Thomas couldn't keep a grin off of his face at the contents of his quest. He was sure he could impress Rock, but first, he needed to do his experiments and try to find a way to earn more experience for his blacksmithing skill. Completing Rock's quest with a high rating would be nice but in the long run, completing Hekrin's quest was far more important. With the plan he came up with last night in his mind he walks over to the stack of iron ingots and grabs two.
Using a pair of tongs he stuffs one of the ingots into the coals of the forge and goes to man the bellows. After a few minutes of pumping, Thomas used the tongs to check the color of the ingot. It didn't take him too long to get it to a nice bright orangish-yellow glow. He carried the hot ingot over to the nearby anvil and borrowed the same hammer he'd used the day before. Mustering his strength he lifted the hammer and slammed it down into the ingot over and over again. Every single blow of the hammer moved far more material than he expected. At first, it threw him off, but after a few more blows he started to get used to how easy it was to reshape the ingot with the hammer.
Either because of his increased strength from leveling up Power or assistance from the system, or maybe even both, Thomas was able to hammer one side of the ingot flat and into the bare basic shape of a knife blade. He had to stop at that point to place it back into the coals and reheat the ingot. Once it was back up to temperature Thomas borrowed a tool that looked something like an axe blade. With it, he chopped the ingot in half removing the excess material that he wouldn't need for making just a small knife.
Thomas placed the excess material back into the forge to keep it warm, he would use it for his next experiment. He began to hammer the work-in-progress. Using swift hammer strikes he slowly refined the shape of the blade and drew out the tang for the handle. Thanks to the system and his strength it didn't take him very long to create the rough shape of the dagger he was working on. This was going to be his first experiment, so while he didn't put his utmost efforts into it, he still paid very close attention to the details to make sure nothing would go wrong.
With the rough shape finalized the dagger blade was just about 16cm long with a tang of about 8cm. It was a somewhat small dagger, but again this was just an experiment and he didn't want to spend too much time on it. After the last strike of his hammer Thomas doused the blade into the trough of water to quench it. Once it was quenched he set the blade down to let it air cool until it could be handled by hand.
While the first blade cooling Thomas returned to the forge and began to pump the bellows again to bring what was left of the ingot up to temperature. He'd only used about half of it so he had enough material left to work on a second dagger. As he was working the bellows he had an idea, a set of twin matching daggers meant to be dual wielded! Grinning to himself he retrieved the tongs and plucked the glowing half of ingot out of the coals and began to hammer it out. It didn't take very long for him to hammer it into a very similar shape to the first dagger.
After quenching the second dagger he set it to the side to cool and gingerly tested the temperature of the first dagger. It was still warm to the touch but was cool enough to be handled by hand. Grabbing it, Thomas went to the grinding wheels and began to grind off the excess material to refine the daggers shape and edges. Making his way through the various grits he quickly and efficiently ground the dagger down until it had a somewhat sharp edge and the metal shone. It wasn't razor sharp or polished yet, but it looked rather good.
|System Notice: You have created a Normal dagger by hand. Quality: Excellent. You have gained 122 Blacksmithing experience.|
Thomas grinned broadly and clapped his hands together. He'd gained nearly six times as much experience hand forging the dagger than he did for using the mold to create a longsword! The best part was it took him just about the same amount of time and just a little more effort! Because he didn't need to completely melt down the ingot it took less time to get the metal up to temperature, he just had to spend more time hammering it out into shape.
From the side, Rock occasionally glanced over and Thomas and watched him work. His eyebrows scrunched as he saw the dagger Thomas had just finished. He couldn't help wondering if all of the otherworlders were so good at blacksmithing. If they were he might be out of a job! Still though, Thomas was the very first otherworlder he had seen make anything, he couldn't help wondering if maybe the gift he'd gotten from the summoning was related to blacksmithing?
