ostro_goth: (x Forge - fiery)
Teja son of Tagila ([personal profile] ostro_goth) wrote2013-10-02 03:06 am

In the forge at night

Teja works into the night today.

He has sent his helper away much earlier, and closed the forge; but he has been thinking about the billet that delaminated the other day again this evening. He took it in his stride at the time, but it still irks.

He is in the forge now, re-smelting that metal, the smaller smelter set up by the forge-fire.

The door is standing ajar; but the cats are out hunting mice in the stables. Teja is observing the process, even though there is nothing to see at the moment. It is as if he was thinking himself into the smelter, willing it to work.

When he tears his mind away for a moment, he files upon a small piece of mokumegane which is smooth and lovely, but as yet not of any recognisable shape for either ornament or implement.-

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 01:12 am (UTC)(link)
The great white wolf smells the smoke from the forge fire and follows it back along the trail to the fringes of civilization. His muzzle is bloody, and his pale yellow eyes glow as if lit from within.

He finds himself pacing, back and forth, back and forth, at the very edge of the circle of light cast upon the ground outside the forge.

The King No More resides within. And the smell of metal touches something in his mind. It makes him chuff out a breath, the distant memory from his human form striking like an arrow in his chest. The ache draws a quiet whine to his lips, a low mournful sound.
vojvode: (warrior)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 03:36 am (UTC)(link)
He can see the figure of the man silhouetted clearly, and the beast looking through his eyes can see every artery singing under his skin, lighting up in his sight. It appears as a glowing red filigree of lace, pulsing through his head, his shoulders, his hands, radiating out from his strong heart, each beat ringing in his ears, a hammer on the anvil.

And at the same time, he knows there is no essence, no Vitae within. The beast howls, but the wolf stays silent, padding closer, until he can feel the warmth from within the building. It takes him within sight of the King No More, the smith and skald, the man who plays such amazing and bizarre songs on his harp. He focuses on the details, trying to remember what it's like to be a civilized man, not a creature of the night, a beast who feeds on the flesh of the weak.

He closes his eyes, and when he opens them, he wears the form of a man again. His skin is so pale, it's almost translucent. Deep lines etch the corners of his mouth, and his eyes are sunken into his skull. He looks down at the back of his hands, and realizes the flesh is melting away from his frame. His nails have become talons, and the garment his mind has chosen is a heavy silk, deep crimson embroidered with gold thread.

He looks up again, willing the milky film to clear from his vision. He is a Prince, a warrior, and he will purport himself with dignity.

'Good evening, Teja, son of Tagila.' His voice still resonates, for all it's graveled and thick in his mouth.
vojvode: (warrior)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 07:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Warmth. Light. The trappings of life. These things call to him. He draws himself up, and his feet do not quite seem to touch the ground as he goes.

'I am grateful, for your -- hospitality.'

The old rules. The old laws. Surely, the hunger can understand the need to cling to the old ways? There is no death in this place.
vojvode: (seal)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 08:20 pm (UTC)(link)
'A gift?'

The Prince hears the surface of his thoughts only, the work concerns, and the mundanities. He does not press for more. He does not wish to see the faces and hear the voices he has heard.

He peers around the forge room, and selects a chair beside the workbench. His movements seem oddly stilted, as if he struggles to remember just how a man should sit.

'You humble me, sir.'
vojvode: (warrior)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 08:39 pm (UTC)(link)
The man takes it, formally, one hand on the hilt, the other lightly balancing the blade across the backs of his fingers. It is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, the sight makes him draw in a breath.

'I...' His hand closes around the hilt, and he lifts the blade, testing the weight, his eyes dark, fixed on the patterns melded deep in the steel.

It feels strange in his hand. Familiar, and not. A distant memory, shouting, the bloody discord of the battlefield, rises, and he shuts it off. Not here. There is no blood here. There will be no blood here.

His jaw sets. Gingerly, he lays it back down, catching it in the silk of his sleeve, careful to remove the residue of his fingertips.

'Forgive me, but I cannot take such a gift from you, master smith. The sword that broke was no where near such value.'
vojvode: (warrior)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 08:56 pm (UTC)(link)
His arms settle across his lap, and he looks up at the man, his lips in a thin, fine line. He already knows where this conversation is going.

'Teja.' The personal form of the man's name sounds odd in his mouth. He feels obliged to explain himself to the smith. 'It was -- nothing more than gladius. A slab of metal with a handle attached. It was brittle, and had no temper. I was -- trying to...'

His voice tapers off, and he looks down at the blade again. One hand runs down its length from guard to point, a reverent touch.

'It was no masterwork such as this. I would never dishonor a blade such as this.' The horseman's blade had already been dishonored, he would explain, by being taken from the hand of the Janissary who wielded it.
vojvode: (warrior)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)
He closes his eyes, and his chin dips to his chest, the hint of a smile mirroring Teja's own.

'It is. And I am grateful to you, for bestowing such an honor upon me.'

That done, he looks up at the man again. Studying his features. Waiting for the other half of such a gift, that often comes in the form of a barb, aimed low, usually at the softer flesh.
vojvode: (warrior)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 09:33 pm (UTC)(link)
The Prince's eyes flash with something dark, something beyond hungry. He closes them quickly, and goes utterly still.

'No.'

