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Northern Occupations: Domestics - Culture
Written By: Elizabeth Barrette (Writer), Ellen Million (Editor)
These are some of the things that domestics do.
 
 

Domestics work primarily in or very near the village, and rarely take long trips except when everyone travels to the summer gathers. They tend to prefer company and dislike working alone. They manage resources which have been brought into the village, such as food and tools, and they produce most of the goods that Northerners use. They do a majority of the everyday tasks that keep a culture functioning. This includes taking care of rangers when they are inside the village, if necessary, because many rangers do poorly at household work. All of this takes a great deal of time, so there are somewhat more domestics than rangers.

While some of these occupations require physical and mental fitness, many do not, so people with disabilities typically declare as domestics. Northerners make concerted effort to find meaningful work for everyone because they can't afford to waste human capital, so they pay close attention to people's performance in an effort to discover their best abilities. Many people declare simply as "domestic" with no further specialization, and alternate tasks based on what needs extra hands; this constitutes the majority of the village workforce. Young adults with no strong inclination in a particular direction, who are at least adequate at village work, typically settle as domestics. Sometimes rangers retire to a domestic occupation as their bodies start to wind down. Although there are no firm gender roles in the North, domestics include slightly more women than men.



Carers:

Healers provide various types of health care. They are bonesetters, herbalists, dentists and mother-tenders (midwives). They also teach basic first aid, which everyone is required to study. They manage medicinal supplies and equipment. They often live in a house with space for elders or patients who require regular attention.

While not a restricted occupation -- a village will take as many healers as they can get -- healing is among the most demanding in terms of qualifications. A full healer must demonstrate familiarity with all the techniques and areas of healing, although healers often become known for a tighter area of expertise. Once healers pass the challenging tests, they wear a blue bead to identify their occupation. The herbalism specialty is designated by a plant bead, often a leaf or flower. A village really needs at least one full healer, but it's not always easy to maintain that. In Itadesh: Dlameda, and Kalitelm. In Itrelir: Asharela, Krethel, and Nrath (in training). In Itakith: Ufalaarn

These are augmented by other people who have a specialty in one or two areas. Collectively, healing is one of the most popular auxiliary skills. Plenty of rangers learn advanced first aid or herbalism, because they may be the only help far from home. Snowy-healing is also a crossover skill that combines aspects of herding and healing. Some domestics learn herbalism, especially cooks or gatherers who have other interests in plants. Women who have borne several babies often become mother-tenders; it's a popular specialty for those past menopause. A village usually has at least a handful of mother-tenders, and there's no limit on how many people can develop this skill.


Mother-tenders take care of pregnant women. They provide moral support as well as advice on how to have a healthy pregnancy. (As with general healers, it is permitted for women to discuss a pregnancy in private with mother-tenders.) They make sure that the mother-house is comfortable and stocked with everything the women might want or need. They will send people out to meet cravings if necessary -- a good way to get rid of hovering fathers or age-mates who are getting underfoot. Mother-tenders usually act as midwives, as well, though sometimes a primary healer will be called in if there are complications.

This vital specialty has many requirements. Mother-tenders first need an exceptionally calm, gentle, patient, and loving personality. They also need to know a great deal about pregnant women, childbirth, and newborns. They usually have an auxiliary specialty in herbalism or midwifery, but not always. This is a good choice for women past menopause who enjoyed their own pregnancies. Villages aim for at least 1-2 in Itadesh, 2-3 in Itakith, and 3-4 in Itrelir. In Itadesh: Trelon. In Itrelir: Thrani


Raisers take care of young people until they reach adulthood. This includes meeting all the basic needs such as feeding (if the mother isn't breastfeeding, or after weaning), dressing and changing, bathing, etc. They also teach social skills and early life skills. Raisers, more than parents, are the adults with whom most Northern children form the closest attachments. This way it's easier to encourage people to reproduce even if they don't want to raise children, because someone else will do that part. This also makes a popular occupation for homosexual or infertile people who love children, but find it difficult or impossible to make their own. Nobody has to go childless in the North! Raisers do need to be emotionally resilient, as the infant mortality rate is approximately 50% in the first five years, and remains high (30%) through childhood. There is regular burnout in this field, especially in the infant house, where long nights of broken sleep combined with frequent loss combine to make a highly stressful and demanding occupation.

