Flashback When the Final Nail Breaks (Alija)

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

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When the Final Nail Breaks (Alija)

Postby Karyk on April 12th, 2017, 8:14 pm

Timestamp: Summer 46, 512 AV

Karyk woke, facing the front of his and his wife's cottage. It sounded like a Nerilia was still sleeping. Karyk rubbed at his eyes with his palms, finally opening to a surprise. His oldest niece, Sharay, seven years old with a mop of flaming red curls and a toothy smile staring at him. She whispered, knowing to not wake Nerilia, "Mom said you promised to watch me today." Karyk groaned having completely forgotten. And he knew in his gut that Nerilia hadn't, and if he'd admitted it, she'd nag him on it for days. So he didn't argue. It was his day off anyways. He nodded and slipped out of bed, looking back at his sleeping wife. He used to always kiss her as he got up, whether she woke or not, but now... things just felt different. Ever since.. well for a while now.

He raised his hand and made a shooing motion, and Sharay immediately asked, "Why?" He gruffed a bit, then through gritted teeth, "Because I'm naked, and I don't need to explain to your mom as to why you ask her about naked men." The little girl looked annoyed, scowling the same way her mother does, before crossing her arms and walking outside. Karyk got up and got dressed. He stuck his head out the door, seeing the girl pouting next to it, "You had breakfast yet?"

She stayed silent.

He groaned. "Well I guess if you're not hungry, we don't need to stop by Lady Kelsa's stall..."

She perked up at that, but being her mother's daughter, pushing for more always, "I want to go shopping too." Karyk rubbed his temples, "Sounds good. Let me grab my stuff, I have to stop at the smith's anyways." He stepped inside, grabbing his pack, wondering if things would be different if he'd woken up to his own child's need for attention instead of his niece. He looked forlornly at his sleeping wife, stepped outside, locked his door, and stuck out his hand.

"I'm old enough to not have to hold your hand."

"Just because you turned seven last season doesn't make up for the fact you nearly got ran over by a cart and your mom tried to gut me like a fish when you told her."

She slipped her tiny hand into his large rough one, and they started toward Lady Kelsa's stall. The tiny woman was as chipper and spry as she always had been, and always seemed like she would be. She knew Karyk, for he ate there often. The smell of her cooking carried all through the street, her daughter and granddaughters working the grill with knowledgeable efficiency. Karyk never asked what she was serving, he always got the day's special. So this time Lady Kelsa handed him two. Today it seemed some meat on a stick, with a thick brown sauce, and smelled divine. He handed one to Sharay who began nibbling on it greedily, her big eyes staring at the old woman, before she broke into a smile. "Thank you." Karyk paid, and glanced over the woman's shoulder to see what it was as he started gnawing on the white meat. Sea snake. And she had a whole mess of them. How her husband and sons and grandsons managed to catch the most obscure and dangerous of sea critters, he'd never know.

They started walking down the street, and once they'd finished their food, Sharay piped up once more, "Where we goin' now Uncle?" Karyk looked around, "There's a smithy around here somewhere... I've not been, Dorrin recommended it. Can't remember what its called though."

"Maybe we should try asking for directions. Someone around here might know where a smithy is."

Karyk grunted, he was sure they'd find one soon, it shouldn't be too hard to find, the smell of smoke and burning metal and the clanging of a hammer on anvil was usually a giveaway. He had directions in his pack of how to get there from Dorrin, but every time he looked at that chicken scratch, he felt his anxiety rise. The words always seemed to jumble, not make as much sense. And he wasn't about to try reading it in front of his niece.
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When the Final Nail Breaks (Alija)

Postby Alija on April 29th, 2017, 9:29 am

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Alija grunted under the weight of tongs, struggling to shift the glowing metal in her hands. One hand slipped forward, slick with sweat, and her body tipped forward, eager to catch the iron before it fell. With the movement, her whole balance was thrown, and the tongs sank in her grip. The weight overwhelming her, her hands lost their hold and the metal clanked to the ground, Alija jumping back to avoid the chunk of orange iron that tumbled along the ground. It rolled in the dirt, picking up dust and random pieces that had fallen from their boots before hitting the wall and stopping sharply. Practically ruined, she knew that, but before the blacksmith could return to see her failure, the girl was down, tongs ready.

