The Tinkerer sat at a workbench and started to disassemble a piece of a machine that was able to fly. Not glide from a high place, but actually fly. The technology had come from another realm and it wasn’t clockwork or magical. It had wires and other things running through it. Unfortunately, the object only half manifested on Nevre, causing it to crash.
On the workbench behind him Zdenko had started construction on a clockwork version of the machine. He didn’t have access to wires with the strange substance covering them that the machine had, but he was doing his best to recreate the form and function of the craft itself.
Zdenko began to think about the other people in the workshop with him. Most of them salamen, halflings, and gnomes. The other races rarely had representation in the workshop, not feeling the same curiosity at the machines that Zdenko had acquired throughout the years. Recently a skravyn had come to learn the ins and outs of tinkering, but he had to start from the beginning. He was from the city of Rentaz in Zentar. The skravyn there weren’t treated very well by the other races. Especially humans.
“Ah, my mind is wandering from the task at hand.” Zdenko stood up, his white, wispy hair taking a moment to realize it was moving, then another moment to realize it had stopped. He addressed the workshop. “Where’s Skreeve?”
There was a hush in response then a skravyn stood up, lifting his feathered arm up above his head. “Over here! I’m coming!” There was some plodding and scraping as the skravyn hurried over to Zdenko. “What does The Tinkerer ask of me?”
“First, I ask everyone else to focus back on their work.” The workshop returned to the sounds of gearwork. “So, I wanted to ask you a few things, Skreeve. First, how did you learn of me?”
“At the temple to the known gods in Rentaz. One of the priests there was surprised I was interested in tinkering and recommended I visit here.”
“Okay. Do you prefer fine-tuning things or scrabbling things together to do what you need even if it only lasts a few times?”
“Putting something together quickly and maybe later working on the finer points.”
Zdenko nodded. “Last question. Are you devoted to the work you’re doing here?”
“Very.” Skreeve looked down at his feet. “But my instructor doesn’t like my improvisational techniques.”
The Tinkerer nodded. “I don’t have many clerics in my order. Mostly just tinkerers. What do you think about doing that?”
“I can give it a try.”
“Well, I give you the position of cleric.” The Tinkerer waved his hands a little and some power moved from him into Skreeve. “So, look at this piece of machine here. Not the clockwork one, the other one.”
Skreeve looked at it. “Very well made. Probably not made by hand.” He reached a hand out then stopped himself. “May I?”
“Go ahead.” Zdenko smiled, waiting for the power he had given the skravyn to manifest.
The taloned hand touched the machine and Skreeve started moving a few of the wires. Suddenly a dim light jumped from his hand to the machine and back. “Wow!” He started pulling some of the wires out of the machine. “These are for lights. They’ll just distract you.” He grabbed a tool and unscrewed one of the housings. “This in here is the actual engine…” He started to sit at the workbench and began pulling off all of the unimportant bits.
Zdenko sat at the workbench with the clockwork engine and continued working on it. He glanced back at Skreeve every once in a while and noticed he was cobbling together his own engine. It was going to need some tweaking, but it wasn’t a replica. It was an improvement.