Young people are divided into infants (up to about age 5-6 when they join an age-set) and children (up to puberty when they pass the adulthood tests). While some raisers alternate between these categories, many prefer to stick with one age group. Some raisers spend a majority of their time on a particular type of activity, such as playing games, cuddling, or teaching. So while it's necessary to have some raisers with a broad skill range, anyone with a skill useful in childcare can become a raiser. This makes it a good occupation for older people or those with handicaps. In Itakith: Otima is mentally "slow" and specializes in cuddling, while Eqar is a retired ranger who focuses on play; in Itadesh, Marai is deaf and does general infant care.

Villages aim for a ratio of about 1 raiser per 10-12 young people, so several raisers live in each infant-house and child-house. Usually one raiser will move to the child-house with a new age-set, then move back when the children become adults. Itadesh tends to have about 10-12 raisers, Itakith about 17-20, and Itrelir 25-30. Roughly a third will care for infants, a third for children, and a third for both. In Itadesh: Marai (infants). In Itrelir: Ireluun, Akala, Alikii, Dobarro, Floqu, Imamom, Lifaru, Luulan, Oyera, and Tekura. In Itakith: Eqar.



Childbearers:

The birthrate for Northern women is 2-3 children per woman, with approximately 3-4 live births per year per hundred in population. There are more pregnancies than that, but the rate of stillbirth is unusually high in the north. The deathrate, by comparison, is about 3-4 deaths per year per hundred people (most of these are child deaths prior to age 5). Facing a slowly dwindling population, it is every villager's first responsibility to add to the genetic pool and do their duty to bear or sire children if they are able to.

Childbearers are women with the highly respected ability to birth healthy babies. Anyone who can do this reliably is encouraged to specialize in it, and not pressured toward any other major responsibilities that they don't want, though idle hands are generally frowned on. Childbearers are treasured and pampered, usually given whatever they want in the way of food and other supplies if at all possible, and when they aren't actively pregnant, they are usually nursing or trying to get pregnant again.

A woman is usually honored with the title of "childbearer" after her fifth living child. Friends often throw a party for her around the second or third month after that birth, so she has time to recover and the new baby is seen to be thriving. This is an uncommon but high-demand specialty, and villages eagerly accept all they can get. In Itakith: Latusha, and Tenyo.

A man's contribution to childmaking does not go unnoticed, and men who father lots of children are respected - even honored! - but it is not considered an occupation.




Cooking:

Cooks prepare and serve food. They also organize and produce the occasional large feasts. They are responsible for keeping the cooking utensils clean and organized, for handling ingredients, and for maintaining the "eternal soup" in its inset hollows on the hearth. Cooks need to understand dietary requirements and the seasonal availability of ingredients. But the most important requirement is making things taste good!

Everyone in Northern culture is taught to cook, but of course, not everyone has a knack for it. Most are at least adequate, so houses full of domestics rarely have a specialized cook; residents just take turns with that responsibility. A house for rangers often has a domestic cook, as there are very different skills for cooking over a hearth vs. a campfire. Some houses have particular dietary and/or safety considerations -- such as those for pregnant women, infants or children and their raisers, elders, or healers and their patients. These houses usually have a specially trained cook. This is a somewhat common specialty; a village typically has several dozen cooks. In Itadesh: Grenora. In Itrelir: Krai, and Maireth. In Itakith: Brujan.

