Old January 22, 2015, 11:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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[Dragonworks] Lyna [Shores of Endiness]

First Half, Era XXII
From here.

Demios had a small, eleven population and some of them had been on the island for generations. But it was much less common, at least in recent eras, for visitors of an elven persuasion to come visiting from off the coast or the mainland. Unless they were the sea elves, visiting dry land from their nearby, underwater city of Incarri. Unusual then, but not unheard of.

The workshop that Lyna walked into was relatively still. Most brightenings the place would be a hive of activity and relative chaos with up to six gadgeteers working at once. But this brightening there were only the sounds of someone knocking about, somewhere near the back of the shop behind tall cabinets and any number of odds and ends. And a lone voice that answered when she called out a greeting. Wealthy enough?. Before anyone emerged from the stacks and equipment, Klue responded, "You never know. There's eras worth of odds and ends rattling around here."

Finally, a tall human appeared to greet her with a curious smile. He wore a gadgeteers' lens dangling round his neck, a hat on his head, a dark smudge across the bridge of his nose and his shirt sleeves were rolled up. He'd just finished cleaning his hands with a rag and tossed it into a bin as he walked past it. "Welcome to Dragonworks," he said again. "You're not a local." It was more a friendly observation, than a question. If Klue didn't know all of Demios' residents by name, he at least recognized a great many of their faces.

Hers was unusual. The eyes were difficult to miss. He'd met a few others, elves, humans, what have you over the eras with mismatched eyes. But it still wasn't such a common occurrence that it would go unnoticed. He seemed to recall Hay'aan mentioning it in fact, when referring to a prospective customer back in Sancta Nova. As for skilled gadgeteers, Klue smiled again and added, "Six of us in fact, usually. But it's a slow cycle, and it's just me at the moment. So what is it about gadgeteering that interests you? The trade, or what it turns out?" he asked.
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Old January 22, 2015, 09:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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"Ah..." Yes, looking around now Lyna was seeing that there were likely some gizmos and equipment around here affordable or perhaps even designed for commoner-folk. A master didn't necessarily charge highly all the time. Still, she wasn't sure if there was anything here she would want to buy. She hadn't really intended to visit looking to purchase, anyway... though, browsing could still prove amusing, so she looked around the shop in the wait until the human gadgeteer arrived, pausing whatever his current task had been.

He was taller than Lyna which wasn't particularly surprising, she did have a certain youthful smallness about her which didn't really do her actual age justice. He certainly looked the part of a savvy deviser of gadgetry, dressed in such a manner, and when she saw the smudge on his nose she murmured, "Uh, you've... got a little..." swiping at the bridge of her own nose. Not that nose-grease could matter that much - if he wiped it off now it might just be renewed when he got back to the task he had been handling.

"I am glad to hear that you seem to be so welcoming," she admitted, relaxing a bit more. "I had worried that with your obvious wealth you might only have time for rich clients or something, but I see now that was a pretty distant misconception." She lightly placed a hand on some of the desk space around here and gazed again at all the mechanical works in various states of completion. It all made for a very high-end looking workshop, versatile for the kind of tasks that needed to be carried out to create these numerous projects. It was clear that this was not only a place of considerable practicality, but also great knowledge.

"You are right, I'm no local." She liked Demios quite a lot so far though, and could see why the gadgeteer may have made his home here. She decided it might be a nice place for her to visit a little more frequently. But as her a'mael Barthelme's job was on the mainland, she didn't plan to seek more permanent accommodation around here, not in the near future at least. "I came here because I had wanted to see the fire drakes - I am a druidess you see. But the island is very interesting besides its creatures, I have found." Very interesting... she had managed to have a conversation with the waves of the sea while she had been traveling the short walk here from town. It had just gone on about how the local Demosians and mer were a bunch of 'good-for-nothing young fools' and how the island had been 'far better back in the olden-brightenings when there were no people here'... or something like that. Hopefully that wasn't the opinion of the whole sea but just this small subset here.

Well, so far so good, the gadgeteer-man was proving to seem fairly nice and friendly, which made Lyna a lot more comfortable. "Oh, six? You have a whole crew of professionals here... no wonder you have such a big house..." She looked yet again at all of the various creations around the workshop. The handiwork of a team. "Yes, gadgeteering. Well I'm going to say... I am interested in both the trade itself and the result?" She was a bit disposed to pure results sometimes, her experience in several battles had revealed that to her. But...

