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  #1  
Old 01-07-2009
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DurinRustbeard DurinRustbeard is offline
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Lessons Never Forgotten

The thud of the stiff soled pair of leather boots on the stone floor echoed down the long dimly lit corridor. He could hear that the sounds of the forges were already climbing up through the Citadel and bounced off the finely cut walls, the young dwarf felt it as music to his ears. Twenty and one years he had wandered these halls, making them his home and learning every passage as well as he knew his own hands. His hair was shaven clean on either side of his head except for the rigid column of red hair passing down the middle of his shaven scalp. He ran his hand over his cheek and chin, feeling well the beginnings of a beard that he had seemingly waited so long for. He grinned as he felt its familiar grit and scruff. He came to the T in the passageway, where a symbol of Clangeddon was chiseled into the stone wall and as he turned left he closed his eyes and nodded reverently to the symbol.

Once at his destination he clasp his classmate by the forearm and gave a solid squeeze. Azel grinned at Durin and squeezed back. His own face was sporting a short crop of a burgeoning beard with his blond hair neatly run back and tied. The forges do you well. Azel teased. Durin released his iron grip and patted his friend on the shoulder taking a seat next to him. These days of militia training were the highlight of Durin’s week, and he always did his best to meet whatever challenge was raised.

****

The axe came in low and hard aiming to cut his legs out from under him, but Durin was quick to lower his shield and draw back his legs letting the momentum of the arm stinging impact to carry him in a tight circle, bringing his axe around for a mid body cut on his opponent. He felt his axe suddenly jerk as he came back to the front finishing his swing. His momentum was carried too far as he saw his opponents axe had interlocked with his own. “But how?!” His mind shouted in disbelief right before a gnarled and calloused fist landed squarely between his eyes. He thudded back onto the ground his eyes clenched shut in pain as blood trickled out his nostrils. As he opened his watery eyes he saw the same hand that had laid him down stretched down to help him up.

Falar grinned while he shook his head; his bushy red beard swaying as he did so. Those watery emerald eyes looked back up at him in disbelief, but the young dwarf below him didn’t cry out in pain he simply grabbed firmly the offered hand and was hoisted to stand facing his teacher. Falar was shaking his head and spoke while patting his pupils shoulder.

“Jest too slow lad. Ye should av’ turned me axe and come back wif yer shield in tight!” he moved to mimic of the motion he just described. Durin placed his hands on his hips and simply offered a confirming nod, allowing himself to see the mistake as his teacher had demonstrated. “Oi’ll getche next toim Fadder!” He said in good sport and slapped his father on the arm. Falar’s pale green eyes glistened with pride as he told his son to take a seat and motioned one of the other young dwarves up to test.

****
Durin's eyes opened to the sound of the crackling fire nearby. He turned his head to regard the flames, the shadows dancing across his sleepy features as his recent dream lingered in his mind. He had been having the dreams of his childhood lately, and even though some proved more bittersweet than others, it was a blessing in his mind to re live the days of Adbar, so long ago. He closed his eyes slowly again to drift back to sleep.

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  #2  
Old 01-12-2009
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DurinRustbeard DurinRustbeard is offline
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The Fires in the Darkness

The darkness expanded in front of the patrol that relied on a sole torch’s light from the rear of the squad. The four walked in a diamond formation, shields at the ready and axes in hand. On point in the dimly lit chamber was a powerful dwarf with a polished bald top surrounded by thick red hair. His beard hung low and dangled many small trinkets which occasionally clacked against each other and his armor. Pale green eyes stared out into the gloom, his enhanced vision lighting the area significantly for himself.

The other three dwarves were all younger with shorter beards but each of their eyes displayed the same glimmer. The lead dwarf slowly raised his axe to indicate a stop the rustle of marching armor came to a quick stop and all was silent. Durin stood to the right of his father, and listened intently as a droplet of sweat trickled down his forehead and through his thick brow to dangle in front of his eye. He blinked away the droplet just in time to see a shaft sail from the gloom. He quickly brought his shield up and at a slight angle to his right to glance the spear away from a direct blow, and from the group.

Falar raised his fearsome looking greataxe overhead and shouted “For our Fathers!” A pulse of magical energy washed over the group of dwarves, their muscles bulged and their legs, sore from marching, felt refreshed. Falar drew his shield in front and took off like a sprinter, pushing a wall of air in front. Flanking on the sides of his shield were two identical tower shields at an angle forming a U of shields with his at the center, the younger dwarves were keeping exact pace with the powerful veteran.

Several clinks of arrows reverberated through the shields as the group charged. Their leather and metal footwear sounding loudly off the wet stone cave floor along with the noisy shifting of their heavy armors filled the cavern with sound. The glutteral tongue of the goblins could only just be made out over the commotion when the dwarf in the rear of the diamond formation threw the torch with all his might ahead of the charging dwarven patrol. It sailed end over end and as it did so Falar caught a glimpse of the goblin tribe that they had come upon, there was easily near two score of the bastards! Knowing he needed to even the odds he shouted back to Thobin, the second eldest of the quartet, “Les Thin em Out!”

Thobin, who had yet to retrieve his hammer from his side, grabbed one of the small ceramic pots from his belt instead. The front three dwarves clashed into battle driving a wedge into the massed group of goblinoids. Thobin tossed the pot over his embattled brethren towards what remnants of the torch glow he could spot and swiftly filled his hand with his trusty war hammer, bringing his shield to the defense of the group’s rear as the goblins encircled them.

