Of Men & Dwarves

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Desraic is the governor of a land occupied by a foreign power. A dwarvish empire that spans the southern continent of Aerilon, run by an imperial senate and the stern emperor Gered. Once dominated by the craft of men, the land he governs is called Erast, although that is only the name the local men give it - in the empire, it is only one of many provinces, this one in particular named Lower Pomavaara. Recently, a group of rebels known as the Erast Brotherhood have risen up, and it falls to Desraic to deal with this matter, else risk his lands and station.

Submitted: March 25, 2016

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Submitted: March 25, 2016

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The small figure languished in the hall. His hands protruded, his face wrought with a worry not seen since the heated debates of the Imperial Senate. His shift was constant, and a vague voice was constant in his head as his thoughts ran elsewhere in anxious urgency. The vague voice echoed in the halls, but they were only murmurs to the dwarf. From time to time, his eye would catch the also nervous clerk - a human, and a calamity in court at that - as he passed his cubicle.

 

Despite his worries, he inclined his head, eyes shifting up to ensure the man caught his stern look. This didn’t give the impression he hoped for, which was assurance. It only served to make him startle himself into spilling ink, and rushing to clean it up in a frantic hurry. The dwarf sighed sharply, and went on, the vague voice growing more clear now in his jumbled mind. He looked to the grey-haired dwarf who had now been repeating, “Do you hear me? Do you hear me? Listen, Desraic!”

 

The snap of the speaking dwarf’s fingers awoke the last bit of his distracted self, and he tightened a painful grip around his back, straightening it after. Desraic was the Senator in charge of ensuring ministerial affairs in Lower Pomavaara, and a recent affair indeed had shown to him a fiscal matter he was not ready for. He didn’t understand - but at the very least he could sympathize. The humans in the region had grown restless, and he should’ve known that they would rise up at some point.

 

He propped his head, ran an annoyed hand down his thick, auburn whiskers and nodded once, firm, a resonant gesture that put him in the position he was now. His word was law here, and many respected it.

 

“I hear you, Dorin. But missing sheep are hardly my concern right now. Simply raise the guard - I’ll see to it more funds from His Imperial Majesty reach us, for such petty matters as that, and the concern I do have right now. What do you know of these men of Erast?”

 

Dorin looked stubborn then. His cheeks grew flaked as his wrinkles protruded in his taking of a deep breath, either in anger or annoyance, and then he resigned his defiance in a simple bow of his head, and a gesture that seemingly dismissed himself.

 

He was alone now. Alone to his own devices. Except he wasn’t. His irritation grew with the sound of stacking paper and frantic cleaning, and a hushed ‘damned be’ every few seconds from a man’s anxious murmur. An idea propped in his head then, and he made a light step to his cubicle. He stood there for at least a minute before the man realized Desraic was there, straightened in an almost military manner, his curious eyes watching him with an almost amused look across his countenance. He took note that the poor man had made more of a mess than the last time he looked, and in the process of cleaning the ink up had knocked books and papers down and gotten those stained as well with the favoured colour of the empire.

 

With a stack of mussed books in his hand, he finally noticed Desraic. A nervous eye propped up and he lowered his head in respect, mostly out habit. “My lord,” he said quickly, setting the books down. Then he quickly scrambled to explain his err. “My hand, it’s-” he stopped, then went again, “I’m just-” then he paused, clearing his throat, and looking all together ashamed and embarrassed, his mind more than jumbled in the stress.

 

Desraic didn’t take care. He asked plainly, with a tone lacking much personality, although he did try again to take on a sort of charming askance in order to lighten the mood, face opening up with a warm smile. For all it was worth, Desraic came from a lowborn family himself, and most of his station is owed to his competence in the Imperial Army. And unlike many officers, he had earned his rank, not purchased it.

 

“What do you know of the Erast Brotherhood?”

 

The man, wiping sweat from his brow, looked up and looked taken aback by the question and the severity of it now. And then he spoke.


© Copyright 2020 Austin L. Fenton. All rights reserved.

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