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 In Search of a Dagger

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Vorin Duros
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PostSubject: In Search of a Dagger   Thu May 21, 2015 8:07 pm

Vorin was greatly relieved when the Northern Town came into sight. He stumbled over the roots of the great pines on the edge of the forest, and half-ran, half-fell down the short slope to the Frozen Road. Chilled to the bone, he didn’t bother to look for a tavern or an inn, and set himself down right in front of the first fire that he found- which, in this case, happened to be an open forge on the side of the road. For quite some time he just stared into the glowing flames, hoping that his fingers wouldn’t fall off from the cold. He was tired, too, from hiking through the forest and fighting the troll, and Vorin almost dozed off in front of the forge, so comfortable was he. He was stirred from his rest, however, by a gruff voice beside the forge.
“Come again?” Vorin asked somewhat groggily as he sat up. There was a big man, as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree with a long, graying beard standing beside the forge.
“I said, the lodge is down the road,” The blacksmith, for that is who he must have been, responded. “Unless you’re lookin’ to buy some steel.”
“Well, I… I suppose that I could could use a knife. Just a carving knife, not a weapon or anything.” Vorin replied, regretting his initial decision to sit down by the forge.
“Well, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got plenty of knives here. Although usually customers go to the front door. What and you looking for?” The blacksmith began to busy himself with his tools as he talked, picking up a hammer and working the bellows with his other hand.
“Anything, I suppose. Anything I can afford.” Vorin watched the sparks rise up as the flames were fanned.
“Hmm. How much have you got?” The blacksmith asked, raising his voice over the sound of the bellows, the loud whoosh as they blew out air onto the fires of the forge.
“I have…” Vorin desperately searched his robes and pockets and pouches, but found only the medallion that David had given to him.  “I’ve got this. Is it worth anything?” Vorin asked, beginning to think more and more that he should just leave and head to the lodge.
The blacksmith furrowed his brow, squinting at the coin. He reached out a gloved hand and took it, turning it over before handing it back to Vorin. “Where’d you get that, lad?” He asked, not taking his eyes off the medallion.
“A hunter gave it to me. David was his name, I believe. I ran into him out in the forest.”
“That’d be no plain hunter, then. Those things are rare. And bad luck, depending whose side you’re on.” He set down his hammer on the anvil and turned to face Vorin. “Why’d that ‘hunter’ give it to you?”
“We were had crossed the river of runes and we were hunting…” Vorin paused and rubbed his brow, looking off into the distance. “Well, now of course you won’t believe me, but we were hunting a troll. We- well, they- killed it. I wasn’t of much help, but I did something. There were a few others along, too. They had heard the rumors, just like I did. And then-” Vorin cut himself off. Perhaps he shouldn’t mention that the new King of the West and his squire had been hunting beside him, and ruin the last ounce of his credibility. The whole experience was almost surreal, really, but maybe that was just the amnesia.
“Troll, eh. You know, I heard the rumors, too. Makes sense that it was wild troll. But still…” He trailed off and was silent for a moment, before letting out a short breath of air that was somewhere between a laugh and a sigh. “But you’re right, lad, why should I believe you?”
Vorin drew out the troll’s tooth- tusk?- from his pouch. There was still bits of dried blood on it. “Well, I took this.”
Seeing the look of surprise on the blacksmith’s face, Vorin panicked for a moment, worrying that there was some taboo or superstition over troll tusks in this land.
“Well, then.” The blacksmith said, crossing his arms on his chest. “That could be worth something. Probably a few knives.”
“I’m… rather keen to hold onto it for now. That was what I wanted the knife for- to carve this.  I guess it’s kind of funny, getting a knife to make a knife. Dagger. Whatever it would be called.” Vorin inspected its edge, running one finger along the serrated edge. It was already quite sharp.
“You’re not from here, aren’t you?” The blacksmith inquired. Vorin could tell from his accent that he didn’t seem to be a native either, but he seemed comfortable enough in the cold weather without even a cloak or mantle. “It’s not a good idea to show up in a foreign land without any coin or plan.” He looked over Vorin, sizing him up. “Can you work a forge?”
“Yes, actually!” Vorin said, rather enthusiastically. This was one thing that he remembered how to do. He wasn’t sure who’d taught him, or why he’d learned how to smith and forge, but he did. Some of this smith’s tools looked a little different, but they were all familiar enough. “I made a sword, once… I think.”
“Ya think?” He laughed, going back to his tools for a moment. “Well, can you think you can make a nail?”
Vorin nodded. It seemed simple enough- it must be easier than making a real blade.
“Alright then. Tell you what- you make a hundred nails for me by sundown, and the forge will be yours for the night. I’ll give you a piece of iron for your dagger.” The blacksmith nodded at the sun, which was now heading down to the horizon. There were only a few hours of daylight left.
“Sounds good to me. And if I don’t finish two hundred by nightfall…?” Vorin asked.
“Well, I need those nails by tomorrow morning. You’ll just have to keep working.” He smiled at Vorin. “But it’s easy enough work for someone with tired arms.” He clapped Vorin on the back and walked back into the building.
Vorin set to work on the nails. There was a large supply of thin, square iron rods, perhaps half the width of his finger, which he would use to make the nails. It seemed simple enough- heat them in the forge, flatten one end, and then a few quick strokes of the hammer to taper down the ends into points. His arms were quickly weary, however, and the work soon proved to be tiring. He often rested, and the temperature dropped as the sun did. For once, Vorin didn’t feel the cold, as the work and the flames of the forge kept it away.
