Sweat beaded on his face, the clang of steel against steel ringing in his ears.
The hammer came down again and again, folding the hocho-tetsu to free it from impurities. The nabe-gane is heated, and quenched, broken and purified. Then the metals are combined: tamahagane, hocho-tetsu, and nabe-gane layered and folded together to form the blade. Folded together again and again, in more and more complex layers, extended and shaped until the lumps of metal resemble the blade they will become.
The yakiba-tsuchi has already been prepared, and the clay mixture is applied to the blade before it is heated and then quenched. The hot metal bends as it cools, taking on the signature shape as the yakiba-tsuchi leaves its pattern in the steel.
The blade is set aside while the second is forged, and the process begins anew.
With the blades forged, there is still much work to be done. Polishing and sharpening and polishing once more, taking several weeks before it is ready. The crafting of tsuba and koshirae take time as well, the complete process being more akin to art than Telmark smithing.
But finally, they are ready, new blades to suit the Empire he finds himself trapped in.
Photo by Jeff Kubina (CC By-SA 2.0)
These garments are alien to him. He has seen others wear them but he is not comfortable in them yet. They are easy to get wrong, easy to make social mistakes by wearing them wrong.
They are strange, but it is a strangeness he must overcome. It is not the first time he has had to wear the clothes off a culture alien to him, and he will overcome his discomfort.
His home world is a galaxy away, as is the world he was growing to know, and all he knows is so far away.
But he can overcome this. He will overcome this. He has tasks that must be done, there are changes that must be made, and they begin by him getting used to these clothes.
But they are still alien to him.
My LRP schedule for the year has been pretty full since last October and events are still being added.
- 22-24 Jan – Empire Player Event: In the Fields of the Cloth of Gold
- 19-21 Feb – Empire Player Event: Gilded Horn Carta Winter Retreat
- 4-6 Mar – Future’s End: Mission One
- 25-28 Mar – Empire: 379YE Winter Solstice
- 6-8 May – Stargate: The Spaces Inbetween
- 13-15 May – No Rest for the Wicked: Dark Deeds
- 27-30 May – Empire: 380YE Spring Equinox
- 1-3 Jul – No Rest for the Wicked: By Schisms Rent Asunder
- 29-31 Jul – Empire: 380YE Summer Solstice
- 9-11 Sept – Empire 380YE Autumn Equinox
- 30 Sept – 2 Oct – Future’s End: Mission Two
- 14 – 16 Oct: No Rest for the Wicked: Humans Are Such Easy Prey
And that’s not including any extra Stargate events I get tempted into, or any extra Empire player events that might happen post-season, or the potential of going to CP in August.
On the other hand, I only have 8 days of holiday left and I may want to take the Thursday off for Empire E3 and E4 and any Christmas leave I want has to come out of that as well. So maybe this is about my LRP limit in a year. But maybe not.