Thomas set the dagger to the side. While it was an excellent grade he didn't want to turn this piece in to Rock for his quest. It was just the first experiment after all. Returning to his anvil he checked the temperature of the second dagger and finding it cool enough to handle, he began grinding it down as well.
|System Notice: You have created a Normal dagger by hand. Quality: Excellent. You have gained 122 Blacksmithing experience.|
With the second dagger completed Thomas picked up the first and held the two together to compare them. They were extremely close to identical, but one of the daggers had a slightly wider and longer tang. Without wasting time Thomas sat at the roughest grinding wheel and went to work refining its shape to get them to both be perfectly identical. It took him nearly twenty minutes of fiddling and grinding but he eventually got the two daggers to be identical matches.
|System Notice: You have created a matching set of Normal daggers by hand. You have gained 50 Blacksmithing experience.|
Thomas rubbed his chin as he examined the daggers. The extra experience was a nice bonus, but was it worth the extra effort? He wasn't too sure. He still needed to perform more experiments to see what would happen. He set the matched pair of daggers to the side and placed a fresh ingot into the coals of the forge before pumping the bellows again. Once the ingot was glowing hot he pulled it out with a pair of tongs and began to hammer the hot metal once more.
This time he intended to make a larger weapon, at least bigger than the daggers. With each blow of the hammer, more and more material was moved and reshaped until he had a blade large enough to be a machete. After reheating the forged ingot he started to forge out the tang on the weapon. He made it slightly longer than the tangs of the previous daggers, about a hand and a half, around twelve centimeters long. With the blade and tang forged Thomas reheated the blade a bit before pressing the edge against the side of the anvil. With a few whacks of his hammer to the spine of the machete, he curved the blade inwards. That's right, he was making a kukri this time!
When he finished forging the kukri the overall length of the curved machete-like blade was close to 30cm. Looking over the weapon he noticed he'd missed something so he grabbed a simple punch from one of the tool shelves in the room and used it to punch out a small section of the blade just above where the handle would go. This small missing section would allow liquids, such as blood, to drip off of the kukri without coming into contact with the handle. It was all to prevent the user's grip from slipping off of the handle.
Checking over his rough hand forging of the kukri, Thomas was pretty pleased with himself. The belly of the blade was nice and wide coming do a thin edge that would be excellent for chopping and slicing. The spine was nice and straight, the curve wasn't too extreme, and the bevel was a nice curve along the belly of the blade.
Done forging the blade with his hammer Thomas once again heated it up. This time he was going to use the more common method of quenching the blade when it was glowing hot, versus Rock's method of quenching that he'd used thus far. He was going to aim for a rating higher than excellent this time to see what would happen. Once the blade of the kukri was glowing orange he dunked it into the water trough. Right now Thomas was wishing they had an oil trough instead, he always preferred to quench in oil. Once the raging hot blade dipped into the trough the water instantly boiled and a cloud of steam rushed into his face.
Pulling the kukri out of the water Thomas waved the steaming blade around in the air until all of the water had been boiled off of the metal. Rock, off to the side, looked over at Thomas and the blade he'd just quenched. Once again Rock furrowed his brows as he examined the weapon. He'd never seen one with a shape like that. To him, it just appeared to be a ruined piece of metal. After all, when a blade bent it became worthless, right? Out of his own curiosity though he didn't say anything and actually grinned a little. If Thomas had ruined that piece of metal it would just give Rock an excuse to charge Hekrin a bit of money!
Unaware of Rock's gaze Thomas continued to wave the kukri in the air to try and cool it down a little faster. He kept checking the blade to make sure it hadn't warped when it was quenched. Seeing nothing wrong he only had to continue to let it cool down until it could be ground on the grinding wheels.
Unlike with the previous daggers, Thomas took his sweet time at the grinding wheels with the kukri. He wanted to make sure that everything came out perfectly, that there wouldn't even be a single stray scratch on the blade when he was done with it. His plan this time was to complete the kukri in its entirety. By the time he got halfway through the grinding wheels, it was time for lunch. After a short break to sate his hunger and thirst he returned immediately to his work. The further along he got, the more time he decided to take with grinding the blade into shape.
