In the weeks leading up to the group’s departure for the Isle of the Artisans, Ool learned many lessons in making friends and influencing people. When the call went out to come up with ways to recruit shipbuilding artisans, a discussion of where they would stay occurred.
They certainly weren’t inviting a bunch of randos to stay at Exploding Infinities, especially since they might react badly to it and stop building ships. The Red Manse was discussed as a possibility, but without a lot of enthusiasm on the part of its current occupants. It was decided to throw up some housing just for them.
Ool saw her chance. Everyone kept telling here she was supposed to be special, after all. Surely they wouldn’t drive her out of town for offering a few suggestions. Scoff, perhaps, but she was well used to scoffing. Also, it boggled her mind that the plans being offered up were coming from people who lived in a Manse with its own aqueduct.
She drew up some plans (it was nice, being able to do that without explaining where the paper and ink came from), and showed them to Sanguine Vow.
“They look fine. Why are you showing them to me?”
“Because I need your help convincing people. I can do a lot, but I can’t do all this by myself, which means I have to get other people on board with the idea. And its new to them, which is never a selling point.”
“It will be this time. You’re our Exalted Crafter. Get out there and tell them how its going to be.”
“And what if they respond by telling me how its going to be? I have lots of ideas, but people never seem to be that impressed with them – or me.”
“It might help if you made more of an effort to be impressive. You still dress like you’re going out to slop the pigs.”
“If you think these are pig-slopping clothes, you have never slopped pigs.”
“You’re not an apprentice anymore. You’re a master. Start dressing the part.”
SIGH “Fine, get a nicer version of what you’re wearing now. Surely you can manage that.”
She did. Barely. The home building went somewhat better. So well, in fact that it drew the attention of the citizens or Porto Spice. People came by, and expressed their admiration. “Wish I could live in a fine place like that,” they would say. “You Solars sure can do some fine things.”
She explained, with a certain amount of pessimism, that these weren’t things that just Solars could do. Normal people could do them too. At first, she just got polite nods. Soon, though, a different set people started tricking in, asking if lessons might be available. And so, Ool began giving lessons in plumbing, irrigation, and waste management.
In return, her students taught her some things about building defenses. Porto Spice saw enough excitement that many of student knew things about how to create various types of defensive fortifications, and how to create and conceal escape routes.
As she became closer with her students, they began to gently suggest that maybe she could upgrade her wardrobe…