Durkon, slowly made his way down the mountain, his forehead still smarting from where his hammer had struck it. He was deeply confused – why had he, of all people, been asked to be a liaison with humans? It wasn't even as if he'd had much dealings with them in the past. Still, he was a Cleric of Thor and he would do his god's bidding. Understanding was not required.
There was a small hamlet at the base of the mountain, at a crossroads that lead to a large human town nearby. The hamlet was little more than a couple of farmhouses and a large inn, the last place in which Durkon knew he could by dwarf ale. As he entered the inn, the place was relatively quiet – a couple of people sat in the corners, looking for passing adventurers but otherwise empty. The barman recognised Durkon as one of the quieter dwarfs and not prone to the drunken berserker rages that others were.
“It's good ta see ye, lad.”
“Greetings, Master Thundershield. A nice cold tankard for you?”
“Aye, and keep 'em comin'.”
As he began to feel the effects of the fifth tankard, Durkon became aware of another person sitting near him at the bar. A young human woman was sat behind a veritable forest of tankards, yet still seemed relatively sober. She projected an aura of sadness and resignation and Durkon sensed a kindred spirit.
“Ye alright, lassie?”
The woman turned towards him and he began to feel an unfamiliar urge building inside. Durkon found himself admiring the gentle curves of her supple body and the way her jet black hair flowed like a river. Most of all, he found himself drawn to her gaze, which held a mixture of defiance and sorrow.
“No, I'm not alright. I've been sent away by my master to look after someone I've never even met. The worst bit is I haven't the slightest idea why they've asked this of me!” said the woman and she start to cry.
She felt a brawny army wrap around her shoulders as the dwarf tried to comfort as best he could. He was strong and although his face was grim, his eyes told her that he was a kind and gentle soul, welcoming in this strange and unusual place.
“What's ye name?”
“Sabine, Mr Dwarf.”
“Me name's Durkon. Pleased ta meet ye,” said Durkon, as he told her about the strange events that had brought him here this evening. A crack of thunder rolled outside and soon the gentle hiss of falling rain filled the room.
“Damn it. I still have to travel a long way to meet my charge and I was hoping not to have to do it in this weather,” said Sabine.
Durkon hesitated. As a cleric of Thor, he knew that sometimes that the sudden arrival of a storm could be a warning from his lord. As to what that warning was, he was unsure. Either way, he felt he couldn't let the young woman go out alone on a dark stormy night.
“Why not come up to me room and share a drink, lass – the rain might ease off in a while.”
Durkon felt his heart leap as Sabine smiled at him and their fingertips met.
The ancient bed beneath them creaked and protested as they made passionate love. Sabine was on top and as she panted and gasped, she found herself surprised that Durkon's stocky frame hid a grace and agility she had not encountered in any of her previous lovers. Flashes of lightning illuminated them as they moved together and as Sabine reached a climax, she was unable to control herself and her wings burst forth from her back.
Durkon gasped aloud, but it was a cry of horror rather than a moan of passion. Withdrawing, he grabbed his hammer and pulled away from Sabine.
“YE'RE A FIEND?!”
Finally Durkon understood the meaning behind the storm. He glared at the figure across the bed, who even now was struggling into her clothes.
“I….I never meant to hurt you…..I loved you Durkon….” she sobbed.
Durkon raised his hammer to attack, when suddenly Sabine burst through the window and flew off into the night, the sound of her cries following her. The storm began to clear, yet Durkon felt a black cloud hovering over his heart as he watched her fade into the distance…