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Ossian View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Reckoner
    Posted: 06 Mar 2013 at 10:57
Our story begins in what is the hub of activity of any dwarfen hold. The Ale Hall, where bargains are sealed with a tankard of ale; tales of the ancestors are recounted and songs of heroes echo up to the rafters.  This particular Ale Hall lies in the heart of the Clan Moedagh Hold at Tor Dannu in Tor Carrock.  Ever since the fall of the great fortess at Duraz Karag the Thane of Moedagh has limited celebrations at the Ale Hall to 3 per year and today is one such day where the dwarfs of Moedagh can gather with visitors from Clans Bealagh, Reashag and dwarfs of the alliances to celebrate the old days with traditional merriment.
The celebration is now in full swing with last of the formal performances of the visiting  Clan Bealagh Miners Close Harmony Choir led by Brokki Bullbellower rising to a final crescendo of tankard shattering proportions.  As the choir vacates the stage to a hail of cabbages and turnips from the old longbeards whose supping cups had exploded in mid swallow -  the crowd of dwarfs break into their own traditional merriment of songs and derring do with much gusto and laughter.
With these songs, a dwarfen throng will celebrate the deeds and tales of just about every type of dwarf you can think of - from King to commoner.  They will even sing of the Slayers who although fallen from grace due to unfullfilment of oaths, still seek to redeem their honour by deeds of extreme valour. 
However there is a dwarfen profession that is never mentioned in these songs - that of The Reckoner.
Since Reckoner's are the officers of the Thane who execute the Warrants of Grudgement they are  publically respected but privately resented by all other dwarves. It is fair to say that they are least popular amongst all their kin.
A dwarf's honour is his life.  Where it becomes subject to effects of a Grudgement decided by the Thane it's consequences can feel very weighty indeed. After the Grudgement has been decided the Thane sends in The Reckoner who executes the decision " to the letter of oath". Thus a Reckoner can be called upon to carry out all manner of actions from recovering fines through to evictions from the hold; pursuit of fugitives (dead or alive) etc.
The Reckoner's table was set to one side of the Thane's platform, a little further away from the rest of the court and always avoided by the eyes of most in the hall.  There sat Drimbold One Eye . Head Reckoner of Clan Moedagh, a muscular dwarf with a long white beard. He wore the customary head band with one black raven feather at the side whiched marked him out as a member of his profession. Remarking on the raipdly departing choir's performance he turned to his Thane and said:
"Bah. My old goat has a better range of notes than that choir master"
" Aye and a better beard to. " replied the Thane with a wink. Then as quick as a flash the Thane's mood changed and he glared at The Reckoner.
 "Which reminds me Drimbold have you settled the matter of "the gone off goat's cheese" which gave me 3 days of kruti bellyache yet" . The Reckoner sighed and replied
 " Uhm No my lord" .
The Thane grumbled and rubbed his tummy in remembrance of the suffering which caused him to enter a grudge against the offending goatherder which was still outstanding.
However Drimbold saw that The Thane then became pensive and after a pause he brightened up and said 
"Well . Never mind. You've always been a good lad, Drimbold. Clearing up the little matters that others won't touch and so forth and don't you think that I don't appreciate you lad. Of course I do.  Here's some more ale for you and the lads . It's on me so drink up!"  The Thane then continued  "Oh and  come and visit me bright and early in the morning. I always like to see a friendly face such as yours"  and with that he gave a chuckle and moved back to his own table.
That was when Drimbold knew that something very big was about to be dropped from a great height......

Edited by Ossian - 14 Mar 2013 at 10:33
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2013 at 11:04
Three nights prior to the Clan Moedagh celebration in a dwarfen hold to the south Thane Baelon of Clan Bealagh lay dying. Relatives and retainers were gathered round his bed with its four Crown bearing bedposts, chewing their beards in grief.

"Where is my son?" croaked the thane, "Let him come to me." A servant slipped out of the royal bedchamber and hurried to the heir’s apartments. After a few minutes, Lordling Creggar entered the chamber, whistling cheerfully.

"Hello, father," he said, "Still here, then?"

"Well, that’s nice," gasped the thane, "What about a bit of grief?" The Lordling scratched his beard. "Of course I’ll miss you and all that," he said, "But then, I am going to be thane when you’ve hung up your hammer. Will mixed feelings do?" The thane raised his dimming eyes to the ceiling ."Come closer," he wheezed, "There are some things I must tell you before I die." Creggar approached the four-poster hopefully, as did the court scribe, quill in hand.

"My son," croaked the Thane, "I leave you the rulership of Clan Bealagh" - there was an uncomfortable shuffling among the king’s retainers at this point - "And I leave you my war-axe, with the dragon-etched blade..."

"Not the hammer?" interrupted the Lordling, a little peevishly.

"Watch it or you won’t get the axe."


