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Author Topic: Friendship on the Fritz  (Read 3412 times)

Eladda

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Friendship on the Fritz
« on: June 28, 2013, 03:21:00 AM »
Eladda pounded on the hot metal with more ferocity than ever before. Although she still enjoyed working with her father, now that she was studying the art of jewelry-making, she had less patience for the rough work in the smithy. She much preferred the more intricate work of jewelry. She was much more patient in other ways than she had been years ago, but she was still quick to anger and slow to forgive a mistake.

She paused in her work, wiping her brow and checking that her thick sideburns were still firmly plaited into her hair. She glanced around at the Dwarves who were working alongside her. They were honest, hardworking Dwarves, and they had built a good life here in the Blue Mountains. Her freshly mopped brow furrowed, and she resumed the steady pounding of her hammer. It was a fool's errand, running off to reclaim the Lonely Mountain. Her parents did not say so, for they would never speak against the King, but she could sense they felt it. Even Merril seemed nervous. Eladda was a proud Dwarf, and she loved her people, and her King. But it was Thorin's job to protect and lead the Dwarves, not abandon them to be lost in the wide world. Her hammering grew steadily rougher as her anger grew. It was impossibly far, the kingdom of Erebor, and in all likelihood there was a Dragon waiting for them when they arrived. What did they hope to accomplish? What treasure was so great that was worth the life of the Dwarves who traveled with him? The life of the King? And his nephews....

Eladda lowered her hammer, the work she had put into the spearhead wasted. The steel was pounded beyond use, the metal as twisted as the fear in her heart. It seemed not long ago that Fíli had come into the shop, intent on buying a present for his mother. She blushed to remember it. She had been so rude! How could she not have known the King's own nephew? Eladda sighed and threw the spear aside. She could work no longer today. At least not here, where the pounding of the hammers and the heat from the fires made her lightheaded. Instead, she grabbed a whetstone and a handful of knives waiting to be sharpened and made her way through the shop into the street. Sitting on the stoop, she spit on the whetstone and began sharpening the knives. The task was second nature to her by now, and allowed her thoughts to wander.

She did not know Fíli well. In fact, they had barely spoken since their first rather awkward encounter. And yet...she did not have many friends her age, and she did not realize she wanted any until she met him. And now he was gone, lost forever. Eladda paused in her work, sighing more deeply. She cupped her head in her hand, still clutching a knife so that it stood up sharply against her cheek. She didn't like to admit it, but she was lonely. She was fiercely independent, and did not like to need anyone, but lately she even missed the friendship she had shared with Merril when they were younger. But perhaps she was just feeling the same subdued worry the rest of the Dwarves felt who dwelt in Thorin's Halls. Thorin's Halls...without Thorin they felt empty, devoid of life, lacking in purpose. Whispers of their journey circulated throughout the caverns, but who would really know what became of their company? Eladda stared off into the street, lost in her gloomy thoughts, oblivious to the Dwarves passing by.

Fritz

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Friendship on the Fritz
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 03:20:00 PM »
{I underestimated how much Dwarf Muse doesn't leave you alone :D No rush, Smalls <3}

How was this suppose to not be an insult! Even the few days hence of the Company setting out, and Fritz, youngest son of Anlaf, being informed he and his family would not be required amongst King Thorin's blades, the young dwarf was still stewing over it.

Internally of course, plain for any who knew to see, but not in wild tantrum like some would.

His brothers had tried to explain. His father had tried to explain, both claiming they were not insulted and the caverns needed as much protecting as the King and his Company.

"We shall brag of our fine job when they return home" Anlaf had stated, resting a hand on his youngest's shoulder as he glanced from him to his daughter. Dagmar had smiled at her father's attempt, one that still didn't quite reach, and turned her attention once more to about the one book she could find patience enough to read for any extended amount of time. At least she sat with it a really long time these days, taking a long time reading anything of it or just re-reading over, Fritz didn't know, only that it was a collection of successful endeavors undertaken by warriors that had ended well, Line of Durin included.

Fritz knew his sister was secretly pleased none of her brothers nor her father had gone, that she had enough worry over the whole of their royalty that had! She was so odd and hard to figure out at times, Fritz had to ponder, sitting there, agreeing with what everyone said of how Thorin and his nephews should have stayed here with the exiles they protected, and yet one too many statements and she would quietly but firmly be on the defensive, pointing out random battle facts from their ancestors even for why Thorin was sure to succeed.

"Never mind the dragon and Erebor's past to begin with", that upstart of the nobles, Ulfir, had stated, trying to sound knowledgable to the group of maidens talking.

That had been a fun stuffy gathering! Ulfir had gone home with some of the party ale dunked on him and Liv had been none to pleased with her daughter, insisting that Dagmar was going to apologize while she was as firmly argumentative as Fritz had ever seen her, stating that she would not before finally losing it a bit and sinking to the family couch fighting tears.

Liv was not uncaring, nor ignorant, and after an exasperated sigh had settled next to her daughter, gathering her to her, and suggesting to Fritz maybe he should go see if the Forgery needed him, knowing how Dags hated to seem weak in front of her younger brothers (or any of them).

With a nod, Fritz had complied, and was now wandering the streets. The Forgery was well supplied this day, and so after aiding at one sword or such, he'd decided to just amble. His mother hadn't stated how productive his being out of the house should be.

