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The Widows Of Black Mine

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#21 Thunderer

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 03:59 PM

The Widows of Black Mine - Part 11

 

Widows of Black Mine: Chapter 2

 

                And so the winter continued in the almost never changing atmosphere that was the Black Mines Hold. Outside the wind raged in a winter storm of heroic tale proportions shutting down travel and forcing the gates to be kept closed due to the mounds of drifting snow, whereas inside the rock of the mountain the only change to atmosphere was that brought on by the inhabitants. A week had passed since the hunt and Engineer Nauglina was steadily working at her craft hall with her apprentice Bjerrin Mareendottir, and her twin sisters Nivvola and Lovvina Mareendottir. While the apprentice and ad hoc apprentices were still very junior in their training they were taking to it like fish to water. Already Nauglina had introduced them to the concept of simple machinery concepts that engineering involved. Levers, gears, gear ratio, wheels and other things to increase the use of force or reduce friction to empower a dawi to work more efficiently, but she had also started to instruct them in math and the basics of operating the forge for shaping and refining metal. Thermal dynamics, purity of metal, heating, cooling, tempering, sharpening, polishing and of course the thing she hated most was engraving metal. Nauglina considered herself a purist and while many engineers wanted their designs to look like art work, a great design that was efficient and functional had a beauty all its own, if forged with care and perfection in design in mind.

 

                During the off times during the week Nauglina and her newly acquired acquaintances from clan Charblack, traditionally a coal mining clan that operated higher up in the mountains in Blck Mines first, second and third rises. The five dawi females had shared meals, enjoyed dances at Duggan’s Pub and managed to trade away the two sets of horns an armor smith Ketil Furgylson for a small sum of silver. Ketil Furgylson of clan Sparkhammer had been very happy to take the horns off of their hands as they were from two healthy large specimens.

 

                Unfortunately the gaggle of five female dawis had also attracted the attention of numerous males. With the gates closed and work continuing around the clock the ladies and girls walking to and from the residential area, Hammers Hall, Trader’s Way, Quartz Way and Duggan’s Pub had garnered Nauglina many small missives of gifts deposited at her shops door. As the introduction of being released back into the dating pool as her time of mourning was passing small carvings, forgings, notes and statues were arriving daily. Nauglina could generally get an indication from which clan they would be based off of their material: A statue or rendering in coal or stone generally indicated one of the miner or stone worker clans, if it was metal obviously a richer smithy, armorer or weaponsmith clan. Those delivered on thin copper sheets with poems or invites to attend a different clans meals were from scribes or other clans that probably weren’t as affluent as the clan she had come from at Karak Hirn being a traditional engineering clan.

 

                Nauglina would generally pause at her shop door take in the gifts, notes and other items and finger her white mourning ribbon in her red hair. She tried to make it obvious to the foot traffic  coming and going on Hammers Hall as she adjusted her ribbon. She was still in mourning and wouldn’t entertain being traded or acquired like a hog being led to slaughter. She had skills, abilities and aspirations that she intended to pursue before forging the bond to another dawi. She had already completed two contract marriages for the Quartzstrike clan and two was enough for her.

 

And starting chapter two with our crew of engineers...



#22 Craze_b0i

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 05:12 PM

Nice to see this still going along well. Not much of a plotline as yet but the characters are well presented. It's nice to see dwarf women getting some representation.



#23 Thunderer

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 06:11 PM

Yeah, I am getting there. I have to set a stage a bit. No one likes it when all there is is combat, bloodshed, people getting hacked up, holds being ravaged, gold being led off, etc... That is what I normally do, if I don't build up my characters no one will care when I kill everyone off. It is much better to set the stage, have the lighting perfect, everyone has grown attached to their own favorite character and then BOOM... death stalks the fields reaping a harvest with non-left to spare.

 

So much better when people get butt hurt that  fan favorite dies to a giant landing on them or something stupid and totally unavoidable. But it takes some time to get the flow going, developing the personalities, having all of the inner relationships built between hearth and hold, clan and family, friends and business acquaintances and of course the whole lay out of the hold set out so when it gets time for action people will be like... what just happened there, wait I remember that name... sorts through 100-200+ pages or posts to find a nebulous name only mentioned once and then they are gone...

