AR 1211-12 Sparkys Pondering

Sparky was explaining to her Mom over their weekly one-on-one breakfast together, “And after Wolf got us ta the top of tha wall, we looked into tha crystal cave. It was as if we were seein’ thousands of stars all around us. It was so beautiful!”

Shar smiled, “Yer father and I used ta go there a lot before ye two were born. I am not sure there is any prettier cave around. I have heard of many a marriage proposal made in that cave.”

Sparky blushed, “Ah, we, he, I mean, no that did no happen, Yari was there. We just enjoyed the beauty of tha cave.”

Shar got more serious, “So are ye interested in our mysterious Wolf? He is god blessed. Not many get visions of one Goddess, let alone two.”

After thinking about it for a moment, Sparky slowly answered her mother, “He is very kind and carin’ not only ta his sister, but ta others who are not as strong. He approached me ta share his adventures in tha caves.” She paused thinking to herself No one else sensed that I was feeling restricted. She did not share this with her mother as it was an argument she knew she would not win, not with being the one twin that would take over the keep since Krunch had made it crystal clear he did not want it from an early age. She continued “I mean for a while there he had issues with anger now and then that made me uncomfortable. But after takin’ his oath with Sif and Berranor, it seems ta be gone.” Then she smiled shyly, “And well, he is nice on tha eyes.”

Her mother sighed, “I know, but remember he is yer 1st cousin, children would be out of tha question. And for tha best for tha keep, ye need an heir.”

Sparky looked at her feet and corrected her mother, ‘1st cousin once removed.”

Shar shook her head sadly, “Still too close. The humans joke that we dwarves are all related. In a way they are correct since we live so long. However, we do keep very close track of how we are related. So that when marriages are created we know if they can have children safely. Look at what happen ta yer cousin Tola. She carried that child for 8 months and then lost it because it was badly formed. They must have been too related and we had not realized it. Ye wouldn’t want that ta occur.”

Sparky rarely heard her mother talk about Tola, “I don’t remember ever meetin’ her.”

Shar paused as it was painful to think about, but decided it was time to explain what had happen to Tola, “It broke her heart for almost a year ta lose a child like that, especially right after divorcin’ her husband. Tola slowly healed by helpin’ me with ye two. After a year, she was finally ready ta go back ta Thunder Rift and consider several offers of courtship. Her ex-husband had left so it was safe for her. Sadly, even though she was escorted by 2 fighters, the three of them never made it ta tha keep. We searched for months, but never found any evidence of them in tha tunnel between here and Thunder Rift.”

Sparky had rarely seen her mother so sad. “I am sorry. She sounds like a wonderful person.”

A tear dropped from her mother’s right eye, “She was, we always thought of ourselves as sisters at heart. For me sake, yer father searched for far longer than is normal. I finally told em it was ok ta stop, that they had to have been attacked, killed and et. I would have hated ta lose anyone else lookin’ for someone that had died. We had a huge wake for them, many nice things were said about her. Though thinkin’ back now, her ex-husband did not show up. But I cannot believe he would kill her. I knew em growin’ up. He had an issue with anger, but a dwarf killin’ a dwarf is highly unusual. No I do not think he would do that.”

They sat in silence for several minutes. Sparky reached out her hand to grasp her mothers, “I will think about what ye said Ma.” Then she got up and headed back to her cave. -

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After a week of thinking about it, she tried to get Krunch alone. It was hard, he was either hanging around the Gargoyle cave with his friends, in class, or working out with Ox and her. But finally, Ox had a cold one day that their work out was scheduled for. It was just the two of them sparing. Thankfully, no one else was in the room.

During one of their circling of each other looking for a wrestling opportunity, she finally got up her nerve and blurted out so fast she did not take a breath, “Ma said if Wolf and I get married we couldna’ have kids because we are too close of cousins, and we would need an heir, so I know ye don’t want ta be King, but if you and Tizzy have kids, do ye think one of them could be tha heir instead?”

Krunch just stopped circling and looked at her as if she had grown horns, “By Moradin’s hammer, what are ye talkin’ about?”

Sparky just looked at Krunch with a deep sadness in her eyes, “Boys like me only because they want ta be King, or they are so afraid of Da, that they stay far away from me. You have Tizzy. Ye don’t want ta be King so you know she likes ye for you. Wolf is the only guy who has been a friend with no strings attached.”

Krunch sputtered, “So don’t be Queen! We should not have ta worry about it for another 200 years or so, if that early. The kingdom was not established because of lineage but because of deed and act. Maybe it is time ta start a different way ta establish who inherits a kingdom. Especially this kingdom.”

Before she could think of an answer Krunch continued, ””Sparakal, how old was grandda when he met grandma? I’ll give ye a hint. He was over a century old. Da? He was a decade away from a century.” Clearing his voice and doing his best instructor voice “A proper weapon is not merely poured inta a mold and let ta cool. It’s forged over time, mixing metals by repeated heating and days or even months at tha forge.” Resuming a normal voice he continued “Don’t expect to find the love of yer life tomorrow, or the day after. When ye find him, ye will know. Have patience. Have faith.”

Ever since Krunch had made it clear that he had no intention of ever being king, Sparky had always thought that she had to be the one that followed in their parents footprints. But if she really had a choice, did she want to be Queen some day or not? Was she just feeling sorry for herself because her twin had found love so soon in life? She would have to think long and hard about this before deciding what to do next. Krunch was right, she had time, lots of time to think about this. And time to see if the friendship between Wolf and her developed into something more. She would not rush things.

Seeing she was deep in thought about what he had said, Krunch continued with a wink “Or I could find some more toads for ye ta kiss ta see if one of them is a prince like in those tales Rissa is always goin’ on about.”

She lunged forward, caught Krunch by surprise, and flipped him before he knew what had happened, “Thanks, but I will wait on tha toads.” She gestured at him to come at her, “2 out of 3?”

AR 1211-12 Sparkys Pondering

Thraes NatheDM