Web Cutter

Ghynzuan silk is the Empress of all silks. It is stronger, softer, and smoother than any other silk out there. It is also far more expensive due to the dangers involved in cultivating it. Every year web cutters are injured or die while doing their job.
— Excerpt from Fabrics Around the World
 
Web cutting is the profession of cutting down the webs produced by Makuro's to make Ghynzuan Silk from them. It is a well paid job, but also a very dangerous one. Most web cutters work in the Makuro farm in northern Ghynzua, but there are still a few left who work independent by harvesting webs in the wild. These small family businesses are slowly disappearing because the younger generation is less willing to face the danger of harvesting webs in the wild even though wild silk sells for even more money than cultivated silk. Web cutters also face the same social stigma that the makuro keepers face. Albeit to a lesser degree.
 

Sleeping Beauty

Makuro's are gigantic and highly poisonous. This makes them very dangerous for the people harvesting their webs. This is no different for the domesticated makuro. They are more used to people, but they still see their keepers as a possible food source. Web cutters will always work in groups of at least four people. Two web cutters, one keeper, and one guard. They will start with locating webs in good condition. Then they need to locate the makuro who's web they want to cut down. It is then fed a fish or piece of meat cured with a strong sleep medicine. While the cutters cut down the web the others watch out for signs of other makuro. It is also vital to take into account that some makuro's are known to feign being asleep. Once the web is taken down the team watch the sleeping makuro from a distance to make sure it is not attacked by other makuro while asleep.
 

Social Stigma

Despite the popularity of ghynzuan silk, keepers and web cutters are faced with a social stigma. This comes from the fact they work with makuro, who are one of the many inflicted species found in Ghynzua. The inflicted are seen as vile and evil, even though not every species is dangerous. This has it's effect on the people working with makuro's. It is one of the main reasons as well why there are very few women who become a keeper or web cutter. It is seen as highly inappropriate for a women to work with inflicted. While most lower class families will accept it for the males in their household.
Alternative Names
Cutters
Type
Agricultural / Fishing / Forestry

Makuro Farm

There is currently one makuro farm in Ghynzua at the southern edge of the Mammoth Tree Woodlands in northern Ghynzua, with a second expected to open within a year further to the east. Because makuro's only weave their webs in the mammoth trees of the north these woodlands are the only location where the silk can be cultivated. The makuro's at the farm can no longer be considered wild since they where bred at the farm. This does not make them any less dangerous though. The farm itself is a fenced in area with a treeless parameter to prevent the breeding makuro's from escaping, and wild specimens from getting into the farm.
 

Mammoth Tree Woodlands

The northern mammoth woodlands stretch over a vast territory running up into the mountains past the northern borders of Ghynzua and into the territory of The Northern Clans.


Cover image: Close up of Cobweb by Pixabay

Comments

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15 Dec, 2020 12:41

I really like how you made such dangerous silk and gave it so many facets!

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
15 Dec, 2020 13:46

Thank you. :)

15 Dec, 2020 13:21

Haha, I had to come up with something to replace the spiders in my setting because even the *thought* of having to deal with giant spiders has me wanting to faint! Those wild cutters are absolutely mental!   Very nicely done!

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
15 Dec, 2020 13:46

Thank you. :)

Master Kaleidechse
Kathrin Janowski
15 Dec, 2020 15:52

I like the idea that the silk is so immensely popular, but the people required for getting it are quite the opposite. Talk about ingrateful customers... Also, the strategy for harvesting the web is very clever!

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
15 Dec, 2020 17:42

Thank you. :)

15 Dec, 2020 22:23

As someone who is not a fan of spiders, this sounds like a dangerous and terrifying job. Especially to do for customers who look down on you... At least it pays well!

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
16 Dec, 2020 16:51

Yes, it does pay well. :) Thank you!

15 Dec, 2020 22:27

Oooh, I love this article! Its a really interesting take on the prompt, and a really rich article. I caught a quick typo in the Sleeping Beauty paragraph, "for sings of other makuro" instead of signs.   The technique to harvest their webs is awesome, I particularly like that they stick around to check the sleeping makuro doesn't get attacked by other ones.

sending good vibes <3 - Author of Interarcanum and Shakiraverse
Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
16 Dec, 2020 17:00

Thank you. Also, that word gets me every time! :D

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
16 Dec, 2020 17:55

Ohh I find it really interesting that it is taboo for women to work with the inflicted, and also that people look down on the web cutters even though they prize the silk. Hypocrites.   I love your makuro. They're such interesting creatures.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
17 Dec, 2020 05:45

Thank you. That it is taboo for women stems from the fact it is a matriarchal society. Women are expected to keep up a certain standard.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
17 Dec, 2020 03:07

Ooo excellent work! I love this idea and the little details just blew me away. I'm fascinated by the relationship of the cutters and the makuro. The fact that it bears a social stigma is nice as well. I do wonder about the difference in price between wild and cultivated silk. I hope I didn't miss it, but is there a reason besides being more dangerous? Is it better quality or does it come in more unique colors? If not it seems a better bet to cultivate it, but idk. Well done as always, Rynn. Your knocking this outta the park.

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
17 Dec, 2020 06:10

Thank you. :) And no, you did not miss it. The price difference comes from the fact that wild silk is more rare, and because it is more rare the upper class wants it. It is also said wild silk has a prettier sheen, is more lightweight, drapes better, etc. There is also the fact that the farm is owned by one family. While harvesting wild silk is something anyone can potentially do. The first ghynzuan silks were wild silk. Only much later did people start to try and cultivate it, which isn't easy as it sounds. There were many disasters along the way. It seems I might need to try and incorporate this information in the article. :)