Completed A Bond in the Earth.

Zephari makes a name for herself at the mine, and also makes a friend.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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A Bond in the Earth.

Postby Zephari on May 23rd, 2015, 10:50 pm

Please ReadThis is both a solo work thread, and an experiment, in creating a personal NPC for Zephari to work with and become friends. The long term purpose is to have him as a co-worker and friend to Zephari to have in further work threads, just to make these more interesting to read. Its also my first attempt at a fairly long solo.

Timestamp: 58-66th of Spring, 515

Back to The Seem. The Seem was a vein that Zephari had discovered a week prior, containing rich deposits of many minerals, and most importantly, Akalite gems. However it was not entirely on purpose that she had discovered it. Zephari had been helping connect two tunnels in some of the very lowest of sections in the mine, and she had taken a break for water and rest. Leaning on a wall she found a crack that glowed slightly blue in the wall. After a short argument with the crew she was working with at the time they let her work at it, leaving them to finish the tunnel connection. It took a few hours to make any progress, as she was in the 14th level of the mine, so the stone was extremely dense and she only had a pick. After what was about an hour she finally broke a chunk of the wall off, revealing a massive streak of discolored rock, which contained hues of blue and red, indicating minerals.

This became the spot where Zephari would spend all day working for the next week, at the annoyance of her employers. Dikes like this were common in Coalinga Mine, but Zephari had an odd feeling about this one because of the blue present in the seem. Luckily the work schedule and rules at the mine where pretty loose, allowing people to mine where they wanted, as long as they worked hard and where able to work where it was needed if they where ordered to.

Progress was painfully slow for the first couple of days, as the rock had very few cracks to work into with a pick or chisel. After the end of the third day, Zephari finally found proof that she was right. After breaking off a torso size shard of rock, she saw the vein. It contained many different metallic bits, and thousands of sand grain sized crystals.

That night Zephari talked to her boss, Typhus Chivan. It was a scary conversation for the benshira, as Typhus was a man who was easily angered, and held her job at a knife's edge. After a long talk, describing the vein and the size, along with a detailed location, Typhus agreed to assign a second miner to help her.

On the third day, Zephari got to the mines before sunrise, wanting to get an early start, and to meet her work partner. Not surprisingly it was an Akalak, but what was surprising was that when she arrived at the spot, he was swinging a pick, not using reimancy.

"Ah you must be Zephari, I'm Havar" he greeted Zephari, wiping the sweat from his brow. Looking confused, Zephari asked "I thought a reimancer would be assigned to help me with this?". Looking him over she immediately noticed that he was large, even for an Akalak. His biseps where almost the size of Zephari's head, and you could easily fit a large pumpkin in the space his barrel chest took up.

"The boss decided that since a non reimancer had found this one, it should be excavated the old fashion way. He said something about keeping it in your control? I don't know he just told me to come here and dig." said Havar, a slightly derpy smile on his face. "You wanna fill be in on the vein?" he asked, looking ready to get to work.

Zephari quickly got to explaining what she had found so far, showing him the lines that the ore and crystals followed, and showed him where to mine. It didn't take long to figure out why he had been assigned to this. This particular wall had very few cracks in it and was very smooth, making it a nightmare to mine manually. However Havar had the advantage of pure brutal strength. In just hours he tripled the progress Zephari had made in two days, now having the vein exposed along the section of wall.

But they ran into a problem. As they uncovered more and more of it, they saw that by its pure size, it would be difficult to extract actual pieces of the vein without endangering the structure of the tunnel. Taking a break to try to figure out what to do, Zephari took a minute to question her co-worker.

"I don't see a lot of normal miners down here. In fact your only the third I've met. What draws you to work down here? Some one of your size would do really well as a Kuvan or gladiator." she asked, taking a sip of water in between sentence.

"Well, its a good workout. Some people like to work out just by lifting weights or running, but I like to feel like I am getting something done." the massive Akalak replied after moving a Zephari sized stone out of the way. Sitting down to rest, he asked Zephari why she was down here.

"I love geology, and mining. While it is brutal work, I find it calming. Its almost like solving a mystery to me, finding the trace clues to mineral deposits, figuring out what mining technique to use, and then finally extracting the prize. I have enjoyed doing this my entire life." she replied, a wide smile on her face.

Nodding and smiling at Zephari, he turned his attention back to the task at hand. Havar looked at the larger exposed area of the vein, and asked "So what exactly do you think we are mining here?". Taking a minute to think she replied; "Well by the look of it, I would say trace amounts of silver, copper, and iron in the rock. And the crystals aren't large enough to bother with but I believe they are a mix of Quartz, Agate, and the really bright blue ones may actually be Akalite. Again they are far too small to bother with but if there are larger one further in..." she said, not realizing she had talked for almost a minute straight.

