Completed Slag, scale and home for an anvil

Job thread 1 using NPC Randal to clean the smithy

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Slag, scale and home for an anvil

Postby Mittle on October 15th, 2022, 10:54 pm

33 Fall, 522 A.V.

"So essentially it's a literal top to bottom cleaning here. I think maybe-" Mitt's grey eyes drifted up to the ceiling, noting shards of metal stuck deep within, "In fact it's definitely going to need some brush work."

Founder Randal went to step inside the smithy but Mitt instantly body blocked him like a brick wall.

"Stop! We need to step out first before we're killed." he shuffled his six foot height and two hundred pounds forward in two large steps. "Back it up man."

Stepping backwards quickly, Randal looked about to object until he heard the word, killed. Once both of them were clear of the door, Randal said simply.

"Yes sir." Mitt nodded and moved aside, giving a four pace distance. "There's slag and scale hanging from the ceiling. If a single one falls on our heads, it could maim or kill us." He gestured to the heights of the building behind him to the dozens of sharp metal gleaming like deadly stalactites.

"I can see the problem, now what to do about it?" The founder asked.

"See where Artik is sitting? Note there's nothing above him but each edge above, has an impact angle. If you follow the angle, it leads to the forge." The moment he finished speaking he ran in quickly to get a heavy sleeping Artik out of the dangerous room. Slung over his back in a fireman's pose, he dropped the older smith to the ground against a stump.

"These reek, but he's not using them and you can't work in there without gear. I really appreciate you helping. I can't get Izzy set up till this mess is cleaned. A regular smithy is cleaned every night as a matter of course."

While the eager young man spoke, he donned his cap and gloves, and then removed several items from the unconscious smith.

"Sorry sir." he murmured feeling disrespectful to remove a smith's essentials like that. It felt underhanded.

"They're not going to smell good but you need gloves, cap, long sleeves and sturdy boots. I think his feet are about your size. Feel free to say no at any time sir."

Then Randal gave his agreement and assent with a smile and gear up, watching how Mitt put on his things. The founder was no fool and knew how to pick up things without a full lecture.

The two men rushed to the safe corner and each of them held out a long wide stiff broom aimed high. Whizzing metal fell to stick in the ground falling like a deadly rain all around them. They worked back to back, shoving the brooms for two sweeps and then shaking them out as far as they could.

"Watch where you step, it's about to get harder as we approach the door! SLAG FALL!" he called out to warn anyone outside nearby. The six foot tall man raised to his toes for momentum and shoved the long broom forward to direct the deadly missiles out the door. Sweat dripped off his face and slickly crawled down his chest unheeded. Concentration was important right now and one misstep mentally or physically could injure or cripple either of them.

"We did it! Let's start shoving the brooms to the floor and work out those slag daggers next." he directed with a smile, enjoying the hard work and a helping hand in such a large task.

"For every four shoves, double tap the broom on the floor and repeat the area. Step back, repeat it once more. Remember that we're tracking around all that broken glass with the metal shrapnel. It's on our boots and pants and flying up as we sweep. We'll bread it once we sweep it though."

Mitt pulled the strap on his cap down to his neck and turned it around making a protective mask for his mouth and nose. Needing no urging Randal copied the gesture and they got to work with a shove shove shove shove, stamp, stamp in tandem.

"Ok we got that done so we take care of the entry now." Mitt said, shifting his grip on the broom. Randal headed for the door and Mitt put out a long strong arm, almost clocking the founder.

"STOP!" Mitt shouted in a scared voice. The arm in Randal's face gestured to the top of the doorway frame. It looked like a dartboard for a thousand angry killers! Serrated metal almost entirely covered the wooden frame from top to bottom.

"I saw a metal bin by the forge, would you grab that for me please?" He asked, never taking his blue eyes from the potentially deadly door.

