A blare of trumpeting fanfare called those in attendance to attention. “Durgeddin the Black, Smith of Balnorhak, Lord of Glitterhame and Thane of Khundrakar!” the herald announced. The carved stone doors swung open to reveal an elderly dwarven lord of noble bearing, broad-shouldered and strong of limb. His grey-streaked beard glittered with jewels and gold. Gemstones studded his leather jerkin. Rings glittered on every finger. At his side hung a great craftsman’s hammer.
Everyone in the audience hall stood to their feet, even the undermountain queen. Durgeddin bowed politely, his long beard sweeping the floor. Kristryd returned the bow, as did all those present.
“Your Majesty,” the old dwarf said, “I have come to your summons.”
Kristryd’s eyes narrowed just slightly. Old Bagbag hastened to explain, “Your majesty. I took the liberty.”
Kristryd nodded. “Thane Durgeddin, you are most welcome in these halls. Had I known of your journey, I would have sent an escort to receive you in royal fashion.”
“As soon I received your letter, I marched out with a dozen of my strongest,” the noble dwarf said. “Our journey from has been long indeed, and we have tales to tell of the perils through which we passed. Plenty of orcish blood along the road, but blessed be Moradin and blessed be Berronar, we have arrived.”
Continue reading “Durgeddin the Black”
The officers gave Kristryd the stirrup and bade her take a place behind the rider’s saddle. Dwarves prefer not to ride on mounts, not even ponies or pack horses. A helmed cavalry officer peered down at her from atop the hippogriff, “This noble beast on which you are to be carried is called Emolasmairim. She has borne none upon her wings except me.”
The Elite Cavalry
The officer extended a hand to the dwarfess as she put foot to the stirrup. “I am Darrion, captain of the queen’s cavalry. Wrap your arms fast around my waste. Lean with me when I lean, but not overmuch to the left or right,” the rider told her as he hoisted her up to the back of the hippogriff. Kristryd shifted about behind the saddle, gripping the beast between her knees and wrapping her arms around the armored waste of the cavalry officer. Emolas spread her great wings and flapped them thrice as if testing the air before leaping into a full gallop. Kristryd had once ridden a horse while at school in Keoland, but on that occasion, only at a slow trot, led by lead-rope in the hand of a squire around a track. That experience terrified her enough. Now she hurtled forward through the air, the wind whipping all about her and snatching away her breath. Her legs clamped the hippogriff tightly and her arms held the rider fast. The beast moved in spanning leaps, landing talons first, then launching again from hoofs behind, faster than she might have supposed. The terror increased when she realized that her mount charged full speed and headlong toward the edge of a precipice. To her left and to her right thundered along the rest of Celene’s elite cavalry, all galloping wildly toward the cliff’s edge. For a moment she launched weightlessness, and her stomach dropped. Then she felt the lift of the great wings as they beat against the air, and Emolas climbed toward the mountains. Continue reading “Declarations, Councils, and War”
Under development at Greyhawkstories.com: The Saga of Kristryd Olinsdotter: Tale of the Hateful Wars. A Greyhawkstories novel, coming soon.
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by Jeff Mckillop
Turrosh Mak was born in 555 CY. He was 14 when he arrived in Greyhawk City in 569. He spent 2 years in the city as a student, but was forced to leave in 571. The primary trait which Turrosh Mak has is a desire to help his own race, i.e. orcs (he doesn’t identify with humans), and other similar humanoids. He feels that not only have then been given a more difficult position within the scheme of things, but the other races conspire to keep humanoids down. He also recognizes what he sees as a self-destructive tendency within humanoid communities, and this, as much as anything else, keeps them from developing a higher form of civilization. He sees himself as having a particular mission, to elevate the humanoids, particularly orcs, above their barbaric, fragmented culture and establish a state of “higher culture” within the humanoid community.
His experience within the humanoid community has taught him that it is their environment which leads humanoids to perpetual barbarism. In those few instances where some have lived apart from this structure, and apart from the human/demi-human cultures which also reinforce humanoid barbarism, they have grown into intelligent, thoughtful, introspective individuals with a high respect for the values of more “civilized” cultures such as integrity, truth, justice, etc. He is not against killing, especially if it is necessary in order to right the “great injustice perpetuated by and upon the humanoid community.” Those are his words.
From the Pomarj Pits
In his early years, before his capture by the Flinds, he learned first-hand about humanoid life. Perhaps it was his half-orc status which allowed him to look upon Continue reading “The Making of Turrosh Mak”