Running his hands along the ancient words has no effect, as Dolastyr pointed out. Ferous is slightly disapointed, as he was sure the source of this magic was the ancient power in these words.
He takes a deep breath, smells the food, and is instantly torn from any thoughts of the writing.
He smiles at the woman delivering the pot, waves as she leaves, and rubs his hands together as she sets the food upon the counter.
Dolastyr motions for Ferous to take a seat at a small crude table as she places the bowls down upon it.
The food is a stew, made from a sort of meat that Ferous cannot place, along with some small vegetables and broth. Dolastyr dishes some for Ferous and then for herself. Then sits.
Ferous picks up his spoon, dips it into the stew and stops. Dolastyr has not moved, she has closed her eyes smiling. A short silence ensues, ending when she opens her eyes "Eat, what are you waiting for?"
Ferous eats two bowls of the food, and another mug of the ale that she made.
They laugh a bit, talking of trivial things while they eat. When Dolastyr gathers the bowls and moves them to the counter, she hears Ferous snoring loudly.
She turns to see him head down on the table, resting on his hands. She tries to wake him, for she has full intentions on him taking the bed. His slumber is already deep, so deep, that she feared pushing off of the chair if she shook him any harder.
With that, she grabs a blanket and covers him, blows out the candles, and retires.
You awaken to the smell of bacon and fresh baked bread. You feel surprisingly well rested and although a bit shaken at your surroundings at first you remember where you are after shaking the sleep loose from your head. You realize that you are on a makeshift mattress of blankets and a woolen pillow. From your position you can see Dolastyr humming quietly as she stands back inspecting something from the far side of the room.
Laid out near you is your leathers and they gleam brightly in the low candle light. They glisten with oils and polish, the dust and grime buffed away. You don't remember them ever looking so nice before. You can smell the faint hint of the mink oil now that you think about it.
Dolastyr appears to be gauging some unseen item that is behind a table. At your stirring she glances over at you and laughs a bit.
"Good morning, I had feared you might sleep for two full days. I hope you are not offended, but I took the honor of finishing your leathers and polishing your equipment. Your shield needed some work though, I have just finished so it will require some time to dry properly," as she realized exactly how much work she had actually done.
"I have some bacon and cider here for you," as she went for a plate.
Ferous sits up smiling at Dolastyr, and clears his throat of the sleep.
"Grammarcy mum, you are too kind to me...My armor looks better than when I aquired it 20 years ago."
"I believe I slept more sound than I have in...well, as long as I can remember. I expected to dream, dream of your people, I didn't dream at all. The last thing I remember was us conversing, then I awoke here."
Ferous looks around the room and at his beddings as if it were the first time he had seen them, qickly checking to see if he was clothed, and he was.
"That smells wonderful, I mean really good mum."
"Is that my shield you are working with there?" At that moment, Ferous looks to where he had left his weapons and shield.
Your shield is indeed missing, but your hand axe gleams in the candlelight. The rest of your belongings are neatly stacked next to it.
Dolastyr assembles a plate for you and brings it over with your cider. "Please, eat first and then you can inspect your shield. I apologize for not asking first, it was a great honor of mine. Your family is afforded great respect amongst my people and my faith. I would have dishonored their legacy if I had not done what I could for their blood," as she hands you your plate.
"I have asked for some warm water for bathing. It should be here shortly. There are some new linens in the other room, but I'm not certain if they'll fit properly," as she smiles weakly.
Ferous stands, stretches, and scratches his chin under his thick red beard.
"That smells great!"
Ferous sits and begins to eat the bacon, using the bread to sop up the grease. Barely slowing his chewing so he can talk.
Smiling broadly "Dolastr, you are probably the only person I would allow to do such a thing. You do what you feel is fit. I trust you."
Chew, chew, chew.
"All of my tools haven't looked this good since I stood inspection over a year ago. My armor looks better than when I bought it."
Ferous looks to the room where the tub is, and laughs silently.
"Are you sure that tub is ready, I hope all of my pets die quickly, I've become close to all of my flees."
Ferous laughs heartily, something she has yet to hear from him.
A long draw on the cider.
