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A day at the Forge (Attn: Myth)

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Esyndor wandered slowly down the Lugard streets, searching for the smithie. In the short time since he had seperated from Dilora, things hadn't gone too badly. He had contacted this Birkin fellow who, although not exactly thrilled to be investigating Andoran nobles, had agreed to help him. But he would need some time to look into matters. A few weeks, or maybe months. But Esy had already waited a year. He could wait a while longer.


In the mean time, he needed something to do to occupy his time. Dilora had also given him the name of an old smith in the city, a good man she had said, who could be able to give him a respectable job at his forge. Esy was searching for him now.


It didn't take long before he found the place, near the city limits. Smoke billowed from the chimney, and the sounds of metal rang from inside. Someone was busy. With a deep breath, he pushed inside. Hopefully this would all go well.

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Forge didn’t waste time visiting with the folk in Lugard, except to ask directions for Hanry’s smithy.


Word had reached him in Tar Valon that Hanry was feeling deathly ill and the local healers could do nothing to halt the old man’s declining health. Hanry had been a good friend of his since they had met so long ago, at least as humans reckoned things, and the muscular 12-foot tall Ogier had run as fast as he could south to the capitol of Murandy. Perhaps he could ease his old friend’s last few days as death’s slow horse inexorably drew nearer.


As was usual in places where Ogier weren’t common, Forge’s presence caused quite a stir. But unlike was normal, the dust-stained traveler didn’t pause to hoist human children HIGH in the air and speak with awe-struck villagers who had never seen a “legendary creature from a story” before. Ogier,as a rule, avoided the world of men.


But Forge was certainly not a normal Ogier. His unusually large size and the two axes he carried in loops on his travel pack were just the most visible of his differences.


Talk could come later, but now all that mattered was finding Hanry’s smithy as soon as possible. Hopefully, he wasn’t too late.

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Stepping inside the noisy forge, Esyndor looked around for the owner. A large man stood pounding away at an anvil on the opposite side. With hardly a glance, the other man spoke. "If you're here for the flaming knives, they're not bloody done yet! Come back tomorrow!"


Esy was slightly taken aback. Dilora had told him that the owner of this place, one Hanry, was a friendly, older man. Perhaps he was mistaken? Best to sort this out quickly, he thought to himself. He cleared his throat loudly to get the man's attention. "Would you be Master Hanry?"


He ceased his hammering and stared squarely at Esy. "Who wants to know?"


"My name is Esyndor Renethil. I have some business wi-"


"Andoran?" the other man snorted. "I have no business with your bloody kind."


Esy's eyes narrowed slightly. Was that so? He could almost feel his blood heating up. No more being pushed around for anything ... "Well I can't say I'm disappointed. But I still need to speak with Master Hanry. A friendly, older man, which you are most decidedly, not." He felt a surge of pride at his clever insult. It could be taken as a compliment as well, which usually irked people even more. "Now where may I speak with him?"


"You can't," the smith sneered. "Not unless you can speak with the dead."


With a sigh, Esyndor considered his options. Would it be worth the hassle of working for this man? Probably not. But he might be a good source of information. He decided to push his luck a little. "I'm sorry to hear that. In any case, I was sent here by Dilora Fashelle to-"


He jumped as the smith brought his heavy hammer crashing down into a wooden table. Esy heard the table crack and groan under the powerful blow. "In that case, you can bloody well leave right now! I'll have nothing to do with that flaming, goat-kissing-" He cut off suddenly, casting a strange, appraising look at Esyndor. Esy realized that his hand had strayed to his dagger and he had lowered into a ready stance. "You think you'll be causing trouble in my forge do you? You had best be leaving." He hefted his heavy hammer menacingly. "NOW!"



OOC: A timely enterance from a very large person would be nice right about now.

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OOC: okay, it's Forge to the rescue. :D


Forge was just approaching the smithy when he heard the shouting from within, a distinctly unusual sound in a blacksmith’s workroom. He picked up the pace and entered Hanry’s place in time to see a brown haired man with a blade and a big blacksmith with a hammer apparently intent on putting the tools to use on each other. The insults they were hurling at one another would have caused a sailor’s ears to bleed.


So intent were they on each other that they didn’t even notice his arrival. That was something that Forge was definitely not used to, because a 12-foot tall, muscular Ogier tends to stand out pretty much everywhere. Especially when he was angry, which was the case now.


He snared the brown haired man with his left arm, scooping him up like a father would a bad little boy, pinning both his arms as he lifted him off the ground and tucked him under his arm in one smooth motion. The smith he snagged by the back of his leather vest and lifted him off the ground like a mother cat would a kitten.


