Solo Elephants in the Room II

(Job thread) Ines's first day on the job, learning more of the basics.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Elephants in the Room II

Postby Ines on August 1st, 2019, 3:21 am

Summer 4th 519AV

wc: 570


Ines knew that she'd have to do most, if not all, of the second ashta's ties and knots herself. Lars was kind enough to assist her before, but tightening buckles that were nearly identical to a belt was child's play compared to moving rope and leather around in a way that kept the load secure and easy to untie. Luckily there wasn't an immediate need for a delivery, so the kelvic didn't have to worry about tying it wrong and a pile of lumber being dropped in the sand a mile away.

The ashta that Ines was working on had run off by the time Tony left, harness and all tied still tied around her chest and legs. The witch found her splashing in the nearby soaking pool. She was hesitant to command animals even when she could. Instead, the kelvic stood there pleading, both verbally and mentally, with the cow to come over so she could finish her lesson. Lars stood on the sidelines and laughed quite boisterously the entire time.

"Ines, perhaps instead we can do something else for now." He said. The witch wasn't too intent on tying knots well after she would have forgotten them, but she also didn't have the heart to drag away the elephant after she had waited so long. Ines sighed and dried sweat and splashed elephant soaking water from her face with her red kerchief, and jogged back to Lars.

"What do I do instead?" She asked as she followed the millwright to the shed like a lost puppy. He said nothing, and instead grabbed one of the pitchforks and held it out.

"There's another empty cart for the manure. If you worked with the bigger Myrian elephants before, then you must be much stronger than you look." Ines nodded furiously and took the pitchfork, desperate to prove herself. The mill was still down, so Lars didn't have much to do but watch her. The kelvic wasn't unused to having to prove herself to her superiors and was unfazed with an audience.

The pitchforks available were different than the ones she had used in Taloba, though she couldn't tell how, exactly. It just felt different. This feeling was also how Ines tried to justify to herself why she had dropped elephant shyke a few feet away from where she had picked it up. The cart she was trying to fill was next to the shed, and not far away, but in her many days away from Taloba before reaching Syka she seemed to have forgotten the right way to hold leverage.

Ines did not normally beat herself up over mistakes, but she did feel frustrated at not performing up to personal standards. Picking up elephant shyke was a fact of life for her before, and it was again. She scooped up the pile again, this time making it to the cart and tossing it in, the strain finally showing her muscles. She went back and forth like this for nearly a bell, finally getting used to the feeling of picking up the piles of dung. A few chimes in the millwright decided she knew what she was doing and decided to help her with the near endless task. Occasionally the ashta watched, but most of them were playing with leaves or splashing around in their pool, spraying water on anything unlucky (or lucky) enough to get too close.
Last edited by Ines on August 5th, 2019, 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Elephants in the Room II

Postby Ines on August 1st, 2019, 3:23 am

wc: 530


Despite Lars having cleaned up much of the piles of dung earlier in the morning, the second cart was already half full. The area surrounding the mill was now mostly clean, though, and the half-harnessed ashta was ready to cooperate. She stood in front of the other cart, happily swishing her tail and fanning her ears as Ines approached.

"She's a bit of a princess. Only cooperates without being dramatic when the mill is completely clean." Lars said, having retrieved more leather straps and rope. The kelvic had little difficulty believing this. The first knot-tying task was up - tying the leather to the arms of the cart. Looking up at the arm of the cart, she momentarily paused the task to jog off and retrieve the step-stool. Then the kelvic looped the leather through the D-ring on the leg of the ashta but reached the end of her memory with that action. Lars stood next to her, watching closely and ready to give her the step-by-step.

"Pull the leather over the wagon arm and over to the right." He instructed, and the kelvic followed. "And under...and then over the left." She looped it as told.

This isn't so hard.

She remembered something the millwright had insisted on earlier - the third wrap should be...shyke, she didn't remember. It was either under or over one of the earlier turns. The imagery of what he did seemed much too complicated in her head, and the kelvic simply wrapped it around the same as she had before, just a second time. To her surprise, Lars insisted she did it right. It really *was* much simpler than she had thought.

