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...