A Chapter by Isemay

Syreilla felt Odos put a hand on her arm to bring her attention back to the interminably dull introductions that were a matter of formality between the gods. Neither Finwion nor Bone White were present and their exclusion soured her mood. She didn’t care at all who the other elves were.

“And who is here from the dwarves?” One of the elven goddesses, this one with a faint silvery aura like starlight around her, asked coolly.

A dwarf clad in impressive blackened armor with a braided black beard and a heavy carved hammer on his back stepped forward. At his side were what looked like dwarves made of steel that radiated a subtle malevolence.

“Orsas Fellforger comes on behalf of all, Gilither.” His scowl made the air in the room feel like the forges at Delver’s Deep and Syr grinned. 

“Why did the rest not come?” An elven goddess, with a melodic voice and golden light radiating from her in Syr’s enhanced vision, rose from her seat and Syreilla began to laugh.

“Who associates with elves when they don’t have to? I’m grateful any chose to come, it’ll make the day more tolerable.” She gave the dwarf an impish grin and a nod of her head when he looked her way.

“You’re the Hammersworn girl?” His face softened slightly.

“I’m the Golden Rook, but Syreilla Hammersworn is here.” Syr tapped her chest with a wry smile. “I wanted to be whole but she wants to go to-” 

“There are other matters to discuss.” Mabor interrupted her and she gave him a flat look.

Orsas snorted. “I’ll sit with the Golden Rook. We can discuss it privately.”

“Dwarves rarely attend and when they do they choose to stand.” Gilither sounded amused and as Syr glanced around she realized no place had been prepared for him.

“He can take my seat.” Syr put on a wide, toothy smile, “I can perch on chair backs.”

The dwarf rounded the table and gave her an approving look, “Perch on my chair, Lady Rook.” The steel dwarves stood back from the table.

“How can she stand the smell?” One of the elves wrinkled his nose as she leaned on the back of the dwarf’s chair.

“I like the smell of dwarf. It’s the smell of earth, sweat, leather, and steel, the smell of the forge. It smells like home.”

Knocking on the table, Orsas turned his head slightly to Odos, “How much for the Rook?”

“I gave her to Hevtos so that all of this could come about.” Odos gave her a faint smile, “I’d hoped to get her back afterward but he’s made it clear the Golden Rook is his now.”

“I can make a golden bird for him.”

“Enough!” The elf she’d taken the last stone from interrupted. “We are here to discuss the matter of Zyulla and of the stolen stones. It is unacceptable-”

“To allow my grandmother to languish any longer, yes, I agree!” Syreilla stood up straight with a mirthless grin. “I won’t promise your stones back and I won’t promise not to come for the rest, with the exception of yours, Master Fellforger, unless she’s set free. Give me a reason not to come for them.”

Odos covered his face and the dwarf chuckled. “The Hammersworn girl swore she’d never steal from dwarves.”

“The Golden Rook won’t either. Dwarves were always good to us.”

“Give them a chance to do the right thing before you start with threats, little rook.” Odos spread his hands looking at the rest of those gathered. “What should have been a matter between three gods has spilled over for too long into the lives of mortals and gods alike. Zyulla should be freed, Hevtos restored to his proper place and everything else can be discussed much more civilly.”

“You’ll have the Rook give back the stones and promise not to steal from us again?” Silfeya eyed Syr with as much distaste as the elves had the dwarf.

“Hevtos is the only one who could command that. I gave him my Rook and she’s loyal.”

“Not loyal enough to steal from the dwarves,” one of the other elves sourly observed as Syreilla took a knee next to Fellforger’s chair.

“Master Fellforger, if they won’t see reason and my Uncle needs all of the stones to set Zyulla free, is there any service I might offer that would gain me the lend of the dwarvish stones?”

The dwarf began to grin, “I think there might be.”

The elves began to protest and Odos had to beat on the table to get them to cease yelling in their incomprehensible tongue. After they had settled, Rielle asked angrily, “Why would she steal from us when she could make such an offer?”

“I would rather eat my liver, twice, than to put myself in your service.” Syr came to her feet and folded her arms, the elf woman’s aura was more like a visible smell, a thick cloud of cloying perfume and the notes turned sour for a moment at the provocation.

“I liked you where you were.” Orsas quiet words were barely audible as the elves began to protest again.

“Are you flirting with me, Master Fellforger? It’s been a long time since I braided anyone’s beard. Do you swing your hammer well enough to make it worth the effort?” She gave him an impish grin and a slow blink, watching the dwarf’s face flush. 

The elves fell silent staring at her with something bordering on horror but Eludora, with her peculiar rain of flower petals, looked amused. 

Orsas turned to Odos, “If Hevtos won’t sell the Rook, how much to have you steal her for me?”