The Ogier’s ears were laid back flat against his head, and his face looked harder than an anvil. “What is the meaning of this?!?” he boomed, his voice a deep bass like the angry groaning of a great oak in the wind. Shaking the Murandian blacksmith like a dog would a bone, he directed his next comment at him. “Where is Hanry? He’d have no patience with this sort of nonsense in his smithy, I can tell you!” Pausing, he recognized the smith as Hanry’s petulant son Darl who had apparently grown into a grouchy, ill-tempered man. “Darl, what do you think you’re doing?!? Burn you, you’re acting the fool in your father’s shop!”


Darl at least had the sense to look embarrassed as he dangled there three feet off the ground.


Turning his attention to the brown-headed knife-wielder tucked firmly under his arm like a bag of potatoes, Forge spoke again. This time it wasn’t as loud, but the glare in his eyes indicated that he wouldn’t put up with any more nonsense. “And what do YOU have to say for yourself, lad?”


edited to change Esy's hair color. oops! :D

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OOC: Esy has brown hair :)


Esyndor felt foolish that he never saw the newcomer enter. He felt even more foolish as he was swept off his feet and tucked easily under his arm, dangling an easy six feet from the ground. His mind was racing as he struggled against the arm that was almost as big around as he was. What in the light ... Twisting his head around he looked another six feet up at his captors face. It was a sight he had never seen before. Yes, he had sometimes seen Ogier from afar in Caemlyn, but he'd never seen an angry one. And truthfully, he hoped to never see another like it.


As the cowardly smith, Darl it seemed, cringed under the Ogier's gaze and grip, Esy thought carefully about his response. "I came here from Caemlyn to speak with Master Hanry." With a glare at Darl from the relative safety of the Ogier's arm he added, "And I have little patience for fools."


"In any case, I can't get what I came here looking for, so if you'd be good enough to let me go, I'll just be on my way." He somehow doubted it would be so easy, but manners were always apropriate with a person five times your own size.

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Forge let a loud “Harumph!” at the lad’s words.


“You have little patience for fools, do you? So I guess that means you get free license to act one yourself,” the Ogier said, his bass tones sounding gruff and harsh as he voiced his displeasure as the youth shook his head. “No? I thought not. I have little patience with them myself. You’re not going anywhere just yet lad, but I will set you down if you promise not to run.”


At the young man’s meek nod, Forge let him gain his feet then turned his attention to Darl, who was still hanging from his uplifted fist like a limp dishrag hung out on a line to dry.


“Well, Darl? What do you have to say for yourself? And where is your father?”


Sullenly the big bald blacksmith muttered that his da Hanry had died last week. It was a fever that did him in, and the healers couldn’t figure out how to cure him. His bitterness was due only in part to his father’s passing he said. The rest he claimed was because of how behind he was in his work now that he had to do the work of two men and his hanging there like a side of beef wasn’t helping matters any.


Forge knew that he was always grouchier than a bear with a sore tooth, but the Ogier didn’t belabor the point.


Dropping the irritable smith to his feet to remind him not to get carried away with his complaining, Forge offered, “Your pain sings in my heart, Darl. I am saddened that I didn’t come in time to say goodbye to him before he left us. I will do what I can to help get things back in working order until you can find another smith to hire on.” His deep bass rumble echoed with the loss of a good friend.


Darl, meanwhile, seemed to forget that he had lost his father and perked up considerably at the notion of an Ogier of Forge’s immense talents working in his shop. Forge ignored Darl’s greedy expression and focused back on the youngster who was edging slightly toward the street.


“Tell me lad, what was the trouble about. It’s obvious you’re holding a fine blade,” the Ogier pointed to the knife still in the youth’s hand. “There’s no need to test its edge in Darl’s stomach.” The last was said with a rich, warm chuckle as if the Ogier wouldn’t mind seeing Darl’s entrails spilled across the floor. Darl started to interrupt and offer his version of the proceedings, but Forge silenced him with a stern look.


The world certainly wouldn’t mourn his passing, now that I think of it, Forge thought wryly to himself. Maybe it’s best Hanry left when he did. I wouldn’t be able to live with his son, either. He chuckled again at the thought.


Coming back to business, Forge addressed the awestruck young man who was staring up at him in a weird way. “Why were you looking for good Master Hanry, lad? Oh, where are my manners? I am called Forge.”


He offered his heavily callused hand, bigger than a large ham as it was with each finger thicker than a big sausage, to shake.

