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After the towel struck his chest, it was pinned in place by a swift hand. Then Stello passed it over his face with one thorough motion, securing himself some immediate relief from the creeping moisture. No sooner did Harlow mention the air conditioning that he began to feel the unwelcome chill attempting to settle over his flesh beyond the fabric. With sudden frustration, he hung the towel behind his neck and unbuttoned the long sleeve quickly and decisively before he pulled it off. The t-shirt underneath was much drier than the flannel, which dripped.

"Oh yeah? I wanna know where the huge . . . what'd you call it . . . avian sideshow comes in." With a shrug, he continued, "Whatever the case, at least you're not making monthly payments on this sweet rig. If it were me I'd rather go twelve rounds with a giant bird than deal with a financer." 

While he began to dry the exposed portions of his body, like his arms and neck, he watched as Harlow did the same with her hair. In doing so, she brought more attention to the eyepatch covering that eye, something he remembered analyzing the moment she stepped into his shop. Now that they were beyond that initial greeting, his mind wandered towards other things. Was it missing or was it scarred and white like the clouds she navigated? Was it courtesy of the shape shifter that hounded her? 

Once she began leading him to his room, he pushed the platform cart onto the lift and surveyed the lounge after the doors parted. It looked like a nice place to relax during transit. He was looking for anything resembling a sound system in there when he spotted Abigail. The sea toned hair made her difficult to miss even though she was tiny enough to look like she was about to be swallowed whole by the cushions she was resting on. Leaning forward, he used his weight to push the cart along and stopped nearby, peering at the young engineer and drinking in the oddity of her voice, which was being broadcast from a device instead of her larynx. There was a trend here. 

"Yo," he responded, offering her a nonchalant salute with a paired index and middle finger. Her quiet but expressive mouth was especially distinctive, he realized. Maybe it was because he hadn't ever seen anything like it but it was admittedly cute. 

"A spot in the crew as head engineer. Gonna be your boss." His quips came without missing a beat. "Nah, just permission to ride occasionally." Then he turned to Harlow, nodding slowly and beginning to search around the common area for that elusive sound system again, "Got it. What it needs is a badass sound setup. A few speakers all around, some on the ceiling maybe? Definitely more than one sub woofer. Play some mood shit whenever you're just kicking back or make the walls shake when it's time to pop champagne." 

He began easing away when Harlow moved things along but he didn't leave before giving Abi a glance and a few words of encouragement, "Alright, take it easy. Enjoy the show. I heard some girl got her neck broke so watch out for that." 

Arriving at his room was highly satisfying. The huge twelve on there felt right all around and in opening it, he noted the spaciousness, more than enough room for the extras he had brought along. And the ones he hadn't and expected to at a later time. 

"This is right fucking proper." 

Mention of Tom the cook brought up a question internally. What's he missing? He figured he'd find out the next day when breakfast was served. 

"Thanks." Upon being called sir, he held up his hand as if to halt her, "Just Stello." A grin of his own spread across his lips. "Makin' me feel like an old rich guy at a luxury hotel where the league of illustrious tight asses congregate to wrap their mouths around fat, dick sized cigars in a circle while debating fine taste." The speech culminated with a light laugh and a shake of his head, then he placed a hand on her shoulder, patting a few times, "Go easy. Hit me up for some sugarless miracle coffee if you got any and story time tomorrow. Gonna clock out for the night." 

With that, he pushed the cart in and closed the door behind him, stopping to glance around one more time. He drew in a deep breath and released it, as if becoming comfortable with the idea that he was going to be spending his nights here for a little while. He had no issue with that. 

Then abruptly, he moved into action, setting up his digs just the way he wanted them while mentioning to himself quietly that there was no way he was going to lose a body part here. 

@Fennis Ursai @Grubbistch

Lexicus' descent down the steps was noticed a moment or two before he involved himself in the discussion. But when Stello heard him begin his statement, which involved the services of a person he believed could perform the surgery, his eyebrows rose high. It sounded like a plan quite immediately. Even though Lexicus had been working here for a little while now, Stello didn't know very much about him. Didn't know what kind of history had come together to shape the man that he was today but there was at least one thing he was pretty certain of; the old world smith had dignity. He remembered identifying it when he admitted to understanding the reasons why the arsonist had burned down his shop. Most men would have seen red and only red. Like the very owner of the shop they were in.

The only thing left now was for Godric to agree to the proposition and it didn't take him very long to do so. His enthusiasm made it clear that he was willing to do whatever it took to get back on two feet again and when he offered up his hand for a shake, Stello took it firmly. A solid shake followed but when both hands came apart, and he heard Godric's words of gratitude, his eyebrows pulled close and tight. He didn't like the fact that there was a you'll in there as opposed to something more inclusive of the persons involved. 

"Don't thank me like I'm the only one making this happen. You sure you don't need a prosthetic brain, too?" 

He motioned towards Lexicus with his thumb, "Without him we'd still be over here sincerely contemplating flicking coins into a fountain and wishing for a surgeon. You better shake his fucking hand, too." It hit him that Lexicus could have something he might prefer, "Or whatever he's going to want. I figure once you get on two legs again you'll be ready to return the favor. I like exotic metals. Lexicus likes magic books. Our engineer buddies like coffee. If you come across some, you make sure you remember us." 

@Fennis Ursai

The question about fuel cost reminded Stello that if Lexicus came from an unfamiliar world where magitech as it was engineered in Terrenus was a foreign concept, his old contacts must also be outside of their element here. "Pretty steep. I originally went for pure magitech but ever since the Genius Loci in Shawnee kicked the Wasteland Loci's teeth out, spell components have become more of a headache to get a hold of. Not just in terms of money, either. It's a fucking rat race out there, a thousand hands tugging on the same phoenix feather. I rather go gas powered. For now." 

He didn't need to be asked twice to show someone his wares. Lightly pounding the bottom of his fist against one of the columns that supported the roof of his shop in acknowledgment, he began pacing in the direction of where he kept his signature pieces. He was unlocking the door that led to their holding cases when Ishanis began to address Lexicus, and found himself feeling surprised that someone considered him infamous. The old world smith looked mellow and laid back but apparently, he could dole out some wild streaks. 

By the time Stello returned with his wares, there was a full on verbal engagement taking place that he had all of the presence of mind to stay out of. Instead, he placed all three of his signature weapons down on the table, still wrapped in cloth, and acted as though he couldn't hear a thing when in reality he was well keen on the tension gripping the air. It continued until Ishanis came between them and uttered a name he hadn't heard before, Vitori. Stello so far had provided no response to the vitriol pouring from both men but the idea that Lexicus went by a fake name made him raise an eyebrow. 

When Ishanis apologized, Stello held his hand up, "It's alright. They didn't get into a fight, break something and refuse to pay for it so we're alright. Feel free to head upstairs. There's a balcony and Lexicus can serve up some drinks while you two talk. Or bring some drinks down here, whatever you like." 

