[The Sanctuary] Testing Her Metal

Ialari tries a new direction in smithing; one that reflects the more martial nature of the city of Riverfall.

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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 Sanctuary] Testing Her Metal

Postby Ialari Pythone on February 28th, 2016, 5:47 am

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37th Day of Winter in the Year 515 AV


As an isur, Ialari was born into the art of smithing. Most isur learned how to navigate a forge as children and even if they didn’t specifically work on their own crafts, they could at least hold a hammer and identify the various smithing tools and their uses. With the basics of blacksmithing ingrained at such an early age, most isur expanded on these skills in a variety of ways. Some chose to further hone their traditional blacksmithing abilities through mastering the use of tools, theory and methods. Others decided to fully embrace their isurian gifts and master the use of their blessed arms in the crafting process. Still others went with a mix of both. With their methods and approaches decided early in life, the direction most isur went with their specialties and styles was even more varied than the methods used to create. Some chose tools and implements as their objects of choice. Some delved into art and architecture while others crafted weapons and armor.

Ialari never settled on a specific class of item as her preferred form of craftsmanship. Her interests varied but she usually smithed items that would help her to survive or that fit her particular mood at the time. In her life she forged various tools, implements and the occasional weapon or item of décor. Her methods usually involved a mix of traditional smithing skills and the use of her isurian arm to manipulate and shape the materials used in the crafting.

Having decided to come to Riverfall and for the time being leave her life of survival on the eastern coast of Syliras behind, Ialari was starting to feel the influence of the warriors who ruled the city, the Akalak. The entire city and most of its citizens embraced combat and weaponry from an early age. Just like the majority of isur chose smithing and craftsmanship as their calling, these mighty blue warriors chose conflict of varying sorts. This is where Ialari realized that if she wanted to truly find a way to fit into the city and live among its people, transitioning her crafting abilities to a more martial end may be beneficial.

Although Ialari had the basic smithing knowledge to forge weapons, she had minimal experience with anything other than sharpening and basic blade and handle maintenance. She kept a journal, now extremely well worn and almost full, containing a variety of notes on many of her experiences, teachings and observations. Its contents regarding the forging of weapons however was lacking at best. Thankfully, her host, Kavala, had built a decent collection of books on a variety of subjects so she visited the small library located just a short distance from her chambers. There was all manner of books devoted to various medical studies, animals and as she had hoped, combat and weapons. While most were written in the common tongue, Ialari knew enough to get the basic gist, or at least she hoped so.

After glancing through the collected books, Ialari discovered one that detailed the history of the sword. She couldn’t read who the author was but after a little bit of skimming, she found that there were many accounts of swords of varying types and styles from all across the land. What was most interesting however was the section regarding sword construction as it related to weaponsmithing. While much of it was written with generalities in mind, such a thing made sense to her. Smiths often had their own style, secrets and methods that they never shared with others. There was no reason to give away such information. Even if the book was written in such a way, Ialari figured she may be able to get something out of it. If nothing else, she could compare it to the knowledge she already had from growing up in Sultros among smiths who did dabble in the crafting of weapons.
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Last edited by Ialari Pythone on February 28th, 2016, 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Remade In My Dominion!

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Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
Posts: 361
Words: 556187
Joined roleplay: August 13th, 2009, 3:26 am
Race: Isur
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Medals: 7
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2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
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[The Sanctuary] Testing Her Metal

Postby Ialari Pythone on February 28th, 2016, 5:48 am

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Taking the book from the shelf, she returned to her chambers and got comfortable. As she flipped through the book and started reading, she couldn’t help but recall time spent as a child in her uncle’s forge. His name was Gorston, keeper of the family’s ancestral weapons one of the more accomplished historians on weapons within Pitrius City.

