Entry 19: A Noble Steel
The week had finally ended, with more and more of Bengus’ apprentice getting their accreditation and finally leaving for good to pursuit their own. The apprentice continued to leave until all who remained was Elizabeth and Bengus himself. As soon as the next week began, the forge’s activities increased, as smiths from all over began to crowd the forges of Ironforge.
“Isn’t there an awful lot of people here today, sir?” Elizabeth said after she let out a yawn. She had to wake up much earlier than usual on request of Bengus today. “I just don’t get it, it’s early too.”
“It’s forging season, lass. It’s always the same once recruiting lessons are done in here, we’ll be getting some serious crowds and heat now that the forge enters its commercial term.”
“That’s why you asked me here early, sir?”
“Yes, but we’ll not be working on the forge just yet, first we got to settle out some things. Come with me.”
Bengus marched his way over to the economic zone of The Commons along with Elizabeth. The place was incredibly crowded, as if a giant sale was underway. “Now, in order to get ourselves started with, we’ll be in need of securing a provider, but not just anybody, ok!” Bengus screamed at Elizabeth while the two stood inside the crowd that was flooding the Auction House market.
“But what do we need, sir? Iron?”
“I want some Iron, give me Iron here!” A man began to yell at the high of his voice as he heard the word “Iron” out of Elizabeth’s mouth. Several others began to also call out for Iron. “Call down people, no Iron has begun to sell, the auctions start in 10!”
Bengus grabbed Elizabeth by her arm and dragged her nearer. “Stay near, paladin, and don’t go mentioning things out loud, people tend to go on a frenzy when they think someone’s out buying them, a mere mention of a product that still not on sale puts them on the edge.” He then took out some papers he had with the materials he desired to purchase that day. “Here’s a list of what we’re be looking for today, lass, read it carefully.”
Elizabeth took the small note that was written in Dwarven, sighting as she realized she couldn’t read it. “This is in Dwarven, sir!”
“Did anyone ask for some Dwarven Mild?” “I want some of that cheese!” ”Me Me Me!” Again began the people going crazy at the auction house. Bengus took the paper back and told Elizabeth to lean down so he could whisper her some things as he wrote on the back of the paper in common the whole list.
“We got two options, find a person selling these things, or actually purchase them here. It’s better if we find out who’s selling so we can drag him out and make purchases personally. If you see anyone, just call me, lass.”
“Ok sir.” She took the notes and began to read it. Even though it was in common, it was written in a poor handwriting that distorted and made the note hard to read. “This makes it even worse… sigh; I can’t even get what’s written with this poor hand writing, I’ll have to make it out...”
From what she could tell, Bengus was making purchases of many different products, but all she could tell was a few items in the list, which didn’t even explain the amounts needed. As the auctions began, Elizabeth finally saw how crazy the auctions could become. The Auctioneers made mention of lots of materials on sale, and quickly people swarmed over them in a frenzy of yells.
“We got some tin here!” “Get yet copper!” “10 gold pieces here!” “I raise it by 1 piece!” “Bronze Bars, Bronze Bars, anyone with Bronze Bars?”
“I got the finest leathers!” “16 gold pieces!” “The Hide auctions will begin in a bit!”
“The auction for Mageroyal have closed, the stock has gone bad.” “I want my Mageroyal!”
It was all a chaotic cluster of business, Elizabeth, not knowing what to do, simply remain static staring at the maddening looks the people selling and buying had. Bengus approached Elizabeth to see her progress, also letting her know she found a provider and was about to make a purchase. “I’d love to get out of here, master, this crowd is deafening!”
Outside, the two were meeting with a human. “So I gather you have what we’re looking for in spades eh?” Bengus took out his list while he greed the young man outside the racket the Auction House had become. “We need a very big and steady load!”
“I do, old man, I’ve been leading expeditions to the northern lands for what you want, even though there’s the plague and everything over there.” The man casually stated as he took out a toothpick from his mouth and threw it into a nearby brazier. “I got more than enough, but you better not expect it being cheap.”
“Right right, I want 10 cart loads, and don’t trick me with just filling them with solid rock!” The old dwarf took out a small paper with a quill as the negotiations on the price began.
“450 gold pieces, no less! I didn’t risk my life in the northern Lordaeron just to get haggled in prices, old man! I lost a few men over there.” The young man gave up on haggling with Bengus quite rapidly, having been convinced of selling the ore a few hundred gold less than originally.
“Alright, 450 it is.” Bengus wrote what seemed to be a check and handed it to the young man, who prepared an invoice with the order.
“It’ll be delivered as soon as I get the auctions brought down and the freight done.” The man picked up the check and when back in the Auction House. Bengus stood there with his face filled with victory. With a gesture of his hand, he called Elizabeth and left the premises of The Commons and back into the scourging forges of Ironforge.
“It seems we’re in luck, for getting up early proved to be quite rewarding!”
“You managed to get everything, sir? I really didn’t get to buy anything with all the yelling.”
“No worries, lass, so long as we got something to work with, everything should be just fine and dandy!”