It was while ambling along, nodding to passing dwarves here and there, and answering inquiries into how his father and family did (some of the pleasantries and stating they were fine sounded like lying), that the young dwarf spotted a sight probably prone to halting any. A maiden, in too close proximity to a knife.

Oh sure it was only near her cheek but...she seemed oddly distracted for that being a good thing. What was this, Fritz had to wonder, the day of upset maidens? He was also hit with a slight tinge of...well it wasn't jealously, not towards the two princes known to be very inspirational indeed, even to Anlaf's youngest, but still...the lad was hit with the distinct impression he would never be missed this much and...felt some accordingly grimace worthy emotion that was still not full jealousy....

Up to this moment, the dwarf females that Fritz could comfortably talk to were his mother, his sister, and the Smith Master's wife at times; no wait, that last didn't apply as she was kinda scary, all in all, even some of the more burly, capable Smiths said so.

Hmm, maybe those two facts canceled each other out and was why Fritz felt he was unmiss-worthy outside his family...

All the same, as much as just walking on by was very tempting at the movement, Liv had also raised all her sons better than that. Plus she looked semi-familiar, as if he'd seen her around the Forgery, and that was intriguing since...usually maidens weren't.

So, still feeling unsure, Fritz nonetheless approached, "Um...you sure you don't want to move that? The knife I mean, I'm not claiming to be a weapons expert...", not that he couldn't, "...but it's kind of close...". Was the lad's oh so ingenious first statement.


(olivedrab)

Eladda

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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2013, 02:15:00 AM »
((OCC: Seriously. And I apologize in advance for her testiness. She doesn't have many friends....))

With her free hand Eladda picked absently at one of the many tiny holes singed into her trousers. Half of her wanted to be called back to work, to at least try to take her mind off things. But memories of the ruined spearhead filled her mind. El cringed. She would certainly be told off for that. She hardly ever made a poor product, and her father's reputation was at stake, even if it was only a minor weapon. Oh well. She would deal with it later. Her other half wanted to remain where she was, brooding over the Dwarves she knew for sure would by now be lost.

Her unfocused gaze followed the Dwarves passing to and fro, and she saw a young Dwarf lad pause. She glanced at him for half a moment, then shifted her eyes, fully intending to forget him. That is, until he suddenly approached her. Eladda remained seated, and her eyes narrowed. Was he coming to shop? He certainly looked like he could afford to, young as he was. It was difficult to tell among Dwarves, but she guessed he was around her own age. And yet there was barely a brushing of hair across his cheeks! Even Eladda's plaited sideburns were darker and thicker than the light dusting of his beard.

He was looking at her, though he seemed unsure. What on earth did he want? She watched him warily until he stopped in front of her. She still sat, frowning up at him. "Um...you sure you don't want to move that?," he asked tentatively. "Move what?," she snapped. The words were harsher than she meant, but she was in no mood to chat with strangers, particularly those who did not seem to know what they were talking about. "The knife I mean, I'm not claiming to be a weapons expert..." (that much was obvious)  "...but it's kind of close..."

Eladda glowered, and stood abruptly, holding the knife more tightly in her hand, though she kept it lowered by her side. "Close to what? My face?," she retorted. "I made half the weapons that hang on those walls," she gestured vaguely to the shop behind her, "I think I can handle sharpening a knife." Those words weren't strictly true, and she felt a pang of regret for the brusqueness of her tone, but who did he think he was? She was more than capable of taking care of herself, or she wouldn't be working in the smithy in the first place. El had seen often enough the way Dwarf maidens were sheltered and coddled, and she had no intention of letting this unknown lad do anything of the sort.

Fritz

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Friendship on the Fritz
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 02:35:00 PM »
Fritz had been under a very false impression that he understood what unconventional, or not proper, looked like in young maidens. Actually in fitting with his gender and age, he was under a whole lot of those false impressions. But at any rate, outside the norm looked like his sister, Dagmar's, actions and words and statements.

Skipping out on duty perhaps, a bit free with words, but always in that way of hers that was a bit soft spoken for knowing that the words alone were about the only try at defense and loyalty to be had around most kindred under the Mountain. Outside weapons were for actual foes.

Yet, Fritz should have already known, this day, he had nothing pegged. If maidens were truly that predictable, Ulfir would not have gone home drenched in ale turned unexpected outside weapon against one under the Mountain.

"Move what?,"

Fritz' eyes widened in shock at this first of his received answers and reactions, even as he tried to go on explaining and...ok, the angry maiden with a knife was standing...

Even if it was still at her side, Fritz backed up a step or so. He didn't need to see even his more softer spoken sister's skill with throwing one to know how dangerous they could be in the hands of those with better bite to their words as well!

"Close to what? My face?, I made half the weapons that hang on those walls,I think I can handle sharpening a knife."

Who, by both Durin's Day, and every other one in the year, was this?! Since when did maidens go throwing words this effective and snappish?!

Again, he'd had very, very limited interactions, otherwise his other fine dwarven warrior friends would have enlightened him that words were the most effective weapons some maidens did have!

Swallowing a bit, and trying so very hard to find words, Fritz also found himself trying to find his response, amidst a whole rang of them.

She made weapons? Like...all the time? Why hadn't he seen her about? First that odd maiden using them, now this one made them? Had she been disguising herself too? Was she any good? Again, why hadn't he seen her? Ok, not that he paid too much attention when within his own work too.

