Daegar Dwindleshanks could not seem to concentrate. Sitting at his desk on the third floor of one of Overlook’s smaller and less traveled municipal buildings he was attempting to make sense of the annual entertainment budget. Daegar often thought to himself that “entertainment budget” was a rather fancy way of referring to how much ale the town council ordered for their official visits, special ceremonies and even weekly meetings. Determined to finish, he once again bent to examine the columns of numbers set before him, but was only halfway down the page when the noise which had grabbed his attention did so once again.
Daegar knew that this was not a normal sound. While it was not especially uncommon for one of his fellow dwarves to grow frustrated by similar mathematical problems, the sounds of them pounding their heads into the desk were nowhere near this loud or distracting. Daegar was aware that the maker of these sounds was not one of his fellow dwarves and was in fact an outsider who did not really belong in these offices. He also knew that trying to impress this fact on the visitor was not going to be easy.
Sighing deeply he rose from his desk and ventured slowly down the halls. He had little trouble finding the source of the noise sitting in a small storage room and surrounded by small piles of rocks and other debris. As Daegar hovered outside the door to the small room he found himself once again in awe of the size of the being before him. Even in its seated position it was taller than Daegar as well as broader across the shoulders. It made the storage room look more like a storage closet. As he stepped into the doorway it raised its right arm and swiftly brought it down on a rock placed before it. Daegar winced, expecting a grunt of pain, but was instead treated to a face-full of small stone shards as the rock shattered and went flying in all directions.
“Ow! Ye daft menace!”
The golem looked up at him (or down at him, as the case may have been), blue eyes glowing richly in its great stone face. Though it had no lips (or mouth for that matter) carved in it, it answered him in a deep tone.
“My apologies, Treasurer Dwindleshanks. It appears that my experimentation has had negative results for you. I would advise that you take more care for your own safety in the future.”
The great warforged turned its head back to the floor and picked out another rather large rock from a pile nearby. Setting it on the ground before him he once again lifted one of his large arms overhead.
“Stop! Wait! Don’t be doin that just yet laddie!” Daegar had thought momentarily of jumping forward and interposing himself between rock and the creature in front of him, but the sight of many small rock piles throughout the room quickly made him think otherwise. “You can’t just sit here all day crushing rocks Crash. There is work to be done and ye be given many of us a headache with all the noise. Don’t you have somewhere else to be?”
The warforged looked to the dwarf again. “Somewhere else? Where else would I be? This room is fine. Look at these rocks.” He pointed to the debris in front of him. “Can you see? They are the same on the inside as they are on the outside. It is very interesting. Also I remind you that my nomenclature is Epsilon Delta One Eight Seven.”
“Interesting?” said Daegar, ignoring for a moment the issue of names. “Well what did ye expect? They are rocks!”
The warforged seemed to look at him quietly for a moment. Daegar found that he could never tell what the thing was looking at with those glowing orbs. Unlike normal eyes, they never blinked.
“Yes. They are indeed rocks. But in my experience things are not often the same on the inside once you smash them open. Take you for example.”
“Me?!” Daegar took a half-step backward.
“Yes. My experience tells me that if I were to slice you open, or perhaps rip you in half, your insides would be completely different from your outside. I have found in fact that most living creatures share this trait. Humans, elves, orcs…in fact I might say that their insides have been more alike than their outer appearance would suggest. Although orcs do have green blood…”
His attention wavered as he looked away from his dwarven companion and once again directed his gaze to the large rock he had placed in front of him. He raised his arm and brought one mighty fist down on the rock, hitting both himself and Daegar with the small shards of rock which flew in every direction. Through a beard now littered with pebbles the dwarf muttered to himself.
The warforged did not look back to the dwarf, instead sifting through the stones and inspecting one here or there, lifting them in front of his face and considering them from several angles before discarding them once again. His voice did not sound distracted as he answered however.
“Oh yes. Ripping a creature in half, while not often an ideal method of termination, can be accomplished easily enough provided one has an adequate grip and uses enough force. Though I have often found the phrase ‘ripped in half’ to be untrue, as it is much more likely that a limb will be pulled off or the body will not be pulled apart in equal-sized pieces. For instance I would recommend not attempting to pull a dwarf apart by gripping the beard. While it may appear sturdy, and sometimes it is, I have found that the neck is by comparison not sturdy at all…”
Epsilon Delta 187 looked up at the sound to find that his audience had fainted.