Join Date: Aug 2005
A Throne Fit for a King...
A Throne Fit for a King
By Monsoon Rhayne (Edited by Aredhel)
It was a cold and daunting winter evening in the Mountains of Targonor and all the members of the stone-crafters guild were gathered around their cavernous hall. The guild-master, Morndin, had called all of the stone-crafters together for a meeting which was said to be of great importance.
There were four large tables in the hall and around the northern tables sat some of the most renowned Stone-Masters in all the dwarven lands. Sitting around the western table were the entire journeyman assembly and around the southern table all of the apprentices. Amongst them sat a young male dwarf, wiping his bald brow then stroking his long white beard. He sat quietly observing the others at the table, sipping his ale and grumbling in distaste as the other young dwarves joked and gossiped idly. Upon the eastern table lay some kegs of ale, some fine cheeses and some exotic bread.
When an elderly scribe, bearing the kings tabard, entered the room and made way to the guild-master, Morndin raised his empty mug and slammed it down onto the table. The room fell silent.
"Samyrn now has the floor!"
The elderly scribe thanked the guild-master, saying, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the King bids ye all well and has set about a task for ye, or should me say yer, apprentices. It is me pleasures ta announce a contest…'tis the kings wish, that these said apprentices craft fer his Highness a new throne."
At this, all of the masters and journeymen started mumbling amongst themselves.
"QUIET!" the loud and boisterous Morndin yelled. "Permit the scribe ta finish."
As the hall got quite once more, the scribe continued there are rules to this contest…to be laid out as follows.
1. All apprentices must show originality.
2. All apprentices must utilize other crafters in the making of said throne.
3. All yer hearts must be poured inta the throne…so it's as good a piece a work that ye may ever create in stone and
4. Ye'll only have a ten day ta finish it.." and with that, the Scribe got up and walked out of the hall and gave cause for the senior members in the hall to began speculation as to why the King would not ask a Master to partake of this assignment.
The next morning, Alagh arose from bed and rushed to the cupboard to fetch some bread, cheese and mead to break-fast with. As he set them on the table, he reached for a scroll and a quill and while he ate, he set about drawing. But every time he drew out a plan for the throne he had to toss it out…for it was not good enough for his king. So, after breakfast he decided he would head down into the mines to see what stones may catch his eye.
After searching different levels of the mines (and two thirds of the day was wasted), he still hadn't found the perfect stone for his king's throne, he began the journey home. Being in a rather foul mood, as his luck was rather poor at producing a quality stone, he pondered what else could make this throne truly fit for his king. Deep in thought, he took a wrong turn and headed back into the mineshaft. Realizing that more foul luck was upon him he began to berate a stone that he had managed to trip on. That was about all he could take…one whole day wasted with nothing accomplished, he threw his pick into the nearest wall with a loud crack.
"Durn…now I suppose me broke me good pickaxe!" He went to pry out the axe and found it wasn't broken at all, but he had found what may be the perfect stone for his throne. He took to chipping out the stone. "Me figures two dwarves high by two dwarves deep ought to be enough."
After carving the stone out of the wall his thoughts were confirmed…this would be the perfect throne! The stone was black granite with specks of mithril throughout, not enough to mine separately, but it would make the perfect throne. He covered the stone so know one else would see it and brought some help down to fetch it. After getting it into his shop, he closed and locked the door, as not to be disturbed and not to have others spying on his project.
That night before going to bed, Alagh took a trip down to the temple. If he was going to make the best throne, a throne good enough for the king, this would take some spiritual guidance! So he prayed, made a donation to the priest, and scuttled off to bed. In his sleep, Alagh had dreams that were not like unto any other dreams he had before. They were dreams filled with ideas!
The next morning he again broke-fast, gathered up his saddlebags, mounted his trusty steed and headed off towards Falgarholm and Rindol Field. About mid-morning he reached Rindol Field, home to the Halflings.
"Good day Brother Dwarf," a Halfling guard greeted Alagh. "How may the citizens of Rindol Field be of service?" another guard chimed in.
"I would like to talk to one of your council members or your leader" Alagh said, grimicing as he remembered how much he hated Halflings.
"Okie dokie…follow me" the first guard said as they started heading off to the center of town.
"How may I assist you?" an older Halfling asked as they entered the center building.
"Well, I'm making a throne for our King, and since I had heard you halflings have the best jewelers around, I thought I would ask you if you would like to make a donation to our king, as a gesture of friendship?"