"My people - that is, light elves - some of them traditionally took much time in their pursuits, to fully enjoy the experience of their work in equal measure to the effect that the work produced. They purposefully lived slowly, when it pleased them. It is maybe for the same reason that the most powerful sorcerer who could teleport around for miles would still go for a walk in the woods to get somewhere." Lyna was quite similar when it came to eating bacon. Rosyun was often positively a tribal ritual for her when it involved delicious cuts of porcine paradise.

"Well, that is quite an old attitude," she continued. "Many elves do not follow that and instead focus more on results. Especially these brightenings..." Living fast, she thought. Nothing wrong with that, though. Her life in the previous era could attest to that, for sure.

Goodness, she was really rambling there now wasn't she? Whoops! "I guess what I mean is... you know, I do like to take my time to enjoy a task sometimes. But results can be important to me in some cases, too. And I expect that would apply to my interest in your work."

So, was this a chat? Were they officially chatting now? Because she did want to ask him things. "Hey, eh, what are you working on back there?" was a decent place to start.

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Old January 23, 2015, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A smudge on his nose? The gadgeteer merely smiled and nodded; a sort of unspoken "Ah.", and plucked a clean rag from his trousers' pocket in order to clean it off. "Part of the dress code around here," he said, and tucked end of the rag back in his pocket.

Klue did find his visitor's apparent interest in wealth, his, or the lack thereof to be a little....Well, odd wasn't really the word he was looking for. Everyone tended to like crowns. Most everyone needed them, and lots of others wanted them. Some even wanted them more than others. But the gadgeteer had never been particularly driven by the getting, saving or spending of wealth beyond what was required to pay the bills, feed the family, stock his workshop and ultimately, pursue any number of things he considered to be far more valuable than crowns.

"I don't know about wealth. It's relative, I guess, to what you value the most," he considered. Be it crowns, property, position, friends, family, loved ones, skill or knowledge. Come to think of it, he was blessed. But no more comfortable speaking about it to others. "I'd hate to think it, or the lack of it, would make me any more, or less friendly."

But she went on and smiling though he was, the gadgeteer quickly concluded that his visitor was a talker. Even as an unspoken observation, it wasn't criticism necessarily. He happened to be married to and in love with a talker, and was a father to five more of them, therefore surrounded by them most of the brightening through. Still, those talkers knew him quite well and him, them. He smiled. "A druid? Demios is more wilds than civilization, there ought be plenty to interest a druid. If you're hoping to see the drakes in the wild, up around the caldera is where they are more often than not. But I'm not sure I'd recommend it," he said. He wouldn't. Not to anyone who wasn't intimately familiar with the island and the little surprises it was so famous for. A long hike or even a short one through Weavers' Wood was challenge enough sometimes. But the volcano and it's slopes, that required a certain stoutness of heart and then some.

And when she talked about elves and their ways of living, rushed or slowly, Klue considered it a second or three and remarked, "I guess there are as many different preferences and personalities among elves, as there are among humans." He guessed. Though never having been anything but human, and never an elf, he was hardly qualified to say for sure. "A few repairs, some maintenance," he added when she asked what he was working on.

He had no objections to her seeing his work. There was nothing very secretive about it, at least not on this particular brightening. So if she was interested, Klue led her towards the rear of the shop. There was a wide center aisle that was relatively free of equipment, projects and so on. So nothing to trip over or duck and weave around on their way back.

When they got there, and he pointed to a large apparatus that was as tall as Lyna was, and several times wider. It stood partly dismantled, with any number of components, tools, springs, nuts and bolt that littered the floor and worktable around it. "It's a high yield printing press, much like the ones they use to churn out all those copies of the Herald," he explained and then added with a smile, "Not very exciting stuff, I'm afraid." But then one couldn't spend every brightening coming up with new wonders. Just as many needed be spent maintaining the ones already in service.
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Old January 25, 2015, 08:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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"That is an admirable attitude to wealth, yes." Lyna had had a taste of the life of nobility when she'd first visited the manor of her wealthy cousin Larien Gil'dae - living in such luxury for a time had been quite an adjustment but rather nice, she decided. She could certainly see how the significant capital wasn't necessary to live happily, though. "I know what I value most, and coin ain't on that list..."

