Welcome to the thoughts of a Dwarf. This intrepid site is designed primarily to allow a place where I can store all of my writings, be it stories or poems or illogical philosophical rants. I hope to be able to provide interesting reading material for my friends and the random stranger who somehow gets sucked off course and finds this sight. Feel free to comment or even request stories. The more inspiration that I have, the more I can explore the limits of imagination and using literary works to rest for a moment from the tedious demands of reality.

In the beginning, I will be uploading many of my already written works. Though most of them are written for the gaming website Achaea.com, which is a text based MUD that I have been playing since 1998. My current main character in Achaea is the Dwarven Paladin known as Goryllin. His viewpoint is used in many of my current stories, as I draw upon his life and his world to create the science fantasty realities in which my story characters dwell.

Achaea is a medieval setting fantasy world, filled with Dwarves, Humans, Trolls, and many more fantastical races and professions. It is a living and breathing world in that every player has a chance to change the world and its direction. It is a player driven roleplay enhanced realm where combat, life, death and yes even taxes are all a part of the experience. We wouldn't mind having you drop by for a visit and pint of ale, if you do visit please send Goryllin a message and he will be glad to help you.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Paladin and the Troll

Sweat drips down the brow of a young Squire as he completes the final swing of his practice maneuvers and throws himself down upon a pile of hay. Lying back against the soft embrace of the haystack, the Squire begins methodically cleaning his weapon and ponders the mysteries of life. As the sun begins its decent towards the horizon, his mind turns towards his Master and the new light in that Knight’s eyes. Having recently learned of the heartbreak his mentor had faced in the past, the Squire could not help but long to know more of this tremendous story. Thus, he gathers up the supplies and equipment from his workout regiment, trudging down towards the village below him and seeking a companion he knew had traveled with his Master for several years.

Following the meandering path into the quaint village, the Squire soon approaches a house with a middle aged couple sitting on the porch and gently rocking on a large porch swing.  Recognizing them as companions of the Paladin, he steps lightly up to the railing surrounding the porch and asks them if they knew his Master all those years ago, or if they knew someone who did. After some thought, the man tells the Squire that the village does host someone who would know this story and points him towards the tavern in the city of the village. Confusion sweeps across the face of the young Squire as he considers the location, until the friendly man points out that the bartender used to a traveling Merchant.  “He was a giant of a man, bold and affable and willing to tell you any tale that would make you desire to pay more for his trinkets,” the man explains, “Always had a tale, story, or rumor to feed you. And then one day he went too far and made some tale that was a bit too close to comfort. It involved the Queen and a dalliance, and the rumor seemed so believable that nearly half the Kingdom was in an uproar. That is when the Royal Decree went out, and the Merchant became a lonely bartender.”

With this interesting bit of gossip in his mind, the Squire begins to walk again and this time set his path directly to the village Tavern. Raucous music assaults his ears to provide confirmation that he is getting close, and just in time as the clouds have begun to darken and the air stills in anticipation of an incoming storm. Walking down the worn mud steps into the tavern entrance, he glances over the abused building and notes that despite the exterior wear and tear, the Tavern is very solidly built and can withstand the antics of the patrons within. Shouldering through the heavy oak door, the Squire is greeted by impact of a meaty fist upon his cheekbone. The strike is awkward and off balance and thus barely grazes the young man though it does force his head back and up, causing a moment of extreme alarm and anger. Before the Squire can even decide how to react, either by wading in with his fists or pulling out one of his swords and fighting in earnest, a massive hand clamps on his shoulder and he is firmly pulled to the side. 

Twisting his head around in protest at this newest affront, the Squire suddenly grows quiet as a red headed mountain of a man moves in front of him.  With a quick flash of movement, a massive arm grasps the drunken lout who began the fighting and just as quickly the man is flung through the door with a mighty thud. Swearing heavily, the drunk picks himself up and shakes his head to the accompaniment of beads of sweat flying from his distressed hair. Just as the drunk opens his mouth to shout a challenge, the heavy bulk of the door swings back shut and slams into the back of the inebriated fool. Silence fills the tavern for a few moments as all occupants stare at the still form of the drunk sprawled upon the ground, and then the room fills with a hearty cheer when the drunk begins to snore.  Two patrons hurriedly step up and drag the man out of the tavern as everyone else lifts their mugs and business returns to normal.