The halfing elder looked around, then grabed a scroll, writing upon it a note, sealed it and gave it to Alagh saying, "Go find a jeweler named Jarl…he should be across from the well in the center of town." Alagh bid the elder farewell and headed to the jeweler's shop.
A small bell rang as he entered, and a halfing yells out from another room "One moment…I'm in the middle of something here." So Alagh sat in a chair in the main room and waited.
"Oh…a dwarf! To what do I owe this honor?" and Alagh hands him the sealed scroll and stood there waiting. "Wow…is this forged, I must look into this."
Alagh scowls at the halfing "It isn't wise to accuse a dwarf of lying," he threatened.
The halfling ran to the back of his shop and returned with a small sack. In it is a small fist sized ruby cut in an oval shape. "Here you go. This particular ruby has three hundred facets and took a week to cut, and I sure hope it works for you?" Alagh thanked him, and told him to seek him out if he ever needed anything made of stone, then headed off towards Falgarholm.
By mid-afternoon, Alagh reached the border of Falgarholm, and was approached by a pair of Half-Giants. "Why for a dwarf in our territory?" a bulky male asked Alagh.
"Well me wants ta talk to yer leader or high council if at all possible"
The other half-giant looks Alagh up and down and asks "What would a dwarf want with our leader?" to which Alagh looks squarely in the giant's eyes for a hint of what might help him gain admittance and decides the best approach would be a direct one.
"Well ya see, me makin' a throne fer me king, and I'm going round ta all the leaders ta see if they would like ta offer me king a present. I heard there be a Half-Giant by the name of Vorha that's a highly acclaimed blacksmith in these here parts."
The pair started walking off and motioned for Alagh to follow. "You hear right, Vorha da best blacksmith in all of Telon, that he is," said the not-so-bright giant.
After about an hour march the three approached a big hut in the center of a town. The dull-witted giant reached up and pulled a lanyard near the door, while the more intelligent one went over to a guard and struck up a conversation. A moment later a Half-Giant female, wearing the trappings of a priestess, opened the door to the center building and bid Alagh to enter. She led him to a big meeting hall and asked "How may the people of Falgarholm help you?"
With a polite smile, Alagh answered "M'lady I have been tasked to make a throne for me king, an last night me prayed to me god that he would guide me in helping to accomplish such a great task. He answered me in my dreams, saying if it should be a great throne, worthy of the king. I should go all throughout Thestra and ask every race if they could share something from each of their special crafters, and therefore it would truly be a great throne."
The priestess smiled and nodded "So you have come to see if Vorha and myself would like to donate something, in the name of friendship…to your king?" Alagh nods an affirmative, and listens further "If the people of Falgarholm grant this token of friendship, what is in it for us?"
Alagh's face grew pale as he knew he could not speak for the people of Targonor, but related, "M'lady, I had planned on making Vorha anything in stone that he may require in the future."
The priestess then wrote a note on some parchment handed it to Alagh, showing him to the door. "Take this note to Vorha and he will make you what you wish."
Alagh thanked the priestess and heads towards Vorha's shop.
"Master Smith!" Alagh yells, trying to get the smith's attention over the noise of his hammer.
"What ye be needin' dwarf?" the smith replies, and Alagh screams, "I have a note from the High Priestess, for you sir."
Vorha stoped his hammering and took the note, taking a long pull from a flask of ale as he read. "Well it says I'm ta make ye something, so, what'cha need?"
Alagh takes a drawing of a dragon from his pack and gives it to Vorha. "I have 5 bars of mithril for you kind sir," he says, then hands him a heavy pouch from his saddlebags.
"Ye can go check into the inn fer the night, I'll have yer dragon sculpture in the morning."
The next morning Alagh went to see the smith who was right where he left him…still working. "Hail Master Smith!"
The smith quenched some metal and greeted him. "Well, Mr. Dwarf, I can't have yer piece ready till tomorrow, but seeing's how I'm gonna need to set this into that throne of yers, I'll bring it by in a day or two…and, by the way... you have any plans fer the dragons eye?"
Alagh fetched the Ruby he had received yesterday "I was gonna place this in a crown up top, but it might look pretty good as a dragon's eye," he offered.
Vorha measureed the stone, then the mold for the dragon "This oughta work out beautifully. I'll see it gets set in just right."
Alagh bid the Half-giant smith goodbye, swung onto his horse and galloped off towards Leth Nurae to meet with the High Elves.
Late midmorning, Alagh ran into a pack of Vulmane and hailed them.
"What is a dwarf doing in the tribal lands of the Vulmane" said a tall black scout.
