Chapter 481: Certificate
After his talk with Mary, Seth had a better idea of the situation in Minas Mar. She had assured him that she would take care of the Church for Samhach and talk with Yvette about the procedures.
He, on the other hand, would take care of their merchandise and the forgeries. Since very few combat classes came with an appraisal skill, few people in the lower levels could differentiate good weapons from bad ones.
An amateur would not be able to see the difference between a Mithril Sword and a Steel Sword with their bare eyes. That was why low-level blacksmiths could simply make a cheap average sword and some dubious traders would sell it for a high price while saying it was a second-hand product from the Turquoise Anvil.
The blacksmith had to admit, that this was actually partly his fault. Since he had produced items quickly for quantity, He made them using the same pattern over and over. Although made in huge numbers, he had made sure that they had the best balance between the materials he had at hand at the time.
All of the weapons were of high quality, but because they all looked roughly the same it created a brand image. People started calling them "Turquoise Swords/ Maces/ Spears" and associated them with the quality of the Turquoise Anvil.
This made it easy for frauds to copy the overall style but use lower-quality materials and skills. They sold cheaply made weapons, using their name. It was not as bad of a problem with armors, as Seth had left the production of most armors to Wedan.
Before Seth left Wedan had become a Journeyman Armorer, which meant that he could now also work with rare materials, though he had a hard time and would take longer to finish an epic armor, so he had not made a lot of them yet.
One could even say, that the problem of copycats did not exist with armors. Ever since the demand for their items grew, Hoen and Wedan were caught up with making commissions. Armors were now mostly custom made and there was a huge waiting list to get one from Minas Mar.
There were a few reasons for that. There were few people that featured a warrior’s spirit on Urth. Whereas everyone cared about a well-fitting armor, few people cared about carrying a custom weapon, as they followed the style of their skills anyway.
Another minor point was that the enchantment for size adjustment would take up an enchantment slot on the armor, which made size adjusting once worse in the public eye. Getting one custom made, meant that they could also have one more positive effect.
The conclusion was, that Seth had to find a way to protect their brand and make their weapon recognizable in a way that could not be copied.
The blacksmith sighed a heavy breath, if he had already become a master this would have been an easy task. From Tored and the other dwarven masters, he knew that once one attained the rank of a master they would also get their own touchmark by the system.
Of course, anyone could make a stamp and put a symbol on their weapon. In most worlds, these normal touchmarks worked, too. However, Delta’s infrastructure had not matured to the point that they could go after each and every scummy trader that sold fake merchandise. It was surprisingly hard to adapt a system meant for a normal world, to the sudden introduction of all kinds of unknown magic, monsters, and items.
The Delta above their heads had a hard time just making sure the city was safe from all kinds of skill-aided crimes. So it made sense, that the police didn’t have the time to go after minor frauds that could wiggle their way out of a punishment one way or the other, anyway.
This was why Seth longed for the system’s touchmark. The difference was that the master’s touchmark was recognizable without any additional skills. One would not need an appraisal skill to recognize it.
However, Seth did not have that, yet. He had to come up with some other way
In the morning of the next day, the blacksmith showed up in his workshop where he waited for the two dwarves to talk about his idea and see if they had some of their own. It had to be something that was recognizable and could not be copied by your everyday Joe.
"oh, Seth, you are already here?" Wedan asked surprised when came down the hallway to enter his own workshop.
"Yep, I wanted to ask you and Hoen for advice." the blacksmith explained. They waited for Hoen, the magic blacksmith to arrive a few minutes later.
The three craftsmen sat down and Seth explained what he talked about with Mary the other day. It seemed that these two were also aware of the copycat problem, though they couldn’t really do much themselves.
Seth’s first shared his own thoughts. His own idea was that of a unique token using the , something nobody could copy and he had the monopoly on. He had been looking for quite some time to somehow use the abundant amount of rare material he could not use because of the randomized effects.
It was no revolutionary idea. It tied in with their initiative when they made heat coins to send to Beta to help the refugees. The dwarves would have come to the same conclusion, if the unique materials were as prominent in their minds, as they were in Seth’s.
After listening to his suggestion, both dwarfs had something to add.
"If we put the crest of Minas Mar on the token, we could use them as a kind of certificate of authenticity. "
Then they could use the token on other items, too. A buyer would get a certificate and if they decided to resell the weapon, they could sell it with the certificate.
"But if they just take the token and sell it with a different weapon, our reputation might take a hit," Seth commented. It was a good idea, but not foolproof. However, Hoen came up with a solution.
"We could enchant it to prevent it and turn it into a real certificate." the magic blacksmith added.
His suggestion was a token with a special enchantment that could lend the buyer an appraisal skill. Of course, that was not really how it worked, but Hoen’s suggestion was something like a copy of the system’s touchmark.
One would be able to channel mana into it and they would be able to see a prepared panel of the weapon’s stats. Seth nodded, it was no wonder that Hoen would suggest a token, as he was the one who was able to mass-produce enchanted tokens.
However, this also came with a problem.
"We would have to adjust the enchantment for every different item." Wedan critiqued.
In that case, they could only use Hoen’s method for mass-produced items, as such enchantments were hard for blacksmiths to engrave. Still, it was an interesting proposition.
Communing with the two dwarves, they perfected the idea together. A small coin made of that would be added to the item with a lanyard made of .
They would use the crest of Minas Mar and Hoen’s method to turn the item into an actual certificate of authenticity
With the effects of the material being random, every coin would be a unique item. As the effects didn’t need any additional mana most fakes would be easily exposed his way.
The user just needed to take it in the hand and if something happened it was the real thing. And if they channeled in mana, they would see a certificate of authentication.
Since all three of them could work with rare materials, it was a cheap and easy solution, that would have no impact on the items themselves. To make it better, they could even add these tokens to the bottles of their high-grade potions.
What was left was the problem of people using sold tokens, but there was even a solution for this. Since every coin was unique, they could maintain a register of what items belonged to which token and who bought them.
If someone was scammed using their tokens, they would be easily able to find out who was supposed to own the token and they would ban them publicly from ever using their services. As long as they made this known, it should hold enough deterrence for people to randomly sell the tokens of their weapons.
The three made a few prototypes to test the production process so Seth could show them to Mary and Jane. After all, it was their people that would have to keep the registers about the items.
If had become afternoon when Seth left the dwarves to their own devices. He still had other things to do. Karina had asked him during the party to come by for a visit whenever he had time.