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Fly by Knight
09-22-2009, 08:21 AM
Upon Thane Osk’s suggestion, Ferous decided to go home and see his family, perhaps for the last time. He bid farewell to his new companions, with the understanding that he would be seeing them all again very soon.
Walking out of the Thane’s hall, and down the stairs, Ferous looks about at the Clanstead, so in need of repair and care. How can the pride of such a few stand in between a people and their need for basic things?
Walking along a small boy stops in front of Ferous, shaking him out of his thoughts. The boy is carrying a makeshift shield and a piece of wood. His gray skin is quite dirty, and he is naked save the cloth he wears around his waist. The small boy looks up at him with his pale blue eyes and smiles. Ferous puts one hand on his hip as his eye brows go up. The boy takes his stick and strikes his shield three times, loudly. Ferous smirks then turns to serious, reaches in behind his shield and with his axe head, strikes his shield three times loudly. The boy smiles broadly, exposing his gapped tooth grin. Ferous extends his forearm and the boy smiles even bigger and grips it. “Well met boy, someday you may be my shield mate, what is your name?” The boy speaks up loudly “I am Torgin Vaxgur, Son of Vergish, Blood of Vorgin.” Ferous replies “Well met Torgin Vaxgur, Son of Vergish, Blood of Vorgin..I am Ferous Goldvein, Son of Sact, Blood of Sactim”. They stood for a moment as the boy eyed the armor and shield that Ferous was carrying. They released forearms and Ferous continued on, while the boy turned watching as he walked away, never taking his eyes off of him till he could no longer see him.
Ferous thinking to himself “I know nothing of the politics here or the religious implications, what I do know is that it is time to infuse some life into the Stead, I’m just happy to be able to help.”
Ferous leaves the Clanstead and makes his way back to where his home is, in order to do so, he must go much shallower in the earth before taking the hall that leads downward again, downward toward his own Clanstead.
Walking Ferous thinks back to when he was a child, he was never surrounded by weapons, never had even an inkling of desire to be a soldier. He saw the axe over his grandfather’s mantle, but soon it disappeared. The ones that he looked up to were miners, like his father and grandfather. Where would have such a reputation been earned by his family? If his family were warriors, why stop doing so, Ferous hoped to finally hear the truth, even if it meant that either his new friends or his family were not telling it.
Ferous thinks back to his childhood once again, he remembers asking his grandfather why he decided to be a miner. His grandfather looked at him and stopped his work, which he never did. “Ferous, this is our peoples blood” he said as he extended a hand full of earth, “it is the key to our livelihood, it is what makes us live, what lies inside it is what provides warmth, food, shelter, and security for our people. There is no other more important resource our Stead can have. “ Ferous held out his small hands and his grandfather placed the dirt in them. “Always remember, no matter what happens, with this blood, the stones that we break and the crystals that we shine are all for naught, if we do not hold it to the value it deserves, either to ourselves, or to those who provide their blood in return.” Suddenly Ferous understood what his grandfathers powerful hands had given him, it was the blood of his people, it was the wisdom of the future.
Ferous arrives at his door finally, the lantern burns dimly and he can smell the food that his family prepares within. Oddly, he stands there at the door feeling all alone, it had been three years and he feels awkward about his place within his family.
Ferous takes a deep breath when the door opens and his mother is there, behind him he can hear someone approaching, he turns, it is his grandparents. His grandmother drops the basket she is carrying, his mother grabs his hand, and his grandfather suddenly stands upright, and beams a toothless grin.

He was home.

mnemenoi
09-22-2009, 12:32 PM
“Aye, its are long lost grandson,” beams his grandfather, “knew nothing could kill one o’ me own blood ‘cept old age!” as he awaits the ladies turn before embracing him.

“Me boy, I wez worried ta death don’t ya know, heard bout a collapse and the lost...” as she securely wraps her arms around you more firmly then you’d imagine the commander at Illeth had. Her words are drowned by her sobs and joy at seeing you again and she appears to have no intention of letting go anytime soon.

Your grandmother smiles at you with tears in her eyes, “I knows ya were taught better then ta be makin us worry so, If I had me way I’d teach ya a fine lesson in manners,” in a tone some woman get when they get too upset. She had always been strict and it almost seemed wrong to see her not in control of herself fully.

