A very exhausted dwarf entered into the hall of thanes, empty of their namesake, though it had still garnered some court attendees even with its late announcement. As he gathered his breath and took an appraisal at the assembled crowd he saw very familiar faces in it. A few relatives, nobles, and guild elders sat in attendance tonight. His son was attending to the Thanes, apologizing for his own tardiness. His eyes quickly fell upon his daul, standing wherein the Chanters do. He was certainly not surprised, he knew well enough that she was the most gifted of his line her brother included. He grinned wishing it would have been proper for her to give the entrances, but he was the current head and it lie within his responsibility.
A gruff sound from behind him quickly reminded him he was to be starting shortly. Scuttlebutt always seemed to know when one was dawdling, though he only wished it was another whom she had taken interest in. The hall was large by dwarven standards, crafted of stone. Ringed upon the far side stood twenty one stone thrones, the center being larger for the high thane. He was allowed no vote unless there were to be an equal vote cast, then it fell upon him to decide. Such was their way and it had always been so. Opposite the thrones were some areas from which onlookers could seat themselves and to their left stood a small raised dais where he moved toward and upon which stood his daul, Ertyrd. His son would be joining them after the announcement of the Thanes and their seating.
He smiled at his daul as he stood beside her and cleared his throat, calling attention to those whom were in attendance.
"The Thanes of Uerythtar have deigned grant attendance to the requestee. I shall call them by their great names and they shall hear the words of the caller," in a booming voice.
"Thon Tethgard," as an dwarf of perhaps his second century walked from a doorway behind the thrones to take his seat. He wore simple clothing, stained with soot and soil. A gravelly cough echoed from him as he settled into his seat.
"Vron Thundarden," as a dwarf of nearly the same age limped from the entrance. His left leg was dragging quite badly, but as everyone knew, the wound was quite iold and seemingly permanent. He took his seat slowly, smiling toward the assembled crowd.
"Sven Shieldstar, the Robust," as a heavy dwarf of perhaps three centuries entered. His puffed chest and pompous demeanor quite evidant to those assembled.
"Vorn Uerthshield," signaled the next dwarf. He had neared his third century and his beard was very long indeed. His left eye often closing violently in an unending tick. He was very quick and wasted no time.
"Uethym Rivenhelm, known as the Bloodletter," followed by a younger dwarf in such elder company. He had only likely seen just over a century, but his deeds spoke well and he was favored by his clan. Amongst those of court his quick temper and foul pipe were both known well.
"Adze Arnskull," whom was an elderly dwarf indeed. There were very few whom had his age upon the council having seen over three centuries of life. He walked steadily and measured to his seat, as if by memory alone.
"Pike Battlehammer, the Third," as a very meticulously groomed dwarf entered. He walked with grace to his seat and began to calmly pat his beard, soothing out some perceived imperfection.
"Gimnt Blackbanner," as another of the eldest dwarves entered. He shared Adze's age and respect. As he sat his eyes looked over the others, his mind seeming to be calculating already.
"Arsun Blackhammer," Yet another of those most aged arrived, his eyes seeming to challenge the onlookers and fellow thanes. He mumbled something about "hanging the idiot who aroused them" as he took his seat.
"Falgen Bucklebar, the Large," whom was bedecked in his ceremonial plate and bore his clan axe proudly. He was younger as well and had achieved much fame during the Derro wars.
"Reiel Eaglecleft," he entered nervously, still feeling a bit young when compared to the other attendees. He seemed pensive, but always the first to call for the chanters. It appeared he loved song and tale.
"Nalgar Horn, the Fourth," as a very sturdy and stout dwarf entered. He seemed genial and pleasant, taking his seat quickly. He immediately proceeded to take something from his pocket and start to work it in his hands.
"Farerl Jundath, the Dark," was yet another elderly dwarf. He sneered at the other thanes and nearly spit upon another before finally being seated. His grimace painted upon his face clearly for all to see.
"Duerurt Orothiar, the Elegant," as a very flamboyant and brightly clad dwarf entered. His jewels and rings were easily more then the others combined. In his hand was what appeared to be a crystal goblet filled with wine. He graciously sat, exaggerating nearly his every move.
