Amroth Cavepool, a young 70, was a bright miner and good with his fellow dwarves who lived deep below the Sing’jar mountains. Almost since his birth under these mountains, he had been present either defending the clan against the Cult of Ulexnil or repairing dammage to the tunnels from purple worms. Everyone had been busy for years, people were constantly being hurt, but they were saved by two things: the passages between east and west slopes of the mountains that brought trade with the surface, and plentitude of fungus that grew in the old passages left by the purple worms.
Uncle Harnig Ruktite had spent many years leading ore cars up to the elves on the east and out to the humans on the west to trade for game and wheat. On his latest trip he was late, and Agus Cavepool, on patrol, found him slumped against the wall, unconcious from a stab wound in a tunnel on the west side. This was unusual, because the Cult would not have used blades, it would have been magic. The humans were too loud and typically repelled by the traps near the entrances to get so far. Some malicious cavedweller was on the loose!
Amroth, Agus and aunt Elinke stuffed their packs with jars of pickled mushroom slices and salted deer jerky, hefted their picks and set out to find the culprit. First, the connector tunnels between the family areas and the mining viens: normal. Next the ore discard paths that lead east: interesting lone tracks on the gravel. Then the discard paths that lead west: more tracks by the same foot prints and signs of dwarf scat. A new tunnel was found dug to the mushroom grove and it had regular footprints. No one would notice stealing fungus from the back of the cave. The team retreated to watch the path.
A single young dwarf appeared, climbing over a bolder they hadn’t considered had any room behind it, and started walking the path to mushrooms. As he approached, they noticed he was bald with barely a beard. Was he burned? He barely stood out from the darkness as if he was also the color of shadow. Agus signaled and they all jumped down from the walls and surrounded the fellow. Amroth felt a jab below his eye and immediatly fell backwards, but Agus and Elinke both struck him with their picks and he went down.
The prisoner was clearly foreign, and appeared to resent the sight of them. He was gray skinned and had a few spines as wiskers on his chin. This was a Deurgar, but none had been seen in this land…ever. His name was G’ning-ar, and he didn’t now how to get home. He liked how dark it was in the caves, because where he came from it wasn’t dark enough. But wherever that was, he couldn’t find a way back. He was lost from his family and doing fine by himself, thank you. The shook G’ning-ar down and found almost a sack’s worth of daggers, gems, and stolen jerkey from their pantries.
There was no way this Deurgar was going to live among the Cavepools, he was a thief and an unrepentant one. No recognition of good dwarven god was about him…this was a rogue from another world here for no apparent reason. Agus, Amroth and Elinke tied his hands and lead G’ning-ar up a dozen levels, nearly to the surface, and left him there on the floor, without his daggers. “Go any lower,” they said, “and we’ll break your legs and leave you on the surface, you thief!”
G’ning-ar hated the Cavepools. Hated them more than the other wierdo magic using dwarves he met in the south that kept shooting magical arrows and fire at him. That wasn’t comfortable, but at least he didn’t get a chance to be insulted and humiliated. These Cavepools were all dicks. Any chances to steal from them would be welcome!
And for the next 200 years, G’ning-ar make a trip every week to wreck something owned by the Cavepools. Not always successfully, but enought to keep them constantly cautious. No dimwitted knuckle dragging pick swinging dwarf would find a rogue deurgar in a million years, right?