Feels like you took my words to heart. This chapter has the best of both worlds with Deni spilling his guilt-ridden backstory and more meat in the details for the crafting. Deni's past has always been mysterious and I had probably a half-dozen ideas of what it might be, but this wasn't what I expected. It's very fitting, though, and falls in place with some of the foreshadowing I've picked up before. There's still holes to be filled, of course, but we're getting the shape established.
The two apprentices were a nice addition. The way Deni sized them up, guessing their own backgrounds off of surface clues, felt believable and highlights his shrewd thinking and an element of caution.