Solo The Spelled Apprentice - Part I

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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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The Spelled Apprentice - Part I

Postby Aleron on January 22nd, 2016, 6:45 pm

The biting cold of a first winter wind marked the very first morning of Aleron's apprenticeship under the talented smiths of the Arma'Drex smithy. It had been arranged, days ago, that he would appear on this day and begin training to become a productive cog in the most esteemed forge within Riverfall. The sun had barely risen, and only a sliver of it was visible out across the bay, decorating the area with hues of blue and orange in a spectacular view that seemed common to this place. The Isur kept his arms tucked away within his coat to conserve heat as he trekked the cliffside path, glancing in admiration at the strange architecture of these people.

The smithy came into view, a robust structure set in stone. No smoke billowed from within its vents, but somebody stirs within Aleron postulated- the flicker of a candle dancing on the ledge of a window was not evidence he could ignore. Pride resounded through him as he went to open the door, only to become vaguely miffed when the entryway didn't budge to his advances. Instead, he felt a sense of degredation as he was forced to resort to rapping on the door lightly but firmly with the back of his metal palm to announce his arrival. Moments passed, but then the echo of footsteps could be faintly heard beyond followed by the familiar clink of the door unlatching. It swung open, a tall figure looming over him that would be obscured by shadow if not for Aleron's excellent Isurian night vision.

"You're the first to arrive," billowed the gruff, matter-of-fact voice of Haiduk. Aleron had talked to enough Akalak to know by now that there were in fact two individuals plodding about in those minds, questionably an advantage over his own kind. "I should have expected an Isur to be punctual," the Akalak continued with his narrative. "Come in, Loriim is already absorbed in his work." The permission came as a welcome turn of events for Aleron, who crossed the threshold and allowed the door behind him to close. The room was filled with the blue-tinted shadows of a large array of weapon and armor stock, save for one side of the room, where a ray of sunlight valiantly crawled along the ceiling and would soon light the floor to illuminate the most prized creations made in the smithy. Arrangement of stock seemed like an important part of business to Aleron, but he wondered if these Akalak had really done that or if this was a natural migration of product - the place was bare with few furnishings and decorations. Most of the equipment that he gazed upon was very bare with no precious metal inlays or etchings present though they were beautiful enough as tools of war could be.

"So when do we begin?" Aleron questioned, straight ot the point with a hint of wistfulness in his voice while at the same time blasting his own rare lack of valued patience silently within his head. The Isur was really looking forward to being in a forge again after so long.

"Everything is ready to go, but we must wait until-" The door creaked open, and another Akalak strode into the shop. This one was much younger than Haiduk, but just as tall. "-Ahh!" Haiduk rambled. "There's that boy ... Jo'mal shall watch the storefront while I instruct you--not that we have problems with thieves." The younger Akalak paused for a moment, but then immediately set about walking past master and fellow apprentice without so much as another glance to sit behind the counter.

"He is an apprentice of Loriim," Haiduk mentioned. Tight-lipped, Aleron had no questions. He simply waited for his opportunity to happen with clarity of mind. He didn't care to know how many apprentices there were, he was just here to learn and work the forge. "You mentioned that you weren't very accomplished at smithing weapons. What have you made so far?"
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The Spelled Apprentice - Part I

Postby Aleron on January 22nd, 2016, 6:46 pm

The question was not an unusual one. The instructor would like to know more about the capability of the student, and it seemed natural. "I have made a dagger, and helped my father forge a blade as a striker. I've also done some edge grinding." Most Isur couldn't list their accomplishments so easily, a subject of contention for Aleron. As Haiduk moved, he followed. The two advanced into the dark, unlit forge halls.

It was dark, but that didn't bother the Isur or the Akalak. Haiduk knew the place like the back of his hand, Aleron presumed. What he didn't know was how large the forge actually was. Passing underneath an arch, Aleron could see there were four separate forge rooms, one filled with the sound of despondent tapping and hammering in total darkness. Aleron knew the low light was so that the coloration of heated metal is more easily discerned. His nostrils breathed in a fresh sleuth of air, hinting at the well-ventilated construction of the forge room he now stood in.

