Can a dwarf be any less than good at crafting?
Could he get by with being decent, or mediocre? Could a dwarf survive in society if he was a bad blacksmith?
Gaius had wondered about this off and on throughout his childhood. After all, crafting was such a dominant force in dwarf culture; it was unthinkable for a young dwarf, especially a male, to go without training in the art of smithing. However, it had never been a pressing concern to him. He was naturally gifted in the way that he handled the hammer and tongs, in the way that he so carefully selected the optimal materials to use in crafting. He had never worried about failing in smithing- it was easy for him.
But now he worried, and he wondered: Could a dwarf with only one eye be a blacksmith?
Gaius rolled onto his side, staring with his one good eye at the stern wooden wall before him. He studied the cracks and knots that marred its severe surface, connecting them into shapes. His depth perception, it seemed, was not as terrible as he had imagined it would be with one eye- but that was probably a trick of the mind.
He thought back to the moment when he had lost it. A slip of the hand was all that it took. He hadn’t been prideful. Just careless. And that was all it took.
“Gaius, look at me.”
Gaius looked, with one eye, at the speaker, sitting up abruptly. “It’s funny,” he said, in his ordinary, nonchalant voice. “It happened so long ago, and yet I sometimes wonder whether or not it’s possible for me to be a good blacksmith.” His voice shook at the last word. “Kind of funny, huh, Raven?”
Raven neither confirmed nor denied. She simply handed him a piece of iron. “You’ve slept long enough. We need more weapons downstairs; stock’s running low.”
The iron felt warm in his hands, soft, malleable, and useful, or, at least, it had the potential to be all of these things. “Thanks Raven,” he said, grinning while wiping away a tear. “You know how to get me out of trouble.”