The port city of Retreat was full of rogues, thieves and killers. It was one place in the whole world where every man carried a sword and most knew how to use them. My name is Killian and I came here after killing a man for calling me a breed. I am half elven and half human and do not like being treated less than either.
I was a smith but do not really look like it. I wiped my sweaty hands when I saw the cart behind the dwarves and moved out of my shop and grinned, "Delf."
The wide dwarf in the lead looked up at me and nodded, "Killian. We brought in what you wanted."
I went to look through the cart, "you got the white steel?"
He snorted, "it is star silver."
I grinned as I reached in to lift a bag out, "something from a star would not be hiding under a mountain."
He laughed as the other dwarves chuckled and began helping me. I checked each bag and lifted them to check the weight. I went to the side and opened a box before I counted out what I owned him. Delf was looking through daggers when I returned and grinned, "how about a gift?"
I snorted but glanced through the daggers and then reached to the very back. I held out a small folding knife and he frowned until he opened it and saw the blade. He grinned and tested the edge before holding out his hand. We shook and they left and I began to empty bags into wooden bins.
I looked at the old richly dressed man that walked into my shop a few moments later, "sword or dagger?"
He looked around at the weapons he could see before looking at me, "do you know who I am?"
I smiled as I straightened, "a customer."
He snorted before gesturing to a beam and a hand and half sword on pegs, "I was told you were good and might be able to make a star silver sword."
I looked at the sword he had gestured to, "a hand and half?"
He nodded, "I will pay a gold piece for it and no more."
I shook my head, "it costs more than that for just the metal."
He looked at me hard before opening his mouth, "how much?"
I looked at the sword again, "it depends on if you want a sword, a good sword or a great sword. What type of hilt and handle, what pummel and what decorations on the scabbard."
He blinked before grinning, "okay I want a great sword with a silver hilt and a gold chain grip and a silver pummel. I want the scabbard to be black lacquer and have three large blood rubies a hand span apart starting a span from the sword hilt."
I smiled as I thought of what I would need, "five hundred gold pieces."
He growled but I shook my head, "half of that will be for the gold, silver and the rubies and it will take at least a week."
He looked at me before finally nodding, "very well."
He turned to leave and I cleared my throat, "I will start but need half the money before I finish."
He looked at me for almost a full minute before agreeing and stomping away. One of the other shop keepers slipped in while I was measuring fine sandlike ore that I had filed from raw ore. He cleared his throat, "that was Allagore."
I glanced at him before watching what I was doing, "who is Allagore?"
He shook his head, "the self proclaimed duke of Retreat. He, like his father before him breed elven women or accept coin to allow someone to breed them. He killed his father to take over and sells the half breed children. The boys to anyone that wants a fighter and the girls to brothels."
I looked at him before going back to work, "so he should be able to pay me."
He snorted, "he takes, he does not pay."
I smiled, "if he does not pay he does not get his sword."
He left and I put the powder into the forge. I added coal before moving things around. First was the melding and then the folding as I started a windmill on top of my shop. It powered the bellows and made the forge even hotter. I worked steadily for almost four days, folding the metal before moving on to the shaping.
A large purse was brought with half the money. I had made inquiries and as soon as I had the money I sent a runner. The other merchants brought me the raw gold and silver and I got a good deal on three very large rubies. Each time the sword was heating up I began to shape the guard, handle and pommel. I made a fine gold wire which I turned into a long chain.
It was the evening of the sixth day that I quenched the blade and let it cool. I started the hard task of filing and polishing it and then put the thick guard on. I put the handle on and carefully wrapped the chain before placing the pommel on. I swung the sword and smiled at the feel before I turned to finish the sheath.
I lacquered it and set the rubies last and relaxed. I hung the sword on pegs before turning to other work. I had napped and slept in the shop the whole time and began to straighten up. It was afternoon when Allagore came to the shop. He looked around before looking at me, "my sword?"
I returned the dagger blade I was working on to the forge and looked at him, "my money?"
He growled, "after I get my sword."
I reached up and brought the sword down and looked at him as I caressed the hilt, "let me see my money."
He glanced to one side and I heard movement and shifted back and aside. A long sword went through where I had been and I turned as I snapped the sword I held down. The sheath hit the floor as I turned and brushed another lunge away before slicing up and out. The man screamed as the tip of the sword took his hand.
His sword fell and I lunged to sink a foot of the blade into his throat. I twisted and yanked back before turning towards the white faced Allagore. Another man moved into the shop with a naked sword and stepped in front of him. I reached to the side for a dagger and threw it. It spun and sank into the new man's eye.
I stabbed and put a couple of feet of blade into his stomach before shoving him. He screamed and fell as I continued to stalk after Allagore who had backed up and was looking around. He licked his lips, "I will pay."
I growled, "now I want your heart and your first born."
I moved after him as he stumbled and we moved into the street, "fight coward."
He pulled his dagger and looked around before looking at me, "I will give you twice what I owe."
I smiled as I stalked after him, "that is good enough for the blade but now you owe me for your treachery, which will cost more."
He backed away quickly, "I will pay!"
I stopped following, "you have one hour and then I am going to come for you and take everything you have, including your life."
