Chapter thirteen: Bad blood, The Elvin Dwarf Prince
The dining hall was massive. Fit to seat one hundred or more. The ceiling was arched and a grand chandelier hung from its center casting a shimmering light throughout the chamber. Zorn was in a sour mood. An hour had passed since he sent for Gorlon and still the Prince had not arrived. The appetizers, chicken cutlets stuffed with cheese, had already been served and soon the main coarse would arrive, for Zorn refused to wait on Gorlons behalf. A few more tense moments passed until the door to the dining hall banged open and Gorlon stomped in. Zorn looked up and gazed upon his eldest son.
“Good evening Gorlon nice of you to join us”
“Gorlon, I sent for you an hour ago did I not?” Gorlon clenched his hands into fists.
“I thought so and tell me what was it that was so bloody important that you would have me wait a whole hour and be theroughly embarrassed in front of our guests?”
“Guests?” for the first time Gorlon scanned the table and his eyes widened
“But father these are the men who”
“I know Gorlon and if you had been a bit more level headed you would have seen that they are not terrorists. They came to return the Red Dragon Eye Stone to me and that is all. Now you will apologize to them and take a seat” Gorlon suppressed a scowl and bowed stiffly.
“My apologies my lords and lady for my tardiness and for my earlier rudeness” he turned to Zorn, “I was surveying the training of our new warriors father, that is what detained me” he glanced at Valorn and he appeared suddenly ill, “I am sorry to say however that I find my self not feeling all that well so I think I shall retire to my chambers, good night father, my lords and lady” Gorlon bowed, spun on his heel and made to depart
“Wait” Valorn strode up to Gorlon and grabbed his arm, “You need not leave on my account Gorlon” the dwarf snorted and wrenched his arm away
“Leave on your account don’t make me laugh. You must be deaf as well as dumb Valorn. I said that I feel ill, it has nothing at all to do with you” Gorlon cast his Elf brother an icy glare and stormed out slamming the door behind him. Valorn stood in stunned silence
“May I be excused father?” he asked quietly. Zorn nodded
“You may” Valorn gave a small bow and departed through one of the smaller doors in the exact opposite direction of Gorlon. Zorn heaved a heavy sigh and slumped in his chair.
“It appears that we have come at a bad time,” said Drell leaning on the table. Zorn shook his head
“You could have come here in one hundred years and they would still be at it, they always are” hearing Zorn say this reminded Drell of the question that had been plaguing him since first meeting Valorn.
“I’ve been meaning to ask your highness how Valorn arrived here” a hush fell upon the room, clearly this was an answer all wanted to hear. Zorn sighed, rested his chin on his folded hands and began.
“Well first off you should know that my wife Jasla gifted me with four sons before she died. My two eldest Van and Glane. And my two youngest Thron and Gorlon. Both Van and Glane died in battle and Thron died of a fever. Jasla passed on when Gorlon was seven. Eager to make me proud of him Gorlon hid his feelings and focused on becoming a fine soldier.
I didn’t need to ask if he was lonely because I knew he was. One of my huntsmen found a young elfin boy out in the jungle, dangerously close to Fagie. He had a twisted ankle and showed sings of having been beaten. He brought the boy to me and asked for permission to have him cared for. Naturally I agreed.
The physicians managed to right his ankle and patch up his other numerous bumps and bruises but they said that he would be bed ridden for awhile. On the third day of his stay here I decided to go and see him. I cant tell you what moved me to do it for I’m not sure my self but when I walked into that room he reminded me so much of my own sons and when I used to sit and watch them sleep.
When he woke up I asked him his name and he told me he couldn’t remember it. In fact he couldn’t remember a grate deal of his life. I asked him if he could remember the forest of Laior and his parents. He remembered the forest but anything other than that was a blur. I decided that he must have been somehow sepperated from his family, captured or otherwise sold. So I asked him if he would like to stay here. I told him to think about it and when I left him I called for a meeting of the council. When I told them I wanted to take an elf as my adopted son they looked at me as if I were crazed.
But I put up a good argument and in the end they, however grudgingly, agreed with me. I knew how my people would react but I new that in time they would come to except him. I also thought that Gorlon would be glad to have a little brother. Someone he could spend time with and talk to besides me” Zorn shook his head.
“I have never been so wrong. Gorlon was furious and for the first few years he refused to acknowledge Valorn’s existence. For a while I didn’t understand it, Gorlons behavior. But it didn’t take long for me to get the picture. You see despite my attempts to raise him otherwise he ended up adopting the beliefs of his senior officers. Most of them have a deep dislike for elves and they passed it on to Gorlon.
Now a days Gorlon still doesn’t respect him or care for him, in fact he still barley talks to him but he knows that Valorn is here to stay and there is nothing he can do about it. That is what he has accepted not Valorn” just then the servants entered in with their plates. Zorn shrugged, “But enough of that lets just enjoy our dinner” Drell nodded and gazed about the table before sampling the roast beef. Zorn was quiet throughout the rest of the meal, enjoying his mead and pondering over his warring sons. In an attempt to lighten the mood Redtree regaled them with the story of one of his many quests, which even Zorn listened to attentively. Desert was an assortment of baries served with chocolate sauce, its richness carried with it a feeling of weariness which was felt by all.
“Well” said Zorn rising from his seat and stretching, “I think I’ll head off to bed. You there” he pointed to the head servant, “Be a good fellow and show them to their rooms will you?” the man nodded. “Good night my lords and lady”
“Good night your highness” Loroedor nodded. As the King departed the servant approached them,
“This way please”