Devon approached the old forge; one of only two buildings built of stone in the village, it was a squat building that almost seemed to linger on the edge of town. Thick smoke billowed from the wide chimney and was scattered by the brisk autumn wind while the rhythmic beat of steel on steel set a steady cadence that Devon couldnt help but walk in time to. Above the door swung an old dark wooden sign on rusted hinges, in its center was a tarnished silver eight-pointed star emblem.
He pushed the door open and entered inside. His eyes took the briefest moments to adjust to the dim lighting within. The forge blazed with a white-hot glow that, despite its heat, failed to illuminate the room fully. The soot-stained stones of the wall seemed to sweat with condensation, leaving greasy runnels that trailed a grimy path to the floor. Bins full of common iron nails and simple hinges sat on a low bench, while a pair of ploughshares leaned against the far stone wall.
At the anvil Androval was hammering in the finishing details onto an armored cuirass. He was stripped to the waist, and wore a thick leather apron. His unwashed blonde hair was tied back in a loose ponytail. He nodded politely to Devon, his hammer strikes never missing a beat, even as he wiped the sweat from his brow. Devon leaned against a granite workbench built into the stone wall and watched patiently as the breastplate took shape, Androvals hammer strikes sure and even as he etched his sigil into the treated steel. The sigil being the final mark of a completed work, Androval held it up and examined the details.
Looks pretty good to me Devon said, Itll be a fine piece of armor.
Androval smiled at the praise but continued to examine his work, Its not my best work, Androval admitted, but it was the best I could do with the supplies at hand. What I wouldnt give for some Runiin iron. Androval shook his head at the thought, But Ill have to make do with what I can afford he gestured to a thick canvas sack that sat on the workbench, could you hand that to me?
Sure, Devon grabbed the sack and pulled it from the bench, where it promptly fell to the floor with a metallic cacophony and a surprised curse from Devon.
Are you okay, Devon? Androval asked while walking over to the sack of ingots lying on the floor. He didnt wait for an answer and hoisted the sack up with one arm and slung it over his shoulder in an easy fluid motion.
Yeah, I think so. Devon pointed at his feet, his finger bobbing up and down, Yep, Ive still got all of my toes.
Well, thats something to be proud of, Androval replied absently as he set the sack of ingots on the floor next to a multi-tiered shelf and began sorting them with a practiced eye.
Well, I do have some very attractive feet after all Devon continued. He ran a hand through his hair, and, if I do say so myself, my toes are adorable.
Androval paused, holding a bar of iron motionless, as Devons words registered in his ears, he arched an eybrow, Did you just say your toes are adorable? he asked with a boyish grin.
Oh, you were paying attention, Devon shrugged as Androval went back to sorting his supply of iron. I was supposed to come and get you. It seems that Gwendolyn was expecting some supplies for the winter and they are overdue, and Lysander told Torea that the goblins have been acting more aggressive than usual.
And Torea wants us to go with while she checks it out? Androval turned and brushed his hands across his apron as he stood.
That seems to be the size of it.
When are we leaving? Androval asked as he took off his apron and hung it on a nearby hook.
Devon shrugged, Pretty quickly, I would guess. Gwendolyn said she was worried about Gregor, and Torea went to see if Tao had recovered from last night.
Gregor is missing too? Androval shook his head, OK, tell Torea I will be there in a little bit. Im going to wash up first and then get my armor and Ill meet you there.
Devon nodded and turned to leave, closing the door behind him.
Androval reached down and grabbed a bucket of course sand and doused the flames with a grunt. He stirred the sand with his tongs to make sure there were no hot embers, This should be fun Androval muttered grimly to the empty room as he closed the door.