Free time was always fleeting for Hedara, but when she had it, she actually needed something to do with it. Rather then get into a conversation about the merits of fiction with Temperanth, she opted to go to the forge and get the dust off of her abilities as a smith. She had her heart set on trying to make a knife, though obviously she wouldn't have time to make it all at the moment. Still, she could try a little today then have a proper go when her free time was more forgiving. If it ever got more forgiving.
So she went toward the forge, moving through the caverns that it was situated in. It was nice to be in the caverns, just because it was enclosed, and therefore didn't have wind. She continued on until she arrived at the forge, and looked about inside. She didn't want to barge in like she owned the place, bad etiquette that. Of course really it was more that startling people in a forge was just generally bad. She'd seen apprentices that lost their concentration get bad burns, and therefore knew that concentration was important to a smith. So she made sure knowing was working with hot metal before announcing herself.
"Is it a busy time for the forge or is it possible that I may use a place to work?" She glanced around with a trained eye, spying the anvil and such. It was a nice forge.
Less than a Turn away from receiving his Mastery in Smithing, Barrek was well on his way to being one of the most skilled Smiths at Ice Stone Weyr. Of course that was always a subjective claim, but being the cocky bastard he was—and he literally was a bastard—he liked to think that he was the best in far more ways than one. As vain as a Queen dragon, it was no wonder why he strutted about the forge and the Weyr as he did, schmoozing his way through the lower cavern women and any willing female dragonrider he could find.
So when a woman entered the forge, Barrek took notice. Of course she was abnormally tall and built like a teenaged boy, but her skin was fair, as was her hair and her face was pretty enough. Shoving the blade he’d been shaping back into the hot coals of the actual forge, beads of perspiration giving his tanned complexion a fine sheen, he hooked the loop of leather on the handle of his hammer on his belt and watched as she navigated the cavern, eyes alighting on various tools and implements and finally settling on one of the anvils that were spaced evenly in front of the wide-mouthed, glowing forge.
Folding his arms over his chest, Barrek raised a brow and made a point of looking the woman over again as though he was skeptical she even knew which end of a hammer to hold. His intimidating and striking presence was shattered however, when a black firelizard detached from the rough stone wall and trilled happily as she winged her way through the warm air and circling the man three times, landed on his shoulder and promptly began to rub her head against his stubbly cheek, tail coiling about his neck. A muscle below the man’s left eye twitched and he let his hands fall to his sides, flexing them.
”I’ll not be coddling you. If you burn yourself you can walk yourself to the healer.” Permission granted, Barrek grabbed the hammer from where it hung from his belt and turned back to his project, trying and failing to pry Twit from his shoulders. Moving back towards the boiling hot heat of the forge, he grabbed the length of red hot metal he’d been working with and brought it back to one of the anvils and before the woman could start asking obnoxious questions about how things worked, Barrek hefted the hammer and began banging on the edge of the hot metal, shaping the blade as he’d already finished drawing it out to its full length.
She was examined, which she took with a raised eyebrow. Was it going to be one of those days? Well at least it was a smith trying to figure if she looked like she could handle herself. She didn't recognize him so it's not like he could know her, at least her training. So she let her gaze lock onto the Black firelizard that came over. Well, looked like the firelizard was well used to the environment of the forge. She wouldn't trust Ivy here, the Green was liable to poke her head somewhere dangerous. Of course, she usually listened when Hedara told her to leave things alone, but best not to chance it. Good thing the flitter was with Temperanth, she wouldn't have to worry about her. Eventually it seemed like she passed whatever test he had in his head and gave her permission. Though the implication was, just barely.
"I am not a half rate apprentice," she stated simply. Still, looked like she was given leave to work on something so she got to looking over the materials and the tools. She checked the materials for what she was looking for, a small piece that she could work with and sturdy enough to be worth the work. She found something around what she was looking for then went to check the tools. As much as one wanted to just grab a tool and begin to work, her Mother had pushed one rule in her head. If you didn't know the tool, check it. If you knew the tool, check it twice and make sure it was left in the condition you'll like it in next time you worked. So she checked the tools she wanted to use. Well they looked in good repair, nothing loose or warped. After checking them all she started at her work.
Barrek heard the woman’s comment though he pretended not to and though it wasn’t particularly a good idea to do so, divided his attention between his project and the woman. He was sure he’d seen her around or from a distance but he’d never had the pleasure of meeting her face to face. Then again, most of the women he’d had the pleasure of…meeting, had been lower cavern women and flirtatious female dragonriders. Somehow he didn’t think this woman fell under either category.
Stepping away from the anvil, he shoved the blade into a barrel of water, using the steam that rose as cover to blatantly watch the woman as she inspected the tools. That alone told Barrek that she was no stranger to the tools of a Smith, but whether or not she had any skill remained to be seen and he was skeptical.