From the rear of the home you can hear some banging and cursing, “What are ye sayin? Can’y hear a thin when I’m diggin back ‘ere,” as you can see your father emerge from their room with what appears as a half fixed lantern in his hand. He stares at you in disbelief, “Me son?” as if in shock.

The home itself appears exactly as you had left it so many years ago, crude stone walls that were painted a light hue your mother had requested. The simple furniture and small stove exactly as you had left it. As your gaze sweeps across everything, the only difference is that over the hearth again hangs your families axe and underneath a sketch of yourself. It must have cost a fortune as you knew no one with any talent when you grew up and you had certainly never sat for such a thing.

The smell of a mushroom stew fills the home and although you had not been particularly hungry before, your stomach begins to rumble as if on cue.

Fly by Knight
09-22-2009, 04:06 PM
Ferous embraces his family, each, for as long as he can. It is as if he had drank some warm meade on a cold day, his soul was warmed.

Each of his family looked upon their loved one with concern and pride. They could tell by the scabs on his lips and deep in his eyes, that he was a changed dwarf. His life had changed in some profound way, and his gaze is now deeper, and farther. His armor was clean, as was his beard and face. He carried a beautiful shield made with precious stones to give it depth. A true artist had done this for him.

Immediately, the family sits at the sparse table, Ferous' grandmother and mother cannot stop touching him, they want to comfort him, help him find the Ferous of old and be happy. His grandfather and father thougth otherwise, they had seen that look on dwarves faces, it is the look of one who has seen death his own death and lived to tell of it. While many dwarves claim to know death, only a few these days can truly say they have seen it.

Sact takes his son's shield and hangs it near the door, then slides his weapons off of his shoulders, then helps with his helmet.

They all sit together, and they all look to each other. Sactim, Ferous' grandfather speaks up, tell us son, tell us of your ordeal, tell us of what has come to pass.

Ferous begins to tell the tale of his new friends and his trials, the story stretches well past the soup and ale and into the night. All along his family sits by and listens.

As he completes his tale, Ferous looks at his family, eyes beginning to glass over. "We have lived our lives as those Duergar, and there is no need. We must find a way to bring relief to them, and our people, or we will collapse from within." Ferous then recounts the words of wistom that Sactim had parted to him. "Grandfather, I want to thank you for that, I now understand what you meant and it is those words that drive me to complete this mission, I must help restore value to our blood, or all of our past generations efforts are for naught."

"Now I have some questions for you my family." Ferous smiles slightly as he looks upon his family. "Tell me of Sact the Smeller and Sactim the Quick".

mnemenoi
09-22-2009, 05:38 PM
Your father and grandfather both smile a bit at your mention of those names. Your father nodding toward your grandfather that he might shed some light on your questions.

"Mussa been talkin ta Dolastyr ehh? She wez a good lass, specially when she's a bit younger. Done all growd up I suppose. Well, lets see quite a spell back I reckon. All started wit me apprenticeship in da mines, it wez after I done me time fer da militia. Yer gradma alweys wez a worryin I'd go an get meself hurt reel bad and after some thinkin and findin her expectin I reckon'd I needed ta settle down a bit. Well da boyz were havin some fun ribbin me. They'd got it in em ta start sellin me on men o' stone and kep slippin me stories bout em. They told me some reel whoppers and I'd bought it all thinkin I wez finally gettin sum o' da secrets. Well, they knew a real weak support in this section and one o' em hid and shook it sometin fierce while da others got ta carryin on 'bout da stone men. I wez a runnin hard and had the fear in me boy, I cin tells ya I neerly made it outta da mines fore somone grab'd ahold o' me. Well, after that they all called me swift, but after a few years it changed to quick," as he drinks heavily from his ale. "Its jis what we do in da mines I suppose, ya get close ta yer fella's you werk wit. Now as far as the smeller goes," with a sly grin toward your father, quickly followed by a low moan from him.

"Well it wez jis after his guild status as I recall. Seems they got inta this deep vein o' ore, real rich and laid out near sum granite as I recall. When yer fadder gets a itchin real awful like and starts gettin a headache. He shakes it off as jis hard werk, but he starts feelin it even worse. Seems ol' Vornin notices him feelin awful and gets a real bad feelin. He pulls da buch outta da shaft and when they's all clear he tosses a torch. Whew, ya ain't never seen sich a blaze. Well yer fadder had saved all o' der lives. He's a nose fer killer gas and after dat he's sent ta sniff a new vein er shaft. Don't reckon I cin say how many ya saved over da years," with a proud look upon his face as he looks at your father. "Ain't been a death frim gas since he's been in da mines, don't reckon I know what they's gonna do when ya get tired o' going," as they both start laughing.

