Friday, June 22, 2012

The Stables

((Saving a piece from forum creep. The prompt was to write about our mounts.))

. . . . . As the cursed thing he was, the mysterious adjunct weaponsmith for the Light's Blade remained so far removed from his own people that he did not even know they had stables - and even if he had known, he had long since sworn off most visits to the Aldor tier after High Priestess Ishanah had declared him unworthy of even a simple traveler's blessing. Hadeon did not want what stained his soul to touch those exiles who remained in the Light, so he kept to himself until the loneliness and solitude grew so overbearing that he terrified himself by seeking a few hours among the Light's Blade. Given the images which regularly assailed his mind whenever he was in the shining city, he tended to avoid Shattrath altogether most of the time. No, his mount - like his rider - lived alone and isolated.
. . . . . Zangarmarsh lacked the memories and images many other places on Draenor held for Hadeon, and so it was a smallish cave in the southern mountains of Zangarmarsh where he and Thubaab kept some semblance of residence when he was not in Stormwind or Ironforge, picking the brains of the dwarves for alloy research. Hadeon was a latecomer to metalworking, but the lack of a need for sleep and the need to bide his time until he could fulfill what he remained in this tainted shell to do meant he had gotten quite good at it over a short span of years. What had been a hobby in life was an all-consuming mission now. Scattered around the cave were linen and wool sacks of different ores and powdered minerals. A stack of books - some bound up in leather, some in linen, and some truly more hastily-bound paper than anything else - sat next to an extinguished lantern on the cave's dirt floor. A broken shard of mirror rested as a paperweight atop an intricate chart of the material properties of the various phases of elementium and obsidium at temperatures above ambient.
. . . . . In the farthest corner of the cave, dried rushes from the marsh had been scattered to make a comfortable place for the immense greenish-brown elekk to rest. A stand wrought of artless scrap adamantite held a feed sack high enough for the elekk to eat comfortably. Several thick blankets (which smelled of an elekk) were neatly folded near a large shovel (which smelled like the other end of an elekk). Thubaab was clean, his food fresh, and he was free to wander out of the cave and into the marsh as much as he liked - which wasn't terribly often, since he never could get himself proper purchase on the swampy land which started about a quarter-mile from the cave.
. . . . . At this very moment, Hadeon has planted a backside covered in thick, protective metalworker's leathers on the cave floor next to his settled elekk. He leans back to rest against the beast's broad ribs. The adamantite fused to the back of his left shoulder is chilly - as always - but Thubaab has long since learned to tolerate it as the price to be paid for pats and hand-fed glowcaps. Thubaab is exceptionally fond of the glowcaps. "Looks like a lot more'n I thought made it," Hadeon muses aloud in the sort of Common one expects to hear from lowly soldiers. "I think the shock of it made 'em looney, though." Thubaab snorts a response which could mean anything from 'By Velen, you must be right, old chap' to 'Shut up and give me another glowcap.' It's probably the latter. Hadeon rolls his eyes skyward for a moment and mutters, "It's already been 'stablished that I'm crazy, so don't even start that conversation again." Thubaab gets another glowcap. It is late afternoon and, except for the dead man talking to himself in the cave and the occasional excited wuffle of the elekk seeking treats, quiet. Rather typical, really, for any given snapshot in the life of this exile among exiles.

((In my forum RP post about our mounts, I wrote about some of the metallurgy journals Hadeon keeps. Inspired by Vitaska and powered by a whole lot of tracing, cool fonts, and awesome brushes from DeviantArt, I decided to try my hand at reproducing one page of his journal. Huge props to anyone who knows where I found that diagram from (hint: my materials science class inspired it), and even more bonus points if you know why the point Hadeon circled is important.))

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