She remembered his deep voice; much unlike most of the men in the family who usually had smooth almost seductive male voices. The deep booming voices were most often found in the Coglias clan of muscle-bound thick-skulls. Her uncle Gorston however was anything but thick-skulled. Although she called him uncle, he was actually her great uncle, almost 165 years old and had survived his fair share of battles in the Unforgiving during the expansion of the Kingdom into the Unforgiving of Kalea. While the underground of the Kingdom had been established well before that, the above ground decades later. Gorston had battled many a human barbarian and wild zith along with conflicts with all manner of wild animal and even a few monstrous beasts in his time.

“Remember, Ialari, while your arm will always be your most trustworthy weapon, never underestimate the presence of a good sword at your side.” It was a constant theme with Gorston, he always used that line whenever the topic of weapons and combat came up.
“The sword is a more advanced form of weapon. While you can use a spear to stab, the point could bend a bit on bone; yet you could still work around it. Take an axe, yeah it’s heavy but it’s well built and a single well placed blow can end a conflict rather quickly. If you want smashing, crushing, blunt force, you could go with a mace. Even with all of their uses and specialties, the sword was far more complex than any of these other weapons. The sword required more metal in its construction. It had to be long and strong but also needed to be able to flex a bit and retain a sharp edge.” As she recalled his words, Ialari noted that there were a few similar sentences written in the book. Realizing that she should probably take some notes while she was studying and indulging in past memories, she scrounged up some paper and a few sticks of charcoal. She normally kept these around in case she had an idea for something to craft in the forge. She could sketch out a design and make some notes on the fly. Always the planner, Ialari rarely did anything random; there was always some amount of planning involved.

With her paper, charcoal, book and memories, she returned to studying the book while pausing from time to time to brainstorm some ideas which she made sketches of.
“To stay sharp…” Gorston would begin, “…a sword needs to be hard but not too hard. Remember, the harder it is the easier it can break.” He had a particular love of wrought iron for a material. He admitted however that it wasn’t the best of weapon materials but was inexpensive, easy to work with and weapons made from it could be replaced with little effort. Wrought iron tended to be soft, easy to manipulate and weld. It could handle a lot of heat during the forging process, was rust resistant yet tended to stay bent once bended.
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Remade In My Dominion!

Character Sheet

Granted Flashback Threads between 510 and 512 by Tarot.
User avatar
Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
Posts: 361
Words: 556187
Joined roleplay: August 13th, 2009, 3:26 am
Race: Isur
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 7
Trailblazer (2) Overlored (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
Riverfall Seasonal Challenge (1) Mizahar Grader (1)

[The Sanctuary] Testing Her Metal

Postby Ialari Pythone on February 28th, 2016, 6:15 am

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Ialari made notations about wrought iron as she continued to read from the book. The book went on to talk a little about steel in forging weapons. The problem with steel is that it often contained various trace metals in its composition. These trace metals could affect the performance of the steel which had to be taken into account in the forging process. Steel tended to be harder both in structure and in the ability to be manipulated. It was prone to suffering negative effects from high temperatures during forging, rusted and if attention wasn’t paid to the heat used to work it, the steel could crack or even shatter. She knew about the temperature issues as they related to iron use in constructing weapons but her knowledge of working with steel was still quite limited. She made some more notes and sketched a very rough drawing of a sword with arrows connecting the blade to her notes about cracking and breaking at high temperatures.

The next metal mentioned in the book and one she knew a bit about from her blacksmithing experience was cast iron. While it was useful in various decorate items, it was far too brittle for use in forging functional weapons. It was too hard, brittle, difficult to manipulate and though it was resistant to heat, it was impossible to weld.

From what she could gather from the book and what she remembered from childhood when Gorston spoke about it, steel was the most useful material in forging weapons, especially swords. Something she was reading however that she didn’t realize before was that in order to smelt enough steel to be useful in weaponsmithing was rather restrictive and it required a few different techniques to turn it into a reliable weapon that could resist the levels of stress that were often required of it.

As she continued reading, Ialari learned about how different cultures approached different construction methods related to swords. According to the book, some of the earliest swords were forged from simple iron. Through constant striking of a hammer, the mass of the iron could be compacted but tended to lead toward breaking and cracking. Many of those types of swords were used by humans as they tried to develop better weapons. Bronze was often superior to iron when used in blades yet it usually wasn’t as plentiful. Ialari recalled her studies back home regarding the distaste for iron weapons. While it was usually readily available, it was best left in the use of tools and decoration.

