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No title.
(2013-07-30 - 2013-07-30)
No description.
Arthur Drover Small craftsman habitually colonize the Heart's Desire. Arthur is a decent teacher, though he would protest otherwise. His grubby apron bears unknowable greases, a few burns, occasionally spilled potion. He is at the back of the shop now, alone. The forge's coals, which never darken while he is anywhere nearby, have leapt to roaring life. A nearby box feeds coal down a sluice into the furnace itself, and a stomp on a modified bellows sends air down a series of air bladders to spark in the heart of a roaring fire. So strong that magical charms (hired in barter for a few Ethers) had to be erected by a travelling magician to keep from melting the closest stones. The smith shoves a length of connected gummi block into the fire and beats them with his second best hammer. He sings a tuneless song to keep his beat - the usual melodic report of medal being lost with the springy things. Watching the momentary deformation, he checks something off on his experiment log (a grubby scrap of nearby paper), and then stomps on the bellows-pedal a few more times.

Someday he'll put all this together. He'd put out the call for other artisans to help with the problem, passed from one workshop to another, thus far for naught. The Synthesist turns then to his order log and grabs a few lumps of magically infused ore, which are hurled into the crucible for melt supply. The shop door is open against the slightly cooler night - leading the forgelight to spill into the street among the garden plants.
Avira Avira was, in fact, directed this way after her questions and requests to the pair of chipmunk engineers had eventually grown downright overwhelming. Perhaps her vision of what she wanted to do with these strange little airships was a bit too ambitious to what was currently offered in the field.

She'd come with blueprints and ideas. In many cases she was simply told that she didn't have enough gummi blocks. Maybe nobody did for now-but there was definitely a place she could go to buy some, they'd said. Her journey takes her here, the "Heart's Desire."

"Well that's an appropriate name." she murmurs as she strolls through the shop, paying the armor and other items just slight attention. Sure, they were all things Avira needed since she routinely went through gear, but she was pretty focused on the original reason for coming here today.

"...trying to create an alloy of some kind?" she speaks up as he hurls the iron in.
Arthur Drover "Nay, separate project for now, lass. The metal is faintly magical. Magical enough that when I run a core of fire over it, it will hold it. But I am working on someone's request to capture something not unakin to phoenix fire in a blade. Well less a request, more a dream." The smith sets his hammer down. The crucible hasn't been put to the heat yet, the metal will wait. He wipes his hands on a rag and tosses it over the anvil.

"For the blocks there-" He nudges the nearby connected string of them. "I am plumbing their workings. I know about their use in ships, but feel there must be more. They are small here, large over there. Whatever I know, it serves to inform that I don't know enough."

He separates the blocks with a brush of nimble fingers, and sets them to either side. "I organized an armed force to retrieve a literal ton of these things." He gestures to the loft overhead. "And it still might not be enough. Their nature remains a mystery except for a very few details. No matter." always ready to inform on his projects, Arthur has become increasingly aware that he has the ability to bore quite mightily. "Welcome to the Heart's Desire. Arthur." He beckons her up nearer to the counter. "What's yer wish, miss?"
Avira "A dream, huh. Funny you should mentioin that." Avira remarks as she watches him work-or rather, set down the tools and let the metal wait for when the crucible is hot. "Sometimes I have the /strangest/ dreams."

Slowly she frowns when Arthur admits that he simply doesn't know a lot about the gummi blocks. "That seems to be a reoccuring theme I am seeing when it comes to these star pieces. Though on one hand, it's kind of nice knowing just as much as everyone else does about these blocks. Unfortunately, that does not get me where I want to go."

She ventures closer to the man, not yet displaying any signs of the boredom that Arthur so fears. In fact she seems altogether curious about everything. He'll find her glancing around his shop and his tools and his gummi blocks. "Arthur? Good, I am Avira. Some friends of mine directed me your way. My wish."