Biting his lip, Fritz got nearer to perhaps finding words, and yet one response seemed so very tempting right now, even if a mother and one sister was enough female interaction to tell him to try and curb it...and he did...he tried to very very valiantly, but...thought of this maiden making weapons.

It came out a short, crackle of a sound and then a full on laugh, if short in duration, nonetheless came out, even towards the maiden still holding a dangerous weapon he'd just been warning against.

"You...make...what do you mean you make weapons?", Fritz all out laughed, but then went on to show how, inconsiderate as his statement and young response was, it wasn't as bad as he was making it look.

Even if it was still bad.

"I'm in that place every day, practically", Fritz pointed towards the Forgery, "Made some of those on those walls too", he went on to state and stake his own claim on the Forgery's wares and works, "I've never seen you about. How long? Have you been making them, that is? I've been at it since...about...40-ish, I'd say". Maybe longer, he just couldn't recall exactly that far back in his mix of childhood memories.

{That's perfectly fine, my dwarf needs some social skills as well...or tact...or both :D}


(olivedrab)

Eladda

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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 03:39:00 PM »
((OCC: I don't much about the Forgery, so if I get anything wrong please let me know and I'll change it!))

Eladda couldn't help but be a bit pleased when the Dwarf lad took a step back. She didn't know if it was the knife or her words but she was succeeding in being at least a little intimidating. It was a new sensation for her, and she rather liked it. She spent most of her time around the rough adult Dwarves at the smithy and the tavern, and, with the exception of her father, she had had difficulty being taken seriously. And now someone finally was, without the need to prove herself, even if he was only a young Dwarf like herself.

But oh how wrong she was. The lad bit his lip as though trying to hold something back...and then he laughed. He laughed. "You...make...what do you mean you make weapons?" Anger surged through Eladda and she tightened her grip on the knife hilt. She was not one to anger quickly, and she had borne the brunt of many a joke before she earned some respect amongst the Dwarvish smiths. And she did not particularly care for the use of weapons, rather the making of them, but this Dwarf was seriously changing her opinions.

He then pointed toward the Forgery further into the Mountain and said matter-of-fact, "I'm in that place every day, practically. Made some of those on those walls too. I've never seen you about. How long? Have you been making them, that is? I've been at it since...about...40-ish, I'd say." The Forgery was for those of the nobility, with connection to the King. Only the best smiths in the Mountain worked there, and they provided the weapons for the King and his guard, as well as any for those with enough gold to buy them. And this young Dwarf lad was claiming he worked there? So he wasn't just ignorant and rude, he was also a braggart. El felt a wriggle of discomfort realizing she too was guilty of rudeness and bragging, but she was too concerned with his arrogance and so ignored the self-reproach.

She knew who she was and she was proud of her heritage. Her family may not be a wealthy one, or of noble blood, but her father had a right to be proud of his work and the work of the Dwarves he employed. Although not of fancy make, their weaponry was good and true, and Eladda had never known a Dwarf to look down his nose at a good sword or axe, no matter the maker. And her own work was nothing to scoff at, although she was spending less time in the forgery now that she had begun her training as a jeweler.

A thousand retorts sprang to her lips, but El decided to practice the patience her jewelry making had strengthened in her. She raised her chin and looked directly into the young Dwarf's eyes. "Not all of us are...privileged enough to work at the Forgery," she said grandly, and still with a bit of a sneer. She had been to the Forgery and had seen the great weapons on those walls, and felt a pang of jealously. It was an emotion she had little experience with, and so covered her confusion with nastiness. But Eladda realized she too had great privilege, for being a Dwarf maiden, and so tried to be a bit more tempered in her speech. "I've been working since I've been old enough to hold a hammer," she said a bit more evenly. "Although I work less in the smithy now I am in training." There. That wasn't too harsh. And let him be the one to ask what she was training for, if he really was all that interested.

Fritz

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Friendship on the Fritz
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2013, 01:37:00 PM »
{Nor do I, even with putting my dwarf smack dab in it, so no worries <3}

Fritz understood taking a moment or so to pick the perfect words in rebuttal. Oh so many dwarves just rushed to throw out any they could find and fling them all like cast stones of various sizes. Any good stone pitcher knew you had to throw only the ones likely to make their hit.

Words were the same. Not that Fritz even now looked for an all out verbal fight or argument with this dwarf maiden, just defense of his own. And for as much as he picked his words, he could also be careless with them...from others perspectives. He most times knew what he meant to say or how he wished something to be taken, it was just a matter of if they got that.

Either way, the pause the maiden required to find a response didn't throw Fritz off, only her chosen words did. There was no misunderstanding the tone and emphasis on privileges and what she meant.

Yeah, the classes happening to be lower than his own father's position and Nobility standing loved to talk of how haughty his class was, but they should really self examine as well! There was a wealthy of pride in this maiden's statement that he'd yet to return. Not the way she'd thought he'd meant what he said anyway.

Misunderstandings, especially between dwarves, could be likened to bellows around forgeries and smithies really...

Fritz didn't think into defensiveness or anything, to justify the snappish comment, just heard said snappish comment. Said snappish comment that he understood clearly, or wrongly thought he did as well.

Was she implying the only reason he'd made anything was privilege? Essentially saying that Papa had got him his job. Oh! Well if that wasn't just the most...!

Fritz' whole stance tensed and he was just near finding his own perfect arsenal of words to fire back, when the maiden went on in a more level tone to just explain how she did work at the Smithies, with the exception of her training.

