Thanks to Ren’s new ‘Running’ he was able to out run the earth golem and safely returned to the mine where he unloaded his last lot of ore into his cart which was now almost overflowing.
“Looks like you’ve been busy Ren, I think that will have to do otherwise you’ll break the cart.” The mine foreman walked up behind Ren with a chuckle.
Ren nodded in agreement. “Yeah, I got a bit carried away, but I want to make sure I’ve got enough so I don’t have to make too many extra trips, it takes a while to get here from the city.”
The foreman nodded. “Ah, I can understand that, it’s a shame though, I think the fella’s will miss you, having you around has brightened up the place.”
“Eh? I didn’t really talk to many people though.” Ren looked to him curiously.
“Heh, there was no need, seeing a young man like you running around working so hard and eagerly lifted everyone’s spirits. Reminded them of what it was like when they first found the wonders of mining, a few have even decided to head out in search of new mines to claim, that’s the calling of a true miner. To go out and search for new ore veins and the hope of finding that new rare metal, It’s just like the calling of an adventurer going into ancient ruins to find a long lost treasure, ours are simple more buried and in some cases a lot harder to find.”
Ren grinned and nodded. “Yeah! It’s been a lot of fun, I’ll keep looking for new ores as I travel to.”
The foreman grinned and nodded. “You’ll have to come back and tell the fella’s some stories then once you’ve been on a few adventures hmm?”
Ren nodded. “Yup!” He gave a wave to the foreman before heading to the cafeteria where he just saw Fritz head to a moment ago and took a seat across from him. “Well… I’ve collected all the ore I need for the time being.”
Fritz glanced over to the cart sitting near the foreman’s building and nodded. “A good haul, your hard work paid off.” He offered a light smile to Ren.
“It’s all thanks to you Fritz, you taught me so much even though you didn’t have to and I know I was probably a bit of a pain to have following you around all the time while you worked, I really appreciate it.”
Fritz just shook his head waving it off. “It was fun, and if I thought you weren’t serious about mining I would have dropped you on the first day.”
Ren grinned. “I got that feeling, even though I was barely digging anything up at the start you still let me stay though so I really do appreciate it.”
Even under all his facial hair Ren could see Fritz was starting to blush from all the praise. “Its fine, you earned my respect with your own hands.” He nodded and turned back to his meal, more playing with it now then actually eating it. “Make sure you come show me things you make some time.”
Ren smiled and nodded. “Of course! I’ll become a great smith and make you an awesome pick to use one day!”
This brought a grin from Fritz. “I’ll look forward to using it then.”
You’ve promised Fritz that you’ll make him a high quality pick one day
No time limit but the next time you visit the mine Fritz will be hoping you bring it
Difficulty - ???
Ren blinked as the quest popped up before him, surprised that his own actions could cause a quest to generate like this. Closing the window he looked to Fritz and grinned. “Wait and see, you’ll become the envy of the mine!” He grinned and Fritz nodded with a slight grin of his own. It looked like he really was looking forward to a new pick.
As Ren finished his meal with Fritz a man walked over to them. “Ren isn’t it? The foreman tells me you’ll be heading to the city with me as I take the ore in for delivery, we’ll be heading out in a few minutes.”
Ren looked up at the man then back to Fritz. “Guess it’s time for me to get going.” They both stood up and stepped around the table to come face to face, Fritz extending his hand which Ren grasped and shook firmly. “Thanks for everything again, I’ll be sure to come back and visit.” Fritz nodded before letting go and Ren turned to head off towards his cart to get it ready for travel.
Once he got a tarp secured over the cart to stop any ore falling off during the trip the caravan driver came up with a horse and hitched it to the cart. “I’ll have one of the lads sit with you to drive the cart unless you think you can drive it yourself?”
Ren shook his head. “I’ve never driven a horse and cart before but if you can show me how I’ll give it a try.” He smiled and the man nodded.
“No worries I’ll have my boy show you the ropes on the way then.” The caravan driver headed off to get the few carts they had ready to leave and soon enough they were lined up and ready to leave.
Ren’s cart was at the back of the line as they travelled, beside him sat a young man that turned out to be the son of the caravan driver who showed Ren the tricks to driving a horse and cart on their way to the city which earned him the ‘Cart Driving’ skill which helped give him better control over the horse and speed he could travel at, he managed to level it up once before they arrived at the city as well.
