The power to create a world, solely from the words written by your own mind, is a gift that should never be hidden.


Thosun snuck a look at the other dwarfs around him. Quickly, he snapped his gaze back at the rock wall at his station. Once again he began hammering away at it with his pick.
"Is this the life I have to look forward to?" He thought as his pick rung out a steady tempo from the wall. Thosun knew that if he slowed down too much or his tempo varied he would catch hell from the shift watchman. Carefully Thosun snuck another quick glance to the left and right. On his left was the grizzled old dwarf Barkas. His beard was so long now the braids lay on the ground around his feet. Thosun had been told once that Barkas had found the fabled ruby of Ervir. He could believe it, a dwarf as old as he was probably remembered when the cavern they were in now was just a dent in the earth!
Thosun laughed to himself at the private joke causing Dolak on his right to look over questioningly. Thosun shook his head and continued knocking small chips from the very dull granite wall in front of him.
Thosun remembered when Dolak had shown up a scant few weeks ago. His beard was still so short it was barely even fuzz. Thosun knew better then to try and talk to other dwarfs during the work shift. Dolak hadn't learned yet. A few weeks in and he had already lost his first months wages in fines. If he didn't learn faster he would be expelled to the sunlight. Thosun shook at the thought.
"It's all well and good to go looking for adventure." Thosun had tried to explain over a pint one night after their shift had ended. " I suggest you just keep chipping away the rocks for now. There will be more then enough time for adventure in a few years. Maybe when your beard is a little longer."
Dolak just plunged his face into his mug. He did manage to mumble something but it was drowned out by the beer suds.
Thosun shook off the memory as the shift watchman walked by. Lucky for him he could break rocks in his sleep. Dolak wasn't so lucky.
"This is your third warning this shift Dolak! If you don't shape up and keep up you will be topside in a week!" The watchman cuffed Dolak on the back of the head for good measure and continued down the line.
Thosun heard a whisper from Dolak he was sure he wasn't meant to hear.
"I'll be topside by tomorrow if I can have my way."
The next day Thosun showed up for his shift at the same time as always. His beard was finally starting to come in nicely and he scratched at it as he took his place in line. Against the normal silence all the dwarfs were talking in mute whispers. Even the watchmen. Thosun took a chance and whispered to the dwarf next in line. It just happened to be Barkas again.
"What's going on?"
Barkas looked around the room and after a moment whispered back.
"Seems like Dolak acted on his wishes. He broke to topside last night. Watch tried to chase him down but he got away by jumping in the river. They lost him at the point. Foolish boy, has no idea what he's getting into."
Thosun was in shock at the idea of someone wanting to be outside. All that sky above. Rumor had it a dwarf could float away out there with no rocks to hold him down.
"What the gork was he thinking! Who would ever want to be out there!" Thosun spoke a little louder then he had planned. More then a few dwarf's nodded their heads in his direction.
Barkas stopped in his tracks and turned to face Thosun.
"It's not as bad as you might think." A smile played across his lips. "They do have some remarkable beer up there."
Thosun stood in shock holding up the line as it snaked into the latest cavern. It wasn't until someone pushed him from behind that he restarting his downward progress. In moments he caught back up to Barkas.
"You have been outside?" he managed to whisper.
"Gork yeah!" the firelight flickered across his face as they passed torch after torch. "Always wondered when you would give it a try to."
Thosun didn't speak another word the whole shift. Every once in a while he would sneak a peek over at Dolak's pick leaned up against the wall. Barkas saw the flicker in Thosun's eye as the shift ended. As Barkas walked by he whispered in a very low voice so only the two could hear.
"Enjoy the beer, but stay away from the women. Their lack of beards always turned my stomach."