The momentum Fritz had put to a step forward, he now turned to his return bend back and all in all seemed to fidget upon his heels a bit as he now had to decide if he wanted to pursue his earlier defense or...let it slide. Her own switch had been so odd.

"I...well, that's.... Fritz glanced to his boots, further trying to find a decision. He soon did. Glancing up, his gaze was a bit more tempered as well, but with a determination that was still not going to go anywhere.

"You must...um, be good I'd s'pose, if they let you hang about". He actually was trying for a compliment. "What...uh, is it you do? This other thing? Training I mean".

This was the order he had intended to go about his questioning, only later putting in a defense of perhaps the misunderstandings of before, yet even as his own question hit the air, Fritz found he didn't wish to let the unanswered hang that long and so hurried on in sort of side note, "I, sorry, for the interruption, but just to clarify, I'm...not at the Forgery because my father's position got me anything; matter of fact for it they were all set to boot me out, until I proved I could do it that is so...it, we're not always just handed things", the resentment was hard to keep fully from his voice, but he did move on from the point once clarifying this.

"But sorry, you were saying?".


(olivedrab)

Eladda

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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2013, 03:34:00 PM »
The Dwarf lad seemed a bit taken aback and Eladda watched him quietly as he considered her words. He swayed a bit as though he wanted to take a step forward, and Eladda crossed her arms firmly, keeping the knife point well away from her body. She wasn't quite sure what to expect, but she wanted to be prepared for anything. It was a strange Dwarf that was fidgeting before her. He seemed both cocky and unsure.

"I...well, that's... He stammered and looked down at his boots, but when he glanced up again a moment later there was a determination in his eyes she did not expect from him. She braced herself for a biting retort, but even more strangely still, it did not come. "You must...um, be good I'd s'pose, if they let you hang about. What...uh, is it you do? This other thing? Training I mean."

Was that an attempt at a compliment? El narrowed her eyes. She thought it might be, and was surprised at how pleased she was to be talking about her own work. Suddenly she did not feel the need to be so prideful herself, so merely said, "Good enough," with a bit of a shrug. She did not realize this gesture might make her statement seem more overconfident, and continued. "I'm training to be a jeweler..." she began proudly, but was suddenly interrupted.

"I, sorry, for the interruption, but just to clarify, I'm...not at the Forgery because my dad's position got me anything; matter of fact for it they were all set to boot me out, until I proved I could do it that is so...it, we're not always just handed things." Eladda noted the trace of resentment in his voice, and raised her eyebrows. She found the exclamation a bit odd. After all, that wasn't quite what she had meant to imply. After all, she had her own position because of her father. Rather the nobility had access to things the working Dwarves usually didn't but, in these days nothing was sure. The King's absence was proof of that.

She opened her mouth to respond when the Dwarf said quickly, "But sorry, you were saying?" He was looking at her with such an open and wounded expression Eladda let out a deep bark of a laugh. My, but this lad was a strange one. She had never before had such an encounter, and she was beginning to rather enjoy herself.

And she was beginning to feel, of all things, rather shy. She didn't know how one made friends (she was usually too busy working), so could it be that, despite their heated conversation, she might be making one now? "I was saying," Eladda replied, a bit more humbly, "that I'm training to be a jeweler." She lowered her arms and shifted her weight a little. "Um, do you want...do you want to see?" El shook her head. What was wrong with her? Attempting to shake off her sudden and inexplicable nervousness, Eladda raised her head and said firmly, "I'm Eladda, daughter of Alin."

Fritz

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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2013, 04:40:00 PM »
"Good enough," and then the maiden shrugged.

Yes, it came off quite confident, perhaps overly so, but then Fritz wasn't really in a position to criticize others for that, being too deep in it himself. "I see", he sounded only slightly unconvinced, but mostly amused even, and not even over the whole 'maidens making things' again, just, the whole situation and how he was noticing as well that for all they'd said wrong this was almost a conversation...sort of.

But for his need of even his curt words still being heard, Fritz let her go on, actually even listening in what could be called Attentive; though his gaze shifted a bit unsure at the laughter he caused, not sure if he was being laughed at or not.

Well, but she was training to be a Jeweler then. Made sense, and most Dwarves work was related to jewels in some way. Fritz was as drawn as any other metal working dwarf, and while he also appreciated each kind for what it specifically possessed in terms of shine or sheer worth, it was all tied still to useful.

All the same, he'd defended the shine love of his kind properly by the horror of learning how Dagmar had once almost tossed aside a topaz because "well, she couldn't use it". She couldn't use it?! Her grown enough brother had then commented how he pitied any gentle-dwarf trying to please her, enigma that she was! Yet he'd laughed as he said it, and Dags own version of an amused and happy smile back caused her bright eyes to squint happily as she teasingly stuck a small bit of her tongue out at her brother.

He'd even once made his mother worry just a bit if she should lock her jewel case (all cases had locks fitted in of course whether they be used or not) by asking if a recent purchase of his fathers to her, and the stunning amber inset, wouldn't also lend itself to a hilt if you melted if down. He hadn't meant that piece specifically, it had been an example. The family had quickly shrugged off any worry (and once everyone was once more assured in Fritz' true meaning).

Still the lad understood work that left the jewel as was, well understood that it was another venue at least, he still worked in and understood mostly blades and small hilt work.

