“Good to see you again Gabriel,” Drisbin boomed as Gabriel entered the smithy the next morning. “Did you get what you needed to done yesterday?”
“Yes I did, thanks for asking. Do I get to sharpen my Dai’Sana today?”
“Yes, get to work.”
Gabriel took the Dai’Sana out of the barrel, covering himself with ash in the process. Carefully, he ran a piece of cloth along both sides of the blade, clearing any remaining residue from the blade. Donning a pair of gloves, he sat down at the grinding wheel and set to work on sharpening the edge. By the time he was done, he could lightly touch the blade with the tip of his finger and draw blood.
“Good, now I told you I would show you the hilt when it was ready. I finished it last night.” With this, he produced an object folded in a piece of leather. He unwrapped the object and handed it to Gabriel.
The first thing that caught Gabriel’s eyes was the ruby, set in a stylized Star of the One, much like his necklace was. The metal of the Star was highly polished and shown almost black it was so dark. The Star itself was set into the handle, the grip scaled and made out of the same material. The end of the handle was capped with a small knob of metal, separated from the rest of the grip by a red ribbon.
“Thank you. It’s beautiful.”
“Use it well in service of The One.”
“I will. What is next to do for the blade?”
“We need to harden it. Do you see that barrel of water over there?” He pointed across the room at a large wooden barrel that Gabriel had seen him dunk things in before. “Push it over here.”
Gabriel got behind the barrel, and bracing himself against the wall, was able to push the full container a few inches, the water sloshing onto him and the ground.
“Well, at least you are not covered in ash anymore,” Drisbin said, chuckling. “Let me give you a hand.” The large man stood up and gripped the barrel in one hand and pulled while Gabriel pushed, causing the barrel to easily slide across the floor. “There. Now heat up the blade, until it is white again, and then dunk it in there.”
Drisbin took the hilt of the dagger up from where Gabriel had set it and wrapped it again in the folds of leather. “I will hold onto this until the blade is done.”
The blade, only about eight inches in length now, heated up rather rapidly and Gabriel was soon able to drop it into the bucket of water, a loud sizzling noise accompanying the steam as the piece of metal slipped into the container.
Drisbin reappeared a few moments after the steam had cleared and reached into the barrel, carefully removing the blade from the water. “This looks good, we need to temper it now. I am going to watch you very carefully. It is very important that if I tell you to take the blade out of the fire and dunk it, you do so right away, or we may need to restart.
Gabriel nodded, “Does that mean we are almost done?”
“Yes it does, now heat it up again.”
Another two hours passed while Gabriel would heat the blade up and then dunk it back into the water barrel on Drisbin’s command. Every couple of dunks, the older man would reach out and gently feel the blade, his hands never touching the sharp edge. The craftsmans touch was precise, and finally he looked at Gabriel and smiled. “Ok, polish it up,” he tossed the young man a rag and a small bowl of foul smelling paste that he was fond of using.
Gabriel took the blade and gently polished the piece of metal until both sides shown his face looking back at him. “Ok, it’s polished.”
“I will finish setting these tonight. Tomorrow, I will present you with your Dai’Sana. Go make yourself some pouches now, you are almost prepared to be a Paladin.”
“Thank you!” Gabriel ran out of the smithy and to Clarice’s shop, where he foundher hard at work repairing a saddle.
“Gabriel, I will be right with you, start taking the leather off the racks.”
He did as he was told and found that the leather was still soft despite the liquid it had sat n, and the drying process it had been through. He tried bending and folding it and it was as pliable as any of the wool that the robes he normally wore were. As he was pulling the last piece of the dark red leather off of the racks, Clarice joined him, producing a spool of thick thread and some scissors.
She grabbed the black square and deftly cut a shape out of it, which she handed to Gabriel. Ok, lay that out on the table, I am going to show you how to sew this together. As she walked she reached out and snagged a thick needle from a large pincushion. The leather laid out on the table before him, she took the shears and poked small holes along the shapes edge. She then threaded some of the thread through the needle and showed Gabriel which holes needed to be connected before handing over the needle and thread to the young man. “Give it a shot, this is not like making a blade, if you screw this part up, you don’t have to go back as far.
Gabriel tried his best and after three false starts, had finally begun to move at a decent pace when he realized that two holes back he had missed his mark. He unthreaded the pouch back to the last correct spot and began again. It took him the rest of the afternoon to get the ink pouch finished, but by the end of the day, he felt he had finally figured it out.
Holding up the black pouch, he smiled. “Got it!”
“Good, here is a vial to carry your ink then.” She handed him a small metal jar with a wooden stopper. “Go ahead, put it into the bag.”
Gabriel did, it fit perfectly, and as he left the shop, he leaned over to where Clarice was sitting and kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you Clarice for all of your help with figuring out this Paladin thing.”
“I didn’t do anything. I just went with you to the orchard. You did all the figuring out.”
“Yeah, but you were there with me.” Gabriel was grinning madly as he left, a new black pouch on his belt.