“She isn’t the stay in the mine type and you’d have to fend off an angry dragon just for asking my uncle the question.” He gave her a hard look, “I’m surprised she’s flirting with you when she has Vezar at home.”

“I told you, I caught him f*****g the same elf w***e as Grandfather, if he’s free to do as he pleases, so am I.”

“I did not-” Rielle stopped herself and rose from her seat. “Seducing the half-dragon into my service seemed an effective way to stop the thefts. I failed in my goal and I did not take him to bed.”

“You were both naked, in bed, and you were on top of him. I chose to leave at that point.”

“It went no further. He screamed out in pain as you cut the threads that bound you both and began to weep, calling out for his treasure. If you’re going to claim I took him to bed perhaps I should.” 

“Rielle…” Odos sighed. 

“How did it feel?” Atos glared as he made his way in behind the elves and made his own seat at the table between them and the human gods. “The betrayal of one you loved?”

“If you took every ounce of pain I’ve ever felt and pressed it into one moment…” She inclined her head feeling her lips twist. “But I did what you should have done, I cut the ties and stepped away. I may forgive him for it eventually but my trust is hard to gain at the best of times.”

A very faint smile curved Atos lips, “Through him you were bound to Hevtos, now you are no longer.”

“You’re mistaken, Grandfather. I gave my word, and you can rely on a Rook.”

“To be a thief and a liar.” Atos laced his fingers together and looked at her over them.

“Thief, yes, liar… occasionally, short-tempered, vicious, but at this point I’m just listing family traits.”

“You slight yourself when you slight your family.” One of the elven gods frowned.

“They aren’t slights when they’re true. And I don’t believe any of them are truly bad in moderation. Even viciousness has a use. Nor did I say we aren’t more than those few things. When we bend our will to a thing you can help us or get out of the way. That’s why we’re here.”

Atos exhaled and his eyes burned into hers. “So it is.” His gaze shifted and it felt as if a strong breeze blew through the room. Zyulla and Hevtos both entered the chamber. “It has been made clear that my… immoderation has done more harm than I intended. Zyulla, you are free of your prison and none will prevent you from taking worshippers.” Atos paused and looked as if he were tasting something bitter, “Brother, you may take up your place again if you wish. Imos will open your garden and your priests will not be hunted.”

Zyulla cleared her throat and nodded toward Syr. 

Hevtos smiled faintly, “You will not burn Imos’ temples, Syreilla the Rook. Nor will you have his name purged from mouth and memory.”

She tried not to glower “If you say I have to, I will refrain, Uncle.” As she inclined her head grudgingly, Atos started to smile. She added sourly, “I’m still going to quarrel with him. I’m still mad about Hammersworn.”

“He will have to endure your anger, my Golden Rook.” 

“I’m still angry about the theft of my stone. As are the others, I would think.” Atos interjected dryly. “How will you endure our anger, Rook?”

“Our stone.” Hevtos spoke firmly. “You alone have had its use for too long, brother. I have done my best to perform my duties, to reward the deserving and punish those who required it with means that have grown more and more limited as you allowed Imos-”

Waving his hand, Atos gave Syreilla an annoyed look. “Why did you have her steal so many stones if ours was what you wanted?”

“I needed them to see Zyulla freed.”

“She’s free!” Mabor leaned on the table with both arms, “Give them back!”

“My Golden Rook may go fetch them.”

Orsas knocked on the table, “I want to buy your Rook, Hevtos. Name a price and I’ll see it met.”

All eyes turned to the dwarf and Syreilla stifled the desire to laugh.

“My Golden Rook is not for sale. I love her dearly and her value is beyond anything you could offer me.” He glanced to Zyulla, “Though I may lend her service to those who-”

The gods began to clamor to be heard and not all of them were asking for her service. Syreilla started to grin as some of them demanded she be kept tethered somewhere for everyone’s peace of mind. Fellforger was knocking on the table with his heavy gauntlet trying to get a word in.

Zyulla beckoned to her with a smile and Syreilla came to stand in front of her. “Have you spoken of,” the faintly shimmering goddess touched Syr’s chest, “her yet?”

“Not yet. I’d like to do it before I go fetch the stones back. If I leave and the one I need to speak to has already left…” 

“There is more than one you need to speak to.” 

Syreilla tilted her head curiously.

“I would have you speak to Vezar Edra.” 


“What he did is not worse than what I did.”

“It is!” She stopped, realizing she’d raised her voice and the room had gone quiet.

“Because it was done to you?” Atos sounded smug and she squared her shoulders, keeping her back to him.

“No, Grandfather, because he didn’t follow his heart into someone else’s bed he followed his f*****g c**k. That elf w***e the two of you-”

“Be respectful to the goddess Rielle!” He snapped and she spun on her heel to face him.

