Dwarves rally in defense of Stone Clan and Zoluren
(Stone Clan, Zoluren: 386 Nissa 359)
The room is softly lit, but no space in it is in shadow. It is a pervasive light that spreads across the dark stone that makes up the dome. A triangular ward is etched deeply into the stone of the floor. At the center is a steel pedestal that holds up an aged leather book. At each edge of the triangle is a mage that keeps the wavering ward of protection over the book strong. Dozens of dwarven soldiers patrol the small room and keep an eye on passerby, determined to drag one to the ground should he pull a weapon and are not a kinsman of theirs. Standing near the entrance to this room is your guide.
Dressed in armor from head to foot dark and dull as the stone of the dome overhead is a Dwarf who stands despite the burden placed upon him. Hegemonic motions you over with a friendly smile, looking as though he has not a care in the world till you see the deep bags under his eyes that make you wonder just how much he has gone through of late.
“Hello my guest, I am honored you came here to listen to my tale. Are the hearts and minds of every citizen of Zoluren that needs to know of our plight. I hope the Guards at the gate did not give you any trouble.” You almost snort in remembrance of that blind scribe but do not wish to offend your host in his own home and tell him you gained access just fine.
“Good, I think that we should have a chat, I want to fill you in on all that has happened to my people and the charge we have been given. You were always one for history lessons were you not.” Hegemonic flashes you that smirk that has become his trademark of sarcasm before moving along with the story.
“Many months ago our people were a fractured race. No cohesion, no brotherhood, no meaning. We were loners, a scattered people with little identity and less thought about what is traditional about our ways. I attended a wedding whiles back of my good friend Magabain and met up with a Kinsman by the name of Yagamuchi. I had met him in passing a few times and as our Haakish tongue had been recently returned to us we struck up a conversation in earnest. Was the first time that the deep baritones of my language had truly affected my being. It was an enriching experience to share an evening with one I would now call Kinsman. Is the moment in time that changed my life, and I am lucky I know of that time for things usually have a definite end if not a beginning.”
“Soon the discussion moved on to this feeling of brotherhood and Yagamuchi spoke of how he had always wished there was a clan that would promote the feelings of good will between kinsmen such as our selves. He asked if I would be interested in such a venture and I gladly took up the challenge.” The lines of worry lift from the Paladin’s face as you see his eyes light up with true sincerity as he speaks on the cause that you know has lead him to this point in time.
“We started small in our gatherings. The first was in Ratha. What a mistake that was. Too far, too untraditional. But momentum picked up. I am by no means the best thinker of my people. My wisdom does not flow as well as my words” The teller of this story nudges you and gives you a knowing wink. “But it grew. We began to meet at Stone Clan. Is joyous every time I see it. My kinsman gathered to drink and just enjoy the presence of each other. Is astounding that any group of Elanthians, as strong willed a people and independent as we are, join together under one roof and enjoy with no fighting, no decisiveness, no hatred.” Hegemonic turns away for a moment to stare at the book and you wonder if the strain on his shoulders of late will cause him to lose his composure, but he returns as though he were simply checking on his charge.
“Then he came. Was at first a joyous victory, but that was before I knew all that was to be known. Lord Sorrow came with his S’lai, a being I had no hatred to before or truly even known. Waves of S’lai Screamers poured into our Clan. It was my distinct honor and the highlight of my life after my wife and children to lead my Kinsmen into battle. It was a victory that had few losses on our side, but I grieved for the fallen we had.” A look of bliss and pride washes over the young dwarven features and you worry that he has not gotten enough sleep as of late for he looks almost as disheveled and wrinkled of cloth as the dwarven captain.
“Since then a great deal has happened that you may have heard of or read of at the Tavern, but I wished you to know of our groups stance on it.” You question Hegemonic, seeing as you thought that the dwarven group be only social in nature and of no definite form or organization other then to be at the same spot every Sunday at 8 EST within the confines of Stone Clan.
“Nae,” Hegemonic takes a long inhale before turning toward you so that you can see his far shoulder. There is a dark blue armband you almost mistake for a ZEF armband for the frequency in which you’ve seen them, but the dark blue thread stands out and you see that this is not an insignia you have seen before. The image of a worn hammer atop an anvil all engulfed in flames superimposed upon a shadow-black book makes up the emblem. Beneath the edge of the shadowy book are three runes that look dwarven to you.
“What is it?” you ask.
“Is the heraldic device of the Stone Clan Militia.” When we were given charge of this book we formed our social organization into group to help defend the book at all costs from Lord Sorrow. It has been entrusted into our care also after the Clan-fathers learned that Prayk already knew of its existence and location. Only the wards hold them back for now. Soon only the Militia and the citizens of Zoluren will be in the way of Lord Sorrow.” A pained look of grief flows over Hegemonic’s features as he looks at you in all seriousness about the gravity of this situation. In his eyes you can swear you see a vision of the dwarven slaves generations ago that were forced to work for Lord Sorrow. Your vision blurs as you look around the room to avoid those glaring eyes and you gasp as you see the bodies of Dwarves scattered in blood stained works of gore across this very same room. You shake off this sense of dread and come to with Hegemonic asking you if you are okay, holding your shoulders firmly and almost causing a scene as he pulls you back from what surely must have been a flight of imagination.
After appoligizing you stand there looking at the book, wondering what more you will hear this day.
“I was elected the leader of the Militia. I stand before you the Marshal of the Stone Clan Militia. Was an honor such as a dwarf has never before known to be sure, but a burden the likes of which I have never known! I worried for days about what to do. What if the book was lost and all of Zoluren fell to this evil? What if the evil of the Zaulfung swamp was to be loose upon our world? Is only my trust in Kertigen that gets me through this, that and knowing that my kinsfolk trust me. Is all I have right now against these forces that grow in power daily against us. I pray our courage and kinsmanship will be enough when the day comes”
As you leave this guarded place the thought crosses your mind you too hope it will be enough. The three dwarven runes burn into your memory, the motto of the dwarven effort to save our world. Kinsmen, Steel and Stone.