"That's the other part about this job I like, get to learn about all sorts of cool shinnies!" he said with an almost childlike glee. Zephari looked at him with one eyebrow raised, but let out a small laugh after a tick or two. He's like a kid! A giant, rock breaking monolith of a kid, but he is pretty nice... Attempting to pat the Akalak on the back, but only able to reach his lower back, Zephari said "Lets call it a day Havar, I will see you next week. By then I should be able to figure out what to do about this." Havar gave Zephari a hug, almost crushing her, then lumbered off to the great lift.

"Yeesh, I need to be careful with him!" Zephari wheezed, clutching her sides in pain.

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A Bond in the Earth.

Postby Zephari on June 1st, 2015, 6:11 am

Over the days between her work days, Zephari pondered the issue of the vein. Oddly enough it would be much, much easier if it where less rich and smaller, because it would be much easier to avoid damaging the tunnel wall's stability. It took hours of thought, and even staying up very late the night before returning to work for Zephari to figure out what could be done about this. Zephari realized she had been thinking about this all wrong. Her thought process only involved logic following what she was capable of doing, not including the abilities of Havar.

The normal way of removing ore and crystals from veins like this was the break them into smaller semi-square chunks, then remove them like bricks. The problem with this was that in doing so, you destabilize everything all the way around the vein. Normally this was fine but because this one was on such a short wall, it would endanger the entire wall. But with the strength of some one like Havar, it could be possible to simply break the vein away from the face in massive log shaped chunks, only taking the vein its self, leaving the face entirely intact.

Awaking the next day, Zephari nearly jumped out of bed ready to get to work. Grabbing her gear she headed out to the mines, practically jogging. Normally it took her almost a full bell to get from riverfall to the mines, but this time it took her less than half a bell. Approaching the great lift, Zephari set the last bits of her plan into her head.

As the great lift descended into the depths, Zephari thought about how crazy this mine was. Her entire life she had only ever prospected on the surface or in small caves on rare occasion. This mine was hundreds of feet deep, and the tunnels branched out from the central shaft for miles.

She was torn from her thoughts as the lift halted at the 14th level. She stepped off, almost being pushed over by a large Akalak reimancer. That was the one thing that did bother Zephari about this mine, was that most of the miners used magic. Gems and minerals were very simple and wonderful things, at least for those who understand them. For her it almost seemed disrespectful, using such a chaotic force to extract things of such simply beauty. In here eyes it was not what Semele would have wanted, but there was nothing she could do about it. She also could not deny the insane effectiveness of it, being able to reach directly into the earth and pull things out, discarding everything else.

Walking down the corridor leading the the vein, Zephari was greeted by the familier sound of metal colliding with rock. It was Havar, who again had gotten a very early start, breaking apart rubble that had been left from their last work session.

"Zeph! Is good to see you again!" Havar exclaimed, dropping his sledge hammer and greeting the benshira with a colossal hug. Zephari's face went red from the pressure of the embrace.

"Its good to see you... Too Havar... Now put me down please" she asked the giant. He smiled and complied, picking his sledge hammer back up. Picking up a smooth rock and putting it next to Zephari for her to sit on, he asked; "Did you figure out what we gonna do?"

"Yes i think we can get this done without collapsing the tunnel, but it is gonna require you to do some pretty heavy lifting." Zephari replied, pointing at Havar's massive arms. The giant blue man let out a deep throaty laugh, slapping a hand onto his chest. "Heavy is what I am hear for!"

Smiling widely at Havar's reaction to her needs for the plan, she took out her chisel and hammer, and started marking a double line around the vein, so as to make a guide of where they would be digging. She explained that they would be digging a thin but deep canyon all the way around the vein, so that the could extract it in large chunks would endangering the wall. For once Zephari was glad that the wall was so smooth and solid, since it made it very easy to just take small amounts at a time. This allowed the pair to work notches all the way round the vein within a few short hours.

As they started on the second round of deepening the notches, Zephari grew curious about her co-worker. "Havar, you seem rather different than most other Akalak, other than your size. I wanna say almost happier? Just wondering."

Havar smiled, letting out a small chuckle. "You could say I never really 'grew up' as most would put it. I just like to enjoy everything if I can. I honestly don't know why everyone doesn't do it!" he bellowed in his childish accent.

"I can say the same about you Zeph. Not many humans are as hard of workers as you are, nor are they as nice!" he complimented. The two then kept quiet for a while, but the mood was warm and happy between them, which helped them make a lot of progress. As the day came to an end they had dug back the surrounding of the entire fifteen foot long vein by almost two feet, and Zephari could see they didn't need to go any further.

"Tomorrow we can work towards actually breaking parts of this out, and extracting the ores once it is out of the wall." she said, wiping the sweat from her brow. She patted Havar on the back, yet again only able to reach his lower back.