As the approached the gates the Caravan driver approached Ren. “My boy here will go with you to where you want to drop the ore off then bring the cart back to me.” He nodded to Ren and his son before heading back to take the lead of his carts again and head into the city.
Ren guided the cart around the back of Donan’s workshop, hopping he wouldn’t mind. Donan came out at the sound of the horse and cart, looking to the driver’s curiously but then smiled as he saw Ren. “Ren! Welcome back, I thought you’d gotten lost out there.” He chuckled.
“No, it just took longer than I thought, I worked at the mine for a while to get the hang of mining before I went and gathered my own ore… well some other things happened to though.”
Donan’s brow rose curiously. “Sounds like a story, you’ll have to tell me later hmm?”
Ren smiled and nodded. “Yeah…umm… I was hoping that I could drop off the ore I gathered behind your workshop here, I’ll get it smelted and out of the way as soon as I can I promise.”
Again Donan’s brow rose curiously and he looked to the cart with the tarp over it as Ren undid the ropes and threw the tarp off his eyes nearly bulged out of his head. “By the… Ren! You mined all that yourself!?”
Ren grinned and nodded “Yeah! I met a dwarf at the mine named Fritz, he taught me how to mine.”
“Fritz eh… that would explain it, didn’t happen to pick up something special from him did you?”
Ren nodded and Donan chuckled. “I should have figured, alright come on, let’s get this off the cart, you’ve got a hell of a lot of work ahead of you though, I want you to smelt all this down into ingots before you start forging anything, at least that way we can set it in layers up against the wall neatly and out of the way rather than have it laying around as loose ore.”
Ren nodded as he moved the cart around and backed it up to a spot where he could start pushing and dragging the ore out of the back of the cart, letting it all tumble to the ground, he also emptied the ore that was in his pack out as well.
Once the ore was unloaded and the cart was taken away Ren and Donan went inside and sat down for a chat where Ren recounted his experiences at the mine to which Donan listened intently. “Sounds like you had a lot of fun.” He chuckles. “Alright then, that’s enough lollygagging though, time for you to start getting that ore out of my yard.” He grinned “Come I’ll show you how to smelt the ore, go bring in half a dozen or so chunks of ore.”
Ren nodded eagerly and dashed out to grab the ore, bringing it inside and setting it down near where Donan was. “Ok this here is the melting pot.” He pointed to a stone almost frying pan shaped pot that hung just over the coals of the forge, he went on to explain how the smelting worked.
“You place the ore in the pot and melt it by heating the forge with the bellows, the molten metal is then poured into the track there that guides the liquid down into the ingot molds, you let them sit for about six minutes and they should be solid enough to remove and set elsewhere to cool, now then there is more to it than that of course I’ll explain it as we smelt your first batch of ingots.”
Donan took the collection of ore chunks and dropped them into the stone pan and then had Ren pump the bellows until they melted. “Come see this now Ren.” He motioned to the top of the pen where bits of the silver like liquid could be seen but most of it was covered but black soot of some kind. “All that black on top is impurities in the metal, bits of dirt, dust, rock and the like, the more of this you can remove from the metal before pouring the ingot the more pure the metal will be, and as such it can make higher quality items.”
Donan went on to skim the impurities from the molten metal, his skilled hand removed almost everything before he then tilted the pot over to pour the liquid into the track that led the metal down into the ingot molds, the molds consisted of two pieces of carved stone that joined together neatly to make a rectangular ingot shape for the metal to pour into, the stones then just needed a light tap to separate and let the ingot fall free once it was solid enough.
New Sub Skill!
Smelting Level 1 (Beginner 0%)
The art of melting metals into ingots to then be forged into items at a later time
Skill level determines ore types that can be smelted and the quality of the ingot produced
“Alright Ren, the forge is yours.” Donan grinned and patted Ren’s shoulder before heading over to another forge to work on his own projects.
Ren set to work eagerly, scooping up as much ore as he could, filling his inventory completely before heading back inside to start melting it, it turned out that the ‘Smelting’ skill automatically removed some impurities from any metal he smelted and any impurities that lingered due to his lack of skill could still be removed by hand which he did as best he could.
As the hours passed the mound of ore outside the workshop didn’t really seem to diminish much but the pile of ingots that was slowly building up against the wall near the forge Ren worked at told him otherwise. Every now and then Donan would wander over and point out things he was doing wrong or ways he could do it better or more efficient.
