186/366 – Torfi the Leatherworker

Day 44 of 100 Word Prompts: Burn

Dylian had been in Watherlis for nearly three weeks, and the Salvation Brotherhood had yet to relent on their quest to get through the walls of the town. However, every day that passed, the guards maintained security at the gates.

“Good morning, Heather,” Dylian said, coming down the stairs from his room.

“What’s so good about it?” she replied without looking up.

“We’re alive,” Dylian replied with a coy grin.

“Don’t you have someone else to bother?” she asked, looking up at him as she stopped wiping the bar.

“Not really. Have you checked on my steed this morning?” Dylian asked, approaching the bar.

“Listen, Dylian. You’re sweet and all, but what is outside in the pen is a donkey, not a steed, not a noble creature on any account. Can you please, stop calling it that?” Heather said, “and to answer your question, no. I haven’t gone to check on your donkey. You know where the feed is, you can take care of your own animal.”

Dylian turned away from the bar and walked to the door, pausing long enough to look over his shoulder. He could see the smile playing at the corners of Heather’s mouth as he pulled the door open and stepped out onto the street into the crisp air.

“Good morning, Dylian,” Torfi, the leatherworker across the street, called.

“How are you on this fine day, sir?” Dylian called back as a wagon trundled past him.

“About as expected,” Torfi replied, lifting a punch. “Busy schedule for a while now. Have to keep armor moving along for the archers.”

“That’s fair,” Dylian replied. “Are you looking for help again today?”

“The money is good, my friend. If you’re looking to apprentice, you’re on the right track,” Torfi replied.

“I’ll be over as soon as I’m done feeding Agnescious,” Dylian said with a wave. “Don’t get too much done without me!”

Dylian rounded the corner to a loud bray in his face as Agnescious had heard him coming.

“Good morning to you too, buddy,” Dylian said, grabbing a scoop of feed and dumping it into the bucket at his donkey’s stall. “How’d you sleep?”

Angescious munched happily, ignoring Dylian’s question.

“That good, eh?” Dylian said. “I’ll be working with Torfi again today. Did you want to come over, or should I just come back to take you out for a stroll around lunch?”

Again, Angescious ignored him.

“Alright, pal. I’m not far. I’ll be just across the street. You do your thing, and if you need me, just holler,” Dylian said, patting Agnescious on the neck before walking back around the building.

At the end of the street, he could see the Salvation Brotherhood through the portcullis. They had been camped since their initial attack preventing anyone from entering or exiting the town.

“Still there,” Torfi said, taking notice of Dylian as he approached.

“What’s their problem? Don’t they realize they aren’t getting in?” Dylian asked, grabbing a knife from the workbench.

“It’s not about them getting in anymore,” Torfi replied. “They are hoping to starve the people in the town, but they are a bit shortsighted in that regard.”

“Why?” Dylian asked, setting a template on the piece of leather before him. “Don’t shipments come through the gate? It seems like it would be a good plan for their goal.”

“Some wares do come through the gates, mostly local and crafted goods, but the vast majority of them-wait, no don’t cut that yet,” Torfi said, setting down his punch and walking over to Dylian. “Cut it like this.”

Torfi showed Dylian how to run the knife, so it didn’t hit the template and made a clean cut. After, he returned to his work and fell silent in concentration.

“You were saying?” Dylian said, curious about how supplies could get into the town without passing through the gates.

“Oh, right,” Torfi said, “Though the town doesn’t look like much, we do have a handful of bards and wizards that stay here permanently. A few years ago, one of the wizards set up some kind of magic transporting thingy in his house, so when things like this happen, he volunteers to take a few guys with him to other places and brings things back with them.

“The clerics at the temple can also make food, and our wells are from the heart of the mountain, so there’s no way that the Brotherhood could reach them. They think they are doing us a disservice, but in the end, we can keep this up until their morale falters,” he said, setting down the piece he was working on. “In the meantime, we just have to keep busy and wait them out.”

“Have they done this before?” Dylian asked as he finished cutting the piece from the template.

“A few times,” Torfi replied. “This one has been the longest stint they’ve blocked our gate. It’s a shame that their views are so limited. They have the dedication to accomplish something truly great. Instead, they would prefer to burn the world around them in the search for a doctrine that even the gods know is false.”

“Torfi, can I ask you something?” Dylian said.

“Sure,” Torfi said, trading out the piece in his hand for the one Dylian had just cut.

“I’ve heard you talk to some of the locals around here in a language I don’t know,” Dylian said, “What language is that?”

“Oh, it’s giant. Not a very eloquent language like elven, but some of the people here still hold to their traditions or don’t speak common that well,” Torfi said. “It’s always a good idea as a craftsman to know the local tongue, and perhaps a few not so local. People feel more comfortable with you when you can speak to them as though they were home.”

“Could you teach me?” Dylian asked.

“I mean, I suppose I could,” Torfi said, leaning out into the street toward the gate. “It looks like we may be here a while anyway.”

“Alright, what’s this?” Dylian asked, holding up the knife in his hand.

“Kniv,” Torfi replied before holding up the piece of leather in his hands, “Läder.”

Dylian repeated the words, looking to each, then smiled at Torfi.

“Seems easy enough,” Dylian said, the words are very similar.

“Du skulle tro att det inte skulle du?” Torfi replied, raising an eyebrow.

“Okay,” Dylian said, confusion going through him. “Maybe it’s not as easy as I thought. What’s that mean?”

“You’d think that, wouldn’t you?” Torfi winked at him. “It’ll take time, but you’ll get there. Just remember to be careful when you’re talking to goliaths, they don’t always take kindly to outsiders speaking their tongue.”

“I’ll try to remember,” Dylian said. “Oh, how do you say Agnescious in giant?”

“Agnesicous,” Torfi replied, shaking his head. “Names don’t change, my friend.”

“Okay, what about steed?” Dylian pressed.

“Springare,” Torfi replied, “Why?”

“I like that,” Dylian said with a nod. “Heather told me to stop calling Agnescious my steed, so I needed another word for him.”

“You know, Heather can speak giant too, right?” Torfi asked.

“Oh, yeah. I guess I’ll have to come up with something then,” Dylian replied.

“Don’t worry about it too much, I saw her outside early giving him a treat,” Torfi said, with a smile. “I think she likes your steed.”




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