The Blacksmith

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The Blacksmith

Post by Incandescence on Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:26 am

Within the commercial districts of the Nexxian capital is a business known for superior craftsmanship; insomuch that its owner has earned the title of “The Blacksmith” for his reputation of quality, durability, and fair prices; infamous enough that competition is relegated to the outskirts and slums, for anyone with knowledge knows the Sword & Shield smithy is the go-to place to buy and trade their wares of warfare.

One such guest identifies their establishment by the cherry oak sign hanging upon the doorpost, emblazoned with a centered scarlet outline of a shield over a vertical, downward brand. Double doors of brown are pulled apart with a woody yawn and a solitaire chime of welcome. Metallic, smoky odor is pungent in the lobby dimly lit by candled sconces. The repetitive clang of hammer-on-anvil does not distract the visitor from walking along the scarlet tongue over purple carpet which leads to the wide counter of shelved items lain behind glass.  Behind it is a bald and burly, muscular man leaning over it upon his widely spaced palms; a brown vest frames his broad chest, but broader still is his smile and graying, handlebar 'stache. Dark but friendly eyes greet alongside their deep and throaty, “Welcome!”

The man looks right as he walks, glancing at the stone wall lined with many types of hanging shields that flicker faintly in the hanging fire. A simple, reflectively polished heater shield; a horned, golden piece resembling the face of a dragon. Below, dummy torsos adorned in mail, between the full sets of armor standing in the corners.

The doors shut loudly and his eyes move to the left, where a wide assortment of swords hang downwardly. Both slender and broad blades: a basic zweihander with a leathery hilt; a fantastical, bejeweled broadsword whose hilt guard is decked with gems. Altogether, the accouterments are pleasant to the eye, but often unrespected for their quality by the average shopper. Hence he arrives at the counter, where many daggers are on display; straight, wavy and curved blades; items for seemingly every taste.

So proceeds a normal day for the Sword & Shield smithy as the clangor carries on.
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The Blacksmith

Post by }-{Circe}-{ on Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:59 am

She slips inside, the bell betraying what might otherwise have been a clandestine affair. Even so, she seems to shrink once she beholds the majesty within—sword and shield of every make and model—large dark eyes bright with intelligent curiosity. Squaring her back, she ventures forth in search of...something. She'll not play the part of the dullard, awkward steps taking her in the general direction of a wall arrayed with swords. "Hmmm..." she intones quietly, chin cupped between thumb and index.

Before the wall she stands in silent deliberation; if one were given over to keen observation, they'd make note of a shimmering satin skirt, cut in wide panels over black lace. The black gown suggests she's in mourning, although the shockingly deep décolletage suggests anything but. Her dressmaker had been scandalized when she'd shown her the sketch she'd clipped from "Harper's Bazaar". But she'd made up her mind, and could not be dissuaded. Her strong-headed nature could be seen in the stubborn jut of her chin, hands clasped together down in front of her. She's an altogether feminine picture, hair styled in Grecian fashion, the long masses arranged in a smooth chignon at the back, strands cut and situated near her face so that springy curls bounce buoyantly against cheek and brow. Hair freshly washed, it gleams dark as sable. The cut of the gown is flattering, revealing an impossibly slender waist. Having made up her mind, she turns her head toward the counter and, calling out over her shoulder, prompts him: "Sir? I'm ready now." And without waiting a beat, points to the one on the far-right, eyes following past her finger before looking back to the man.
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Re: The Blacksmith

Post by Incandescence on Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:23 pm

As the lady peruses the items upon the wall, the first man's business resolves and he exits the establishment with another jingle of the bell. The shopkeep eyes her in silent curiosity, likely pondering what brought the damsel to his store; she's the look of a commoner rather than a warrior. Nevertheless, so long as she had coin, it mattered not to him; when she called out and pointed at her desired item, his Irish accent inflects the command. “Oi! Ah-sher! Come'n assist de foine lahs!”

From the hallway at the counter's dexter comes a handsome, shorthaired fellow with cropped brown hair; He's not quite so well-dressed as the female, sporting a heavily stained white smock over black tunic with rolled up sleeves; silver, baggy pants and brown boots. He walks over, but stops in the middle of the room to look at the selection she points at, rubbing the back of his filthily gloved left hand across his sweaty forehead. Unbeknownst to him, he's smeared a streak of ash between his temples. After arriving at her right side, revealed to be several inches taller, he sets his hands upon his hips and further inspects the selected sword, smiling widely as he does.

