Arise The Forgotten King
A Dwarven Monk on the road to enlightenment.
Myco Stoneschism, Or Myconid Shalescrambler Stoneschism as he is fully known is a Dwarf. He
was born a Dwarf, raised a Dwarf and from all accounts, looks and smells like a Dwarf, as far as Dwarves are concerned however that is where it ends because long ago Myco opted to lead a
monastic lifestyle and committed one of the cardinal sins (according to dwarves) and has
completely forgone the consumption of beer!
Now you may ask yourself how a Dwarf, any Dwarf, could fall so far from the rest of the Dwarven flock where the drinking of beer, ale mead and any other concoction of strong alcohol is ingrained from near birth and how that could lead to a young Dwarf becoming the proverbial
“Black Sheep”, but that is where thing get interesting, for the non-consumption of beer is not the only “sin” that Myco committed, but it was to the Dwarves the most obvious!
It started many years ago when Myco was but a youth, his beard barely to his chest during a rather fervid season of fighting against incursions from the foul creatures of the underdark.
It was during a rather mundane patrol that the small group of warriors, some veterans of hundreds of similar patrols and more than twice that amount of fights (More if you include those in the taverns) and several younger Dwarves out to get their axes bloodied that they group came across a small patrol of Drow (Who were quite quickly dispatched, after all it was a VERY small patrol). The Drow were carrying information of a larger column of Drow, Duergar and Svirfneblin travelling through the lower Dwarf caverns in the not too distant future.
When of course this information was given to the clan chiefs there was outrage (And considerable drinking) and a battle plan was formulated!
Two hundred Dwarven warriors, young and old, would take positions in ambush along a length of
rocky outcrop on the path of the march, and when the Drow and their allies were in place, a large boulder would be rolled into the chasm cutting off any retreat. At this signal the sturdy, stout hearted Dwarves would leap into action, barrelling downhill into the (unsuspecting) enemy. The battle would be swift, victory would be assured and beer would be drunk, tales would be told and glory would be there for the taking. The warriors took up their positions, the boulder was set and the 199 Dwarven warriors and of course Myco waited.
And they waited.
The first couple of days were full of bravado, whispered tales of ancient wars, ancestors slaying magical beasts, tales of glory and high adventure…..and then the beer ran out…… Myco was on the left flank, positioned in between a stalactite and a grizzled, scarred veteran who went by the name of Granitt. Granitt hardly spoke, his dour demeanour cut short any attempt at conversation and so Myco sat in silence. The first day he studied his axe head, its few chips and dents mainly gained in the training grounds were not of that much interest, so he studied the sturdy wooden haft, tracing its intricate grain with his finger. Occasionally Granitt grunted and looked over approvingly, for it is well known that Dwarves appreciate weapons and armour almost as much as beer!
The second day brought little changed, Myco inspected his sturdy shield and armour, making a
few minor adjustments here and there, and noting the way the light reflected off the links of his chain.
The third day was when Myco realised that there shouldn’t be light this far underground!
Looking up Myco saw a small pinhole of light aiming down just the other side of the ledge where he crouched, the motes of dust circling lazily as the underground air shifted with the breath of 200 Dwarves.
The fourth day Myco decided to see where it went. Peering cautiously over the edge of the ledge the shaft of light pointed almost directly at a small flower, its intricate petals curling towards the light, its leaves and stem almost shining green. For any other dwarf this would have been nothing but a distraction with the small shaft of light (or more to the point the hole from which it came and how it was formed) proving much more in the way of consideration, but for Myco, who by now was remarkably bored as all youths get
with no beer or conversation, this was a small wonder.
Over the following 2 weeks Myco watched as the flower blossomed more, he marvelled as it
sprouted more buds, as it grew towards the light. Granitt grunted loudly, Myco turned and as he did he saw a slight look of disdain cross Granitt’s face and it was at that moment he knew he was no longer destined for the life of a normal Dwarf. As he looked around the stone had lost its luster (although the igneous rock formations looked intriguing), the fungus and moss clinging to the walls looked unusual and, well, interesting.
In a matter of moments the world seemed more interesting altogether, the weapons and armour
seemed heavy, cumbersome and unwieldly and….strangest of all, he did not even want a beer.
Myco was certain others had noticed, after the assault on the Drow (Which was very successful)
life in the clan was…different…it all seemed so…well…empty.
Myco longed for something else. He could not fathom what it was, whenever he tried to think
about it, it appeared to slide further out of reach. Something was just missing from his life. He spent several years considering it, in the way that Dwarves do! However in that time his “oddness” had been noticed and he was called before the Clan chiefs under a very rare and generally unused Dwarven law, “Conduct unbecoming that of a Dwarf”. Myco, other than his inherent un-Dwarvishness was generally well accepted and had always performed well on raids but his alcohol free, day-dreamy lifestyle was just too alien, and so he left. As he looked back into the clan on the day of his departure it suddenly clicked, this was what he
wanted, he wanted stuff, all sorts of just stuff, sunlight, adventure and he wanted to KNOW, know everything, know anything. Over the years he tried any job he could find, he cleaned sewers, became a shepherd for a short while, even a street performer and with each task he felt a little bit less empty, but he still felt empty.
It was only when he stumbled across a remote mountain sanctuary (purely by accident) that he
found the enlightenment he sought, a oneness with the universe, a fascination with life, with
everything alive, taste, smell, hearing, touch and sight. EVEYTHING had a new meaning, the
whole world was there to be seen through new eyes, and its endless mysteries unravelled.
And so it was, 5 years to the day that he found the monastery he left, a Brother, the lowest
attainable rank (After all 5 years was only BASIC training) and he set out to seek out the world’s mysteries and enigma……..