Khan_Drichthyes

Oh, the irresistible allure of Mystery Lake.

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So when Hushed River Valley was introduced, I found myself so far away in Desolation Point.  As I had found prosperity on the Riken, I had no desire to give up a good shelter for the long journey to this new region.

So, I started a new survival game.

Now, I didn't want to be just dropped into this valley unprepared.  A few supplies were in order.  However, after reading others talk of a population explosion of wolves in Milton, I figured on starting off somewhere safer.  -Plus, I also considered the option of seeing Pleasant Valley and Timberwolf Mountain. 

Mystery Lake was the best place to start.

I figured I could loot a few buildings for clothes, tools, and supplies and begin my trek.

That was the plan, originally.

I looted all the cabins and ice fishing huts around the lake.  I scrounged through the camp office.  But then I hit Trapper's...  A veritable, yet unsurprising, bounty greeted me with deer in the clearing, rabbits out back, and a rifle and snares with which to hunt them.  Naturally, the prospect of crafting valuable clothing from their pelts appealed to me, and with plenty of meat to sustain me as they cured.

It didn't take long before I tired of passing time as the pelts cured.  So, to make better use of my time, I set out to scavenge from other buildings.  Off to the lookout tower, which only yielded one bullet and some bandages.  Better clothing and extra food was discovered in the logging camp.  And, after dispatching a single wolf that crossed my path, I arrived at Carter Dam.  Once again, I was greeted with a wealth of tools and supplies, the full listing being too great to mention, or even carry.

My search of the area meeting with satisfaction, I made my way back to Trapper's.  Armed with my previous experiences of the area, I set a course which avoided the dangerous wildlife and brought me to the ridge just north of Trapper's. 

Does my bounty know no end?  Do I espy a moose in the clearing?

Keeping out of sight on the opposite side of the ridge, I make my way back to Trapper's.  Oh, how useful it would be to fashion a satchel from that moose.  After depositing my burdens within, I step outside, rifle in hand.

Three shots later and it was over.

And so, I still find myself within the Mystery Lake region.  The pelt is curing and I have no shortage of food.  No doubt, once I near the completion of crafting the satchel, Mystery Lake will likely find another way to keep me within her clutches.   

Shall I never see the splendor of Hushed River Valley,  Pleasant Valley, or Timberwolf Mountain?

Edited by Khan_Drichthyes
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Welcome to the Hotel Campoffornia.

Or Hotel Trappershomesteadfornia. Or whatever.

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Just like in my other saved game, it'll probably take the near deterioration of my hatchet and knife or running out of bullets to spur my departure. 

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Fare well, Mystery Lake.  Hello, Wolfton... err, I mean, Milton.

All the crafting and scavenging completed, I finally departed from Mystery Lake.  Several wolf evasions and scavening stops later, I made it to Grey Mother's house.  Tomorrow I depart for the entrance to Hushed River Valley. 

Of course, should I survive, I'll likely find myself returning to the clutches of Mystery Lake.   ...hopefully briefly, as I journey to Pleasant Valley. 

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Because of it's central location, abundant supplies, and my familiarity with it, i usually start in ML to prepare before i take on new nature heavy maps.

Though i did make the mistake of starting in Milton instead for my first HRV run, i sadly just died after only 5 days.

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I've finally arrived at Hushed River Valley.   So far, I've visited the shores of Stairsteps Lake.  An inconvenient blizzard forced me back to the Milton-HRV cave.

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On 6/26/2018 at 11:53 PM, Khan_Drichthyes said:

And so, I still find myself within the Mystery Lake region.  The pelt is curing and I have no shortage of food.  No doubt, once I near the completion of crafting the satchel, Mystery Lake will likely find another way to keep me within her clutches.   

Shall I never see the splendor of Hushed River Valley,  Pleasant Valley, or Timberwolf Mountain?

Haha, love your writing! Very enjoyable read.

I think Mystery Lake will always and forever feel like home away from home for early sandbox players. <3

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Oh, how I miss the shelter afforded within Mystery Lake.