 

So be patient, I am on chapter two... a chapter probably means someone else of the central cast is getting added as well as the ho hum back ground of the hold and random people... so in chapter one we brought in Nauglina (Main toon), Mareen (another semi-important charact), and her daughter Bjerrin (potentially main character #2) and her twins (supporting character). We established that Nauglina isn't happy with her clan trying to marry her off as she moves down the social ladder of inner hold  and clan position of prestige, through no fault of her own. We put in a potential romantic lead for Mareen and we set up some apprentice ship relationships and set the stage as deep in the blizzard bound winter. And we re-iterated that Nauglina is ready for a break from the domestic life style foisted onto her by her culture and their ratio of males to females (reminder 75% of dawi population is male vice the 25% that is female), even considering that of that 25% maybe on 40-50% is of breeding age you have a high demand for reproductive rights by prestigious and wealthy clans vice poorer clans contending for a finite resource.

 

Finally, We have a captive hold trapped behind mounds of snow cut off from the rest of civilized society... what could go wrong there? So let me weave the tale at a moderate pace, there are a few dozen more pages of boredom to go through and then we may stumble upon the real central plot twist that I am charting the course towards. But I do appreciate your continued reading there Craze_b01. You were one of the first to post in this thread and you kicked us into page two off it. So lets sit back, relax, grab a nice full mug, put our feet up in Duggan's Pub near the copper and cast iron stove and see what happens. Oh and did I tell you I have another page ready to go... maybe that is something that should be kicked out now to calm the masses.

 



#24 Thunderer

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 06:14 PM

The Widows of Black Mine - Part 12

 

                She keyed the locked door and entered her shop. “Bjerrin, open up the big doors and light the sign’s lamps. We are open for business,” she said sweeping into the shop. She grabbed her leather apron and belt with her common forge and engineering tool tucked away on it and put them on. “Once that is done clean up the daily offerings, put them on my desk and let’s get to work. We still need to complete the order for the blasting charges for miners.”

 

                The twenty seven year old apprentice bounded down from her loft quarters and the two set to work. In a few minutes the craft hall was well lit, warming up, two metal lined stone doors swung open and the sounds and smells of Hammers Hall leaking into the shop. She could hear distant hammers from smiths, auto-hammers, the sounds of bellows and auto-bellows, the quenching of metal being tempered and the smell of coal fired forges and hot oil. Ah, it was a beautiful day to be working in Black Mines.

 

                The next several hours were spent making thin metal tubing, cutting it down, crimping one end, lining up each of the over one hundred charges. Then the two set about loading powder carefully into each of them in a measured way, applying some wading to the end and then a wax seal to keep the powder from leaking out. Finally, the engineer and her apprentice cut prepared three hundred yards of fusing from wool soaked in a mixture of oil, coal powder and black powder. At the end of the shift the dried end of the fuse material was slowly and carefully wrapped onto six wooden reels and covered with a paper that was thinly coated with wax before being tied off.

 

                Nauglina looked over at her coal powdered smudged apprentice and laughed. Her and Bjerrin’s hands were black as Black Mines, their eyes sparkling out from skin nearly tinted black from the day’s work  with powder, coal, metal and oils. “Wow, we are a wreak.”

 

                “Yes Engineer Nauglina, you are. I didn’t know we had the same hair color,” chuckled Bjerrin.

 

                Nauglina pulled one of her red locks from behind her back to look at it and discovered it was nearly as dark as Bjerrin’s dark brown to blackish hair. “Well this won’t due. How about we knock off, I know we didn’t break for lunch today but a quick meal at Duggan’s or your mom’s will make us both feel better. I know I want to wash up and get this gunk off of my hair and skin, I look like a coal miner and smell like a cannoneer.” Chuckled Nauglina until she looked over at the hurt expression on Bjerrin. Then she remembered that Bjerrin and her family were park of Charblack clan which was one of the oldest miner clans in Black Mines. While time hadn’t been good to their clan through no fault of their own they were still like many Dawi proud of their heritage. They weren’t a rich clan but they had been working Black Mines for over two centuries and that meant they were stable. “Sorry Bjerrin, there isn’t anything wrong with smelling like a miner if you are on. We aren’t and frankly if we are going out in public we should be presentable. Get cleaned up, I’ll be back shortly then we can make some plans.”

