The Rough Morning (WAR)

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The Rough Morning (WAR)

Postby Dunkel » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:57 pm

It was an aching head and dry, sticky thirst that woke the dwarf slowly from his uneasy sleep. Mid-morning was approaching by the look of the light coming through the east window of the small stone house that Dunkel called home. Sitting up and rubbing his eyes, he began to piece together the events of the evening past. The smell of wood smoke from the long-cold grate mingled with that of recently kegged ale. Shaking his head in disbelief, he stood from his impromptu bed (consisting of a hard wooden chair and ratty blanket) contemplating the empty half-barrel on the table. It had not been his original intent to drain the whole thing once tapped after the arrival of his unexpected visitor the evening before, however, the company and conversation made it inevitable. Rubbing his temples, he cursed himself for his dwarfish pride in his home-crafted ale and was reminded, once again, that the only thirst to match a dwarf is that of a Celt.

Dunkel walked stiffly to the kitchen in search of the earthen jug of water. It was this jug of water that he was in the process of drawing from the well the night before when he heard a soft melody drifting through the boughs of the trees outside; the tell-tale sign he was about to get a visit from an old friend. That had indeed been the case and after the greetings had been made, Laefadun confessed that he had come with dire news. For a long while, the Old Bard spoke dark words of the war in far off lands as he puffed on his pipe. Deeds both great and treacherous, of men and elves, orcs and goblins, magic and technology, and new horrors he'd not ever heard of. These words hung heavy in the room, mixing with the dark smoke in the rafters...he had heard rumors of war before, but nothing had been confirmed until now. Laefadun finally paused, set down his pipe and turned to him.

"Dunkel, this be a fight I can not be a part of.", said the aging Celt as he picked up his lute and began to strum it thoughtfully. "I am too old, and the situation is beyond that of mirth and music. A songsmith's talents are not to be part of the arsenal that is gathered to face the mighty Destruction-bent foes. And that, dwarf, is a sad state of affairs."
They sat in silence for a moment, staring at the fire dancing about the grate. But before Dunkel could speak, the Bard stopped playing and sat forward, looking at the dwarf intently.
"You, however…your study in runes would be of great service to our allies in this war abroad. You might bring healing to this new fight where my songs may have in times gone by. You can be one that folk can look to mend their wounds," he raised his tankard and winked at Dunkel, "and perhaps warm and raise their spirits with this fine ale of yours." he took a long drink before concluding with a smile, "Aye, two fine talents you could bring in the effort to restore Order o'er there for sure. Will you go and join the forces of Order in this fight where I can not?"
He looked the dwarf over with anticipation as he leaned back in his chair, lute now in hand again. Dunkel, at the time, could only gaze back at the graying man as his nimble fingers scaled the neck of that ancient instrument that almost seemed a part of the him. Sensing the unease, Laefadun said quickly, "Ah. You will do what is right, no matter what I ramble on about. Now, enough of this talk for now…what have you to eat around here?" The rest of the evening was a bit blurry for Dunkel. The mood, as he could recall, lifted as the 'business' had been completed and they'd turned their attentions to stories, songs, and the liberal pouring of ale.

As usual, there was no sign of the old Bard now though. He'd disappeared probably just after dawn as was his manner, in spite of any consequence that an evening in his cups was likely to bring him. There was a bit of parchment sitting on the chair where, the dwarf assumed, Laefadun had spent the wee hours sitting humming to himself, smoking, and staring at the fire as the dwarf snored in his. Dunkel lifted the note to the beams of sunlight and squinted at the elaborate script:

"You need not fight alone, nor should you. Watch closely for not only the old friends of which I've told so many stories, but for new ones as well. Seek the hall I told you of that may welcome you, and it is there that you will more than like find both."
-Laef

Carefully folding up the parchment and placing it in an old, leather-bound book (which he noted would be one of the few tomes that he would be able to carry the distance to these new lands), he turned his thoughts to the preparations that needed to be made. Dunkel had never been one for traveling, but Laefadun's words echoed in the back of his mind, strengthening his resolve that this was, indeed, his path now. He looked about his small home and hiked up the sleeves of his beer-stained tunic, deciding it was time to get ready. Before he could reason or talk himself out of joining the war, he needed to get some miles behind him. Before the next morning would come, he would be on the path, but to what end he really couldn't say.
Dunkel---Dwarven Runepriest
Cubensis---Dwarven Ironbreaker

In the afterlife, there is no beer. That is why we must drink it here!
Dunkel
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