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【书籍搬运】The Armorer’s Challenge 军械师竞赛

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原文地址:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:The_Armorer%27s_Challenge

作者:麦莫洪努斯

翻译:花溪流萤

三百年前,当卡塔里娅作为泰姆瑞尔历史上唯一一位黑暗精灵登上帝位之际,曾面对帝国议会的广泛质疑。尽管她不停游说,向他们表明在自己丈夫柏拉鸠斯找到治愈疯病疗法之前,她会是帝国最好的摄政者,但争议依然未有平息。最大的反对力量来自于明鲁迈尔领主范格赫托公爵,他一直致力于指责女王缺乏领导实践。

以下事件就发生于这一特殊大背景下,某次卡塔里娅与议会商议平息黑沼泽动荡局面以及总结帝国军队在阿马尼亚村外大溃败的原因时,提及哪里潮湿的沼泽以及闷热的气候对军力造成的不利影响,盛夏尤甚,如果战士继续身披普通战甲,将极为影响战力。

“我知道一位非常聪明的军械师”卡塔里娅说道,“它的名字叫做哈扎迪尔,一位熟悉帝国军队所面对的气候状况的亚龙人。在成为自由人搬到帝都之前,他曾经以奴隶身份在维威克为当地制甲大师打下手。我们应该让他为接下来的战役设计武器装备。”

明鲁迈尔发出短而尖锐的嘲笑声:“她想起用一个奴隶为我们的军队打造武器装备!帝都所有人都知道最好的工匠师傅是希罗鲁斯·萨克苏斯。”

经过大量争论,最终决定让两位军械师竞争这一委任。帝国议会还推选出两个势均力敌的竞技冠军南多尔·布莱德和雷普拉斯·尤勒,分别披挂两位军械师的武器装备来一场真刀真枪的较量。谁赢了,向他提供战甲的人就将获得帝国委任状,讨论决定布莱德的武装由哈扎迪尔供应, 尤勒的则交于萨克苏斯。

决斗将在7天之后打响。

希罗鲁斯·萨克苏斯迅速开展工作。虽说时日尚多,但他自认看清了这场竞赛的本质。阿马尼斯战况紧急,帝国必须马上遴选出一位合格军械师,一旦被选中,马上就要源源不断的向黑沼泽前线兵士供应最好的武器装备。政府所求并不是最好的哪位军械师,而是最有效率的那个。

萨克苏斯刚开始蒸煮用来打弯制造盔甲联接处轴箍的半英尺长的黑檀木条,门外就传来了敲门声。他的助手潘迪尤斯接待了来访者。来者一副典型高大蜥蜴(亚龙人)模样,戴着一个陈旧绿边头罩,拥有明亮的黑色大眼,身披破旧的棕黄披衣。赫然便是卡塔里娅钦点的军械师哈扎迪尔。

“我想来祝你好运-呃,这是乌木么?”

的确如此,萨克苏斯甫一获悉竞标的消息,马上把帝都市场上流通的最好乌木买断,并迅速投入熔炉。通常来说这种矿物的熔制周期为6个月,但他希望来自于魔法的白色火焰的强烈对流能将这一期限缩短到3天,萨克苏斯同时骄傲的说明自己军械库中打造的其余兵器的进展。酸性石灰池能将太刀刀刃浸磨到不可思议的程度。然后将其置于阿卡维尔人熔炉中,并反复退火4遍,然后哈扎迪尔笑了。

你到过我的武器店么?那只是两间烟熏火燎的小屋,前屋是商铺,后屋盛满损坏的甲胄,一些锤子,一座熔炉。就是这样。这就是你不惜重金打造的工坊的直接竞争对手。

“我确信女王选择你为其军队供应装备自有她的理由,”希罗鲁斯·萨克苏斯安慰道。随后,他来到了哈扎迪尔r的商店,证实了之前所述所言非虚。这是贫民区一件寒酸工坊,只适合为最贫贱的冒险家打制铁匕首或者修理盔甲。即便如此,萨克苏斯仍决定无视对手的窘境尽其所能打造最好的装备,这正是他的行事风格,正因为此,他才成为了帝都最好的军械师。