The effect of Ren’s ‘apprenticeship’ had his smelting skill rise quickly, by the time he was ready to logout for the day he’d already reached level 5 with smelting, though his gain to the main smithing skill was small since he wasn’t actually forging anything. Though smelting was classed as a sub skill it was almost a main skill in its own right.
The days passed slowly as Ren continued to smelt all the ore he’d brought in, his smelting was almost at intermediate now thanks to the bonuses of using Donan’s forge with his apprentice title. Some people that came to the work shop even commented on what a hard working apprentice Donan had which seemed to swell Donan’s pride a bit too much.
“Phew.. maybe I brought to much ore.” Ren chuckled as he looked at the ingots that were piling up, he had three separate stacks currently, one was the poor quality ingots, then the normal and then the high quality ingots he managed to produce, he was about half way through the ore he’d gathered and had already gotten his smelting to intermediate. “I’m only producing normal or high quality ingots now.” He grinned.
It took nearly two weeks real time to smelt all the ore he’d gathered, while he could have done it quicker if he fully used the auto system but since he did some of the work manually things took a little longer, but he wanted to produce as many high quality ingots as he could and they had a higher chance of coming out if he was more hands on with the process.
At the end he stepped back, whipping the sweat from his brow to admire the stacks of ingots he’d piled up, each stack was stacked in a neat overlapping lattice pattern to keep them nice and stable if they went up to high, his total smelting had reached Intermediate Level 2, after he reached intermediate the exp he received from smelting iron plummeted almost to nothing, it was only thanks to the boosts he received from working at Donan’s forge that let him reach level 2. “I think I’ll just smelt iron using the full system from now on.”
Donan walked up behind Ren and patted his shoulder. “Now that’s a lot of iron, guess it’s time to show you how to make something useful of it hmm?”
Ren turned around with a big grin and nodded eagerly. “Yes sir!”
Donan chuckled. “Alright grab an ingot and bring it to the forge.”
Ren quickly grabbed one of the poor quality ingots, he was planning to use them in order from the poorest quality to highest, using the poor quality ingots to train his smithing initially and practice making various things before trying to make the proper items with the normal and high quality ingots. He handed the ingot to Donan who looked it over and nodded. “Good, train on the crappy stuff first so you don’t waste the good ones.”
Donan dropped the ingot into the melting pot and Ren pumped the bellows to get it to melt, melting it down again helped to take some more impurities out of it, it was possible to even get it upto high quality if he paid attention to it, he had considered melting all the poor quality ingots back down again to try and get them to at least normal quality but he was simply too eager to get on with actual smithing.
Donan took him over the next process, melting the ingot down and instead of pouring the metal into the ingot mold he set down a new mold. “This mold will make a straight metal rod called a blank, they come in different shapes and sizes depending on what you want to make, a straight rod like this is for making blades.” They made several blanks as they waited for the first to cool properly. “I’ll show you how to make something simple that will use up just one ingot, a chef knife should do.”
Once the first blank was cooled Donan picked it up with a pair of tongs and thrust it into the hot coals and embers of the forge. “Now obvious since we are going to be working the metal not melting it the forge needs to be hot but not too hot.” He pulled the blank out to show it was now a bright white hot colour, holding it with the tongs he brought it to the anvil and began hammering at it, bit by bit he flattened the blank out, each hit making sparks as the hot metal spread out wider. “The key is to make sure you hammer both sides evenly, if you focus just on one side you’ll end up with an uneven blade.”
Ren watched Donan intently as he worked the blade into shape taking in every strike he made and how the metal bent to his will and took on the shape he desired, with Donan’s skill it didn’t take him long at all to finish the blade. “Now we just need to sharpen the little bugger on a whetstone, make a handle for it and polish the blade.” He moved to a bench where he had lined up various whetstones, splashing some water on one he began to sharpen the knife, by the time he was done the blade edge was sharp enough it could shave the hairs off his arm. “
Confirming that the blade was sharp enough for him he took a polishing stone and began to rub it over the rest of the metal of the knife to remove the dull look of the metal and work it into a nice smooth shiny metal sheen after which he attached a handle and handed the finished work to Ren who inspected it.
Bonus to cooking
This knife was made by a master smith the blade is sharp and will degrade a lot slower than normal blades would
“Wow, that’s awesome!” Ren grinned and handed the knife back to Donan.
