Posts : 59
Join date : 2010-03-22
Age : 32
Location : San Antonio Tx
HFS Name: Shaheena
Class: Assassin, Bard, Warrior, Druid, NonFighter
|Subject: Raw Silver Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:14 am|| |
Tomyris arched her head to the other side and continued to stare at the hunk of metal in front of her. It hadn’t changed at all since she set it down three hours ago. However, there was definitely something about this piece of copper ore that seemed odd to her. It didn’t seem any different than the other pieces brought down from the mines; it was the metal as a whole.
The workshop was quiet and yet when she closed her eyes, she could swear she heard the metal sing. Not like any human or animal voice she had ever heard. If she had to compare the sound to something it would be like a sword swinging trough the air mixed with various bells, gongs, and chimes. For all that, she hadn’t even actually heard it. Not with her ears anyway, and with how quiet, and yet insistent that it was, getting any work done was proving difficult.
She moved closer to the ore. The air around it seemed tense to her, but maybe it was her imagination. Maybe it was all her imagination. She had been working a great deal lately. But with the silver merchants on the way to the village of Falcon’s Grove for the spring fare all the smiths had been working overtime, and she still had several pieces of jewelry she wanted to finish by the time the caravans arrived. She inhaled sharply and blew a piece of blonde bang out of her eyes. She shook her head again sending hair back into her face and picked up the copper ore.
She would take it back to Stan, the old mage who was in charge of separating all the silver ore from the copper ore that the village mined out of the nearby range. He had invented a curious process using various lightning spells called Zaptrolosis. It was a revolutionary, fairly clean method of separating the metal’s and the village was recognized by even the queen herself for the effort.
As she tossed the piece into the air, it happened again. Only this time it almost sounded like a laugh. Setting it down again, she put her face down near the hunk with her nose almost touching it. Gently she set two fingers on top of the piece and closed her eyes. She took a deep breath and let her mind relax. She heard it again. She concentrated on the metal deeper, but it only served to drive the laughter away.
She took another deep breath, cleared her mind again and visualized the metal, letting her mind drift into it. The laughter reverberated through her, and she began to see with what a mage would call the inner eye. What she saw was amazing. She saw all the little bits that made up the ore, she could distinguish the copper from the silver and even from the little impurities in it. She pulled herself in deeper and found all the little things that made up everything. With another deep breath, she decided not to delve any deeper than that. It put too much strain on her mind and she was worried about getting lost among the energy
What if she could affect all the little things that made up the ore? If she just pushed a little could she separate the metal’s herself? Could she even remove the impurities without beating them out? The possibilities suddenly seemed endless.
“Tomyris?” A hand on her shoulder pulled her from her trance. Grail stood behind her with a slightly worried look on his face.
“What are you doing here?” she asked
“I was bored and hungry. Interested in some food? Tasha’s making shepherd’s pie. You like shepherd’s pie.” He grinned at her.
“That I do.” She said.
As he handed her a cloak and herded her out the door, she noticed that it had gone from mid afternoon to full dark in the course of her pondering. She closed the door behind them, never noticing the small indentations in the rock where her fingers had been resting.
Tomy didn’t even know she had been sweating until the night air brushed her forehead. Grail walked in a cheerful silence. If he had been wondering what she was doing in the shop, he was too polite to ask.
Granted that isn’t like Grail. He probably just doesn’t care. She chuckled to herself and he looked at her with confusion. Sometimes it seemed that there wasn’t anyone home behind those brown eyes but he could be as sharp as any blade when he so chose.
She shook her head at him waving off his curiosity, took a deep breath, and suddenly noticed something. The packed dirt road was completely silent. Even in winter creatures made noise at this time of night; but no frogs croaked, no crickets chirped, and the bird songs stopped. She looked over at Grail, whose wary expression and itchy sword hand proved that he had also taken note of the quiet.
They sped up along the path to the inn, having just passed the fields, and entering the wooded area. It was in sight when they heard the crashing of a large creature through the brush to their right. Training meshed with instinct took over and both humans almost seemed to float backwards in a gliding leap.
Chaos descended as two large creatures hurriedly stumbled into the road. The leading one crashed head first into a tree on the other side. The one trailing it drove itself into the first ones side, and the first swatted at it with wicked claws.
Moonlight gleamed off of Grail’s drawn sword, and the same light illuminated the dazed creatures. Bushy matted fur covered large bodies that looked like a cross between a bear and the one of the larger breeds of mountain cat that terrorized the stock herds. Yellowish brown fang filled maws snapped at one another, as tomy's hand flew to her empty belt.
Change-lions Of course! Pssh! Why bring a sword to dinner? It’ll just get in the way. She silently lectured herself as she put a hand on Grail’s shoulder. Together they backed slowly away from the scuffle.
Neither of the humans were exactly sure what set the two beast’s off, but they suddenly stopped trying to rip one another apart long enough to notice the tasty morsels with the nerve to back away. They issued a challenge and began to circle.
“RUN!” Grail yelled. Tomy saw a look of calm arrest his features as he took a ready stance and she started to run.
Luck, and a good deal of childhood training allowed her to get back to the shop before being clawed to bits. She slammed the door behind her and in a single leaping step climbed atop her workbench, using it to span the length of the shop and grab at the hilts of the swords that hung over the furnace. Meanwhile, a crash told her that she didn’t lose the change-lion as easily as she had hoped. As she jumped from the bench, over the banked coals, and onto the floor, she felt the skirt of her tunic ripping where a giant paw had held it. An unnatural scream echoed from the beast as it landed in the banked coals of the smithy furnace.
Her ankles ached from landing on the stone floor, as there was no room in the shop to tuck and roll. But, she had her prizes, a matching pair of wickedly sharp, curved hunting blades. The Change-lion’s landing wasn’t so graceful, sending embers flying everywhere. The brick covered work bench and stone floors were designed to take the heat. Everything else, however, wasn’t as fire proof, and it quickly started to spread.
The creature crouched, ready to pounce the armed human female. With the building burning, she knew her ability to move was severely limited, and the growing smoke told her that she needed to finish this quickly. The beast licked it's chops, knowing there was nowhere for her to go. With all the speed of unholy magic behind it, the change-lion pounced. The beast was light on its feet, but Tomyris was lighter.
* * *
Tomy ran a hand through her gold and brown hair. She’d had to take off about three inches thanks to the fire. She shifted restlessly on her horse and Moonchild rolled her eyes in response. She had borrowed enough money from Grail to supply herself with some new clothes and so on but with the shop a burned out shell she knew her only real choice was to hire herself out to the caravan that she had been hoping would buy her trinkets, so she would be a guard.
She let out a sigh and patted Moonchild on the neck. The blond horse calmed slightly under her mistress. Hoof beats behind her alerted Tomy to Grails presence. Sure enough the man pulled his chestnut, Laria, up beside Moonchild. He smiled, saying,
“You know I wouldn’t make you go alone.” Tomyris smiled at her friend.
“So,” Grail whispered “Where is this caravan going again?”
Her smile grew as she said. “To the capitol, Grail. To Shadowmist Keep.”