Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by The Mood is Write, Dec 26, 2014.
Continued from its former home, this roleplay takes place in Saldecla.
Serrana Bahira, Glazier and Self-Taught Sorceress
The Bahira family lived in the small desert town of Vasilla in the eastern region of Driazhek. The town only numbered fifty or sixty at any given time, and Serrana was the youngest member of a family of five. The elder of her two brothers was set to inherit the family farm (the Bahiras cared for the bulk of the livestock in Vasilla), and the younger of the two brothers had enlisted two years prior in Driazhek's army. Serrana, meanwhile, was left to try to choose a craft and make a living off of it. From a young age, Serrana always had a fondness of fire - one that her mother was convinced was unhealthy - and as such, she eventually apprenticed under Vasilla's lone glazier, learning the basics of glassblowing and crafting.
The young glazier became increasingly enamored with the idea of learning magic as travelers - and the battlecasters that attended the army units that passed through as well. Her family seemed of varying opinions on the subject of their youngest daughter taking up the arcane arts, but Serrana continued to show constant interest in learning such things, and eventually, on her sixteenth birthday, as her parents realized she would not be swayed from this, instead purchased for her a book of magic - one that taught her the Inferno spell. Their choice was tongue-in-cheek, as it would give their daughter the ability to not-so-subtly use the flame magic to repel those who might harm her (or try to be an unwelcome suitor). Serrana, however, was not only thrilled to get this new chance to learn how to use magic, but to use a spell that would be infinitely more fun than simple flinging of flame about.
Serrana continued her apprenticeship as a glazier, becoming quite capable of at least basic glassmaking, as well as a few of the slightly more complicated techniques, though she clearly had much to learn as yet. When she wasn't continuing to learn her craft, she practiced the spells in the book almost nightly - and when mixed with the life of a young woman in her mid teens, Serrana spent almost every minute from dawn to dusk in some endeavor or another.
After a time, the young glazier had learned all she could from the simple book, as well as from her apprenticeship in the local glassworks. Serrana saved up enough coin to purchase another book of magic, and eventually she set out with the next caravan to Fort Driazhek. The aspiring sorceress, with her budding skill in fire magic as well as her existing knowledge in glassblowing, was able to get another apprenticeship with little difficulty through a master glassworker that knew the one that originally trained her in. A couple of years later, she was an established journeyman in one of the more prominent glassworks in Fort Driazhek - enough to make a living, though certainly a far cry off from expert or master rank for sure.
In the meantime, the young woman never stopped studying her magic. Serrana studied regularly several times a week, practicing to master the Inferno magic that she had originally started out studying. She knew she should look at other spells eventually, but this was the one she had - the one she could afford - and thus she made sure she studied the Inferno inside and out as best she could.
"What she could afford" eventually did strike a chord in her mind, however, and the young sorceress tried to figure out how to alleviate that problem. Serrana wasn't destitute, but she was far from rich, and the glazier knew that unless she found a better way to fix that, her magical prowess would stagnate. The fire apprentice did come up with something that struck as a distinct possibility... Her use of Inferno magic could be coupled with another of her talents - dancing. Serrana walked the streets of Fort Driazhek for a number of nights, trying to find a place where she might find an opportunity to spend a few nights a week possibly serving or entertaining, and eventually was given a chance to work for the proprietor of the White Sands Restaurant - where she quickly found a new niche, performing regularly as she refined both her dancing talents as well as her magical ones, intertwining the two in both a way to practice her magic and make a bit of extra coin. This particular job was still somewhat new to her, but it had gone well so far, and she'd finally been able to start saving a few coins here and there, managing to buy a newer bed that, while not fancy, was free of fleas, and the floor now had a new rug on it. But foremost in her mind was the constant saving for that next magic book. Those studies weren't going to pay for themselves, after all.
Eventually, Serrana was going to have to marry. Who, she didn't know, nor much care right now. The fire apprentice had recently reached her 19th year, and while she certainly didn't mind the new attention that her moonlighting job carried with it, her first love - at least for now - was her magic, limited as it may be.
