Thursday, February 12, 2004

Metal Urger

Chapter 1 - The First Wind

Chapter 2 - The Second Wind

She made good time, soon passing the outlying shepherds and farmers. Her capper-cross was strong under her, as the spinners whipped wildly around in all directions. The spinners of the capper-cross spanned about eight feet in radius and it appeared as though she was a dragonfly. She neared the village center, with its various huts and crafters and people going about their daily work, to and fro. Then Lorri came upon the tall hut known as Lookpost. This is where all those whose calling it was to be a scout would come to make reports and get assignments. It's where she got her assignment to go across to the leeward side of the mountain, and now she would return with her report.

She landed the capper-cross and rushed inside. No one was there. Where could everyone have gone? She went out the door and looked around. Then Lorri saw the Captain of the Watch, Narr, walking quickly and with worry in his eyes.

"Lorri, we saw the smoke signal and made preparations for an attack!" said Narr.

"Oh! I completely forgot about that! Sir, the was following me. But then it collapsed. I sent the smoke flare up just before," said Lorri.

"Girl, you must've been dreaming! I've never heard such a story in twenty years as a Watcher," Narr snarled.

"Fine, go check it for yourself, sir. But, I think the days will get more - interesting - from now on," Lorri replied.

"They certainly will," said the captain, as he stared past Lorri and pointed in disbelief. Lorri spun around. There was the Demaij, carried toward the two by other Watchers, and followed at a distance by a number of villagers. It was an amazing sight, and no doubt unparalleled in all remembrance of those present.
"Get that thing to Coil, now!" barked the captain.

Lorri followed as the group moved toward Master Coil's workshop. Coil was the most highly respected crafter in the village. He was talented in working with contraptions. He was known as a Metal Urger. Metal Urgers were rare, and any village would pay handsomely to have one. A Metal Urger wasn't just a blacksmith. Every village had one of those. A Metal Urger was more than that. He could make things. Things like the capper-cross. Wonderful inventions of machinery that no one else could've contrived. In fact, no one knew why the things he made worked.

Once inside the Metal Urger's workshop, the bearers of the Demaij laid the broken or unconscious thing on a large table in the middle of the room. The dark and strong man with deep black eyes looked strangely at the ore-beast, and then spoke up.

"Where in hell did you pull this thing out of?!" Coil boomed.

"Master Coil, one of my Watchers was hunted by this Demaij," said Narr. "It was Lorri. She claims the thing followed her through the mountain pass and then collapsed.

"Girl, is this what happened?" Coil asked.

"Yes, sir. The beast just crashed to the ground at full speed. I had already sent up a warning signal by then," said Lorri. "Sir, the Demaij are very frightening. I didn't know if I would escape with my life. What will you do?"

Coil replied, "Don't worry your pretty little head. You did well. I can't imagine why the beast has fallen. I will look and pry. For your sake and all of us, I think this is one of the greatest oppourtunities in a long time. Perhaps I can reveal some weakness in the Demaij that caused this one to fall. Maybe we will save our own lives. Every day will be dangerous now." The Master paused for a moment and looked over the Demaij. "Now, go! I have much work to do!"...

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