While grain is not as common a resource in the north as it is in the south, bakers are still needed to turn ground grain and potatoes into breads. Mitten-bread is a specific type of bread baked around a (cooked and preserved) meat center that is used as a portable meal. They use a kind of endless yeast (similar to sourdough) as leavening. Most houses have a small baking nook in their fire stack, but it is more useful for heating things up and rarely has a consistent enough temperature to rely on for baking. Thus, baking is done in a central house, and bread is distributed from there.


Brewers make beer and soda from birch and spruce sap, along with other beverages. Occasionally they find enough apples or other fruit to make a batch of sweet or hard cider. They also distill medicinal alcohol for the healers to use. They often gather their own ingredients.

Brewing is one of the few secretive and restricted occupations. They're picky about who they accept for training. They do not teach children, and rarely accept new adults. Usually they choose protegees in their late teens or twenties, from among the young adults interested in the art of brewing. They don't say much about their techniques to people who aren't brewers, and the brewers of one village are as likely to be competitive against those of another village as they are to share ideas.

They store and serve the beverages they make as well; while inebriation can be a pleasant diversion, chronic inebriation is simply not allowed, and their careful distribution of their craft is part of a brewer's highest duty. It's a rare occupation, but each village has at least one expert brewer, plus a trusted assistant.


Milk is one of the staples of the northerners, and milk-brewers are a very specific subset of the cooks that concentrate on making cheese, yogurts, butter, and fermented cultures for the brewers and bakers. The volume of milk that moves through the village - particularly during spring months - means that a lot of hands can be used for processing it. There are generally 2-6 experts in a village, and lots of domestics are expected to help with these tasks.



Crafters:

Crafters comprise all the people who make things. Plenty of people are good at multiple crafts, while others specialize in something narrower. Craftwork typically requires good dexterity and memory for techniques. Patience is also an asset. However, many of these are "sit down" skills, making them a good choice for people with limited mobility. Most specialties derive from producing better items than average people can. In certain areas specialists may become so either by making fancy things extra well, or plain things extra fast -- particularly carving, pottery, and fibercrafts. En masse, crafters probably comprise the largest category of domestics. In Itadesh: Inama, Tetefii. In Itrelir: Lushi, Shrana. In Itakith: Rubal



Basket-makers make a useful variety of storage vessels, from tiny, intricate storage boxes for memory beads, to large gather baskets meant to sling across a snow-unicorn. There are also a wide range of techniques, including birch bark baskets, and woven willow branch baskets. Leather is frequently used as an accent or strap. Some basket-makers master all the techniques, some prefer to focus on very specific types of baskets. Each village has many basket-makers.



Bead-makers create and decorate beads. Someone skilled only in creation or decoration may choose a regular partner to cover the other half; for instance, Vrelir (creation) and Krethel (decoration) in Itrelir. The experts are highly respected, but this is probably the most popular auxiliary craft as many people like to make their own beads. Each village tries to keep at least one expert beadmaker, more if they can afford to support them, because exquisite beads are in high demand yet take much time to make. In Itadesh: Befark. In Itrelir: Treg.



Builders work in wood, concrete, and other hard materials on a medium to large scale. They make furniture, large tools such as floor looms and peat-squeezers, waterpipe systems, carts, fences, birthing barns (for the snowies), and houses. In addition to doing the physical assembly, they also do a great deal of the design, adapting to the supplies on hand. It requires physical strength and dexterity, but also an excellent grasp of theory. Many builders do repair or remodeling work as well as building from scratch. Each village tends to have 1-2 builders, but they sometimes travel to team up on big projects such as a new house. In Itrelir: Daarsham. In Itakith:Orso



Carvers work in wood, bone, horn, and other materials on a small to medium scale. They may also carve decorations into larger works, such as designs on a bench or the beam of a house. They make things such as cups, eating utensils, buttons, small craft tools like knitting needles, game pieces, toys, and so forth. They need both strength and dexterity in their hands, and the ability to plan projects. This is a somewhat common specialty; a village might have a dozen or two carvers. In Itadesh: Tekoth, Orla.



