AR 1214-10-20 Kendric's greatest fear
The forges in a dwarven keep were normally a social place with multiple dwarves working on different projects, sharing techniques and helping each other on projects. But now, there was only the sound of one hammer at the forge. As Kendric approached, the elderly forge master Thoram Ironhammer came walking out shaking his head.
Thoram looked up as he closed with his king “I do na’ think ye want ta go in thar.”
Kendric chuckled as he responded “I may not want ta go in, but I need ta do me duty.”
Thoram gave Kendric a battle salute and a wink as he passed. “Good luck to ya.”
It was Kendric’s turn to shake his head as he entered the forge. Closing the door behind him, he placed his hand on his axe Gunthyr and closed his eyes. He slowly reached out with the magic of the weapon. Designed to fight drow and counteract their blinding magic it wasn’t really meant to find invisible creatures or detect evil but through years of practice he was able to find both. Unfortunately he could only scan a relatively small area, as much as he wanted to scan the entire keep it would not be practical. But he could scan the forge room, ensure no one was invisibly listening in.
Shar was at the anvil, finishing work on an axe she had been forging for Karunchar. Inspecting the axe head critically, she placed it once more in the forge never acknowledging her husband’s presence.
The forge itself was of dwarven design, using a water wheel to power the bellows. This allowed the smith to both create a fire hotter than forges using a manual bellows, but to also adjust the heat of the forge to have a far more consistent heat. Shar was also murmuring prayers to Moradin the Forger as she worked, invoking magic known to dwarves to embue their creations with additional power. Most dwarven smiths were lucky to craft an enchanted weapon or two in their lifetimes. Shar was crafting one for each of her children.
“Make yerself useful an’ turn the wheel” Shar said nodding towards the wheel “one half turn to the right after I pull the axe head out.”
Kendric moved up, glad to help and happy that Shar was talking to him. Any illusion that she wasn’t as upset with him ended when she started hammering the axe head once more.
Speaking between hammer blows, Shar’s voice was hot with anger.
“Ye” BANG “Stonerose” BANG “men” BANG “are” BANG “all” BANG “stone” BANG “headed” BANG “rock” BANG “brained” BANG “IDIOTS!” BANG
As she spoke, tears started streaming down her face only to land with a splash and sizzle on the white hot axe head. Lifting the axe head in the tongs to inspect her work, she whispered yet another prayer, this time to Clangeddin, dwarven god of war. Glancing at the forge she paused for a moment, waiting for it to reach the appropriate temperature.
With still moist eyes glowing, reflecting both the light of the forge and her anger, she turned on Kendric and shoved the still hot piece of metal at him. She stopped just short of jabbing him in the chest, although there was a smell of burning hair from his beard.
“Ye should have told me.” Was all Shar said before returning to her work. Even though her voice was shaking with anger, her work on the weapon was steady with years of practice, her prayers were calm and reverent.
Kendric watched silently as she worked occasionally helping as instructed. He was fascinated as always by the craftsmanship that would give the axe an edge that was as hard as possible while still being able to absorb the impact of blow after blow through a careful welding and folding of different compositions of steel.
Finally, Shar set aside prepared axe head aside to slowly cool before the final hardening and tempering.
She took off the gloves she used when forging and set them in their designated spot over the work bench. Holding on the edge of the work bench she did not turn around as she said in a low, angry voice “Ye had no right. I deserved tha chance ta say goodbye to me son.”
Kendric came over, but stopped just short of putting a comforting hand on her shoulder “We did not think…”
“Ye’re right ye did not think!”
Lowering his hand, Kendric replied slowly “We wanted ta …”
Spinning around now, more tears streaking down her face, practically yelling now “Ye wanted ta what? Throw yer son ta tha goblins? Do ye think our son is some piece o’ dross that needs the iron beat out o’ him?”
“Me da thought …” Kendric started with a shrug, backing up a step from the furious woman.
Stepping forward so that she was practically nose-to-nose with her husband “So this idiocy was ye’re father’s idea? I should a known!”
Not backing up, Kendric spoke firmly “It was our decision,” pausing slightly for emphasis “it was Karunchar’s decision.”
Shar bit back her words with an obvious effort, letting Kendric finish.
“He did na’ think he could hide his emotions if he said his farewells now.” Putting his hands on her shoulders he continued “Our son has a good head on his shoulders, even if he does na’ always use it.”
“I always knew the day would come when he’d go chargin’ off ta do somethin’ stupid.” Replied Shar, putting her head on Kendric’s shoulder. “He’s his father’s son after all. I jest thought I’d be gettin’ some warnin’ first.”
Pulling his wife in close, Kendric whispered “Have faith in our son, he will be back one day with his name cleared.”
Shar responded resignedly “Rust take ye’all. I do na’ like it, but we raised him ta think fer hisself.”
Freeing herself from her husband’s embrace while briefly touching his face to let him know she was no longer as angry, she headed towards the door speaking over her shoulder “Ye joinin’ me? I be goin’ to tha kitchen, it will be a long night an’ it will be a bit afore the metal cools fer the finish work.”
“Does that mean ye forgive me?” Kendric asked hopefully.
Pausing at the door and snorting derisively, Shar gave him an even look that she usually reserved for errant children. It was an effective look.
“Not even close.” She gave a half smile “If ye think I’m mad, jest wait until ye talk to yer mother about takin’ away her grandson.”
Kendric couldn’t help but give an involuntary gulp before following his wife out the door.