Hammer and Tongs
June 01 2027 - Day 2405James, sitting at the Owsla Desk goes through some military documentation and signs that the guards in Vancouver shall be given more equipment while their current is being repaired. James looks at the next stapled volume of paperwork. Reading, it is titled Copper and Silver Mining Subsidies in the Rocky Mountains. James rolls his eyes and reads the summary. To his pleasure, it is not another mine collapsing and they require more funding to open a new mine. James adds a stipulation that half will be given, all metals apart from lead to be mined and processed, and ore samples will be tested and a project plan made from that. From these documents, they may receive the other half of the funding. James looks up from the thick document and seems to stare at the middle distance for a long moment. Sable looking up herself, is concerned. Sable: [Concerned]Are you ok, Captain, you don’t seem like yourself.
James: [relieved]Sable, do you remember the time I had an argument with the Great Kraken?
Sable: [Concerned]Yes, is there news on them?
James: No, Sable, I’m, um. Trying to give context.
Sable: Oh, I see Captain, go on.
James: So after that argument I left The Warren and we both met in my Redsmithing home; the place I was living before I became a member of your House.
Sable nods. Sable: Yes, Captain, I remember that, go on.
James: I was looking down to that frame about you wanting service of my Redsmith's and you asked …
Sable: Do you miss being a redsmith, James?
Sable interrupts. Sable walks over to James and puts her right hand on his left shoulder, regarding him, almost teary-eyed. Sable: [Sad]You want to leave the service of House Lapin, and return to your Redsmith life?
A teardrop falls onto the floor audibly. James gets up from where he was sitting and Sable’s arm falls to her side. With his hands, he gently holds Sable on the upper arms. He looks comfortingly into Sable’s eyes. James: I am the Captain of the Owsla.
James lets go of Sable and turns into a tiger. Tiger-James: And always will be.
James turns back into human form and pokes his head around the door. James: Gwen, have you seen Stretch at all?
A door opens and Gwen pokes her head around her door in reply. Gwen: I haven’t seen him all day.
James: Do you mind guarding the fort while I and our honourable leader go to the Wardroom?
Gwen: Not at all, Captain.
James and Sable await for Gwen to come in. Gwen: Is everything alright?
Gwen motions to Sable. James: Sable will be alright, I just gave her an emotional scare.
Sable slaps James across his upper right arm. James: Ow.
James: And Sable, wonders why I write her as mean.
James smiles slightly trying to ease the pain of being slapped. Gwen sits down. James and Sable leave for the Wardroom. The pair reach the Wardroom and go in and sit in their designated seats. Sable: You were saying, Captain?
James: I am the last remaining Redsmith in Kelowna, before living here in The Warren, and you know how much I hate not spending my pay with their services. I keep thinking, with the pay I accumulated while being a Recruit, Private and now being your Captain. I should reopen my Redsmith's.
Sable nods and James continues. James: It should bring up morale among our people as well as tax for the Lapin coffers.
Sable smiles at this. Sable: You’re welcome to do this, James. Just employ someone that is not a Lapin member. I don’t want to seem that it is Lapin led.
James: Understood, House leader.
Sable: James? I am giving you some partial time off so you can deal with this.
James: Thank you, Sable.
Sable: Not at all, James, Lapin for Life.
James returns the salute and escorts Sable back to her office. Sable: Gwen, do you mind remaining here?
Gwen: Not at all, Sable.
James collects the paperwork he was working on and hands some of it to Sable and takes the remaining paperwork into his quarters and puts it in a lockable drawer. He draws up a poster for his Redsmith for an employee. Sometime later, James leaves his quarters and heads down to the finance department to withdraw 7 gold. James leaves The Warren with the mock-up poster in his hand. He walks out of The Warren, to the chime of the guards saying “Captain”. With recognition like that, why would I leave, Sable. James thinks. Going to the blacksmith's, James opens the door with a bell ring. Adam notices that James is holding a piece of paper in his left hand. Adam: Hello James. Do you have a commission for me?
James: Hi Adam. No, this is a poster that needs printing. Can I give you 2 gold to fix my fence it has been 7 years already?
James gives a knowing look to Adam and he looks James over. Adam: If you make it 3 I will do it by the end of next week.
James: [cheerful]I have some good news for you!
Adam: What's that James?
James: I am going to need some tools made, but I am going to need to make a list of items.
