This page last updated on 2016-12-25
Coin Name : Dwarven Soul
Edition Name: Lessons for Aurelia
Finish: 24 Karat Gold
2016 – 50 coins
The Dwarven Soul coins are 2 inches in diameter and have their own custom icon. This edition features pink, purple, and white pearl enamel and pink sparkle enamel with a 24 karat gold finish. The colors were intended to represent Queen Aurelia when she was young.
*** Narrative ***
Latus could see that Aurelia didn’t like this town very much. The girl with the perfect clothes, the perfect hair, and the perfect smile was frowning a bit.
Latus patted her hand and said in a slightly mocking tone, “Auri, does the smell not agree with you?” She looked exasperated and sighed cutely, “Latus, the smell isn’t the worst of it. There are so many poor people here, and the people who do have wealth know nothing about poetry, music, or history. When I try to make conversation with the residents, all they can talk about is farm work, smithing, or furnaces. She switched to the local accent and pretended to be stupid, “I got a hole in my bucket and now I can’t carry no coal, what can I do if I can’t carry no coal!”
“SHhhh!”, Latus scolded her, “If someones hears you talking like that, all of our work will be wasted and then you will be as poor as those wretches!”
Without any apology or any pause, Aurelia instantly switched to a sincere and sweet tone. She cast her eyes downward and said almost shyly, but with what appeared to be great conviction. “Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved the warm glow of the hearth. My mother used to heat the tea water on a coal fire and the very edges of the kettle would glow cherry red. Whenever I see iron glow like that, it always makes me feel good. The warmth of the coal fire and the faint smell of the earth that comes with it, feels like home to me.” She folded her hands in her lap and with her head tilted downward, she lifted her eyes up to Latus and said, I love the cheerful clang of the hammer against the anvil, it sounds like the start of a good day!”
Latus steepled his fingers and pressed his hands against his lips while he considered her performance. He took in a deep breath and announced, “The last part about the ‘cheerful clang’ was overdone, but the rest had me convinced. Keep that up and you just might get your palace.”
“I am good, am I not?” She smiled with what was probably a genuine smile and seemed pretty pleased with herself. He said with only a slight touch of disapproval, “I am not the one that you need to convince, you need to be the woman who loves smith work, hot furnaces, and coal when you speak with Math of Flender.
Both of them looked down the long banquet hall full of the prominent citizens of this town to the man who had created all of the wealth. The mines were his, the furnaces were his, the foundries, the armories, the workshops, and the jewelry market were all his. Besides being perhaps the most wealthy human alive (except for the king and the royal family, of course), he was known for being so young and rather handsome. He had lived only twenty-six years and he was now the source of the best iron, pewter, copper, bronze, and greysh in all of Midgard. Actually, he was the only source of greysh. The new metal was hard, held a good edge, and did not tarnish. In many ways it was highly prized, but it was not very good for things that needed to hit hard, so it couldn’t make swords, axes, picks, shovels, or plow blades and that was why he was speaking now.
Math of Flender stood to the sound of applause mixed with stamping feet and spoke, “I want to thank all of you for the help that you have given to me and all of my workers, without you we would not have been able to build the new furnaces, we would not have been able to mine the right kind of coal, and we would not have been able to get all of the bellows working properly. Soon we will be the first humans to make Dwarven Iron!” The people in the hall erupted into wild cheers.
Latus looked at Aurelia and admired her perfect smile, but he knew that she could appear to feel almost anything whether she really did or not. “What are you thinking?” he asked. She brushed a stray wisp of brown hair behind one of her ears and answered, “I am thinking that he has all of the money that he needs, but he is missing one very important thing.” “What is that?” Latus asked with a smile, because this was a game and he already knew what she would say. “He has mountains of gold, but he doesn’t yet have me.”
“What about his Dwarf Woman? Maybe he thinks that he needs her.”
Aurelia’s poise faltered ever so slightly and Latus saw a hint of worry around the corners of her mouth.
“I will be as good as she is, but I will be something that she is not.”
“What is that?” He asked playing her game, because he again already knew the answer.
“I will be in the same town, I will work at his forges, and I will listen to his words and show interest in the things that he says. His Dwarf woman will do none of those things, so I will win him.”
Win Math – a fairly large group had dedicated a year and a half planning to do just that.
Aurelia had been born into a once wealthy family. Her great grandfather had seized his extensive land and enormous treasure in military victories. However Auri’s grandfather had been a fool and had tragically diminished their holdings. By the time that her father had inherited the land, the money was almost gone. Her father knew that they had to be wise to regain what they had lost, but he understood himself enough to know that he had no skill at building wealth, so he poured all of his efforts into his last best asset, his daughter and his only child. He gave her the best education that money could buy and hired tutors to teach her to be charming and enchanting. Her father’s remaining money did much for her, but what made her so powerful was that she had an uncanny skill for it. People were drawn to her and all who met her loved her. If only she was given the chance, she would be able to win the loyalty of thousands or tens of thousands. Her hope was to be wed to Math of Flender.
