Friday, February 4, 2011

Decisions to be made

Bayern was walking through the tunnels and streets of Gilderock. He had seen many Dwarfen settlements but Gilderock was amongst the richer and grander ones. He had spoken to some of the Dwarfs that came to shake the hands of him and his companions and picked up some of the city's history. Over centuries Gilderock was the main trading post on this side of the pass, linking the valley on this side of the mountains with the coastal regions around Febril. Rich merchants and skilled craftsmen were the majority of its inhabitants, steadily increasing its power and wealth.

When the pass had to be closed because of the dangers lurking underneath the mountains, Gilderock could contain much of its wealth due to its influence on politics and trade within the valley of Fengdarn. Then came the civil war. Dwarfs fighting dwarfs over reasons that most weren't even aware of. Gilderock, as a hub of power, was hit hard and lost many good dwarfs, but trade never ceased to bring gold into the city's coffers. Soon after the dwarfs agreed on an armistice, the big war swept through the lands, again keeping trade revenue down. But Gilderock, being in the heart of the Dragon's realm, was spared the fate of many major cities like Febril in the east or Seawell in the south.

Nowadays, with the Dragon keeping the peace, Gilderock was on the way up again and the tax payments to the sovereign were high but ensured the dwarfs plenty of rope to run things the way they want. All in all, Bayern was proud of the achievements of his race here. A perfect example of dwarfen resilience!

He looked up when a grey-haired dwarf in the vestments of Bahamut approached him.
"It is an honour to meet such a fine example of a cleric of Bahamut. Your reputation and knowledge about all your heroic deeds preceded you and I was looking forward to meeting you!"
Bayern looked a bit taken aback by so much praise but shook the hands of the old priest.
"The pleasure is mine! I haven't had the chance to meet a brother in faith for a long time. Tell me brother, is the faith in Bahamut strong on this side of the mountains?"
The old dwarf pointed towards a tunnel which led to a bigger cavern.
"Let me show you our church here. My acolytes will be pleased to make your acquaintance. You are a hero to them!"
While they walked the priest started to answer Bayern's question:
"Gilderock was never a stronghold of Bahamut. Most dwarfs here, being craftsmen and miners, follow the teachings of Moradin. But even if small, our community was always strong and we have establishments in most towns and villages around here."
Bayern could see a concerned look on the face of the old man.
"But I'm getting old and most of my students are too young and inexperienced to be sent out to the villages. There are still many dangers lurking and I lost many good clerics in the fights. I was hoping that you might be able to help us for a while..."
The dwarf looked at Bayern, his face full of hope
"With your reputation and experience you would be a shining beacon of hope for many young dwarfs and we would be able to strengthen the influence of Bahamut!"

They finally approached a building showing the shield of Bahamut. Some young dwarfs gathered at the entrance, whispering to each other.
"I know it is just a desperate plea from an old man, but somebody has to lead those students. My days are numbered and I will soon join Bahamut in his great halls"
The dwarf stopped for a second and put a hand on Bayern's shoulder.
"I don't want to push you. I know you have important tasks of your own and your group depends on you. Bahamut teaches that evil has to be opposed and you were and are a powerful implement of our god. All I ask is that you have a look at my students and what we have created here. Even if you only help me for a limited amount of time, we could form those young students so that they are able represent Bahamut when we are both gone!"

After a mass together with the students and some stories from the eastern side of the mountains, Bayern was sitting in a more quiet alcove of the small church looking at the students that were still gathered around the old priest. Bahamut teaches to oppose evil wherever possible but also to protect the weak. Is that the task Bahamut wants him to take on? To strengthen those acolytes so that they can carry on the fight in the future? He took a deep breath and looked up to the shield of Bahamut over the altar. He would have to make a decision soon!


  1. Marvellous and fitting retreat for the heroic, brave and much loved Bayern.

    His friends will miss him more than they realise!

  2. I wonder if Josh's feeling the love?