Feb 03, 2023 9:34 PM
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"I mean, the building frame isn't very important, it's the alignment of the firebricks I'm most worried about. I've seen the rest of the Steading, I'm not sure they can lay mortar evenly if their life depended on it."

This was probably not the most diplomatic thing to stage whisper, and it's pretty clear several of the people nearby could hear it and weren't exactly impressed.

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Deskyl catches Angharad's eye to give her an exasperated look.

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DZ takes the opportunity to sign to her, and she waves a couple of the briars away from the bricks and toward the frame.

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Oh no, she's upset the important magic user now! This is not going as well as she thought it was. She's here to do amazing things and enjoy herself, not to feel small and embarrassed!

She has absolutely not noticed that they're actually taking her concerns seriously.

"I'll... go and find out where I'm going to be staying. Do you mind if I take the blueprints away with me to look at some more?"

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"That should be fine, ma'am."

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Angharad flees in the direction of the main road, in a cloud of self-recrimination.

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The mood of the work crew on the forge is still a little sour. Some of them are contemplating making sure the walls are annoyingly crooked. "Bet she has us build her house for her and all", one of them grumbles. "Why couldn't she have found a Briar artisan, they'd be grateful to be here."

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Deskyl can't hear them but can certainly read a room; she keeps an eye on things to make sure nobody takes any liberties with any functional parts of the forge before Allegra gets there.

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It's a little while until she comes back over; considerable quantities of lunch arrive for everyone first, with more fresh fruit and vegetables than has previously been in evidence, presumably fresh off the cart.

"How's it going here? I've ordered Angharad some more iron and a bit more beggar's lye," she announces when she does return, at which point she clearly notices that the name doesn't have quite the positive associations for everyone present that she was hoping for. "I'm sure she'll settle in, I think she just thinks she's got something to prove at the moment. I've set her up with some house building supplies so she can put something together."

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"Good," pronounces one of the workers.

"I thought she might be sleeping in here, it'll be nice and cosy," suggests another.

"Does she need any help?" offers a younger briar woman, who has a truly impressive trail of bark parting her hair oddly, like someone once made a serious effort to crack her skull open.

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"I'm sure she'd appreciate it," Allegra tells her. Satisfied that the situation is defused, she turns to DZ. "It does look like a few more days before the wire gets here - how is your battery doing? I could add some more copper to the order so we can try making it ourselves... I'm no metalworker, though, I have no idea how hard it is."

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    "I have slightly less than two days' worth of power left, ma'am, though we may be able to stretch it a little past the two day mark."

 

    "Master Deskyl hasn't drawn wire either, ma'am, but she'd like to try."

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"I think I actually..." she heads over and rummage through some of the forge supplies. "Yes, here's a couple of copper ingots, that might be worth a try. It sounds like I should order some more just in case she works it out?"

The copper ingots are actually a sensible size for ingots, considerably larger than the tiny measures of the magical materials.

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    "Master Deskyl is going to want to learn to draw wire eventually in any case, ma'am, and you'll need it for making electrical appliances."

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"Let me go catch the cart before it leaves then, we'll put some more copper on the order for next week." She heads off to do just that.

The work crew is down the volunteer that went off to help with Angharad's house, but seems mostly reconciled to taking pride in their work and proving that they can in fact build nice things. 

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Oh, good.

Deskyl takes a sniff of her new smelling salts, and then scoops DZ up to follow Angharad.

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Angharad has carefully put the blueprints between a couple of bits of wood so they won't get damaged, and is briskly marking up timber for a nice house frame. The briar who came to help her is digging out some foundation strips.

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Deskyl sets DZ down and leans against a tree where she'll be easily spotted when Angharad next looks up.

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The briar says "Oh, hi!" on having completed a trench section. Angharad doesn't notice until she starts looking for where she's put the saw, and just smiles hopefully rather than saying anything first.

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    "Master Deskyl wanted to make sure you knew she wasn't upset with you, ma'am - she would prefer that you be more careful about offending people, but she doesn't consider it her business, in the end."

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"Oh! Thank you, I was a bit worried. I hope everything is OK over there, but I guess I should, uh, put my own house in order first - quite literally, it turns out!"

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    "Master Allegra took care of it, yes ma'am. And - Master Deskyl says that the locals' houses really aren't as badly put-together as they look, but if there are any parts of the forge that you want to be especially sure of, you can give her instructions and she can take care of them overnight tonight or tomorrow."

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"Oh, thank you! I'll be happy to stay up tonight and get the fire bricks laid and the chimney and air channels done, that's really the bit that can't be done crooked or the airflow won't work properly."

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    "Yes ma'am. Master Deskyl will probably be asleep for most of the rest of the day, but she'll be available starting about an hour after sunset."

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Angharad grins, nods, and re-applies herself to house building.

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