The Secret of Shield Deflection by Roryn Truesteele II

I told that fool to find the sword!

Me? You want to hear about my life? How did I get here?..certainly ladies..please pass the mead….

I was born in the mountains to the the Clan Stoneshield 125 years or so ago. My grandfather is Roryn Truesteele, one of the greatest dwarves to swing an axe or sword. He journeyed with Horatio Hellpop and was the wielder of the sword Naidel. My father was Draegor Truesteele also a warrior by trade. I have two brothers, I am the oldest..and best looking…for most of my youth I trained as a soldier. I served on the Great Thane’s Guard for years.

I left the mountains of Stonehaven over five years ago in search of my grand-father’s sword, Naidel. I was a young dwarf when my father left my mother and two brothers behind to seek out the Xantheon, a mage, my grand father adventured with in his youth. My grandfather had given the mage a chalice of black stone for safe keeping and now my father wished to return it to the clan storehouse. That was the last I saw of him. It is known that he spent two evenings at the Bay of the Moon Tavern before heading into the Wizard Hills to see Xantheon at his tower, Black Heart Spire.

He departed the Inn one morning and has not been seen since. That was decades ago.

I went South and found Black Heart Spire deserted and overgrown with a tangle of hedge shrubs. If the wizard still laired there I could not find him. Knowing the cowardice of those that employ magic he may have been hiding in some dark corner.

I found clues that pointed southward to the city of Alon-Ruhn and the Great Library. The Great Library was said to be the home of all knowledge known in the civilized world. Humans like to boast of such things and I am doubtful of this claim. It gave me a sliver of hope that I could learn of the whereabouts of Naidel.

With little money I needed to find work. I’m no skilled metal worker but I do have great skill with weapons and so I was hired on with a group of dwarves as a guard. The dwarves were traveling merchants selling bits of this and that to locals. It was an honorable, if not boring way, to live. These dwarves were from the hills, not the mountains, and as such enjoyed the company of humans, elves, and others.

For my part, I find that humans only desire to take what is not theirs and multiply. The do so nearly as fast as the green skinned orcs. There are far to many of them in this world ( in both cases) and they seem pre-occupied with ensuring that they continue to grow in number.

Humans though are more agreeable than the haughty elves and their half-breed off spring. They act as if they don’t desire gold and gems but I know they secretly do! Never trust an elf!

Halflings or Hobbits, I’ve only encountered a few of these types in my travels, they are good for food and ale but useless in a fight. A small dwarf child is more competent with an axe then the best of their “warriors”.

After taking up with the dwarven merchants we traveled South and did a fine business. My purse was full and when we arrived in Alon-Ruhn I planned to take my leave of them and spend some time at the Great Library.

But alas, that was not to be. We were waylaid by giants on the road to Alon-Ruhn. The giants spared us from being dinner and instead enslaved us in their forge. We crafted weapons and armor of all shapes and sizes from those fitting the meanest fire giant to the finest elf.

I saw no means of escape and we were chained even as we slept.

It was then that the boy warrior of Morganti, Kalf Lionheart, rescued us from the slavers. Kalf and his companions slew the giants and set us free. The merchants were given leave but as I was bred a warrior I pledged to serve Kalf Lionheart for one year as repayment for my freedom. My quest for my father’s sword could wait a short time.

I got more than I bargained for in the coming weeks.

Kalf Lionheart, or Krett by birth, is a big strapping Arapeshian lad. His hair is kept in a neat military style cut and he wears an ancient plate mail of fine quality. He can be prideful and a bit arrogant but has a true heart. He has seen some tragic loss in his short years but has yet to come to grips with it all. He was clearly not raised to be a warrior as his sword techniques are far from polished…and as for the polishing of his armor and weapons….he lacks the patience and attention to detail to do it correctly. I understand he had used a young boy as a squire in the months before our meeting and the surfaces scratches in the armor, along with the bent pins show for it. I hope in the year to come I can help him improve his short comings in armor care.

Kalf’s companions include a big brutish half-orc named, Brak. He looks dimwitted and smells worse, but is a powerful fighter whose axe I’ve seen cleave a foe in two.
Then there is Phariss, a prancing little waif of a man. He disappears when the swords are drawn and snatches any gold that can be found in his greedy little hands. In camp if I have trouble falling a sleep I just count the number of times he looks at himself in my polished shield or twirls his pretty cape about. Renee is a shape changer, he wields the power of nature and speaks with animals and plants. I think his mind is a bit addled and have decide to humor him to keep him calm. He is friends with a large bear that often eyed me in camp. His healing berries and nuts are tasty.

I also journeyed with a pair of elves! One was a prattling elf by the name of Maeglin. A wood elf he was also rescued by Kalf and has pledged a year of service. The other is the fairest elf maiden I have set eyes on, Sariya, a mage by trade. I dislike her kind and her profession but I found myself strongly attracted to her slim, taunt, well muscled figure. Moradin save me.

Kalf and the others had come to the Chief Nosra’s steading where I was enslaved because the giants had been attacking nearby villagers. They had promised to rid the jungle of the menace to protect the local villages from more harm. Honor bound to follow Kalf, his quest became mine. Since being rescued from the hill giants dungeons we have journeyed into the cold glaciers high in the mountains and slayed Jarl Grungar of the Frost Giants. While in his frozen lair we learned that Grungar was allied with a fire giant, King Snurre. We left the cold glaciers behind and using some sort of foul magics transported ourselves to a crater atop a smoldering volcano.

We found King Snurre’s lair to be a mound of molten slag barred to us by two great doors.

We attempted a frontal assault. Always smart. It went well at first. The great doors were opened and a sentry discovered before all hell broke loose.

We soon found ourselves surrounded by giants including Snurre himself. Snurre was an ugly bastard, armored over in black plates, huge flaming sword. and a giant mane of red hair. Unlike the Jarl or Chief’s lackeys his giants fought with sound tactics and we were being torn to pieces.

Brak called out Snurre in single combat. What was the fool thinking? He and the King went at each other as the rest of us dealt with his underlings.

It got worse when Snurre called in his fiery hounds. His little yapping dogs breathed fire, dammit!

Snurre used his dogs to cover his retreat. Brak pursued him down a hall before the rest of us could re-group. The big dummy looses his mind during combat and does such foolish things!

But I suppose being half an orc he does well with what the gods have blessed him with. Still the world would be better off with fewer orcs and humans.

As we ran to join the big guy he came running the other way! With the big green guy bleeding all over we decided to make a retreat.

Sir Pharris the Brave had already beat it down the main hall to the outside.

Burdened by heavy armor I couldn’t keep up with the others and soon was being surrounded by charging, angry fire giants. I kept my shield up and ran, boulders bounced off it and I kept focused on the exit tunnel. I could hear Kalf yelling nearby. I could see that sweet Sariya had made it, as well as the beast-master, and Maeglin. Kalf was clear of the exit when the giants closed in. I wouldn’t run like a coward and die with a sword to my back. So I turned to face them.

By Moradin! I would take a few of them with me!

It was then that the beast man , in the shape of an ape this time came in and got in the way. If I needed a berry or help I would have asked!

He grabbed at me and I fumbled my swing and then one of the giants delivers a vicious blow and its all over for me. Darkness and the pin point of light. The winged warrior maidens fetched me up and brought me here to the Realm of Moradin the All Father.

So that is how I got here. Would you pass me another haunch of meat my love? The mead here is..dare I say…heavenly….ahahahahaha…my your beard is fetching…may I comb it for you?

Hey what is going on, why do I feel like I’m being summoned back… Noooo…I told that fool to find the sword….


TheElderEye TheElderEye

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