She was going to get this metal heated and flattened, even if it took her the rest of the day. Wrestling with the tongs again, she shifted them to a position back in both hands. Squatting near the pile of coal, she reached forward, using each side of the tongs as a different tool in an attempt to grab the metal. In a moment, she thought she had it, before her tightening the grip caused it to slip forward and she jumped back, terrified of the glowing metal hitting the wall and flying towards her. Once it settled still, she tried again, this time taking a deeper bite, and shifting to hold it with just one hand.

The metal wobbled as she carried it, shuffling across the sooty floor of the smithy towards the fire. The metal, with her struggles and throwing it all across the room, was almost cool; which meant she would have to wait all that time again to heat it back up. A little irritated at her inability as a smith, she pushed on, crouching beside the fire as she rested the tongs against the forge, arm aching too much to hold it up properly.

"Alija?" came the voice from the blacksmith who owned this place - who her father had once worked, and who had taken her on mainly because of the connection she had. Quickly, not wanting to be rude, the girl span, forgetting the tongs in her hand and swiping them around quickly. With the movement, the iron flew out, bouncing against the anvil with an even sharper clang than before. The girl winced quickly, realising her mistake and rising with her head hung.

"Alija!" came the strong voice, "What are you doing? Your father taught you better than this. You can't sit while heating metal - that's incredibly dangerous - and that's ignoring what just happened! If someone else was working here - you could have killed them like that! Get out!"

The girl shook her head, not wanting to believe it. She couldn't be kicked out - as much as she struggled with it, blacksmithing was her life. It was everything. To be kicked out of the place she loved the most... "Please, give me another chance, I promise I'll be more careful!" Even as she spoke them, she knew her words fell short, despite the desperation in her voice. She didn't blame him, either. If there had been someone in the way of the flying metal... It hadn't even been the first time it had happened, and as she was only getting more tired, she would only get more sloppy.

"Get out!" his frustration rose in his voice, "Get out! Please - now - before someone gets hurt. When you learn how to stay safe - in the forge - then you can think about coming back! Until then - get out!"

Before he could say anything else, the girl was gone, running not in the forge, where it was unsafe, but out the back door and into the street, struggling to take the rejection. Her feet flew through the street, slowing only when she realised that she was being stupid, and that he had been right. But, just as she slowed, she was the most distracted, and toppled into a man and the red-head child beside him. Stepping back quickly, the girl blurted out an apology, although her voice cracked and was unsteady with embarrassment. It was only when she looked up, however, when she grew red as a beetroot.

There, right in the middle of his canvas shirt, lay two black handprints, coal dust from the obvious source of a forge. So not only had she bumped into him, but she had ruined his top was well. It was bad enough that all her clothing stank of smoke and had that thin layer of black over it. He hadn't even been near a forge. "Sorry!" she repeated herself, stepping back with a desperate attempt to run away but knowing that would be even worse. At least this time, as she said it, he could hear her. But that didn't stop her embarrassment.
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When the Final Nail Breaks (Alija)

Postby Karyk on May 14th, 2017, 4:56 pm

Karyk was still looking up and down the street, when Syna's smile glinted a bit, temporarily blinding him. The goddess probably knew what was about to happen and thought it would be funny. Karyk felt something collide with his stomach and chest, more startling him than anything else.

Shortly after the soot covered girl bounced off of Karyk, Sharay piped up, "Look out uncle." Karyk shot the little red head an annoyed look, and she matched and one-upped it with a fierce glare. Karyk looked down and saw a sweaty, dirty woman, red in the face, stepping back with a look that Karyk though said fear and frustration. She reminded him of Mynnie, on his work crew, thin as most people in Zeltiva were, but muscles taut like a finely corded rope. This girl was a craftsman. And clearly not having a great day.

Karyk looked down and saw the black hand prints on his 'clean' shirt. Just added a bit of color to the sweat and kelp beer stains, the tears from work, and the splotches of tar. He tried to keep a straight face, even attempting a menacing look, like the women of his family could do with ease, glaring down at the little girl, and saying nothing.