The Sanctuary’s forge had a good supply of iron, bronze, brass and copper but Ialari wasn’t quite sure of the steel supply as she hadn’t really considered using any until she had learned more about it.

Taking a break for a moment from reading, she remembered too how Gorston used to claim that he was able to get the best out of the steel he used because of the mystical qualities of the water he used to quench it in. He used to say that his secret formula was behind the great strength inherent in the blades he forged. Ialari used to believe that story until she learned more about the true nature of the use of water in smithing. Water simple controlled the rate of cooling so to better control the hardness and temper of the metal.
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Remade In My Dominion!

Character Sheet

Granted Flashback Threads between 510 and 512 by Tarot.
User avatar
Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
Posts: 361
Words: 556187
Joined roleplay: August 13th, 2009, 3:26 am
Race: Isur
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 7
Trailblazer (2) Overlored (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
Riverfall Seasonal Challenge (1) Mizahar Grader (1)

[The Sanctuary] Testing Her Metal

Postby Ialari Pythone on February 28th, 2016, 6:16 am

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As she continued reading, Ialari realized that there were definitely some inconsistencies between what she learned about metalworking growing up and what was written in the book. Where the book spoke of certain human cities and tribes coming up with different techniques, Ialari had learned that it was the isur who passed these techniques on to early humans before the humans took that knowledge and claimed it as being of their own making. Skimming ahead a bit, Ialari realized that much of the rest of the book was written from a human point of view and ignored the overwhelming majority of the history that Ialari knew regarding metals and weapons. That was until she came upon a section on a specific type of bladed weapon, the Kris.

This is where Ialari began sketching from the descriptions and rough drawings found in the book. The whole process of note-taking and sketching helped to further ingrain in her mind the content of the book and what she could recall from her uncle’s teachings. What she read about the kris was that it varied in size from that of larger sized daggers to short swords. The varied length was between roughly nine inches and two feet. They normally sported double-edged blades used for thrusting and were usually forged in a wavy pattern. The number of waves were normally made in odd numbers while the weapon didn’t always need to have such a pattern. It all came down to the personal style and cultural influences of the smith. The tang was usually thin and encased by the handle. The blade also sported a variety of textures brought on by the method of forging and the materials used. There were various types of steel that were laminated together to create the blade. Various types of iron were layered together to form a strong blade with markings and textures that ranged from subtle hues in the color of the polished blade to rough outer layers. Ialari took her own personal notes on the potential of a blade that had abrasive sides. Combined with two cutting edges and the point, the abrasive edges would make for a much more damaging weapon as it slid into flesh.

From what she could gather, the actual structure of the weapon was pretty straightforward aside from the wavy pattern of the blade. It seemed like it would be a durable, sharp and quite deadly weapon in the right hands.

While she didn’t yet have the skill or knowledge to fully embrace the use of proper steel, perhaps she could at least practice forging weapons using pure iron. If nothing else, perhaps she could get a feel for getting the right shape. Humans may find iron difficult to manipulate due to its lack of malleability but for an isur it wasn’t as much of an issue.
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Remade In My Dominion!

Character Sheet

Granted Flashback Threads between 510 and 512 by Tarot.
User avatar
Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
Posts: 361
Words: 556187
Joined roleplay: August 13th, 2009, 3:26 am
Race: Isur
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 7
Trailblazer (2) Overlored (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
Riverfall Seasonal Challenge (1) Mizahar Grader (1)

