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Log began 1/22/2007

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Smithcraft of Harper's Tale

Log began 1/22/2007

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It is afternoon of the twentieth day of spring.
It is the second Turn of the Tenth Interval.

Gar Hold Courtyard
Broad paving stones are swept clean the entire length and breadth of the expansive courtyard. In the northwest corner is the main entrance to the Hold. A large, shaded porch welcomes visitors, offering several benches and simple chairs, as well as a new, freshly painted swing that overlooks the courtyard.
It is a spring noon.

Heron's fine, thick brown hair falls around his squarish face and almost to his always observant emerald green eyes. His skin is tanned deeply from hours of play in the sun. He seems to have a smile ready for most occasions, even if it is a condenscending one at times.
Heavy softened cotton cloth has been dyed deep midnight blue, and fashioned into a tunic perfectly fit to Heron's size, from the rounded neck to the hem at his waist. Embroidered from threads of the same deep blue, dragons encircle the neck and the thin cuffs above his wrists. Lighter blue trous of soft suede hang to the heels of his dark black lace up boots.
He is an adult of about 39.

Teric is far from a tall man, inching up just a little over five and a half feet, but he makes the most of every bit. Shoulders are heavily corded and limbs taut with wiry strength, a sign of both character and profession. His hazel-brown eyes are clear and just a little almond shaped, crinkling at the corners when he smiles. His hair, kept quite short and clean, is the color of darkly seasoned skybroom with naturally bleached speckles of sun-kissed blonde due to countless hours on the Istan beaches.
A v-necked tunic of dark brown covers Teric's broad, wiry shoulders, the short sleeves doing little to hide the well-built arms earned through his many Turns as a smith. The material is flax canvas, so well-worn it appears about as smooth as well-spun sisal. The embroidered white disc with a red anvil inside shows his Smith affiliation, even if his knot is missing. The disc has been whiter, and the red has been redder, but they're still quite recognizable. The tunic tucks into black pants strewn with pockets of various sizes, while a wide leather belt encircles his waist. Matching wrist guards of softer leather encircle either wrist for added protection while he's working, and black wherhide boots rise to mid-calf.
He is an adult of about 45.

The return of Gar's considerable growing season is heralded by bursts of fragrant apple blossoms and rich, warm sunshine. Fresh greenery abounds as broken limbs are supplanted by sprigs of new growth around the scarred edges of the damaged trees. The courtyard itself remains swept bare, as tradition dictates, and it is well-populated this afternoon by bustling holders about their daily business. Heron himself is standing in the shade of the broad covered porch, thumbs tucked into his belt, overseeing the activity with a thoughtful frown.

Teric comes up the road towards the hold riding a huge, dark chestnut gelding, wide of chest and ugly as sin. The runner's large hooves clop-clop on the dusty path while Teric looks to the left and right, getting a lay of the land, or maybe just enjoying the overdue scent of something new and growing. Once near enough to spot Heron, Teric waves a hand and slides from the saddle to continue the rest of the way on foot. "If I had to go Between one more time, I think my head would have exploded," he comments to Heron to explain the later arrival and lack of dragon taxi. He sounds gruffly congested. "How are ye, Heron?"

Heron's head lifts as the sound of hoofbeats is heard above the general hum of industry in the courtyard. He smiles as Teric waves, unhooking his thumbs and stepping off the porch and into the sunshine to greet the Smith master. "Good afternoon! I'm well, thank you." He signals to a passing stablehand and the boy trots obediently over to attend to the big gelding. "And I quite understand. Fortunately it's not a great distance." He smiles faintly, rocks once on his heels, then clears his throat. "You had a pleasant ride, I hope?" Ah, formalities.

"A pleasant ride," Teric agrees via echo, taking his satchel from behind the saddle before giving the runner a pat on the dark, scarred shoulder. Poor, ugly brute, but it's obvious Teric loves him. He steps away to let the stablehand do his work. Once clear, he hangs the satchel from his shoulder and gives Heron a crooked smile. "Truth be told, I was happy enough ta get out o'the Hall again. It's a miracle I get anythin' done with some o'those windbags who hang around, waitin' to sound important." This particular crafthead was probably not chosen strictly for his diplomatic abilities. That, or he feels comfortable enough around the Holder to shoot the breeze. "How're things goin' with the Hold?"