"Delkrel Quarrymaster," as what appeared to be an older dwarven miner walked in. He had never been one for pomp and ceremony, only rarely even deigning to dress appropriately. As he took his seat his hand was easily seen tapping in frustration.
"Dori Rockfist, the Vigilant," as a lean and younger dwarf entered. He appeared to be well dressed, though the leg of lamb in his hand did appear a bit out of place. As he sat he started upon devouring it noisily, appearing none too concerned about whom he offended.
"Morir Stoneshoulder," as another dwarf entered. He was middle aged and seemed quite at calm amongst his fellow thanes.
"Tholyr, the Fire, Trueforger," as a very clean and appropriately dressed dwarf entered. He sat upon his seat and held himself in a proper posture. Amongst court it was well known how seriously he took his position.
"Erir the second, Worldthrone," as a very charming dwarf entered. He nodded to all those in attendance and seemed to longingly glance at the center throne before reluctantly taking his own.
"Osk Verbain the Second," as a bald grey duergar entered. He bore a large maul and around his neck was the sigil of Dumathoin. He had only recently been chosen as their thane and little was known in court, though rumors abounded.
"Beldas the Bull Hammerblood, High Thane of Uerythtar," as the powerful and large king entered. He nodded to each and every one of his thanes, whom all did the same before taking his seat.
"Great council of the Thanes of Uerythtar, you have been summoned by Bababault Tethgard, Sheild of Moradin to consider his words. I pass my voice to the High Thane that he might direct this council as he so wisely shall..." stepping back toward his daul and his son, whom had just arrived.
Beldas stood as his chanter stepped backward. He stood tall amongst the dwarves, his size impressive and his deeds long. He had lead the Adbarrans and avenged the lost high Thane, whom had fallen defending his stead. He was respected by some, while others viewed him as an outsider and usurper of their rightful throne.
"The council agrees to hear the honored words of the high priest, but I believe it is still early in this meeting. I would like to hear a song or tale, so as to honor our departed and remember them before we proceed. They are missed dearly and thought of often. I request Ertryd Uerthshield, Grandaul of Thralsia, Blood of Kanik perform. I have heard from many that Thralsia was remembered fondly amongst the thanes and said her voice and memory due her justice. It is said that they are apparent in her ganddaul as well..." as the assembled eyes fall upon her. Her brother and father look at her perhaps wondering what tale or song she will tell, certainly not envying her at the current moment. Both seeking whether she wished them to accompany her with their instruments.
Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.
Ertryd requests that her father and brother accompany her on drums and bagpipe. She slowly picks up her balalaika and flips her hair out of her face. Her voice comes, a clear, resonant alto:
When the world was young and dragons soared
The dwarves grew tired of the dragons’ tyranny
Alone they were too few and could not go forward
Yet there were others who might help and together they were many
So the dwarves approached the elves, the woodland kin
And they brought forth their plan to humble the oppressors
The elves obliged, the dwarves knew they could win
With greater numbers the oppressed could be the aggressors
The dwarves moved through the caverns and the elves through the trees
‘Til finally they were before the mighty red beast
The combatants were ready and felt no unease
The dragon promised upon their bones he would feast
The dwarves presented rank while the elves hid in the grove
The dragon knew not what force he faced
He took to the air and mightily dove
To his massive wings the elves arrows laid waste
As he fell to the ground the dwarves did attack
Their mighty axes broke through his steel plates
The creature fell to the ground with a loud ‘crack’
The allies had seen through with the blessing of the fates
The allies continued their battles of glory
The conquered every foe they met in the field
The conquest of their foes was not the end of the story
For the alliance and peace between them was sealed
With the dwarves and elves freed at last
A great golden age was upon the races
In war and trade the alliance held fast
The friendship was blessed by the gods’ graces
Soon, however, they began to forget
What brought them together as allies and friends
Their world was becoming free of threat
That is when their alliance ends
They were so different in many ways
Each could not come to tolerate the other
As years went by tempers set ablaze
They became enemies, who had once been brothers
To this day they do not associate
Even in the face of dire threat
Neither is willing to truly negotiate
Even when lives are lost there is no regret
Many years after the alliance ended
A new threat to the dwarves and elves arose
An ancient dragon with a vengeance contended
Yet negotiations between the peoples came to blows
Upon their homes the dragon descended
Many died in those first advances
Upon an alliance their survival depended
Yet they still decided to separately take their chances
The great red beast devastated tribe and clan
There was just too much sorrow and death
Finally after heavy losses negotiation began
Together they would make the beast breath her last breath
So they sent an army to the dragon’s lair
Before the day was out they would end her threat
She looked upon the combined forces in despair
She had not predicted an alliance, this made her upset
With swift arrows and mighty axes the great creature fell
The death of the dragon was a joyous event
For the elven tribe and dwaven clan all was well
But the victory did not an alliance cement
The races still do not see fit to live in harmony
But when another great threat arises, an alliance there’ll be
Her voice is powerful through the high notes and the impassioned lines, low and soft, but still full, through the expository lines. Her voice resonates and fades as the song ends.
