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10/13 A Bit of Extra Kick

JWaldman Oct 14th, 2019 105 Never
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  1. Garrick would awaken at the crack of dawn, yawning idly to himself as he scratched the sand out of his eyes before preparing for the long day of work ahead. Trailing a claw across the bare, cracked scales of his chest as he stretched out of his cotton cot, the drake would hum to himself a jolly worker’s tune as he tugged on his navy engineer’s coat, took a hefty swig from his flask of moonshine, and got to the grind at hand. It wasn’t every day someone came back into your life just to ask your help in blowing a city you hated to kingdom come, after all.
  2.  
  3. Oh, the domestic terrorism one did for love.
  4.  
  5. The sounds of snapping bones, twisting cartilage, and torn flesh would elicit from the smith’s frame his fiery, draconic wings spurted out with a spatter of boiling blood from his spine, a steady cracking of his neck and shoulders the last of the preparations at hand before Garrick would make his way from the second floor of the Pyrelight Hall to his balcony, glancing out towards the distant, snowy expanse of the mountain with a deep, calming inhalation. His molten eyes would glance about with vague interest before with a few steps back, the drake would proceed to leap with immense force from the wooden alcove into the air with a heavy flap of his skeletal wings, taking flight to ease his passage towards the first of his many destinations for the errand at hand.
  6.  
  7. The descent down the mountainside was far simpler with wings, the winding passage of the anarchic caverns avoided by the boon of aerial transportation. Moving west from the foot of the passage with steady, resounding flaps of his burning wings, Garrick would soon find himself at the eastern foot of the volcano that had once borne Obsidia, the place he’d almost called home before the trials had taken him north. It felt so long ago now, the drake had thought, a distant time before the storm where life, while not perfect, had at least not been quite so complex. Yet, as the dragon aspirant’s molten gaze turned from the volcanic heights to the sea of pine trees that stood before him, not an ounce of regret fell upon his visage.
  8.  
  9. It had been a pretty facade, a beautiful lie, but the truth of the world was not half so easy to swallow. A bitter draught, but an honest one.
  10.  
  11. Approaching the first of many trees, the drake would take a deep breath before the simmering heat of his claws was dulled, an idle puff from his ragged cigarette eliciting more warmth than his jagged appendages before with a sudden swipe, the drake would begin to make precise, shallow gouges all across the expanse of the bark with an engineer’s care and purpose. To an outsider’s perspective, this might seem like a simple exercise of relief, a degree of venting and catharsis from the stressful day to day living of being a wanted murderer and vagabond that was student to the dark lord of Agartha.
  12.  
  13. But looks could be deceiving.
  14.  
  15. Upon careful inspection to ensure that there was an acceptable amount of cuts on the first pine, Garrick would move to the next one with mechanical pacing, determined to make good use of as much of the day’s light as he could manage to the task at hand. Tree by tree, countless carvings would be made that, while biting into the surface level of the trees, never quite pierced deep enough to truly be a genuine chop. The sun would steadily rise as the hours of work passed, the fire drakan making his way progressively through the forested expanse from the foot of the volcano eastwards towards the frosty coast, marking up every tree before him upon the passage forward.
  16.  
  17. By noon, the fire drakan had at last made it to the coast where the rabbit daemons made their burrows in the snow, the last of the trees carved top to bottom with bark deep slits as the smith sighed in contented relief. Granted, it was only the first of the many tasks ahead, but this one at least was the most tedious of the bunch. Marking the various patterns of movement amongst the rabbits, the drake would mark it down for his later task before, with a heavy beating of his wings, he would begin to rise up the heights of the mountain once more.
  18.  
  19. There was brewing that needs to be done.
  20.  
  21. The passage back to the second floor of the Pyrelight Hall was uneventful, a fortuitous trail that led the drake to his forge and still. Cracking open a crate that sat near the brewing station, the drake would glance down at bundles of corn that sat piled with a light sigh before, knuckle by knuckle, the drake would crack his hands before igniting his claws. Delving into the gathering of corn, the drake would proceed to shred and dry the mass of vegetables in equal turn with precision and vicious strength, snapping his claws together in interims to ensure gravitic pressure was maintained upon the exterior to prevent even a single grain from being wasted.
  22.  