It's a broadsword, its slender two-edged blade glistering in the candle's fire; a wide, curling hilt of silver and a black pommel whose middle and end are ringed with gold to allow a secure dual-handed grip. A simple, but fine piece, and battle ready.

Asher looks over to her, hoping to catch her gaze with his own viridian eyes, and confirm her purchase thru youthful voice. “You want that one? You're sure?”
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The Blacksmith

Post by }-{Circe}-{ on Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:54 am

The queer woman before him envisages a man confronted by life's incongruities, his pecuiliar appraisal drawing out peals of laughter. Hastily apologizing, she asks him outright: "Something wrong, dear?"

A burst of Irish brogue bogarts her question out of the way. Called forth from the back is a man named 'Asher', handsome and young, with short brown hair. A stark contrast to the gentleman at the front. Shameless in her comparison, she regards the newcomer with an admiring eye. In a general state of disarray, Asher presents himself as a working man—the rich sheen of sweat, rolled up sleeves, and dirtied smock accusing her loudly and collectively as a great distraction and interruption. Something else of note: the banging has ceased.

"Are you the one who makes all these pretty swords?" She asks the question even as he moves toward her.

Agog, she inspects the sword closely, really seeing it for the first time. The only time. A veneer of youthful innocence, she almost lets slip the role she plays. Clearing her throat, she nods assent. "Yes, that's the one." Pause. "The very one." More confidently.

She must do something with her hands, nervousness causing her to smooth out wrinkles that are not there. His eyes... Lustrous and viridian, they say, here is a man eager to laugh and quick to smile. A man who loves life. Hers is of a different sort—a rich, dark brown, she is complex and afraid. A woman who lives in and is shaped by the past.

Suddenly the room is too small...and it's just the two of them. Suddenly, she feels strangely overdressed. What was once smart and soignée is now absurd and gaudy.

"I-I must go..." She turns and rushes for the door, voluminous skirts a-rustle.


Last edited by }-{Circe}-{ on Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Blacksmith

Post by Incandescence on Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:03 pm

After her affirmation, Asher takes action to retrieve the hanging brand. He steps to his dexter and reaches his right hand toward the pommel; gripped naturally, his other is set beneath the tip of its blade and he pulls the piece free with a huff of effort. The release makes him stumble several steps, but he secures himself, handling the sword horizontally while admiring its sterling finish. It's as if the shimmer of the steel bewitches him, but before long, he turns to the lady with a grin. “A fine choice.”

Then she proclaims her leave, mayhap offended by his lollygagging in presenting the weapon. Suddenly, and to his shock, she's heading toward the door. All he can do to stop her is inquiry thru a single word as he turns his body in pursuit. “Miss?”

Whether or not she'd remain is a question he need not wait long to have answered.
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The Blacksmith

Post by }-{Circe}-{ on Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:33 am

CRASH!

Running headlong for the door, she crashes into the hapless patron.

Only... she's the one who suffers for it.

"Oof!" "OH!"

An outcry of dual proportions.

SHE tumbles to the floor...while HE is none the worse for wear. Serving as a brick wall, the man had reached out a hand to steady her, but to no avail. The kindly, barrel-chested gentleman had glimpsed a heap on the floor before turning away.

Nothing more than a tangle of lace and limbs, there is the flash of linen hose. Pulling her dress down, she reconfigures herself into a sitting position, defeated and denied.

With head spinning, she gives a soft shake of it, to clear away webs of dissonance.

"Are you alright?"

Someone is speaking... the distant sound of voice rendered unintelligible. She hears no words... no nothing.

...Except her own heartbeat, beating too loud in her ears. Dazed and confused, she looks around: "Where am I?"

Not amnesia per se, but the sound of someone who has yet to get her bearings. After several minutes, she fully recovers, her memory cruelly jogging. It's then she realizes what she's done.

"Oh my...."

A gloved hand flies to her mouth, staring wide-eyed at her surroundings. Slowly they rove around... until there is the suggestion of a foot. She looks down. Acutely aware of the presence by her side, she'd felt him before she'd seen him. The woman looks up into kind eyes, good eyes, the man reaching out a hand to help her up."Will you?..."

...She will.

