Bailey, a young servant of Vergadain, came upon a long forgotton passage leading deep into the mountain. The dust of centuries she found, but also a detachment of Duergar, the sworn enemy of any righteous dwarf. Alone she could not prevail, so she sought out one of the most revered members of her clan.
Carefully he stuffed his modest pipe of red oak, expertly assessing the fill of good Stonecutter tobacco. He looked up, still his slippers on and his beard dishevelled.
“Well, what is so important that it could not wait untill I finished my afternoon nap lass?”, Khael asked a breathless Bailey.
“Master Stonekindle, please forgive me my intrusion”, she responded bashfully, “but the matter at hand is of great importance for the hold.”
Holding a match cord close to his pipe he smiled at her through his white beard. “Bailey, is it not? I remember you having quite a nose for precious stones even when you where just a little lassie.”
She nodded timidly. “Master Stonekindle, it is Deep Duera’s spawn just under our feet.”
Khael inhaled the aromatic smoke and puffed it over the scrolls and trinkets on his desk. “By Moradin’s hammer. Duergar amidst our hold?” His eyes wandered over his desk, resting for some seconds on a book, but then he looked up. “Lass, would you be so kind and reach me that folio over there?”, he mumbled pointing on a stack of books behind her. “It seems I was right all along. We built our hold on the dusty remains of Norund. You know the tale, don’t you? Your mother should have told you sitting around the hearth.”
Passing him the folio she smiled. “I asked her to a hundred times Master Stonekindle.”
He opened the old yellowed pages. “Then let us find out if the legend is true, shall we?”
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