"Padron" Gionni Ospite
A fat man who prides himself on looking and acting the part of an excellent host for both his guests and his workers. He follows all of the laws and has a few expensive pieces of clothing that he wears when he is expecting a lot of guests. Rumor says he used to be a knight. He cooks for the morning and noon meals.
"Padrona" Ada Ospite
A sickly woman who nonetheless cares a lot about those who spend any time at her husband's inn-- customers, workers, or even just beggars who they let spend the night on the front room's floor.
A boy with very large ears, he's got some dark monster blood to him. He was adopted as a baby, and tends to be a bit naughty. Sonya always assumes the worst of him. He has a dirty mouth.
A jealous girl, but with her heart in the right place. She doesn't hold her percieved inadequacies against anyone else, though she'll study them intently to try to figure out how to mimic them.
Inn Cook (Evening)
He's easily offended by the thin and insists on feeding them.
"Capo" Roark Oran
An older man with sore joints and a new granddaughter that keeps him away from the workshop. He often uses illegal drugs to take the edge off his pain, and trusts his journeyman, Serrana, with the shop when he can't make it.
A fiery temper, barely restrained. He's passionate about making, but doesn't care for any of the other parts of working as a glazier.
Three Stalkers from the Island
The Lutin who is in charge of the supposed work by the goblins to make the country of Saldecla more fertile.
The first goblin Serrana met.
Ser Oria Montverdal
A noblewoman adventurer partnered with a nobleman. She's sensible and strong, with lots of compassion, though a clumsy manner with people. She's the third daughter of a baron. She's from Highpoint.
Ser Armand Forstedge
A man partnered with a noblewoman, he's the fourth son of an earl. He rarely believes what his partner says until there's proof, and is gifted with dark blood. He's adept with only one spell book (level 3 demon breath). He wears plain clothes and has fine features, and comes from Feytout.
[03:31] The Mood is Right: Without access to the water, it was impossible to bathe at all. Thankfully, her landlord had taken the liberty of closing the flaps over her windows to keep the sand out while she was gone, and left a note saying as much on the table. The small apartment was dark, and it would certainly get hot quickly without the cool night breezes coming in.
[03:42] Serrana Bahira sighed and checked that the privacy disk on the door was in place, then set her things aside and lit a candle to allow herself to see. Serrana looked around the room, a slight bit of paranoia now ingrained into her with the recent events. Seeing that the apartment was uninhabited other than herself, she took her whites off and promptly started to get ready for bed. The heat would take over before long, and the glazier wanted to be asleep by the time it got difficult to do so.
Serrana did have the advantage of coming from the glassworks, which was notably hot in its own right, and though she admitted she could definitely use a bath, stripping down made relaxing a bit easier. Bathing could come tomorrow - as could getting something to eat. The mild hunger was far outweighed by her desire to sack out promptly.
[03:46] The Mood is Right: Morning came with the landlord knocking on doors, announcing the sunrise for tenants who couldn't see the light filtering through their windows with heavy curtains in place. "It's sunrise! This is your only wake-up call! Don't be late for the day!"
Serrana's apartment smelled faintly of stale sweat and dusty sand. The air was muggy, but at least the heat wasn't too extreme-- the stone walls having cooled after the storm died down.
"Watch your doors, it left some debris!"
[03:52] Serrana Bahira yawned as she awoke to the sound of the knocking, waking up easily after the long night of sleep. The sorceress felt fairly rested actually, particularly since she'd gone to bed early. Serrana put on enough clothes to look appropriate, and then went out to get water to bathe. Today was one of the days she was to perform at the White Sands, so it was going to be busy.
