Let us tell you a tale.
≈ VII ≈
xi. The Saga of Frostwood
In the halls of Óleryd under the mountain of Orod lived the dwarven king, the royal family, varied distant nobles, and the endless quarters of the sturdy dwarven miners and craftsman that built the wondrous engineering feats for which dwarves are known throughout the realm.
Now, here, he had been left unattended in the great hall where a weighty throne sat upon the dais, stonework adorned with gold filigree and encrusted with sparkling jewels. At the top of the throne, gold light shone from a palm-sized stone inlaid into the surrounding stone.
Mithrilon had noticed it the moment he entered the room, and even when the guard went to summon the duke for his boot fitting, his eyes did not leave the golden light. These things really did have a way of falling right in his path.
Where else would the dwarves keep a Míresgal. Somewhere all of the other important dwarves could lay eyes on it, of course.
Without even a thought, his hand reached into his pocket. His fingers traced the curve of the blue Creation Stone, and in his other hand appeared a gold shining stone that looked exactly like the one set into the throne.
Mithrilon held no illusions that the stone that he had just created held the powers of the dwarven Míresgal, but it looked the part. Besides, if Rhewil was correct, the dwarves knew little more of the stone except its power to sparkle and shine. The mortals, Rhewil said, had little knowledge or ties to their innate magic, the lore forgotten in the passage of short lives.
With a rub of the green stone for good luck, he dashed across the room to the dais, plucked the true gold Míresgal from its throne, and popped his false stone into its place before darting back to his original spot.
Before his breath had even had time to settle, the thick wood door crashed open and Duke Raegion rumbled over the threshold, clanking with more armor and finery than was strictly required for mid-afternoon on a Thursday.
“Ah! Lad!” Raegion exclaimed. “You’re late! But, fine goods take time, and your father makes the very best. But I told him, I must have these boots in hand for the gathering. I shall need to be rubbing them in some faces in a month’s time.”
“Of course, your majesty. The boots of Habadon are bespoke, custom fitted to the individual feet. I will need to take your measurements, would you have a seat please?”
Raegion glanced over Mithrilon’s shoulder at the door. Not being the noblest of noble, the guards outside the throne room were not watching overly close. He smirked, and trotted over to take a seat on the throne, stretching out his left foot to Mithrilon.
He knelt at the duke’s feet, retrieving a sheet of parchment, his writing implements, and a well-worn measuring tape. He set to work, while the duke unfurled a string of boasts and stories of exploits and triumphs that Mithrilon was taking with a boulder of salt. During one particularly aggressive eyeroll, his roll stopped on the false Míresgal behind the duke.
“Oh, aye, you like that, eh? The dwarves are LITTERED with finery like that. That is why we can afford boots like these, instead of being the ones to make them.”
Mithrilon let his eyes continue their roll.
“But no one has ever seen the likes of this before, never found another one like it, no matter how deep the mines go.”
“Where did that one come from?” Milthrillion asked.
“No one knows anymore. It is assumed it was a unearthed in the mountain long ago, but our written records only go back so far. But my cousin, the KING, don’t you know, said that he once attended a summit in Asgard where Rínor, THEIR king, had one set in his crown. But it was yellow, like the sun, not gold. I don’t know why anyone would prefer the sun to gold, but to each…”
Mithrilon had stopped listening. “That should do it, your majesty! I have everything I need here, and I must make haste to my next appointment. To ensure the speediest possible delivery of your boots, might I trouble you to direct me to a courier so I may send your material and measurements to my father? I must be off.”