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Forging Ahead [Semi-Open]


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This is an idea I've been mulling over for a little bit. Basically, it's a continuous chain of potential RPs taking place in Chachan's forge. The idea is someone (or someones, if we want to do larger groups) hops in, we RP back and forth until the "scene" is finished, then someone else can step in.  This could work well if you want to have ICly gotten something crafted but haven't found an appropriate smith, get something repaired, or perhaps see the little Lalafell for whatever reasons at his place of business.


So, here is the opening post and whoever wants to jump in first... feel free! One by one, a little group of folks, whatever folks fancy, I suppose. I dunno how well this will go, but let's give it a try and see how it fares! In the most general sense, it'll either work or not, I suppose.




Deep within the depths of the Ul'dahn industrial sector, wedged between two other, larger buildings, lies what was once merely a storage unit. Within it was held various equipment and resources for the House Dentra Smelting organization. However, it had long sat mostly underutilized - its out of the way position with the rest of the Dentra facilities reducing it to holding overflow and outdated equipment no one really wanted to use.


As such, it was a perfect stopgap location for young Chachanji after he was appointed seneschal for the organization. Forgotten overflow was relocated so it could be properly used, and the equipment was either moved where it could be used or sold off if it could not. This left an empty little building ready for renovation - and in a moon's time it was transformed from a storage unit into both a home and a place of business. It was here that Chachanji put down roots, at least temporarily.


To those who came to see it, it would seem a bit cramped for a forge - until one realized it was spaced and sized for a Lalafell rather than the taller races who more frequented this profession. It was not without its charm, however, with a kotatsu and a bench for both personal and customer use, and the decorative venting pipe for the forge itself that was shaped like a chocobo. The tatami mats, as well, added to the unique flavor of the place - giving one an impression that they were stepping into a little slice of Othard, likely in the summer moons given the rather consistent heat of the place.


However, it was not just sights that would draw people to this place. While he was never one to toot his own horn, the young Gegenji lad was quite proficient with his smithing hammer and had managed some manner of visibility providing equipment to the likes of the Sultansworn, the Yellowjackets, and a large cadre of the adventuring caste that was so in fashion in Eorzea. He had originally worked with weapons and armor, but he repaired more than crafted weapons these suns.


His preference to making armor over weapons became a little more well-known after a little debacle within the Quicksand. While it seemed more heated on the part of the potential customer, the debate brought to the rumor mill the boy's hesitance to craft deadly armaments for just anyone. As rumors are wont to do, it was taken in many ways - some saw it as a misplaced superiority and arrogance on the part of the little smith, others viewed it as a challenge to be overcome to prove that they themselves were more than "worthy" to wield a Gegenji-made weapon, and perhaps a few heard the tale and understood it was based on the boy's distaste for bloodletting and little more. Regardless of how the rumor was taken, it only served to draw more folks to the little forge - for good or for ill.


Even now, the little Lalafell's hammer strikes ring out from the appropriated former-warehouse, though they are quickly lost amongst the other sounds of the district. Within the forge, Chachanji works on finishing up his most recent project, with the sign on his door identifying that customers were free to enter as they wished. Who would next cross that doorstep, and what they were there for, was yet to be seen.


Another routine repair job? A commission work? Or perhaps merely someone who had heard tale of this little Lalafell and sought to have words with him - for one reason or another? Only Nymeia truly knew. If you believed in that sort of thing, of course.

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An Elezen walked into the building. She had on a concerned expression as she saw the forge, given what she needed to repair.  She heard the sounds of a hammer striking from within.  Her appearance was a scholarly one, at least at first glance.  a long pink and black robe with the sleeves modified and the dress slit to tease the legs underneath.  She took a seat by the bench, unaware of what the low table without chairs was for.

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It wasn't long at all before Chachan noted the new arrival to the establishment, his long ears twitching at the sound of the door clicking shut even over the rhythmic sound of metal on metal. He set aside the beaten steel to cool by the quenching bucket before slipping the his hammer into its sheath strapped to his back. The thing looked to be sized for a Roegadyn rather than a Lalafell, and as such required a harness such as this. Taking a moment to attempt looking presentable by wiping any coal dust and slag that might have ended up on his apron, the diminutive Doman then approached his latest customer.