"SLAG FALL!" he yelled again. Using the handle of the broom covered by the dustbin Randal handed to him, he swiped it down the top and sides of the door frame with quick sure movements. Metal clanged and bounced knee high. While most of it landed outside and under the door, a few piece flew toward Randal's feet.

"Boots up!" He warned to the other guy. The founder jumped aside rapidly, and guarded his face. He was no idiot.

Breathing heavily he nearly panted and perspiration made the cap look glued to his mouth. He caught Randal's eye, pulled down the face guard and bent forward with a hand on his knee. Sweat made his shirt cling to him and Mitt took a few chimes to catch his breath.

"Hard part's almost done." The young smith smiled and then walked to the general anvil to strip it of the magnets. With large gloved hands he gave a few to Randal and three for himself.

"I know it works on cobbles back in Sunberth, but lets see how it works here." He grabbed the measure thread from the corner and bit it in two with his teeth and handed the twine to Randal. The gloves made it tricky, but he finally tied the magnet's center circle to the bottom of the broom handle. With bright blue eyes, he watched as Randal mimicked his motions and nodded.

"I'll make the first pass through that will brush the glass to the corner while the magnets drag the sharp scale. You follow two steps behind to get the rest as my broom and magnets get full. Move it toward the flat stone on the right so no one steps on it while we work." he was about to start and stopped for a chime.

"Oh and give a swift shake to the magnets when they get too full to keep working."

With careful foot placement, he brushed in a back and forth motion, almost looking like a waltz as he stepped to the side and back in a circle to repeat the motion.

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Last edited by Mittle on October 20th, 2022, 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Slag, scale and home for an anvil

Postby Mittle on October 19th, 2022, 6:23 pm

The two men came back from lunch with comfortably full stomachs and feeling more refreshed after the hearty lunch break. They each carried two long loaves of bread between them as they arrived outside the smithy with a relaxed step. With the time spent talking and the morning of shared heavy labour, Mitt was beginning to feel a camaraderie with Randal.

Cleaning up under red flag conditions always raised the adrenaline and forged new friendships quickly because trust was essential for everyone's safety. Randal had been a solid and essential part of getting the shop back in order, and Mitt knew he wouldn't have been able to do all that alone in under three or four days.

The young smiths' first study of the shop's slag conditions made him reticent to speak of their nature to Randal. What had been terrifyingly obvious to him, and most definitely Artik, wasn't nearly so clear cut to others. But that's how it always was with outsiders.

Smiths had deep loyalties to both their craft and each other that could and usually did run far deeper than even familial ties. The majority of their knowledge wasn't shared with outsiders and many of their methods still remain a closely guarded secret that no force can break through. It wasn't about just where you strike the iron, it was about how you held your hammer.

While he appreciated the Founder's help immensely, Mitt wasn't about to slip up and reveal methods that could be casually observed by just anyone. It simply wasn't done. People saw what they wanted to and nothing more. If they passed on information they didn't fully understand, it could endanger someone badly. Keeping blacksmithing techniques behind closed doors wasn't a way to be mysterious or ego driven. It was entirely about knowing that just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Mitt caught a rapid flash of Artik taking off at a run, his face so crimson with embarrassment that even his ears burned redly. They didn't know each other at all but just stepping off the boat, any smith would be instant family. He was sorely disappointed in Artik but still gave his trust to him and knew that the older smith had done the same. Mitt would defend him regardless of no shared history and Artik would do the same for him. Did you fink on another smith even for the good of the community? It was something that needed a lot of thought.

He'd already explained breading to Randal at lunch so they immediately set to work on each side of the shop. Cutting the loaves lengthwise first, and carving them into thin slices, they dipped the day old bread in water. The damp bread easily lifted the leftover glass shards and each piece was dropped in the metal bin and closed firmly. Mitt took the half of the shop nearest the door, feeling the soul deep obligation to protect Artik's reputation. The young smith was reasonably sure that Randal hadn't picked up on anything unusual and he personally had very carefully stepped on and scattered the glass at the door when he'd first entered.

