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Autumn was a good time to be a blacksmith. The cool, dry air was invigorating and it made working at the forge feel inviting, rather than the misery felt during the sweat shop that was summertime. It was like a new start for Brodie, who had started to emerge from the deep sorrow of Gretna’s death, and see hope for Fiona’s future, and his. His skill was improving, too. Now he could make just about anything the citizens of Ayre requested for their homes, including candlesticks, goblets, and pots and pans.
The Squire’s ward came to the shop on the first day of Autumn, requesting a broadsword. This made Brodie anxious, because he had never made a sword without his father’s help, and the young man was not only the ward of the Squire, but a relative of the most powerful man in Ayre, Lord Stirwuard. Brodie told the boy that it would take time, hoping that the boy either had some kind of inkling of the craftsmanship required, or at least, the patience and humility to wait. He asked Master Stirwuard to return towards the end of Autumn, hoping that he could manage a sword of acceptable quality by that time.
After the boy left, Hadley Gothard was standing there, smelling of fresh lye soap. She asked Brodie to come with her to her mother’s wedding. The wedding was taking place in the Glen, a mystical place in the woods, nearly a day’s walk from Ayre, up the river. Brodie couldn’t leave his work for a day. Tithes and rent would be due again before long and he had much work to do, especially with the order of the sword from the gentry.
When Brodie told Hadley that he could not go with her to the Glen, she broke his embrace and rebuked his lack of courage. Brodie did not know what to say, and looked down at his hands. But he did not have to come up with an answer, because Hadley left as quickly as she had come.
Marigold Wise had gotten married and moved to the Vale. She no longer came to help Brodie with Fiona, but these days, Fiona was much more independent and they were managing well on their own. At breakfast one morning early in the autumn, Brodie told Fiona that he would begin teaching her to read and write, at his morning break from the forge.
Even though Fiona hadn’t learned to read yet, she enjoyed looking through Brodie’s books.
One book had an illumination that she particularly liked. She was ready to learn to read and excited that her father was going to begin teaching her.
Reading was harder than she’d known it would be, but with Brodie’s help, she kept trying. By the third day of study, she was desperate for something fun and easy to do, and she begged her father to take her to the toy shop.
Brodie wanted to talk with Lubbert Faber, the toy maker, and he agreed to take his daughter to the Faber’s shop across the road, and behind the market.
Fiona had never seen anything like the wood carved masks on the wall of the toy shop, and she made faces back at the odd things.
Meanwhile, Brodie tried to make a good impression on his fellow craftsman.
They were the only craftsmen in Ayre, at this time, and they discussed beginning a guild, in the spring. Brodie bought a small block toy for his daughter, and he and the toymaker parted on good terms.
At dinner one evening, Fiona asked her father if they could take in a cat. She’d seen an orange tom cat from the well, behind the barracks. Brodie wanted a kitten, but he thought a cat would do, and he told his daughter, yes.
Fiona named the little ginger Tom. She tried to trap him in her room and hoped he would curl up to sleep with her. But Tom was independent, and he jumped off the bed and ran out under the curtain in the doorway.
After Fiona was gone to bed, Brodie’s thoughts turned to Hadley. He’d seen her at the village green and when she saw him, her face lit up. She held his hand for a moment, but he did not know if she’d forgiven him of refusing to go to her mother’s wedding. Brodie loved Hadley, but it was more important to him to make a good life for Fiona, and he dared not make them outcastes, or jeopardize Fiona’s chances, by marrying below his station. Really, marriage, or even a love affair, were his last concerns right now, after teaching Fiona to read, building a good reputation, and honing his smithing skills.
Brodie began to work on the broad sword. He had helped his father forge weapons, and he knew what was required to make the sword durable, and able to maintain a sharp edge. But this was his first time to make a sword of this caliber, on his own. Two times, Brodie chose a piece of steel, shaped it with the yellow flames and hand tools, and then, when he tried to quench them, they weakened rather than strengthened. Those he kept to sell at a lower price, but he would have to start over with a new piece of steel, to make the sword for the Squire’s ward.
Fiona could help around the house these days. She fed and cleaned up after the cat, washed the dishes, hauled water, made the beds, and swept the floors. Today she was washing the linens.
But before too long, Fiona’s attention turned to making bubbles from the soap, and she left the last pair of braies soaking as she ran about the back yard blowing bubbles. Brodie was too involved in his work to supervise her, so she was left to her own schedule.
On the third piece of metal Brodie used to begin the sword, the beveled steel quenched without weakening, and he was able to move on to the next step, tempering. Then, Brodie patiently sanded and sanded, through all the sizes until eventually, it had a mirror finish. The first two inferior swords he saved to sell at lower prices, probably as practice swords. After working into the night for weeks, Brodie not only finished the sword for Master Stirwuard, he was also able to craft another of high quality for sale, along with the usual orders of candlesticks and horse shoes. When he had built up enough stock, he advertised at the weekly market, and opened shop on market day. One of his first customers was Lady Liselle, the daughter of the Baronet of the Vale. She thought she may buy a sword for her younger brother. Excited, Brodie showed her the swords he had made.
While she examined the swords, Brodie bargained with Ralf Forester, who wanted a horseshoe.
His mother hoped that hanging a horseshoe over the door would bring them luck through the coming winter, but they didn’t have much money. Would Brodie take wood in exchange? A blacksmith always needed large quantities of wood to make charcoal, and he agreed to the trade, a horseshoe for a band of wood.
Alistair, from the Barracks, also needed horseshoes, and bought several with coins from the treasury.
Bentley Wise bought one to put above the door, as well, with coins his sister had earned at the Hefty Hedgehog.
And Lady Chevalier came to collect the sword for her ward, Master Stirwuard. She was pleased, and paid an excellent price for it. All in all, Brodie sold two swords and many horseshoes.
Brodie was only able to earn $762 and the family paid out $65 in game bills (through the post box). They still have to pay tax and tithe on the $762 though, plus a $100 fee for opening business. Their total tax, tithe, and rent, plus the business fee, added up to $1404.80 with $1400 paid to the steward. That brings the treasury to $65,400. This means a monastery can be added, and after that is completed, two noble families can be added!
This update was a lot more low-key than the Gothards, since Daralis had the random occurrence scenario to get the plague and die. It was a nice change of pace, having Brodie and Fiona spend their days skilling and maintaining their household.
After I finished the round, I found a blacksmith set converted from Skyrim, by Sunni. I overhauled the yard and added the smelter and forge, which are decorative, and the grinding wheel, which adds body skill.
According to the Warwickshire, after a child has studied at the simlogical homework object for three days, they are eligible to attend private or public school. Ayre does not yet have a school, but I may have the foundling home serve as a village school, an idea I got from niamh-sims at Tumblr.