Friday, April 11, 2014

A Comedy of Dwarves: Short Story

This is the last of our trio in our Trope short story challenge. Make sure you check out Michelle's and Giles', if you haven't already! Otherwise, take a peek at my terrible excuse for comedy and let me know if you can catch which tropes I used.

A Comedy of Dwarves

The trio of dwarves stood at the bottom of the wall. Rain pounded down on them, clinking on Diz’s plate armor and splattering mud over Turh’s new boots.

Yia stroked her braided beard in thought. “I could climb it.”

“And leave the two of us down here without the Jewel of Grafthik, so we get killed instead of finishing our quest?” Turh asked, his voice low and dangerous. “I don’t think so. We shouldn’t have let the Rouge carry it, Diz.”

Diz, the unofficial leader of the trio, rolled her eyes. She adjusted her breastplate and sent a silent prayer up to her god. “What do you propose, Turh? You’re the one with 16 Intelligence and Wisdom.”

Turh harrumphed. “We have to all go over the wall together, obviously. If we stand on each other’s shoulders, we should be able to reach. Just don’t let Yia be on top. She’ll abandon us.”

The two females in the group shared a dry look.

Moments later, Turh grunted as Yia climbed on his shoulders. Her weight made him groan and curse in the most inventive ways a bard could. He shifted to try and ease the pain of her boots on his neck. Her feet slipped on his wet tunic, kicking him in the face.

“Don’t squirm so much,” Yia snapped. She braced herself against the rough stones of the wall with one hand and reached the other down to Diz. “You’re not afraid of heights, are you?”

Diz laughed as she took Yia’s hand. “I have Aura of Courage. I’m immune to all fear.”

Turh continued his bardic cursing as Diz and her heavy armor clamored up, digging sharp steel boot toes into his side.

Finally, Diz stood on Yia’s shoulders, and Yia stood on Turh’s shoulders. They swayed back and forth, unsteady.

The armored dwarf on top stretched up as far as she could and her gloved fingers scrambled on the top of the wall. She managed to hook her gauntlets into a hold in the stones and hauled herself up. Without giving herself time to look at the dismal view on the other side of the wall, she lay down and stretched back to grab Yia’s hand.

It took quite a bit of maneuvering to pull the thief onto the top of the wall, but they managed.

Both Diz and Yia lay on their bellies and frowned down at Turh at the base of the wall.

“I say we leave him,” Yia muttered, stroking her beard again.

Diz sighed. “As a Lawful Good, I can’t. We have to find a way to bring him up. Do you have any rope in that pack?”

“Of course I do.” Yia slung her small pack off her back and undid the ties. After a moment of digging around, she produced a coil of thick, heavy rope. Then she frowned at Diz. “Why didn’t Mr. Sixteen Intelligence think about using rope in the first place?”

“He must have failed some skill check,” Diz replied mildly. She tied the rope around her waist as an anchor and lowered it down to Turh.

Once the last of the trio had made the slick ascent, they turned their attention to getting back down on the other side.

“We could hold onto each other’s hands and lower one of us—” Turh began.
“No,” both Diz and Yia snapped at the same time. 

Friendly reminder that dwarves and halflings are not the same and Emily is most definitely one of the latter. Furry feet are much more fun than furry faces. You can find her elsewhere at or on Twitter @EmilyKSinger.

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