Someday, I’ll find where I truly belong.

Aye, it’s true that my Aunt Falkrunn and Uncle Rangrim did their best by
me. They fed me and clothed me – brought me up into adulthood.
Despite their efforts, though, I never did develop a head for numbers.
It didn’t matter how long I tried, the numbers never seemed to add up.
It came so naturally to them, to all of them. My aunt, my uncle, my
cousins. They knew who made what, what supplies they needed, who had the
supplies, and who would buy the result. They knew what each step was
worth, what they could charge, and keep track of it all. Not me.

My aunt and uncle mourned the loss of my parents. I think that they
sometimes regretted having taken me in. I wasn’t what they had
expected, although I’m not sure even they knew what they had expected.
At other times, I think they regretted not taking my younger brother, Orsik, in
as well, that they had somehow abandoned him. I don’t think that the fact
that other family took him in mattered to them. My
aunt and uncle did what they could, none should ask for more than that.
However, I think their regret tinged their relationship with me – the
sad smile every morning, the soft sigh as I failed at numbers yet again,
the whispered discussions in the night about what they were supposed to
do with me. Their children excelled in the family business, and loved
the city that they knew.

I loved the stories. The stories that would come back with the trade
caravans. Stories of small towns and cities built next to the water.
Stories of elves and humans, halflings and goliaths, and even more!
There were mentions of peaceful villages, and boasts of daring deeds on
the road. I never pictured myself in any of the stories, but I loved to
hear them.

Eventually, I decided to visit my old home in Thranore. I was grown at that point,
and it had been accepted (even if it was with a fair bit of pity) that I
would never have a head for numbers. They gave me my armor and my
hammer. I think they knew, in their hearts, that I would not be
returning. I think I did as well, on some level, although I was not
conscious of it. So I set off, to the north.

The village was largely as I remembered it, although so many of the
faces were missing. I rounded a corner, and remembered old Morgran, who
always had an apple for hungry children. He wouldn’t be handing out
apples any more. Neither would Vistra be chiding us to go help our
parents with chores. If we told her we already had, she would always
counter by telling us there was someone, somewhere in the village who
surely needed an extra set or two of hands.

I still don’t know how so many of us fell ill. At the time, it seemed
as though everyone was sick. Those who had always seemed so invincible
were laid low by this invisible foe. I turned 10 while my parents
sweated and shivered. Nothing helped them, and eventually they stopped
sweating and shivering, and instead lay still.

Eventually, the town awakened. Messages were sent to find homes for the
orphans. My father’s brother, Darrak, said they that could take in one at Harest,
while my mother’s brother, Rangrim, agreed to take in the other at Bolgirn. So
many of us became fosterlings; we were not the only siblings to be

I asked what had come of my brother, if any had heard, but all that they had heard was
that my brother had left Harest, to unknown places.

I tried to stay in the village for a while, but it became clear that I

didn’t fit in there either. I had changed while I was in the city, and
so had the village, although my memories had not. A cleric told me that
the past is no place to live, and regrets over things that could not
have been and can not be changed do not serve any purpose. There is a
difference between remembering the past and learning from the lessons
therein, and dwelling in the past past and being trapped in it.

I joined to become a cleric of Moradin shortly thereafter. During my
training, my superiors often heard me telling the other trainees the
stories that I had so dearly loved at my aunt’s and uncle’s. The stories
of towns, cities, other races, adventure, and comraderie. Once my
training was complete, I was taken aside. It was clear, they said, that
I could do some good out there, be an example to other’s who may have
lost their way, or to remind those for whom the old dwarven homes, with
their tunnels, mines, and mountains may seem so distant of what Moradin
gave to us.

So I left. While I fit in more during my training, I still didn’t feel
as though I belonged. Now, I wanted to see what I had heard. Others
were interested, but they were as I had been. Interested, but unable to
imagine themselves in the story.

Perhaps my story will lead me to where I belong.


Malkorin's Hammer Dryfus Tumbaletaurea