Old April 7, 2009, 12:58 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Planting the Wild Grapevines - (GM Firebird)

The second Brightening of the First Cycle of the Month of Kalendryas in the Season of Winter, Era 2 of the Celestine Mandate, Era XVI Post Fractum

As the first light of the suns made it's way in his bedroom, Oinos got up quickly, anxious for this important day. He wolfed down some cold meat and bread and went outdoors. The ground was a bit wet from the rainfall of the previous darkening. His first thought was that it would make for easier digging. Oinos hoped that would be so because there sure was a lot of digging to do. He glanced at the hand cart, loaded with grape vines. He then went indoors to get a ball string and came back out to designate lines where he wanted the rows of wild grape vines to be. He figured that by the time he finished laying out the rows, Jakie and his cousins ought to arrive. He wanted to get an early start to ensure that the planting would be finished so the lads could get back home before dark. He was determined to get all the grape vines in the ground on this brightening.
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Old April 8, 2009, 01:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The rain poured down all night, but Oinos was asleep on his bed, his body weary from back breaking work. In the morning it was cloudy but the rain had passed through. The tilled ground had soaked up the water but here and there were large puddles. It would be a messy job planting today, but a slight wind picked up just then and before Oinos knew it, the puddles were gone. Just then Dagma appeared, with Jakie and two other halfling boys. The wind that blew in was apparently the druidess' work. "Thought I'd give ye a head start," her hearty laugh sounded cheerful enough on the brightening. Oinos was probably a little sore from his exertions yester-brightening, but today he had three helpers.

"I gotta go, but here's da boys, this 'un is Chuckie DoGood and his brother Effert." Dagma then turned and strode away into the forest. Drucilla had taken up her place in front of the bee cottage, circling several times until she found the least muddy place on some leaves. Then she sat there looking at the dwarf and halflings.

Jakie ran over to check on the grape vines, to see if they were okay, while Oinos inspected the other two boys. They were twins, with bright blond hair spiked up all over their heads. They were dressed neatly in homespun overalls and their bare feet were bigger than any Oinos had ever seen, covered all over with long light blond hair which was streaked with mud from their travels. "Good brightening, Mr. Grapesmasher, Jakie said yer a good taskmaster. We're here ta help with yer plantin'," one of the twins said.
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Old April 9, 2009, 12:26 AM   #3 (permalink)

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The rain had passed through but it looked as if it had rained all night.

There were large puddles right where he intended to plant. That was not good at all, it would be real messy getting those plants into the ground. However, just then a slight wind picked up and before Oinos knew it, the puddles were gone. As he wondered about that, Dagma appeared, with Jakie and two other halfling boys. Obvious to Oinos, the wind that blew in was the Druidess' work. She said, "Thought I'd give ye a head start," her hearty laugh sounded cheerful enough on the brightening. Oinos was a little sore from his exertions yester-brightening, so he was glad that today he had three helpers. Dagma introduced the boys and then left.

Drucilla had taken up her place in front of the bee cottage, circling several times until she found the least muddy place on some leaves. Then she sat there looking at Oinos and the Halflings. One might say that she appeared to be supervising the operations.

Oinos returned the greeting of the cousins. He then said to Jakie, "You get your cousins to help you spread the plants equal spaced along those lines. I want them to reach right from one end to the other. The dark grapes go in the first row, the red ones in the second row and the green ones in the third row."

He looked at the two cousins and said, "Jakie knows which plants are which color, so mind what he says and they won't be getting mixed up. You're working for me but you're going to do what Jakie tells you."

When the Halflings got to working, Oinos got all the digging tools and set them against the cottage wall. He then took a pick and loosened the soil at each end of the string line. He then took a shovel and dug holes at each of those sites. The holes were twice the size of the root balls. He then called the Halflings over and said, "Once you get all the grapevines in position, I want you to dig holes just like these for each plant. Then you put some soil back in so's the top of the root ball even with the land. I'll check your first few and then you'll be on your own. I'll come along after you and finish adding the soil. When you finish putting in the plants, come see me and we'll have some food. After we eat, we'll try to finish everything. If we finish a candlemark before the suns set and it's all done right, I'll double your pay for the brightening and use you again when I have more work. Jakie will tell you when I need help. Now let's get to work."
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Old April 10, 2009, 04:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The boys followed Oinos and watched him dig the first hole. Then Jakie took them to the beginning of the row and started digging holes. The ground was nice a soft from the rain and Oinos earlier cultivation which had broken up the ground and removed plants and weeds.

