smith, n. /smɪθ/ a craftsperson who works metal into desired forms using a hammer and other tools, sometimes heating the metal to make it more workable, especially a blacksmith.Fire is a job requirement for the smith, for the Stenza smith even more so. However, the gross temperature disparity between the average flame and the Stenza body means that the average individual gets no closer than they dare or absolutely need to. The smith needs to get very close. Commonly regarded with suspicion and awe, smithing has been likened to sacred work. Among those who believe in such entities as the Snow Pups, the profession is regarded as under the watch of the pup named Fire. As with all pups, Fire is to be treated well (and, as with all entities of his class, this confers benefits and blessings). Smiths have cultivated generations of daily rituals toward this end, which are looked on varyingly as esoteric, backwards, or plain ridiculous depending on who you ask. But, among smiths themselves, the rituals are known to, if not directly benefit the work, not negatively impact it, either.
Metalsmiths are first required to undergo the Citizenship Trial, for reasons that are possibly connected to the Snow Warrior and Snow Pups, as well as very ancient versions of the trial itself. Because smiths are required to work with fire they must also undergo training with appropriately qualified religious experts, who typically originate from Pass regions. This dovetails with informal training by more seasoned smiths into the time-honored rituals well known to honor and please Fire.
The smith takes raw materials (commonly metal ores from deeper within the Frozen Wastes) and fashions them into assorted objects, from parts to weapons to decor. In some cases these are sent off for assembly or further refinement by others.
Smiths occupy two social roles at once: "necessary labor" and "collection of superstitious freaks". While their many quirks are tolerated for the sake of the products they provide, they are often viewed as at least slightly off (except among other religious people, who see what everything means and how it fits together).