Following a carpenter friend of mine, I decided to try making a piccolo, a good instrument for beginners. But the price of the materials I needed to make the thing was sky-high!
This is probably why so many of the adventurers out logging are actually carpenters.
Seraphis, whom I met out on the Buburimu Peninsula, is one such carpenter. She's a newcomer to the world of carpentry and has taken up logging to support her hobby.
Being such a newcomer, she lacks the experience to tell which trees are ready for the hatchet. She spends a lot of her time confused.
Her linkshell friends think her a bit odd as they leave her behind to go slay monsters. They often tease her about whether chopping down trees is improving her axe-wielding skills.
It doesn't seem to bother her, though; she's listening more to her heart than to her friends.
"With the money I've spent on hatchets...No. I'll show them. I can follow the road of logging and carpentry all the way to fortune," she says. This only makes her eyes shine brighter.
There are other reasons why adventurers head out into the forest with a hatchet. Riddle the bard is an example.
While she's still a beginner in carpentry, it is her dream to make instruments from wood she gathers herself. That's what led her to logging.
Bards become one with their instruments, making beautiful music. The effect is even more powerful when it's an instrument you've poured your heart into--something you constructed from materials you gathered yourself.
One day, Riddle will achieve her dream and play music that reaches to the very heart of Vana'diel's soul.
Miners grab their pickaxes and head into the tunnels and caves that comprise the mines, often staying within for several nights.
Working in the resource-rich Gusgen Mines is a man named Fox, who seems to lose himself in his digging.
It has been said for many years that miners often "uncover" things besides ore in this mine; one's concerns can quickly shift from monocline to monster-find.
Fox is unconcerned, continuing to fund his adventures and his life through mining.
Even as we spoke, Fox didn't rest, his pickaxe continuing to strike the rock in front of him. He paused just long enough to let a smile spread across his face when his pickaxe revealed something shiny in the rock.
He'd found something! Of course, not every day is this lucky.
There have been slow times with no lucky finds. Such dry spells often lead miners to consider changing professions.
Returning to the city to sell the ore at auction, Fox savors the feeling of accomplishment--and is motivated to continue in this line of work. The next day will take him back to the mines.
Even today, Fox is most likely working a nearby mine.
Another who spoke to me about mining was a wise-looking, bearded man named Atla.
He started mining to meet his adventuring expenses. He has since advanced to the point where he can estimate the presence of ore by simply looking at the rock face.
He's also begun studying what happens to the ore once it has been mined.
Because of this, he understands market trends--and when to sell which ores to whom and for how much. He also knows what other miners are going to be buying and selling in the near future.
All of this helps him to get just a little bit extra for his ore.
"Ore that doesn't sell is just rock," he says, looking at the future of Vana'diel in the glittering stones next to his pickaxe.
Sickle-wielding farmers are often seen south of Sarutabaruta.
With a temperate climate and all the resources needed for a textile industry, this region is a gathering place for weavers from all over Vana'diel.
At the far western end of Sarutabaruta, in the middle of the Yagudo city of Giddeus, I met a weaver named Tiala.
Tiala is currently searching for materials for use in her latest creation.
Those who study weaving lose large quantities of expensive materials when their attempts at synthesis fail.
On the other hand, materials you gather on your own don't cost you any money, so you can use them in difficult synthesis without feeling like you're risking too much.
"The best part is sharpening my skill by making things out of materials I've gathered myself, " Tiala told me.
The clothes you are wearing now are most likely a result of this sort of constant dedication. The odds are very good that your clothes were made by someone just like Tiala.
Another weaver who proudly showed me the materials she gathered was Leika.
Leika takes her scythe in hand because there is no guarantee that the guild shop will have enough of her desired materials.
Of course, harvesting on your own requires far more effort than just buying things at the guild shop. On the other hand, the labor of harvesting on your own pays off when you travel and find materials that are not readily available at home.
"Adventurers live side by side with danger. When surrounded by irritations and problems, using my scythe to reap the fruit of the land helps me to forget my troubles," Leika says with a smile. The smell of the grasslands wafts from her well-tailored clothes.