The sun was coming up over the horizon. Gold and reds played across the clouds. This was the first time I would be taking the Dashing Stag out after becoming an Air Sailor. Stilicho was training, so I was in charge. It felt very empowering. Vridich, Dremnin, Suulin, and Urgral had agreed to go with me to talk to Thorin in the kaer of Daren Kuyu.
Dremnin got us to the mountain top about an hour sooner than we had expected. I directed the crew to dock the ship against the cliff side. The present members of The Unchained as well as Fafnir disembarked and headed for the entrance. It was buried under eight feet of snow. I looked to Vridich, “You are an elementalist now Vridich?”
Vridich nodded,”I have started my studies with Grimlock.”
“Good,” I said, “So you can melt the snow and we will not have to dig.”
Vridich suddenly had a concerned look on his face. He pulled out a large book and started going through it. “I am sorry I cannot.”
So we started digging.
When I got the door cleared I pulled out the disk that Thorin had given me to signal to have the door opened. I placed it in its spot in the door and concentrated on the disk. I felt a deep “THOOM”, like a gong pass through astral space. Soon after a small door inside the great door opened and allowed us entry.
The group of us headed down the long set of stairs. We could hear the ring of metal being shaped on a forge. As we got to the bottom of the stairs we were met by Thorin and four others armed and armored for combat. I laughed and said, “Do you mean us a fight friend? It has been a couple of weeks sense I have had a good fight.”
Thorin Smiled, “You can’t be too careful.” Then the tall dwarf laughed and shook my hand strongly. Looking behind me Thorin went on, “Your group looks a little small.” I explained that the rest of the group was back at The Reach training.
Thorin wished to show us around so that we could see how they had progressed. He introduced us to a self-initiated beast master. He was a boy of fourteen years. He stood guard over a flock of sheep. The old ram of the flock stood by his side watching us strangers carefully. We saw that the aqua ducts had been repaired. The hole that the horror had made in the floor had been filled with rubble and banded over with heavy iron bands. A section of the old animal market had been cleared and turned into a great forge.
Thorin took us in to his hall and provided us with eat and drink. Thorin’s wife was with child. This was a significant event as they group had not been able to conceive children in the pocket realm of the horror. We talked about all the progress that had been made and how the name givers their group for the most part was happy. At that point Thorin turned the conversation towards us.
We told him that we had prospered in the world outside. We owned an air ship. Most of us were business owners. That the group of slaves that had helped him escape the horror had formed a patteren bonded group known as The Unchained. Thorin pointed to the pin on my shirt,”I know that symbol. You are a thane of Throal?” I told him that I was and all of us had a direct relationship with the young king.
“So, is the world ready for us to come out?” Thorin asked.
“Funny you should ask me that.” I said. “The village that the rest of The Unchained was at was a troll village called The Reach. The leader, Rorik has sent me to offer you land to settle on.”
Thorin looked shocked. “You are friends with mountain trolls? I will not be a slave to a troll or any one!”
“When Rorik brought this idea to me that was the first thing that I told him. I would not bring you in to the outside world to become slaves. I trust Rorik, he calls me brother and I call him brother.”
Thorin looked confused. “You are a thane of Throal and a brother to a troll cheiftan?”
“I know it is a little strange. My goal right now is to bring a peace and trade agreement between the two. It may be the first of its kind.” I said.
Thorin leaned back in his chair and stroked his beard. He was quiet for a long moment. His wife reached out and touched his shoulder. Thorin snapped back to the present, “I want to meet this chieftain for myself.”
“I told him that.” I said
“Right then, you can head back to your ship and we will be out in a short while.” Thorin declared.
I looked to Thorin’s very pregnant wife. “Do not worry my lady. As a Thane of the dwarven King of Throal I swear to you that I will bring Thorin back to you unharmed.” She smiled and thanked me.
Thorin stood at the bow of the Dashing stag all the way back to The Reach. He marveled at the sight of the outside of the mountains. It was hard to understand never having seen trees, snow, or the open sky.
As we pulled in to The Stag in to the enclosed air dock I could see that Rorik had pulled out all the stops. He was dressed in fine clothes and brightly shining crystal armor. A group of sky raiders were standing in a neat formation behind him. There were two dozen or more villagers present that were waving to greet the ship and crew. To play a little bit of a joke on Rorik I had Vridich do the formal introduction. The big troll chieftain has been uncomfortable around the nethermancer their first meeting. During the fight with the trolls on the top of the mountain Vridich cast a spell on Rorik that made him run in fear.
The two leaders went to Roriks hall and talked about the details behind closed doors, just the two of them. After an afternoon of waiting the pair came out both smiling. No answer had been reached. Thorin wanted to talk to his people first.
There was a great feast that night. Thorin ate from many plates. He tried everything that got with in arms reach. The dwarf drank heavily as well, toasting many times with Rorik. Thorin became very drunk very early. We should have foreseen this problem. He had only known of of strong drink for three months. Before some kind of problem could arise we took Thorin to his that Rorik had provided. I stood watch outside the Thorins door that night.
The next morning Thorin thanked Rorik for his hospitality. We were taking him back to the mountain. We all loaded back on to the stag and headed out. When we dropped him off he told me that if I were to bond to the patteren item he had given me one more time I would be able to pass messaged to him through it. He said that I should contact him in a few days to find out his answer.
We watched him and his men walk to the entrance. Dremnin and I smiled. Dremnin, Vridich and I had talked about trying to find an old mine on the trip back to The Reach. A little adventure on the way back, it had been two weeks sense anything had happened and we were getting the itch.