After another hour Thomas finished with the last grinding wheel, bringing the kukri just that much closer to completion.
|System Notice: You have created a Normal kukri by hand. Quality: Perfect. You have gained 264 Blacksmithing experience.|
Thomas couldn't keep the grin off of his face as he gained a large chunk of blacksmithing experience from finishing this stage of creating the kukri. He wasn't done yet though. He walked over to Rock and addressed him, "Where do I go to put a handle on this weapon and finish polishing the blade?"
Rock looked at the strange item in Thomas's hand, it didn't look like any weapon he'd ever seen before, maybe it was something from the place otherworlders resided before coming here? Shrugging his shoulders Rock lead Thomas to another room right next to the smithy. Inside of this room was a group of apprentices who were in charge of attaching the handles to the weapons the smiths created, as well as to finish sharpening and polishing the blades. Seeing the supplies of tools and wood in the room Thomas grinned and immediately went to an empty section of table to get to work.
The apprentices in the room glanced at him and the item he was working on for a moment before returning to their duties. Ignoring them in turn Thomas grabbed a block of wood, a chisel, and a hammer. The first thing to do was to make his handle. Picking up a hand saw he cut off a section of the wood block then cut it in half. These two pieces would be used to make the halves of the kukris handle. He took his time to chisel out an indent on each half of the wood block, taking his time to try and match the indents to the tang of the kukri.
It took some time but, eventually, the chiseled channels matched the kukri pretty well and would provide a nice tight fit. With that done he used some glue made of unknown means and materials to glue the two pieces of wood onto either side of the tang. Then he used some leather thongs to tightly bind the wood together to squeeze out excess glue, which he then proceeded to clean up.
With the thongs tied tightly to hold the wood blocks together, Thomas began to use the chisel to cut off large chunks of excess wood so he would shape a comfortable and ergonomically shaped handle to hold onto. With the thongs binding the wood to keep the pieces pressed together Thomas had to take his time and go step by step to make sure the pieces of wood didn't separate. Occasionally he would tie additional leather thongs to the handle and remove the previous bindings so he could carve different areas with the chisel. What he wouldn't give for some five-minute epoxy right now!
After carving the majority of the excess material off of the handle Thomas began to use other tools in the room for taking off thinner and finer strips of wood, slowly molding the handle of the kukri. Time was ticking by but Thomas didn't care. He was too engrossed in his work. After a couple of hours the glue had set, the leather thongs were removed and the handle was smooth to the touch. He picked up a brass butt cap and used some glue and a small hammer to attach it to the end of the kukri to help hold the handle on. He didn't have time to rivet the handle to the tang.
With the butt cap firmly glued and hammered into place Thomas started one of the final steps and used some beeswax and a cloth to rub the wood of the handle to seal it and give it a nice gloss. He spent 45 minutes on this step before taking the kukri in hand to begin the final polish and sharpening of the blade. He worked until there were only ten minutes left before the quest would have to be turned in. With a final stroke to the blade, Thomas lifted it up and looked at the gleaming razor sharp edge of the kukri, "Finished!"
|System Notice: You have finished creating a Normal Kukri. Quality: Perfect. You have gained 133 Blacksmithing experience.|
Grinning to himself Thomas left the room and headed back to the smithy to turn in the final product to Rock and complete his quest. He wasn't even concerned about the experience he might get from the quest. He just hoped the bonus was another free night's stay at The Swans Nest!
|Name: Thomas Dakrose|
|Experience Gained: 475||Experience Spent: 460||Experience Remaining: 15|
|Power: 7||(+) 80XP|
|Endurance: 7||(+) 80XP|
|Agility: 7||(+) 80XP|
|Magic: 2||(+) 30XP|