"Now, just pull it under the second turn you made..." Easy enough. The second turn was the...left...inside loop. Ines pulled it through, " and tie a little knot at the end..." the millwright continued. That was new. She didn't know what she was supposed to tie it at the end, considering that the knot she had just done was the only one she could ever remember doing, and not just watching. She looked at the man, confused.

"What...kind of knot?" No sooner than she asked did Lars tie an overhand knot in the end, and the kelvic realized she had tied this before, and the man himself had tied it just a few bells earlier. It was so simple and forgettable, something she had learned so long ago, its name and concept had slipped out of her memory already. He undid it and the bat did it herself, and after confirming with the man that this was the last step, tightened the knot.

It looked much sloppier than the millwright's did and took two or three times as long, but she was satisfied. Until she remembered that she was going to have to do it again, and again, and again...and that there were entirely new knots for her to learn still. She took the other end of the leather, strung through the D-ring. It hit her that Lars had done it the opposite way when hitching up the other ashta, but if he hadn't felt the need to correct her, it probably didn't matter.
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Elephants in the Room II

Postby Ines on September 25th, 2019, 2:38 am

wc: 526


To tie the leather to the harness, she had to do a knot with a name related to multiple hitches, or something in the area. Something about turning, too. Ines really had to commit these names to memory, but she also didn't think the names more important than the action. She again followed Lars's instructions.

"Wrap the strip through the ring twice," he said, and the kelvic wrapped the long, excess tail through and around the ring again. "That is the round turn part of the name, and holds it tight while you do the rest of the knot." Ines nodded an acknowledgment, though she was intently staring at the leather as if it were going to tell her its secrets.

"The next part is going to be two of the same. Just take the tail, hold it over the part of the strap coming from the cart handle, and loop the end through the hole, under the piece coming from the cart, and then through and over itself. You know, the part coming off of the ring." Ines felt this explanation was fairly long-winded, but she wanted to take any extra, useful information she could get. She moved it over and under and over again, and the man told her to do it a second time, the same way she had done it before. It was a bit confusing because the starting point seemed different, but once she started doing it, the process made sense. The witch now pulled this knot to tighten it, and was finally 1/6th of the way done with hooking up the ashta to the cart.

She could have sworn that Lars had been done with one side by the time she was done with only two of the knots. That was a speed she planned on being able to reach with practice, and by necessity. All of the knots going down either side of the ashta were the same - boom hitch for the handle, and round-turn-half-hitch...round turn two half hitch somethings on the harness. The only difference was the use of a rough, hempen rope for the sides. The next few times were much easier, even with a different material for tying. It wasn't until she was halfway through the other side when she realized that they weren't actually going to be bringing the cart anywhere yet.

That was when part two of the knot-tying lesson hit her.

"How do I untie these?" She asked, finishing the second to last of six pairs of knots. There wasn't anything to carry along at that moment. The kelvic chastised herself for not noticing earlier. Though she had excellent practice with tying the harness in, now she had to undo it all.

"See if you can figure it out." Lars responded, his smile just enough past a smirk to be friendly. The kelvic did not often complain, but she did frown for a tick. It wasn't exactly a puzzle, but just tugging at the ropes seemed inefficient. Ines didn't see much choice in the matter, anyway. She tugged on the different loops of the rope, trying to find what part would give.
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Elephants in the Room II

Postby Ines on November 4th, 2019, 12:46 am

wc: 983


The witch eventually found a section that seemed to pull away, but in her various other fruitless attempts, she had managed to mess up the rest of it, anyway. She quickly found that her small fingers greatly benefited the task. After taking a step back and thinking again about how the knot was formed, Ines managed to push, prod, and pull the knot into its original state of simple rope. Each new knot proved easier than the last, and by the end of the harness, the bat had managed to get her time down from five chimes to a matter of ticks. She hoped that the new finger cramping would go away just as fast.

