I hate the Disputed Lands. Thirty miles East outside of Kadascome through pelting rain we were attacked by Danzi who mistook our captain hearty singing and regular jolliness for an attacking tribe of ogres or orcs due to the shadows of the clouds and surrounding darkness. It wasn’t until I called out in Dwarven for them to stop that the barrage of arrows halted. By then of course, some of us where injured; the chief among them was our guide, Saul. He was dying Overkill. The gentle giant of a man was dying. He had been stuck by six of their arrows and he was bleeding to death. I began to cry as his last breaths were a hymn he knew as a boy. He only got one verse out before passing…
Oh great Thoth who dwells on high
Give us strength from when we cry
Wisdom courage is our plea
That we may be more like thee
Those were his final words before softly closing his eyes and passing.
The Danzi were greatly ashamed by what they did and the following morning buried his body with all apologies they could gather. I could only hear the funeral as the arrows they used were poisonous and I was resting with fever from my own three wounds. To say that the load was not going to make it on time was an understatement. Saul was sending supplies to Llorn. With Saul dead, the responsibility fell on the gnomes, Sauce and Gravy. It seemed that Gravy was having the hardest time with Saul’s death as he shut down, talking to no one. Sauce had his own troubles to deal with; as they removed an arrow from his rib cage the same time they removed the three of mine. He would wake up screaming either from the pain or the nightmare that we were in. Don’t get me wrong, the Danzi are a peaceful people but savage like my father and my tribe. I almost could relate to them but I had become too civil and had forgot some of the teachings my papa told me of what to do when they approached or the signs that you were entering their territory.
Each night they have those who were injured a special milk concoction telling us in their best broken Dwarven (they didn’t know that I spoke more then one language) that this would heal us all. They then would again apologize and exit. Gravy hovered over Sauce every night and would be there when he would scream. I, when I was well, began singing the hymns that Saul sang. It eased my pain while I healed.
When we finally left the tribe, we said nothing. Gravy was still quiet and quite bitter. Sauce was up to his old self but still having nightmares from the trauma. The last thirty miles were very quiet.
When we finally arrived at Kadaskome word that our ship had been attacked by savages had already spread. It would seem that tradesmen had pass down the river a few days before us and had talked to the natives. Word of Saul’s had become a hearty chant sung to a march in some of the pubs. Turning the story of one humble ogre into the battle for freedom from a hundred; it was on day two of hearing the chants and rants that I finally punched a particularly drunk dwarf and threatened to cut off his nose with my special cleaver that the bar got deathly quiet. All eyes were on me including the keeper who had his hands on a bow should trouble erupt. I rammed the blade into the table that I sat and stood on the table. In their own tongue I told the story of Saul; I even sang a hymn for them. Okey, you would have been proud of me, we dwarves are not ones for being good with our words but that day I was humbled again by the apologies of our own kind over the death of one of the ‘monster’ races. The only one who was not humbled was the insulting drunk who I took the flat of my blade and smacked with such force that it knocked him out. After that I spent the rest of the night drinking (my tab was paid by other patrons I found out).
The following morning I parted ways with Sauce and Gravy and caught a dwarven trade ship that was heading to Northolme to exchange goods of wool and cotton. Forever changed by my experience I spent most of the trip in my cabin. We had occasional storms but nothing like the open sea that we’ve experience. Several weeks later we arrived and were greeted by the port master and dwarven army that protected the various ports and seashore. I entered the city being lead by my goddess as to where I should go and donated a large sum of our money to the Temple of Light to a man named Father Olayhe.
The people here worship Belimar, the Dwarf God, and are primarily the Goldenbeard Clan. Oh sure there are humans and the like but every where the eye wanders are a proud people; proud of their heritage and god.
Father Oleyhe wants to know why and where I came from. I have offered my services of cooking and cleaning but usually say nothing. I cry at night in our meager cottage that I bought with some money. I opened a restaurant to supply myself with a steady income and have slowly began to make friends. Father Oleyhe comes by and orders breakfast once a week. He asks about what I worry about but I refuse to tell him as my trip here took a lot out of me.
Come to me, Okey.
Posted by Mary on the 1st of Thoth, in the 22nd year of King Bafag.
Picture from Lhiannan Shee.