"Oh..." The caldera... but he wouldn't recommend it? The implication was clear. "I hear you. I do want to see drakes, but I understand, I should make certain it would be in safe circumstances."

"There are," she responded on preferences and personalities among different races. She had meant to refer to the elven... option, to live slowly, but the analogy had sorta fallen on its face. The bottom line was clear though... wasn't it? Wait, she wasn't quite sure now. Trade... and results... ah, right.

Repairs and maintenance. Of course, it wasn't all creation. She saw the 'printing press' in its state of partial disassembly, and stared at it trying to figure out what it was, but then Klue mentioned that it was like something used to make copies of the Herald. Then she squinted for a while until she put two and two together. "Ooh!" So that was how they got all the Herald papers to look exactly alike. Which meant... this gadgeteering stuff actually permeated society more than she had expected, possibly.

"I, eh, haven't introduced myself... I'm Lyna, it is a pleasure to meet you sir." She supposed she ought to ask more questions. She was starting to get an idea of what kinds of things were built here. "Uh, I had wondered what sort of... interesting things you have made recently?"
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Old January 26, 2015, 10:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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"It's a high yield press," Klue explained when Lyna laid eyes on the thing. "I've never seen and don't know how the presses owned by the Maeves operate," the gadgeteer admitted. "I've not seen them. But most presses I've seen before produce single sheet copies, one at a time. This one, instead, produces rolls of copy in sequence, which are cut down at the end. That process means it can turn out a dozen copies or more in the time another press can finish two or three."

It was a simple, straightforward description of how the press work. Anything more might appeal to another gadgeteer or machinist, but would probably bore this visitor to tears. And then she introduced herself, and Klue smiled in response. "Well it's a pleasure to meet you then, Lyna."

But what else? Recently? It was a trickier question than she probably realized. After all, there were parts of his work that he didn't share with the public. Not yet anyway, and those things weren't on display. Not out in the open or some of them, even in the shop. And still others, ultimately, weren't closely guarded secrets so much as he didn't feel they were quite ready for a public unveiling. So recent, as it happened, was relative.

"Well," he considered. "You standing just beneath one of them." With that, the gadgeteer gestured towards the ceiling where a wooden, two man glider complete with linen sails unfurled, was suspended securely from the high beams. "It's a glider," Klue explained. "The Cloud Nine. It flies without spellwork, and without any kind of engine. Quite high, fast and for as long as the air conditions are favorable ones. The short version, is that it takes to the air with the help of a wooden rail and a string of magnets. So, I'm curious. You say you're a druid. Where are you visiting from? Your home on the mainland, I mean," he asked curiously.
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Old January 26, 2015, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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"High yield..." So, that meant it made a lot of stuff right? Klue went on to explain and Lyna understood how it was supposed to work. She'd never heard of the Maeves, presumably a company in charge of the Herald. "So... what sorts of things do you use the printing press to print? Or, I suppose... do you hire it out?"

The man responded politely to her introduction, though he didn't give his own name in return. To her he was still just 'the gadgeteer', no name. The title felt impersonal... a faint frown touched her face but quickly disappeared.

"Huh?" She gazed upwards, intrigued. The contraption above looked very vaguely like a bird in flight. "Glider..." So catching thermals and so on. No spells, no further driving devices... just aerodynamics. Awesome stuff. "That's very impressive," she commented respectfully. A little complex for her, though.

She was about to ask about what it was like to fly it or why it was suspended up and inside the shop, but then he had some questions of his own for her. "Eh... home?" A good question, actually, Lyna was not so sure herself. She was a bit of a traveller but there was somewhere she'd call home.

"Well... home is another relative thing like wealth, really. I haven't exactly put down roots into one place yet - but there is one place that I guess I consider home. I'd say that my least-temporary place of residence is in Centripax, in Natura. It's a very druid-ish town, actually." Yes, and she had to return there one of these brightenings. Her extended family had all wandered off to do their own things and for now at least the House's future depended on her.