She slid the harness off of the cow, giving her a good scratch under her chin for being so patient. With no time to waste, she put the harness back in the shed and went back out to see Lars holding a strange-looking brush, a hooked knife, and a giant metal file that he had retrieved from near his bungalow. He directed the cow towards a small section of sturdy railing and tapped it with the file as a sort of pointer. She dutifully placed one of her feet on the railing, and Ines had a clear view of the bottom of her foot and her nails. The footpad itself had a surface that was somehow both smooth and bumpy, like a larger version of the same texture of the Ashta's skin.

Elephants in Taloba were free to roam wherever they desired in Falyndar, and so except for extenuating circumstances, they didn't require extra foot care. The Ivory Tusk clan was also especially careful about rotating the working Tskannas frequently, though Ines never knew why.

"Ashta feet are the most important part of their body, except maybe their ears and bony face. But even if their ears stopped working so well, they could live with their herd." Lars kneeled down next to the propped up foot. "If their foot pads are diseased or if their nail pads are overgrown, they would be unable to walk. That's much more dangerous." He picked up the brush, which was longer than it was wide and seemed to be covered in metal bristles, rather than the jungle boar hair bristles she used for her own hair. It was effective on her feet - the bat saw a lot of dirt and excess sand being brushed off while he used it. Ines reached out for the cow that she now recognized as Ink. The ashta was clearly enjoying the cleaning.

"The first thing you need to do is brush off any extra dirt or sand that can be stuck in the foot. In the wild, the Ashta don't need any extra care. They walk through the mountains and jungle, where the plants crushed underfoot condition their feet and the natural soil and long-distance keeps their nails trimmed and healthy." He started brushing in more specific spots now, spots where the sand was most easily stuck into the foot. Then he set the brush down and picked up the strange hook knife. Her nails already seemed pretty trimmed, but there were some unnaturally dark bits of the nail near the flesh.

The millwright maneuvered so that the pad was close to his body, and he used his strength and some of his body weight to slowly carve any excess nail off until the bottom of the nail was flush with the bottom of the actual footpad. He also carved the front of the huge nails so that they were close to the foot. "Even though the Ashta can free roam, because of how often I need them to work, they do a lot of their travel on the roads or sand, which isn't healthy for their feet."

The next step was the giant file, which had a straightforward purpose. Lars used it to soften the hard edges of trim that had been done with the hooked knife and to smooth everything out. After Ink put her newly manicured foot down, he again tapped the railing on the opposite side. The ashta put up her other foot, and the man handed the witch the original brush. "After you brush off the dust, show me which parts of her foot you think need attention."

Cleaning out the sand and dried much from between the small crevices and crannies in the cow's toes was surprisingly satisfying. The Kelvic considered what it would look like if they dyed the Ashta's nails like young Myrian girls often did before celebrations, and decided to store that idea away as a prank for future Ines to do. In her thoughts, the Kelvic realized she had managed to finish cleaning off Ink's foot. Ines was quite a sight, sitting in the dirt and looking all around the Ashta's foot for signs of being overgrown or the beginnings of disease. The first thing she noticed was that the bottoms of the nails weren't even with the foot and that the nails stuck out too far, the same as the other front foot. To make sure she covered everything, though, the witch pressed parts of the cow's foot and nails, waiting to feel the pain or discomfort that would come with something wrong. There - when she pressed one of the nails on a certain side, Ink shared her pain.

She pointed this out to Lars, who kneeled in the dirt beside her. After prodding some flesh himself, he saw that there was a sizeable rock that managed to embed itself between her nail and her flesh. Ines soothed the Ashta while the millwright used the end of the hook knife to dig out the rock. The way that the Ashta still managed to keep calm despite the obvious pain spoke volumes to the trust that she put into Lars.
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Elephants in the Room II

Postby Ines on November 4th, 2019, 12:47 am

wc: 578


Overjoyed that she had already managed to help one of her new charges, Ines started trimming the nail with newfound vigor. The nails were much harder than they looked, and Lars had made it look much too easy. With much experimentation, the witch was able to find a process that worked for her and managed to scrape off the offending nail bits. It was much sloppier than Lars' job on the other front foot, and he had to make quite a few adjustments to the trimming, but the millwright assured her that the mess was nothing the file couldn't smooth out. The file, however, was the size of the bat's forearm, and much heavier than expected.

