1/24 Glacial Soup Training
JWaldman Feb 7th, 2019 136 Never
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- Artagh remove his cuirass as he felt the chilling wind of the icy plain briskly blow across his jagged scar, smiling as he felt the soothing relief of the cold on his wound. Gripping the handle of his blade in two hands, the one eyed swordsman would begin his training with some light stretch work by hacking down a handful of trees with his steel greatsword, whistling a hearty tune as he enjoyed the beautiful, snowwy morning in solitude and peace.
- Artagh would set down a great pile of firewood beside the campsite with a smile, admiring his handiwork as he watched the crackling flame with contentment while wiping beads of near frozen sweat off of his forehead. It had been a fine little exercise, and the bald swordsman noted that not an inch of his wound had opened abruptly while he hacked away at the wood. It was steadily beginning to heal, if not easily. Each morning the soldier awoke sore and in agony, barely capable of movements with the nightly stiffening of the jagged flesh wound that trailed from Artagh's left thigh to his right shoulder. The gash itself had healed over finally with a thin layer of brown, scabby tissue, but it would only take a particularly harsh movement for his wound to begin flowing again with blood.
- Sighing, Artagh would remove his fishing rod from the nearby dusty chest, pacing over towards the frozen shore as he whistled a soft tune. Placing his corn cob pipe between his teeth, he would puff away a cloud of minty smoke as he relaxed on this fine, chilly morning, steadily jiggling the line as he awaited a good catch. Finally, his rod would be tugged as the one eyed soldier would grit his teeth in anticipation, reeling the bastard in with careful determination as he made his best effort to both keep the fish in check, and not split the line entirely by overdoing it. Finally, after minutes of lulling reels and careful periods of waiting, Artagh dredged up a half pound common fish that looked about as appetizing as sludge. Shrugging his shoulders with a wide smile, he would simply toss the caught fish into the nearby cooking pot, the fire beneath it already boiling with melted snow into a fine broth worthy of any camp stew.
- Recasting his line back out into the frigid bay, Artagh thought calmly of all that had recently transpired, finally having a few moments to recollect and introspect on the great changes that had occurred in his life. He'd made actual friends, both in his comrades within the legion and the civilians he had sworn to protect. Canna, Amelie, even curmudgeony Annie, they all amused him in their own particular way. He'd joined the army because it was a job, a future that involved not sitting in the fields til he died of consumption or a wild bear attack. But he'd found more than that in his service, a far more important resource than any money he could have gathered and saved. He had found a family, and more so, he had found a home.
- Artagh's fishing line would tug again as he steeled his wits, heavy, darting movements coming from the water as a big one latched on to the moldy cheese the bald swordsman used for bait. Grunting with exertion, the soldier would reel the fish inch by inch closer to the shore, forcing them closer and closer before in a sudden jolt, the line would snap! Determined not to lose his handiwork, Artagh dove right in after the fish, punching the Haddock right in its bitch mouth before grasping it tightly with two hands, the sharp scales of the ocean dweller tearing into Artagh's calloused palms as he tossed it out of the water onto the shore with a mighty yawp. Pacing out of the frigid water, Artagh would shiver to a degree as he paced towards the fire, admiring the easily two pound Haddock that was now perfectly refridgerated in the snow.
- Acquiring some paper he'd used for practicing his letters from his bag, the soldier would proceed to carefully wrap the fish until it was fully bound, before placing it cozily in the nearby snow beside the fire in preparation for a later stew. Leaning cozily against a nearby rock as he puffed away at his pipe, Artagh smiled with a sense of frontier satisfaction as he wiped the blood from his hands, laughing in spite of the fool he'd just made of himself. It wasn't much, but Artagh was happy with how things were, and he would fight to keep it that way.
- Artagh would gaze calmly at the lake as the oily, fish chunked broth would begin to boil to a steady rise in the cooking pot, the drippings of fat melting in with the pure, snow melted water into an already flavorful base for the grand stew to come. Yet, the soldier was no fool, he'd need far more than just meat to make a good and hearty stew, no, he'd need spices and far more fish to make a good broth.
- It then occurred to the one eyed swordsman that he could make preparing the stew and his training one and the same, an ear to ear grin spreading across the bald brute's face as he cracked his knuckles with amusement. Igniting in a flaming blue shroud of masculine energy, Artagh would lunge forth at the nearby snowy cliff, slicing into it repeatedly with vigorous, powerful, and precise strokes that would sever a ten ton block of sheared stone from the lowest height of the stone fixture.
- Acquiring his familiar mithril training bindings and the small pouchof alchemical adhesive, Artagh would once more approach the familiar training implement from his thousand leaps across the lake, recalling with a sudden soreness in his lungs the close call he had had deep under the lake. Yet, the memory fueled Artagh even further.
- Attaching the implements to hand holds he would swiftly carve with his blade before plunging the sword into the nearby bonfire, the one eyed swordsman would heave the ten tons of stone over his back with a grunt before preparing for the task at hand. He was going to hunt game and herb in the forests. Rabbits were fast, and it would be fine training indeed. Mint, thyme, oregano, basil, if he could dredge up any wild spices, he'd be able to enhance the flavor of the stewing broth dramatically, and the training would make it taste all the better.
- Huffing with a yawn after a long evening of camping, Artagh would begin to hack away at the nearby trunk of the tree in preparation for the coming bonfire. The stew broth was nearly ready to be cooked, the last of the ingredients were almost gathered, and it looked like it was going to be a hearty meal.
