Throughout most of the meeting, I was thinking about four things.
The Human King
In that order.
His negotiation skills required some work. Dwarves are skilled negotiators. A skilled negotiator knows how to do things right. He also knows how to do things wrong. And like some rules are meant to be broken... some negotiations are meant to be short.
Dwarves are skilled at terminating negotiations and skipping to fighting... and enjoying the inevitable victory celebration.
My king must have known what I was thinking because he gave me a shake of his head. A good negotiator always looks at things from multiple angles. As a good negotiator I saw his head shake as simply a nod from a different direction.
I cleared my throat and began to employ my skills.
"Human" I forgot to call him King on purpose, "It is quite obvious what you want."
"And what is that mas-"
Interruption serves as a useful tool to keep one's opponent off-balance "You seek to remove the larger threat, so that you may divert your attention to the smaller ones."
"I don't know what you're talki-"
"Then let me explain it to you in smaller words." Making your opponent angry is good. Anger is distracting and makes you lose your control. "You. Wish to kill dragons. When dragons bye-bye you kill us."
"Master Dwarf that is hardly tr-"
"No I believe it is quite true. Why else would you want to rid the world of the dragons?"
"They are a constant threat that they we cannot deal with alone."
"Ah so you are weak."
"WEAK?!? You ignorant fo-"
"Ignorant? How am I ignorant? If I missed something and it turns out you are strong enough, then these negotiations are over I believe." I stood up and began to leave. Desperation is like water against rock. It wears away at the strongest of foundations.
"No! Please. Master Dwarf I did not mean to offend."
Taunting then serves as a battering ram. Against weakened defenses it is quite effective. One good blow can send them toppling to the ground. "Then you might perhaps cover your face?"
"How dare you!" The female shouted. She stood, sword drawn. I had my axe out in a second, and soon everyone was showing some steel.
What can I say? I'm an expert negotiator.