The Adventures of Rothus, page 43 [D-824]

The dwarven caves, outside the Throne room:

Our first sight of the throne, and the light is so bright, I close my eyes.

“God is that you?” asks Lily.

“Yes!” answers a dwarven voice.

I slowly open my eyes to let them adjust to the light. Once they are fully open, I see that, like the previous hall, this one has columns as well. The ones nearest us are made of copper, followed by silver and the ones on the far end are gold. They make two parallel rows that flank a path up to the throne itself. Standing between the columns and the path are dwarves in polished silver armor. In pairs, their halberds cross the path to block our way.

As we approach each pair, they pull their halberds up out of our way so that we may pass. One by one, they do this. Eventually, the last pair has pulled back their weapons and we reach King Horthgar. Our amulets start to glow! (Aeryn’s bradar (bracer radar) goes off.) The King’s bracers begin to glow with the same warm light as the amulets! So this is why Joachim was so confident that we would recognize them when we saw them. He must have known they were attuned to the bracers.

Snapping me back to the issue at hand, Durn kneels with his weapon pressing against the ground and his hands resting on the hilt. Evan and I draw weapons and immitate Durn. Aeryn and Lotech kneel without weapons. Travis inclines his head, but remains standing. Lily doesn’t kneel or anything! She’s awfully brave. Or stupid.

Lotech asks to the king, “Can we borrow those bracers for a moment?”

“I understand that you have come here looking for some bracers,” the king says. “But I have one question for each of you.” The Great Horthgar stares at each of us for a moment. “Who was it?”

Travis steps forward. “So it was you,” asserts the King.

“Yes, it was,” Travis says, “I was attempting to enjoy the finer ales in life.”

“it was not our intention to--” Lotech interjects.

“Silence,” commands the King.

“I take full responsibility,” says Travis.

“we’ll speak later,” the King concludes. “Now, describe to me the bracers you seek.” Aeryn then goes on to describe the exact bracers the king is wearing.

Lily explains, “Our amulets are linked to your bracers causing them to glow. We need the bracers as they will help us find the six stones of power. We need to collect all the stones to defeat a great evil that is coming.” That’s not exactly what we are doing just now, but it sounds better than saying, “We want the royal bracers. Hand ‘em over, big guy!”

“What benefit do my people serve by handing you my bracers?” the King asks, bringing out the major issue.

“It is not about your people, but about the world in which we share. If the world is lost, you suffer right along with us,” lily says. “What could we do to earn your trust?”

“What do you have to offer me?” the King says looking at Evan.

“He is a smith, trained by the greatest smith in the land,” Lily answers.

“A smith, eh? You will make me a sword of the best quality,” King Horthgar commands.

“But, lord, don’t you have great dwarven smiths that can do that for you?” Evan points out.

“Yes, but you are human. I want to know if the humans have improved their work in the last century,” replies the King.

“Rothus could be a valuable asset to you. He can make himself scarce, yet his eyes and ears are keen. He can explore hidden areas,” Lily suggests.

“Yes, I know of his little adventure.” King Horthgar says.

“Maybe you could explain it to me then?” I say, with a hopeful voice.

“That room is older than even I know. What I can say for certain is that it always shows the truth. It was how I learned I would be king,” the King explains.

“Has anyone ever gone in twice? Because I came out with many more questions than answers,” I ask.

“Interesting. Yes, people have gone in a second time,” he says.

“Can you lead us back to the room?” I ask.

“Yes. if you follow me,” he says.

“I will stay outside the room,” lily says.

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