But then his face broke into a wide smile and he began laughing loudly, from deep in his belly. He stepped a bit closer to the dirty girl, clasped a firm hand on her should, still laughing as he spoke, "Don't ya worry 'bout it girl. Is just a shirt, still gets the job done, ya know?" Letting go of her shoulder, he saw that his own hand was covered with a layer of the soot. He sniffed at it, then wiped it on his shirt.

He could hear some distant clanging just past where the girl had come seemingly come from. He guessed the smithy had been right in front of him the whole time, and one of the smiths had found him. With her age, he assumed later teens, maybe early twenties, she was probably still an apprentice, possibly journeyman, much like he was under his mother at that age. He was now in that age and level of skill where he was good enough to work on his own, but not good enough to take on an apprentice.

He guessed she had been leaving in a hurry, "Am I keepin' ya? Cuz I've some business, and I'ma guessin' its with ya, bein' a smith 'n all."
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When the Final Nail Breaks (Alija)

Postby Alija on June 2nd, 2017, 7:19 pm

Image
He looked down at his shirt. Then down at her. Glaring, hard, and the girl trembled, taking another weak step backwards and wishing she could come up with a way to excuse herself. A million apologies wasn't going to work, so she stopped herself before she managed to sound pathetic. But what else could she do? Run?

The laugh broke the tension, and the girl gave a deep breath, letting herself relax. Her eyes flew to the sky and gave thanks to the gods, while she wiped her hands down quickly on herself, not wanting to make the same mistake again. Ignoring the fluttering of her heart that still continued, she flinched slightly at the touch of him, aware of his size and stature. And the menacing look in his eyes from before had looked so convincing...

Whether it was sensing her discomfort or just natural, he removed his hand and she visibly relaxed. Just a shirt, he said, and she really, really hoped that he would think so. "I can... wash it or something for you? Not now, obviously," she stuttered over her words, still trying to correct what she did, "But you can drop it off, or something?"

But then he said he had business with her, and she shook again, wondering what he was referring to. When the word popped out - "smith" - she gave another sigh of relief, wishing she could just relax and not be at the edge of her string every single time he said or did anything. All he wanted was a smith's help. She could give him that. In return for her messing up his shirt (she didn't care how messy it was already, she had only made it worse).

Except... she really couldn't. She had been kicked out of the place. Still, if she managed to get Karyk in as a customer, she had to be given a chance to help out, right? Deciding to give it a go, she nodded quickly, hoping the gap where she thought hadn't been too long and obvious. "Right. I can, I can definitely help with that. Come with me..."

She turned quickly hurrying down the street and back towards the place she had been kicked out of. "Do you want wait here, and I'll just check the forge-" But she was already gone, facing the man with a cheesy smile.

"I know you said get out... But I got you another customer... Can I please stay? I'll just help and watch, please!"

The blacksmith gave a deep sigh. "I'll think about it. See what he wants. Alright?"

Alija nodded, running back out and to where the other man was waiting. "So.. what did you need?" she coughed out, waiting for the reply. Please be something easy, please be something easy...
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When the Final Nail Breaks (Alija)

Postby Karyk on June 11th, 2017, 12:39 am

Karyk didn't bother to comment on her offer to wash his shirt, it was an empty bottle in the waves as far as he was concerned. When offered assistance, Karyk started to follow the young woman, tiny Sharay stamping her feet and refusing to move. He rolled his eyes, knowing what that meant. "Alrigh' firebug." Picking her up in his calloused hands, he set her on his shoulders, her feet danging over his chest as she kicked at it as hard as she could, little more than tiny thumps to him. "Oy, easy on the 'air munchkin," as she tugged at it like reins.

He saw the girl up ahead, and moved a bit quicker to catch up. Karyk arrived just in time to hear the exchange between the girl and who he assumed to be her boss. So she was a bit on the outs, and was trying to earn her way back in with him? He could help her with that, and then some. He did a mental rundown of things he could have made. He needed some new fish hooks, a few different axe heads, maybe a crowbar. He'd need one of those for a ship breaking sometime.

But when she asked what he needed, he could see a bit of nervousness in her features. Was that because of needing to get back in the boss's good graces? Or for the job at hand? After all, he didn't know what she was capable of. So he decided to not worry about the axe heads this time around, those needed to be perfect after all, for his work. "Think ya can make me a crowbar lass? Nothin' fancy, jus' practical."