Serrana took the... "Oh bloody hell", she realized. She'd never gotten a new bucket! The young glazier thought about it for a moment, and decided she had time to give this morning, so she grabbed a handful of coins and ran quickly down to the market, purchasing a replacement, before returning home and using the bucket to fill the basin so she could wash up before she went out for the day
The water from the well was slightly gritty-- likely someone had left the top of the well open. The sediment would quickly settle, though, and it did leave a body thoroughly cleaned, especially in combination wihtt the washing sticks commonly employed by Saldeclans who weren't wealthy enough or didn't have the time for buying or making soap.
After the bath, the day went by fairly quickly, as did the next few. Nearly a week had passed before anything out of the ordinary happened.
The day started normally, until the Duke and his daughter appeared at the workshop, right as it opened.
As usual, the man wore his pale blues, his gold, and his white. He was armored to the neck, and his daughter wore a fanciful gown and a scowl directed at her father, who seemed to be purposely trying to upset her. He spoke to her as if she were a subordinate, and expected her to anticipate where he might move as he inspected the wares, and finally purchased a fairly standard item-- a slime bowl, made to contain and partly suffocate a baby slime into using its elemental magic. In the doorway, where the light was brighter than inside, it suddenly became clear that the object was a flop, and should have been melted down. One leg was too short, the colors had run together into a gross bile color, and there were ungodly gaps between the lid and the bowl.
((I shot us ahead a lil bit in order to get back into it more easily. Hope that's ok. X3 ))
The day after the sandstorm was hectic - Serrana had to bathe, then head in to Oran's Glassworks for a long day, then to the White Sands to dance that evening. By the time it was over, she was exhausted, but the day at least felt like a normal day instead of the craziness of stalkers from another country and sandstorms and publicly indecent neighbors.
The next week did indeed go by mostly uneventfully... though she did have a new project she was working on. Serrana, the day of the sandstorm, had crafted what was probably the best piece she'd ever put together: A tall orange-and-red bowl in the shame of the bottom of a broken eggshell... but the "broken" part was replaced by rising, licking flames. In her mind, she envisioned a fiery phoenix sitting in and rising from it, and as she worked at Oran's over the next week, when she had extra time, she started work on the phoenix. The basic shape of the bird was complete, and the eggshell bowl was fantastically done. The bird would rest in the bowl whenever she wasn't working on it, and she often had to help the apprentices in the glassworks on their project's at Oran's direction, especially since his granddaughter had just been born, and he was in and out a little more frequently as late.
Today was precisely like that. Serrana knew she'd be opening the shop, and Oran would be in before lunch, but not for a bit. What Serrana didn't know (and Oran might not have known either), was that they would have royalty as a guest immediately upon opening.
The journeyman glazier welcomed the duke and his daughter (as appropriately, with much bowing and the like) to the Glassworks and let them in, promptly setting the apprentices inside to work. She delayed getting the fires started just yet - making royalty uncomfortable with the heat would be a rather poor faux pas. Serrana moved promptly and efficiently around the shop as she directed the apprentices, and was surprised when the duke had already settled on the slime bowl, paid, and was on his way, grumpy daughter in tow.
Serrana was secretly thrilled when the duke made his purchase and left the store, though she'd expected to have to handle the sale personally... and almost immediately, she wished she had. As the duke and his daughter left the store, the light hit the slime bowl just right, and Serrana could see - even from about ten feet away - that the bowl had several major flaws - not the least of which was misshapen match between lid and bowl.
Serrana cursed under her breath, thinking briefly for a moment, her mind racing, she looked over to find a similarly-colored bowl, and picked it up. Serrana looked over the bowl, running her fingers along the edges to make sure they'd been crafted properly. Serrana rotated the bowl as well, to make sure the underside and the legs were shaped appropriately as well. Satisfied with her inspection, the glazier ran outside, trying to catch up to the duke.
