Back from Adledross

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Michael James Watson
Stepping from Adledross to Rasak the soldier reach their final trial.
On the flat battle plain they find a thousand forges. Hot coal and anvils, racks with tools and materials.
They feel the familiar tugging of a ring of compulsion on their hand.
A massive dwarf walks before the assemblage as they move automatically to formation.
“Warriors of Rasak. You have achieved greatness. You will not be forgotten. You have one final challenge and I will lead you in it. I am Vulcan, Master of the Forge. You have all done some iron work while in Rasak but now you will take on a mastery of it.”
He walks up to a large forge similar to the smaller ones and facing them. He takes a large drink from a massive mug.
“Ahead of you are your forges. You will step to them in a moment. You will find hot coals. There are billets of the finest irons produced here. There are mithril ingots. There is oak from trees of the forests of Rasak that each of you ran by. There is silver made from the plates you ate on while in Rasak. There is leather made from animals you slew, butchered, cook, and ate here. There is sinew from them as well. There are hammer, tongs, files, sharpening wheels and buffing wheels. Barrels of water, oil and blood for quenching. Barrels of water and wine for drinking.”
“You will draw the billets and fold them 300 times to make a master work. You will pour the mithril to form hilt and pommel and sheath tips. You will cut the leather and stamp it to be sewn with sinew. You will sand the wood for handles. You will assemble the knife. You will assemble the sheath”
“Once completed you will present it to the Master of Rasak. He will give you the strap and place the finished piece on you. Then your time here will be done.”
“You need not fear that you will fail or that you hammer will slip. You wear the Rings of Compulsion on last time. I will guide your efforts.”
“One last thing. You are impervious to burns but will feel the pains. A blade made without pain is of no use. It is a brittle thing liable to break. Now.. Take your places.”
As one the soldiers take their places. Unlike in the past they retain their thoughts if not their limbs. Alvah has enough awareness to see her barrel of wine is partial smelling of blood.
The work begins. Fire and iron. Sweat in the icy air of the battlefield of Rasak.
Hours pass, night comes and goes. Hands echo the movements of Vulcan as he repeats a process he has done many times. A performance of excellence and madness.
The Soldiers of Rasak see their blade come to life under their hands. They feel the satisfaction of each other and that of the observers to the far side.
At a point where the hands craft wood Instructors walk among the craftsman. One goes to each forge and presses a jewel in the pommel of each knife. The craftsman are aware of who presses the jewel in, each jewel different. They note that Prince Benedict walks among them and presses jewels into the the bolts of several people ending at Alvah, then Jurt. Leaning in he whispers," Well done, my son. This stone makes your blade slip through chaos enchantments. If you slit Maylon's throat with it I would consider it a personal favor and a service to Amber".. He holds each pommel tightly, and a red jewel flashes and he produces a small red stone to press in each. He then continues over to the reviewing stand to take up a snifter of brown whiskey.
As sunset comes the blades are completed. Each feel personal, a piece of the warrior. At that moment the compulsion ring seems to melt into the hand and their attentions realize it become part of them.
Vulcan turns, smiling, brandishing his blade. “Soldiers of Rasak. Present your blades to the King of Rasak.”
Benedict steps forward.
“Soldiers. Serve Amber well and I shall always be proud of you. I trust your loyalty. Come forward by forge positions”
As the people mover forward Benedict takes each blade, says a few words, gives it back and grips their wrists in the handshake of Rasak. They then walk on and fade away, returning to their lives as graduates.
As they walk up Vulcan steps near Alvah and slips his own blade and sheath on Alvah's belt. Whispering he says, “In case you want to fight two dagger, or you wish to speak to em.”
Alvah steps up and hands her blade to Benedict.
Ben says, “A rough crucible for you, niece. But you did well. With hope you will never need to die for Amber but I won't feel ashamed for melting the ring of compulsion into you just in case. You have challenges ahead. You will not speak of your time in Rasak casually, nor in depth to any except graduates. I will see you in Amber.”
Alvah feels like the last compulsion was to not respond but to walk off, finding herself in her apartment in Amber. Delwin sits by a barrel of mead and a table of food, smiling.
“So, how was that?”

