Chapter 11

Chapter 11

A Chapter by Isemay

It took another full day to reach Delver’s Deep despite the fact that Syv insisted on keeping moving through the night. They’d passed a farm in the night and Syreilla had traded the tired horse for a fresh one.


As the box was carefully unloaded, Syreilla apologized, “I’m sorry Mordaeg. I tried to get him home as quickly as I could. He-”


“What happened?” Mordaeg quieted her.


She hung her head. “He asked me to help him on a job. He said it was tricky, beyond his skill, but the reward was too much for him to turn it down.”


“You agreed to help him?” Aledelver’s tone was disapproving.


“I did. He triggered a trap right at the entrance. Elvish blades slid out from the stone and cut him to pieces. They even sliced through his axe, Mordaeg.”


The older dwarf was scowling at her when she raised her eyes. “You should have told him to forget about it and come home.”


“I should have.” She swallowed. “If I’d known he’d taken the job from a lich I’d have dragged him back by his beard.”


Mordaeg’s eyes widened. “A lich, what were you robbing?”


“A tomb. He wanted an amulet out of it. He didn’t get it. Some elves said he was following me, they were going to kill him and sent me and Syvilas on our way.”


“You failed a job?” He looked at her dubiously.


“No. Syvilas wouldn’t let me hand the amulet over.”


“At least he seems to have some sense. Who is he?”


“My brother.” Mordaeg’s head tilted and his eyes narrowed. “Syvilas Acharnion son of Tirel Acharnion. He’s older than I am, and fonder of elves than I am.” Syreilla shrugged, “I like him, though. He has a good heart, he’s trustworthy.”


“I know dwarves who like elves better than you do, Syreilla.” Mordaeg snorted. “Show me what the lich wanted.” Syreilla opened her satchel and moved the crown, one of the fat deep red gems caught the light. “What’s that, Syreilla?”


“I picked that up while I was in the tomb, I thought Batran might like it.” She pulled it free of the satchel letting him get a good look at the heavy crown as she lifted out the amulet. “This amulet is what the lich wanted. Kaddal told me some of what I should expect inside, and where to look for the amulet.”


“It was sealed away, on a corpse.” Mordaeg looked at her incredulously.


Syreilla nodded looking at him curiously. “How did you know? Kaddal only told me it would be on a corpse. The sealed away part was a pain in the a*s surprise.”


He covered his face and began cursing in dwarvish. “What did you do with the corpse?”


“I put it back in the coffin. Grave robbing is one thing, there’s no need to be disrespectful about it.”


He looked at her intently, “You disabled the traps on the way in?”


“No, I avoided most of them, some of the wards got set off, though. Nasty things.”


“What shape was the corpse in?”


“It looked like kindling.” She realized there was a question she should be asking even though she knew the answer. “Why?”


“You’ll split the gems and metal with Forgepike’s kin, the amulet you give to me.” He scowled at her expecting her to argue.


She gave over the amulet with an apologetic bow. “I am sorry, Mordaeg. I had a bad feeling about it. I thought I could-”


“It’s not your fault, Syr. Kaddal knew what he was asking you to break into, he should have known better.”


“I’ve never seen a tomb like that before. Usually, they’re-”


“It wasn’t a tomb, Syreilla. It was a prison. You may have set free an evil like you’ve never imagined.” Swallowing again she looked at the crown and he continued, “Whatever’s done is done. I expect there will be elves coming to have a word with you before long.”


“You’re going to make me be polite aren’t you.” She sighed giving him a dejected look.


“As polite as they are.” He looked at the crown and shook his head. “Go and show Batran before you have it cut up.”


“Can I take Syvilas in with me?” Syreilla asked hopefully. “I wanted him to see the place I call home.”


Mordaeg gave her a gentle smile. “If Batran will vouch for him.”


“Thank you.” She breathed a sigh of relief. Batran was a good judge of character, he’d see that Syv meant no harm. Syr walked back to where Syvilas was watching silently. “I’ll be back with Batran.”


Syvilas reached out and took hold of her arms, with a frown. “I would rather you not go in without me.”


“For you to be allowed in, Batran has to vouch for you. He’s a good judge of character, he’ll see what I see in you.” She laughed as Syv pulled her into an embrace.


“And if he does not?” He murmured into her ear.


“If he doesn’t, you shouldn’t wait here, there will be elves coming I’ve already been warned.” She felt his arms tightening and felt unfriendly eyes on her back, not something she was used to feeling here. Cautiously, she whispered, “If you have to leave, I will meet you at the place I always like to visit. Do you remember? The one you’d prefer I didn’t?”


He pulled back reluctantly and kissed her cheek, running his thumb along her jaw. “I remember.” Syv lifted his hands and brushed her hair back from her ears letting his fingertips lightly trace the outer edges. “Be careful, I could not bear to lose my sister.”


“You won’t lose me, brother.” The crown hung from her fingers as she wrapped her arms around his neck, and squeezed him. “But let’s hope for the best here, I want to show you my home.”