出于好意,夹杂着一些骄傲,萨克苏斯告诫哈扎迪尔,相比于这一简陋工棚,锻造更应该在专业的工坊内进行。随后,亚龙人采纳这个意见,成为了萨克苏斯的学徒,帮助他精炼黑檀木,锤打并待冷却时折叠。接下来的几天,他们通力合作打造了一件相当漂亮的太刀,边缘锐利的足以为蚊子剃眉,沿着剑身附魔上帝国的一种火焰战斗魔法,与之配套的是一件使用延展性绝佳的木材,搭配皮革,白银和乌木炼制的合身战甲,其强度足以抵挡湮灭领域的狂风。

决斗那天,萨克苏斯, 哈扎迪尔,以及潘迪尤斯将盔甲擦得锃亮,并把它带给雷普拉斯·尤勒试穿。哈扎迪尔 直到意识到南多尔·布莱德正在他的店里等他取得装备之后,方才离去。

两个战士全副武装的来到竞技场,女王和帝国议会在旁观礼,为了模拟黑沼泽的战场环境,竞技场地表上洒上一层浅浅的水。当萨克苏斯看到尤勒穿着厚重乌木战甲手握熊熊燃烧的太刀,对比着布莱德身上从哈扎迪尔店里拿到的满布灰尘的生锈蜥蜴鳞甲和长矛,他已经知道自己胜算在握。然而结果大相径庭。

太刀的首次攻击深深嵌入了布莱德的软盾中,因为盾中没有金属格挡插得太深,无法迅速拔出, 还没等尤勒拔剑,布莱德就抛下了正插着剑并已开始熊熊燃烧的盾牌,随后挥动自己的长矛刺向尤勒乌木甲的连接处(卧底H知道这里是弱点 XD)。尤勒终于从破盾中拔出刀来来并斩向布莱德,但布莱德所穿轻甲的鳞角将其剑带偏,剑失手滑入水中,其上附魔的火焰亦被浇熄。布莱德趁机击中了尤勒的脚踝,尤勒一头载入泥浆之中,动弹不得。女王为了避免伤亡,迅速叫停比赛,并宣布了胜者。

哈扎迪尔最终获得了委任状,感谢他对于亚龙人战斗方略和武器知识灵活运用并将其放大到最大战果。他为战争设计的武器装备最终成功镇压了阿马尼斯的暴动,卡塔里娅终究还是获得了委员会的认可,明鲁迈尔领主也不情愿的俯首称臣。希罗鲁斯·萨克苏斯则随后出发前往晨风探究哈扎迪尔所学,此后便杳无音讯。

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The Armorer's Challenge
by Mymophonus
A competition between two skilled armorsmiths