He and his daughter hadn't gotten far, and she called out to them before running in front of them. "Milord! Duke Brightcloud!" She called, moving at a fast trot, careful not to drop the bowl she was holding. The blue and green were swirled far more properly in this piece "Sir! I'm... sorry. I'm not sure how that piece managed to find itself back on the shelf, but it's... it's flawed, milord. The lid is warped... it won't properly hold a slime in place. Unless I miss my guess sir..." Serrana paused a brief moment before continuing, "I think that one was supposed to be melted back down, and found its way onto the shelf by mistake. I'm very sorry for that... Here..." The glazier bowed her head slightly before offering the slime bowl in her hands - which, while not masterwork by any means, was far, far better quality than the one he had. "This should work better to keep one of the little blighters in check. I'm sorry we left one of the bad ones on the shelf by mistake."
Serrana stood there, looking at the duke, an expression of worry and concern on her face, having no idea what exactly was going to happen at this point...
The Duke turned to look as he was called, then blinked at the journeyman glazier. As she held out the dish to him and apologized, he smiled. "Thank you. This would have proven troublesome had you not noticed." He exchanged bowls with her and inspected the new one, finding it satisfactory. "This will make a lovely gift." He directed his gaze once more at the young woman. "Again, thank you." He inclined his head breifly, ready to be on his way.
During the man's inspection of the bowl, his daughter began to slowly step away. She was sweating heavily--overheating, perhaps. The red-haired woman winked at Serrana, hopeful that the glazier would keep quiet. She stopped her attempts suddenly as she heard the bells that were woven into her belt chime, and spotted her father glance in her direction. The young earless was clearly distressed by her current situation.
"May I return home, Father?" Morella asked with a smile.
"No." The word came out without even a moment of thought.
The duke's eyes remained on Serrana. "Have a wonderful day, madamoiselle, and thank you again for echanging the faulty bowl." With that, he offered an arm to Morella, who barely restrained a grimace as she took his arm and the two departed, leaving more than a few people in the street staring after them.
One brave soul approached Serrana. "What was that about?" She asked quietly once the duke was out of earshot. "Why's the Lady dressed like that, do you know?" The woman was older and moderately fat. She looked after the two nobles with a squint, her dark hair tied back into a harsh bun. Her expression was filled with confusion as she watched them go. "He's not trying to reform her, is he?" She bit her lower lip thoughtfully.
Seranna nodded to the duke as he addressed her again, bowing as he made to leave, and wordlessly observed the attempted escape attempt and aftermath thereof. It wasn't until they were well, well out of earshot that she let herself breathe, restrained apprehension giving way to relief as she let loose a massive sigh.
"The duke bought a bowl from us, but it was flawed... I couldn't let a bad mold go in a sale, especially to the duke. As for those two, I have no idea..." Serrana ran a hand thoughtfully through her dark brown hair, brushing it from her face as a thinly veiled attempt to help compose herself. The glazier was aware of the tense relationship between the duke and his daughter, but this was the first time she'd seen any piece of what it was really like. The bell-belt was also unusual - it was the kind of thing one might expect more on a prized slave or something than a daughter. "I can't imagine he's not... it strikes me as one of those feuds where noone's going to bend for a long time..." The sorceress shook her head and looked back towards the glassworks.
"Excuse me ma'am... work calls - can't leave the apprentices unattended, you know!" Serrana smiled briefly to the woman who'd approached her, then made her way back to Oran's Glassworks. Pursing her lips, she thought about what she was going to have to do to handle this. She was the one in charge at this point, after all, with Oran not there yet, and they had just not only made a bad sale, but one that could have jeopardized the shop's reputation for good in Driazhek. Opting to play this up a bit in order to prove a point, Serrana stomped back into the glassworks.
The apprentices were starting to get the kilns going, now that the duke had left, when Serrana got back inside. Almost every head turned as she did, and the fierce look on her face caused all the conversation to stop dead. "They're scared. Good," the journeyman glazier thought, noting that this side of her was one they rarely saw, so it had the extra effect of being unusual - or even unseen to some. Serrana simply stood there, slowly looking across the entire group of them. She let them sweat for just a moment longer - half letting the tension build, and half double-checking in her mind that she wasn't the one who'd been responsible for the gaffe. Quietly, but sternly (after she'd remembered she'd done materials inventory the night before, and it wasn't her mistake), Serrana asked a question: "Who was in charge of flawed molds and in charge of preparing today's sales yesterday?"