The repetition of the work set his mind at ease, and Vorin found that he wasn’t worrying about his past. It didn’t matter who he was. He had a job to do, and he would do it. By around the twenty-fifth nail, Vorin had fallen into an efficient routine. Time began to blur for him as he put his mind to the task. The task was repetitive, but required more focus than just walking. He lost himself in the work, hammering away, pumping the bellows, tossing the finished nails into the growing pile. People walked by on the road, not even glancing over at Vorin as if it were unusual that he was working the forge. At one point, Vorin thought he saw Psyre pass by out of the corner of his eye, but he wasn’t sure.
Once or twice, his left hand twitched in pain as he was holding the tongs, and the gold metal clanged to the floor. It was still a little painful to use it. Less than it was before, but it was clear that the wound had still not completely healed. Another time, he wasn’t careful and burned two fingers on the hot iron. Between that, and dropping the hammer on his big toe once, Vorin found that ironically, he got more injured from smithing the nails than he had from the fight with the troll. He silently thanked Sven for taking the blows. Vorin knew he couldn’t have handled them very well, as his own pain threshold was rather low.
The sun was hanging low over the horizon by the time that he finished eighty-seven nails. Vorin set down the tools for a short break. His arms and hands were getting pretty cramped, but he knew- or was fairly certain- that he could push through and finish the last one. He looked around as he sat down, wondering if anyone was watching, when he saw that the blacksmith- or someone- had set out some food for him. It was a simple meal, just bread, cheese, and water, but is was something, and the cheese tasted pretty good. Vorin eagerly set upon the meal, and seven minutes later he was back at the forge, hammering away. A sliver of the sun still lurked above the horizon when Vorin had finished the one hundredth nail. Or was it the hundredth nail? Vorin thought that he might have lost count at one point. He eyed the pile uneasily. Had he counted correctly? There were still several of the thin bars of metal left in the pile that the blacksmith had shown him. Perhaps he ought to do a few more, just to be sure…?
After six more nails were finished, the sun was completely hidden below the horizon, Vorin set down the tools and lay back, letting out a long breath of relief. He took off the oversized mitts and looked at his hands. The weren’t worker’s hands, he had realized. It wasn’t as if he had never done work before, but he certainly hadn’t done it every day. He wiped the sweat off them on his robes, then turned to look over his shoulder as he heard the blacksmith walk out the door.
“So,” the blacksmith said, “you’ve finished the nails?”
“Yep.” Vorin replied.”Or… about a hundred. Maybe I didn’t count correctly”
“Well, that’s not going to do,” the smith said, crossing his arms. “You’ve got to have more confidence in yourself, lad.”
“Alright.” Vorin breathed in, trying to concentrate. He found that he had been rather unsure of himself ever since he woke up on the boat- ever since he knew himself. “One hundred and six. One hundred six nails.” He tried to be confident that he had counted correctly the first time.
“That’s better.” The blacksmith smiled. “Well, in that case, the forge is yours until sunrise. Good luck with you troll tooth.”
“Thank you.” Vorin smiled in return. After the smith had gone back inside, Vorin waited a few minutes before returning to the forge. He tilted his head back and gazed up at the stars. It was a clear, moonless night, and they shone brightly, twinkling in the dark sky. There were a few constellations that he recognized- he didn’t recall their names, but he picked out the patterns, his mind drawing imaginary lines between the stars, and dragons and heroes and gods formed, staring back at Vorin and the world below. That was one place where you would never be forgotten- the stars. Vorin fancied that he might find himself up there one day. A memory would be safe there, in the unchanging worlds of the heavens. But one’s own mind- no, that was not a place where Vorin would be safe. Someday, he told himself. Someday it would all come back to him. But what did it matter, really? Did he want to be the person he had once been, or did he want to be who he was now- Vorin, hunter of trolls, traveler of lands, forger of- nails. Perhaps it would be better to create himself anew, beginning today, and make himself into someone grand, important, powerful. Someone who would be in the stars one day. He shook himself out of his fantasies. In any case, he had work to do. He stood up, then, and walked over to where the slim iron bars were stacked in the corner of the courtyard. He bent down, at first looking them over, and then, realizing that he could not tell the difference between, selected one at random and brought it over to the forge. It would be a simple knife, made of unpolished iron. It wouldn’t be a blade suitable for combat, but it would serve well as a carving knife. He thrust the iron into the forge, and the sparks climbed high into the night.


* * *

It was much later when Vorin finished the knife. The moon had risen over the horizon, and the fires of the forge would have made a spot of orange on the silver-bathed landscape to anyone looking down from above. He sat in front of the grindstone, gently running his thumb over the edges again. It felt sharp enough now. Not enough that it would cut his skin without some pressure, but enough to carve the troll’s tooth. Vorin rose wearily to his feet and began to clean up the forge and the tools. He needed to find a place to sleep, and still didn’t have any money. Perhaps he might find one of the other hunters and see if they had a place to sleep. Otherwise, Vorin would find something that would work. It wasn’t a very cold night after all.


[TLDR- Vorin finds a blacksmith and makes a knife. No actual items crafted, just giving myself an IC way to carve other things when I'm actually crafting.]




2,267 words, 45 into craft. Putting 1,606 into Summon Yaoguai and learning it. Putting 500 more to learning Lithe Form, and the remaining 161 towards Spirited Escape; 1,339 remaining.

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PostSubject: Re: In Search of a Dagger   Thu May 21, 2015 11:43 pm

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