"Open up!" the dwarf hollered at the top of his lungs, stumbling across the uneven ground as he did. Chains rattled, mechanisms clinked in place and the small steel-clad gate groaned in protest as it swung open. And not a second too soon as a dwarven form bolted past without stopping a beat, yelling continuously. The gate had barely opened and let the dwarf in before it soundlessly shifted on its hinges and swung shut, once again becoming a seamless part in the impenetrable defense of the dwarven Hall.
The dwarven runner did not slow his pace but rather picked it up, passing his questioning kin without a word, though even he could not help spare a glance upon the rather strange shrine featuring a glassed in paper, enclosed with dwarven and orcish symbols alike. The dwarf sighed when he saw the sight; it could have all been for nothing. Making his way across the Gorge he turned his lament into a scoff, he for one would not let this news stop the important work being done here and, if he knew his king correctly, neither would he.
King Bruenor Battlehammer, Eighth and Tenth King of Mithral Hall paced his audience chamber impatiently, every once in a while looking up from the floor to cast a long look toward his trusted advisors. Although they were so much more than advisors; they were companions, friends and family not one of the five spoke up or even uttered a sound to ease Bruenor's patience.
"Well, where in the Nine Hells is he, the damned rascal?" he finally bellowed to no one in particular even as the doors to his audience chamber swung open and a winded dwarf stumbled in. The dwarf, gulping in mouthfuls of air, paused to look around the room as if he'd just received the gift of sight before locking on to one of the three other dwarfs in the room and strode right to him. He bent to one knee in reverence, his long beard sweeping the stone floor.
"Me King, 'fraid I got some bad news". Bruenor stopped pacing.
"Bah, geddup an' spit it out!" Bruenor bellowed, his patience wearing thin. Something made apparent to the tired messenger when his king physically seized him and pulled him up on his feet. "Now ye were sayin'?" The dwarf king continued a bit kinder. The messenger cleared his throat and wiped his forehead with his now rather dusty beard.
"Well… we was just fishing, ye know, my cousin and me. On our side of the Surbrin, 'course, with the Treaty an' all. When we saw Fergal an' his boys chasin' some orc band to the Hells and back before stickin' it to 'em at a dead end." the messenger blurted out in one breath.
"How many?" Bruenor spat out.
"Well… not sure, me king. Gamlig claims he saw not more than two score but between me and his bad eye –"
"Right!" Bruenor interjected and leveled with his right hand dwarf. "Torgar, I want you and your finest assembled right now. See if you can't locate this Treaty–breaking brat o' a dwarf and take him here." He ended his words with a heavy smack to his throne of solid rock. His glare grower darker at the second Bruenor Battlehammer opened his mouth for another order when an even darker hand touched his shoulder, stopping the dwarf abruptly. "I think it best if I went, my friend." the dark elf said gently. "Not that I hold every confidence that Torgar would do his job" he smiled at Torgar Hammerstriker, who stomped restlessly beside his king, "but my guess is you, and your city, would best benefit from a more… circumspect solution."
But Bruenor waived the notion away. "Bah! Drizzt, this's a dwarf matter. And it require a dwarf solution." He looked again at Torgar.
"But, Father, please!" the female voice sounded surprisingly at home in a dwarven chamber. "Drizzt is right. He and I could cover half the distance in less time and we could move more freely inside orc territory." the female voice, belonging to Bruenor's adoptive daughter Cattie-brie, finished. Walking up to his father, she placed a hand on his other shoulder.
"Ha! If it's open to throw in names then me and me boys would surely not let ye down, me king!" another dwarf erupted. Being garbed head to toe in seamless spiked and jagged armor it was hard, for any stranger, to take Thibbledorf Pwent seriously. But any who had seen him and his brigade in action would not be so quick to laugh. Bruenor did not laugh, but sigh.
"No, I fear you and your Gutbusters would only throw more wood on the fire. Drizzt, take me girl and go in circum… whatever. That troublesome Fergal Firefist must be brought to an end for the good o' the region."
A couple of hours later Cattie-brie and Drizzt Do'Urden, tailed up by Hralien the Elf, bounded through the woods of the Silver Marches in pursuit of a rogue war–bent dwarf.
Although surely sensitive to their surroundings not one of them happened to note the three forms following them with their eyes on a high bluff up above.
"Hm. This keeps getting more interesting and interesting." One of them remarked.
"Drizzt! I thought he was dead!" gritted another with a sharp, accusatory glance at the first.
"Oh, how ye have been misled! Bwahaha!" laughed the third.