CHAPTER ONE: Born to be a Hero (6)

     “Oh,” Bornen replied as he stretched out his back, popping dry bones that were resting in their ancient joints, “eee-ah! I slept as sound as a stone, my dear, thank you for asking. Why, I didn’t even have the faintest dream. Hmm, firewood you say? It’s good of you to make the boy work, and to keep him active; he’s going to need strength if he is to ever try his hand at adventuring!”

     Shenon scowled and narrowed her glance; if looks could kill, the elderly dwarf would have greater chances surviving a sudden, face-first plunge into the fireplace. She said coolly, though with tones of agitation, “We’ve been through all of this before, Papa. Grom isn’t going to follow his father’s lifestyle choices. It’s silly, and far too dangerous to be an adventurer nowadays.”

     “But the legacy of the family . . .”

     “The legacy, as well-known as it is, can go to the Pits for all I care,” (the Pits being equivalent to a dwarven Hell or sufferable afterlife), “because I know all about those old bedtime stories.”

     “Bedtime stories . . . bedtime stories?!” Bornen seemed genuinely offended, as he had more than the right to be, considering the lengths and sacrifice it took for him to win a place in history, which isn’t an easy thing to do in his particular bloodline. “The legacy is a legend. Remnon, Gorshod, all of them were grand heroes who lived fulfilling lives!”

     “Yes, yes, I’m familiar with all of that nonsense,” she said unimpressed then added, “I’m also acquainted with the less known portions of those dwarves you idolize so much – each died an untimely death that’s somehow never related during their reminiscence. You can thank Dhumond for enlightening me about them. I find it strange that very few of your clan know how Remnon, thirsting to glorify himself to greater heights, blindly fell from a cliff to his demise . . .”

     Bornen rubbed his chin as he wracked his cobwebbed brain, combing his beard to buy another few moments, then he reluctantly replied, “Yes, well, he made a lot of enemies on his adventures. A lot of enemies indeed! It’s said he was looking over his shoulder more than he probably should have. But that doesn’t mean-”

     “Or Ermond – tell me Papa, do you know how he died?”

     He blushed with embarrassment, not wishing to answer.

     “Is that a no? Well, how would it look for the legacy to note that he drowned in a puddle? Hmm?” Shenon folded her arms and fixed herself in a stern expression. Her plump lips pursed as she anticipated another impractical excuse.

The End

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