The Westmark Commission - Part 3

The Westmark Commission - Part 3
Summary: Johan calls on Bryony to aid him with testing the weight of a couple of small womanly blades.
Date: July 29, 2013
Related: The Westmark Commission - Part 1
The Westmark Commission - Part 2
The Westmark Commission - Part 4
Johan Bryony 

Healers Guild Laketown - Apothecary/Healers Guild
Temporary Description
Mon Jul 29, 1329

The Entrance Hall seems to have been a collaboration of efforts between the Woodworkers' Guild, the Stonemasons' Guild and the Metalsmiths' Guild, as well. Tapestries from the Tailors' Guild adorn the walls. The only thing that the Healers have supplied of their own are the rushes that cover the stone floor and the myriad apprentices and journeyman that assist those who do enter with need.
Having received word from one of the apprentices, Bryony makes her way from the interior of the guild. Her usual blue gown is mostly hidden beneath her apron. Dirt is smeared along the lower half where she has, no doubt, been wiping her hands. Even as she walks she gathers the cloth between her hands, scrubbing them again to make certain they are clean. Hair that is usually mostly under control and tucked into a neat braid is a bit wilder today. More strands seem to have found an escape route despite the almost wimple-like head scarf that covers it. A wide smile finds her lips at the familiar man and she lifts a hand in greeting as she nears. "Master Grimson… What a pleasant surprise."

Johan had cleaned up, a little, as much as he did any other time he left the forge. His hands were merely stained, rather than covered. The sweat had been splashed from his face. He'd donned his leathers rather and made his way to the neighboring guild hall to seek out Bryony. He walked with a long, slender bundle beneath his arm, wrapped in strips of leather. When he'd arrived, he found a young apprentice in one of the inevitable gardens, and sent him in to find Mistress Fearn, and now, he was idling about, waiting for her arrival. Or the return of the apprentice to tell him that she was unavailable.

When Bryony arrives, Johan smiles warmly and greets her with an equally warm, "Mistress Fearn. The coin is turned, yea? I hope that it is not a bad time to pull you away from your work…But I need a woman, and you are the only one I know well enough in this town to call on on short notice."

"Not at all. I was just doing a bit of replanting." Hazel eyes dart towards the bundle, terribly curious. However, amusement is what comes to her gaze rather quickly at his wording. As she reaches behind her to unfasten the apron, she smirks a bit. "Well… I shall do my best not to let you down." The apron is untied and folded as she smiles at the man. "What can I do for you?"

Johan catches the strange wording, two sentences too late, but rolls with it. His head dips down and a dry grin pulls out. The glance she makes for the bundle has him looking to the bundle as well, before pulling them out. He pulls the lacings loose and unrolls from the bundle two blades. One is perhaps two feet long, the other is close to three. They are rough at the moment, with no edges and with no sign of the detail that will eventually be worked into them. "Perhaps you might tell me how these feel in your hand and on your arm? It is sometimes difficult to guess at the weighting for someone much smaller than myself, and these two are for women, one not through growing yet."

Bryony finds herself chuckling, her gaze shifting from his face to the bundle. "You are assuming I even know the proper manner to hold one of these things…" Still, she reaches out to take the larger one, her apron tossed across her shoulder. "I have only ever met the younger one," the woman confesses, wrapping her hand around the metal. Stepping back, she tests the weight, turning her wrist this way and that. "It's lighter than I thought it would be…"

"You don't need to know how to use it for me to see what I need to see," he assures her. He sets the remaining blade, a future dirk, in the cloth on a nearby convenient flat surface. "I have never met any of them." Luckily, he is good at what he does, and can make certain assumptions. "The fullers allow for a lighter blade," he comments absently, nodding to the blade, no doubt referring to the four grooves that cut down the blade, two on each flat. When she'd swung it a couple of times, he moves closer, and reaches for her arm. "May I…?" he asks, before, if he got a positive answer, he'd take her elbow and raise it out straight ahead of her. His other hand would adjust her hand and wrist, to point the blade like an extension of her arm, and feel along her arm and hand, for the points of strain. "How does it feel? Like it will tip out of your hand or does it feel well settled?"

