The Fellowship of Phoenix Flame
Part III: Crafty, Clever, and Cantankerous
While Wulfegard fought his battles and Terius fought ruxus, the guild crafters also played their role in the Imperial relief efforts.
“Ygnar, get some aid and see if you can’t create a large surplus of steel jointing. Every decent home needs a good support structure, no?” Axelrod suggested. Ygnar shook his head briefly clearing his mind of days long past. His days in the Iron Guard.
Terius' story made him realize how long it had been. How long it had been since he aided a culture or city at large! He loved his guild, viewed them as brother and sister. This relief effort would do him good. It would allow him to again be a part of something big. Perhaps he would also act a a guard for any displaced dwarves, but for now though he would heed the advice of his guild master. Axelrod may not know much about crafting, but he was right this time. Steel was the best choice. It was affordable and easy to make. Ygnar knew he could handle this endeavor by himself but the guild reputation was on the line. Ygnar nodded respectfully, knowing his pride was left intact. He gathered his tools as Wulfegard pushed past him, nearly knocking him over in his exit. Ygnar shook his head and decided not to kneecap the brute.
“That all you need me to do Axel?” the stocky dwarf asked. Being a guild officer allowed him to be less formal with Axelrod than most. Only a select few could call him Axel. In a sense it was an honor.
He was dismissed with a nod as Axelrod turned to an attractive fiend lass entering from the rear of the hall. She was the guild treasurer, handling all legal matters and finances for the guild. She seemed talented enough, though Ygnar didn’t trust her. He didn't trust females around Axel, as he knew they could manipulate him. All things considered, he didn’t trust many people, but she seemed to be using the guild and perhaps using her feminine wiles to control Axelrod. This of course was all speculation, but he knew Darla agreed. Considering her history with Axelrod, who could blame her? Ygnar found himself shaking off his distractions. He was charged with a task and he would complete it better than anyone could.
On his way out, Ygnar conscripted Nyra, a rather diligent dryad, and Serratus, a rather small dragon hatchling, to help him with his assigned task. Nyra was adept at mining almost more so than he, and absolutely loved digging in the dirt. He wouldn’t count on her in a fight, but he rather enjoyed her company while working. Serratus was the only person not yet given a job and was likely going to have to be bribed to help eventually. Serratus had yet to dedicate herself to the Lunus or Helian faction. She still walked when many of her kind flew. The young dragon was indecisive, but loved to make things. Loved it so much her very lavish and complex lair sat near Bristugo. She cared more for lairshaping and her craft than "silly factions". Serratus found her time far too important to simply help the Empire on a whim. In the past, demands were made to get aid with that labyrinthine lair in exchange for the young dragon’s services.
They dutifully followed him to the travel gate and headed for the Aughundell mines. Rumors stated that the Acul and Summit areas were better communities to work steel in, but Ygnar knew better. Dwarven steel from dwarven mines was far superior to anything the Half-Giants might forge. The trek though the mines could be perilous for these fledgling combatants, but the reward would be well worth the risk. Ygnar expected today to be mildly tedious due to Serratus' presence. In any event, Ygnar hefted his ever present mithril maul high over head. His weapon dated back to his days as a Chaos Warrior in the Iron Guard. With a dwarven battle cry he cleared a path through the troublesome nickel golems.
Once they reached the smelter and forge Ygnar spoke. “This is where you two will remain. It is safe here. Nyra, you mine the iron and hand it to Serratus. Serratus will then await me and the nickel ore here by the forge. Then it will forge the steel bars. We will repeat this until Serratus' disk is full and I will forge the construction materials and haul them to guild storage. Understood?”
“I’m female,” Serratus said grumpily. “We do have genders. It is not our fault, the two legged creatures that mill about Istaria can't tell the difference.” Then muttering in the tongue of dragons. "Not like I can tell the difference between male and female dwarves..."
“Of course you do… anyhow, let’s get to work.” Ygnar had become accustomed to calling all dragons "it". With time the Empire discovered dragons do indeed have gender, unlike the alien Sslik of Lesser Aradoth. Too proud to admit his mistake to a hatchling Ygnar traveled on, preferring to be thought rude and grumpy, than a fool.
Hours later, Serratus was complaining about how many mithril maelstones could have been made by now. In an effort to shut the hatchling up, both senior crafters offered to help make them after the guild had enough steel jointing made. This seemed to placate Serratus and work continued as normal for much of the day until Xarfax arrived speaking of trouble in Harro.
“You two keep working. I’ve got to go bail out that braggart Wulfegard!” With that Ygnar made for Aughundell proper…