That said, he turned his attention back to Lenix, preparing to unveil his works. He appeared to hesitate momentarily. That was because he was deeply considering inquiring if Lenix had been the one to burn down Lexicus' shop. He decided to avoid seeking non-vital information for now and moved along, parting the velvet sheets that contained his weapons to reveal a war hammer, a hand and a half sword similar to the one Lenix himself carried on his back, and a long sword with a strange spaded tip. 

"These are my signature pieces. Earth, Water and Fire. I also have a signature shield I call Shade. It's made of a highly corrosion resistant titanium alloy. It wont rust even in moist areas, is tough as steel and about forty percent lighter. I'd  maybe make blades out of the stuff but it doesn't keep a good edge for long. Better for armor. It's got a flame resistant wool layer between the titanium and the wooden frame, too. Fire's crueler than a blade to the gut. Bad way to go if you ask me. None of these use arcane resonant materials though but if you bring it, I'll forge it." 

Edited by LastLight

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@Grubbistch @LastLight

So he was in agreeance..normally this deal would have come with strings, many, normally the things closest to him, sacrifice of one's closest possessions, in this case he'd ask for something of his family name. Humility, normally at the price of one's heir...but he wasn't the man he used to be..the young wolf made sure of that.

"It is perfectly alright Stello..the man has been through enough as is. He is royalty, that much is obvious, which means it must pain him to seek the aid of a more 'common' smith." The tone was slightly sincere but also back biting. There was sympathy, he knew it, feeling as though you have to rely on someone else to get things done, and the desperation at which one needed the work.

"Coming down here alone must have been a grand task at that, albeit the task had to be undertaken due to the magnitude of the situation. I wager this a request one would be willing to trade a soul or two for by the attitude coming from him." The tone shifted a bit dark, his old habits kicking in. However he wasn't much a man for taking something like that as he sat. If anything this whole experience would be seen as a learning process. Humility can shape someone for better or worse. 

"Stello is right, I am a scholarly type. Anything pertaining to magical theory or incantations would be much appreciated, especially books about enchantments..it would help our work by quite a bit." If this man could gather some books of magic then he would not turn it down. Luckily the mind could process it within moments, however it was the body that needed to learn. Lexicus was already putting out the word, his hand was playing around with the playing card he carried with him. A card that he was permitted to keep, he used it to send out messages via telepathy to a far off storm rock that corresponded with a magical frequency. He'd have to send out the message through the young Ardesian again, however he hoped this time the father would show.

Ishanis would take a moment then usher Lexicus up the stairwell. "Thank you, I believe we will take you up on that option. So drinks would be nice, if all else, Lenix you could be a doll and get me a few. The least you could do for such a boring trip afterall." Within moments she would disappear up the stairs with the old world smith in tow. Her steps were nearly undetectable, moving with very light pressure as she walked, however she made a point to sway her hips some, feeling a bit more at ease and also to annoy her companion who she'd had to suffer a long trip with. 

This meeting was important, Vitori was not a man to pass up lightly on, even if he was bound with less power. His contacts and information gathering alone was enough to want to keep him nearby. The head of house would not let him go either, there was good history between them, which was strange being that the Ardesian clan had him to blame for so much. Water under the bridge was  the best statement to describe it. Once upstairs there was a long silence, Ishanis waited for Lexicus to give her the proposition that summoned her out. Instead she was treated with more silence.

It would be a while before Lex would speak, trying to feel out the situation and try to understand who the newest member of the Ardesian family 'was'. All he could tell was she bore tiger blood in her veins, something he did not want to toy around with. Werewolves were know for their savagery and ferocity, weretigers were not..that was a bit more intimidating. His mind wandered where it should not have. He sat in silence for a while just watching her, wondering what her specialties were.

Lenix would shake his head then release a sigh before turning back to Stello. It was clear this smith was probably low brow, however this was shot to the winds once he heard the work put into the shield. The young Ardesian pulled his sword from it's sheath and sat it down on the counter. A hand and a half sword, similar to the one that was before him. It was heavy, very heavy for it's size. Orcish design where he was from was to have short fights with very strong attacks meant to cut through opponents in very few swings. The draw back was the user had to have the training to use the weapons, let alone the strength and stamina to swing it around. The weight was focused near the tip of the sword, the metal was a bit thicker, however the edge was still sharp. It was a solid sword all around, nothing really fancy aside from the material. It was a greenish tint metal, one might mistake it for a rusted copper tint. 
"I've been trying to see what can be done to this. However the metal doesn't take magic very well, that's what makes it useful for armor and shields. I don't know if possibly some magitech could be outfitted on this? I'd like to see that shield of yours as well, see if I could make better use with your shade then my shield." 

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Godric couldn't help but laugh, glad to pay any price for the ability to walk again. "Ha! You're talking to a professional finder, good sir. I can find anything you need, especially books." Looking over to the smith made him frown somewhat as he chewed on the noble borne comment.

"Whoever you think I am, I assure you is a wrong assumption, my good sir. I know of no other noble born brat who has gone the distance I have, seen what I had seen, or even fought what I've fought. There's no denying that I am a one of a kind, no doubt about it." He laughed again, somewhat sounding mad as he started making his way to the door. It was finally happening, he was going to be back in action once again.

"Send me a message when you are ready, and I'll head right over. Before we are finished people will think me a bard for all the praise I'll be giving to you three." He began reciting the three items asked for as payment, nearly singing them as he hobbled his way out the door.

"Exotic metal, magic book, and coffee! What a wonderful world we live in today. Exotic metal, magic book, coffee! Look out world, I'm gonna be back in action."

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@Grubbistch @Fennis Ursai

From what it sounded like, Godric had been expecting never to walk again, and hearing evidence to the contrary made him positively ecstatic. Lexicus' response made him grin, as Stello was wont to do in the face of all mischief, and the mention of royalty came off like sarcasm. "Mhm, mhm," he responded, "Must be." Both of his arms were crossed over his chest, and he heard the excitement in Godric's voice mounting. It was a lot better than the desperation he had approached with at first. 

He stood in silence as Lexicus explained the sorts of enchantment books he was looking for and nodded firmly when he was finished. "Also, regarding the coffee, I mean fine coffee. Not the shit you pick up at the corner store." Normally, he would have gone off on a huge tangent about what kind of coffee he was talking about but he knew next to nothing about what constituted a fine brew. That was Godric's job ot figure out. If this had been about metal, there would have been much more to say. 

As the man left, pushing past the door and heading out, his singing becoming more and more distant, he glanced at Lexicus and shook his head. Then a pause, followed by a long ensuing silence between both men until Stello finally spoke again, "Five platinum coins says he comes back in six months to get another leg replaced." 

He couldn't help but laugh at the thought of it. 

"Well, go ahead and get a hold of your surgeon buddy. Bring him up to speed but don't ask him to drop by yet until we have the prosthetic ready. Shouldn't be wasting his time. I gotta go get a message out to the crew of the Cloudstrider. I'll have you meet them some time, by the way. Cool people. Then I have to send Ioreth a message, too, ask her to send me all the anatomy books she's got on hand. It's gonna be a long month." 



I'll start writing up details on the prosthetic and when I have everything all squared away, we'll get things moving along. 

