Flames of Gold

Musings of the Weaponmaster

The First Night

The weapon was done. The last etching had been completed earlier in the day. It was hard to look at his handiwork and feel that it was truly complete. A yearning in Fin kept him ever-searching for some elusive decoration or additional level of strength. He knew that his would be more than sufficient for the Sergeant or “TallJohn” as he was known locally. He really did not deserve the work that went in to making this piece of art. Tall John would look at it as a weapon, a mere “pig-sticker”, and not appreciate it for what is was…and is.

Fin knew that he could be found at the barracks most any time of the day, but he would rather present it to him for payment during the guard change at dusk. There were more people around and that time of day afforded him a very good chance of hiding in the shadows and going unnoticed. Oddly enough, he had made a name for himself as a weaponsmaker, but there were few who knew what he actually looked like. He preferred it that way. It was better that he was known to all but seen by few. There was no need in displaying himself for everyone. He knew that those who truly sought his company were those trying to kill him.

Taking adavantage of the waning sunlight and the many nooks and back alleys of the city and the inherent patience of an elf, he successfully crept to the barracks area. Upon arrival, some form of consternation was erupting. It appears that Talathel has gotten himself into some form of altercation. So much the better. Anything that would keep attention focused away from the weaponmaster was a welcomed benefit.

Tall John was of course impressed and grateful in the brutish way that the military can be. He held the blade like a child would hold a birthday present that everyone wanted. He gripped it with white knuckles and even seemed to drool a little at what he saw. It was demeaning, but for that matter so was having to make this weapon for such an ingrate in the first place. Just a few years ago, making a weapon for the Etharchs was a spiritual awakening for Filian Goldwind. The prospect at working on the weaponry of the Elders held such sway that he would forego the military training and seek his true calling in weapons-making. However, instead of the Great Elders of Etharch he now had the Boorish Fool of Tall John.

Talathel was going on about something outside louder and louder. The level of violence could quickly escalate. Fin cared little for Talathel. Yes, he had talent as a singer and Loremaster, but so did most Elves. Fin’s issue was that Talathel lauded his abilities to sing for the sole purpose of praise. That kind of behavior is flatly unbecoming of an Elf. He, of course, was not born Etharch and that accounts for some of his rude behavior. In the City of the Etharchs he would be merely an average singer. The humans and other races here have not heard the level of beauty involved in ElfSong from the true greats of the time of his Grandfather. Talathel is a mere 300 or so years old. The best study for 300 to 500 years alone before singing at the Etharch Center. Yet, he sings well enough for humans whose lifespan seems but an afternoon to the Elves. They see him as the best. Very well, they can have him.

It would just not do for Talathel to get into some physical scrap and get hurt for two reasons. One, he imbues a certain very few of weapons made with Song spells. No one close could do that except him. Second, if he went and got himself killed, it would bring very unwelcomed attention from the Elven tribes. An investigation would ensue and that would bring Elves into the city asking questions. Therefore, using a calm demeanor and a soothing voice, Fin persuaded Tall John to let the entire group go about their business.

Strangely though, Dr. Dwarf and Talathel mill around after the crowd disperses and go into the Commander’s office. With a level of bothe curiosity and caution, Fin follows the the two into the building. Maintaining his level of stealth, he approaches the duo to see the Dwarven physician rifling through papers on the former Commander’s desk. More importantly though, he sees his handiwork staring him in the face on the wall. Hanging with pristine majesty is a sword he made two years ago for the Commander. The hilt and pommel of the sword is unmistakeable. A scabbard covers the true beauty held in the blade itself. The Commander is gone. The ownership of the blade without any doubt reverts back to the maker, the artist who made this.

Fin presents himself to the doctor and the blowhard. Their reasoning for looking through the Commander’s things is irrelevant. Access to the sword is immediate. Take it back while avilable. After trivialities with Dr. Dwarf, he claims to be looking for the son of the Commander. Curious it is that this dwarf would be as concerned about the boy. He was not his kin, but there is a relationship there that mimics affection.

A boy. A youngling of sorts aware of the world in mere ways without a father. Now he is too lost somewhere being forced to fend for himself. Exiled in a way. It was far too reminiscent of his own experiences to be coincidental. The boy must be found and the killer of the boy’s father must be dealt with. Fin agrees to go with the the dwarf to find this vagabond, but the sword comes with him. He tries to do this in a surreptitious way, but the doctor with his dwarvy mouth won’t leave. By the Grief, I am taking my property! Dr. Dwarf questions but I see he fights his own greed. Good. At least the dwarves know how to appreciate fine things.

It is no shock that searching with the Dwarf led us to a tavern. But like a bloodhound sniffing out a fox, the boy was inside the establishment in the company of others. He looked lost. He wants to find his father’s killer, but vengeance is no satisfying goal. It leads nowhere. Hopefully, i can be a better guide to him than I was to myself.

End

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Liam

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