After the holes were dug they followed Jakie to the cart and selected out the grapevines by color and then began planting them. The candlemarks flew by and after the boys had done their work, they were ready for Oinos to do his work of a druid.
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Old April 10, 2009, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)

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Topping off the newly planted grapevines with soil took a lot less time than the chores he gave to the young Halflings. Thus he was done very soon after they were. He said to them, "You done good. You worked fast enough but you weren't careless. While I try convincing these here plants to grow fast and strong, I want you lads to take the two hand carts and fill them up with leaves. I don't want pieces of tree branches or debris, just leaves. A few short twigs won't do any harm, so you needn't be too fussy. Go on now and get the leaves."

Oinos went off and got two buckets full of water. The ground. was probably damp enough but he felt like adding some water was an essential element of the spell.

He was now ready, Oinos visualized the Astral Plane; that place where the potential magic that a Druid could use was stored and waiting to be used. He visualized the energy there waiting to be tapped and used it to formulate a spell, transferring energy from the Nature Plane to the newly planted grape vines that he hoped to strengthen and hasten it's growth. He did not expect anything dramatic but he hoped that his spell would help it along some. Then he added a bit water, not too much because the soil was already quite damp. Oinos went from plant to plant, casting the spell on each one. He did not hurry the process and took care to be as diligent at each vine as he was with the others.

When he was done with the first row, the youngsters returned with the two carts full of leaves. Oinos welcomed the opportunity to take a break from spell casting. It was tiring. He had not done this many spells in succession before. He would have to work slower when he resumed the process. He pointed to the row with which he just finished and said, "Those plants are ready for a blanket of leaves atop the ground covering the roots. Don't work too fast. I don't want you breaking any limbs or bumping the plants hard."

He then started on the second row, casting the spell on each plant. When he needed more water, Oinos would call one of lads to fetch it for him. That went on until they had each and every plant done. Oinos checked each one to ensure that there were sufficient leaves to keep the roots from getting overchilled during the winter.
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Old April 11, 2009, 01:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The vines true to their nature did not grow upwards during the wintery chill, but underneath where Oinos couldn't see, the roots were spreading out and embedding themselves in the moist soil. The halflings and the dwarf worked long candlemarks without respite, but when Oinos looked up at quitting time, the suns had not even passed the lower limbs of the surrounding trees.

The work was done, and even Drucilla had been patient awaiting her sweet treat knowing that Oinos and the boys were working at something important.

"Mr Grapesmasher, I think we're done," Jakie said as he and his cousins sat down with relief on the wilted grass by the cottages. Their faces were streaked with dirt. Their feet indistinguishable as feet, they were so covered in mud. "Me mums goin' know we worked hard Mr. Grapesmasher," one of the twins said, "we's got enough mud on us fer two jobs." The three halfling's good natured as most halflings were laughed amongst themselves.
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Old April 11, 2009, 06:11 PM   #7 (permalink)

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Oinos looked at the vineyard with satisfaction. The wild grapevines were resting for the winter season but to the Dwarf they seemed as attractive as vines loaded with succulent grapes. It was a long day but they were done and the youngsters met the goal set by him. The suns had not even passed the lower limbs of the surrounding trees.

He replied to Halflings, "Indeed we are done, the work was done well and well within the time we had, you did a fine job. Tis proper that you have enough mud on you for two jobs, you did enough work for two jobs." He reached into his belt pouch, took out some coins and paid the lads for the day plus the promised bonus. He then added, "I'll have Jakie tell you when I need your help again".