Dyers color cloth, leather, and sometimes other things. This includes bath dying for solid colors, but also dip dying for gradients or painting dye onto things for detailed patterns. They maintain a substantial collection of standard recipes for popular colors. They also develop new recipes and colors, often foraging for strange plants or asking rangers to bring back samples. This requires an uncommon combination of creativity and methodical process, as well as the ability to handle noxious substances.

It's a rare specialty; a village might not always have an expert dyer, although they prefer to. Fibercraft and tanning specialists know basic dyes, so an expert is a luxury. Ideally the expert should have assistants, but some insist on working alone. Like brewers, dyers can be secretive about their work; recipes have been lost because someone died before passing them on. In Itadesh: Laisesu (recently deceased). In Itakith: Frei.



Fibercrafters do all manner of work with silk-wool, snowy-wool, firebell, and similar materials. In addition to creative skills there are many smaller tasks such as gathering wool, retting firebell, carding fibers, etc. This subcategory of crafting comprises a significant portion of crafters, and is a popular specialty in general. It takes a lot of hands to make all the fabric and clothes for a village. Villages have dozens of domestics doing fibercrafts, and most domestics and even rangers are expected to keep busy hands. The click of knitting needles and the whir of drop-spinning is a common background noise in any house. In Itrelir: Madron, Oshaluun, Treg.

People may also choose to specialize further in fibercrafts. Knitters loop yarn into clothes, blankets, and other things. In Itakith: Irjan Sewers cut and piece fabric to make garments, along with other useful things such as bags. Spinners twist raw fiber into thread, yarn, rope, and other types of cordage. Weavers turn thread or yarn into fabric. They use small portable belt looms and large heavy floor looms for different sizes of project. In Itadesh: Inoth. In Itakith: Tenyo. Felters use a wet method of compressing loose fibers into dense cloth. (Snowy-wool does not felt well, but silk-wool does!)



Leatherworkers turn newly tanned furs and leathers into finished products. They make coats, boots, slippers, belts, harnesses, pouches, and many other types of clothing and equipment. Rangers may develop this specialty so they can clean and repair snow-unicorn tack in the field; each herd typically has one person skilled in this. Leatherworking requires less dexterity and more hand strength than sewing fabric. Attention to quality is important because sometimes people's lives depend on a warm coat or a secure harness.

Most leatherworkers repair old items as well as making new items. Sometimes leatherworkers also do tanning, or work with additional animal parts to decorate their products. A village may have a dozen or two leatherworkers, but they'll be spread across different subspecialties such as garment makers, harness makers, and equipment makers. In Itrelir: Linafaar.



Potters handle all aspects of making things from clay. They gather and clean clay, then cure it in storage. They make, decorate, and fire many practical things such as plates, cups, bowls, and storage jugs. They also make some more frivolous things such as beads, jewelry, marbles and other toys, etc. They need a strong yet delicate touch and good aesthetics. Far more subtle is their sensitivity to the clay itself -- understanding what is good clay when examining a deposit, getting the right amount of moisture in the mix, finding the right firing temperature, and with luck the result will be attractive and not explode. Itrelir has the most clay deposits, so they always have a handful of potters and theirs are the best. Itakith and Itadesh have a more erratic supply of both clay and potters, sometimes without one or the other. In Itrelir: Thrani



Some crafters are good at fixing things. A repairer may claim a station in one of the craft buildings -- there is usually someone there doing this -- or wander around looking for things to fix. If not given something broken, they tend to tinker with working items to see if improvements could be made; these folks are always fiddling with something. They need fine dexterity, but also a clever mind that easily identifies and solves problems. Many of them can fix almost anything, although some specialize in a particular category of repair such as wood or furniture or clothing. The number fluctuates, anywhere from a few to a dozen. This specialty is always in demand, so anyone with strong skill tends to get encouraged in this direction.



