To seek a Thane
You approach the nearby chambers that you know to be used by the Duergar Thane. Though they have dwelt within the stead for generations, many still avoided them and a certain amount of segregation was always present. Some distrusted them and whispered dark rumors of worshiping the lost brother, though you had never heard of any being found. Many spoke of their enslavement in the bowels of the world and what changes it wrought in them. Whatever had befallen them must have been monumental for upon their return they appeared different and could not pass amongst their kin as opne of them. You had gathered that the Adbarans thought it odd that they lived amongst the Uerythtarans as they had never reconciled with them and it appeared that this stead was unique in that regard.
The room you sought loomed before you, a stout oaken door barring entry. None stood outside and it appeared often unused. Few sought out the Duergar thane and he had little alliance amongst the other thanes for the others feared being too closely allied for fear of placing their own clans in jeopardy becuase of a percieved alliance.
You reach out and knock upon the door, the sound reverberating within the cold stone hallway. It is unanswered and after some time you conclude that no one is inside.
You are aware that Osk Verbain was also the High Old One of Dumathoin and perhaps in his temple might be the one you seek. It was located just outside of the duergar clans hold and was infrequently visited as they also served as the undertakers amongst the stead. You had only been a few times, but knew its location.
Ertryd makes her way out of the duergar clan hold to the temple. She feels slightly silly for not having thought about where Osk may be at this time of day.
As she walks, she thinks about what she will say. Ertryd feels confidant that she will have no problems with Osk as the king said that he was in favor of trading. Her spirits are lifted, though with an edge of nervousness, as she realizes that her mission is ever-nearing. She just as quickly subdues the nervousness as she feels that one undertaking a mission for the greater good should display courage and resolve.
She relaxes a little, but does not lose her seriousness as she comes to the temple.
You traverse through the poverty and filth that mark the Duergar clanholds attracting many eyes and curious whispers. It would appear that your noble countenance has certainly not gone unnoticed. No one speaks to you directly, but their stares convey many things.
The temple of Dumathoin lay just beyond their clanhold and the temple stands open with no doors barring entry. It is said that it was held even during the Derro encursions by his devotees and that none of the tombs fell either. The temple differs heavily from some others you have visited. Its walls are uncut and rough and the large stone alter and benches all appear to be polished by the worshipers alone.
A few duergar glance up as you enter, their dark and gaunt appearance startling you. They wear simple mining leathers and are covered in dust and rack from a long days toil in the mines.
One dwarf in a simple gray cloak immediately approaches you and you are surprised to see that it is a sheild dwarf and not one of the myriad of duergar that inundate this place. He nods in respect and whispers quietly, "Might I assist you my lady?"
As Ertryd traverses the duegar settlement, she feels a confused sense of pity and something bordering on disgust. The total lack of dignity in the living conditions of the duegar is a tragedy in her mind.
Ertryd finds the settlement and the temple unsettling in the low light. She gathers her thoughts, however, realizing that this is an important visit that she must carry through.
On the approach and query of the shield dwarf, she says in an even voice, "I have important business to discuss with Thane Osk. Might you be able to tell me where I can find him?"
He nods, "Yes of course, I shall tell him that you are here." He immediately starts toward the rear of the cavern and its small caverns that branch deeper. A few of the other monastic looking Duergar look at you with some curiosity, but say nothing aloud.
While you are waiting you see a small handful of parishioners walk up to a small box that lies near the large stone alter. They all word prayers and deposit something within its opening, though you can never see exactly what it is. The priests themselves seem to speak with a few, though their conversations seem to focus entirely upon identifying minerals and rocks, giving advice on vein reading, and a few hushed topics that are nearly impossible to overhear.
The shield dwarf you had spoken with emerges from a darkened tunnel and motions you to come forward. As you approach he whispers, "He shall see you at once and if I may add, your presence here is a breath of fresh air. I have heard of the blood that runs in your veins. I look forward to hearing you some day," as he turns quickly to lead her toward the dark and forbidding tunnel.
The tunnel is small, much smaller then anything you imagine Balabault would stay in. Dumathoin was the patron of your race, but discounting miners and a few muttered prayers rarely ever came into most dwarven minds.
