Poster: Conor Quinn
Post # 58
So the time at the lake was spent in the water, fishing and general
getting cleaned up. What was caught, was gutted and filet and packed
away on the one mule with the least of a burden. Some of the younger
braves had gotten beaver, rabbit, snakes, squirrels and the like of
smaller game but not too small. Mat was getting hungry and it was time
to be on their way as he led one of the pack mules with a wagon
attached. Hopefully the ferry would be able to handle the weight, more
likely only one brave and a wagon at a time.
Yas shook his head as he watched the wagons. The women would be both
delighted and possibly ready to strangle the braves for bringing so much
in. He grinned at the thought then took charge of one of the wagons. He
was tired, hungry and pleased with how the day had been.
Patwin and Delsey rode over with Conor. Thanks a lot, Yas! But it was
probably just as well, for both warriors, even if reluctantly, were
offering over suggestions for Kuwan. At first, the youngest Quinn was
skeptical. Having grown up with Eion and Segan, these suggestions could
be just to get him in trouble. But the more they spoke, the more Conor
Delsey kept his input to little things, not wanting to give over too
much information to help this Conor Quinn. But when Patwin started in
earnest to aid the man, Delsey could only join in. It was for Kuwan,
after all. If this man, this Conor Quinn man, was her chosen and the
Spirit Guides found him worthy of her, who was Delsey to intercede?
Besides a warrior who loved her, but with that love, came the truly
deepest of desires to see her as happy as she might ever be. Could be
this Conor Quinn. Could be.
Patwin, after speaking of Kuwan in his no nonsense, straight forward,
tell-it-like-it-is way also went into what would transpire once they
returned to camp. Every detail. Leaving nothing to question.
So the group of them returned, one riding the wagon but recovering from
his wounds already. He had a story to tell and it would be embellished
making him a hero of the day. Each of the younger braves had made the
passage into being a man and some of the maidens were counting on it for
now they could seriously look for a mate, or be ask for their hand by
one and taken seriously. Some of the fathers would stick to tradition
and count on them making them an offer they couldn't resist. The women
came running to surround the wagons and would help the men assigned to
cook the meat. Some of each variety would be at the feast tonight while
the majority would be cooked in smoke pits that would have the meat
lasting a very long time as jerky. This would get them to the beginning
of winter, end of the fall season when the men would go out again for
the winter storage.
Kuwan was amongst the group of women heading for the wagon. She could
not hide the worried look upon her features as dark eyes searched
quickly to rest upon Conor, then Patwin and Delsey as the three were
together and Conor alive. He didn't seemed to be harmed although there
was one in the wagon that had been. She could tell by scent alone and
yet with that scent, she knew he'd been taken care of. "You had a
good hunt this day," the surprise was not hidden either at how much
they had brought. "The forests are full in these lands.." as
she set to helping with the meat and hides that would be cured.
Yas stepped back to help unload the wagon, smiling as some of the women
talked. He finally had to step out of the way. Crossing his arms he
watched with a smile. Dark blue eyes shifted to Kuwan and Conor then
away again, his smile never fading. He sought out the others, and nodded
to himself. Tonight would be a good celebration. The bear hide would go
to Minima to replace the old one she used as a symbol of this new land.
It was fitting the Eldest should have it. Milap and Dekanawida would
have their pick of the Elk hides.
Kali was one of the women who came to the wagons but first she looked
for Patwin. Stepping over to him, she touched his arm and smiled up at
him. "Only one injury. All is well then?" He had been standing
beside Conor and that was a good thing.
Kali came up to Patwin, and he wrapped an arm around her lower back,
pulling her up close for a very uncharacteristic display of affectionate
kiss. Perhaps it was the lingering affects of the hunt still soaring
through him. Or the ick that seemed to seep off of Con-Ore regarding
Kuwan. The man did seem to care for her greatly. Once the kiss ended, he
smiled down to her, just for her, none others would see. "All...is
Delsey took a step back as Patwin claimed Kali in that embrace, both of
his brows shooting upward with disbelief. Even so, he shot out a hand
and slapped Conor at the back of the shoulder, nodding toward Kuwan, the
force of it sending the Quinn man stumbling forward a step or two.
"Kuwan...wait!" Conor called after her since she was already
unloading and moving. He leaned to the wagon and slid the deer pelt he
had skinned from the animal for her at Patwin's order. With it folded in
half, he draped the hide over his arm and hurried over to her.
"This, Kuwan, is for you." He drew in a deep breath as he
presented it to her and recited what Delsey had drilled into his head on
the journey over. "Earth's feet have become my feet, by means of
these I shall live on. Earth's body has become my body." He
hesitated, letting Delsey's voice ring in his head in order to finish.
"by means of this I shall live on." He smiled over to her, all
Conorfied and pleased with himself for remembering and the fact he could
present this to her, as Patwin told him he should.
