Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Meeting in the Dark Wood

Clad in dirty unwashed robes of musky earth colors, Gilorhem eyed the approaching Elf warily.  Gilorhem crouched low in the dense shrubs, attempting to blend in as he observed Mathron.  A bright red cape wrapped the Dwarf's stocky form, making him appear eerily flamboyant and slightly diminishing his ability to hide and appear sane.  A twisted smile formed under his scraggly knotted beard as Gilorhem reached into his cloak, withdrawing an ornate hourglass.  Briefly studying the gently glowing sands within, Gilorhem mumbled and nodded to himself.  "Yes, yes.  He's the...Yes."

Mathron had pitched his tent and unrolled his bed roll by the time Gilorhem entered his camp.  It being the dead of night, Mathron instinctively reached for his hammer upon hearing the raspy voice of Gilorhem call out, "Hello Master Elf!"  The tone was jovial, but the voice sounded like it had been smoking heavily for the past several decades.  "Mind you no malice, Friend Elf!" Gilorhem continued, tittering anxiously, "Here, let us have a fire."

Gilorhem gestured and placed his hand on the ground, causing portion of the Earth to suddenly be stripped bare.  In but a moment a ring of stones appeared and lined the now exposed dirt, then were soon accompanied by a mass of split logs dropping from the sky.  Gilorhem pulled a bucket of water from behind his back and splashed it on the wood, causing it to burst into flame.  Seeing a slightly confused expression on Mathron's face, Gilorhem remarked, "My magic.  Best if left unexplained.  Ah, but if that isn't warm though." 

"Who are you?"  Mathron said, eying the Dwarf warily.

"Me? A friend.  An ally. A--"

"Your name."  Mathron interrupted, speaking flatly.

"Gilorhem is my name, though most call me the Mad Dwarf, that having nothing to do with my temperament.  But enough about me.  What of you?  Strange thing to see one raised in the Elf lands following a Northern God."  The Dwarf said, gesturing to Mathron's symbol.

"I am not from the Elf lands." Mathron replied, his interest in this discourse waning.  He wondered if the Dwarf would just leave if he ignored him long enough.

"I can sense you don't think I'm worth your time."  Gilorhem remarked, reaching into his cloak and withdrawing a scroll.  "Perhaps this will change your mind."  Passing the scroll to Mathron, the Elf silently unrolled the parchement, read a few lines and swallowed hard.  His mouth had become painfully dry.

"Is this true?"  Mathron said after some moments.

"Ah, to have a captive audience."  Gilorhem said, idly staring into the fire.