1c – Taetham’s Slayer

1Taetham Sharderock had been lending a hand in the local blacksmith’s shop for as long as he could remember. From his days as a young child he had either been helping in the front-end, or helping carry or hold small thing in the back where equipment is made. He eventually got a chance to start making simple tools and objects from prepared ingots, and developed to being able to smelt quality alloys and craft fine products with them. The head blacksmith and shop owner, Hargaan Parsinat, was committed to convincing Taetham that making swords is the highest evolution of blacksmithing and that he still isn’t ready. This was out of Hargaan’s jealousy of Taetham’s incredible talent and dedication.

When a massive one-month order for enough swords for an army came through, Hargaan had no choice but to teach Taetham the early parts of the process, in terms of shaping the blade and crafting the shape of the hilt. Underestimating his own abilities and that of Taertham, Hargaan found himself with a full order of crude blades and hilts within a week, and only converted a tenth of them into the finalized product. Determined to keep Taetham around a a high quality laborer, he agreed to teach Taetham the next step in the process, to add tapering to the blades and prepare hilts for the sword to be placed in them. By the end of the second week, all the blades and hilts were converted by Taetham, while Hargaan only managed to complete another 15% of the swords to completion. Seeing that he was out of options, he showed Taetham the final steps in adding the fuller, sharpening the blade, and refining the hilt for balance. Hargaan also made Taetham sign a contract that he’d never make this sword for anyone else or at any other shop, and that it may only be made at Hargaan’s shop for Hargaan to sell or distribute.

The order was completed by the end of the third week. Content with keeping as much of the profit as possible, Hargaan told Taetham that he may use the spare materials from the order to make himself one thing, aside from that sword. While Hargaan was out delivering the order, Taetham began heating the furnace to make two new alloys, one for the blade and one for the hilt. He started crafting a blade of a new design, as well as a a hilt that is more perfectly balanced and comfortable to use. The final product made the swords he’d been producing for Hargaan appear to be the work of an expert copying an amateur.

As the final tempering process was being completed, Hargaan returned, furious to see this amazing new weapon in his shop. At first he could not believe it was Taetham’s work, but then realized that he had indeed been surpassed by his student over the past month. Enraged from jealousy, he took the blade from Taetham and told him that the sword belong to the shop because of the contract, even though its a different design, and that Taetham was no longer welcome to work at the shop anymore. Hargaan told him that the sword would be on sale the following day.

Taetham returned the next day to buy his sword. It was placed in the replicas case, and marked down at a low price. The front-end store clerk was confused about it because they’d never seen it before, but the transaction was completed and Taetham headed home with it. Not sure whether to sell the sword or to keep it as a demonstration of his skill, he pondered his options on the way home. A few folks took notice and interest in the new sword.

Alaryns Eaglebridge, an adventurer who has known Taetham and Hargaan for many years, was one of the people who took notice of the sword. She took a shortcut and was waiting outside Taetham’s home when he arrived, claiming she’d stopped in town for supplies and decided to come by to visit. Taetham invited her in and explained the falling out that had just occurred with Hargaan. Alaryns inspected the blade and praised Taetham for his incredible skill. She offered at first to buy it from Taetham, but he refused. He instead countered by offering to lend her the sword to test it out and give him feedback on how to improve it. She accepted this offer, and dubbed the blade Taetham’s Slayer.