Samwy struck the chisel with his hammer. With each blow, a chunk of rock broke free from the wall. Little fragments fell to the sides of his metal feet. Samwy was a creature of fire that resided on the border between the Elemental Plane of Earth and Fire.
Today, as countless days passed, Samwy struck the walls of the cave with his hammer. Carefully making his way through the stone. At any time… the last blow felt different. The opportunity Samwy had been waiting for. It was too early to celebrate. He struck the wall again and revealed a red crystal.
Samwy had to be careful moving forward. The size of the crystal was still unknown. He moved far enough to the side to continue chipping at the rock. Hitting with his hammer. Trying to be as careful as possible. The gemstone was larger than he imagined.
Impossible, he thought, backing up to look. Four feet long and the glass was still intact. The fire that springs up from Samwy, instead of hair and beard, was kindled. The metallic skin of the fire halfling seemed to glow.
Samwy had to carve the crystal as soon as possible. He kept hammering. Making sure the structure remained intact. Imagining the beautiful craftsmanship he could come up with a large crystal. Once he was finally able to retrieve the gemstone, Samwy lowered it to the cave floor.
His imagination managed to see beyond the glowing red crystal structure. Samwy gave shape to a new creation in his head, once again he would be recognized among his kind. The azers were the greatest known master metalworkers in history. Their talents could only be compared to that of their closest rivals. A species that also lives on the Elemental Plane of Fire and constantly seeks to improve the quality of azer’s creations.
A group of salamanders patrolling the tunnel Samwy was working on, sensing the scent of the ruby, the fiery serpents quickly went in search of the treasure.
Samwy saw three salamanders scattered around the tunnel. The fire creatures left lines of molten stone in their wake. The temperature of the snakes was much higher than that of an azer. Metal in their hands was malleable like dough. That made them worthy rivals when it came to forging a weapon.
Samwy had to protect his stone from losing its rigidity. The temperature of a salamander could spoil it. So he took a step forward to protect his treasure.
“I see you have found something for us,” said one of the salamanders.
Samwy raised his hammer. “Over my dead body.”
Salamanders supported themselves with the base of their tails. Which made them twice as tall as Samwy. They held red metal tridents in their hands, and began to surround Samwy.
“What are you waiting for?” Samwy demanded.
One of the salamanders lashed out at Samwy with its tail. The speed of the blow caused small pieces of rock to dislodge from the wall. Samwy managed to jump to the sides to defend himself.
“You better hand over the rock,” another of the salamanders said.
Samwy noticed that one of the salamanders was about to throw its trident. Samwy charged at another one of them. Fighting against three was ridiculous; beating one was almost impossible. Samwy had no other way out. The salamanders would do anything to steal his treasure.
The salamander parried Samwy’s attack. The other two concentrated on the gem on the ground. They just had to grab it and escape.
Samwy threw his chisel, the metal smashed against the head of a salamander about to grab the gem.
The three salamanders turned their attention to Samwy. He stepped back to anticipate the attack of the tails of his rivals. “Give us the gem and we’ll spare your life.”
Samwy attacked again. This time he took a hit from the tail of one of the salamanders. The impact pushed him hard against one of the cave walls. The place began to shake. The salamanders looked from one side to the other in search of shelter… however, the cave did not lose its structure. When the intruders looked for the azer, he was gone.
Samwy grabbed the gem. He slipped through the rocks in a thin tunnel.
The salamanders caught a glimpse of the little azer running and disappearing into the rock. The cave entrance was too small. The gem would be too far away for them to reach. They also risked falling into a trap.
Samwy escaped, certain that no one was following him, and the image of his future creation came back to him.