After several months and some small adventures the village of Barton’s Cove seemed to feel too small for the group, Bram knew soon it would be time. He could sense it in his friends voices as they discussed previous battles and the new ones just couldn’t replace past glories. Waking before the dawn he headed to the forge, perhaps a sign today. Wild rumors from the south had started making there way around the village, these thoughts troubled him. Bram knew his friends wanted to journey there seek adventure but they held back all because of the friendship they shared. How to tell them to move on, his destiny wasn’t along the same path as theirs anymore.
Cranking the billows of the forge till the coals glowed a nice orange colored glow, Bram selected his favorite hammer from the rack and waited. The wooden handle comforted him and his troubled mind. Lifting his head to stare into the east the first rays of false light were beginning to creep across the sky. The cold morning left his breath floating across the forge still he waited. There, the first golden ray broke across the horizon signaling Torag was busy reforming the world anew yet again. Lifting the hammer high above his head Bram brought the hammer down hard on the anvil to greet the dawn in the tradition of his people. Clanging out six loud rings with the double tap of a blacksmith he turned to place the hammer back on the rack, at least some things were normal in this world.
Then the world shook, at least for Bram. With a loud crack the rack split in two sending tools clattering down the work bench scattering them across the floor. A loud curse that only a dwarf could deliver echoed across the village. Sighing he looked up at the split wood, obviously shoddy workmanship. This time he will build a proper rack out of metal, all that took time which he didn’t have. Governing these villagers was taking so much of it. Grumbling as he bent over to pick up the scraps and tools scattered in the dirt he noticed the morning light almost blinding him. It was being reflected off the parting gifts for his friends. They had tumbled separately and now faced south along with a his new axe which was further back from the rest. Gasping as the omen was surely sent by the maker, it was so clear today was the day. Feeling relieved Bram picked up his gifts and decided to make the rounds to say goodbye to them.
Walking into the keep Bram decided to get the most annoying one out of the way. Climbing up the stairs he tried to find some sort of balance in the emotions he had for Zot. Yes he had helped bring about the destruction of a world but perhaps he was nothing more than a tool. A tool, well even a stern dwarf could permit a small smile thinking Zot as a tool. Still a tool none the less and wielded by some unknown force maybe for a reason. Grunting Bram brought his mailed fist down hard on the door several times. A startled Zot opened the door as Bram pushed his way in.
Walking over he scratched Pinky under the chin as he began to speak to Zot without facing him.
“Zot, we have had our differences in the past year but you have been a faithful although chaotic companion. I think it is time for me to let go my feelings they no longer serve me well. This morning I was given a sign by Torag that you and my friends should leave at once for the south. You once swore an oath to me, I release you and only ask that you temper your chaotic side. Please accept this small gift as a sign of my gratitude. I ask you forgive any harsh words I spoke to you as they were done with a heavy heart filled with grief.”
Turning Bram stormed out of the room without a word, slamming the door behind him. It would not do for Zot to see a dwarf shed a tear for some chaotic sorcerer.
Moving over to the table Pinky was resting on Zot saw the small wooden box decorated with Bram’s god and clan symbols. Pinky nudged the box to his hand. Opening it Zot saw a silver dagger, resting in fine red velvet. The handle was decorated like a coiled silver dragon, wrapped tightly around the fine sharp blade that was covered with inlaid scales. A small card was inside, which Zot read.
“When your wits fail may this dagger help defend you Zot.”
Collecting himself Bram strode for the new temple, well more of a forge really. Still by now Bufords service should be done. Buford was at least a dwarf and he worshipped Torag. Striking a more militant tone Bram greeted Buford. Such an odd name for a dwarf but he was at least a clansmen.
“Greetings Buford, I see the forger is busy renewing the world. This morning I received the sign I have been looking for. He requires you to journey south along with Zot and Kaan. There are strange goings on down there so be on guard. You must try to keep Kaan and Zot from killing each other before they face even one enemy. Oh and to help you on your journey I have finished your hammer, it is as you asked. Torag has blessed it so may it smash your enemies on the anvil of truth.”
Bram shared a few moments with Buford in silent prayer for the safety of his friends before leaving. His next task was the the one he dreaded more than dealing with Zot. As the morning was getting on he guessed that Kaan would be outside the village and sure enough he found his friend in the woods on the edge of town.
“Good morning Kaan of the Elk tribe what news does the breeze carry this morning?”
Without turning Kaan lifted his head crinkling his nose." A foul wind blows from the south, it carries death and ill tidings."
Bram felt even more guilty about what he had to do. Placing a mailed hand on Kaans back as he stared with him to the south he replied. " It is time Kaan, great deeds await you to the south. Your debt has been settled many times over and only friendship remains. I release you from your bond to find whatever destiny awaits you. You like I are the last of our peoples do not fall quietly Kaan but set an example so that others may remember us in great tales yet unsung.Go now. Gather our friends and may Torag keep you safe on your journey."
Bram strode away silently, no further goodbye was needed. He knew Kaan had no stomach for it and neither did he.
Kaan stared silently to the south not looking back, waiting for his friend to leave. The wind still blew in his face but maybe it seemed less foul. Turning he stared down at the fresh deer he had just slain. Resting on top of was a knife. It’s blade was thick and curved almost like a sharp silver thumb. The handle and hilt were carved from a single piece of elk horn.
The friends trudged south through many adventures all seemed more and more unnatural. Foul quick forming weather lashed at them as they defeated many foes till at last they found themselves in a small hamlet. Gathered around a table together spinning tales for the locals by a roaring fire the evening was interrupted suddenly. The watchman burst into the common room yelling about murder and some creeping fog. Rising from their seats the band rushed out into the night to start yet another chapter in their tales.