2nd of Octavus, 1669 AV
A column of steam rises from the steel bar as Keman plunges it into the water. The searing heat of the forge and vapours go unnoticed as the Castillian man focuses on the partly completed blade. Helmut grunts and shakes his head, having long since given up warning the younger man to be careful with the hot metal and superheated water. The boy never flinched from the heat of the forge, even on the worst days of the summer.
“Das is good”, grunts the master smith. “You learn quickly, boy. Soon you vill have ze skill to tackle ze finer work of firearms.”
Keman’s reply is preempted by a commotion as the door from the main smithy is thrown open. Francisco’s manservant Juan stands in the portal, his filthy clothing and muddied face giving him the appearance of a wild man.
“Master Keman! We need you immediately! I fear something terrible has happened to Master Francisco and the others!”
Keman looks at the mulatto man for a moment, the steel bar nearly forgotten in his hand. Helmut steps over, taking the tongs from the younger man’s grasp.
“Zis man seems very distressed about ze fate of your friends. You should attend to zis matter. I will finish here.”
Keman nods absently and follows Juan through the smithy and out to the street where Hugo’s niece sits astride a horse, holding several more by the reins. The dark-skinned servant’s hasty explanation concludes as they begin to mount.
“…entered and left the lady and I to watch the animals and supplies. It was only an hour later that the ground shook and darkness erupted from the pyramid’s entrance. We waited a full two days with no sign of the others. Lady Josephine wanted to go in immediately, but I convinced her that we should seek help before trying to confront whatever the others had found inside.
“We left most of the supplies, but brought the animals back. It’s over a week’s ride north of here. We must hurry.”