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8/18 Calm Before the Storm

JWaldman Sep 6th, 2019 (edited) 23 Never
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  1.  Loretta says, "The group has been assembled then."
  2.  Loretta says, "Thank you."
  3.  Garrick says, "No problem. Feeling real spry."
  4.  Loretta asks, "Well. Ardith. Ready for your first real work day?"
  5.  Loretta says, "Alright, so..."
  6.  Loretta says, "Here in the Main Foyer? This is where the primary workshop will be.."
  7.  Ardith says, "Guess I gotta be."
  8.  Garrick says, "Spacious."
  9.  Ardith says, "...Oh."
  10.  Eshmun Hirai says, "And I'm here just to be here."
  11.  Ardith says, "Before we start."
  12.  Loretta says, "And those boxes in the back contain all the salvage, parts and raw material I could get my hands on."
  13.  Loretta asks, "Yes?"
  14.  Ardith prances over with an elaborately decorated, medium sized box. She offers it up to Loretta with an exaggerated bow, face pointed to the floor.
  15.  
  16. "This is from Vedran. He wanted you to have it. Something about missing your last fight or somethin'?"
  17. (Ardith)
  18. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  19.  
  20.  Loretta asks, "Eh?"
  21.  Garrick says, "..."
  22.  Garrick says, "That sounds guaranteed to be riddled with hijinks."
  23.  Loretta says, "It- Probably is."
  24.  Loretta asks, "What is it?"
  25.  Garrick says, "If it's one of those boxes with springs that punches you in the face..."
  26.  Garrick says, "I'd like to study it after it punches you."
  27.  Ardith says, "Eh? Dunno. He wouldn't say."
  28.  Ardith says, "I'm just the messenger."
  29.  Loretta says, "... sounds like something Veddie would do."
  30.  Loretta says, "Let me see."
  31.  Ardith says, "I mean, I'm holding it here. Just take it."
  32.  Loretta says, "..."
  33.  Ever a sign of caution, Loretta leers at the proferred box with a scowl. She'd rather inspect it cautiously and thoroughly by checking for signs of clockwork, tampering or any other sort of meanspirited actions that she can expect from the Vampire that had a real sense of humor. Ever so slowly... the child prompts to inch forward to tug unto the elaborate laces and decorations of the box, while immediately ducking to the side.
  34.  
  35. The expectations of something violently EXPLODING upwards as soon as the box is opened, are very. Very. High.
  36.  
  37. The bow is undone as soon as the child tugs and the small one is already down and to the side, ducking away from possible danger or worse. Fashion assault.
  38. (Loretta)
  39. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  40.  
  41. Garrick would raise a single eyebrow of amused curiosity, crossing his cracked scaled arms over the length of his cotton engineer's coat as a toothy smile spread across his face. The drakan could not deny, he was hoping it was a prank.
  42. (Garrick)
  43. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  44.  
  45.  Ardith has already got her face pointed at the ground. Why?
  46.  
  47. Well, because of the gigantic 'bang' and flash of light that erupts from the box of course. As soon as Loretta takes it from her and cracks open the lid she claps her hands over her ears in anticipation.
  48.  
  49. She's got stuff to do and doesn't want her ears ringing, but she's all for helping Vedran's little joke come to fruition.
  50. (Ardith)
  51. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  52.  
  53. The cheeky bastard primed up a flashbang in a box? Really!? What made him think that Flashbangs even worked on her to begin with!? She anticipated something awful taking place and Ardith's immediate response was all she needed to know that there was something wrong with the box.
  54.  
  55. Loretta expected paint. Some sort of wind up fist. Maybe even daggers violently flying upwards or something.
  56.  
  57.  
  58. Instead, she just stood there. Blinking. Slightly confused. It wasn't even a high yield flashbang like one of her own, no... and in turn, Vedran's little 'gift' prompted their actions to flash and bang everyone else within this room as the child stood there. Unphased. Unbothered in the slightest. Just... confused.
  59.  
  60. "Is that all? Veddie, I expected better of you..."
  61.  
  62. Can the same be said of the occupants of the household though?
  63. (Loretta)
  64. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  65.  
  66.  Garrick would blink steadily as the loud noise and flash of light suddenly erupted in a cacophony of sound and vibrance from the generous gift Vedran had delivered, his molten eyes briefly going a bit blurry from the reasonable potency of the ensemble as he glanced over to see a very confused child. A few moments would pass as the drakan seemed to process what had occurred, before...
  67.  
  68. He'd bust out in a cackling fit as he fell upon his back, barking out in laughter as his ribs ached from the amusement of the class A hijinks. Puffing on his cigarette as he laid back on the ground, he'd rise steadily with an amused curl of his sharp toothed grin, shaking his head as a flush of joyous head spread across the scaly smith's expression.
  69.  
  70. "Ohohohoho, bless that age cheating diet-leech."
  71. (Garrick)
  72. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  73.  
  74.  If it wasn't for the fact that Eshmun was fairly distracted at the moment, their eyes might have been fully settled upon the flashbang box. Instead they were vacantly staring into space. At least, they were peacefully doing so until the loud noise of the flashbang sounded in their ears, and he got a slight bit of blinding.
  75.  
  76. Surprised and confused he looked at the group, albeit slightly confused with the hijinks that had happened in his vacant times.
  77. (Eshmun Hirai)
  78. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  79.  
  80.  Ardith finally lifts her head up and lowers her hands, grinning.
  81. (Ardith)
  82. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  83.  
  84. Well. That was disappointing. It wasn't enough to ruin Loretta's day yet though, so with a sigh and a careless discarding of the elaborate box top? She began to float on towards the back of the foyer to begin moving the boxes. Garrick seemed to find the reverse flashbang attempt funny and poor Eshmun got a blindsiding of a lifetime in gunpowder and phosphorous light. The fact Ardith immediately dove for cover was evidence that she was in on this little trick of theirs, so-
  85.  
  86. Without much ado? She shoved the boxes full of salvaged parts, freshly made pieces of copper wiring, ores, sheets of metal... all the sorts of works. Ardith will have to pay for being the message bearer of this prank, but that punishment will come in due time. Preferably AFTER they have begun working on the Magitechnological Forge as box after box is opened and construction materials are shown.
  87.  
  88. "Now that we had Vedran's littlegift out of the way, let's get started on the actual work now. The first order of business... is the Magitech Forge, an advanced forge that any simpleton could use at the press of a button. After a smith produced the molds for me, I could just smelt whatever small cable, small cog or piece I needed in the makings of precision parts."
  89.  
  90. And to this degree, the beginning of something advanced... had to start with something very, very small. Something simple too. An anvil is hauled up by the imposingly small floating child along with a doming hammer and several sheets of metal, along with what seems to be a furnace. Or rather... several parts of one. There's panels, there's cables, there's strange plastic tubing...
  91.  
  92. "Garrick. You'll begin by assembling the Furnace. Simple stuff. Ardith. Since Dawn was destroyed and there is no chance of me acquiring a gas line out here or a suitable power supply... I'll be substituting most of the technology for rune scribed works. You'll be adding runes and creating a suitable circuit for me to install the panels and other circuitboards into. Any questions from you two?"
  93.  
  94. The box with the anvil and the construction supplies is left in the far corner, where the expected Furnace is to go along in whilst another box is produced for Ardith's work. Mana enhanced ink, a peculiar green colored feathery quill, a book called 'Magitech Friendly Runes 101: A beginners Guide'... all the tools a rune wright needs. Hell. There's even crystals and parchment inside. Loretta meant business.
  95. (Loretta)
  96. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  97.  
  98.  Garrick says, "Just one. This place got ventilation? "
  99.  Garrick says, "As fun as suffocating is."
  100.  Loretta calmly points to the windows and to the walls.
  101. (Loretta)
  102. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  103.  
  104.  Garrick says, "Works for me. Let's get to work then."
  105.  Ardith asks, "So you want me to...rune it up as he builds it. Right?"
  106.  Loretta says, "Ideally, yes."
  107.  Ardith says, "Alright. You got it."
  108.  Loretta says, "I'll lay down cables, panels and work on them as we go along in essence."
  109.  Ardith says, "Right. You might have to explain what some of the stuff is supposed to do as we go, if it ain't apparent."
  110.  Ardith says, "That way I know what runes'll be right for the job."
  111.  Loretta says, "Garrick's task is simple. Yours is the complicated one."
  112.  Garrick would crack his knuckles with a wide, toothy smile, granting the trio a two clawed salute as he paced about the room with a steady scanning of its expanse. A good forge was convenient to access, difficult to interrupt the actual process of work while still allowing available access of outside inquiries without jumping through too many hoops and valleys. His silvery sabatons would clank about the room in a circle for a time as he examined every inch of the surrounding, checking each window and plopping a single, sharp ended finger in his mouth before raising it to the air, humming as he checked the airflow with a steady nod and an idle hum.
  113.  
  114. At last, the smith appeared to find the ideal spot, a central axis of airflow that allowed the ideal sort of wind pressure required for the immense heat higher complexity forgework require. Igniting his molten claw, the smith would go to his knees before beginning to carve into the wood the dimensions of the various components, setting aside adequate space for the anvil and the entire perimeter of the furnace with an idle nod before returning his gaze back to Loretta, idly puffing from his raggedy cigarette as his molten gaze flicked between the various parts he'd get to assemble with just a bit of childish, engineer glee.
  115.  
  116. "Right here's perfect. Airflow is ideal. I made some marks on the floor from eyeballing the dimensions of what I'd gauge the furnace is gonna come out to be, hope you don't mind. Can dock it from my paycheck worst case."
  117. (Garrick)
  118. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  119.  
  120.  Ardith doesn't require much work to do yet, but it does give her time to prepare. She takes out her notebook and starts flipping through the pages on her studies of various runes. The once small booklet is packed full of extraneous notes, sheaves of paper taken from her desk at home all crammed into a single, small binding.
  121.  
  122. She'll have to organize them better later now that she's staying up north for a little while.
  123.  
  124. "So do you actually need runes for airflow? I mean I can think of a few, but I figure that'll just be natural. Unless you want something more like...a bellows of some kind?"
  125. (Ardith)
  126. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  127.  Garrick says, "More air does mean greater volumes of heat can be acquired. Some metals are a real bitch to work."
  128.  Ardith says, "Up to you, Lo."
  129.  Garrick says, "Oh right. Loretta, you want me to set up these metal sheets on the floor? Figure you don't wanna get the wood all...charred and fiery."
  130.  Garrick says, "It's a look, but...also a fire hazard."
  131.  "The older forge had a chimney stack in the workshop to help vent excess heat and smoke out the household. Since this is by the walls that lead outside... we can always retrofit the home to hold heat vents outwards. I don't mind what the size of the furnace needs be so-"
  132.  
  133. Slowly, Loretta began to float outwards to inspect the Engineer's choice of marks and where he pointed them out to. A location for the main furnace? Lines to vent heat from? Places to place tools, anvils and the like? The small girl just began to open up box after box to present to the engineer that all the materials required for the forge were here, from a crucible as big as Ardith to a few molds that held spaces for simple tools such as claw hammers and pins, to even large throughs that could fit blades, weapons and even whole suits of armor for quenching in oil or water. There was even a power jack in there, albeit... with no immediate power source though.
  134.  
  135. "Garrick. Do what you must to keep the house from catching on fire when we build this. I can always pay to have the floorboards treated later on. Ardith, let's start with some basic energy runes and work from there."
  136.  
  137. Now that Garrick had a good idea of what to start with and what to do? He would be left to their own devices. All the toys, tools and equipment an engineer could require at his disposal. Whereas... Loretta simply picked up the very large casing of the furnace that housed it's innards and waddled on over to Ardith with it in hand.
  138.  
  139. "The very bottom of this needs a really, really strong fire rune. Something that can achieve a minimum of four hundred Fahrenheit at least. Also up here-"
  140.  
  141. This is where she begins to point to the edges of the bottom and the walls that line up the rest of the casing.
  142.  