Adam nods and smiles. James returns the gesture, pays for the service and says he will be back soon with the list. James heads to the printers to get the poster made. Printer: Hello, Captain, what can I do for you?
James: Yes, I have this sketch up of the poster I am wanting [he unfolds the piece of paper.
Printer: So an A4 deal, with just text?
James: Yes, I need six of them.
Printer: I can do that for 7 silver.
James agrees and hands the Printer 1 gold piece and gets 3 silver in change. Printer: Who should I address the package to?
James: Captain of the Owsla, The Warren.
The Printer nods and James leaves. He heads for a hardware store and buys 6 nails and heads back to his Redsmithy. Once there, he looks around for tools that were left abandoned and in the tool chest. James makes a note of these and the duplicates that are needed. James locks the tool chest and heads back to The Warren. With the addressing of him by the guards at the door, James heads to his quarters and drops the list onto his desk and goes for a drawer of the desk, one down from the top, and opens it. Seeing mostly silver coins, he collects the coins and pockets them. James heads to the library of The Warren. Looking up, and seeing the double-height walls, he can almost imagine what he as a Recruit must have felt when seeing them. Taking a piece of paper he makes a Rune Compass. Following the Rune Compass to a selection of books detailing trades, he finds a skinny book on Redsmithing. Taking it off the shelf, he reminds himself of how a beginner might have issues and how he can train them. Looking at the time he goes to the canteen and gets two helpings of food. Going to Sable’s quarters, James hands Sable her meal, and waves to Kitoypoy, who is now sitting at the Owsla desk and takes his share to his quarters. Moving the list, he puts the cans of food down and looks at the pink wallpaper on the wall as he takes a deep breath and tucks into his dinner. After this, he takes the cans down and returns for the list. Leaving The Warren again, he goes to Adam the blacksmith. James: Hello Adam, here’s a list of tools that need to be made.
James hands the list to Adam. He looks down the list and sees a large selection of tools, and goes to get a pencil and makes marks on the list of items. Adam: What is a raising stake?
James:It's a stake that goes into an anvil to raise bowls of copper.
Adam appears to understand and goes over to a desk and writes down the tools that don't have a dash on the left. Covering the list with calculations, Adam takes his time to work out a bill of materials. Adam: Can you guess how much it's going to be?
James: Less than what a Damascus longsword and a dagger are?
Adam laughs at this and nods. Adam: It's going to be 75 gold, James.
James: So be it.
James puts his hand into his left pocket and pulls out an old-looking brown leather pouch, and places it on the table with a satisfying clink. Adam opens the pouch and finds that he is short some change. James goes for his other pocket. Silver coins roll off the table. As they both collect the coins, he gives Adam a few stacks of Copper Pieces to make the payment mixed. Adam hands the original list back to James. Adam: Here is the original list, the items that have dashes on the left. I can’t make them. You will need a Whitesmith to make them, not a Blacksmith.
James: Oh, thanks for the tip, Adam.
Adam thanks James for his custom and James departs to the docks. James heads to a warehouse-type building. Going in, he finds a person at a desk. Harbourmaster: [anxious]Captain, I hope is all is well.
James: Stand down, I'm here for personal reasons, not for official business.
The Harbourmaster sighs in relief and looks to James to start the conversation. James: I am reopening my Redsmith's, I'm going to need some copper, sheets, rod, square rod and pipe.
The Harbourmaster takes a look at the book in front of him, turning to the “C” Section. Harbourmaster: It looks like we have some copper coming in. I will need to put in a request for the specific copper you wanted. It will need clearance from the Captain of the Owsla.
They wink and James smiles. James: That's fine…
James: [knowing]I’m sure he will allow it.
James winks back. Harbourmaster: Will you be operating in the same place?
James nods his agreement. Harbourmaster: I will ensure that we will make the first deliveries again, tomorrow.
James thanks them and walks back to The Warren and back to the Owsla Desk to finish off the documentation.
June 02 2027 - Day 2406James wakes up and changes into a clean set of uniforms. He goes to the Owsla Desk and saw that he has an envelope ready for him. He picks it up and swaps his desk duties with Kitoypoy so that he can hang up posters. He goes down to the finance department and withdraws 20 gold. James goes to his Redsmith's and awaits the first deliveries of copper. Hearing a large number of people walking across the bridge, he pokes his head out to see people walking with crates and pipes on their shoulders. James opens the gate to allow them in. About the time they finish, James informs them that the invoice should be sent to The Warren under his name and not under his rank. Once securing the precious materials, James takes a hammer and nails from yesterday and goes to hang the six posters.