As Conor spoke those words, Delsey mouthed them with him, as did Patwin,
silently reciting the lines, as probably did Yas and Mat if they heard
or witnessed the scene. As did any hunter, no matter their age, whether
they had been on this hunt or not.
Conor left her speechless. Lips parting as eyes drew wide. He had done
many little things that she drew fond memories of but this was the
sweetest of all. It also spoke on how much he wanted to know of her
ways, not just his ways. The other women continued with the meat along
with the braves help that was there and near pushed her away, near
pushed her into Conor's arms. She actually bumped up against him and
knew what the other women were trying to do, as well Conor had been
versed but versed well. "It is an honor, Conor," as she took
the deer skin, "this will make my best dress." Not pants this
time. "You will sit with me around the fire?" Which had its
own prestige if he accepted.
Yas was close enough to watch though he couldn't hear. He did know what
Conor was saying and repeated the words before he turned away to tend to
a child's questions. He hadn't seen Patwin or he would have been still
staring at the warrior.
Kali was more then stunned, she was delighted. That should silence the
old hens who commented on Patwin being so stern. She stayed in his hold
a moment more, smiling up at him. No, the silly words the woman
whispered didn't really matter, but his smile did. "I am so glad. I
should help now." She whispered as she stepped back reluctantly,
her hand sliding over his arm. There was always later.
"You...should." Patwin agreed, tugging her back toward him as
if he meant to kiss her again, but instead spun her around and with a
light slap of palm to her backside, sent her on her way. He watched as
she hurried away and then turned to start helping unload. Only to catch
Delsey's wide-eyed, brow lifted, mouth gaping gaze. With a soft fist, he
popped the circle of the closed hand under Delsey's jaw to close it and
reached into the wagon. "And so should you."
Delsey's mouth closed audibly, and then he laughed. "I know not
what you did with my Bear Brother, but for the evening, I shall enjoy
your company instead. He is much too stern of spirit for the most part.
Welcome, Stranger. For tonight." Delsey shot a look Kuwan's way. To
see how that was progressing. Only because of that! Okay? When Patwin
knocked an elbow into his ribs, he set to work.
When Kuwan bumped up against him, he caught her with an arm around her
waist. "The honor is mine, Kuwan. And yes, if you would have it so,
I would sit with you around the fire." He had to force himself to
pull his gaze away from hers to everyone busying themselves around them.
"I will go help with the wagons." He made of motion of head in
that direction, but was loathe to leave her so lingered. He cleared his
throat, as if with resignation, and then released his hold on her,
stepping away, and then another slow step, before he was turning to trot
a path back to the wagon to assist there.
Mat stood back and watched for a few moments, not out of being lazy but
out of seeing more than just those moving around. Interactions,
reactions, changes that came with knowledge. He drew in a deep breath as
if tasting life itself through the air brought into his lungs. Only a
few moments passed before he was off to the wagons to help unload and
carry the meat or hides to various destinations.
The stiffness that was set to her shoulders finally eased as there were
no more intense verbal confrontations between Patwin and Conor. "I
would have it so but first I must help the other women with the hides
and meat," some would set to cooking too as there were her rabbit
pies kept warm by the fire where they would be eating. Her smile was
swift, one that lit up her eyes that he would be sitting by her when the
time came. As he went off to help with the wagons she went off to help
the other women with what was in the wagons.
Yas heard the interchange between Conor and Kuwan and stepped up to
catch Kuwan. He leaned down so she could hear him, but no one else.
"Conor must sit with the braves. But, after the ceremony, he can
join you." His stern expression disappeared and he grinned.
"We must recognize what he did today, Kuwan. He's done what few
outside of our Clan have." He looked where Conor was working.
"And he deserves the honor."
Conor had just handed off a good sized rear haunch of deer when his eyes
drifted over to Kuwan, seeing Yas speaking with her. Ahshit. What did he
do? The brave tried to take the heavy meat from his grip and actually
tugged twice before the Quinn realized with an "Oh, sorry."
and released his hold.
Patwin came up alongside Conor, hopping with ease up into the back of
the wagon and tossed three pheasants to him with such quick succession
that the man wouldn't have time to stare after Kuwan or he'd have a face
full of feathers. He, himself, scooped up an arm full of limp squirrels
and with his other hand, vaulted over the narrow side board of the wagon
to the ground below. "She is going nowhere. These need to and have
no other means but by us." A motion of head indicated waiting
Delsey was not far from the commotion and excitement of such a grand
return, helping to tie up the boar to a branch so that they could just
peel the tough, wire-haired hide from its body. His gaze touched on each
of his brothers, he smiled as he saw Kali within the melee, and then
darted back and forth between Conor and Kuwan. "Do you wish us to
jump to reach the neck, Delsey?" The question caused him to look to
the right and the younger man there whose neck was craned as he looked
up. Delsey followed the man's gaze to the snout of the wild pig and that
it almost was pressed to the large branch. "No, Black Sky, I meant
for you to climb the trunk and leap, grabbing hold of the flap of skin
and allowing gravity to pull you and the hide down. Easier, don't you
think? Go on, start climbing." He elbowed the younger man as if to
get him going. Black Sky looked down to Delsey, up to the boar, over to
the large tree trunk. Another brave laughed as Delsey started to pay
better attention and lower the large animal back down to their reach.