 

                Bjerrin nodded her agreement as she started to clean and lock up the craft hall. Nauglina departed for her quarters on Quartz Way and enjoyed the quiet after she exited Hammers Hall. An hour later she was back at the shop passing freshly washed, dried and hair put back into a long semi-dry red haired pony tail reaching her waist line in a dark red dress. She wore a silver necklace with a silver gear hanging down onto her chest as the only obvious sign of her guild engineer status.

 

Had some time off today from working at Mordor on the Potomac, dealing with administrative actions and some appointments. Luckily for you readers of fluff and dawi fiction that means more time to dip the quill in the old tub of digital ink. So onward with the posting.



#25 Craze_b0i

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 07:52 PM

Yeah, I am getting there. I have to set a stage a bit. No one likes it when all there is is combat, bloodshed, people getting hacked up, holds being ravaged, gold being led off, etc... That is what I normally do, if I don't build up my characters no one will care when I kill everyone off. It is much better to set the stage, have the lighting perfect, everyone has grown attached to their own favorite character and then BOOM... death stalks the fields reaping a harvest with non-left to spare.

 

So much better when people get butt hurt that  fan favorite dies to a giant landing on them or something stupid and totally unavoidable. But it takes some time to get the flow going, developing the personalities, having all of the inner relationships built between hearth and hold, clan and family, friends and business acquaintances and of course the whole lay out of the hold set out so when it gets time for action people will be like... what just happened there, wait I remember that name... sorts through 100-200+ pages or posts to find a nebulous name only mentioned once and then they are gone...

 

So be patient, I am on chapter two... a chapter probably means someone else of the central cast is getting added as well as the ho hum back ground of the hold and random people... so in chapter one we brought in Nauglina (Main toon), Mareen (another semi-important charact), and her daughter Bjerrin (potentially main character #2) and her twins (supporting character). We established that Nauglina isn't happy with her clan trying to marry her off as she moves down the social ladder of inner hold  and clan position of prestige, through no fault of her own. We put in a potential romantic lead for Mareen and we set up some apprentice ship relationships and set the stage as deep in the blizzard bound winter. And we re-iterated that Nauglina is ready for a break from the domestic life style foisted onto her by her culture and their ratio of males to females (reminder 75% of dawi population is male vice the 25% that is female), even considering that of that 25% maybe on 40-50% is of breeding age you have a high demand for reproductive rights by prestigious and wealthy clans vice poorer clans contending for a finite resource.

 

Finally, We have a captive hold trapped behind mounds of snow cut off from the rest of civilized society... what could go wrong there? So let me weave the tale at a moderate pace, there are a few dozen more pages of boredom to go through and then we may stumble upon the real central plot twist that I am charting the course towards. But I do appreciate your continued reading there Craze_b01. You were one of the first to post in this thread and you kicked us into page two off it. So lets sit back, relax, grab a nice full mug, put our feet up in Duggan's Pub near the copper and cast iron stove and see what happens. Oh and did I tell you I have another page ready to go... maybe that is something that should be kicked out now to calm the masses.

 

Yes I understand what you are doing. Let me emphasise you can weave the story any way you wish, I was not demanding changes I was simply giving comments as per request. ;)

 

Personally I don't find the part you have done so far boring at all. Not all writing needs to be about big crash-bang action.

 

I will say however that character development and plot do not have to be exclusive. In particular there is a trick called foreshadowing, giving the reader hints of things to come. Maybe the main characters hear the guards talking about a patrol that went missing, maybe there is a rumour of unusually high levels of goblin activity and folk are fearful of an attack. A mutated rat found in the well. I am sure you get the idea.

 

If as a writer you find setting the scene and developing the characters a bit "boring" then maybe the above is something to consider. 



#26 Thunderer

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:03 PM

Whats funny is I had a few paragraphs that were written out that introduced the full idea, but then I deleted it and posted the first part. But I generally foreshadow from an action packed scene and if I did that I think I would give away a tad too much of the story. I am sitting back and letting this one be a slow burn as opposed to a quick finish. I have to admit I am having fun letting things come together slowly, much more fun than kicking off the adventure in a town square with a town crier talking about rampaging hordes and then five random peeps coming together... or the dreaded wanted poster in the tavern.

