The blade was badly damaged, almost as roughed up as the man who had given it to him to repair. Flesh heals itself – or dies – but metal must be purified by fire. He heated the blade in the forge till it turned cherry-red. The quenching bucket by his feet was ready as he delicately gauged the temperature, charring a faggot of pine.
That’s when the interruptions began.
He hadn’t noticed the tall thin man approach so he was startled and dropped the pine stick as the question was asked.
“Hello good sir! Sorry to bother you – can you point me toward the Warden?”
Dom let drop the blade, half covering it under the hammer and pliers on the anvil and wiped the sweat off his face.
“The warden? Well, he’s usually up in the castle,” pointing past the well up the stone steps, “but I doubt you’ll find him there now.”
The irritation of having to give such basic directions to the visitor was in his voice. “Who’s asking?”
“Emm I am Leon Farshore. I am from the captital. I am a Barrister.” raising up to his full height.
Dom grunted, a look of pity mixed with contempt crossed his face. “Aye, well, no doubt the warden could use a lawyer.”
Farshore pressed on. “Ahh well is there some place one can catch a bit of sleep?”
Continuing his work, barely lifting his eyes, Dom pointed with his hammer to the tavern across the way,
“The rooms are fair, the food’s passable and the drinks are cheap.” Then he stopped and took a long look at the well-dressed fellow, “The wenches aren’t so dear either.”
Farshore was rather dismayed by the fellow’s rudeness “Hrmmm I tend to keep my prick free of the local … talent.”
Dom shrugged, “As you see fit” and continued to work. And then the second interruption happened. A loud explosion. A rumbling shaking of the ground.
Farshore turned about, instinctively ducking. “What the hell?” His composure was frayed beyond control, “Whats going on?”
“No bloody idea”, he called over his shoulder as he headed down the hill, catching sight of the pile of rubble where the guard tower used to be. As he crashed through the trees between the houses he glimpsed three, no four, riders leading a string of heavy-laden horses bolting past the bridge heading south.