Now I ain’t one to complain about the warmth and dim light that comes from within me clans tunnels and caverns, but they was something wrong but I can’t put me finger on it.  It be like what happens when those younglings goes to bed after I tells them about the troll that lives off of that there western most tunnel.  Their eyes grow wide, and their smiles dim, as thoughts of what that there troll might do to them as the tale fills their wee little minds.

I used to smile at meself knowing that they would long remember to be cautious as they explored about looking for those little gems and stones we’d let them keep, but when Trestal didn’t come home, I knewed we’d be havin’ to set out to find the wee lad. I been that boys granpap fer nigh on fifteen year now and I’ll be damned if I be letting somethin’ happen to him, if’n I can stop it.  I ain’t the most learned dwarf in the warrens, but I knows I be firm in me convictions.

Family first, then forge and fuel, and finally them there gods.  I ain’t had much use fer them, but there they be anyways. ‘Sides, they makes the young’ns happy when they be prayin’ to ‘em, so I guess they’s fine if’n that be what they be wantin’ to believe. But I be believin’ I want to rap this here hammer on top of the head of what did me grandyougin’ harm, if that be the unfortunate case.

Well, I ain’t never expected to get separated from me clan, but yet here I be. Lost and alone in the darkest and deepest folds of Hellion Halls. Now me, I likes the feel of that there warmth that the earth be providin’ ya the deeper one goes, but this was different, somehows.  I can’t yet tell what it be, but it was spooky and more than just a tad frightful, even fer me.

I want to shout out to me family and try to find them but the darkness that wrapped it’s warm embrace around me filled me with just a tad bit more dread than I was accustomed to, normally, so’s I ain’t yet.  But these ain’t normal times! These be some of the worst days that I ever heard about, even from those long remembered tellings we share as we sit about the forge in the wee mornin’ hours.

I swear I hear something followin’ me, with them little clackity clicks of somethin’ on stone, but I ain’t positive. It might’n be just water a drippin’, but if that be the case why ain’t it fadin’ as I be walkin’ deeper into the bowels of this here place. But it might be because I’m more than a bit too cautious. These tunnels and halls have belonged to me clan fer more than two hundred years, and we been taken good care of them.  Ensuring we swept through regularly. We’d be pushin’ back them dark creatures who thrived on the careless or innocent, or so’s we thought anyways.

Trestal was a good lad! The kind o’ lad that would make any granpaps proud, and he were old enough to move freely about, and lords knows he was strong enough and good enough with a hammer to deal with most anything that might have been able to escape our patrols and clearings.

Twern’t nothin’ complicated about it, we’d wake up and gather our hammers and axes and sing as we would tramp towards these wings that we’d be expanding our mining tunnels into. Usually when those little beasties got sound of a group of dwarves a comin’, well, they’d just scamper on out the same way they got in. Sometimes we could be findin’ them openings, sometimes not.  It was them times that we didn’t that bothered me, and others.  Now it seems that we been a bit too careless, growing fat and careless after decades of pursuin’ them things that makes us dwarves happy.

I’m a goin’ to be findin me pup! Them there gods can be a countin’ on that!