Glad some people are reading it. @Mohorovicic, are you trying to tell me you don’t want to look at half-naked finnish men while playing games?
April 12th 16
Back at the shelter with the kill, Juhani’s first priority is to get a fire going. He’s hungry enough to eat it raw, but roasted meat will do him more good. He wolfs down as much as he can stomach, but even a starving man can’t eat a whole reindeer. For now he’s full, but it will take days of eating well to fully recover his strength.
*The hunger bar shown in screenshots is short term hunger. Having a full belly means you’ll work faster and better. Nutrition is long term, some foods give you more nutrition than others. *
If you’re in good health you can fill yourself on water, but your nutrition will decrease if you’re not eating properly. When you start starving you’ll get a penalty to your movement speed and skills, as shown by the negative numbers at the top. By the time I cooked the reindeer I was on about 20% penalty from starvation.
Juhani’s roasted meat for the next few days while he has the fire going, but he cut around 150lbs from the carcass, and most of it will spoil before he can eat it. Thankfully it’s still early in the year, and the meat can be dried. For this he cuts up his dad’s clothes for cord, in order to hang the meat up from his shelter. It will be almost a month before its ready, but it will mean he has an emergency supply of meat for tough times, and it should even keep through the winter if he doesn’t eat it beforehand.
*Preserving meat is important. Spoiled food can be eaten, but too much of it will make you seriously ill. Drying meat requires the least resources – cord and a shelter – but it can only be done during the cold, dry season of winter and early spring. It takes a long time to prepare but can last a full year. Smoked meat needs a heated room – a cabin or a large tent with a fireplace. It doesn’t keep for as long, but it makes good travel rations or medium term supplies. Salt is expensive and mainly comes from shops in the civilised west, but salting meat only takes a few days.
With his health on the mend, Juhani can turn to more laborious tasks. First is the reindeer skin – left unattended, it will rot and be useless in a few days. Tanning a skin is a multi stage process and takes a day or two as it’s left to dry, but in the mean-time he digs out a cellar. It’s hard work, but storing meat in a cellar extends its lifetime considerably. Even raw meat will keep for a couple of weeks before going bad.
From left to right: Meat hung out to dry. Shelter. Boards (used in constructing the cellar, but I have plenty left over from one tree). Cellar. Tree trunk used as an impromptu workbench for beating the hide in the tanning process.
There’s two more tasks to take care of before he sleeps tonight. Firstly, he took a nasty knock to his chest falling from a tree, weeks ago when he was hunting. Normally a bruise like this would’ve healed quickly by itself, but maybe it’s a bad one or maybe his underfed body doesn’t heal well. It’s not much more than an annoyance, but it is slowing him down. He uses the last of the extra clothing to make a bandage, and applies a wet compress to his chest. He knows of a few herbs that may help it heal, but none will be grown at this time of year.
Secondly, the reindeer fur is now ready, and there’s enough to make himself fur shoes, gloves and trousers. He already has a thick woollen tunic, and the cold isn’t a real danger until winter, but anyone living this far north much prefers being too hot to being too cold.
Next: An Interlude