Also, this is Godric right now


@Fennis Ursai

Women were often good at creating a healthier environment. When Ishanis accepted the invitation for them to take their conversation upstairs, Stello concluded that it was best. In doing so, Lenix and Lexicus would no longer be in the same room together, which was about the best way to keep them away from one another's throats. Once they had disappeared up the stairs and the only thing that noted their presence were calm steps heard upstairs, Stello let himself focus entirely on Lenix. 

Stello had been leaning his weight on the counter when he presented his wares so when Lenix began to draw his blade from his back, which was often a difficult task, he lightly pushed off and provided room for the orcish bastard sword to be settled over the surface again. "Damn," he commented immediately, having seen from the way the tip dipped towards ground level so readily that it was balanced for monstrous swings. To put it into perspective, the thing was weighted like an axe. 

"Executioner's blade." 

There were no records in history that said beheadings were carried out with this type of sword but it simply made that sort of sense in Stello's eyes. If he worked as an executioner, this would have been the kind of sword he would want to have, one properly endowed for dismembering. This thing could easily chop a man's head off at the neck. More impressively so, the thigh, femur and all. It might have looked like he was so engrossed in the weapon's characteristics that he heard nothing else but he responded fluidly. 

"Doesn't take magic? Does that mean it's an anti-magic material?" 

Almost at the same time, he stepped away but never left earshot. Some of his words echoed from one of the closets on the far end of the shop, until finally he returned with his signature shield design, all uncovered and bare to the eye. "This here's a kite shield but I make heater shields, too. Round shields. I've never made a War Door but I'm confident I could make a functional one if you give me your specifications." 

Putting it down on the table facing Lenix, the polish on the outer shell of the shield was brilliant and reflective enough to greet him with an image of himself. Stello passed his hand over the frontal section, outlining a forward facing ridge shape that he began to speak on, "It's got a small softly pointed protrusion here, kind of functions like a shield boss. If you hit someone with it, it's going to hurt." 

Once that was done, he passed his hand over the entirety of its face, "It's also got a slight curvature all throughout, like a very, very subtle v shape that's good for deflection. Better to deflect incoming strikes than to absorb them entirely. Keeps your shield going longer." 

Finally, he turned it around so that Lenix could see the inner portion, crafted of corkwood with a very light protective finish to resist moisture damage. 

"The frame's made out of corkwood. It's got a good strength to weight ratio. Together with the titanium and the heat resistant padding, this thing will see you through a berserking ogre or a pissed off pyro. The handle's vertical, which is what I prefer, but I can forge one for you with a horizontal grip if you like, a strap on grip, a diagonal strap on grip, whatever suits you best." 


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@~Harlow. @Fennis Ursai

And here's a flyer for our occasional joint venture. XD Work on Godric's prosthetic has started but I wanted to take a break from it and found myself motivated to make one of these.


I still have some work to do to get to your level of flyer craftsmanship but here I go. 😁


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Lexicus managed a smile, "I've already sent for my man to be here soon. With any luck 'he' should be here within a matter of days. There is a lot of things we need to discuss and he's a bit of an asset I've not had contact with for some time." The smith finished toying around with the playing card he'd used to send of his message. 

"Besides, it might not hurt to have him around to learn how to do this procedure before performing it." Once the customer had left Lexicus made his way over to the forge to begin working on a set of chain mail he'd gotten the soft work done on. He'd have to make the links weave together in the fashion he'd wanted, not to mention attach it to a breast plate design he'd been finishing working on. It was a special piece for someone he considered close to him.

The young Ardesian chuckled, "It's not anti-magic, it's the material itself is stubborn to taken enchantments. It works really well if you want something that can't be weakened by opposing magic however it's drawback is no strengthening enchantments." 

Lenix rolled his shoulders some, enjoying not baring the weight for a time. Though he was elvish his body could take a great deal of weight bore upon it. "For weight I don't much care as long as it's durable and light. To be honest with you I'm been looking at trying out a smaller shield, preferably something a bit bigger then a buckler. I've wanted to have something that I can use in a more aggressive style of fighting then the ol' lug of a shield I'm carrying. Though I don't know the specifications just yet."

There was a smile across the young man's face as he though about getting a shield such as that. He wanted to learn more way to fight so he could be able to adapt to different fighting styles easier. Having a smaller shield meant he could conceal it better if need be.

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@Fennis Ursai

Lenix didn't look at his blade the same way Stello did. Perhaps he wasn't inclined to say that his sword possessed an anti-magical trait because it didn't radiate that kind of effect outside of its own scope of structure. Even though that effect was only prominent within the blade, he nevertheless equated it to just that, anti-magic. By the time the Ardesian swordsman was elaborating on what he meant, the shield was placed down, allowing it to rest atop the counter while he approached the blade and examined it. 

He hovered over it, eyeing the metal and noting its grain before placing two fingers over its blunt surface. A short lived green glow emanated from the points of contact, seeking to delve into the sword only to part around it instead. Instantly, he knew the scope of what he was dealing with and straightened, both hands settling on the edge of the counter. 

"I don't work with magi tech but I might be able to find someone who does. Whatever effect we install on the sword would have to be external, however. It can't be funneled through it. If you were to try to channel a magic bolt with it, it would fizzle away before jettisoning from the tip. Same goes for installing a grain of nth, which is used to make equipment lighter. The effect just wouldn't track." 

His eyes angled down to it when curiosity of what the material might be burned hotter. The longer he thought on it, however, the more his mind discovered ways of circumventing its resistance to enchantments. 

"Maybe we could channel things through it but those things would have to be arcane free. For example, we could fit it with a trigger and an energy receptacle. Put an electric eel scale in there so that the blade can electrify. Add on an insulated grip. The electricity is magical in creation but in fruition, it's just plain old electricity, at which point the blade wont disrupt it. Same goes for fire but I'd be careful there. Heating up a blade can increase cutting capacity but will ruin the temper. Make it likelier to break. Another option would be to magically enhance the hilt instead. Not the tang but the leather."

That said, he shifted towards the matter of the shield, figuring Lenix probably needed more time to consider what he had just proposed. 

"As for the shield situation, sounds like you're in the market for a heater shield, round shield or even a celtic shield. Heater shields are supposed to measure from chin to just beneath the groin, shoulder to shoulder. Celtic shields are typically larger but they have these slits on both sides that'll let you slide a blade through. Fun to use. I could also make any of those smaller than what is considered traditional. Keep in mind that most people who stopped using these big ass war curtains did so because they switched to plate armor. So if you want to go smaller and wear no armor, you're gambling with your life. Not that I'm going to judge you. You're lookin' at a guy who probably wouldn't wear plate even if he was in the military." 

As much as he enjoyed talking shop, his mind eventually wandered on back to Lexicus and Ishanis. They had gone silent for the most part, which was probably a good sign. Until he realized that there may be some noteworthy implications that he felt the need to explore. He tilted his head and glanced at Lenix with what looked like harmless suspicion. 

"Question. Are Lexicus and your companion involved romantically? It's just that there up there alone." 