“No! She set out to seduce and harm, she enjoys it. She deserves no respect. I make allowances for love, I felt pulled to both Kaduil Hardjaw and Vezar Edra once. What she did was wrong, what Vezar did was wrong.”

“He was deceived.” Zyulla reached out and touched her arm, “You know him. You know he longs to be seen as beautiful and Rielle is a goddess of beauty and seduction. Resisting her was beyond him.”

“I would argue that what your grandmother did was worse. Vezar’s heart may still be yours.” Atos muttered.

Zyulla closed her eyes and wilted slightly.

“You’d have been happier if Grandmother was like the elf and wandered into any bed that looked warm enough?”

“You were falling all over a dwarf!” Rielle gestured at Orsas. “How is that different?”

“Before we were split into Hammersworn and the Rook, we had a dwarf for a husband. Hammersworn got to keep him. If I’m free to find another I’ll look in a mine first.”

Orsas grinned as he hopped out of his seat. “You had a half-dwarf for a husband. I hope you aren’t flirting with me just to get Hammersworn a place with her clan.”

“Not just. The mine still felt like home and I’d missed watching dwarves work the forges.”

He gestured for her to come stand in front of him and then jerked his finger toward the ground as Batran used to. With a grin she dropped onto her knees.

“It’s the last breath that I take from a dwarf and Syreilla Hammersworn has already breathed her last.”

Syr grew more serious, nodding slowly, “Can I give her to you on a breath of mine?”

“If I can get a kiss with it.” His dark eyes sparkled and she had to laugh.

“I can do that, Master Fellforger.” Drawing a deep breath she leaned in and offered the kiss, tentative and gentle at first until he put his gauntleted hand behind her head and deepened it. As the kiss ended she felt the breath drawn from her and an ache in her chest and knew it had been done.

As he pulled back he smiled faintly, “You can call me Orsas if you give me another.”

The laughter bubbled out of her and she leaned in again for a second kiss, pouring both the bittersweet joy of knowing her other half was going to be with her family and her clan and the aching hunger of not wanting to be alone into it. 

When she broke the kiss, Orsas murmured in her ear, “Come to me at my forge, Syreilla the Rook. I will forge you a blade of steel and gold like none has ever seen, you will join me in my bed and you will not leave it until you are Syreilla Fellwife.”

“You will not steal my Golden Rook from me.” Hevtos’ sour tone earned him a glare from the dwarf. 

Atos began to laugh. “I would rather see her in Orsas’ service than yours.”

“Grandfather…” Syr took her feet and gave the dwarf a playful blink, “He was talking marriage not service, those are two separate things! And I do enjoy the tasks that Uncle sets me to.” 

With a last smile to Orsas, she walked toward Hevtos and ducked beneath his arm as he held open the way into the room she needed. Vezar was pacing in front of the stones on their pedestals wearing a new blue robe with gold and black embroidery. The dark aura around him seemed cloudy. He stopped when he saw her and held out his hands.

“My-I beg you Syreilla. Speak to me. Let me…” He inhaled as she came closer to gather the stones. “You… you smell like dwarf.”

“It’s none of your-”

“Syreilla!” The anguish in his voice as he dropped to his knees wrenched at her heart. “I beg you, do not abandon me! I will-I will do whatever you require to atone, but do not abandon me!” The broken look on his face felt like a knife twisting.

“Why did you hurt me that way, Vezar? I split myself in half so that you wouldn't be alone and you…” She stopped as he ran his hands over his face and then held them out to her.

“I will hide nothing from you. I open my threads to you, look, Syreilla. I offer you all.”

Taking a deep breath, she shook her head, “This isn’t the time. Uncle is waiting.”

He drew back his hands and his shoulders slumped. The hopeless agony on his face brought to mind the image she’d been shown when she’d made the choice to split herself in two.

More gently she asked, “Will you help me? After I’ve returned the stones we can…” Syr stepped closer and tilted his face up, “We can talk after. I’m not good at forgiving and you know how hard it is for me to give my trust. I can’t accept what you’re offering me, not yet. But I’ll speak to you, and I am Hevtos’ Golden Rook.”

Vezar took a breath and pressed her hand to his cheek before he stood. “I will help you and we will-we will speak.”

© 2021 Isemay

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Added on February 3, 2021
Last Updated on February 3, 2021
Tags: thief, dwarf, elf, dragon, gods

Golden Rook


By Isemay


By Isemay


By Isemay


By Isemay




Spent some time away from here but I've come back to peek in and post again! Review my writing and I will gladly return the favor! I love reading other people's stories, and I try to review hone.. more..

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A Chapter by Isemay

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A Chapter by Isemay

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A Chapter by Isemay