Her large hairy feet felt like lead weights, and her usual scamper was nowhere to be found, as Niami Denmother trudged solemnly into her workshop. She really, really didn't want to face this task, especially right before the upcoming holiday season, but it was past time, and she would not let selfishness override duty.
The warning signs were there, no matter how much Mum wanted to ignore them. The stockpiling of the tools that she had crafted for him, the distraction, the furtive hiding of various projects when she approached, the weird excuses to get her out of the workshop if she didn't head home for her traditional afternoon nap. In her mind, it all added up to one thing.
Her apprentice, Agnor, was preparing to strike out on his own.
She tried to make her steps more brisk once she saw him bent over a project at the workbench, but she had to blink her blue eyes several times to keep the tears at bay when he slid whatever it was he'd been working on underneath some other items on the table. Better that she give him her blessing now, instead of making him have to ask for it.
"I am glad I caught ye afore I leave, lad. There be more hullaballoo up in Ethernere, an' ..."
A fleeting frown crossed Agnor's face, before he smoothed his features once again and interrupted. "I just need to finish something up, and change a couple plans, and I can be ready to head up and check it out for you, Mum."
"Nae, nae, Agnor. I'll go shortly. But I wanted tae talk tae ye afore I go. I've been a selfish auld halfling, an' it is time I made things right. Th' skills ye hae, an' all th' hard work ye've done hae more than earned ye th' right tae stop being an apprentice an' tae call yuirself a Master craftsman. Think on where ye'd like tae set up yuir own shop while I am gone, an' when I am back, I will proudly help ye get set up wi' equipment, supplies an' th' like. Ye more than deserve any support I can gi'e ye, after putting up wi' me all this time.
The wooden mallet that he'd been clutching in one blue fist gave a loud *crack* as it broke. "You're firing me?"
Mum blinked before hurrying to respond. "Nae! Nae! O' course nae! I'm jus' promoting ye! Ye've been more o' an assistant than an apprentice, and it is nae fair tae ye tae keep ye on as such. I hate tae see ye go, an' I am dreading th' thought o' training someone new, but ..."
The normally calm coldain was practically babbling as he cut in, "Then why not keep me? There's always something new to learn around here, and I thought you were happy with my work. I don't care what you call me, whether apprentice or assistant, but I really enjoy working here, and I don't want the hassle of setting up somewhere as a Master. You wouldn't even have to give me a raise!"
Bemusedly, Mum patted his hand as she gently extracted the broken mallet from his hands. "Bristlebane knows I do nae want tae let ye go, lad, but I thought ye might want tae set up on yuir own." At his emphatic headshake, she continued, "Och! Well, it seems I was mistaken, then. If ye're sure, then we'll discuss details o' a pay raise an' a change in title when I return."
After discussing the details of her trip to Ethernere, she scampered on her way, leaving behind a confused, but very relieved, Agnor.
As she ran hither and yon for the Far Seas Trading Company, first around Norrath, then up to the Obol Plains, she let her mind ponder on Agnor's behavior. If he wasn't planning on leaving her employ, what other explanation was there for his actions? Was he bored? Tired of the same old thing? Did he need a vacation?
She made a mental note to find some suitable way to show her appreciation for his work ... and to actually ask him what was going on, rather than jumping to conclusions.
It was after she arrived on the Vesspyr Islands that inspiration struck for a suitable gift for him.
Well, trees and a cottage, but still, trees.
Growing up as he had in Thurgadin, he hadn't had a lot of chance to see nature in all her colorful glory. Not much grew in the frozen region of the Great Divide, after all.
She remembered his pleasure the first time that he saw the multihued mystery of Antonican trees wearing their fall foliage finery. It was rare that the stoic coldain cracked a smile, but it had been there, however briefly.
As she gazed in wonder at the even more fantastically colored trees of the Vesspyr Islands, a plan began to hatch, and while she collected samples for a researcher, she also collected a few seeds from each type of tree and bush she was sampling.
