Completed Beauty For A Beauty

Shade makes Shiress some jewelry.

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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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Beauty For A Beauty

Postby Shade on May 30th, 2022, 1:05 am

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Late Spring, 522 A.V.



Shade hadn’t been at his craft for a while now. The move, inadvertently escorting Shiress across the Suvan, and then spending a season mostly dealing with what was a settlement of traumatized people had put a damper on his plans. Plus, the fact that his funds were lacking the ability to completely be a jeweler was just another factor that caused him not to practice his craft. But Shiress wanted jewelry, and all the arrangements for his shop and studio had been made both with Standing Tall and the Founders for the finances… and with the completion of his forge, the arrival of his tools, and the barebones of workbenches done… Shade was more in a place to actually make something for the woman.

His feelings for her were complex. Making jewelry for her brought that to the light. She was a job for him, a way to repay a brother a debt he owed that had been asked of him personally. The debt was never supposed to be open-ended though. It was supposed to be a set period from point A to point B… then Shade had plans to return to his life. It wasn’t turning out that way though. More and more the plan had gotten open-ended… and he wasn’t particularly happy with his work. Shade thought if he rated his job on a scale of one to ten, he was operating at about a level five. It was the best he could do in a new area with a woman who wasn’t like any woman he’d met before. She was willful for one, full of sass and with ideas all on her own.

She was skilled – a doctor in fact – and didn’t actually need a man to do anything but swing a sword for her. That irked him a bit. He was used to being a city protector and one of the people that others were forced to depend on for food, policing, and protection from things that the Aperture routinely spewed into the bowels of Nyka. But this was Syka and the enemies were nature and outsiders. You couldn’t just kill the threat and be done. It changed daily. He wasn’t exactly competent to fight snakes, poisonous plants, and a wildly different environment than he was used to.

Shade planned to change that though.

Syka was starting to grow in him … not just the atmosphere and the attitude of the settlement, but its people too. He got along well with Randal and had visited Mathias more than once. Both were an inspiration to Shade who felt he was older, but still had a lot of life left. They hadn’t laughed when he said he wanted to arrange flowers and make jewelry. Syka was just small enough that a florist shop and jewelry store combined would work. And he was going to give it a go. But first… first he had to learn a few things, adapt better to the environment, and find out exactly who he wanted to be here.

In Nyka, that role was set for him. Here, people invented things as they went along. He truthfully hadn’t ever felt so free… free to invent the version of himself he wanted to be. And to that end, he’d been doing some heavy thinking and decision-making on what the future should look like. It started with his combined shop and house. It was going to be a beautiful place, that much was for sure. And it was fitting that the first ever set of jewelry he was going to make would be for the woman whom he’d already invited to share the place with him.


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Last edited by Shade on September 1st, 2022, 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Shade
The Black Opal.
 
Posts: 192
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Beauty for a beauty.

Postby Shade on September 1st, 2022, 5:57 am

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Shade stared at the cluster of clear crystals and the small two points he’d laid on what was the beginnings of his workbench. Sure the cabinets were in, the benches well laid and covered with new hardwood counters that were thus far unscarred by his work. They had been deeply oiled, though oddly still light in color because the patina of working with jewelry, fire, and metal over time hadn’t darkened them yet. He’d set up his jeweler's bench near the window where the light was excellent… opposite of his forge. The forge was on the jungle side with open walls on either end designed to vent heat out and keep his workshop livable in the typical tropical swelter.

The crystals, especially the points, were too beautiful to cover in much metal. Shade thought he could keep them in their natural state by simply wire wrapping them. It would work well for the two points and the cluster, keeping them in all their beauty but also allowing the colors they changed to in response to the sounds at echoed off them visible. He pulled out a small sketchbook, sketched the two points, and began to work on a design of how to wrap them.

The pendant was even more simple.

Silver.

Shiress had the palest white skin and silver would look flawless against its hue and cause the clear crystals to sparkle. So he loaded the forge with wood, lit it, used the bellow to get it burning hot, and took out a small crucible. He swung the crucible over the fire, kept stoking it until he got hot enough coals, and adjusted the armature that held the crucible up until it was in the perfect position for heat without overdoing the metal. Then he tossed a large chunk of silver into the crucible and took out his square ingot mold.

He had to melt the silver down, pour it into small square molds, and then he’d make the wire from those small 20 gram ingots he got. He left the molds on the edge of the forge, wanting them to nicely warm up. Cold molds would cause the silver to bunch and not flow nicely into the molds, giving him uneven ingots with rough spikes of too-quickly cooled metal if he dumped the hot silver into the cool iron. So nicely warming the molds while melting down the silver helped tremendously.

The forge make quick work of the lump of silver and Shade slipped off his shirt and tied a headband around his loose overly long hair. He let the silver form a molten puddle before he used thick gloves and tongs to pick up the crucible and move it over the top of the molds he had laid out warming for just that purpose. Then he poured the silver into the molds, satisfied that none was wasted and his pour was even.