As Aleron looked around, he noticed many objects on racks and tucked into corners. A large iron table dominated the center of the room, a few papers and plans still upon its surface. Behind that, an expertly crafted stone forge took up the far side of the wall, a rope dangling from above connected to the bellows that the Isur would soon be using to fan the flames. There were tools of all kinds everywhere upon the racks, and several larger tools such as grinding stones and sheetmaking wheels stood like statues waiting for their purpose to soon come.

"I'll get a candle for you, and then I'll teach you to light the forge." Haiduk offered, unknowing that the Isur could see in the dark.

Aleron's grasp of common wasn't absolute, and he struggled to find more eloquent words to carry the meaning of what he said, often pausing to think about what he should say since the words were buried within his mind under the language of his own kind. "I can see fine in the dark, master Haiduk. I will need coal, wood, and tinder to light the forge." The Akalak seemed unphased by the unwittingly dour response from Aleron, going forward with his plans as an instructor.

"Very well, apprentice Aleron. The tinder is in a bag within the hall, and the coals are next to the forge. There is a closet in the hall with an apron if need be, or you can show your thick skin like many of us do. I will check on Jo'mal, and I will return once you have lit the forge." Haiduk affirmed, pointing at the bag of coals next to a box of wood clippings against the wall and then out into the hall where a sack cloth bag filled with dried grass awaited, previously unnoticed by the Isur. Beyond that was the closet in question. As the Akalak turned to leave, Aleron followed him out into the hall and opened the closet door, removing his cloak setting it on a rung within. There was an old dusty apron, but he decided he would do it as the Akalak did, remembering that Isur did not always wear upper attire in the forge either save for safety gear. Then, he removed his shirt and hung that up as well. Shutting the closet door, the half-naked Isur kneeled next to the bag, unraveling the lacing and scooping out a handful of the tinder. Then he laced it shut, carefully heading back over to the forge, skirting his way around the table in the way. With his metal arm, he scooped aside the old, still ever slightly burning coals to place his tinder beneath them. Then, he grabbed up an armful of the wooden clippings and neatly shoved them into the little pothole he had created. By now, the tinder had lit from the heat in the forge and the wooden clippings were beginning to heat up as well.
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The Spelled Apprentice - Part I

Postby Aleron on January 22nd, 2016, 6:47 pm

The coal bag had a shovel, which he used to lay two shovel-fuls over the pile of burning wood, encasing it in a furnace of heat-retaining materials. From there, he wasted no time in grabbing a nearby poker from the wall and stoking it to get it going. His hand enclosed around the dangling rope for the bellows and firmly tuggrf it down through the resistance of the air. The mechanism attached to the rope pressed down upon the bellows as he pulled, and released pressure as he let go. This caused a stream of air to rush into the forge, a bevy of sparks cascading over the coals as the familiar heat began to surge. The coals burned brightly with heat every time Aleron pulled, dying down slightly when he let go. He continued to shift it with the poker, bringing the hot material outward. They would soon reach a self-sufficient point in temperature he assumed was perfect for forging iron--the Isur knew he wasn't experienced enough to work with steel. He set aside the poker and began to watch the flame, waiting for his mentor.

As Aleron watched the coals burn, Haiduk strode into the room carrying within his left hand a metal ingot and in the other a steel weapon, a sword of some sort. The burly blue man's eyes glanced at his metal arm for a moment, studying him in detail now that he had the chance. The other races were always interested in an Isur's unique god-given gifts. It only lasted a moment before the Akalak broke away his gaze and returned to teaching. "For your first real lesson I will teach you to make a broadsword. This blade is popular among Akalak as a versatile instrument of war." The Akalak placed the ingot on the table as Aleron drew himself away from the forge to pay attention to his teacher, who now brandished the blade with both hands which glided up and down it smoothly. "The blade tapers slightly to a point, making it well balanced and stronger for slashing and useful for thrusting. It's weakness hinges on how thin it gets, with all of the weight towards the center it can easily be snapped if struck high up on the flat side. Many of my blades have a fuller, a forged or grinded out depression on both sides of the blade that serves to make it weigh less and appear more valuable, but little else." Haiduk set the blade on the table, and shuffled through the papers in the dim forgelight as Aleron watched like a moth to flame. This weaponsmith really knew a lot about his art, and he was starting to develop some semblance of respect for the man.

