Ardor was carefully re-strapping on his tail mace after Thorin made a few minor adjustments for comfort since he had a fully working forge at his disposal. While the t’skrang sat apart from the others checking their gear, Fafnir approached. Skram watched the old dwarf in his peripheral vision as the scribe sat down nearby and checked the laces on his pack. “Ahem,” the white-haired dwarf cleared his throat.
Taking a moment to finish his straps skram then stood to make final ajustments to his new armor, while doing this he turned and faced Fafnir “Do you want something Dwarf?”
“I’ve been thinking… We’re about to leave this place. The others appear to have accepted my presence… Dremnin even seems to welcome it.” “If we are to travel together, I would know my companions. I’ve heard Dremnin’s tale, and he is open about his life before becoming a slave. The others have not spoken much of themselves, but I mostly expect that.”
“The elf has many secrets. Urgral… well, he may be slightly mad. And the girl Suulin seems to have a scarred past. But you are quite a talkative and amiable fellow… just not with me.”
Skram’s skull fin layed back flat on his head, he looked directly in to the face of Fafnir “I am also honest.” “Insulting my new friends will not help you earn my friend ship. Urgral my not be like you but he has stood back to back with me to hold the line. While you stood in the back and watched.” “Only to run in at the end and slay a downed man.”
“I do not trust you Fafnir. You have shown me no Hai jik’hai (act of bravery) or k’harro (heart). “I do not dislike you. You just have just not earned my trust.”
Fafnir sucked a tooth in contemplation. “It’s true – I’m no warrior. My peers might even say I’m not much of a scholar either. Years ago, I ignored my superiors’ commands to research and publish other much-needed works. They scoffed at my single-minded devotion to this task. I’m sure they still do – those who believe I still live.”
The grizzled Dwarf looked up at the blue t’skrang. “I’ve made few enough friends over the years and slaves have no close companions. But I’m… WE are slaves no longer. You and your friends are as close as any companions I have ever had. I’ve shed blood for them, and they for me.” He paused, looking for words. “Though I don’t know why the Passions delivered the Book into your hands, you’ve all sworn oaths in blood to deliver it to Throal. That Book represents my life’s aspirations – to understand it, to strengthen the kingdom through its wisdom. It’s clear you are a leader within this group, and so your opinions carry weight. I may never prove myself to you as a warrior, but I can be most useful in other ways.” He rose to his feet and tapped his head. “I know much about the lands of Barsaive – its people, its customs, the geography and wildlife. I speak every language known in this province. I can serve you with that knowledge; and pledge to do so for as long as you’ll have me. I’ll swear it in blood, if it makes a difference to you.”“That is a big pledge, dwarf” Said Skram with a little surprise in his voice. “I’m still just a youth to my people and no one has ever pledged me such loyalty.” “I will admit that I am not as well rounded in knowledge of the world as you. The last person that I trusted outside this group bashed me over the head and stole my freedom.”
Skram smiled a large smile that only a T’skrang can and said “Fafnir my new friend I believe that you are serious and I will accept your pledge to serve me in transporting the Book of Tomarro to where it belongs. I will talk to the others that have taken the blood oath and see if they agree to give you time with the book while we travel.” “Do not be offended but someone will have to watch you when you are studying. Do recall that we have sworn to protect it.”“I’m not offended at all. Thank you, Skram. I’ll serve the group faithfully, and you’ll have the full use of my faculties on our journey home!” The older dwarf was near joyous in his exuberance. He shouldered his pack and turned toward the rough-hewn entryway, waiting for the others to ready themselves for their departure from the kaer.