The boy makes an encouraging noise with his tongue and leads the gelding in the direction of the stables. Heron almost manages to suppress a chuckle at Teric's "windbag" comment, but the next comment elicits another frown. "Well enough, all things considered," he replies in the sort of careful tone that hints that much is left unsaid. "The worst of the mess has been cleared, and the orchards seem to be recovering." He continues with a rueful halfsmile, "We learned that Thread shutters aren't made to be waterproof, but we were lucky enough to avoid any serious injuries." He nods once more and clasps his hands behind his back for want of something to do with them. "I appreciate your coming."

Teric replies to the careful tone with a likewise careful nod. The unsaid things are left that way. He looks across the courtyard slowly, sizing, comparing it with his memories. "Brunt of the storm missed you guys," he comments, "but water can be more damaging than wind if left unchecked." His gaze settles on the main doors of the Hold proper. "Well, may 's well get started," he tells Heron, jutting his chin slightly in that direction. "Which places had water?"

Heron nods curtly at the mention of water damage. "The high winds blew a fair amount of seawater inland. The stables flooded." He punctuates that with a significant nod in the direction of the low stone building. "Lost a couple of good animals," he adds with a frown. "It washed through the cider house, so the presses will need some attention before the next harvest season." Assuming there isn't any structural damage, which Heron seems not to have considered. At any rate, he's not mentioning it. "And the trees, of course. Not your area of expertise," he adds with a wan smile.

"True, I only use trees when they're no longer standin'." Teric isn't trying to be funny. It just happens to come out in a drawl while he studies both the stables and the cider house. "Can do wonderful things with redfruit wood, of course." The Smith straightens, shoulders making a rolling stretch before settling again. "What about the Hold?" he asks with a nod toward the main doors.

Heron's eyebrows knit in a deep frown. "Mostly incidental, I think. The underground stores had to be bailed out but losses were minimal." Hurrah for a long growing season. "The door itself took some damage." Indeed, closer inspection will reveal that the ancient wood is pitted and swollen from prolonged exposure to misplaced seawater, particularly along the lower edge. "We had to force it open when the waters finally receded, and shave it a bit so's to get it closed again." Ah, yes. The marks from the hatchets and knives of the orchard workers. Not exactly quality craftsmanship.

"Well, I'll check it out anyway. I was worried 'bout the area of the cave in," Teric tells the Holder as he hooks a thumb under his satchel's strap. "Just makin' assessments today. Figure out what's necessary, what's smart, an' what's just, uh... cosmetic." Speaking of, when Teric gets around to looking at the doors, his expression falls slightly. There is a beat of silence, then a deep breath. "Well." A shorter pause. "Good thing it did what it's supposed to." Unsaid: poor door. "Did you, uh... want it replaced? Or just... fixed up." His tone is mostly neutral, though he can't help but sour a bit at the latter of the two. Poor door indeed.

Heron nods. "We've been a bit more concerned with cleaning up the actual living areas," he admits, tacitly acknowledging that the areas damaged in the cave-in haven't exactly been used much since then. "Be worth having a look." Teric's reaction to the door is noted with a wince. "We did what we could, under the circumstances," he adds, somehow managing not to sound particularly apologetic. It is what it is. "But yes, I think a replacement would be appropriate. We'll need to work out the cost -- well, let me know what you find when you've finished inspecting."

"If it weren't under the Hold proper, I wouldn't worry," Teric replies voice reverting back to a gruffer tone as he shrugs the shoulder holding his satchel. "I'll start there. Check the stables an' cider house. Then if I could take a walk through the Hold with you at th' end, we could finish with a quick meetin'. An' probably talk about that door." Poor door. The smith clears his throat for a moment, then glances around the courtyard. "Mind if I borrow an extra pair a hands? Just need someone ta hold a lantern an' make sure I don' slip and fall ta my death or anythin' dramatic."

Heron's reply is a grunted acknowledgement mixed with a bit of throat clearing that comes out sounding vaguely like "hrmgrm." He takes a step back with a brisk nod, glancing around the courtyard. "You there," he calls out suddenly, his stern voice carrying easily across the crowded courtyard and causing a momentary hush. "Me, sir?" A teenaged boy who seems to be Heron's intended target tears himself reluctantly away from the teenaged girl he's apparently been earnestly chatting up. "You." Heron beckons rather imperiously and the girl flutters over to join a small group of other teenaged girls, where much giggling ensues. Ignoring them, Heron directs the boy's attention to the Smith master. "Master Teric requires an assistant," he says mildly, his green eyes sparkling with veiled amusement.

Teric favors the teenager with a crooked but amused grin. "He'll do. Thanks, Heron. I'll come find ye in... probably two hours or so." The man turns towards what was once the Starcraft area of the Hold, and the casual introductions and instructions between Smith and apprentice-for-a-day gradually fade.

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