After doing some exploring from my cave camp, I spotted some smoke rising in the distance.  I saw it as I hugged the right cliff wall from my cave.  The path eventually came to a high overlook of the valley.  As I journeyed towards the smoke, I saw that it was on an even higher cliffside.  However, not too far from the smoke, I spotted a rope leading up to the same elevation.  This must be my most direct route.

As I approached the base of the rope, I spotted a wandering wolf.  Well, I can't let it attack me, and the meat will come in handy.  One rifle shot later and it's time to harvest and cook.

Right, Mr. Bear?

(Professor Farnsworth voice)  Oh my, yes.

As soon as I harvest the meat and start a fire, I hear him approach.  Nowhere to run, as he's between me and the way out of this cul-de-sac.  I'm not ready to climb the rope, either, so I have no choice but to fight.  One shot, and he rears up before charging.  The second shot as he charges takes him in the head, dropping him.

No sense putting the meat to waste, so I spend the rest of the day and half the night harvesting and cooking my two kills.  Eventually an Aurora appears and the wind picks up, blowing out my fire.  With no apparent shelter nearby, I retreat to my cave.

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The next day arrived.  8 hours of herbal tea assisted sleep brought me what rest I could get for the dawn.  There's a cold wind in my face as I journey back to the rope.  The remains of the bear are still nearby as I warm myself with a sheltered fire by the cliff wall. 

Finally warmed, I make my ascent.

It's so far.  Too far.

I tire as I complete two thirds of the climb.  I try to go on, but start to lose my grip.  I become exhausted.  Why didn't I at least drink some coffee before starting?  It's no good.  Must go back down.  Nearly fell again.  I'm down.  So exhausted.  Slowly retreat back to the cave.  The wind picks up and slows my retreat further. 

There's still daylight when I reach the cave, but I collapse upon my bedroll.

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I finally made it.

My final assault on the cliff started a bit late, due to an early morning blizzard, but I arrived at the rope before mid-day.  I already had a cup of coffee brewed from that morning, so I didn't need to start another fire.

After drinking down the, sadly, cold coffee, I started my ascent. 

I'm doing much better this time, but it's still not good enough.  I've got about one quarter of the way left to go, but I start to lose my grip on the rope.  Thankfully, I discover a ledge that I can rest on.  Even better, there's a cedar log on the ledge, should I need it.

Once I catch my breath, I start back up.

That initial climb fatigued me too much.  I'm tiring much too soon.  I have no choice but to get back on the ledge, try to sleep some, and recover some strength.  Good thing I decided to bring my bedroll.  After sleeping until later that afternoon, I'm nearly ready to try one last time.  However, I first need to make a fire with that cedar log and brew some more coffee. 

It's time to finish this!

The rest and the coffee was just enough to clear the top.  At long last, I made it up here.  Now to find the signal fire.  It's off to my left somewhere, but there are two paths to choose from.  The most immediate one slopes up while the next one slopes down.  I decided to try the up-slope path, but it doesn't appear to be the correct path, after all.

The wolf that followed me might have agreed.

Actually, it wasn't a long struggle, but a bloody one.  My choice to carry some Old Man's Beard and bandages on the climb really paid off.  The wolf eventually bled out and I decided to quarter it for later.

Then, as the light of day faded away, I journeyed down the correct path, which led me to the signal fire.

Sadly, I didn't get here in time to meet up with my fellow survivor.  Fortunately for me, he'd already built a snow shelter to help me get through the night.  As I got settled in, the same thought kept running through my mind:

How'd he get all of those wood pallets out to Hushed River Valley, in the first place?

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And with a new day, I emerge from my snow shelter.

Ok, now that there's more light out, I see that the signal fire wasn't made of wood pallets.  More importantly, I see a good place to set up a climbing rope.  It's nowhere near as far as the climb I made to get here, so maybe I can get to the stuff I left behind and haul up the necessities.  I just need to take the rope I used and move it here.