He was oblivious to if whether the thought of that might alarm Lenix or not. 


Alright my man, feel free to drop in with Al at any time. Wouldn't mind a separate interaction or if he dropped into the same one, although it seems like a separate interaction would make more sense. 


Edited by LastLight

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Lenix shook his head and chuckled, the smith was rambling on and he hated to interrupt him. "That's all well and good improvements but my magic is divine based, I'm not looking for the sword to be adjusted, just curious of what you are capable of doing with it. Though giving it an extra 'oomph' might not be a bad idea...I know Vitori has been wanting to adjust this sword for a long time now. I'm just hesitant on giving it 'to' him. In truth he's like you, give him an idea and he doesn't drop it till he's made something magnificent or an aberration. Truth be told this sword is almost as old as I am and the technique is older then that. You seem like a stand up guy so I'll be straight with you on this, it's old..I mean 'old old' school orcish design, the kind that the smith used his own hand that was inlaid with metal to pound out the blade. If you think you can adjust this to give it something it's lacking, say a better grip, a heavier hit to armor, a kick against heavily armor targets like auto-matrons then I'm all for it. This thing is just a bit special to me since the smith who forged it is buried and has been for nearly a two centuries."

The elf took a moment to reflect on the ideas behind the shield though, "Well..the shield is fine as is but it's just heavy, usually that's not an issue but I'd be glad to see an improvement. I suggested a smaller shield because I need the practice as is, however, as for a main use, I see myself almost constantly in fights where my shield arm 'has' to be strong so something that can sustain a fight while not putting the weight of the earth on my arm is a plus in my book. It doesn't have to be perfect since I do find myself in plate in most instances. So I guess a war shield should sustain, as for the other request I'm looking for something light and aggressive. Not afraid to be used to push back attacks and punish bad moves..if that makes any sense. And I'm not looking for priority like 'stop everything to work on it' type deal. Lex can always let me know when it's done..don't let him tell you he can't..and you might want to have a word with Vitori over some things. I would tell you but it's not my place and Ishanis spoke specifically about being 'nice'." There was a huff after he spoke, the urge to break that vow was very very strong. "As for those two, they don't have 'much' history but Vitori is notorious in his history. She'll be fine..worst case scenario I might have to bind some of 'his' wounds."

About three days after the meeting with Godric there was a light rapping on the door in the very early morning, about two hours before sunrise. At the door was a man with silver short cut hair and eyes as red as rubies in a dull purple shirt and dull tan pants with two daggers strapped to both sides of his waist. An elf, dead give away by his pointed ears, however he was a bit muscular for his race, his body bore tell tale signs of being a veteran of a few fights as he bore a scar on his left arm and another on the under arm of his right arm. His neck had hole marks on them from a very long time back, almost looking like something bit him. 

He was unsure of the time the place opened or if anyone was awake at this hour so he knocked a bit louder giving the door some force before waiting again. If nothing came of it he'd call out. The streets were luckily clear aside from a few drunks and strays wandering the streets. It was a cool morning, the sun not quite up yet nor would it be for another two hours. It was a perfect time to arrive, at least in his mind, for a personal visit.

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For Lenix and Co. 

Lenix had Stello figured out in at least one way. When it came to weapons, his mind was relentlessly adventurous. Even as Stello was interrupted so that a further explanation regarding the blade's orcish origins could be provided, a part of the dialogue was slipping through his grasp because his mind was still very much engrossed with the process of formulating ideas. The first comment to drag some form of noticeable response from him was the mention of a Vitori. By now, he had recognized that was Lexicus, though he didn't know why he would have different identities. The second thing that evoked him was the thought of adding more power to the blade than it already had. 

He slapped both hands down on the table and leaned in, "You want this thing to hit harder?" A grin stretched across his lips, one eyebrow raising, "That's like asking for a wrecking ball to be more destructive. I'd say this thing's already well suited in use against armor." He reached out for it but didn't grasp the handle. Instead, he gripped the tip and lifted it, then slid one hand underneath it and then the other. His hands were perhaps an inch or two from the stabbing end and when he raised them off the counter, so did the entire blade, looking as though the rest of its length was held aloft by strings of air. 

"If you hit someone wearing plate armor with this, you're not going to cut through it. That's a good thing, though. Why the fuck would anybody want to cut through plate? Unless you've got some kind of super magical cutting enhancement, plate will usually entrap whatever implement punches through it, which can be a pain in the ass. However, you don't have to cut through plate to hurt the wearer. Even if your sword doesn't cut through, a lot of the kinetic energy behind the swing transfers through the plate and into the body. Same principal why the mace, war hammer or any type of pole arm is preferred against that type of armor, all weapons that have their point of balance closer to the top. Like this thing." In referencing Lenix's sword, he angled his chin towards it, then turned his eyes back towards him. 

"But there's never nothing wrong with more." Finally, he set the blade down. "Don't know if you've ever had to repair the grip on this ancient beast but if you want it to hit harder, that's where it'll have to be enhanced." As he spoke, he leaned in and eyed the leather surrounding the tang. Usually, that was also sleeved with a wooden shell to provide the desired shape of the grip, whether cylindrical, oval or whatever was desired before being wrapped with leather. "A magi tech sleeve fixed around the tang. Built in power steering like in the airships. Comparable to a network of hydraulics helping you direct the blade. It'll be monstrous. Not something I can make here, though. Like I said, magi tech isn't my expertise so I'll have to find someone who can help. The patience will be appreciated." 

"As for your shield, there are two options. Don't know what type of metal it's made from but I can exchange it for something lighter or I can find you a place to pick up some nth, which can be used to make it lighter without having to alter its composition at all. Additionally I can craft you a shield with smaller dimensions so you can alternate between the two. If you like the smaller shield enough we can take it a step further at a later time and build you something with moving parts. A shield that can go from big to small with an adjustment or two. Sky's the limit." 

After that, Stello's brand of attention shifted. It was overtaken with a different kind of focus when it became about Lexicus and the history he carried on his back. It was short lived, however. When he remembered his earlier conclusion, the one about not going back on his choice to bring him in as a partner, he decided not to worry about how it might might become a detriment to him. At this very moment, he had nothing but reason to trust the old world smith. 

"I get it. Sounds like he might have some serious history to unravel with you, Ishanis and the rest of your clan. With me, however, he's been a class act. I'll ask him about it but not because I need assurances from him. As of this moment, I have nothing but reason to believe it's not his intention to bring trouble to my doorstep. And if he does, well, shit, it's not like he threatened me at blade's end when he asked to work here." 

Deciding not to speak on Lexicus, or Vitori as Lenix knew him, was noteworthy. In Stello's eyes, it was an indication of honor. It might not look it but Stello, despite his modern influences and privileged upbringing, had quite a palpable sense of morality that didn't manifest as chivalry. It manifested with more grit, with more of a sharp tongue and with unflappable convictions. 

