Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Burning Dispute (Pt 1- Cabin Fever)

For near on two days,  natives of the Chinqua* have held "Zack" Butler and Rob Perris under siege in thier log cabin. Exactly why this Event has come about is for both Trappers unclear and as they have virtually no knowledge of  any native languages, it will, for the time being,  remain so.
However, one thing is clear to both men, their Situation is becoming untenable.

The exchanges of gunfire has  depleted thier  powder supply to a few remaining shots. So far, neither side has suffered any casualties although "Zack" has recieved  small wound to his left shoulder. This occured as the very first shot was fired. "Zack" had gone outside early on the morning of the 1st day of the seige to carry out his morning "constitutional" as a musket ball hit him. Luckily for "Zack" it only broke the Skin but it has  impaired his use of that arm..which is now held in a sling.
Also thier water supply is all but gone.... the Close confines of the cabin combined with the summer heat is becoming unbearable for both men.

With no sign of aid arriving, both men decide on a desperate measure.
Over the period of the attack, they have worked out, through seeing them moving and their rate of fire,  that the Natives cannot number more than a handfull. Hoping that this is the case, they decide to make a run for it. Now useless to "Zack" and too much weight to carry but not wanting it to fall into the Hands of the natives, , Rob takes the lock off "Zack´s" Musket , bends the Barrel and smashes the butt. Then taking one last look around thier cabin, they draw breath, nod to each other in a last agreement and then Burst out of the door, both men firing thier weapons  in  order to Keep the Natives heads down.
It works!!! The natives are taken by suprise at this bold move, one or two fire wildly at the emerging figures but all miss thier marks. Both men run into the surrounding Woods, zig-zagging past trees as they go.
The natives watch them go, considering that giving chase would serve no usefull purpose, thier attention now fixes on the cabin. After rummaging through it´s contents and finding nothing much of use apart from some cooking untensils and blankets, they set fire to the Cabin and after making sure the fire will not spread to the surrounding forest..they depart.
Both "Zack" and Rob run as fast as they can but very soon realise they are not being followed so Change to a quick walk. Soon dusk falls and exhausted from the last two days excersions,  they settle in a small hollow. Sure of thier escape and there are no persuers, nonetheless they spend a fitfull night and as the first light of day breaks, they make thier way again. Around midday they are relieved to meet Group of Militia  who are on thier way to investigate the cause of the smoke rising from the forest. 
After hastily telling thier tale of the preceding days Events, both men are then sent back  to Boddington (a large Fishing Hamlet) with two Miltia, the rest of the Group proceed to the Scene of the seige.
Upon arriving they can clearly see the result of the fire. Nightfall is due and thier numbers not great , they decide that to go further and give chase would be a risk, so they turn back towards Boddington.
*So named after the  Dwarf chestnut common in their Region and  which serves an important part of their winter Foods as contains a lot of starch and protein. Cooked and ground to a  powder it  is commonly added to squirrel stew. Also it is used as an astringent and tonic. An infusion of the leaves has been used as an external wash for the feverish condition common to colds and the dried leaves of the Chinqua tree are commonly used (blown onto the Patient by the healers ) to cure headaches, chills, fevers and fever Blisters.
The wood is hard and durable and is sometimes used for posts and fuel.
Picture from "The Compendium of scientific and traditional knowledge of Bodstonia".  by Kind permission of Jeremiah  Cheeseman

Saturday, 23 May 2015

"Betties Grace"

Quite a few of the rivers in Bodstonia are quite shallow and wide. Not shallow enough to be forded on horse.  This poses no problems for canoes or rafts but for the larger types of boats,   even ones with shallow keels, These rivers are virtually untraversable.
Not only this but Inland the wind is not regularily strong enough to power craft with sails and boats so equipped have proven quite unrealiable.
To overcome this Problem the Good folk of Bodstonia have built themselves several Horse powered flat bed paddle boats.
 
 
They are propelled along thanks to the power provided by two horses. Very Little effort is required  from them as the power from the horse driven turntable is transmitted to the paddles by some clever internal gears.

As the rivers upon which These paddle boats are employed are quite shallow, steering is done by the means of Punting poles, which again, requires Little effort from the punters, the boats being flat bedded in design.

Here we can see one of the Bodstonian paddle-boats, the "Bettie´s Grace" as it ferries a Pair of  hunters back from thier day out..it was successfull, they have a brace of rabbits with them.
Also onboard are  Jedediah and Jonathan Johanssen. Maybe they are going into Bodston town to buy some small bits and pieces.

"Bettie´s Grace" is owned and run by the Edgewell Brothers, Bobby and Billy.
"Bettie´s Grace" is one of the larger Paddle Boats and is capable of carrying a full  Company of the  Bodston Fusiliers and all thier baggage mules.