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The Dwarf

– This is a dwarven drinking tale, of the Fantasy Dwarven variety, featuring characters from childhood stories created with my Brother. Svorfal “Snowball”, Imlik Ironballes, Deica “Duck” Bor, Inu “Icicle”, Deps and Company will probably pop up in more stories that I publish,  though for now this  is a “Dwarven drinking tale”, as our heroes escape their now adult children’s return home by running straight for the pub. It was written as one of my Christmas poems and stories series, this one as a present for my brother Douglas, who is alright, as abnoxious little* brothers go, most of the time. He’s also quite good at art or something. 
*little here being relative to age, he’s been taller than me since we were about 10 and 8, respectively. 

“I don’t know why they named the pub this, Svorf, it’s run by your brother isn’t it?” One of the jolly looking dwarves grinned, swigging at his ale “still, good bee..r..”

 “ He says it’s for the humans, makes them come spend more money…” Svorf mumbled through his beer froth “ or something like that.. Not that Ice ever comes upstairs to see the punters anyway – he’s just happy he gets to stay downstairs and sleep and no-one bothers him”

 
 “When was the last time you saw him?” shouted the first Dwarf, Imlik by name, Ironballs by title, at the bartender, a giant orc with a purple tinge to his skin who seemed to be drinking more of the ale than he was serving.

 
 “He was up here the other *hic* day, I *hic* think?” The orc grinned in a way that expanded his face sideways with its intensity “You wait, I look. Watch the *hic* bar.. Errrm.. gentle*hic* tiny *hic* men”” With that he dashed his tankard onto the bar, spilling it everywhere, and launched himself into a hitherto unseen cellar hatch. 

 “This, my friend, is our time!” Svorfal, whose brother did in fact own the pub, cried in triumph as the massive orc squeezed himself through the cellar hatch. “The bar is ours! For about.. Ten minutes!”

With this, he leapt and careened into a flying barrell roll unbelievable for one of his short stout build through the air to behind the bar, and began serving frothy steins so quickly to the patrons that it was impossible to follow with the eyes. 

 He called to his friend, to ask why he was not joining him behind the bar, and realised with shock that in place of his friends wide grin, there was a familiar set of angry, piercing green eyes, which in turn were set into a deep yellow braid, which in turn was attached to a furious looking dwarven woman who was somehow lifting his friend up by his ear, just off the floor. His friend grinned nervously but didn’t move much, slowly sneaking his flagon around her, towards his mouth. Svorfal froze . well, his face and beard did, his hands kept pulling pints and thrusting them out towards the excited patrons. “Deica!?! How.. Nice? To see you!” Svorfal grinned at his friend’s wife, finally, though perhaps a little nervously. 

 
 “Svorfal.” The dwarf woman had a way of pronouncing full stops that made both of the hardened dwarf adventurers shudder. They’d spent years fighting alongside her, after all. “Why. would you like to tell me. Are you and my husband here not at home” 

She dropped Imlik, and he collapsed on the floor, swigging his ale happily. He grinned up at her, trying to affect drunken innocence “Wife, dearest,” he struggled, managing to somehow find himself a new beer as Svorfal surreptitiously slid one across the bar floor for him. “We *would* have invited you along! But you were.. Sleeping! And my dear friend Svorf here needed some .. advice! Also, Penga has the kids over so he needed to go for a walk!” He nodded sagely, as if he had just completed a great philosophical treatise. 
 

Deica grinned, stretching and knocking Imlik’s drink all over him, though he did manage to salvage enough for that,most important, last drop. ”Ours just arrived my love,” She ruffled his beard with a laugh that was equal parts amused and slightly terrifying, grabbing her husband and pulling him up with her, as she bellowed “MORE ALE! BARKEEP!”

 With that, Svorf drew two steins and threw them deftly – Deica caught them without spilling any, clapping her husband on the back as she passed him a drink. The bar shouted a great cheer, and started singing one of the old dwarven hits (probably something about gold, Nobody knew the words anyway so it was a bit of a group loud happy mumble). Someone produced an accordion from some hidden stash, they sneak in, there’s always one hidden somewhere. An elf in the corner brought out a hitherto unseen harp, and began strumming it quietly in the corner. Things in the city got a bit strange, sometimes.

 This reverie was interrupted when the dwarf behind the bar, who had not realised he was standing directly on the cellar hatch, was catapulted across the bar again. He managed to roll into another perfect somersault, and cannon-balled directly into Imlik and Deica. The three stood up, covered in ale, as the Orc Grinned, “He sleeping – anyone need another drink?”
.

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Lots of love,

Henry

xx

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