“About work, what exactly did you buy? I didn’t get anything in the note you wrote behind…” Elizabeth took out the parchment Bengus had handed to her earlier, tossing it into a near by brazier that consumed the piece of paper.
“Ah, right, well, like I had told ye before, most of my apprentice quit right after they are able to stand on their own in the market of steel. Everyone’s buying things there, steel is really a conventional metal, sturdy, durable, relatively cheap for the quality of things you can make out of it. But it’s just that, nothing more.” He nodded as if agreeing with his internal thoughts and opinions. “To me, the only metal that I’d waged my life on is the only, true and noble metal.” He then grabbed out a glimmering insignia from his pockets and showed it off from between his fingers.
“Silver?” Elizabeth looked at it detained saying the first word that came to her mind, even though she knew deep inside it looked far more beautiful than any silver she had laid eyes upon.
“No, lass. Mithril.” Bengus made a wide smile like no other Elizabeth had ever seen. In fact, it was the first time the woman had caught glimpse of the dwarf with a smile on his face, this almost shocking her in surprise. “Ah, the good old days, when one was young and oblivious of the world! I started crafting Mithril…………. And then when Galvan himself taught me! It was my life’s dream………” Bengus continued reminiscing his younger years for the next few hours until he was interrupted by Elizabeth, who pointed out to him that his order had arrived.
“Alright, here you go, old man, I assume everything is in order?” The shady man leaned against one of the ore filled carts while Bengus stuck his arms into one of the piles and took out ore to check.
“Where did ye get this from, lad?” Bengus examined with care a few pieces of the raw ore that had been delivered,
“It’s from a very secluded cave in the highest regions of Alterac.”
“Oh ho ho!” The dwarf continued his scrutiny of the whole cargo while speaking with him until the deal was done. “If ye get back with such a load, come over and I’ll make ya a deal, lad! Alright, lass, let’s get dirty! For today we’re going to set up our work space and get settled down with this ore.” The two of them proceeded to take the ore and begin working. Bengus first took a storage area for the load to be secured, then began to classify it in grade of quality, keeping the most concentrated ore at the bottom while the lower quality rest at the top. “Set up like this, we can get rid of the junk first and end with good grade ore at the end, lass! Better remember that!”
“Now that I look at ye… have ya ever considered getting actual blacksmith clothing? Those dress look like what a homeless person would use!”
“I guess you’re right sir… they do look a bit spent…” the woman looked at her permanently stained dress as if it was a trivial thing.
“A bit? Ya look like ye were having a party inside a coal mine and just got off of the train cart, lass. For today, I’ll ask ya to go get something else at the local shops!” The old dwarf insisted on her.
“Fine sir… Back here tomorrow at the same time?”
“Ye can rest a bit more, there’s no hurry once ye’re settled down. Ye’ll be needing all the strength you can tomorrow.”
“Alright, then I’ll see you again tomorrow, master.” Elizabeth bowed and continued on with her day, and like Bengus had asked her, she took the time to get something else, finally settling a deal at a local cloth and leather shop for a couple of more durable clothing, finally feeling relieved she no longer had to drag those rags she used to call summer dresses. “I just wonder how angry dad would be if he saw the condition these things are…” and after giving it some deep thought, she threw them away and fell asleep, for tomorrow would be a hard day.
Once the night was over, the next day was ready to go underway at Ironforge. Elizabeth was like usual, wide awake over at the workplace Bengus had taken for them. The dwarf seemed to have arrived earlier than usual, and was working on a piece as the woman arrived. “Great timing, I was about to finish this, sit around and watch it be worked on, lass.” The old dwarf hammered against the piece of metal with great passion. Such work as the one the young paladin witnessed in the few minutes Bengus took to finish was something she had perhaps rarely seen before in her life, a vague instant coming to her mind of the days of her father as a carpenter.
“Ah, there we go, all finished. You know, metal of this quality is so hard to come by since the plague spread through the northern lands… every time I look at this ore, it reminds me of how many people must have died and must be dying now just giving a shot in life as a miner…” An awkward silent remained in the atmosphere for a moment, with the old dwarf remaining still, looking at the small piece of mithril he had been casting on the anvil. The dwarf stayed still until he snapped and continued on. “Alright lass, let’s get this started.”
The two began going over the most basic part of mithril, it’s refinement and smelting. “Ya better off treating this like steel. It’s the closet metal in terms of smelting process with mithril. Here, feel it’s weight, it should be a noticeable difference between a lump of steel and this. A simple bar of steel weights what almost three of these do, yet Mithril is as strong, if not even stronger.” The dwarf continued on his explanation, eventually Elizabeth getting her hands onto actually smelting a few bars. To her surprise, Mithril seemed to be a simple enough to work metal… in fact it felt strange how easily it could be smelted.
“Now that you’ve done some smelting, tell me what you think of it, lass.”
“It feels weird, sir… It’s too easy to work with in my opinion, is this really metal?”
