AN: Hey readers, this is my first story in both DF and in general, so salutations to all! Enjoy this poem which I originally wrote for a class but expanded upon once it started hitting me over the head with ideas. The dwarves demanded it be so! So read on, and have ! !FUN! !

Tholzagith: A Forgotten Tale

In the mountainous realm of the sturdy dwarves, there lay a fortress strong and fair.
Its walls were high and its mines were deep, and its halls were filled with song and drink.
But far below this mountainhome a terror roamed the darkened deeps.
To the mountain's roots the dwarves had delved, and forgotten beasts woke in their wake.
For a monstrous creature dwelt below, a twisted blend of man and beast.
As from its slumber it awoke, it heard the sounds of life and screeched.
Since the dawn of time it had slept alone, and now arose in rage and wrath.

As it writhed within its stony tomb the walls began to chip and crack.
Its prison breached, the creature fled, finally free to spread its wrath.
Through mossy caves and darkened pools it followed the scent of blood and wine.
The deeps were vast and the dwarves were few but the nightmare beast could bide its time.
Through years of dark it searched and toiled, until at last it found its prey.
The shaft was old and the scent was dim but the creature knew it had found the way.
Up the shaft the nightmare crawled, its monstrous claws gripped rock and stone.
Above the fortress hummed and glowed, not knowing death was right below.

As the creature reached the tunnel's peak it found a maze of mines and track.
The dwarves had quarried long and deep and endless tunnels curved and creaked.
Within that maze some quarried still, their helms alight and picks at work.
They did not hear the creeping death, their minds consumed by stone and dirt.
The click of claws was loud on stone, but the pickaxe's song was louder still.
With a piercing howl the monster flew, its victim born down to the ground.
He had not time to give a shriek before his blood was pouring down.
With claws stained crimson from the tide, the beast began to hunt anew.
One by one the miners fell, their lights extinguished in the gloom.

From the fort above a craftsdwarf came, seeking only stone.
A statue he was tasked to make and stocks above were low.
So now below he searched the mines, his patience at its end.
For every stone he came across was flawed too much to mend.
This one too light, this one too dark, this one too soft to carve.
Some orthoclase, some microcline, so bright he must discard.
Until he saw the perfect stone, a marble boulder fair.
Its beauty tugged so on his heart that he could only stare.
But as he reached to claim his love his heart was turned to ice.
For all around he now could see that greed could have its price.
Once greyclad halls were splashed with red, a corpse lay to his right.
Its mangled flesh and tattered limbs brought terror to its height.
But as he turned to flee this scene as stone again he froze.
For looming in the darkened halls three crimson eyes did glow.

And so the carver turned and ran, the nightmare right behind.
All thoughts were blurred and panic ruled as terror filled his mind.
Each second felt as if an hour, each minute as a year.
Yet still the race continued on, a marathon of fear.
Till all at once it reached its end, as gravity ensued.
In one misstep the carver fell, his panicked footing skewed.
Into a sticky pool he fell, its contents crimson hued.
A stricken body lay beside, its vision dull and glazed.
A copper pick, its former tool, the carver took and raised.
The twisted beast approached him now, no hurry in its stride.
It knew there could be no escape, its victim's fate was tied.
And so it was caught most surprised when the pickaxe hit its eye.

A howl unearthly filled the mine, resounding through the shafts.
Above the dwarf folk ceased their toil, pausing in their crafts.
Below the creature writhed and wailed as pain consumed its mind.
Its claws the dripping pick removed, blood black and red combined.
With a clank the tool was tossed aside, and the beast began pursuit.
The dwarf, meanwhile, was far ahead and now sure of his route.
As he reached the central staircase grand he marveled at his fate.
Tholzagith he'd faced, the devil deep, and lived to reach the gate.
And so he climbed the endless steps, to warn dwarves with his tale.
He did not know that right below the beast had tracked his trail.

Above he spun his tragic tale, of love and loss and deaths.
The glowing eyes and bloody claws made listeners hold their breaths.
The soldiers donned their armor bright, its greaves and mail of steel.
Their azure axes were adamant, and the edges seemed unreal.
Wearing only leather guards the marksdwarves fetched their bows.
Their silver arrows were tipped with barbs to latch onto their foes.
The carver too would take up arms, though none he had prepared.
A lowly axe of copper dull was the only one unpaired.
He stayed behind as civvies fled and axedwarves formed their squads.
The marksdwarves formed their ranks above and some prayed to their gods.
Below they heard the staircase creak as death rose to their tier.
Two glowing eyes and one dripping black, Tholzagith was here.

To greet it came a steady rain of silver razor-edged.
With feathers of a fearsome roc this deadly storm was fledged.
And while this hail in stone could lodge the beast did not need flinch.
For in its scaly darkened hide they could not stick an inch.
Their ammo spent, the marksdwarves fled, their crossbows to re-arm.
Below the soldiers swore and charged, their intent to cause harm.
They'd hoped to face a weakened foe, one injured from afar.
Instead its hide they could not chink, its eye the only scar.
So now they fought the fearsome beast, each strike marked by their cries.
The carver stood in disbelief, not trusting his own eyes.

For though the axes hit their marks, each shining like the moon.
The creature's blood refused to spill, its flesh could not be hewn.
And though the fighters were unmatched in terms of strength and skill.
Slowly they began to tire, the beast they could not kill.
Seeing weakness in their eyes, the fiend began to strike.
Its claws rent steel like paper shreds, each fang was like a spike.
Blood began to fill the hall, tide crimson born anew.
Battle cries had turned to screams, those standing still were few.
But as the beast began to feast upon those lying still.
A streak of silver towards its eye and through the air did drill.

The sender of this sterling shaft was perfect in his aim.
And so the following event on him you cannot blame.
As when the arrow reached the eye it did cause quite a chip.
For as it hit that crimson orb the bolt apart did rip.
The falling shards from afar resembled silver tears.
And as they fell it seemed as if the action would take years.
As before every gleaming shard, to the ground could float.
The beast had reached the startled dwarf and grabbed him by the throat.

With one small twitch claws dug deep, and the marksdwarf lost his head.
As his corpse was crushed and tossed aside his fellows turned and fled.
The last defense had been destroyed, the fort was good as dead.
Until the carver left his nook, purpose in his stride.
He could no longer hide in fear as all around him died.
Copper axe held in his arms the lonely dwarf advanced.
Around him rusty puddles formed and off his boots they glanced.
Ahead the beast had reached the stairs that led to life and light.
If it could reach that shining hall all flesh would meet its blight.

Hearing movement right behind the nightmare turned and hissed.
There stood another mortal fool, not worthy to exist.
As memory reached its ancient mind it gave another cry.
This was the one that hurt it so, this pest needed to die.
Letting loose a fearsome roar the beast rushed at its foe.
The insect did not try to flee, but waited for the blow.
As it loomed above its dwarven prey the monster gave a start.
For it had the time to give a scream as the copper pierced its heart.

By the time the beast had ceased its throes the stone was soaked with black.
With a final lurch it hit the ground, resounding with a crack.
Not quite sure this all was real the carver stood in shock.
But before long he found the truth as firm as any rock.
Wading through the ebon tide the carver grasped his axe.
The weapon slid out of the wound as easily as wax.
When he reached the hall of song and ale the tale he did spread.
The devil deep was slain at last, Tholzagith was dead.