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Old July 19, 2018, 08:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
Hoskuld Coal-beard
Shields are Yummy
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Port Alyxandrya
Posts: 544
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Hoskuld Coal-beard is a famous HeroHoskuld Coal-beard is a famous Hero

Niven was a good sport about the whole beer thing. She was rising in the dwarf’s estimation by the minute.

Hoskuld nodded quietly when she asked him about losing people. ”Not family,” he said, more softly than usual, ”but pretty much every friend I had outside of Primus Gaudeo. I’d been living in High Peak, working in the Chillings Mines there for a few eras. Then, in the spring of Nineteen, when the passes had cleared and we got the first mail of the season, I get news that my oldest brother’s to be wed.” His expression grew more distant for a moment, but also a bit happier. He grinned.

”And he married up good, too. Citrina Fire-setter. Rich family. *Very* rich. In fact, her uncle was buyin’ almost half the gems from our mines. Which was probably why my boss was so willing -eager, even- to give me all the time off in the world to attend that wedding in Primus Gaudeo. Consequently, pretty much all of my family -including some relatives I’d never met before- were together in a safe place when the Fog came. Cetheron be praised.”

Hoskuld raised his mug in a silent solo toast and took a thoughtful pull of his beer. He reflected on what Niven had just told him about Calanon’s going to Sylrosia. He could imagine what that was like; it was an experience they had in common. Perhaps he would have to start being nicer to the crazy elf, after all.

”I didn’t know that about Cal,” he said. ”But I did somethin’ similar. I eventually wandered out to High Peak, after the war with the Xet was over, to see if there was anything left there. There wasn’t. Nothin’ but rocks and snow and wind. Everybody I knew from there was gone -well, near enough everyone.”

He thought briefly of Ylva Cherhc, the young barbari woman with the white hair who was no taller than he was. The corners of his eyes creased fondly as he recalled how she had struggled with his name and called him “Household” when they had first met. The dwarf had heard that she had survived, even managed to make a name for herself during the war. Good. He liked that fierce little bitch. It was too bad he hadn’t seen her again.

He returned his attention to the elf next to him. ”The new in-laws were good to me, though -the Fire-Setters, I mean. They’re the ones who wanted to set me up in the gem trade in Arconis. But the Xet weren’t finished with their mischief, so as I said before, that plan didn’t quite happen. But at least my family survived.” Although his second brother, Doli, had come back from the war a different, shattered dwarf. But there was no need to trouble Niven with that.

He cheered up when Niven accepted his peace offering and caught Logan’s attention. He ordered another round of what they were having -he was ready for another one too, or he would be as soon as he finished gulping down the remainder of his current lager. He wasn’t troubled that it was probably mixed with spit. It was his spit, after all, and wouldn’t *any* beer he drank have his spit in it?

When the fresh round arrived, he raised his glass to Niven’s in a toast. ”To all our people, old and new, lost and found.” Well, it had sounded good and solemn and impressive in his head, at least.
“This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read… I’M IN!”-Thunder Levin
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