Tag Archives: chain

Smithing in Vokhtah – how to forge the links of a chain

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. 🙂

Meeks

 


Would anyone like to contribute to a chain story?

voting picMany years ago, I was part of a threesome -wink- of friends who set out to see if we could write a progressive story, and no, there was no sex in it. Sorry.

Every night we’d take it in turns to write, and email, an installment of the story to each other, with the only rule being that each installment had to ‘follow on’ somehow from the previous one.

The experiment was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot of work and eventually fizzled out. 😦

A few years later I tried a similar thing with just one email buddy. Again, it was fun but we never quite finished the story. Then today, I discovered a chain story thread on Goodreads! If you belong to Goodreads you can find the thread here :

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1985946-chain-story?comment=107112496&page=3#comment_107112496

Anyway…. the Goodreads thread reminded me of the lack of creative fiction in my life at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thoroughly enjoying the physicality of landscaping, and I really don’t have the energy for full on creative writing, but I do miss the whole storytelling side of things…

Gah! Enough beating about the bush – would anyone like to join me in writing a chain story?

At this point, I envisage comments as being the medium, and I’m tossing up the idea of imposing a :

1.  10 word installment minimum, and

2.   A maximum of 100 words.

The rationale for the maximum is that I don’t want the storytelling to become a big, angsty chore. By the same token, however, I do harbour a secret hope that between us we may come up with something worth reading. 😀

So, what do you think? Does the idea need more work? Is it too much work? Is it too much commitment? Or is the whole thing just a huge yawn?

cheers

Meeks


%d bloggers like this: