A magery-free life can be difficult, yet somehow the simplicity of it, the lack of running around for reagents, and the recent changes to the laws of nature *coughAnatomy/Healingcough* made it bearable, almost pleasant.  Finding an abundance of lumber, Mu dove into his new craft of bowyery, hiking around the woods, chopping trees, and whittling for hours.  It did take some getting used to… when Mu spied an orc headed his way on his second day in the woods, he immediately began to mumble Vas Ort Flam, forgetting that he no longer did that sort of thing.  However, even his horrid incompetence with the spear and the short bow was usually sufficient to handle his typical enemies, such as rabid timber wolves, hungry panthers, and fearsome songbirds.  The occasional bear insured that he was keeping up to date with his bandaging techniques.

Wandering around the woods, slowly gaining familiarity with the areas surrounding Skara Brae, Mu eventually discovered that one region in particular always seemed to be full of various monsters… orcs, orc magi, ogres, trolls, lizardmen, and the like.  Naturally, these creatures had no home as such, like any monster in Sosaria, but simply appeared in the woods one day to wander mindlessly until some passing weakling like Mu came along to kill them.  Mu occasionally wandered up this way to work on his archery; how can one judge the quality of one’s product without being able to use it?  Well okay, you could simply ask the shopkeeper what it’s worth, but empirical evidence is so much more satisfying.

It was while wandering in this area that Mu came across the first truly rude person he had encountered in Catskills, a fool in full plate named "Kull".  He first encountered him as Mu was fighting with a giant arachnid, and Kull appeared out of nowhere to open fire on the wounded critter and claim the kill.  Having had much experience with children on Atlantic, Mu let it go, and when Kull was beset by an ettin later, even asked, "Need assistance?"

"NO," said Kull, whose desire for glory outweighed his intellect, as shown by his rapidly depleting supply of blood.  Mu shrugged and went on his way, leaving Kull to whatever fate his foolhardy rudeness would lead him to.

A bit later, Mu had been poisoned by some sort of pit viper or other, and was engaged with a troll; timing his movement so as to stay out of the troll’s range while still firing from a steady position, Mu managed to avoid further damage to his half-gone vitality when Kull appeared again.

Watching him carefully, expecting him to once again vulture the kill,  Mu noticed he was not attacking the troll or him, but  merely running from place to place and hiding.  Mu would move to a new vantage, the troll would lumber into the shot, and Kull would race down by Mu and hide, prompting Mu to move again.  "Is this some sort of joke?" Mu wondered.

Finally, Mu heard "In Jux Hur Ylem" and saw Kull hide again.  This was incredible… no one on Atlantic was so lame as to actually try and kill someone with a Blade Spirit of all things.  However, Mu was down to about a third of his vitality now, and the poison had not yet abated, so he kept an eye out, moving when necessary.  Sure enough, just as Mu stepped away from a firing position, a blade spirit appeared where he had been a second ago, promptly turning on Kull, who began running around like a fool.

"Okay, this HAS to be a joke" said Mu, chuckling to himself despite his nausea and blood loss, as he watched Kull run like an idiot around the area, trying simultaneously to avoid his own Blade Spirit and to get it to attack Mu in passing, failing on both counts.  At this point, Mu was wishing that the troll would hurry up and die so that he could either run, taunt, or attack this fool as the situation warranted.  Mu expected to die if it came to blows; he was not even worthy of the title "Apprentice Archer" at this point.

After a while, the blade had disappeared, and Kull opened up on Mu with a bow… being at barely a quarter of his essence at this point, Mu sighed and ducked around a building to bandage himself and wait for the snake venom to wear off, thinking to himself how odd it was that this person should attack him yet choose the Blade Spirit over the Energy Bolt, and then miss him twice with arrows.  It was foolish, but too irresistable to go back and taunt him for his incompetence.

Having barely bandaged himself to a little over half life, Mu limped back to the area, where he witnessed Kull and a guildmate of his picking over the vultured troll corpse, obviously very happy with themselves.  As soon as Mu rounded the corner, Kull ducked behind the fetid carcass to hide.  This was too incredible… 2 to 1 odds over a wounded man wearing studded leather armor, and he hides.

"Ah I see Kull is hiding from the neophyte archer…" taunted Mu, "… after failing to kill me for my studded leather armor and cooked ribs."

A wildly missing arrow came out as the child began throwing a tantrum, and Mu ducked around a corner, hoping to separate the two, the oldest trick in the book.  Remarkably, it worked, or else Kull’s guildmate was too embarassed to assist him, and soon Kull was stamping around missing Mu, whilst the latter was pegging him squarely with badly-fired but well-timed shots.  Eventually, fearing for his life against the all-powerful not-quite-apprentice archer with no magery, Kull ducked inside a building and made good his escape by the "logging out" phenomenon, something unexplained to this day.  Mu laughed to himself and whistled while walking back to Skara Brae, pausing along the way to relate the tale of Kull to some passersby, all of whom had a good laugh out of it.

Back at the Skara bank, Mu was celebrating by getting thoroughly drunk on a jug of cider he had pulled off of an orc lord’s body earlier when Kull came around the corner of the bank.  He stopped in his tracks, looked at Mu sloshing back his drink, and without another word walked back the way he came and hid out of sight… Mu wanted to thank him for the mild gains in archery he had received while plinking at his agreeably stationary form earlier, but was too busy hiccupping and laughing to catch him in time.  No worries… Mu kept it in the back of his mind to pay another visit to the area where Kull had been and thank him again, in person… perhaps when he had attained the unimaginable rank of "Journeyman Archer".  Of course, with such a huge edge, Mu would have to even the odds a bit, perhaps wearing plain leather instead of studded.

 

 

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