The Tides of Shadow
Interview with a Dwarf
Make sure you scribe this do’n, Ah dunnae wan’ ye te’ fergit a word. Now than, let me recollect ‘ow Ah worked myself into that spot, anyhow.
Ah reckon’ Ah kin start from the start. But, that tale is the same as any dwarf from the same region. The Spell plague ripped a ‘ole bigger’n any dwarf could carve out in a hundred lifetimes. Well, as ahm sure you kin gather that opened up our homes to all sorts of mess from the underdark. The damned inkies invaded our homes killed man woman and babe. Those of us still fit enough te’ move, and some incapable but with the will, made our way te’ the surface. We trekked over the ravaged lands and thru those damned woods over hill and the like, and found home in a new place Chessenta.
Ah was on patrol when all the mess started. Many of the residents make life comfortable by stayin’ as far away from the city as they kin. And who kin blame them? Ah kin never understand how human engineers stay employed with their weak buildings. Many a day Ah fear for me life that the whole city will give up will and collapse in on me. Then who will keep watch over the city. Na’ a single inkie entered the city on my watch an’ with me gone Ah kin promise those numbers would change. Ah’d cleared some woods, it seems like Ah was there an eternity. Each of those damned trees seems like it hides behind the next. As soon as you begin te’ recognize their marking they grow and change. Ah’d finally made it te’ a clearing where a large enough rock te’ be made a landmark could be seen.
The area was unnaturally silent, even for as far from the city as Ah was. Ah headed over te’ the large boulder that rose like a beautiful gem from the otherwise flat boring landscape and Ah notice a man about two dwarves high swingin a sword about like a little babe. When Ah was close enough to make out his opponent. Ah cunnae believe me eyes. If he wannae swingin at a shaved flying monkey me mum is an elf. The little devil did put up a bit of a fight tho’ Ah will give ‘em that much at least. In the whole mess tho the fellow swingin his edge about was felled to the devil. When Ah looked closer at the fellow ‘e was as furry as a kobold and much more of a dog in the face than any Ah’d seen before. Ah carried him into the shack near the bolder an’ wonnae ye’ know it there was another one of those dogmen inside. ‘E seemed less that happy about his fallen kinfolk, an’ who kin blame him? Ah offered to bring the man to town. ‘E dinnae seem a talkin man, and Ah was right cozy with that bit. But, no sooner’n we’d left the house an’ we was in another scuffle with those red flying monkeys. Me new companion seemed about as adept in combat as his fallen comrade. But, after handling the unwelcome guests we started heading out again. Suddenly the dogman remembered his voicebox and begain te’ speak. Going on about knowing a short cut and more of these devils coming along. So why not take a shortcut back to town? If ah kin avoid a trip thru those damned woods believe you me Ah’ll take it.
Are you still writing this down? This next bit gets pretty unbelievable, but Ah swear the Elfsbane clan it’s true. Ah need another drink b’fore Ah g’ on. Hand me the one just next t’ yer head with the picture of the dragon. Ahh, the dragon…remind me ta tell you of that battle before youse head out.
In the middle of that field the doggman opened a hole. Nah’ like a hole youse kin dig in the ground or cut into stone. A hole right in thin air. Then the bastard tells me to follow him and steps thru the blasted thing. Step thru a hole in the air. Do ah look like a fool halfling or a curious damn gnome to him? Ah’d no inclination to step thru the damn thing. But it still beat walking thru those woods again. I chucked a rock or two te’ see the effects on something substantial and after being satisefied with the results of me scientific experiementation Ah made me own way in. Not without the proper precautions of course. Ah made sure to keep all me openings covered up in case this was as dangerous as a trip in a determined river.
Ah cannae tell ye if it was because of me precautions or not, but Ah made it te’ the other side unharmed for the most part. Well, apparently these dogmen were a sort of ferrymen as well. They seemed te’ have been going about making a living of drawing other folks into these holes in the air.
When Ah made it te’ the other side Ah could feel me blood pumpin’. There was a right proper ba’tle to be had here. More of these damned devil things you know. There was a right lot more of them than b’fore too. Ah think this is about the point when Ah figured their weakness. You see, when you hit them in the face several times with yer hammer they tend to fall limp and lifeless to the ground. It was there Ah had me first run in with the spikey one. The spikey one was a bit bigger’n the rest and a shy tougher too. But he had a weakness to getting hit in the face with a hammer as well. He managed to get away from me before Ah exposed his brains te’ the air tho.
This b’atle turned up a funny lad. He was runnin around the ba’tle field swingin around a giant pole arm. Ah cannae tell ye what he was doin’, but he seemed to have known how to use that thing at some point in his life and fergot how. He was about two dwarves high and had a wicked gash in one of his horns…Yes ‘e had horns…No Ah havannae had te’ much to drink ahm still on me, fourth fifth…well id donnae matter what pint, just write this down. The poor lad seemed te’ be carryin’ an entire armory with h’m. Perhaps his mind was on all those blades and thats why he cannae focus in combat. Or it coulda been the tail…Are you gonna question everything Ah say? Yes he had a tail, and a right creepy one too, always waving about. He introduced h’mself as Hubert. A right creepy fellow this guy was, perhaps he was messed up from too much fightin and not enough drinkin. Or too much drinkin and not enough fightin. Or maybe not enough of both.
The dog fellow that was with me thanked me for the help. Little did he know Ah was star’in te’ enjoy disposin’ of those devil things. ‘E told me te’ look for one of these Salune priestesses and she would gimme a reward of some sort. Never could undahstand why you would want to worship your god in a church rather than a ba’tle field. But Ah guess every god donnae shine as bright as Kord in ba’tle. The dogfellow went ahead and opened me up another of these air holes. Ah made sure te’ plug myself up again and dove thru back te’ town.
It was there that Ah seen me man. He was goin on about the spikey thing too. But Ah cunnae have h’m walkin’ around talkin about this things like it was common as a house cat. Ah took h’m te’ the medic te’ get h’m checked while ah went on to see what the priestess had to offer. Ah’m sure it cunnae been as great as the gift of ba’tle that Kord had blessed me with so of’en but a couple silver could pay for breakfast drinks anyway.
Well me searching dinnae last too long when Kord brought his gifts te’ the inside of the city. Ah heard a right proper fight raging on and me luck it was down in the sewers. Sure they’re no caves but at least they’re not in the direct exposure te’ the harsh constant punishment of the damned sun. Ah ducked down thru a shopmans place and made me way thru the sewers te’ find some of these devils creeping around. Ah pulled me shield and winged it like a flying disk to the nearest one. Much easier than walking all the way over to hit h’m you know. ‘E had a bag full of useless trinket and knicknacks that looked to be used by some sort of finger waggler. Ah went ahead and stowed it tho. Dinnae seem the sort of thing a devil should have inna first place. On me way out ah heard another russling about but managed to soften the hard parts of his head with me hammer before he could get out of the hole he was in.
The dogman caught up te’ me again goin on about how ‘e needed me help again. And that ‘e did too. Never have Ah seen a creature so big so unable to swing a weapon around. Ah figured there would be more attacks on me city if Ah dinnae go, so really the bastard left me no choice.
Just like before ‘e opened up a hole in their air and asked me te’ enter it. Ah cannae tell you how much Ah hated these things. Why cunnae they find a more conventional way to move about. Like a well dug tunnel or a finely crafted wagon. But, we made it te’ the place we were b’fore .
Ah must’ve seen 20 of those devils. They were accompanied by a female human and again the spikey devil.
—((more to come))—