“Oh ho ho, I see ya have fallen for one of its strange attributes, lass.” Bengus laughed and approached the woman as she took out the bar of the forge and into one of the nearby water tanks. “Mithril is a special metal like no other! It’s a noble metal among deceitful minerals! This is but one of it’s attributes, the first time it’s forged while impure, it’s easy beyond believe to smelt.” The dwarf picked the bar and put it right at the edge of one of the scourging hot lava falls. “Once it’s at a more purified state though, it holds true to itself up to great limits of stress and heat! This kind of metal is one that’s shy, lass. It first needs to have its potential brought out in order for it to shine true to its abilities.” The dwarf took out the bar from where he had placed it, gleaming even brighter than after being smelted. Bengus took the bar onto an anvil and began to hammer it with great force while it still remained warmed after being partially dipped in lava, with several sparks flew off when the hammer collided against the pristine metal.
The old dwarf made a square concave plate out of the freshly smelted bar of mithril, its thickness being extremely thinner than the conventional thickness given to armor crafted. He then cooled down the plate piece and placed it on what seemed to be a press.
“Alright, first we’ll be doing some stress test. Let’s see how your craft fares against mine, lass. Take no more than two bars of steel and make the exact same shape of metal I just did. So long as it’s as tall and concave, it’ll work, you don’t have to match the thickness. I want to show ye that just because mithril is easy to smelt, it doesn’t mean it’s not inferior!” Confused by what the old dwarf had in mind, Elizabeth proceeded to smelt out a piece of steel to work with and shape it just like her master had just done. In less than half an hour, the woman had just finished the plate and cooled it down, then taking it to the press.
“Here it is, sir. What now?”
The dwarf removed the piece of mithril from the press and lowered it down against the thick piece of steel. “Alright, lets add some weight to start pressing. Right now it’s at 0 pounds of stress; let’s add… 50 pounds (22.68 Kilograms).” Elizabeth dragged three weights near the Press, Adding two 20 pound (9.07 Kilograms) weights and one 10 pound (4.54 Kilograms) weight above. With the extra weight, the piece of steel remained intact. “Let’s double it.” Now taking off the weights and adding two 50 pound (22.68 Kilograms), the piece of steel remained like before, without flattening at all. “Great, now let’s add 50 more until it can’t hold more.” Bengus helped Elizabeth drag up a 100 pound (45.36 Kilograms) weight after removing the last two weights, and then added another 50 pound (22.68 Kilograms), finally the piece of metal began showing signs of stress taking effect, almost being unable to hold more. Once the next 50 pounds were added, for a total of 200 pounds (90.72 Kilograms), the piece of steel flattened under the force, all the way down until all that remained was a flat piece of steel.
The dwarf removed the weights and dragged out what looked now like a thick sheet of steel and showed it to Elizabeth. “I’d wager around 176 pounds (79.8322 Kilograms) or so, it would have turned to this after a few minutes, with the rest of the weight simply just accelerated the process. Now let’s try my plate, shall we?”
The old dwarf placed the thin piece of metal inside the bench with a big grind in his face as if he had already won. He didn’t hold back, putting 150 pounds (68.0388 Kilograms) at once from the start, the piece of mithril not bending at all against the force. “Let’s double it and see what happens.” Elizabeth looked a bit shocked as the dwarf removed the 50 weight off the press and placed two 100 weights, adding a total of 300 pounds (136.077 Kilograms) unto the Press, the piece of mithril barely bulging down.
Bengus then laughed as Elizabeth looked bellow into the Press, and saw the glittering steel still partially retaining its shape. At the end of the test, the piece of mithril finally bent, taking almost 400 pounds (more than 180 Kilograms) to fully flatten itself against the Press.
“What do you think now, lass?”
“It’s simply…. Incredible, I can’t believe it, master!” she said as she stared at the two flattened plates. “That’s just how good Mithril can be, lass! A fully grown orc could probably more than be able to slam against an armored foe with more than 200 pounds (90.72 Kilograms) of force behind the hit. That’s enough to bulge in a steel helmet, which can kill a man easily and is about as thick as the thickness you gave to this plate. Course, this here is just simple steel, steel issued in war is tempered, so it’s more superior, yet it still bulges in.” He handed the plate to Elizabeth and took his mithril plate. “This is half as thick and more than twice as strong as normal steel, quite stronger than tempered, and that’s without being tempered, which should add hundred more or so of stress resistance.” He then placed the piece down and looked at Elizabeth. “This is the level of Blacksmithing we will be seeing from now on. Consider what you learned in the last weeks to be almost useless out there in the real world.”
After a few hours of practicing more how to smelt the noble ore, Elizabeth yawned for a moment, incredibly loudly. “I think this will do for today, lass. Ya can’t work if ye’re tired, tomorrow we’ll get more work done.”
“No sir, I’m fine, I just guess I am a bit hungry, that’s all.”
The dwarf soon realized that it had been indeed passed noon, as he two seemed to be very hungry. “Go get some food and don’t come back for today, lass. You can’t accomplish anything if you are hungry or tired.”
“Alright…” She let go of the piece of mithril she had been finishing smelting, picking up her things and continuing on to have a nice meal and some rest, even though a little bit unwilling. The next days to come, she would continue on taking lessons with Bengus, learning more about this incredible metal and how great it is to craft with it.