The gossip nodded and let Serrana go on her way freely, her expression thoughtful as she herself returned to her own job.
One boy slowly raised his hand, head low as he tried to make himself seem smaller, perhaps so he could try to disappear. "I'm sorry... It was me." His voice was small, and caught as he spoke up. "I was." He lowered his head further.
Outside, Oran slowly walked toward his glassworks, already tired from a busy morning at his daughter's house. The night before, he'd had to go over to help, and had managed to be the only one to get his new grandchild quiet enough that the others could sleep.
He wanted badly to skip work, to let Serrana deal with the troubles of customers and apprentices for the day, but he'd already missed several days, and it wasn't fair to her to suddenly have her in charge so much while he slept off the rigors of grandparenthood. The man paused at the door, and paused as he heard the boy's reply to Serrana's question. He remained outside the door, out of sight, as he listened in.
Serrana looked at the apprentice who'd raised his hand. Mort was one of the new ones - he'd only been working at Oran's for a month or so. Her dark brown eyes fixed on his and stared for a bit, before finally speaking - directly to him, but in a tone that made it clear everyone had better be listening. "Mort, we just sold a flawed bowl to the duke. Duke Brightcloud. Do you realize exactly what damage that could have done?" Serrana let just the tiniest bit of displeasure creep into her firm voice before taking a deep breath. The kid was new, only so much venom was going to be a good idea, she thought. Her tone evened out almost immediately - now matching the one she'd used to teach some of the most basic techniques to the newer apprentices. "If you sell a bad piece, you're not just making a bad sale. You risk making the store - both you and us - look bad. Especially on something like a slime bowl. A monster is involved there, someone could get hurt. And if that happened because a piece we made was flawed, and we sold it, not only are we responsible for someone getting hurt, the store's reputation goes down the sewer. Especially if it's someone big like Duke Brightcloud - that type of thing ruins a shop faster than royal patronage builds it up. Do you understand?"
Serrana waited for Mort's assent before she continued, and once she had it, her posture eased up as well, now regarding everyone in the room. "Alright, so that's a lesson for everyone. Mistakes happen. That's fine. But not letting our mistakes through the cracks is absolutely critical. No matter our pride, if we don't keep those off the shelf, all of us lose. I'd rather our production slip by half than us put bad product out, and I'm sure Oran would say the same. Oran's got a new grandchild as well. He - his family, needs our help. The old goat's too stubborn to admit it, and too good a man to ask for it." Serrana smirked a bit, and was happy to see that the tension of the apprentices seemed to lighten at that. "But he gave every one of us a shot here, me included. He deserves us returning the favor with our best, alright?"
The sorceress looked at Mort again. "Mort, you're on mistakes and sales for the next week, understood? I want to make sure you understand how important that is. You've got plenty of time to learn the craft - you have to be able to tell when something is flawed without fail. We depend on that just as much as we depend on high craftsmanship. I'll be checking all of it before we open. When you've got it down, you can get back to crafting, alright?" Serrana didn't wait for his response this time, just a bit of the sternness returning to her face. "And the rest of you - leave him alone about it. He's suffered enough, and not a one of you can act like you didn't make a big mistake yourselves either at some point. After all, ONE of you had to have made that bowl..." Serrana glanced across the group, making sure that last bit sunk in. It wouldn't do to have the entire group crushing Mort's confidence... mistakes DO happen after all. After a few seconds, she smiled, a wily, playful smirk they were much more familiar with before clapping her hands twice. "Alright, we're already falling behind! Mort, check the shelves for flaws. Bring them to the counter for inspection if you're even remotely in question. Let's get to work guys!"
Serrana watched the glassworks, making sure everyone was getting into high gear before going to the sales counter as Mort brought the first several pieces he'd taken a look at. She was a little sad that she'd have to put the phoenix on hold - but this was more important for now. And besides, later was dancing. And magic. She could put her hobbies on hold for a little bit...