  23. Tearing bit after bit apart, from a full crate of corn would be brought forth a hefty container of flaked, dried corn shavings, the basis of any good moonshine’s mash. Tapping the still with his claws, Garrick would move outside to the balcony before he proceeded to levitated various mounds of snow drift to follow after his coated form, clumps progressively depositing themselves into the head of the still before clumping down to the bottom of its confines. With a light grunt and heave, the corn mash would be lifted and emptied into the still after a brief ignition of the drake’s molten heat would melt the snow into several gallons of water.
  24.  
  25. Progressively the mash would be heated and sifted in a progressive stirring process while the heat was carefully maintained and lowered at a careful rate by the drakan, the fermenting of the high proof alcohol attended over the course of several hours as the brewing efforts continued largely in the silence of the drake’s own thoughts. At the necessary intervals, clumps of shredded barley were added to the batch while it was progressively slow cooled. When at last it had achieved the ideal temperature, yeast was added before, with the aid of gravitic force and an additional metal vat, the sifting and aeration process was undergone with an artisan’s attention to detail.
  26.  
  27. Even if this hooch wasn’t for drinking, Garrick was a craftsman at heart.
  28.  
  29. Completing the aeration, the drake would slap the side of the still before the subtle impulses of gravity magic would weave their way into the batch, motivating the usage of the sugars with the application of molten heat from the drake’s magma magic to fast track the fermentation process. It wouldn’t make the tastiest brew, high quality beverages required weeks to achieve the desired state of drinkability. But this alcohol wasn’t for drinking, and Garrick didn’t have that kind of casual time. They needed moonshine now, and they were gonna get. Allowing the time magic runes of the still to continue the rest of the boot work as the drake clacked his claws together in satisfaction, the smith would pace once more towards the balcony. The moonshine was brewing, the cuts were made, it was time to go hunting for the final pieces of the puzzle.
  30.  
  31. Quite literally.
  32.  
  33. Having exhausted a fair amount of mana in the distillation and brewing process, Garrick would take the scenic route down the mountain through the caverns, hefting a great iron cauldron over his shoulder as he ignitined his form with a shroud of casual flames to light the way as he whistled along with amusement and contented glee. Several hours had passed, and it was likely the ideal time to harvest his handiwork while he was on the prowl for the remaining reagents he required. Making quick pace across the snow drift and past the gouge laden trees, Garrick would find himself once more in the presence of the rabbit daemons, their beady black eyes hanging upon his visage as he sharpened his claws against each other with a visible spark of fiery embers.
  34.  
  35. And so the slaughter began. Lunging at the rabbits with the swiftness and brutal strength of a swordsman, the drake would proceed to carve open the daemons with cruel and excessive force, ichorous red blood spattering amongst the pristine white of the snow as one by one each and every member of the local rabbit den were impaled upon the fire drakan’s claws. Where once this casual slaughter might have brought a smile to the drake’s face, this day he was entirely focused upon his task, not an inch of emotion betrayed upon his visage as he flicked bloody bits of viscera from his claws. With each slain rabbit, a brutal gouge was opened as emerald crystals were torn from their bowels, the torn carcasses then tucked away in a heavy woven sack that had been soaked through red.
  36.  
  37. When the hunt was done, Garrick would flick his claws clean of blood before glancing back at the cauldron he’d left upon the snow. Leaning the bloody sack of carcasses over his shoulder, the drake would proceed to approach the pine trees with a contented exhalation of exhausted breath, glancing at the gouges he had made with a nod and a smile as he admired his handiwork. Where the cursory cuts had been made earlier in the crack of dawn, globs of sticky resin now sat in the seams freshly produced by the trees. With a careful scoop of his claws, the drake would proceed to deposit the globs of resin chunk by chunk into his trusty cauldron as he made his way from the eastern shore back across his steady trail to the volcano.
  38.  
  39. After about an hour of work, the cauldron was filled to the brim with clumps of bark ridden, sticky pine resin ready to be melted down when the time came, the drake heaving steadily from the stripping process as much as the general relentless pace of his labor throughout the day. While he’d begun the process at the break of dawn, the fire drakan could already see the distant rise of the moon in the sky as evening fell upon the northern reaches of agartha. Yet, there was one more gathering task to complete before the grocery list was entirely done, and the drake was not one to leave out small details.
  40.  
