Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Short Dwarf line

Thesis and Durin huddle under the Derro halls a little longer before another dirty and hairy figure bursts through the doorway at the bottom of the stairwell.
This time however, it’s a Derro crossbowman.
Jumping to their feet (other than Ortos and Gelless), the group prepare for trouble. Surprisingly though, the Derro waves a white flag.
“I come in peace!” he squeaks.
Durin and Thesis are not big on negotiation. In fact they aren’t really big on anything other than hitting, but Ortos’ deep voice calms them a little.
“He's alone and we are many. Let him come forward to speak.”
The Derro shuffles forward until he's within speaking range.
“I’ve been sent to reunite you with your friends.”
Thesis has a sudden vision of his friends dead and on their way to their respective heavens, but he quells it.
The Derro explains that everything was just a huge misunderstanding and that the rest of the Party are waiting for them with the Golem by the main exit.
Thesis, Durin, Selmars and the two Orcs get up, but Thesis is forced to carry Gelless and Ortos over his broad shoulders. Durin refuses to help, saying that one of them needs to be ready if the situation turns sour.
Grumbling, Thesis trudges heavily up the dizzyingly long stairwell.
They get to the top unharmed, and begin to feel more confident. They follow the Derro through doorway after doorway and along several dark corridors.
They finally climb another flight of stairs and come to a larger, more solid looking door, guarded by two more of the stunted, albino Derro.
On command, one of them takes out a large key and opens the door.
Ushering the party out, Durrin and Thesis find themselves in a wide corridor. Durin notices that although it starts off typically Derro, with poorly planned and executed design, it soon becomes; Dwarven perfect.
The door behind them slams shut but it is the door ahead of them that holds their interest.
Similarly reinforced as the one before, Durrin Knocks.
Soon they can hear the sound of running feet and then, after a short delay a hatch opens about five feet up from the floor.
“What do you want De…..”
A Dwarven warrior's face can be seen through the hatch.
“You’re not a Derro. What are you doing in there?”
Durin roughly explains and the Dwarf, with a stern look at the two Orcs, quickly lets them through.
It’s Durrins turn to be confused. “Where are our friends? Why are you dealing with the Derro? How are you stopping them getting out?”
The Dwarf takes you back up a corridor to a small, fortified Dwarven camp. It is simple but permanent. Surprisingly the Dwarves only number a total of four.
After some food and ale is brought out, the Grizzled Dwarven leader tries to explain.
“Your friends didn’t pass this way and you've completely misunderstood the nature of the Derro. With their Sorcery and evil powers, they could easily overcome us if they tried. What you must realise however is that they’re completely insane. They're under the misapprehension that everyone on the surface actually wants to get in!”
Everyone relaxes and enjoys the food. “Thanks to the Derro’s rampant xenophobia, they’ve stayed holed up in those caves for thousands of years. Our leaders think, that given the gradual fall in their birth rates, they’ll all be dead in a few of centuries. We're just going to wait them out. As for food and materials from the surface... We’re just supplying them with what they need so they don't have to leave the confines of their caverns. This way we can dissuade them from leaving without the need for bloodshed. After all, they are still our cousins.”
The Dwarves supply the group with everything they need including cleverly rigged up backpacks for Ortos and Gelless and a map.
The bizarre looking group lead by the now unencumbered Thesis, slowly descends from the mountain and moves back around towards the Orc valley camp.
Thesis and Durin lead while he faceless princess stays at the back. Gelless is carried by Selmars and Ortos is supported by the two Orcs.
It takes them just under a week, but by following the paths, they make it back with little difficulty.
The sight that greets them at the Orc valley however is disturbing.
Smoke rises from burned out buildings and Orc bodies lie everywhere. There’s been a massacre.
The two crippled Orcs draw their weapons.


RoboGeek said...

The Short Dwarf Line: The Thin Red Line, nice.
Hey, Thesis has got, like 21 str, no way he was encumbered with a couple of limbless stunties to carry ;)

Great that we will be back for the trudge home. Good also that it will be short - could be molto difficile over a webcam from Italia.

TieDye said...

Man, now we're going to need Ester to translate for us when Assif lapses into Italian! And I thought it was a drag when I bought Guitar Hero II the other day and found out it's entirely in French...