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Old January 27, 2015, 03:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What could it print? "Well any number of things," Klue said when his visitor asked. "I haven't hired it out, haven't planned to," he considered. "But it could be used just as the presses at the Herald are, to turn out the news, a local, monthly edition for instance. Or, consider how books are most frequently made. They're copied down by scribes, handwritten for the most part. The process of producing just one book can take even the best scribe cycles, months, even eras to complete. It impacts the number of books that can be copied by even an army of scribes, limits the number that are available for sale, and that makes them too expensive for ordinary citizens to afford."

"However," he suggested with a gesture towards the large press in the corner. "I wouldn't bore you with the details. But a machine like this could revolutionize that process. It would change the game overnight. That's what gadgeteering is really about," Klue told her with a smile. "Innovation, progress."

"Mmm," was all he uttered when she commented on the glider. Admittedly, the thing was much better admired in the air, in flight, rather than dangling down from the rafters of his workshop. "More impressive, admittedly, in flight," he added with a shrug.

So, she'd spend some time in Natura. It struck a chord of curiosity, considering what he'd heard about the place some time ago. Made him wonder if anything had changed. "I've never personally been to Natura. But I recall learning about a natural spring there, that prevents acts of violence or evil of any kind. A spring touched by Carmelya, if I recall. It was said that it even prevented those with dark ways or intentions from entering the city at all. Do you know if it's still the case?" he asked curiously. "Or has it ended in the wake of more recent conflicts between the gods?"
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Old January 27, 2015, 06:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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"Eh, right." She had thought he might take contract with his printing press because she couldn't decide what he'd personally use it for. He revealed that the printing press' use lay, in part, in its potential, and it started to make more sense. "Giving the empire more books definitely sounds like a fine idea." Lyna wasn't the best reader, but she did know that books were beneficial for society in general.

She clasped her hands as Klue spoke on the concept of his profession. "Aah!" She got a sort of twinkle in her eyes. Innovation and progress... she would so love to be a part of improving the world for the future, like that. Perhaps some brightening these hands could create something new and unique.

"I hope I may get the privilege to see it fly, one brightening," she said about the gadgeteer's glider. It was like a tangible manifestation of what could be achieved using modern Aelyrian technology. She wanted to brush her fingers along its canvas wings, see them rippling in the open air. But equally she wanted it to remain untouched in totally pristine condition, until there were hundreds of its kind created.

The enchanted spring? It was possibly the strangest and most extraordinary thing about Natura. It was no surprise to be the first thing that came to mind for someone who'd heard of the town before. "Oh, I may not be the most informative person to ask about Natura's enchanted spring. I'm afraid I haven't had much experience with it. Certainly I've never seen it paralyse anyone, but I have heard about how it's supposed to work at least." He had asked if it still worked? "I'm not sure, actually... the Flux of the Arcane seemed to have put a lot of things off-kilter, but if the story is true and the spring really has been touched by Carmelya I think it will still be working." It was a strange force, and Lyna didn't think that anyone knew all about how it worked. "To prevent people with dark ways or intentions from entering the town, I seem to remember it has specifically affected people who had malicious intent..." It was all a bit mysterious about how it worked, but that was one of the popular theories - that it worked based on intent. "That is just a theory though. Well... I don't even know if it still works really."

She had more questions about the trade of gadgeteering still, but she did want to give the man a chance to talk too. He might have some more questions of his own. This was quite a nice chat, she thought. Very interesting.
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Old January 29, 2015, 03:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Would his visitor have the opportunity to witness the Cloud Nine in flight? Certainly, if she spent enough time on Demios. And if not, well, Klue intended that one brightening, there'd be many more of the things than just one. Crafts like the one mounted to the rafters just now, or better and more improved versions. It was the nature of the trade after all, to always look for ways to improve what was already done. "You very well might," he said and smiled. "It'll be in the air again, as soon as I set up it's launching area."

When Lyna said that she'd never experienced the spring's tendencies for hand, Klue nodded and considered, "Well, it may be that the spring's reputation, the legend itself is a powerful disincentive to mischief making," he suggested. Sometimes, just the suggesting of punitive measures was enough to prevent a malicious act.