She smiles and thanks him as he shows her down the cavern.
As she watches the parishioners depositing things in the box, Ertryd is curious. She tries to see better what is happening, but the ways of the clergy of Dumathoin are mysterious to her.
Ertryd feels more comfortable, as well as feeling a hint of pride, at the words of the other dwarf. She once again feels reassured and confident in her mission.
As she stops in the small tunnel, she is composed and ready to speak freely with the Thane. She waits patiently for his arrival.
He leads you into a small room that is nothing like what you would expect a High Old One to work out of. Osk Verbain stands in the rear speaking with a shield dwarf. The dwarf wears a suit of scale mail that is entirely composed of beaten gold coins and he wears a sword upon his hip. They both glance up when you enter, walking forward to greet you as the one whom showed you in departs.
"Greetings, I am Orin Garrick, The Merchant of the Gods, Forged in Vergadain's Gold, Member of the Clan Golden Beard, savior of Verdamier, and the Coin of Uerythtar. I have not had the pleasure of your name," as he extends a hand charmingly.
Osk simply looks on with a slight grin, wondering what your reaction just might be.
A startled look flashes across Ertryd’s face. She is momentarily left speechless by the presence of the High Priest of Vergadain. Then she remembers that he has asked her name and she comes to her senses. Taking a moment to regain her composure, she replies, “I am Ertryd Uerthshield, Grandaul of Thralsia, Blood of Kanik.” She takes his hand and grips it firmly as she speaks.
She considers the meaning of Garrick’s presence, and decides to forge boldly ahead. “Thane Osk, I have business with you involving trade with the humans and elves of the area. I was told to seek you out for assistance. With respect, I believe this is a matter that would interest the High Priest Garrick as well. What is your say in the matter?”
She bows once to each dwarf, and then waits to hear their thoughts.
He slyly looks at Osk with a mischievous grin on his face, "I wondered about the odd request for a visit. I honestly think you keep secrets just for your own amusement," in a jovial tone.
"Well," he begins as he meticulously brushes his finely cropped beard, "I of course support trade. I did get word that Beldas encountered a bit of a snag at court this evening. I'll assume you both were there, so I assume I am also the only one here that does not know all the dirty details. From the clandestine manner of this meeting I'm guessing that this is against the council, so I can not openly support anyone that might seek to take it upon themselves to forge ahead. I can say that I have a young priest in my temple that yearns to see the world and would look upon a simple outing as a challenge indeed. Barur Erizak, brother of Yurdin would be an asset indeed and he also has some knowledge should you happen across a market somewhere."
Osk Verbain betrays no emotion whatsoever, his face a blank state. "How were I to know that a chanter might visit the temple of Dumathoin to seek wisdom in the mysteries of our kind? I only invited you over for a simple meeting, it does seem fortuitous though..." as he looks you over with an inquisitive eye.
Ertryd explained the circumstances to the Priest of Vergadain, “Yes, I was at court, but it wasn’t until after that I made clear my intentions. I did make it clear during the council that I supported trade, but I hold very little sway, and the court ruled against trade.” She sighed at the reminder of the frustrating events.
“I would gratefully accept your offer of a travelling companion, as King Beldas has told me that I should travel with company because the way may be dangerous. Whatever help you may give me is much appreciated.” She bows to each priest.
A noise alerts you to another whom has entered the chamber, a cloaked duergar female whom you have never seen. She appears startled by your presence as well as the respected priest of Vergadain. She starts back out as if in apology for the interruption when Osk speaks, "Dolastyr, come in," motioning her back in.
"I have been awaiting you," he says as she nods humbly to the collected group of nobles. "Now where is this dwarf?" as he glances behind her. "He will need to be here as well," as she immediately turns back toward the tunnel.
"I shall fetch him swiftly Old One," as she disappears into the tunnel.
Orin simply shakes his head and mutters something under his beard about "too many secrets.." though most is muffled well.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
She comes back after some short time, during which Orin gives Osk some speculative looks.
