• Solo • [Warrick] Questioning Life Choices

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The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.
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Lazuli
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Profession: Farmer
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[Warrick] Questioning Life Choices

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There was very little wind in Warrick except for on the coast, so when Lazuli stepped outside the family cottage to find that the grass was blowing flat in the field and the wooden shutters on the windows were clattering against the stone walls, she stood, closed her eyes a moment, and cursed under her breath that she would need to use the ox over her skittish horse to pull the plough and help till the soil. The young woman carried the leather animal harness over her right shoulder as she paced towards the barn where the stubborn ox stood staring, awaiting her approach. Lazuli crouched quickly to rip out a handful of grass and it extended it towards the beast as if it were an olive branch, "no hard feelings for last time?" She turned her lips between her teeth and bit down gently to cease a stray smile before it had time to take root.
Last time she had promised to never bring up again, when minus their father, Lazuli's mother had tried to teach the girl how to work the plough and ended up taking her frustrations out on the ox, all while Lazuli stood, open-mouthed and dreading the day she would have to set the animal to task. She fussed with the leather straps, testing the waters as it were, waiting for the ox to decide whether or not to bolt, but he did not. With the harness on correctly, she led the animal over to the plough, still chewing his mouthful of grass, and turned him around, clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth to see the animal back up, just as he had been trained. The plough was connected and she was ready to begin.
Work started at the far end of the farm, and as Lazuli only had enough soybean seeds to cover a quarter acre, she signalled for the ox to begin pulling and didn't stop him until he was half way down the field. The earth was still relatively damp, which meant that the odd breeze today would not blow any dirt in her eyes. It excited her to see so many worms turned up with the soil as her father Jared had always told her that worms were a sign of healthy land. Her actions, however, had not gone unnoticed, and soon some of the local birds started flocking to the area in order to make the most of her hard work. Lazuli shouted, which disturbed their feast momentarily, only to see them return soon enough as if nothing had happened.
It was sometime later before Lazuli thought to call out to Jed, and the dog came tearing across the yard to join her. She made a hissing sound with tongue pressed to the back of her teeth and pointed to the birds, making sure Jed was watching them before she gave the command for him to hunt. He rushed at the birds, chasing them up and down the field until he was tired of the hopeless game and stood panting, his long, pink tongue wagging out over the right side of his jaw, pointed ears listening out for a new and hopefully more favourable command. "Go on then!" Lazuli waved, "good boy, go home." Jed did not need to be told twice and galloped towards the house and his favourite water source.
word count: 578
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Lazuli
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[Warrick] Questioning Life Choices

Up and down, up and down, back and forth until the earth was turned and both the ox and Lazuli were in need of a break. She led the animal to water before later shifting him to stand under a tree. While the ox enjoyed the shade, Lazuli continued working, marching back to the barn in order to make the best of the pile of fertiliser that sat rotting in the corner. She pushed the wheelbarrow around to set it next to the pile and picked up a shovel. At least with her arms burning she might forget the pain in her knees, Lazuli thought, piling the fertiliser up only to push the wheelbarrow down to the freshly tilled earth and set hands to task again, shovelling the contents of the wheelbarrow over the soil, not concentrating too much of the rich fertiliser in any one place.
Lazuli made three more trips with the wheelbarrow before heading inside for a break. Her limbs were glossy with sweat and her hands and forearms were covered in dirt right up to her elbows. She washed her hands quickly and sat down with a biscuit and a lukewarm cup of tea, wondering what had made her crazy enough to take over Jared's farm and continue running it like one. All the other girls from their year level were off attending the university in Andaris, or training for the military, and here she was shovelling shit and following the arse end of an ox all morning. Lazuli thought about her sister then and wondered if it wouldn't just be easier to raise animals and play with the horses all day like they used to. She sighed, Jared would have been proud of both of them and even if she chose to change her path one day, she knew, were her father still here, he would encourage any and all of their hopes and dreams.
Outside the birds were still scratching away at the earth, and Lazuli finished her biscuit and set down the empty mug before returning to work. She led the ox over to the field again and attached him to the plough, ready to start the day's task all over again. Now that the earth had already been turned once and the fertiliser was added, going over it a second time wasn't as strenuous as the first. Warrick earth was rich and forgiving, red like the earth of the Burning Mountains, and full of all the nutrients the soybeans needed to grow. It took a good two hours to finish with the plough and as she undid the last of the straps from the ox, the animal leapt forward and bound away, kicking, bucking, and tossing his head excitedly. If only my work day was over so soon, Lazuli smiled and dragged the plough back to its spot in the barn, hung up the leather harness after she had finished cleaning it, and gathered up the sack of soybeans Jared had left to dry out in the barn.
word count: 517
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Lazuli
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[Warrick] Questioning Life Choices

Soybeans took anywhere from fifty to one hundred days to mature, Lazuli reminded herself as she did her best to ignore the fact that one of Jared's friends had taken their seed planter and decided never to return it, leaving her to do everything by hand, but if the seeds didn't go into the ground today, they wouldn't have enough time to germinate before the weather got too warm. Lazuli carried the sack of beans out of the barn and wadded through the long, windswept grass towards the field. She sized up the task ahead of her and groaned, by the time her head hit the pillow tonight she will have definitely earned some rest.
Lazuli started at one corner and walked in a straight line up and down the field, bent over so that she could set a seed down every few inches into the earth and covered them lightly to make sure the birds wouldn't undo all her hard work. By the time the first row was complete, Lazuli stretched and counted the remaining rows before getting back to work, knees, hips, and back already complaining of the throbbing pain she would have to live with for the next two or three days. Her delicate hands and long narrow fingers made quick work of planting and by dusk the whole field had been tilled, planted out, and was ready for watering.
The search for the watering can took Lazuli back to the barn and as she looked around for it she pondered the different methods in which she might be able to do a lot of the tasks she had covered today, more effectively in future. Investing in a seed planting device was definitely one of them, and perhaps a horse drawn water cart wouldn't go amiss either. With the watering can in hand, Lazuli walked back and forth from the trough, pacing up and down the rows and repeating this exercise until every seed had seen enough water to inspire growth. By the time she had finished with the last row, the first was already dry, but Lazuli still gathered that dusk was the best time of day to put the water down as the sun had set and the earth would not dry and crack as quickly without its rays.
Everything was washed down, including the tools, wheelbarrow, and watering can to prevent rust before they were stored in the barn, arranged neatly off to one side so that they wouldn't get in the way of Lei'lira's work. Inside the house Lazuli stripped down and soaked in the bath until all the dirt was gone from under her nails, and the water she had heated up in the fireplace to add to the bath had gone cold. Her clothes were washed and hung out to dry, and Lazuli returned to the cottage in order to jot down some notes in her journal, marking the date that the soybeans had gone into the ground in order to keep a record of their progress before she fell into bed and moments later, drifted off into a restful sleep.
word count: 535
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Basilisk Snek
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[Warrick] Questioning Life Choices

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Grade Rewards

General Knowledge

Oxen don't hold grudges
Birds take advantage of ones work
Oxen take a break while the farmer doesn't
Planting by hand is long, hard work
Need easier ways to farm

Specialized Knowledge

Worms mean healthy land
Jed: Handy for chasing away birds
Sticking to your goals, even when they're hard
It's best to water plants at dusk

Skills

+2 Animal Husbandry
+2 Animal Training
+5Agriculture
I really enjoyed reading this, a lot of detail for Lazuli's work! I'm definitely looking forward to more threads like this!
word count: 103
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