Bryony has no idea what fullers are but she studies the blade nonetheless. "Of course," she responds to his request. To her credit, she doesn't blush this time. The woman allows herself to be manipulated, fascinated by the entire experience and the process by which he gleans what he needs. "I would say well settled. Of course, Coriaria is more accustomed to such things. No doubt her arms are stronger. I would venture to say it would not be too heavy, though."

"Too light can be a problem as well," he mumbles, more absent-mindedly as he studied the blade. He turns it slightly in hand, to a more functional grip, like it were about to be swung. There, he taps the pommel and grazes his fingers down the blade feeling the subtle vibrations that ride down the blade for that point where the vibrations are least. "But I believe this will still be heavy enough." Looking back to her, he take the blunt blade in his hand to take it from her hand. "So you do use a blade on occasion?"

Bryony watches him as he works, content to be his model, so to speak. "How can you tell?" she asks, turning her head to look at him. The healer relinquishes the blade, wiping her hands on her skirts and then immediately smoothing them over. A sheepish grin curves her lips as she shakes her head. "Never. Well… To cut stems, I suppose. But never to wield against another. I prefer the bow." A hand lifts to push back a few wisps from her face. "Though, it has been years."

"By how tight a grip you must keep, adjusted in my mind for a trained arm," he answers, nodding down to her hand. He lays the sword down in the cloth and takes up the dirk instead. When he returns to her, he moves to stand just behind her, far enough that there is no direct contact, but near enough that his presence might be somewhat looming. "I have only made parts for crossbows, never a real bow. The woodworkers are better suited," he muses quietly, reaching down to her hip to hold the blade loosely in his hand as if his hand were the scabbard. "Draw this with your opposite hand, as you would if someone were coming to attack you. How much shorter than you is the girl?"

The woman stands still as he situates himself, her head turning to watch him somewhat. "Do not let me cut you…" Reaching across her body, she takes hold of the hilt, giving him a nod when she has it. "She is a wisp of a thing." With her free hand she marks a spot on her arm, somewhere between shoulder and elbow. "About this tall." The healer draws the weapon and brings it before her, slashing at an invisible opponent. "You must let me watch you some time," she murmurs, still quite intrigued by the whole process. "I promise to close my eyes when you get to the 'secrets' but… Even if I could never recreate it, I would like to see how it is done."

"It isn't sharpened yet," he assures her. This blade has no grooves. Rather, it ridges up, better suited to stabbing through armor than hard chopping, while also suitable to slashing flesh. It's a rogue's weapon, but still, as he said, blunt and slides easily past his loose fingers. He mentally tallies in rough gut terms just how short or long the girl's reach my be, how easily she might be able to draw the blade without trouble. The question of whether the tip would be caught when she tried to draw it duely answered. "Watch me work?" he chuckles, as he moves around to take the blade. "I don't believe you would recognize the secrets from common knowledge, but you might close your eyes when you get bored and fall asleep. The dirk is laid witht he arming sword, and wrapped up again. "Heat the metal. Hammer it out. Temper it in the water. Repeat for hours on end."

Bryony is exceedingly proud of herself for having gotten so far without blushing. Hazel eyes follow him as he moves, releasing the blade to his care. "You would be surprised at what I find interesting, Master Grimson. Of course, I would never wish to intrude. I am certain the last thing you would wish around your forge is a nosy person unfamiliar with the surroundings. I could easily ruin your work with some silly misstep or… well.. there is no telling." The woman nods towards the bag. "Did you get what you needed?"

Johan gathers the blades, well wrapped, into one hand, while the other works the leather strip around and around it. "I have apprentices," he points out. "Nosy young people poking around my forge with no clue what they're doing." He cracks a grin and glances away, toward the metalsmith guild hall. He idly tongues at one tooth in thought before he looks back down to her. "It would be in bad form to take you too deep into the guildhall," he admits. "But when I finish these swords, I will be returning to Brivey. I am working out of a forge there to supply the North. If, in a little over a week, you find yourself there, you could come and see the forge." Glancing to the sword bundle, he dips his head and adds, "I did. You have been very helpful, Bryony." Putting proper title and names aside though his voice is low enough that not many around them might hear it.