James then returns the hammer to his Redsmithy and goes and finds the Whitesmiths. Getting there as with the Harbourmaster, the Whitesmith behaves anxiously. James calms them, saying that he is there for commissions. James: [Holding list of tools]I have been told by Adam, the Blacksmith, that you are the one to ask for these tools as he doesn't make them.Position Opening
Applicant, Will be trained and materials provided as well as relevant PPE
Applicant will be allowed a portion of the profits
To Apply send your resume and why you think you should have the role, to James Woodwright of The Warren.
James gives the list and indicates that he means the tools that have dashes by them. The Whitesmith nods. Whitesmith: I can do these no problem, it's just the time aspect.
James: As in when, how much are you going to want.
Whitesmith: I can do all of these for 6 gold.
James hands the funds over and is told when to wait for the tools. James nods and thanks the Whitesmith, and leaves. Going back to The Warren, the Guards address him. James returns to his quarters, sees the invoice for the delivery, and folds it up. Going back to the Harbourmaster he pays for the delivery.
June 09 2027 - Day 2413James wakes up and goes to The Owsla Desk, and starts work on some paperwork. As expected, the documentation from the Harbourmaster comes into view and James signs his acceptance. He is working on more paperwork, about trade, military and security. A few members of House Lapin of varying ranks deliver messages to James and he puts them into a pile. James continues with the paperwork until it is time for him to swap with Gwen. Holding a thick bundle of messages, he addresses Sable. James: As I’m swapping with Gwen? Is there anything I can get for you?
Sable: I’m doing fine James, thanks for asking.
Sable pauses for a moment and hands James a glass. James takes the glass and moments later returns it filled with elderflower cordial. Sable: [Jovial]Good luck with those messages, James.
James smiles back and nods. Arriving back at his quarters, he breaks one a seal at a time and opens each letter, going through them and making two piles of the applications. Selecting the ones he wants to interview James writes back to those applicants. James gets a knock at his door. He calls back to say it's ok to come in. James has a fleeting thought he should be in his tiger form for a brief moment of mirth. Corporal: There is a delivery for you at your Redsmith's, the Whitesmith asked us to come up to tell you as there is no one there.
James: Thanks Corporal, I will be right there.
He turns into a tiger and runs down. Once out of The Warren he turns into human form and continues on to the Redsmith and unlocks the gate. James puts the items from the Whitesmith away and thanks them for calling him over.
June 15 2027 - Day 2419James swaps with Stretch at The Owsla Desk, James starts to do stretches and informs the pair that if he is needed he will be at the Redsmith's. Both nod and bid him well. James heads to his Redsmith's, opens the gate and gets a selection of items out, including aprons and a selection of tools and copper sheets, and one copper pipe. Sometime later, a gentleman in his 20s enters the Redsmith's holding a copper tumbler. James: Good Morning, how can I help you?
Gentleman: I was wondering if you could repair this?
He holds out the tarnished tumbler. James takes it and looks at the bottom. It has the same maker's mark as his former workplace. James: Sure I can!
James takes a raising stake and inserts it into the anvil. Inserting the tumbler over the raising stake, he hammers the dents out of the tumbler. If it wasn't for it being so tarnished it would look new. James: That will be 1 silver. I can throw in some copper polish and a cloth for 4 copper if you like?
The customer shakes their head and they swap coins for the item. James bids them well, the customer waves back in confirmation. Taking the time James sets up for a demonstration. Sometime later his blond employee turns up for his first day. Hunter: Good to see you, what’s first?
James: Firstly, please put that apron on, you wouldn't want to mess up your own clothes.
Hunter puts on his apron and James suggests tying it in front of him. James: Just to let you know if we get customers, I will deal with them.