  143. "-we'll need runes that can send power to the fire one. What do you think is best? Straight up runework or test the waters with some conductive copper couplings to minimize the rune writing on the furnace?"
  144.  
  145. Ardith WAS the runescribing expert after all. Time to see her expertise be put to the test.
  146. (Loretta)
  147. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  148.  
  149.  Ardith says, "Weeell...I mean. Hm."
  150.  Ardith asks, "So you want a major fire rune, but then a circle of outter runes to strengthen it?"
  151.  Ardith asks, "Am I getting that right?"
  152.  Loretta says, "The Major Fire Rune is necessary."
  153.  Garrick says, "That sounds like real professional arson."
  154.  Garrick says, "I approve."
  155.  Loretta asks, "I ask. Do we use smaller outer runes to empower the bigger one?"
  156.  Loretta asks, "Or do we use copper couplings instead to minimize rune scribing on the furnace?"
  157.  Ardith nods. She knows that much. With her gloved fingers she flips through the pages of her studies, brow furrowing.
  158.  
  159. "I can do that pretty easy. Usually the concern when combining runes is if they'll play nice with each other. Sometimes if you slap two or more together they have unintentional side effects.
  160.  
  161. "For this though? That shouldn't be a problem. It's all working towards the same goal. There shouldn't be a lot of conflict between the symbols, if any."
  162.  
  163. The fire rune she knows definitely has to go on the furnace's casing, right smack dab in the middle- especially if it's going to be further ringed with other runes. Placement is key. Always. The Accursed tugs off her left glove, showcasing a pale hand adorned in a dazzling, sinister ring that's set with a scintillating gem.
  164.  
  165. She mutters while she works, glancing between the open book she holds in one hand and the furnace that she traces her fingertips along. Wherever they go, as she mumbles, a viscous ink is left behind. It bubbles and seethes before settling into the metal like a jet black dye.
  166.  
  167. When she's finished the center rune is set into place in the forgebelly that's presented to her, flickering with orange briefly before going dormant.
  168. (Ardith)
  169. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  170.  
  171. Garrick would listen in to the chatter contently as he paced across the room towards the first of many parts to come. Glancing over the anvil before gauging the marks he'd made back in the wooden paneling, the scaly smith would clasp both sides of it with a heave of his jagged claws about its iron sides, hefting it with a light grunt as he clanked his way back towards the desired corner with a light tug of his cigarette, setting it down near where he'd made the markings before returning his molten gaze to the various disassembled parts of the furnace.
  172.  
  173. Delaying his efforts no longer, the cracked scaled smith would turn towards the boxes and boxes of supplies that the short stop undead had assembled, digging through the ensemble of widgets, wires, and panels delicately with his claws as he studied them with an inquisitive eye. The smith didn't discount his own talents to be sure, but his modest way of living had allowed for such a wide array of materials to workwith.
  174.  
  175. The fire drakan couldn't help himself, he was grinning like an idiot.
  176.  
  177. Clasping a half dozen sheets of metal, the smith would begin to carefully dredge them towards the source of the forge's chosen locale, layering the pieces side by side while making care to remark the same dimensions he had on the wooden paneling atop the glinting sheet metal with a contented chirp. Kneeling down, Garrick's claw would glow with condensed heat as he planted his finger into the first corner of the assembled sheet metal, making a minute hole in the wood before melding the metal above and below its confines into a makeshift bolt to hold the sheet metal in place.
  178.  
  179. Moving to each corner and overlapping plate, Garrick would form bolt after bolt to bind the metal to the wood, forming a relatively fireproof surface upon which to lay the forgeworks with care. The rivets adequately laid, the scaled smith would begin to trail his molten claw with careful application of heat across the separated lengths of metal sheets, spot welding them from within with a dip and dredge of his metal claw as he continued to drag away at his cigarette until the whole length of the magitek forgeworks to come was entirely layered in fireproof metal.
  180.  
  181. The real work could begin.
  182. (Garrick)
  183. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  184.  
  185.  Well. That was fast. Fast enough that Loretta was perplexed at just how much effort was actually set into the rune. She's no Rune Wright and while she knows vaguely on how they function, the actual workings and creations of runes are still a mystery that she has not bothered to practice or show interest towards. If Ardith says it will work... well, she'll just have to take it at face value and trust them. That's what they hired her for after all.
  186.  
  187. "Well- You're the runic expert here. Once you line up the furnace with the runes, let me know so I can figure out where I can set the thermometers, power panels, gauges and all that stuff."
  188.  
  189. Small tools that once wired up correctly in runework and magitechnological wiring, provided a bevvy of information that was... quite frankly, unexpected. Very, very useful in the long run especially for those not well informed in the details of their craft.
  190.  
  191. "Let's see, let's see... Garrick's already fire proofing the floors, Ardie's running this up. I guess I should..."
  192.  
  193. The casing was left for the Accursed's own devices as the child corpses prompted to float away to the other boxes, hands now digging inside and out to produce a bevvy of other materials. Cables. Wires. Jackets. Small transparent glass panels, large and strange boxes with wires attached to them- Some even seemed familiar. Some were gathered from the salvaging operation while others were made brand new. Some even had price tags still attached to them, parts now sold for a premium with the fall of Dawn and Valmasians being scattered as they are.
  194.  
  195. Even the tools the child produced were small and dainty like! Screwdrivers, small pins and a small soldering kit to start preparing the soon to be attachment of cables and more with the assembly of parts. It's all slowly coming together now...
  196. (Loretta)
  197. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  198.  
  199.  Placing the first rune is relatively simple. It's a standard fire rune, nothing to really write home about. Empowering it is another kettle of fish altogether.
  200.  
  201. There's more flipping through her booklet of notes and runes, and now she produces a simple stick of chalk from her pouch of supplies. The Accursed's worth her salt, she knows her stuff, but she's not so foolish as to not plan out the rest.
  202.  
  203. The piece of chalk is affixed a bronzed compass as Ardith begins taking measurements over the surface of the furnace's belly. From the epicenter of the first rune she begins drawing a large circle in dust all around it, then several smaller ones at the cardinal points and the ones between. A major circle with eight minor ones orbiting around the center symbol.
  204.  
  205. Each one must then be painstakingly outlined within its own sphere by hand with more and more chalk. She makes sure to reference each line, each swoop, each curve against her notes as she goes along.
  206.  
  207. It takes all of her focus. There's no time for lip or backtalk, which usually is abundant from her. Sweat beads on her brow.
  208.  
  209. Much as the center rune was done, once she's sure all the etchings are properly aligned, she traces her left pointer finger over the chalk drawings. The white dust pops, fizzles, and flares as its burned away by her tainted touch.
  210.  
  211. Slowly but surely the runes form at her beck and call. As it should be.
  212. (Ardith)
  213. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  214.  
  215.  From the side-lines of what was a lot of work going on, Eshmun was playing with a key. Maneuvering it between his fingers and steadily falling into his own thoughts. But partway through, the key was grasped, pocketed into his jacket and he gave a brief sigh.
  216.  
  217. Just thinking about the spire expedition had him slightly stressed, and the fact there was so much preparations to be done, even now, was even worse. Looking towards the steadily working trio however, a small smile was given, alongside no words.
  218.  
  219. While they were focusing upon things, he quietly made their way from the workshop for now, to go look around Aurum momentarily.
  220. (Eshmun Hirai)
  221. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  222.  
  223.  Eshmun has no key actually, shit.
  224. (Eshmun Hirai)
  225. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  226.  Taking the time for Ardith to finish her runework upon the crucible, the fire drake would take his time to begin examing the parts he would need to assemble for the mechanisms that drove the project, oglign the wires, glass, and widgets that would somehow come together into a great work. He'd already begun to make mental notes of the assembly, visualizing the pieces coming together with a contented hum as he dug through each and every box to familiarize himself with the fine tuning.
  227.  
  228. Garrick would whistle a jolly, workman's tune as he wiped beads of sweat from his brow, turning back towards the crucible that was practically as large as the fire drakan himself with a bit of wonder and unrestrained awe. The drake was thoroughly used to using his magma to form the tools he required in the moment, but he'd never actually gotten the chance to work with genuinely manufactured equipment. Glancing over the great smelter with a wide smile and glowing glance, the crack scaled smith would dust off his palms before with a great heave of exertion, the great heater of metals was lifted from the floor.
  229.  
  230. Veins bulged with exertion in the spiderwebbed, scaly arms of the fire drake, a steady heaving of concerted effort as he took steadying breathes inbetween puffs of his raggedy cigarette. Waddling across the room towards the burn marks he'd made against the sheet metal for the crucible's placement, with a growl and vigorous heft the smelter would be set down with care upon the burn marked spot, followed swiftly by the fire drakan kneeling down once more and sparks of heat emanating from his glowing hot claw. The feet of the crucible were rifted to the sheet and flooring on all sides, holding with stability that even a volcanic eruption couldn't disrupt.
  231.  
  232. Well, unless the house exploded. But that was a no no.
  233.  
  234. Cracking his back, the fire drakan would then approach the trusty anvil, a far less exhausting burden to lift with his emerald scaled palms as he hefted the flat iron over his shoulder, taking a moment to take a deep breath and another smoke before pacing back towards the marks in the flat sheet, setting the anvil down with care upon the layering's expanse before dipping his molten claw into its bottom before dredging it deep within, forcing from the bound metal a condensed bolt upon each of its four sides with a nod of contentment.
  235.  
  236. The fire drakan would take a brief break from the heavy lifting to turn his attentions to the various parts that required assembly. Claw glowing hot, Garrick would get to work welding together that which required welding, screwing together mechanical widgets with a hum as he did his best not to break anything while familiarizing himself with the internal works of the magitek furnace as he worked.
  237.  
  238. It was steadily coming together.
  239. (Garrick)
  240. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  241.  
  242.  Whilst Garrick toiled and Ardith wrote, Loretta took up her small parts to the nearby tables to begin the process of attaching cables to one another and testing their capacity to conduct energy. Copper was an excellent conductor, but... these were cables made by Iral and Saba some time prior. She had to be cautious before putting all the tools to work. As the soldering kit was brought out, a brand new pair of pins were attached to the cables and sparks began to fly from a table that had it's contents blocked away by a small child's back. The pins began to pulse cables and a subtle burnt smell began to hit the room as the child pressed and pressured every bit of the cable with a heated charge from the soldering kit and followed it up with a pulse of electrical force.
  243.  
  244. Cables were slowly united in heated unison and tested with light straining pulls. Small plastic jacketing was produced for the cables as the child began her painstaking process of slowly covering a newlysoldered length of cables with it. Piece by piece, like minting a puzzle together. These cables were to be the test in the waters, to see if they could carry information appropriately from one medium to the next and since the others had their hands full, she could at least help expedite her own processes by handling the technological side of things. With freshly jacketed copper wiring at the ready, it was time to put it all together with one of the magitech panels designed to read data. Or in this case... a simple one. A thermometer to be precise! The copper cables are slowly and quaintly soldered to the finer zinc, copper and lithium cables of this very basic Valmese Thermometer part and... that's the end of that really. She'll have to wait for the end result of the furnace to be mounted up for that first.
  245.  
  246. Now with that done, the child wheeled about to see what was the status of her workers and compatriots now. Eshmun had departed, Ardith was surprisingly focused on etching each and every rune from memory into a notable circuit like pattern and Garrick was slowly hefting heavy parts to where he expected them to belong into, which now left Loretta with a half baked piece of technology that required further support for testing. Well... she didn't exactly have any more Mana Batteries here on standby either. So- Not much else to do than to set down the first of the test parts and flutter on over towards Garrick to see if she could put her strengths to use elsewhere. Maybe even help in the actual construction too.
  247.  
  248. "Anything I can help with over here?"
  249. (Loretta)
  250. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  251.  
  252.  Garrick says, "Hmm. Stand up against the wall if you could. I'm going to set up where your tools will hang, want to get the height right."