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Esyndor stood nervously a few steps away from the Ogier gauging the situation carefully and considering the wisdom of putting his own hand into the massive Ogier's grip. Hands were hard to replace, and this Forge looked as though he could break his whole arm without even squeezing hard. After a moment of hesitation he sheathed his dagger behind his back (what good would it be now anyway?) and extended his own hand forward, almost breathing a sigh of relief when he got it back in one piece.


"My name is Esyndor. I was sent here by ..." he shot a glare toward Darl, "... by a mutual friend, to find work. She told me Master Hanry could help me. Good Master Darl here was explaining what he thinks of his father's friends when you uh ... stepped in." He could almost hear Darl's teeth grinding as he fought back another outburst. Forge nodded while staring down the smith. He seemed to understand what kind of person Darl was, and didn't seem to think much of him. Realizing that he had best admit some fault for the situation, Esy added, "I may have gotten ... a little carried away when he insulted and threatened my friend."


After a few silent moments where Darl's teeth continued grinding and Forge mulled over the story, Esy continued. "Since my talents, and my friends, are not welcome here, I really should be going. I have a sort of pressing need to find work, and hopefully there's a smith in this city a little less ... picky ... about who can work for them." When Forge didn't acknowledge his unasked question of leaving, he added a little nervously, "You wouldn't happen to know anyone else I could try with, would you?"

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Forge listened attentively as the Andoran, at least by his accent, gave his version of the story. He waited in silence, his fingers rubbing the carefully trimmed, narrow strip of hair just below his bottom lip was the only indication that he wasn’t a vividly lifelike statue.


When Esyndor, as he named himself, finally came to a halt after several subtle jibes at Darl, the Ogier sighed then replied.


“Esyndor, this must be your first time in Murandy. Yes?” When the young man nodded, Forge continued. “You will find that most Murandians are as silly as Darl here.” With a glance over his shoulder at Darl’s grimace, Forge chuckled then went on.


“For some reason, they pride themselves on their tempers. I fear that you will only find more ill-mannered men and more trouble wherever you choose to offer your services, especially if you don’t adjust your attitude. It seems that Darl is somewhat responsible for the near-bloodshed, but I think you were at fault, as well. If you don’t change your manner and remove the rather sizable chip of anger you carry on your shoulder, you will be pushing up daisies in Murandian soil before the next sunrise.”


The Ogier paused to let his words sink in as Esyndor looked uncomfortably at his feet.


“There seems to be a simple solution to both your troubles,” he went on after a few moments, directing his words to both men. “Darl, you have need of help. You said so with your own mouth,” Forge went on, speaking over Darl’s protests. “Esyndor, you need a job. I have already offered to volunteer my services Darl, but I can easily withdraw that offer if you won’t give Esyndor a chance to prove his skill. If he proves to be inept, then you can send him on his way.”


Neither man seemed entirely pleased with his suggestion, but Forge knew that Darl’s greedy nature would nudge him in the right direction. He’d do it just to get Forge’s help at the very least. Esyndor was the unknown commodity, but if the youngster was seriously looking for work he wasn’t going to find a better opportunity. Darl was an ill-tempered grouch, but he was a good smith. Furthermore, Forge didn’t get his nickname because of his handwriting skills. Any real blacksmith would give their best hammer to learn from an Ogier smith, never mind that Forge was the best amongst all the Ogier.


Still, it was the Andoran’s decision to make. Forge waited patiently with his arms crossed and his ears perked to hear what the youth would do.

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Esyndor took a moment to think before responding. Would he really stay once the ogier was gone? Would Darl allow it? Would he even want to?


Still, beggars couldn't be choosers, and he most decidedly wasn't in a position to be choosey over the work he would take. He knew he would have to take the offer, much as he didn't like it. Perhaps after he had acquired some knowledge and reputation in the city he could move on to someplace better. Closing his eyes and rubbing his forhead, Esy tried to figure out the best way through this.


After a short while of silence, he pulled his sheathed dagger from behind his back and tossed it toward the smith. Darl clumsily caught it with a small cry of protest. "If that's good enough work for you, I'll stay around. I helped my father make that. He did the hilt and set the gemstone, but the blade and the engravings are all mine." Darl glared at him for a moment before pulling the blade from the sheath and examining it. Esy watched his eyes flit up and down the blade, hands checking the balance and edge, and caught a barely perceptible twitch at the corners of his mouth. He liked it, even if he tried to hide it.


Slamming the blade back down into the leather scabbard, Darl handed it off to Forge and muttered, "It'll do." The giant ogier also pulled the blade and gave it a glance, nodding thoughtfully before handing it back to Esyndor.


