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Tale From The World of Argyle - The Darkness Falls

Author: 
Simeron Steelhammer (Benjamin La Count)
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
196

Dor grimaced into the wind as the bite of the cold air crossed his face. It was not the cold however that had brought the sour expression there, Greywolfe and the Lightning Company had not returned last night nor during the day. That could only mean one thing, something had gone terribly wrong up at the mine. The other townsfolk were beginning to show signs of worry also though, none spoke what was in their hearts. All feared for their friend�s lives even more then their own. The sun had already sunk behind the mountains and the cold night was just beginning, few were still out, save the sentries at their posts, huddles about their fires for what little warmth they could find. Dor turned from the door to his forge, shutting it with an absentminded push and returned to beating on the beginnings of an axe head on his anvil. He never even heard the door open up and was taken by surprise when a deep dwarven voice bellowed,

�Hail and Well Met Dor Bloodstone!�

Startled, Dor almost dropped the axe head on the floor while at the same time instinctively pulling his hammer up into a striking position. He raised and turned his head quickly to see who had entered his shop. A smile rushed across his face as his eyes met two stout dwarves, both clad in fine mithril plate and helm and carrying dwarven warhammers etched with dwarven runes.

�Well I�ll be a bearded gnome! I thought ya two would still be stuck in Argon Proper with King Wintergreen and the nobles, not travelin� these hills and mountains. What brings ya here?� Dor said as he put the hammer and axe head down and moved to clasp both dwarves arms in greeting.

�Oh, we finally got out of there about a month ago and came out here with a patrol of Warhammers ta take the next shipment of ore ta the smelter. All work and no play makes for a dull day. And by Moradin�s hammer, we�ve seen too many of them!� came the reply from one of them.

�Right ya are Magnus, I never have liked all that pomp and show. Give me a ogre�s skull ta crush or a giant ta fell any day ta another ballroom reception or a day of sitting listenin� ta two fat merchants complain about the way the other is doing business.� the other nodded in reply.

�Heh, you two hav� na changed a bit hav� ye? Still goin� everywhere together and wantin� more trouble then ya can handle.� Dor said shaking his head and grinning. �But where be me manners, on this cold day I should think ya be wanting some brew ta warm yer innards. I�ll fetch a pitcher!�

�Sure took ya long enough ta think o� that one.� Magnus replied winking at his companion.

Just then there was a high pitched squeal from the doorway and a blur shot through it and slammed into Magnus�s companion hard enough to make him take a step back and give a grunt as the wind was momentarily knocked out of him. Dara looked at him and gave him a bearhug.

�SIMERON! What ya bring me from Argon?� she said as she released her hold on him, only to begin poking about the many pouches the dwarf had about his body.

�She�s grown a bit since last I saw her Dor.� Simeron�s smiling face glanced at the now red-faced smith.

�And is a lot more energetic.� chuckled Magnus seeing Dor�s face.

�DARA!� Dor bellowed, �Hav� ye lost all yer wits and been struck daft? STOP THAT!�

Dara just giggled for a minute then stepped back in a huff.

�I know ya brung me somethin� from Argon now Simeron, where ya be hidin� it?� she said with a half smile, half frown look on her face.

�Now what makes ya think I brung ya anythin� at all? Ya think all I have on me mind is getting things for a little dwarf girl?� Simeron chuckled.

Dara couldn�t contain her smile anymore and it crept slowly across her face. It was always the same when Magnus and Simeron visited. Simeron would bring gifts for the entire town but always some fresh new tools for her father and some �female stuff� for her. Last time it had been some down pillows and new linens for her room. She was quite sure that this time would be no exception.

�Ya always be doin� this ta me. Now where did ya put it, I wanna know.� she pouted.

�I dunna know what he brung ya little gnome girl,� her father growled at her, �But I�ll give ye somethin� if ya don�t mind yer manners.�

She gave him a glance and calmed a bit, though anyone with sight could tell she was still brimming with energy by the bouncy way she was rocking from one foot to the other. Simeron and Magnus were almost ready to burst out laughing at poor Dor�s expression of utter embarrassment at his daughter�s complete and totally un-dwarven-like acting. Finally, Simeron couldn�t take it anymore and let him off the hook, slightly.

�Well, I do seem ta remember packing something on Goliath in with the tools I brung yer father. But he really dinna like it much so I think I might have left it with Old Number 5.�

Like a streak of lightning she was out the door and over to the two mountain goats, rummaging in Magnus�s mounts saddle bags and packs. Simeron shook his head and motioned for Magnus to turn around. He pulled out a quivering bag from his backpack and secured the straps again. Both dwarves chuckled as Dor watched questionably.

�She always searches me Dor so, Magnus and I decided ta play a little joke on her and make her think we didn�t bring her nothin� this time.� Simeron answered in reply to the look while Magnus snickered almost uncontrollably.

It was not long after that both dwarves fought to keep straight faces as Dara stomped in, visibly annoyed. Even Dor had to cover his mouth with his hands to keep from giving the trick away.

