Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tale of Aghar the Dwarf. Part 2 of ?

For three days Aghar walked, eyes staring blankly ahead and slightly down. Had anyone took notice enough to look at his face they would have seen two peculiar lines running from his eyes through the grime on his face down into his beard. He stopped only once when exhaustion took him, and he ate not at all.

Though he was not aware of it himself he was slowly moving south through the myriad tunnels that made up his dwarven home of Karak Hirn, and on that third day he approached a large gate. He was oblivious to the fresh air blowing in his face from that opening, to the new smells it brought with it, even to the bustle of merchant carts and wagon trains belonging to humans going out and Dwarves coming in. Had it not been so busy he would have surely been stopped and questioned and perhaps would have returned to himself, for a dwarf with a large blood encrusted warhammer heading alone out the great gates into the darkening outer world was not a common sight. But he just kept on walking, through the gates and down the road toward the plains of Grekara.

For a while he walked beside various merchants on their mule drawn carts, but their pace was one he could not, nor even attempted to, match. They knew that when darkness fully descended they wanted to be safe within the protected walls of Shelterspring. The same knowledge was buried somewhere deep within Aghar as well, but he did not remember. So he plodded slowly onward, staying on the path only because it offered less resistance than the open plain. Then darkness fell and Aghars staring gaze could no longer take in the sight of the road, though his feet continued to propel him forward.

The only sounds in the cool night were the rustling of the wind in the grass accompanied by an unsteady beat of dwarven feet as Aghar staggered over the barren and rocky landscape. Soon his feet found their way easier, moving steadily downhill. His pace quickened and he skidded against a large sharp rock. Then the ground gave way in a series of drops that had the warhammer on Aghars shoulder bouncing up and down, and then the ground disappeared from under his feet altogether. The wind still whistled through the grass and around scattered boulders, it was no longer joined by the thump of feet but by the sound of loose scrag rolling downhill after a larger, softer lump of a dwarf bouncing off of boulders. The first thing Aghar had actively registered in his mind in three days was a sharp pain in the side of his head, and the starry blackness was replaced by blackness alone.

Aghar opened his eyes and immediately closed them again, stifling a low groan. When he opened his eyes again he saw his feet and above them the grey of a twilight sky. He was head down near the bottom of a gully, stopped short by a very large rock. He closed his eyes again to ward off the throbbing pain in his temple, and then he heard it. A chittering sound was coming from off to his right, it sounded somewhat intelligent, and it sounded like it didn't belong to one creature alone. He opened his eyes again and turned his head slightly to locate the source of the noise.

Labels: ,