The King's Recruits

The Dwarf of Redifest

While anyone who knows the dwarf Fargrim Stoneborn are well accustomed to his two handed hammer Jawbreaker, very few know the story of the two paired throwing axes which hang from his belt. This is the story of how he acquired them.

Our story takes place a month before his 74th birthday and a day before Redifest. Fargrim was passing through the small Halfling town of Evermead while on his way to the capital of Rovnol. Evermead was, funnily enough, renown across Erahlor for its fine pineapple mead and as such, provided Fargrim with a very comfortable rest point. It was late at night and Fargrim was resting in his room at the inn, when all of a sudden the stout dwarf was awoken by a clamour from below. Hobbling down the stairs with many an unkind word for whomever had disturbed his slumber, Fargrim soon found the source of the noise: an elderly man huddled under a blanket besides the innkeeper who was in a state of hysterics.

“Are you not aware of the time? You old coot!” the dwarf growled gruffly.

“Bandits!! Bandits!! On the road from Rovnol. They stole my wagon filled with my finest toys. The children will be so terribly disappointed, and on Redifest of all days!” exclaimed the old man.

“The people of this village worked overtime for months just to afford these presents. You, dwarf, you’re a sellsword aren’t you? Could you help us in any way?” pleaded the Halfling innkeeper.

“Do I look like I carry a sword?” replied Fargrim sternly and on this he turned and marched back up to his room.

However our gruff protagonist did not return to sleep. Instead, he fashioned a rope from his bed sheets and repelled down the side of the inn with a great deal of stealth and finesse. He then set off along the road to Rovnol in the direction of the bandits, determined to save Redifest!.

It did not take long until Fargrim found the spot where the wagon had been hijacked and the tracks which showed where the bandits had taken their bounty. It was not long until Fargrim had found a campsite and five human bandits.

“Ohhhh! All the wealthy merchants along this road and we had to steal a wagon of fucking toys!” exclaimed a bandit with a crooked nose and no ears.

“Shut it you! Pass me one o’ them toy horses for kindling” said another bandit whose coveralls did not quite cover all.

Concealed in a nearby bush, Fargrim began to formulate a plan. To distract the bandits, the dwarf attempted to lure some away with the cry of an owlbear.

“HO, HO, HO” growled the dwarf.

Sadly, it had been decades since Fargrim had actually encountered an owlbear, and his attempt mimicking the creature was less than successful.

“There’s a fuckin dwarf in that bush! Stab him!” cried the apparent leader of the group.
With the element of surprise lost Fargrim bellowed a challenge.

“I AM FARGRIM OF THE CLAN STONEBORN AND I HAVE COME TO SAVE REDIFEST!” screamed the dwarf as he hefted the great hammer Jawbreaker and launched himself towards the oncoming bandits.

With every great swing, the ancient magics of Jawbreaker cleaved through the bandits; removing limgs and crushing skulls. In what was barely a minute, Fargrim had dispatched the bandits with brutal efficiency; leaving himself drenched in their blood. This crimson coating contrasted significantly with the stone grey colour of his beard.

As the faintest hints of sunlight began to break over the horizon Fargrim took control of the stolen wagon full of presents and began to drive at full speed back to Evermead. As he arrived in the town he parked the wagon in the town centre, climbed back up the bed sheets to his room and returned to sleep.

The following morning was filled with the sounds of delight as all of the Halfling boys and girls awoke to find their presents in the town centre. Redifest had been saved. Fargrim awoke around midday to the sounds of joyous festivity. As he collected his gear and left to go pay his tab at the bar, he found a small package outside his door with a note on it.

The note read: “No good deed goes unpunished and no dwarf is as stealthy as he thinks. These battleaxes belonged to my grandfather; may they serve you well”. The gift had come from the innkeeper and inside were two Halfling sized battleaxes, although for a dwarf they were nought more than throwing axes. Nonetheless Fargrim appreciated the gift and while everyone else was at their Redifest feasts, the noble dwarf slipped away quietly.

Now despite the many decades that have passed since that fateful Redifest eve, folklore in Evermead still tells of a fat man wearing red clothes with a great grey beared who brings toys for all of the boys and girls in his wagon, and every year each household hangs an axe above their fireplace. As for Fargrim, those two axes still hang faithfully at his side.

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Tom_Murray

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