The nervousness as she offered to show her work was also well understood. Fritz had shifted about most nervous when even the Forgery Master had first inspected a fully made by him dagger.

He was also given a name. Well best keep the cordial, not insulting each other talk going. "Well, Eladda, daughter of Alin, it's a pleasure". He wasn't sure if he should all out bow or what. He'd been trained in etiquette of course, and if this had been a full out social affair he would, but...casual meetings in the street...what did one do then? Fritz couldn't recall!

He settled on just nodding back as he went on, "I'm Fritz, uh, youngest of Anlaf's sons". Sure it was an admittance that at times bothered him, his position, but everyone pretty much knew or would know it soon enough, there was never sense in hiding it.

"And sure, I'd be honored, uh glad, whichever's the right word...", he gave a self deprecating chuckle, "...to see it. Don't worry I won't judge too hard or anything, my blades still can be improved upon. Made this one though". Fritz returned the offer and pulled his sword he had at his side, one made entirely by him. Blade down to the dirt, he held it out showing but not quite held it out too Eladda. Oh sure if she made to take it he'd feel out his response moment by moment, and no doubt end up letting her, but it was a big deal, a dwarf's weapons and all.


(olivedrab)

Eladda

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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2013, 04:09:00 PM »
The Dwarf lad listened politely enough, though his gaze shifted when she laughed. Eladda didn't bother explaining her amusement. He was the one who laughed at her first, and besides, young as they were, working where they did, they were probably both used to being the brunt of many a rough joke.

Eladda had become used to the teasing that still occurred in her father's smithy and in the taverns when she could sneak down there, but those who knew her were more friendly in their goading, and those who didn't know her...well, they soon realized she would not tolerate unkind words at her expense. She was quite short by Dwarvish standards, but her work made her strong, and she was quick on her feet. She had been in several brawls but never left with more than a bloody nose. She once again thought vaguely that, if it came down to it, she could certainly beat this young lad in a fight...

But her mind was wandering. The Dwarf had accepted her introduction with a polite, "Well, Eladda, daughter of Alin, it's a pleasure." For a moment he hesitated, and El wondered why. Then she remembered she ought to have bowed upon naming herself, and she flushed ever so slightly. But bowing showed respect, and she wasn't sure how she felt about the lad yet. True, their interaction had calmed somewhat, but she could not quite forgive his initial skepticism at her profession. It seemed they both were at a bit of a loss, but then he nodded and gave his own name. ""I'm Fritz, uh, youngest of Anlaf's sons."

He seemed a bit reluctant to admit he was the youngest, and for a moment Eladda understood. She too was the younger child, but her and Meril's situation was unusual. They were ten years apart, and though close when they were younger, sometimes Eladda did not feel she had any siblings at all. She wondered how many brothers and sisters Fritz had, and if they were as exasperating as he was.

But he was speaking again, and he gave an embarrassed chuckle in the midst of his sentence. "And sure, I'd be honored, uh glad, whichever's the right word...to see it. Don't worry I won't judge too hard or anything, my blades still can be improved upon. Made this one though." Eladda watched in interest as Fritz pulled out his own sword from his side and rested it with the point on the floor. He was showing her his blade, but not offering it to her, and Eladda gave him a wary glance before she turned her attention to the weapon.

Without holding the blade in her hands she could not make a thorough assessment, but from what she could see it was a well-made weapon. Imperfect, yes, for she could see the flaws even where she was standing, but her own work needed vast improvement to hide the signs of forging. A truly great weapon looked and felt as though it had sprung from the earth whole, born just for the one Dwarf's hand. Eladda could also not test the weight and balance of the sword, but every Dwarf liked her weapon to feel different, and it took tremendous effort to individualize the blade. There was an ease Fritz had with the sword, even in the simple act of unsheathing it, that told her he too understood the personal tough a weapon required, and he had at least found it for himself.

Eladda raised her eyes and studied Fritz, head tilted slightly to the side. Perhaps she had misjudged him. They had much in common, though he was clearly more comfortable carrying a weapon than she would ever be. Although he still needed an education in what Dwarf females were capable of, it might be that they could actually be civil to one another, for the time being.

El nodded down at the sword and said in her rich earthy voice, "It is a good blade." She was disinclined to say more, for she wasn't quite ready to fuel his self-importance, but she would give praise where it was due. After all, he was a fellow Dwarf, which already meant he was better than the most skilled Man or Elf.

She jerked her head toward the shop, and turned. "Come on," she said, and led Fritz into her father's shop, with its bright walls lined with all manner of weaponry, gleaming in neat and imposing rows. With a quick glance she saw there were only three blades and one axe of hers upon the walls, but she instead walked purposefully to the small table in the corner, covered with her own jewelry in tidy and artistic arrangements of brooches, necklaces, bracelets, beard clips, and belt buckles. She had not attempted rings yet, but she felt she could get to them soon. She of course could see every little flaw and imperfection in the jeweled silver, but she hoped the Dwarf lad would now realize she was at least not boasting.

Fritz

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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2013, 02:08:00 PM »
He could see the hesitation, or not full liberty of being able to give a judgement perhaps, in this maiden, Eladda's, scrutiny of the blade he produced as his own show of work; and who could blame the lass, any good smith knew one had to feel a blade to truly know it, but Fritz, well he didn't need her full approval, he told himself, so there was nothing wrong with keeping to that guardedness he could feel and which wasn't misplaced in a Dwarf all in all.