He licked his lips before nodding and spinning to run down the street. I turned and glanced around before returning to my shop. I took the weapons from the two men and pulled them into the street and left them. Since they still had their purses I was not surprised when they were picked up and carted off.
I cleaned and wiped the new sword before replacing it on the pegs. I checked the dagger blade I was working on but kept my eyes open. I saw the four men before they reached the shop and picked up throwing spikes. They were hard men and pulled their blades before they started into the shop.
I threw the first spike and it struck one man in the throat, the second sank into another's chest. The other two men hesitated and I picked up two more spikes. That was more than enough and they backed away quickly before turning to walk away. I stripped the weapons from the two dead men and reached up to pull down another sword.
It almost looked like a hand and a half but only had an edge on one side. The blade was almost white with runes that ran the length of the sword. I walked out of my shop and started towards the upper section of the city. The huge manor I went to had several guards but when they saw me with the naked blade they moved aside quickly.
The large entrance hall looked like something you would see in a throne room. Allagore spun from the two fighters when I walked in. His eyes went wide as I started for him. The two men were the ones that had been at my shop and their faces went white before they began backing away.
Another man strode towards Allagore and he spun to run only to gasp and stiffen. The new man had pulled a dagger and shoved it into him. He shoved Allagore back and down as I stopped and looked at him. The new man grinned, "this is my manor now smith."
I looked at him carefully, unlike Allagore he looked capable of fighting, "I am owed money. Since you are the new master you owe the debt."
He looked me over before smiling and turning, "Conrad!"
A small man peeked out a doorway and the man gestured to me, "my father owed this man money, pay him."
The small man looked at me and hesitated, "we do not have it."
I growled but the man turned, "bring Crystal."
He looked at me, "she is a half breed and just at the age to breed."
My eyes narrowed, "do you think me a fool?"
He blinked as I moved towards him and shifted the sword. He swallowed and held up his hands, "what?"
I extended the sword and touched his throat, "you think using a mere woman can pay me for the work I have done or the trouble your master caused? Now I have a sword no one wants and can not afford. You owe me five hundred gold pieces."
He glanced at the door when the stunning woman was led in. He cleared his throat, "keep her and I will find a way to repay you."
I stepped back and looked at the woman before looking at him, "give me her mother."
He stiffened before finally nodding, "she is ripe for breeding now..."
I slashed and he shifted back as the tip of the sword sliced a piece of fabric from his shirt, "one..."
He swallowed and took another step back, "bring Misty!"
He gave me a bow, "she is yours."
I took a step back, "send someone to my shop for the sword."
He nodded and shifted while we waited and another lady was escorted into the room. She kept her head down as the servant pulled the leashes and led them to me. I took the leashes and backed out of the hall before turning at the door. I glanced at them once as we walked and gritted my teeth at the collars they wore.
I walked into my shop and looked around before reaching up to put the sword back. I looked at the two that would not look up and moved to the first. I looked at the cruel barbed collar and carefully removed it. I tossed it onto a bench, "Crystal is your name?"
She nodded, "yes master."
I tilted her head, "my name is Killian and I would like it used."
She searched my eyes before nodding. I looked at the sheer white blouse before gesturing to a seat to one side, "sit."
I moved to the other woman and carefully removed the collar and looked at the scars. I looked around before shifting as I used one hand to cover her neck. I closed my eyes as I thought of how her skin should look without the scars. I felt within myself and pulled at the magic and pushed it out through my hand and into her.
She gasped as her throat became warm and I let her go. I caressed her cheek, "better?"
She bowed slightly, "yes Killian."
I smiled, "sit."
She moved over next to her daughter and I took a breath before I turned and went to look at the dagger blade. I was able to save it and started working as I thought of the two women. I finally had a few moments and moved to the bench. I picked up a thick stick and a extremely thin braided wire. I put the wood in a vise and held out the wire.
I started teaching them how to make a wooden sheath and they paid attention. When the servant appeared I gave him Allagore's sword. I had many merchants and guards come to the shop at the last minute. It was dark before I closed the thick wooden shutters and the door. I banked the forge and led the two women around and up to my home.
I looked around and shook my head, "it is not much."
I looked at them before going to the small kitchen to start dinner. A few moments later Misty touched my arm, "may we help?"
I nodded and they started helping, she seemed to know what she was doing but Crystal needed help. After we had eaten I led them to a water closet and gestured to a very large clay tub. I had fired it after putting on a glaze but it looked rough and unfinished, "it is all I have."
Misty smiled as she began to undress, "will you wash us Killian?"
I hesitated, "do you know what..."
She smiled as Crystal undressed and turned to look at me while removing her blouse, "I know. It has been many ages of them using me Killian and now I need what you can give."
I looked at her daughter and she laughed and turned to push her skirt off and step into the tub, "she has been trained and enjoys it."
Crystal smiled as she joined her mother and I turned to start filling the tub with cold and hot water. The hot water came from a tank against the forge chimney. I slowly undressed as the tub filled and knelt beside it. I used a cloth to wash my body while they soaked and then dried myself.
I used a soft clean cloth to wash and caress them. The feel of their smooth skin was one I will always remember. I finally sighed and leaned back and then stood and held out my hands, "let me dry you."