At her entry she is followed by a male dwarf, but his appearance is hindered by her shadow and the dimly lit chamber. She clears her throat, "I am Dolastr Vyrn Garnet keeper of the shield and it is my honor to introduce Ferrous Goldvein, Son of Sactum and the blood of Sact as you have requested Beljuril," as she stands aside for the dwarf to enter....
Last edited by mnemenoi; 09-16-2009 at 09:36 PM.
Reason: Automerged Double Post
Ferous approaches the chamber following Dolastyr. His armor is uncomfortable and his shield is heavy suddenly.
He follows her lead as they aproach the three individuals in the room, and he quickly looks at each of them before settling his gaze on the Thane.
He hears her talking, but just the melodies come through, he begins to look about the room. The room is much less ornate than he would have imagined. The sheer age of this place gives an air that he has yet to experience, only the gate has given him a feeling as close.
Her words end and there is silence.....
Ferous bows steps forward and bows again and feels as though he is all alone on an island, and must yell to get his words out loud enough for those in this room to hear him.
Clearing his throat.."Ahem, my lord, thank you for seeing me. My name is Ferous....Dolastyr is responsible for saving....um..." The words he had practiced were not coming out, they stayed in his throat, as if they werent his. He was outside himself now, completely frustrated.
Ferous stands, looking at the room, and then back at the Thane in front of him..."Me lord, I have come here to help, I have come to split skulls for you...if you will have me."
Once Ferous finishes, there is silence...only the squeaking of his leather armor is audible as he shifts his weight.
Has he made a terrible error?
Last edited by Fly by Knight; 09-17-2009 at 11:52 AM.
Osk Verbain watches your stance and demeanor closely, his face a blank slate. He simply looks to Dolastyr and you notice a slight nod from her before he walks forward.
"I believe you are quite something more then a simple butcher, Son of Sactum. Your family is held in high regard amongst those of my own blood and I have summoned you for a favor. I have spoken with your great thane and he has given his blessing in fulfilling the role that our secret lord has bestowed upon you. You are certainly free to accept or agree, but rememeber never injure your pride by substituting your axe for a smith's hammer. You have been chosen for far more then the steel you carry," as he strokes his beard before you.
It seems the Old One of Dumathoin's words have a profound impact upon the preist of Vergadain as well. Appraising you with a keen eye, he glances a look at Ertryd, "I must say that this innocent meeting gets more intrigueing, would'nt you say my dear? It seems you've attracted the eye of the gods."
Ferous listens closely to Osk. As the Thane finishes, he pauses and takes a breath. The feelings of frustration have faded and he once again feels himself.
“My Lord, in the tunnels I walked for days, for many without food or water. I walked aimlessly, happy to be in a place as ancient as it was. Even as I was nearing the desperate depths of hunger and thirst, my spirits were up. When I did meet Dolastyr Vyrn Garnet, she made me believe from the beginning that I was meant to be in those tunnels and that I was here for more than the coincidental cave in of an old tunnel.”
From that point she reflected so highly upon you my lord, that I could not wait to meet you, or find out why I was here. I told myself that I would pay you back for saving me, volunteering to take a position in your guard. All along, I denied myself the truth that she spoke to me, and the honor that she showed me.
So Great Thane, I have arrived agreeing to your favor without knowing it, assuming its weight without knowing its nature, and awaiting its trials without caring how difficult they might seem. I volunteer my axe, my hammer, and my pick, as all of these make up who I am, and where I come from. You speak of my father, his father, and the blood that flows through my veins, and while you don’t know me personally, I feel you know more about me than I do. Perhaps some day, I will know my history, as it has been with held from me to this point.
Ferous pauses, takes a breath, and looks about him, this time with clear eyes.
“I would consider it an honor to help you in any way that my axe, my hammer, or my pick can.”
Ferous looks to Dolastyr and smiles, then slowly bows his head facing the Thane.
Ertryd looks on the newcomers thoughtfully, but remains quiet. She is glad at the thought of having them as travelling companions, as they look competent and polite.
She smiles michievously back at Thane Osk as he makes the observation about the meeting, then waits for the appropriate moment to speak to Ferous and Dolastyr.
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