Wayland looked at the retreating figure of the old Starlord as he vanished behind chestnut tree first, then bluff of the cliff, with none of the usual enthusiasm that the old Smith was famed for, and none of the rites and celebrations that he would provide. The old Dwarven festhall built around the Smithy and extending to the cottage had long been demolished. And Nienna’s tears overran the country and her flowers and festoons and halcyon fruits covered the land. Then the Men came. The festhall was forgotten.
The Smithy endured.
Wayland Smith endured because the Beasts endured. Roaming and thriving on the land, the grotesque creatures of the night, day, wind, water, death, fire, sorcery and light fought Man and his greed. Heroes and knights and squires and rogues came from afar to the cottage over the years. They brought stories of rusalki and rakshasa, chimeras and drowners and vampyr and lycanthropes to the village and the Smith. They also brought stories of how they could be captured and killed, and who had been captured or killed in the attempt to do the same.
Then they would ask him for a weapon. Steel or iron. Some even asked for silver.
Wayland Smith the Skilled would listen to their specifications and stroke his beard gently and shake his heavy head.
“I am a mere blacksmith. I can work with iron and steel, young Hratli. Silver is beyond me.”
When they persisted, the Smith would weigh their heart and eyes.
“Bring me ingots, Delvin. And those dragon scales that you keep harping about – do dragons even exist? Let me see what these old hands of mine can fashion.” or “I do not know where you hear stories about me, sir, but I do not make daggers or weapons of thievery. Good day.”
He heard tales of the last dracolich fall from the skies of the North and the great Purge of vampyr near Rorikshore and the battles of armies far and wide, yet nothing touched the microcosm of the Village-By-The-Smithy. The villagers believed it was the grace of the Goddess and the respect for the Smithy that did not bring warring kings towards their farmlands.
Wayland believed so as well, thoughhis Goddess and Smithy were different.
He mused at the goings-on for a while before his mind settled on the task. He stared at the bundles and opened the pieces of the lost glaive. To the ears of the Smith it seemed to hum with the delirium and chaos of the Battle and shine with the blood of Fingon’s son. He was not sure if he was imagining it or it was just the rush of seeing the broken instrument.
As he lay the pieces on the table, he started recounting the things he would need for the task.
“Water…” he mumbled softly, “some white gull, perhaps a bit of beer…”
Lord Elentyaro, in the guise of a traveller, was sipping on the local variant of the Skelligian ale. It was about as terrible tasting as the island variety, and had a more carp-like flavour to boot. However it was here, he had heard, that the blademaster would make his debut.
The stories, the prophecies and the omens pointed at the usual young and heroic boy who would vanquish evil in a shining white armour, but the old and wizened being knew otherwise – of the zealous diviners and their more enthusiastic scribes as well as the narrow-minded preachers and their devoted and servile acolytes.
And of course, the Starlord had never trusted a story writer or a minstrel.
Especially after the incident at the battle of two hills, eons past.