Terror of the Unnamed Foe
Once when Tordek was but a young dwarfling, his father gave him a pet rock named Rocky. Rocky had shiny flakes all over his outside which made him glow beautifully in firelight. Every day Tordek and Rocky were inseperable, running through the forges and smithies of Hammerfast with reckless abandon. Every night young Tordek kept Rocky close by his side, dreaming of clanging hammers and a ceiling of beautiful granite. As he grew up, Tordek’s father K’Thurl noticed that Tordek still had not given up his childhood friend; carrying his pet rock even as he went to weapons training. While he slept, K’Thurl snuck Rocky from Tordek’s arms. When Tordek woke up, he found that his friend was missing! He searched high and low, but could not find Rocky. Finally, in the midst of searching under his bed for the twelfth time, K’Thurl entered the room.
“Have you seen Rocky, Da?”
“Aye, lad, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news about Rocky…”
Tordek’s heart raced, “What is it?!”
“I’m afraid we had to…smelt him.”
K’Thurl held out a small golden pendant in the shape of shield. “This was made partly from the gold we got from Rocky. Though he is no more, his sacrifice will always be with you, shielding you. Some day you’ll be a shield-dwarf for Lord Stoutshield, and it will be the same for you. You may have to be sacrificed so that another may be shielded.”
Tordek cried and cried, clutching the tiny shield close to him as he mourned the loss of his friend. He never forgave K’Thurl for what he did to his best friend…to his only friend. But he also never forgot those words, and wears the pendant around his neck to this day.