Thane Harvak of the Glintshield listened to the paladin drone on about some crusade, somewhere. A veteran of diplomacy, Harvak knew to keep his mouth shut and waited patiently. When the gleaming paladin introduced the dragonborn, he took his cue.
“Greetings, brave knight of Pelor. Welcome to Glintshield Keep, such as it is..”
The burly, gray and red-bearded Dwarf gestured in the direction of the clanging and thumping sounds. Several stout Dwarves were repairing walls and battlements. Others handed weapons-crossbows, bolts and finely-crafted blades-up to soldiers manning the wall. The Dwarves sang work songs that produced a steady cadence, contributing to their rhythmic efficiency.
O cò bheir mi leam air an luing Èireannaich.O cò bheir mi leam.
Gura e Iain bheir mi leam air an luing Èireannaich
O co bheir mi leam
“Oy! Der’s the fellas!” One of the soldiers yelled and pointed beyond the wall.
Outside of the fortress, Duggin, Nimozaran, Shield, Scroopel and Soloman, the dragonborn walked up to the portcullis. The gate shrieked as it was retracted up into the wall. As the party made their way through, a hearty cheer erupted amongst the Dwarves. Uncharacteristically, Duggin raised a fist in triumph.
“Those towering buffoons just got theirs!” he shouted.
The next cheer was punctuated by thunderous applause. Scroopel, upon Shield’s adamantine shoulders shouted something in Goblin, eliciting a few laughs from stragglers. He shrugged and kept quiet. Nimozaran bumbled through the sea of assembled dwarven muscle, accepting a frothy mug handed to him. He quaffed the ale and looked around. The gleaming knight drew his attention.
“Ehhrm…what in the Nine Hells? Young Erathan? Do my old eyes deceive me? You’re alive!”
The eldest son of Lord Markelhay had been on a quest, far to the south of the Vale. No one had heard news of him for the better part of a year.