Amar finds something interesting - RPLOG
It was a quiet day today at the marketplace. There weren't a lot of merchants around, not a lot of swearing, not even a fight because of someone's outrageous prices.
A lot of requisitions had just been delivered to the feline standing next to Cary and the saurian was taking some time to analyze them. At some point, he brings his hand up to his eyes, probably trying not to believe what someone wrote in one of the requisition forms.
Some of his weapons and armor were on display, showcasing his work. Reinforced staffs, war hammers, various swords, a pretty large tower shield and even a Shralestan katar were part of the display. All items had the distinct mark of a pair of horns surrounded by fire, the blacksmith's signature.
"I'm not so sure about this," comes an unctuous voice from outside the smithy, "It seems a bit. . . shabby for my- for our needs." Another voice, lower and softer makes a few simple assurances and then the voices resolve into two beings stepping up to the stall.
The first is an absolutely enormous, incredibly fat, purple tiger in loose, Shralestan garb. Behind him is a large, brawny grizzly bear in sturdy, and fashionably cut, leather armor. Obviously a bodyguard of some sort.
:The saurian, noticing the familiar purple tiger, gives the feline a gentle pat on the back before assuring him. "Hey, can you handle these for a second? If you do see anything weird on the requisitions, you can tell me. But otherwise it's a pass."
Cary leans forwards on the stall, using both hands to push him a little forward. "Amar? Well. I wasn't expecting my former employer to visit!" He chuckles. "What can I help you with? But first, how are things doing for you?" Cary then looks towards the grizzly bear, adding. "Your friend looks quite sturdy, but then again, not a lot of bears around! Hello to you too."
"Ah yes, ah yes, Mister Tougard," Amar says, falling into his regular habit of repeating himself, "Gavin's job is to be sturdy, you might say." He turns a rather fond grin on his manservant, who looks a little embarrassed by the attention. "And I suppose that sturdy things are what brings us here today. It has been brought to my attention that my usual choice in home security may be less than ideal for the local climate. Politically, I mean."
"Too many poisoned arrows for your taste? Heard about it, can't really trust Cliffside to stay neutral in these times. People are afraid." Cary adds, his expression turning into a frown.
The saurian grabs a jug from under the stall, along with a couple of clay mugs, putting them on the table. "I got this mead the other day. You and your friend want some?" He says, also tapping the feline's back again, who refuses it promptly.
Amar gives an uncertain look to the jug and simple cups. "Perhaps another time," he says, stroking his pointy, white goatee. "I have no arguments with Cliffside," the fat cat says, "They are honestly the least of my concerns. Apparently there are rather more Sweetwater natives that want my pelt than foreigners. There seem to be some long-held grudges against the Longtails. And that is ignoring that fact that a rather sizeable and unpleasant faction of the Longtails would like nothing better than to see me on a slab!" He shakes his head, setting his second chin wobbling. "I require some more secure doors and locks and perhaps you have some ideas for keeping my inner garden secure?"
"Longtails eh? I thought they were slightly peaceful. At least lady Flora seems like a nice person." Cary shrugs, picking up the cups and the jug and returning them to their storage under the table. "Well, that depends. If you have an urgency, I suggest you try to buy a door I made from a certain freesword. You'll know him when you see him around. Can't miss him, large wolf, walking around with a reinforced steel door as a tower shield." He chuckles again.
"Jokes aside, let me think. There are a couple of Shralestan door lock designs I've studied. They would be a lot more secure than your average lock and require a very good thief to break into. As for the door.. There's a combination I made with high density steel and pearwood wood. It's sturdy, durable and can take quite a lot of blows. I found out the hard way that it's easier to dig a hole under it or blow up your way around it than trying to take it down." He nods, bringing his hand up to scratch his chin. "What do you think?"
"Not her, not her," Amar says, waving a fat paw, "The other ones. The ones that are against the Highlady, and the crown, and order in general. Bad for business, the lot of them." The purple tiger eyes Cary, trying to decide if he is joking about the door-shield.
"But yes, that all sounds perfectly acceptable," the fat feline admits, "That leaves simply the problem of securing the garden. I don't suppose you have any ideas?"
"I see. Conflicts within the Longtails, noted. Will try not to get stabbed, noted again." Cary eyes Amar back, something clearly coming up on the saurian's mind.
"Hmm.. How exactly.. 'Open' is your garden? If you're looking for automated defenses, I'm sure lady Flora can help you with that.. Now.. Structure.. There are a couple of mechanisms I could use as a basis if your garden was made the way I think it was.."
Amar rolls his eyes. "Flora's inventions and innovations are useless to me," he says, "Sometimes I regret coming forward as a Longtail. It has cost me far more than it has been worth! The stress of it alone has left me a nervous wreck! I can hardly relax even in my own home! Look at me! I am wasting away!"