For Al and Lexicus 

Aldorto's arrival woke him sharply from perhaps the most pleasant dream he'd had in a long time. When he sat up, the light in his eyes were dim and for a few moments was uncertain of where he was. Upon realizing that he had been dreaming, the corners of his lips dipped unpleasantly, muttering fuck roughly before he shoved his sheets away and scrambled out of bed to respond to the door. 

At first there was a loud metallic clank on the other side followed by a tap. Then the door began to slide open, revealing Stello on the other side still in his sleeping clothes. The air that funneled through the door met nothing but flesh in regards to his torso but a pair of warm and fuzzy pants balanced him out. 

The moment he laid eyes on the visitor, he knew that it had to be someone connected to Lexicus. If he had been a customer, he wouldn't have shown up before opening hours, after all. 

"I'm guessing you're the guy Lexicus called in." 

In unison with his words, he slid the door open completely and stepped aside to let him in. Once the elven visitor had entered, Stello shut the door behind him and yawned, crossing arms over his chest. 

"Thanks for coming in. The patient, Godric, says he intends to make it up however possible but in the meantime, I can offer free reign in my shop. If you see something here you can use, it's available. I'm Stello Lavis, by the way, owner and proprietor of the Black Anvil Hymn. Lexicus should be on his way down in a sec. Way you were knocking, we can expect our dead relatives to roll in behind him." 

He began to move towards the counter, turning a glance behind his shoulder towards Aldorto, "Need a drink? I have cold tea or can brew some hot tea. Food, too." As he waited for a response, he drew out a set of schematics from one of the drawers, setting them down atop the counter and spreading them from one another so that they could be viewed freely. They weren't drawn on paper but rather on what appeared to be panels of glass that lit up to reveal in depth depictions of the prosthetic the elf was here to install. 

"He lost his leg just above the knee. The prosthetic will connect to the femur. Needs to be precise, don't want him to end up with one leg two or three inches longer than the other. Lexicus tells me you've got steady hands and the medical expertise to get it done and I trust his word." 

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There came a chuckle from Lenix. "Tell ya what, you have a spark, a real spark for wanting to temper with this stuff. I'm busy as it stands but I'd love to see what you can do with my equipment. Get me a work order drafted up and I'll send both the sword over for you once you have the time to work on it. As for a shield, I'm sure you can find something that can work for me, hell I'm sure you could custom tilt an order for my whole clan if you felt up to it. I trust you so I'll let you work on my blade as well as get a shield drafted up for me. In return, I'll see what I can dig up of this metal and send it over to you to work on. I should still have some contacts that have access to the stuff." 

There was a growing concern on what was taking place upstairs. Lenix let his attention shift to the stairwell for a moment before the sound of boots hitting wood was heard. A few moments later both the old world smith and the woman who came with the blonde man emerged. 

"Sorry to keep you all waiting. There was quite a bit to discuss." Ishanis spoke as she came down, almost purring, happy to strike a deal.

Lexicus bore a wide grin on his face as he came back to the counter with Stello. "Well..it was most kind of you both to drop in and I appreciate the company," His eyes darted over to Lenix before returning back to Ishanis, "and the patronage." 

In response came a curtsy. "Not an issue. I see this being a good endeavor on behalf of the Ardesian clan. I just wish we had more time. Now," She moved almost silent along the floor reaching a hand out to her companion as she tugged at him, "we 'do' have work after all. We cannot be on social calls for very long so say your goodbyes."

The old smith kept a close eye on the two Ardesians while standing behind the counter with Stello. Lenix took back his sword and shield, sliding the sword back into the hilt and the shield braced back onto his arm. He held out and open hand to the owner, "Another time. Thank you for the hospitality Mr Stello. I hope to be hearing from you soon enough."

Aldorto slide into the shop once offered to come inside. 

"Hey sorry about all that. Not a big fan of being out on the street this time of day unless I have to be ya know. I guess Lex can fill me in once he get's down here. As for what I'll 'need' I'm probably going to need very small precise blades to work with. I can give you the details if our man hasn't done so already." The elf was overall cheery, his demeanor was very relaxed after being inside. 

"Ah..drink. Tea, some hot tea sounds good, something to stave off the morning chill. I wouldn't mind a bite depending on what you have available." He had made himself at home, finding a place by the counter to lean against.

A few moments after he arrived, Lexicus would begin to shuffle down the stairs. He bore a look that was groggy from lack of sleep. He let out a yawn as he came down the staircase. "Ahh..good morning. Glad to see you made it."

There was a wide grin as the elf nearly sprinted towards the smith, knocking him back into the wall with the elf's arms wrapped around him. "Hahaha, Lex. Good to be working with you again."

"Alright, alright Ardesian I have just gotten out of bed. *yawn*"

"Rough night I take it?"

"Y..yes. Just hard to sleep is all." Once he got the chance he made sure to push away the elf so he could move. "Right, I have made a call out to you in early preparations so we can make sure the details of this are handled right. There are few books on human anatomy that I have been informed should help out with this." Lexicus would make his way to the counter.

"What you think I'll need them?"

"No, however it does not hurt to study over it before you begin to delve into another person with blades. Precision in this manner is above all else, we cannot afford to splice anything that is not entirely related to the amputation." With another yawn the smith excused himself to find something to sharpen his senses. He was after some tea. "Alright, we have our surgeon now. Things should look up for our little project now."

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For Lenix and Co.

Lenix' conclusion as to the fate of his sword and shield was met with a firm nod on Stello's part. He felt privileged to be given a fair degree of freedom with that beastly cleaver. Although the magi tech enhancement he was considering applying to it wasn't going to be made by his hand, it was certainly going to be informed by his opinion. Not in function because he knew little to nothing about the intricacies of magi tech beyond the most basic of things but certainly in application. It would have to fit his very specific demands. 

As for the shield, he was as undecided as Lenix seemed to be. That was of no consequence, however. Stello rarely grappled with hesitation. At a moment's notice he could make up his mind and work weeks on end to produce pieces of art with unwavering focus. As it stood, Lenix stood a good chance of being bombarded with explosive payloads of creativity at any given moment. Even a second or two after he vacated the shop. 

The sound of boots garnered him just as much as the Ardesian. The expressions of satisfaction on both Ishanis' and Lexicus' faces were so strange to him. The woman purred with satisfaction and Lexicus grinned as if he had just planted his seed into her, spiting his most hated enemies in the most savage way imaginable. In reality, he knew they had made a deal. They even confirmed it, but once that awareness settled into Stello's train of thought, other questions and perceptions arose. Now they came off like two business people feeling confident they had received the better end of the bargain. Question was, which one should be smiling wider? 

Before he could get a real lock on the matter, Ishanis ushered Lenix away. Stello glanced down at the hand offered to him and took it, shaking firmly like he always did. "Any time," he assured, "and I'll get something sent over to you sooner than you think. Good travels, both of you." 

As both of the visitors began to make their exists, Stello leaned over his counter, placed an elbow on it and rested his cheek on his hand. Then when the door closed behind them and he was alone with Lexicus again, he turned his eyes in his direction, "Must be some deal you made cause I've never seen this many of your teeth. Vitori of bad fame. From the way our brutish elven friend was looking at you, you'd think you stole away his wife for a night or two. Or worse." 

