We called this world, Yve. A planet full of colorful, lustrous flora and wild, mystical fauna. A planet of various races, living their lives in peace and war at the same time. A planet of magic and beauty.
At the center of this wonderful world stood the mighty tree named, Vein of Ysvil. Ysvil was the heavenly goddess; the creator of our existence.
As the story was passed down from generation to generation, it has been said that eons ago, she made the land, the seas, and all other living things and watched over them. She was satisfied with the result of her creations and loved everything about it. But a tragedy came and she suddenly disappeared.
Some said she fell in love with Syfrus, the deity of stars, and left her world to accompany him, leaving behind the tree to provide in her place. Others would say she was slain by her creations and that the tree served as her burial grounds. A few rumors whispered that she still continued to govern us, but alongside her other worldly creations, using the tree as her conveyor. Still some would even say that she was saddened by the endless wars between races and slept in eternal slumber under the tree until only peace can be found again. In all of these speculations, no one actually knew the truth.
But one thing was certain. Yve continued to be full of life, and we thanked Ysvil for it.
I was named Vars Syfra, from the descending branch of deity Syfrus and as the only son of Vynn and Feela. I was raised proud of my parents’ achievements; my father being the man who formulated the sacred arts of controlling flame magic, and my mother who graced the lands with her wildly magnificent, yet tamed beasts. Although I only knew about these things through the stories of my grandfather, Vyriso who has taken it upon himself to bring me up to the person I had become.
I worked as an apprentice blacksmith under the wing of my grandfather. Without him, I may have turned into something else; a disregarded fool or one of the slums, begging and craving for scrapes every day for the rest of my life.
A year after I was born, a raid from a gang of half-breeds sent my parents to Nefyria, the holy place for those who have gone to pass, and my grandfather and I were said to be the only survivors of my village.
In order to survive, we—me being only a year old—migrated into a faraway major city, Festovia, where grandfather had old-time connections with and was provided work in exchange for food, a small lodging and an even smaller amount of gold for his services. Fortunately, we only needed the first two and he was eventually able to save enough gold for a better house.
My grandfather was a hardworking smith. Include that to the grand descending line of the name, Syfra, his promotion as chief smith came as something as easy as common sense.
He was, as people described him, a living legend. And besides, just mentioning the name Syfra would ring stories of my ancestor’s wonders and achievements.
His story however, as I watched him as I grew up, made me decide to follow his footsteps at an early age of ten. And now, I have been tending to armors and weapons and other smith-works for the last seven years.
Today, I’ve just finished my latest experiment. A medium length blade, fine-tuned through a mixture of hard steel and soft iron. It took me a year of trial and error—and a good number of help—to determine the right combination of purified minerals. It took time and patience to perfect a special filtering smelting technique to create the finest ingot that would become sharper and more durable as it was folded and shaped into a compact blade through a unique smithing procedure that allowed its shape to be thin and at the same time, incredibly sharp and sturdy.
The design was a direct contrast to the usual claymores and broadswords that we create. Those were meant to strike for more impact rather than boasting a deadly cutting edge. The workings of my creation would involve precise and swift handling, taking advantage of its ability to quickly change directions due to the orientation of its weight. I aimed to forgo the brute strength of the large swords and pioneer the entrance of deadly magnificence.
But that was my naïve, farfetched vision. Actually receiving my grandfather’s blessing for this experiment was another story overall.
“This time, it should definitely work!” I said to myself as a way of encouragement. This wasn’t the first time for me to propose something very unorthodox.
The polishing on the blade, handle and scabbard took a while to settle but I’ve applied them the day before so everything should be in perfect condition now. But I wanted to make sure everything was tweaked into its optimized condition, so I took the sword up with two hands in passive position to get a feel of the grip and its weight. I felt my lips curving into a smile as the sword settled perfectly. I made a few swings with it to test the balance and confirmed that the distribution of weight would prevent any wild swings to throw the user off-balance.
“Hey Vars! Let’s play outside!” A cheery voice echoed inside the smith shop. “What’s that?” she added before I could turn to greet her.
I placed the sword slowly into the scabbard and wrapped it in cloth. “It’s an experiment.” I turned and saw an enchanting face of beauty smiling with anticipation as she approached. But I had to turn down her invitation. “I’m sorry, I’m going to present this to grandfather and see what he thinks about it. I’ll play with you next time, okay, Yfa?”
Yfira Ysvil. A childhood friend of mine. She was, as her last name would suggest, a direct descendant of our goddess and as such, was obligated to commit her life as a shrine maiden in loyal devotion to the goddess’s service. Yfa was a name bestowed upon her during the Rite of Maiden and apparently, calling them by their birth name in public can be a crime. Just like me, she was also still in training.
Her cheery face reduced into disappointment as she turned her head, probably looking for something to do. But I already closed down the shop since there was no work order for today.
“I’ll...then.” She said something under her breath and my occupied attention—cleaning and arranging paraphernalia—kept me from hearing her properly.
“Sorry, Yfa, you were saying something?” I asked casually.
“I said,” she started out strong that I actually turned my attention to her. She must have noticed it as well as she controlled her voice for the rest of the sentence. “I said, I’ll go with you then. And I told you to call me by my name if we’re alone.”
“I’m just used to it, sorry. Anyway, let’s go. He’s waiting at the General Smithy.”