Back in Axe-tion
Katrina Schroeder is a book coach, editor, and writer. When she’s not knee-deep in words, she’s playing tabletop and video games, reading more books than she can keep up with, or is in a kayak. She can be found on Twitter as @katrinaeditorial1 or you can learn more about her on her website at katrinaeditorial.com.
Rock and dust trickled down on Sirdrae as she chipped away at her work. The clinking of Little Folk pickaxes against stone echoed throughout the cavern around her. She paused a moment to close her eyes and let the symphony envelop her. She loved this. Nothing felt more right than when she was surrounded by the chorus of axes and stony earth. Sirdrae thought she could sometimes hear where the mineral sat in the stone, like a lone horn playing quietly and poignantly above the rest of the orchestra. She often wondered if it was her imagination, explaining away a coincidence, or if she held a little mage power herself.
She felt a nudge at her arm, and she opened her eyes to see her grandmother standing next to her.
“You gonna stand there all day, or you actually gonna get some work done, huh?” Granny Dun’s toothy smile was almost as contagious as her laughter. She began chiseling at the stone wall next to Sirdrae.
“Hey, Granny. I was just enjoying the moment.” Sirdrae swung her pickaxe at the stone in front of her. The day’s work had been slow going. She hadn’t found much of anything exciting.
“Well, I guess I’ll allow it. There’s nothing like the sound of a bunch of Little Folk grunting as they slam metal to stone, is there?” She cast a side eye to Sirdrae and followed it with a wink.
Sirdrae chuckled and shook her head. “No, nothing like it at all.” As much as she loved the sound, it still made her a little anxious. There had been rumors of demonspawn attacks further down in the Reaches, specifically on outlying mining villages. The news always came from clans much farther away though, so she felt a little safer. Only a little though: the worry still ate at her, like a hungry dog gnawing at a dry bone.
The dark metal of Granny Dun’s axe shimmered in the lamplight as she raised it to chink at the next bit of rock. Sirdrae’s heart fluttered, and she almost jumped from excitement. “Wait, that’s not steel! Is that a new axe, Granny? Made with the new metal?”
Granny Dun hefted her axe to better show it off. Now that was a sight to behold. Her massive braids of white hair piled about her shoulders, each intertwined with runic metal cuffs. One hand rested on her hip while she proudly held up the axe with the other. The sparkle on the bladed head matched the happy glint in Granny Dun’s eye.
The handle was ornately decorated with runic patterns that were beyond precise. Sirdrae knew Dolgan’s work — her husband and the clan’s mage-smith — the moment she saw it, but Granny’s new axe was impressive, even for Dolgan. The pommel had a green gem that glowed slightly. Dolgan must have added a little bit of magic to it to give the axe additional strength against chipping and breaking, Sirdrae thought. The head itself held no intricacies, but it didn’t need any in order to be beautiful. The black material had been polished and shined as though it had never been touched. She could practically see her own reflection in the black blade.
“You’re darn right! It’s waystone.”Continue reading “Back in Axe-tion”