“We haven’t met before.” There was none of the usual suggestive tones in his voice as he was too distracted by the woman’s knowledge to put on the charm. Besides, she wasn’t exactly…well to be honest she wasn’t very feminine in her appearance and lecherous woman monger that he was, he didn’t find himself initially interested.
Getting a project going involved a very specific set of things. One, making sure her hair was tied in a way that it wouldn't be disruptive. With a quick check it was back and not in the way. Check the forge's temperature. Looked good when the smith was using it, and it looked good now. Get your material heated. This was trickier then it looked, you had to heat it correctly, so that it would react correct to the hammer. It was probably the most finicky part. Her favorite was hammering the metal into place. It was rhythmic and relaxing. Still, working with the forge first. She was watching her metal heat up when the other smith spoke, a touch skeptical. Haven't met? She looked sidelong at him before shifting her eyes back to the forge.
"Well, I cannot say I have met you. Unless you were one of Master Smith Arah's apprentices' some turns ago which could be but I do not recall. I have little doubt you have seen me around here though if that is what you are wondering." Hedara tried to make regular rounds to different places, partly for checking how the Weyr was behaving. She wasn't particularly bothered by someone not knowing who she was on sight. She figured there was a whole host of people at the Weyr busy enough not to pay much attention to who was who in the Weyr. The metal was getting there, but she still had to watch it. So she kept her eyes on that rather then the smith she was speaking with. She continued to be aware of his presence though. Dangerous not to in a forge.
Barrek watched surreptitiously as Hedara began to heat her metal and was surprised to find that she seemed to know a thing or two about it. Heating metal evenly and properly to be worked with was a bit of an art form and what set apart the amateurs form the Masters more often than not. Still, to have a woman so proficient in the ways of a Smith was strange to Barrek though he knew well enough to keep his opinions to himself. The woman was first and foremost a dragonrider and a Queenrider to boot; such women tended to be prickly when their abilities were questioned.
“I have not heard of a Master Smith Arah; I trained here under Master Smith Renloh Habardi.” The man in question was getting up there in age and his hands were very nearly crippled with arthritis. In a manner of a turn or so, Barrek would achieve his Mastership and likely take over Renloh’s place at the Weyr providing Tiberax’s plans weren’t put into action before then. While being a Smith was technically a cover, it was one that Barrek enjoyed well enough that if he had to he’d continue practicing his trade to make a living. “You’re the Ice rider, yes? The one that just had the clutch.”
Hedara continued to watch the metal until she saw what she was looking for. If she were a more dramatic person, which she was not, she might say that this was the point the metal got a heartbeat. Heated metal was like a living thing, a wild creature ready to bite you, or be tamed. These were more things that Temperanth would think, Hedara was more calculated on the whole affair. She grabbed a hammer she had chosen and moved to the anvil, careful where she pointed the hot metal. Still, she could converse as long as she didn't look at the man.
"Ah. That would explain it. I am not particularly familiar with Master Smith Renloh, though it seems as though you came away with tools enough to work." Hedara was mostly referring to knowledge, not the actual tools of a smith. She glanced up to make sure he was out of the way of her swings before starting, beginning to pound the metal into its shape. It would be a plain and serviceable knife when done, a touch long she would guess, but a good one.
"That is accurate. I am Hedara Lune. What is your preferred moniker?" She always did this. Her introductions consisted of her full name, and very rarely her rank. She didn't introduce herself as the rider of Temperanth. Part of it was because the Ice liked to introduce herself if required, so it was easier not to bother with that. She distinctly didn't mention anything about Temperanth's clutch, but she was sure he would bring it up. People tended to, and he certainly seemed like he would. Still, like a reliable metronome, she struck the metal, driving it into its place. Her gaze was precise, but her face relaxed as she watched the metal and hammer meet. It had been too long since she had done this.
Barrek returned to the red glow of the forge after Hedara had removed her little scrap of metal and pulled from the coals two long, glowing rods that had been fused together. It was time to make another blade. Bringing it back to his anvil he used the tapered end of the large metal surface and holding the rods over it, began to use his hammer to bend the rod, sparks flying as he hit the heated metal. He didn’t answer straight away, instead continued until the metal was almost bent in half then strode back to the hearth to shove the slightly cooled meatl back into the heat.
Turning, he wiped his brow with the back of his forearm, smearing soot over his face though it was hardly noticeable for all the dirt and grime already there. “Tools enough indeed.” A smirk played on his lips as he ventured closer to Hedara’s workplace, a keen eye on her bit of metal. He knew instantly that she was making a weapon though the bit of metal she’d chosen hardly seemed enough for a sword and would prove too long for a simple knife.
“The name’s Barrek Malvois. I would say ‘at your service’ but that’s already a given.” With a smirk he sketched a borderline mocking bow and returned to the hearth to retrieve his latest project which was once again glowing hot. He proceeded to fold and draw out the metal until he was certain it was strong enough and consistent enough then began to shape it in earnest. It was a long, tedious processes but one he was good at. “Congratulations on the clutch, by the way.” He shouted over the pounding of hammers, his voice easily heard. “The Silverlight was a surprise…a male I think?” He carefully kept any disdain out of his tone.
