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Tale From The World of Argyle - A Matter of Trust

Author: 
Simeron Steelhammer (Benjamin La Count)
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
194

Dor Bloodstone grunted as he was struck again in the face by a massive fist. The dwarf could taste the blood from his broken lip and despite one of his eyes being swollen shut from the beating, he could still see the mocking smile of the human that commanded the half orc enforcer to inflict the blows on him. It had been several hours now and he had still not been broken despite the torture.

�Come now Dor really,� the human chimed in a mocking tone, �you�ll eventually tell me what I want to know. Why prolong your suffering? Not that Torak seems to mind making you suffer.�

The human chuckled as the half orc shook his head.

�No, I don�t mind at all Aleron. It�s actually quite fun.�

He brought his leg up and landed a knee in Dor�s stomach, making the dwarf gasp for breath and causing a trickle of blood spew from his mouth. The half orc laughed harshly and pulled the dwarf back upright by his hair, spitting in his face.

�Don�t tell him where the mine is stunty, not yet. I�m just getting warmed up.�

Torak pushed the dwarf back so that he swung from the chains and walked over to the forge that Dor used to ply his trade. He was the armorer and blacksmith for the small community of dwarves and gnomes near the common border between Argon and Hozzle. Things were nice here and he had enjoyed fixing donkey shoes, repairing various farming items and mining tools. Overall, he had loved the little village as much as his clan�s halls in Argon. That is, until today, when these scum had attacked. The iron mine near here was one of the richest ones he had seen anywhere in the Argonian mountains. The raiders had come not for the raw ore but, to enslave the miners and the town and set up production of weapons and armors. There were about fifty in the attack, mainly orcs and hobgoblins but, Dor had noticed about a dozen orcs in blackened chainmail that carried orcish scimitars with jagged edges and shields with a blood red fist holding a black lightning bolt. They had fought like professional soldiers and quickly cut down most of the defenders while the rest broke in doors and forced families out of their homes and into the village square. He himself had been taken down by the foul magic of his captor. Torak pulled an iron rod from the forge. Its tip glowed orange-red from the heat and Dor could see just a hint of black smoke waif up from it.

�Ya stupid half breed. I�m a smith. Dunna ya think I�ve been burnt afor? I ain�t tellin� ya spit scum!�

Torak smiled, �Oh I know. This ain�t for you stunty. Its for HER.�

Dor raised his head up as and followed the half orc�s finger to where a young dwarven female was being brought into the room. She had red hair, deep blue eyes and was just coming into her womanhood fully. His blood ran cold as he heard her voice.

�FATHER! What have they done to you?� she wailed.

Dor raged, �I swear by all that�s holy, if you do so much as the tiniest of harm to her, I�ll cut out yer guts and feed em to the dogs!�

�Aw, is this cute little thing special to you stunty?� Torak taunted. �Maybe I should give her some PLEASURE instead of pain then eh?�

Dor bristled even more at the threat and Torak laughed.

�Enough Torak,� Aleron said with a note of annoyance in his voice. �I want that mine location now. If he doesn�t tell you, let�s find out if his daughter is a smith too. And if she is, then you can try pleasuring her right here while her daddy watches.�

Dor�s mind raced and he pulled hard against the chains to no avail. His rage was at its peak but there was nothing he could do as Torak moved closer to his child. The two hobgoblins held her fast as Torak brought the iron rod closer and closer to her face.

�Alright! I�ll show ya the mine.� Dor blurted out. �I can�t tell you directions, I�ve got to show you.�

Aleron raised his hand and stopped the half orc, who was obviously angered by the turn of events.

�It�s a trick Aleron. He can tell us, just let me at this little one here and he will.�

�No Torak, he will show us the mine I trust. Else you will have your fun with her I promise.� Aleron stated matter of factly.

Dor was let down while his daughter was taken to a makeshift holding area for the women and girls of the village. Dor noticed that most of the men still alive were in the village square under guard. His heart sank even more when he noticed that even more troops had arrived and now there seemed to be over a hundred about the town. He gathered the few things he was allowed, clothes and some bandages for his wounds, and was herded outside of his smithy. One of the gnome women was marched over to him and instructed to bandage his wounds. She began to do so, looking up at him with concern in her eyes.

