The morning sun glistens over the waters of Stormreach Harbor. The beaming light shines through the window of a local inn. There stands a somber dwarf looking out as he is cleaning his spectacles. He places them onto his face and squints a bit while his old eyes focus. As he turns to finish getting dressed he pulls the holy symbol out from beneath his robe. Putting on the finishing touches of his uniform brings a smile to his face; something that even he knows is far and in-between. The dwarf laces his boots and shines a scuff that he notices. He looks at himself in the mirror as he adjusts the sash that’s around his waist. The clothes are typical of a priest of Dol Dorn. White robes with a red sash over a tapestry that only has a hole for his head. He proclaims to himself “Now that be the proper garb o' a priest. Too bad I don’t get ‘a wear it much."
There are footsteps coming up the stairs and the sounds of men’s voices. The dwarf knows they are coming for him. He slings his shield over his shoulder and grabs his sword belt. Even though, he is a priest his order dictates that he always honor his deity of war. Before there is a knock on the door the dwarf opens it. The 3 men on the other side are not startled by the appearance of the dwarf. The man in front speaks "Father Grimnal I presume?" The dwarf replies "Unless yer be me son it be fine to call me by my name. And yer be the guardsmen come to escort me?" The man nods. "Where are my manners? I am Sargent Bodias and these are my men Caffery and Sol'are." The Sargent outstretches his hand in welcome as the other 2 men nod. Grimnal clasps the arm of the man. "Well met Sargent."
The 3 men and the dwarf descend the stairs to the main hall. There are patrons milling about and eating. It is a typical day at the Ever Full Flagon Inn. They exit the inn and out of the dwarven district and into the Market. The Sargent breaks the silence “...So it is a good thing your order is working with us to patrol the sewers. We have been taking a beating lately. This is the second death this month among other injuries." Grimnal responds "Aye t'is a good thing we are do'in. I wish I was there to help your guardsmen Alastier. I hear many good things about him t'is a shame to lose such a good man to those beasts." Sargent Bodias says in a solemn tone " Yes he was a good man and father. Have you met his boys?" "Aye I have. I always meet with the family and offer spiritual guidance when I can. T'is me job after all." answered Grimnal. The men continue through the gates and into the Harbor District.
The guardsman Caffery nudges and speaks softly to guardsman Sol'are. "I can’t wait till I go on patrol tonight. I have some fire bombs ready for THEM!" Sargent Bodias stops in his tracks hearing the whisper. He turns around with a stern look. He scolds " Caffery! You know that fire and sewer gases are a bad combination. Didn’t you learn from the last time? You have a family and I have to protect the city from EXPLOSIONS! If I find out you brought them on patrol I will suspend you! Understood!" Shocked that his Sargent heard him he salutes his officer and says "YES SIR UNDERSTOOD!" Without another word the men continue. Grimnal lets out a slight snicker of enjoyment as he nods to the Sargent his approval.
The 4 men arrive at the lighthouse in the southern bay a short time later. Chairs were set up in two columns 3 rows deep. There kneels the widow weeping near the funeral boat and her 4 boys sitting nearby to the right. Grimnal was pleased to see the large turnout. The guardsmen take up position with the rest of the men to the left. He walks over to the where the widow is kneeling and places a hand on her shoulder. She begins to wail even louder. He stands before her raising his other hand and offering a short prayer. Grimnal hands her a talisman he pulls from his robe. He wailing subsides as she clutches to the holy symbol to her chest. She stands and slowly returns to her seat still sobbing. What appears to be the oldest son begins to comfort his mother. Grimnal turns to face the deceased and pulls his sword and lifts it to the air. A hush falls over the crowd. He begins to chant with his voice raising and the clouds begin to clear. Slowly he lowers his sword till it touches the funeral pyre and a flash of holy light expands in a circular motion. He then sticks his sword into the ground and kneels to pray in a low tone. Grimnal leaves the sword and climbs the box he will be using as a stage. He speaks "Welcome all and may the Sovereign Host bless this day and all that gather. May the spirit of Dol Dorn watch as he takes this warrior spirit to him......."
The family retire back to the home of the widow after the ceremony. It was late in the afternoon. There is a small reception of food and wine. Grimnal is speaking to the widow in the kitchen. The widow is pouring a glass of wine for the dwarf. She speaks “I want to thank you for everything. It was amazing the things you knew about him. No offence Grimnal. But...Umm... How can you know such personal things when you never met him?" Grimnal takes a sip of the wine and replies. "T'is my job. I had some time last night to speak to other guardsmen and find out about his patrol route. He be touch’n many with his charm. The filled seats and those standing attest to that." She smiles. "Well I thank you for all the effort. I want you to take this coin for all that you have done. It’s not much but I feel I should donate." Grimnal puts up a hand and shakes his head. "I not be tak'in yer coins! I do this fer the sending off of a fine man and warrior not to be begging for me order. Yer honor me with a fine reception and good company. I will take that as payment."