"Seriously though, I look forward to seeing your work mum, and I look forward to meeting Thane Osk."
With that, Ferous finishes his bread by sopping up the grease and inhaling it.
You stand and collect yourself as she leads you over to the shield that rests against the wall. As you approach you can see some various different paints and oils that she must have used as well as a mortar and pestle. there are faint remnants of gold lammele and crushed stones of a deep red hue in various bowls.
The shield is a brilliant deep ruby with a glistening luster of mineral that seems to shimmer in the light. The border is rimmed with a black trim that showcases and defines the other shades. The diagonal band is again gold, though you suspect that it is real this time and much thicker the previously. As you peer more closely at it the faint flow of deeper reds permeate the solid background.
She grips her hands in anticipation, "I do hope you like it..."
Ferous is smiling at first as he aproaches her work area. He awaits in anticipation to see the work that Dolastr has performed.
As she holds it up, he slowly changes from a smile, to his mouth being agape. His eyes grow wider then almost to a squint.
Dolastr is so excited to see his expression, she is floored to see his expression. She does not know how to read it. Is it fear, is it surprise, is it disgust? She begins to feel her chin quiver, as it meant so much to her to give him this gift.
Ferous' breath becomes a bit waivery "Mum, Dolastr....Um, this is amazing. How did you, I mean... I dont know what to say."
Dolastr's eyes well slightly.
Ferous moves forward, and takes the shield holding it up. The colors shine through in layers, much like liquid. It reminds him of the liquid earth, and he smiles immensely.
"No one has ever given me such a thing, nothing ever has compared to this! I dont know what to say!"
Dolastr can now feel the heat in her face, as she feels herself smile.
Ferous lays down the shield and moves quickly to embrace her. She is surprised, almost pushing away, then allows it. She feels warm tears on her face.
Ferous releases her from the strong hug but still holds her arms. Looks her in the eyes "You are the most generous being I have ever known, or known of. Thank you for everything you have done for me mum. The shield is beautiful, my grandfather would shed a tear looking at that shield."
She finds herself a bit embarassed, and looks away.
"Look you to me" She does "Thank you Dolastr, thank you."
A slight awkward time passes where they just stare at each other, smiling. A bit of warmth is felt between them, then they both look away.
Ferous picks up the shield, looks to her and smiles again.
"I am pleased that you like it," as she smiles. "We must soon depart for your meeting though," as she seems to change the subject. They were from very different social groups and tradition must always be considered. She had found this man very interesting and could only guess what lay in store for him.
"Your clothing lies in the other room and your bath should be warm still. I shall return shortly after you have bathed and dressed, I have some chores that need attending to." She gathers a small sack of various pungent smelling herbs and fungi and makes her way to the door.
Her demeanor had shifted slightly, but as she opens the door her soft smile is again on her face. "I am very glad you liked it," as she hurries out of the door.
Ferous watches her depart and looks at his shield. Smiles to himself, and looks back at the closed door.
"I think she likes me..maybe."
Ferous has had very little exposure to the fairer sex. Save the few visits to town that he is afforded, and the female millitia, well fraternization is discouraged.
Ferous walks to the tub, disrobes, and eases into the water. It has been a long time since he sat in a warm tub. Years possibly.
He picks up the soap and looks at it, "She definately likes me...maybe".
After his bath, Ferous combs out his beard and hair with a comb provided by Dolastyr. It takes some time.
Finally, Ferous kits up, puting all of his now fresh smelling armor on.
"Hmm, she even fixed the squeek in my nose guard."
He walks over and picks up his shield, extends the strap and hefts it onto his back.
He walks into the main room, and once again looks upon the words that spoke to him last night. Runs his fingers along them.
"Perhaps my future just might lie with service to this Thane, it just might."
Last edited by Fly by Knight; 09-03-2009 at 01:46 PM.
Their is a slight knock at the door, followed by Dolastyr peeking her head in to make certain you are dressed. She again carries the small sack of herbs, though a bit less filled then previously.
