Arc 721, 16 Ashan
“There’s what over where and doing what?” Elisabeth said. Balder had come to tell Balthazar something but instead, found Elisabeth within their tent, doing a bit of research. She was between meditation, blade, unarmed, and whatever else training got thrown her direction that trial and had decided to grab a quick bite in the tent she shared with her favorite Yari. Unfortunately, Balthazar was off with a few of the settlers, discussing…something….and she found herself with a bit of time to do a little light reading.
When Balder found her, she was sitting at Balthazar’s desk, book propped open, eating cheese and bread. Obviously expecting to find the settlement leader, Balder had smiled at the young mage and turned to leave when she stopped him. “Balder, tell me what you need and I’ll tell you if I can help you. I may not be Balthazar but there are some things I can do….”
“Well, I was talking to the Buckwins and they said that their son found a large clump of plants to the south of the settlement. Not far, in the dry area of the sand, at the edge of the waterline. He walks that direction every trial, looking for shells and such. He said that the plants have been small but got larger recently and look to be ready to produce something. I thought Balthazar should know. “
Elisabeth nodded, closing her book, shoving the last piece of cheese in her mouth before rising. It was interesting information indeed, but the issue was if it turned out to be a false lead, Balthazar’s valuable time would have been wasted. Thinking quickly, she made a decision. “I agree…but I have a bit of spare time right now. Let Balthazar know that I’m going to take the Buckwin boy and Delilah Munny down to where the plants are and take a look. If it’s something, we will bring either plants or information back, and fill you all in.” The guard looked at her a bit uncertainly but nodded and ran off to find Balthazar.
Grabbing her sword, Elisabeth secured the weapon to her side and walked into the settlement to find the people she needed. The Buckwin boy, Elias, was more than happy to guide Elisabeth to where he found the plants….and Delilah Munny, from Munny Farms, agreed to go along as an experienced voice, hoping to classify the plant and figure out if it had any properties they could use. Resources on Faldrass were in short supply and they needed to utilize everything they could. Sometimes that meant figuring out what things were first and doing a bit of research.
The trio set out, shovels and canvas bags in hand just in case. Elisabeth, armed with her sword, did not expect one iota of trouble. Where the plants were happened to be still in sight of the settlement and nowhere near the Badlands. It was close to the waterline and even the boy had been walking down that far each trial with no issues. It was still within the parameters of the “don’t go beyond the sight of the settlement” rule Balthazar had imposed. Still, the sword gave her comfort, knowing if an emergency came up, she could deal with it.
Within bits, they had arrived at the large clump of plants. Elias explained to Delilah how the plants had started smaller, vines shooting out of each and producing new plants. Kneeling in the sand, the Munny daughter inspected the plant and vines, consulting a small book she had with her. A few of the plants seemed to have small, red berries starting to appear but Elisabeth couldn’t be sure. For all she knew, they could be little bulbs coming out of the plants. Plant identification was not her thing.
Finally standing, Delilah glanced in the raven-haired mage’s direction. “Well, I think what we have here is the Rubrum Berry plant. It took me a minute because it really shouldn’t be bearing fruit yet but as we’ve seen with other things, the warm, volcanic sands of Faldrass seem to make things grow differently here than other places. It’s odd for sure but is totally logical.”
Showing Elisabeth the entry in her book, Delilah explained. “Rubrum berries are used mostly for cooking purposes. They are common in coastal areas, so I’m not surprised that they are here. Not indigenous to Faldrass – I’ve seen them in other areas of Scalvoris too and this book states that they can be found around most any beach really. They like sand. They also have a few medicinal purposes which will be helpful too. Acidic in nature with a high nutrient and antioxidant content. Will help improve immune function and decrease blood pressure ”
Elisabeth listened carefully and nodded, kneeling to look at the plant. “So, is there a way to get the plant back to the settlement? How do we do that appropriately? I’m pretty sure we don’t want a farm of these plants out here, right?” Delilah laughed a bit and shook her head. “No, but with rubrum, it’s pretty easy. See the vines? Those are called ‘runners’. Each one of those vines, where they touch the ground, will produce new plants. It’s an efficient way to propagate plants. I think if we dig up several of the plants and take them back to the farm, we can get started in the nursery beds and have new plants fairly quickly. We can also send a few people back here to harvest these berries when they are ready, which shouldn’t be more than a 10-trial by the looks of it, but we will have to see. Let’s dig some of these plants up and get them back.”
Delilah picked out ten of the healthiest plants in the bunch and the trio began digging them up. The sandy soil made the process easy and before long, all the plants were nestled into three bags carefully, watered down for the trip back to the settlement and they were on their way back.
The trip back was a bit slower because of the heavier bags but they eventually drug everything to the Mummy Farm and Delilah went to get her mother, Jolene.
Before long, both Jolene and Delilah came back, and the woman began inspecting the plants with her, nodding as they spoke quietly and she moved off again, back to the house, leaving Delilah to explain. “They’re definitely Rubrum berry plants. Good luck for us as they are extremely easy to grow. She thinks the nursery beds are the best for them right now until they start producing berries. Once that’s done, we can move them onto the one end of the vegetable garden and let them go wild out there.”
The three of them then moved all the plants to raised garden beds behind the Munny house, Delilah explaining what they were doing. “These beds are filled with the warm orange sand and a special compost mixture we brought with us here. Transplanting plants stresses them, so being in these beds helps them establish themselves, grow roots quickly and transition successfully. We should have very large plants soon and once the runners attach to the soil, we can detach them from the main plants and…new plants. She doesn’t think there will be any issues so let’s just leave these here. She’ll be back in a minute to start transplanting them into the beds. Had to get some tools.“ Elisabeth smiled at the young woman and nodded. “I’ll ask Balthazar to stop in and talk to Jolene soon. I’m sure he’ll be happy to know that another local food source was found, and it will be easy to replicate within the settlement. Thanks for helping, Delilah…and you too Elias. I’ll make sure to let him know how much you two helped.”
After leaving the farm and moving back into the settlement proper, Balder found her again. “Told him. He said to make sure you let him know what happened and he’ll catch up with you later to-trial.”
Sounded like Balthazar.
Making her way back to the tent, she stepped in, putting away her weapon and resuming her place at Balthazar’s desk. Grabbing a piece of paper out of her notebook, she wrote him a quick note.
Balthazar – Found berry plant! Jolene Munny says to visit when you get a chance and he’ll tell you about it. Looks very promising for a food source and a few minor medicinal purposes.
Miss you. Hope you are having a good trial!
Miss you. Hope you are having a good trial!
Folding the note up, she quickly wrote his name on the outside and slipped it under the blanket on the cot. That’s where they had started leaving notes for each other. It was a place where they knew the notes to be…but no one else did. Well, that wasn’t true. Balthazar’s shadows knew where they were hidden but to date, none had tried to peek at them. At least not that Elisabeth knew about.
Sighing softly, she went back to the desk, opened her book back up again, and resumed her research – smile on her face.
All in a trial’s work.