He then went toward the cottage and commented to Drucilla, "I haven't forgotten you". He went into the cottage and came right out with some honey for Drucilla. He set it down in front of the leopard and said, "Enjoy".
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Old April 12, 2009, 08:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The halflings grinned wide smiles at the wages and bonus. "We's thanks you Mr. Grapesmasher. The twins looked at Jakie. "Are yous coming with us Jakie? Mom would like to see you too."

Drucilla stood up and stretched as the boys departed. She knew Oinos would not forget her. As she stood there patiently waiting for her honey, she yawned as if she didn't mind waiting. Once the honey was served, however, was another story. She ran her tongue over the honey savoring it, taking her time so it would last longer. When she was done she looked up at the dwarf then walked over so he could pat her head.

Normally she would not show such gratitude to anyone, but he was a special person in her life, the "honey man."
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Old April 12, 2009, 10:39 PM   #9 (permalink)

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The Halflings seemed pleased enough with the pay and Oinos was certainly pleased with their work. Oinos firmly believed that not only was it proper to be fair and perhaps even generous at times, but it made good business sense as well. When the boys left, it was him and Drucilla. He waved to them. Before long she would go as well, but certainly not until she enjoyed some honey.

She took her time with the treat, obviously wanting to enjoy it longer. When she was done and walked over so he could pat her head, Oinos realized that their friendship was getting stronger as time passed. That was fine with him. This was indeed the first time he had ever had any sort of an attachment with an animal. He patted her head gently, enjoying contact with her.
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Old April 14, 2009, 01:17 AM   #10 (permalink)

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It was a long day's work. The physical part of it was hard enough but the spell casting drained him as well. Oinos had never cast that many spells in a single day. He was ready for a long sleep right after having his evening meal.

When he rose with the suns a thought crossed Oinos' mind. He cast those spells, on each and every grapevine. Though there was no apparent change, he was confident that the plants were strengthened. Why not do the same with the cherry trees he had transplanted during the fall?

After finishing his morning meal, Oinos went out to the stand of cherry trees, carrying two buckets of water. Once he got there, he got to work.
He was now ready, Oinos visualized the Astral Plane; that place where the potential magic that a Druid could use was stored and waiting to be used. He visualized the energy there waiting to be tapped and used it to formulate a spell, transferring energy from the Nature Plane to the first transplanted cherry tree that he hoped to strengthen and hasten it's growth. He did not expect anything dramatic but he hoped that his spell would help it along some. Then he added a bit water, not too much because the soil was still damp. Oinos went from tree to tree, casting the spell on each one. He did not hurry the process and took care to be as diligent at each tree as he was with the others.
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Old April 14, 2009, 01:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The trees had lost their leaves in Junctior but now in Kalendryas when the weather was cold, they had become dormant. However, this was to be a short winter and Spring was only 4 cycles away, so Oinos did good to give his trees that extra boost they were going to need to make the transition from a short winter to spring.

The roots grabbed into the soil and the chill in the air that signified a sudden freeze could come in at any moment should not reach beneath the earth to solidly freeze the ground. Come spring the trees would be ready to bloom and new growth which would be essential to the production of cherries was clearly given a needed boost with the druid's spell. Being a druid and a plantation owner was clearly an advantage which would prove profitable.
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Old April 20, 2009, 11:08 PM   #12 (permalink)

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As he waited for spring, Oinos checked the vines regularly. He was particularly concerned about keeping them properly watered. Oinos realized that each individual plant had to be checked. It would be quite possible that one plant had enough moisture but further down the row, another might be dry. He took care not to water the vines themselves, just the soil over the roots. He also took care not to water the plants unless the temperature was above freezing.

When he looked at the plants, Oinos was anxious for spring to come so the greenery would appear and become productive. He was tempted to do something with the vines but he restrained himself, knowing that a dormant state during the winter should not be interfered with.
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Old April 21, 2009, 11:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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oocI would suggest making a separate thread practicing spells, you know me, practice, practice, practice

Taking care of the plants was good, and Oinos needed to think about practicing his druidism skills on other things too. For example, his summoning and other spells which might come in very handy when and if Spring arrived. After all druidism and farming went hand and hand ....

 

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