"Well actually I was heading ta meet with the High Elves, then was going to meet with yer leader, but since he sent an escort I guess I can meet him now".
The Vulmane scout puffed up a bit and stated, "I am Monsoon Rhayne, and I have not been told to escort anyone, nor have I been advised of a visitor to our tribe, but I will escort you to our camp none the less."
After a half hour, the group crested a small hill. In the plains beyond, laid a cozy little camp of about thirty tents. After reaching the center tent, which seemed to be decorated more heavily than the others, they entered. "Chief this dwarf requests an audience, do you wish to see him or shall we send him away?"
The chief looked up from his hide scrolls. "Welcome to our camp, small one, I am Chief Yellow Feather…what is your name and your purpose within our camp?"
Alagh stood proud and proclaimed, "I am Alagh Whitebeard, and I have come to your camp to ask a favor of you. I am makin' a throne for my king and to make it the finest in the land, I figured it had to have some fine leather from your people."
The chief looked proud and answered, "Yes indeed, and if you go over to that grey tent to the north, I'm sure Xizu will help you with what you need. Just tell her I sent you." Alagh, bowing, left the tent, heading off to the outfitter.
"Miss Xizu, the chief said you might be able to help me."
The startled Vulmane female stared at Alagh almost to berate him, then smiled "How may I assist you dwarf?"
Alagh looks around the shop. "I would like a large cushion, like this one, for a throne I am making for my king?"
Xizu looks at the cushion and said, "You may have that one, if you wish. I made it this morning to trade. It's made of the finest leather! All I ask from you is that you make me a totem, if you could, of a Raven, a Beaver and a Bee."
Alagh agreed and added that they will be his first priority after his current contract, and then departed towards the lands of the High Elves. He remembers how much he dislikes High Elves…or any elves for that matter. "Guess they're better than gnomes though" Alagh amuses to himself.
That evening, he reached the Elven city, talking to their Elders and heading off to the woodcrafters' shop they sent him to. "Good Evening, Master Sinter; I was wondering if you could craft me a border for my kings throne, I have the dimensions right here."
Sinter looked through the dimensions "What kind of wood would you like, Alagh?"
Alagh went through the wood samples, and then picks a nice white wood. "How soft is this one, Master Sinter?"
Sinter reviewed the sample Alagh picked "That one's too soft to be on a dwarf's throne, but perhaps you would like this silver oak. It's very sturdy!"
Alagh removed a hammer from his belt and hit the wood with barely a scratch "That one will work nicely!"
Sinter pondered a design then asked, "Does your king prefer Axes or Hammers?"
Alagh thought about the layout of the king's chambers, remembering there were crossed hammers above the king's current throne. "Hammers…defiantly, a hammer and a shield."
With a quill and paper, Sinter roughly sketched a shield, with arms inlaid upon it, and dual crossed hammers behind it. "Will this do? And if so, I can have it ready to deliver and mount it in two days."
Alagh agreed and went toward an inn called the Randy Fairy. That night, it is a restless sleep as the elves dance and play music deep into the night.
Morning came and Alagh broke his fast on Elven Mead and bread. He then headed off towards Tursh, the human city, where his last contact was located. Once in the city he wound towards the opposite side, where he knew an herbalist. "Tinwe, are you home?" he asks at the door.
"That better not be a bald white bearded dwarf in the door" she joked.
"Ye was always one fer jokes, dearest Tinwe, I was wondering if'n ye had any potions that would make me chief 6 inches tall?"
"Why would you want to do that" Tenwe asked?
"I was just joking" Alagh laughed. "Actually, I am making a throne for me king And I was wondering if you could make a potion that would make him appear taller when sitting in it?"
Tinwe sat and thought. "I could rub herbs on the throne to add to his charisma, but let me see if I have anything in my recipe book." After looking through her recipe book Tinwe thinks she has it. "I have a potion recipe that could turn your king into a giant, maybe if I reduced the potency I could imbue the king's throne to make him look more impressive."
"Me thinks that's what me looking fer," Alagh said.
"Let me try it out, I should be finished by the time the throne is ready, and I'll bring it over to your shop, Are you going to be staying overnight?"
Alagh thought about it for a moment, then said as he laughed, "Well ye know, me never could resist yer sweet potato pie."
In the morning Alagh got up, finished off the pie, and got ready to head home. He was so excited that he hurried of off without even taking time to sightsee. Reaching his shop, home he started to work on the stone right away.