Tanners turn fresh animal skins into furs or leathers. They also make related products such as rawhide, sinew thread, and glue. They often know ways of coloring leather, and may collaborate with dyers. Some tanners like to make things with leather or fur after it's finished, such as thongs or garments, and thus may also serve as leatherworkers. Only occasionally do they hunt their own animals or gather their own processing ingredients.

Tanning is a demanding occupation because it requires a lot of physical strength to work the hides, a keen mind to understand the processes and handle noxious substances, and a strong stomach to deal with gross animal parts and reeking ingredients. Plenty of people understand the basics, but it takes an expert to produce really soft, durable products. Villages like to have at least one expert tanner, more if possible, and they customarily have assistants. Unlike brewers and dyers, tanners tend to be "Hey, watch this!" types -- partly because a large hide gets finished faster with several people scraping it. Children are all trained in basic field tanning, and rangers on particularly long trips are expected to rough-tan their hides if at all possible (no one wants to deal with reeking, spoiled hides!). In Itadesh: Srena



Tentmakers combine several skills to create and maintain the tents used for ranger trips and the summer gather. They work with leather or firebell canvas for the coverings, wood or bone for the structural supports, and rope or cord for the rigging. They make decorations to distinguish tents for specific purposes. They oversee the set-up and repacking of the festival and gather tents. They keep the communal cache of tents in good repair. They often volunteer to mind the stack of two-person tents at the courtship fires during the summer festival.

Tentmakers have a strong say in who deserves to own a one-person tent, because they do the work of making it. This is a luxury due to limited materials and the tendency to favor communal over personal property. So the honor tends to go to rangers or gatherers who bring them the best or the most raw materials.

This specialty requires competence across multiple techniques and materials. Because tentmakers often collaborate with other crafters, good teamwork abilities are important too. Itadesh and Itakith usually have 2-3 tentmakers, while Itrelir aims for a handful.


Toolmakers use resources to make tools. They tend to have excellent manual dexterity and exceptional quality control. Typically, toolmakers master multiple materials including wood, bone, horn, and even metal. Metal is rare, and limited to items passed down from the Upheaval and found ancient objects. They have no metal-refining skills, so metal-work is limited to reshaping what already exists. This also means, toolmakers get cranky when valuable metal tools are damaged. They make hammers, utensils, knives, rolling pins, cooking pans, needles, log-peeling draw-knives, wood-working tools, carding tools, spindles, fasteners, snowy-rakes (for brushing the snow-unicorns), hoof picks, saddles, and more. They frequently work with carvers for handles and parts.

Weaponmakers specifically arm the rangers. They make spears, gig-spears, harpoons, slings and sling ammunition, and so forth. They may also make sharp or dangerous tools such as knives, drills, saws, awls, and chisels. In Itrelir: Margen.

Villages are adamant about having at least one toolmaking expert, more if they can manage; but as with healers, the difficult qualifications can make this hard to achieve.


Tenders:

Tenders keep the village tidy and running smoothly. This includes a wide range of housekeeping tasks such as sweeping, dusting, and putting away clutter, managing resources, dealing with waste and pests, washing laundry, and keeping water stocked.

Everyone is expected to know how to do basic housekeeping, and in many houses the residents simply share such tasks. However, many specialists don't have the time, and some people do it badly. Houses for rangers and elders often have a dedicated tender. Houses for infants and children always have at least one. So does a healing house, but that requires special training because the level of cleanliness must be higher. Children are often assigned cleaning duties, and particularly messy cleanup duties (such as after butchering, dying, or tanning) may be assigned as a punishment duty by the Council of Elders.


