CHAPTER ONE: Born to be a Hero (4)

     Yet Dhumond would argue his most impressive feat was capturing the heart of the dwarf maiden Shenon, which was an equally treacherous task, since she absolutely resented adventurers, explorers, gallivants, and anyone who dabbled in questing, journeying, wandering, traveling, and the like. But when a hero aims to achieve some goal for the sake of winning whatever is dearest to them, they do so . . . or die trying.

     Think of all the treasures that mortals have lived and died for, or perhaps of the radiant jewels faceted in the elven palaces which lay beyond the treacherous precipices of Thorn Rock, or even the many labyrinths of ancient dwarven strongholds rumored to be hollowed shells filled with kingdoms wrought in gold. All of these were meaningless to Dhumond when compared to Shenon’s heart.

     Ah! the lovely Shenon, with silky hair as dark and rich as coffee, and a smile that outshines the gleaming stars of the Realm’s nighttime skies. It would honor Grom, Dhumond, and all dwarves alike if the motion of this particular story starts with her. The readers may not be able to hear her voice humming a lamenting hymn with traceable sadness, but move a little closer to the warm looking cottage with smoke billowing from its chimney, roof covered in a fresh sheet of falling snow, and you might hear it.

     From here we can see a dim glow that lights the interior of this lone cottage, which quietly rests at the foot of a mountain range known as the Redwing Peaks. If we move to the frost-tinted window we may see what is transpiring from within.

     We survey Shenon; she has just carefully lit several wax candles, lined up in a row on the mantle of a crackling fireplace. Clinging to the wall above this mantle is a portrait of Dhumond Gianthammer, her late husband. He’s frozen in time, raising his weapon high up in the air with one hand and leaning stoically against a . . . large stone, perhaps. His expression is fixed in complete bliss. Take note, however, that there is no large stone actually in the portrait at all, but rather a fleshy mound. This is most presumably the trophy taken away from his historical battle; Big Toe’s big toe. It was a gift, presented to Shenon on their wedding day.

     After the last candle wick warmly wraps itself in a waistcoat of flame, the somber maiden takes a moment to glance up at the picture with admiration. Her back is turned toward the window, but it’s obvious by the way she brushes her cheek with a hand that she’s in tears, reminiscing about the good times they once shared.

 

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The End

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