Then again, "Since Carmelya seemed to regain some prominence during the most recent squabble between the gods, chances are, the legend could remain intact." Or not, the only way to find out really was to test it, and since he wasn't inclined to mischief making at that level, the mystery might well remain. "So how long are you planning to remain on the island?" he asked.
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Old February 1, 2015, 06:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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OOCHey Klue, is it alright if we change the timestamp on this to just be "Some time in the first half of XXII"?

"Oh. Good, I'm glad then," she replied on the possibility of seeing the glider in action. As he mentioned setting up the launching area, that also answered her previous unspoken question of what it was doing hanging unused in the workshop like this. More hardware would be required to fly that thing, wouldn't it? "Maybe some brightening you'll have improved on it to the point that it could take to the air without needing a launching area," she posed. Not at all to demean the work he'd already put into its design, naturally - it already ingenious in its current state of course.

As for the matter of Natura's enchanted spring; "Well, many the residents seem to believe in it completely. A bunch of them being elves I can imagine some of them have been around for a while, so I'd like to think there's truth to the paralysing trait..." It would be nice to know that Carmelya had touched the land like that for the benefit of the Naturans, and her power still protected them now. "You're right of course though, the legend itself doubtlessly works as a deterrent even if the well didn't." Lyna certainly didn't plan to be the one to find out if the well was still working.

The gadgeteer asked something else. Lyna wondered why he was so curious... but then she thought it could just be that he was trying to be conversational and friendly with his inquiring. "Not very long, I expect. I have stuff to do on the mainland, and friends there besides. But it is a pretty sweet island, living here would be nice I think." It was far away from much of the empire, true. But it certainly seemed a lovely and interesting place to live, and traveling from Demios couldn't be too much more bothersome than usual. "I have another question... what is it like, living on Demios? Are you happy here?" She was considering spending some more time on the island. And then, maybe taking her route to visit Arkdun in Carmelyn for a bit. After that... it might be back to Natura, for her, back to House Gil'dae.

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Old February 2, 2015, 02:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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When his visitor offered up a vision of what the glider's future might look like, Klue grinned a little and shrugged. Without a launching area, in the case of the glider, a rail? "Maybe," he considered. "The trick with that, is that if it was a craft that was held aloft by heated air or some other type of fuel, then it could in fact lift off from a stationary position, much like a hot air balloon. But because this is a winged craft and must rely on not just lift, but lift combined with forward motion to keep it aloft, it would be difficult to achieve."

"Not impossible," the gadgeteer considered. "but still, quite a trick." As for Natura and its legendary spring, it was a fascinating topic. Especially given his more recent interest and experiments with alchemical ingredients. It could be, as legend had it, that it was the goddess Carmelya at work there in the small forest city. Still, Klue wouldn't mind getting hold of a sample, just for curiousity' sake.

But was he happy living on Demios? He smiled again, and leaned back, propping himself on the edge of the workbench. "Yes," was the easiest, most simple answer. But it wasn't enough to explain the hold that the Dragon Isle seemed to have on those who called it home. "I could tell you that that the weather is close to perfect all the era round, if you don't mind the Dragon Winds kicking up out of the blue or the occasional eruption scare from the big volcano. And that the people are warm, friendly, welcoming, eccentric, colorful and free thinking. But it's more than that. The island is as much a part of its residents as they are of it. It gets into the blood and there's just no other place like it," he told her.

But then again, it didn't suit everyone. The island was both part of, and apart from the rest of the Empire in ways that were impossible to explain to someone who wasn't a part of it. But there were two types of visitors to Demios. Those who came, saw and went just as quickly. And those like him that came, and never truly left again. Or at least, never for long.

oocno problem. TS changed. =o)
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Old February 4, 2015, 07:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Lyna found a suitably puzzled expression as she listened to what the engineer had to say about modifications for more versatile launching of the glider. "Hot air balloon?" She'd never seen one of those before. But she understood what he meant, at least. Forward motion and lift. "Yes, quite tricky."

She smiled and nodded at his insight on how he felt about Demios. "Yes, I can tell already in such a brief visit, it is a very unique place." It was clear he had lived on this island for a long time, and nice to hear him describe his passion for this place. That was a good question to have asked him, she thought, with a pleasant answer.