  253.  Loretta says, "Don't worry too much about it. I can float."
  254.  Garrick says, "That's exactly what I mean."
  255.  That does not stop the small child from doing exactly as told. While they are visibly smaller than most, she still floats at about the correct head height of other adults give or take. Looks like Garrick is already thinking ahead.
  256. (Loretta)
  257. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  258.  
  259.  Ardith is over there somewhere on the side; she doesn't register outside movement or noise at all. She's certainly 'in the zone' as it were.
  260.  
  261. Not only must they all be properly set and drawn but their creation alone takes a lot out of her. By the time she's finished her forehead is covered in a thin sheen of sweat. She kicks back to sit right on the floor.
  262. (Ardith)
  263. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  264.  
  265.  Garrick would nod steadily as he glance back at the various tools with a degree of wonder, thinking to himself briefly if one day he'd have a workshop half as fancy as the one he planned to assemble. Pacing back across the room towards the soon to be storage of Loretta's tools, he'd once more lift it with a grunt and heft over his coated shoulder with a steady huff as sweat poured down the lengths of his spiky, coal dusted hair.
  266.  
  267. Approaching where Loretta floated, he'd eyeball just about where her arms would find it easy to rise and grasp, holding up the piece as he applied the barest of gravitic wells beneath it against the wall to temporarily hold it in place while he paced from one corner to the next. Molten claw simmering with intense heat, Garrick would clasp a bit of material iron within his palm before turning it molten with the application of his superheated scales, swiftly riveting each of the four corners of the tool storage with a contented nodbefore taking a step back to ensure it fit Loretta's height adequately.
  268.  
  269. Taking a long drag from his cigarette with contentment, the fire drakan would glance over at the plopped out Ardith with a degree of tired amusement before taking a deep breathe, admiring the work so far as he took a long breathe.
  270.  
  271. "Alright, you want the vats you're going to cool parts with around here too? I'm working off your vision is all."
  272. (Garrick)
  273. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  274.  
  275. "Most of the parts I make are small enough that I can carry quenching oil vases and use those instead. For larger projects, it'd be a good idea to have suitable quenching throughs around here."
  276.  
  277. As Garrick worked with the child's height and approached the wall accordingly, she made sure to get out of the way so that they could continue their work unabated. Ardith on the other hand, seemed to have just finished from her extreme focus upon the furnace casing and had prompted to sit on the ground so whilst Garrick worked, Loretta... did Loretta things.
  278.  
  279. "Ardie, how're you holding up? Do you need a drink?"
  280.  
  281. Likely not what the accursed woman would immediately think of, but something to beat the heat nonetheless. This WAS a volcano after all.
  282. (Loretta)
  283. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  284.  
  285.  Garrick says, "Works for me, I'll set up the big vats over here."
  286.  God it is fucking hot in this place. No wonder Ardith's drenched in sweat, between the rune work and the fact they're on the edge of a volcano.
  287.  
  288. "Y'know...y'know yeah, that'd be peach," she wheezes, tugging at the collar of her armor.
  289.  
  290. She actually starts wrestling out of it. The Accursed doesn't have the pristine ability to regulate her temperature like some people.
  291. (Ardith)
  292. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  293.  Garrick would wipe pouring beads of sweat from his drenched hair as he glanced over at the largest dousing tank, a brief, heavy breath of exhaustion leaving his frame as he regalvanized himself with a crack of his neck and back. Pulling off his trusty engineer's coat, he'd lay it with care upon the nearby table before pulling his silvery cuirass with sweat doused slipperiness over his shoulders. With a dull clank, the frankly too often shirtless fire drakan was once more without his armor plating, revealing his torso as he got to work.
  294.  
  295. In all its black spiderwebbed, green glowing hand print in the center of his chest glory.
  296.  
  297. Pacing towards the great dousing tank, Garrick would wrap both of his unclothed arms wide around the base of the great metal tank before with a firm squat and heaving motion, the black veins that spread across his form would bulge as he heaved it upwards with all of his draconic might, hefting it with a steady waddle and fearful slipperiness towards the corner where the forge had been assembled before, with incredible care, setting it down within workable reach of the smelter and anvil.
  298.  
  299. Wiping a thick coating of sweat and soot from his forehead, the fire drakan would bend over on one knee, trailing his molten claw about the extent of the dousing tank's base with waves of rivetting dips, binding wood to metal inch by inch with manifested bolts before at last the heaviest of the cooling units was thoroughly reinforced and set down.
  300.  
  301. Sighing in relief, Garrick would rise before crossing his crack scaled arms over the emerald glow of his chest, turning towards Loretta and Ardith with a tired nod.
  302.  
  303. "I sorta wanna get in the tank myself at this point. Volcanos are hot man."
  304. (Garrick)
  305. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  306.  
  307.  Eshmun knocks on the door.
  308. (Eshmun Hirai)
  309. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  310.  
  311.  Well. It's not much, but the child did prepare for expressly this purpose. The Volcanic heat isn't exactly amenable to the dead either, if they have an excellent wind blowing typically from the northern end of it all at this cliff side. The child was quick to help move a number of boxes, discard some of the empty ones and overall make space in the area that was now seeing plenty of work done in it. Garrick, now the definite embodiment of visual eye candy with his sweating muscles and heavy duty construction work, would also be called on over as the child did her best to tidy up the work place by removing excess boxes and other tools that lay about. In truth, there wasn't much she could do here that did not rely on the technological side of things so, the next best thing she could provide?
  312.  
  313. Cold drinks. Cold drinks produced from one of the nearby runed chests that seemingly held the child's massive amount of wealth and supplies. What did she provide? Non-Alcoholic Grape juice of course.
  314.  
  315. "Here you two. Take something cool to help beat the heat for now."
  316. (Loretta)
  317. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  318.  
  319.  {Item} You picked up Grape Wine. Dropped by Loretta. .
  320.  Ardith hefts off the last of her torso armor over her head, chucking it off to the wayside. She's so happy to see the wine bottle and she takes a big swig.
  321.  
  322. ...Except it's not wine, and she immediately looks disappointed.
  323. (Ardith)
  324. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  325.  
  326.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Well."
  327.  Ardith says, "I...I feel so..."
  328.  Ardith says, "So /cheated/..."
  329.  Loretta says, "Ah. Welcome back Ser Eshmun. We're making good progress-"
  330.  Loretta asks, "What? Why?"
  331.  Eshmun Hirai says, "So, I just came here to say goodbye for now."
  332.  Ardith asks, "Oh, you're leaving?"
  333.  Eshmun Hirai says, "I'm returning back to Gehenna, to set up a few vials before the expedition sets off."
  334.  Ardith says, "Fuck...right."
  335.  Garrick proceeds to immediately down the liquid while ignoring its taste, emptying the entirety of its container into his gullet down to the last drop as he awaited the glorious relief of alchohol. Shutting his eyes, he'd smile as he awaited the beginnings of a good buzz.
  336.  
  337. A buzz that never came.
  338.  
  339. Frowning immensely, Garrick would turn with a squint at Loretta as he glanced at the bottle, shaking his head with a degree of disappointment as he glanced over the short undead.
  340. (Garrick)
  341. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  342.  
  343.  Ardith asks, "Mind if I take a sec to see him off, Lo?"
  344.  Garrick says, "What...is this lie juice."
  345.  Garrick says, "See ya Esh. Safe travels."
  346.  Loretta says, "Of course."
  347.  Ardith says, "I'll walk you to the steps if you want, Esh."
  348.  Eshmun Hirai says, "I'll take it."
  349.  Ardith says, "Don't gotta if you don't want to."
  350.  Garrick says, "Good time to take a brief break."
  351.  Loretta says, "So far, you're being quite the macho man."
  352.  Loretta says, "I'm just happy to be able to make precision parts again..."
  353.  Garrick says, "Macho is a word. Just doin' my job."
  354.  Loretta says, "I mean."
  355.  Loretta says, "You're a nice, tall, hunky and shirtless Drakanite man..."
  356.  Loretta says, "... doing all of my literal heavy lifting."
  357.  Garrick says, "Bad Loretta."
  358.  Loretta asks, "What?"
  359.  Loretta exclaims, "I'm still a girl you know! I DID surround myself with handsome oscuri men and workers once before!!"
  360.  Loretta exclaims, "I will certainly try to do so again!!"
  361.  Garrick says, "Technically still in a child's body. "
  362.  Garrick says, "But I won't judge too much."
  363.  Loretta says, "Fair point."
  364.  Garrick says, "It is good work though."
  365.  Garrick asks, "What else you think we need to handle?"
  366.  Garrick says, "Think I've set up the crucible, tool line up, cooling, anvil."
  367.  Loretta says, "Yeah, you've set up everything."
  368.  Loretta says, "I just have to personalize the tables later."
  369.  Garrick says, "Looks like it's coming together."
  370.  Garrick says, "Welcome back Ardi."
  371.  Loretta says, "Little by little, yeah. Thanks you two."
  372.  Ardith comes trotting back in, looking a little discontent. She plops right down on the floor where she had sat before and drinks the grape juice. Not even wine. Psh.
  373. (Ardith)
  374. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  375.  
  376.  Ardith says, "S'what you're paying me for."
  377.  Garrick says, "You know, if you had the coin to pay us Loretta."
  378.  Loretta asks, "Want a cushion so you can sit appropriately?"
  379.  Garrick says, "You had the coin to get us shit faced."
  380.  Loretta says, "I-"
  381.  Loretta says, "Er..."
  382.  Loretta asks, "... do... do you both want something alcoholic???"
  383.  Garrick says, "Very much so."
  384.  Loretta says, "I..."
  385.  Loretta says, "... erm..."
  386.  Loretta says, "... be right back..."
  387.  Garrick says, "Oh dear god she was flirting with me."
  388.  Ardith says, "...Pffha."
  389.  Garrick says, "I somehow feel in danger."
  390.  Garrick says, "You feelin' alright"
  391.  Garrick asks, "?"
  392.  Ardith says, "Eh. I'll be square. Just...fuckin' tired."
  393.  Garrick says, "Yeah, I feel that."
  394.  Garrick says, "Plenty of more work to do, no doubt."
  395.  Garrick asks, "You make any good progress with that Illyothan stuff?"
  396.  Garrick says, "Welcome back Loretta."
  397.  Loretta returns back with freshly purchased goods. Given that they are a child that knows NOTHING of alcohol... most of the stuff they picked up seems relatively cheap. Lots of cheap ale and regular booze, along with a few easily acquired wine bottles too.
  398. (Loretta)
  399. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  400.  
  401.  Loretta also brought about food that just REEKS of potency. What. Where'd they get THAT!?
  402. (Loretta)
  403. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  404.  
  405.  {Item} You picked up Sandwich. Dropped by Loretta. .
  406.  Garrick was an unpicky alcoholic, clasping the nearest bottle of ale before dousing his gullet with its minutely alcoholic contents, a sigh of relief exiting the drakan's visage as the panging in his head appeared to dissipate at last. Swooping up the sandwich without a thought, he'd begin to crunch away messily without the slightest bit of decorum, wiping the grease off upon the seams of his engineer's coat as the gods intended.
  407. (Garrick)
  408. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  409.  
  410.  Garrick asks, "So Loretta, what's the next big step?"
  411.  Loretta says, "Well... we got to arm up the Magitech Furnace."
  412.  Loretta says, "We got to set it up, see if Ardith's runes function as intended..."
  413.  Ardith says, "'Course they will."
  414.  Loretta says, "... then I got to wire it all up with the panels and test the waters accordingly."
  415.  Loretta says, "Ardie, I brought you some appropriate alcohol and some food in the interim."
  416.  Ardith says, "Oh thank fuck."
  417.  Loretta says, "Once you two are fully rested and have beaten the heat, we move on to the furnace."
  418.  Loretta says, "... and maybe some cold runes like the ones we use for refridgerators to cool up this lab."
  419.  Ardith doesn't care if it's cheap or expensive or anywhere in between. She uncaps the bottle and goes to town. Interspersed with bites of sandwich of course.
  420. (Ardith)
  421. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  422.  