His smile was warm when she pulled back. But before he could speak she heard her name barked sharply. “Syreilla!”


Turning in surprise she saw Batran standing with a dour scowl. “What have you done?”


She sucked in a sharp breath and trotted over with the crown. “I did a job I probably shouldn’t have.”


Batran snorted. “That describes all of your jobs.”


“I brought you something, but I need to have it cut up and split the metal and gems with Forgepike’s kin.” Syreilla offered the crown for his inspection.


“And who is that you’re hanging all over?” His eyes were on the crown as he turned it in his hands, but she knew him well enough to know he was paying attention to her answer.


“I wasn’t hanging all over him, Syvilas is my brother.”


The dwarf's eyes raised looking to Syv. “He doesn't look at you like a brother.”


Syreilla turned her head to look and Syv was looking at her as if she were going to be whisked away forever. “He’s worried. For some reason, he’s afraid he’s never going to see me again.”


“He’s looking at you like a starving man looks at a roast pig, Syr. I don’t trust his intentions. And I don’t think he’s your brother, you’ve been deceived.”


“Batran! He’s-”


Jabbing a thick finger down toward the stone, he fixed her with a dubious look. Syreilla sank to her knees and then sat obediently, letting Batran tilt her face up and look down into her eyes. The dwarf could always tell if she lied when he looked down into her eyes.


“I trust him Batran. He says he’s my brother and it feels true.”


The hint of fear she saw in Batran’s eyes at her words baffled her. She opened her mouth to reassure him but he closed it with a finger under her chin. “In with you. Take the crown to Kaduil, tell him I’d like him to take it apart.”


She nodded and tried to open her mouth, he held his finger in place firmly. “Whoever that is, Syr, is no kin of yours. He’s not coming into the mine.” It felt like he’d punched her in the gut. “You’re not the trusting type, Syreilla. For you to have that kind of blind faith in a stranger, something’s not right.” She saw him look back to Syv. “In you go, Syr, straight to Kaduil.”


Bowing her head she came back to her feet. A glance back to Syv told her he’d either heard some of what Batran had said or guessed it. His face had hardened and his pale eyes were sharp and cold. She took a step toward him and Batran gave her a firm swat on her rump startling her. “In.”


Her eyes went back to Syvilas who was now looking incensed, his lips curled into a snarl and his hands in fists. She held up her hands with the crown hanging off of her thumb. “Be nice Syv, this is my home, and these dwarves are my family.”


His snarled faded and he gave her an anguished look. “Don’t go in. Stay with me.”


“In, Syreilla. NOW.” There was no mistaking the command in Batran’s voice. Syr ran a hand through her hair and shifted her weight from foot to foot for a moment before turning to go in with a last apologetic look to Syv.


Inside she already began feeling as if her skin was on too tight and she hadn’t even gotten past the guard rooms. She headed down, giving a half-hearted smile to those who called out to her as she moved through the long hall and into the lower stone halls of the living areas. Kaduil would be down at the forges. Focusing on finding him she tried not to think about how unhappy Syv had been.


But his face kept finding its way into her mind’s eye. He wouldn’t hurt anyone, not here. She’d just need to make this a short visit so that he didn’t worry too much. The thought of him feeling alone again made her heart ache. Her relief on seeing Kaduil must have been clear from the way he beamed.


“Did you miss me Syr?” His rugged face was dirty from his work and his black beard was braided and tucked under his high necked leather apron.


Syr couldn’t help but smile at him. “Always.” His eyebrows raised as he noticed the crown in her hand. “Batran told me to bring it down and tell you he’d like you to take it apart.”


“And quick too I’d imagine, before someone comes to get it back.” He gave her a frown.


“I doubt anyone’s coming for it.” She laughed.


“You’re going to stay and watch me work?” He smiled at her hopefully with a mischievous sparkle in his eyes, “It’s the only way I’ll get to it today.”


She felt herself wince and realized she was looking upward. Watching Kaduil work was something she loved to do, that she felt so strongly she needed to get back to Syvilas was… strange.


“She’ll stay.” Batran had come up behind her in the noise of the forge. “She’s staying until whatever spell it is she’s under wears off.” She looked down at his scowl as he studied her.


“Batran, I’m not-” She tried to explain but he cut her off with a wave of his hand.


“You’re not acting like yourself, Syreilla. Even when you’re going mad from the tight quarters you’re never eager to leave the mine.”


She felt the hairs on her arms and the back of her neck standing. “I would know if someone used magic near me, Batran.” The look Batran gave her made her feel less certain. “Even if I’m wrong, my brother wouldn’t do that.”


“Did you meet this Syvilas before or after you fetched that?” He pointed to the crown in Kaduil’s concerned grip.


“After.”


“Did you tell him your name first?”


Syreilla stared at him.


