Tedious Work, Great RewardsMature

Erik relentlessly pored over his notes, calculating and determining the best way to begin, how to layer the armor, and many other considerations. This would be the most ambitious project he had ever undertaken. He also wanted it to be the best-researched. One slip, and this armor could prove a terrible failure.

Erik finally determined the best way to go about crafting the armor, and invited Durn to the forge the next day after dinner to go over Erik's notes and his plan. He hoped the man had a good eye for any mistakes or flaws in the design. When they were both back in the forge, in the small room where Erik planned new creations and designs, Erik began to lay out his idea.

"I think we should begin with a thick animal hide of some sort - this animal has to be a flexible one as well, though, if the armor is to retain the flexible qualities you desired. Then, we should take some steel plates and craft them into semicircular bands and slightly curved rectangular plates. The bands will be used for plates to cover the upper arms, and the rectangular plates will be for the torso.

"We should also use light, soft fur or cloth for an inner lining, merely for comfort of course," Erik continued. "I think the best way to assemble the piece will be to first fix the fur or cloth to the inside of the steel plates. Then, we should take the plates and attach them to the back of the hide, which would form the outer layer. Either that, or we could switch the two around so that the lining is attached to the hide and the plates form the outside."

Durn then posed an excellent question, albeit a relatively simple one. "How will the armor be flexible if we simply use one large segment of animal hide as our backing?"

"Ah, an excellent observation," Erik answered, "But you see, we would cut the hide into strips and pieces as necessary. That way, the leather isn't just one large piece, it forms a set of joints which allow greater range of motion.

"To finish off the armor, simply slip on your everyday clothes and go about your business. Theoretically, it's the perfect defensive or covert armor."

Durn agreed with Erik and congratulated him on his excellent design. With a few minor changes to the original concept, the idea seemed perfected, and construction began. The two men gathered leather, some steel, and a simple but comfortable rabbit-fur lining for the inside of the armor.

As construction continued, the process began to grow tedious, but Erik still felt the reward would be great.

It certainly would have been a great reward if his father had had such armor and could have survived that day.

The End

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