  41. Leaving the cauldron and the corpse filled sack at the foot of the volcano, Garrick would progressively ascend up its heights with a trudging of his black sabatons up the rocky path before making his way around the ruins of the old town that lined the heights to the southern half of the volcanic plateau, peaking over the mound towards the countless fire daemons that made their perch. Having acquired more than enough bodies for the task he required, the fire drakan would remove his black blade from the leather rungs upon his back to speed up the process without fear of causing too much damage to pockets of fat amongst the demons.
  42.  
  43. No, he required only their crystals. And so he would have them.
  44.  
  45. Cleaving through the daemons bit by bit with mighty heaves of his great sword, the fire drakan would perpetuate a massacre upon the volcanic peaks that left ichorous blood splashed about with puddles of fleshy chunks, sinuous filaments, and bony shards as the daemons were torn asunder by the drake. Each corpse was stripped of the red gems that they bore, their lives ended one after another until the only sounds upon the peak were the ambient bubbling of lava in the distance, and the heavy breathing of the blood soaked killer that had silenced the daemonic chatter.
  46.  
  47. Glancing over the side of the volcano, the drake would leap from its edge as his burning wings sprouted once more, a steady gliding passage guided downwards towards the snow where his bloody rucksack and iron cauldron of resin sat loyally waiting for his return. Tucking the viscera laden crystals in his coat, Garrick would heft his two containers with one over each shoulder before making his way progressively back towards the Pyrelight Hall, the frigid breeze of nightfall motivating the smith on in his task.
  48.  
  49. After a steady pace through the caverns and up the winding cliffs, the drake would find himself once more within the second floor of the hall, the ambient fumes from the still of moonshine filling the otherwise brisk air as the drake set down the cauldron and the back with a sigh of relief. His work was almost done, only a bit more to go. Pulling over an iron vat from the corner of the forgework, Garrick would proceed to empty the series of rabbit corpses into the confines before beginning to mulch and shred them into a genuine slurry of meat. Heating up the vat, the bubbling of molten fat and oily reserves would begin to rise amongst the brutal stew before with the aid of gravitic force, it would be separated from the furry chunks, bones, and left over meat that remained in the vat for a later meal before, glob by glob, the chunks of boiled fat would be levitated and deposited within the cauldron of resin.
  50.  
  51. Removing the green and red crystals from his coat bit by bit, the drake would acquire a mortar and pestle from his workshop desk before proceeding to mash them down into dust one by one, a clear, glimmering powder remaining behind as it was scooped up and deposited into the cauldron down to every last grain of elemental fiber.
  52.  
  53. Approaching the cauldron, Garrick would place a single, molten claw upon its edge as the whole piece would begin to redden with heat, the bubbling of melting resin and fat making audible popping sounds as the drake would stir the fiery concoction with his claw, ensuring the wind and fire crystal remnants were thoroughly weaved into the brew to aid in the potency of the accelerant’s potential. The smith would leave nothing to chance, only the stickiest and most fiery of boom fodder would do. After fifteen minutes of clockwise stirring, the same would be done counter-clockwise until, at last, the massive cauldron was completed filled with the thick slurry of oil and resin, ambient bubbles popping all on their lonesome even as the drake ceased his heating.
  54.  
  55. Glancing over at the still, Garrick would briefly look within before nodding contently at the liquid contents, moving across the room towards the storage area before, one by one, the drake would line up ten uncovered wooden barrels. Approaching the cauldron with a deep breath and careful focus, the fire drakan would lift up the great iron mass before very, very carefully proceeding to empty a roughly equal amount of the sticky concoction into each of the containers, not a drop wasted of the day’s gatherings as each was filled roughly two thirds full with the ichorous mix.
  56.  
  57. After this, each barrel was set before the still’s nozzle before the fume laden contents of high proof, incredibly flammable moonshine were emptied into each of the successive containers, the volume of each wooden storage topped off near to the brim before the next was set in line. When at last all ten of the barrels were filled with their fiery payloads, the drake would acquire a series of carefully carved lids ensured to be tightly fit before using his claw to spread the excess resin around the edge of the circular plug, ensuring that once it was shoved forcefully downwards to cap off each barrel that it was snugly fit, near incapable of being opened by any means but shattering the barrels splinter to splinter.
  58.  
  59. Lining up the barrels of accelerant, the drake would wipe the beads of sweat from his forehead with an exhausted sigh, grabbing some leftover moonshine fresh from the tap before drinking himself into a fresh state of blacked out bliss. It was worth it, he thought, for the show to come.
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