Slipping a hand into his, he proceeds to help her up, skirts falling into place in an avalanche of fabric. "Thank you, sir. I do apologize."

She suffers no lasting injuries, save a bruised ego.

Glancing at the clerk behind the counter, then Asher, she curls in on herself, internalizing her embarrassment. Rooted in place, she grips her wrist not out of pain, but reassurance.
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Re: The Blacksmith

Post by Incandescence on Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:20 am

The lady's a touch more intent on making her exit than the exit himself when she collides with an arrival; she bounces off the stranger like they're rubber and is sent a-floor, where she's left to collect herself. There, she beholds the shards of her own pride strewn all around, though not alone. The man extends a helping hand and lifts her to her feet.

Asher beholds these events with wonderment, the sword still set in his filthy paws. He glances to Liam, The Evidently Entertained Blacksmith, who appears about to burst like a barrel of laughter. Looking upon the girl afresh, abashed by her folly, it begs an innocent but silly question. A hard swallow, then he asks, "Does... this mean you don't want the sword...?"

A few casual glances are taken to the new guest who'd become her barricade. Then the "ho ho ho" of Liam's laughing caught his attention.

"Oi! Ye alright, lahsie? I gaht a bed'n th bach if you needa lay doon!"
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The Blacksmith

Post by }-{Circe}-{ on Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:16 pm

Painful self-awareness.

I don't like how I feel...

...and I don't like how I feel, about how I feel....

A confession in private.

Withdrawn once more, she only catches the tail-end of what Asher says: "...You don't want the sword?"

His words, like a beacon, guide her to the shores of consciousness...but before she can answer, she's cut off by the sudden intrusion of laughter obscene and robust. The Blacksmith. She shoots an angry glance in his direction before leveling her eyes hotly on Asher, the source of all her problems. "If I'm to play the part of the Fool, you at least can pay me for my services."

Pain and confusion alchemize into anger.

Whether generous or facetious, the Blacksmith's offer is taken as yet another jab. Smarting, she decides that she hates him. The stranger who had helped her had wished her well and gone off in search of sword and shield. Flagging down the clerk, he comes to her rescue yet again, dear, sweet Asher currently preoccupied. Neurosis of a singular kind can be attributed to her behavior, a woman who feels and sees and hears far too much for her own good. As to the sword: "YES, I want the sword! And the lessons that go along with it...."

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Re: The Blacksmith

Post by Incandescence on Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:03 am

Ever perplexing is the well-dressed dame as she suggests her presence a privilege worth payment; her foolish metaphor soars overhead while Asher, starting at her dumbfounded, blinks repeatedly. To say she is a rarity within the smithy, where warriors and brutes compose the regulars, is an acute observation.

What sends him for a spin is the request for sword training; a comely girl purchasing a blade for her own use. Is her dexterity clandestine, or is she merely trying to save face. Regardless, Asher responds with a lightly embarrassed laugh and says, “Well, we just make the weapons and armor... we don't train how to use them.” His expression lit up with a grin. “But I could recommend you pay attention to your surroundings so you don't run into things on the battlefield!”

He cants his head right and turns to face the counter. “I can take you over here, and if you like, direct you to the fighter's guild; they train.”
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The Blacksmith

Post by }-{Circe}-{ on Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:12 am

Just as acute as his observation is the look that goes with it. She barks a laugh at his expression, thoroughly amused. Good....I'm not the only one embarrassed now. Of cool self-possession, she settles into a festering smugness. Now you know how it feels. They're on even ground. This fact empowers her, and she's prepared to receive his words with confidence: a momentary dip in disappointment before hilarity ensues: "Heheheh. How quaint!" A gloved hand fails to stifle her laughter, pleased with his witticism. "How charming!"

The last vestiges of merriment give way to humble answer: "I daresay you are right, though...."

She follows along as he gestures toward the front, alighting on the counter. Nodding her head softly, she says, "That would be lovely," a small smile his gain.
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Re: The Blacksmith

Post by Incandescence on Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:02 am

Behind the counter, Asher is in control of of activity while The Blacksmith haggles with the lady's makeshift net. It's a lesson worth learning, especially when he lays the brand atop the glassy surface and throws out his first offer with a genuine smile. "That'll be six hundred gold."

So come a test of her conviction; such a price tag is absurd to most of her similitude, so how shall she react to an all-but-outrageous cost?
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