Late the next evening, Marsten arrived at Old Blue. The miners, smelters and smiths had already retired for the night. Marsten thought it unwise to
stumble around on unfamiliar loose rock in the dark so he set up his pup tent, rolled out his sleeping bag and curled up on the spot.
Around midnight, a fierce storm rolled in. Lightning arced its wicked tentacles across the sky, thunder boomed like a military drum band, and rained
poured buckets. Marsten was soaked, cold and shivering. After a few hours, the storm cleared out and Marsten tried to go to sleep again. It was no
use. His sleeping bag was soaked, he was soaked, and it was cold and miserable.
Finally, dawn arrived and the gold mining camp was stirring back to life. From the sound of the chit-chat, it was apparent the miners had received
word of the devastations around Fjüllwald. Without a King, there was no need of gold. Commoners can't use gold. They can't eat it, wear it, or
turn it into a roof over their heads. Nobody wanted gold except Kings and Dragons. Gold was useless; but, the miners continued to mine anyway.
Mining is all they ever knew.
Marsten packed up his sopping wet gear. It was a lot heavier now that it was soaked. He checked his pockets to make sure the rings were still there
and then headed toward the jeweler's hut. The tiny wooden hut had three windows and a cute sign that read, "Gavelrings and Other Gold Things" and on
the next line, "Master Jeweler - Corbeaner."
Marsten marched inside, "Hail, I am looking for Master Corbeaner."
"Master Corbeaner at your service. What can I do for you young man?" Corbeaner said as his jeweler's eyeglass fell expertly into his waiting
Marsten pulled the two rings out of his pocket and placed them in the jeweler's other hand. "Have you ever seen these? Any idea who made them? Who
Corbeaner replugged his monocle eyeglass into his left eye and squinted to hold it in tight. He examined the rings and the markings and said, "I'm
not certain; but, they surely look like my Pa's work. See those three tiny scratch marks? Pa's trademark or a darned good imitation which I highly
doubt because any who could forge a ring of this quality would have no need to counterfeit. I'd say it was Pa's work, yes." he said as he handed
back the rings.
"Anything else you can tell me? Your Pa perhaps?" asked Marsten.
"No, I'm afraid not. Pa passed away about eight years back. Oh wait, he kept records. My time is valuable though, and record searching will keep me
from my day's work you see." Corbeaner replied and hinted openly.
"I see", said Marsten as he pulled a gold piece out of his pocket and placed it on the counter, "Will this cover your day's earnings?"
"Yes, yes indeed it will", said Corbeaner as he snarfed the gold piece quickly into his pocket and added, "I bet I could get those records for you in
Corbeaner went behind the curtained wall and scrambled around some papers loudly, then came back out with two receipts in hand. "The plain man's ring
was ordered seventeen years ago by a Mister Pletch-As and the inscribed broom maiden's ring was ordered a year ago by King Fjüllwald's court wizard
Gaeali" said Corbeaner. He added, "I guess my father only made one of these rings. I forgot, I made the lady's broom maiden ring. Will that be
Marsten had a puzzled look on his face, then asked, "Are there any sorcerers up here at Old Blue?"
"No, not really" replied Master Corbeaner as a black crow flew in one of the open windows and dropped two dragon eyeballs in a ceramic bowl. The crow
flew out of the window and off into clouds.
Marsten noticed and said skeptically, "And just who would those be for?" as he pointed at the dragon eyeballs which were still rolling around,
bouncing off of each other in the bowl.
"Oh those, yes, those were for a special order." Corbeaner nonchalantly replied.
"For whom may I ask?" said Marsten.
"For Gaeali of course." was the reply.
"And just where might I find this Gaeali, now that the Black Fist has been leveled?"
"Oh, I forgot, yes. He stays up here at the camp for now; though, he's just waiting for the dragon eyeballs to be processed. After that, I have no
idea where he will go." Corbeaner said quickly.
"What will they be processed into? They are too large for jewelry." asked Marsten.
"Simple enough, a pair of gazing balls on gold stands. Now, if that is all, I have work to do." said Corbeaner abruptly as he grabbed the two dragon
eyeballs and went behind his curtained wall to begin his next work.
Marsten left the jeweler's hut to search for Gaeali but there was no need. Gaeali strode up to the hut as if in a hurry. It was apparent by his
attire that he was the now deceased King's wizard.
"Hold up right there." commanded Marsten to Gaeali.
(Continued next post - out of characters)
edit on 1/2/2012 by Trexter Ziam because: (no reason given)