[OOC A true and honest tale told by an unreliable narrator, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing]
Lacuna sits by her fire. She has travelled far, but still has much farther to go. Forest is starting to give way to lake-lands. She sits and contemplates her sword. The intricacies of crafting fascinates her: the trade-off between the different attributes of the crafted object. She had been so happy when she worked out how to slightly improve upon the recipe that Bones gave her - a small change in the grip and it became just that little bit easier to wield. She had been lucky with this sword, it only took four attempts before one boosted. But rubbarn is fickle. The skill of the crafter has no impact on an attempt to boost an item. Though many have looked, there is no rhyme or reason to it…
‘What on Atys is Lacuna doing? It sounds like a herd of rampaging shalahs being slaughtered,’ cried Marikka. She noticed an unconscious Bones’s lying prostrate on the floor with broken pieces of a pike lying next to him. ‘And what happened to him?’
Marichia suppressed a laugh, well you know how Lacuna has been spending the last few months farming Zinch and Poncha? Well, apparently, she managed to get enough materials to make a hundred pikes.’
‘Well she was hoping for a few boosts. Unfortunately, it took eighty-one attempts before she got one success, and only two in total. Bones made the mistake of commenting on how it wasn’t as unlucky as her Vedice pike; you know, the one she spent days balancing the materials for just to have it both boost and degrade. And now she’s smashing up her workshop, and inventing new curse words by the sounds of it. Of course, it will get much worse if the one she broke over Bones’s head was one of the boosted ones,’ Marichia laughed.
Lacuna remembers the long years of drudgery digging practice materials so she could improve her crafting skills. She mastered light armour first, mainly to try and preempt Binarabi from crafting Matis balloon pants for males. She shudders as she remembers Eikichi proudly strutting around in them. She has always believed in giving males a choice in what light armour they can wear: Fyros or Tryker caster skirt, in black or white, or get shouted at until they gave in to her point-of-view. But it was not until she mastered amplifier craft that she started to become obsessed with trying to master the nuances of how different materials combined in crafting.
Lacuna sat staring at the partially finished amp in her lap, surrounded by pieces of bark, fibre, amber and buds. She knew that she could tweak this design so that if boosted it would be just that little bit more elementally powerful than the one she knew. She had managed to solve this problem, but she had not written the revision in her recipe book, and for the life of her she could not remember it. As he pondered the problem, she knew that if she changed the buds to Shooketh ones, the amps capabilities stayed the same, but switch them with supreme Zun and the amp was effectively ruined. And even if she reworked the grip and shaft, it was nowhere near as powerful. Maybe it wasn’t the focus that as the problem but the shaft…
‘Lacuna are you paying attention,’ Marichia grumbled. ‘Just leave the amp alone and listen, this is important!’
‘Yes, yes. You want to rob Carl. I just can’t see why don’t we just stick Bones in a dress again?’
‘That won’t work after he knocked out Lee for kissing him and trying to grab a feel. Luckily Lee is embarrassed enough with everyone knowing he got… how shall I put it?… amorous with Bones that he won’t add to it by letting on that we used the auction a decoy to rob him of all his Dolak skins. However, now there is no way that Carl will believe that Bones in a dress is you.’
‘Why can’t Marikka or you do it!’
‘Sorry, but you’re the one he’s infatuated with,’ smirked Marikka.
‘Uffffffff. It’s not fair!!!’
‘Look you only need to distract him long enough for me and Marikka to break into his apartment and steal all his Kirokya mandibles.’
‘But he is so annoying! He keeps asking me if I want a Rez. I am not sure what that is, but I think it’s some weird Matis sex thingy. And now he’s started following me around waving a piece of paper, that he claims is a note signed by you that I am not allowed to kill him!’ Lacuna glared suspiciously at Marichia.
‘Oh don’t listen to him,’ said Marichia, quickly changing the subject, just invite him on a picnic, or whatever, and keep him out of the way for a few hours.’ Marichia hoped that Lacuna wouldn’t find out she had signed that note in exchange for Carl’s supply of maga.
After sulking (or as Marichia put it, a full blown tantrum) had not changed her sisters’ minds, Lacuna invited Carl to meet her at the Marauder teleport in the Grove of Confusion under the pretence of needing his help to kill Vispa.
‘If you tank, I promise that I’ll heal you.’
‘You said that last week and you never!’
She tries not to smirk at the thought of Carl believing her promises to heal him as he bravely charged back into the pursuing Kitin Patrol, while she and Marichia ran all the faster in opposite direction. ‘I am sorry about that, but we… ummmmmm… we got scared, and you know we are just poor, defenceless homines, and that’s why we ran away! Anyway, after you help kill Vispa for me we can go for a picnic.’ Lacuna tried to smile seductively but it just looked like she had indigestion.
As sat daintily eating her spicy yubo kebab, Lacuna wished that males could die a little more quietly, Carl’s screams were ruining her picnic. He was so inconsiderate at times.
Her certification as a master amp crafter led to the ambition to become a craft master in all melee weapons. She spent years digging at Loria Ponds working towards this goal. Then once she had finally mastered them all, the realisation of the far harder apprenticeship of learning what each weapon was capable of still lay ahead of her - if she was to become a true craft master. She became fascinated with what materials suited different weapons and what their limits were. How to balance materials to boost the attributes one desired. How to make dodging or parrying an opponent’s attacks easier, or to make the weapon strike truer.
Though she became a master crafter in shields and bucklers, she was not able to motivate herself to take on a new challenge. She attempted a few times to start working towards becoming a jeweller. And though the secrets of jewellery craft intrigued her, the memory of how mastering it nearly broke Marichia’s sanity gave her pause for thought, and the realisation of the drudgery of digging a proverbial mountains of amber and seeds always ended her efforts after a few days.
As she stares at her fire, she acknowledges that, no matter how much she has learned, there is still so much more she does not know. Then it came to her, it was not the shaft or the focus that as the problem, it was the grip: all she needed to do was swap some excellent shu for choice. If she ever returns home she is going to have to write this down.*
*OOC: Remember to back up your files, kids, or you too could spend over a year trying to recreate your recipes :P
[OOC Only the facts were changed to spare the blushes of certain homins]