"Ah, hallo 'n welcome ta th' temp'rary smithy fer Usagenji Ironworks, what can I do fer ya?" he greeted cheerfully, standing far enough away from the tall Elezen so that he could comfortably see her face. A short blink followed as those reflective violet eyes read her expression and general body language, and the initial smile tempered somewhat. "Um... 's ev'rythin' akay?"

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She jumped at the question, "Y-Yeah, I'm fine! I was just a little..." The Lalafell looked muscular, and with a hammer big enough she wondered if he wielded it two handed...

She cleared her throught, this was no time to worry over appearances.  "Shite, I'll just get to it. " She reached for and invisible handle on her back, and a shimmering glamour fell away on a item she pulled out.


It was a greatsword, thick and plain, its only adornment being the gilt deer antler shaped crossguard. she offered it to the Lalafell, her pale hands handling the blade.


"It's loose, like its about to come apart. think it needs some repairs, and I was hoping for some discretion..."

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The Lalafell took the sword as it was proffered, handling it well enough considering it was sized for someone four to five times his size to wield two-handed. He tilted it this way and that, eyeing the blade's edge as the Elezen explained what she thought was the issue. At the mention of looseness, he rattled the weapon a little to check how the blade was seated in the guard and tsked quietly at the result.


"Ah, yeah, 's a bit loose all right. Th' tang's probably worn down some," he murmured thoughtfully. "Tha's a pretty easy fix, though. Just hafta tighten th' hilt a lil' - I can have it done in a quarter bell, easy. Can put a whetstone ta th' edge some if'n ya like tha' sorta thin' too."


He paused then, returning his gaze to her.


"Though... if'n I may ask - why ya need discretion? Ya brought it in all magic-hidden 'n stuff..." He frowned - well, pouted may be more appropriate given his child-like facial features - as he mused on that point. "It ain't stolen or nothin' is it?"


He continued to stare at her, awaiting her response. Though, given that expression, it seemed more likely he'd just try to instill guilt into her rather than do anything if she actually did admit to theft. He still had hands on the blade, though, so keeping it to return to whatever rightful owner it belonged to was not out of the question either.

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She averted her gaze to his frown.  "Its not stolen, in fact I had enough material to make two.  But..." Her gaze went back. "Its off putting.  When people see that kind of sword, the temperature drops several degrees...suddenly everyone knows you, or thinks they do."she crossed her legs as she continued with a smile. "So I hide it. A little white lie that keeps people honest. Fighting is fighting and all, and I'm well honest enough when I'm going into it, but back home, amidst city guards and conjurers? All they need to see is another grey lass."

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He cants his head as she explained herself, his frown abating some when she assured him it wasn't stolen. Of course, he had nothing to go on but her word, but he seemed willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Whether that was a good thing or a bad thing was left up to interpretation. Of course, the frown was replaced with a whole new expression as she finished - one of confusion.


"Why would they treat ya any diff'rently 'cuz yer usin' a greatsword?" he queried, his head tilting slowing to the other side as he mused on the question a bit himself. "'s jus' a weapon. Granted, 'tis a weapon tha's good 'gainst spear users 'n pikemen 'n heavy armor." He pauses for a beat. "'s it 'cuz th' Lancer's Guild is out there? They dun like seein' folks wit a weapon tha's designed ta counter 'em? Tha' seems a strange thin' ta get all up in arms 'bout... ya'd figger they'd like someone like tha' there so they'd know what ta look out fer in combat."

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For a moment, she thought of the past as the Lalafell wondered about why she would be treated differently.  Of someone telling her about how fish were only aware of the sea, how they couldn't imagine life on land.  The smith was the same: the greatsword was just another weapon to him, and sure enough many have used it as such.  To her it was a lifestyle, a rough hand that, however needed, is not desired, and she had come to view it as such.


She relaxed,  "No, I'm sure the lancers wouldn't mind the greatsword.  But if I were to say, go around in a greatsword and pointy armor with a mean expression on my face, well, I'd have a lot of eyes on me, wouldn't I?  I don't need that, I live there." 


She started to realize she wasn't getting her sword fixed without an answer, but just couldn't bring herself to spit it out.  It was a habit, one born of necessity in her life. "What if I want to go home, and crash on my bed? Or just nip on over to the stalls for something sweet?  I'd have a hard time doing that with such a dark reputation."

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Chachan wasn't completely idle as the Elezen spoke. As she mulled over the question, he hunted down a couple pieces of scrap wood. Nothing fancy - they were just to protect the blade itself from scraping against the clamp built into his workbench. As she further clarified her point to him, the Lalafell was setting the wood-guarded blade into the aforementioned device.