While I'm at it, I retrieve the wolf quarters I left behind.

After setting the rope, I decided to check out a cave I saw near the signal fire clearing.  Nothing there, except for a discarded signal flare, but it will serve as a better home than a snow shelter.  -Especially now that the wind is kicking up.

Time to cook the wolf meat.

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Another day begins.

Has it been another day?  I swear it feels like weeks have passed between days.  It's almost like I've done a bit over a weekend and then slept in limbo until the next weekend arrived. 

Hunger must be getting to me.  That wolf didn't bring much meat.  I've been stretching it out with what I brought with me.  When I was retrieving the wolf meat, I saw crows circling something on a high plateau.  With the new day, I set out to investigate, and discovered a deer carcass.  Not much to be had there with less than a kilogram of meat, but I'll take it.  Looking around, I found a hidden cache of clothes.  Most of it was only good for scrap cloth, but I did find some better long underwear and some snow pants.

After dropping off the loot at my cave, I went exploring some more.  From the location of my climb here, there was an area to explore opposite from the path to the signal fire.  It goes on for a ways, but I'm not carrying anything to eat except cattail stalks.  Rather than take that route, I explore an area above the entrance to the ice cave.  Good call!  I found several abandoned items up there.  A bandage, but more importantly, a can of dog food and a can of peaches!

With the daylight fading, I return to my cave to enjoy this bounteous feast!

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Time to see where that path leads.  I say "path", but there's no indication that any intelligent life ever crossed that distance.  I'm not sure I'd even count right now, when I should be going down the rope to pick up the food I left behind before climbing up here.

ONWARD!

By the way, the signal fire burned out.  I saw it laying there, when I went out to look out upon the valley, this morning.   Nothing but a pile of charred logs.  It's not like I expected anyone else to be around to see it and come calling.  I'm sure old Baldrick expected more when he made that fire.  No, that's probably not his name, but I had to call him something.   Besides, I can see him saying to himself, "I have a cunning plan," before he set out to make it.

So, after some walking, accompanied by a sprained ankle, followed by some cold rose hip tea, I find myself near my old cave leading to Milton.  I can't get down there, of course.  I don't think there are enough painkillers or rose hips on the island to get me out of the world of hurt I'd be in, were I to try such a descent.  This is also good food for thought, as I cross over that area, high up on a fallen tree.

Safely across, I find a lonely cave.  Remember when I said that no intelligent life ever ventured out here?  That may have been an error on my part.  ....or not, depending on your opinion of whoever set up camp in this cave.  I doubt he or she survived, as the site seems undisturbed for some time and they'd be crazy to leave all of this stuff behind.  The two cans of pork and beans are welcome in my pack.  The book on archery?  Why not?  The bedroll, I decided to leave behind. 

After looking around the area, I decided to return to MY cave.  After gathering and chopping up some more firewood, I still have enough daylight to read my new book.

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Stupid bunnies.  They mock me!  Here I am:  No snares to set, no stones to throw (and none to be found up here), and they just hop about in front of my cave, taunting me!  If only I had just one stone.

A STONE!  A STONE!  MY FROZEN KINGDOM FOR A STONE!

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I can't stay up here anymore, not unless I want to end up like poor Baldrick. 

The meats and canned food are all gone.  All I have are some cattail stalks.  I must climb down and get to the food I left at the base of the original climb site.  To save on weight, I leave some redundant items behind in my cave, including Baldrick's hatchet and moose hide satchel. 

With the morning sun lighting my way, I start down the rope. 

Fortune smiles upon me, for no predators await me at the end of my descent and the path open to me leads right back to my pile of stuff.

How did I forget about all this meat?!

It's been only a few days!  Or was it weeks???  How long has it been, for me to forget?

Dismissing this momentarily insane thought, I greedily scoop up all of the cooked meat, turning around with a quick, suspicious eye to spot any approaching predators.  With none in sight, I return to the rope.  All of this meat should allow me to retain my cave as a home, for along with the cooked wolf and bear meat, I still have many kilograms of uncooked bear meat.