That man spoke. "Delsey hides his own inability to concentrate on
your willingness to obey, Black Sky. Do not take one step toward that
trunk of tree or I will be forced to pray to the Great Spirit for fear
you are weak minded, my brother." Delsey smiled, shrugging a
shoulder to Black Sky as that brave shot a narrowed look his way.
"I would have just joined in the prayers."
Kuwan let out a squeal as Yas caught her up. Surprise had eyes wide and
brows up a moment before swatting that chest that she was practically up
against, "don't scare me like that." Although the reminder
went with their traditions. Ones they needed to get back to again.
"Yes, he will sit with me later." Easing a step back with a
glance over her shoulder only to catch Conor looking their way then the
teasing he got for it. Not that she could hear them, but certainly she
knew how it went. That was a good sign. A quick smile back Yas' way
before she continued onward to help the other women.
Mat passed the threesome with a comment to Black Sky while Delsey
lowered the hog, "I think you should have climbed the tree, grabbed
the skin and jumped, showing it can be done." Now that would have
shocked Delsey more. He was over then to give his brother a hand with
lowering the hog and securing it in place before letting Black Sky and
his brother have at it to learn. There would be a collection of hearts
taken to be prepared special for the warriors that hunted today. Certain
beasts for certain warriors all done up with certain spices and his
special casting of spells over them. He would be taking care of that.
Yas laughed and planted a kiss to the top of Kuwan's head. "Forgive
me, butterfly." He was still chuckling as he went back to work.
With everyone helping the wagons were soon unloaded. The meal was
prepared from food that they had at the ready, and soon everyone was
settling around the fire, though before Conor could sit, some of the
young braves grabbed him by the arms and practically dragged him to sit
Milap watched with a smile then stood. "Tonight, our young men have
become braves and this celebration is in honor of them. And we add to
their names Con-ore Quinn." Milap nodded at Yas, who was standing
behind Conor. "Stand, Conor and face me." When the Irish man
did so, Yas used paints of red, blue and white to make three marks on
his face. "After today, you are given the name Kuruk for standing
firm in the face of the bear that charged you." The brave handed
Conor a claw of the bear, with a string of rawhide for him to wear
around his neck. Yas was barely able to keep from grinning as he spoke.
"Face the Tribe so that any who would protest can speak." He
lowered his voice as he added so only Conor could hear. "And you
have the right to challenge them. By wrestling, not to the death."
And with that declaration, Kali looked at Patwin, dark eyes wide. The
challenge was not unexpected but she wasn't sure what her husband would
do; and she waited to see what happened.
With the order to stand, Conor did so, facing eye to eye with Yas as he
spoke. Kuruk? Sounded good to him. He could only hope it didn't mean
fungus or he who smells of dead meat. He liked the sound of it though,
whatever it meant. Kuruk. Yes. He nodded ever so slightly to Yas before
the markings, accepting the bear claw and rawhide with pride. But when
the warrior added the next, he felt his chest tighten and he held his
breath, his gaze searching the gathering until it hit on and locked with
one particular Indian warrior.
Delsey, too, sat forward, seeking out and studying Patwin. It was Delsey
who shoved up to stand. His hand, back side motioning toward Conor, palm
to his people. "This man..." His hand, back side motioning
toward Conor, palm to his people. "Drew the Bear with his motions
out into the open, so that the great beast set his sights on him and
none others" Yes, Conor stumbled back, retreating from the bear's
attack. "This Bear charged and Conor stood." Backed up against
a tree, he could go nowhere. "If any protest, they will challenge
me as well." His stance widened, that arm joining the other folded
across his chest.
Patwin had not moved, had watched, listened, saw the whole scene as it
played out and could not help himself. He flattened a hand to the earth
and used that to push himself up. He stood across from them, silent for
the moment as that dark gaze traveled the distance of the fire over
Delsey, Yas and then to Conor. His hands were at his sides but, not
unlike Delsey, his legs were braced wider in a defensive stance. "Kuruk...if
any challenge...then it shall be against me as well." Not many
words, but the statement was made while holding Conor's gaze before
moving to Yas. There, to their future intended leader, he inclined his
head just a fraction out of the respect that man deserved. Then Milap
received the same.
