Well, it’s a good thing that Jen had the forsight to add the “In Shitpuking and in Health” clause to this legally binding and very important Lego Advent Calendar blog. I’m excited to kick this thing off, only right at the moment the only thing that is keeping me upright is a toxic cocktail of Dayqil, coffee, fear, and an almost ruthless devotion to the lego arts. So, bare with me as I beat back hallucinations and try to get my feverish fingers to actually manipulate all these little bits.
I would also sum up my lovely holiday for you, but the thought of food has me a bit off right now, so I’ll pack it in and head to the crux of the actual legos. I’d agree with Jen’s assessment that we’re really not being pushed in the direction of mayhem and violence quite like the previous town legos, or the pirate legos. I’m sure we will find a way to overcome that subtle hint from Lego Inc, but still, this snowcovered square looks downright picturesque to my eye.
Also, is anyone else a little worried that Jen admitted out-and-out attraction for this little lego man, and then proceeded to set him up as a complete loser? There is something deep happening there, far under the surface, which is clearly beyond my pay grade to suss out. Still, attempt to suss it we will, comrades. Together. Because if you can’t include a little armchair freudian psychology in your Lego Advent Calendar blog, then the terrorists have won.
On to the pieces!
In my limited experience with the Lego Calendar, I don’t think we’ve ever had this many tools to kill people without having at least one other minifig to bump off. That would be three so far, or (as Jen pointed out) four if you can lift an anvil. So when other people do arrive, they do so their own peril. I can’t imagine them staying in the narrative that long. Even Leslie himself might not make it very far. In short, Jen Adams is a wrathful god, and her purchase of fake blood has me in edge.
For those of you who can’t tell from my crappy picture, that is a blacksmith anvil and fire. So, it would appear that the twin hatchets that our hero is wielding are actually blacksmithing hammers of some sort! How fortuitous: I myself am something of a seasoned blacksmith, if by “seasoned” you mean “once took a week of blacksmithing courses and got to the point where, with a lot of effort, I could create something that my mother calls a Marquis de Sade backscratcher, or this, which looks like it was made by the Uruk-hai“:
And yes, that was me humble bragging about my blacksmith skills WHILE burnishing my LoTR cred for this fantasy adventure we seem to be embarked on. Lets move on to the actual story before this becomes even more insufferable, shall we?
“As always, the doors of the great Elsinore keep swung slowly inward, creaking on giant iron hinges that were many years in need of repair. Leslie the Unready strode into the empty hall, trying not to let his nerves show too clearly. He always had the sense of being watched in Elsinore, that someone or something was crouching in the shadows or perched high above on the flying buttresses that held aloft the great keep’s ceiling. Still, nothing to do but to push forward.
Leslie walked the 200 paces of the great hall, past tapestries that looked just so delightfully flammable that… no. It was just that thought that had pushed him from Castle Karfoosh a few short months ago, and the intervening stretch of sleeping under piles of sod was not something he relished returning to. Under the watchful eyes of eight ex-Dukes of Northcrumblich, and with goose pimples rising on the backs of his hands and neck, Leslie began to descended the long staircase that led from the back of the hall.
Now, the heat that he’d come to expect rose up to meet him, and the orange glow of the blacksmith forge began to play tricks on the rough stone of the keeps walls.
Unlike many castles, Elsinore had two forges. One, the traditional blacksmith forge for daily needs like horseshoeing and hoe repair, and the other buried deep in the bowels of the keep and for the express and single use of the current Duke of Northcrumblich, Armand the slightly-unpleasant-at-dinner-parties. Or, the Kind, as he was known to his face. (Don’t you sort of feel like those titles are fungible based on who is in the room?)
Leslie’s job was simple: stoke the forge. Get things up to speed. Make sure all the tools were in their correct place, and that the different rare metals and jewels that the Duke would be using were marshalled on the long stone shelf… and then to bugger off before his lordship got there and started the actual work. It was week three of this odd arrangement, but Leslie couldn’t really complain.
The project, or so it seemed, was in shaping a single magnificent blade. It lay, now, where the Duke had left it the day before, taking shape but not yet completed. Leslie had taken a few odd jobs as a blacksmith over the years, and had once had a drunken romp in the hay with what he’d thought was the blacksmith’s daughter of of this very keep, only to discover that the big man had no daughters. Still, it was one of the few memories Leslie looked back on with any sort of fondness…. anyway, he knew a thing or two about blacksmithing, that was the point. And this blade was going to be a real hum-dinger when all was said and done.
As Leslie busied himself bustling about the forge, his eye continued to be drawn back to the enchanting pre-blade where is rested on the master’s anvil. The unfinished thing was not yet burnished, yet it still shone brightly – almost as though the metal itself was giving off a faint glow. He looked at the masters hammer that sat by the giant leather apron. He looked at his own blacksmith hammer, that was always tucked into a ring on his belt. He looked back at the sword.”