- Artagh would heave the ten ton granite block through the forest as he hardened his fists, the hunt beginning as he engaged against the rabbit horde with glorious, manly fisticuffs! All of his sword techniques could be modified with a bit of imagination to work for hand to hand combat, and the weighted training made it a fine handicap to pair himself with for the exercise. Ignited in his blue, flaming shroud of energy, Artagh would lunge forth with manly vigor at the rabbits, who upon seeing his clear lethal masculinity, began to amass in a mighty horde against the bald, one eyed swordsman to deliver their final stand against his might.
- Morning turned to evening as Artagh fought through the day, round housing a rabbit through a tree here, driving a curled fist through a rabbity bitch face there, and all around putting the smackdown on the army of small game critters. Each movement with the weights on his back strained Artagh extensively, pushing him to sweat and heave in exertion in spite of the chilling air of the wintery climate that surrounded him. The numbers of the rabbit horde began to steadily die down, the remaining number retreating into the trees as Artagh unleashed his unarmed onslaught on the whole colony furry neck by furry neck.
- Impeded by the ten tons of stone chained with mithril to his back, Artagh had to put all of his effort into even catching the critters as they escaped. Twenty rabbit carcasses remained to be gathered, bagged carefully by Artagh body by body to be treated later before the stew. Dredging the bag as it began to leak with blood, Artagh would heave in contented exhaustion as he held the bag over one shoulder, beginning the process of hands on spicing as the second part of his training began. Relying only on the light of his glimmering energy shroud, the one eyed soldier would dig through the forest for herbs and spices, dredging through the deepest, frostiest patches of snow for any remnants of shrubbery and flora that could be used to season the meal. After two hours of stumbling through the winter forests with a ten ton block of granite hefted along inch by inch, Artagh would acquire a fair bundle of oregano, mint, thyme, and basil and reasonable selections, mashing them up in a ceramic bowl he'd brought along before emptying them inside the bag of rabbit carcasses.
- Heading back to camp as night fell upon his wintry outpost, Artagh would empty the rabbits into a great iron cauldron separate from the stew, beginning the process of skinning each and every varmint to ensure no fur or pelt was mixed in with the broth. The pelts came off easy, the two ears gripped tightly before with a firm, hefty rip, the skin came off the bone like butter on bread. Rabbit meat was tender, juicy, excellent for cooking, and incredibly convenient for a good hunt.
- Working his way through the twenty morsels of rabbit, Artagh would toss each rabbit into the boiling stew pot at the center of the camp as he did so, stirring in the gathered herbs as a flavorful, delectable smoke began to hang above the campsite. The slow cooking rabbit and fish meat would melt into a meaty, thick broth as the herbs swirled about and flavored it, a truly magnificent stew steadily being devised as Artagh strained to stand after such a long day with such a weight on his shoulders. The stew was almost done, but the balance was off. Too much rabbit and not enough fish would make the flavor distinctly gamey, and Artagh had no desire for purely rabbit stew. No, cooking was a game of balance, as important a method of training as his swordplay.
- Staring at the nearby lake, Artagh would steel himself, heft his ten ton baggage tightly upon his shoulders, and leap face first into the frigid lakeside, the burning shroud of macho energy bubbling the water around him as he dove underwater after the necessary fish. This part at least Artagh could enjoy, for he hated no creature as much as the fish. Oily vermin of the sea, they watched the world of man enviously with their beady black eyes that gleamed only of hatred. To kill them with his bare hands was not only an excellent method of training, but a great reliever of stress for the swordsman. When Amelie and him finally wiped every last scaly bastard of this plane of existence, Artagh would finally have peace.
- Lunging forth underwater with determined energy, Artagh would force himself to swim faster and faster as he saw his quarry. A fat bream the size of two arm spans awaited just underneath a rocky alcove, seemingly asleep and not yet conscious of Artagh's presence. Slowly moving through the water, Artagh would rise up for a swift breath of air before darting under water with a lunging dive, spearing the three pound fish with his bare hand as his folded fingers cut straight through the outer scales like a hardened knife of rock, stunning the fish as Artagh would dredge it steadily back to the surface. Though his lungs would pang with agonizing exertion as he made his way carefully to the surface, he felt more comfortable in the water than ever after nearly drowning during his last exercise. He had emerged a new man, one who did not fear what came next.
- Dredging himself upon the frozen shore, Artagh would shiver to the bone even as the burning shroud of energy lit around him, tossing the bleeding, still alive Breem whole into the boiling pot as it slowly died, the steadily leaking blood adding the final ingredient to the mirthy, thick broth that the bald soldier had spent the day working on during his improvised training. Stewing it away with his blade like a giant ladle, Artagh would steadily stir the broth for about half an hour with the ten ton block of stone still on his back before finally, the moment the stew was finally complete, Artagh would release the mithril chains upon his back, dropping the great mass of stone backwards onto the ground behind him as he sat with a great yawn down next to the fire, lying back in the snow and allowing his sweat drenched back to be cooled in the powdery chill.
- Finally, once Artagh had finally cooled down, he would spoon a bowl of delectable stew as he watched the fire crisply burn, the broth of fish, rabbit, herbs, and just a couple well rounded stones coming together in an endless meat soup that had more protein than a soldier knew what to do with. Drinking idly out of his flask of vodka as he emptied two, three, four, then even five bowls of the great stew, Artagh proceeded to demolish the entire pot of broth and meat down to the last drop, until he collapsed backwards onto the ground with a gorged sigh of contentment. Beginning to snore, he would nap off his training next to the cozy fire as the snow lightly fell upon his person, never a more pleasant meal ever consumed in the swordsman's life.
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