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 Post subject: My Story (no title yet)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:51 pm 
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Odin Extraordinaire
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 7:46 pm
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Location: Midgard
Alrighty, Jostapha keeps bugging me to hand over my story, so, for lack of a better place to post it, I have put the first couple of chapters here, under a very creative subject header.

Things to keep in mind before reading
1) This is still a (very) rough draft, it -will- get longer and more polished
2) Coments, even mean ones, are welcome. (Excluding comments about my short paragraphs)
3) From here on out, please harass me whenever I go more than a week without writing more and thus, posting more.

One: The Smithy


A muscular man hammered on his anvil, his graying blond hair swaying in the rhythmic gusts from bellow the furnace beside him.

Fredric wiped the sweat from his brow, “Do not let up on those bellows!” he called to his apprentice, Gareth.

The young, red haired man, Gareth, muttered something barely audible in the din of the smithy and began to work the bellows more swiftly.

Fredric chuckled to himself as he continued to work the red-hot metal. Gareth really was a good boy. Fredric remembered that stereotypical stormy night, three years ago, when Gareth had shown up on his doorstep, begging for food.

Gareth had gotten more than he bargained for when Fredric offered him a job at his smithy. Fredric had been a loner since he arrived at the town of Aiden Glen, he was surprised with himself for making the offer to the half starved urchin.

Maybe he was getting to old to run the smithy by himself, maybe he just wanted company, but he did not regret his decision. Since that night Gareth had grown into a hulking young man and Fredric’s apprentice and constant companion.

The nostalgic smile on Fredric’s bearded face disappeared as the wind he felt on his cheek grew less and less rapid. “Maelik (1) take you Gareth! If that metal cools we are going to have to start all over!”

Gareth skipped the angry muttering this time, pushed his grimy hair our of his face and redoubled his efforts.

Fredric dropped his hammer beside his foot, wincing at a painful memory. He drew a pair of tongs from his leather apron and picked up the metal with it, he tossed the metal into a bucket of water. The final step before the metal became a horseshoe.

Grudgingly, he used the tongs to snatch the other piece of metal from the furnace. “Last one!” Instead of taking up the small hammer at his feet, Fredric grabbed a large hammer and went to work.

Sighing with relief, Gareth stopped the bellows, though his arms remained frozen in position.

Fredric took up the small hammer again and, keeping the exact measurements in mind, tapped it into shape.

“Fredric?” Gareth’s voice came.

“Not now,” Fredric needed to get it just right before it cooled.

“But-“

Gareth pointed to the cramped doorway of the smithy, where a familiar person waited.

“Hi miss Eppy,” Gareth panted.

“Hello Gareth,” She replied. “Hello Fredric, is my order ready yet?”

“Sorry Eppy,” Fredric said, turning back to his work, “we are a little behind today,” he shot a look at Gareth, who was too entranced by Eppy to notice.

She whinnied, “Very well, but please try to make it quick, these shoes are getting really uncomfortable.” She pawed the dirt floor with her hooves.

Knowing just how dangerous an impatient centaur (2) can get, Fredric made to final adjustments and tossed the horseshoe into the water, where it hissed angrily at Gareth.

Fredric reminded himself that he was working on a person, not on a horse as he bent down to remove Eppy’s old shoes while the new ones cooled. He had been kicked in the head one too many times not to be leery with it so near hooves.

“Tsk Tsking” the state they were in, he set to work loosening them while the centauridess and her admirer made small talk.

He held out a hand and was pleased as the new shoes, along with a caliper and tacks, were handed to him. “On the ball,” he said, not adding “when company is around.”
He tapped the shoes in and used the caliper to bend the nails back up.

“How do they feel?” Gareth asked.

“Quite good,” the centauridess replied. “Fredric, are you clear?” She turned in an effort to see below her.

Fredric rolled as far away from the hooves as he could, knowing what was soon to come, “Clear!” he said.

The centauridess, all horse now, reared up, almost smashing her head on the ceiling and ran out the door.

The strangely satisfying “clip-clop” of her hooves on the cobblestones mixed with the screams of pedestrians diving for cover.
In less than five blinks, she was back around the block and in the smithy, “Good Sirs, you are a credit to your profession and race.”

Mutterings of “Centaur madness” and some plain ol’ cursing found its way into the smithy behind her.

Smiling at a particularly colorful insult, Eppy cut a satchel from her waist and tossed it to Fredric. “There is a little extra in there for a job well done. The herd is moving out tomorrow, so, I’ll probably see you in a few weeks.”

“Bye Eppy.”

As their client cantered off, Fredric looked over to Gareth, who looked absolutely crestfallen.

Fredric has a suspicion that Gareth’s infatuation with Eppy had more than a little to do with the fact that she, as a centaur, wore no clothing. “Why the long face?”

Gareth simply glared.

“Come on, let’s close up shop for the day and go have a drink.”



After making sure the furnace’s fire was dead out, Gareth went to join his friend outside in the cool night air.

“All finished?” Fredric asked.

“Yep.”

“You know Marcus is going to skin us for not finishing his order of nails,” Fredric commented.

Gareth smiled, “Do you want to go back in there?” He motioned to the innards of the smithy, where heat still made the air blurry.

Fredric laughed, “By the blazes no, Marcus has been waiting years to build that shed, he can wait one more day for the nails.”

They walked down the rough road, not bothering to lock the smithy; after all, as Fredric had once put it, “Everything in there worth having is too heavy to steal.”

Two blocks down and one windy road east the familiar fading sign, emblazoned “The Flaming Spear Tavern” in calligrapher’s olde script, welcomed them.


Two: The Incredibly Daring Jail Break


The silence of the night was suddenly and irreversibly shattered by loud shouting.

