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Old 12-09-2011, 05:11 PM   #1

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 11

(This originally was just a bit of background I threw together for a char I made on the FV server, EQ1.  I kept meaning to go back to it and bring it into EQ2 as Kraagor's namesake now wanders through those lands now.  At some point I may get back to it and bring it to the present...  lol)

Chapter One

Ardek, the bartender, glanced down the bar at all the patrons who had stopped by this eve. It was a better crowd than usual, but that was probably due to the faire being in town. He was delivering drinks as fast as he could pour them, and even had a brewer making additional ale to keep up with the thirst of the crowd.

The hours passed, and the people started to leave. First to go were the group of wood elves who had been sitting together at a large table. They were a quiet bunch, but early on he noted that they did not seem to be able to pack away the drinks like his regular dwarven customers could. Then the gnomes left, probably after discovering that their tinkered anti-intoxication device was not working as intended.

As the night neared the dawn, even most of the dwarven clientele had departed, save one older, white-haired and bearded dwarf who had been sitting by himself at the end of the bar. Ardek wandered over, and took the empty bottle away and asked, "Would ye be 'avin another?"

The old man lifted his head and looked directly in his eyes, and then just nodded. In the brief time that their eyes met, Ardek saw much intensity in the old man's eyes. Pure hatred mixed with a lifetime of sadness tempered by a flicker of compassion was the only way he could describe it. Ardek slid another pint of Brell's Finest in front of the old man.

"If ye dunno mind me askin," Ardek began," what brings ye ta me 'umble establishment?" The old man downed his drink in one healthy, or not so healthy, gulp and then wiped his mouth on his sleeve. "I tell ye what. If ye keep the ales comin til I no kin drink no more, den I will tell ye a little tale." Now Ardek knew how much the old man had already had and figured that he probably was about at his limit anyways, so there could be no harm in tossing a few more his way. He put a fresh one in front of the old man, and leaned back against the bar.

"Me name be Kraagor. A miner I was. Not one o' dem rogues dat calls demselves miners mind ye, but a REAL miner. Me family 'as our own mine in da foothills o' da Butcherblock. Least we did... 'til da orcs reared their ugly 'eads..."

The old man drifted off in thought, back to his youth. He remembered the house he shared with his family. His mother would stay home and cook during the day, while Kraagor would head off to the mine with his brother and father. He could still smell the food, which brought a brief smile to his face. But then he remembered the day they came.

It had started out a day like any other. The men had put in a hard day at the mines, and were returning to their hut. When they got close, they noticed that something was wrong. There was no smoke coming from the chimney, which was strange for the day was a bit chilly and supper should have still been on the stove as well. They slowly walked up to the hut. When the got to the door, they noticed a stream of blood dripping down the steps.

Kraagor's father flung open the door and ran inside, yelling at the brothers to wait there. But they were not to be left alone, and followed him in anyways. As they entered the hut, they came upon the most gruesome of sights. Their mother hanging from the ceiling, gutted like an animal. Kraagor had never seen his father show any emotions, but this day he saw the man cry as he cut the ropes to let the woman's body down.

There was not much time for sadness though, for that was when the creatures returned. There were ten of them in all. Five pawns, four warriors and a shaman, all of the Crushbone clan. They attacked in force, concentrating on Kraagor's father and brother since they were older and stronger. Kraagor had tried to hit them, but found that his fists had little effect, except on the smaller pawns.

He then grabbed his mining pick and swung it at the closest warrior. This got the warrior's attention, and also opened a large gash across the blue beast's back. The beast turned around and swung, but Kraagor was able to duck out of the way and bring his pick down on the beast's head. The warrior dropped to a heap at Kraagor's feet. Kraagor then went after the shaman, who was healing the others as quickly as his father and brother could hurt them.

Kraagor again kicked and swung his pick over and over until the shaman too lay motionless on the ground. Kraagor spat on the corpse of the shaman, but then felt a piercing pain in his lower back. Spinning around he found it was from one of the other warriors who was wielding a shortened spear. Kraagor fought hard, swinging his old pick with all his might. He did not know how long the fight lasted, just that he did not have the strength to move when it was done.

When he finally was able to look around, he saw the orcs had all been defeated. But there too were the bodies of his brother and father. The sadness overwhelmed him, but much more so the hatred for the vile creatures that had robbed him of all that he cared about. He could not stand seeing their disgusting bodies defiling what once was his happy and loving home.

He drug the orc corpses out of the hut and rolled them down the hill, away from his home. Then he placed the bodies of his family in their respective beds, tucking them under their sheets. He started to say a prayer to Brell over them, but then realized that if Brell were a true and just god as he had been brought up to believe, then this never would have happened. Instead, he just picked up a few items, such as his father's bow and pick and a coif that his mother's father had taken off a dead orc in a far away land.

He walked out of the hut, putting a torch to the thatch of the roof as he closed the door behind him. He walked a bit away from the house, then turned to watch as the flames consumed the small hut. He swore upon the souls of his family, that he would seek to destroy the beasts that had ended their lives early. Not just the blue ones of the Crushbone either. He had heard tales of frozen ones who had plagued the Northmen of Antonica and others who inhabited the areas near Freeport. He would also seek out those that his grandfather had killed in a far off land called Velious. Vengeance would drive him. Hatred would empower him.

"That was the day this miner chose to follow the ways o' a warrior."

Ardek went to get another drink for the old man, but Kraagor waved him off. "Thank ye, friend, but I tink I should be 'eading back out," Kraagor told him," fer I know there be a camp o' da beasties nearby, and I gots a little present fer dem." With that, he reached down and picked up a couple of mining picks. They looked old, but use had kept the metal as shiny as new.

Ardek watched as the old man walked out. He realized the pain the old man must have felt, and felt sorry for what the old man had gone through. He closed up the bar, and quickly walked home. For some reason, he had to get home and hug his wife and children to be sure that they were alright.

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