, although Krenai tosses and turns and wakes fitfully in a nightmare plagued sleep.
From what I saw, both Tammy and spross had a pretty good time with this session, although I'm never sure the way that spross doesn't really say anything about the game sessions and how he's feeling about them unless I ask him directly about this. He told me that this week, he liked the character development that occurred with Phedrin Mor, and that he's looking forward to seeing where this goes. The fight with the wolves went pretty well, and spross handled himself pretty well in the fight, but it still took too long to make decisions and choices.
With luck, I'll have a potential new player come out on Sunday to check out the game, so I'm looking forward to the next Sunday Desolation session.
In the meantime, tea awaits.