Havar turned to hug Zephari as he did before, but this time Zephari put her hands up quickly, stopping him. "Don't squeeze so hard this time ok? You nearly crushed me last time!" she pleaded, her expression a mix of amusement at what she had just said, and real fear of being crushed by the giant.

"Ok i'll try..." he said, looking a little sad. This time he pick Zephari up focusing more on the lifting part, he lifted her above his head, and only squeezed her around the stomach hard, not bone breaking hard. Zephari patted him on the head as he put her down. She said goodbye and watched the giant lumber away to the great lift. She sat and heaved for a minute before returning home for the night.

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A Bond in the Earth.

Postby Zephari on June 4th, 2015, 7:46 am

The next day Zephari spent no time at all getting to work, practically sprinting to the mines from Riverfall. Her excitement had kept her from getting much more than six bells worth of sleep, so she ended up heading out before the sun had even risen. Her rush was largely driven by her belief that today she and Havar would get to see the result of their hard work, and she wanted to get those results as soon as she could. It was a cool morning, and it kept Zephari from breaking a sweat as she arrived at the great lift, hyper ventilating.

Because of it being so early, there where only a few Ceruleans working the lift, so she was forced to wait several minutes while waiting for the lift to slowly come back to the surface from its first drop into the depths of the earth. As the lift slowly creaked up to the top, Zephari grabbed one of the mining lanterns that was sitting in a nearby box. Lighting it, Zephari stepped onto the platform, and watched the lite blue aura of the early morning fade as it descended back into the depths of Semele.

She didn't even have to think as she stepped off the lift at the 14th level, now knowing the route by habit. Instead she simply let her feet take her back to The Seem, and she let her gaze wander around the tunnel, studying the walls as she passed them. She was just starting to really learn the rock here, now able to recognize the reddish streaks that indicated iron in between the layers of slate that were found at this depth. But there were many things she still couldn't recognize and didn't even understand. This rock was so different than the sandstone and limestone of her homelands, which often led her to make assumptions about these rocks based on knowledge from the desert, which doesn't apply here.

Most notable was how the stone acted. Sandstone was a soft and easily predictable rock. It would ALWAYS break horizontally along it's layers. This made it extremely easy to break out squared chunks or slices when mining. But everything here was far from that uniform type of stone, with the exception of the slates, which did also tend to break along layers. The majority of the stone this deep was metamorphic and igneous rocks. Basically lava flowstone, granite, and marble. The rocks are incredibly hard, and never break in any certain direction, unless there is a deposit of some mineral for the crack to branch around.

If I didn't have Havar's help with this, it would take me until the end of spring to get just this far... If only there was a place that had stone as soft as the burning lands, but was as gem rich as this place! Zephari daydreamed about that idea for a couple of minutes, until she was torn back to the real work as she arrived at The Seem. Replacing the oil well in her lantern, Zephari examined the vein while waiting for Havar to show up.

Taking her chisel and hammer, she knocked out a very small chip of the large blue protrusion. The most obvious thing she noticed was that the crystals grew larger as you went deeper into the vein, changing from sand grain sized micro crystals, to rice sized points. More importantly though was the fact that deeper in it was a darker blue, which meant higher amounts of Akalite, and less quartz.

"By Semele, there could be huge crystals in this for all we know!" she shouted into the empty tunnel, causing an echo that lasted for almost a chime. Her face turned slightly red with embarrassment, as it was very likely that every miner and reimancer within five hundred feet heard that. Letting the echo die down, Zephari took her chisel to the piece, breaking it down further.

Taking out her water skin, Zephari poured a couple ounces of water over the broken chunks, to wash the dust from it, and give it a scrub so that she could get a good feel of the texture. In the non crystalline parts the ore was smooth, with molten pattern on the surface. This was a little odd, as by the color, which was grey with brown flecks, this was iron. but iron normally had a broken rough texture.

Flipping over the piece, she found lines of what she knew for sure was normal iron. Those line intersected into the rippled molten textured ore, meaning it was most likely the same material, just slightly different. Taking the back edge of her chisel, Zephari scrapped at both minerals. The normal iron scratched semi easily, as was to be expected, but the rippled material didn't scratch at all.

What the heck is this stuff? I've never seen anything quite like it... Nor anything so hard! She sat and pondered what it could possibly be. It had the look of quicksilver, but had the texture of volcanic glass. Yet it was harder than forged steel. She rattled her mind for anything that could explain what the strange ore was.

Then it struck her like a rock to the head. While she had never actually handled it before, she immediately realized that this was Cold Iron. From many miners she had met during her travels she had heard of a rare variant of iron called Cold Iron. It was far harder, and far harder to work with than normal iron. She remember talking with a merchant about it in Yahebah, the man having said that only one in ever hundred iron deposits contain Cold Iron.

