The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice, Part I

The vajra, a distinct symbol of Vajrayana

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Student artificing had been terribly easy. You used one of the small-scale, part-time, facilities attached to the Academy, you made minor, low-priority, items for other students, for the staff, and for the occasional godling too low in status to get something done by an official source. You showed your better pieces to the instructors, and discussed how you’d made them and how that could be made easier or the design and procedures improved (well, OK; mostly he’d just showed stuff to the instructors and discussed how he’d made it), and you got graded! It was one of his easiest classes!

He did most of the actual work at the Hoenheim Manse of course, where he had much better facilities – but he had to visit Earth a lot anyway, simply to collect the more exotic ingredients. The schools stockpiles were strictly limited. The requests had been picking up quite a bit of course since he usually got done a bit early, but why would anyone suddenly put him in charge of a factory-cathedral? Even if it WAS a small one and in need of some repair?

Even worse, he abruptly had a massive list of official orders, an even bigger list of unofficial ones, a lot more ingredients to collect, and a lot less free time… On the other hand, that also meant that he could use the facilities of the Factory-Cathedral after hours for some of his own projects. That wouldn’t speed things up that much – but it would let him turn out multiple copies of the more minor items at once. That could be REALLY handy!

Hm. It should be possible to duplicate at least part of that effect, at least now that he had an example to examine. Anyway, he was going to need a lot of ingredients…

A starmetal Fivefold Harmonic Adapter (*).

Well, all he’d need there was some Ambrosia from prayers to the maidens (the only ethical source), to supply a bit of starsteel. That would be mostly a matter of checking circulating coins of course… Still, it was silly not to turn out a large batch if you were going to use a factory-cathedral for that kind of thing. It might even be possible to adjust things so as to turn out multiple types at the same time. That would be a LOT more efficient. Besides, it would make a fine starting-test, and there was bound to be a demand for more of the things.

For other official orders he had…

  • Three harnesses of Dawn’s Cleansing Light (*)
  • Hm… Thaumaturgically condensed sunlight from the peak of one of earth’s highest mountains should do nicely.
  • Three Privacy Veils (*)
    • Spiderwebs from a long-sealed room. That should be easy enough.
  • A guitar (as per an Unsurpassed Sanxian) that could transform into a Starmetal (or, preferably, Moonsilver) Vajra (***)
    • A guitar personally signed by a major rock group perhaps? They certainly concentrated enough near-worship to qualify for a blessing.
  • A tent of Perfect Camouflage (**)
    • An elite military uniform snitched from an on-duty military base? That didn’t seem quite right, but it was the best he could think of offhand. It might do.
  • A Hearthstone Compass (*)
    • A fragment of stone from a fallen manse should do for that.
  • A motorcycle cover of Perfect Camouflage (**)
    • More perfect camouflage… Perhaps the hide of a giant squid? They changed color. A camouflage net from some old war?
  • A Folding Ship made entirely of plastic (*****)
    • No point in even speculating about that at the moment. He wasn’t up to making anything like that anyway!
  • Three “Thousand Comfort Lounges”, capable of dispensing aerosol compounds (**).
    • Huh. He had no idea on that one… He’d have to check the records. NOT a top priority anyway, at least in his judgement.
  • Green jade Black Widow Razors altered to dispense intoxicants instead of poison (***).
    • Green jade, a mixture of rare oils and compounds, and the fangs of a venomous serpent. Easy.
  • A red jade Thunderbolt Shield (**)
    • Red jade and meteoric iron. That was easy.
  • A pair of red jade Heartstone Bracers (**)
    • More red jade and mixture of rare corals.
  • A red jade Daikalbar (**)
    • Yet MORE red jade and an thaumaturgically-enchanted sharpening stone. Magma from a persistent lava lake would do too, or perhaps an ancient spearhead to scribe it with.
  • A starmetal Tapestry Box (an artifact notebook computer) with wireless capabilities (***)
    • Some circuitry from a computer that someone had lost? A vacuum tube used in one of the first computers? A tic-tac-toe victory over the tic-tac-toe computer in the smithsonian? That one was kind of hard…

    Now the “unofficial” orders included…

    • An adamant Reaper Daiklave (**).
    • Adamant was a little harder to get, but possible – and the enchanted sharpening-stone should do for it too.
  • A set of adamant Discreet Essence Armor with resizing capabilities (***)
    • Hm… some rare silks, a bit of moonsilver thread, and gems to match the major chakra.
  • Two jade saddles (** each)
    • Perhaps the essence of a teenage girl’s day spent fussing over a horse? They did seem to get pretty deeply involved with the things…
  • An Amulet of shadow walking (*** version)
    • A vial of darkness from the depths of a cave where the sun has never shown, carved with an obsidian blade which has tasted blood, from the heartwood of a tree hit by lightning during a night storm.
  • A pair of perfected boots disguised as sneakers (*)
    • Uhm… A pair of really good sneakers would do. Preferably carried by a runner during a marathon. That would be pretty easy.
  • A Soulsteel Windblade-class Personal Transport (***)
    • A flying surfboard or skateboard? What he had on that suggested the remains – or spirit – from someone who had died performing extreme sports, surfing, or skateboarding. Now that was just WRONG. Even if the spirit WANTED to spend eternity sailing on the winds NOW it would surely get old after a few decades! Soulsteel was right out… He or she would just have to settle for some other material with an adaptor built it! So… Feathers from five different predatory birds, a globe of each of the four winds, and a cloud from an otherwise cloudless day. That should do it nicely.
  • A Swift Rider (***)
    • Horseshoes from a Kentucky Derby champion and a hipparion bone. That one was easy.
  • A Windslave Disk (* version)
    • Oh well. A minor blessing from a wind-spirit should do nicely. For that matter, an earth-spirit would do as well.
  • Three sets of red jade shark-sized Death Fangs (apply magical material bonuses to bite attacks, * each)
    • OK, that was trivial; red jade, a very hot flame, and a few teeth from a powerful carnivore.
  • A pair of Wave-Stepping Boots (**)
    • A bottle which was afloat with a message for at least a year. Not too hard.
  • An Ultimate Document (***)
    • Possibilities there included the tools of a master forger, a notorious fake ID, or even an Etch-A-Sketch – an old one which had seen a lot of use and had been stored in an attic or something.

    That about covered everything.

    Time to get started on those components!


    4 Responses

    1. […] I – The Student Artificer: In which Charles winds up employed… […]

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    4. […] I – The Student Artificer: In which Charles winds up employed… (Really, a rather dull list of initial projects – but it was the setup). […]

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