The action taking place in Vallachia (nowadays the southern part of Romania)in the 19th century, reveals a magical world lost to us, a world filled with superstitions and magical beasts unlike anything one's ever seen... Discover this world of fairytales through the eyes of Mihai Deleanu.
Also watch for the author's comments on key pages. A lot of related topics are explained in depth
UPDATES EVERY SUNDAY WITH 2 PAGES STARTING MAY 2011.
25 years old, graduated from University of Architecture and Urban Planning "Ion Mincu" Bucharest, Romania, currently studying for her master degree in Restoration of Historical Monuments and Sites. Passionate about historical studies and avid manga reader decided in 2009 to start a series set in the 19th century Principalities of Valachia and Moldavia (to later unite in 1859 and to become the Kingdom of Romania several years later).
In this episode Mihai meets a nameless character which is representative for a very productive trade of the 18th and 19th century in the Carpathians Mountains - that of the rafters. These guys were basically woodcutters and rafters. They would have in their care/would be hired to administrate woods, cut the right amount of lumber and sail it downstream via a raft. From there on the logs would be cut in a gutter (sawing machine) and retail-sold to various enterprises:construction work, buildings, infrastructure (bridges and roads)and even ship-making industry.
The catch about this trade was that the rafter would sail their merchandise downstream, which took them 1-2weeks depending on the distance, the river and the lumber AND return onland - which usually took them twice the time. This is why rafters managed 2 maybe 3 trips down the river and back from spring till late autumn. This trade was impossible to practice in winter when the rivers were frozen across or when flashfloods season came.
As a side note, there's a character in a Romanian adventure novel "Toate panzele sus!" (All, set sail!)by Ionel Teodoreanu, which is a strange rafter, he uses sails to cut the time between trips. In that story he decides to reach the sea to deliver a tall tree trunk which was comissioned to become a mast for a ex-shipwrecked ship now restored. And he makes is into the Black Sea using just his raft and his odd sail. The novel is set roughly in the same timeframe as my story.