She leans against the counter, placing both of her hands against it, "Is gummi ship innovation."
Arthur Drover The smith laughs heartily, but nods along with her statement. "Well, I know some things then. As I say, we retrieved many. We know they come from INSIDE those heartless ships out there! You might know that already though." He goes on, and goes back to pumping the bellows. "Sorry, but I am always at my best if I talk while I work. So if you'll forgive me, I'll share what I know. Innovation is worth doing."

The crucible is dragged down on its long chain, perched over the radiant heat of a smaller subsidiary furnace, its melt-spout directed into a mold of a dagger which lies ready on its casting table.

Arthur stomps the pedal and then watches a few air bladders fill and begin stoking the flame. "The pieces are inside those heartless ships. Whether because they eat them or just because the two are drawn together. We don't know. They hold a shape, someone who has the knack can easily join and separate them. They are the only protection we have for transit between the worlds. Stop me if you've heard this one."

The synthesist grabs a few potion bottles and pours them into something like a mister. They fizz but otherwise behave, the bottles set aside for later washing and refilling.

"I learned the different varieties, and how to use 'em for travel and protection. Even those chipmunks - who seem to know the most - have little interest beyond ships. I doubt one could make a blade from them, but there may be some secret I'm not seeing. Tell me what you mean by innovation, and maybe I can help. You can even help us organize a wider scale expedition for retrieving troves of these."

He attempts to rap his fist on a gummi block, scowling at it in consternation when it is not solid enough.
Avira "That I did not know about. I was under the impression they came from stars." Or was that destroyed worlds? Barriers between worlds? As she thinks about this, she reaches behind her and pulls out several rolled up pieces of paper longer than her arm. "What I do know is that the combinations are nearly endless...provided you have the appropriate number of blocks."

After a pause, she starts rolling out the papers. They are blueprints, three in total. One seems to be 'modified' hastily from blueprints for a real mid-sized airship similar to Balthier's. This one is labled 'Bres.' A second drawing seems to be of the Tonberri design labeled 'Lugh.'

Then there's a third, clearly drawn by someone who definitely doesn't have much of a background in engineering or design. It's very abstract and indicated as very large. Large enough to house smaller gummi ships. This one is named the Dagda.

"It's that or the portals but those are unpredictable. I actually tried mapping them." She pauses again when he mentions the line 'innovation beyond ships' and hesitates, reaching a hand to hastily scoop up the blueprints she's left on the counter.

"..Uh. Bigger...ships mostly." she says awkwardly. "Something more complex than the single-pilot ones we've seen."
Arthur Drover Arthur Drover says, "Well we can probably do better. But the thing to do might be a proof of concept. We'll need hangar space, gummi supplies, assistance - we'll have to test if there's a point where the integrity of the thing starts to collapse. Seems unlikely, given how light they are. Certainly those blocks seemed to be inside those Heartless ships for a long time, maybe you're right and it is something else, but that's what things indicate."

Arthur, who does have some background in the area, notes: "The reusability of the gummis is important. It means a single ship can hold many configurations and that once outfitted with your own supply of blocks, all you need is an instruction manual for making new ship configurations. Useful, albeit obvious knowledge. They aren't destroyed, they seem resilient enough to be used again and again."

He seems to ponder. "So what's the next step? I want something more, but if you're content with shipbuilding I can help you assemble the resources to make one of your ships, and maybe we'll discover something useful along the way. If nothing else, the mysteries out in the gaps between worlds are easier to explore with better outfitted ships, right?"

The metal is close to melting, and it hisses into the mold when a cord is pulled, chugging away with a noise like a plug coming out of a drain, then settling into the reinforced metal. "Multiple pilot ships is interesting, certainly a second pair of eyes or a support gunner would help.""
Avira "I'm /positive/ we can do better. Especially for the Tonberri-model. That thing is a death trap." Didn't prevent Avira from piloting one to pretty good effect. "...maybe. Maybe if they are star pieces, the Heartless ships are attracted to eating them. A little like Heartless are attracting to consuming hearts. Especially world hearts." she theorizes, leaning against the counter with one arm.