As she finishes the song, she looks to the high priest. She is expecting anger, but has a strong, set look on her face that declares that she will not back down from her words. She turns to the court and gives a low bow.
Last edited by Crossroads_Wanderer; 06-16-2009 at 01:07 PM.
The Thanes listen intently, all of them hearing your words and each taking their own interpretation. As the epic ends and you bow to the assembled clan elders, Beldas rises. A beam upon his face, his pride easily showing through his beard.
"I can hear Thralsia in your words and verse, Ertryd Uerthshield, Grandaul of Thralsia, Blood of Kanik. You have done honor to her here and have pleased your King," as you both glance through the assembled thanes trying to estimate your influence upon them.
Some do seem moved, some a bit less so. As to what influence you had will certainly be determined in a short time. Beldas looks toward the high priest of Moradin whom had entered the chamber to hear your epic. He is old indeed, his silver beard flowing well beyond his knees and his shining plate and axe reflecting the spitting light of the torches in the audience room. The look upon his face is contemptuous, obviously he is not as pleased in your song as is the Thanes nor the King.
Beldas nods slightly to the man, "Balabault Tethgard, Shield of Moradin, you have called this council to hear your words. Please speak your mind..." as he returns to his seat. Balabault puffs his chest mightily, increasing his air of importance.
"I, the shield of Moradin, have had a vision concerning this endeavor to trade with the humans and elves in Loudwater. I believe it is in haste that we act and should I not act, it will trouble me throughout my days," as his gaze sweeps across the assembled Thanes.
"Our ancestors choose to retreat from the outside world and it has served a wise choice, to simply ignore that now would be to ignore their council. I think that waiting another cycle will gain us more insight into those we wish to trade with and what they might harbor toward our stead," in a dramatic manner.
Beldas surveys the assembled Thanes trying to ascertain their reaction to the conservative priest and his dire warnings. Some seem very upset, some uninterested, and even others seem to have not even noticed he was speaking.
Beldas stands in acknowledgment to the head of the church of Moradin, "Balabault Tethgard, your words shall be considered by this council. I appreciate your concern in this matter, but should it not be brought to the priests of Vergadain? They are the ones that will be undergoing this event and as is most trade issues under the aegis of mighty Vergadain, whom sees to trade amongst the stout folk?"
Ertryd has a look of cool pride on her face at the comparison to her grandmother. She bows again to the king.
She glances around the court to see what effect her song had on its members. She is glad to see some positive reactions among the thanes.
She looks again to Balabault, focused attentively on his words, analyzing the effect he has on the court. She again is glad to see that not all accept his proposal.
Ertryd is unsure what effect bringing the matter before the priests of Vergadain will have. Furthermore, she is unable to influence their decision, as she is herself a worshipper of Barronar Truesilver. On the other hand, she doesn't know where she truly stands at court. She is young, and the reactions of many of the thanes are carefully concealed.
Ertryd begins to feel some frustration. She carefully holds her calm demeanor on the outside, but her mind is in turmoil. She doesn't believe Balabault to be an evil man, but she thinks he is sorely misguided. Though she has very little experience with other races, Ertryd feels deep down that they can't be as bad as Balabault claims. Yet, he is a respected member of the community, one of rank and power.
As she turns her attention outward once again, she looks to her brother and father, seeking their approval in her choice of ballad. She hopes that she was not to heavy-handed in expressing her thoughts.
Last edited by Crossroads_Wanderer; 06-20-2009 at 04:13 PM.