 

Luckily I am done with my kids appointment. I have some pasta, some sauce, some thin sliced grilled chicken and a bag of mozzarella cheese + some french loaf going... strange how sometimes preparing food ends up in my stories... dang it...



#27 Thunderer

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 03:12 AM

The Widows of Black Mine - Part 13

 

                When she arrived at the shop Mareen, Bjerrin, Lovvina and Novvila were waiting in their finer clothes. Mareen stepped towards the approaching engineer. “We heard that due to the snow there was going to be some wrestling matches in the central area of Trader’s Way. A few stalls and carts have been cleared by order of the Mine Lord. Would you like to watch with us?”

 

                “Sure. Watching oiled and sweaty hairy dawi is much more fun that sitting in Duggan’s near the hot stove with your feet up and a mug of ale,” replied Nauglina.

 

                Mareen chuckled and started to walk towards Trader’s Way on Nauglina’s left hand side. Behind Nauglina was her apprentice Bjerrin and the twins walked behind Mareen laughing and joking as teen age dawi lasses are prone to on a night out. The halls were filled with dawi heading towards the event and for a change there was no sound of hammers, auto-hammers, bellow or auto-bellows on Hammers Hall. The hold was eerily quiet except for the hub bub of voices, sounds of iron nailed boots on stone.

 

                Outside of Duggan’s Pub several of his tables and chairs had been moved to Trader’s Way to serve the crowd gathering there. Looking up to the upper balcony floor of Duggan’s Nauglina could see it was packed with soon to be cheering dawi.  Bruqqamma was moving quickly through the crowd with mugs and tankards of beer, ale are smaller shot glasses of distilled alcohol that some of Nauglina’s fellow engineers had built the still for. Nauglina motioned to Bruqqamma with a five sign and grabbed an empty table that was just being set up.

 

                Further out in Trader’s Way the cavern floor was cleared, a ring of white powder drawn out quickly and the lord of the hold stepped forward. Lord Hurdar Elmadorson of Clan Shieldsplitter was an old bald, silver bearded, silver eye browed thin dawi lord. At over two hundred years of age he was well into midlife for most dawi but as a member of a warrior clan he was ancient. He was a no humor lord who sized up everyone he met looking for an advantage to exploit but his word was his honor in all things. When he raised his hands the gathering hold of dawi settled slowly and then he spoke.

 

                “The mountain is besieged by snow and we my people are besieged by boredom,” the lord bellowed in a strong gravelly voice that didn’t seem to fit the thin wrinkled body that it came from. “We have a few of the miners, warriors, some visitors taking part in some exhibition matches this evening.” The hold cheered at the prospect of entertainment and then quickly settled down. “A few rules first, if your foot or any part of your body comes in contact with the line you are out. Next, no punching, biting, kicking, beard pulling, eye gouging or other less than honorable means of maneuvering your opponent to the out of bounds line. Finally, we are all friends, family, dawi and honorable here. Have fun and may skill and luck be with our competitors.”

 

                The hold cheered as Bruqqamma delivered five mugs of beer to the table occupied by two widows of Blackmine, the apprentice and the twins. The table seemed to be attracting quite a bit of attention as the crowd maneuvered for the first match. Guttri Kargunson, arrived an quietly occupied a space near Nauglina. Guttri had arrived with the five engineers and his nineteen engineer guild pistolers as a body guard for the engineer guild members that were taking up residence at Black Mines. He had short closely cropped black hair, braided beard with gold gears in it and dark coal black eyes. He didn’t laugh much but he was deadly accurate with pistols and brutal with his hammer.

 

Got distracted with Thanksgiving and work. Let us return to the mines and some writing shall we.



#28 Snugg Thistlehammer

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 12:04 AM

Been waiting for an update... I was starting to get worried!  :)



#29 Thunderer

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 12:21 AM

LOL... just busy cooking food and taking care of the little ones during the holidays. But I am back to writing and will have some regular updates as we move the tale along.

 







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