Her first stop on returning to Norrath, a day earlier than she'd told Agnor to expect her, was a Vale bungalow she'd been setting up as a guest cottage.
While she waited for a response to a message she sent to a druid friend, she rolled up her sleeves, tied a kerchief over her red hair, and settled in for a couple hours of digging holes around the yard. By the time the lady-druid arrived, she had wilow seeds in one hand, and a watering can in the other.
An hour and several rapid growth spells later, she had trees of varying hues dotting the landscape - russet, gold, indigo, lavender and more.
Well, they were all colorful other than the one dud that had died when a growth spell backfired.
After a brief discussion with Fennory, she decided not to chop the dead tree down. Instead, she would call upon a wizard friend later, douse the branches of the dead tree with water, and have the wizard freeze them. The crystalline glitter of ice on a tree might make Agnor feel even more at home when she presented him with the house.
It was with a feeling of gleeful pride that she snuck into the workshop to surprise Agnor.
She was the one who was surprised, however, when she found several younger folks clustered in a huddle around the sewing table, with Agnor's voice coming from the center of the cluster. "See the differences in seam finishing on these two toolbelts? On this one, there is already signs that it is going to unravel at these stress points. It was a faster way to finish off the seams, but more suited to curtains or decorative items, not anything that would have to take a bit of weight and wear and tear. But on this one, we double-stitched over any of the possible stress points. It took more time, but it will hold together better when carrying heavy tools. For the next class, I want you to bring in samples of baskets that you use for your crafting supplies. It may be a couple days before I can get free again, but I'll send around messages once I ..." Seeing Mum standing there with a bemused look on her face, he trailed off uncertainly. He hadn't cleared these classes with her yet, as some of his erstwhile students had been worried she might say something to their masters.
As she looked around at the faces that had turned to follow his gaze, she recognized several who were apprenticed to some of the lazier master craftsmen in the city. Agnor had apparently taken to teaching them the skills their own masters "should" have been teaching them, but weren't.
Her face lit up with an impish grin as she spoke up, "Gi'e him twa or three days tae settle intae his new home an' th' classes can begin again. An' I'll make sure ye've proper refreshments, alsae."
The apprentices filed out with smiles on their faces. Not only were classes going to be allowed to continue, but Mum was planning on feeding them, too? Things were definitely looking up!
Meanwhile, Mum was putting a finger under Agnor's chin, pushing up gently to close his still-open mouth. "It was guid o' ye tae see tae passing on yuir knowledge tae those that need it. Now, while it may be fitting frae my apprentice tae end up in th' spare room in my home, my assistant deserves a bit more, sae take what time ye need tae get settled intae th' guest cottage, an' then we'll discuss th' classes, an' some new research we need tae perform.
The crafting quests in the Tears of Veeshan expansion reward you with a large number of lovely items. While I will write up full quest guides later, here is a preview of the lovely house items that you will soon be able to obtain from these crafting quests, which will be released with the launch of the Tears of Veeshan expansion on November 12, 2013.
This article is one part of the Tears of Veeshan Crafting Preview. Since it is being written during the beta testing phase, things can still change before this launches on November 12, so stay tuned for last-minute changes.
Note: the Violet Vesspyr Flower mentioned above was replaced with a Pink Bixie Shrub. (The flower ended up an Erollisi Day buyable instead.)
I did warn you that there was a large number of them, right? The Red Shiny rewards and the Scary Eidolon Jungle Tree are already posted in the Oh No - Qho! article, so I won't display them here as well, but here's a look at the rest of them:
||Keg of Healing Tonic
|Pink Bixie Shrub
||Blue Bixie Shrub
||Polished Focus Crystal
||Frosty Vesspyr Willow
|Dark-Veined Vesspyr Willow
||Russet Vesspyr Willow
||Dead Vesspyr Willow
|Indigo Vesspyr Willow
||Golden Vesspyr Willow
||Lavender Vesspyr Willow
|Fish Oil Candle||Far Seas Research Notes:
|Daar Sentinel Model