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If I Had a Hammer...
Comments of Alaida Groomshow, verbeeg factotum and mid-shift overseer-the Mold Works:
It's a beautiful day for creatin', idn't berk? Then again that's the rights of it all, creatin' and shapin'. That's why I'd done come here to the Forge. Makin' beautiful works, like me cast-wrought pots and urns. Them's me babies. Look at the curves and smoothness...Beautiful. The Factol, Ambar Vergrove, says that me urns is the best of the Works; flawless he calls 'em. Not like me, eh?
No sir, me and bloods of my kind aren't pretty. Not sodding Fomori, but close enough. The ugly runts of the giant-kin we are. Reduced to cow-towin' to little folk for a little jink and barely dodging the dead-book for all our effort. Ugly, shunned, and the lot; I know, it sounds a bit rough. But see here little dwindle-legs, the dark of it all is this is just a test. What matters is what inside yer heart and brain-box, that's what goes on ya' know. Just like Ambar says.
That stuff inside ya'; some folks say soul, some essence, some just call it feelings, me I calls it me "bright ore". I say that because its laying there deep within the within like the purest of mit'ril, waiting for some thing to dig it out, shape it, and call it good, or better beautiful. Ambar calls it a Met'four, well that's barmy talk to me but I know its just the same; raw hearts, raw iron -- all jus' waitin' for the smithy. And that smithy is the Source, sendin' and callin' and bringin' us all along. If we shape ourselves and others for good we go up. If we don't we corrode just like iron makin' the rivers bloody. It's true, Styx is red from the soul blood of failures, ask anyone.
- Aladia Groomshow
Anyways, all of that is why I help the others when they come to the Forge. I show 'em the best work is hard work. Each berk or cutter comes my way gets the roughest shapin' they ever seen. Like rocks hidin' the ore within, they need to be broke and split open, so that stuff inside 'em can be worked on. Only ya' can't break a body open and expect it stayin' good. So, I just sweat the ore right out of 'em.
Oh they say things like "O' there, Alaida, me backs about to break," or "Alaida, I've cast twenty pots already, I'll go barmy if I do more," or even "I can't, I can't lift that, I'm a halfling!". The nerve of it! I oversee, that's me job. And me job idn't just the cast pots and urns, no sir, Ambar says its our job to develop each other so I watch me workers and forge them right along. Tho' some of them is just so hopeless, I wish I could grab the Source and hammer 'em flat. Toss 'em in the smelt and start them over maybe they'd come out pretty next time. But berks don't much like that idea, so's I keep it to me'self.
Still once or twice in a long whiles I see a cutter whose got it. That beautiful inner, a strength to fight through the thickest fumbles and come out a'glowin'. And just like me pots I'm proud as a dabus in the Lady's skirt when I see those ones off on their ways. Makes me keep goin' really. Well that and Ambar. He's better with his words than me pots could ever hope for. He's got a soul of shining bright ore and his eyes glow with that light. Oh, don't go sayin' I'd say that of him.
He'd probably say something like, "Oh the ugly giant who makes pretty pots" or No, he'd say it better, more pretty, someway he'd say ugly pretty. He'd make my 'ideousness sound beautiful. Maybe next time I'll be more beautiful. Maybe next time I won't have a saggy face, and sloppy body; the Source'll send me in a pretty somthin'; an elf maybe or maybes a dove -- doves is pretty. Ambar likes doves.
Now, get to the Forge or give it up an' off to the Gatehouse with ya'!
Copyright 1998 by Christen Sowards