After a few weeks of working on it, Bengus received some orders to be carried out from an important customer. The dwarf though it was a good time to test out the young blacksmith out with her still newly acquired techniques…
END Entry 19
Entry 20: Forge Bickering
“Alright lass, here’s today’s and perhaps this whole month’s work for you.” Bengus greeted Elizabeth that morning with a well written parchment that asked for a great deal of armor made out of Mithril. The order read that as payment, the crafter would receive more than a thousand pieces of gold.
“This note has been up at City Hall for half a month and no one has dared pick it up. Not because it’s not good business, but because the buyer really wants good quality, and he won’t just accept any piece of rubbish thrown at them. Town Hall has even begun to call them “Deepforge only request”, because I’m the only one that takes em, ha ha ha!” Elizabeth, a bit preoccupied, took the parchment. “The client is one I’ve worked before for, they always call themselves the same name, yet they never are the same person. Course I don’t have to question, since all I should care is that they’re happy and they pay what they promise. Now, fulfilling this order out should cost you in materials around a fifth of what the payment will be. Since this is a commercial order, you can bet ye’r behind I ain’t giving ya a single pebble of my stash, got it?”
“Alright sir.” Even though the dwarf had pretty much denied her help with the ore, Elizabeth was a bit thrilled about this work. Maybe finally she could show off just how good she was as a blacksmith to Bengus. Who knows, maybe she could even outdo him and make a living out of her work, living the life… Then she realized how much the dwarfs had taken effect on her way of viewing life. All the money she had seen pass hands and the one collecting dust in her bank, seemed to have changed her a bit. Not wanting to give it a second thought, Elizabeth darted to the bank and took out a few gold pieces from her account and quickly head over to the Auction House, which today seemed to be working at a more moderate pace than before.
Soon after hours of haggling over prices, she finally secured a nice order of Mithril and had it delivered to The Great Forge, where she already had a place to stock ore into. The woman took up a forge and a cart, and soon was smelting her ores incredibly quick. On the forge, Bengus had been working himself on something of his own. The Old Dwarf looked at the woman as she worked quickly on her bars and decided to go and give her a hand with the big load she had.
“Let me help ya there, lass.”
“No.” The woman said as she continued on pouring the ore alone into the furnace. She had decided that since the dwarf hadn’t given her any ore, she wouldn’t ask or accept any help from him. She wanted to try and do it all on her own. Bengus though, had been unable to see that the woman was thrilled that she was to work alone, and insisted to help.
After the woman denied his help again and again, the short temper of the dwarf got the best of him. His temper began to build up quickly, it had been quite the time since he have had an angry moment, and it seemed today would be the day it would start again. “Come on, ya can’t be expecting to do all that by yerself, woman.”
Elizabeth stopped throwing ore into the furnace as she heard the dwarf insist. “Woman?” She looked back at him. “So, just because I’m a woman, I can’t do this by myself?”
Bengus realized a little bit too late that having called her so casually woman had not been the right thing to do, yet he did not excused himself to her; he didn’t have to, he thought to himself, he was her teacher. “Just shut yer yap and get off the way!” He snapped back at Elizabeth, grabbing her on her right arm trying to move her aside. Elizabeth hadn’t been as angry as this before, perhaps ever in her life, and her anger could be the reason why she acted like she did next. She grabbed the dwarfs hand and took it off from her, then as quickly as the old dwarf tried to grab her again to force her away, her arm flew straight toward him and slapped him hard across the face.
The dwarf remained speechless, holding his face were she had slapped him, trying to remain standing in the one leg he still had on the floor after the force she applied behind her slap. Clearly, although lacking muscles, the woman packed a punch, it hadn’t been for naught all the blacksmith work she had done on the forge. “Lass… you…. You hit me!”
“Get away, I don’t want to speak to you.” She turned around and continued with her smelting, mumbling things about women and that she would show him. Bengus remained silent and walked away, with several of the men and dwarf working at the forge not being able to help it but stare at him and his red cheek.
“Mind yer own business, pansies!” He yelled as he noticed everyone staring, causing everyone around to simply break in a hysterical laugher in the irony. Feeling more humiliated, he then continued on to work with what he had, without looking back at Elizabeth again.
The work of Elizabeth continued on alone, without the help of Bengus. She took her time smelting her bars up to the best she could, taking plenty of time doing so and trying to get the best result she could. In a few days she had her complete load done, and was a step further into the order, all she needed to do was follow the specifications and all would be alright… hopefully.
She began checking the note, and noticed it was different parts specified for what seemed to be a complete set of full mithril plated armor. The thing didn’t have as much ornamental details though, the order completely omitted any coloring or garment, it simply asked for the plating to be done. “I guess this makes my life easier…” She said as she began smiting the armor.
Bengus remained quiet toward her all through her work in the forge. She would arrive early in the morning as usual just to find Bengus working quietly in what seemed to be the farthest anvil away from were Elizabeth usually took her work place. The dwarf simply worked and worked without giving a gaze at the woman or speaking a word to her, neither did Elizabeth approached him or spoke a word to him for anything, not even to ask for help or his opinion, all she did was continue on her work and tried to believe the dwarf wasn’t there.