“That’s what I thought. You’re not going back out until he’s gone.” Batran pointed to a stone seat. “Stay with Kaduil until I fetch you, Syr.”


Nodding, she moved to sit, her mind was racing. If Syv hadn’t left he might be in danger. She closed her eyes and rubbed her face. The awareness that Batran and Kaduil were having a relatively quiet conversation a short distance away couldn’t make her focus. Syvilas’ safety was all she could think about. He was alone and unhappy. Her brother might not be helpless but against dwarves and possibly elves if they held him long enough… He needed her.


“I have to go.” She stood abruptly. “I’m sorry Batran, my brother needs me.”


“You’ll sit and you’ll stay, Syreilla.” He glanced to Kaduil as she shook her head vehemently.


Kaduil handed the crown to Batran and came to take her hand. “Come with me? I want to show you something.”


“Kaduil, I have to go.” Syreilla felt like her insides were twisting up.


He squeezed her hand not letting her pull it away. “Just come with me for a moment?” His warm eyes were worried and she gave a tentative nod, feeling torn.


The fact that he led her up toward the living area helped to ease her mind. Up was the direction she wanted to go. She hesitated when he turned to take her toward the farther corner where Clan Hammersworn had their dwellings and Kaduil pulled her gently. “This way.”


There was a new dwelling carved into the stone at the edge of the space given to Clan Hammersworn. Kaduil glanced at her and pushed the door open. Syr grinned as she stepped in. “This is yours.” His things were here, and she noticed, some of hers were as well. She picked up a glass figurine she’d stolen on one of her first jobs. “You have some of my things here.”


“Batran suggested it.” He sounded a bit sheepish.


“He’s nudging me, he knows I like you.” Syr smiled and set the figurine back down.


“He’s pretty sure you’ll say yes eventually.”


She looked at his smiling face and felt her cheeks flushing. “He’s usually right.” Kaduil grinned.


“Let me show you what I’ve done here.” He took her hand and gleefully showed her the rest of the modest dwelling. The bedroom had a bed conspicuously big enough for both of them, and the terrace that opened from it already had some carefully tended shoots sprouting in the small garden.


“Have I been gone that long or have you been that busy? This is an amazing amount of work, and so well done too.” She ran her hand over the carvings on the bed.


Kaduil pulled her down to sit on the bed. “I’ve been working on the bed since the first time I saw you. You gave me that smile and asked if you could watch me work. I knew I wouldn’t be able to think of anyone else.”


“Kaduil…” Syreilla touched his dirty face and stroked his bearded cheek. There wasn’t anybody else she wanted, and she knew it. She also knew she’d make a terrible wife. “I would be a horrible wife. I can’t stay in the mine no matter how much I want to. I get into-”


He pulled her down into a kiss, with his hand at the base of her skull. “I know. But I’m asking, Syreilla.” She closed her eyes and pressed her forehead to his, twining her fingers in his soft beard. “I have one more thing to show you.” He said after a moment, pulling her hands free. “This way.”


Down below the main room, below the pantry, he’d carved out a small bath. Kaduil showed her how it filled, warm running water from the pipes along the wall. “I haven’t gotten the fancy soaps yet but…”


“I need a bath.” She nodded and smiled at him. “Bathe with me?”


His ears turned red and the grin on his face as he started tugging at his apron told her he was hoping she would ask.


Stripping out of her filthy clothes was heavenly and she washed herself outside of the tub before she got into it, the thought of sitting in that filth was just too much for her to stomach. A glance at Kaduil showed he was enjoying the sight. He’d decided to hold his apron in front of himself modestly but he’d held it a bit too close.


Syr gave him an impish grin. “Are you getting in first or am I?”


She kept grinning as he climbed into the tub, it was deeper than she’d realized, he’d made it for her without a doubt. It wasn’t long enough for both of them though, and he looked like he was already regretting the way he’d carved it. Those regrets seemed to dissolve when she took a seat on his lap, straddling him as best she could, and leaned in for a kiss.


Laughing as his strong hands squeezed her a*s cheeks, Syreilla broke the kiss, “I really like what you’ve done here.”


He shifted with his thick c**k pressed between them, “The tub is a little small.”


“Mm. It could be wider, but I think it’s a good size to share, otherwise.”


Kissing her neck, he muttered, “Not if you actually wanted to bathe.”


“I washed before I got in.” Turning a wicked grin on him she sat back and began unbraiding his beard, “But then I wanted to spend some time enjoying the water.”


She flushed as he reached up and tweaked her n****e, before pulling her closer again. “And the dwarf in it?”


“I hope to be enjoying him outside of the water, too.”




© 2017 Isemay


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Added on December 27, 2017
Last Updated on December 27, 2017
Tags: thief, dwarf, elf, dragon, gods


Author

Isemay
Isemay

Germany



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Bitten by a writing bug! Review my writing and I will gladly return the favor! I love reading other people's stories, and I try to review honestly and give constructive criticism. I love receivi.. more..

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A Chapter by Isemay


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