Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
|Introduction: Forging a sword|
The snow began the moment we stepped out of the mountain and came down so thick we could barely see. Before the sun set several feet of snow had fallen and it was still coming down. We made camp under the drooping branches of a pine. A huge fallen tree was close and we took time to break off as much as we could.
The area under the tree was clear of snow but I dug a pit and we lined it with stones for a fire. With the falling snow the branches over us were like a thick blanket with a wall just outside. The tiny fire quickly warmed the space and we relaxed. By morning the snow had risen to almost seal us in.
One look out was enough to know we wouldn’t be going far. I tied a rope to my waist and struggled back to the dead tree for more wood. We ate dried and smoked rabbit and drank melted snow for water. Three days later the snow stopped and we were able to leave. We had spent the time making snow shoes and once we left we needed them.
At least it made pulling our sled easier. I strung the new bow with the braided star silver string and tried to look for game. Of course Aveline was quicker with her sling and killed several birds before noon. We spent the night under another tree with a fire to warm us while we roasted the birds.
When we reached Dawn’s Step the next afternoon we were greeted by a dozen elves returning from a hunt. They looked at us strangely as we struggled through the snow. Once in the city we were greeted by even more that were here for a pilgrimage and tents filled the main street. I pulled the sled to the smithy and Aveline helped me set up camp inside.
I put coal in the forge before I began pulling the raw ore out of my pack. Several elves walked in and watched as I broke the dross and rock off the ore while the forge heated up. I turned Aveline and measured from her index fingertip to the center of her chest as well as the size of her hand.
I stripped out of my shirt and weapons before washing the ore and then putting some into the forge. Something seemed to whisper to me as I added a couple more pieces and closed the doors. It was awhile before I pulled out a glowing red piece and used tongs to move it to the anvil. I used a heavy hammer as I began hitting it to flatten it.
I began pushing the magic inside me into the glowing metal ore. After a little while I put it back and took out another piece. It was slow work but several hours later I was putting all the pieces together and hammering and folding them. Aveline pushed me towards our bed after I put the pieces back in the forge and added more coal.
It was a long night but strangely I didn’t feel tired. The next day the elves returned and brought food while I worked and Aveline watched. Almost every hour I was pulling the glowing bar of metal out and hammering it flat before bending it and putting it back. I don’t know where the coal came from but the bin was full whenever I looked.
The four doors to the forge glowed a red color as the forge slowly got hotter. The bar of metal stretched and grew longer and thinner and it almost seemed like something was missing. It was three days before the gate opened. I was taking a break and walking when I heard the yells. I ran towards the columns with everyone else.
I slowed when I saw the troll by the white stone and then grinned and started walking, “Trock!”
He spun from facing the group of elves with the giant sword in his hand. His eyes narrowed before he straightened, “I came to find you.”
I gestured the elves back as I looked up into his face, “the gate isn’t back is it?”
He shook his head and pulled a small sack off his shoulder. He held it out, “I... something told me to come here and bring this.”
I looked at the sack before reaching for it. I looked inside at the chunks of white ore. I looked at him and he grinned, “this place is cold.”
I nodded and glanced at the swirling gate as it appeared, “thank you Trock. Good hunting.”
He glanced back before nodding and turning to walk into the gate. It closed after him and I turned with a frown as I began walking back towards the forge. The elves fell in and one cleared his throat, “who was that?”
I smiled as I looked at him, “did you think the gods would allow your world to remain empty? That was Trock the hunter. His people are farmers but he hunts the orcs that have invaded your world.”
He looked back, “but...”
He looked at me, “it was a troll.”
I grinned, “perhaps long ago but not now.”
I left them to talk as I entered the smithy. I dumped the sack onto a bench and began to look at what Trock had brought. I looked at the forge as I heard a woman’s whisper and gathered the ore. I used tongs to put it into the forge and took out the sword and used a hammer and chisel to fold it once more.
When I was done I checked the other ore before I brought it out. Like the star silver I flattened each piece and put them together. I waited until the sword and those pieces were once more glowing red and started pounding them together while pushing my magic into them. Aveline returned from the practice steps and glanced over my shoulder.
She grinned, “now you might have enough for a proper sword.”
I smiled as I kept working, “get one of the other hammers.”
She returned and stood on the other side, “what do I do?”
