He awoke the next morning feeling refreshed and after donning the brown robes that signified him as a member of the temple, he almost ran down to the Smithy, where he found Drisbin already hard at work.
“Am I late sir?” Gabriel asked, afraid to have already started off on the wrong foot.
“No,” the smith, who was already covered in a thin sheen of sweat said. “I wanted to get you started on your Dai’Sana early, so I have been heating the metal.” He pulled the pair of tongs out of the fire, the piece of metal that they were holding glowing white. “Take the hammer and work on the tip while I hold it.”
Gabriel did as instructed and after a few strikes of the hammer, he could feel his arm beginning to ache, even though the point was beginning to take shape as Drisbin continued to flip the metal over with each hit.
While Drisbin heated the metal a second time, he struck up a rare conversation with Gabriel. “How comes your training with the stones?”
Gabriel related the making of the stone marker the night before to Drisbin, who looked honestly impressed.
“Now Gabriel, you need to remember one thing. Those stones will not save your hide. Only a good blade will do that. This Dai’Sana will be one of the best pieces of weaponry you will ever wield, but you need to remember, just like the stones. It has it’s purpose.”
“And what is that?”
“The Dai’Sana is strictly a ritual knife. You will use it when you have defeated werewolves, but you will not defeat them with it. If you strike the killing blow with this blade,” he took the metal out of the furnace again and nodded to Gabriel to continue working it. A few minutes later, after the blade was back in the fire, Drisbin picked up the conversation as if it had not been interrupted, “it will trap the person’s soul on this plane, and the will be doomed to walk it for the rest of eternity.”
Gabriel felt the weight of the words that the smith was saying, and realized that he would need a weapon to fight the werewolves.
“Master Drisbin, I would like to purchase a weapon from you.” Gabriel stated. “But I do not have enough for a large blade.”
Drisbin laughed, “Finish the Dai’Sana’s tip today and we will discuss that fact further later.”
It took the rest of the morning for Gabriel to get the Dai’Sana’s point to a place where both he and Drisibn agreed. The fact was that Drisbin had like the point by about the fifth or sixth time it had come out of the fire, but Gabriel had not agreed, and kept working at it. Finally the point was perfect, at least in Gabriel’s eyes, and he set the metal off to the side, ready to take a break. “Now about a weapon for me.”
Drisbin chuckled, “Tell you what, you go find Clarice and begin working on your pouches, when you return tomorrow, I will have something for you and we can work out the details of payment. Oh, and bring the stone that Gavin gave you tomorrow,so I can start working on a setting for it.”
“Yes Master,” Gabriel said before ducking out.
He walked quietly to where Clarice kept her shop, nodding at a farmer who happened to be on the street with him.
“Well met Master Gabriel,” the farmer responded, and it took Gabriel a moment for the ‘Master’ to sink in.
Smiling widely, Gabriel walked into the small building that housed Clarice and her various products.
“Well, it’s about time you got here. Lets get to work,” Clarice barked at him as he came in through the door.
“No, let’s get to work. Grab that piece of leather over their and a coal stick.”
Gabriel spent the rest of the afternoon learning how to properly punch holes into leather, places for the lace to go that would bind the satchels together. Compared to the smith work he had been doing, punching holes in leather was easy. The first few times he had swung the wooden mallet, he had hit with so much force that the tip of the awl bit deep into the wooden table he was sitting at.
“Be careful,” Clarice was short with him, and despite how careful and accurate Gabriel was, she made it a point to find something wrong with his every move.
“Clarice, have I done something wrong?” He finally asked, tired of the small beratements.
Clarice began to cry, a small sound. “My brother. They took my brother the same day they took you. He was twelve at the time.”
Gabriel thought back to his time in the quarantine room. He remembered a larger boy, who had said his name was Thomas. Thomas had stayed away from the other boys in the room, trying not to get them sick he had said. Little had he realized that they were all sick.
“Thomas? I remember him. He tried to save us all. He died quietly, if it helps.”
“Thank you, it does, a little.”
“Let me talk to Father Meinos, see if I can do anything for you. How are these holes?” Gabriel tried to steer the conversation back to his work, unsure of how Father Meinos would receive the thought of him bringing someone else out to the Orchard.
“Those look good.” Clarice smiled, nodding.
“Ok, is there anything else I need to bring for the pouches tomorrow?”
“Ahh, yes. When you get back to the temple, pick some fresh herbs and gather a few more things. We will need some for your dye bag and for the herbs for the Ritual of the Return.
“I don’t know the ritual yet.”
“Why do they always send people who don’t know what they’re using the pouches for?” Clarice growled through her teeth. “Talk to Father Meinos about it tonight and see what he says.
“I was planning on it.” Gabriel replied, smiling.