Fate - First Reply Grimm Outlooks

A 1x1 Roleplay where the first writer to respond can join


God of the Forge
Character Biography

Snake-Tooth Tavern​
The city was always a bustling, too much going on for too long. Everyone seemed crazy, no patience as merchants and traders peddled their goods to every hamstrung minor noble in a frock coat - made all the worse that Grimm was eye level with their leather cod pieces and jingling coin purses. He pressed pass one group of spoiled youngin's, pushing into a favored tavern in the region. It'd been standing for nigh on two hundred years - and while its ownership had changed a few times since then, they seemed to keep the beer cold throughout it.​
He'd come to the city for the sake of some great leader who wanted one of his blades. It wasn't a custom job, the rich sod didn't deserve a custom piece - but he paid a pretty penny for one of the Ulfberht's he had made through the years. Special steel, infused with runic magic by the forge and hammer. It was a lost art to every smith save a few - but Grimm could count on a single hand the people left that could make a blade worth its weight.​
The tavern was bustling as it tended to, placed carefully between two busy streets and near one of the gates to the city. He lifted his hood, waddling his short stature to the bar and making a bit too much of an embarrasing effort to get atop the seat. The cost of living in a world full of tall humans meant his kind often had to embarrass themselves at simple tasks - but it beat smelling the ass of the man next to him just by being eye level.​
So he ordered a large stout, curling up on himself, and hoping to enjoy the passing taste of alcohol before he returned to his home in the Felwood. At least for now - until he moved on once more, as he always tended to do.​
  • Nervous
Reactions: Clemente
Clem hadn’t wanted to come out tonight— or any night for that matter. Saying ‘no’ was an option, but it wasn’t actually a luxury he could afford. Whispers were already passing through the guard, of the meeting he had with Farley and the fact that he had protected a elf. A half-elf, but even half-elves were considered to be more elf than human, especially if they had pointy ears.

Vel Anir acted like it was changing, but the people within it’s grand walls were still extremely xenophobic. Even those wretched sympathizers like Clem were considered to be something of an oddity, but at least they presented the standard look of human amity that Anirians so praised.

So perhaps that was why Clem, compared to the rest of the Guardsmen out for a drink, seemed to be shoved more and more closer to the dwarf on one side of the bar. Clem hadn’t noticed the dwarf enter, although he suspected many of the folk here hadn’t noticed him until he pushed through them to get to the bar.

Despite Clem thinking he had good manners, he couldn’t help but to stare at the dwarf from the corner of his peripheral vision. He had never seen a dwarf before. He never thought he would have seen one ever in his lifetime, but then again, when he was a boy he never once thought he’d be head over heels for a particular half-elf with eyes the prettiest of blues.

A guard jostled him, using a elbow to further shove Clem out of the group. He had no idea why they invited him if they only ever pushed him out. Maybe that was the point, to remind him of were he stood. Unliked and useless, two of the worst things someone in the Anirian Guard could be.

“Sorry,” Clemente apologized to the dwarf on his right. “It’s rather crowded tonight, isn’t it?”
  • Yay
Reactions: Grimm
Grimm grumbled as the angsty dwarf often did. Vel Anir never was a place for non-humans like him, not in the furniture and especially not in the manners. The city hadn't changed its sentiment about non-humans since he had first visited, but it was rare he was pushed and prodded by the guard on their night out. Wrong day to go drinking at his favorite tavern.​
He glanced towards Clemente, the young greenbeard of a guard who gave Grimm an awkward smile - wasn't just young for an elf neither, he could tell on first glance this newbie was young in general. As long lived as Grimm was, he had a knack for such things - but he had a better knack about reading a room. A glance to the other guards who had their back turned, and he grunted, motioning for the boy to sit.​
"Too crowded fo' mah tastes.", he stammered out as a short tongue poked through his mustache curtain to lick at the foam on his lips.​
"You the new paddlin' boy then? Don' seem like ya' friends care for ya.", he said motioning relatively subtly back to the others. Subtle for a dwarf meant a hard side eye and a shake of his heavy, boulder like shoulder. At least in the rampant celebration of a night drinking, few people seemed to notice the Dwarf's lack of grace.​
  • Nervous
Reactions: Clemente
His cheeks flushed, the tops of his ears turning red from embarrassment, both from turning red and from the fact that it was obvious he wasn’t part of the group. He shouldn’t have come and just dealt with their pranks in the upcoming days. His soldiers sagged and Clemente sighed, looking down at his ale. The bubbles were long gone and drink had long ago turned warm.

