Kettle to the Mettle
Curse that drunken boor of a man. How am I to reclaim my title if─ Oh, Forename. Pray forgive my grumblings. As you no doubt remember, Gerolt stubbornly refuses to relinquish the title of Starforger, and we have been at odds ever since the completion of your Zodiac Weapon Zeta. I will not deny he is a talented blacksmith, but I am of the Ulthalam line! My forefather penned the Book of Netherdark, whose pages revealed the truth of the Zodiac Weapons. Who is he to deny my birthright? Now he insists that everyone refer to him as Gerolt the Starforger, more often than not too deep in his cups to be reasoned with. When not drowning in ale, he drowns out the world with his hammer, pounding away on his godsforsaken kettles. Or rather he did. Lately, he has taken to leaving for days on end, and I struggle to get a word in edgewise on the rare occasions he is here. I realize he has a singular fixation with his crafting, but something is different this time. <sigh> At this rate, I will never reclaim my family's legacy. ...Unless, perhaps, you spoke to him in my stead. I know of no other for whom he would halt his hammering, let alone listen to them having done so. Please, Forename─see if you can talk some sense into him.
Hmmm...maybe the spout could do with bein' a bit more─
Eh? Oh, it's you. Whatever it is, ye can take it up with Drake over there. This kettle's not goin' to make itself. If I had to guess, Ardashir sent ye, but I ain't got time fer that. If it's not about me kettle, ye can take it up with Drake over there. The daft sod's still chunterin' about who gets to call himself the bloody Starforger, is he? Well, tell him to shut his gob, 'cause it's me. End o' story. I've got more important things to worry about, like this kettle here. It's me ticket to freedom, an' a fresh start down the pub. When I've finished, it'll be the finest bloody kettle in all of Eorzea─an' I've got a customer what'll pay a sultana's bleedin' ransom fer it too. It'll be just like the good old days, you wait an' see. Folk'll come crawlin' to have work done by yer old mate Gerolt. Come to think of it, since yer here an' all, there's a few things I need, if yer feelin' helpful. The sooner I finish, the sooner I can see about gettin' rid o' Jalzahn. An' before ye say no, just remember who made that precious Zodiac Weapon o' yours─and agreed to help you out with that anima business out o' the kindness of his heart. 'Sonly fair ye return the favor. So what do ye say? I knew I could count on ye. The thing's pretty much done, to tell the truth, but it needs somethin' extra. A shine what'll make 'em forget it's only a tool fer boilin' water. Seein' you here actually gave me an idea. Ye remember them pieces of alexandrite we used for yer Zodiac Weapon? The stuff looks stunnin' when light hits it the right way─like moonlight glintin' off the lip of a grog bottle. Might be as I can use it to give this kettle a nice sheen. Should be easy to round up a few for someone like you. Bring me, say, fifty pieces of alexandrite, an' I should have enough fer a nice even coat. I'm countin' on ye, Forename!
Bring me fifty pieces of alexandrite, an' I guarantee this kettle'll blind folk with its beauty. Good on ye, lad. Now let's make her shine, eh? <pant> <pant> ...Bloody alexandrite. Like forcin' out a three-day shite, that was. Worth the trouble, though. Finest I've ever made, if I do say so meself. A kettle fit fer royalty, or at least them rich nobs what drink their tea with fancy cakes and such. I'll bet it wouldn't take more'n a count o' sixty at most to make a crackin' mulled tea in that. Genius!
What is this? You chose to ignore the legacy of my family line─my birthright─for this pathetic piece of tin?
Why don't ye come over here an' say that, you opo-faced sack o'─
...I see. Crafting this perfect kettle is meant to restore your reputation, is it? Well, for what it's worth, I think the kettle is exquisite. It possesses a transcendent sheen unlike any kettle you have made thus far. But I will not be blinded by the waning glimmer of such tawdry wares. Have you no shame, man!?
Come now, Gerolt. After forging something as fine as a Zodiac Weapon, surely you can see this kettle is not yet worthy of your name!
Though we are rivals, Gerolt, our time together should not count for naught. Why did you not consult me sooner? I am willing to set aside our differences, for now, if this is really so important to you. To create a truly perfect kettle, one worthy of bearing your mark, you must be uncompromising. If I understand correctly, your reputation is at stake here; nothing must be left to chance. Which is precisely why I will help you.
<sniff> Yer all right, Jalzahn. If yer willin' to help, I won't say no.
Under the circumstances, it seems the least I can do. Were it not for your aid, my life's work would still be a distant dream. But mark my words, Gerolt: when this kettle is complete, we will settle the matter of the Starforger title.
Aye, fair do's. Ye've got yerself a deal.
Forename, I will need you to procure some few bottles of Thavnairian mist for our work. Ten should suffice, I think. Soon the very stars in the firmament will seem pale next to this kettle's all-surpassing shine!