For Al and Lex.

Stello was dismissive of Aldorto's apology. Not because it was rejected but because he understood perfectly. Since automated labor acts being put into place began creating strife throughout the city of Hell's Gate, being outside didn't feel safe anymore. There were riots breaking out everywhere. Sometimes, entire neighborhoods could be seen consumed with lights from lit torches carried by ardent protesters. For someone like him, it wasn't hard to feel like a potential target. His fortune made it so that he had nothing to worry about, perhaps the exact sort of entity to set the spirits of the downtrodden aflame. 

Surprisingly, Aldorto had a way of livening the atmosphere. His enthusiasm and friendlines helped to slay what grogginess still weighed him down. Then as he began moving across to the other side of the counter, lazily hopping over it with a little less energy than he did during waking hours, he paused to consider Aldorto's request. 

"Scalpels?" he asked. "Easypeasy. I'm guessing forceps, clamps and hooks. I can have those done within two or three days. Less if Lexicus assists." 

After disappearing behind one of the doors in his shop, he returned with a lidded pot full of water. With a decisive flourish, he unlocked the forge and flung its door open, depositing it inside and summoning several furious jets of flame to its outer surface. Within moments, the pot began to whistle and he pulled it out, pouring the boiling water into a cup and dropping a stringed tea bag therein. The label read pasiflora. The umber coloration spread through the water swiftly and the scent hovered just above its surface. 

That was about when Lexicus' steps could be heard descending the stairs. The meeting between them was a lot different from what he'd seen when Lenix arrived. The first elf to visit looked like he wanted the old world smith dead but the second one was apparently very fond of him. 

After breaking away from the hug, Stello met the groggy smith with tea as well, only this one was green tea. It differed from the pasiflora tea in that it had caffeine, although a much smaller amount of it than what is found in coffee and would help awaken the mind again. Stello was having a cup of the same stuff. 

"He was telling me that he needs some tools. Scalpels, clamps, forceps, etc. It aligns perfectly though. Unileg will probably need about two weeks to get here from Book|Ends. In the meantime we'll craft what . . . " he motioned towards Al, who hadn't declared his name thus far, "our Ardesian visitor needs and give him some time to read those books. I'll send the word out." 

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As the Ardesians left the anvil, the old world smith kept his eyes on the clan's financial adviser as she walked out. There was a shift in the air around him, as if he was more loose. The two had struck a deal benefiting both parties only his end was less convenient for a time. As Stello made a comment about spiting Lenix the smith chuckled with a wide smirk. His voice had lowered and his tone slowed down to his more natural 'Cajun' accent. "My boy, with that man, I'd take more then his wife from him, if he had one to begin with. The youngest 'true' blooded Ardesian in a line of lycans, all three true names fighting for dirt...only one of them has my respect, one of them my admiration, and one of them my annoyance. Though I suppose the clan's adviser of finances makes up for the boy. She's a minx, don't let the tiger fool you with her grin." He chuckled again looking over to look at Stello, not even hiding the shifting colors of his eyes. 

"Well..I suppose you have question for the 'Vitori of bad fame'? I suppose I owe you answers when you feel as though you'd like to know the answers. Leave it to the boy to dump the cat out of the bag." Lexicus leaned against the table, grabbing the scroll he'd be given upstairs and setting it on the table. "I'm just glad 'that' cat can be coaxed into giving me something nice." 

The scroll in question bore incantation and magical understanding of enchanting properties. Essentially a page containing enchanting theory and examples of how to bare incantations to metal. "It's going to be a long road for me but this helps 'us' greatly."

With that, Lexicus left the door open for Stello to ask away anything that he was curious about. At this point there was surely more questions then answers.

Aldorto took a place to sit on the counter with a grin on his face. Once offered he'd accept the tea and give it a moment to cool before sipping from it. 

"I never took you for a tea drinking sort Ardesian." Lexicus took a sip of the tea, letting it help wake him up some. The smith found a place by the stairwell to lean against. "What with all the cider I see you drink. Speaking of drink, thank you Stello. This should perk me up in a few moment."

"Haha, cider, yeah back when I had someone who could brew the stew worth half a stone." Aldorto could smell the herbs in the tea beginning to spread their scent further around now that they were heating up. "Thank you for the tea. Bit of a long trip out here so this should help."

"You didn't happen to bring supplies with you did you?" The blonde smith looked over with a look of concern on his face.

"No, I assumed you'd have some." Aldorto gave a questioning look back in response.

"No..well..I 'might' be able to get the usual assortment of natural substances..but it might take time."

"Are you low?"

"No..just an issue with transportation."

"Oh..that was never mentioned..had I know.."

                                                                 "It is quite alright Al, I did not think to speak about it. I had assumed your son would have spoke to you about it."

The elf with bright red eyes chuckled. He sipped from his tea before setting the cup back down. "Nope. Not a word came from Len. Well now I know, might make things a bit less convenient."

"That is precisely why your boy made the arrangement that way. Though it is not as much of an issue to be humbled yet again." The blonde smith took another sip from his tea. After he sighed and shook his head. "It would do the mind good after all."

"Well, I respect that. I'm glad Ishanis could arrange for a deal to be made between us as well. I'm looking forward to see what you two can make." His ruby like eyes shined back towards Stello.

"Ahh. My apologizes. Here we are gawking like two old men reuniting. Stello, I had forgotten to introduce you. This is my good friend, Aldorto, head of the Ardesian house, our surgeon, a well versed medical practitioner and knife handler."

"It's his fancy way of saying 'assassin' and 'poisoner'. But he's not wrong, I've gotten fairly good at making medical wraps as well as potions. As for the tools, I'll take what you both can get me. Forceps, clamps, and scalpels mostly. I could use two or three scalpels, once for precision cuts, another for wider area work. I'd use my daggers but that's a bit intimidating. In the meantime, I'll have a look around any herbalist shops, see what I can get my hands on and see what substances you all use around here. In the meantime, I could use some supplies from you Lexicus. I think you already know what I prefer." Aldorto tipped the cup back to finish the drink. Setting it back down on the counter. The heat burned a nice path down his throat.

"Mmm...right so, when's the nearest place to get food open up? I figure we might as well start the day off right and get something fresh and warm." The elf shook a pouch he was carrying on his belt that clanged, but not a metallic sound like that of coin. His 'purse' contained something a bit more valuable. 

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For Lexicus. 

The ease of being that settled over Lexicus once the two visitors had departed was palpable. At no point did the exchange appear as though there would be an altercation, which was one thing Stello was grateful for, but it was very clear that there had nevertheless been something at play with great substance behind it. The whole time, it looked as though one misstep would damnably lead to a lost opportunity. 

Talk about lycans pushed one of Stello's brows higher towards his forehead. They were lycans? If he was glad before that the meeting didn't escalate into a brawl, now he might have been close to planning a formal celebration. If a couple of beasts like that had let loose in the shop, the destruction would have been immeasurable. 