It was well known that he was not betrothed to anyone, so Aurelia’s father saw an opportunity. Numerous women had tried to win Math’s affection, but they all made the same mistake, they did their best to be weak and feminine. Aurelia and her Father believed that Math loved metal because it was hard, strong and enduring; if properly shaped, it could be sharp and lethal. Aurelia could be like iron, she could be those things and perhaps she could catch Math’s interest.
A group of skilled servants were chosen to make sure that she became everything that would tempt this man who had earned enormous wealth by turning a quiet town near a river into the home of the best metal that humanity could create. The king’s army bought his swords, the merchants bought his household goods, and the farmers bought his tools. Now it even appeared that he would soon be making Dwarven iron and then his wealth would be truly unlimited.
Latus had started out as the son of one of the domestics servants in the house of Aurelia’s family. As he and Aurelia grew from toddlers to children, he had become one of Aurelia’s close friends, and now that she was a young woman of fifteen summers, he was her advisor. He was chosen to lead the team that would discover how best to tempt Math.
Latus and his team moved to the town on the river where metal was made and set to work trying to discover who Math was. They knew that they had to be careful and not arouse suspicion, so they spoke very little and mostly listened. They were fortunate that Math was naïve and talkative, so much of his story could be gleaned. From some old shopkeepers, they learned that he had been invited to learn metal making from the Dwarves, but they never learned why the invitation had been offered. From some of the smiths at his many forges, they learned that he lived in a modest house near the furnaces and that his hours were almost exclusively devoted to making metal. Everyone agreed that he was fabulously wealthy, but it seemed that much of his gold was spent in an effort to find ways to obtain better ore and to create better metal. As far as anyone could discern, he cared for little besides making better metal.
They were beginning to figure that a woman who would win Math’s heart would need to be a hard worker who could talk in detail about metal and smithy work. A letter was sent by horse to Aurelia’s father that she must study to be a black smith. She hated the thought of banging a hammer against an anvil, but if she wanted to win the richest man, she would need to convince him that she loved his work. A blacksmith was hired to be her new tutor.
Aurelia didn’t like being a smith, but she was dedicated to being married to the richest man who was not a king or prince, so she was becoming competent at metal work, but the questioned remained, what kind of woman would interest Math? What color hair did he like? What did he want a woman to look like? What kind of clothes should she wear? For a while the team became very concerned because Math seemed to show no interest in women. Did he prefer the company of men? If so, would there be any way to reach him?
Latus and his team had been investigating at the local bars, because drunk men spill their secrets, but Math didn’t seem to drink. It was in a tiny pub on the river that they, at last, found their best source of information. Math seldom drank, but when he did is was a beverage that was only found at that one pub. It was a fermented apple drink known as ‘cider’. Five years earlier and for about a year, Math had come more frequently to get drunk on cider and it was with a local girl, who later married someone else. The remarkable thing about this girl was that she was unusually short, rather stout, and buxom. As soon as the team knew this, they had the key piece to the puzzle. When Math had been with the Dwarves, he had developed a taste for Dwarf women. It made sense, he had been fifteen, Aurelia’s age, when he had lived with the them under their mountain and he had been swept away by unaccustomed passions.
Aurelia had been furious. “I will not be a Dwarf!”, she shrieked. The truth was, she was almost the opposite. Her hair was golden and her body was tall and slim. All during the preparations to turn her into a comely Dwarf girl, she said over and over, “why couldn’t he like Elf girls? I could be a perfect Elf!”
Almost no one had ever seen a Dwarf woman, so at first the team thought that they would need to guess. Did Dwarf women have beards? Were they pretty, or warty and disgusting looking? Inquiries were made at an academy in a distant city and books were found that described some Dwarf women many hundreds of years earlier. Aurelia was relieved that in her transformation into a Dwarf, she could remain pretty. Work boots were bought for her and she was given new dresses in dark colors and heavy fabric. Her gold hair was colored brown using a dye made from tree bark and she learned how best to wear it in braids. The trick was to make sure that she didn’t look too unusual, but still as Dwarvish as possible. As part of her clothing, undergarments were sewn for her to make her small breasts look much fuller. Everyone agreed that Math has naïve enough that he could be convinced to not see her without her clothes until after they were wed. He would not know that here breasts were padded until after he was bound by contract.
