Page 29

In what seemed like only a moment they bursted through the topsoil to meet the frigid air of the night. A cloud of dirt cloaked them as Awkid fell to one knee before placing the mapmaker on the freshly turned soil. Silence draped over the robed halfling as his eyes were fixed on the ground beneath him, his thoughts not yet clear. He stood up and began brushing dirt from his hair and robes as he turned his gaze to the stout Dwarf beside him.

Pulling his clay limb halfway out of the ground slowly, Awkid reformed the bulky forearm and golem like hand from before. He stood to his feet, the dirt poured from his clothes as he motioned Balamor to follow him. They walked a few yards before coming to a large tree, at its base large wooden stairs were cut from logs. The two of them climbed the stairs as they spiraled up the tree until meeting a log cabin with a small porchfront that sat beneath the tree canopy.

They walked across the porch to a large wooden door, its hinges screeched as Awkid’s mighty arm yanked it open. Balamor coughed as a cloud of dust billowed out at them. They entered the nearly pitch black room. It’s slight warmth greeted them as Awkid guided the door shut.

Balamor stood at the entryway studying the craft of the small treehome as the Dwarf strolled to a small wooden table and lit a candle with a piece flint and steel. The small flame flickered silently, waves of dim light slightly etched out the rest of the room’s features.

It was no bigger than his dining room back in the Rhael. The trunk of the massive tree pierced through the home at its center, attached to it was a cloth hammock that stretched its way to a hook on the wall to their left. Various knick knacks and furs littered the surface of a large countertop that spanned the entire back wall. Though cozy like a hobbit hole, it was scarce in features much like it’s Dwarven owner.

After lighting the candle Awkid walked to the entryway and opened to a wooden barrel which had a fine cheese cloth stretched over its mouth,

“I know your pack is full of dirt, empty it here.”

Without a comment Balamor walked to the barrel to his left and removed his pack. Turning it over he watched the dirt sift through the screen revealing the items he had taken with him. His books, rations, map, and the two stone runes. He started returning them to their places when Awkid walked to the counter and prepared food and drink.

“I hope you don’t mind red-spotted hare, I finished the last stag yesterday.”

“I’m sure it’s better than the raw vegetables I’ve been eating, thank you again Dwarf.  But I must ask, did you build this home on your own? And why so far from the East land of the Dwarves?” Balamor replied as he seated himself at the table.

The End

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