The silence continued on and on between the two, but their hammers never stopped. They hammered and hammered until either of them couldn’t. Some days, Elizabeth would leave before him, and others he’d go before her, but they never ever struck a conversation at all. Some of the ex apprentice of Bengus would even approach Elizabeth to see what she had been up to after their studies, or to ask what was going on between the two, to what Elizabeth simply remained in an angry silence at the mention of it.
Several weeks passed, if not a month, and her work was almost done. She had been working none stop every day with it, and seemed to be on a great road. All that remained was a few finishing touches on some pieces and finally the delivery…
“Hmmm… Now that I think about it, I never caught how the delivery will be done…” She rechecked in her parchment, and no apparent contact information was available on the paper. A little bit frustrated that she couldn’t find the information, she began going back and forth on the paper until she noticed words written behind. “Lass, once done, bring me the stuff and I’ll make sure it gets to them.”
“Just great.” She said as she sighed and cleared the sweat off her forehead, grabbing back her crimson hair that she had dyed again a couple of days ago. “Now what…” she grunted at the mere thought of being forced to strike a conversation with him… it would feel awkward after delivering such a strong slap in the face. “Why do I get these ordeals, light?” She questioned herself as she continued her work. After a while, it hit her that she hadn’t gone back to The Halls of Mysteries in months, and probably Valgar was wondering if she was alive or not. “Too many things to do at a time!”
She had finally gotten done after a few days of work, she finally placed her entire work in a crate she’d kept secured and decided to finally return back to her instructor. As she entered, she noticed the faint blue glow of the place to be stronger than she remembered, realizing she had gotten a little bit too used to the fiery orange glows of The Great Forge, which were the only source of light the blacksmiths used to work. As she entered, she was quickly greeted by one of Valgar’s many students, who quickly recognized her and let her know she was expected for quite some time now.
“Hello, sir, I’m sorry I hadn’t returned earlier… I had work to do…”
“Ah, Elizabeth, it’s great to see that ye have returned. It’s been quite the time since ya left for blacksmithing… how long has it been? Four or Five months?” Valgar welcomed the woman back with opened arms.
“I think it’s been four, I’m not sure though since I didn’t really keep the count.” She said a little ashamed she had been away for so long.
“It’s alright, the good thing is that ye have seem to have completed yer training, and very well too. I haven’t received any word from Smith Deepforge yet, but I can notice from far ya have grown to control it very well.”
“Thank you, if it wasn’t for this, sir…” She then took out the copy of “Divine Strength: A Talent of the Light” and handed it to the dwarf paladin. “… I believe I wouldn’t have had made much progress.”
Valgar took the book in his hands; happy that it finally had returned to his arms and that this time it would be correctly filed and kept under lock. “So, I take it yer done with Smith Deepforge and ready to continue, eh?” He continued on their conversation.
“Not quite done sir…” She said a little disappointed.
“Wait, so ya still haven’t completed it? What have ya been doing all this time then, lass?” he asked a little bit confused, having thought the woman would had already been done with the forge and they’d be able to finish up with her in the time remaining.
“I… had a fight with Mr. Deepforge, sir…” she began. Elizabeth explained everything that happened to Valgar, who remained shocked by all that had happened and the inability of Elizabeth to not only have gone over such petty things and even more to prolonging it for almost a month.
“Look here, Miss Elizabeth. Ya are a fully fledged paladin. This trivial bickering should be beyond ye as both a worshiper of the light and as a daughter of the light. Ya should get this resolved and quickly.”
“But he was being a sexist bast….” She paused before saying the word and then continued. “…dwarf. I as a woman cannot accept this!”
“If you cannot overcome yer pride and attempt to mend this, then ya have failed as a paladin and as a woman, Elizabeth, now do not return to me until ya have resolved this!”
“Sigh, alright, master…” Elizabeth left the Halls of Mysteries quiet, still without the intent to forgive Bengus. “Even if I don’t forgive him, I still have to get my order done… I’ll have to ask him… I’m still not forgiving him.”
Elizabeth then returned to the forge. She first walked over her prepared cargo, inspect everything was as she had left it done earlier today, and locked it up with a mithril lock. The woman then looked around and saw Bengus still on one of the furthest anvils, working. She approached him slowly and quietly until she felt she was close enough to speak to him.
“Sir?” she said at first a little quiet. Bengus did not respond. She then cleared her throat and raised her voice a little more. “Sir!” this last word finally caught the attention of Bengus, who looked behind and noticed her, but remained quiet and not surprised. The woman had the parchment with the order in her arm; she simply showed it up front and said “I’m done.” The old dwarf knew that what she most likely wanted from him was to deliver her work. He simply turned away from her and remained silent for a moment, he then pointed toward his right and told her to leave the crate there, and that he’d get everything done and call her when her payment was received. Elizabeth simply placed the box right beside him, and left back to her room, where she simply went to sleep without another thought in head.
