Drinking & Dragons


From Drinking and Dragons



Karaz was hideous. Not merely ugly, many dwarves carry that description. Somehow he went well beyond that. Dress him as a warrior and all other warriors would take offense. Dress him in finery? Well let's just say lipstick on a pig and leave it at that. Even with his dexterity and athleticism he could not seem to display any natural grace. His clothes seem ill fitted and hopeless even if they are of the latest fashion. The noble beard dwarves are known for seems to hang limp on his face neither adding to his character nor attracting attention away from his flaws. Even if a burlap sack concealed him from view, somehow that would suddenly become the most dreadful sack in history. For most of his childhood he was alone, even animals would not come too close without special training. Then he decided to run away and met...him. The old man was blind and deaf so he never learned his name. Yet these disabilities did not seem to hinder him. And with him being unable to see his hideousness or hear his grating voice or poor word choices, Karaz finally met the one person he did not seem to offend. For weeks he would stay with the old man, copying the strange exercises he did daily. He saw brigands and predators flee from one blind old man. (And for once not because of bad breath or fear that his ugliness was catching.) Eventually they found a way to communicate, by carving short words into tree bark that the monk could feel, a new world was opened to Karaz. The old man had left his home to not burden his brothers with his care. He stood on his own, secure in his strength and body, exploring the depths of his own mind. So different from everything Karaz had known. Finally the old man began to train him. He learned the ways of solitary fighting and perhaps that there was beauty in everything if one knew how to look. Yet the old master still never shared his name, saying only that it was what exised that mattered, not how it was called. One year passed before he even knew it. Then one morning his aged teacher failed to wake. He knew that his master was one of a larger order, but where they might be he did not know. Now he wanders the land ,a dwarf without a place, helping where others will let him. Will he ever find another who saw what one old human did? Strong in himself, the taunts do not sting as they once did but each still shows him that though they have sight many still do not see.