The man in the brown cloak pulled the blue shield from the hiding place in its pouch. He rubbed idly at a fleck of dirt on its rim.
The design of the shield was simple, unscored blue metal — the rim of the artifact glowed with a steady white light. In the top right corner, a small Arkanic sigil had been inscribed by the shield’s long-forgotten forgers.
“Duty.” he muttered, and laughed sardonically.
Two Dwarves and Two Visitors
The black clad dwarf sobbed, his head buried in his arms on a table made of glass. An ancient dwarf dressed in white stood behind him, and patted him gently on the back.
“Bu..bu..bu…but he was going to be my new servant! The Iron Grip of ….my .. new … dark ..reign..awwwwhaaaaa…awhaaa…..” the dark god sobbed.
The white robed monk diffidently offered a corner of his robe for the other dwarf to blow his nose.
“Thanks..” the dark god trumpeted into the other’s robe, then looked up into the monk’s eyes.
“My nephew has begun his true journey, friend Droskar. Perhaps it is time for you to begin your own.” he said kindly.
The dark god rose and pushed the table with all his might. It fell forward and shattered into a thousand pieces.
“Never! It’s not over yet. That boy still has a lot of trouble ahead, and there’s going to come a day when he’ll need my help. Real, fast and ready help — not your stupid patience.”
“The harder you push, the faster the spinning top finds its center.”
“What does THAT even mean?”
The old monk sighed, and tried to hide his concern. His dark friend had grown smaller recently, he could almost watch Droskar shrinking.
“Come, Droskar – let us sit, there is no need to leave. You are correct, there is still much game left to play.”
The old monk sat, and began to put the table back together, tiny shards of glass tinkling on the ground.
Droskar sullenly stomped off to get another beer, but soon returned to watch his companion’s work.
Some time later an old human, and a beautiful woman arrived. The woman saw the half-assembled table and rolled her eyes. She leaned her sword against a nearby column, and sat down to assist the monk.
“I brought snacks.” said Frank, and plopped down next to Droskar with an overflowing basket.