Scales Of War

A New Lead for Dori

“Fascinating,” Dori said quietly.

“You actually found something?” was the incredulous response of the young dwarf who was attending him.

“No, at least not what I was looking for. However, your ancestor’s view on how Moradin’s blessing should influence one’s daily life is very interesting. You would do well to read it sometime.”

“I have. I’ve read everything in here. I… I tried to tell you that you wouldn’t find anything. I’m not sure how clear Grandpa has made it that our library doesn’t have anything to do… with…” The lad trailed off as he noticed that the light in the room had suddenly grown dimmer in the last few moments.

Turned towards the bookshelf as he was, ostensibly to return the tome to its proper place, Dori was able to conceal the impish gleam in his eyes. “Right you are young man. You were very clever to point that out earlier. And to bring it up again now. Do you enjoy being clever?”

“I… um…”

Dori struggled to keep his high, mirthful voice as intimidating as possible. “Do you make a habit of pointing out how much more clever you are than your grandfather’s guests?” His voice rose and Dori seemed to fill with a divine power that even the inexperienced cleric before him could feel. “I doubt your grandfather would appreciate you treating his guests like this! Now go draw my bath and prepare me some TEA!” This last exclamation was accompanied by the startling flare of the lights back to their full strength and a resounding boom of thunder. The young dwarf darted towards the exit of the room faster than he had ever moved in his life. The heavy wooden door had barely closed when Dori, eyes watering and body trembling, burst into fits of laughter.

Once he had composed himself a minute or so later, Dori laboriously pulled open the door just in time to come face to face with a much older version of the youth he had just chased off. “Er… hello, Mr. Stonesunder. How are you this fine evening?”

“I lent you the services of my grandson to help with your studies, not to be the butt of your jokes,” the elderly dwarf said sternly.

“With all due respect, sir, he was just making it too easy. And you should have seen the look on his face!”

“I did, for a brief moment, as he streaked past me shouting something about bathwater. Come with me.” He turned and started to walk down the hall with the grinning gnome in tow. “I suppose it was about time someone put that know-it-all in his place, and gods know that his father never will. How did your studies go, by the way?”

“Unfortunately, the know-it-all was right. You have some fantastic texts in your collection, and I would be honored if you would allow me more time to study them, but I’m at a loss as to whether I’m coming across cryptic hints of a clue or if I’m just finding patterns because I’m looking for them.”

The old patron of the Stonesunder clan responded, “I am quite confident when I assure you that it’s the latter. That’s actually what I was coming to see you about. Word has just come that Master Kustaa Lemminkainen, one of the Heroes of Overlook, has returned from the Feywild. I think it’s about time you speak to someone outside of the religious orders about this quest of yours and I can’t think of anyone better than Kustaa for the job. I took the liberty of setting up a meeting for the two of you tomorrow.”

“I think this might be the kindest way I’ve ever been thrown out of someone’s house,” said Dori with a good-natured chuckle. “Again, I can not thank you enough for your generous hospitality…”



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