• Graded • Getting A Handle On Things

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Darius Baer
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Getting A Handle On Things

Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:14 pm

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Arc 720, 2nd of Ashan
Darius stepped carefully through the thicket of trees. It was dark enough despite no longer being Cylus, and the shadows that each trunk only served to make the poor visibility even worse. It also felt much colder there, with snow crunching beneath his feet.

His movements were slow. He did not do so to avoid startling any of the wildlife, but simply because he couldn't see clearly enough to feel confident that he wasn't about to plunge headfirst into a bush full of thorns. The bearded human enjoyed nature, but Moseke, in all her glory, could be a cruel mistress at times.

A slight misstep and a snapped twig caused a fluttering of feathered wings as a small flock of birds that had been resting somewhere above Darius took flight. His dark grey eyes looked skyward to see them, but he only briefly saw a few dark shapes moving away.

Leather gloves gripped nearby branches to aid his balance as he stepped through, until he found himself in a small clearing. The gap in the canopy enabled just enough twilight to filter through to convince him that he'd found what he was looking for. Stepping into the small space, he reached behind his back and pulled out a small hatchet that had been tucked into his belt.

He stepped over to the log and began to chop at it. The few birds that had earlier been brave enough to remain behind were soon making their own escape as the metal bit into the fallen wood, the crunching sound echoing through the thicket as Darius got to work.
Last edited by Darius Baer on Mon Nov 01, 2021 7:52 pm, edited 3 times in total. word count: 291
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Darius Baer
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Re: Getting A Handle On Things

Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:11 am

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Arc 720, 3rd of Ashan
It had only taken half a break for Darius to get the section of wood that he wanted. Most of the time spent was walking through the cold snow to and from the nearby copse. His toes were not impressed, for they could feel the cold, but the human had persisted because he had a deadline to consider.

Standing in his father's shed that served as a workspace, he held the wood in one gloved hand. It was, for now, little more than an uneven chunk of tree, but he would re-purpose it as best he could. He had already begun to remove the bark, using the gentle taps of a hammer and a small chisel. The dark outer skin had initially resisted, but eventually gave way, until he had held an equally uneven chunk of naked tree.

Using a ruler and pencil, he drew two diagonal lines at one end of the block of wood so that they formed an 'X', enabling him to pinpoint the centre. He repeated the process on the other end, and then it was time to brave the cold once more.

Pulling his coat tightly around himself, he stepped out of the shed and trudged through the snow, sticking to cobbled paths wherever possible, for they were more likely to be clear of the slush. He had to step carefully, so that he didn't slip over, but he eventually found himself stepping into the relative warmth of a local woodworking guild that he had visited from time to time. A fire in the hearth at the far end of the main room fought against the cold air that threatened to make itself at home, and he made sure to close the door quickly.

A few faces that had experienced much more life than Darius' turned to look at the new arrival as the last of the cold air swirled around the entrance, though their expressions revealed little. One nodded slightly, and then they all returned to the various projects they were working on, and Darius was left to his own devices.

He moved away from the doorway and stepped over the scattered sawdust that rested upon the floor and into the main working area that was slowly beginning to feel familiar to him. There were tools and workbenches in the woodworking guild that he couldn't yet afford himself, so having a place where he could gain some familiarity on a plane or a two-man saw.

But, more than anything, it was the lathe that had always caught his attention. Its ability to turn any unevenly shaped wood into a round object seemed remarkable.

The guild had two of them and Darius cast a gaze over the nearest one. Its frame looked to be quite strong, and it was certainly capable of bearing the weight of the log piece he'd brought with him. He pressed the wood against the two sharp metal points that one of the older guild members had told him were called centers, lining them up against the middle of the 'X' marks that he had drawn earlier. Then he tightened its grip and stood back.

Two upright posts stood either side of the centers - the same woodworker had told him they were called poppets - and wound through the contraption was a long cord which was attached to a foot treadle on the ground and an overhanging springy pole of wood that was taller than he was by no small margin.

Even though he had seen others working on the lathe before, he had not used one himself, and so it was a tentative foot that reached out and gently pressed down on the treadle. It did just as it always had, the cord pulling at the block of wood and rotating it. As he lifted his foot up, the spring pole offered enough tension to turn the wood in the opposite direction. Excitedly, he picked up a chisel.

"Make sure you only use that on the down stroke, young fella," an experienced voice said, and the bearded blond looked up to see that one of the older men was keeping an eye on him. "Never on the up stroke."

Darius nodded eagerly, pressed his foot down, and carefully moved the chisel towards the wood.
word count: 740
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Darius Baer
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Re: Getting A Handle On Things

Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:39 pm

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Arc 720, 4th of Ashan
Darius had spent several breaks of the previous trial working on his project.

He had found the lathe work relatively simple at first. Once he found his rhythm with coordinating pushing down on the treadle and pressing the chisel against the wood, he was able to make some good initial progress. On a couple of occasions, he did mistime his movements, and a chunk of wood clattered to the floor below, but as the outer layers were not needed anyway, he was able to view it as a lesson learned without having to scrap the block of wood and venture back out to the icy thicket of trees.

It was as the lathe had almost rounded the wood that things became more difficult. Darius had to be much more precise, and he was guided by one of the more experienced woodworkers more than once.

Hollowing out the wood was easier than he'd expected, though. Again, he made use of the lathe and chisel, letting the metal blade gently bite into the wood in tiny nibbles that - aided by the turning motion - began to eat away at the centre of the timber.

He had spent the last half break of the evening with sandpaper instead of a chisel, and by the time he'd left, the wood resembled the drinking mug he'd been envisaging when he'd first begun. It wasn't perfectly smooth - there were parts where he could still feel the grain - but it was good enough.

By the next morning, Darius only had a little to do. He warmed his hands by the fire, before moving to an empty workbench. Reaching into his knapsack, he set down the unfinished cup and a small pot of finishing oil that he had purchased from a local supply that sold paints and other artistic materials. That was where he had also bought a small brush that he dipped into the oil and began to brush over both the inside and the outside of the wood.

He had been warned that such a process was a slow one, for it might require more than one coat of oil, and each coat took time to dry. But the finish was mostly transparent and it would help to protect the wood, so the bearded blond didn't mind. After applying each coat of oil, he set the cup back down and spent his time watching the guild members at work or listening to their stories. They had a lot of expertise, and he knew he could learn a lot from them.

Eventually, though, the last coat was dry enough for him to handle the cup, and he held it up near the fire so he could admire the way the orange glow reflected off its exterior. A lopsided grin of satisfaction formed at one end of Darius' mouth. It had taken three trials and several errors, and the finish wasn't perfect, but it was done.

"Just in time for the Gifting Trial on the morrow," he muttered to himself as he headed back out into the cold.
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word count: 537
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Doran
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Re: Getting A Handle On Things

Sat Apr 18, 2020 6:34 am

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Darius:

Knowledge:
Discipline: Seeing a task through to completion.
Field Craft: Finding the right resources to work with.
Leadership: The best leaders are able to follow others.
Woodworking: How to use a hammer and chisel.
Woodworking: How to use a lathe.
Woodworking: How to apply a nice finish.


Loot: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: The first post immediately attracted my curiosity and made me wonder what Darius was doing in the forest – and what he was going to make with the wood that he got. The subsequent description of his woodworking was fairly detailed. I like that things didn’t go perfectly, but that Darius actually made a mistake or struggled a bit every once in a while – and that you included a picture of the finished product. All in all, this was an enjoyable solo. There’s something about your writing style that makes it very easy to read.

Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 168

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Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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