  423. Garrick says, "Fascinating..."
  424. Garrick asks, "So you had this all in your old workshop?"
  425. Garrick asks, "Who built that one?"
  426. Loretta says, "More or less, yes."
  427. Loretta says, "My necromancer. Mother Roanna."
  428. Loretta says, "I had parts of it retooled and retrofitted."
  429. Garrick asks, "She was a smith then?"
  430. Loretta says, "All of the foundation work was already there... I just added all the parts that- Yes."
  431. Garrick asks, "Where'd she go?"
  432. Loretta says, "She's... around Aurum."
  433. Loretta says, "I got her a place to stay. She... doesn't leave very often..."
  434. Garrick asks, "That's sad. She a recluse then?"
  435. Loretta says, "Yeah."
  436. Loretta says, "I didn't really use the forge to it's full potential though."
  437. Loretta says, "I only used the molds, the crucible and the precision tools to make... well. Precision parts."
  438. Loretta says, "Cogwheels, cables, nippers, coils and springs to give an example."
  439. Garrick asks, "I'm guessing you didn't take after your momcromancer then?"
  440. Garrick asks, "So you use it sorta like an automated mill, makes the parts for you?"
  441. Loretta says, "No, I didn't and-"
  442. Loretta asks, "What did you just call her?"
  443. Garrick says, "Momcromancer."
  444. Loretta says, "Please do not call her that."
  445. Loretta says, "That sounds weird."
  446. Loretta says, "We're not... blood related per say."
  447. Garrick says, "Yeah, but you're fond of her."
  448. Loretta says, "But she gave me the chance to come back and I'm eternally grateful for that."
  449. Garrick says, "So she's your mom."
  450. Loretta asks, "I guess...?"
  451. Garrick says, "Doesn't matter if you're blood related."
  452. Garrick says, "Bonds like that go beyond what's in our veins."
  453. Loretta says, "It still sounds weird..."
  454. Garrick says, "Fine."
  455. Garrick says, "Necromom."
  456. Loretta frowns.
  457. (Loretta)
  458. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  459.  
  460. Loretta says, "... anyways... yes. I used it as a form of automated mill."
  461.  Loretta says, "I'd bring more qualified smiths to use the forge and it's more advanced features while I made cables, engines and all of the sort."
  462. Loretta says, "Even made Artificial Mana Crystals."
  463. Garrick says, "Huh. So your trade isn't so much engineering, but managing greater assets as a whole for a project."
  464. Loretta says, "Yeah."
  465. Loretta says, "I was the Director of the Imperial Research division."
  466. Loretta says, "I can make small things on my own, but my primary capabilities are in directing a project down a certain path and doing all the theory crafting."
  467. Garrick says, "I'd figure in itself, that's a talent set. Plenty of disorganized talents across the world, takes more than one person's skillsets to make something great."
  468. Loretta says, "That's true."
  469. Loretta says, "Well."
  470. Loretta says, "The end of the world is upon us."
  471. Garrick says, "Godspeed."
  472. Loretta says, "Ardith. I blame you."
  473. Garrick asks, "So once the workshop is set up, what's your big plans?"
  474. Garrick asks, "Gonna make something impressive?"
  475. Ardith flops back on the floor. Her sandwich is devoured, but she's still nursing that bottle of REAL alcohol.
  476. (Ardith)
  477. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  478.  
  479. Loretta says, "Well... rebuild the Magitech Armor."
  480. Loretta says, "Maybe work on earning someone's favor to make that body finally."
  481. Loretta says, "Maybe even ask if I can go teach at the Reimara Academy..."
  482. Garrick asks, "Reimara?"
  483. Garrick asks, "Ain't that where those black winged dickheads teach?"
  484. Loretta says, "Not exactly. Isaac is the Shogun of Huangzho, not the Reimara Academy."
  485. Loretta says, "The Academy is owned by the Demi Angels though, this is true."
  486. Garrick would take a steady swig from the ale as he wiped the sweat from his brow, leaning against the wall as he lit up a fresh cigarette to abuse his unrotted lungs with.
  487. (Garrick)
  488. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  489.  
  490. Ardith says, "Leven's got that fuckin' lighthouse. They'll use it on you in a heartbeat. Prolly whether you want it or not."
  491. Ardith says, "I hear tehy've got some sorta' fetish for 'cleansing' Accursed."
  492. Garrick says, "...They better not."
  493. Garrick says, "I never got the whole deal with that lighthouse shit."
  494. Garrick asks, "Seems like they're taking the choice from folk. Whatever happened to a jail cell?"
  495. Garrick says, "When did magical waterboarding becoming the moral high ground."
  496. Loretta says, "Yeeeeaah... I've been mulling my options."
  497. Loretta says, "I've sort of... all but given up on a Homunculus body at this point."
  498. Loretta says, "At least once I get a cultivation tank and forge going- I can keep myself going for as long as I can..."
  499. Garrick asks, "Couldn't you just build a new body from metal?"
  500. Ardith says, "Pfft...Humanity's fuckin' overrated anyway, let's be real."
  501. Loretta says, "I tried."
  502. Loretta says, "I want to live again."
  503. Loretta says, "Not be some sort of Golem."
  504. Garrick asks, "But why not?"
  505. Garrick says, "A human looking fake body is still a fake body."
  506. Garrick asks, "But a sweet, golem body that is eight feet tall and shoots magitek explosives?"
  507. Loretta says, "A human looking dead child, is still a dead child."
  508. Garrick says, "That is far less likely to be harassed."
  509. Loretta says, "I don't know about you, but- Best way to explain that is by using you as an example."
  510. Garrick says, "Humanity is just a boundary to be broken anyways. "
  511. Loretta says, "You're smoking here. You're drinking. You're eating. You're being merry."
  512. Ardith says, "Ain' feelin' real merry."
  513. Loretta says, "I don't remember what that feels like."
  514. Ardith asks, "Speakin' of. You got more of this booze?"
  515. Loretta says, "I bought a bunch of six packs."
  516. Garrick says, "Yes, I'll take booze."
  517. Loretta says, "I'll leave them in the fridge boxes."
  518. Loretta gently shoves the crates of alcohol on over, while also producing comfortable cushions for the crew to sit upon rather than the cold, hard floor.
  519. (Loretta)
  520. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  521.  
  522. Ardith says, "Oh thank fuck. Best. Employer."
  523. Ardith downs the first bottle, grabs a second, and belly flops onto the cushion.
  524. (Ardith)
  525. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  526.  
  527. Garrick would contently take a fresh can of alcoholic indulgement from the crate with a two clawed salute to Loretta, glancing down at the pillow for a time before appearing to circle it a bit like a reptile, squinting before slumping cozily upon its confines.
  528. (Garrick)
  529. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  530.  
  531. Loretta says, "That's so unhealthy..."
  532. Loretta just... casually sits down unto the cushion that is visibly BIGGER than her.
  533. (Loretta)
  534. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  535.  
  536. Garrick says, "We're put here for a good time, not a long time."
  537. Loretta says, "Yeah, but all those things you all enjoy and take for granted."
  538. Loretta says, "Eating. Drinking. Sleeping..."
  539. Loretta says, "... I miss doing those things."
  540. Loretta says, "I miss being alive."
  541. Ardith says, "...Being alive's nice. I can say that much."
  542. Ardith says, "Rather be alive than dead."
  543. Garrick says, "Yeah..."
  544. Garrick says, "Big facts."
  545. Loretta says, "Exactly."
  546. Garrick says, "I mean, you're doing more than most folk do with their whole, taken for granted lives while being dead."
  547. Garrick says, "Should be some pride in that."
  548. Loretta says, "Because I'm being cautious, stubborn and patient."
  549. Loretta says, "And even then, I've achieved nothing."
  550. Ardith asks, "Whaddya' mean nothing? We're here, ain't we?"
  551. Garrick says, "Exactly."
  552. Ardith asks, "And we're...helping Mert do whatever. Right?"
  553. Loretta says, "Yeah."
  554. Loretta says, "Well, Ardie..."
  555. Ardith says, "Still hope Esh ain't waste that shard on this stupid fuckin' lizard."
  556. Loretta says, "I'm paying you both."
  557. Garrick says, "Ugh."
  558. Loretta says, "I can make coin. Anyone can, really."
  559. Garrick says, "I....deeply resent that creature."
  560. Loretta asks, "Why?"
  561. Loretta says, "She's one of the few friends I have left..."
  562. Ardith says, "Think you need better friends."
  563. Ardith says, "...'Said the pot to the kettle'. Pfff."
  564. Ardith flips over to her back and shotguns her drink.
  565. (Ardith)
  566. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  567. Garrick says, "It's existence mocks those of the dragonblood that cannot achieve by being the..."
  568. Loretta says, "Most of my friends are dead, missing or have a bounty as big as my coffers."
  569. Garrick says, "Most pathetic excuse for a newt I've ever seen."
  570. Loretta says, "Even if they're just a newt..."
  571. Loretta asks, "Don't you think they deserve the chance to be free?"
  572. Loretta asks, "To be alive?"
  573. Garrick says, "We're you're friends, I reckon. Or else we wouldn't be abusing your alcohol and sandwiches."
  574. Loretta says, "Er... I 'did' hire you two for work practice."
  575. Garrick says, "I'm not...devoutly religious. Let's make that clear."
  576. Loretta says, "It's fine. I don't rightly care for theology anymore."
  577. Garrick says, "But Ryujin is the lord of the spirit realm. She'd be freer if she went back."
  578. Loretta says, "No one cares anymore either..."
  579. Garrick says, "Dragons are born from five things, Loretta."
  580. Garrick says, "Time, body, energy, land, and spirit."
  581. Ardith says, "I mean...I'm all about giving things freedom. "
  582. Ardith says, "I ain't give no fucks about spirits or gods or anything, really."
  583. Ardith says, "They ain't mean shit to me."
  584. Loretta says, "... and from being laid as an egg."
  585. Loretta says, "She was coalesced from an ancient dragon that wasn't all that kind."
  586. Loretta says, "Borne of hatred and terrible circumstance."
  587. Loretta says, "And- She's my friend."
  588. Loretta asks, "The dead they have a sort of... kindred sense amongst one another. A camaraderie of sorts. Know what I mean?"
  589. Garrick says, "I get that."
  590. Garrick says, "And as I said, not devout, or I wouldn't be offering my services to help."
  591. Loretta says, "Once you breach that border, it's hard to ever forget it."
  592. Ardith huffs softly. She reaches for more from that blessed crate before she continues to /wallow/.
  593. (Ardith)
  594. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  595.  
  596.  Loretta says, "It's cold. It's lonely."
  597.  Loretta says, "It's... mind numbingly lonely."
  598.  Loretta says, "..."
  599.  Loretta asks, "Ardie, is that even safe to do?"
  600.  Ardith asks, "Whaddya mean?"
  601.  Loretta is visibly surprised Ardith isn't CHOKING yet.
  602. (Loretta)
  603. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  604.  
  605.  Ardith isn't choking. Yet. She's a professional though.
  606. (Ardith)
  607. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  608.  
  609. Garrick says, "Ardi's blood alcohol content works more like a scoreboard than a warning list."
  610. Loretta says, "That's highly concerning."
  611. Garrick would pound another brew as he munched upon some remnants of lettuce from the savory sandwich, humming to himself as his molten gaze flicked between Loretta and Ardith with a shrug.
  612. (Garrick)
  613. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  614.  
  615. Ardith says, "I drink...like. "
  616. Ardith says, "A lot."
  617. Garrick says, "Goes with what you're sayin' Loretta. Dead, alive, everyone feels lonely."
  618. Ardith asks, "Was that not on my application?"
  619. Garrick says, "Some folks just feel less."
  620. Loretta says, "Not really, no Ardie."
  621. Loretta says, "Garrick, it's... different."
  622. Garrick says, "Wait you had an application? I feel robbed."
  623. Loretta says, "It's just an endless void."
  624. Loretta says, "Dark, eternal... always there."
  625. Loretta says, "No color. No sense of self. No anything."
  626. Loretta says, "You just drift away in a cold and endless pit of dark until you're nothing left."
  627. Garrick says, "..."
  628. Loretta says, "I breached that veil when I was ten."
  629. Garrick asks, "What do you need for that body?"
  630. Ardith seems to melt further and further into the floor as she drinks. And into the pillow.
  631. (Ardith)
  632. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  633.  