When Stello began to straighten from his perch, he lifted his shoulders and let them drop, "Well, yeah. Look at it from my point of view. I just hired a guy with an alias. That's usually something that someone with things to hide would do. Like maybe capital murder, grand theft . . . who knows? But I'm getting the sense so far that's not really the case. I'm not too worried. Context, though, is a good way to square shit up." 

At the very least, Stello believed that being armed with background knowledge would help him read future interactions with House Ardese better. Like perhaps provide insight as to what might make the pot boil over and what might bring it to a soft simmer instead. 

His steps led him to Lexicus' side, leaning in and placing his hands on the table, several ugly scars along the bumps of his large bony knuckles in full view. A casual gaze swept over the scroll, eyeing some of the images and beginning to acquire a vague understanding of what it was. Eventually, he placed his finger on one of the passages, which was flanked by an image. 

"I've seen this method before. Applying an enchantment to a metal using magical liquids during the quenching process. By using it to alter the entire structure of the metal, an enchantment fully roots itself into a blade. Another one I saw was using enchanted flames during the tempering process. Works using the same concept." 

The scroll coaxed a much greater sense of excitement from him as he glazed over some of the incantations, which would offer a greater understanding of how to create specific enchantments in the first place. 

"Don't know what you gave her for this scroll but if you didn't have to perform a clitoral spit shine as part of the deal, it was a steal." 

As he delved further into the scroll with calm and patient interest, he finally questioned, "So where's all the tension with House Ardese come from?" 

[ @roboblu Mentioning Floracle to some friends in this post after the divider! It's been the plan to drop by whenever the time is right and this is proof! Developed a bit of a soft spot for hub threads recently. ] 

For Lexicus and Aldorto.

As the interaction began, Stello placed his tea on the front counter of the shop and hopped onto it, sitting himself down before reclaiming his cup of hot tea and cradling it with both hands. The warmth spreading into his palms was comforting while the taste livened the senses the way peppermint soap might awaken one's mind in the morning. Aldorto's pasiflora tea was actually intended to do the opposite of that. The natural chemicals spreading through the crystal clear water, which was as invisible in taste as it was in appearance to avoid obstructing the flavor of the tea, was intended to soothe the mind and bring about relaxation. After the long trek and the discomfort of waiting outside in the streets of a tumultuous city, that seemed the better choice. 

Meanwhile, Stello was quiet, listening calmly to what the two friends were discussing. At first, he wasn't sure what supplies they meant. They had already covered the surgical implements but was there something else? When the word substances was mentioned, it clicked in Stello's mind. He hadn't even thought of antibiotics, painkillers or whatever else was necessary for that sort of procedure. The more he listened, the more it sounded like Aldorto relied mostly on herbal substances. He remembered something but before he could imbue the memory with a voice, the introduction made its way around. 

It was surprising to hear that Aldorto was the head of House Ardese. He was looking at the main shot caller. The figurehead of an organization. And he had come here to help with a matter that had little to no bearing on his own affairs. Stello acknowledged the gravity of that quietly. As crass as he could be, Stello still adhered himself to a rigorous code of honor and as a result of that, he resolved to return the gesture to House Ardese whenever the opportunity presented itself. 

Mentioning of daggers made his lips curl into a smirk as images of it crossed his mind. "Just imagine the look on his face if when you were about to begin you twirl a dagger out of your sleeve or something. Light in the room shines off the tip deep into his eyeballs." He shook his head before sipping from his cup and setting it down. Reaching beneath the counter, he drew out a laminated menu, which he then set on the counter and slid towards Aldorto. It read the Garden of Eaten

"This restaurant is literally set up in front of a ranch farm. They grow their own vegetables, raise their own livestock and it goes straight from there to your plate, no nonsense. Their menu changes across the seasons based on the crops they can grow. Pick something out and I'll have it delivered." 

As he spoke, it looked like he was still digging underneath his counter. He pulled something else out, this one a flyer, which he placed on the counter and also slid Aldorto's way. This one read Floracle Shop and Apothecary

"They recently opened up. I'm getting the sense you guys go herbal for your uh . . . substances. Just thought this might be of interest." 

Retrieving his cup, he drank away at what remained of the liquid and stepped off, a more energetic stride carrying him towards the warehouse. 

"I'm going to get started on the surgical tools. They'll be so sharp you can slice oxygen molecules apart from water molecules." 

Note: At this point, I think a timeskip's in order. Grubbistch is ready to drop in whenever so feel free to do some set up, describe the preparation process or something else you think is of interest and I'll give him the greenlight to slip in. 

Edited by LastLight

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Lexicus exhaled with a slight smile. If Stello was concerned about small things like theft and the occasional murder then that was not much of a concern. "Rest assured, I hope to keep the past in the past if I can help it. Though connections are hard to let go when they are so convenient.  The way I see it is that your shop is our work space and in my record, I keep my work places as safe as I can. The blaze of my previous establishment was on the fact that I was away from my post after a very generous offer came my way and I might have celebrated a bit much." There was a shift in his tone as well as his stance. 

The smith stood more upright, speaking with pride and authority, "Had I been aware of the transgression I would have immediately halted the attempt to burn down what these hands have put to work and finally put the old aggression between that insufferable man, preferably with a round between his head and a shallow grave which he deserves." There was a sigh as Lexicus had gotten worked up from the held in tension. "You shall forgive me if I hold bitterness over the act. It has been quite a downhill tumble for nearly the last few months. I almost wish I had to preform some lip service to take away some of the aggression and held in tension from the bitter blows." Once he finished his light rant, Lexicus's demeanor shift to focus back to a more relaxed state. 

"As for my history between the lycan house and myself, we are very close business partners and due to a, let's call it a poor decision, the young wolf who so hastily threatened me now carries the taint of a demon. It was a miscommunication honestly. Those who bare no weight to the choice of words that come spewing from their tongue generally do not expect such words to follow with a reaction." Lexicus moved around from the counter, moving to look over the forge. There were a few things he was looking forwards to begin shaping within the next few days to come. Mostly he was hoping to work on casting some chain links to begin work on light chain protection since it seemed to be a hot commodity.

"Was that all you wished to know for the time being Lavis?" His attention was not drawn away from Stello, simply split between speaking with the smith and starting to check the forge for how to begin piecing together how he would go about casting the chain links. "Because there is always things to learn and I am always willing to share what I know to those who I designate as in the 'need to know'." His voice had settled back to it's normal 'regal' sounding tone. His words spoken had become nice and soft again, something to be expected from a humble smith or noble. It was the shifting of his mood from dour and pent up to relaxed and ready to get back to work.

Over the next few day, the tools required for the surgery had been finished. The small knives, the means to clamp open tissue as well as to manipulate them out of the way had been laid out for inspection to make sure they could hold up. A test of the sharpness was demonstrated when Aldorto sliced open his shoulder with the scalpels to make sure they were sharp enough for precise cutting. While the metal work was being done, Aldorto had made a trip out to secure medical supplies as well as spend time with medical wards to learn what he could over healing supplies as well as to understand how the cuts would be performed. Once the firm grasp was set in his mind, Aldorto spent the rest of the time helping out around the forge, seeing customers come in, helping to jot down the orders that were being requested and even showed off the smiths' handiwork by bearing some of their arms, not always before asking, however the bit of advertisement was to go for the greater good.