"Well, I'd figger goin' 'round wit a super-grumpy face would draw attention no matter what weapon yer bringin'," he commented idly as he tightened the clamp. "Doubly so if'n yer wearin' any sorta threatenin' armor. Though not always... ya should see Mr. Hammersmith sometime - he's all big 'n threatenin' lookin', but he mostly jus' wears kilts 'n carries 'round a rock wit a stick innit."


Pulling a slightly out of place step stool closer by hooking one of the legs with his foot, the Lalafell got himself into the proper position and unhooked his hammer from its sheath. Holding the thing - perhaps a bit surprisingly - in one hand, he steadied the grip and started giving the pommel a few light, steady taps. Every once in a while, he'd free the blade from the clamp to check its looseness before setting it back in to continue his work.


"'n I wouldn't rec'mend sleepin' in a bed wit yer armor on anyroad. Or goin' sweets-shoppin' innit," he added as he worked, his attentions focused on the blade. "'less yer worried someone's after ya - then yer in a bigger pot'a trouble at tha' point anyroad, right?"

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"No, I wouldn't recommend it either." The elezen said.  As the sounds of work filled the air for a moment,  she looked at the low table, wondering its significance. "I hope I'm not bugging you, but have you ever worked with friends before?   I don't know if blacksmiths do that sort of thing in their work."  The forge did look a bit small for that, but her mind was on more than the forge.

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"Huh?" He paused in his work to absorb the question. "Well, um... 've borrowed th' forges'a fellow smiths when I didn't have me own. Does tha' count? 'n I 'spose I did work wit other smiths when I was usin' tha' one forge in Ishgard - part of th' payment was tha' I help 'em make buildin' supplies after th' whole fire 'n stuff. And when I was helpin' at the Guild itself in Limsa, either helpin' on projects or on teachin' some'a th' basics ta new smiths."


He fell into silence as he realized how many instances he could continue going on naming. That just left the gentle rumbling of the forge to fill the void until he spoke again. Which was mostly a succinct: "Yeah, I 'spose I have, huh?"


He gave the hilt a couple more taps and gave it another shake-test. This time, the blade seemed to stay steady with nary an extra rattle to be heard. Still, he seemed eager to have the Elezen herself give it a look-see. Hopping off his step-stool with the weapon in hand, he proffered it up to her for her own evaluation.


"Tha' said, some smiths have tricks'a th' trade that are kept secret. Only passed on ta those tha'll succeed them. Can't be usin' those right out in th' open, y'know?"

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Ducking into the forge building, Jana took to a side of the entryway when she noticed the blacksmith was already with a customer. The gloomy Keeper that Chachanji was probably accustomed to by now glanced over to the greatsword being repaired, but gave no comment. "...Hey, I can wait while you're busy."

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The elezen took the sword, and, facing the door, replied softly "Yeah...I do." She gave the sword a few swings.  It was moving as one piece, solid, confident!   "Oh yes, yes!" There was a sense of control from the blade, and from it,the elezen felt in control herself. She gave it a fake hug.


She smiled genuinely at the smith and, kneeling down, got her gilpurse, she couldn't thank the Lalafell enough.


"Thank you so much for this! How much for your work?"

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Chachan's gaze flicked to Jana as she settled in by the doorway, giving her a quick nod of greeting before returning his attentions to the customer at hand.


"It was jus' a simple tightenin'. Didn't ev'n need ta disassemble it ta reinforce it wit leather or brass strips or nothin'," he explained with a shrug and a cheerful shake of the head. "So, I dun feel right chargin' ya fer more than jus' th' base labor cost fer th' - what - quarter of a bell I spent on it? Which'd make it... a couple hundred gil, tops?"


He shrugged again before idly brushing at his apron once more, despite the job not making any sort of mess that would require such an action. It was likely a habit more than anything else. Or maybe he noticed a bit of coal dust he had missed earlier.


"So les' just go wit that?" he offered, folding his hands behind his back as he smiled. "'less ya want th' sharpenin' done too. Not tha' those kindsa swords usually need 'em. Some folks like it anyroad, though."

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Looking at the edge, the elezen gave the sword back for a sharpening. it was recently made. "Yes, please."