  634. Loretta says, "A Spire Shard."
  635. Garrick says, "Then we'll get one for you. So you can learn old fashioned loneliness and alcoholism"
  636. Loretta says, "That'd at least give me something to look forward to..."
  637. Garrick says, "That's all there is to it then."
  638. Garrick says, "I don't really like that dragon, sorta prefer it dies."
  639. Garrick says, "But I'd rather you live."
  640. Loretta says, "..."
  641. Loretta just... hangs hear head in a guilty fashion.
  642. (Loretta)
  643. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  644.  
  645. Garrick says, "It"
  646. Garrick says, "It isn't wrong to be selfish once in a while Loretta."
  647. Garrick says, "You deserve to experience all the shitty parts of life everyone else does."
  648. Garrick says, "Then you can gain a real drinking problem."
  649. Loretta asks, "Don't they do too?"
  650. Garrick says, "Probably? But here's the funny thing. "
  651. Garrick says, "I don't give a shit about them. But you're pretty cool. Sorta freaky that you're in a kid body, but smart."
  652. Garrick says, "And you gave me a job."
  653. Ardith says, "I seen that dragon be a giant fuckin' asshole."
  654. Ardith says, "Ain't seen you be an asshole yet."
  655. Loretta says, "I guess..."
  656. Loretta says, "I mean... it's hard to find people that accept you for what you are."
  657. Garrick asks, "Sides, you...what, make that dragon a new body?"
  658. Garrick says, "It's not like it'll be a dragon."
  659. Loretta says, "I mean-"
  660. Loretta says, "I could? I'd have to make a Homunculus first..."
  661. Garrick says, "Seems like you could shove it in a shitty housecat body, it'd achieve about as much."
  662. Loretta says, "..."
  663. Garrick says, "The dragon isn't here setting up an advanced forge to make wonders."
  664. Garrick says, "Or worrying about other people."
  665. Loretta is visibly sad, but they do bring up a hand up to their mouth to hold the urge to giggle away.
  666. (Loretta)
  667. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  668.  
  669. Ardith asks, "...It is hard. To fine people like that. Y'know?"
  670. Ardith says, "That'll...y'know. Not mind what you are. I get that."
  671. Garrick asks, "Yeah...but right now?"
  672. Garrick says, "We ain't running away from you. We're drinking up a year's worth of alcohol on your fancy pillows."
  673. Loretta asks, "Eeeeh... more like a week's worth?"
  674. Loretta says, "I'll have to buy more soon..."
  675. Garrick says, "Day's worth frankly."
  676. Garrick says, "If that."
  677. Loretta says, "To you maybe."
  678. Garrick says, "There's gonna be plenty of people out there that'll accept you without being compelled, Loretta."
  679. Garrick says, "You're good people. Dead, alive, don't matter."
  680. Loretta says, "I hope so."
  681. Ardith belches. Loudly.
  682. (Ardith)
  683. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  684.  
  685.  Loretta says, "I really, really hope so-"
  686.  Loretta says, "... Kraus dammit Ardie."
  687.  Garrick says, "And if they don't? Ardi and I will beat'm up."
  688.  Garrick would snort, taking another hefty swig from his noble alcoholic dispenser.
  689. (Garrick)
  690. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  691.  
  692.  Ardith says, "Ain't you go volunteering me for shit, Gar"
  693.  Ardith says, "I'll fuckin' stomp your head."
  694.  Loretta says, "Snnnrk..."
  695.  Garrick says, "Pffffffff."
  696.  Garrick says, "Bold to assume I'm not too thick skulled."
  697.  Loretta says, "Well."
  698.  Loretta says, "You two are welcome to wander around for a bit."
  699.  Loretta says, "Enjoy an appropriate break rather than keeping your child boss company."
  700.  Loretta asks, "We can return and finish the Furnace in a few hours. Sound good?"
  701.  Ardith says, "I think...Thinkin' I'm feelin' good here."
  702.  Ardith starts reaching into the crate with grabby hands, not even looking in it. Going by feel.
  703. (Ardith)
  704. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  705.  
  706.  Garrick says, "Yeah, I ain't got much in ways of plans."
  707.  Loretta says, "Can also laze around if you'd like."
  708.  Garrick says, "Works for me."
  709. Loretta says, "Well..."
  710. Loretta says, "I'll leave you two an allowance for more alcohol and foodstuffs if you feel like it."
  711. Loretta asks, "How does three hundred coins a head sound?"
  712. Garrick says, "I won't refuse money for alcohol."
  713. Loretta says, "Alright. Here you are. Both of you."
  714.  Loretta proceeds to just... very methodically produce out their coin purse and starts taking out three coins. Three Platinum coins. Each.
  715. (Loretta)
  716. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  717.  
  718.  Garrick would take a brief crunch of his teeth against each of the platinum coins with a contented nod, tucking them away with an appreciative thumbs up to Loretta.
  719. (Garrick)
  720. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  721.  
  722.  Ardith lazily makes grabby hands at the coins. "Thanks, Lo," she slurs.
  723. (Ardith)
  724. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  725.  
  726. {Item} Picked up a bag of 300 dropped by Loretta.
  727. Loretta says, "..."
  728. Loretta just prompts to wander over towards Ardith and lazily drop them. Not in her hands. In her face.
  729. (Loretta)
  730. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  731. Ardith sits there very still as she registers just what to do with coins on her face. Eventually she picks them up and shoves them into her pockets.
  732. (Ardith)
  733. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  734.  
  735. Garrick asks, "Stay safe out there, yeah?"
  736. Loretta says, "I'm just gonna be upstairs."
  737. Loretta says, "If you need me or want to return to finish the Furnace, do inform me."
  738. Garrick says, "Even better."
  739. Loretta says, "Stay safe and comfortable you two."
  740. Loretta says, "Oh and Ardie..."
  741. Loretta asks, "Drink responsibly, would you?"
  742. Ardith says, "Pffft."
  743. Ardith says, "Responsible. S'a funny word."
  744. Garrick says, "That sounds like a challenge."
  745. Garrick asks, "So, what's eating at you Ardi?"
  746. Ardith says, "...Nothin'."
  747. Ardith says, "Ain' nothin'."
  748.  
  749.  A good break from heaving, moving, runescribing and drilling holes into the furnace block was just what the duo needed to make sure all things were in order and now that Garrick was here? They could bear witness to the changes in the small forge that had been settled here. The large metal box that was as big as Ardith standing upright fully (including the horns) had seen some work in the form of brand new runes, a pair of strange transparent glass panels, some unsightly copper cable work that seemed somewhat familiar and a good few tools, nuts, bolts and screws being set aside by the nearby tables.
  750.  
  751. Overall, Ardith and Loretta had gotten started on the centerpiece of the Magitech Forge. The Magitech Automill was almost complete after all. It just needed a few more pieces for assembly and preparation.
  752.  
  753. "We drilled one panel in. Gotta drill in the next ones. Then, we gotta put in the doors to the furnace, calibrate the panels, make a nice heat vent to the roof and we should be done. Honestly... let's get the furnace working before I get ahead of myself."
  754.  
  755. And as it stands? Doing that would be a very, very simple task. One that now saw Loretta offering the same drill towards the Accursed as she floated on over towards one of the panels that still held power to it. Thank Kraus Ardith had powered it before they took their break.
  756.  
  757. "Just got to make sure all the panels are on and in sync before I start touching anything. Garrick, the doors of the furnace haven't been installed yet, so think you could set them up? Just got to jam them into place."
  758. (Loretta)
  759. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  760.  Garrick says, "Yeah, sure thing. Guessing I oughta attach the hinges then."
  761.  Garrick says, "Unless you just sorta want a door that's basically a rock in front of a cave."
  762.  Loretta says, "Yes. You got to attach the hingers."
  763. Loretta says, "There's some drills, some phillip screwdrivers and bolts on the table."
  764.  Ardith asks, "I can handle uuuh...screwing in the panels?"
  765.  Ardith asks, "You got marked where they want to go?"
  766.  Garrick says, "Ain't need all that. Got my claws."
  767.  Loretta says, "Just press them to the rest of the panels and drill in the holes. So long as they're not tilted or too far apart from each other, I don't really mind where you drill them."
  768. [00:03] Ardith says, "I already got the drill."
  769.  Ardith says, "You got it."
  770.  Garrick says, "Works for me."
  771.  Garrick asks, "I oughta wait til you got the panels down to put the door on?"
  772.  Loretta says, "We can do both at the same time."
  773.  Garrick says, "Simple enough then."
  774.  Garrick says, "Time to work."
  775.  Loretta says, "I'll just have to float out of the way so there's enough space for all of us. Forge can get a bit cramped..."
  776.  Garrick says, "Says the short one."
  777.  Loretta exclaims, "Hey!"
  778.  Ardith says, "We'll be fine."
  779.  Ardith says, "I got the panels. You get the doors. Easy."
  780.  Garrick says, "Let's hop to it then."
  781.  
  782. Garrick would crack his knuckles with a steady nod to Ardith and Loretta, flicking his molten gaze over the forge with an idle hum as he glanced over the fruits of their recent hard labor with a toothy smile. The fire drake couldn't deny, it felt good to be a part of something bigger than himself, actually applying his skillset to something beyond backscratchers, cripple kits, and far, far, far too many throwing knives.
  783.  
  784. What they were doing here? It was for something great.
  785.  
  786. The fire drakan would pace over to the mass of metal that was the furnace's door to be, scanning over the slab as his gaze flicked between it, the hinges that needed to be connected, and the space where the portal of smelting would be set up in earnest. Clasping the first of the flat pieces of open-close sheet metalry, Garrick would eyeball the rough distance he'd require between the two attached hinges for the smallest margin of error in forge work before getting to work. Clasping the metal piece in his crack scaled palms, he'd trail his claw up the lengths of the door until he reached roughly one sixth of the way down from the top, lining roughly a third of hinge over the door's length with an idle hum.
  787.  
  788. Raising a single, super heated claw, the scaly smith would go to work with a curving motion, forming the necessary, spiral carved holes with some precise scratching of his molten widget against the metal, repeating the process about eight inches below where the other half of the hinge ended while maintaining its placement for alignment with a bit of gravitic pressure. Humming to himself, the smith would grab one of the trusty screw before beginning to carefully twist it in with care, waiting until its full length was properly tightened in before applying smelting fire and pressure to the screw, sealing it sturdily into the hinge to ensure not even the most tremendous of eruptions could knock the mechanism from its binding.
  789.  
  790. One down, one to go.
  791.  
  792. The fire drakan would let out a hearty whistle as he twisted in the other screw for the top hinge with care, getting lost in his work as his molten eyes trailed up the length of the door while maintaining focus upon the gravitic pressure that held the piece firmly in place, only removing his hands once the first of the two hinges was firmly secured upon the door. Clasping the other piece of metal, Garrick would move one sixth of the furnace door's length up from the bottom before proceeding to repeat the same process over without much delay or effort. embedding the glowing hot screws and spiraled holes together until at last a door with two fully functional hinges ready to be attached to a furnace was entirely complete.
  793.  
  794. It would hold. Now for the ladies.
  795. (Garrick)
  796. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  797.  
  798.  Ardith powers up the drill with a few whirs. It's a very empowering tool, okay. She's got a good eye for keeping things straight and lines up the panels on the front with the first one they'd set into place.
  799.  
  800. First she puts it into place over the metal shell of the furnace, then drills in the pilot holes with a steady hand. After she places in the screws and guides them into place to fasten the plates into position.
  801.  
  802. It's not too unlike runework. It requires precision, a careful touch. Unlike runework however it has a lot more room for error. Something isn't going to blow up if she doesn't sink in these screws just right.
  803.  
