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A Start

Lirriel's picture

"Can I help?"

Master Krollos looked down. From Arkav’s perspective, he was a tower of blue, shiny with sweat as he pumped the bellows.

"Too small," the smith grunted, tail gently sweeping Ark aside as Krollos clopped back to the anvil.

Ark huffed. He snagged Krollos’ tail, trying to clamber on the way he had as a tot and needed a nap.

Krollos shook him off and looked back. “Too big.”

"Which is it!" Ark demanded, stamping a hoof, arms crossed as he glared up at his caretaker.

Krollos’ mouth twitched and his tentacles quivered from the suppressed laugh. He pointed to a set of tongs sitting on another bench.

Ark scampered over, grabbing the tool in both hands and running back to Krollos. The elder Draenei took the tongs, leaning down to rest a hand on Ark’s head, one finger uncurling from the metal tool to point at the little boy. “Careful,” he admonished.

Ark nodded, and when Krollos pointed or asked in one word for the next item, Ark did not run. Some were difficult, if not impossible, for the small child to move, but he lashed his still-short tail and refused help—or to give up, while Master Krollos watched.

Arkav was wiped out by the time they cleaned and closed the forge down that evening. Ark’s last coherent memory of his first real workday was of Krollos carrying him back to their living quarters; the boy was sound asleep long before he was tucked into bed.

After that, for at least a couple hours each day when not in school or playing with other children, Arkav “helped” Krollos in the forge, fetching items until he was big enough to actually work at what he learned long before through observation and listening.