Disclaimer: Belongs to the original authors and TSR Ltd; it is not mine. Set during volume 1" Dragon Wing".

"Two Left Feet" by Karen

Alfred, if given a choice, would prefer to be elsewhere than where he is right now. In fact, the overall soreness and general fatigue he feels at the moment is sending signals to his exhausted mind and body that he should have stayed home at the royal palace and not have gone off like some damn fool intrepid knight off to the rescue. Those were the type of heroes that he used to read stories about to his charge Prince Bane at night before bed time. By no stretch of the imagination does Alfred think that he resembles those story book heroes; so he can not say exactly what made him think running off to resuce had been a good idea.

As Hugh the Hand had bluntly and succincly put it, 'he'd not only burned his bridges back at the royal palace, he'd sunk the pieces in the proverbial river.
Alfred heaved a deep and regretful sigh.

Aside from being a foolish thing to do, a hasty decision that not only jeopordized his career, his life and his general well-being; it was yet another in a long and growing list of foolish things to do.

In a sudden fit of anger Alfred lashes out his own foolishness, staring down at oversized and stubborn feet, "It's all your fault, you know."

Sprawled inside the base of the giant statue that the inhabitants of the Low Realm refer to the only visible sign he has yet sign of his vanished race, the Sartans, which gives him plenty of time to think it over. Alfred wishes that he can just stay in here,
but even through the thick copper metal of the statue, the noise, smell, and hustle and bustle of live penetrates through into his hiding place.

To say that he is startled when a pair of small, strong hands begins to tug on his feet would be an understatement. Alfred grunts and wheezes, refusing to open his eyes and find out the identity of his companion in the dark.

The pair of hands is joined by a small, deep, but distinctly feminine voice.
and then screaming. He can tell by the throaty sound that it's one of the Geg, uh, pardon, dwarven rebellion leaders, Jarre.

Alfred opens his eyes, removes her hands from the much abused lacy frill of shirt collar. "Please, my dear, you must calm down.

"I can't stand it!"


"The quiet, why is it so quiet?"

"It was designed that way on purpose," he replied, before he stopped to think better of that response. He really shouldn't be blabbing away so much about his knowledge of their surroundings. Jarre's bright enough, if she's paying attention to his meandering and offhand remarks to start putting two and two together and eventually realize that he knows far more than he should about the Mangers. The Mangers are the long-vanished race of beings the Gegs, pardon, dwarves, refer to the long-vanished Sartan, than he has any right to know.

"We've gotta get out of here!" her breathing fast and shallow. It takes a bit before Alfred realizes that she's not panicking because of what just happened outside the statue.

'It was, he thinks, 'a rather inconclusive ending to a sudden riot between the two warring factions of dwarves, the foremans and Limbeck and Jarre's rebels, and he and his traveling companions, Hugh the Hand, his charge, Prince Bane. Along with Haplo and his dog, had been caught in it.

While Alfred tries to make sense out of all, piece things together,
he realizes that there is a sudden tenseness in his skull and it hurts, so he reaches up with his free hand and feels the side of his head. When he brings it down level withh his eyes, and realizes that his hand comes away sticky with blood.

Obviously he has taken one blow to the head too many. In the back of his mind Alfred thinks, 'Well, I could perform a healing spell on myself, but I can't do it with Jarre here. After all, they are already suspicious of us, and I shouldn't use any magic, not here, not ever."