The obese tiger is quite obviously not wasting away. Nor suffering any undue trauma. He looks the picture of well funded health.
"The garden is inside of my home. A little courtyard surrounded on all sides by the house," Amar explains, "The trouble comes from the fact that it is open to the sky, and I will not compromise my garden by building a roof over it."
Cary shakes his head just a little bit as he inspects the Tiger. "Yes. Stressful, I believe. Well, right now I can think of a couple of solutions to your problem, without any specific order of importance. Number one, prevent anything from getting on the roof in the first place by replacing the roof tiles with spiked roof tiles. I've only seen that once and I can question its usefulness though. And finally, number two is a mechanical roof. In theory and with the proper supports, a retractible roof could be added to your garden. Not there when you don't want to and there when you want to."
Cary cracks his fingers, leaning to the side a little bit. "The tiles between the supports could be made of glass, wood, iron. The heavier, the sturdier but it will require better support material and a stronger mechanism, as I believe you know."
Amar does not look sold on this solution. "The tiles I could work with," he says hesitantly, "If you think that something like pointy tiles will actually dissuade anyone from climbing around up there. But I am not convinced that building a monstrously mechanical cover for my meditation garden is the solution I am looking for." He turns a little frown on Gavin, his manservant. "I told you this was not the sort of work that Mister Tougard did."
"The spikes I've seen used were dagger-length long." Cary sighs a little, adding. "We could, however, keep things a little interesting. While not my area, an air magic specialist could help me craft a frame for the garden which could block entry or at the very least, make it very difficult for the assailant to enter. He'd be facing spikes and air magic which could potentially throw him back towards the spikes."
Cary gently nods. "But yes, my primary work does not usually involve mathemagic. Usually. My faith goes a lot more in steel, iron, wood and leather than mathemagic."
"No, no," Amar shakes his head, which sets his whole body to jiggling, "That won't do, that won't do at all! Although," the fat tiger stops to consider something, "You do bring up some interesting aesthetic ideas worth thinking about." He shakes his head once more. "I am sure something else will come to me. For now, Gavin has the measurements for my doors and frames." The purple feline looks around the small smithy. "Ah yes," he says, as if he has been reminded of something, "Ah yes, I shall also require some display racks for a collection of weapons I wish to display. You could come up with something of suitably fearsome aspect, I assume?" he raises a finger to tap the side of his nose, "All in good taste, though, of course."
Cary picks up a small manuscript and his trusty longtech pen from his pocket, ready to take note of the measurements. "No worries. I thought the air mathemagic approach was quite subtle though."
The Dino adds, "Display cases? Hmm. I'll need to know their sizes and if possible, what are they so I can come up with something. I'll also need to know if you prefer them in steel rather than wood, as my wood carving skills are not that good in comparison to my smithing."
"Steel, of course," Amar says, drifting away to look over some of Cary?s work while Gavin steps up with a sheet of paper.
"I hope you can forgive Master Widestripe," he says in a low, calm voice, "He is used to getting his way. It has been hard for him to get over the number of times he has NOT gotten his way lately."
As Amar drifted away to look over some of Cary's work, he would soon find out that most of the pieces he brought today had creator quotes on them. One specific piece on display was astonishingly beautiful, a small darkened round shield with an intricate lion crest, covered with protective creator runes. "Pride will tear us both apart" was written on the back of it, in the creator language.
"Oh, I'm sure he's at least a success with the ladies." Cary calmly whispers back, trying to hold back a chuckle and picking up the sheet of paper.
"Are these the measures?" The dino asks Gavin, inspecting the sheet. "And another question, if you don't mind, my grizzly fellow, what are your weapons of choice?"
Gavin does not say anything in response to Cary's quip about Amar's success with the ladies, but he does manage to look incredibly uncomfortable.
He moves things hastily along. "These are all the measurements for doors and things," he says, running a finger down the list, "And here are the measurements for the weapon racks." The young grizzly, and it becomes apparent that he is fairly young, certainly no more than 20, seems surprised by Cary?s question, "Me?" he asks, "I guess I've never thought about it. I usually just fight with my hands when I need to."
Cary doesn't take long to pick up something from his storage box after Gavin's last phrase. He reveals a pair of spiked steel knuckles, large enough for a heavy clanned rhino's hands. "So, you fight with your hands?" He asks, curiously inspecting the bear.
"Then try these on."
The bemused bear does as he is told and dons the spiked fist guards. "These are very nice, Mister Tougard," he says, "But I'm not sure that it is right for me. I don't really do a lot of fighting. I mostly just keep people away from Master Widestripe and help him with whatever he needs done."