[The Sanctuary] Testing Her Metal

Postby Ialari Pythone on February 28th, 2016, 6:17 am

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Gathering her notes in preparation for a trip to the forge where she planned on practicing a little bit with forging weapons out of iron, Ialari decided to first visit Arith and Reth in her Dominion. With her gear packed, she pushed the bed up against the wall and uncovered the painted outline of a small door on the black marble floor. In the center of the intricately drawn red-streaked gray painted patterns was a circle with a painted handprint in the middle. Drawing a tiny cut on the palm of her hand, a small drop of blood began to form. Ialari then placed her hand on the painted print. Immediately the lines and patterns on the painted door ignited in crimson flames before revealing a window like surface instead. Ialari stood up and stepped into the doorway only to step up out of it into her Dominion. Once inside, she took a deep breath, blinked her eyes a few times and opened up her sight to her claimed pocket of the Ukalas. Although she had done the same thing many times over, it was no less disorientating. Her entire perspective was expanded to encompass sight in all directions at once. It took quite a bit of concentration to hold on to but as she shifted the different perspectives; seeing her Dominion at any angle she desired, she quickly homed in on the distinctive movement of the snakes. Just as she could feel their presence, so they could feel hers as well.

When she had an idea where they were, Ialari blinked her eyes a few more times and released the altered perspective. Rubbing her temples, the headache that always accompanied such a shift in sight quickly appeared and slowly faded. Shaking off the headache, Ialari headed for the location of the snakes. Both were relatively close to one another as they lounge about in one of the many beams of sunlight that reached down through one of fissures in the ceiling of the great cavern that housed the Dominion.

Ialari sat down in the center of the spot of daylight and allowed the snakes to make their way to her. They proceeded to slither around her legs and up her arms. The feeling of their leathery scaled hides on her skin was oddly comforting. The snakes seemed to be adjusting to their new home rather well. It helped that they had a steady source of water in the form of the small pool and tiny stream flowing from it. Ialari had caught a few more rodents in The Sanctuary’s stables and turned them loose in the Dominion which helped with the food situation. Eventually she hoped to create more snakes to populate her home away from home but it might require her having to further expand her claim on the space in order to provide more room for an increased population. She would also have to take food supply into account but if she read the Dominion Scrolls correctly, the next attempt at expansion could easily grant at least 25 acres of dominated space. If she were to further gain the increased favor of Izurdin or even Dira, she may even be able to expand up to 50 acres. If she were to somehow master the discipline, the limits would be endless in all ways. That was something she never could quite wrap her mind around. The things she could do with her Dominion already stretched the imagination. With no limits, no restrictions, what would she do? What would she become?

After spending time just basking in the presence of her “children” in the heart of her greatest creation, Ialari felt energized, motivated and ready to take on another project. Taking her leave of Arith and Reth at least for a while, she walked over to where the doorway back to her chambers lie. Stepping into it she in turned stepped out into the room. Turning, she placed her hand back over the window in the floor in the spot where the painted print of her palm would be. The window ignited in crimson flames before it returned to being an intricately patterned outline of a door. She then pushed the bed back in place and left for the forge.
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Remade In My Dominion!

Character Sheet

Granted Flashback Threads between 510 and 512 by Tarot.
User avatar
Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
Posts: 361
Words: 556187
Joined roleplay: August 13th, 2009, 3:26 am
Race: Isur
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 7
Trailblazer (2) Overlored (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
Riverfall Seasonal Challenge (1) Mizahar Grader (1)

[The Sanctuary] Testing Her Metal

Postby Ialari Pythone on February 28th, 2016, 7:20 am

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As usual, Ialari had waited for the forge to be empty as she didn’t like working around others. Sometimes it was unavoidable but when it came to doing personal projects or practicing techniques, she preferred to do it in peace. As she lit the fires and gathered her tools, she thought about the Kris. While she would first forge some practice blades to get the feel for them, eventually she would move on to forging a Kris. The idea of the wavy blade reminded her of a snake in motion which set all manner of ideas in her head for what she would like to see out of a final product. It was premature to get too involved in the idea of final product before ever having crafted her own dagger from scratch but it served as a motivational thought nonetheless.

