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A Forge Rekindled

 
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Sam The Shugi



Joined: 28 Mar 2017
Posts: 26
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:38 pm    Post subject: A Forge Rekindled Reply with quote

Shugi was tired, more so than he’d ever been in his entire life. The last journey with the wanderers had been particularly taxing, and ever since he could only manage restless sleep. With a deep sigh he crossed the threshold and looked around his home. He barely noticed the lack of staff there to greet him as they would have normally.

“Hello? Where is everyone?”

Shugi expected at least someone to respond, but his words were instead followed by a gentle dripping of rain. Lighting a few candles to stave off the darkness, he gave up searching and headed to his bedroom.
The samurai slowly changed into clean clothes, his kimono filthy from his recent adventures. But even this took an effort that he was struggling to muster. Physically he was fine, but due to his sacrifice sleep no longer offered reprieve from his fatigue. To appease The Eyes, he had given the very core of his being, and had been cut off from the spark of inspiration that he drew his strength from. He did not regret sacrificing, but with his greatest strength and reason for being gone, it was hard to even rise each morning.

Moving into the study, Shugi looked upon the many plans and blueprints he had scattered across his desk. He had been meaning to clean for a long time, but now it didn’t even seem to matter. Looking at the drawings he couldn’t even comprehend where his train of thought was going. He understood what they said, he could have built these designs. But he could not finish any of them. The forge within him had died. The forge…
A sudden thought jolted through his mind. “With the eyes task completed, was the sacrifice returned?” Shugi raced down and slid open the door to his garden, not even changing into his outdoor shoes as he ran down the stone path to his personal forge. Looking upon it drove Shugi Hisakawa to tears. Great deep cracks had appeared across the smooth white stone. The inside of the forge was coated in some sort of black sludge, spreading a foul odour of rotten eggs.

Covering his mouth and nose with his sleeve Shugi looked further in and called out. “Oh spirit of flame that dwells within my forge, I hope you are well this evening”. There was no response, not even a flicker of light. Even the fire elemental Shugi had spent good money on satisfying had abandoned him. Inspecting one of the cracks it was clear this was not violent damage. No one had attacked his forge. It had become worn down and damaged with age. It had become a reflection of Shugi’s soul. He placed his hands on one of the most severe areas of damage and began to chant.

“Zentai Ni Naru, Zentai Ni Naru” he began, each word requiring considerable effort as a gentle green light spread from his fingertips. Shugi desperately willed it towards becoming whole as he spoke the words and pushed out the magic. But his inner well was running dry and the light began to flicker. Shugi began to sweat just trying to squeeze every last drop of power into the spell. “How am I going to do my job if I can’t even muster the energy for a mend spell” Shugi thought to himself. “Maybe I am casting this wrong? It has never been this difficult. Speaking of which, who even taught me magic?” His focus was easily broken in his fatigued state and the magic faded from his hands. He was left in the dark touching cold cracked stone as it began to rain harder.


Last edited by Sam The Shugi on Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sam The Shugi



Joined: 28 Mar 2017
Posts: 26
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shugi began to shiver as the rain picked up, wind forcing him to pull his yukata tighter. The drops began pelting the roof over the forge making a loud rattling noise that tried to drown out his thoughts. “I need to light the forge” was the only thing he could focus on as he opened the store where the coal was kept. It was empty. He ran to where the firewood was stored, only to look upon an empty room. “Was Keshi hit with a weather so bad it required all my fuel?” Shugi was beginning to get angry as he paced around his garden, looking for any trace of the missing coal. Someone would have to be punished for this.

He was becoming desperate though. The forge needed to be lit, or it would be lost forever. He didn’t know how he knew this for certain, but in his mind this was the truth. Darting back into the house and drawing his katana Shugi began to strike at his own furniture. Inelegant slashing turned the beautifully carved chairs to kindling with ease. Grabbing a bundle of chair remains in his arms Shugi began frantically trying to fill the damp sludge filled forge with wood. He tried over and over to bring the forge to life, even dousing the pile with oil. However, the dark thick stain that coated the walls of the forge began rotting the fuel before it Shugi could even try lighting it.