Bryony laughs at mention of the apprentices. "Aye. I have not had the pleasure of my own yet, but… Having watched others with theirs, I can only imagine." Without something to do her hands seem lost. The pluck at her clothing, straightening what is already straight. One lifts to fiddle with the cloth draped over her head. It's a moment before she recalls that she is wearing it. "Oh, of course. I did not mean that I should watch you within the guild," she agrees as she pulls the veil from her hair, tugging at the pins that hold it there. "I will be returning to Brivey in a few days, I believe. I cannot stay away too long. And when you return, I can bring you that plant, if you still wish it." The loss of title seems to sit quite well with her, her smile widening ever so slightly. "Any time you do have need of me, you have but to send for me, Johan," the woman returns, her gaze focused on those blue eyes.

"You're leaving ahead of me?" he asks, that honest way about him doing nothing to hide the momentary flicker of disappointment. It is passing though, before the practical way about him takes over, returning the smile and the wrinkle at his eyes. "I will have to look for something to occupy my evenings other than spinning you around the dance floor at the Drunken Clam. Aye, I would like the plant. It would be very useful. And a bit of life in the forge." He glances down a moment, to his boots, when she does away with titles as well, then lifts his view back up past his brow, head still dipped slightly in an almost, almost sheepish way. "Careful there, or I might send for you for every singe and scrape."

Bryony gives a sympathetic grimace to his question before smiling again. "I am. Royal Healer. There's a prince and a war…" The woman gives a helpless shrug as she teases him. "It *is* a pity. I imagine that it would be a far more enjoyable journey back should I wait a few days. And you need worry not. I have seen the way some of the women at the Clam eye you. You'll not be lacking for dance partners." Again she finds herself smoothing over her skirts, needing something to do. His last sends her ducking her head a bit, too. The already wide smile widens a bit more. If his intent was to coax a blush from her, he has scored. "I should be disappointed if you did not," she murmurs softly,

"There is a prince and a war," he agrees. It kept him in work. So long as there was war, he would be among the busiest and wealthiest in the guild. He lifts a hand, when she looks down, hesitating a moment, and then finally just reaching out to slip one of the dark strands that had fallen loose when she removed the vail back behind her ear. "They might not step on my toes and go green though," he grins, holding back the chuckle. "I would not wish to disappoint," he adds, bringing his hand back. "Send word when you leave, I will come and see you off. I will not keep you longer this evening. I imagine I will not make it to the tavern, trying to get these blades done quickly, but I should hope to see you again soon."

Her gaze lifts quickly at the touch, surprised but far from displeased. Her cheeks gain a bit more color and her fingers start fussing with the fabric of the veil she holds. Still, she laughs at the tease. "You are never going to let me live that down, are you? You know you need not do that, though. See me off," she clarifies. "You've so much work. I know well that you are busy. I will send word but… if you must work then you are not to come. I will understand." The woman gives a small bend of the knee, the briefest of curtsies for the man, though his position does not require it. "Perhaps at the Temple. I always make my offering before breakfast, before it begins to crowd."

"Perhaps at the Temple, then," he agrees, with only a grin and chuckle for her order that he wasn't to come see her off if he was busy. "Good night, Bryony," he adds, more quietly, bordering on intimate. Not another word more, and the smith is turning to make his way off, though he does steal a glance back over his shoulder, just once, before he disappears into the crowded roads outside the guildhall.

Bryony is still there when he turns, watching him walk away with her apron still over one shoulder and her veil crumpled in her hands. She bites at her lower lip, trying to keep the smile from growing so big as to be noticed by others. Once he is out of sight, the woman gives a small sigh, coming back down to earth. "Damn him…" she mutters before turning to return to her work, setting her veil back on her head and fussing with the pins as she walks.

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