Rogue Strikes Back
I scryed and got very lucky. I was not only successful with scrying for this dwarf, but I also recognized his surroundings. It was the cave where we first met the giants killing dwarves. It looked like the dwarf was doing a thorough study of his found gems.
I instantly set out for the cave. After about two hours of flight, I was outside of the cave. I went in and sealed the cave with a covering of stone. I prepared for combat.
I went into the cave, memories coming back to me of a simpler time. It seemed so long ago. And the stench was overpowering as the bodies were still here. I was rather tempted to unseal the entrance.
I could hear clinking and, "Ah yes. This one will fetch 1000. And this one might even go for 5000..."
I walked down into the main chamber. There I saw an elderly dwarf hunched over a stack of gems, scratching on paper.
"I am M--"
"Mord, I presume. I see by your greatsword and that stupid symbol of Kord. And, of course, your cocky silly grin. I am the dwarf Aider."
"Aider, how do you know me?"
"What dwarf has not heard of the great and stupid Mord who serves his lord Kord with his greatsword? And his dead mentor Core, come back to haunt us?"
"Huh? Core? What do you know of Core?"
"I know that he is not dead. He and I were once 'friends', many years ago. We were quite the team. He reveled in chaos, I reveled in profit. Together, we ran rings around the Paladins of Moradin, those thick fools. The enforcers, they used to be known as. Hah. They had connections throughout most of the clans. My operations were almost shut down a few times. But I tricked that thick Core into helping me. That is why he fled the clans. He took the fall, I took the profits. When I heard him at the fall of Like More, I knew I had to get away. Either he or the paladins would be after me."
"Why did you just tell me all of that?"
"Because, young one, I needed to distract you. You are powerful with your magics. But how are you without them?" and I saw him put on a necklace, a necklace with an evil green glow.
As I approached, I could feel the magic drain from me. As I stepped back, it came back. Anti-magic field.
"I do not need the power of Kord to deal with you, old one."
He laughed. "Why don't you meet my pet? Oh, Rack Rock. Dinner time."
And out came a hulking beast, with claws of steel and fangs dripping with venom. It roared mightily and the cave seemed to shake. Aider moved behind the beast, using it as a shield.
"You cannot get me Mord without going through Rack Rock. And no help from Kord."
I grunted. I clenched my sword and swung. A clean miss. Rack hit back, digging deep into me. I felt outmatched. Rack grabbed me. I struggled and I got free as I pushed his great jaws away from me. He snapped back, biting off my hand.
The pain was searing, my severed hand fell on the floor. I cried out, and backed up out of the chamber into the middle chamber. Rack and Aider followed. Clenching my hand, I sagged with searing pain and fog coming over me. I could feel poison surging in my veins. I would not last long.
I motioned to create an image of myself, as I vanished. I went back up against the wall while my image fled to the outer wall. Rack and Aider followed. I stumbled back into the main chamber as Rack tore into my image, which blinked out of existence as Aider approached.
I laughed, my laughter echoing in throughout the caves. Aider spun around, understanding his mistake.
"I don't need to get you, Aider. You do know my weakness. But violence is not the only option available to me; it is only my preference. Kord, in your magnificence, bring forth a wall of stone between me and them."
And a wall of stone appeared, spanning the cave, blocking Aider and the beast from entering the room and separating Aider from his precious gems. I left one opening for a hand to reach through. I grimaced as I nearly lost consciousness.
"Good-bye Aider. Thank you for the gems. I hope Rack Rock doesn't get too hungry."
I gathered up the gems, took my severed hand, staunched the bleeding, and neutralized the poison.
"No Rack, no! I will get you food. No! Help!"
"Get rid of your anti-magic field and stick your hand out of the wall. I can take you for a ride."
And I saw his hand appear. Grabbing it, I called forth to Kord to recall us back to the dwarves.
We appeared in the middle of a planning session in A Brick's meeting room.
"--giants have been seen here, here, and--what the?! Mord!"
Clutching Aider with my one good hand, the other arm still spilling blood, I said, "I hear you have an available jail cell. Take dwarf. Gems in pack. My hand..." and passed out.
I have just woken up in my old bed, with my old hand next to me. Ah, what will this day bring?
Mords of Wisdom: Always have a backup plan.