D&S: To Be A Knight - Part Sixteen

  • Rain fell upon the meadow. Droplets fell like tiny knives; each touch was an icy cut to the skin.

     

                   Cling, cling, cling.

     

                   Rain was never good for the forge. It mattered not if the forge was sheltered or not – the humidity was bad for the metal. After a downpour, a good smith should check all of his tools – rust will not do for a smith. While at metalwork, the rain was a wild variable – the cold and the water could interfere with the heating and tempering.

     

                   Cling, cling, cling.

     

                   The rain was light at the very least. Not a wall of storm but a tiny drizzle that’ll only take the high noon to completely dry away. No fuss, no fuss but it paid to be careful.

     

                   Cling, cling, cling.

     

                   Aeda raised her hammer, a familiar weight of exactly three-pounds in her hand. It was her first hammer, a gift from father after forging her first nail near five years ago. She however never bothered to name it – a hammer after all was but a tool. Like a sword, it was useful while it was useful and when it stopped being useful it should be replaced.

     

                   Cling, cling, cling.

     

                   Aeda nodded and Gorggnak pumped the bellows, the fire breathed forward a wave of light and heat. Aeda held the stock in, pulling it out when it glowed and hammered away to taper the metal. Most smiths needed at least five heatings to complete this, she thought. Father, now he could do this in three.

     

                   Cling, cling, cling.

     

                   Aeda turned the stock and flattened another end, beating them until they finally formed a distinct point. Father was more than a smith – he was a Martellus.

     

                   Cling, cling, cling.

     

                   She placed the stock on a cutter and smacked it loose. I am a Martellus too. We do more than craft and monger in metals – we make the steel sing.

     

                   Cling, cling, cling.

     

                   She dunked the nail into the barrel, the glowing metal shrieking a final sizzle before she pulled her creation out, still smoking. She looked to the nail, tearing off her mask and goggles for she wished to see it herself. To see what she made with her own two eyes.

     

                   It was bent.

     

                  We make steel sing. It’s in our blood – it’s in my blood. Few are our equal. Yet…

     

                   She tossed the nail aside before she landed a fist to the anvil and did so again and again. The anvil only answered with dull rings.

     

                   She fell to her knees, knuckles bleeding, and screamed.

     

                   How? She thought, stomach turning into knots. How could I fail at something as simple as forging a nail?

     

                   She looked to the sky, water streaming down her face as she wept.

     

    ***********************

    Previous: Part Fifteen                                                                                                                                       Next: Part Seventeen

Comments

1 Comment   |   Sotek and 1 other like this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  January 12
    I really enjoyed this. Sometimes the simplest of tasks can be the most difficult...  so true.