Friday, July 8, 2011

Journal Entry: The Blacksmiths Klan

                The last of the three main Klans is the Blacksmiths Klan.  Petitioners are always welcome in the Blacksmiths Klan.  Unlike the Fighters Klan and the Mages Klan, the Blacksmiths Klan has no need of sending out its members to fight.  Instead, the members craft the weapons and armor of the Klan Watch.  Because of this, the Blacksmiths Klan has more time to test petitioners and see if they have the ability to become some of the best craftsmen of the human and elven races.  The Blacksmiths Klan is also in constant need of more skilled hands in their forges, yet another reason to be more open with their recruitment.

                The entry level of the Blacksmiths Klan is the rank of Apprentice.  An Apprentice is given a steel Blacksmith’s hammer and wears a grey leather apron.  The Blacksmiths Klan marks rank in three ways.  The type of hammer and the color of the apron are two ways that rank is marked.  The third way rank is marked within the Klan is by tattoos on the upper right and left arms.  An Apprentice has no tattoos because he has not yet earned them.  In order to advance to the rank of a Blacksmith, an Apprentice must forge a flawless suit of armor and a flawless weapon of their choice.  Master Blacksmiths are most often the judges of an Apprentice’s work, but the High Blacksmith can judge the finished product if he so desires.  This test is no easy task, but becoming a Blacksmith within the Klan is no small feat.  The majority of the Klan’s members never rise above the rank of Blacksmith, but there is no shame or dishonor in that.

                As I stated, the majority of the members of the Klan are Blacksmiths.  Blacksmiths keep the steel hammer they were given when they became Apprentices, but they wear a brown leather apron, and have a hammer tattooed on their upper right arm.  Blacksmiths do the majority of the work for the Klan.  That says a lot of those who achieve this rank because the work of the Blacksmiths Klan is the finest and most coveted work of the human and elven world.  Blacksmiths may also leave the Klan Home and work for any Master Blacksmith that will have them.  When a Blacksmith feels he is ready to become a Master Blacksmith, the Blacksmith is challenged to create their masterpiece.  It doesn’t matter what item is being crafted, what matters is the quality of the work and how unique the work is.  No one but the High Blacksmith can judge whether the Blacksmith has crafted their masterpiece.  If the work is acceptable to the High Blacksmith, the rank of Master Blacksmith is awarded.

                Master Blacksmiths are rare when you look at the Klan as a whole, but there are a fair number of these skilled craftsmen.  Master Blacksmiths are given a titanium hammer, a red vest, and a hammer is tattooed on their upper left arm.  Master Blacksmiths are also allowed to establish their own foundries in a place of their choosing.  Master Blacksmiths are given the honor of being taught how to enchant items with gems.  Advancement from Master Blacksmith to High Blacksmith is not as frequent as the change in Klan Heads is among the other Klans, but change does happen.  It should be noted that the Klan Head of the Blacksmiths Klan has historically been known to hold the position for a decade, at the very least.  Advancement from a Master Blacksmith to the High Blacksmith is initiated when a Master Blacksmith publicly puts forth their challenge.  The current High Blacksmith then decides what item will be forged.  The entire Klan, from Apprentice up to Master Blacksmith, judges the final product.  The majority’s vote decides the winner.  The Blacksmiths Klan is the only Klan to allow the entire Klan to participate in this process.  Master Blacksmiths can only issue a challenge to each High Blacksmith twice.

                The High Blacksmith is the Head of the Klan.  He, or she, wears a black apron, carries a mithril hammer, and has an anvil tattooed behind the hammers on the upper part of each arm.  Most Klan Heads are aloof and purposely stay separate from the lower ranks of their Klans.  I feel it appropriate to note here that the current High Blacksmith, Aleksander, has made it a habit to work with all of the members of his Klan.  It is not uncommon to see him teaching or working with petitioners and Apprentices.  He deserves credit for this unusual tactic.  His efforts have made his Klan thrive.  His Klan loves him and because he takes the time to work with the lowest members of the Klan, even they improve.  Under Aleksander the quality of the Blacksmiths Klan’s work has improved tenfold.  It is hard for me to see a challenge being put forth any time in the near future.  Even the other Klans have noticed the improvement in the Blacksmiths Klan, but not enough to implement Aleksander’s style.

                After giving such praise I hesitate to make the following observations, but they must be made.  I feel that I must make a note about the quality of the Blacksmiths Klan’s work.  I have stated that their work is the finest and most coveted work of the human and elven world.  My wording may seem strange, but it is intentional.  While the Blacksmiths Klan’s work is exceptional, I feel it is safe to write within this journal that the work of the dwarven people is vastly superior.  I do not intend to slight the Blacksmiths Klan, or their exceptional work, in any way.  The truth is simply that the dwarves have had millennia to perfect their work.  One example is that of enchantment.  The Master Blacksmiths and High Blacksmith are able to enchant items and for humans and elves they do excellent work.  The enchantments are good, but they die out after a few decades.  Enchantments done by the dwarven people never die out.  This is but one example of the superiority of dwarven craftsmanship.  But for now, the continent of Tselestial knows no better and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I possibly can.

                In this entry I am including a small chart of the ranks and markings of each rank as an aid to those who may someday read my journal:

Class level
Class Name
Smithy Apron
Grey Leather
Hammer (upper right arm)
Brown Leather
Master Blacksmith
Hammer (upper left arm)
Red Leather
High Blacksmith
Anvil (behind hammers on arms)
Mithril (passed to successor)
Black Leather

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