  804. One by one she sets the panels. She even makes nifty chalk outlines- she loves that fucking chalk- to make sure they all stay straight and in place when being set onto the metallic carapace of the furnace.
  805.  
  806. (Ardith)
  807. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  808.  
  809.  Garrick says, "Alright, panels set, I can put on the door."
  810.  Ardith asks, "I think...that's got 'em set?"
  811.  Garrick says, "I figure we'll find out if we try to smelt something and it just fuckin' explodes."
  812.  
  813.  On one end, Garrick is once again doing the heavy lifting. The heavy looking furnace box had been heaved and moved by Loretta without troubles earlier, so when he started punching in holes and setting in the hinges to do the task of heavy lifting anew? It let the child wander over to help monitor Ardith's application of the drill and pilot holes. Simple stuff on both fronts really.
  814.  
  815. The assembly of the doors and the preparation of the runes was pivotal to the shape of the furnace and what it'd ultimately be doing, so while the child really did not have much else to do given Ardith got the hang of setting the panels in place and Garrick was standing by to set the door, the small child floated over one of Ardith's shoulders to gently press a finger on the panel and-
  816.  
  817. Voila.
  818.  
  819. The panel was now alight with symbols, letters and warning messages. Once again, it was requesting calibrations, along with a number of other symbols and more! Things that Loretta would likely have to handle once the assembly of the furnace was complete.
  820.  
  821. Calibration Required. Standing by for Calibrations. Y/N?
  822.  
  823. "Well. She did my job for me there, so Garrick. Once you mount up the doors, let me know. I got to install the thermostat sensor close to it and start fiddling with the power runes."
  824.  
  825. That didn't stop her from pressing unto the panel and beginning to slide her index finger over symbols, letters and other little boxes that appeared time and again. Questions, pop ups and even a small illuminated hourglass came up on the panel in question, seemingly... doing something. On it's screen it read:
  826.  
  827. Calibrations in progress at 0%. Please standby.
  828.  
  829. Looked pretty fancy.
  830. (Loretta)
  831. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  832.  
  833.  Ardith says, "...Fuck this drill is DOPE."
  834.  Garrick asks, "Why don't you just get a windy staff that's also a drill?"
  835.  Garrick says, "Already half spinning."
  836.  Ardith blinks and holds up the drill. She makes it whir with a few successive clicks. An idea dawns on her...
  837. (Ardith)
  838. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  839.  
  840.  Garrick would crack his back, neck, and knuckles with a swift and steady drag of his raggedy cigarette, glancing over the massive length of the door he'd applied the hinges to with the slightest sigh before his sharp toothed smile quirked up with a sense of satisfaction. Bending over, the drakan would clasp each side of the massive door with his claws, lifting with his back and a steady grunt as veins began to bulge in his musculature from exertion. With a massive heave, the flatly laid door was now risen from the ground, suspended in the air before his person by brute force alone.
  841.  
  842. Waddling steadily across the length of the workshop, the fire drake would grit his teeth as he guessed vaguely where he was heading towards while shutting his molten eyes to focus, moving slowly and steadily so as not to accidently smash the mass of metal into the glass and fuck up all the effort they'd worked towards so far. Step by step, the crack scaled smith would approach the magitekfurnace, a delicate clink confirming that the drakan had at last arrived where he was required to be.
  843.  
  844. Setting the door down flat carefully, the smith would take a step back to glance at the furnace, making mental notes as he mathed out the distance and holes he'd require before his claw would once more begin to glow with brilliant, super heated energy. Clambering up a bit, the smith would make the same riveted holes the first thirds of the hinges had possessed eight inches apart from each other, repeating the pattern one sixth up the bottom and one sixth down from the top. With another heave of of effort, the spider webbed cracks that lined the smith's scales would glow with heat as his muscles bulged, rising the door with care and precision before with a forceful, accurate motion, the smith would force the furnace's door into place.
  845.  
  846. Almost done.
  847.  
  848. Clasping a handful of screws, Garrick would begin to twist and rivet each of the hinges screws without heating up this pair, ensuring the necessary malleability for opening and closing the door remained for the second half that wasn't required for the first. With care, a bit of metal carving with his glowing hot claw, and just a bit of spit and bootshine on top of the drakan's eyeballed luck, the scaly smith's silvery sabatons would clank to the wooden floor contently as he took a long, steady puff from his cigarette to admire his handiwork.
  849.  
  850. The door, hinges and all, was applied.
  851. (Garrick)
  852. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  853.  
  854. Garrick says, "Damn, nearly threw out my back. "
  855.  
  856.  Whereas Garrick was busily setting down the door with a satisfying heft of metal and a clacking of rivets and bolts at eight inches apart from one another and following a symmetrical pattern no less, Loretta continued to tap, tap away at the panels. A good five panels there were in total, all giving varying read outs and different data, even if ultimately all were simple and easy to read. So easy, even a Cave Drakan could use it.
  857.  
  858. One gave an accurate temperature, adjustable between Fahrenheit, Celsius and Kelvin Values.
  859. Another was simply a timer. Tap the screen, set the time and voila.
  860. A third was a weight monitor. So far that panel was reading: PLEASE INSTALL SENSOR TO CONTINUE
  861. The fourth one presented a sort of power gauge that read just how much power was on the panels via a percentage that quaintly read currently at a decent 97% Charge, which was nice of Ardith given she set four runes.
  862. The fifth and largest panel was still handling 'calibrations' and the percentage on it's screen had barely moved much, if at all.
  863.  
  864. Anyone could see these panels and their given readouts, but until the setup was complete? There was not much else that could be done here.
  865.  
  866. "Thank you Garrick. Now... just got to give these a few more minutes while they sync up with one another and then I got to wire up the cables to the main power ring below. Just gotta get creative on the circuitboard so they can send an on and off signal..."
  867.  
  868. For a few seconds? Loretta grew pensive. She's been able to rig a machine like this to work off of gas, coal and other assorted methods of heating. Never before has she done the same but with more traditional scribing methods.
  869.  
  870. "Ardie, do you have anyionized ink I could borrow?"
  871. (Loretta)
  872. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  873.  
  874.  Ardith asks, "Pfft. Does a bear shit in the woods?"
  875. Loretta says, "... Polar bears don't."
  876.  
  877.  Ardith gets to kick back for a little bit and play with the drill, which is super fucking cool and giving her some seriously nice ideas.
  878.  
  879. But she has to stop her playtime for a little while to trot over and hand off a vial of viscous, sparkling ink.
  880.  
  881. "Yeah, but there's woods even up here in the north. Shut up and take the damn thing."
  882. (Ardith)
  883. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  884.  
  885.  Garrick says, "Pfffff."
  886.  Garrick says, "Okay, color me dumb."
  887.  Garrick asks, "But whwat's anyionized ink?"
  888.  Ardith says, "Ionized ink."
  889.  Ardith says, "Eejit."
  890.  Garrick says, "Pffff."
  891.  Garrick couldn't help himself. He smiled, laughing light heartedly.
  892. (Garrick)
  893. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  894.  Of course Ardith would find some excuse to sass or just say whatever strange oddity comes to her mind. That woman's one of a kind to be sure. With a sigh of disappointment, Loretta prompted to pick up the ink from Ardith's hands, a new slew of cables and the soldering kit that she had originally used to set the cables that linked the panels to their power runes on the top of the furnace. Now, it's time to get creative with the tools at her disposal.
  895.  
  896. "Of course you'd say something like that. Anyways... I'm gonna try and hook up the main circuit panel with the runes inside okay? Don't touch anything while I'm inside. Please."
  897.  
  898. And no sooner was she saying that than she was testing the hinges of the heavy door that Garrick had installed, swinging them back and forth a few times to check for creaks, sounds or anything else that might be out of place. The symmetry was certainly nice and the lack of sounds was welcoming. Just a few drops of oil and even a simpleton without muscles could open these doors with ease, so that earned Garrick a hearty thumbs up from the child before she quietly floated inside and popped open the inkwell that she was given.
  899.  
  900. Now. She's no runescribe, but she knows how conductivity works and how at certain intervals, it can cause other non-conductive things to function. The runes that Ardith spent a good few hours some time before were her target and while they were connected on their own, they needed something to present resistance. Something that'd incentivize the runes to either inhibit or release their full potential to draw power from more of the circles that would power the main rune.
  901.  
  902. A means of controlling the input and output that the runes had, if one willed.
  903.  
  904. "Ionized ink is the same as regular ink, except gien a slight magnetic charge due to it's composition. It's generally used as a ferrofluid of sorts when making compass markers and dowsing rods."
  905.  
  906. The child set about with a paintbrush to gently dab some of this ink over the connecting bridges between lines, pieces and little runes of the large circle that Ardith had created, being quite heavy handed with the ones at the top and barely dabbing a touch of the ink on the ones at the bottom. In short? She was creating pathways of least resistance to pathways with most resistance. Would it work? She had no idea. Will she go through with it?
  907.  
  908. Well. By the way she discarded that little brush that she had attained out of nowhere from the furnace and began to now gently take three large copper wires to solder to the outer circles of the powered rune ring? The answer seemed likely.
  909. (Loretta)
  910. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  911.  
  912.  Ardith says, "Yep."
  913.  Ardith says, "Adds a little kick to my lightning enchantments too."
  914.  Garrick says, "Huh."
  915.  Garrick says, "That's...huh."
  916.  Garrick says, "I can think of a few applications for that."
  917.  Garrick says, "...Holy shit. Electro-stimulus added to the backscratchers."
  918.  Loretta says, "That sounds dangerous."
  919.  Loretta says, "You shock your spine, you could induce partial paralysis or worse."
  920.  Ardith doesn't have much to add in the way of labor or in the way of talking, but she does have a lot to learn her. She hovers around the diminutive artificer, literally and figuratively shadowing her as she scrawls notes.
  921.  
  922. "You...you sure that's gonna be able to conduct all that energy right?"
  923.  
  924. The Accursed genuinely isn't sure. It's why she asks, it's how best she learns.
  925. (Ardith)
  926. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  927.  
  928.  Garrick says, "Loretta."
  929.  Garrick says, "Progress takes sacrifice."
  930.  Garrick asks, "How will I make the best backscratcher if I don't cripple myself a little bit in the trial and error?"
  931.  Loretta exclaims, "Terrible. Terrible!!"
  932.  
  933.  Garrick would approach with curiosity, wiping a few beads of sweat from his matted forehead as he dragged idly from his raggedy cigarette. The smith might be good at hammer work and molding, but his qualifications as an engineer weren't the sharpest in Agartha just yet. The minutia of machinery still oft eluded him, especially with his old work space being a literal homeless camp scattered in empty bottles.
  934.  
  935. The drakan would watch, molten eyes hanging upon the work as it steadily assembled with an unconscious quirk of his lips into a smile, marveling at the piece as he puffed away steadily.
  936. (Garrick)
  937. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  938.  
  939.  "Honestly? No. I'm not really sure. I'd have used tape or plastic jackets with wires to try and connect each and every rune, but we'd be here all night if I did that and these runes seem pretty powerful. Using enough Ink ought to work, right? I also need to see if I can successfully send signals from the main circuit panel to here and see if they work."
  940.  
  941. Because interfacing magitechnology with runes isn't exactly a 1:1 ratio on things. Even with magic, not everything 'just works'. Runes have interfaced plenty with technology for simple means in the past, but- This is a tad bit more complicated than that.
  942.  
  943. "Just got to finish soldering these cables and- Oh, right. Ardith, punch me a pilot hole abooout… two inches above the main circuit board for me?"
  944.  
  945. It's all coming together now for the big test. The first test that'll let them know if the forge works or not.
  946. (Loretta)
  947. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  948.  
  949. Ardith gives a few more test whirs of the drill, holding it up triumphantly. Whrrrrrr. Where Loretta directs she punches a pilot hole into the metal, grinning.
  950.  
  951. She loves this thing a little TOO much.
  952.  
  953. "Then let 'er rip, Capn'!"
  954. (Ardith)
  955. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  956.  
