I watched Khyrmin’s retreating figure. The only thing I could think to do was call out through the open door, “Well, of course I’m terrible if you haven’t trained me yet!”
There were a few moments of awkward silence before Khyrmin returned to the open door, “Night outside is dangerous.”
It wasn’t night just yet, but I got the message. I don’t know what I expected to see inside, but it was something like one might see in a house… instead of swords. Swords on the walls, swords on weapon racks, swords displayed on their own stands. That floor had rapiers specifically. They came in all sorts of different styles and… qualities. Some of them looked like pieces of garbage, though they were all well maintained. Even so, maintenance can only do so much when the initial product was a piece of garbage.
Looking closely, some of the rapiers were even made of iron. Regular iron, not even any sort of steel. That meant they were just lumps of metal made to look like rapiers. While the iron age came after the bronze age… iron was not better than bronze. Steel was better than bronze, though of course the quality was important. Bad steel was still bad, good bronze was still good. Iron was pretty hard and inflexible, and that meant it was nearly useless for a rapier which needed to bend and slip in cracks of armor.
Khyrmin was waiting by the stairs to the next floor, her expression unreadable even to the point I couldn’t tell if she was getting impatient at my scrutinizing or wanted a reaction. I didn’t know what to say, but Kantrilla spoke first anyway. “What an impressive collection of swords!” Kantrilla clapped her hands together and smiled. From her, that was a genuine compliment. She wasn’t really an expert on weapons, and even if she had been she probably would have had the same expression. She was the type who would say that even shoddy weapons had their purpose.
Khyrmin didn’t respond, and instead walked up the stairs to the next floor. The second floor had more swords, of the one-handed arming sword variety. The third had longswords and greatswords- two handed swords. The fourth floor had short swords and daggers. The fifth had curved swords of all kinds. The sixth floor was slightly different, with hammers and maces.
I was starting to realize how big this ‘cabin’ was. I mean, I had seen it from a distance, but it had looked normal until I saw the door. Then it kept getting bigger, and I sort of lost track. However, it looked like I expected a log cabin to be… except each log was over five feet thick. That put two to a floor, more or less, and that meant a couple dozen logs stacked was a very large building indeed. I wasn’t even sure how it could have been constructed to begin with.
The seventh floor had axes of all sorts. It might just have been my own impressions, but they didn’t seem to be placed with as much care as the swords. The eighth floor had polearms, and the ninth had armor on stands, making it look like the room was full of people. The armor was especially interesting because even though it was well cared for, it was also for the most part quite damaged with holes and scrapes and dents and tears. The next two floors were different in that there were mostly just piles of various things strewn about. Incomplete sets of armor, broken weapons, bent shields, and the like.
The twelfth floor, however, suddenly returned to careful placement. It was full of complete sets of armor with weapons and sometimes shields. More than that, everything sparkled. Though the floors had been getting smaller as we neared the top and the roof slanted in, there were still dozens of sets of magical equipment just on display. “Where… where did you get all of this?” I couldn’t help but ask. One of the sets of weapons I could see being a lifetime’s collection. Multiple sets… well, that just required more money, help, or more time. Elves could live longer than humans, if I remembered correctly. However, all of this was just too much, and with no other ornamentation than equipment in the whole cabin it made little sense.
“From my dungeon.” Khyrmin answered. As if that explained everything. What dungeon did she go to? Was there even a dungeon around?
There was only one final floor. It was mostly empty, except for a huge bed, a dresser, and a gigantic fireplace. There was also a bearskin rug, though I had no idea what sort of bear it was from. Dire bears were big, but they weren’t thirty feet long from head to tail, were they? I supposed it could have been fake, but Khyrmin didn’t seem like the type to bother with that.
“You can put your stuff down in the corner.” Khyrmin gestured with a wave, “Stew is cooking for dinner.”
After that was just a lot of awkward waiting. Kantrilla tried to start up conversation with Khyrmin several times, to no avail. I still wasn’t exactly sure what to think, so I wasn’t very good conversation at the moment either. Even so, I made some attempts of my own.
“How did you build the cabin?” I asked.
That… didn’t explain anything at all. It was like asking a smith how they made a sword. “Metal” wasn’t a how it was a what with. It didn’t seem like it was worth correcting Khyrmin over though. I still wanted her to like me so she would teach me. I thought she was planning to train me anyway, but maybe she was just going to let Kantrilla and I stay the night then kick us out in the morning. Either way, if she didn’t want to say anything I wasn’t going to bug her.
After eating the stew (it might have been bear?) it was dark. Since we didn’t have anything in particular to do, it was time to go to sleep. Khyrmin seemed like the type who got up early.
Kantrilla and I each picked out our own giant sections of the bearskin rug. I used some of my pack as a pillow, and slowly drifted off to the nice feeling of a full stomach and a pleasantly toasty fire.