Ah, Forename. Do you have the Thavnairian mist we require? Yes, this is indeed the genuine article. Never in all my years did I imagine using something so precious on something so...peculiar. Well, let us see what the power of alchemy can do for his kettle. Now that... <pant> That, my good sir, is how you make a kettle. Behold, the rich glow of finely wrought pottery. If ever there were legends born of kitchenware, this would surely warrant a place among them. The choicest fruit of the realm's most masterful blacksmith, and her most accomplished alchemist─I give you...Ultimate Kettle Zenith!
Well, I'll be thrice damned! Rhalgr Himself'd be proud to have a kettle like that on his table. I bet ye could whip up a nice blend o' mulled tea in a count o' thirty with that!
Uh...excuse me, Master Gerolt. I hate to interrupt, but... It's about the kettles for our client at the Rosewood Stalls. I thought you should know I've taken care of their order, and it should arrive in Gridania within the day. The thing is... <sigh> The thing is, they insisted that the goods be delivered early, and I was forced to forgo quality for the sake of crafting the requisite number in time. I'm terribly sorry. I tested one with mulled tea to gauge it's boiling speed, and... <sniff> ...regrettably, it took a full count of twenty to prepare. I pray they will be merciful in their appraisal, knowing it was but a lowly apprentice, and not your masterful hand, that accommodated their request. Next, I believe, is an arms order from the House of Splendors. It has been ages since they last requested our services. I only hope the quality of my work will not discourage future business. Ah, forgive me. I did not mean to sour the mood with talk of my shortcomings. Mayhap your coming masterpiece will serve to inspire me. I very much look forward to seeing it when it's finished.
...Looks like we've made a decent start on that kettle, then! Ain't that right, Jalzahn?
O-Oh, yes, yes of course! A fine start indeed. At last we can begin our work in earnest!
Somethin' wrong, Forename? Ye didn't think we was finished, did ye? Far from it! That was just the, er, roughin'-out stage, see? Now's the part where we turn her into a real kettle!
Yes...yes, the all-important realization stage. For this, I fear we will need elixirs of a much greater potency. A quasi-soul potion rich with aether should serve our purposes well. Boiling it down inside the kettle will allow me to interfuse and apply the solution in a single stroke. But its boiling point is incredibly high. We would need flames from the bowels of an inferno, the fiercest of gales to fan them, and the stoutest earth to contain them. Quite what form such ingredients might take, I cannot say, but I must ask that you find them nonetheless.
Sounds like what we're lookin' fer are fragments from primals─namely, Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan.
...They may very well suffice, yes. If you would be so good as to procure them, we will make a kettle for the ages!
Good to see ye back, lad, an' with all yer limbs, at that. Did ye get what we need? Listen...I know riskin' yer neck fetchin' pointless shite fer folk is yer specialty, but this means a lot. Seriously. Yer more than just another adventurer─yer a mate. <cough> But enough o' this sentimental bollocks. We've got a kettle to make! <pant> <pant> We...we did it! There's no toppin' that! Not this time! Hold her up and see fer yerself. Now that there's a true kettle o' legend, and the finest piece o' pottery Eorzea'll ever see─Ultimate Kettle Nexus!!!
By the gods, what an exquisite glow! Armed with such a kettle, I am quite certain one could prepare a flawless mulled tea in a count of ten─no, five. Mayhap even less!
Thank you. Both o' ye. When me client sees this little beauty, word's bound to travel fast. Folk the realm over'll be cryin' out fer me wares, just like back in the good old days.
I have no doubt the road to your former glory is now clear before you. Which only leaves the not so small matter of my Starforger title. I trust you have not forgotten our agreement?
Nay, I've not forgotten. I plan to win that title from ye fair an' square!
Erm... Excuse me, Master Gerolt. I couldn't help but notice the kettle you've been working on, and seeing that you had just finished, I took it upon myself to look over the order. I'm sorry to report that it was due for delivery some time ago, and that...well...the order was canceled.
Gerolt, how could you forget? When was this order placed?
Two, um...years ago.
WHAT!? B-But we did all that work! I did all that bloody work! No, no, no! This can't be happenin'! Now where am I goin' to find a hundred million gil to pay off me bleedin' notes!?
Pardon? You mean to say you were doing this for money all along!? And there I was thinking that I'd at last discovered a modicum of decency in the gutter that serves for your soul. I should have known better.
Hold on a minute! It's all comin' back to me now! This order came in 'round the time you barged in here, rantin' and ravin' about yer godsforsaken Zodiac Weapon, distractin' me from me work! This is your fault, ye swivin', scabby-arsed, shite-eatin' streak o' piss! And you have the BALLS to ask fer that bleedin' title back!? Bollocks to that! I'm keepin' it─fer good!
Over my dead body, you ale-sodden little has-been! It seems whatever affliction claimed your hair has taken your brain as well. The title of Starforger is mine by rights, and I will have it back─one way or another. Have at thee!
<sigh> Oh Master Gerolt... Well, it appears our client no longer requires this kettle, and it would be a waste to let it sit and collect dust here in Hyrstmill. Might you be willing to take it? As a small token of appreciation for all you've done to help Master Gerolt. I'm sure he'd like you to have it. Quite sure. After taking a closer look at it, I believe I can replicate the kettle should you ever require another, though I doubt it will be as fine as Master Gerolt's. You need only ask.