A Beginner's Guide to Forging
So you think you have what it takes to work in the forge,
do you? Well, we'll find out soon enough, I'm sure. There's
more to crafting the finest armors and weapons than most
people realize. It takes strength, stamina, and above all
else, experience. Not only are the finest smiths in the land
expected to have the constitution of an ox and the strength
of a bear, but they need a solid base understanding of the
various aspects of mechanical lore, as well as extensive
familiarity with the various weapons and armors they hope
to create. If you thought the constitution of an ox meant
you could get away with the brains of an ox as well, you
were sorely mistaken.
Before you can begin forging, you'll need to find a forge.
While every province has at least one, not all forges are
open to just any aspiring young apprentice. Some forges accept
only estate holders, for example, while others may only accept
members of certain guilds. You may need to explore or ask
around to find a forge that is willing to let you use their
Let's assume for a moment you've found a forge. Straight
to work, right? Well, not exactly. First you'll need to purchase
supplies. Each forge has a good supply of various metals
and charcoal for sale. What metals should you use, and how
much will you need? That, my friend, is something you'll
need to learn from an experienced smith, or figure out for
yourself. I'll give you a simple starting point later in
this lecture -- the rest is up to you. For now, all you need
to know is that each metal has its own unique qualities and
density, and you'll want to take some time to become familiar
with each through experimentation or questioning experienced
forgers. Charcoal is a special case, as it is used to make
steel from iron. More on that later.
Once you have your basic materials such as iron and charcoal,
you'll need to melt them down and pour them into a mold.
To do this, you need to find the foundry. You'll know you
are in the right place when you see a large cauldron over
a fire, surrounded by molds. We'll go through the foundry
process step by step, so pay close attention.
The first thing you'll want to do is get a very hot fire
blazing. A smoldering fire simply won't be hot enough to
melt the metals you'll be working with, so grab some coal
from the coal pile and stoke the fire with it. One scoop
of coal won't last long, however, so you may want to add
several shovelfuls before proceeding to the next step. Once
you have stoked the fire with a good supply of coal, you'll
need to work the bellows (PULL BELLOW) to provide
the fire with more oxygen, to heat it even further. Continue
you have a brilliant fire. This can be extremely tiring work,
so you may need to stop periodically and cool yourself down
with water from
the bucket provided (SPLASH WATER), or rest a while.
Just keep in mind that while you rest, the coal is burning
down. Stamina of
an ox, remember?
Once the fire is brilliant and you've had a moment to catch
your breath, it's time to melt down your metals. For example,
let's assume you want to make a simple steel ingot for use
in forging a dagger. For this demonstration's purposes, put
a bar of iron in the cauldron (PUT
IRON IN CAULDRON), and then put a piece of charcoal
in the cauldron (PUT
CHARCOAL IN CAULDRON) along
with it. The iron is
the base metal, and adding the
charcoal will make steel. Something to note is that not all
charcoal is the same -- some shops will sell
larger pieces you can BREAK down into smaller pieces,
while others do not. Both work, but be aware that the results
using a larger piece may be different from using a smaller
piece. In any case, once you have the iron bar and charcoal
in the cauldron, PUSH CAULDRON over the fire.
At this stage, or at any point during the forging process,
SPLASH WATER on yourself if you are getting tired.
Believe me, you'll probably be doing this a lot. LOOK
IN CAULDRON periodically to see if
the bar and the charcoal have melted. Once they have, pull
the cauldron (PULL
CAULDRON) off the fire and stir the contents (STIR
Depending on what you put in the cauldron, there is a chance
may need to stir more
than once, so look again before you try to pour the mix out.