“If we ever catch you in Ambeau again-“

“You won’t!” The pale man interrupted.

“I will behead you myself, understand?” the jail keeper stated rather than asked.

“Yes Sir!” the man said with gratuitous zeal.

“Then get outta here!” The jail keeper picked the man up by the colar of his cloak and threw him into the street.

The man picked himself up, smoothing his long mustache into a dignified shape, “And my possessions?”

A rucksack came flying into the night, soon followed by a pistol belt and the man’s tricorn hat.

He caught each one in turn, “Careful you oaf, these are fragile!”

“What did you just call me?” The jail keeper asked, reaching for the blunderbuss hung inside the doorway.

The man drew himself up to his full height, tried to look as regal as he could with his hat on sideways and said, “I called you an oaf, you babbling, bumbling, blithering, befuddled, bloated buffoon!... Ahhh!”

The man scurried off into the shadows, his movements reminiscent of a spider as the jail keeper reloaded his firearm.

“You have not heard the last of Graem Dale Ropin the Second!” the man yelled from the protection of the shadows. He was answered by another gunshot and continued his flight.


“Blimey,” Graem sighed, “The indignity of it, treating me like some kind of criminal.” He eyed the rucksack slung over his shoulder.

“Well… at least I’m not a highway man.”

He had to know if it was still there, he ducked down a dark alley and opened the ruck, producing a surprising amount of ruckus as he undid the plethora of locks that secured it. Frowning, he set it down on the dirt road and rummaged around with growing unease.

Just as he was about to give up he felt his fingers close on the hard wood of the cylinder. “Triumph!” He withdrew his hand and re-did the locks.

Smiling, he unscrewed the lid of the cylinder and gingerly removed the thin paper with it. Ever so carefully, he unrolled it and held it up to the moon light, revealing a map.

“The map that will be my salvation.”

He rolled it back up and placed it inside the canister as he ran over the last night’s occurrences, trying to figure out exactly where he went wrong.

He had originally come to this backwater little plantation town (more of a village, really) with plans to “liberate” an artifact, a war hammer to be exact, suspected to have once been owned the the Errgage(3) the mighty. To be fair, Graem had planned on giving it to Errgage’s monks… for a very reasonable price too!

The Stone family controlled this village from their mansion atop the hill in the center of town. Graem usually hated breaking into mansions, they had far too many anti-burglary charms and runes not even to mention the high-quality conventional security measures.

Fortunately for him, for such a rich family, the Stones had invested surprisingly little in security measures. This made Graem suspicious, if things were too good to be true, then they usually were, but surveillance confirmed his initial impression.

He had waited until the moon was high in the sky before breaking in. He was almost to their vault when he saw it, framed, and hung up on the wall. They probably just liked it for its aesthetic value, but Graem recognized it as priceless the moment he laid eyes on it.

He snatched it from the wall, rolled it up, and fled the mansion imeadiatly.

After stashing laying a few extra security charms on his rucksack, he stashed the map in it and went to the village’s poor excuse for a tavern to celebrate.

Apparently, he had celebrated a little too much because the next morning he woke up in a cell…

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"We come from the land of ice and snow..."


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 Post subject: Re: My Story (no title yet)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:52 am 
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GOD
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 3:54 pm
Posts: 509
Location: On the Grey Lady
YAYYYYY!!!!


Your paragraphs are too short. :P :P :P :P :P :P

Oh come on, you know I HAD to say it! There was no getting around it! Okay, serious feedback: Apart from a few technical typos (to instead of too, etc...) the one thing that made me go "bwuh?" was that the footnotes aren't there. You have “Maelik (1) take you Gareth!" and no footnote about it. Hm. I suspect that, too, is just a technical glitch. You probably wouldn't have put the mark there if there were no note to go along with it.

Now as for textual content. Smithy. As I was reading along, one little thing then another would catch me up but I wasn't quite sure why. I'm not a smith. I just kinda got the feeling that smithy wasn't quite right. However, I know a few smiths, so I thought to give you helpful feedback I'd talk to one of them and see what they thought. "That ain't quite right" is not useful feedback when "That ain't quite right, what you need is this instead" is available. So I called up... you guessed it... (well maybe you didn't, but I'm betting Rubric did) MaryAlice Jones.

So I have now been requested to provide you with the email address of a genuine, bona-fide practicing blacksmith who very much enjoys talking about the art and hasn't had a chance to do so in awhile. If there's something about running a period smithy that she doesn't know, her husband knows it, and if neither of them do, your readers won't either.

genrose1050@yahoo.com

Drop her a line, she's got the info and being a SCAdian, she loves to teach and share knowledge. It's kinda what we do. Also, she's a really friendly neato lady.

Or if you prefer we could just move from a vague "you've got to meet her one of these days" straight to a "well let's go down there and talk to her." Sometimes face-to-face is easier than email, especially since you're both in the same town for the time being, at least. Perhaps the diem should be carpe-d while it still can. Just a thought.

Anyhows, I likes the start, now I needs more! Gimmie more!


.

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Xander, don't speak Latin in front of the books. ~Rupert Giles~


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 Post subject: Re: My Story (no title yet)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:16 pm 
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Odin Extraordinaire
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 7:46 pm
Posts: 169
Location: Midgard
:x No they are not!...

Anyway, with my level of grammatical skill, there are most likely going to be many more little things like that. Feel free to point them out if you want, but you don't need to.

As for the foot notes, as of right now, I keep them in a separate document until I can figure out a smooth way of implementing them... any ideas?

... your friends have -the- strangest set of talents ever... which is good. I'll shoot her an e-mail to try and get some info.

You are right about the smithy not being 100% right (a fact that bothers me to no end). I just can't find a -good- description of one... but, thanks to you, that problem is soon to be solved!

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"We come from the land of ice and snow..."


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