Sometimes I really hate words. I mean, I love words, and I love to write, but seriously, why has it taken me years to find a list of terrain types? Perhaps because I only recently discovered the term “landform.” (Which Firefox fervently denies is a real word.) Landform is important if you want, say, a list of landforms.

While going over the different varieties and nicknames for the smith class, I had this idea for “fonts” or “wells” that worked similarly to the Guild Wars “well spells.” In the process of reading about wells, I read about sinks and seeps, aquifers, oases, the Vadose zone, and a random sampling of other information related to hydrology.

Besides landforms and such, I’m looking at words that fit that niche — springs and wells, streams and canals, supply trains, trade routes … a variety of words and concepts that fit the “supply” theme of the smith. Once I have those in mind, I think I can find a halfway point between “person who acquires resources” and “person who uses resources to make things.” I already have a couple to work from.

“Bender” is the term I’m using for smiths of the elemental state. There’s a clear allusion to The Last Airbender in the name, though the “elements” they’ll be bending will be abstract concepts like law, chaos, justice, purity, corruption, and balance.

If you’re familiar with the Magic of Incarnum supplement from Revised Dungeons & Dragons, you should be familiar with the concept of Essentia and soulmelds. The incarnate class is another source of inspiration for magically-inclined smiths, namely the smiths of the empyreal, ethereal, and sidereal states.

I’ve also drawn inspiration from Wraith: the Oblivion for the idea of soul-forging, because I think it’s neat. Then there are the Guild Wars ritualists who infuse weapons with spirits, summon the ashes of fallen heroes, and conjure Underworld spirits to do their bidding. But is the smith really a summoner? Eh, not exactly…

One of the problems I was going over with the smith concept was how their function seems tied to the materials they use. Resources are important to item creation, but the only building materials I’ve come up with so far are for the Natural state. I might have to determine the resources of the other states before I can design the smith.