"That’s better. And along with the axe, I leave you a duty. Years ago, I swore that I would never rest until the blight was lifted from our race, and the High Kingship of Duraz Karag was restored to its former glory and in doing so eliminate the traitor Tregarr Rockthorn and his band of oathbreakers who seeks to bring wrath and ruin upon our race. I pass that oath on to you. I also pass on to you my oath to exterminate the Kobolds and their foul kin who defile the lost hold of Caer Arcodd . You shall form a warband from the very cream of our race, and take it out to destroy these two enemies. You shall not rest until you have completed your task, nor shall you return to Glinntre, which will be ruled in your absence by my Steward, Lurkarr Everlong ..."

The Thane was interrupted at this point by a collective sigh from his retainers, some of whom openly started shaking hands. They were quelled by a stern glance fom the king, who carried on with his death-speech as the scribe wrote furiously. "You shall be called the Iron Crown Company." he continued, "Take for your standard a Crown carved post from your father’s deathbed..."


"Not now!" spluttered the Thane, from beneath the fallen canopy of his bed, "Oh, what’s the use?" And with that, he died.


Edited by Ossian - 13 Mar 2013 at 10:58
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2013 at 11:32
The morning after the feast Drimbold made his way to his Lord's chambers.  On entering the chambers he was greeted by the Thane's daughter  , the formidable and fearsome Brunvilda.
"Are there you are. My father has authorised me to act in his stead as he is deep in meditation and cannot be disturbed"
Drimbold tried hard to keep a straight face because he could clearly hear a loud snoring eminating from an open door to the bedroom which told him that his Thane was well and truly "meditating".
Not only was Brunvilda heir to the Thane, but she was also a High Priestess of the Blessed Luna which mean't that she effectively ran the Clan on behalf of her father. Indeed  she had done so for a number of years.  Brunvilda was indeed the power behind the Thane of Moedagh.
"I'll come straight to the point Master Reckoner  for we do not have much time"  she said " There are two missions for you two fulfil without delay. Firstly you are to travel to Capital of Clan Bealagh at Glinntre. They have a family heirloom in their posession. A four poster bed which my grandfather loaned to old Thane Baelon. Since Baelon is no longer with us and his son Creggar  is now Thane we want to retreive the bed. If Clan Baelagh huff and puff over this then we shall settle for the bedposts and leave them the bed. So that shouldn't prove a problem. Here is the warrant for the bed duly signed and sealed by my father"
" Yes Mistress" replied Drimbold with some relief as he had been expecting something far more serious than the retrieval of a couple of bed posts. However knowing his Thane and daughter the way he did he decided to make sure that he would be prepared for all eventualities 
"I shall need my mule, Delores" he continued" and an issue of `Lucky Chuff' from the Thane's strores , Mistress"
"Very well, You will leave immediately Master Reckoner"
Drimbold coughed and rubbed his chin " did mention two missions mistress?"
"You will be instructed on the next mission when you have completed this simple task. This meeting is over" and with that Brunvilda tromped out of the chamber. Being left alone Drimbold gathered up the warrant and placed it in the scroll pouch on his belt and left for the stables.
As soon as the Reckoner had left the Thane of Moedagh came into the chamber  and moved towards his daughter's side room. Popping his around the door he said
"Well that went well. Hopefully the Reckoner will retrieve the bedposts  without young Creggar realising it's true significance"
"Let us pray that he does"  replied Brunvilda her brow creased with concern.
---------- * * * ----------
Drimbold picked up his supplies from the store, including a large amount of lucky chuff tightly wrapped in greaseproof paper.  `Chuff' is a strong cheese preferred by dwarfen miners  who generally carry it under their helmets as rations or for other emergency purposes. It is a very strong and pungent cheese and definitely an acquired taste.  
Having gathered all his gear and victuals Drimbold tromped off to the paddock near the gate to the hold where he met the head stablehand  Forgil Buckfast who was nursing bruise marks the size of a mule's hoof on his rump.
"Been playing up has she Forgil?"  asked Drimbold who was chuckling away.
"If you have come to take that she-devil off my hands and out of stables then you are a welcome sight Master Reckoner" replied Forgil an angry froth appearing at the sides of his mouth and running down his beard.  " She's been nothing but trouble".
The two glanced over to the corner of the paddock where Delores had cornered 2 new stables lads in the corner  and had them trapped. No one had been able to put neither rein nor harness on the mule since Drimbold had stabled her 4 days ago.  In fact everyone feared the mule except two dwarfs, Drimbold and more importantly the Thane's daughter who had once proclaimed to the entire hold that any dwarf who was mistreating Delores would be ....
"....for the trouser leg ritual and no messing"
The entire hold new that once Brunvilda  had made the proclamation that she mean't it. Needless to say, since that day, Delores' antics and temprement were tolerated by all.
Drimbold walked across the paddock with harness and gear.  He dismissed the two terrified beardlings who had been trying groom Delores and they retired to a safe distance where to their astonishment they saw Drimbold remove his helm hold it under the nose of the Mule and slip a harness  and pack upon the mule without any trouble at all.
As he led Delores out of the paddock, though the gates of the hold and onto the road to Glinntre he looked at the stable lads and shouted 
"You young beardlings still have much to learn" and gave them both a wink.

Edited by Ossian - 14 Mar 2013 at 10:41
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