Mat was nodding during the whole interaction. "As with me and the
Spirits too, anyone will need to face." Now that right there was
pretty scary, no one messed with the Spirits unless you were a Shaman.
Lips twitched as he brought the dish over to Conor. "You eat of
Bear heart, Conor," once he took the piece, raw but spiced up in
the ritual, "you become Kuruk as he now lives in you." Once
Conor took the dish prepared for him, he would then bring one to each of
the warriors that fought this day, the main kill they had. The rest of
the hearts were cooked, spiced up and would be shared with the rest of
the village as it made them part of the hunt this day too.
Kuwan's heart wanted to explode with pride for all the warriors, for
Conor, for Mat, Yas, Delsey and Patwin, for all those that went and came
back men with privileges that went with it after tonight. She had come
to stand by Kali's side as she was sure her sister of heart.. heart was
exploding with just as much pride. She didn't say a word as she looked
her way then back to the men and the bond that was being formed.
Yas grinned as he stepped back and took his place again though he
remained standing. Milap watched his adopted sons and their brothers
with pride. Though he knew Yas denied that he would be leader, he showed
that he would be a fine one. He felt pride in Mat and how he was
progressing toward becoming the Shaman of the tribe when Milap was no
longer able to guide the Clan. He nodded at Conor and once all had taken
of the hearts, motioned for the food to be served. As he sat, he
grunted. Being Elder meant he would be served first, but the sitting
down again wasn't easy. Old bones creaked and groaned.
Kali smiled as Kuwan came to stand beside her. She put her arm around
Kuwan's waist and leaned against her. She was proud of the young men and
her husband and brothers. So very pleased for Conor and Kuwan.
Okay, you really did have to hand it to the man. Since Mat actually WAS
handing it, as in the heart of a bear, to the man! Conor had swallowed
only once before doing as he was told. When Milap sat, he watched as the
others began sitting as well and crossed his legs to join them. His
backside wasn't even to the ground before he had searched out and found
Kuwan by Kali.
So the meal had begun, and later, after things were cleaned away, and
the fire drew people closer while others drifted off to their shelters,
Delsey might even tell the tale of the Great Kuruk against the Mighty
Beast again. As it should be told, in honor of the Brave who faced death
eye to eye. What were legends if not truths...spiced just enough to be
Patwin would not be one that lingered but one that sought out the
privacy of his home and the comforts...of his mate. He did, after all,
have a promise to keep. And those of honor always kept to their oaths.
Once he had eaten his full, Mat would be off to the companionship of the
stars and a full moon rising. He would do what he did best in his way to
keep the clan safe and it would take him around the whole of the island
in setting his wards of spirits. He would seek his spirit guide in case
there was anything to come that he needed to know. Sometimes his brother
found him and they walked a mile or so together. He enjoyed those walks
Once they had eaten, she would join Conor to sit by his side, bringing
him yet another rabbit pie; whether he ate it or not, did not matter as
much in the giving which was more traditional. Some were starting up a
victory dance around the fire that included the children first before
they were ushered off to bed. The dancing then became more intense with
more meaning behind it as the young maidens joined in with the newly
confirmed males. There were more to chose from as a mate. "Tell me
of your adventure today," words were soft by Conor as she wanted to
hear it from his own lips.
Kali quietly whispered to Kuwan that she would speak to her soon before
she stood to join her husband. She was content, pleased with the events
of the day. She leaned against him as they walked away, speaking
Yas watched as the stories and dancing began, smiling as he listened for
a few moments. The young ones who were not dancing were listening to the
stories with wide eyed wonder. Delsey especially was an excellent story
teller. Yas moved away to speak to the Elders before he sought out his
brother. It had been a good day, and for some, a good night. He would
seek his rest soon enough.
As the evening came to a close, which was more like earlier morning,
Delsey took Conor by the shirt along his shoulder, giving him a tug.
"You can find your rest within our walls this night, Kuruk."
Conor looked up to him, then back over to Kuwan. He offered her a wink,
leaned in quick to peck a kiss to her cheek then rolled to stand.
"See you come morning, Kuwan. Sleep well. Pleasant dreams."
Kuwan was up, quick in step to approach Delsey, arms up and around his
neck as she kissed his cheek. Nothing said, he'd know for they had
always been good friends. Sometimes that counted more.. as friends often
lasted better than lovers. But, she hoped to be one of the lucky ones
and find her true mate. Time would tell. She was then around to face
Conor, a peck more to the corner of his lips. "I will see you then
and maybe go for a walk as the sun rises." That would be up to him
if he wanted to get up that early.
The fire would be allowed to die slowly, some of the Clan staying awake,
especially the young braves and maidens. Some would make their
intentions known, some would wait. As the moon began to lower, the camp
became quiet for the sounds of the night beyond. Crickets sang out their
mating songs and the Island settled into sleep.