Hunter nods and looks eager to begin. James shows Hunter how to cut pipe and copper sheets. While James shows this off, a few customers come in, one to fix a plate and the other commissioning a candlestick holder. James then shows how copper will harden as you work it, so shows Hunter how to anneal the metal. Lastly, James shows where they get the supplies from and where to go to pay for them. James gets out the wooden mould to make the copper parts for the candlestick holder. James goes into the storage box for copper that is neatly arranged. He takes out a square rod of copper and the jig he needs. As he is doing this he shows Hunter what he is doing. James gets a string and uses it to measure how much of the copper rod he is going to need. He finds a clamp and clamps the jig onto the table. He inserts the square rod into the right channel and makes a mark with an engineers scriber, and makes a cut with a hacksaw. Then he hands this to Hunter, to file smooth. James repeats the process for the same length. The next two he inserts into a channel that will provide shorter rods. Giving these to Hunter to finish he finds his book on how big the base and the other components need to be sized before being raised. James shows this to Hunter so that he can get the right sizes for the copper. James selects the base and reads off how much he will need and goes over to the storage box again. Getting an appropriately sized piece of copper James cuts the sheet into four, one for the base and three for where the candles will go. James uses a device to cut the squares of copper into circles. James, sinking the copper slightly on all four of the copper pieces, shows Hunter how to start the base and the other pieces. James allows Hunter to do some of the raising. As he watches, James thinks, I chose you well, you're going to make a success of this place, I just know it. James: If you ever need help, I am in The Warren. At the Redsmith's I often make lunch at about 12:30 for about an hour, at least three need to be here at a time with the manager staying here. I will ensure that this Redsmith's is back at capacity in the sense of employees. You will get paid monthly and so will the future employees.
Hunter: [relieved]Thanks James, I hoped I wouldn’t be left on my own.
James continues on the candlestick holder rasing the copper to make the other parts and going to the storage box to find a cylinder of copper to make the final stem. In the end, he finishes the candlestick holder. All that needs to be done is the quality control and the polishing. James bids Hunter well and lets him know he is drawing up a list of employees for him to work with. James heads back to The Warren.
June 24 2027 - Day 2428James wakes up and changes into his uniform for the day. He goes to a drawer in his desk and finds a clean sheet of paper. He lists 8 people who James used to work with as a Redsmith when he was employed himself. James finds a Private coming into The Warren. The Private gets James’ attention and they swap paperwork. Private: What do you want me to do with this, Captain?
James: Find the people on this list, tell them James Woodwright has found a job for them if they want it.
The Private salutes and leaves The Warren.
September 04 2027 - Day 2500Having swapped with Kitoypoy, James leaves The Warren, holding a bag of something. He heads across the bridge. Getting halfway across it, he hears the old familiar sounds of his Redsmith's operating as they once did before the First Word War. James smiles to himself, realising that the familiar sound of hammering from his Redsmith's has returned to Kelowna’s streets. He gets to the entrance and coming in. One of his former colleagues looks up to see him and smiles with gratitude in his eyes. Another employee confuses him for a customer. James replies he is the owner of the business. Trying to get the attention of the busy smithy, James opens the bag revealing smaller bags inside with one file. James hands out the bags leaving the larger one to last. As others return to their work, James gets the attention of Hunter and leans against the table he taught him. Hunter looks up and then down again working on repairing a tumbler. Instead of attempting to get his attention, James goes over to Hunter and taps him on the shoulder and asks to have a chat with him. James invites him upstairs into his home. Pulling out a chair, James creates a makeshift meeting room out of the living room furniture. James: How are things, Hunter?
Hunter: Captain, things are going well here. We have been highly successful and are able to pay our bills.
James: That's good to know, have you been adjusting what you need in the sense of the copper deliveries?
Hunter: They seem to be happy to change the delivery amounts and times, fairly easily.
James: I would keep the delivery times to be early in the morning before customers come in. Makes it a lot easier.
Hunter nods to this. James: Have you been getting any commissions, recently?
Hunter: We have had a few but nothing too big, a tumbler set, here a candlestick holder there. We are currently working on some things for House Lapin.
James smiles at this and then relaxes. James: Don’t worry about taxation, I get notified and pay it for you. Unless you have something to add, I have two things to give to you.
Hunter replies he has nothing to report and James pulls out the larger coin pouch and a file. James: The coin pouch is for you. The file is yours and our employee’s pay invoices if you could distribute them.
They get up and shake hands and Hunter goes downstairs. James makes the room look less business-like. Leaving the room and going downstairs, James locks the door to his home and helps out a little. After this, he goes back across the bridge to The Warren, with the chime of the guards, he goes upstairs to get a viewpoint of the other bank of Okanagan Lake and to his Redsmith's, proud.
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
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