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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Crafting the Weapon


Vandar30
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Ragnar stood in the barn that he had formerly used as forge. A Saidin formed ball of light floated in the air above the center of the floor. He had gathered several ingots and rods of metal from the new forge that the tower had built, but it was not what he needed now, and would not be for some time yet. He listened as someone entered behind him. Doesn't sound like Arath, so it must be the helper I asked for. Ragnar didn't look around, he just drew the place into himself, absorbing the smell, the feel, the place. He would have to change some things in here, and strengthen the building somewhat, but it would do for tonight, and to show the Tower why he needed the resources to continue to train this Talent.

Shortly after, Ragnar hear another set of footsteps. "Now we can begin" he said as he turned to face his audience. "I will need a Sphere of Air held around me, like this" Ragnar said, grasping Saidin and and weaving Air in a shell around his hand. "It must surround me and the work I am doing. This is to prevent any damage from getting out if something goes wrong. Also, make sure that the air in here stays fresh. Things could get bad very fast if I were to pass out in the middle of this." He said, looking to make sure that everyone understood.

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Skechid slipped into the room quietly. It was relatively full, since the Talent of Crafting Ter'angreal was so rare that everyone hoped to be in the presence of one of these demonstrations. Skechid himself had taken lessons ages ago. But having discovered the lack of Talent in that area, had stopped pursuing it altogether. He was really here to see Ragnar more than anything else.

 

He kept silent. So noone even noted his presence. A Storm Leader in the midst of one of these classes was not rare. But Skechid was hardly seen in the Black Tower these days, and he did not want to cause a commotion. Interestingly, he noted that Ragnar had surrounded himself with a sphere of Air. It was new. None of the older generation of ter'angreal crafters had bothered. But then again, back then, none of them were too keen on an audience. Times had changed. Skechid found it difficult to work with onlookers himself, but apparently it was the trend to pass on these skills. And none learnt better than by watching one of these live demonstrations.

 

Skechid fingered the ring he had looped into the twine he hung around his neck. Should things go wrong, he would at least be on hand to Heal. And things did tend to go wrong these days. Especially when the Power was involved. Most of Skechid's time over the past few months had been due to bubbles of evil bursting in the Tower grounds. Not a happy time at all.

 

He watched. And waited. And wondered who else would turn up.

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Dedicated Dholwin, you are ordered to the Old Forge to assist a Storm Leader.

 

Reading the short note written to him on a scrap of paper again, Baran strode down a not-so-frequently traveled path to what a few of the more experienced members of the Black Tower called "The Old Forge". It was an old barn, apparently repurposed for use as a forge. Why they had felt compelled to build a new forge if they had a perfectly good one before was beyond him, but Baran had been in the Tower long enough not to question the decisions of the Storm Leaders.

 

He slipped inside, amazed at the small crowd that had gathered inside the barn. After running his hands along his black coat to make sure there was nothing amiss, Baran stepped forward, walking up behind the man nearest the Forge with the assumption that this was the Storm Leader he had been ordered to aid. He saluted, pounding his fist to his chest loud enough for the other man to hear it behind him.

 

"Dedicated Baran Dholwin, reporting for duty as ordered, Tsorovan'm'hael!"

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Ragnar turned back to his work. All of the pieces were in place. Unfortunately a large crowd had gathered. How they all had found out he was going to be doing this here was beyond him, but he would have to work past it. Over his shoulder he told the Dedicated who had identified himself as Baran "Make sure you keep that air shield tight. There are a lot of lives at risk here." Out of the corner of his eye, Ragnar noticed Skechid slip in. The man still slips around half ghostlike. I'll have to catch up with him after this.

Turning inward, Ragnar built a flame in his mind, stoking the fire with his fears and nervousness, his misgivings and guilt, allowing the fire to wash him clean and connect him to the task at hand. Once he found himself in the perfect stillness of the Void he reached out and grasped hold of the rancid sweetness of Saidin, and the struggle to survive the power that would one day kill him began. Some said it felt like dancing on a sword blade. Sometimes it felt as if Ragnar was being heated by the fires of the forge while sitting in a frozen lake. But all of this moved along the outside of the void and did not intrude upon his mind.

Reaching out, he formed flows of air to lift the metal to eye level and surrounded it in a shell of Air. Then fire danced it's way into being, heating the metal until it ran liquid, the impurities flickering in small flames at the intense heat. Start small. Wielding earth, Ragnar began to align portions of the metal so small they could only be felt with the One Power, never seen. As each fell in line, a flow of spirit went through, stabilizing and strengthening the structure. Things were going well.

