Friday, July 11, 2014

Of Agrind and the Giant

In the five thousandth, two hundred and seventh year, as the Dwarves reckon the time, Argrind IX, last of the Darkeye, returned to stone. He followed his father, who reigned for an unusually long time, so that when he took the throne as Argrind the IX, the new king was rather young. During his ninth year of kingship, young Argrind came upon a giant while hunting in the mountains. The giant, sitting upon a boulder of some size, saw the young dwarf and called out to him. "Come hither beardling, my cousin. Come hither and let me see my dinner, uncooked."

Argrind grew wrathful, calling to the giant. "What now? A block of bone and a bag of flesh? The forge scrap has a voice too? I find it unlikely that you could master any tongue, more be it that a madness has taken me, than one such as you master speech."

"I would speak with care little one. For my ire is hot and hard to cool."

"I care not for the ire of a wayward ember. So move along before I stamp you out."

The giant knew this was the gravest insult, for his people had been set aside from the beginning and the All Father had no sight, nor thought, for them. He carried in his belt the short tusk of a boar and this he used as a weapon. "Let us hear the talk of dying embers when your skull opens!"

They battled upon the mountain peak, and before his guard could come to his aid, the giant tore the young King open from his groin to his sternum. He fell back into the pine nettles and lay there with his eyes open, looking upon the blue heavens above. The giant loomed over him with a leering grin, the king's gore upon his hand, arm, and tusk. "How now, beardling? You'll not live long with such wounds, but long enough I suppose to know the feel of my teeth."

But before the giant could eat Argrind, the King's Guard found them, coming over the rise in a rush. Upon seeing the King, madness took them, and they fell upon the giant and cruelly slew him, severing his limbs one at the time until the giant lay like a fallen tree. Seeing Argrind dead, they closed his eyes, setting him upon the road to the Stone Fields.

The guard took up the king's body and bore it back to Gorthurag, and there lay him to stone with great pomp as is their want.

~The Codex of Aihrde

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