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He reached to shake the hand of Balamor, but the young mapmaker was awestruck by the strange limb. It was oddly larger than the rest of his body, but what startled him the most was that it was not of flesh and bone, but of the Earth itself. Before waiting another moment Balamor slowly slid his entire hand into Awkid’s earthen palm before both of them gripped firmly. Surprisingly, the furry hand of the map maker stayed intact. A strange silence loomed over them before the Dwarf gave him a curious stare,

“Oh! Right sorry, my name is Balamor...Balamor Wisebeard. I...I don’t know how to thank, take this...”

Retrieving the silver dagger from its sheath Balamor presented it to the Anvorbeard,

“There will be no need Wisebeard, you need that blade more than I. And from the looks of it, that blade isn’t the only thing you need. I have a camp a few miles west atop the Thorned Ridge, we can discuss the reason I had to save your life there.”

Pulling his map from his pack Balamor scanned the area they were in,

“A few miles? Well I accept your offer Dwarf, but how do you expect we reach the top of these cliffs?”

“The same way I always do.” Replied the Anvorbeard with short chuckle.

“Which would be?” The Hobbit added as he packed away his belongings

The Dwarf’s clay arm rested heavily on Balamor’s shoulder as he kneeled to the earth below.

“Through the ground my friend, now hold your breath!”

Balamor barely held a full breath by the time the powerful arm of Awkid Anvorbeard yanked him to the ground. In one quick motion it released the robed hobbit and crashed to the ground. The mapmaker watched as the amazing arm as it melded with the surrounding soil before tearing open a hole beneath their feet. Within seconds they were sucked in by the earthly whirlpool and consumed completely.

Balamor could feel the dirt rush through his robes as his body was twisted through the ground. Small rocks and thick clumps of dirt pounded his thin frame, making him nearly lose his breath. The dwarf held Balamor over his left shoulder as the two carelessly burrowed through roots, some wrapping themselves around their bodies before ripping loose.

The End

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