A few trips, back and forth, and all of the meat is at the base of the rope, below the signal fire clearing.  And I have snares!  AND STONES!!!  HAHA!  TREMBLE IN FEAR, BUNNIES!  I'M COMING FOR ALL OF YOU!!!

.....ahem.  So, yeah, I need to carry this stuff up the rope.  It was a near thing, as even by only bringing up the cooked meat, I was almost too heavy for that climb.  Fatigued, I haul the cooked meat back to my cave, set my bunny snares (I'm too tired to throw stones), and plan for the next day.

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I'm currently waiting out a blizzard in my cave, so I've got time to catch up.

The past two days have been spent bringing my pile of uncooked meat up to the cave.  I also found a deer carcass, so I harvested what meat I could get, plus the pelt and guts.  While waiting for stuff to cook, I nailed one of those troll-ish bunnies with a rock.  Serves you right, taunting me like you did.  You should have hopped faster.

Just before I harvested that deer, I found someone's hidden supply cache.  I'll pass on the stale peanut butter, but the Fisherman's sweater, thermal underwear, and flashlight are welcome.  Back in my cave, I harvest the underwear to patch up the sweater after cooking the deer meat.

Oh, good, the sky is clearing up.  Maybe there's enough daylight to do something productive. 

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Retrieving bunnies from the snares and collecting more firewood certainly falls under the "productive" category.  Plus, I witnessed an amazing view of the sky:  It kind of looked like an aurora was going on in broad daylight.  I couldn't test that thought with my flashlight, though, as I'd left it at the bottom of the rope.

Now for thoughts of where to go from here.

There's still much to explore in the region.  Also, my supply of food will eventually run out, so hunting will be a high priority.  -My local bunny population won't be sustainable for my needs.  

Another option is to leave.  I've made it to that mysterious signal fire, only to find my hoped for companion, Baldrick, frozen in the snow drifts.  I can still go back to Milton, but with the alleys prowled by wolves, my safety would be questionable.

Oh, how alluring Mystery Lake is right now.  Safe cabins...  Hunting...  Fishing...

Or, maybe, unseen regions yet to be explored?

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After some thought, I decided to explore the area some more.  My first trip was to the ice cave I passed when I first made it to this high place.  On the way, I spotted a wolf prowling around, and took the opportunity to increase my food supply.  Once that was attended to, I ventured into the darkness...

And remembered I'd left my lantern at the bottom of the rope.

Well, at first, it wasn't so bad.  There was some kind of bioluminescence going on in parts of the ice, but eventually I wound up in darker tunnels and decided to turn back.  Not much discovered, except some coal. 

As I reached my cave, another snowstorm blew in, and I was forced to spend the rest of the day in my rocky abode.  The next day, while dreary, offered decent enough conditions to venture out again.  This time, I shimmied down my rope to explore a pathway I spotted along the cliffs above yon valley far below.

How to describe this path more...  As I survey that valley below me, the path lies to my left, along the top of the cliff wall.  It almost looks like it reaches completely around to the other side, but I can't be sure.

As I explore this path, I find another hidden cache.  This one hold several articles of clothing, but I'll be scrapping them.  Then I come to a small drop I easily climb down.  The sound of waterfalls become more prevalent as I go forth.  Eventually, I discover my path around the valley cut short.  Not that this is a dead end, mind you as there's a frozen river canyon my left. 

I do believe that this is the Hushed River.  Along the banks, I make sure to harvest as many cattails as I spot.  A fallen tree offers a path out of the canyon,  but I quickly retreat from the top as I hear the bark of a wolf.  Further upstream, I discover a cave.  Within are the leftover supplies of yet another who surely met a sorry fate.  Thankfully, he or she left behind two MRE's, a can of dog food, and a can of beans.  Too bad there also wasn't a bedroll, or I might have stayed overnight and ventured out even further.  Instead, I make my way back to the safety of my camp.  Due to the items I found adding to my weight, I decided to fix a cup of coffee before going back up the rope.