The other has swept up her blueprints in a hasty mess, keeping them under her other arm, pinned to her side. "Maybe you can make giant robots out of them. Like. Picture a gummi Voltron or Megazord." Avira stops suddenly, ", sorry, you probably don't get either of those references. I'll bring you some pictures."

A slow frown comes to her scarred face as a memory resurfaces. There was such a construct, wasn't there? Kept on the largest ship, deployed during emergencies. It was... "" she mutters. "Either way I think the current models could benefit from more guns. Sadly, those particular type of gummies seem to be more rare than the others."
Arthur Drover Arthur Drover says, "Rare, but if volume is our concern we can institute wide-scale gathering efforts. I have some experience with designing what you'd call - systems. So I can probably help get a team together for mass heartless elimination between the worlds. We'll never make a dent in that swarming darkness, but we can gather the spoils with no casualties. All that's needed is time and numbers."

Arthur gazes fondly at the diagram of monster nests he has "pacified" over time. The blank is pulled out of the cast with tongs and placed in the fire to heat once more so it can be hammered out and then shaped.

"Weapons alone won't do it. There is little difference in the cockpit of one gummi ship to the next, surely, but we can turn them to other uses if we make the attempt. I will continue researching what we would need to change one type of gummi into another - or to synthesize the rare ones. If I can synthesize a sword, surely I can understand and simulate a gummi. No use beating our heads against it tonight, think on it, and if you find anything else out, bring it here. I'll be in touch if you leave a place where you can be reached."

The smith gestures to his address book and then spends a little time rolling the blade in the coals to get the metal the right color."
Avira "I know quite a few people that I can pull in to help with such an effort. Have you heard of VALKYRI? We mostly hunt marks but we find plenty of other lucrative jobs in these worlds worth doing. Such as collecting gummi blocks." Avira smirks, "Our zeal might actually put a tangible dent in the Heartles swarms. We shall see."

Leaning forward, she watches him work not unlike a spectator watching a sport or a play. There was just something so primally appealing about metalwork.

She decides to put her blueprints on the counter for Arthur to look at when he wishes. The short woman ambles over to the guest book, grins, and scribbles her name and number down in it in addition to the address of VALKYRI's base in Traverse Town.

" the way. Unrelated to the gummi ship, do you think you can look at my weapon sometime? Somedays I wonder if it can be improved upon. You clearly have the smithing experience so...anyway, that's for another time. It's been a pleasure meeting you, Arthur."
Arthur Drover "A treat to meetcha too, lass. And yes, I suspect I can do something for your weapon. Most work can be improved upon. If you'll get me the materials and pay for my time. You'll have to show me what you wield. I am not merely a smith, though."

He gestures to the display cases, with their assortments of armors, cloaks, scarves, rings, and boots. "Tailor, smith, hunter, designer, one must be all these things to practice synthesis. Following a recipe never gets you results. Synthesis is the marriage of many parts - each weapon is a system unto itself. Magic and form in balance. Magical spirits in an ugly shell will rebel and destroy the container. Too beautiful a shell for too coarse an enchantment will overwork the magic and burn it out. The right metals, the right magic from the right sources. And all the world has more magic in it now than I ever had when I was merely forging the same old systems."

His laugh has traces of the clang of metal in it, as he brings the hammer down on the blank, curving the steel into a wicked edge.

"This is one art among many. You need to be well-rounded. But I can always learn something new. Maybe there's hope yet. You'll have to come help me tame some /real/ Tonberries next week. Maybe in so doing you can dream up an improvement to their design."

He begins melodically humming along with the clangor of the steel, marking time by the clock on the wall to when he promised to sneak off to bed. "We're up most nights, and I'd be pleased to look over your armaments. Send your friends along too, we can use the business. It's a new world."

And he says it only a little sadly.

This scene contained 11 poses. The players who were present were: Avira, Arthur Drover