"That is the only thing that makes any sense for this, but I honestly thought that was a myth!" she claimed, looking up to see Havar lumbering over to her.

"You beat me here this time Zeph! You must have gotten up real early." the giant blue man said, dropping his pack next to the wall, pulling his pick ax out of it as he did so. His pick was almost the size of Zephari's torso, each point of the pick being over a foot and a half long, where Zephari's pick only had points about nine inches long.

"Yeah could sleep in much knowing we were so close to finally getting into the good stuff" she replied, standing up. She tossed the ore chunk to Havar, who barely caught it, fumbling with it for a moment before steadying his hands on it.

"Oooh this stuff feels cool! Its like metal leather. What is it?" he asked, a of curiosity in the man's eyes. He ran his fingers along it, and even tried to break it with his bare hands, failing miserably.

"I think it is something called Cold Iron. It is a rare version of iron that is much harder. I think there is quite a lot of it in this" Zephari said, placing her hand on the huge blue vein. "So are you ready to start doing the delicate, hard part of this?" she asked, staring at the man's giant hands, wondering if he had the fineness to accomplish the task at hand.

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A Bond in the Earth.

Postby Zephari on June 4th, 2015, 8:16 am

Havar nodded, and they set to work. The started at the highest end of the vein, as it was easiest to dig around and under. They only used there picks lightly, if at all, instead favorite chisels being driven in by sledge hammers for precision. The first chunk broke off, and the wonders inside where incredible. The inside of the vein was in fact a solid geode, consisting of iron, quartz, cold iron, and most importantly thumb sized Akalites within the air pockets.

Upon this being revealed, Zephari jumped into Havar's arms, hugging him as tightly as she could muster. He simply let out a deep chuckle and hugged her back. They didn't speak much during this process, as they had to remain focused. These crystals where fairly large, which made them fragile. It took them several hours to break off the remaining chunks, and several more to get those chunks broken into carry-able pieces.

In total they were able to get about four hundred pounds of good ore and crystals. It was the largest haul of Zephari's entire life, and it filler her entire quota for spring. Havar was simply giddy at the amount of shiny things he had helped her dig up, and each of them actually ended up keeping the two largest Akalites for themselves.

"I don't care of this is worth a lot of money, I am keeping it for the memory!" Havar said, rubbing the hand sized Akalite against his face as though it were a doll.

"Agreed. I never expected to find anything like this, not even close." Zephari replied, a broad smile on both of their faces. The two pocketed the gems, and started the arduous work of moving the ore up to the surface. It took them five trips between the two of them, Havar doing the majority of the work.

It was nearly dark by the time they had finished. Just as the two were about to say goodbye, one of the Akalak foremen asked them to follow him. Zephari looked at Havar with a worried look, which he returned.

The foreman led them to the building in which Typhus Chivan worked. The head honcho of the Coalinga mines. Zephari's heart sank, as Typhus was only really known to call people to his office if they had done something wrong.

However this was not the case. Instead he offered Zephari and Havar hearty congradulations on finding the largest deposit of Cold Iron that had been found in many months. He checked both of them off for the next ten days, telling them to take a break. Zephari left the building with significant haste, wanting to leave before Typhus changed his mind. Havar followed suit, keeping inches behind the benshira.

"Well Zeph, this has been loads of fun! We should play some time." the giant said, a massive smile embedded on his face.

Play? Does he mean that literally? Havar is such a funky guy... Zephari thought, raising her eyebrow at the Akalak. But she eventually broke and agreed to meet up again at a later date. They ended up walking back to riverfall together, only saying final goodbyes as Zephari had to turn to head towards her condo.

They shared no words in leaving each other, just a simple, back breaking hug.

OOC NoteSo just a quick wrap up for this thread, this is my first work thread of any real length, so I welcome any advice/input from whoever gets to grade this! On a lore note from what I know of mizahar geology, Cold Iron is in fact titanium, but the people of mizahar just don't know enough to tell the difference. Now I do love geology specific lores, so go wild thinking up whatever lores you can cram into this one. Also I hope you liked Havar. He's just an idea I came up with and am trying out. Thanks for your time and hope you enjoyed reading this behemoth.

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Zephari
The Collector
 
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A Bond in the Earth.

Postby Caelum on July 22nd, 2015, 8:41 pm

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Zephari



Skills
Bodybuilding +1
Construction +1
Deduction +3
Endurance +1
Geology +3
Investigation +2
Mining +3
Observation +3
Planning +1
Running +1
Socializing +2


Lores
Sandstone Properties
Standard Minerals in Riverfall
Mining Tools





Notes


Interesting read! Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns and please remember to edit your grade request post in order to reflect completion.
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