Once he was bandaged, he was marched out of the village and down the path toward the mine. Aleron had told Torak to take charge of the party and the half orc was enjoying his position a lot, pushing and prodding the forty or so orcs that were sent to locate the mine. They had been given instructions to capture or kill the miners and then send word back once the mine was in their hands. Dor felt sick to his stomach that it would be him that betrayed the miners but, he didn�t see anyway else he could protect his daughter. He had to hope that by some miracle something would happen to change that.

They came upon the mine and Dor was to the point of despair. But when the orcs entered the mine, they found no miners inside. Torak pushed Dor inside and growled at him while pulling up his axe.

�Where are the miners? If this is some kind of trick��

But before he could finish his sentence a voice bellowed from near the entrance and a battle cry erupted from all around them. Orcs cried out in pain and death as crossbow bolts cut into them and a group of dwarves and gnomes armed with picks, shovels and hammers assailed them. Torak spat and raised his axe to cut down Dor but the dwarf had gotten his miracle and was not going to waste it. He ducked his head and rammed into the half orc, knocking him away. He bolted past him and up the side of the hill but was shocked to see a human standing there, bow in hand.

�By Abbathor�s beard what blasted luck!� Dor bellowed as he turned to run back down the hill, only to find Torak was there, axe in hand.

Dor thought of his daughter then and what was to become of her now that he was about to die. He almost fell down the hill in utter surprise when two arrows flew past him and embedded in the half orc�s chest. Torak bellowed with rage and tried to charge up the hill but two more arrows, almost in the same spots as the first two, caused him to tumble down the hill, quite dead. Dor turned around and saw the human approaching him with a hand axe out.

�Hold human. I might be bound of hand but I�ve still got fight in me enough to stand the likes of you.�

�From the looks of you sir, you�ve already suffered much. I�ve no intention of fighting you but would think you desire to be free of those bonds.�

The human continued to approach and Dor was about to charge him when Dalbor Ironhands, the crew foreman of the mine, came up the side of the hill.

�Thank the gods for your timely warning Greywolfe Farwalker. If not for it, we�d been in the mines and taken unaware.�

�It�s not a problem stout one,� Greywolfe said cutting Dor�s hands free. �I hate orcs even more then your kind does and take every opportunity to slay them or help those that do the same. I have been tracking this group for quite some time, taking kills when I can. Sadly, I was unable to warn the village in time but, thankfully, that was not the case here.�

Dor snorted in disgust and walked to where Torak�s body lay at the base of the hill. He gave it a kick and then picked up a hammer from the ground and started to head back to town.

�Where you going off in such a hurry?� Dalbor said moving to stop him.

�I ain�t waiting ta see how our people in the village fare under the tender mercies of them scum. I aim ta go kill meself a few dozen and free em.� Dor growled back, moving to go around him.

�You�re damn near dead from their �tender mercies� Dor and if you go in there hammer flyin� all yer going to do is get a lot of em kilt as well as yerself. � chided Dalbor.

�If I may, I have a suggestion.� Greywolfe interrupted.

Dor spun around on his heel and moved at nearly a run till he was on top of Greywolfe.

�I�ve had enough of you humans. A human is the leader of this scum and the cause of all ya see on me and me kin. We don�t need nor want yer kind around here human so leave.� Dor yelled.

�Dor!� Dalbor shouted at the battered dwarf as he came barreling up to the pair. �Mind yer manners! This one saved our arses in that mine. I don�t care what ye been through, ya shouldn�t be taken it out on him!�

Greywolfe raised a hand to quiet Dalbor and said, �I can understand his anger and upset. If he wishes to not fight by my side, that is his choice. But any among your people that wish to join me in killing these orcs are welcome, including you.� He directed his last comment toward Dor. He then turned and began to make his way back down the path to the mine where the miners were gathering.