They each rolled out a refuse barrel and dumped it, moving along back into the shop ready to work some more. It had been a long and backbreaking bell and a half of constant crouching and bending, but they were only half way through all that needed doing.

"Now that we're glass free and we found a clean floor, let's trash the floor again!" the young smith joked and smiled.

"The welding table on the left is more of a catch all for every project under Syna that needs doing. We obviously don't weld on it here, but every surface is needed."
He picked up two long wire block brushes scattered on the anvil nearby and tossed one to Randal.

"Just skim it along *everything* on that side and I'll do the same on this side. I mean walls, three hundred sixty degrees around every single object you come across. When you see dust motes rising off something after brushing, tap your block brush on the table edge, shake the brush at the floor and keep going. I gave you the one with the handle so it should go a little easier for you. And don't forget underneath the tables and the edges between washers, lag bolts, screws and nails. For cupboards, cabinets, drawers and racks, remember the hinges, handles and joinings where they meet the wall."

Mitt brushed as he spoke, working with precise concentration on each and every possible surface.

Three long and painstaking bells later, the pair had dusted every possible thing in existence in the room. Backs aching, necks and fingers cramping and cloaked in sweat from wearing such heavy gear in Syka's merciless heat, they stopped and took a breather.

"Not a bad few bells' work Sir." Mitt commented. Leaning his back and long frame against the wall in a tired slouch, with his legs stretched out and his arms hanging wearily at his sides.

A five chime rest was enough to make Mitt restless and he stood up tall again with a grunt. He squared his shoulders and heels, taking stock of what they'd accomplished and what needed doing next.

"Now we separate and sort the tools into different piles. Put all the ones that look alike in individual stacks first. Next, carefully check each for damage, rust or slag and memorize it. Don't use chalk and I don't have the paper to waste on notes for just cleaning."

He picked up a long heavy pair of tongs and held them up for observation. The long afternoon sun's rays slanted on the iron, highlighting rust spots almost up to the clincher. Mitt pointed a gloved finger at the separation between clean dark iron and the lightly rusted, chunky metal.

"That needs a short wire block brush for cleaning so that's going to be heavier work. If you find something larger or heavier, place it near wherever I'm sorting."

Mitt moved toward an extra large bulky mess that towered on the edge of tipping. "This is a fix pile here. Note everything is missing a handle, mushroomed on the head or nicked and chunks missing. These need to be done top priority. It's people waiting for their property back fixed and ready to go. Move them to the center work table as quickly as possible. It looks like people have been waiting too damn long for these."

More towering piles of axes, spoons, hammers, handles and hinges were heaped in the corners and seemed to take up more than half the space. It was almost all total backlogged orders awaiting repair and the young smith frowned at the blatant long term neglect.

For the next five and a half bells, the only sound in the smithy was an endless scraping of metal and heavy clanking as four huge piles mounded as tall as Mitt's own six foot height.

He squinted to see the rust and realized he was trying to clean by starlight! Blinking and setting down the wire brush he looked around him. Unrelenting, uncomplaining, Randal had worked on neatly, calmly and efficiently.

"Sir?" he said, getting the Founder's attention. "I'm not sure what time it is, but I think we can call it a day."

Mitt bent with a long sigh, and grabbed a broom to clean up for the night.

"It looks like it's just after ten bells." he answered, just as surprised at how the day had passed. Randal saw Mitt pick up a broom so he grabbed the other and started clean up with Mitt as if they'd shared the task forever.

Mitt gave a grateful nod to him and continued sweeping the floor, out the door and to the stone on the right. They brushed up the slag into the bin and dumped it into the waste barrels to be emptied in the morning.

"Seventh bell again tomorrow?" volunteered Randal.
"No thank your sir, I've got it from here." His tired grey eyes roamed to the four six foot tall piles of back ordered work and then back to Randal's face.
"I'll return tomorrow and I won't let you down Sir." Mitt said, removing his glove and shaking the man's hand.
"Thanks for your help."

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