Mort's head hung under the repeated blows from the journeyman, and he hurried to get to his new duties when she finished speaking. His face was red, and tears stung at his eyes as he stubbornly held them back. Yes, inside he knew he deserved the scolding, but he still grumbled to himself as she returned to being happy while he had to stop his rod-making protectice to look at a bunch of finished products he didn't really care about. All he wanted to do was create things!
The boy kept his head bowed and kept his mouth shut as he placed glass pieces in front of her that were questionable, and placed the ones that were clearly defects into the straw-filled crate as he'd been taught before.
Oran nodded in approval as he stood just out of sight, then pondered more seriously taking the rest of the day off. Serrana had things under control, and to walk in now would mean the boys might try to get him to repeal her decision, and she needed to practice using her authority as much as the younger apprentices needed to practice making marbles. He leaned on the wall near the door and ran his hand down his face thoughtfully. It'd be wrong not to make an appearance, and it would feel wrong to ditch his students, even if the oldest among them was doing so well as a leader.
Finally, he pushed himself from the wall and slowly walked inside. "Serrana." He waved her over as he walked toward his spot in the back, where he could watch both the door and his students. His back hurt, and his hips hurt, and he was exhausted. He sat slowly on his stool, grateful for the relief for his hips, but aware that the metal stool would eventually cause him troubles, itself.
Serrana waited patiently as Mort brought over a number of the questionable pieces, waiting until there was a good number of them before sitting him down and having him look them over. She could figure out which ones were okay and which needed done away with well enough - this was a lesson for him to learn at this point. The majority of the pieces he pulled off the shelf were just fine - either very minor flaws, or the questionable spots were a design element. Serrana actually had wondered why Mort had brought over the yellow glass pyramid he'd made recently... until she realized he was probably second guessing himself now. The shape of it was actually fairly well done, and she pointed out as much to him, as well as the fact that the pieces they were discarding were made by different apprentices, not just one person. They even tossed out one of Serrana's that had a nasty chip in it that was missed earlier when it was made several days prior (not one of Mort's missed appraisals by any means) - which she used to prove that they all make mistakes and all quality check each other here. She was hoping it was softening the blow of the lecture from earlier...
When Oran made his entrance, Serrana looked over - as did many of the apprentices. She looked over at Mort. "Give the shelves another once over, make sure we didn't miss anything, alright? I'll be right back." The sorceress got up from her perch and walked over to Oran as he sat down, and immediately started to become concerned. She pursed her lips a little bit, brow raised as she addressed the master glazier. "Oran... I'm glad to see you, but you look, well, honestly, like hell! Have you been sleeping at all? If you need the rest, take another day or two... we haven't burned the place down yet, you know..." Serrana flashed a playful smile - one that was practically trademarked by the journeyman - as she tried to help Oran get comfortable, and worked to mask her concern for her employer.
Mort quietly took her instruction and words in, feeling slightly better, but still angry. He hid his anger, though-- it was stupid to be mad at someone who seemed like she was really just trying to help-- that, and she was best buddies with the Master, and was in charge when he was gone. It'd be beyond stupid to take out his anger on her. He found multiple times he had to restrain himself from slamming a piece onto the desk in irritation. He should be working, not farting around and spotting flaws in works he didn't care about anymore!
His train of thought was interrupted by Oran's entrance, and Serrana hurrying over to him. Oran didn't look too good. Obediently, Mort hurried about doing what he was told-- one less thing for the Master to worry about.
Oran looked up as his journeyman approached. "I've been sleeping, but not well. I just couldn't keep away from here-- the heat helps the joints more than I thought." He smirked, hiding his pain as he reached for his smoking pipe. "I'll be fine. Anything of note happening over here?"
