Wolves In Them Thar Woods

Luukas has arrived.

Luukas skiis in cross-country from the snow-covered banks of the road. Reaching the town, he slows and pushes off a little further to glide down to a stop near the old post office.

Matti is standing near the tavern - not drunk, though. His skiis are set in the snow nearby with his skistaffs, and for now he doesn't seem to be doing much except just standing there. He looks remarkably satisfied with himself, for some reason.

Jaakko watches as Luukas skis past, then continues to trudge towards the tavern.
Jaakko gives Matti a nod as he pushes past into the tavern.
«Game» Jaakko moves into Iloinen Kukko.

Jaakko takes off his gloves and unzips his parka as he takes a seat at a corner table, his back against the wall.

Luukas squats down and removes his boots back out from the skiis, sliding the steel-toed boots back and then planting the skiis and sticks firmly in a snowbank near the old building. He adjusts his coat, sliding the goggles up higher upon his forehead, then manages a look around while rubbing his gloved hands together. His breath comes out as puffs of mist, the cold pretty harsh.

Jaakko orders a deer steak and potato with a pint of beer.

Gustaf moves into Iloinen Kukko.
Gustaf walks into the Iloinen Kukko, and looks around for familiar faces.
Jaakko looks over towards the door as someone else enters the tavern then returns to his beer.

Matti gradually looks around, spotting Luukas. For once, he seems to be in a good mood - even if the smile he directs at you does, inevitably, look rather sullen. "Hey, Ostrobothnia… Luukas!" The slight hunter motions for you to come closer. He actually looks rather excited, about something.

Luukas looks over curiously, a single glance to make sure his skiis weren't falling or in some way causing a disturbance. Perhaps he'd assumed the man was shouting a warning at first, then smiles a bit and starts wandering over to join. "Matti the trap-setter. Hello." A simple greeting as he reaches near the man, but not stepping too close.

Jaakko quietly watches as the grizzled old man behind the bar grills his deer steak, the smell mingles with the smells of beer and tobacco.

Jaakko nods and gives a quiet grunt of thanks as his food is served. Jaakko asks for another beer then begins to carve up his steak.

Matti raises a finger to his lips, glancing meaningfully at the Nimismies' office. "Shhhh!" The gesture is more or less good-humoured, though. After a moment, he gets straight to the point, "Say, you boys at the lumber mill don't have much to do right now, do you?" From his expression and uncharacteristic eagerness, it sounds like he has a project in mind.

Luukas chuckles aimeably, then quiets to pay attention with more focus to whatever the local Finn might suggest. "The foreman's got shift right now. Me and Antero can take a break to come down." He pauses a moment, rubbing hands together to warm them. "Is there going to be a gathering at the sauna? A party or festival you're inviting us to?"

Gustaf looks disappointed, not seeing anyone familiar. He quietly walks next to Jaakko and takes a seat, ordering a beer and a steak as well.

Jaakko quietly eats his food giving no attention to others around him.
Gustaf sighs softly to himself, apparently looking like a loner. He sits around, waiting for his meal, but isn't talkative. Most likely very shy or even anti-social, it would seem.

Jaakko slides his finished plate across the table and sits back to also finish off his beer. As the person comes to clear his things he orders another pint.

"Oh, there are always gatherings, depending on what party you want to vote for or what project you want to be a part of. No, something bigger." Matti moves a bit closer, gesturing out into the forest, "There's a big pack out there… You boys are in the forest all the time. You must have heard the howls. Anyway… I've seen the prints: These are not stragglers. A big alpha and his bitches, as well as a load of their puppies. It's hard to say how many, but I'd say anywhere from 7 to 15 head of them."

Jaakko looks over Gustaf with a critical eye.

Gustaf somehow detects the pair of eyes beside him inspecting him. He slowly looks over at the man sitting besides him, eyebrow raised. "Hello," he says politely.

Luukas leans as you move close, making sure he's able to hear through the hood tied snug against his head. "Yeah. We've heard alot of howling lately. At least one pack." He looks over to you, "No sign at our camp yet. Have they been killing your animals?" He straightens, patting himself on one shoulder. "We keep in practice up there. If you need help hunting, to shoot the mangey pests, I'm sure we could help." Then a deeper chuckle, "So long as we get one of the pelts, huh?" and smiles as if it's meant to be witty.

"Oh, I hope they're not mangy. And I think it's just one pack… There might be a few loners out there as well, but the pack is the problem. They've been killing reindeer and cattle… Even dogs. And game, of course. We all feel that it's unnecessary competition." Matti shoots a grim smile in your direction, spitting into a snowbank nearby. Not too fond of wolves, despite his light tone.
"So yes. I was going to ask if some of your boys wanted to join in on the chasing and the shooting. We'll figure out how to divide the pelts later, but right of kill naturally guarantees a share."

Jaakko answers not unkindly, "Hello"
Gustaf pauses for a while, quite evident to be a slow conversationalist. He bites the upper part of his lip, with his eyes moving up and to the right as he searches for something to say. "My name is Gustaf," he says finally.

Luukas offers a single firm nod of agreement back, "It's done. I'll have to see if I can drag my cousin to come down here. The man's not as friendly as me." He breaks into a grin, a deep chuckle that's perhaps meant to give the appearance of cocky self-confidence. "But sure. We'll help out. Should be fun for everyone. A good challenge, excitement for a change." and more thoughtfully nods.

Jaakko holds out an unusually large and scarred hand, "I am Jaakko. Are you from around here?"

