Dogfish

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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Dogfish

Postby Bronik » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:45 am

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10 Saun 716

The small sloop bobbed up and down on the open ocean, moving with the calm waves. In the distance, the shores of Rynmere looked like a greyed cut-out of rolling hills and distant stone buildings. The wind had died down and the sun that beat down on the boat was almost unbearable.
Bronik pulled a rag from his back pocket and leaned over the edge of the boat to soak the cloth in the salty water, bringing it up to wipe his face with before fixing it over his head like a makeshift bandana. His skin was starting to burn, the tops of his shoulders and tip of his nose already tender and red. He worked in the shade of the sail making sure the fishing nets didn't tangle as they cut through the water slowly.
Behind the boat on a short piece of rope, Bronik had tied a smelly, two day old dead fish which had been cooking in the sun. He had decided to use it as bait in order to try and attract sharks, the kind of game the locals had been asking after at the fish-markets down on the docks. Shark-fin soup was very popular in Rynmere and had become quite fashionable in some of the southern territories.
Seven of the shark’s fins were used in the soup, excluding the top of the tail. These included the primary dorsal, secondary dorsal, pectoral, pelvic, anal, and caudal fins. Most of the meat went to waste in Rynmere, but Bronik wasn’t a fan of throwing away perfectly good meat, which meant going to some extra effort drying, smoking, or salting the fish. Scrapes were used for fish bait, and the bones, minus the large teeth which could be used to make necklaces, were thrown back into the sea for the little fish to pick clean.
Today Bronik was hunting Mako, a shark well known in the southern waters of Andaris for its bad temper and nasty bite. He had managed to pull in a young shark and towed it behind the boat having looped rope around its tail. Water washed backwards through the gills was an effective way to kill, or rather drown a shark without getting bitten, something the young sailor didn’t want to risk.
He got his hook ready and walked to the back of the sloop, avoiding the sail by ducking down low as the breeze caught it. At the back of the boat he had notice another dorsal fin rise up out of the water. Something was after his fish. Bronik took the rope attached to the young Mako he had caught earlier and pulled it in, dragging the metre and a half long shark up onto the boat. He touched its eye to make sure it was dead before looking out for the new arrival, and jumped out of his skin as the animal came up alongside the boat, its sinister, triangular shaped head and pointed nose raised as if to size the man up.
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Dogfish

Postby Bronik » Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:16 am

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The sail swung about as Bronik fell back against it with fright, and the sloop turned and slowed down. The shark circled the boat. Bronik had heard tales about the animal leaping up out of the water when hooked on the long line and he couldn’t help but imagine that it wanted to jump in with him, perhaps to seek revenge for its fallen friend.
After taking back control of the boat, he turned the vessel around, pointing it back to the distant shore. His plan was to play the shark, lead it into shallow water and try to hook it in the gills and throw a rope about its tail if he were fast enough. Having survived several days of rains, it was nice to see the sun for a change, but the storms that had ended the day before had disturbed the seaweed on the ocean floor, which kept getting caught in his net and slowing the vessel down.
To combat the drag, Bronik heaved in the fishing net and started throwing seaweed over the side of the boat back into the ocean. The movement on the surface seemed to attract the Mako’s attention, and curious, the creature surfaced again to snap at the seaweed before diving down out of sight. Bronik watched the dark shadow disappear into the depths and rolled his fishing net up to shove it down under the hold and out of the way; too many times he had tripped on the damn thing and now was no time to fall into the water.
Without anything holding the sloop back, the sailor was able to manipulate the sail to make the most of the little wind there was and speed towards the coast. He had spent a lot of time out on the water in the shallows near the docks, getting to know the sandbar and currents. A few times he had gotten stuck and had to wait for the tide to come in again, but it seemed as luck would have it, an in-going tide had made the water deeper and he would be able to return to the docks without issue.
Reaching for a knife, Bronik took up the sharp tool and opened the belly of the smaller Mako that lay dead on the deck of his boat. The guts spilled out and blood rushed everywhere, dyeing his feet red. He used a bucket to throw seawater across the deck and wash the blood towards the back of the sloop where is drained out into the ocean, leaving a trait of red blood behind the vessel in the water. The fresh blood drove the Mako mad, and it splashed about in the wake, lunging at the dead fish he was towing.
Spotting his chance, Bronik once again readied the hook after tying the sail rope tight to keep it on course, and hung the shark’s guts out over the side, watching as they were pulled through the passing swell. The Mako came up out of nowhere and bit down so fast the man had no time to react, and after dropping the guts, pulled his hand away to make sure it was still in one piece, knowing how shock could numb the senses momentarily.
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Dogfish