Hearth-tenders take care of fire and the hearth in general. They scoop out ashes, add fuel, and stir things around to keep air circulating. They will also attend to the "eternal soup" in its hollows if necessary, and are responsible for making sure it neither boils dry nor cools to an unsafe temperature; some of them are also cooks and will refill it, but some do nothing fancier than extending it with water. They distribute fuel to the houses, and may also gather it. They teach young people about fire safety and use. Some hearth-tenders also have building or repair skills to make and maintain the central hearth column itself. Mostly what they need is an exceptional awareness of safety, and meticulous attention to the fire's needs.

This is an uncommon but important specialty. A village typically has a dozen or two hearth-tenders who go around from house to house. If there are plenty, a hearth-tender may be permanently dedicated to each infant-house where extra attention reduces the chance of fatal accidents. People who really like fire are strongly encouraged to become hearth-tenders so they can handle it responsibly and not cause problems. This can be a position that an Elder retires into, though they may need to direct younger bodies in the more physical parts of the job. In Itadesh: Elsher, Inav. In Itrelir: Nekor.


Keepers specialize in maintaining and organizing materials brought to them by others. A major subspecialty is food preservation which involves drying, fermenting, freezing, salting, or otherwise preparing food for long-term storage. Another one is managing the storehouses by adding, removing, and organizing items such as craft supplies. Things in need of repair, cleaning, or other attention sometimes drift into the storehouses in baskets. The keepers periodically go through and identify that stuff, then hand it off to appropriately skilled people so it can be put back into use, usually during the winter when the influx of new resources is slower. The main requirement is an excellent sense of organization.

The Council of Elders makes all decisions about the allocation of rare resources, but for most goods, they don't micromanage, and the keepers may distribute from the stores as they see fit. This is a common specialty. A village may have up to a dozen or so keepers.



Midden-tenders oversee the disposal of human waste and rubbish in the villages. They maintain the health of midden pits. This includes selecting locations for new ones and deciding when an existing one needs turned, filled, or abandoned. They also coordinate the handling of human waste, from individual houses to the pits, plus selection of waste collection areas at summer gathers.

Similarly, midden-tenders manage rubbish such as unusuable scraps from crafts or butchering, things that are worn past repair, etc. They make sure that nothing is wasted unnecessarily. Organic matter such as spoiled food or hide trimmings must be disposed of in a way that will not attract vermin.

Finally, midden-tenders oversee some of the most distasteful punishment duties such as turning the midden pits and handling waste. For this reason, the specialty is most often handled by mature adults. This tends to be a distasteful job, but it is recognized as critical to the survival of the village and midden-tenders often receive tokens of appreciation in the form of extra resources or favorite stories. Itadesh usually has 1-2 midden-tenders, Itakith 2-3, and Itrelir 3-4.


Paper-crafters refine raw birchbark into a more stable form for keeping records and sending messages. Not every village may have en expert in this, as the demand for this product is rather low, so they may have to ask another village to send stock for record-keeping if they don't have their own resident paper-crafter. In Itrelir: Jila.



Porters are physically powerful people who lift and carry heavy things. They load and unload snow-unicorns and storehouses. They tote tools and supplies for crafters. They assist builders in moving or assembling large components. They hoist carcasses into the air for easier butchering. They're the people everyone turns to after trying to heave something up and failing. This occupation does not require much thought or skill, just muscle. Each village usually has a handful of porters.



Ratters provide pest control. They are named after rats, a common pest in Northern villages, which they usually hunt with slings or hand-thrown rocks. Snares and other small traps may also be set in safe places, such as storehouses. A subspecialty is beater, a role usually played by older children assisting an expert ratter by flushing vermin into the open. Ratters also kill yiirk, mice, bees, chatters (scavenger birds), or any other small pesky wildlife. They tour the houses and storehouses regularly, and people will yell for them if a pest is sighted.

Killing pests is typically the first "hunting" that children do; those who excel at it but aren't as good at other outdoor things may specialize in this rather than pursuing hunting. Ratters need excellent aim, diligence, and courage against tiny hazards. A village usually has at least one ratter, and the larger villages may have more. In Itrelir: Ularki (a mentally slow woman).