Maybe later on, if he felt such would be the next logical step depending on how far and much of herself she showed in her work. Not in any sort of withholding trade off, but more fair balance.

Still, she pronounced it a Good Blade, and even such a small compliment was not to be overlooked, as compliments on skill or trade held a weight amongst Dwarves (and no doubt all kinds) and were not just thrown out. The other young smith nodded his thanks to her compliment.

Fritz followed Eladda into her father's shop, and against his own pride he did have to admit that maybe places varying didn't diminish one between the other. He had never thought to try and hold his working in the Forgery as better than other Smithing places, as his defensiveness of before had shown. The pride Fritz took in the place was the pride of his own opportunities and skills proven.

Yet, for having his own smithing venue, as it were, he had never thought to pay all that much attention in learning the ins and outs of other Smither's shops, not unless he would need their work or such; all the same the varying atmospheres were hard to ignore.

High quality blades lined the walls of both, yet in the Forgery there was a...well a mixed sort of a feel, they were all for the highest ends probably, due to the prestige the Forgery afforded that had been alluded to, and many hands had fastened and shaped them. All of a bonded sort of a guild, to be sure, and smiths of a comradery that just came of the work, but not bound by blood. Here...Fritz just felt the more humble, family trade feel even as he walked in, and it brought with it a bit of shame for his earlier tries at boasting.

Knowing blades as a smithing trained youth was apt to, Fritz also could tell off hand, and by only glancing about, the same general feel Eladda had been able to off his blade, and there was certainly no shame in a smith making such blades and axes as these he saw along the wall.

Her real pride, as she'd earlier said, appeared to be jewels and jewelry fastening, though. Arguably the part of smithing Fritz knew the least on. He had had to learn and fine tune his own patience enough to carefully see to his blade work, fine chains, requiring glasses to properly see to at all, still taxed the youth and he'd pretty much given up on the delicate work of most clasps and such, leaving it to the smiths with better skill and sticking to his blades and fire.

Not to say he probably hadn't inherited some of the creativity that lay dormant along Analf's brood and of which Dagmar just had to most outshown skill at with her paints. One of the praised trademarks along with Fritz fine blades, was the none to shabby work he could manage at etching along hot metal for hilt work and such. Aesthetics was half a blades worth, after all.

As they approached the table, even from a distance as well, Fritz could tell on the broaches and and such's fine delicate work that was quite good in fact. The lad may have always hated that prickling lowering of pride or "he'd been wrong" feeling, but he was one to also acknowledge it...most times...bitter as it was.

His mouth screwed in a very childish gesture, and he nodded, looking actually humbled as he turned his gaze back to her. "Yep, I'd say that's...erm, work to not be laughed at...so, sorry. It's good, very good" Fritz allowed for.

He glanced about the shop once more, 'Your father, and you no doubt, must do a fair amount of business?", he questioned, by way of continuing conversation, but it wasn't a challenge, Fritz' tone admitted to what he'd previously said, and the work was non-too shabby, thereby the assumption that their business probably did quite well.


(olivedrab)

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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2013, 04:04:00 PM »
Eladda reached the table before Fritz and watched as he scanned the shop walls while he approached. She was not particularly good at reading facial expressions, but she could see he was fairly impressed. At least, more so than he probably was expecting. He reached the small display, and she waited rather anxiously as Fritz examined the pieces on the table. She was not quite sure why she suddenly wanted his good opinion, but after all, everyone would rather be praised than criticized. She could see every tiny flaw and imperfection in the work, the slight offset of a jewel on a brooch, a beard clip that did not quite clasp correctly. She gripped her hands together behind her back tightly, fighting the urge to fidget with her tunic.

As El watched Fritz studying her work, she thought she saw a flicker of "you were right" in his face, and she resisted the urge to say "I told you so." His mouth twisted and he suddenly looked very young, and his face was filled with humility as he raised his eyes to meet hers. "Yep, I'd say that's...erm, work to not be laughed at...so, sorry. It's good, very good."

Eladda fought the familiar exasperation that was rising within her, for she knew how difficult it was for a proud Dwarf to admit he was wrong. Some Dwarves would fight to the death rather than admit someone else was right, no matter the issue. She herself was dramatically stubborn at times, and so she acknowledged the compliment with a polite and somewhat stiff, "Thank you."

She saw Fritz glance around the shop once more, and he said "Your father, and you no doubt, must do a fair amount of business?" El watched him warily for a moment, then decided he was not being cheeky, but merely curious. He seemed to be sorry for what he had said earlier, and Eladda was beginning to feel like this might turn into a real, normal conversation after all. She allowed a small smile to form on her lips, and her dark eyes suddenly brightened. In her rich earthy tones she replied, "Fair enough. There are many shops to compete with, of course," here she paused, but she hoped he would understand it was a friendly tease, "but my father has some good Dwarves in his employ, and he has some loyal customers. Not every Dwarf can afford a Forgery blade, but we do well enough." She could not help including that last jab, but the atmosphere between them had certainly lightened, and she hoped Fritz would not be too offended by her mild taunting.