Guided by the nudge of a large hand upon his back, the Squire travels forward to sit on a small bench set into an alcove near the main bar. Sipping gratefully at the full mug that is deposited in front of him, the Squire turns towards the one time Merchant and makes his quest for knowledge known. For a moment, the Merchant remains silent and contemplates the young man before him. Then he leans back against the bar and enters into the narrative of such a story that can hardly be believed.
The Merchant’s deep voice starts with rehashing what the Squire already knew; the brave Paladin, who mentored him now, was also a young man in this story and had fallen for an Angel who could not decide between two worlds, flitting back and forth between the Paladin and another man. But then that baritone voice changed the story in a way that the Squire did not expect. With a heavy sigh, the Merchant illuminated the slow setting poison that began to creep into the thoughts and feeling of the Paladin as he watched the night sky for his Angel. With trembling heart, he saw the paintings across the stars that were meant for another. With weary ears, he heard the sweet nothings carried from her lips across the wind but meant for someone else. And so the Paladin had resolved to move on, to explore the world abroad and to burn all of his feelings for the Angel who could not seem to settle down upon this mortal earth.

The Squire listens patiently, hoping to discover a happy ending in the midst of what seems to be a very dreadful tale. However the Merchant simply continues his story without changing his expression; hearkening back unto the days of yore and bringing to mind that young Paladin again. The Paladin began to travel the world, withdrawing his thoughts and feelings into himself while outwardly being social and friendly with those he met. During a period of this lonely journey, he encountered a fellow traveler that seemed to share the same desires of the heart. Reminiscing about different encounters they had experienced in their respective lives, they came to agreement on several different ideas and theories. Common complaints about the idiocy of the fellow travelers and the fact that romance seemed to be dead in this world tended to dominate the conversations that they had. Then one day, the Paladin dared to bare his soul and shared the story of his encounters with the Angel.

Pain enters into the Merchants voice as he narrates now how the friendship between the Paladin and the Troll began to take a very different tact. The Paladin watched bewildered as each day passed and the Troll became more and more aggressive, turning the Paladin’s words against him and twisting situations to become issues where there were originally no issues. The Merchant pauses here for a moment, wincing as he reflects upon his own role in this degrading friendship. With the wry tones of one who now recognizes past folly, the Merchant explains that he had enjoyed watching the friction build between two erstwhile friends and so had plied his gilded tongue towards twisting the mental state of the easily deluded Troll. While the Merchant spent his time spinning what he thought were harmless yarns, it turned out that the Troll had encountered the Angel for himself and decided that he could woo this beautiful creature far better than the Paladin could. Thus the Merchant unknowingly aided in fueling the competitive fire burning within the Troll which caused him to view the Paladin as competition though that was reality only in the mind of the Troll.

Things quickly come to a heated point in this tale, as the Merchant’s voice speeds up in anticipation. The Troll begins to strive against the Paladin. First quietly, then suddenly he openly challenges the Paladin. Surprise and disbelief pour through the young Knight at this escalation of what he had once considered a friendship and then he realizes that the lurking fear growing in his mind has become a truth. The one whom he had once called an Angel was instead simply a Witch hiding behind a veil of deception and secrecy, and her whispered words were repeated in any ear that would listen.  As the Troll continues his barrage and attempts to drag the Paladin down into a cesspit of fighting and backstabbing, the Knight has developed the wisdom to avoid the situation and focus upon his own battles. Safely removed and ignoring the posturing and threatening from the Troll, the Paladin watches from afar as the Witch attempts to pretend that nothing has changed. Secret words are still whispered in the dark of night, little signals are sent that seem to indicate an Angel waiting for the right moment to slip into the arms of the Paladin. But now the veil has been torn and the Paladin is wise to these ploys, so he continues his travels in earnest and leaves the tattered bridges of false promises behind.

Shock is mingled with relief on the face of the Squire as he takes in the unexpected twist in this fateful story. Learning forward to face the former Merchant, he asks if there was a conclusion to this story. The Merchant briefly chuckles before explaining that several friends had attempted to drag the Troll away from the siren call which drew to him. His voice seems to contain a trace of derision as he narrates the several times that the Troll appeared to come to his senses and apologize for the madness of previous moments; he includes the conversations where the Troll is explaining the lies that he was told and is countered by the Paladin repeating the exact same phrases from the Paladin’s own experience with the now renowned Witch. And yet, every time that the Troll seems to be recovering and regaining sanity it only takes one slight call and the right snap of the fingers and the Troll falls again under the spell.