Postby Bronik » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:12 am

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You look like a shark, his half-sister Lacey had once told him and the man had smirked. Was it his sharp facial features, the prominent nose, feminine eyes, or cut jaw? The way you slick back your hair, fix your eyes on your target, and pin me with that look, the woman had indulged his curiosity, but hadn’t gone as far as to sate it completely. A shark, he had scoffed, what a ridiculous thing to say. She wouldn’t dare mention the scar that saw his left cheek cave in every time he smiled, made it look as if his grin was twice the size, resembling the open mouth of a shark.
As blood raced down his fingers and dripped all over the boat, Bronik shook with shock. He pulled the wet rag from his head and wrapped it tightly about his right hand, trying to stem the bleeding. The tips of the creature’s teeth had caught the top side of his hand, puncturing the flesh to leave four or five small gashes that now bled profusely. Bronik had noticed in the past how limbs such as hands and feet tended to bleed more as they lacked the padding of fat that protected the rest of the body.
As the dock grew increasingly nearer the boat, Bronik was forced to act, tugging on the rope to rein in the sail and slow the sloop right down so that it didn’t crash into any of the other boats currently anchored in the docks. He was able to steer the vessel into his allocated space and a fisherman fishing off the wharf jumped to his feet to help the man tie down the ropes and secure the ship. “You all right, son?”
The sailor blinked, half dazed, and reached out as the older man offered to help him step up and out of the boat. “I’m fine,” he looked down at the red rag and felt the blood draining from his face at the sight, shocked by how quickly the material had been soaked through.
“Let’s get you sorted,” the fisherman had him sit down. “Just relax.”
“My catch, I can’t leave it in the sun,” Bronik pointed to the gutted Mako on the deck of his boat and tried to get to his feet again, quickly stopped by the older man.
“That’s okay, boy, let me sort that for you,” he waved another local down to help with the shark while Bronik sat shaking. “You younglings all live like you are invincible until you bleed.”
“I was stupid,” Bronik admitted. “I was trying to tempt another one up to the surface and didn’t account for how quick they can be.”
“Sharks are nothing to mess with,” the kind stranger agreed. “Go down to the booking office just there and they’ll put some stitches in your hand for you or glue up the cuts depending on how severe they are. We’ll take the shark to the weighing station for you and you can pick up your gold from there if you give me a name?”
“Nik,” Bronik replied. “They know me.”
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Dogfish

Postby Faith » Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:55 pm

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Peer Reviewed: Rewards!

Bronik

Points!:
Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/ 5 (solo thread)
Structure: 5/ 5

Knowledge:
Basic
Survival: Sunburn is best avoided
Fishing: Techniques for avoiding net tangles
Fishing: Shark bait: Old rotten fish
Fishin: How to kill a shark without getting bitten
Seafairing: Sailing at speed
Cooking: Drying and smoking meat to preserve it
Business Management: Always consider what's fashionable
Animal Husbandry: Shark fins: names, placement etc.
Animal Husbandry: You can tell something's dead by touching it's eyes.
Medicine: The importance of stopping a bleed
Medicine: Small cuts to hands and feet and heads bleed a lot
Location: Rynmere waters: good shark-hunting spots
Lacey: Thinks you are like a shark

Specialised
Mako: A particularly nasty shark
Mako: Is it stalking you?
Mako: The one that got away!
Mako: Doesn't think you're a shark, thinks you're a yummy treat.
Mako: Has a taste for human flesh
Seafaring: Speed is easier when you keep a tidy top deck
Seafaring: Keeping course by tying the sail rope
Fishing: Using fresh blood to attract a shark

Loot:
Injured hand: this will take 10 trials before it's fully healed. Stitches will help and you need to keep it clean. Then you'll have a scar across the top of your right hand.
1 shark.
As this is a job thread, I won't deal with the money for the shark.

Fame: Not in this one.
Overview:
General comments. I always smile when I see that it's time to review a Bronik post and this one certainly didn't disappoint! I love how he didn't manage to get the big Mako, who is far too old and wiley a fellow to be caught by a young-un like Bronik. I really enjoy how you weave the story in each post, and end each one on a sort of mini-cliffhanger - that really keeps my interest! I also very much liked the link (maybe just in my head) between the Mako that got away and the old man who helped Bronik - the young and more vulnerable than he seems shark and the older, clever one. Love it! It made me think of the phrase "youth and skill will never defeat age and trechery" and I look forward to reading more and more of Bronik! Awesome stuff!
Story great story - really enjoyed it.
Structure awesome - an easy, cohesive and clear read. Thanks!
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