Then, once the molds were poured, Shade got out his wire press from the crate it was packed into, and laid it out on the workbench where it would permanently be mounted. He took the time then to use carpenter tools to drill into the countertop with a hand drill and secure the press in place by bolts while his silver molds cooled. When the wire press was in place, he carefully tested the temperature of the silver molds by waving a hand over them then lightly bouncing a carefully unneeded middle digit off the top. They were cool enough to unmold.

Shade carefully freed the ingots from the molds and moved all six of them over to the wire press. The idea of the press was easy enough. It was two giant iron rollers connected with a series of gears to a crank handle. The press acted just like a flower press would… or even one of those contraptions that pressed oil out of olives. Its big rolls had a flat place on them about halfway across, then the other half formed grooves that incrementally went smaller as they progressed towards the far end of the rollers. The rolls could be adjusted to be far apart or snug up against each other depending on the thickness of the wire desired.

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Shade
The Black Opal.
 
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Beauty for a beauty.

Postby Shade on September 1st, 2022, 5:59 am

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All one had to do was use the deepest biggest setting and roll the ingot through the roll, which stretched and thinned the silver into a wire shape. One did this progressively, stretching, restretching, and moving the newly formed wire down the line of channels as the rollers were set closer and closer together each pass. That resulted in an ingot getting reshaped and stretched gradually into thick wire. Then once the thick wire was formed, Shade was able to unpack his vice, take the time to clamp it down on his counters where he wanted its permanent position to be and clamp his wire draw plate in it.

The draw plate was a simple device and the next step in making silver wire. It was a large rectangular thick metal plate that had numerous round holes drilled in them of various sizes. The one Shade selected went from 9 gauge to 29 gauge. It started out with thick large wire, then incrementally moved down until the smallest most delicate hole made the smallest most delicate wire. He took the wire he’d rolled from the ingot in the wire roller and threaded it through the largest hole and then pulled it with a pair of pliers. The forcing of the thicker wire through a thinner hole smoothed out and stretched the wire further.

He could then thin it down by drawing it incrementally through the holes, moving it to a smaller and smaller gauge until it was the size he wanted. Jewelers had to be strong to do this, with good grips. It wasn’t easy to force wire through the draw plate. But the wire that did result from the process was beautifully silky smooth and even. Shade had oval plates, square plates, and rectangular plates.

He did this with the ingot, now melted down, and used the drawplate to stretch out the wire and make it what he wanted it to be. Then he turned part of the round wire into flat wire by using a flat wire plate. He thought the flat wire displayed the shine of the silver better. He only converted a bit of it, not wanting a lot of excesses around because he meant to keep a design for Shiress unique. Once he had a nice roll of beautiful wire, he began his work. He lit his soldering torch, fueled by oil, and got out his flux. He dipped a worn brush in the flux, hit the end of the wire, and wrapped it around the crystal point, spiraling it downward, across the tip, and back up the other side… so it could join at the top where he formed a loop of it. He then cut the wire, and then hit the ends with the torch, well fluxed, the tips fused together almost seamlessly.

He set it aside and did the same thing to the other point. Then, taking a smaller gauge wire that was round, he cut a loop, hit the top of the spear of crystal with flux where the two woven flat wires connected, and then merged the loops at that apex with a touch of his torch. He did the same to the second earring, and set them aside. They were nothing fancy, nothing elegant, but they suited Syka. And they would gently glow reactive to the sound they heard as they were doing now.


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Shade
The Black Opal.
 
Posts: 192
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Joined roleplay: November 25th, 2011, 7:08 am
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Beauty for a beauty.

Postby Shade on September 1st, 2022, 6:05 am

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Jewelry making wasn’t quiet work. And the crystals, even away from the blue cenote, were still reacting to the sound. They gleamed color changes with each movement of his hammers, the crick of his vice tightening and loosening… even the slight squeal of the wire pulling through the draw plate. Shade was having a good time. It had been far too long since he’d been in any sort of workshop, even this one that was so strange and new to him. Most everything was still packed up, and though he’d received a shipment from Nyka that he’d sent for ages ago… mostly jewelry equipment, notes, and samples that Lynk didn’t have a problem turning loose because Shade himself had made them. It was the body of his work, what his life in Nyka had been. And by sending for it, Lynk was also given the message he wouldn’t be back.

The jeweler turned back to his new bench and picked up the main cluster of crystals. Shade needed a pendant for Shiress’ set. He needed the biggest and the best. So he picked the king crystal from the cluster and then selected a hammer and small chisel from the tools newly arrayed on the workbench. He then slipped the chisel down into the cluster and tapped it with the hammer, removing part of the cluster from the king crystal. Then he did the same to the adjacent clusters on all four sides of the king crystal.

Freed from the mass, which still sparked colors from the noise, he set it aside and examined it carefully. It was beautiful. He had to admit that to himself. It was beautiful like Shiress… fit for her in fact. He swept the others, less worthy, to the side. They could make some of the first bobbles for the shop… or not. He didn’t care. What he cared about was the best for the best.