Too bad I left my cans in my cave.

Not to worry, I prepare a gourmet feast of cold dog food and use the can to brew my coffee.  Yum, yum.

And so, back in my cave, still exhausted from the climb, I end my day.

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And it was time for an adventure...

When I was down the rope, I made sure to retrieve my lantern.  With that, and the bedroll I retrieved from the lonely cave, I set out for the ice cave again. 

In my spelunking travels I found yet another corpse, apparently lost to hopelessness as evidenced from his final pose.  Sorry, fella, but I still want to live, so I'm taking your stuff.  I don't really need your bed roll, but it may come in handy.

It doesn't take long before I reach an opening in the cave.

It looks like I came out just above the Hushed River, but I'm not sure where.  To my left, I spot a place where I can climb to higher ground.  It's hard to spot any familiar landmarks, as it was snowing quite a bit.  Eventually my path leads to a small waterfall with a good climbing ledge to the left. 

And my climb reveals yet another waterfall further upstream. 

After some more walking uphill, I come to something of a clearing and a frozen pond.  While the presence of deer is tempting for a long stay, the moose signs on the trees were making me nervous.   Utilizing a fallen tree over a ravine to my left, I came to yet another clearing.  It eventually ends with a cliff and a mountaineering rope. 

I think I know where I am, now.

It's still difficult to say, due to the snowfall, but I may be on the north side of that valley.

I don't really want to go down that rope to explore it, though.  There's not much of a chance that I'd be able to climb my way back up.  With that thought, I set out to explore my surroundings some more.  It pays off, as I find a path down a small rock climb.  Nearby, I find the remains of a wolf and the poor guy who didn't survive the encounter.  The rifle he had with him didn't seem to do him much good.  I guess the wolf surprised him.  I don't need the rifle, but I'll gladly take his ammo.  And there's still some good meat on the wolf.

With darkness coming on, and having sat down to a wolf steak dinner, I tear up the spare bed roll and make a snow shelter for the night.

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So, yes, I was on the north cliff above the valley. 

After breaking down my shelter, I continued downhill from the deceased rifleman.  There was a big waterfall and frozen river to my left.  Following it downstream and up a path to my left, I came to the cliffside.  Today, my visibility was good enough to see out across the valley.  I could see where the signal fire, near my cave, was.

Journeying back upstream, I discover another ice cave entrance near the waterfall.  This one was a little troubling, as I found a wolf carcass inside one of the tunnels.  Were there more in here?  Was there something worse in here that killed it?  I still didn't let the wolf go to waste, though.  One fire and cooking break later and I was on my way.

And found another corpse...

He was in a large cavern.  He was well set up with food and gear.  He even had a cooking pot by the fire and a cooked wolf steak on a plate in front of him. 

A knife lies at his side. 

Oh poor players.  Life's but a walking shadow.  How they have strut and fret upon their hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.  Is this merely a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing?

Or perhaps Hamlet's "To be or not to be," would have been more fitting.  For my part, I choose to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and take what useable supplies I see fit to carry.  Actually,  it's getting a bit heavy, so I take a moment to tear up some clothing for cloth patches.  Further into the tunnels, I come upon a veil of water flowing across my path.  There's no choice but to go through. 

Damn, that was such a frigid shock.

And it wasn't the only one.  There was a small cavern with a waterfall that kicked up a frigid spray.  I found a supply cache in there, though.  More ammo and some MRE's are always good.  And then there's one more freezing waterfall as I exit the cave.

The day is nearly spent and so is most of my warmth.  After going downstream, shivering and wet, I make my way up out of the riverbed.  With the air filling with the howls of wolves, I pass a deer carcass and come across a fallen tree crossing over to a rock column. 

And yet another deceased traveler.