Serrana laughed quietly as the apprentices went about their work. "You mean you just wanted to make sure that I didn't have them all making pink flamingo sculptures all day long in some sort of artisan's coup! The store's been alright - we miss you of course, but this is one of those times where you have important work outside of here, so we're trying to help. As for anything special... well, the duke stopped by an hour or so ago and made a slime bowl purchase. His daughter was in tow, and they're getting along as famously as always..." the journeyman shook her head and continued. "We had a few things sneak through that weren't up to par for sales, so Mort's helping me go through the inventory and check for flawed pieces so we can get them off the shelves." Serrana made a point not to mention that Mort had made an error of any kind. The kid had taken enough hits for one day, giving Oran the rundown on the flawed bowl would only smash the boy's ego, or so she thought. "Oh, I started working on that..." she pointed to the nearby table and the fiery egg, "and sales are up a bit, actually. I think there's a few regulars who wanted to come in and pick something up - kind of their way of congratulations on the newborn, I'd wager... That or Kanel finally figured out the right amount of green pigment for his pieces..." Serrana said that last bit loudly and mirthfully, getting a chuckle from a few of the apprentices, Kanel included, who fired back "working on green right now, 'BOSS'!" Which got shop to laugh more, the sorceress included.
"We've managed to stay mostly out of trouble though. Something I'm sure your granddaughter is doing none of!" Serrana looked at him and spoke a bit quieter now, so only Oran could hear. "Honestly, Oran... if you do need to rest for a few days, we'll be fine. Besides, if there IS a disaster, I can send one of the boys to come get you - we know where you live, you know!" Serrana winked playfully at that before glancing back over to make sure Mort was still taking care of the shelves, or to see if he was done.
Oran nodded as he listened to her review of the day so far. "Well, then. I'm going to sit for a time, smoke my pipe, and let you young ones continue." He waved the stem of his pipe toward her egg. "I want to see what you do with that." He paused. "Also, Serrana." He spoke quietly, and placed a hand on her shoulder. "You should start to think about your master piece. I know, it's early, but you are doing well, and working on one suitable for approval can take a long time. We can talk about it more later. It looks like you have Mort who needs your attention." He nodded and released her, then put his pipe into his mouth and inhaled through it, closing his eyes.
The tiny ember in the bowl glowed as fresh air was forced onto it, and he looked around at all of his apprentices with tired eyes. Her egg piece reminded him that he was getting old. He had a grandchild. He had the savings now, he could retire. If Serrana became a master of the craft, he could leave it in her capable hands. Despite previous plans, he suddenly felt very, very eager to retire-- especially since most men didn't live as long as he did. His own grandfather had died three years before he'd been born, and his father passed before Oran could give him a grandchild as well. He felt fortunate, in that regard. The family would continue another generation, and he got to play with a baby again.
Mort stood by Serrana's spot, waiting for her to get back. Based on the pieces he pulled, and the gaps on the selling shelves, he'd gone through everything.
Serrana listened as Oran spoke. Despite being the oldest and highest-ranked of Oran's employees, she knew when to simply let the old master speak and when to listen. The comment about her master piece surprised her though - she hadn't even attained expert status as yet. She thought about it and thought that maybe she might be able to manage that if the phoenix turned out well, but master? She wasn't sure if she should be flattered or intimidated by that expectation! She did realize though, that if Oran thought that highly of her, she must be doing something right. And she did enjoy glassblowing, but it certainly wasn't her first love - that title still belonged to magic.
No matter for now though - Mort had finished his chore, and Oran had dismissed her to go take care of the apprentice, which she did. The sorceress sat down in the chair and regarded the pieces, going over each one with Mort. The boy had done precisely as asked - even the ones that were acceptable but he had questioned were on the counter. Usually the questions involved a type of design that he'd not seen much of, given that he was one of the newer apprentices, and Serrana went over those with him as they set pieces aside to put back on the shelf. They did separate out another dozen or so for disposal - mostly smaller ones - before restocking the shelves with the rest.
"Alright Mort, that's good for today. We'll do that again tomorrow. Go get to work now, hm?" Serrana motioned to the kilns with a jerk of her head as she dismissed the apprentice, then went around the shop to make sure everything was in order and that there were no apprentices in need of help or having issues. Satisfied that things were stable for now, she went back to see if Oran needed anything.