The next day, thinking it to be enough that she spoke to him and handed her package, Elizabeth headed back to the Halls of Mysteries, were she let Valgar know she had talked and given him her work. “Well… I guess if ya resolved it so quickly, ya must have done well to redeem yerself as both a paladin” The woman nodded as he said that. “And as a woman.” But remained immobile at the latter.
“With this, we are three quarters into yer training; all that’s left for is a very simple trial, which anyone should be more than able to complete at yer level of experience.” The dwarf looked up at the woman’s eyes. “This trial should had perhaps been the first thing I had made ya gone through, but I thought of it to be more than simple that it would be better off being the last thing for ya to attempt. In effect, you have pretty much successfully learned all I can teach ya. Right now ya should be more than enough to handle whatever trial ya might face as a paladin, both in resolve to resist adversity and strength to counter the enemy.”
“Yes, paladin, why would I lie to ya?”
“But if you think I’m ready, what could you possibly still have to teach me that I need, if I already am ready?” saying that simply just confused her more, but Valgar knew what he was doing.
“Well, I was only supposed to get ya to know about the three little things I’ve been teaching ya, but in the letter from the Cathedral of Stormwing, it’s clearly stated that ya have almost 0 experience on mounting a steed on yer own. That is what we will be working on for the next few days, which should be something ya learn rather quickly, since it’s just mounting up a horse!” He laughed, Elizabeth wondering what steed she would mount over at Ironforge… and where exactly she would practice.
“Ya don’t look like yer ready though… maybe a little worried?”
“Oh no it’s just that… what horse am I going to ride over here?”
“So ya don’t know then eh? We aren’t going to be getting any horse; ya are the one who’ll get it yerself.”
“That just confused me more… sir. From where am I getting my horse?”
Valgar scratched his head for a second. “Weren’t you even given a warhorse over at Stormwind? They usually hand them to their paladins very early on…”
“Eh…” Elizabeth remained confused what the dwarf was talking about but then remembered. “Oh yeah, I remember my last instructor talking about it… but he only gave me a horse shoe… I think it was a bad joke of his or something.”
“That’s the warhorse!”
“The horse shoe is all that you need, lass! Sigh… where do you have it?”
“Well I brought it with me, so it should be with my stuff over at my room…”
“Then go get it!” Elizabeth quickly left the area and returned to her room, from where she returned with the strange horse shoe she had been given by Duthorian Rall a few months ago. Once she returned, the dwarf paladin continued on. “This is an artifact like many others of a paladin. Just like a young paladin would work on a Symbol of Life to learn to channel the light, one must also learn to summon the great warhorse with this!”
“Wait, I’m summoning a horse with that?” She looked a little bit perplexed and tried to imagine a horse popping out of thin air by using the shoe.
“Yes, ya mean ye have never seen a warhorse?”
“Nop… Well, I’ve seen horses used for war over at Stormwind, if that’s what you mean by a warhorse…”
“No lass, The Warhorse is a magical beast, it’s used as a means of transportation. Every paladin, experienced enough as you, is given one…” Valgar began explaining to the young paladin all about the warhorse and the way to use it and call upon it. Even though he tried his best to explain it, the woman still seemed confused about it all. “I guess words wont be just enough for you with this, how about we go outside and give it a go?”
“Outside? You mean out there in The Mystic Ward?”
“No lass, we’re going outside, as in “outside Ironforge”.” Valgar took off with the woman. After a few minutes of walking the two were already at the entrance gates of Ironforge. The place was huge, like if it had been built for a giant to come right in. There rest an enormous statue of what seemed to be a dwarf in a victorious pose with two weapons held high above his head, a gigantic hammer and a double edged war axe. The statue seemed to be letting out a silent battle cry with his mouth open.
Elizabeth could not help it but stare in awed at the masterful work that had gone through to make such a majestic statue.
“It’s a great statue, don’t ya think?” Valgar said as he noticed the young paladin staring back at it while they walked down the halls out into the snowy regions of Dun Morogh.
“It’s incredible; I can’t believe how tall it is… It looks like it could come to live and walk out of the forge through these huge gates… Someone must have worked a lot to get that done…”
“Someone is putting it mildly, many dwarfs have worked to better the forge, and they take pride in their work, lass. You should know that by working with Bengus Deepforge.”
“Yeah…” she then remembered what had happened earlier and wondered when her package would be picked up. Her attention was then diverted as the two came out of the forge and saw the vastness of Dun Morogh over the high area Ironforge’s gate were located.
“Wow…” she stared all around the place, noticing that there was snow as far as the eye could see, covering pines, mountains and houses located further down the valley. She noticed as she looked down that the two were standing around halfway up a mountain’s side, all that connected the ground levels bellow in Dun Morogh and the entrance of the forge was a single trail, covered with siege weapons on each side of a cleared stone trail, being patrolled by dwarfs all through out the trail.
“Alright lass, let’s do this.”
“Sir, I got to ask, are we seriously going to run horses around this weather? Don’t you think that’s risking their health in this intense cold?”