Dalbor shot an anger glare at Dor but left the matter drop and headed down the hill after the human. Dor watched them go and deep inside he knew he�d acted wrong to the human. Not all of his kind was bad, just most. And if this one was a bad one, he figured the best place to be was near enough to him to make him pay. So, he let out a large sigh and headed down the hill to join the others in forming a plan of attack.

It was dark by the time the group made it back to the village. They could see a lot of the hobgoblins and orcs were in buildings and around campfires about the village. They broke into several groups and got ready to charge. Dor, Greywolfe and Dalbor were in the group that was to attack Dor�s smithy, which they figured was where Aleron was. The men were still in the center of town but the women were nowhere to be seen. This didn�t set well with any of the miners and even less with Dor. When the attack came, the miners struck with a fury of hatred and rage that stunned the raiders. Dor, Greywolfe and Dalbor burst into the smithy. Almost instantly Dalbor was knocked unconscious by the same spell that Dor had succumb to before and a pair of hobgoblins set upon them as Aleron disappeared up the stairs. Dor knew he was going to where his daughter was kept but couldn�t get past the creatures before him.

�That blasted mage is going to kill my daughter!� he bellowed as he tried to push past the hobgoblins.

He felt the sting of the mace on the back of his head and his vision blurred. Dazed, he stumbled forward and into the wall, falling in a heap. He turned to see Greywolfe cut down a hobgoblin with each arm. It was only then he realized that the human was using an axe in each hand. Greywolfe never even seemed to pause as he bolted over the bodies and disappeared up the stairs. Dor regained his footing and shook his head to clear it as he moved to climb the stairs. The scream of his daughter brought new strength and urgency to his legs and he quickly bounded up the stairs to see his daughter with a cast iron frying pan in both hands and Greywolfe rubbing the back of his head trying to calm her down. The site brought a smile to his sore face. the first one in what seemed a long time.

Aleron had escaped, teleporting away to some unknown place. Greywolfe�s adventuring band, the Lightning Company, found its way to the village and over the next few weeks, they helped the villagers clean up the mess the raiders caused and bury their dead. Most of the gnomes didn�t seem to mind their guests, who were human, save for an elf and a halfling. The dwarves however gave them a wide berth. When the time came for them to leave however, everyone seemed sad to see them go. Dor sought out Greywolfe specifically, who was preparing his horse for the long ride back to Hozzle.

Clearing his throat to get the ranger�s attention, Dor shuffled uneasily and said, �Well, I guess it be time for ye to go. I never was much o� one fer this good-bye stuff. But I dinna want you to go thinkin� I was na grateful fer what ya did. Not just fer me and Dara mind ya neither but, fer the whole village. I noticed ya use twin small axes when ya fight. So, I made ya these.�

He offered a small sack to the warrior who took it from him. Looking inside he saw a pair of finely crafted axes that felt perfectly balanced in his hands when he pulled them out. They bore ornate designs that encircled a golden lightning bolt.

�They are truly a work of a master Dor Bloodstone.� Greywolfe commented to the dwarf. �I shall try to be worthy of them.�

Dor gave a nod then stepped back a bit.

�Go on now human. I dunna want ya ta think I�m goin� soft on ya now. I still dunna care fer yer kind much.� Dor chided but the edge was no longer in his voice.

�And well you shouldn�t stout one.� Greywolfe replied with a smile as he mounted his horse. �Sadly, we�ve still got a long way to go to earn your trust again. But, maybe someday eh?�

With that Greywolfe and his company yelled their farewells and rode off toward Hozzle. Many of the villagers waved and yelled back as they rode away, a few gnomes even cried. Dor put his hand up to his still sore eye and remembered Aleron but drove the image from his mind by looking once more to Greywolfe�s fading form. Under his breath he said to himself,

�Aye, ye kin have a long way to go to earn our trust Greywolfe but, ye dunna have ta my friend.�

 

Tale From The World of Argyle - A matter of Trust © Simeron Steelhammer (Benjamin La Count)

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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