For some time a question had been on the edge of her mind, and before she knew it it had tumbled out her lips. "Your father must have joined the Company of Thorin?" she asked, with both curiosity and a vague hint of scathing judgement. She assumed the Dwarves closest to the King, and those highest in his employ, had accompanied him on the Quest. She was unclear how many Dwarves had gone, and she did not recognize many of the names that were whispered throughout the Halls, but it was likely Fritz's father had gone, important as he was. Eladda tried to repress it, but her anger at the King was bubbling to the surface again, and she knew it would soon spill out upon the poor lad facing her.

Fritz

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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2013, 02:31:00 PM »
Yes, this could quite possibly be turned into a pleasant conversation, perhaps. At any rate, their words were fitting with everything Fritz could recall of etiquette manners, only the lad meant to mean what he was saying at least, and it wasn't all fake pleasantries, and both of their tones were still unsure...still, maybe he could leave here still having done Liv proud with his interactions among female dwarves.

There had been too many times that hadn't been true, between insulting the wrong dwarf himself or totally botching up interrogating a thief...Fritz still wasn't sure how he could both be right on his facts and still in the wrong on that one, but it was past.

Eladda's thank you was tight, but then so were his compliment attempts.

Fritz had just felt he was reading the situation correctly enough for a small smile, when it faded a bit unsurely at her jest on the Forge. He hadn't said anything wrong again, had he? No, he hadn't said anything other than the compliment. Oh, wait, she was kidding, he realized off her own smile.

The lad's own smile returned. "Yeah, well...that's understandable", he wasn't bragging though, just horribly without words for a response that didn't sound dumb to that.

Yet, still, they were making progress.

Until the maiden unknowingly (Fritz thought it was unknowingly anyway) jabbed a sword straight into a salt laden wound in terms of her conversation choice. The curiosity in her tone was one thing, and the lad may have been able to just find some appeasing sort of answer that didn't slander King Thorin and was...tolerable, for him to state, yet part of his trouble with the whole issue was that undertone that he'd had to take from quite a few of his father's peers already when this was brought up.

"Oh, really?!", Fritz had heard some pompous Noble state when speaking to his father on this issue in a meeting hall or just corridor, and even at Sixty, he'd felt that defensiveness of a young lad of Thirty or such, who's father was still the greatest thing since mined gold and he was gonna prove it!

He may have misread the criticism even here, but regardless of if she meant that she would blame his father had he gone, as if he was personally responsible for any of Thorin's actions (ok, he was one of his advisors, but...) or whether it was in fact a poke at his not going, it was insulting!

Still, despite Fritz's smile turning to a thin, displeased sort of a grimace, he struggled to reign in his answer. "Well...not", somehow just saying his father wasn't there was hard and another hit to pride in the whole issue.

Fritz cleared his throat, rushing in to his father's defense against the scathing tone, whichever it meant. "No, he's much too valuable and skilled for that. They are giving other, lesser, warriors a chance on the actual Quest, and instead my father was chosen, in a very planned out and strategized move, of course, to remain and guard around here". The lad finished his own explanation with a bit of unsureity, given how far he'd bent in defending his father during it, but it was all true his dented pride that in fact was mostly tied to his pride and biased view of his family, all in all, told him.

{Hehe, ok, not exactly a lashing out just yet, but the lad's pride has officially been hit now and pushed him to brash/bold statements so we are at that precarious state where I think an argument would be all to easy/getting there XD}


(olivedrab)

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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2013, 03:51:00 AM »
((Sorry for the wait! And oh yes, far too easy for her...))

Eladda knew immediately by Fritz's grimace the subject of the Quest was a tender one, but it was too late to take back the question she had uttered. She was habitually rash and quick of tongue, and didn't often stop to wonder whether or not something ought to be spoken. She watched as Fritz struggled to retain a sense of dignity, but his hesitation and obvious discomfort were working against him.

"Well...not..." Eladda raised an eyebrow and the Dwarf lad cleared his throat and stumbled on quickly, "No, he's much too valuable and skilled for that. They are giving other, lesser, warriors a chance on the actual Quest, and instead my father was chosen, in a very planned out and strategized move, of course, to remain and guard around here." Eladda's brow raised even further, but she merely let out an interested, "Huh."

In truth, she didn't buy it. Fritz himself seemed a little unsure, and while she was unclear just what exactly his father did, King Thorin would not have left his most important Dwarves behind. From what she understood, the King was not planning on coming back. If (oh that great if) the Company managed to retake the Lonely Mountain, Dragon or no, she thought they would stay there and rebuild the Kingdom of Erebor. At least, that's what her parents discussed. Their parents had been refugees of the Lost Kingdom, but her family was happy where they were. Why wasn't the King?

And if the King meant to rebuild Erebor, wouldn't he want the strongest and most able Dwarves beside him? Precious few had joined the Quest. Perhaps he had wanted more, but El thought most Dwarves saw the journey as folly. Even she did not believe they were coming back, nor that the Mountain could be retaken. She felt a surge of sorrow for Thorin, for she already believed her King lost, no matter how angry she was at him for abandoning Ered Luin.

But then, if he too believed he would not return, perhaps he did leave some competent Dwarves behind to care for their kingdom in the Blue Mountains. Following that train of thought, Eladda eyed Fritz. Perhaps he was telling the truth. But it made no sense. The King's sister still dwelt among them, and if Fritz's father was as important as he made out, surely he would have gone, if only out of loyalty to the King.