“I’m not… exactly new.” How to explain he had been in the guard for four years now and still he was being treated as fresh meat? Regardless, Clem did take a seat. Maybe sitting down would keep him from getting jostled. “But I guess you could say I’m on the lowest rung of the ladder still.” He tried to shrug and looked unbothered, but Clem was no liar, and his features showed that this was unpracticed and forced.

As if to hide his poor acting skills, or maybe needing liquid courage, Clem lifted his mug to his lips and drank in large gulps. The warmth of it did nothing for it’s flavor nor did it make it any easier to chug, but determined, Clemente finished it.

“My name is Clem—“

CLEMENTINE! YOU’LL BUY ANOTHER ROUND, WON’T YOU?” Clem looked over at to one of his “friends” who’s face was turning redder and redder with each drink. Clem hesitated, but when one of the guards who had once been turned away from him looked over his shoulder and clapped a heavy hand hard on his shoulder, Clemente nodded.

A cheer and a holler, and the guards were ignoring Clemente once again and instead barking for another round.

“My name, is, well, it’s not Clementine. It’s Clemente. Or, just Clem. Mostly get called Clem.” He looked back at the dwarf. “I’ve never met a dwarf before.” Blunt but true, and he hoped, if only because he needed some company if he were to survive the night, that it hadn’t offended the dwarf beside him.

  • Sip
Reactions: Grimm
Clementine. Either the elf boy shortened it to not be so fruity, or Grimm was just making up stories in his head. He liked to do that, kept things interesting to be honest. He grunted at the name, but gave him a yellowy eyed glare at the mention of never seeing a dwarf before. His Clan was long since gone, but there weren't many dwarven settlements left - somehow, his comment reminded him of that.​
"An' I ain't seen alot of fruit boys in the guard.", Grimm said with a dwarven scowl. He was silent for a moment as he stewed on whatever made the ancient dwarf angry, finished his drink, and ordered another round. For two, Celemente might notice.​
A third gold coin was set aside, clean as they came. Grimm seemed to subtly slide it over to the boy with his own mug, taking extra care to wipe the oil off his nose and dip it into the mug - watching as the foamed died down at the presence of it. Seeing the elf hadn't quite picked up on his hint, Grimm growled in a deeper tone -​
"Go'on Clam. Buy ya' boys a drink."​
More loudly he followed it up;​
"C'mon ask ya silly questions. Damn knife ears always got questions."​
  • Stressed
Reactions: Clemente
Fruit boy? Clam? Knife-ears? Clem placed a hand over his round ears, nervously looking over his shoulder. Did everyone knew he was in love with a elf? Maybe it was how he looked? Could humans look like elf-lovers?

And what was with this dwarf being so gruff with him but then offering that gold coin? Was he offering? Or was it a test? If Clem took that coin, was it actually gold? It couldn’t be, could it? Oh, but a dwarf would probably have gold? Clem shook his head, hoping to rid himself of the thoughts and anxieties that constantly plagued him.

“Thank you.” Clem said quietly, deciding that being called a fruit boy or Clam wasn’t that bad. But knife ears… he thought of her, of her eyes, of her smile. He thought of how she hid her ears, how others looked at her if they saw them. His gaze hardened for a moment. “I don’t like calling elves derogatory words like that. Or hearing it.” He hoped the dwarf wouldn’t be the sort to get offended over it.

“I was just curious you being here, is all. Vel Anir has never been known as being hospitable to… others.” A understatement of the century, but even with the Republic trying to change things, old habits seemed to die hard.

