The Story of Honeysuckle (Wrunella Ke Bathscribe)
“Tell us some more about your pirate days” Bexx asked politely. “Your stories are very much like those that I have seen on the Vid-Screen. Overkill smirked and rebutted “Tell me about this Earth that you come from and what’s a Vid-Screen?” Bexx laughed. He had not realized that this world had no idea as to what he was talking about and caught himself despite himself.
Chip interjected, “Overkill we will tell you all about Earth if you grace us with one of your stories,.. Please.” Chip smiled and poured the dwarf a new tankard of ale. “We need to know about this world so that we can help the Goddess and you are our only eyes and ears to what this world is capable of.”
“This ‘world’ as you call it is capable of a lot of things. While my world has not changed much for thousands of years, it has had passion and vigor. The age of man has been for about two hundred years so most of the human kingdoms are young and inexperienced compared to the dwarven and elven kingdoms; though they are mere rubble now.”
Bexx asked again. “Tell us about more about your days on the high seas. Tell us about t the crew and what made you a pirate.” Overkill took a deep drink of the bitter mug and whipped his beard and lips while putting it back down. “Ok. One more story.”
We had a tinkerer on the ship that was a bit of a genius when it came to wood working and ship design. She dealt mostly with the ships repairs and her name was Honeysuckle, ok it was Wrunella but most of the crew called her Honey suckle because for a dwarf she was actually kind and quite inviting, which was odd for a dwarf. I thought that she was a tall gnome for the way that she acted. She was fair and very tidy and clean. Her shop was the prime example of order and no one was allowed save the captain and his first and second mates. The cabin boy attempted to sneak in once and was left with a bruise that lasted two weeks on his forehead as an example of her strength and cunning. After that no one dared challenge the notion that it was safe to go into her shop.
I was second mate still at the time and only entered her domain when I was asked by the captain and for someone so soft and warm she was very aloft and private. It was confusing yet she was a dwarf in at least that way. I had a chance to explore her shop because she was not readily available and strung from the roof was what would have been flying models or at least that’s what I thought. She had a spy glass that she said could see night sky in a way that no telescope could. It was like going into the shop of an alchemist. When she finally caught me looking at her stuff I was so surprised. She had a trinket on her arm that made her arm twice its size. The element of surprise had allowed her to seize my beard and pull me close. The closed fist was such that I could not will it to let go even with all my strength. “What do you want mate?” She was so close that I could smell her hickory perfume. I didn’t know that she even made the attempt to smell pretty. The sheer will of power and the beauty of this dwarf was intoxicating and confusing at the same time. She knew that she had me by the expression on my face; that of confusion. It turned to anger when I realized that she had power over me. “Let me go, mate. The captain has some requests for you in his quarters.” “Not until you suit my demand, mate,” she said with a now curing smile. I squinted a snarl “What”, I said calmly as possible. “Overkill, I want a night on the docks with you what we reach port.”“What! Why?” I turned to confusion. I knew very little about dwarven women as I was still young and inexperienced.
Bexx interjected. “I like where this story is going.”
“It doesn’t go there,” Overkill lied. “As I was saying she wanted a night on the docks with me and it while we were in Moonstone (a Coyle hold) that Honeysuckle got her wish. While on the dock she asked a troubling question as I had not asked that of myself. “What do you want out of life Overkill?” I was taken aback and was a bit confused at the question and why she was asking me. I was now uncomfortable. There was order and rules that didn’t apply when off the ship it seemed and she knew it. “What do you want”, she repeated. I had spent so much time proving myself and being my own dwarf and not just the son of Onslaught that I didn’t know. She noticed my discomfort and changed the question. “What’s for Overkill after being a pirate?”“Isn’t that the same question?”
“Not really. Surely you have goals and ambitions that cannot be satisfied with plunder, rape and death.”
I was silent.
“I know your father’s legacy and as your fellow clansman I know that you are expected to marry into the clan unlike your uncle who married a barbarian and sired Mini your closest clansman and cousin. Technically he has no place in the Clans leadership and will amount to very little but you; you have the family of greatness with a famous father to boot. So what of Overkill the pirate?”
I stood there confused and somewhat offended. Mini had all the makings of greatness though the two of us running off and creating our own destiny didn’t help. He was going to do great things and I knew it.
“I don’t know what Overkill the pirate wants,” I said mater-of-fact.
“You know pirates die young.” Her face showed a curious look like she was attempting to get me to think. “Certainly you could be a priest or politician, a king perhaps?”
“Don’t kid yourself Honey, the days of dwarven kings are over; aren’t they?”
“I would know clansman, you are related to the Goldbeard clan too are you not? You know that they have a dwarf king. The gods have a plan for you I am certain of it and dying as a pirate isn’t it.”
My confused state allowed her to lean in and kiss my lips. She pulled away sharply and winked. “My next request clansman is that you would accompany me back to my quarters.” I didn’t know where she was going with this but I was not going to fall for that. I suspected that she was in fact sweet on me. I was uncertain though why. I hadn’t done anything to draw attention but I had excelled in leadership up the ranks. I guessed that it had to do something with that.
“What do you want Honeysuckle?”
She didn’t get a chance to reply as some drunk Coyles had decided to rough us ‘little people’ up as they called us. They wanted a fight. I was more than eager to get this awkward situation off my mind and hoped that Honeysuckle would forget this whole nonsense of ‘greatness’ and pay attention to the situation at hand.
I didn’t get to land one punch. She grabbed the nearest Coyle by the nuts and twisted. “You talking to me furball!” He dropped to his knees and the second one didn’t move out of shock and surprise. The suffering dog-boy shook his head with tears now showing in his eyes. “No”. “Really? It looked like you had something to say”, she replied. Her look was firm and cold with a hint of anger. “If you don’t have something to say I would recommend that you find a place elsewhere as my friend and I was talking. The Coyle nodded. Blood was now moistening his tunic where she had a hold of him. She let go and the two stumbled off.
Well it looks like our walk on the dock is over Overkill.” I was turned on. Perhaps I had misjudged her and should have reconsidered her offer. “Would you like an escort back to the ship? She flashed her glove which had retractable claws. She noticed that I noticed. “I took notes from assassins that use springs in their knives to deliver poison and put it in this glove. Cool, huh? Let’s get back to the ship.”
“From then on I had a respect for Honeysuckle and gladly accepted her kisses when she offered though it was always in private. I had learned to trust her and for a small time she was my second mate after Mini. I am certain that she will go to places that I will never see.”
Bexx and Chip smiled.” I don’t know Dwarf”, Chip said, “you might be here your whole life but I am certain that you will see and hear things that you have never seen. Who knows what the gods have in store for you.”
The End (?)
Picture from Anton Zemskov.