The Kelvic started with a sawing motion, but because of her position, she was not getting any real filing done. After a few hand and position changes, She found that if she held the handle of the file with her dominant right hand and rested her left hand on top of it, it provided enough leverage and pressure to stay on the nail and actually file it. Lars started peeling bananas and breaking them in half, treats for her exceptional patience of the day. After what she considered a job well done, the millwright inspected.

"For your first time, that's not bad." he said, taking the file. He started cleaning it up a bit more, pointing out angular bits in the corners of the nail and other parts that could get caught on things or just be uncomfortable and that needed to be filed off. Now that the foot was clean and tidy, he pointed out the parts of her foot.

"Elephants have five toes and five nails, but because of the way their foot is shaped, you can't see the individual toes. They still have bones and flesh that can get infected and cause them pain. The bottom of the foot is the footpad. Touch the heel." The Kelvic was taken aback from the last request but assumed it was for a good reason. She hadn't touched the heel of the elephant before because she had been so focused on the nails and toes. It was...squishy? She pressed it again, a bit harder, and while the foot itself was rough and the skin was tough, it still went in like a sponge. The look on her face when she turned to look at Lars was of pure bewilderment. He laughed and continued his lesson.

"Their feet - if you looked inside, and saw the bones - would look like they were walking on tiptoe all the time. They really are, but there's fat underneath that protects their feet and makes them much quieter than you'd expect. It helps with walking in mud, too, because their foot has a different shape when it's pressing down than when it's lifting up. It keeps them from getting stuck."

After the brief explanation, Lars left to go do the rest of the work he needed to do around the sawmill. Ines knew that the time he spent making sure she knew what to do was a good investment to saving him time in the future, but she still felt a bit bad that there were specific tasks she didn't know how to do. Ines was left to finish Ink's back feet by herself, though aside from the more oval shape, it was much of the same that she'd just learned.
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Ines
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Posts: 237
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Joined roleplay: May 2nd, 2017, 10:41 pm
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Elephants in the Room II

Postby Ines on November 4th, 2019, 3:52 am

Ines
Experience
Skill XP Earned
Animal Husbandry 5
Bodybuilding 1
Investigation 1
Knot-Tying 2
Observation 4
Rhetoric 1

Lores
  • Animal Husbandry: Picking up manure
  • Animal Husbandry: Ashta foot care tools
  • Animal Husbandry: Positioning an Ashta on a railing for foot care
  • Animal Husbandry: Feet most important part of an Ashta
  • Animal Husbandry: Using a metal bristle brush to clean Ashta feet
  • Animal Husbandry: Trimming Ashta nails with a hooked knife
  • Animal Husbandry: Sand & hard stone are not good on Ashta feet
  • Animal Husbandry: Filing Ashta nails
  • Animal Husbandry: Using Nura to locate an injury
  • Anatomy: Ashta Foot
  • Wild Ashta: Don't need extra foot care
  • Wild Ashta: Foliage and long distances keep their feet maintained
  • Ink: Ashta Drama Queen
  • Ink: Likes when the mill is clean
  • Knot-Tying: Tying the Harness to the Cart
  • Knot-Tying: Untying Overhand Knot
  • Knot-Tying: Untying Boom Hitch Knot
  • Knot-Tying: Untying Round Turn & Two Half Hitch Knot
  • Knot-Tying: Having small fingers helps untying


Additional Comments
Ines you are totally awesome. Best writer ever. Can I have your autograph?
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Ines
sexy dracula
 
Posts: 237
Words: 152952
Joined roleplay: May 2nd, 2017, 10:41 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Kelvic
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 4
Featured Thread (2) Mizahar Grader (1)
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