"Perhaps your father didn't want to go," Eladda said, looking straight into his eyes. She was being childish, she knew, but somehow she could not stop herself from speaking the harsh words that had boiling within her since the King's departure. She had felt she could talk to no one, not even her father, for it would not do to speak against the King. She felt a moment of regret that the words were spewing out on this poor lad, a stranger, but she felt powerless to hold them back. "If he was that close to the King, as you claim, he ought to have gone to protect him and rebuild Erebor. Perhaps you ought to have gone. They might have needed a smith as highly trained as yourself." The last came out in a sneer, and El suddenly clamped her mouth shut, aware she had gone too far. But try as she could to relieve it, she still felt an incomprehensible anger coursing through her. She bit her lip, hoping to stem the flow of bitter words.

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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2013, 03:02:00 PM »
{Sort of a wait on my end too, sorry, and also kind of short, but Fritz said enough I think, oh these two, I definitely can see a complicated kind of annoyed friendship starting in future meetings XD}

"Huh"

It was a small, almost sound rather than word, and yet it grated against Fritz nerves instantly and even more than all the reasons he already had just from himself and everyone else's comments on this subject.

Yet, the lad swallowed that discomfort too, and pressed on with his defense. He poured every fact he had so carefully thought over and told himself time and time again into it, no matter how it sounded to his own ears even!

He...his father was to watch the one mountain home the still had, just in case...well in case things that weren't going to happen did. Kings were just over cautious like that! That was why Fritz couldn't brag to people about his father or brothers' grand presence in the Company, why he couldn't have then tried to work his own coming into it.

The lad talked and continued on as if to make that look on the maiden's face go away, but it didn't work, and her next words proved it! Durin's Day, but she could be less blunt with it! Blunt and falsely insinuating! "He did too want to go!", the response flew out of the lad, almost sounding oh so Dwarflingishly stubborn, yet Fritz didn't care. "As I was saying, he...".

Each of her further words stabbed both his family pride and his own, not so much for the harshness of it, Fritz could move past that, but...the very reminding how neither of them had been allowed to go. And now on top of that, it sounded like she was throwing accusation at his father for a stubborn Kingly order!

Fire flared from Fritz words as well, "If you're insinuating my father's shirking on duty to the king, you can just halt it right there! He went beyond duty in Moria and I'll bet half your ancestors can't claim as great! So maybe you should just shut it until you know what you're talking about! Maybe all you women should, I haven't heard any criticism this week out of any of you that made any sense anyway!", oh yes they were fine words to a maiden, and Liv would no doubt be oh so pleased at her son, but the heated fire of both their own inner turmoils was not helping Fritz curb his responses either as he lumped Eladda's responses on top of all the hen clucking he heard from other women in clustered groups.


(olivedrab)

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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2013, 06:28:00 PM »
((Oh, no, he di-int!))

Eladda struggled to control the emotions seething within her, but the sparks between them were flying again. They were clearly both very stubborn Dwarves (though she knew few who weren't) and each knew they were right. The encounter was going downhill, and El was beginning to feel that this was a friendship she was not eager to explore.

Her words had obviously grated harshly against Fritz's feelings. He stammered out a few protests, but when Eladda was finished with her tirade, sharp words spilled from his tongue as well. His words came quick and hot, and Eladda felt them as sparks from the forge fires singeing her pride. "If you're insinuating my father's shirking on duty to the king, you can just halt it right there! He went beyond duty in Moria and I'll bet half your ancestors can't claim as great! So maybe you should just shut it until you know what you're talking about!"

Eladda felt the sting of remorse. She really didn't know anything about this young Dwarf or his family, so why should she insult them so? She had simply been taking her own anger out on a fellow Dwarf who obviously felt the same way. Ancestry was important in Ered Luin, and if Fritz's father had fought at the Battle of Azanulbizar, he was clearly a respected warrior. If he did not accompany the King on the Quest, surely there was an explanation. It appeared she really didn't know what she was talking about. She lowered her eyes, nearly ready to apologize. It hurt, to be put in her place by one so near in age, but Eladda supposed she deserved it. Until...

"Maybe all you women should, I haven't heard any criticism this week out of any of you that made any sense anyway!"

Eladda's head snapped up, and a dangerous silence blossomed between them. El could scarcely believe what she had just heard. And after the circumstances of their meeting, too....Eladda's eyebrow rose higher and higher as she waited for Fritz to take it back, but when it appeared he would not, she took a slow and calculating step forward until she was nearly nose to nose with the lad. Well, nose to chin. She was a good sight shorter than Fritz, but she could handle herself, and she was suddenly and achingly aware of the knife she had stuck into her belt as they entered the shop.

Eladda lowered her earthy voice until it was barely above a whisper, its rich and rough tones seeming to fly as an arrow straight into Fritz's ear. "Listen to me, shirumund," she hissed, her hands clenched into painful fists, her eyes boring into his own. Even if she was wrong about his father, he had gone too far, and she was not about to admit he was right. "A single Dwarf maiden is worth a score of one the likes of you," she said, jabbing a finger into his chest. She took a single step back and her eyebrow once again shot up. "Perhaps you'd like to try?" Eladda wasn't quite sure what she was proposing: she was no good when it came to weapons, and Fritz had his own right at his side. While she could wield a short sword well enough (and Aulë knew there were plenty hanging on the walls) and could forge one for a true warrior, it was clear the Dwarf lad had more experience in combat. At least in training. But Eladda was quick on her feet and clever with her fists, and if it came down to it, she was sure she could beat some sense into the infuriating Dwarf before her.

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