When he opens his eyes again, he looks a bit more collected.

'Your hospitality is unparalleled. But it would do me no good. There is no, Vitae in your veins. I thank you, nonetheless.' With the sword resting across his knees, he lays a hand on his chest and dips his chin again.

The formality seems safer. The distance, easier to bear.
vojvode: (crucifix in palm)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 09:45 pm (UTC)(link)
The Prince spreads his hand in a conciliatory gesture.

'I cannot explain in words. I only know it to be true.'

Hence, his frustration with the Frenchman. His initial frustration, at least. (Have I not served you well?)

'This place,' and by his glance, he means the whole of Milliways, 'is full of wonders. And yet, I cannot find a way back to my home. It keeps me here, against my will. Do you know, perhaps, why it would do such a thing?'
Edited 2013-10-02 21:45 (UTC)
vojvode: (crucifix in palm)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 10:00 pm (UTC)(link)
'It seems as if we are but players upon a stage, for some distant mind's amusement. I suppose, if one were so inclined, they might call it the hand of God.' There is a brief chuckle at that, a sound like dry leaves blowing over cobblestones.

'Despite all that has passed, it seems I have only been here for a very short time, and I, would return to my home. Any counsel at all would be appreciated.'

He needs the dark heart of the earth, and the root of the mountain holding him close.
vojvode: (seal)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 10:13 pm (UTC)(link)
The Prince's eyes close and again, his chin dips to his chest.

'No,' and there is some hesitancy in his words. 'I, could not.'

He shifts, one hand resting on the sword at his lap. He gave his word that he would do so, and he does not intend to break his word. But the hunger... Within the confines of the hall and surrounding corridors, he would not be able to contain it. His jaw clenches, and for all he looks like a man in his seventies, there is still a strength in his body. If Teja can know a man by looking upon him, he will see a man who is tired, but still struggles to bear his burden. Who will not let himself flag, because the end, whatever that might be, is in sight.

And he looks like he might falter, soon.

'Teja, if you wish me to speak to him, you must bring him here.' It is not an order. It is more, a plea. A proud man asking a favour.
Edited 2013-10-02 22:14 (UTC)
vojvode: (seal)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 10:18 pm (UTC)(link)
He nods, and does not say anything further.

The sword still bears most of his focus, and it's clear, he's fascinated with it. Examining every detail. Doing everything short of picking it up and taking it for a turn at the pell.
vojvode: (seal)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 10:25 pm (UTC)(link)
The cat is something new, and small. And -- dead. For some reason, that amuses him.

He turns at Teja's request.

'Yes. Of course. A letter. Does that satisfy you, Teja, son of Tagila?'
vojvode: (seal)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
The man turns, and takes on another familiar posture. Correspondence. He takes up the ink well and reed, and sweeps a hand over the paper.

His hand is steady, his writing distinctive, and easy to read.

He finishes the letter in a few moments, folds it carefully and affixes it with a red wax seal, using his own heavy signet ring to mark the wax.

'Thank you, Teja.' He turns and hands the letter to the smith. 'Both for this, and for the sword.'
vojvode: (warrior)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 11:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Vlad watches the smith, and follows his gaze toward the beehive-shaped stack of clay bricks, clearly seeing the heat radiating from the core.

'Another masterwork in the making?'

The warmth of the forge, and the presence of a cat (a dead cat, no less), is having a soothing effect on his mind.
vojvode: (seal)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 11:25 pm (UTC)(link)
'Mm.'

He turns his eyes back to the workshop, and the small cat watching him from Teja's arm. He finds he can no longer ignore the scent of the other man, mingled with oil and soot.

When he speaks, his voice is barely above a whisper.

'Does he like it here? I mean, does the work, suit him?'
vojvode: (warrior)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 11:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Vlad hears the Latin word, and understands it, from the writings of Tacitus. He drops into Latin, and it takes him a moment or two to find the right phrase.

'His back is strong, and while he is not stupid, his mind is inflexible.'

He pauses, and considers.

'Like the gladius.'
vojvode: (seal)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-02 11:59 pm (UTC)(link)
'He needs,' he can't find the word in Latin, and tries Greek, 'tempering, yes?'

The smith must understand the point he was trying to make.
vojvode: (warrior)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-03 12:14 am (UTC)(link)
Vlad's head tips up and back, and he smiles, understanding.

'Yes. Yes, of course.'

He rises, the sword still held formally in his hands.

'Mastersmith, is there a scabbard by which I may transport this? If not, then perhaps a scrap of cloth? I would not walk about with it exposed to the wet, night air.'
vojvode: (warrior)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-03 12:25 am (UTC)(link)
The man's hands seem to remember what to do better than he does. He tips up the scabbard, mates point with slot, and sheathes it all in one smooth motion. Again, the smallest smile graces the corner of his mouth.

'I will leave you to your work.' He cradles the whole, sword and scabbard, in the crook of his arm, and gives a slight bow of his head. When he takes a step towards the exit, his booted feet find the stone.

'Again, I thank you. For, all you have done.'
vojvode: (seal)

[personal profile] vojvode 2013-10-03 12:40 am (UTC)(link)
'You are a gracious, and honorable host. I would never bring such strife to your threshold.'

He crosses the lintel and steps on the path.

'May your anvil never rust for want of work, Teja, son of Tagila.'