"Yeah, well. We don't need entertainers. We need people who can hit a moving wolf at a hundred paces. Besides, I don't know how it is in Ostrobothnia. But hereabouts, people judge a man by his deeds, not his words. He can be as surly a bastard as he wants, and no one will think the worse of him, if he's a good worker." A little district ethnocentrism there, but that's just to be expected. Matti looks at you judgingly as he speaks, as if trying to take your measure as well.

Gustaf nods dumbly and accepts the large and scarred hand. His eyes drift towards the hand, making sure that it connects. Looks like he fears that he misses the hand during the handshake, which could be potentially embarassing and indicates that he is blind or visually challenged. "Yes, I help my father with the local bookstore in Paltamo. Unfortunately he got sick and I have come here on a quick trip to get medicine for my sick father." This long answer wasn't quite warranted, but it sure answered the question. Surely this guy would never be great as a spy.

Luukas lifts a brow and nods his head a bit. "We keep rifles up there for hunting, and for guarding the camp. Not for sport and playing fancy hunt club games." and shrugs a bit. "My cousin Antero and I were both in the Sissi for our national service. I will let our shooting speak for itself when you want to do the hunt."

Jaakko nods his head, "I am from Sumussalmi, I have not been to this village in a long while. Hopefully you'll find the medicine you need.

Jaakko rises up from the table and excuses himself.
Jaakko bundles back up as he heads on out the door.
Jaakko has left.

"Well, I figure all sorts go to the sissit. There are worthless men, pant-shitters and braggarts everywhere, irrespective of political affiliation or branch of service." This doesn't seem directed at you - if anything, Matti's words are heavy with self-irony. Wonder who he's talking about? He nods to you, however, "We'll probably dry and surround the pack and drive them up a hill, if we're able to. I'll probably be directing the hunt, unless that damn Jari Viinikainen decides to stick his nose into this." A grimace of distaste.

Luukas hrms a slow nods, keeping quiet for a moment as he looks to you as you speak, considering. "Jari Viinikainen. He's the local big man, isn't he?" tilting his head as if curious for the answer. "Send word about when, and where you want to gather, and I'll be there. Maybe others from the camp as well. We only have a three man winter crew."

"Yeah, he's the nimismies. A nosy bastard, but more or less an honest one." Matti adds after a moment, almost as an afterthought, "Oh, and he's my brother-in-law. My older brother is married to his sister." He nods to you, muttering, "Allright, I'll send word when. I need to get a fresh trail on them first, but they seem to be moving in a small area, for now. So should be in less than a week."

Luukas doesn't seem that concerned about Jari, once you speak the details of his position. "I've probably seen 'im, but haven't really been introduced." A nod, then, follows. "Saw a trapper in the deep woods, east of the river, on my way down this morning. He had marten pelts strung on his coat, with a book or map case or something." He snorts a chuckle, perhaps finding it humorous. "At first I thought it might've been a friend of yours or that young Olli fellow, but when I made it down to where I'd seen him, the tracks were coming from the east, skirting through that deep stretch of woods on the slope near the border. Guess he didn't want to be spotted by our friends at the outposts." The outposts referred to likely mean the border posts of the frontier guard.

Luukas adds, "He took off in a hurry when he spotted me. Not my place to bother chasing."

"If he was a Russian, I'm surprised he could ski. But then again, I guess our cousins in the East know a thing or two about skiis, even if the people in Moscow don't know about it." The cousins being a reference to the other fennic people living in Karelia. Matti doesn't seem too concerned, or even particularly curious about the news. He shakes his head, "Oh well. Poor bastard… Hard to imagine what's make him desperate enough to cross the border. The russkis are not gentle, about people fleeing their blessed nation." The "blessed nation" is said with caustic irony - apparently, some personal bitterness there. To make his words more explicit, he draws one gloved hand across his throat.

Luukas snorts a dark chuckle. "We Finns showed them what we think of the Bolshie Revolution." and lifts his chin in a bit of bravado. A rather Ostrobothnian display. Then, more quietly, and less without any strutting, "This summer we got news at camp they'd invaded Poland. That can't be good."

Matti snorts, showing what he thinks of your words. He shakes his head again, "They had a good cause. But it's all gone to shit, just like everything else." Once again, the bitterness. Not surprising, considering Spain, and the late experiences of his brother socialists in the Soviet Union. He nods gloomily, to your words, "Yes, I read the foreign newspapers when I travel to Oulu, every few months. The allies did nothing, just like when Germany annexed Sudetenland. I had a friend from there, in Spain. There's no fucking justice in the world, especially for small nations."

Luukas nods a bit, but then surprisingly shrugs off the comment about the Sudetenland, "Well, the people there are Germans. Can't blame them for wanting their own land back." He seems to omit any comment about the Germans invading Poland as well. "Spain" and snorts a bit. He starts to make a self-assured comment, but devolves it into a simple grunt after looking to your expression and perhaps recalling something else. "Anyways, the politicians in Helsinki aren't all bad now. My papa was in Vaasa during the war."

"Czechoslovakia is, or was a sovereign nation. It doesn't matter who does or doesn't live there. Not that it matters, anymore… The whole country is bloody well gone." Matti's grey-blue eyes narrow at the Spain snort, and he doesn't seem particularly pleased by the papa-politicians comment either. He shakes his head, muttering, "Bah, they're all bloody well worthless, esecially as they have that butcher Mannerheim advising them. And my father was shot in Tampere. Probably by pals of your's." His jaws tighten, and he turns to push his feet into his skiis. Over his shoulder, he mutters, "I'll send word, when it's time." Apparently, he doesn't want to continue this particular conversation further.

Luukas narrows one eye at your comment about events of the civil war, but then just slowly makes a gesture of acknowledgement concerning the hunt. "See you there" gruffly, and turns to head towards the sauna.

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