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Baran almost snorted. Keep the Air Shield tight? Why was he needed for this work? This was a job a Soldier could do! Still, he had been ordered to do it, so he fed his irritation and the underlying nervousness into the Flame, fed himself to the Flame until everything had been scoured away but his mind and the Void. In the Void, he could feel Saidin, could feel it pulsing just out of reach. With practiced ease, he reached out to Seize the Power, weaving a Shield of Air around the two of them. It made sense to include himself in the circumference of the sphere. It would give him added incentive to maintain the Shield's integrity, and hopefully encourage the Storm Leader to be careful in his weaving.

 

Filled to brimming with the Power, Baran could see the flows being woven over the other man's shoulder. Well, bits pieces. The fellow's body obscured some of what was going on, but what Baran did see was worked on a level so minute he really couldn't even see what was being done, so he wouldn't be able to replicate what was going on, even if he wanted to.

 

Crafting weapons wasn't something he wanted to do, so it was no loss that he didn't seem to have the Talent for it. He still wasn't exactly sure what he would be able to do, but he hoped it would be something great, something powerful that would let him be remembered for at least an Age. Something that people built statues about.

 

With a shake of his head, Baran brought himself back to what he was doing, forcing his mind to focus on keep the Air Shield secure.

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Arath arrived at the barn that Ragnar had appropriated as quickly as he could. Which meant he was very late. By the time he slipped in the door, the other Asha'man was already beginning work in front of the assembled students. Some of them looked bored, though a number of them were quite interested. There had been a strangely high number of men arrive recently who had a background in smith work, and many of them were in attendance today. Maybe a few of them would have Ragnar's talent for shaping metal. Most wouldn't, but perhaps a few.

 

Noticing Skechid standing quietly to the side, Arath walked over to join the other Storm Leader, taking care to avoid the notice of the students. He'd rather they focus on the lesson than worry about the officers. "Did I miss much?" he said softly, keeping his voice low enough to not carry.

 

He watched intently as Ragnar worked, taking careful note of the weaves being manipulated. Fire, earth, spirit ... traces of air and water at times ... As a smith himself, Arath understood most of the "why's", it was simply the "how's" that eluded him. Manufacturing ter'angreal was a tricky bit of work, and seemed to go by a different set of rules than conventional smithing. Ragnar's talent with metals wasn't the same as Arath's own talent with ter'angreal, but Arath was confident that there was a significant amount of overlap which they could learn from eachother. It was simply a matter of figuring it out. A puzzle which Arath looked forward to solving.

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"Arath." Skechid greeted the Storm Leader with a nod of the head. He hardly saw Arath during his time in the Black Tower. It wasn't either of their faults. Life had taken them along many paths and very few of them intersected. However, it was good to have a few old faces around. There were too many new Soldiers these days, and many of them too smooth chinned to be thrown into battle. And yet, they came. And lived. And died. Many driven to the point of insanity.

 

"You didn't miss much." Skechid's voice was soft. "I think he's just trying to impress the new folks." Skechid shrugged. His finger brushed the two adder stings he had tucked into his belt buckle. Both were Power wrought and strong enough to crack marble. Both had been gifts from Dalinarius. Long dead. And difficult to forget. Sighing, he leaned back on the wall behind him and watched on.

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Ragnar continued locking the metal in place. Each piec that hit was wrapped tight in spirit to bind it to the others. Water was then used cool the metal, and Earth to strengthen it. He could feel the pieces fall into place, but as the last one fell, the last flow had to be laid over it. Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Spirit flowed through the boot knife. The blade sharpened, the flows settled and the metal cooled and floated down to Ragnar's hand. He then turned and handed it over to Arath. "Please look this over and tell me what you think."

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Baran frowned. Was the Storm Leader done? Was that all he had been trying to do? Was he supposed to let down the Air Shield now? He hadn't been ordered to, and the other man still held the Power, so he decided to keep his own grip on the True Source and simply open a hole in the Shield for the weapon to pass through. If the Storm Leaders wanted more, they would tell him as much, and he would obey.

 

For now though, he simply allowed himself to enjoy the struggle for life, the feel of being an ice crystal in a flow of magma, the feel of the Taint poisoning his soul, Baran savored it all, and waited.

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