Washers take care of the communal cache of clothes and bedding. They clean it, sort and fold it, then put it away. They do not take care of private possessions routinely, although anyone is free to bring them a basket of dirty laundry to be cleaned and returned. Some washers also do minor mending before putting things away; the rest of them set aside a pile for other folks to mend. This is one of the largest subspecialty of tenders, as it takes a lot of people to keep a village in clean clothes.



Water-keepers maintain the supply of water in the villages and at the summer gathers. A village of humans plus the giant snow-unicorns will demand a great deal of water for drinking, washing, and other needs. More than half the year, water is tied up in ice and snow, and melting it from either is a laborious task that requires considerable manpower. In summer, another task entails keeping the pipes clear and ensuring that water vessels do not grow algae. Water-keepers know how to sterilize water to make it safe for drinking; they also keep potable water separate from water for cleaning and crafts.

In addition to maintaining safety standards, water-keepers also carry water and stock it where needed. This requires a great deal of physical strength, but also discernment in planning trips and making sure that all the houses and work areas have what they need. In addition to stocking stationary supplies, water-keepers may also be asked to fill portable containers such as tubs or barrels needed for a particular project. They often carry water by hand within a village, but for large amounts or long distances they may use snow-unicorns.

This is really a job that almost anyone can do, but people use a lot of water, so having specialists can improve efficiency for everyone. Villages like to have at least a handful of water-keepers, more as the population increases.




Gatherers:


Gatherers find, identify, and collect useful materials. Some will pick up quite a wide range of things, harvesting whatever is useful and in season in the area they are moving through. However, they often focus on a particular category, such as looking specifically for food, craft, or medicinal supplies. This is both a domestic and ranger task, but a lot of gathering is done within close range to the village or the summer gather sites. While the Northerners don't specifically have agriculture, they do keep close track of wild crops, and may also take steps to improve growth of desirable plants such as removing invader plants or culling the animals that are eating them.

Gatherers need a sharp eye and an excellent memory. Strength enough to carry things is an asset but not a requirement. Gatherers bring in a substantial amount of the resources, so this is a very common specialty. They do most of their collecting in the warm season. They often switch to other work in the cold season such as cooking, crafts, or tending a storehouse. In Itadesh: Tetefii. In Itrelir: Maireth. In Itakith: Baarjan, Brujan, Thraji, Tuleri

Beach-gleaners in Itadesh find mostly seashells, driftwood, and crustaceans; in Itakith they find mostly seabirds and eggs; although there is some crossover. Itrelir has no ocean access, but river beaches provide washed up wood and eggs from shore-nesting birds. Peat-cutters specialize in selecting peat bogs to work and directing cutters in slicing it out of the ground, coordinating the process of putting it through big machinery driven by snow-unicorns to squeeze the moisture out, as well as stacking, drying, and storing. Wood-cutters choose and cut down big trees, reduce them to firewood, lumber, and other useful materials, then distribute the results. Usually one or two experienced wood-cutters guide a team of general workers and snow-unicorns.



Silk-herders work with silk-hares. They tend the burrows, sometimes adding new ones or modifying old ones. They gather the silk-wool from inside nests and from hare-thorn hoops. They trim the long, dangerous dewclaws on the semi-domesticated animals. Silk-herders try to help those that get sick or injured. They supervise some breeding, although the silk-hares often breed as they please. They may raise orphaned babies. They protect the herd from predators, and from environmental threats such as flooding. They cull extra or undesirable animals.

This requires a calm, patient personality and strong yet gentle hands. Silk-hares really dislike loud, rough, or angry people. This specialty primarily relates to Itakith which has an established herd of semi-domesticated animals. They have several silk-herders. (Doralde) The other villages just rely opportunistically on wild silk-hares and use comb-traps at den entrances to harvest fur, although Brenesh is trying (with mixed results) to establish a semi-domesticated herd in Itrelir.

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