Balabault's eyes glimmer at the idea of asking anything of the upstart Vergadain priesthood. He lets out a deep breath before responding, "Moradin watches over all his family and seeks to protect us from anything that might threaten our ways. I can understand your issue's, but the traders only seek to ply their skills not realizing the absolute danger it presents to our stead. I will certainly speak with them, but they dwell within Illethkeep and know little of our ways. Perhaps they are simply not understanding the situation as it appears and without strong direction from our Thanes will take whatever seems the most convenient."
Beldas' chest rises in an aggressive snarl, his lips quivering as he replies. "Aye, well you have certainly said your piece then high priest. We will consider your words and their merit. If you would be so kind as ta be waitin' outside while we speak, lessen ye needs ta be here..." as his accent lets escape his rage and animosity towards him.
"Certainly, asked as truly the High Thane," as he looks toward the others in a manner suggesting he had told them he was ill suited for this role. He slowly leaves the council room the doors banging as he closes them.
The High Thanes eyes bloodshot, takes his seat. Fearing his fuming might affirm Balabault's contention he was ill suited to rule.
"What say ye, the Thanes of Uerythtar?" asks Beldas in a quivering voice trying to hold his opinion and tongue.
Thon stands quickly his place well known, "The High Priest knows the will of Moradin and I shall heed his warnings. What is a year to us that dwell within the stone." He sits back down a racking cough taking his last words from him.
Vron stands shakily upon his limp leg, "I too think his advice sound. Long has Moradin guided our steps here and only recently have we heard of Vergadain," as his shoulders rise in a question. He takes his seat again.
Sven stands, his great stomach rumbling even now. "I have heard of the treats that the other races have crafted in this world and I for one will want them before I die..." in a gruff manner.
Vorn stands looking at the assembled dwarves. His facial tick becoming ever more prominent as he speaks, "Me thinks dat Loudwater holds gold and the like and am wantin me share."
Uethym who is still holding a foul smelling pipe that is smoldering nods at his predecessor's words before rising. "What's a year amongst our brethren? We know little of the outside world and I think his advice sound."
Adze rises and stares directly at Ertryd as he speaks, "I donna want nun a ya talk o' elves and such. Me father told me that they cin steal magic by touchin dem. They are jis wantin our secrets, I say we never leave," as he nearly falls from missing his seat. He rises again and bows slightly to Ertryd while he mumbles, "Beldas." Most in court are well aware that he can not see beyond his nose and that he has never addressed the correct individual in your entire life at court. He also has fought anyone that might suggest he can't see, so it is just ignored.
Pike Battlehammer is the next to stand, stroking his beard as he carefully intoned his response, "The Battlehammers feel that to wait only flirts with the inevitable. We should act now and decide upon our action by Vergadain's chosens view of what they see."
"We wait, they can not be trusted" in a quick tone suggesting that Gimnt had already been working the numbers in his head.
Arsun is slow to rise, his sneer seeming to grow as he stood. "'Humans are all liars, the half folk no better. Me gut do be tellin me this'll all end in a deadend," as he re assumes his seat slowly.
Falgen rises quickly as if his words need to come out,"This is ridiculous. We will trade or be forgotten, Why are we even here? I follow your lead Beldas, you know my mind," as he salutes the High Thane and retakes his seat glaring at Arsun to his left.
Reiel stands with his eyes toward Ertryd. He seems lost in thought while he speaks, "As her tale has said, we are destined to work in unison. Perhaps the elves might need our help or aid?"
Nalgar appears to be surprised when Reil nudges him after a lengthy pause. He quickly looks up, a tear upon his face. "I'll not do anything that might place the stead or its families in harm's way. I say we wait a year, what harm could it do?"
Farerl stands and looks toward Beldas as he responds, "I would not think of turning my back upon a request of the High Priest, perhaps it is done differently in other steads, but here it is not even a question."
Duerurt stands and looks upon his adjacent thanes, his jewels glittering in the light. "I have heard the words of the priests of Vergadain and know their council. Vergadain is Moradin's son and we need to listen to his words. It is honorable and will see us survive in this strange world."
Delkyrl stands some dust and stone falling as he does so, "I'm not under Abathor's spell like some here and can wait till we are at the advantage. Me father had spoken of elves and their tricks and I ain't forgotten his warnins."