Hedara resisted giving a scoff at the almost mocking bow. Whatever. She could hardly care about that now, and her bit of metal was coming along in a lovely way. Yes, much better. Didn't have to think about how she got annoyed when people did that. She continued hammering in a rhythmic fashion, while responding to his words, not his actions.
"Well met." A few more hammerings from the both of them before he spoke again and the entirety of his statement made her lips press together in a hard line. Well, she had predicted this would happen. Best do as she always did. "I shall pass the congratulations to Temperanth." She paused again before voicing on the last bit. "A surprise of course, but in another way it was not of particular surprise." Her face changed to express that she was thinking about it, or rather, had thought about it a lot. "I find that we hardly know anything properly about this place, even with the decades it has been around. Learning something knew should be no surprise." That's what she got for impressing Temperanth, a more historically centered view. And of course, one very clear and bitter opinion about the Weyr itself. It had come to light when regarding the supposed problem with Silverlights. So when she thought about it she came to a rather unfortunate idea.
Hedara wasn't an optimist. She didn't think that things magically worked themselves out. So even if she disliked it, she could accept a thought that made her part of a problem. Or more accurately humans in general. Unbidden, the thought escaped her lips, hardly loud enough to be heard unless someone was really listening through the metallic ring of hammer against metal.
"It's all our fault of course." Her face didn't change, so it didn't look like she was pained, nor really dramatic about the statement. She simply continued on pounding the metal into shape. It would be a lovely knife. Just a bit longer.
Barrek watched the woman—the Weyrwoman—with less discretion that was probably advisable but then his reputation for being a bit uncouth was well enough known that he could get away with it. After all: that’s just the way Smith Barrek is. For the moment his gaze wasn’t particularly hot, more curious and calculating than anything; for all the world looking as though he were trying to size up the Weyrwoman and her abilities in the forge. In truth, his mind was keenly aware of every word she said and was analyzing it with the cool logic that Tiberax had nurtured in him as a boy.
Though he’d almost missed her words for all the noise in the forge, they were perhaps the most poignant of all. Who exactly was included in “our”? Was it herself and her dragon she blamed? The entire Weyr? Until now, he’d never really considered that the Weyrwoman might have a wavering opinion on the Silverlights, for all that she pushed them as Royal and seemed to be firm on her opinion. A faint sparkle lit his blue eyes as he turned his attention back to his project, shaping the blade he was working on.
A plan was forming in his head and as he glanced up and over at Hedara he appraised her figure once more. Somewhere there had to be something of a woman in her and if he could latch onto that…if he could get even a little close to her… The urge to smirk or even grin at his own deviousness was string but he resisted and instead began to theorize various scenarios and schemes that might work to endear him to the Weyrwoman…maybe if something were to happen to the current Master Weyrsmith… and if Barrek were to be given the position…no, that would require him to be given the Master’s exam and that was at least a turn away. Until then, however, there were ways.
Hedara's cool gaze never left the metal being shaped before her. She didn't realize she had spoken aloud, and Barrek had not commented on it so there was no reason to assume she had. She paused in her swings and brought the metal closer, examining her work. A knife, not perfectly straight by design, having a tricky bend in it for those who were accustomed to that sort of weapon. She herself was not, but it was a much more interesting way to resharpen her skills. It looked fine enough, not much in the way of defects, certainly nothing that would change its performance. That was speculation though. It's real test was coming. She strode over to the barrel of water, the one that smiths had for this very purpose and dipped the blade in. Steam rose from the water, and Hedara's face was well out of the way of the scalding water vapor. After a time she retrieved it, looking at how her work had done to hold itself. It was as she had suspected.
Hedara glanced back at Barrek for a moment and then back at her work. Hmm, well she had her practice done, so she was fairly confident she could make (or remake) her sword if needed. That was mostly all she cared about. She had used up about all the time she could on this, she had fifty other things to do today. Well, that was always the case, wasn't it? She looked at the knife blade again and frowned. She had made this because it required very little metal, compared to other blades. She didn't actually use knives, though had been taught how. She preferred more range when fighting. So she had no use for it, since she wasn't going to sell it or gift it. It was merely something she had completed and was now happy to be done with. The fact that it was good work merely made her pleased.
So she started putting the tools away. She double checked the tools just in case to see that she hadn't harmed anything, but of course they were in fine repair. Having done so she took the knife blade and put it back in the pile of metal available for projects. Waste not want not they said.
"My thanks for the loan of your forge. I may have reason to appear again. Until then." Hedara turned on her heels and started to head out, much more relaxed then when she had come in. How nice. Of course, plenty of ideas of what she had to do next appeared in her mind, and she had a mental check list out for review. This happened a lot.