  957.  Garrick says, "We oughta get you your own drill Ardi. It suits you."
  958.  Garrick says, "In a...frightening kind of way."
  959.  Garrick says, "..."
  960.  Garrick says, "Huh."
  961.  Garrick says, "Drill...horns."
  962.  Garrick says, "Hmm."
  963.  
  964.  Maybe letting Ardith play with a dangerous power tool wasn't the brightest idea. At least she hasn't punctured herself or anyone with it yet, so... she can keep having her fun for now. The hole is a bit bigger than what it is needed for, but before long? The telltale smell of something being burned comes about along with the sizzling sounds of the soldering tips and a thin piece of copper pokes on through that drilled section. Things are set down, the child pokes themselves out of the furnace with their tools in hand and in the same way that they entered the same? They float on over towards Ardith and the hole they had them poke with the drill.
  965.  
  966. Bzzt! Bzz! Snap!
  967.  
  968. The soldering kit has once more fulfilled it's purpose as copper wiring is burnt into the side of the furnace and into the back of this transparent panel, kit now set away as the child begins to fiddle with it's back. The sounds of things being moved and clicked into place is heard and after that? Dead silence.
  969.  
  970. "Alright. I'm going to keep the doors of the furnace open, finish the calibration and turn her own. I need you two to open all the windows and stand back... saaaay… fifteen meters. For safety purposes."
  971.  
  972. Oh boy. The time has now come. The calibrations percentage reads out 87% and the massively heavy wrought iron doors of the furnace have now been swung wide and the child begins to punch in commands unto the panel in question. Static sounds are heard from the inside of the box, panels start flashing in colors.
  973.  
  974. Oh god. She's gonna turn it on. Oh fuck.
  975. (Loretta)
  976. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  977.  Garrick would nod in assent to Loretta as he took a pensive puff from his raggedy cigarette, watching their efforts seemingly finally come to fruition with a wide smile he couldn't help feeling spread across his reptilian visage. It really was something, and to think it'd all just been a bunch of boxes and boot work just a small while ago. The fire drakan felt...good, felt useful. He was happy to be here at work, where he could be at his best.
  978.  
  979. Pacing around the length of the workshop's floor, the cracked scaled smith would abuse his blessed height to open as many windows as he could alongside Ardith, returning to approach ten feet instead of fifteen away from the forge. Worst case, he'd get shocked, but he wanted a good view and had had worse.
  980. (Garrick)
  981. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  982.  
  983.  As much as Ardith's curiosity entices her to disobey the direct command from her boss, along with her rebellious and contrary nature, she definitely likes not being deep fried to a crispy filet.
  984.  
  985. So she obliges, backs away, and starts flinging open windows and doors where possible.
  986.  
  987. "Alright, alright. You got it."
  988. (Ardith)
  989. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  990.  
  991.  A loud beeping sound came from the furnace, an indicative of calibrations being completed. The screens missing their sensors still flashed error messages and the thermometer sensor was still not hooked up inside, but it did not matter for the main panel read out actions within small boxes.
  992.  
  993. There weren't anymore than three, with those being ON/OFF/CALIBRATE, but they were simple and that is all that mattered. The child's index finger floated over to the one to turn on the machine and then?
  994.  
  995. It began.
  996.  
  997. Thankfully? There was no explosion. A very sudden and very oppressive heat wave came from the insides of the furnace, threatening to make even the staunch Magma Dragoon and Free Spirited Satyr melt. There was no fire and no immediate threat however, for after the button had been pressed? Options appaeared on the panel to either raise or lower power. The latter was pressed immediately.
  998.  
  999. Thrice.
  1000.  
  1001. The heat within the room had grown immediate, almost as if someone was tip toeing ever so dangerously close to the lava outside in the Volcano! But more importantly? It was controlled. It was actively being controlled by the small panel at the press of a finger tip, which made a loud beeping sound whenever it registered a button input. This meant that the first action of turning on the furnace was a rousing success and more importantly?
  1002.  
  1003. Everyone in the immediate area was safe, sound and only heated up like a burrito. The child turned towards her fellow co-workers with a smile on her face to show off what little bit of work she had just handled on a project that required the expertise of the trio to successfully pull off. One small step for Science, one giant leap for Loretta's dreams of having her Magitech laboratory restored.
  1004.  
  1005. "Well? It works as intended and we didn't have to test it forty times~. It doesn't have all the other sensors in it, but it works and that means we can now start producing our own tools, supplies and more. Thanks to you two, the Magitech Forge is back in business."
  1006. (Loretta)
  1007. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1008.  
  1009.  Ardith exclaims, "...Fuuuuck yeah!"
  1010.  Loretta says, "It's not finished, mind you."
  1011.  Loretta says, "We need to make a chimney stack so it can vent the heat outside the house and not towards us."
  1012.  Loretta says, "Aaaand... we need to make indents inside for mold racks and the crucible."
  1013.  She cheers, but fuck it suddenly gets so much fucking hotter in this Gods-damned building. Ardith immediately starts shedding her torso armor, and her eyes flick downward as she *heartily* debates removing the armor on her legs.
  1014.  
  1015. Barely, just barely, she clings to some non-existent sense of decency.
  1016. (Ardith)
  1017. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1018.  
  1019.  Loretta says, "But the Forge is fully functional. I can now start working on the molds for cables, couplings, pins... all of the precision parts that I need."
  1020.  
  1021.  Garrick would whoop with joy as he punched the air with his fist, looking incredibly uncool for a brief moment as he leaped with a bit of joy. For some reason, it felt different from his usual projects, from just hammering metal into apex stabberers and undeady whats-its. It felt like they'd achieved something greater than their individual parts by working together, and the scaly smith was starting to think that maybe this was exactly the line of work he wanted to get into.
  1022.  
  1023. Smithing on your lonesome could get a bit lonely.
  1024.  
  1025. Taking Ardith's cue, the crack scaled with would remove the glinting mithril of his scaled cuirass from out under the confines of his airable content coat, nodding steadily as he took a steady drag from his raggedy cigarette. Sighing in relief as the fresh air brushed against the spiderwebs and glowing handprint that lined his torso, Garrick would flash his toothy smile to the pair as he admired their handiwork.
  1026.  
  1027. "Got our work cut out for us then. The first link in the chain."
  1028. (Garrick)
  1029. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1030.  
  1031. Ardith asks, "...Can I take my lower armor off and not get bitched at?"
  1032. Ardith asks, "Fuckin' /please/?"
  1033. Ardith says, "It's hot in this bitch."
  1034. Garrick says, "It is very hot. "
  1035. Garrick says, "Don't have the best gauge though. Fire drakan, magma magi. Always hot. Ugh. I need to add liquid cooling to my armor."
  1036.  
  1037. Well. This was a rousing success and a much better attempt at making things function than the first time she worked on the Magitech forge. Kraus and Azrael know just how many times she nearly blew up the entire household when she started bolting in lines full of gas and other assorted goods to use as fuel. A few beeps ensued and whilst the heat didn't dissipate immediately? It began to lessen down considerably within the household, enough that it did not feel like they were standing in front of an oven anymore. This was one step of many to finalize the tool and a showcasing that Magitech in reality... was just the ingenuity of how to apply certain tools together. Typically blacksmithing with other things.
  1038.  
  1039. The furnace was turned off now and the panels still gave out a hearty read out of power. There were sensors that needed installation, cables that needed coverings and more to be set and settled into this furnace, but that would be saved for another day. Another moment in the coming days of course. There was still work to be done, but this was ample progress to end the day on. The forge was now complete and for the most part, that meant that now? Now they'd get to see their so called boss work on things that really deserved the name 'Magitech'.
  1040.  
  1041. "Ardie, you have a room for that. Also? We can call it a night here. The furnace works, which is more than I can ask for and honestly? The rest of the work is somewhat trivial. Just some more heavy lifting from Garrick and a few installations from me. Let's clock in for the night."
  1042.  
  1043. The forge is now two thirds of the way finished. Once it's done... the work on the Core can begin in earnest.
  1044. (Loretta)
  1045. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1046.  
  1047. Garrick says, "Right. Might need a key. I got locked in here last time with your grape juice and its lies."
  1048. Garrick says, "Nearly died."
  1049. Ardith says, "Hhhh. It's so fuckin' stuffy everywhere..."
  1050. Loretta says, ".... snnrk."
  1051.  Loretta says, "Well. Ardie's living in here for now."
  1052.  Ardith flaps the front of her shirt, trying to fan herself and panting.
  1053. (Ardith)
  1054. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1055.  
  1056.  Loretta says, "You can use the personal rooms of the Tea Clinic in the meantime."
  1057.  Loretta says, "So... let's head on out of this heat. I can't sweat, but I can feel it becoming stuffy in here..."
  1058.  Garrick says, "Eh, been sleeping on the bench. Too hot inside."
  1059.  Loretta prompts to lead the way to the door outside.
  1060. (Loretta)
  1061. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1062.  
  1063.  Garrick says, "Right right. This was...fun."
  1064.  Garrick says, "Thanks for giving me the opportunity Loretta."
  1065.  Loretta says, "Oh please. Thank YOU for accepting the job."
  1066.  Garrick says, "Hey, you offered coin."
  1067.  Ardith says, "Yeah. Like a fuckin' oven."
  1068.  Garrick says, "Yeah, too crispy for my tastes in here."
  1069.  Loretta asks, "Let's discuss this outside while the house vents, yeah?"
  1070.  Loretta says, "Now? Now I salvage what molds I have."
  1071.  Loretta says, "And make new ones."
  1072.  Ardith bemoans the climate and the too-warm interior. She pulls out clumps of fur from her legs between the armor plates. Shedding. Everywhere.
  1073. (Ardith)
  1074. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1075.  
  1076.  Garrick says, "I can probably help with that."
  1077.  Loretta says, "Tomorrow, I'll start with all of that stuff. Tomorrow will be my heaviest workday."
  1078.  Garrick says, "..."
  1079.  Loretta says, "The molds are..."
  1080.  Garrick says, "Ardi, you need one of those wire brushes."
  1081.  Loretta says, "Yeah she does."
  1082.  Garrick says, "Or you're gonna get a heat stroke."
  1083.  Ardith says, "I need it to be LESS."
  1084.  Ardith says, "HOT."
  1085.  Loretta asks, "Actually?"
  1086.  Ardith says, "HHHHHHHHH."
  1087.  Loretta says, "We can make one now."
  1088.  Loretta says, "Heck, we can even sell music boxes and the like to turn a profit."
  1089.  Garrick would remove his black greatsword of hammered nyeshk, the volcanic maker's mark distinct from the fire drakan's own as he began to wave it up and down like a fan towards the accursed with his left arm, taking a steady drag from his cigarette with his right.
  1090. (Garrick)
  1091. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1092.  