�There was nothin� out on them goats but things fer me dad and the town. Where ya put it?� Dara demanded

�Put what?� Magnus half giggled looking at Simeron then turning away from Dara completely, struggling to keep any part of his composure. Simeron just stared at Dara and used every bit of will he had to keep from roaring in laughter as she flushed red.

�Where did ya put me present?� she said slowly.

Finally Simeron couldn�t contain his mirth anymore. He burst out laughing along with Magnus and held up the quivering bag. Dor was even chuckling until he saw what came out of the bag. Dara squealed in delight as she pulled out her new pet ferret.

Both Simeron and Magnus were at the point of tears now seeing Dor�s dumbfounded look at this new furry companion to his already too gnomish daughter. Both the dwarves could see he was at a complete loss as to what to do, which was after all the main reason they had decided on the gift in the first place. After all, why get only one of their friends with the joke?

Dor gathered some composure and turned to his two friends.

�A blasted RAT ye brung her?� was all he could manage to push from his lips.

�He is NOT a rat. Wiggles is a rat catcher papa.� Dara stated bluntly �And we could use one around here.�

At the sound of the ferret�s new name, both Simeron and Magnus paused for a second and turned first to Dor, who had a queasy look on his face now and then to each other nodding. At the same time they both repeated the name, �Wiggles�, then burst out again in uproarious laughter so hard they had to prop themselves up on the nearby tables. Simeron managed to complete the joke by telling Dara it was a TRAINED ferret that she could tell to do things. All she had to do was talk to it normal because its collar had a permanent Speak with Animals enchantment placed upon it. Dara gave another squeal of glee, gave Simeron a kiss on the cheek and quickly run upstairs with her new companion. Dor looked at the two dwarves, who by now had tears in their eyes from the laughing and sat heavily on a work stool.

�My friends.� he said shaking his head with disdain.

�Well,� Magnus said wiping his eyes with a rag, �at least when you call her �little gnome girl� it will fit better now.�

At that both Magnus and Simeron burst out into another roar of laughter so hard, Simeron practically fell into the forge water trough. Dor just sat there, his head in is hands, which only served to further their laughter. Finally, the calmed enough to pat him on the back and get him to come outside and see the fine smithing tools they had brought him.

There were about 20-30 dwarves and gnomes in this patrol and they were already tending to their mounts and getting some water and food for themselves. A fair number of townsfolk had come out from their evening meals to see the welcome sight of a patrol of Mithril Warhammers in the town. The Order was well known to all in this area for their good deeds and battle prowess. It was a good omen for the town. Dor looked over the three boxes of tools and had to say his friends had, as always, brought him fine goods from Argon. They might even be worth the headache they had given him over Dara�s gift. When they had placed the tools in the forge, he was about to got get the ale when he noticed two large kegs on one of the pack mules being carried to his house.

�What�s in those barrels there?� Dor asked.

�Oh those, just a little of Brithon�s home brewed Dragon Ale. Fresh from the Rusty Steel Tavern.� Simeron replied with a smile.

Dor�s face lit up with a smile again. It had been several years since he had tasted some of Brithon�s home brews and the Dragon Ale was his best.

�We figured one to drink tonight and one for ya ta save for a rainy day.� Magnus winked at Dor, smacking his lips.

Dor gathered his friends together and poured them each a tankard of the ale. As he did, his thoughts returned to Greywolfe and the Lighting Company along with the mine. His friends could tell something had darkened his mood but waited till he had sat before bringing it up.

�You seemed troubled Dor,� Simeron asked taking a pull from the large tankard. �What be on yer mind?�

�We�ve had some troubles of late. Trained orcs and hobgoblins led by a human mage attacked the mine and town not long ago. A ranger by the name of Greywolfe and his adventuring band, The Lightning Company, have been helping us out since then. A few days ago, the miners didn�t come back from the mine so he and the group went up there yesterday but have not returned either. I dunna mind tellin� ya I�m worried about them all.� Dor said as he looked into the tankard before him.

�Well, sounds like you have some cause to be.� Magnus said. �How about we and the patrol head up that way in the morning and see what we can find?�

�Sounds like a good idea Magnus. Tell Thorsen and Granite ta pass the word ta the rest that we might hav� some trouble soon and post a watch in pairs with the sentries. We�ve a storm coming in I think and ya can�t hav� too many eyes watching the darkness when ya got orcs and hobgobbers about. When ya hav� done that, come back and let�s go over what Dor and the others know.� Simeron said turning to Dor, �I�ll want ta talk to whoever is in charge of the town�s defense too.�

Dor looked up with a grimace, �That woulda been Greywolfe and me. Guess I could get a few others. We can meet in the town hall in a bit.�

Simeron nodded and finished his ale with a single pull, as did the other two dwarves, then all headed out to their respective tasks. The night air was cold and crisp and they pulled their winter cloaks about them. It was already starting to lightly snow. As they headed to the town hall, none saw the crow sitting in a nearby tree, watching.

 

Tale From The World of Argyle - The Darkness Falls © Simeron Steelhammer (Benjamin La Count)

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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