No 9 Crafting a Living

This page has been archived here from official Square Enix sources. It was originally posted on 29/07/05.

A Glimpse Into the Life of a Blacksmith


There is a myriad of reasons adventurers begin synthesis—being able to make one's own equipment, earning a bit of gil, making presents for friends, and so on. Some even go the extra mile and make it all the way to the elusive veteran status. What goes on in the lives of such accomplished craftsmen? What drives them to excel as they have?

For today's article, I spoke to a blacksmith named "L." Most would expect a blacksmith to be a hulk of a man wrapped in heavy armor, but L turned out to be a petite Tarutaru mage, and a girl at that!

- Hello! Thanks for finding the time for this interview.
So, let's start off with the basics. What is your blacksmithing skill level?

"95. I'm working happy-hard to get to 100!"

- Why did you choose blacksmithing?

"I thoughtaru synthesis was really super-duper, so I raised everything to 60 before settling on blacksmithing. I considered my options for a while before I decided to learn-wearn the skill that would be the least useful to me."

- That's certainly unique rationality.

"I'm a black mage, so I know diddly-squat about weapons and armor. My highestaru melee job is level 20!
A lot of blacksmiths make equipmentaru for themselves, but I realized I could learn a lot about the Vana'diel economy by making something I don'taru use!"

- I see. So basically, you're using synthesis as a means to get rich!

"Yes! I do make equipment for my friends sometimes too, but blacksmithing does provide me with a decentaru living."


- What do you sell in order to make money?

"I don'taru have any set-wet item, but I usually auction off high-quality weapons and armor for low- to mid-level adventurers. I just look at what's up for bitty-bids at the auction house and make whatever nobody's selling at the time."

- But wouldn't equipment for veteran adventurers rake in the most cash?

"High-level equipmentaru does sell for a mint, but the ingredients cost an arm and a leg! Failure could even put me in debt, so I don'taru make a lot of icky-itty-items for veteran adventurers."

- How do you acquire ingredients?

"I think mining is a blast-wast, so you can often find me in the mines! I spend a lot of time in the Gusgen Mines, actually. I used to love the Zeruhn Mines because they're just a steep-step out of town, but now that my support job is high enough to use Teleportaru, the Gusgen Mines are even easier to reach. And since I'm a black mage, I can just use Escape or Warp when I get lost! Some of the other minnow-miners will even sell items at a discountaru to me in exchange for a Warp II, so I can get ingredients that I couldn'taru find myself."

- Do you think it's difficult for low-level adventurers to become proficient blacksmiths?

"As long as you have money, honey, your level doesn'taru really matter. If you live in Bastok, you have access to the gill-guild and there are mines nearby, so it should be a snappy-wap! The only problem is that blacksmithing has lots of recipes that require other craftaruing skills. The only things that you can make with blagh-blacksmithing alone are ingots and sheets of metal. In order to make wild weapons or artsy armor, you also need woodworking, goldsmithing, leatherworking, and weaving skills! And since you must have access to each craft's guild to pass the test to prop-proceed beyond skill level 10, it would definitaruly be more convenient at a level high enough to easily trip-travel between the three main nations."

- What do you find most difficult about blacksmithing?

"The ingredients are so difficultaru to manage! It takes four chunks of ore to make one ingot. I always bring along feisty-fire crystals when I mine, so when I collectaru enough ore, I can synthesize an ingot on the spit-spot. However, finding a good area for mining all depends on luck, and when an area isn't yielding much, it usually doesn'taru start to pick up for quick-quite a while. Finding a good lode is like searching for a four-leaf Mandragora bud, but not knowing what to expect only increases my excitement when my luck-wuck runs high."

- Has synthesis been a net loss or a profit since you began?

"Of course it's been profitaruble. I use quite a bit of money gathering the ingrate-ingredients, but I make up for it and then some by selling my creations!"

- Is there anything in particular that you're just dying to make?

"I really can't think of any new equipmentaru I want to mickey-make…oh! There is one thing I've been wanting to do more, though. I recently learned the process of metal purification from my guild, but I haven'taru had many chances to use it yet."

- Out of all the items you have synthesized, which one sticks in your mind the most?

"The great sword 'Nagan' that my fur-friend asked me to make yesterday. The recipe required six adaman ingots, so my hands were sh-shaking as I made the sword. I was so afraid I would fail!"

- Now if you could just give us one last closing remark…

"Blacksmithing requires perky-person-perseverance. If you're thinking of taking up blacksmithing, then the firstaru thing you should do is get your tail-wail out to the mines with a pickaxe and gather ore. I'll see you there!"

- Thank you for your time.

L appeared to be a delicate young lady at first, but showed through the course of the conversation her more serious, practical side. Enjoying unglamorous but steady work—perhaps L is perfect for blacksmithing after all.

Illustration by Mitsuhiro Arita

Category: News

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