Composer : Didier Merlateau
Title : "On the look-out"
Time : 1:37
Formation : Six
Suddenly something rustled in the undergrowth. Maybe a gust of wind or more probably a slight draft ? An inattentive bystander would certainly have seen nothing, but still, something had moved. And if you looked closer you could see the crushed leaves on the ground. Footprints.
These led to the foot of the tree whose leaves had rustled. Effectively on one of the branches you could just make out a very interesting creature. Undeniably it was pondering and scrutinising it's surroundings. It had problems. It's boots were dirty, it was small, and it's red beard still harboured the remains of yesterdays lunch. The creature smelled bad but for all it's solid frame and bad tempered appearance such creatures were on the whole well liked by seasoned travellers. It was without a doubt a dwarf.
Kettleturner, for that was his name, did not really appreciate his present position, that much was certain. Seeing how he wobbled around on the branch, it was easy to guess that he was going to fall. And indeed he did, burying himself in dead leaves and aggravating even more his already foul mood.
His predicament was caused by the fact that he was supposed to traverse Ripewood without being seen and then to travel to the Crystal Mountains in the West. Unfortunately for him the entire region was crawling with people ( due to the fact that it was time for the Spring festival) and since he was not favourably inclined to waltzing about in woods in full view of who knows what, he was muttering to himself :
-"To hell with these festivities. I've had just about as much as I can take!"
He could have circumnavigated the village but it was surrounded by fields which afforded little cover and where he risked being mistaken for a wild beast or even a troll. And he certainly didn't want that! He decided to take a parchment from his bag and read it for the hundredth time :
"I, Helmur king of the dwarves of Moonless Hollow, request that his highness Tribar, King of the dwarves of the Crystal Mountain, should send me news of his realm as soon as possible Kettleturner cleared his throat. Effectively he said to himself, for several months nothing had been heard from the dwarves of Crystal Mountain. It wasn't normal since they were on very good terms with their counterparts in Moonless Hollow. Everyone was worried but the poor dwarf really didn't want to be the one who had to move heaven and earth in order to reassure his king. Despite this fact he had been chosen to do just that and he always obeyed orders. The parchment which he held in his hand bore the royal seal.
He was also carrying all sorts of other things with which dwarves liked to burden themselves. One thing was sure, none of his compatriots would leave home without a weapon forged by a master. For dwarves are brilliant blacksmiths and each one of them would forge, in the course of his existence, one weapon which would be considered his masterwork. Kettleturner wasn't at that stage yet. His only armour consisted of an old battered helm, stuck haphazardly on his head and a wooden shield which had seen better days and which he had difficulty in transporting. His boots were decidedly average and his thin chain mail armour made him sweat a lot. Still Kettleturner could hold his head high, for the axe that hung at his side was none other than Shieldsplitter, so named for it's ability to could cleave through metal. Forged by his father, it's power had never been disputed , and proud as he was, our friend felt the years fall away ( he was only 132 which is young for a dwarf so there weren't many to fall) each time he looked at the magnificent weapon. Fashioned from unpolished wood it's sturdy handle could absorb any shock. It's finely honed blade, composed of a mixture of metal and stone, reflected back a dark light from it's black surface. Engraved with magic runes, the weapon would "bring victory to whoever possessed". The phrase written on it's blade summed up the essential nature of the great axe.
Remembering the numerous battles he had fought , the dwarf, back against a tree, let his mind wander. Little by little he slipped into a deep sleep punctuated by noisy snores.
Kettleturner (chapter 2)
At the same time :
Alise (chapter 1)
Defnael (chapiter 1)
Ewyn (chapter 1)