She gathered a number of different hammers, tongs and files and arranged them on the bench next to the anvil she’d become accustomed to using. She then laid out her notes and sketches. She decided to start with a very simple dagger that would get her used to the basic design and form. She already had a dagger, one she had carried with her for many years, that she could use as a model but she decided to sketch the basic shape of what she was going to forge if only to help cement it in her mind. The design was basic at best, almost childlike in simplicity.

When she had the initial sketch finished, she went to the racks where the metal stock was kept. She chose a piece of iron of the type often used for forging tools such as hammers. It wasn’t weapon grade to be certain but it would at least come somewhat close to being able to withstand some levels of stress during use. The piece was already somewhat shaped for forging into a rasp or file but Ialari could use it for a simple dagger easy enough. The piece was 1/4" thick and 2" wide and roughly 18” long. When the fires were burning strong, Ialari placed the stock into the flames so that the end of what would be the blade would heat up.

While she waited for the iron to heat, she picked out the first hammer she would start with. Her choice was that of a pattern hammer; a hammer with one wedged end and a flat striking end. When the iron was heated she pulled it from the fire and laid it on the anvil. She proceeded to hammer the iron so to taper the bar stock into the shape she desired. This meant turning it on its face and on its end to taper and flatten the stock into the rough form of a blade. When she had attained the shape that looked at least roughly close to that of her current dagger, she stopped to take a closer look. The taper was pretty even and she was able to maintain a pretty uniform flatness. It didn’t look pretty but it was still early in the forging process.

She then began forging at a steep angle, to start the process of beveling. The steep angle would set the initial shape of what would eventually become the blade. Switching to a cross-peen hammer, Ialari started refining the bevels while pausing momentarily to reheat the stock. She used the cross-peen hammer to bring the bevels closer to a noticeable centerline. Periodically she would glance over at her dagger being used as the model to make sure she was maintaining the general shape. The beveling process took longer than she had expected due to having to maintain an equal taper and flatness while still pulling off an even bevel on both sides. She had to stop ever so often to make sure the centerline was maintained as well.

Finally, she stopped beveling and put the stock back into the fire while she chose a file. Pulling the stock from the flames she started a process known as hot-rasping or filing the metal while it was still heated. The goal was to clean up the stock enough to get a good look at the centerline. Despite her doubt at her work, Ialari noted that the centerline indeed was there and remained relatively straight considering it was first attempt at using such techniques to forge an actual weapon. Blacksmithing and weaponsmithing were quite similar in their basic techniques. It’s when one moved beyond the basics that things began to change. The fact that Ialari was using a metal she was quite familiar with made for a somewhat easier time of things.

She continued with drawing the would-be blade out a little thinner and wider before pausing to draw file it. Clamping the stock into a vise, she took the file in both hands and began pulling the file so as to smooth the finish of the bevels on either side of the centerline. As she did this, more defined edges began to form and the tapered end began to look more like a point.

Stopping with the blade, which all things considered, was looking rather well, Ialari moved on to a crossguard. For this she decided to use a small piece of half-inch square iron. After heating it, she hammered out a taper on one end then used her fingers to pinch off the other end to make for a more even length before tapering the other end. This made the crossguard about four inches long from end to end. Unfortunately, once the crossguard was complete, Ialari found herself unable to continue. It wasn’t that she didn’t have it in her to go on. She simple didn’t know how to continue. Her notes and what little she knew of weaponsmithing didn’t tell her how to do forge the tang and assemble the rest of the dagger. She didn’t want to damage her own completed dagger to see how it was done either. This meant that she would have to stop the project and continue research into how to proceed on the next steps. With a few choice words of cursing, she started cleaning up before finally leaving the forge to return to her chambers.
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Remade In My Dominion!

Character Sheet

Granted Flashback Threads between 510 and 512 by Tarot.
User avatar
Ialari Pythone
I'm Poison.
 
Posts: 361
Words: 556187
Joined roleplay: August 13th, 2009, 3:26 am
Race: Isur
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 7
Trailblazer (2) Overlored (1)
2013 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1) 2012 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)
Riverfall Seasonal Challenge (1) Mizahar Grader (1)


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