“Lass, that would be true if we were using a common horse, but this…” Valgar began to channel a spell, and in a few seconds an explosion of light and smoke covered him and then moments later, he was sitting high on top of an armored horse. “… is a steed practically built for a paladin.”
Elizabeth remained quiet as she noticed the horse appear out of thin air. “By the light!”
“Yes… it’s a magnificent horse…” The woman approached it naturally, having been living in a farm for years she had learned from her father how to notice a great horse. “But this is still a harsh climate!”
“Don’t worry, lass. Like I said, this horse is built around a paladin. Can’t you feel it?”
The woman stared at the dwarf for a second, confused as to what she should be feeling. “What can I feel?”
“Oh come on lass, you trained for a good few months to be able to feel another’s aura projected. This horse too can protect itself just like you and me!”
The woman then noticed that even though the climate was cold and the winds were blowing, it was true that the horse felt warm to the touch, even the pieces of metal that covered him. “I… I hadn’t noticed!”
“Come on now, lass, try it! Take your warhorse shoe and channel some light to it. Just try it like you used to with one of these!” He then held in between his thumbs a small Symbol of Life, an artifact Elizabeth was familiar with. The young lady sighed as she held the shoe on her hands, trying to calm herself as she began to channel some light and soon found herself experiencing what she had seen happened to Valgar. She felt strange as a surge of light lifted her up a few feet off the ground, to then solidify itself between her legs as a horse, covered with armor and a blue cloth that covered it’s legs completely.
“Now, just ask him with your thoughts and he’ll respond with action, alright lass? I’ll ask you to go down and back here again the trail.”
“Alright sir!” The woman then commanded the majestic warhorse, and it followed with no hesitation. It began running as fast as it could down the road, passing by the dwarf patrollers at an incredible high speed. Elizabeth was excited how fast the wind blew through her hair, but then realized just how high the fall would be from the side of the road, and grabbed firmly at the harness, not wanting to fall off. Once the horse arrived at the end of the road, he simply stopped and awaited it’s order, Elizabeth breathing a little quicker after the quick descend. “Wow… that was incredible!” Once the woman caught her breath and calmed down, she returned back up to Valgar, who had remained at the top waiting for the paladin to return.
“So how was it? Exhilarating, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, he’s perfect! I’m the one that actually needs to get better holding on to him.” She laughed a bit even though she did not enjoy the idea of falling off a horse at high speed.
“That’ll come naturally, lass. Within a few days ya’ll be used to it.”
And so it happened, Elizabeth continued taking a few laps up and down the road trying to get accustomed to her new steed. Feeling more secure the more she practiced, she eventually rode further and further down into Dun Morogh, until she had finally learned some of the roads by heart. The days passed fluently with her new activity, and eventually Valgar congratulated her on finalizing her training over at Ironforge.
“Here it is, paladin. Your training has been completed. You haven’t even been here for a year, and you look like you’ve grown far more than that. Now you look like a fully fledged paladin instead of that gloomy look you had when you came over here!” The woman had been so occupied in the last months, it seemed like the problems she had dragged with her from the Cathedral had slipped away from her mind. “And you still have time to spare from the leave you had been granted! I’m really proud of you, lass!”
“Thank you, sir, it’s been a great pleasure being here with you and visiting the forge. I wouldn’t have imagined this was such a grand place to be at, never something like this.”
“Well, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. This trip hopefully proved to be very rich to you with all the learning you’ve done. Heck, I wouldn’t have thought you’d gone and take more time doing smiting with Mr. Deepforge.” Elizabeth then remembered about the deal she had done with Bengus about the order. It had been a couple of days, almost a week, so it’s bound to have already been picked up. The curiosity slowly began to seep into her and get her more and more curious.
After she left from the Mystic Ward back to her home, finally free from Valgar, the woman pondered if it had been accepted by the so called “demanding customer” Bengus had worked for before. All she could do was speculate on what had occurred, if it hadn’t been sold, it might be the reason why she hadn’t heard from Bengus. But of course there was also the detail that he didn’t know where she was staying at, so the dwarf could probably not been able to contact her. At the end of the day she reached the conclusion that she would have to go and find out for herself.
The next day, unlike the normal smiting days of her and her visits to the forge, the woman woke up late and took it easy, wondering what the face of her dwarf teacher would be when she arrived to see what had happened with her work. As she arrived at the forge, there was an incredible fewer amounts of workers and the forge seemed to have been going smoother than in the past weeks when she had been working on it. “Guess the forging season is over…”
Bengus was nowhere to be found. He wasn’t at the furnace smelting, he wasn’t at his stash... his stash was wide open and empty, and he was definitely not around the anvils either. Elizabeth had to resolve to ask the people around working about his where about.
“Bengus? I dunno lass, haven’t seen that old man around for a few days.”
“Old Deepforge? I’m thinking he’s taking a break since he doesn’t have any new apprentice this term.”
“Haven’t seen him around, sorry lass.”
“Last time I saw him, he was talking to that Bouldertoe guy that has a small business with ore.”