Three hundred years ago, when Katariah became Empress, the first and onlyDunmer to rule all of Tamriel, she faced opposition from the Imperial Council. Even after she convinced them that she would be the best regent to rule the Empire while her husband Pelagiussought treatment for his madness, there was still conflict. In particular from the Duke of Vengheto, Thane Minglumire, who took a particular delight in exposing all of the Empress's lack of practical knowledge.
In this particular instance, Katariah and the Council were discussing the unrest in Black Marshand the massacre of Imperial troops outside the village of Armanias. The sodden swampland and the sweltering climate, particular in summertide, would endanger the troops if they wore their usual armor.
"I know a very clever armorer," said Katariah, "His name is Hazadir, an Argonian who knows the environments our army will be facing. I knew him in Vivec where he was a slave to the master armorer there, before he moved to the Imperial City as a freedman. We should have him design armor and weaponry for the campaign."
Minglumire gave a short, barking laugh: "She wants a slave to design the armor and weaponry for our troops! Sirollus Saccus is the finest armorer in the Imperial City. Everyone knows that."
After much debate, it was finally decided to have both armorers contend for the commission. The Council also elected two champions of equal power and prowess, Nandor Beraid and Raphalas Eul, to battle using the arms and armaments of the real competitors in the struggle. Whichever champion won, the armorer who supplied him would earn the Imperial commission. It was decided that Beraid would be outfitted by Hazadir, and Eul by Saccus.
The fight was scheduled to commence in seven days.
Sirollus Saccus began work immediately. He would have preferred more time, but he recognized the nature of the test. The situation in Armanias was urgent. The Empire had to select their armorer quickly, and once selected, the preferred armorer had to act swiftly and produce the finest armor and weaponry for the Imperial army in Black Marsh. It wasn't just the best armorer they were looking for. It was the most efficient.
Saccus had only begun steaming the half-inch strips of black virgin oak to bend into bands for the flanges of the armor joints when there was a knock at his door. His assistant Phandius ushered in the visitor. It was a tall reptilian of common markings, a dull, green-fringed hood, bright black eyes, and a dull brown cloak. It was Hazadir, Katariah's preferred armorer.
"I wanted to wish you the best of luck on the — is that ebony?"
It was indeed. Saccus had bought the finest quality ebony weave available in the Imperial City as soon as he heard of the competition and had begun the process of smelting it. Normally it was a six-month procedure refining the ore, but he hoped that a massive convection oven stoked by white flames born of magicka would shorten the operation to three days. Saccus proudly pointed out the other advancements in his armory. The acidic lime pools to sharpen the blade of the dai-katana to an unimaginable degree of sharpness. The Akaviri forge and tongs he would use to fold the ebony back and forth upon itself. Hazadir laughed.
"Have you been to my armory? It's two tiny smoke-filled rooms. The front is a shop. The back is filled with broken armor, some hammers, and a forge. That's it. That's your competition for the millions of gold pieces in Imperial commission."
"I'm sure the Empress has some reason to trust you to outfit her troops," said Sirollus Saccus, kindly. He had, after all, seen the shop and knew that what Hazadir said was true. It was a pathetic workshop in the slums, fit only for the lowliest of adventurers to get their iron daggers and cuirasses repaired. Saccus had decided to make the best quality regardless of the inferiority of his rival. It was his way and how he became the best armorer in the Imperial City.
Out of kindness, and more than a bit of pride, Saccus showed Hazadir how, by contrast, things should be done in a real professional armory. The Argonian acted as an apprentice to Saccus, helping him refine the ebony ore, and to pound it and fold it when it cooled. Over the next several days, they worked together to create a beautiful dai-katana with an edge honed sharp enough to trim a mosquito's eyebrows, enchanted with flames along its length by one of the Imperial Battlemages, as well as a suit of armor of bound wood, leather, silver, and ebony to resist the winds ofOblivion.
On the day of the battle, Saccus, Hazadir, and Phandius finished polishing the armor and brought in Raphalas Eul for the fitting. Hazadir left only then, realizing that Nandor Beraid would be at his shop shortly to be outfitted.
The two warriors met before the Empress and Imperial Council in the arena, which had been flooded slightly to simulate the swampy conditions of Black Marsh. From the moment Saccus saw Eul in his suit of heavy ebony and blazing dai-katana and Beraid in his collection of dusty, rusted lizard-scales and spear from Hazadir's shop, he knew who would win. And he was right.
The first blow from the dai-katana lodged in Beraid's soft shield, as there was no metal trim to deflect it. Before Eul could pull his sword back, Beraid let go of the now-flaming shield, still stuck on the sword, and poked at the joints of Eul's ebony armor with his spear. Eul finally retrieved his sword from the ruined shield and slashed at Beraid, but his light armor was scaled and angled, and the attacks rolled off into the water, extinguishing the dai-katana's flames. When Beraid struck at Eul's feet, he fell into the churned mud and was unable to move. The Empress, out of mercy, called a victor.
Hazadir received the commission and thanks to his knowledge of Argonian battle tactics and weaponry and how best to combat them, he designed implements of war that brought down the insurrection in Armanias. Katariah won the respect of Council, and even, grudgingly, that of Thane Minglumire. Sirollus Saccus went to Morrowind to learn what Hazadir learned there, and was never heard from again.

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