Is death all that this place has to offer me?  As I warm up by a fire and set up my snow shelter, I decide that my time here has come to an end.  No, I don't intend to take up arms against a sea of troubles, and thus, by opposing, end them.  I'm just leaving.  I don't know where I am yet, but I will find my way out of this Hushed River Valley.  I doubt that Milton will be my destination, though, if the wolf population remains as it is.

I think it's time I return to Mystery Lake. 

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Ok, I'm still in this hushed river valley.

I wanted to leave, tout suite, but I'd be leaving behind so much loot at my base camp.  I'd probably be fine leaving behind the pelts, guts, and some other minor things, but I'd hate myself if I left behind the whet stones, sewing kits, and all the other items I'm not guaranteed to find again.

First, though:  Where am I?

That got answered rather quickly as I came upon the frozen lake by the stairstep falls.  Since it was the first area I explored, I was able to find my way back to the connecting cave to the Milton area. 

After drying off and getting a good night's sleep, I dumped all but the necessities and set off for the high home.

A very uneventful hike and climb.  I returned to my base camp without incident and even found a rabbit in a snare.   After cooking it up, I still had some daylight, but I didn't feel like rushing to pack up and climb down yet.  I decided to scrounge around the area and discovered a prowling wolf between base camp and the ice cave.

A most satisfyingly fat wolf.

Tomorrow, if the weather permits, I'll haul all of my goodies back to the Milton cave.

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This is now my endurance run.  My previous long term game came to a sudden end, when I froze to death in the Riken's wheelhouse.  I guess a very cold blizzard blew in at just the right direction, while I was asleep.

 

I have finally moved out of Signal Fire cave.  Farewell, Baldrick!  May you rest in peace.  It took a few more days, until the weather was adequate for getting back to the connecting cave to Milton.  On the way, I had to sneak past a bear, but thankfully without incident. 

Tomorrow I'll return to a stash of stuff I left below the signal fire ledge, and ferry it back to the connecting cave. 

After that, I need to sort through and decide what to carry with me, on my return to Mystery Lake. 

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I have not returned to Mystery Lake yet.

I've lost track of the days (or was it months?), but I've been residing in the trailer between the old church and the Hushed River Valley tunnel. 

I remember taking a few trips, ferrying supplies, but everything I wanted to pack out of that Valley is now here in the trailer.  The deer hunting and rabbit snares have been good to me, so food hasn't been an issue.  I've also ventured out to see more of the countryside, and returned with more loot.

This may be home for a while, before I return to Milton and beyond.

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Several days of hunting nearly ended in disaster. 

It started off well.  Harvested bunnies in the snares, followed by driving a deer toward a wolf.  While I did hit the wolf, he ran off.  -Probably bled out by now.  

With plenty of meat cooked and stored in the snow, I should have stopped there.  If I had done so, I would have been better off. 

But, as an old co-worker often said:  "If 'if's' and 'but's' were candies and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas."

I came to a bridge, crowded with broken down cars and trucks.  -Undoubtedly from people caught out on the road when technology died.  At the opposite side:  A bear.  I carefully approached, keeping a car nearby if he charges.

I fire!

A hit, but he doesn't go down.  He runs around in pain as I leap into the car.  He eventually runs down into the river valley below the bridge, and I loose sight of him.  After waiting in vain for him to appear again, I set out to see if he bled out.

He didn't. 

As I climb a boulder to get a better look into the valley, he roars.  I can't get another shot off before he knocks me to the ground.   The less said about that experience, the better.

I lay there, bleeding out, as he leisurely strolls across the bridge.  Thankfully, I had plenty of Old Man's Beard and bandages.  A single stim also helped, as I just couldn't let him go after that.  I slowly creep behind him, waiting to get near another car before taking my shot.

He turns towards me, just before I squeeze the trigger. 

I'm not sure which sigh was louder:  The sigh of relief from me, or the sigh of his last breath?

I had enough daylight to quarter him, before carrying his pelt back home.  -The meat had to stay, for now, as I hadn't the strength to carry any after the stim wore off.  

With the new day, I will be retrieving what I left behind. 

 

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