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Two Spirits pt 5 by Foxysquid
They had all had a few more cups of wine--between them, Arluk and Inuvik had a seemingly infinite supply--when the wind started to howl outside. "Listen to that," said Arluk. "It'll be a bad one for sure."
"We'll all have to drink double," said Inuvik.
"Because it's so bad?" asked Arluk.
"No, no," said Inuvik, shaking his head for a while as he tried to remember what he meant by his statement. He couldn't hold his drink quite as well as Arluk, who was still fairly coherent. "Because the Moon's full!"
"That's right!" exclaimed Arluk. "It's Stormcoming and Mooncoming! Double drinks for everyone!"
"I don't think you need more reasons to drink," Horuk grumbled, although he had had a few himself.
Zhaoka had had a few too, but he wasn't feeling drunk, although there was a warm burn in his stomach, and his cheeks felt heated. He didn't feel any need to contribute to the conversation, instead letting the other men tal
Two Spirits pt 4 by Foxysquid
"I need to speak with him," said Zhaoka, frowning at the man who stood before him, one of Arnook's guards. Guard, of course, was a loose term in this case. The men who held that position were little more than glorified messengers and gatekeepers in peacetime. Zhaoka recognized this man's face, with its distinctive large, broad nose, but the name attached to that nose escaped him.
"Chief Arnook is busy, Zhaoka," was the gruff reply he received. Zhaoka noticed the man had no problem remembering his name. Unsurprising, as he was more memorable.
Zhaoka faced the man down, keeping his face a blank. "How long will he be busy? I can wait."
The man carried a long spear, but his weapon was rendered comical as he crossed his arms in an irritated fashion. He looked like a child holding a spear too big for him. "I don't know how long it will be."
Zhaoka shrugged, unconcerned. When he
Two Spirits pt 3 by Foxysquid
The clang of hammer against metal was satisfying, as were the scent of the smoke, the warm glow of the fire. The forge was one of the few places where he could truly escape the weather. He could take off his parka, for once. His forearms were bare, and it felt good. Zhaoka allowed himself a thin smile as he gazed into the blaze. He raised his tongs and examined the blade he was crafting. He exhaled, then breathed in deeply, heat filling his mouth and lungs. It was a comforting sensation.
The blade wasn't finished yet, but it would be soon. This one, he had decided, would be for trade. So he wouldn't waste his energy struggling to perfect it. The best blades were for him. In them, he fought against the metal's imperfections, the stress of the heat, the limitations of the hammer--and won.
He was still holding the unfinished blade aloft as he turned to face In
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