Thothen and Gaston stayed up for the first watch while the rest slept. They drank ale and played spikes and pikes while watching the night. It was a quiet night, other than the odd bird call there sounds didn’t echo in the distance.
“Tell me Thothen,” Gaston threw down a copper coin between them. “I understand why the elves have sent representatives along with this mission. I also understand why Miirik is out here as well. I can’t understand one thing. Why did you come along on this venture? What do you dwarves have to gain?”
“Is my assistance not welcomed?” Thothen called Gaston’s bet.
“Not at all. Your axe will be a great help upon this quest. It’s just that from what little I know, only profit motivates dwarves. The dwarves who venture fourth from your mountain homes are salesmen.”
“There was once a great tradition amongst the dwarves,” Thothen paused to sip from his ale. “We were once proud warriors. Nothing could frighten a dwarf from a battle field. Not being out numbered, not twisted beasts of chaos, and not even a dragon or three. That is why our weapons are the best, because over the centuries they have been battle tested by the best fighters you could ever imagine. But over time the clan lords became content with our empires in the mountains. The quest for riches overtook the quest for combat. Fortunately our forgemasters knowledge had never faltered, so when you humans offered coin for the best weapons, we obliged.”
“An interesting history, but what does that have to do with you?” Gaston laid his cards on the blanket between the pair.
“There’s a resurgence of dwarves who want to go back to the old ways.” Thothen smiled as he laid his cards upon the blanket. His better hand won him the pot. “Master Bravevein and I are two such dwarves. There is a glory upon the battlefield that we dwarves must see again. Besides, willing to fight and die alongside you is the best way to show off our arms.”
“Be quiet,” Gaston whispered and pointed. Off in the distance a light bobbed between the trees.