He then leaned in close, smirking, "So wutchya do to piss off ol' big ears there?"
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When the Final Nail Breaks (Alija)

Postby Alija on June 26th, 2017, 2:48 pm

Image
He seemed deep in thought as she asked for what he wanted, and she tensed visibly, ready for him to give a massive list of complicated things that she wouldn't be allowed to make or help with making. It seemed just like her luck for that to happen - and if (or when) he did ask for all that, she wasn't certain how she'd react - she jut knew she was going to be angry.

Then he surprised her by listing a single item. "A crowbar?" she repeated back to him, the shock ringing through her voice. All he wanted was a crowbar? She had been so certain that she had read him right before, in that he wanted a lot of items. Perhaps she had misunderstood the look in his eyes, everything that had told her that - she had never been the best at reading people anyway, and how was she to know what this random stranger from the street was actually thinking?

But no - as he leaned forward with a smirk, he revealed that not only that he wanted all those things before, but that he hadn't told her that for her own sake.

Did she really appear so useless as to need him to shorten his order request just to satisfy her?

Probably, she found herself admitting. It was probably true.

The girl coughed at what he said, keeping the distance between them respectful, but still close enough so he could hear her whispered words. Although she didn't know quite what to say. Was it really a good idea to let a customer know about how she had been acting dangerously and recklessly in the smithy, unable to stay safe and hold metal properly? Especially since he was trying to help her out. But then what could she say? Lying to him wasn't really something she felt comfortable doing either, especially since she had a feeling that he'd be able to tell if she did.

"It doesn't matter. It was just... I was just being a bit of an idiot then. It's nothing though, really, it's nothing." Yeah, right. Even as she said the words, she knew how clearly it sounded like she was trying to convince him; she barely managed to convince herself with them.

"But it's okay," she blurted out again, growing a tiny bit red as she realised how ridiculous she sounded, "I'll go let him know, and we can start on something, okay?"

With that, she burst back, moving to the blacksmith with determination in her eyes, "A crowbar, he wants a crowbar." Then she waited, tentatively, for his answer, knowing a single word could break her.

"Grab a hammer then. But first, let's get the details sorted. Call him in here properly."

Her eyes shot wide with admiration, flying out of the smithy once again and almost crashing into the bearded man. This time, however, she stopped herself in time, and with a smile, invited him inside. "How big do you need it to be? Particularly shaped?" Then, leaning a bit closer so the blacksmith wouldn't hear them properly, "Thank you so much! He's letting me make it - giving me another chance."

And she was not going to screw this one up, no way.
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When the Final Nail Breaks (Alija)

Postby Karyk on June 29th, 2017, 7:34 pm

Hearing the girl's evasive and stammering response, Karyk smiled, clearly she'd done something dumb. He'd been there before. If it was something unfair or unjust, she'd have said something. Instead, it was embarrassing, but rightly deserved.

"Do dey make swords here?"

"I think they could lovebug, bu' theys probably jus' make tools 'ere. Axes, nails, 'ammers an' stuff. Wha' we do wit' wood at the Yard, theys do with metal. A bi' of everyt'in'."

Karyk watched the girl disappear and he began wandering about, looking at the other already made items. Sharay reached out to grab at a farmer's scythe and Karyk swatted her hand away, "Ya know better than to grab sharp things love bug."

With a harrumph, she crossed her arms and began to pout, as the girl returned. She then asked about sizes and shapes. "Well, my las' one was maybe... from wris' to shoulder on me. Maybe finger tip to shoulder be better. Shape um..." Karyk didn't know how to describe it as long and curvy like a crowbar. He slipped off his pack and reached in for a knife. He crudely carve a serpentine shape into the wood of the counter. A semicircle bend on one end, and an angled pry blade on the other. "This curve en' has the nail plucka. This other end is a thicker blade for plyin' planks."

When done, he pocketed the knife, "The las' one was cheap, I think it was lead. Bent a lot, fairly useless. I'd like somethin' better."

When she leaned closer, Karyk smiled, whispering, "No worries lass, I got faith in ya. A good feelin'. Think ya can do it?"
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