Part 1: Leaving Candlekeep
The young dwarf grunted as he was pushed back a step. An older, grayer dwarf snarled as he swung again with his axe.
"Ye call yerself a dwarf? Eh?! Ye weak livered son o' an elf!"
Another blow came crashing down on the shield. The younger dwarf grunted as he planted his feet, using his low center of gravity to keep himself from being pushed back again.
"Oh? So ye're a gnome now, is it?"
The axe fell again. His arm was getting tired. It was getting harder to hold it against the constant blows.
"Ye make me sick! Ye rat bastard. Ye know what I do to-"
Suddenly, the dwarf surged forward, using his shield to hammer a blow into the older dwarf's face. The gray haired dwarf roared in pain as he was pushed back a step himself. The younger dwarf swung out with a hammer, but it was easily batted away. http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa464/grumbaki/Baldurs Gate/IMG_0772.png
The young dwarf, Durak panted as he held the hammer in front of him, ready to swing again. No more than twenty winters old, he was a beardling by any dwarf's standard. An oddity, all things told. While many a shield dwarf grew up within the confines of a human settlement, very few were ever actually raised by a human. For Durak, his foster father was the mage Gorion. A wise, gentle man, Gorion had taken the young dwarf in long ago and over the objections of Ulraunt. While he did all he could to be a father figure, Gorion was still a mage and a man of books. Knowing that young Durak would never follow in his footsteps, he instead shared his training with two others.
Where Gorion did his best to impart a love of knowledge on the young dwarf, Reevor took on the role of a combat master. The old dwarf took to it with relish, treating the beardling like a soldier from his far away clan. Durak was raised in the traditional art of the dwarven defender, to use hammer and shield as if though it were part of his body. In this, he excelled beyond Reevor's wildest expectations. There was a strength in the dwarf that far surpassed his years. He grew up as strong as an ox and as tough as any dwarf had a right to be. Even at the young age of twenty, he was a hearty as a dwarf with a full beard. The more promise that Durak showed, the tougher Reevor became. If it were not for the influence of Gorion, the older dwarf might have truly done his best to break the youngster, just to see if he could. As is, he merely pushed him as far as he reasonably could while still being welcome in Candlekeep.http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa464/grumbaki/Baldurs Gate/IMG_0794.png
Looking at the panting Durak, Reevor had to admit to himself that he was just as tired. Moreso, if he was honest with himself...something he certainly didn't have a mind to be.
"I thought I told you to clean the rats out of this building yesterday, already. Hop to it! Get in there!"
With a nod, Durak did just that. Hefting his hammer, he went to the dire task of using his hammer to clear out a rat infestation, without breaking anything of value. Reevor stood aside as he watched the beardling charge in, a look of pride and jealousy in equal measure written on his face. He knew that Durak would be leaving soon, something he had complained long and loud for ever since he was 'saddled' with the burden of training the beardling. He could hear the sound of the hammer falling and 'squeaks' from within. "I'll miss the wee bastard", he thought to himself.
When Durak came out, a smile not quite hidden from his face, Reevor grunted and tossed him five gold crowns.http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa464/grumbaki/Baldurs Gate/IMG_0795.png
"Ah yes, kill them like the rats they are! A glorious battle unlike this world has ever seen. Here's five gold pieces. Don't spend them all in one place."
With that, a smile truly did break across Durak's face. "Aye! Thank ye!" Reevor knew that the gold would turn to ale soon enough. He successfully fought back the smile.
"Well, what'yre ye waiting for? Ye going to keep Arkanis waiting, ye faerie fondling nitwit?"http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa464/grumbaki/Baldurs Gate/IMG_0790.png
This led Durak to Arkanis' forge. Arkanis was another of his tutors. Where Reevor had taught him the art of dwarven combat, Arkanis had taught him of the forge. It was something that Durak didn't quite take naturally to. It seemed to Arkanis as if though the art of killing ran in the beardlings' blood. His great flaw was that he always swung his hammer as if though he were to kill something. But he did his best, Moradin knew that. So Arkanis toiled away, doing all he could to temper the beardling the dwarven way - with a hammer in hand and an anvil before him.
When Durak came in, he found Arkanis talking animatedly to Deder. One of Arkanis' good friends, Deder was another one of Durak's closest companions. A source of levity in a life full of books, hammers and anvils. It was rare to see the halfling look serious. Durak came to a halt and looked at the pair uncertainly.
"What's the matter? Am I late? I dunnae think I'm late..."
Arkanis looked at Deder and then shook his head.
"Nay, ye're nay late. But...ah, fook it! Lad, ye're leaving. An' shut it when I'm talking, ye hear? Master Gorion says that it's nay safe here for ye. Moradin knows why, but he's told ye to pack up ye belongings an' get to him now."
"But...what? Why? How could it not be safe here? This place is a fortress-"
"Oi! Did I nay say shut it? Look, keep ye shield there. Nay ye worry about Reevor, I'll explain it to him. Now, one last thing. Ye're to get ye arse o'er to the priests' quarters. I've got me war-hammer there. I want ye tae have it. Nay that smithin' hammer ye've been swinging around." He reached over and pulled the light hammer out of Durak's confused hands.
Arkanis then reached out and put a calloused hand on the beardling's shoulder. "Ye take me hammer, an' ye do me proud. Ye remember, that e'ery time ye swing it, ye remember that there best be a reason on why ye're swinging it. Ye dunnae dare disgrace me hammer, ye understand."
"Oi! I said shut it." Deder looked away, suddenly finding something interesting on the wall to look at. "Not get out o' here. An' the next time I see ye...fook it. Jus' go."
Hesitantly Durak nodded, and then ran off. He spared one look back, and was gone.http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa464/grumbaki/Baldurs Gate/IMG_0778.png
When Durak got to the priest quarters, he opened the door and found a hooded man waiting for him. He was sitting in a chair, fingering a dagger.
"Oh goodie goodie! I've gone and found ye first! You are the ward of Gorion, no doubt?"
"I am. What can I do for ye?"
Durak was shaking. He looked down at the man's body. He had grabbed the nearest thing at hand - a priest's quarter staff. It was covered in blood. The man had come at him with the dagger. ready to take his life. He wasn't ready for how quick the dwarf was...or how strong. Neither was Durak, truth be told. He reached down and tapped at the man. He didn't move. Slowly he started to accept it. He had just killed someone. Durak thought back to what Arkanis had said. That it wasn't safe here.http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa464/grumbaki/Baldurs Gate/IMG_0781.png
He went and retrieved Arkanis' hammer. He held it in his hands. It felt right. This wasn't a tool for smithing. It wasn't for creating. It was for destroying. It was a tool of death. He stared at the body of the would-be assassin. He didn't want to admit it to himself, but for someone reason it just felt right in his hands.
With that, Durak ran from the quarters, leaving the body lying there. He hoped that Parda wouldn't find it. He didn't know what the kind hearted priest would think if he saw something so gruesome lying there. But at that moment he didn't want to think about that. He just hoped that someone like Hull or Fuller would find it first. They would dispose of it quietly. He hoped, as he ran. He had to find Gorion. Durak didn't understand why this was happening, why someone would want him dead. But he knew that he had to leave.