"These are the plans you will be using. Forging your first sword is a long process that will give you lots of headache and barely a reprieve. You will be working with iron, so there will be lots of room for mistakes since iron is so easy to work with even an Akalak child could do so." Haiduk continued, Aleron gazing upon the plans that the smith slid over to him. Aleron had told the Akalak that he had made a dagger in his father's forge, but he was more engrossed in other studies. He left out the part about being a world mage with some experience in magic. Most Isur used their time efficiently, and if an Isur was unskilled with the forge it meant that he had other pursuits.

Looking over the schematic and occasionally glancing at the blade for comparison, Aleron had an idea of what to do. "I will begin by drawing out the iron into the shape of the blade. I will have you help me with each step, to correct my mistakes." Isur didn't make very good students to non-Isur. They were always so full of themselves.
Last edited by Aleron on January 24th, 2016, 10:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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The Spelled Apprentice - Part I

Postby Aleron on January 22nd, 2016, 6:48 pm

Growing curious, the Isur pondered how he would be making the sword. It would probably be like the dagger he made, drawing out the metal, but more difficult with a greater precision required. Aleron looked to Haiduk, "Would you walk me through the tools, their names, and their function? There are many I have not yet used or do not know the common name for," he reasoned.

Haiduk had no complaint about the broad task asked of him. He responded by going about the shop and collecting tools from the racks throughout the place. Various hammers and anvil extensions, even different tools and a punch filled the burly blue man's arms as he selected them with the grace of someone who knew their trade through and through. He laid them about the iron table on the quickly shrinking empty workspace. He separated a generic looking hammer with a heavy and not perfectly flat face from the rest. "This is the blacksmiths hammer. It's for hammering out basic shapes and drawing metal out by pressing it apart with each swing." He set it deliberately on the table, then picked up another hammer. "This is a flatter, it's used to smooth out a piece so the surface isn't bumpy and crude." Haiduk set that one next to the last, picking up a punch this time. "This is a punch, and you'll use a flatter or a blacksmiths hammer to drive it through hot metal. You need to do this to rivet the crossguard to the sword." He then touched the tongs on the table. "You know what tongs are. They are for gripping the object when it is very hot. There's also a leg vise if you need it close to the anvil."

Aleron piped up and threw in a few words. "My kind usually uses their metal hand to hold the object steady and manipulate things in the forge." The words were an affirmation to Haiduk that the Isur was listening well enough, so he continued.

Haiduk picked up an object that was like a pair of tongs, but with two rounded metal bars in-between. "Here is a fuller. You put an object between it and hammer it down, and it makes a ridge, where the fuller on a sword gets its name. It takes practice, and you might want to try on a piece of scrap before you go at it with your sword." Setting those aside, he picked up a long iron plate with notched grooves. "This is to get the measurements right with the set of plans. Every big notch is an inch while the little notches are centimeters. It's called a ruler. There are a few more things..." He picked up a couple objects off the table and motioned for Aleron to follow him over to the anvil next to the forge. When Aleron stood next to the Akalak, scratching his chin, the blue man plopped one of the tools into a square socket around the butt end of the anvil. "That hole is called a hardy hole, the tool is called a hardy bender." It was a U-shaped tool. "You can pound metal into it to fold it, or you can put metal through it to bend around the two bars. It's used in making crossguards sometimes." He plopped a bended bar into the rounded hole, which went all the way through the end of the anvil, slightly bent. "That's the pritchel hole, and that tool is called a pritchel hold-down. It keeps your object steady if you need more than your hand to do so. The fuller also has a hardy block underneath it, goes in the hardy hole like any hardy tool."