  • Yay
Reactions: Grimm
"Ya ain't livin' in the right town if 'knife-ears' bothers your sensitivities, kid.", he said, spitting carelessly on the ground some wad of leaf he had hid away in his lower lip. Someone stepped in it, but seemed to drunk to notice.​
More importantly, Clemente had said 'elves' like he wasn't one - which forced Grimm to look a bit closer. He squinted, realizing that the presumed half elf was not in fact a half elf - just a twig of a man set about to guard duty. He grunted at that, deciding quietly that the bright sparks of the forge had finally started to steal him of his vision.​
"Deliverin' a weapon I made. Ulfbrecht. Good rune-steel for a bastard with too much money and not enough sense to not use it, I imagine.", he said with another spit.​
  • Nervous
Reactions: Clemente
The dwarf had a point. Clemente understood that while Vel Anir was trying to change, some things were still as they were before. Mainly, the hatred towards elves. Even with the elven quarter, Anirians refused to even look at a elf unless they were making fun of them. Although the Pirians seemed to be the leaders in showing compassion and sympathy towards the elves, Clemente couldn’t help but feel not enough was being done.

But maybe that was because he had a huge crush on one. He felt his cheeks flush as he thought of her and it was only when the dwarf mentioned a sword that Clemente was able to focus back on the conversation.

“Ulfbrecht.” Clem repeated, feeling the word roll of his tongue. Not something he’d name a weapon, but he was no sword maker or dwarf. “I’ve never seen rune-steel before. Have heard of it.” The dwarf wasn’t exaggerating that it was expensive, more expensive than all the money Clem could put together in his whole entire life. “Was it for one of the nobles? A great house, maybe?”

Grimm had noticed the blush - but it only made his narrow his vision. The kid was that interested in weapons was he? Of all the smith's he'd met, he only knew two that 'liked' their forgings that much. Grimm found it creepy, bordering deviant - but he didn't have the patience or habit of making harsh judgements about others proclivities. Instead he tried to push the subject to safer waters; safer for him, that is.​
"Don't know, don't outright care.", he said with a heavy, beer laden shrug.​
"Blue bloods ask fer' a blade, I make it for 'em."​
"Politicin' ain't my type of drink. That's fer' smarter, taller fellas. I just make my forgins - and I leave it at that. Who my sword kills ain't my business - and they've killed alot of 'em.", he said with a grunt.​
It was true, he had made weapons nigh on 200 years. It was said he was born with a hammer in his hand, that the cord was cut on an anvil - but he wasn't too sure about any of that. Still, his earliest memories were helping Garth Ironback with his own forgings, a master and a name far more legendary than his own.​
"My master did the same, his master before him. Just ain't our place, kid."​
  • Gasp
Reactions: Clemente
Clemente felt the tops of his ears get red. Maybe that wasn’t the best question to ask. What dwarf cared about the politics of Vel Anir? What dwarf cared about the Great Houses? But what Grimm said was interesting nonetheless.

Clemente had never been inside a forge, much less make a weapon before. Yet there was something that the dwarf said that made Clem curious. Could someone really not care about the person they gave their weapon to? Was their weapon not a part of them? Although, Clem supposed that was a bit hypocritical. He carried a short sword and parrying dagger— if he killed someone with those weapons, was it fair to blame the metal smith?

“But what if your sword was used for evil? What if your sword killed dwarves?” Clem asked.

  • Yay
Reactions: Grimm
He seemed to sour at the implication, choosing to drink his beer than respond - at least at first. His dwarven accent was thick, his temper hot, but he spoke in a growl just above the sound of the tavern's rabble and ruckus;​
"An' what if it did?", he said with a heavy furrowed brow.​
"Think ah'm worryin' about which dwarf is dyin'? Think maybe it'd be better fa' the world if I up and quit my craft?", he said with a heavy spit. A weighted finger pointed at him as though to drive home a point.​
"I stop makin' weapons, and they'll just buy 'em from the next dwarf looking for a copper. Worst, they'll get a mediocre sword and think less of us fer it."​
He seemed to settle only as the red filled his cheeks and nose, making them round and plump like angry cherries. Despite him turning away, the grip he had on the mug and the way he fidgeted made it obvious Grimm was still roiling over the comment - like it was his fault the dwarves were being killed, it was his people were so close to extinction.​
"Want some advice, fruit?", Grimm said as he looked back at him.​
"A sword doesn't do anythin' but evil. Think you're righteous cus' you got a firm hand on your blade? The only job that blade has is evil. A good man, a better man doesn't use the blade - he sows crops, builds a life, but he doesn't hurt. A weak man carries a blade - cause he intends to use it."​
Grimm pushed his beer forward and frowned.​
"Put your sword down, kid. Before you try and do some good with it."​
  • Stressed
Reactions: Clemente
His face was red again. He could feel the top of his ears grow hot with shame. He had asked another stupid question again, hadn’t he? The worst of it was that after the dwarf had said all he had said, it seemed so clear to Clem just how stupid his question had been. Uncomfortable as it was, Clem didn’t leave or decide to end the conversation.

