The Edge of Empire

A Dwarf Among Men

Venerable Blessings to Moradin, the Soul Forger

Blessings to Moradin, indeed, on this most joyous day. The wretched serpent folk have been routed and the city of Overlook saved…for now.

I would never have guessed it, nor would I ever have asked to work the wonders of Moradin amongst any but our own folk. However, the great Forger saw otherwise; and so I fell in with a mixed troop. Had they not rescued me from the ultimate sacrifice in battle, I wouldn’t have trusted them to hit an anvil with a hammer. But they fought well and their goal seemed honorable; indeed, the very same as my own!

Ah, but I get ahead of myself; having not had time to write and so much been going on. I done wrote about the problems the serpents were presenting to Overlook. Well, seeing to that, Cadrik done tasked me to lead a group into the mountains to see what business the slimy serpents had there. My boys and me, we fought hard, as is our wont, but the number of the enemy were enough to quench the fires of our souls. And it did, all but mine, when the Irregulars (as they’ve been dubbed) came to my very timely rescue.

Three of the fey folk, a human & a being that I can only say must have been forged by great Moradin, himself…a walking & intelligent collection of gems and stones. Each of these peoples has their own set of skills, some of which I’ve never seen the likes of before…others, I have, but cannot say they are to my liking. But this world is full of things Dwarves weren’t meant to understand. And if this place weren’t so disorderly and out of step, I would speak to the honor being upset by such actions.

It’s the eladrin…she…he? By the silver hairs of His beard…does it matter? He (shorter to write) fights in a way that almost made me pity the snake-folk. Sneaking & skulking; using shadow as if it were a material thing. Were it my place to question…ah, but it ain’t. And so I must trust in Him and accept, as the circumstance dictates.

The pile of gems, it works magic the likes of which I don’t have a ken of. But, it’s extremely CONVINCING in it’s suggestions. Almost to the point where the enemy seems happy to do what it commands, or at least, can’t think of doing anything else. And I must say, were it a worshipper of Moradin, the numbers of the devoted would likely swell wherever it went. Had I that power…I must wonder, Moradin forgive me.

One of the elves fell. Just too fresh to survive the real world. I did my best, but, father, you done said there were some that just can’t be saved. And, of course, you know you were right. May his honorable and short-sighted soul rest well. He fell as a warrior should…Moradin’s blessings on his passage.

The other elf works a bow as best as any I’ve seen, though that number doesn’t count high. He’s quiet, which is odd for his kind, but not unwelcome.

Ah, but the human…not a human, as I call him. No, father, this human fights with the strength of soul as one of our own. I would be honored to have him break bread with you. If you had seen him fight, you would feel the same, I’m sure. I know not his god, but he was willing to sacrifice all to bring Mighty Moradin’s blessings onto the battle before us. Doing everything I did to keep him on his feet and his sword arm strong sapped all but the last of my strength, and it was effort well spent, I tell you.

After securing the blessings of Moradin on the valley just beyond the mountain pass, this group and myself set to commanding the troops of Overlook against the army of serpents. Aye, father, an army, true and mighty. But not as mighty as ours, Moradin willing. The Irregulars were promoted from irregulars to leaders. They each took command of several squads of troops and I’m proud to say I led an honorable and battle-tested group of our own people. (Though they were of the fairer skinned or our kind, they have honor like we do and their belief in Moradin binds me to them.)

I also had the pleasure of befriending an especially honorable veteran, name of Dirkend. It looks as though he’s been laden with a dishonorable position. Before I set out of Overlook, I’m sure to set that right, by the hairy nethers of Moradin. I won’t see an honorable soul not get the acknowledgement he deserves.

Were I to believe this were the end of it, I would part ways and wish the Irregulars well…most of them, anyhow. But, there’s a task to be doing that needs be done. And this troop of Irregulars and myself would be the group to do it. It’s a slight to my people to not ask them to venture into the territory of the snakes, but knowing the power this group wields, it would be too proud of me to admit the truth.

We must go into the lair of the enemy and understand what it was that drove them to act this way. Centuries have not seen the slimy folk rise in such number…why now? My belief in the order of things demands a reason. And the power of this troop is the means to get the answer.

I trust my path to Moradin, as ever I shall. And I trust you are doing well by doing the same, father.

Thurgoth carefully folds the letter and packs into a satchel that holds many other, similar looking letters

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