Before she has a chance to argue the point a crash comes from the backyard. She rushes to the window. "I knew it! I knew Tobias was going to take it the hardest. Excuse me I need to talk to my son before he trashes the whole smithy." Grimnal rises and grabs her hand before she leaves. "Leave the boy to me." The dwarf exits the home and makes for the smith. When he gets there he sees Tobias throwing blacksmith tools around. The room is split down the middle with a coal bed and bellow. Flanking the coal bed are two anvils. To the left, the area is neat and there is still a hammer and a dull looking sword left on the anvil. On the right the boy is huffing and he glares at the dwarf. "GET OUT! GET OUT OF HERE NOW! YOU DONT BELONG HERE!" Says the young man. He appears to be in his late teens. Oldest of the 4 boys he is well built and stands about 6ft tall. He towers over the dwarf threatening him again. "DID YOU HEAR ME DWARF. THIS IS NO PLACE FOR YOU NOW LEAVE.!" Grimnal doesn’t reply. He walks past Tobias and over to the anvil on the left expecting the tools. He begins to remove his sash and robe and folds it neatly in a corner. Wearing only some britches and a shirt he turns to the young man. Tobias yells again." YOU’RE DAFT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
Grimnal ignores his yells again and begins to search for something in the boxes. Tobias runs to his side of the smithy and grabs the mallet and walks over to Grimnal ready to strike. He turns to the young man and says "Ahh I see yer found yer hammer. Good lad. Now show me where yer keep the smithing gloves. I be need'in a right hand glove." With a warm smile he holds up his right hand and wiggles his fingers. The boy looks defeated and lowers the hammer. He huffs "Over in that box, under the table to the left. My father hammered with his right so never needed it." Tobias pointed to an area behind the dwarf. Grimnal gets on his hands and knees and searches for the box. He pulls it out and places the glove on his hand wiggling his fingers again. "Mind telling me WHAT ..You are doing?" Asked Tobias. "Ain't it plain to see lad? I be getting ready to smith." answered Grimnal. Tobias places his hand on the sword on the anvil and shakes his head. Tears begin to well up but he fights it off. "This ...is... my father’s anvil." "Aye and a fine one at that. Seems he spared no expense on this one. Dwarven crafted. Solid. I see all yer tools are top notch also. This was yer fathers anvil. Yer need to face the fact he be gone to a better place. As I look around I see he taught yer well. From what I can see yer have a knack fer smithing." Tobias replies "HAD. A knack. I’m giving it up. There is no reason to continue. I ....I...." He turns to the door no longer able to hold back the tears.
Tears stream down the face of the young man. He clenches the hammer, leans back and hurls it out the open door. Tobias collapses to his knees sobbing. He covers his face with his hands and whispers."....how.....father......how do I go on?....what....what do I do now?...." Grimnal begins to stoke the fires. He leaves Tobias to his thoughts not wanting to interrupt his mourning. When he feels the coals are hot enough he thrusts the sword under the coals. This act wakes Tobias and snaps him back to reality. "Yer ready now lad?" "To do what Grimnal?" "Gaaaah...yer a smart lad. Stop play’ in so dumb! Get yer hammer yer threw out the door, get yer glove an the sword or'er there and let’s get to smith'in!" "I can’t" replied Tobias. "Why? Cause yer father passed on yer gonna just give up on yer god given talent? Yer worried about be'in the man of the house because yer the oldest? Let me ask yer someth'in. What do you see all around?" Tobias looks around and says" Tools...what does that have to do with anything?" " And who gave yer the tools?" He responded "My father but.." Grimnal interrupts with an outstretched hand "...right yer father gave yer the tools. Taught yer what it is to be a man. No one said yer have'ta fill his shoes. Yer can’t! Yer not him, your you. All yer have'ta do..." Grimnal pauses as he grasps Tobias arm and helps him up from the floor. Tobias was a bit startled at the strength of the dwarf. Grimnal continued "...is USE the tools he be giv'in you. Yer can only try. But I be think'in yer father be a proud man to have ye as a son. Yer no longer a boy. Look at ya! Yer can prolly toss me half across a field see'in how you tossed that hammer." Grimnal chuckled. Tobias smiled a bit at that comment.
There was a look of understanding that passed between the two. Grimnal turned back to the coal and pulled the sword out. "The light be waning. What say we smith! Pound'in metal like real men!" Tobias nodded and ran out to get his hammer. When he returned Grimnal was already pounding and shaping the metal. He stood and watched for a moment. Grimnal looked up and stopped pounding. "Yer know ...that other anvil be more to me size." As he says that he leaves the sword and hammer on the anvil and makes his way to the other side. The dwarf begins to search again. Tobias looks at his hammer. “GRIMNAL.. CATCH!” As he tosses it in the air toward the dwarf. The mallet spins head over hilt. Grimnal deftly times his grasp perfect to grab it mid-air. “Thank ye Tobias. Do yer mind me singing? T’is an old song and it goes well with the sounds of shaping metal.” Tobias replies “Sure. As long as I can ask why the right hand glove? Most hold a hammer in the right.” “T’is a story for another day. That is if yer mum don’t mind me drinking all yer wine! HAR HAR HAR!” Grimnal belly laughs at his comment. “Well I AM the man of the house now and I think our door would always be open to you. That is if you bring your own wine!” Tobias heats his sword as does Grimnal. “You know dwarf…… Anyone ever tell you that you talk too much and don’t do enough “smith’in” as you put it?” He takes the red hot sword out of the coal and begins to shape it. Grimnal smiles and begins to do the same. Tobias’s mother stood outside and heard much of that went on. She returned back to her guests to the sounds of a raspy dwarf voice and the banging of metal.