“Ha, this was just a quick work, if I put my heart into it this pig sticker would have come out several times better, it’ll still sell well enough though, turned out most travellers around here can’t afford proper blades and often buy knifes like this to go hunting with.” He chuckled. “Right then it’s your turn now, show me what you can do.”
“Yes sir!” Ren grinned and quickly grabbed the next blank that had cooled and using the tongs thrust it into the coals. Once it was hot enough and he had it on the anvil he could see the guide outline of the knife appear around the blank that was created by the system which he was very thankful for since he had no idea as to what he was really doing with smithing.
Taking a breath to keep his calm, he didn’t want to hammer away to eagerly and mess it up, he began to hammer the metal rod into shape, since he’d received a boost to smithing that bumped it upto level 5 the blade took shape fairly quickly as it was a rather basic item to make.
As he hammered the metal gradually spread out to fill in the system outline guide for the blade, because he was completely new to smithing he had to rely on the auto system a fair amount as he made the blade, while he was still doing as much as he could manually, if he wanted he could still use the full auto system and the blade would simply be made with a few random hits without any need of shaping by hand but Ren wanted to try and do what he could by hand at least for the first blade then compare the result with one made fully by the auto system. If nothing else though trying to do most of the work manually would net him some extra exp.
When he finally finished the blade and sharpened it he had prompted the creation of three more sub skills, ‘Sharpening’, ‘polishing’ and ‘Blade Forging’. Three quite useful skills, sharpening would add a bonus to damage and polishing would add bonuses to durability as well as defence depending on the skill level, Blade forging added an overall boost to the crafting of bladed items both in its creation and result. The result of his work was still a rather weak knife, and he found later that making it by fully relying on the system it turned out much the same.
In the end he decided to use the auto system to pump out knifes as quickly as he could and use up all the poor quality ingots, once his skill was higher he might try to make a blade manually again, he made note to read up on traditional smithing in future as well.
It only took a couple sessions in game for him to push all the poor quality ingots through production into knifes, by the time he used his last poor quality ingot his smithing skill thanks to the boost he received from working at Donan’s forge had reached Beginner Level 9 93% He broke past the beginner barrier once he made his first blade with the average quality ingots, This was initially his goal for the time being but he still had a lot of ingots left, he was going to take up the next one and try to whittle down the pile a bit more but almost as if on cue when he received the message stating his increase to Intermediate smithing (His three sub skills, sharpening, polishing and blade forging had also reached intermediate earlier since they rose faster than the main skill) there was a knock at the door of the workshop.
Stepping into the workshop was one of the town guards who approached Donan and handed him a letter before then turning and leaving. Donan looked at the letter curiously before opening it and reading the contents. “Hmmm…” He scratched his chin in thought before then tilting his head to take a glance at Ren. “Pack your things boy, you won’t be using the forge for a while.” He grinned.
Ren blinked. “Huh?” Donan just chuckled and passed the letter to him, taking it Ren read it over carefully.
Master Smith Donan
You are here by requested by our ruler Lord Eric of Aurora to take part in expedition into the recently discovered ruins beneath the Tarrag Mountains. As the duration of the expedition is unknown our lord is requesting you travel with the expedition to maintain the armor and weapons of the troops for the duration of the expedition. Materials and equipment will be supplied by our lord and you will receive appropriate compensation for your time and skill. Lord Eric invites you to come speak with him at your earliest convenience to discuss the particulars of the role you will play in this grand event.
Ren blinked and looked up at Donan. “So I can’t use the forge while you go?”
Donan chuckled. “No my boy, you can’t use the forge because you’re the one going.”
Donan just chuckled again and slapped Ren’s shoulder lightly. “Don’t worry Eric’s a nice man, give me a second and ill write up a letter of introduction for you.” He stepped over to a rather unused desk that was cluttered with tools, pushing some aside he opened a drawer and pulled out a piece of paper that was charred around the edges and began to write out a letter to the lord of Aurora. It seemed to be a rather short letter, he folded it and handed it to Ren. “There you go, you know where the lords mansion is right? Can’t really miss it, it’s the biggest building in the city.” He chuckled.
Ren didn’t seem to have much choice in the matter, Donan wouldn’t let him use the forge any more till he came back from the expedition, with a sigh he headed out of the workshop and down the street towards the central plaza, looking around it didn’t take long to spot the largest building, it looked like a small castle. Heading towards it he came to a stop at the gates that had two guards standing before it to stop any intruders.
“Halt traveller, what’s your purpose at the house of the Lord of Aurora?”