Oran quietly smoked as he watched the young woman. She still had a few tests to go, but he could remember trying himself to get a masterpiece approved. It was a painful process that took a long time, and if she started now, he hoped she would manage it quickly and with less stress.
She worked efficiently as always, and was gentle with the students.
When Serrana approached him again, he motioned for her to sit down, ready to explain in more detail about what he'd meant by his earlier suggestion.
Serrana filled a small glass with water from a nearby covered basin that they kept as cool as they could (a difficult chore in a building loaded with kilns), and came to sit across from the master glazier once more. She kept a passive eye on the rest of the shop, making sure that none of the apprentices got into trouble or had any problems as she regarded her employer and teacher in the glassblowing craft.
Once she was seated, he took a long draw on his pipe and then set it aside. "Making your masterpiece is not going to be simple, nor is the first thing you submit going to be accepted. It took me five years to go from journeyman to master." He watched her closely. "I'm willing to help with gathering materials and discussing plans, but there is one thing I want from you, first." He paused thoughtfully as he thought a bit more about why he was asking her, instead of calling on the guild.
He trusted her, for one. She was gifted and capable. "I want you to take over my workshop when you become a master glazier. You're young, and you have a lot of creativity." He jerked his head toward her egg and bird. "I can see from that project that you'll do incredibly well. You handled Mort's error very diplomatically, too." He rubbed at his chin. "Your pay will increase to however much you like, within reason, and you will set your own hours. You'll be able to experiment at your leisure, as well, rather than having to wait for permission."
Serrana blinked several times in disbelief. She'd had a talent for it, to be sure... she'd had a talent for many things related to fire, in fact. But she didn't think she was that good at glassblowing. It was high praise indeed, and she was appropriately shocked by it.
The problem was, glassblowing wasn't what she truly wanted to do. Being a glazier was, primarily, a means to an end. Serrana wanted - and had always wanted - to be a sorceress. Her time at the glassworks was more to pay the bills than it was a dream by far. She'd scrimped and saved money to earn the ability to advance her studies - particularly since she was far from wealthy enough to have a proper tutor in the arcane arts. In fact, she was very close to having to make a decision as to whether she would try to advance her skill of the Inferno magic she was familiar with, or try to expand into other forms - air and fire as a combination, in particular, interested her. And if she was managing a glassworks, would there be a place in her life for that. Oran knew about her magical skills and goals as well - she'd made no secret of them, and even put them to use on occasion in or near the shop (very carefully, of course). He had to know what he was asking Serrana if he posed that offer to her. Which made the whole thing even more complicated.
There were worse problems to have, the sorceress supposed. She was, after all, being basically told she would not have to flatback her way to the necessary coin to pay for her studies. But still, the call of magic was still there, and she couldn't ignore it. Her mind tried to find some middle ground - almost frantically - before she realized what she truly needed to say.
"I'm... flattered Oran! I mean, I thought I was decent, but I'm a long ways from master material, for sure. Let me think on it? I realize that this is a huge thing for you to ask, and a huge thing for me to accept... so I want to be sure that I can devote myself appropriately to it. You've given me a great opportunity the last few years, and I don't want to dishonor that - or this chance - by not commiting to it properly." Serrana flashed that playful smile that helped her get her way so many times in the past. "Besides, would it be me if I just came out and said 'yes' or 'no'?" The glazier punctuated that last question with a wink.
The master glazier nodded, her answer satisfactory. "Good girl. Get back to work." He waved her off. "I've said my piece." He reached for one of his poles. "I may as well do something while I'm here." He grabbed one of the new bamboo tools and looked it over. "Good shaping. Let's burn in some strength." He muttered, likely to himself more than her. His pipe, clenched between his teeth, seemed mostly forgotten as he breathed around it.
The rest of the day went by smoothly, with Oran working in the back as he let Serrana handle the boys, acting as backup if needed.