The spears jabbed in all around them and crude weapons assaulted their tall shields. All the while the dwarves worked in harmony scoring blow after blow against whatever unfortunate creature was next to try its luck. Their training had done them all well, but after near a minute passed Falar knew the numbers were much worse than the torchlight had shown. He had felled over seven of the beasts, knowing well that his son had likely achieved near that success, but still the goblins came, and blood trickled from several places where the tip of a spear or well placed arrow had found dwarven flesh.

A sudden burst of flame lit the cavern a glow as the oil caught flame and screeches of the goblin reserves stole many of the closer goblins attention. “NOW!” Falar shouted and began to shuffle to his right. Durin quickly bettered his position, hacking down two nearby and distracted goblins and spacing himself farther from his father, also moving to his right all the while. The pattern continued with Azel on Falar’s left side until the triad of dwarves was moving in a tight ring around Thobin. He had already stowed his hammer knowing the routine and trusted in his brethren to keep him safe while he collected another of the two remaining small ceramic jugs from his belt.

The jug flew through the air toward the scrambling mass of inflamed goblins and even though there was no sound of the smashing pottery a new blaze sprung up sending the goblins in a panic. He yanked his last clay pot free and reared to throw when a spear that had dodged past Azels shield thudded home in the dwarfs shoulder. Thobin grunted in pain but forced his arm to make the throw, the ball of fire exploded not far from the group forcing the nearest goblins forward into the rotating formation to be hacked down.

The brief delay in action gave Falar a chance to investigate the disturbance in the formation and found the center dwarf on his knee propped up by his shield, a crude spear lodged in his hammer arms shoulder. He snarled in anger, unsure of who had failed to protect the dwarf he tossed his shield to his left and brandished his axe in two hands. “Finish em!” he roared. The magic from his ancestral axe had faded but new flame danced into his pale green eyes and he charged forward with a wide arc of his axe laying dead three stunned goblins.

**To be continued**
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Last edited by DurinRustbeard; 01-12-2009 at 02:42 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2009
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DurinRustbeard DurinRustbeard is offline
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****
The remaining bulk of the goblin forces scattered quickly and ran back into the gloom beyond the burning fires and the enraged dwarf. Falar came to a stop in the low burning flames, planting his axe firmly in one of the smoldering corpses and unleashing a mighty and feral dwarven roar towards the fleeing goblins. Durin stood covered in gore, blood seeping from many places on his armor. His face was set in a grim visage as he watched his father howl, standing amid the flames in the dark cavern; it was a memory he would not soon forget. Falar’s roar carried far and remnant echoes could be heard even over the fleeing goblins.

A grunt from his left took Durin’s gaze from his father to see Thobin still on one knee trying to reach for the spear lodged in his armored right shoulder. He was quick to stow his axe, and saw to Thobin’s injury, bracing a boot on the wounded dwarfs back he grabbed solidly on the shaft. A quick nod from Thobin was all he needed to unleash his strength on the lodged spear, yanking it cleanly from the dwarf and his armor. A torrent of blood was quick to follow, but the dwarf only grunted in disagreement with the actions. Durin knelt beside him and swiftly grabbed a vial of liquid from the pouch on his belt placing it on Thobin’s lips. He downed the bitter liquid causing his wound to burn angrily as it sealed, stemming the flow of blood and giving him some measure of comfort.

The pair of dwarves looked up to see Falar standing above them his axe strapped to his back and his shield in hand. “C’mon then” he said gruffly, offering his hand to Thobin. The dwarf gladly accepted it and rose to his feet with the aid of the powerful leader. Azel was quick to join them and the quartet set off down the tunnels again hoping to finish what they started.

****

Durin only opened his eyes for a moment to regard the stretching darkness of the forest night. Hearing nothing but the low crackle of the fire, and the moan of the wind through the trees over head he gently closed his eyes again. The image of his fathers howl amid the flames still vivid in his mind.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2009
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DurinRustbeard DurinRustbeard is offline
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Falar's Call to the Mithral Hall

The rumble of the horns deep in Adbar sounded like the very mountain groaning as the sounds rebounded through the many airshafts and passageways. Falar nodded confidently to his wife, his bushy red beard adorned with many trinkets swayed briefly. He finished fastening his armor in place, and swung his travel pack onto his back. He turned and gave his wife a kiss before leaving.

She smiled broadly, effectively hiding her selfish concern for her husband’s wellbeing while he plodded down the stone corridor. She told herself that even if he did fall in battle that his soul would simply join Moradin and make the Soul Forge glow all the brighter for it! But she couldn’t help but be a little selfish, he was her one and only for the past two hundred and thirty years, and as much as her duty demanded she send him willingly Yuria wept soon after he left.

****
The clamor of the halls were abound, thumping of boots, shifting of armor, and the conversations of many dwarves gave the finely cut stone passageways a feeling of bustle. The torches along the way revealed the gloss of Falar’s polished bald dome, surrounded by a thick mane of red hair. Each step was filled with confidence and excitement, but the veteran dwarf held his stoic visage as he made his way to the central chamber where the gathering army waited.

He was one of the first to volunteer for the march, knowing that his son had stayed behind, along with General Dagna and near two thousand Dwarves of Adbar that had purged the Duregar from the halls. It had been several years since he and Five thousand other dwarves had marched from their home in Citadel Adbar to cleanse the place of the Duregar menace that had infested the long lost dwarven hold. And now he and several thousand again made ready for the march to the aid of their kin in the Halls of Mithral.

****

With each passing day after the army set out Falar continued to hope his only son would still be standing by the time he arrived, perhaps Yuria wasn’t the only one being selfish.

****
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