She sat back down at the bench, and, seeing someone else enter the building, adjusted her robe a little and took a deep breath. "I've no idea how long it was like that, kept feeling like 'something' was wrong. It came up in little ways, an unexpected bump here ,a scratch there...might not have figured it out, if i had just myself to worry about."

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Chachan took the sword again with a small nod and returned to his workbench. In short order he had produced a file, oil, and a proper whetstone, which were all set out before him like a surgeon preparing for a major operation. Though, given the calm and ease that he went about wetting the blade itself and beginning to file lightly at the edge, it was certainly not as dire a task as that.


"So, um... Ms. Jana," the Lalafell chirped as he meticulously revealed the edge of the large blade an ilm at a time. "What brings ya 'round? Jus' comin' ta say hi, 'r didja need me fer somethin'? If'n it's th' second one, I should be done wit this pretty quick-like. Ya can feel free ta sit on th' bench 'r at th' kotatsu rather'n jus' hangin' out by th' door. Or not, I 'spose, whichev'r ya like."

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Y'zhara was walking through the halls of the industrial section of Ul'dah and was wearing a black linen t-shirt, a pair of black shorts and casual looking black and red sandals as she made her way up a flight of stairs before taking a right. It looked like she knew her way around the place, she had been living in this section of the city for about three moons after all. She also appeared to be carrying an arcanist's tome in one hand, and a satchel in the other, which appeared to have food items inside. 


Eventually she'd reach her destination - Usagenji Ironworks. She'd quietly open the door and sneak behind Jana and the Elezen female, heading to the back area of the smithy which appeared to have a small, compact kitchen and started unloading what appeared to be groceries. She'd then take out a bag of premade cookies and would neatly organize and set them on a large plate before coming back out to the front. She'd put on a friendly smile to the customers. 


"Welcome, both of you! Feel free to take some of these cookies..." she'd set the plate down on the bench for everyone to access. "Would any of you like something to drink while you wait?"

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Jana had no idea what a kotatsu was, but didn't want to embarrass herself by voicing it and sat on the bench next to the elezen woman instead. She spoke slowly, as if taking the time to choose the right words, while smoothing out her plain clothes in a nervous way. "I'm having a problem with my horas, they've been feeling a bit unbalanced. I think the, uh... Center prong. I think it's worn down too much. Oh, and I guess it could use some shine too. The shiny bits are looking a bit tarnished."


The miqo'te is momentarily distracted by the arrival of a third woman, but doesn't pay any really attention to her until she speaks. She isn't sure about cookies either but again tries to ignore it. "...What kind of drinks? Any ale?"

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Chachan blinked and finally looked away from his work at the mention of cookies, his sweet-tooth getting the best of him. Still, it seemed what he was doing did not require the whole of his attentions, as he continued even with his eyes on the plate and the Seeker that held them. Moreso the plate, given the quiet rumbling of his stomach, but his gaze remained fixed on Zhara's own when he spoke to her.


"Ah, welcome back, Zhara!" he chirped cheerfully enough, though he hesitated a bit before continuing. "I... uh... wouldn't mind a cookie'r two meself if'n there's any leftover."


His request made, the Lalafell turned his attentions briefly to Jana to nod at her explanation before focusing on finishing his work. Which didn't seem like all that much more, considering he had managed to finish the sharpening with the file while the Keeper was mulling over her choice of words. He seamlessly moved into going at the blade with the oil and whetstone next, cleaning and polishing the edge he had given to it. It would certainly seem like he had been quite truthful in his claim that he would be done "pretty quick-like."


"A weight pro'lem, Ms. Jana?" he repeated for clarification, his voice lifted a little to not get lost among the incessant scraping sound of his work. "I'll give it a quick look-see after I finish thi' up, then. Almost done."

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Zhara nodded. "Okay.." she'd bend down to offer Chachan the tray as she turned to look at Jana. "Um... well we don't have ale, but we have juice, tea, water, aldgoat milk." she'd shrug as she continued to hold out the tray, which had an array of flavors from plain sugar cookies, to chocolate chip.

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As much as he wanted to take one now, Chachan had to wave the proffered plate away. "Got oil 'n stuff on me gloves 'n I wanna get this done fer th' Elezen lady there. Jus'... save a cookie'r two fer me fer when 'm done?" His voice hiked up a half-octave or so at the end of the question, adding a bit of pleading to the request. There was a bit more pleading in the puppy-eyed look he gave her before turning his attentions back to his work.


