Children of Wild Heart
The Seven Brothers
The Dwarves tell that 1600 years ago, seven brothers left Thunder Mountain, far to the east, and journeyed west until they came to the foothills of the Great Stone Mountains. As his Grandfather had taught him, Dzord cast the magic that would tell him what they had found. "There is gold here, " he told his brothers, “and iron and Adamant. This is a good place for us.” Walking up into the mountains, the brothers searched for a cave, where they might begin to mine out a new hall. They came upon a giant, herding goats in the mountains. “You sir,” asked Rolven, speaking politely and kindly as his Grandfather had taught him, " You seem to know these mountains well. We seven brothers wish to find a cave and dig ourselves out a new home. Know you where we might look?"
“Ah,” said the giant, knowing where there was a rich vein of gold in a cave, but not having the wit to dig it up himself, "I might know where you would look, but before I tell you there are three things I require. You must give me a ring that can make me invisible, a breast plate no sword can pierce and a potion that will make me stronger then a hundred bull oxen.
Streight away Volcranzer sat down, twisted gold and silver wires together and fused into them a stone on which he sketched out a Rune, as his Grandfather had taught him. “Here,” he said, “This ring will make you invisible.” Directly after, Madrorn set down his anvil and hammer as his Grandfather had taught him and beat out a piece of Adamant, forging and welding it in bands along a piece of steel. “Here,” said he, " This breast plate will not be pierced by even the sharpest iron sword, wielded by the strongest warrior in the north." Lastly, Ragdel searched through his pockets and pouches, producing a small glass jar and, as his Grandfather had taught him, mixed powdered glow beetle wing with essence of fireflower and juice of greenberry, and other, stranger ingredients, until the jar was full of glowing silver liquid. “Here,” he told the giant, “is a potion that will give you such strength that you can hurl ships through the air or beat down the very peaks of the mountains themselves.”
Having these things, the giant told the brothers where the cave with the gold in it might be found and they moved on. But straight away, the giant put on the invisibility ring and snuck after them.
The brothers came to the cave and found the vein of gold and began congratulating each other excitedly. They set to work immediately, mining out the yellow metal and carving the stone into homes for themselves. Soon, they had amassed a small fortune in gold and made themselves a modest Dwarf hall. The brothers made plans for Hurhullfan to bring some of the gold down from the mountains and, as his Grandfather had taught him, trade it for many things that they wanted, fine foods and furnishings and good drink and tools.
Their plans thus set, the brothers made their beds and fell asleep. The giant, wearing the ring that made him invisible, crept into the cave and tried to get into the cavern where the gold was kept, but found himself too big to fit. “Hrrm!” bellowed the giant, “Wake up you little weak Dwarves! Bring out your gold to me!” The Dwarves, alarmed sprang from their beds and the giant took off the invisiblity ring and brandished his cudgel. Grundvalk drew forth his short sword and stepped forward. “You wish to steal our gold giant?” he said, “You’ll not get that without a fight.”
“You cannot defeat me,” said the giant, “I have a breast plate that no sword can pierce!”
“So I see.” said Grundvalk and, as his Grandfather had taught him, he made two quick cuts with his blade, slicing through the thick leather straps that held the breast plate in place. The unpiercable armor clattered to the floor. “Ho!” cried the giant, “That was clever. But it will do you no good, for I have drunk a potion that gives me the strength of a hundred bull oxen!”
“Aye,” said Grundvalk, “But you’ll have to be fast enough to hit me first!” and the Dwarf began to dance around the giant, stabbing and slicing with his short sword and no matter how he swung his cudgel, the giant could not hit him.
“Argh!” cried the giant, for the pain from the Dwarfs sword was hurting him sorely. Thinking to escape his tormentor, he put back on the invisibility ring, but when he did, he did not disappear, and remained visible. In fear the giant fled out from the cave. Thinking to trap the Dwarves inside, the giant ran to a large boulder and tried to move it to the cave mouth, but found that his great strength had faded.
Just then, Grundvalk came out of the cave and delt the giant such a kick to his rear that he fell and went rolling down the mountain, and you can believe that he never was seen in those mountains again, for it’s true.
“Did anyone tell him the ring could only be used once?” asked Volcranzer as the giant crashed down the mountainside.
“I didn’t,” said Ragdel, “did anyone tell him the potion would wear off after a minute?”
“I didn’t.” said Madrorn. “Pity he didn’t tell me to make make uncuttable straps for his unpiercable breast plate.”
The seven brothers laughed and went back into the cave and used the riches they had found to build a great Dwarf nation, as their Grandfather had taught them, and as they found more wealth they were joined by their wives and cousins and uncles and aunts and nephews and second cousins four times removed and now, to this very day, the Seven Clans are named after them.
This story has two morals. The first is let the buyer beware. The second is, don’t
try to double cross Dwarves.