His body shaking with rage and frustration, the Samurai lost control. Running at his home in anger he began slicing at the paper walls sobbing and howling. He could never be a blacksmith again. He could never create again. There was nothing left. As he slumped to the floor among the tattered remains of furniture and walls he heard a soft bubbling noise. It was thick, like a stone being dropped into a river of honey. His blade fell from his hands as Shugi followed the sound, his fingers finding a seam along the wooden floor.

Allowing the needles to emerge from his fingers ever so slightly to give him leverage, Shugi lifted the wooden panel. A long set of stairs had been concealed by this trap door, going down into pitch darkness. Taking no candle to guide him Shugi shakily placed his feet onto the stairs, following the noise deeper into his own home. The steps were old and rotting, bending softly beneath his feet as Shugi descended.

The bubbling was deeper. Not louder, but it filled the room with a ritualistic rhythm. Shugi scanned the room, but the only thing of interest was a table opposite the stairs. A small urn sat upon the table, glowing a soft red light. As he approached the urn grew brighter, and the whole room became sickeningly warm. It felt humid and the smell of iron filled the air, an odd comfort to Shugi. Liquid was pouring from the urn as it overflowed, dripping heavily off the table. Shugi recognised the liquid instantly, as any doctor would. It was blood, and it called to him.

The need began to fill his chest. Not a thirst or hunger, Shugi felt his body crave blood. “Blood can sate me, blood can fill me” His breathing heavy as he leant against a wall for support. His hand became wet and sticky as he withdrew it. The walls were leaking blood too. His home was becoming infested by it. Drawing his attention away from the wall and back to the urn his thoughts raced, and his needles slid out in response to the abundance of sustenance that surrounded them. “My machines could support me. Give me the power I had torn from me. I need blood for them anyway, so why not just rely on it”. He took a step closer to the urn, feeling a primal warmth from it. It was so inviting, like a parent’s embrace. He reached out with a claw and went to dip it into the blood presented to him by this dark hidden place. When he felt a presence.
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Sam The Shugi



Joined: 28 Mar 2017
Posts: 26
Location: Essex

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A light breeze pushed aside the humid warmth for a moment, breaking Shugi from his blood induced stupor. He turned around, looking for whoever else was there. He walked back up the stairs away from the urn, feeling it trying to pull him back. But he needed to see who or what was here when everyone else had left him. Exiting the basement and turning towards the forge through the broken paper wall, a figure in a plain white robe greeted him with a nod. The hood obscured his face and the rain had left him soaked. But in his arms was a small pile of logs, neatly arranged. As Shugi came closer he could see the logs were high quality, wrapped in vines.

The figure jostled the logs at Shugi expectantly, as if to say, “take it”. Shugi looked back towards his house, towards the bubbling cellar he had just exited. “There’s a choice to be made” Shugi thought “Stride forward from my sacrifice, or accept a second chance”. He stared into the hood, trying to discern who it could be and thinking hard. “I already had a second chance. But one without context. I was born anew into this world and didn’t understand why I had given everything up. But when I had all my memories stripped away what did I do? I built, I healed. I roamed and acted as both smith and doctor. Clearly this is the path I will always choose, I shall treasure the spark if it is returned to me”.

Shugi took the logs from the stranger and placed them in the forge. As soon as he attempted to light them they roared into a mighty flame. The shockwave washed over Shugi, where he braced to be knocked off his feet he only felt a welling of happiness in his chest. The light poured through the cracks of the forge for a moment, and then the stone was healed. Shugi turned back to his house as the candles within seemed to ignite in harmony with the forge, the blood stains that were creeping from the basement turned to ash, purged in an instant.

The forge grew brighter and more intense, the scene fading away as Shugi awoke with a jolt. Sea air filled his nostrils as he jerked awake. Very awake. He felt his heart racing with excitement as he bolted out onto the deck of the ship. Dawn was breaking on the horizon and filled the clear sky with an orange glow. As he looked out onto the water a crack in the railing catching Shugi’s eye. “Zentai Ni Naru” he whispered, and the magic flowed like a river bursting from a dam, the crack slamming shut with force. Shugi smiled, he was whole again. “Thank you, whoever you are” He whispered to the morning air.
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