Work that he was doing a little bit faster now that there was the prospect of cookies afterward. Not so much faster that he got careless or unprofessional - the importance of his profession was too well-ingrained within him - but he definitely seemed to be checking his work a little less frequently. Still, left to his own devices, it wouldn't be much longer at all until the greatsword was all sharpened up and ready to go.

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"I'll have the milk!" The elezen said to Zhara, waving her hand. Seeing the plate of cookies reminded her of her newfound friends, who offered treats of their own as they traveled. She even thought of taking up a bit of cooking herself to make up for it.


The elezen took a cookie as she waited, thanking the miqote that was offering. It was shaped like a wizard.

Seeing the worn hora, she wanted to ask Jana a question, but she seemed preoccupied. So instead, she tried breaking the ice a bit. "Everyone loves eating these in different ways." she said to Jana. She demonstrated her own, which was to put the cookie in her mouth and, keeping her grin, snap it at the neck.

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A lock of dark hair framing a round, pinkish cheek came into view. An intense gaze, the sort that ran nails over one's back, crept into the room before her. She had come around again, to loiter and eat. This was not so uncommon when Chachanji was generally alone, or more recently, training, but for this particular guest to arrive during the day was an irregularity. She wouldn't announce her presence. Perhaps it was simply her training, but despite her controlled stepping and breathing, Virara seemed to almost assume anyone else could, or should, be able to notice her as easily as she herself might. In her ignorance she had begun to wonder why so many people shouted in dismay as a prelude to greeting. First peeking from the bottom of the window, not difficult for her to do given her height, then sneaking a furtive glance around the doorframe, as if trespassing, she might never arrive without reason, but the overall impression Virara gave was nothing less than a stray cat looking to make off with a pilfered meal. 


Virara, after all, swore her entire day over to continuous training in order to triturate all complacency to nothing. Frivolities such as play or excessive rest never came easily to the intense girl. Other people too were counted among frivolities. Her memory was finely tuned; Master saw to that with the switch, but the names of others weren't to be valued. She could not forget them, so she instead endeavored not to use them. If she didn't use them, with time they would surely fade away into the world of the -vulgar.- "Chagenji" was an exception, a compromise. She very rarely compromised.


Her round, placid face peered about the door frame in silence to watch his work. Much the same as always, with pure focus, honed efficiency, intense diligence. She had needed to be instructed in the most vicious of ways to even begin to grasp the essence of the dutiful student. The ability to learn was never as much a challenge as creating the will to do so. Replacing empty space with fullness was as much natural fact to her mind as it was to the world around her. 


Virara blinked twice, shifting her gaze to the much taller woman at Chachanji's side, lingering there for a moment. A doll's eye in red that seemed crafted from glass, granting nothing but more questions, and questioning in equal degree. Virara's was not the sort of stare most wanted to endure for any longer than absolutely necessary, even when she clearly bore no hostility. She seemed to have followed Jana's morose tail to the forge, but the sight of the assortment of characters within seemed to uncoil her spring, and her half-face seemed to retract slowly from view. Hesitantly, though. It was difficult to keep her greedy eye off Chachanji's blacksmithing. Still, she seemed ready to retreat. Words were an enemy she needed preparation to overcome.

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"Sure thing ma'm, I'll be right back." Zhara set the cookies on the kotasu and headed back to the kitchen area where she pulled out a bottle of milk from the cold storage and started to pour the Elezen customer a glass. Once that was complete she'd head back out to the front area of the smithy and would hand the woman her milk. Zhara would smile and bow politely, much like a very polite maidservant. "If you need anything else let me know."


Her gaze would reach the door temporarily... someone was peeking. She didn't know who it was for sure, but made a few educated guesses. Zhara would form a sly smirk on her face as she walked back over to the kotasu and grabbed the plate of cookies. She'd continue to act like she didn't notice that Virara was at the door and would hold the plate of cookies out to the crack of the door, as if trying to lure the stranger inside. She continued to look over at Chachan and his clients as she stood by the door.

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The elezen started feeling like she was being watched. she instinctively rubbed the back of her neck, covered behind long black hair. It was a tic having a sword on her back gave rise to.


Zhara gave her the glass of milk she had asked for. "Thank you--ah! do you work here?" she asked Zhara as she took the glass. After a bite of her cookie, this time severing the wizard at the midsection, she started drinking the milk slowly. Even with her blade at the smithy's table, she felt reassurance.

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