“Oh you’re magnificent. ” the Warforged Artificer exclaimed as he finally finished the three clockwork creatures. “I’ll name you two Perdix and Icarus,” he said to the two Defenders, crafted in the likeness of canine forms. “And you, ya little fireball,” he began to the miniature golem, who was currently busy beating up the remnants of a lifeless Modron form Hephaestas had planned to one day study. “You shall be called Daedalus, and aid me in my workshop.” The pint-sized golem turned and looked at his creator, gave a questioning look (as much as a featureless golem can) and bounced over to him. “Yes, very good, bounce around my little friend. I’ll begin attuning a docent for you, to better control your…abilities, before you learn all I gave you.” The smith chuckled to himself. Yeah, there certainly would be some growing pains as he and his new creations learned how to work together. He sat back in a chair. He wasn’t tired, no. Fatigue was something he learned about decades ago, a sickness that plagued the creatures of flesh. No, the word he was searching for was more or less drained. He was drained of magic, and of course of some resources. He needed to wait a little while for his abilities to reach full potency again.
Ahh well, he thought, I’ve got some time to kill. An oilspresso sounded like a fine pick-me-up, and he’d earned it.
Hephaestas walked into the shade of the Burnished Bull, the local House tavern, and stepped up to Glaive, the tireless bartender.
“Master Hephaestas, my friend! How do the gears grind?” the bartender began happily.
“Glaive, my good friend, I swear you never leave this spot.” Hephaestas jabbed, a smile unfolding along his chiseled face.
The warforged laborer chuckled, “Heh, maybe I do, maybe I don’t. Maybe I’ve just been waiting for you to come back, hey? What’s going on, you used to visit me every morning. Something shorting your circuits? Surely you’re not cheating on me with some lesser fleshie’s brew. You here for your usual?” the bartender asked, as he was already poaring the mabarian-black engine oil into a carafe of alchemically pressed caffeine.
Hephaestas nodded slowly and dropped two copper pieces onto the table, “Thank you friend. And oh, if only it was that simple. Truth be told I’ve come into some trouble as of late. I’m not sure how safe it is to speak of in an open shop as yours, but just know that..the gears have had a few wrenches thrown into ’em as of late, if you catch my drift.” Subtlety was everything in Stormreach. If you didn’t know how to carefully code your words, you never knew when you’d attract the ire of an unfriendly form.
A wooden brow raised on the old workers face, his crystal eyes heightened with shock and concern. “Ya know, you’re not the only one who’s had some trouble lately. I can’t give ya details as that’s beyond me, but word is on the street that Masters Kyla and Harlan are missing. Now I don’t know if it’s just sheer coincidence, but my senses tell me that’s a negative. And that’s not all, friend. There have been strange ‘forged folk attempting to enter the House recently, poorly done disguise spells – I mean come on folks, the drones pick it up immediately. I haven’t heard of any that have made it past the guards, but there sure is something peculiar going on as of late. Sadly that’s all I have for ya, but perhaps it’s more than you knew already, yeah?”
“Oh, Siberys yes. Thank you for your insight Glaive. That was far more than I knew, and explains more than you’d care to hear.” the tinkerer exclaimed. He downed the last of his drink, and handed the mug back to the bartender. “I hate to leave so soon after we’ve just begun to catch up, but-”
“Never you worry Master Heph’, please, go and figure out what’s going on with our beloved House. You’re much better at this stuff than me, and if there’s anyone to figure it out – it’s an Envoy like you, not a worker drone like me. Oh, and one last thing – I just remembered. Merrix’s in Sharn, and you know what that means…”
Holy Onatar’s overalls, of course he knew what that meant. Merrix’s enormous workshop was in Sharn. At the center of The Cogs. The Baron hardly ever traveled to his workshop…unless he was working on something truly massive. ”
“Oh, scrap us for parts, that’s some seriously grave news indeed. ” Hephaestas cursed. Last time Merrix was in The Cogs it ended with a Titan wrecking half of a district in Sharn, all because Merrix believed he could repurpose the remaining Warforged Titans into walking trash compactors, something for Sharn’s well-to-do to pay taxes on to ease their consciences about the filth that was the lower city. It took Cannith nearly a decade to recover from the massive PR blunder. This time however, the artificer had a bad feeling that Titans would be one of the better things he could hope for.
“Alright Glaive, thanks for the info. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a Captain to call in a favor from.”