On the day that was to come for the surgery, Lexicus awoke in the ass crack of dawn to get the shop ready by using his own room as the location of where the cuts would be made. A table with sheets and cushions was to be set as the location of operation while his personal belongings were shoved off to the side. There was, of course, still the task of working on the fine details of the metal work that needed to be worked as well as continuing his project of casting many chains for armor. To his surprise, Aldorto was wide awake with three cups of tea set forth as he was awaiting the others to rise as early as  he did. There was also a few pieces of dried meat set aside on a plate along with two boxes used to carry hot meals in. 

The elf had left the shop last night to buy a meal for the morning. It was better then sitting about doing nothing. The meals were comprised of steamed greens along with a few fresh berries and some bread. The plate of dried meats was a side in case either of the two smiths would prefer to have meat. This was to sort of treatment Aldorto had set upon the smiths, treating them both as honored friends. The elf stocked the pantry with higher end ingredients along with restocking the place with a few more herbal teas and juices as well. For his time here both the smiths had food that was either ordered from the local dinners or from the more high end restaurants. The elf had very little else to do with his 'spending' money being that he acquired more then he spent from his legerdemain and gambling then he started with. 

As the blonde smith came down from his room, the smell of the steamed greens hit his nose. "Vegetarian diet? Are you insinuating something Ardesian?"

"Me? I would 'never' suggests something about your overall well being Thoren. I am an elf after-all, one that knows the importance of a green dishes." There was a very smart ass grin on his face. "Besides it's here and I bought it for you so the least you can do is be gracious and eat it. We have a long day ahead of us, this way you can start off on a strong note. There's some dried beef and exotic choice meat as well in case you need it. Help yourselves, I hunted this morning, had to get in that daily amount of red meat from somewhere." The woods outside of town were a nice place to go after the bigger game in the area, a good way to jump-start the day. Aldorto had moved to nab his cup of chamomile tea. It had steeped not more then four minutes ago. 

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For Lexicus. 

Bits and pieces of what Lexicus said were things that Stello had been expecting to a degree. He didn't need to be told that he intended to protect his place of work. Despite being aware of the fact that the old world smith had things that he had decided not to mention on day one, Stello had never gotten the idea that he was the type to leave behind a mess that he refused to clean up. Of course, he could have been wrong but as of now, all he had seen was honor in his demeanor. 

A smile crept across his lips when he apologized for showing his emotions in regards to the burning of his shop. Stello thought it was tame in comparison to what most men would feel and display but most men acted on impulse. Like himself. Lexicus appeared to have more control. Then he listened to his relationship with the lycan group and nodded. Demons weren't common in Terrenus. They were an entity that he had heard mentioned more often since Lexicus arrived at the Black Anvil than in the entirety of the remainder of his life. Which begged another question, one he had asked once before. 

"Thanks a lot. I'll keep that in mind. I'm sure that once we get into that scroll you got from Ishanis, there'll be a lot of stuff for me to ask about. Also, you're not from Terrenus, are you? Are you from Genesaris?" 

In analyzing Lexicus' unfamiliarity with the lands of Terrenus, Stello suspected that he wasn't from here. However, in mentioning Genesaris, he recognized the folly of his hunch. Though Genesaris differed from Terrenus in certain ways, magi tech was still very much prevalent there as well and if Lexicus was still unfamiliar with it, that couldn't be his place of origin. Having that in mind narrowed the list. 

"Nah, couldn't be. There's magi tech in Genesaris and you're pretty oblivious to it. A better guess would be Orisia. The magic there is different. Not so much of a scientific approach as there is here. More esoteric." 

The culture was different as well, closer to something resembling Lexicus' manner of being. 

@Grubbistch [ Hey buddy! Time to drop in for the surgery. Looking forward to getting to know Mr. Godric a little better. ] 

For Lexicus, Aldorto and Godric. 

Working on the scalpels had been a delight, morbid as that may have sounded. Since the very first moment of learning that they needed to be made, a firm idea of how they would be constructed formed in Stello's mind. Beyond the basics, he would have to ask Aldorto what specific preferences he harbored. For example, the scalpels could be straight from handle to blade or they could have a slight forward curve. Upon delving in for a cut, the forward angle would make it so that edge met flesh earlier than on a straight blade, which was apparently a trait some surgeons preferred. 

Beyond that, they were crafted of high carbon steel and once they were fully formed, the part Stello enjoyed most began. By heating the piece with a torch, its bright gray luster began a metamorphosis, shifting to a light straw coloration and then to a darker straw, then a dark brown and finally, a deep purple before allowing it to cool back down in open air. These temper colors were the same ones indicated across the front door of the shop, each hue having a different set of applications than the other. In this case, the scalpel was given a suitable level of hardness so as to hold a fine edge that wouldn't deteriorate very quickly. 

After sharpening it with the sort of patience that a tortoise may envy, he presented it to Aldorto with a grin. Outside of the shop, Stello was fiery. Full of forward motion that, when slowed, often resulted in fury. When he was here, however, he could sculpt a miniature Hell's Gate skyscraper down to every window and delineation even if it took him a year. And it'd be perfect, unblemished and resplendant as if touched by godly diligence. 

The grin quickly faded in exchange for horror when Al began to carve himself up as a means of testing the implements. Stello's protests could be heard all the way next door. If Lexicus had been sleeping, it would have awoken him and his ancestors at least three generations back. 

The past month had been the busiest the shop had ever been. The surgical implements kept both of the smiths busy around the clock and together, the three of them put on quite a show for those who visited. Lexicus' old world charm created a real sense of immersion in this world of antiquity purported by the sort of items available and Aldorto had garnered fame from his participation in the Hell's Gate tournament some months back. It stemmed mostly from his sense of honor and his looks. Several of the patrons who visited may have been interested in the sword he wasn't holding in his hands at the time. 

Meanwhile, Stello scrutinized Aldorto's presentation of their wares when he began to govern the front desk. Last thing he wanted was for the works of the shop to be misrepresented but was pleasantly surprised. He knew enough to form coherent explanations of things and whenever the questions delved deep enough to require knowledge from those who crafted them, he asked the smiths for assurances. Overall, preparing for the day of the procedure went smoothly. 

On the day that Godric was set to arrive, Stello descended down the steps a few minutes after Lexicus did. In contrast, he had very little to say about the greens considering he maintained a strict diet. He picked up the plate without protest and began to eat, eventually turning his head when the scent of cooked meat reached him. 

"Something else smells good. Hey, you two ever try landshark? Pretty good. I ran into a pack with Ioreth and the Leper a while back while traveling to Book Ends. A Banjari hunter had some meat to sell but kept the hide for himself. Their hide is metallic, if you're not familiar. Wonder if that metal's easy to forge and if it has any interesting characteristics." 

Picking up his cup of tea, he held it up and acknowledged Aldorto to show his appreciation before taking a silent sip. 

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