The owner of the pub, who served cider, didn’t know a lot about what Math had done when he was with the Dwarves, but he had heard Math cry a few times into his drink about some Dwarf princess named Yofie who had almost killed him. It seemed that she had stabbed him with a knife once and told him that she hated him, but Math was still dreaming about her because he was fool as all men are who gives their hearts to women (or even Dwarven princesses). Aurelia almost felt sorry for the simple fool.
The banquet hall had settled down and Math was now talking about how the Dwarven iron would be made. He talked about furnaces, ladles, blowing pots, and baking coal in ovens to make it more powerful. Aurelia leaned over and spoke softly to Latus, because the room was so quiet now and she didn’t want anyone to overhear. “Listen to him! He is boring everyone with all of this talk of how Dwarven iron is made. They don’t care about how he builds his furnaces and bakes coal!”
Latus looked at Aurie and realized that he was now sure that her face was telling her true feelings. Her nose wrinkled up as she looked at Math of Flender, then she rolled her eyes, exhaled loudly, and shook her head. He could tell that she thought that the man at the other end of the hall was a bit stupid. She continued with her scornful pronouncement. “He is losing them, he isn’t looking at them, and he isn’t saying anything that touches their own lives. Why doesn’t he talk about stronger and thinner needles for sewing clothes? Why doesn’t he talk about shovels that would never break? By The Maker, he doesn’t know how to steal their hearts!
Latus suddenly felt acute sympathy for the man at the other end of the room. Math did seem to be uncomfortable talking to people who were not making metal, but he also seemed to genuinely love his work and Latus felt that this was a good thing. Latus felt his mood sour and he asked Arelia a question that was more of an accusation. “Aurie, I think that you have a real chance of being Math’s wife, but after you have become a part of his life, will you make him miserable?” Aurelia’s face remained cheerful and her smile remained relaxed, but Latus figured that she must be annoyed by his accusation. She answered “Latus, why would I make him miserable? I will be beautiful and I will know how to make people love him more. I will host parties with everyone who holds power and I will tell them how good he is for all of them. When he is strong, I will be strong, when he is loved, I will be loved, when he is happy, I will be happy.” Latus knew that Aurelia could cast spells with her words and he hoped that what she was saying was true. He had spent the past year and a half learning who Math was and how to get through his defenses, but now that he saw the man talking about the work that he loved, Latus felt that this man deserved more than just being the prize of a woman who had grown up wealthy and was willing to go through so much to make sure that she stayed that way.
“Aurie”, he inquired, “You will be going to see Math tomorrow for the first time. We have arranged a job for you at his forges, what will you say to him to get him interested?”
She didn’t seem to think his question was important so she answered without much thought. “I will look into his eyes and smile like he makes me feel good. I will listen to him talk about his work and I will tell him that what he does is important.”
“Yes, you will flatter him”, Latus responded, “but what will you say to win his heart?”
She paused for a moment and looked like she was going to say something abrupt, but then she seemed to reconsider and said her line to win Math. “I will say to him, ‘I love the cheerful clang of the hammer against the anvil, it sounds like the start of a good day!’”
Latus rolled his eyes and replied, “You said that line earlier and it doesn’t convince me at all.”
“No”, she explained, “It doesn’t sound convincing now because it is night and we are at a banquet. Tomorrow it will be early morning before the sun is up, Math and I will each still be waking up and will be thinking about all of the things we need to do. There will be someone near us pounding metal with a smithy hammer. Math loves his work and for him it really will be the start of a good day. He will be getting ready to make his new Dwarven iron.”
Latus was surprised to hear these words from her. Up until now, she had talked about Math as though he was an enemy to conquer, but now she seemed to almost sound as though she could really like him. Latus has a sudden thought that he had never considered before. Maybe in order to be convincing with her words, she needed to in some way really believe them. Maybe they just started out as words that were not real to her and as she prepared to say them in a way that moved people, they actually became a part of her. He had spent over a year preparing a script for her to say and now that she said her prepared lines, she seemed to be truly becoming the part.
Latus had married a girl not too long ago and his new wife had given him young twins, a boy and a girl. He needed money as much as Aurie did because he wanted his children to learn from the best private tutors. He had seen what those teachers had done for Aurie and he wanted the same for his son and daughter. His family had changed him. They had made him into the kind of person who wanted people to be happy. If Latus and Aurelia succeeded in their plan, she would become the wife of the richest man in Midgard and Latus knew that Aurie wanted to be an active wife who shaped the world around her. She would throw her parties and invite all of the powerful people. In time, she would herself become powerful and the fate of the Kingdom would partially rest in her hands. Aurie had said to Latus that he will still be her advisor after her wedding. If this was true, it meant that he would be helping to write the words that she would say. Did she really become the lines that she so convincingly said? If so, he wanted the words that he gave to Aurie to be good and kind words.