"I have an ale that needs me attention nearly daily," in response to the assumed question. "I think I might even try and get it into the competition, though its been some time since a bitter ale won. I like it as do a few others, but I guess its more of an acquired taste," as she returns the sack to a dry and dark cabinet. The acrid smell permeates the air around the cabinet and you can put a name to the smell you noticed when you first entered the home.
"You look very nice and smell much better. I am ready to leave whenever you are ready," as she begins collecting a few of the various things she will be needing.
"Um, I'm ready too mum".
The reality of the situation is beginning to slap Ferous in the face. He is going to meet a Thane and head of the local religion, and a very powerful man. What could he possibly have to offer him? What could he bring to the table that would hold his attention longer than two minutes. Well, perhaps its best to be over fast...
Dolastr gathers up some of her things and can here him mumbling very quietly. She looks to him, and sees he is once again staring into the ether, almost like he is so hungry that he cannot focus. His lips move slightly, and his color has drained from his face.
"Ferous, what is it that troubles you?"
"Mum, would it be too much trouble for me to have a couple pints of that ale?"
She reads immediately into what is bothering him. Despite her explaining he has yet to understand how good and patient her master truly is. Ferous is from another class, and another society. His class has been told time and again that royalty or a chieftan is so great that they border imortality. Why wouldnt he be nervous? She is not sure how to relate to him or his feelings of alienation, all she can do is offer her well wishes and try to help guide him through what to him is a quite traumatic experience.
"Of course you can." She lays down her belongins and poors a mug of ale. To which, he downs without breathing. She poors another, and he follows in the same way. Ferous roars a belch and sets down the mug. His eyes watering from the belch, "Mum, what do I even call him when we speak?" "What is the proper title?"
She smiles "Thane, that is his title Ferous. He too is a high priest but in this regard, calling him Thane would be apropriate."
"Thane, okay, I can do that."
Ferous hands the mug to her and she places it on the counter where dirty dishes go, then gathers her belongings again.
She opens the door and Ferous steps out then she closes the door.
They begin walking together, and she can hear him mumbling. She purposely doesn't look at him, as they walk. She just smiles at some Dwarves that pass by them, looking at him, then her.
Your walk throughout the Duergar clanhold attracts notice, with cast eyes and whispered conversation marking your passage. You see no other shield dwarves here and would surmise your presence is an oddity to say the least. The homes seem small and unadorned when compared to your own clanhold. They had always occupied some of the lowest levels and faced the Derro much more fully then the upper clanholds. You still notice signs of those dark times in scorched areas and broken rubble.
As you approach the temple, its rough hewn appearance stands in stark contrast to the finely built temples of Moradin and Clangeddin above. The beauty of the stone structure speaks of the awe all dwarves find in nature.
You enter shortly behind Dolastyr and she guides you toward the rear and the natural formations that serve as housing for the priests. The small handful of parishioners whisper to the faithful priests. You see no other females within the temple and begin to wonder just what tribulations Dolastyr faced in joining.
She hurries you forward to a crevice and from within you can hear voices, but can not recognize any of them. She motions for you to wait here while she goes in to announce you.
While walking through the clanhold, Ferous is beginning to feel the sweat on his back, and on his hands.
He whispers to himself: "Thane Osk, I am Ferous Goldvein, I have come to thank you for saving my life through your most thorough and powerful servant Dolastyr"
"I need to mention her, as she has helped me so much"
Thane Osk, ....
he whispers over and over.
As she leaves him at the entrance, he begins to feel a bit queezy, and the thought of calling this off completely crosses his mind. Instead he takes several deep breaths, and hopes it will be over soon.
From further in the cavern you can hear some voices, though they are distorted and broken. The time lingers and your nervousness only seems to increase. The tunnel is dark and sparsely lit, but shortly the figure of Dolastyr comes back into view.
She appears a bit confused, "Osk Verbain has summoned you. He does have some guests as well," as she ushers you down the cavern entrance. "One's a noble I have never met and the other is the High Priest of Vergadain, Orin Garrick. I confess I know little of him though," in very quiet whispers as she tries to tell you what she knows before you enter the chamber itself.
"Good luck, I'll announce you and be next to you though," as she pats his shoulder reaffirmingly.
*Moving to "To Seek a Thane" thread