I glanced at her before returning to the rhythm, “hit where I hit in a counter rhythm and push the magic you feel inside into each blow.”
After that each time I removed the metal she was there helping. It was a few more days, I folded it several hundred times until the white ore and the star silver actually became one. The sword almost shimmered with power even though it was not complete. I turned from added more coal and a large pile of wet clay was on the workbench.
I looked at Aveline and then listened to the whisper. I pulled the sword out and used a chisel to create runes along the blade while totally focusing my magic on each rune. I used a small paddle to apply the clay to the spine from the hilt to the point. Aveline frowned as I returned the sword to the forge and moved to the bellows.
I kept it up until the doors were glowing a solid white. I opened the door and had to cover my face as I used tongs to pull the sword out. I turned and dropped it into the water trough and it exploded in stream that filled the smithy. While the water boiled I moved to the dragon tooth chest.
I pulled out a long star silver chain and turned to find a set of white ivory handles carved in the shape of a dragon with a star silver hilt and cap. I grinned and set the chain back in the chest before crossing to the bench. When I pulled the sword out of the water the elves watching gasped. The blade was polished and the runes glowed with their own power.
I was careful as I put the hilt on and fastened the two handles before finally putting the cap on. I looked at it carefully before turning to Aveline and holding it out, “I need to make a scabbard but...”
She was smiling with bright eyes as she accepted the sword. She moved it around as she turned and absently walked out and headed to the practice steps. I smiled as I watched her and the elves murmured. I shook myself and looked around before going to get a drink of clean water. I looked towards the steps and whispered to myself, “thank you great lady.”
There was a breeze and I smiled as I got dressed. I went to watch Aveline as she started through the pattern again. I pulled Reaper and started the pattern after her. I was just finishing when there was a shout and then several more. Aveline moved out into the street and I followed. It was several moments before the orcs began rushing down the street.
The elves tried to move together between the tents and we started for the front of the rushing orcs. Aveline slid into the pattern with the new sword as if she had been doing it all her life. I followed and was amazed the first time she sliced and cut a rushing orc in half. She moved aside smoothly and brought the sword around and then down.
It hit the shoulder of another orc and cut straight through and came out the opposite hip. I moved away to deflect a sword and brought Reaper back to take the orc’s head. I slid forward in a lunge that put half the blade into the next one’s chest. Aveline moved forward and across and took another’s arms.
I went the other way as we continued to move forward into the orcs. The few times I saw Aveline strike another sword it broke. She moved smoothly as if made of air and water. I kept moving back and forth as we sliced and cut and moved into the orcs. More were still pouring into the street as the elves we passed fell in and moved with us.
It wasn’t long before the orcs were turning to fight back into those behind them. They died as we cut through the ones in front of us. I stabbed one in the spine as Aveline cut another from shoulder to crotch. The orcs panicked and started trying to climb over or around the others. We slowed as they began to kill each other to get away.
That only made them panic more until a dozen huge orcs appeared behind them. They had flails and kept whipping those in back to keep them moving. These were easily a half pace taller than the other orcs. The elves had gotten together finally and began to use their bows so the orcs began to fall faster.
I moved across and in front of Aveline while bringing my sword down through an orc. She went the other way and brought her sword across to almost slice it in half. She was the first to reach the huge orcs and one pulled a dull long sword and lunged to jab towards her. She turned and slid aside while cutting up, out and back.
The orc fell back as its head separated and I shoved Reaper into the one beside it. I ripped the blade to the side to slid another dull blade away as Aveline took the hand of another and then a leg at the knee. One lashed out with the flail and cut down with the sword. I turned and swung back to deflect the sword.
Aveline slid in and cut up through its side and out the other shoulder. I slashed out and back as another moved in and sliced through its belly. Suddenly the elves were moving past us and slashing into the orcs before continuing. I stopped and looked around as only the few orcs left alive fled.
I shook my head as I knelt to start cleaning Reaper, “somehow I don’t think there should be this many orcs.”
Aveline looked at me as she cleaned her new sword, “there has always been a lot.”
I snorted, “with as many that have been killed in the last few years?”
She stood and turned as I joined her, “what are you thinking?”
I sighed as I put Reaper away, “I think we have an open gate.”
I looked at her checking her sword and grinned, “so how do you like your sword?”
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