After seven days of carving the stone, with all its intricate designs, he believed it was time to add all the other elements. First he placed the fine leather seat cushion onto the throne, and tacked it into place. Yawning, he thought to himself, "I sure hope them other parts arrive soon they are all me needs ta finish this throne." And with a good stretch, he headed off to bed, making sure to offer up a silent prayer to the god of stone-crafters, and then faded off to sleep.
In the morning, a loud, booming knock on the door rifled Alagh awake. "Who in their right mind, goes 'round banging on doors in the middle of night?" but as he opens the door, he notices a half-giant and recognizes Vorha with a large wrapped bundle strapped to his back. "Ah…Vorha, welcome to me home and shop, let me show ya to the throne."
Vorha followed Alagh into the back room and got to work setting the mithril dragon into the back of the throne. "Excellent craftsmenship, Vorha" Alagh said. "That ruby really makes a good eye piece".
"Yup!" Vorha said as he tapped the final stud into place. "How does that look?"
"Outstanding, you're quite the artiste as well as craftsmen"
Alagh showed Vorha to the door, offering, "Is there anything I can help you with to pay you for your time?"
Vorha thought and said, "Well, truth be told, that statue only took three bars of mithril, so if I could keep the other 2 bars to make me a new sword, that would be more than enough"
Alagh agreed and saw the Half-Giant on his way.
A few hours later, Master Sinter appeared to install the mantle onto the throne. When he was done, he asked if Alagh knew where he might purchase a wagon, as he would like to take some dwarven goods back with him.
"Well me has a wagon that me don't rightly use, so ye can have it fer all the help you've been." And Alagh showed Sinter to the wagon and bid him farewell.
Night approached and there was a soft knock at the door, followed by a lady entering. "Guess you humans don't agree ta waitin' ta be invited in does ye?"
Xizu looks the dwarf over and gives him a sly grin "Silly dwarf, friends just knock and enter don't you know?"
Alagh laughed and then asked, "What did ye find out?"
Xizu crossed over to the throne, looked it over, commenting, "Well if my calculations are correct, it should work." Then she caught the bemused look on Alagh's face and started laughing as she imbued the throne with the potion. "You want to try it out?" she asks.
"I think I'm gonna have ta trust ye on this one, me just hopes ye have it right an all!" Alagh winced.
When the ten days were up, all the apprentices were summoned, along with their thrones, to the King's throne room. All in all, there were ten apprentices, and behind them was the entire Stone-crafters' guild. They seemed to be gathered around in behind a particular candidate they figured would win. As Morndin entered the throne room he notice this, and he also noticed that not one member stood behind the one known as "Grumpy" That's what his unofficial nickname was, anyway. It didn't seem to matter to Alagh though. He was a very promising apprentice despite his solitary ways, so Morndin stood behind him.
As the King entered the throne room, everyone fell quiet. The King looked at all the apprentices standing with their creations then started heading towards Alagh. He studied each apprentice then bade the furthest away from Alagh to present his gift and explain the makings. The young dwarf showed off a very nice throne and told of how he and other dwarven crafters had produced it. Each apprentice did so in turn. When the King approached Alagh, he asked him the same, yet Alagh, in turn, asked that he be allowed to tell the makings of the throne before revealing it The King nodded his permission.
"Sire, this throne is presented to ye by a humble apprentice," Alagh said with a slight bow, "and, although I laid the groundwork of stone, I had the help of the finest crafters in all Thestra. I visited each of the major cities and told their leaders I was making a great throne for the King of Dwarves. I also asked if they would like to pay a tribute of friendship and help in the making of a throne fit enough for my King."
He began to point out the features one by one, touching the piece with a caring hand.
"Sire…from the Elves, you will see marvelous wood craftsmanship. From the gnomes, a gem fitting of only a King. From the Vulmane, a cushion of the finest leather, and from the Half-Giants, a Mithril sculpture. Lastly, from the Humans, a gift that's larger than life!" And with that Alagh pulled the canvas from the throne.
All the jaws in the throne room dropped with awe, as they viewed the Black and Mithril throne, with its Silver Oak mantle and Mithril Dragon sculpture with a ruby eye, and the soft cushion seat made of the softest leather. The King looked at Alagh and said "Son, me don't know wither yer a stone crafter or a diplomat!" and at that the whole throne room filled with solid laughter.
"Morndin, what do you have ta say to or about these young men and women?" the King asked.
"Sire, I present this Journeyman letter and this set of Journeyman tools, to be giving to the winner of yer contest," Morndin said as he bowed before the King.
"Well as yer King and judge of this contest, I grant the title of Journeyman to Alagh Whitebeard!" and with that proclamation, the throne room broke into applause.