Ivan was a jolly man, normally. He was a big man, and usually had a smile on his face that ran from ear to ear. He had a roarious billowing laugh that would fill his hall with a noise like an avalanche. But today was different. The jolly ginger king that had a beard to his belly button had no smile today. His cheeks were not red from the consumption of his hand made dwarf ale, and there was no laughing. As he hurried down the corridor he murmured to himself, “No it can’t be, not yet! Not now! He couldn’t have broken the oath of peace so soon, and just as my men were sent home for harvest!”
As he passed through the halls of his palace, a small bald dwarf covered in tattoos stepped out of the shadows. He was a taller dwarf, with thick arms and a well built body, his arms and face were dotted with the scars from past battles, and his left eye socket was covered with an eye patch to keep infection out. He followed Ivan closely as they stepped through the doors and into the sunlight.
“They have been outside for hours.” The bald headed dwarf said.
“They haven’t done anything but stare at us Dwelmare. They are just trying to coax us into battle. And if it was up to you they would succeed. ” Ivan shouted over the roar of a sudden and powerful wind.
“Ivan, you have grown ignorant since your victory at Brommel. Has the thought crossed your mind that maybe they are just staring at us because they are waiting for something. I advise you to call in your forces. If they were here, we could have a battle ready army by tomorrow. “
” I know I know. Alright. Send my courier to the house of every warrior in my kingdom: Be here tomorrow, or face death on the grounds of cowardice. ” Ivan shouted knowing his men would hate him for cutting there well deserved holiday a month and a half short.
“What about us?” a small fair haired boy with a well built body and dark thunderous eyes spoke up from behind one of the three banners that sat on the perch that Ivan and Dwelmare were standing. “ What if they attack before our forces get here? Dad are we gonna die? I don’t want to die I want to live. ” the boy screamed as he worked himself into an uncontrollable fit of fear.
“ Son nothing is going to happen now go back inside and train, one day the king will call on you like he is calling on his warriors today, and when that day comes you will need to be ready. So go train and let the king have some peace. He is very stressed at the moment.” Dwelmare said firmly in a soft voice that made the child feel loved.
“But father…” The boy stammered before being cut off.
“Welamere, now, or I will make you eat with the dogs tonight.” Dwelmare shouted at his son.
“ Yes dad.” Welamere said as he shuffled away to the castle to continue his training.
“Oh come now Dwelmare, the boy is scared, can’t you see? Let him come and here our talk, he will need to know if he is to be the next kings assistant.” Ivan said as he ushered the boy back to him.
“Ohh yay!” the boy exclaimed as he ran back to the king who was waiting for him with open arms.
The boy was just jumping into the kings arms as blood splattered the kings face, and the boys limp body landed in his hands, a long stick protruding out of his skull like a tree from the ground, and a razor sharp metal object slicing a shallow gash across the kings eye.
“ Noooooo!” Dwelmare shouted as he took the limp, lifeless body of his son from his king, tears rolling down his face. “ You fiends, you know not what you did, you have just unleashed hell, and the demons within its bosom will fall over you like the waves of the Zhuf.” He yelled as he laid the lifeless corpse of his son on the ground, as gently as if he was laying a baby down for a nap.
After he laid his son on the ground at his feet, Dwelmare pulled his sword from its hilt, and ran it down the length of his palm.
“I swear to the gods that the army who has taken my son from me will pay dearly, in men, in riches, and in the burning of their homes, each and every one of them will die!”
“Dwelmare,” I van said in a kind but firm voice, “You will have your revenge, but you will wait until our army is battle ready. And you will wait for my signal to attack, do I make myself clear?”
“Yes king.” Dwelmare said as he wrapped his hand in a torn off piece of his shirt.