  1093.  Garrick says, "I do like coin."
  1094.  Garrick says, "Could start stockpiling arcanium, work on some of my passion projects."
  1095.  Loretta says, "We all do."
  1096.  Loretta says, "But yes."
  1097.  Ardith asks, "Shit, we makin' coin?"
  1098.  Loretta says, "Go out, drink hearty and be merry."
  1099.  Loretta says, "Ardie, we can be. In due time."
  1100.  Loretta says, "Remember. You both have temporary contracts."
  1101.  Ardith says, "Fiiiine."
  1102.  Garrick says, "Won't here me complain. "
  1103.  Ardith says, "S'true."
  1104.  Loretta says, "If by the end of that, you'd like a more permanent arrangements..."
  1105.  Loretta says, "We can always work out the business once we're finished."
  1106.  Ardith says, "I'm always happy to work. I dunno if I could live up here long term though..."
  1107.  Ardith says, "So if that's kosher with you? I could maybe make a contract work."
  1108.  Loretta says, "Fine by me."
  1109.  Garrick says, "Does sound half decent."
  1110.  Garrick says, "God, I need a beer."
  1111.  Ardith says, "I still owe a lil' something to Ezmara."
  1112.  Ardith says, "...For now."
  1113.  Garrick says, "Saba's good people. My partner in crime."
  1114.  Loretta asks, "Owe what?"
  1115.  Ardith says, "They gave me a mansion in the Dreadwoods and a place to set up a lab for my work."
  1116.  Ardith says, "I've been makin' pretty good strides there, honestly."
  1117.  Garrick says, "Great place to get shit faced, no doubt."
  1118.  Loretta says, "Ah."
  1119.  Loretta says, "I should go visit sometime."
  1120.  Loretta says, "It's good to hear of other labs."
  1121.  Loretta says, "But... yes."
  1122.  Garrick says, "Or to watch a Qilin do a strip tease."
  1123.  Loretta says, "You two have earned your time of-"
  1124.  Loretta says, "Stop."
  1125.  Loretta says, "Stop..."
  1126.  Ardith says, "..."
  1127.  Loretta says, "I did not need that mental image."
  1128.  Ardith says, "I did get a Qilin to striptease with me."
  1129.  Ardith says, "It's somethin' of an achievement."
  1130.  Garrick says, "It really was."
  1131.  Loretta says, "..."
  1132.  Garrick says, "For science."
  1133.  Garrick says, "Yeah..."
  1134.  Ardith says, "Yeah."
  1135.  Garrick says, "Science."
  1136.  Ardith says, "Science."
  1137.  Loretta raises her index finger in objection.
  1138. (Loretta)
  1139. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1140.  
  1141. Garrick asks, "You know those lines go everywhere?"
  1142. Loretta realizes she has no ammo for this argument, lowering the finger down.
  1143. (Loretta)
  1144. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1145.  
  1146. Ardith says, "They actually do."
  1147. Loretta says, "STOP."
  1148. Garrick says, "Glow in the dark too."
  1149. Loretta says, "I'm-"
  1150. Loretta says, "I'm heading back in."
  1151. Ardith says, "She made 'em sparkle."
  1152. Garrick says, "That she did..."
  1153. Ardith says, "I think she was showin' off."
  1154.  
  1155. -Later that evening, in the tavern.
  1156.  
  1157. Ardith is gleeful again as she's passed the bottle of wine. Uncorking it with her teeth and down the hatch with swishes of her tail.
  1158.  
  1159. "...What? I ain't got no noodle arms. Fuck off, Garr," she drawls.
  1160.  
  1161. "Aurum's pretty quiet, honest. Boring when I ain't workin'."
  1162.  
  1163. She looks over to one of the adjacent stools and contemplates its existence.
  1164. (Ardith)
  1165. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1166.  
  1167.  Garrick would take an idle drag from his raggedy cigarette, sipping from his flask with a contented hum inbetween puffs of smoke as he flashed a toothy smile.
  1168.  
  1169. "It's been good work. Lotta heavy lifting, more still to go, but definitely been keeping me focused."
  1170. (Garrick)
  1171. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1172.  
  1173.  Garrick says, "Sure thing runey. Might have to lift a heavy box...of chalk."
  1174.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Boring when no work huh..."
  1175.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Just earlier there was a fight at the edge of the volcano."
  1176.  Ardith asks, "...DId I actually miss something exciting!?"
  1177.  Ardith exclaims, "FUCK!"
  1178.  Eshmun Hirai says, "From what I heard, someone died."
  1179.  Garrick says, "Ooof."
  1180.  Ardith says, "S'bullshit."
  1181.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Someone was captured."
  1182.  Eshmun Hirai says, "It's really something."
  1183.  Garrick says, "That is sorta exciting."
  1184.  Ardith says, "Shit."
  1185.  Ardith asks, "Wait. Who got gibbed and why?"
  1186.  Garrick says, "Let's play the guessing game."
  1187.  Garrick says, "Did they have green lines."
  1188.  Eshmun Hirai says, "No idea."
  1189.  Ardith says, "...Shit."
  1190.  Ardith says, "Might have to actually watch my ass a lil' better."
  1191.  Eshmun Hirai says, "...It'll be good if you do that."
  1192.  Eshmun Hirai says, "But I'm sure you'll be fine."
  1193.  Garrick says, "Eh, let'm come. Ain't been afraid of a fight yet."
  1194.  Garrick says, "Think it's in the dragon rulebook."
  1195.  Garrick says, "Can't be a bitch."
  1196.  Ardith says, "Not that I'm afraid of a fight."
  1197.  Ardith says, "I ain't want people gettin' bright ideas is all."
  1198.  Garrick says, "I know you ain't."
  1199.  Garrick says, "...Hmm."
  1200.  Eshmun Hirai says, "..."
  1201.  Garrick says, "We oughta practice more to be safe Ardi."
  1202.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Just heard a yell from outside...I think we need to go to the square."
  1203.  Garrick says, "Not that I doubt our asskicking abilities."
  1204.  Ardith says, "....Alright but I'm bringing my wine."
  1205.  Vedran says, "Hey pretty ladies."
  1206.  Vedran exclaims, "So!"
  1207.  Vedran says, "Aurum is gettin' evacuated and abandoned."
  1208.  Vedran says, ". . . So yeah. "
  1209.  Ardith says, ".."
  1210.  Garrick says, "Shit, I was just getting cozy."
  1211.  Ardith asks, "Fuckin' what?"
  1212.  Ardith says, "This a real shitty joke, Ved."
  1213.  Eshmun Hirai says, "..."
  1214.  Vedran says, "... I'm serious."
  1215.  Vedran says, "Arlei cut a deal wit' Levengard."
  1216.  Ardith says, "..."
  1217.  Ardith asks, "THE. FUCK?"
  1218.  Ardith asks, "What fuckin' deal!?"
  1219.  Vedran says, "I PERSONALLY already moved out but uh-... Every Citizen of Aurum has a bounty on 'im."
  1220.  Garrick says, "Suddenly I have a headache."
  1221.  Garrick says, "And I've barely drank."
  1222.  Vedran says, "Join Levengard and leave this volcanic dump."
  1223.  Ardith asks, "Why the fuck they got a bounty?"
  1224.  Ardith says, "I ain't touching that fuckin' town. I'm just here for work."
  1225.  Vedran says, "Buncha' people that MAY be affliated with Sors."
  1226.  Eshmun Hirai says, "The mountain."
  1227.  Vedran says, "Mountain-folk."
  1228.  Vedran says, "Aye."
  1229.  Vedran says, "Went east with a capture Oscuri after kickin' all their shit in."
  1230.  Garrick asks, "How about fuck Levengard yeah?"
  1231.  Eshmun Hirai says, "So they have finally started moving, but they are aiming for Aurum."
  1232.  Garrick says, "Those cocksuckers are half the reason Lei's dead."
  1233.  Eshmun Hirai says, "...How stupid."
  1234.  Vedran asks, "Pretty much?"
  1235.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Alright, tell me."
  1236.  Eshmun Hirai asks, "Who all are with the Mountains?"
  1237.  Eshmun Hirai says, "I need some names."
  1238.  Vedran says, "Famfrit."
  1239.  Vedran says, "Yasuyoshi was wit' im."
  1240.  Vedran says, "They dragged that Oscuri east."
  1241.  Vedran says, "Definitely ta' the mountain.."
  1242.  Miyo enters the tavern. The girl was hiding behind the plant at first until she pops out once the mention of her brother is given!
  1243. (Miyo Yuumi)
  1244. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1245.  
  1246.  Miyo Yuumi asks, "My brother is in the mountain?"
  1247.  Eshmun Hirai says, "And who all lives ther-..."
  1248.  Vedran says, "Mmhm.."
  1249.  Eshmun Hirai asks, "Who all lives there and would be with them?"
  1250.  Vedran whispers: Famfrit is normally seen wit' Nym and Adonis Lowe.
  1251.  Miyo Yuumi asks, "With.. an Oscuri? Who?"
  1252.  Vedran says, "... Lupo Bucker"
  1253.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Cult."
  1254.  Garrick asks, "So I'm missing the point. Why are we running to chickenville out of fear?"
  1255.  Miyo Yuumi asks, "The man they were harboring in the Cult?"
  1256.  Vedran says, "Also! From experience.."
  1257.  Eshmun Hirai says, "...An Oscuri...Bah."
  1258.  Vedran says, "Yeah."
  1259.  Ardith says, "I mean, shit. I ain't running. I'm going where the work is. And the work ain't here."
  1260.  Vedran says, "Malentine's lab... is up there."
  1261.  Miyo Yuumi asks, "Why is my brother going up there? Who is Malentine?"
  1262.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Looks like a discussion is needed with Ely upon a possible report."
  1263.  Vedran says, "Old vampire."
  1264.  Ardith says, "...Fuckin' shit."
  1265.  Vedran says, "And I dunno'.."
  1266.  Ardith pinches the bridge of her nose.
  1267. (Ardith)
  1268. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1269.  
  1270.  Miyo approaches. The girl looks ridiculously concerned when it came to information about her brother.
  1271. (Miyo Yuumi)
  1272. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1273.  
  1274.  Miyo Yuumi asks, "..what would my brother have to do with a vampire?"
  1275.  Vedran says, ".. Nothing much."
  1276.  Vedran says, "But he helped Famfrit."
  1277.  Garrick says, "I'm stickin' around to see where Loretta goes."
  1278. ----------------------------------------------------------------
  1279.  
  1280.  Garrick says, "Hey Loretta."
  1281. Eshmun Hirai says, "...Bah."
  1282. Vedran exclaims, "Loretta-- SO!"
  1283.  Vedran says, "How do I start."
  1284.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Aurum is disbanded."
  1285.  Miyo Yuumi says, "..I'll try to look then.."
  1286.  Loretta says, "..."
  1287.  Vedran says, "Aurum is gettin' evacuated ta' Levengard per Arlei's agreement.."
  1288.  Loretta says, "I literally napped for a bit."
  1289.  Vedran says, "Everyone in Aurum has a bounty"
  1290.  Loretta asks, "And tune back in to that?"
  1291.  Loretta asks, "Why???"
  1292.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Mountain has bounties up...Saddest thing is they are the cheapest fucking bounties I've ever seen."
  1293.  Vedran says, "Because something something fought with tha' sors mountain people."
  1294.  Miyo turns around to wander slowly out of the tavern if only to listen on their conversation just a bit more.
  1295. (Miyo Yuumi)
  1296. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1297.  
  1298. Loretta says, "..."
  1299. Loretta bangs her head against the desk.
  1300. (Loretta)
  1301. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1302.  
  1303.  Loretta says, "WELL."
  1304.  Ardith says, "...Well, boss."
  1305.  Loretta says, "There goes the Geothermal Power Plant plans."
  1306.  Ardith asks, "The fuck now?"
  1307.  Vedran says, ".. Also."
  1308.  Vedran says, "You've been discussed Loretta."
  1309.  Loretta asks, "... have I, really?"
  1310.  Vedran says, "You'd be allow but ya' might wanna' talk ot them.."
  1311.  Vedran says, "Aye, Arlei wants ya' kept safe."
  1312.  Loretta says, "I am pretty sure, going to Levengard is a death sentence."
  1313.  Vedran says, "Just talk ta' their leaders."
  1314.  Vedran says, "Outside."
  1315.  Loretta says, "I am also pretty positive, I will not have a laboratory."
  1316.  Loretta says, "I-"
  1317.  Vedran says, "Out."
  1318.  Vedran says, "Side."
  1319.  Loretta asks, "Can you take me to them>?"
  1320.  Vedran says, "..."
  1321.  Garrick says, "Ya gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me."
  1322.  Vedran says, "THEY ARE LITERALLY A FEW METERS AWAY"
  1323.  Eshmun Hirai says, "...Outside we go."
  1324.  Garrick asks, "We just did all that work, and we're turning tail for a pittance?"
  1325.  Loretta says, "And yes, going alone typically does not go well."
  1326.  Vedran says, "... I ain't part of this."
  1327.  Loretta says, "I swear to Kraus."
  1328.  Eshmun Hirai says, "Lets just move, this isn't something to sulk about in a bar."
  1329.  Loretta asks, "Why do I even BOTHER anymore!?"
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