The famished and stout Dori is next to stand, as he finishes what looks like a meat pie before speaking. "Look here fellows, we need trade. We have stockpiles of things and need far more. Shall you look at those that might starve and say that we wanted better prices..."
Morir stood slowly, taking in his fellows, "I too have had a dream and know this to be a ruse of our foul and twisted cousins, the hill dwarves. They breed with the others like animals and it is this reason that they were cast out from the rest of the truly begotten of Moradin. They scheme for our mounts, steads and homes, this I know." At the mention of Hill dwarves nearly all the dwarves curse and spit upon the ground. It was well known amongst the mountain dwarves that they alone were the rightful descendants of the dwarves on Faerun.
Tholyr the Fire stands next, his head shaking toward Morir. "Me own brother went missin in our own stead and twas nothin that was ever found. If this crime went unsolved, then no peace is anywhere in our realm. I say we go and see what it is them humans say. Could not be any worse then just waiting and would show em we mean well."
Erir is next to stand his vote weighing heavily upon the assembled Thanes. Most knew the rivalry between the high king and the worldthrones and his vote need not be said before it was known. "I seek no rivalry with the great and courageous High Priest, I am certain patience can indeed be a virtue," as he sits smiling as he had already calculated the vote in his head. Even should the Duergar side with Beldas it would not matter it was now 11 against and only 8 for. It had been decided.
Osk stood tall, taking his fellow Thanes in. He was dark of skin and his hair white, his beard long. He wore strange mail and held himself as a proud dwarf. "Aye, I cin see ya leave me no vote. Well fer me and ours we side with Beldas and the good of the stead. If trade is what we need then it'll be what saves us. We been hidin in this hole long enough without peekin our eyes and ears to know whats been goin' on. I fer one don't want to seem like we don't be trustin folk that might do us good," as he sits again, glaring at the nay sayers.
Beldas stands at last, having no vote unless their is a tie, he must accede to the will of the council. He nods again. "I appreciate your considerations all, you have spoken the will of the clans and I shall do their will. I will speak with the chosen of Vergadain tomorrow and tell them of what has been decided," as he turns toward the exit his face down turned.
"Tell Baldas he has his reprieve, We shall be quiet still."
Last edited by mnemenoi; 06-19-2009 at 08:55 PM.
Ertryd feels a wave of anger and frustration. Her brow furrows and her lips tighten together.
Why must so many of the thanes be so staid?
Ertryd had an appreciation for tradition, but many of the thanes refused to change for any reason. She could already image the coucil a year hence. They would never vote to open trade, unless they could see the benefits of it in their hands.
Her expression relaxes and she tries to think more clearly. She takes a mental note of which thanes had what opinions. Not all of those who had voted against the trade initiative had strong feelings against it. Some were merely unsure of the result. If they could somehow be convinced, the coucil might sway towards taking action.
Ertryd knows not how they could get the proof, however. The proof lay in the outside world, a place many dwarves of the hold did not go.
Her mind begins to get carried away on those thoughts, and she started to get caught up in dreams of adventure and seeing the outside world. It was crazy, but she thought that maybe if she left the hold...
The only alternative is waiting until famine, or some equally bad supply shortage, strikes. Ertryd loathes the thought of sitting around, waiting for that to happen. She makes up her mind that she will have to leave the hold.
The Thanes begin to slowly filter out of the hall, headed back to their homes and clan holdings. A few still linger about speaking with the courtiers and guild elders.
Reiel Eaglecleft approaches your family trying to avoid the other thanes as best as possible.
"Pardon me, but I must say that your tale was magnificent. If I could have a mason chisel it within my clan's holdings would that be acceptable? I want all that never have access to your craft be able to appreciate your tradition and the tales of our folk," in an obviously infatuated manner. He always found anything the Chanters said to be worthwhile, yet he was a very supportive patron for certain.
Ertryd graciously bows her head and smiles warmly, "I am glad that my song was pleasing to you, and I would be honored to have it carved for all to see. It pleases me as well that you take such an interest in preserving our history and lore."
He smiles sheepishly, "Well I can feel your rhythm and feel where you are describing, as if I were there. I am sorry that your tale did not sway many of the other thanes, they are stubborn on occasion and are reticent about moving against the head of Moradin," as he lowers his voice.