He could’ve changed it to something far less political or ignorant, maybe asking about the weather or future plans for the dwarf. The final sentences to leave Grimm’s mouth was enough to have Clem pause and mull over the advice given.

Did all swords do nothing but evil?

“But what about for the people who can’t protect themselves?” Grimm was right, swords did nothing but kill, and wasn’t killing considered wrong? “Like children, the elderly, women… people who have never done anything wrong their entire life except maybe lie a little here and there?” Clemente asked. “What about when raiders come to a small village, everyone there does what you say is good: tending to livestock, growing crops, never touching a blade unless it’s to cut meat or bread? If they can’t protect themselves or if there’s no one to protect them, what’s stopping the raiders from hurting them?”

  • Yay
Reactions: Grimm
Grimm seemed to say something in Dwarvish as he collected himself, staring off into the crowd across the bar, at the wall full of unopened bottles and kegs, until the red slowly fell away from his features and left a far more calm Dwarmi. He glanced to the kid, rubbed a bit of snot from his nose, and offered him something more level headed;​
"T's why it don't matter kid. If, happens, everyone knew - then they'd all stop. Make fer' a good world, one that puts me out of business.", he said, almost lazily, as though a bit of the fire had fallen from his sails.​
"But you gotta trust eachother, and we ain't bound to trust one another fer' a long time. My advice, head to an island - far from 'ere. With no weapons. Or, use so many none 'el give you or yours any gruff. Half measures just don't cut it."​
  • Stressed
Reactions: Clemente
His shoulders slumped. Trust people that you didn’t know was never a good idea, even nowadays people couldn’t really trust the people that they knew. Arethil wasn’t a good place, sure some places had some goodness in them but others could come along and ruin. Wasn’t that why Vel Anir had built such big walls?

A secluded island was a good idea though. Although Clem had never been good with geography so he had no idea which island was far away from others. He supposed none of them really were at this point. Maybe if he hid underground….

“Well, war is always good for some businesses, I suppose.” He went back to wondering to which noble had bought the runesteel from the dwarf. “How long have you been metalworking? Did your family do it or did you have to secure a apprenticeship?”

  • Yay
Reactions: Grimm
"Nigh on 200 years I been makin' things that kill people.", he said, almost refusing to drop the comment Clemente had made earlier. He even gave him a bit of a side eye, but over the bustle of the crowd and the bumping people kept doing against the back of his chair he eventually seemed to settle.​
"Ah apprenticed under Garth Ironback. Old codger that 'e was. Wasn't born to a Family I knew - whore mother and a missin' father. Garth treated me as his own young - practically got born with a hammer in me hands. Did it out of pity, I assume, but maybe he was my dad and just didn't wanna admit it.", he said with a heavy shrug.​
"After a few decades made my own way. He passed not long after. Been makin' forgins since. 'Bout every famous blade you can think of I 'ad a hand in - least that are recent. Few smith's know what I know anymore. Comin' now soon nobody'll know what I know.", he said, his head falling a bit at the thought.​
  • Cthuloo
Reactions: Clemente
Imagine that, living for two-hundred years! Or rather, longer than two-hundred! Clemente couldn’t imagine what it was like to live that long. He thought it must get rather lonely, but maybe that was because he was still thinking like a human with a much shorter lifespan. He missed over Grimm’s comment about his weapon-making and killing people, lost in his daydream of imagining a life were he could spend centuries with her.

Yet the hopeless romantic brightened. “I’ve heard of Garth Ironback!” He announced proudly. He was an Anirian, they weren’t taught the history of Arethil, although it wouldn’t have mattered if they did because Clemente had never gone to school. He was still rather illiterate although it didn’t much matter with his low position in the guard.