As yet another scuffle breaks out in the Tavern, the jovial features of the Merchant fade into the resigned expression of the Bartender and he excuses himself to enforce peace upon his patrons. Settling back into the bench, the Squire contemplates the new information that he had learned. Some made sense, as it explained why his Master had traveled so much and even now continues to be social on the exterior but keeps things very private beneath the emotional surface. A sad shake of the head accompanies his thinking, as the Squire hopes to never personally repeat the experiences outlined in the story of the Paladin and the Troll.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Diary of a Fallen Hero -Part I

Measured footsteps fall lightly upon the packed earth, highlighting the passage of an armored figure. Clad in gear traditional for the bounty hunters operating in the territory of the Hutts, this bounty hunter patrols the top of a high earthen berm.  His current patrol is one that combines instinct and boredom, as all indications suggest that the battle is over for the day. A quick glance backwards would show the shattered remains of nearly two dozen HK-7 battle droids buried beneath what appears to be the foundations of uprooted Anti-Aircraft gun batteries. Despite the apparent peacefulness of the moment, the bounty hunter continues his smooth and measured patrol.  Battle trained senses keep his movements quick and efficient as he pulls up his rifle to scan through the scope.

Looking down from the berm, he is able to see into a major processing plant. Most of the plant is obscured to his vision, only various catwalks and machinery is visible against the backdrop of the massive smoke funnels in the distance. No threats catch his attention as he constantly sweeps back and forth with his scope watching various maintenance droids busily working to keep dilapidated machinery in working condition. Continuing his alert scan, he notes the patrolling groups of HK-7 droids on the periphery of the processing plant, marking them once again in his memory. Even as he watches for any hostile movement, his scope keeps floating back to center on a particular section of the catwalk where he last saw the flowing black robes adorning a certain feminine figure.

With no threats appearing in his scope, and his companions behind him seeming content to trust that all is well, the bounty hunter allows a brief moment for a small part of his mind to flash back to the moment when he first met the young girl that would figure so prominently in his current situation. Only a year previously in the chronological sense of time, so much was different then and the universe seemed to be smiling upon him and all of his plans. He had woken that morning with the glowing confidence of a military man receiving every validation possible and knowing that everything was safe and secure.  Recently released from the hospital after a vicious pirate attack, his new Captain uniforms had already arrived. The memory of receiving the promotion and being told that the Alliance could never do without his bravery and courage still rings in the mind of the bounty hunter. He was wearing shiny Alliance uniforms back then, of course, and not the dirt smeared jetpack and generic armor that coated his body now. A slight moment of regret flickers through the bounty hunter’s mind before he returns to recalling the events of that fateful day.

In the back of his mind, the scene plays out with absolute clarity. He enjoyed a brief and intense moment of quiet celebration with his few friends in the barracks, then moving on to join to his prestigious new post as part of the Honor Guard at the Jedi Temple. He glowed inside at the honor and glory that was being heaped upon him, and felt that his days of combat were long over. Everyone knew that becoming part of the Jedi Honor Guard meant very little fighting or intense action, as very few people would wish to attack such a mighty bastion. And so his thoughts of the future at the moment were very shiny and filled with fantastical ideas of how to live out his days in glory. These thoughts continued for most of the day and even into the evening hours, as he learned his new duties and toured the grounds that he would be guarding. It was right as he was heading back to his bunk to lay down and get some rest that it happened, he saw her.

She was only a small wisp of a thing, appearing as if she could barely keep herself from floating away in the wind. Gracefully dancing through a training regimen, she nearly glistened due to a light sheen of sweat coating her delicate blue skin. While Twi’leks have always been recognized for their beauty, there was something in her eyes and the way that she moved which set her apart from even those that were prized for their beauty. Her familiarity with the Jedi training regimens and her interactions with the trainers made it apparent that she had been lucky enough to have been in the Temple since her earliest childhood memories. Unlike the majority of her race, she had never felt the lash of a slave master and most likely did not know that most would consider her only in terms of the value she would bring on the market for be slaves.

He had stopped then, the bounty hunter recalled, and simply stared as this young Twi’lek cavorted through complicated practices and seemed to draw pleasure from annoying her instructors as she pushed the boundaries. It was the life that positively glowed from her eyes, he decided during this reflection, that was what had so captivated him. He had met driven people before, people who had a purpose and goal and marched forward relentlessly to achieve it. However, never had he seen someone who seemed to demand and expect the very most out of every breath and who enjoyed bending it to her will. A sudden urge swept through him and he found himself pacing over towards the training grounds and pretending to inspect a security terminal nearby; his eyes soaking in every detail of this young female apprentice.

Even infatuated Alliance Troopers know their role and how to act, however, and so quite a few days passed as he went about his duties and tried not to think about the young Twi’lek. It happened that one of his patrols found him steadily marching down one of the silent corridors of the Temple when he overheard a stern reprimand being issued by a Jedi Master. “Beq,” growled the distinct voice of Master Dan-ki, “You must practice balance and equilibrium. You must control your desires and emotions. A Jedi has no place for emotion when dealing with others, you must cleanse your mind and your thoughts. Focus on the force and meditate, do not simply reach out and grab what you desire. Work for it, find a peaceful solution.” The girl’s response is lost to the trooper, as he mentally dances in joy. He finally knew her name, and that very knowledge brought with it a great longing to know more about this mysterious young girl.