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah looks up just in complete awe, shock, happiness, pride. Alot of emotions pass through her mind and are visible upon her.
She smiles wide finally at her father.
"I did it!" She throws her arms up in a cheer.
"Never ever ever doing that again. But i did it."
Alvah then sits and searches for a vessel for the mead.
"Did i miss anything? How long have i been gone for you?"

Michael James Watson
"Oh, a thousand years and a day. Vance is king, we are required by law to play baseball"
"Its been just under a week. No new deaths"

Amber Bronkhorst
"Well good for Vance! All hail the king ey."
She then looks with that look to Delwin.
"But seriously? It is very confusing knowing i have been gone for so long but also not....and more importantly where is Cicero?"
"A week alright not bad."
Alvah stretches in her chair.

Michael James Watson
"Visiting a friend. Lets see your knife?"

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah takes out her knife and lays it in her open hand.
"This one i made."
She smiles proudly.
"Benedict seemed nice though. Would love to eventually have the time to actually talk to him instead of purely in compulsion."
She then raises an eyebrow
"So uhm how did you get in my chambers. And that is not going to be a repeating thing right?"

Michael James Watson
"the door wasn't locked. By tradition there are few locked doors in the castle unless someone installs them. What keeps people from rifling each others rooms is tradition. Besides, what kind of lock do you think would slow down anyone in the castle? Even the servants have generations of experience. Brand used to have a crossbow trap in his room i hear. Till Oberon came to see if he was in his appartments and took a bolt to the chest."
"Its funny you mention it.. Sand once asked the same question. Oberon told her that Dame Margot would consider anyone entering someone else's room without permission to be rude, and people don't want a lesson in manners from her. " He fills a plate and mug and passes them the Alvah. and gets one for himself.
"In this case though, Benedict told me this is where you would be returning"
He pulls a similar knife off his belt, one she has seen him use to shapen pencils and charcoals for his art. If shifts to match Alvah's...
"A classic design...." He compares the two but does not pick up hers.
He sits back, using the dagger to spread mustard on meat and cheese.
" won't find a person in the realm that doesn't have one on them. If not more the none.. Not just the eating utensils everyone carries but a good fighting knife.. We are such a people. Maybe if we carried less weapons so causally there would be less violence in shadow.. We archetypes effect so much. Its one of the dangers of a center place of influence like Amber."

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah accepts the plate and drink gratefully and starts stuffing her mouth.
looking at the two knives next to eachotehr she swallows and smiles
"well there you go both your kids did it, aren't you proud dad." Alvah grins wide
"Just a warning then dad, don't just pop up in my room. i am an adult woman.. with uhm adult... things to do.." she narrows her eyes a bit figuring a father does not want to hear that.
"i just like my privacy and am very happy i don't live under your roof anymore."
After taking another bite she looks around
"so uhm Cicero is with Dame Margot? i haven't seen my friend in over 10 years. would like to see him soon."
Listening to her father she then smiles a slight sarcastic smile
"dad seriously maybe not only the weapons.. maybe the family fighting, maybe the mistrust people have in eachother... maybe all those little seeds of discord... " she shrugs
"just a thought

Michael James Watson
He says in a woman's voice, mimicking Katherine Hepburn, “Of course he has a knife, he always has a knife, we all have knives! It's 1183 and we're barbarians!" He smiles, "Lion in Winter..Hepburn, O'toole. We should watch it.. it is almost like Amber."

Amber Bronkhorst
"sure we can watch it.... but soon i am going out.. and enjoying myself.. and relieving some build up stress and frustrations."
She then stuffs another big bite in her mouth

Michael James Watson
Delwin finishes his sandwich and grabs some of the platter.,
"Go see Dame Margot.. I have business with the king. As for not living under my roof, that's funny. You think I haven't walked in on your before? You have surprises ahead. And we have an argument to have in time."
He leaves, leaving the door hanging open. He pulls a trump and steps through.

Amber Bronkhorst
Alvah raises her finger to try and make a point to her father. she then closes her mouth as he leaves and glares after him
"pfff argument to have... argument my ass. If there would be an argument i have plenty against him."
She finishes her platter and drink and stands up with the dirty dishes to bring down to the kitchen and see her friend again.