Aleron eagerly absorbed the knowledge, trying to remember everything he could. The Akalak really had a lot to say, and the pace at which he was learning impressed him. Perhaps when he returned to his homeland he would be a reasonably competent weaponsmith? A smirk cracked upon his face, a stark contrast from the stoic and uncaring expression he held moments before. "Am I correct in assuming that each part of the anvil has a different use?" Aleron said, looking it over.
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The Spelled Apprentice - Part I

Postby Aleron on January 22nd, 2016, 6:50 pm

Haiduk responded by running his hand over the top-most surface of the anvil. "Yes. This flat part is called the face. It's where you'll do most of your hammering," the Akalak pointed to the curved portion at the end. "That's the horn, it's used to bend pieces and create round curves. You can use that portion for the crossguard as well." He pointed to the sudden dip on the anvil. "That sudden dip can be used to make bends, while that wedge before the horn in front if it is where you'll be chiseling a
nd chipping. Don't use a chisel on the flat area, it's a bit softer and you might ding it up.

The Isur took note of the warning. He didn't want to cause undue problems for the smith, or damage any of his tools beyond the normal wear. Aleron was slightly surprised the Akalak wasn't having him simply forge his own tools, but he decided not to mention it. He watched as Haiduk picked up the pieces and went over to the rack. He pointed at a couple hammers. "There's also a ball peen hammer used for rounding out metal, with the one rounded face. There's also the cross peen hammer, which moves the metal perpendicular to the peen. I use that for spikes and serrations, and it can be used for spade-tipped whips." The Akalak always spoke with a fondness about his tools that Aleron was growing to admire. The Isur respected their own work greatly, and this Akalak was no different.

Haiduk brought Aleron to the opposite side of the forge where there was a wooden stool standing next to a large stone wheel, suspended on a metal bar connected to some pedals at the foot of the stool. "This is the grinding wheel. You get this going pretty fast by alternating on the pedals, and you grind the blade against it to make the blade sharp or remove excess material." The Akalak paused and looked around the forge, scratching his head. "I think that's pretty much it. There are some specialized tools, but you probably aren't going to use those unless you're making something that calls for them."

The Akalak picked up the ingot on the table and then pointed to the forge, which was a bit dim now since Aleron had been neglecting it in pursuit of the information Haiduk was imparting. "Warm up the forge and let's get to work!"

Aleron did as he was instructed, stoking the forge once again and blowing the bellows to run the air through it. Sparks popped and sizzled as the flames began to leap forth. Haiduk handed him the ingot, and with his metal arm Aleron placed it in the center of the flame completely unphased by the scorching heat. As he did, something peculiar happened. He was beginning to feel the metal singing to him of the heat, and this gave him the impression that the fire wasn't hot enough. He tugged on the bellows, and the singing grew more pleasant and began to fill him with the perfect warmth. Except, this was strange...

"Haiduk, is there magic in this forge?" Aleron asked, bewildered and astounded by what he was feeling.

"Hah! The only magic in this forge is a bit of love and what you bring to it. Why do you ask?" The response was swift, and cheerful.

Aleron didn't want to take the bait with that question. He would rather not inform everyone of his magical talents, even if he had developed a new one seemingly in his sleep. "My mind was playing tricks on me, that's all." He affirmed. He watched patiently as the metal heated, adjusting the temperature every so often to keep up the heat.

What a strange and fulfilling day at the forge I'm having.
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The Spelled Apprentice - Part I

Postby Konrad Venger on March 11th, 2016, 11:26 pm

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Hey, He Of The Awesome Warhammer-ish Name! Once you get back and deduct your Winter Seasonal Expenses, I'll grade this up, no problem. PM me when you get back!

||Common||Thoughts||Pavi||Fratava||Myrian||Other's Speaking||
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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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