But everyone in Vel Anir knew Garth Ironback and the legend he was. Clemente wondered why he hadn’t heard of Grimm before meeting him, but maybe the nobility wanted to keep their secrets to themselves. His excitement soon dwindled when he saw Grimm become sullen. It was a deserved feeling and Clemente didn’t blame him for dipping his head down.

“Then why not take an apprentice yourself? Maybe you can make a difference in someone’s life like Mr. Ironback did for you.”

  • Dab
Reactions: Grimm
"Had 'em.", he said.​
"Lost 'em."​
He was quiet for a while before finishing his beer. The suds of it left a light foam on the dwarf's excessive mustache - only to be licked off as he hopped off the stool that was too tall for him. He waddled in place a bit, to get the blood back in his stout legs.​
"Listen, fruit, ya' seem like a good kid.", Grimm said with a roll of his shoulders.​
"Vel Anir ain't a city for good kids - its fer' nobles and noble-likes. Blue bloods one and all. It's obvious you ain't here for the dogma. Take whatever it is yer' fightin' for, and leave.", he said idly.​
He unstrung a small sheathe from the back of his belt - horizontally clasped in a ranger position. Leather intricately designed, carefully molded with small bronze attachments showed the kind of craftsmanship that had gone into it. A small symbol at the end of it showed it was Grimm's own forging - a specially crafted dagger.​
"Take this. Use it if you need, sell it if you leave - but I hear you sold it and stayed in this city I'll make a new one to gut you with it.", he scowled.​
He set the blade atop the counter, having to reach slightly above himself to do so before he waved the kid off and moved through the crowd towards the street once more. Grimm was never one much for goodbyes, but he was one for gifts - a hard dwarf with hard to notice soft spot behind it all.​
The blade he had given him was a peculiar style, with a carefully black walnut handle smoothed to a perfect finish - while an unknown leather cushioned exactly where the tightest bindings in a fighting grip would be. Texture on the other side, where a thumb would be held, showed it was doubly helpful for stabbing - or even working hard carving.​
Past the handle, there was a small hilt - just large enough to catch would be blades, with a small pincer in it to snap lesser steel that got bound in it, and all steel was lesser to the metal this was. Ulfberht made and forged, it carried a constant magical charge that made the steel nearly unbreakable. This one had a stylized pattern of burnt orange and dull grey spilling over one another, and as the light shifted over its surface it almost made it seem as though the blade was still liquid.​
Imprinted into the side was the artistic design of a Stag, carrying with it in the wind and clouds as it dove towards the end of the blade, mimicked on the other side in perfect detail. For all that the blade was, it was a work of art foremost - and obviously special dagger, crafted by one of the best Smith's in the world.​
  • Gasp
Reactions: Clemente
A smile soon turned into a frown. Clemente supposed that was the way of life. Sometimes the young died before the old. He would’ve given the dwarf a few words of sympathy, once he had time to think how to properly string some together.

That was always the issue with grief from another, saying words to comfort them that didn’t sound like all the others. Before the young man could even get something decent out from his downturned mouth, Grimm had handed over his dagger and his last words of wisdom, nicely tied up with a promise at the end.

Clemente looked surprised but he took the dagger regardless and inspected over it. The artistry wasn’t lost on him, even if he was the sort that seemed to not have a appreciation over a finely crafted blade. Although his eyes lingered more on the stag more than anything else, it was still held carefully in his hand.

He couldn’t accept it. This craftsmanship was worth more than his life, and when he turned to look back at Grimm and politely refuse his generous gift, he realized all too soon that the dwarf was gone. He turned, looking behind him and unable to see Grimm. Perhaps stupidly so, Clemente got off the bar stool and even went out the door and searched the street which was crowded with the guardsmen enjoying the night life.

Clem looked down at the dagger. Sell it and leave? His blue eyes glimmered with the possibility of it all. He could take her and go to Minaris, were half elves were accepted. They could start a new life there, away from the horrors she face in Vel Anir. Traveling from Liadin to Shekath was not cheap, but with this….

“Thank you.” Clemente murmured.