After gathering what she could over at The Great Forge, the woman decided to track down Geofram Bouldertoe, the dwarf that had taught her most of what she knew about smelting.
“Why hello there, lass! What can I do fer ye today?”
“Hello sir, I’d like to ask a question. Do you know where I could find Mr. Deepforge?”
“Bengus Deepforge I presume?”
“Yes, my teacher.”
“Old Bengus hasn’t been coming out of his shop in the past few days, some say he’s taking a break from this season’s since he’s old, but I don’t think that’s why he’s there.” This filled the woman with a little bit of worry. “If you go around the forge, it’ll be easy to find his shop, it’s toward the Hall of Arms”
“Oh thank you, sir.” She bowed and continued on with her search. In a few minutes she was outside his shop. The door was wide open, she approached it and knocked on it, trying to see if anyone was inside. A familiar voice came out of the building asking whoever it was to get inside. As the woman entered quietly, she saw Bengus facing back from across the room. He was apparently working on something at his desk.
“Excuse me…” Elizabeth said with a low tone of voice. Even though it could have gone unheard by the sounds produced by whatever Bengus was doing, the man stopped dead silent, remaining still for a second and then looking back at the woman. He moved his chair so that he could sit to the side, making it easy to look at the woman while still remaining seated.
The dwarf lowered his sight after seeing her, and pointed at the desk that was right beside the entrance. The woman stared down at it to notice a piece of paper in the familiar shape of a bank check being held by a piece of metal on the table. The woman quickly picked the metal to let the paper loose and slowly removed the paper from the table. She looked at it and noticed it was a check directed at her. This meant that most likely Bengus had delivered her package and the recipient had been more than happy with her results.
Bengus returned back to what he was doing after the woman had picked her payment, without saying a word. An awkward moment of silent filled the scenery as the paladin stood there for almost a minute without ushering a word until she finally gave in.
Bengus stopped again working, this time placing the things he had at hand slowly down but without saying a thing.
The silent remained for a few seconds until the woman continued, seeing that the dwarf seemed to not be content with just that. “I’m really sorry... for what I did at the forge. Not only did I hit you, but I did it in public and that caused you to be humiliated before your brethrens…” The dwarf was still quiet but the woman still continued without hesitating anymore to ask for forgiveness. “… I just wanted to work alone, without your help. I wanted to see what I could do on my own… And even though I managed to see that, I don’t feel any good, master... well I don’t think I should be calling you like that anymore…”
“You can call me Master as many times as you want, this silly fight changes nothing, paladin.” The old dwarf turned to face the young woman at the door. “I’ll accept your apology… Provided you accept mine too.”
“Eh? Why should you apologize, master?” She questioned a little confused.
The dwarf walked over toward her and reached into a piece of green cloth that he had covering a crate. As he uncovered it, Elizabeth recognized the crate, it had been the place she had been keeping her armor as she had finished it up. “Wha.. what is that doing here, Master? Didn’t you sell it?” She inspected the box from where she was standing; the first thing she noticed is that it had been forced open by a crowbar, as the lock that had been torn off the wood. “You opened it, didn’t you!”
“Hold on, I didn’t open it. It was the customer who did it, you forgot he’d check it over before actually forking off the cash!” The dwarf then grabbed the lid of the box and opened it up, all the pieces of armor the woman had worked hard to forge all laid there in a bundle, clearly changed of place from the original order she had placed them in.
“The man came and I told him the box contained what he had ordered. He demanded me to show it to him, but since I couldn’t find the key to it in time, he got impatient and simply bust the thing open. He then stopped and began rummaging over what was inside…” The dwarf, knowing it was best not to provoke the lady, omitted the fact that the customer regarded the contained armor as a joke and rubbish. “He wasn’t happy with it, and well…” He stared down at the floor. “I too believed it would happen, so I was prepared before hand and told him that it was a mistake, that the box wasn’t his order and had been mixed up” He then pointed at where the specifications of the box had once been, all that remained was some pieces of the torn paper. “I swiftly tore it off telling him it was a mistake like I said before, and instead sold him what I had been working on while you worked on this…” He then stood straight in front of Elizabeth, with his eyes closed as he expected the worst.
Elizabeth simply sighed as she realized she had been defeated by Bengus. Even after she apologized once she thought she had success secured. Her armor hadn’t cut it for the customer and Bengus had a backup plan knowing she’d have failed. “Well, this really sucks… I thought he’d take it.” Those were the only things she said about the whole ordeal. She could now see the difference between her skills and those of her master. The dwarf was completely apart from her in skills, and there was nothing she could probably do to catch up to him. “I guess if I want to get your forgiveness, master, I’ll have to forgive you too, though I really don’t see why not.” She laughed a little trying to cheer herself up.
“Alright lass, ya don’t know how happy this makes me. So yer going to hit the forge again?”
Elizabeth remained silent for a few seconds deep in thoughts. “Hmm… well I did finish with my work as a paladin, so I don’t have to worry about that, and my leave doesn’t expire until around a month, so… I guess I got time to burn!”
“That’s the spirit, lass!”
END Entry 20