Carrion Fields

The Blacksmith's Quest - by Tahren

Clang. Clang. Dingding. Clang. Clang. Dingding.


The sounds of hammer on anvil echoed throughout the cavernous chamber, interrupted only by the periodic sound of quenching steel. The granite walls of the mountain forge glistened in the dim red light, thin veins of raw mithril reflecting the flickering forgefires. They were rough walls, painstakingly chiseled and carved from the mountain by a meticulous hand.

From one end of the chamber, a shout rang up. "Stoke the fires! Heat the forge!"

A huge, black-skinned giant stepped stoically up to the bellows. The behemoth heaved the bellows open and closed effortlessly, his skin naturally protecting him from the harsh heat of the forge. At one anvil, a human blacksmith took the wide stance of a master craftsman. A single blow of his forge hammer produced a shower of sparks from the mithril blade that was taking shape upon his anvil. In one fluid motion, he moved his forge hammer to the side and thrust the blade into the belly of the fire.

Releasing the sword momentarily, the smith paused, wiping soot and sweat from his brow then rubbing his hands upon his heavy tunic to dry them.

Taking a deep breath, he pulled the blade from its resting place and set it upon the anvil, its length glowing white-hot. The smith's hammer rose and fell furiously, gaining momentum with every strike. A svirfneblin smith and a pair of dwarves dropped their work and looked up, watching in awe as the hammer rose and fell in a blur of motion. The smith's tattoo - a hammer, set upon a rune-covered anvil - began to glow with unearthly silver light. It was the mark of his God, granted in his early years as a sign of his devotion to the faith. And it resonated with power in this most holy forge.

The smith's hammer landed a final time, the ear-piercing blow echoing through the now-silent forge. The other smiths had ceased their activities to watch the Noldarian Smith in action. He grasped the hot mithril blade with a pair of tongs and slid it into a quenching barrel, which belched forth a satisfying torrent of steam. A faint wisp of soot lifted from his forge hammer, drifting towards his arm where it was absorbed by his tattoo.

"Yer still learnin' lad," a gruff voice echoed through the chamber. Then, with a resounding thump, Thror HammerSong fell from the heavens. The immortal dwarf rubbed his head roughly as his protege smith knelt before him. The god of the Noldarian Forge glared about his shrine, a single glance sending smiths scurrying back to work.

The god took the quenched mithril blade from his mortal smith and squinted as he examined it closely. "Ye tempered it well, an' the edge is true. Ye continue to impress me, lad. Yer find a mithril pommel engraved with dwarven runes, an' I'll show yer how te turn this blade inte a proper sword."

With a final snort, Lord Thror lifted a fist to the heavens and stumbled away, rubbing his head.

The human blacksmith removed his flame-retardant tunic and began fastening his armor back on. He rested his forge hammer next to the anvil and grimly picked up his sword and scabbard. Wherever this rune-engraved pommel lay hidden, its retrieval would no doubt come at the cost of bloodshed.

Welcome to the Carrion Fields. Where immortals walk amongst men and the simple life can become interesting in a matter of minutes.

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