"Yeah me boy, we jis don't like talkin shop when we's get home's all really. Can't say its as wild a tale as you'd imagined though," says your father. "Its the first I ever heard o' it," adds your mother indignintly.

Fly by Knight
09-22-2009, 07:56 PM
The family sits quietly through Sact and Sactim's tales, but when mother speaks up, every one laughs a very strong hardy laugh. One that requires the wiping of eyes afterward.

Once it comes to the silence that usually falls after a good laugh like that, Ferous once again is hungry for knowledge. He gets up to get more ale, and his mother puts her hand on his shoulder, then gets the pitcher and fills everyone's.

Ferous comes out of his laughter directly to a half serious tone, once again looking at his family. "Tell me about the axe".

mnemenoi
09-22-2009, 09:27 PM
They all drink heavily from their mugs and your father nods to your grandfather in deference to him telling the tale. He wipes his beard on his shirt, with a snitch from your grandmother for doing so. "No me son," he says "you'll be tellin this tale. I knows ya heard it a few hunre'd times and I ain't gonna be round ferever. Best ya start tellin it so's Ferrous' sons and daul's don't be gettin no wishy washy tellin," as he laughs a bit and drinks again. "Donna worry, I'll point out yer failins," as he finishes.

"I suppose as this old man'll give me hell iff'n I don't," as he stands and retrieves the axe from its spot on the wall. He returns and hands it to you, its darkened blade glistening in the light. The oiled leather wrapped carefully around its haft feels good in your hand. Though old, its edge can easily be seen and you would guess could challenge many of the smith's here in the stead to craft its equal.

"Long ago our blood, known to his fellows as Goldvein, was casted out from his clan. This was the age of Ammirindar, the age of dwarves," as he reverted to an ancient way of speaking. "He had been mighty in many battles, but had bested a Thanes son for insulting his wife and as recompense were cast into the mountains. He did what he could surviving the cold and doing what he might to feed his family. Long did they dwell amongst the wilderness bereft of their kin and clan. Many years had passed before he found a group of wanderer's. They were to form a great hall and to live as dwarves should beneath the stone as Moradin had bade them. They took pity upon what had occurred to Goldvein and offered him a place in their great city. They only asked of him to wield his blade. It had such feelings that came with it that it brought him pain to bear it. He knew he must, for his family needed it though he vowed that when they were finished with him and his blade that he will place it away and he could do what all dwarves should. He fought to his deathbed upon the field of battle, where he fell wounded and dying. A priest of the all father approached and asked of his wishes. He bade them deliver his axe unto his wall, that it may hang there as he rests and should his children ever need take it from there and do what they must, but when they have no more blood upon their hands then they may bear that they replace it upon the wall wherein it shall be the stone that sets you free of the constraints held in this world and in resting it shall you find peace," as he finishes his tale with deep breaths. All your relatives have tears in their eyes as they look at you, your hands grasping your legacy.

Fly by Knight
09-22-2009, 10:23 PM
Ferous stands at the table and stands back, shifting the axe from hand to hand, shifting his weight and moving fluidly.

The blade feels fluid in his hands, and each time he moves it, a slight ache occurs in his shoulder. "Tell me, does it have a name?"

He remembers the advice given to him my Osk, and smiles. "When I spoke in the great hall and volunteering myself, I became flustered and I told the gathering that I was there to split skulls for him. He replied, telling me that I am more than just a butcher, I have to use all of my skills to accomplish my mission. This axe reinforces his words, when I must use it, I will be reminded of it. I will be reminded of the lives I must take and the lives I must ruin. I will do so, as it is my duty not only to my Stead, but to my family. I thank you, and I will cherish your trust in me." Ferous feels his eyes well and large tears stream down his cheeks.

"In the morrow, I will depart, I will keep the warmth of this hearth and the company with me till I return"

Ferous once again embraces his family, and they sit at the table.