Hmm... good question? Why, though? She felt she maybe needed to consider again her reasons for being here. At the moment it felt like she was just hanging around and trying to get to know the gadgeteer. Fair enough, she had come here just hoping to visit and look around. But she had opened up much more of interest. And there were certain ideas she had of what she wanted to learn more about.

She began, "Mister, er... gadgeteer... I hope not to come across as particularly brutal to inquire on this; could I ask what experience you have had with gadgetry in the field of self-defence? For example, stunning bomb sorta devices, special arrowheads... 'fire arms'?" She then added, further clarifying her intentions, "I confess these combat-applied things are an area I have particular interest in, on account of apparently requiring them so very often." She considered situations like the time watching her significant other swimming away from frenzied sharks. What would have happened there, if she had not been a druidess? It was unfortunate but true, Lyna was quite inclined to gathering power that would be useful for battle. That was the way she was.
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Old February 6, 2015, 09:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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"It is that," Klue agreed in reference to his island home. Unique, he meant. Though it was much more than that, things easily spoken of and other things that were deeply personal and not so eagerly shared. But the gadgeteer had developed a sense, as soon as he'd stepped onto the shores of Demios eras ago now, that this was where he'd been meant to be. And while he'd strayed once or twice, him and his, they'd always returned.

Then his visitor asked about weaponry, and Klue frowned. Not in irritation. But for him, while it might not be for another gadgeteer in another place or mindset, it was a tricky topic. And one he tended not discuss. At least not often. "I think that any gadgeteer who's been practicing the trade for an era or more, will have discovered that just about any apparatus he's conceived of, could also be converted to some sort of weapon...Defensive, offense, both," he added.

"I'm no exception." He wasn't, not at all. In fact while he hadn't at all planned it, he had a great deal of experience with weaponry and some of it, it's potential and destructive power, had left him near to speechless. Strangely, for as much as it wasn't the gadgeteer's preference, he seemed to have quite the knack for it. "However, it's not my choice of specialization. I prefer to create things, innovations, that will make life more interesting, better, not easier to destroy."

"Not to say I haven't dabbled," he admitted then, and it was an understatement. "But because I feel a great deal of responsibility for the way in which my work is used, I don't make a habit of creating and marketing them." It wasn't a hard and fast rule, truth told. The island of Demios had been on the receiving end of one of his creations, a donation. And there'd been a few other donations or large commissions that had yielded some sort of weaponry. But as a general rule, and for those he didn't know well, not so much.
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Old March 7, 2015, 05:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Lyna could tell straight away that it might not have been the best subject to ask about when Klue began to respond. He may have been the sort of inventor who didn't want his creations used for harm. "Right, I understand. Sorry." She would have to look elsewhere for information on weaponised gadgetry, then.

He did seem to know something about combat applications in his trade, but he didn't want anything like that of his design to fall into the wrong hands. He presumably specialised more in creative innovation than destructive implements. It sounded very good, truly. But she didn't expect she would take her interest in gadgeteering into that field until she got particularly good at it.

"Have you ever blended the use of gadgeteering with arcana?" She wondered how druidism could link into gadgeteering... ah, perhaps that could be her early access to everyday gadgeteering, beneficial for people.

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Old March 11, 2015, 09:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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"No apologies necessary," Klue was quick to reassure Lyna. "It's not the first time someone has asked." About weaponized gadgetry, he meant. But even though the gadgeteer seemed to have an uncanny knack for creating weaponry, he'd far rather spend his time and talent on things that could change society for the better.

And then suddenly he grinned a little. "Gadgeteering and arcana, that's a question I've been asked even more often." Much more often, in fact. And his answer was most often the same. "I haven't. You might consider me something of a purist when it comes to my craft. I'm sure there are other gadgeteers who might favor some type of fusion between gadgeteering and spell work. I'm won't say with certainty that I'll never explore it."

"But for me, gadgetry, innovation is its own kind of magic. It blurs the lines between science and magic, and can make the latter seem obsolete in some instances. It's that aspect of it that I enjoy the most," he said.
__________________
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I don't care that they stole my idea...
I care that they don't have any of their own.
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