At all times be aware of the state of your fire -- if it
starts to go down, add more charcoal and pull the bellows
a few more times. If your melted mixture cools too much while
in the cauldron, you may end up with something unsuitable
Once the mixture is stirred thoroughly, you can either add
more metals if you need more, or pour the cauldron in the
moldof your choice;
do be sure to specify whether you want the wire,
the ingot mold (POUR CAULDRON IN [WIRE|PLATE|INGOT]
are working on a steel dagger in this example, we'll use
the ingot mold, which is for weapons. For those of you hoping
to make fine armors, the chain mold is for chain armors,
and the plate mold is for plate armor. One bar of iron and
one piece of charcoal should be plenty of steel to make a
simple dagger, although the mix may not be the best quality
-- mixes are carefully guarded secrets by master smiths,
so you'll either need to come up with your own ideal mixtures
through trial and error, or you'll need to find a friendly
smith willing to share a few of his favorite mixes. Should
you need more steel than what we used in this example, you
can and should keep adding metals and charcoal to the cauldron
a little at a time until you have sufficient materials for
your final project. Note that while I'm using steel in this
example, you can also create alloys or even bronze weapons.
Play around with metal mixtures long enough and you'll learn
what type of metals work best for what you are trying to
Once the molten metal is in the mold, there's nothing to
do but wait, unless you intend to make more wires, plates,
or ingots, which you can certainly do while the fire is still
hot and you are waiting for your first ingot to cool. Inspect
the ingot periodically (LOOK INGOT), and you'll
be able to tell when it's cool enough
to handle. When it's ready,
head for the forge itself, which is usually in another room.
You'll know you are in the right place when you see a forge,
an anvil, and yet another bucket of water.
your ingot on the forge to reheat it enough to pound. You
don't want to melt the metal this time, only get it to
a nice white hot glow. Once it's sufficiently heated, get
the white hot ingot (GET INGOT) and put it on the
INGOT ON ANVIL). Now the real work begins. You need
to decide what you want to
If you aren't sure what you want to make, sometimes it helps
to pound away once for a bit of inspiration (POUND [INGOT|CHAIN|PLATE]).
Once you have decided, hammer
the ingot into whatever it is you want to make
-- in this case a dagger (POUND INGOT ON ANVIL INTO DAGGER).
Now if you are a good strong smith, you shouldn't find this
will find that pounding takes both a great deal of exertion
and time until they build up their stamina and strength.
If you don't know enough about the principles of Mechanical
Lore, you may also find yourself doing more harm than
good, or even
the ingot, especially if the ingot gets
too cool. Keep an eye on that ingot, and if it starts to
cool too much, put it back on the forge to reheat it.
Depending on your physical condition, pounding may take
a while, and you may need to rest regularly. Once you are
done, however, you'll have one of two things -- a nice dagger
blade, or pieces of broken steel. Assuming you made it through
in one piece, take the blade (GET BLADE) and cool
it in the water (PUT
BLADE IN WATER). The same basic principle holds
for armor -- pound until it is done, and then put it in the
water to cool it. Should your ingot break, get the pieces
and put them in the water as well. You can remelt them in
the foundry and try again if you wish.
may have a blade, but you aren't finished yet. Back in the
forge shop, you can purchase hilts. You'll need to
buy a hilt and attach it to the blade (PUT HILT ON
to finish the dagger. Congratulations! You've finished your
is a bit different. Obviously, you don't put a hilt on armor.
Instead, you need to fit your armor (FIT ARMOR)
to finish it up.
else is there to be said about forging? There are a few other
things you can do to improve your weapons and armor
before you do the final steps of fitting or hilting. For
armor, you have additional options to fit the armor even
better, while weaponsmiths can attempt to grind their blades
to improve their qualities. These enhancements are available
to all forgers, but only those with the best understanding
of the principles involved are going to be able to do it
well. If you wish to know more about these advanced options,
seek out an experienced smith, or experiment with them yourself.
If you are still here after all that, you may just have
what it takes to be a master smith after all. A few last
comments before you rush off to begin your career as a smith.
I mentioned repeatedly that knowledge of mechanical lore
is essential. However, it is also important that you have
more than a passing familiarity with the type of item you
wish to make. If you want to make a dagger, you should in
the very least be familiar with daggers and their use, and
it doesn't hurt to have extensive knowledge in all types
of blades. The same principle holds true for armor -- if
you want to make the finest heavy plate, you need an intimate
understanding of how heavy plate fits, and you'll also want
to be fairly familiar with the lighter variations as well.
Knowledge of weapons and armor isn't strictly essential,
but the end results will directly reflect your understanding
(or lack thereof) of the items you craft.