The History of Reynard the Fox ≈ Chapter 2

  • Ryd-2

    The 25th of Last Seed.
    The Forth Era.
    Year 201.

     


     

    Dawn was just beginning to break upon the world; as the sun rose, so did I.  From the embers of the previous nights fire, which still glowed faintly even now, I rekindled a fresh flame, being careful to remain upwind of the smoke lest the scent of fire settle upon me - making my presence obvious to all with a decent sense of smell - adding dry moss and small twigs to encourage growth.

     

    As the light of dawn grew, and as the sky lit up with a vibrant creamy purple, I begin the task of taking down my meager place of rest.  With a simple kick, the wooden A-frame tent collapsed in upon itself and I set about rolling up the hide cover and fur bedding.  These simple amenities, I wrapped as tightly as I was able before placing them upon the earth beside the fire pit.

     

    The flame was building, and so I lay some further sticks upon it.  The visible flame disappeared and thick smoke started to rise from within but, soon, the flame would work its way through to the larger sticks.

     

    I sat upon the grassy bank as I waited.  I had camped for the night on a patch of soft earth in the South of Skyrim,close to a small town called Helgen and some kind of an ancient Nordic tomb known as Bleak Falls Barrow which I can see here to the North.

     

    Before coming here I was born in the wilderness of Cyrodiil and left, abandoned, at the door of the chapel in Burma with but one possession - an amulet.  I come to Skyrim for one reason, and one reason only - opportunity - a very special opportunity created by an almost unique set of circumstances - namely - the civil war.  The civil war has created great opportunity to all the young, budding warriors to fight and prove their worth, for smiths to charge ridiculous prices for weapons and for Jarls to over-tax their frightened villagers with the promise of safety.  My goal is none of these things.  My goal is far... greater.

     

    It was not an easy task.  I was given cause to be crossing the border illegally with a number of other travelers.  Together, we walked into the midst of an Imperial ambush.  A few were killed, the rest were captured, but I managed to slip through- their net was not tight enough to contain a Fox.  I was chased, and a number of arrows flew overhead, but it is a simple enough thing to outfox a slow-witted Imperial ambush and I escaped with little real trouble.  Now, it appears, I may roam this land as freely as any Nord.  Those others who were caught in the ambush must, surely, have been captured - taken for execution at Helgen no doubt.

     

    Dawn was over now, the birds had started chirping in the trees above, and the sky had turned to a bright and clear blue.  The flame in the fire pit had grown sufficiently, and so, without standing, I pulled my travel-sack towards me and took a number of my belongings from within.

     

    First, I took out a small cast iron pot, then, a leather satchel of water.  Filling the pot with water from the satchel, I then placed it over the fire to boil.  I reached in a third time, taking out a small sack of vegetables.  I tried a carrot - it was firm and bitter and stale and not to my taist at all - but boiling it would soften it, and the taste wasn't that bad when your only alternative is mild starvation, and so I threw it into the pot alongside several other such items.

     

    I finished the last of the water from the satchel, and then - leaving my breakfast slowly coming to boil upon the fire - I wandered towards the cliff-edge to take a slash over the edge.

     

    I was half way through passing water when one of my large, russet red ears pricked up - the echo of a voice carried upon the wind.  I sniffed at the air being carried across to me on a strong North Westerly wind.  I smelt nothing at first - my senses still dull from recent slumber - but then, as I focused myself solely on the scent in the air, I started to smell it.  Smoke.

     

    I pushed myself yet further, turning my head up with my nose facing the wind to find all I could with the great sense of smell all my kind possess.

     

    To many, scent is nothing more than 'the fifth' sense, the overlooked sense, the unimportant sense.  Few humans really think about what they can smell beyond whether something smells particularly nice or not.  They do not realize the great quantities of information a smell can carry across, nor do they realize how differently the world can appear to those who know and can identify smells as easily as by sight.

     

    I sucked deeply upon the subtlety scented air, my eyes falling closed.  There where two of them, I smelt, a female Nord and a male too.  They had just slept together (sex pheromones have a highly distinctive whiff) and they had a well-established fire which had probably been burning for a few hours - and on that fire - they were cooking chicken.

     

    I'm not ashamed to admit it: I salivated at that realization.  Ever since I was but a cub, I had desired poultry above all other foods.  Its scent is like the scent of no other substance I know, the crispness of the skin, the sweetness of its juices and the tenderness of the meet itself - I could not hope to control my urge to have it for my own - not in the knowledge of the disappointing vegetable stew that awaited behind me.  I had to have it.  It had to be mine.

     

    I opened my eyes, drawing back from the scent which now hung in the air as clearly to me as the sun shines.  I turned and was back at my campsite but a moment later, throwing my pot of unboiled breakfast away and returning my iron pot to my bag alongside the empty leather satchel of water.  Alongside this I stuffed the tightly bound fur bedding and hide covering of my tent, and pulled the bags chord tight.  I turned back towards the scent, taking a lungful, both reminding myself of the reward that awaited me if I could pull this off, and trying to judge just how far the two-man campsite was.