"You write in the first tongue?" Amar calls from where he is examining some of Cary's recent work.
"Well, you know the saying. 'If it fits...' Plus, sometimes bare hands aren't enough to keep someone away from danger. Learned that the hard way on one of Amar's expeditions." Cary says.
Calling out towards Amar, the dino replies, "Yes I do! I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to study it. It looks beautiful on some of my work but except the shield, which is merely a restoration commissioned by members of the church. It's almost complete."
"Hmm," Amar grunts, noncommittally, "Well, it is certainly ornate enough." He pauses to look closer at the shield. "The Church commissioned you to restore this?" he asks, "It hardly seems like a Creator artifact."
Gavin removes the spiked knuckles from his hands and holds them out again to Cary. "Thank you all the same, sir," he says, "But I really can't afford to go buying something like this. I'm sure that they are out of my price range."
"Nonsense." Cary says as he refuses to take the knuckles back. "It's yours. It was merely a test, plus, everyone's all about large weapons and spears nowadays, it's hard to find anyone who'd want these." He smirks, adding "No cost, but no refunds either, ha!"
"Oh? They didn't want to tell me the whole story, but it seems to me that it belonged to someone associated with the church or perhaps nobility associated with it." Cary calls out to Amar again.
At the lower bottom of the shield, there is another inscription, in the language of the beings of promise. It doesn't, however, seem make any sense by itself. Maybe if someone looked closer or with the help of an instrument.
Gavin looks like he is about to protest further, but upon the dinosaur's insistence simply stows the weapons in a pouch on his belt. "Thank you, Mister Tougard," he says, "This is very kind of you."
Having done his duty, turning over the measurements to Cary, the bear turns and rejoins his master.
Amar frowns over the shield before him and reaches into his sash for a small jeweler's loupe that he sets on his eye before leaning in to examine the etchings more carefully.
"Relax my grizzly friend. You can call me Cary! There's no need for any formalities around here." Cary adds.
Meanwhile, as Amar reaches closer to inspect the shield, he finds a name. A last name. Perhaps a bell would ring in the purple tiger's mind, as old stories would echo their way to his mind again, stories from more than a decade ago.
Van Der Aart.
From the stories that echo back into Amar's mind, he remembers the name of the shield. 'Forlorn Hope' was the name given by the church to the shield they had their own crafters create for a man named Alexander Ludwig, a royal ranger, last of his kin and presumably deceased.
The name rings distant little bells in the back of Amar's head. While he is a newcomer to Sweetwater and to Firmament, a collector always know the history of any locale he travels to. "Van der Aart," he muses aloud, "Don't tell me this is Alexander Ludwig's shield?" The fat tiger resumes his investigation with more interest, this is the sort of treasure that is right up his alley!
"Alexander who?" Cary rises an eyebrow at Amar, walking closer towards him and Gavin, curious on the tiger's little discovery. "I've yet to restore the back of the shield, so I haven't paid much attention to it yet. What's interesting about it, is the mathemagic that bursts when you wield it."
"Wait, what?" The feline soldier that was still quietly approving the requisitions jumps in surprise, exclaiming, "Ludwig's shield?! Even my mother used to tell me stories about the man, the guy was a hero! Used to chew through shadows like nobody's business!"
"No, my boy, no, no no," Amar says, shaking his head and waving to Gavin to pick up the shield and move it to a work bench where he could study it better, "The math is what is USEFUL about it. What is INTERESTING about it is where it has been and who has held it." Now that the tiger knows he is looking at an artifact instead of just a shield, he is much more engaged and starts to carefully examine the front. "You say that the Church gave you this?" he asks.
The dino looks just as surprised, scratching the back of his head. "Why, yes. It was quite a bit battered when they entrusted it to me in order to restore it. I still need to restore the engravings on the back and the enarmes."
"That's amazing! You know, the fact that he totally disappeared kinda made me wonder if he was just a story or a real person though, but this? Ooooho." The feline looks pretty surprised, holding his hands up against his mouth in enthusiasm, breathing in and out rather quickly. "But d-did they give you anything else!?" He also asked Cary.
"Really?" Amar asks, stroking his goatee thoughtfully, "Is that so? Is that so?" The fat cat looks over the shield once more. "This will require some thought, I think," he says after a bit of a pause, "Come along Gavin. I think we have some investigation to do." The obese, purple feline turns and waddles toward the entrance, leaving Gaven to nod apologetically and hurry after.
"No worries! I'll see what I can make out of this and.. Well, maybe the church has some explaining to do. If anything I think they wanted to cut my rates!" The saurian chuckles, before waving goodbye to the purple tiger and the grizzly bear."
"Now." The Saurian turns towards the feline soldier, "Tell me more about this.. Ludwig."