Arc 721, 23 Ashan
After spending the morning with Balthazar, Elisabeth decided that she needed to follow up on a conversation she had with Edward Munny the trial before. The young mage had found reference to something the late Baron had called a ‘Cado’ system in the cherished set of ‘Baron Books’ that Elisabeth had been gifted during Cylus Dusk. As he had explained it, he saw the system used in undeveloped areas of Scalvoris and what he described sounded like it would lend well to their current issue of freshwater. Balthazar was working on a more permanent solution but until that was sorted out, they needed something to ease the issue within the settlement.
Finding her way to the Munny Farm – a relatively common occurrence these trials, Elisabeth found Edward and William outside, cleaning up the barrels that were to be used for the system. Edward, the patriarch of the farming family, was a serious individual and not prone to excessive conversation. Nodding as she approached the pair, William – his son, looked up and greeted her with a bit of a grunt. “Just in time. We pulled the barrels out of storage yesterday, shortly after you and Delilah left. I had thought we would be able to get them positioned but realized that it was a bit late in the trial, and we needed to clean them up a bit before they would be ready to place. Good thing we kept these around after we used the water out of them.”
Setting one of the barrels upright, he continued. “I asked a few of my friends in the settlement to come help carry them out into the settlement. We have 12 barrels total. Six for the farm and six scattered into the settlement at various points?” Elisabeth gave the matter some thought and nodded in agreement. “I think that’s fair. We can always start with that plan and modify later based on the input we get. If there isn’t enough or an overabundance in one place or another, we can adjust.” The thing Elisabeth was quickly about being a leader was that most of the time, it wasn't simply about telling people what to do. There was a lot of listening and collaborative work involved with leading a settlement.
Just then, a trio of older teen boys came walking up the path to the Munny Farm, calling out to William. Edward excused himself, citing the need to get back to his other work, leaving Elisabeth with the four workers. Giving them all a smile, she figured that getting to work was probably the best idea. "Okay then, let's situate the farm barrels first. I'm assuming the areas that need the most would be the fields?" Looking to William for thoughts, he nodded but then looked back at the house. "Hmmm..perhaps one at the back of the house. That's where Delilah and my mother have set up the frames for the transplants and trees. Anything we are experimenting with goes back there so..yes, one back there."
Each barrel took two people to carry. For the most part, Elisabeth let the boys do the heavy labor but stepped in for a few bits when William needed to run to ask Edward a question about crop placement in the fields. Bending at her knees, she pushed up, lifting the barrel at the same time as Joel, one of the workers, and began slowly moving it towards the end of the field. It was tricky business moving the barrels because of their cumbersome size. At one point, Joel pointed out that they could simply roll the barrels, which would have been easier. She agreed, but the fact was that keeping them relatively clean was important. Plus, conditioning and exercise were always good things, especially in a settlement like Haven where training and physical fitness were things that were encouraged.
Once all six farm barrels were placed, it was time to move the remaining six to the settlement proper...and that was going to take some time.
Logistically, Elisabeth had already talked to Balthazar about the best placement and come to a conclusion. One barrel at the research station. One barrel at the clam farm. The rest were to be placed within the cluster of buildings that made up the settlement. Location-wise, Elisabeth and Balthazar's tent would be the furthest away from the barrels but it was of little matter considering how small the settlement was. Even so, it would take either of them only thirty trills or so to reach the barrels.
Two of the workers moved off with the research rain barrel, instructed to return for another after, and bring it to the residential area of the settlement. Two others left with the one headed to the clam farm, receiving similar instructions. Elisabeth herself stayed behind to talk to Delilah, waiting for their return so they could move the next two barrels into the settlement. Once lifted, the small group made their way down the path, following the young mage through the maze of buildings and to a small clearing, easily accessible to all. Pointing, she instructed the barrels to be left there and for them to return and grab the final two to join them. Looking up at the sky, rain was expected later that trial and while it wasn't unusual for the time of arc, it was still cold outside. Later in the arc, storms would return, bringing lots of precipitation to the area and she wanted the system up and running before then, to capitalize on them. They at least had enough barrels up that if it started raining right then, they could still test the system.
After a few bits, the workers returned for the final two barrels, placing them with the others. Everything was set. She glanced at the barrels, slightly disappointed that she hadn't been able to figure out anything for the tops of the barrels, to collect greater amounts of water to funnel in but it was good enough for the time being. All they needed now was...well, rain.
She was on the beach meditating when the rain arrived a few breaks later. Well, rain might be pushing it a bit. Heavy sprinkles might have been a more appropriate description. Looking up, she smiled, rose from her position on the beach, and walked towards the settlement. Obviously, there wouldn't be much to report - the concept was simple enough - but there was a curiosity inside her to see for herself if there were any oddities or unexpected issues that arose. As well, it was probably best for her to check the system herself so she could tell Balthazar directly if something went wrong.
Traversing the small maze of buildings, she found her way to the gaggle of barrels left in the residential area of the settlement. Elisabeth wasn't expecting much as she peeked into the open barrels. Leaving them open increased the area available to collect water. Edward had mentioned that in the hotter months, it was possible they would have to devise some sort of screens to keep insects out but still allow the water in. It seemed reasonable although she was sure whatever Balthazar was working on would be done before then so it would be possible that the rain barrels would be a small secondary system for watering fields and such, with no need for filtration.
As expected, a small pool of water was collecting at the bottom of each of the barrels. It was as simple as that. Now they just needed to be patient and see how long it took to collect a meaningful amount. Elisabeth confessed to herself that standing water was another issue she had. The longer water sat, unused, the more chance of contamination. She'd have to think on that, devising a way to make sure the settlers used the water at a fairly rapid pace. She could, of course, always heat the water up to sterilize it at any point but the whole theory behind the rain barrels was a system of ease, not complexity.
A quick walk to the clam farm and research station confirmed similar results and also allowed her to note the barrel placements to make sure they were adequate since she hadn't accompanied the workers to those sites. Rounding out the tour was another trip out to the farm. She didn't bother the Munny's - all out and about doing their thing - and instead just checked each of the barrels for obvious issues, finding none.
Smiling, she decided to go back and resume her trial, contemplating what else needed to be done before nightfall. Instead of heading to the settlement proper, she turned and took the path down to the beach, wanting to enjoy a walk in the rain with bare feet in the warm sand.
Taking off her boots, she kicked a bit of sand with her shoe before looking up, seeing Balthazar in the distance. He seemed to be glancing about - usually a sign he was looking to see where she had gone off to. Elisabeth had a lot to tell him, happy that progress was being made in several areas. The rain barrels would be a blessing, certainly, and she was glad to have come across the information regarding them.
Just another trial in Haven.