He took more of the flattened wire and cut a length of it. He gently took the crystal in his hand and began the sensuous looping of the silver coil around the spear. Shade hummed as he did so, enjoying the light show in the crystal as he encased it in the wire and brought it back up and around. He brushed the tops with flux and hit the seam with his soldering iron. The silver fused beautifully, begging for a Lynk to another loop that would attach it to a length of chain. He cleaned off the piece carefully, brushing it with a light acidic mix then rinsing it with water from a skin hanging on a peg in case he got thirsty. He set the pendant down next to the set of earrings. He picked up the earrings, now looking tarnished, and gave them the same cleaning.

He took more wire, made the loops required to hang them from her ears, and topped them with a bead of a soldier, affixing them to the earrings. Shade stood up, and moved among the half-packed and half-unpacked crates of equipment that would finish up the shop. The silver chain was somewhere. He paused, opening one lid and staring down at his things from Nyka. A half smile played across his lips when he spotted a small wooden box on the top of his things that didn’t belong to him. It had a note attached from Lynk. He reached in, opened up the box, and saw a coin-looking item on the top of a pile of velvet. He picked up the note from Lynk.


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Shade
The Black Opal.
 
Posts: 192
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Beauty for a beauty.

Postby Shade on September 1st, 2022, 6:07 am

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The note was in his mentors sprawling handwriting and written on crinkly parchment. Shade took a moment to study the words and figure out what he meant by Homefinder.


Dear Shade –

It’s been a pleasure knowing you. I hope you find happiness and find yourself a true home. I’m sending this on to you because it has saved my ass more times than I care to share. But my adventures are few these days and I spend most of my time at the shop. Your life doesn’t have to be a shop. Your life can be more.

Keep this Homefinder with you at all times and keep it charged. May it always bring you ‘home’. Here is what I know about them.

- Lynk

This ancient token is a remnant from the days of Alahea and a time when Aquiras still lived. Most of Alahea's monarchy and VIPs carried these charged tokens as a sort of backup security measure to keep them from being kidnapped or finding themselves in a life-or-death situation. Their crafting is a complete secret though scholars of Arcanology suspect Homefinders are tokens of Masterwork Magecrafting with an obviously added spark of divinity. Popular theory says they were all made by Aquarias' last living champion who was also a Master Magecrafter.

When held between one's forefinger and thumb, and the word 'home' spoken, one is magically transformed to what one charged the homefinder with as being 'home'. The transfer is instantaneous and is not affected by time, space, geography, or magical restraints. The transfer is painless and instantaneous.

When being charged, a homefinder can be 'tuned' to consider any number of places home. That home might be a person's actual home, an escape bolt hole, a high mountain clearing, a cave deep in the woods, a best buddies' cardboard shanty, anywhere the user can think of as ' home'. The user must be intimately familiar with the place they tune the homefinder to as home... meaning they must have been physically present in the place they select the homefinder to call home. The only possible way around this 'must have been to a place physically' is as if someone employes a Dreamwalker to walk them through someone else's memory which they then can take on as their own.

Homefinders are powerful magic items with an endless potential for use.

The Homefinder can only hold one charge and one targeted 'home' at a time. Once used, it must be recharged to be used again. With each 'recharge' the 'home' location can change based on the whim of who is doing the recharging.

Homefinders can be essential in the need to escape captivity or return the person who owns it to that person's 'home'. Their uses are 'unlimited' but they must be charged before each use. In olden times, when the world was still new to Humans, Homefinders were often deployed by Explorers who got themselves hopelessly lost or in dire survival situations as a last-ditch effort to return home - mostly in shame.

These tokens are rarely found charged and are dangerous to use with an 'unknown' charge. They can be 'overwritten' by recharging them with a new charge (as if they'd been used) if discovered or acquired. Then, once used, they must be recharged.



He carefully folded the note, pocketed the homefinder, and went on to find the silver chain to string the pendant on. Then he reused the velvet lined box Lynx had sent him the Homefinder in to nestle Shiress’ new jewelry into.

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User avatar
Shade
The Black Opal.
 
Posts: 192
Words: 193041
Joined roleplay: November 25th, 2011, 7:08 am
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Beauty For A Beauty

Postby Shade on September 4th, 2022, 3:43 am

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Grading!



Shade –

Jewelcrafting +5, Planning +2, Drawing +1, Body Building +2, Investigation +1

Planning: Shiress & The Future, Shiress: Complex, Shiress: A Job For Shade, JC: Wire Wrapped Earrings, JC: Wire Wrapped Pendant, JC: Smelting Silver, JC: Molding Silver, JC: Using A Draw Plate, JC: Using A Wire Press Roller, JC: Using A Soldering Torch, BB: Repeatedly Cranking Ingot Through A Wire Press, JC: Cutting Crystal

Rewards: Set of Earrings/Pendant Wire Wrapped Crystal, Homefinder Token


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User avatar
Shade
The Black Opal.
 
Posts: 192
Words: 193041
Joined roleplay: November 25th, 2011, 7:08 am
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)


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