"I'm about a year out of practice," he said, replacing the dagger behind his back, "but give me a little time and I'll be as good as ever." Maybe even better if he could learn something from the ogier. He had heard stories about their abilities with metal and stone, skills he had only ever dreamed of before. This might actually turn out better than he had hoped for.

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Forge quickly looked over the blade. This is excellent work, he thought before returning it to Esyndor. The Ogier could already sense Darl’s greedy nature calculating the money he would make off the young smith.


Forge was determined to see if the lad was truly as good as he claimed before deciding if he would help him or not, though. Taking a quick glance out the wide doorway, he saw that there was still an hour or two before dusk. Plenty of time to see what young master Esyndor was capable of.


Clapping the young smith on the shoulder, Forge turned to Darl and said, “Don’t let us keep you, Darl. You’re a busy man. What is something simple you need, and I’ll see if young Esyndor here and I can handle it.” The Ogier’s wide smile and shiny white teeth, nearly split his face in two.


When Darl grumbled that he needed several scissors, Forge winked at Esyndor. “Let’s see what we can get finished before supper.”


Soon the smithy bustled with the clang of hammers on steel, the hiss of hot metal in liquid, and the steady whoosh of working bellows. It was music to a blacksmith’s ears.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Esyndor followed Forge off to a far side of the smithie and oriented himself around the strange building. After selecting a decent hammer and finding an apron he set to work. Soon his arms were burning from swinging the heavy hammer, a pain he'd grown to miss dearly.


Satisfying as it was to finally work with hammer and anvil again, it was difficult to deal with the memories that came back. The last time he'd used a forge he was finishing the dagger he now carried, working alongside his father. The weight of the loss came crashing down on him again and he fell into a brooding silence as he worked.


Fortunately, everyone worked in silence, the massive ogier carefully watching his every move, gauging his skills while Esy focused intently on remembering everything his father had ever taught him, rather than his father himself. Perfection was the least he would settle for on his project. He worked slowly at first, struggling to find his strength again, but soon worked at a steady pace to shape the raw metal into useful scissors. Almost two hours later the twin blades were set aside to cool naturaly, ready to be sharpened and assembled in the morning into the finished product.


As the light faded away, Esy looked over to examine Forge's efforts. He grimaced slightly when he saw that the ogier had produced twice as much as he had, but shook it off quickly. He was out of practice, and the ogier was far more skilled than he was. It was to be expected. Rubbing out the soreness in his burning muscles he moved toward the larger smith and looked closer at his scissor blades. "I've never seen what Ogier can do before. I guess the stories are true then? I hope I can someday be half as good."

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  • 3 weeks later...

The bass rumble of the giant Ogier’s hearty laugh boomed through the otherwise quiet smithy like thunder from a clear blue sky.


“You can hear anything in a story,” Forge replied with a rich, warm chuckle and a smile. “And less than half of what you hear is probably true. But why measure yourself against others when you haven’t yet measured against yourself?” The Ogier paused to look at the young aspiring blacksmith, a shaggy eyebrow cocked up questioningly to match his ears that were suddenly perked at attention. When no response was forthcoming, Forge continued in a deep bass voice like a bumblebee the size of a pony.


“You’ve not yet touched the talent that you possess, my young mischief maker. Mayhap I can offer a suggestion or two to help you along the way, but it’s a path you must tread on your own. Only your sweat and time will get you where you want to go. See this?” Forge motioned to the work that the shop’s new master had been toiling over.


“Lose focus and you foul up the work. Maybe Darl was distracted by the thoughts of your knife in his belly, but more likely it was his dreams of more gold that caused him to make waste of his effort and his iron.”


Picking up a long section of ornamental wrought iron that was likely to be used for a lord’s gate, Forge turned to his young acquaintance with a questioning look. “You see the mistake? No?”


With a quick flex of his wrists, the Ogier shattered the seemingly strong ironwork.


“He was sloppy and heated the metal too fast. It made the iron too brittle. You humans often tend to be hasty, and haste makes waste as the Elders say. You could tell by the uneven color, and if you look closely you can see tiny air pockets where the iron has bubbled.” Forge held a broken shard so Esyndor could see.


“You’ve obvious talent Esyndor, but so does Darl. What will you choose to do with your life, though? That is the question.”


As if he had said nothing profound at all, he turned toward the kitchens, and with a mischievous wink he added, “Let’s see if there’s anything ready to eat.”


In the days that followed, in a development that neither of them had likely believed possible, their friendship blossomed like a water-starved flower.

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