The creatures of Vokhtah possess many ‘skills’ that owe more to fantasy than sci-fi, but their world is as real as I can make it, so here is some real blacksmithing that I had to research today:
Those who’ve read the first book about Vokhtah will know that the technology of the iVokh is somewhere between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age of Earth. They have Smiths who work starrock – i.e. rock that falls from the stars – in firepits. Of all the items crafted by the Smiths, two play a vital role in Vokhtan culture – timepieces and shackles.
I introduced the concept of a water-driven timepiece in book 1, and the following is a concept drawing of what such a timepiece [with extra ‘alarm bell’] might look like:
In book 2, however, I’ll be introducing the idea of the shackles. Think old convict shackles like these:
If you go searching for images of shackles, please be careful how you word your Google search. I learned some eye-opening things about bondage before I found the above image on Ebay. Apparently you can ‘Buy Now’ for $25.97 USD…
But after all that research, how much actually ended up in the story?
Not much. The one thing that truly hit me from the video was that without that shaped anvil, the calipers and the hammer, the blacksmith would have been struggling to make anything resembling a chain link. So how about my Smiths. Would they have possessed such specialised tools? Probably not, at least to start with. So my research boils down to half a sentence, shown in bold below:
The silence of the small chamber was broken by the clank of starrock as Tatah strained against the shackles that bound her to the cot. Held aloft by her huge, red wings, she thrashed from side to side in a vain attempt to break free, but neither the shackles nor the cot showed any signs of weakening.
Exhausted by her efforts and still not completely recovered from the Cut, she slumped back onto her belly and lay there gasping as her wings slowly deflated.
She was bitterly disappointed at not being able to free herself but was not surprised. She had commissioned the shackles at a time when she thought she could conquer the world, so her Smiths had been ordered to produce nothing but the best. They had taken her at her word, spending a year just to craft the tools they would need to forge the shackles. Then they had spent another year refining the starrock and forging it into a set of bindings strong enough to hold even the strongest Vokh.
Tatah had been delighted. But, of course, she had never dreamt that the shackles would be used against her…
Happy weekend all. 🙂
April 10th, 2017 at 9:28 am
That’s so cool! And sounds like just the right amount of detail. Sometimes you have to fill your head with everything so it comes out…just…like..that.
April 10th, 2017 at 2:41 pm
-massive hugs- You will always be the Godmother of the Vokh. Thank you. 🙂
April 9th, 2017 at 6:47 pm
Well, how delighted am I to find new work heading in this direction. The Vokh and their progress is fascinating.
xxx Massive Hugs xxx
April 9th, 2017 at 7:35 pm
lol – I’ve got a long, long way to go but…thank you. 🙂
April 9th, 2017 at 6:11 pm
that sounds about right 😉
April 9th, 2017 at 7:37 pm
All part of the fun. 🙂
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April 9th, 2017 at 5:26 pm
Ohhhh, thank you for the teaser, Meeks. Can’t wait for the next installment of the Vokh and that’s really whetted my appetite 🙂
And yes, I know what you mean: hours and hours of research behind one little phrase, and the reader has no idea what went into it. But that’s all part of the pleasure 🙂 *hugs*
April 9th, 2017 at 7:36 pm
-hugs back- And yes, each new ‘discovery’ feels like a big deal, even if it isn’t very visible in the story. How’re the chronicles going?
April 9th, 2017 at 8:34 pm
Very well, thanks; ideas buzzing and am having enormous fun with all the violence 🙂
April 9th, 2017 at 11:05 pm
lmao – as you do, as you do. 🙂
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