Back in the present, the bounty hunter scans the catwalks and watches the perimeter once again as he silently resumes his self imposed duty. Traveling in the presence of very powerful Sith tends to make a bounty hunter and his guns feel feeble by comparison. Movement captures the bounty hunter’s attention and he zooms in to watch as one of the stealthy infiltration party suddenly floats up the air and crumples on top of the catwalk. Recognizing the Imperial uniform, the bounty hunter can only chuckle as he realizes that the poor man was helped by a rather inexperienced Force user. Lowering the angle of his scope, he attempts to spot the dark robes but the object of his desire is hidden by the corner of a building. His attention slides back up to the catwalk and he watches as another member of the party joins the Imperial. Sliding his sight across the catwalk, the bounty hunter suddenly catches a brief flash of movement heading towards his companions. Activating the zoom, he alertly attempts to find the source of the movement but it was simply a blur in his vision. After a moment of thought, he decides that he did not see enough to know if it was a threat. Focusing his attention back upon the visible party of the party, he stands at full alert and attempts to monitor the situation from afar.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Moment of Reflection

Closing my eyes to embrace the darkness
I lean back against the wall and pause
Just to take a brief moment of respite
From the emotions that you cause

For a life that once resisted all change
I now appear to be constantly evolving
Longings of old mixing with fresh desires
Has become a door that is always revolving

No longer content to hide away from the world
I strive to do more each and every day
Just to earn a brief glance and smile
Is all that I could ask for my pay

Even now when everyone else is asleep
I search for the next great thing
What can I do now that would amaze you
Your reaction makes me feel like a King

A hope springs to my mind
I pray that you don’t ever feel sadness
That even when things turn for the worse
You will find a way to feel gladness

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A note from me to you

Most of my life has been spent picturing love as rainbows, unicorns, and fireworks in the sky every moment. It was this deepest feeling of the grandest emotion ever time that I laid eyes upon my love. It was an earth shaking experience that would forever rock me to my core.

The problem was that I also thought that love would occur at first sight, that I would lay eyes upon someone and know deep in my heart that we were meant to be together and they would know it too. I imagined that I could simply look into someone’s eyes and they would know how I would feel and everything would be magical and perfect from that moment on.

Yet at this very moment, I sit here and reflect upon you. There was no magical missile that fired across the sky when I met you. No fireworks display or beating hearts. I did not sink into a montage of rose petals flowing away from a vision of you dressed in very sexy attire and my eyes did not turn into spinning hearts as I went gaga. Instead we exchanged a laugh and smile at a simple joke someone else said and we went on our own way. Nothing tugged at my soul, ripped the sky down to get my attention or anything that I thought would announce love.

Even when you accepted my stumbling and nervous request and allowed me to take you on dates, none of these signs manifest themselves. Instead, I found myself doing things that I normally would not do and accepting situations and circumstances that I used to avoid. Previously I had spent so much time looking for someone who understood all of my jokes, read the same books, watched the same movies, knew what I knew, and wanted what I wanted. And yet each time that you came out of your shell and talked with me more and actually interacted, I took those desires and goals and threw them upon the ground.

Now I glance up from this note to watch you lying peacefully in bed, and I remember my old definition of love. Perhaps I might even snort at the folly of youth, as I consider the truths that I have learned during my time with you.

Instead of floating on air every moment, try constantly searching out ways to bring a smile to your face. Forgetting rainbows or unicorns, watch for the contented gleam in your eyes and listen for the whispered thank you in the middle of the night. Watching those who are caught up in what I had thought was love, I am reminded of a passionate display that is only skin deep.

Love is not in the overt expressions of affection, but instead in the carefully threaded patch sewn upon torn pants. Not in the smothering kisses when others are watching, but instead in the simple dinner prepared by tired hands. I know love is not found in the flaunting pictures and sayings that are posted to the social media websites. Instead I see love in the compromise to fit two lives together. . So many scoff at the idea of true love;  but I think that what they scoff at is the Hollywood version of overt expression and everything fitting together without a hitch. It is only when things do not instantly mesh and you must work to find the right balance that you can experience the liberation of love, for then you realize that the things that used to mean so much matter less when compared to the happiness of the one you love.

It is in those still dark moments at night, when all of life's worries start to compound themselves and manifest in every corner.. that is when the thought of your smile calms me and I realize that I am safe in your arms. I know that things are not always easy, and that sometimes the stresses of life have proven to be greater than we expected. However, as I put my hands to my lips and feel the lingering effects of your last kiss..

I feel like the earth is shifting beneath my feet, and fireworks are bursting above my head.