Draugur’s Tale (Part IV)
My stepson is on a bit of Dungeons & Dragons kick, and is wanting to take us through a dungeon in the future. I created my character, a rather capable (I hope!) dwarf whom you shall be introduced to below, as a way of creating his background. It is also a way for me to play with writing serialized High Fantasy, in all of its troptastic glory.
It may also make more sense if you start at the Beginning. Or, mayhaps, you might be looking for Part II or Part III?– DPA
Draugur gave Kaltgier grudging credit. The Crime Lord had barely flinched at his henchmen’s quick annihilation, and the brief flicker of emotion he had betrayed was more embarrassment than fear. Whatever trap ye walked ye self into lad, the henchmen were nae the spikes, Draugur thought.
“You were, uh, about to say something, Master Dwarf?” Kaltgier asked with sardonic sincerity, steepling his fingers and half smiling.
Draugur didn’t consider long before plunging ahead. As long as your head is in the noose ye might as well jump off the pony. And that hairline crack in the desk will make a nice backup…
“I do have a story for ye Kaltgier, but I find me mouth a wee bit dry from me exertions. Ye would nae have anythin’ strong enough for a thirsty dwarf, would ye?”
Kaltgier evilly smirked, before pulling out a large bell and giving it three sharp, loud rings. The door behind Draugur creaked open, with only a bit of stuttering as the bodies were pushed out of its way. Draugur braced, but refused to turn. He could not, would NAE, show fear. He caught Kaltgier examining him critically while pretending to watch the servant who appeared at Draugur’s side. Draugur took the proffered ale and took a healthy draught. Forgetting his company, Draugur toasted Kaltgier out of habit, as it was a truly fine ale.
Odd that that should surprise ye more than me killing ye guards, before saying, “Me tale begins some 30 odd years ago. Me brain was younger than me years, and had messed up me first apprenticeship or two. I’d even done the required stint in the King’s Guard, but found I didn’t much care for the hours, the work, or the pay.
“So back to the family trade for me, working for me dead uncle’s partner. He ne’er liked me, and I really never liked him, but me Uncle had asked it as a favor, and then went and got himself killed before me Master could ask him to rescind it. A favor’s a favor, after all, so he made the most of it. I’d been around jewelers me whole life, and it just didnae catch my attention. But, it being my last chance too, I also made the most of it.
“I was at the bench when a bunch of bruisers burst in. I tried to use a bit of my military training and it didn’t matter a shite. They beat me, roped me, and threw me in the corner.”
Drauger caught the glint of joy in Kaltgier’s eyes as he described the beatings, but refused to let it affect him. Instead he paused for another pull of ale before continuing. “I was knocked out for a bit, but not too long of course, us Dwarves be harder than stone: we delve it, not the other way!”
“Of course, Master Dwarf, your people’s hardheadedness is the stuff of legends. Pray, continue,” Kaltgier urged with mockingly sympathetic undertones.
Draugur bristled, but was too close to the end to let himself get rattled. Instead he grunted before continuing, “They soon had me Master tied to a chair and was beatin’ him without mercy. It musta gone on for hours, the whole time asking about the Stone of Jaaraer. I knew it to be mere myth, of course, we all did; but then me Master broke. Words poured from him like a flood. And when the men had their answer, they sliced his gut open and left him to die.”
“That is a truly sad tale, Master Dwarf. But they spared you? Out of mercy?”
“Nae. Out of sloppiness. The same incompetence that had them speak the name of their master before they left.”
“Oh I see. So you’re here hoping I can help you track him down?”
“Nae again,” Draugur replied, slowly shaking his head before shooting forward, axe at the ready. He knew it would take all of strength and more luck than he could rightly claim; but with a mighty swing of his Great Axe he hit the desk on the hairline crack he’d seen . His blow sundered the desk in twain, leaving a clear path to Kaltgier. “I’m a lookin’ at him.”