"So truly the elves and dwarves have bonded at one time? I had never considered that was ever even considered, much less done."
"The elves and dwarves were frequent trading partners long, long ago. There were a few instances of stronger ties, including fighting side by side. I thought the tale appropriate because we used to trade with the elves, and others, and I believe it would be wise to once again enter a partnership with other races.
"Some of the thanes - and I mean this without any disrespect - have forgotten their history. It is the chanters' job to remind them. Our people have kept to themselves for too long, and we are becoming too insular. Beyond that, we need to trade because we are low on necessary supplies." Ertyd sighs, then continues, " I realize that I do not need to convince you of any of this, and I am sorry if I overstepped my place. I should not speak against the decision of the council, even if I disagree."
"You can certainly speak your mind with me. Some are simply antiquated and occasionally downright stubborn. That decision had nothing to do with trading and everything to do with Balabault's influence and his xenophobia. Don't get me wrong, I am just as devout as the next dwarf, but I think his motivation lies far from the dictates of Moradin. He draws from the traditionalist factions in the stead and has thus far avoided alienating any of them from his banner. This meeting this evening was just to exercise his influence and posturing. I doubt the king will do as he was asked," with a smile and a wink. "Beldas is certainly well traveled and quite intelligent, he can figure out another way to shape that stone."
"You seem to share many of his passions, perhaps you should speak with him."
"Thank you, I think I will speak with him. I am glad to know that something still may be done about this. Thank you for your pleasant conversation, and I look forward to seeing the carving some day. Farewell."
Ertryd bows, waits for Reiel's farewell, and then turns to find someone who may be closer to the king, someone who could set up a private audience. She spots Glondar Thundarden and walks over to him. She waits until any others who have stayed in the hall have left his presence and then approaches him.
"Greetings, Glondar Thundarden. I have heard in the clanhold that you are very efficient and wise in the execution of your duties. I have an important matter of which I wish to speak with King Beldas. Might I get a private audience with him?" Ertryd maintains a respectful distance from Glondar, but is still close enough to avoid having to speak her desires overly loudly. She maintains very respectful body language, but still shows enough pride and backbone to avoid seeming pathetic.
The rotund and red faced dwarf looks at you and appears to be thinking of something entirely different. Many might say he was portly, that the years of acting as the King's liaison had soften the ever busy dwarf. Many also said he had a quick mind, often too quick for the patient dwarves of Uerythtar. Both would certainly be correct, he was many things and no matter how busy he always seemed it appeared he was running about an hour behind.
"Beldas is quite busy, he has to meet with a tailor shortly, then off to bed," in a blustery tone. "Lets see," pulling out some parchment, "perhaps in six days.... Yes there it is, he has nearly a quarter of an hour after his bath..." as he continues overlooking the parchment with a look of misunderstanding. "Ahh, he did not make his appointed meeting with Vulph, gah. Must be rescheduled..." as he begins writing and jotting.
"Enough with those damnable schedules," states a nasally voice from behind you. "You treat him like a taskmaster, he ain't doin nuthin but fumin and I'll be takin her," states the matronly dwarf. You recognize Haegara Narlagh, somewhat of a conundrum for many at court. She ran things as she decided and did whatever she wished, though it frustrated many of the Thanes to no end.
"But, his lordship..." he tried to reply. "Is gettin' a visit from a beautiful young chanter and won't be followin yer schedule again. Jot that down why don't ya," she finishes as she leads you toward the rear of the chamber and the door that Beldas has departed moments earlier.
"That overstuffed old goat..." under her breath and in clear proximity to some of the various court attendees.
Ertryd tries to look attentive and charming as Glondar rambles on, but drops the act in boredom and resignation when she sees that his mind is racing through some other dimension of lists and schedules.
She feels a little let down when he mentions that it may take six days, and then grows a little impatient when Glondar retreats back into the recesses of his all-too-organized mind.
Ertryd is slightly surprised when the new voice joins the conversation. She is even more surprised when she recognizes the voice as belonging to Haegara Narlagh. She mentally cringes a little, thinking that she will be booted out with a chance to talk to the king, but is pleasantly surprised when Haegara helps her get her meeting.
She suppresses a giggle as she hears the nickname Haegara applies to Glondar, and hastily follows Haegara to the rear of the chamber.