This brings you an intimate scene with Rolin Hardbeard, the greatest dwarven warrior to grace the soil of Wothlondia as he confronts his greatest enemy... As always, I hope this entices you into the world of Wothlondia!
(PS. If you haven't read Secrets of the Ebonite Mines, there is a possible spoiler alert in the passage below.)
A long time later, as the sweat began to moisten his skin and his muscles warmed again, Rolin smiled at the freedom of movement that condition offered him and wiped the glistening beads of moisture from his beard.
He needed to be ready.
He also believed that they considered him no real threat. They’d stripped him, but left his meager belongings in the cell with him. Except for his axe and armor, of course, which lay in the cell beside his own, but he could see them there.
He would need to acquire the keys to exit his cell and gain access. He longed to be reunited with his beloved axe—the axe that had slain more foes than he could count!—so that he could use its edge to rend his enemies’ flesh. He stared at the axe, wanting to feel the leathery grip upon his sweaty fingers as he brought it to bear on his enemies. And there were many.
His thoughts were suddenly interrupted of that delightful imagery as he heard the faint sound of footsteps approaching. They grew louder as he looked about and they finally stopped. He squinted in the darkness, adjusting his vision to that spectrum, and noted a slagfell. This particular one carried an air of confidence as he strode forward. Rolin could not help but note the twin axes dangling from either side of his belt. They looked to be well-made and well-kept.
“How fares me elderly hero?” asked the gruff voice with a haughty snicker.
“Ye disrespect me and me kin, slagfell wretch. Yer kind are beneath me and me brethren, don’t ye be doubtin,” Rolin instigated, making his way toward the younger, well-armored slagfell. The torchlight in the distance danced upon his features and Rolin noted the graying beard, braided into four separate strands that hung to his chest. The slagfell’s features were not unlike his own, though most of them were slimmer and less stout than his true kin. This one was broader in the chest and arms, wider in stature, almost like he himself when he was younger.
“Let me outta’ this cage an’ I’ll be showin’ ye what kind a hero I be,” Rolin suggested, wiping newly formed sweat from his beard.
“I wouldn’t want to send ye ta yer grave earlier than need be, Rolin Hardbeard,” the slagfell said mockingly.
“Ye be knowin’ me name well enough, but I don’t be knowin’ yers,” Rolin said, leaning closer and staring into the dark eyes of his captor.
“I be Megnus, of clan Bloodstone. Me father is king o’ Shadowmere. All names ye’ll be familiarizin’ yerself with fer yer remainin’ days I’m thinkin’. If ye live long enough.”
“Why dontcha’ let this old dwarf outta this cage an’ I’ll be more n’ happy ta show ye the respect ye be deservin’….Prince Megnus,” he added the title and the word dripped with sarcasm.
“Are ye sure ye want to die this day? I be sure me king ain’t gon’ be happy if I were ta kill ye,” Megnus said again, his words full of derision once more. Rolin could not see his mouth, but he was sure there was a smile planted beneath that braided beard.
“So then let me outta here an’ I’ll be plantin’ me boot firmly in yer arse soon enough.” As he finished the threat, he saw the one named Megnus move toward the cell, but he stopped. It was going to take more, he knew, to entice this one into combat.
“I figured yer kin ta be cowards an’ now I be seein’ that’s true…puttin’ yerself in league with demons. They be influencin’ ye all too, eh?” Rolin noted the change on Megnus’s face with that remark.
He knew he had him.
“Watch yer tongue, dwarf. Or I’ll take it from ye meself.”
“That’s what I been tellin’ ye ta do. Put me axe in me hand, an if ye beat me, ye can take me tongue,” Rolin said locking stares with the slagfell, his eyes smoldering with hate for the dwarf. Megnus moved forward and unlocked his cell. He methodically moved toward the neighboring cell, where Rolin’s axe and breastplate were, and unlocked it, moving aside afterwards. Rolin looked to him and hesitated, believing it to be a ruse of some kind until Megnus spoke once more.
“It be just you and me, dwarf,” Megnus stated moving toward the only exit and closing the door softly. He then placed the key in the lock and turned it, signifying that no one else would intrude upon their trial by combat.
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