"So..You know Dolastyr?"

mnemenoi
09-23-2009, 03:17 PM
At the question of its name your grandfather nods gravely, “Yea, it be called Dreck Khrumh, which I been told means Dark Bringer in the old tongue. It seen yer Da and me through sum tough scrapes.”

After they had returned to the table and were seated again his father and grandfather both nodded to his question about the Duergar priestess, “Aye, we knows er. Know yer Fadder knows a her a bit more’n I though,” states your grandfather.

“She wez young when she first came inta da mines. Seems she ‘pprenticed wit da clergy fairly young. She’d always be in da mix wit us, askin questions and what not. Wanetd ta learn ta hear da stones sing an understan der song. I could try an explain it, but ya jis have’ta be dere really. She’d see to our cuts and sprains, lookin at em and fixin what she could. She’d give her ‘pinion bout the veins run er it dead headin. Any team dat have her wit em wez really blessed by da Lord o’ Secrets on accounta her bein a favor’ed dal and all. Glad I am dat she’ll be goin. Now lissen ta her and she’ll see ya through anythin and deliver ya back here safe. She got da gift and dere ain’t another I’d prefer’d be goin wit ya minus Old Verbain hisself,” as he finishes.

“Me old bones are a barkin me boy,” as your grandparents rise from their seats. “I gots a rich vein I’mma huntin in da morn and need me wits about me if I’s ta find it. Ya knows we’ll miss ya bad, but jis be safe and use yer head out in da cold,” as he moves to embrace you one last time. Your grandmother follows, “Don’t be actin no fool out dere, drinkin and dicin. Seen enuff o’ dem youngin’s follin wit dat. Ya keep yer mind ta yer goal and jis come back ta us. I’d like ta be seein yer children and that wonna be happenin wit ya on any beir,” as she wipes tears from her eyes.

Fly by Knight
09-23-2009, 03:49 PM
Ferous embraces his grand parents tightly, not knowing if this will be the last time he sees them. He says thank you to both of them as he releases them.

They leave the room as he stairs at them, until it seems they are gone from site, but he still looks into the beyond.

"Their health is still good Ferous," sact says "they are very strong and while me da is still coughing up the mines, he is as strong as an ox."

Ferous looks at him, and smiles, for his father knew exactly what he was thinking.

mnemenoi
09-24-2009, 06:36 PM
"I fear I'm near exhuasted meself," smiles his mother. "I'd stay up till ya left, but I ain't fer ya seein me cry. You take care o' yerself and I'll be seein ya a soon as ya returns," as she embraces him fiercely. The wet of tears can be felt on his broad shoulders. "And donna be sayin good bye, jis knowin ya's sleepin in yer room'll have me sound asleep." She quickly departs after his farewell, trying to avoid any ridiculous display of emotions.

His father awaits her departure before he speaks again, "Well me boy, I could speak all night but I'm knowin yer needin some rest. Follow yer heart and think wit yer head and it'll see ya through till ya get back home. Yer a man now and I knows a good one. You'll do fine out dere, think o us and we'll be doin da same. Keep yer eye on yer goal and donna be cloudin dat head wit thoughts o' gold n' such. We's got all we needs 'ere and are happy. Took me quite awhile ta be figgurin dat out, but I only hope it don't take ya da same. Now hug yer old Da one last time and we cin be callin it a night," as he grasps Ferrous in a bear like grip.

Fly by Knight
09-24-2009, 11:10 PM
Ferous retires to his room. He lays for a while, he thinks he may have been able to sleep for a bit, but then decides enough is enough.

He rises from his cot, and inventories all of his belongings, after an unknown amount of time, Ferous meticulously puts his armor and kit on. It has become a ritual, but he pays very close attention to every detail.

When he finishes, he walks into his families main room and pulls out his axe.

Ferous kneels at the harth, head bowed and begins to breath deeply.

"Silverbeard, I am not the best for prayers, and while I speak of you I do not look to you. Today I look to you, I look to you for guidence, for control, for steadiness, and for wisdom. I know you help those who help themselves, and I look to not only help myself, but my people. Give your wisdom to me and my companions, look upon us with your blessings, and steady my hand as I dispatch our foes."

Ferous sits for a bit longer, smelling the smells of his home and hearing the snoring of of his family.

He stands puts his helmet on, grabs his shield, and leaves his home, perhaps for the last time.