     

    Throwing the bag which contained all my possessions - save the amulet I had around my neck when I was first found at the chapel which I have never taken off - I hurried towards the edge of the forest and pulled down handfuls of wet leaves.  I returned to the fire, put a thick layer of wet leaves upon the flames, and then lay logs of wood upon that - stepping back and waiting for a moment to check this had the desired effect.  It did, and a moment later, thick smoke was rising high into the air.  Now all I had do was find this campsite, and wait.

     

    I returned to the overhanging cliff-edge and slipped down the ten feet or so to the ground, landing lightly upon the soft earth and creeping deftly forwards in a low crouch.  The scent of fire and chicken becoming stronger with every step and the voices of a male and female Nord becomming clear in my ears, the campsite came into view.  I hunched down low in the shadow of a brambly hedge beside a large tree, obscured in the darkness to the two Nords.

     

    There were three tents around a fire and a table with a barrel of something - probably mead.  I spotted, also, a small sack of coin on the table beside the fire, but that was of only second priority to the whole roast chicken turning on a spit above the fire.

     

    Gods how I longed to savor that first bight of that succulent, roasting chicken.  It had been so very long since I last tasted meat like that and, by the smell it was giving off, the chicken was killed in the very prime of its life and was cooked, now, almost to perfection.

     

    I was drawn from my lusting by the sharp crack of axe upon wood as the male Nord chopped another piece of in twain.  The chicken wasn't mine yet, after all.  I glanced across my shoulder.

     

    "This chickens almost ready," said the female who was turning the stake.  She was wearing light armor and had an old sword upon her hip.

     

    "Okay," said the male with an effective-looking sword, "let me just finish chopping this wood."

     

    Their life carried on for a moment, then the female looked up.  "Hey," she said, "what's that?"  The Nord woman pointed over my head.  The male turned and looked also.

     

    "I dunno," he said, his voice deep and lacking all eloquence, "trouble most likely.  We'd best check it out."

     

    I could not help but grin as the male armed himself with the wood axe and as the female pulled her sword - leaving their settlement completely unguarded as they looked for mine.  I all they would find is a fire, almost burnt out, while I however...

     

    I sauntered up to the large fire the Nords had built.  I took the stake from above the fire, slipped the chicken off the end, and then proceeded to sit myself down on the table - there was no need to rush, after all.  I ripped of a leg of the perfectly cooked chicken and bit into its sweet juices and most tender meet.  The smell and tender flesh of the greatest food known to man filling my mouth, I knew - this was going to be a very good day, indeede.

     

    I may - or may not - have been able to take them on in combat.  But honestly, what's the point?  I chuckled at my own simple philosophy, my head turning to glance upon the table I was sat on.  Ah yes... the sack of gold.  Putting the whole of the chicken in my mouth, I freed the use of my hands for a moment, pulling the bag towards me and opening it.  Roughly fifty Septims by my reckoning.

     

    I slipped it into my travel-sack, slung the strap over my shoulder and stood.  My breakfast in hand as I set of, my bag fifty Septims heavyer, I looked onwards towards the day that followed, eagerly anticipating what the rest of the day would bring.  After all, if I can 'acquire' fifty Septims and a whole roast chicken with twenty minutes, just think what I could manage with a day.

Comments

4 Comments   |   D3LTAFOX and 1 other like this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  May 7
    Haha very amusing and crafty. 
    Don't try this at Greenspring Hollow. it doesn't bear thinking about...
    A great chapter Mr. Small...  lighthearted and a pleasure to read.
    • Mr.Smail
      Mr.Smail
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Haha very amusing and crafty. 
      Don't try this at Greenspring Hollow. it doesn't bear thinking about...
      A great chapter Mr. Small...  lighthearted and a pleasure to read.
        ·  May 13
      Thank you, Sotek.  I know it's been ages since I posted anything.  It's just my first priority has to be to a (currently) 85,000 word story I've written over on FanFiction (sorry in advanced if there's some kind of turf-war between the two of yo...  more
      • Sotek
        Sotek
        Mr.Smail
        Mr.Smail
        Mr.Smail
        Thank you, Sotek.  I know it's been ages since I posted anything.  It's just my first priority has to be to a (currently) 85,000 word story I've written over on FanFiction (sorry in advanced if there's some kind of turf-war between the two of yo...  more
          ·  May 13
        Oh I certainly hope you will continue with your story. Turf war? If there's a war it'll be a Fur War but I wouldn't worry too much.
        Lets just say a certain two werewolves have taken a shine to Greenspring Hollow  and have taken up residence. It...  more
  • D3LTAFOX
    D3LTAFOX   ·  April 15
    I like how you used the fox's wit to outsmart the bandits. Looking forward to the next chapter. :)