Martin Ernham of Erybis, 735 FC: Upon My Deathbed.

  • Viscount

    It was disgusting. When I was innocent and naive, I was born into a world of cruelty and despair. Ongoing was the war, the very war my father had never returned from. My mother would sing me twisted lullabies as she held me in her arms each night. Lullabies of fear, lullabies of hatred.

    Oh my little baby, tonight all the town’s men go to sleep.
    Tomorrow we wake, but the men are buried deep.

    They came to pillage and to claim,
    Fueling our village with much disdain.

    Oh my little baby, tonight all the town’s men go to sleep.
    Tomorrow we wake, blessed with our lives to keep.

    Shortly before my third birthday, the war had come to a close. Not a day after my mother’s life became no more, and my village had fallen to ashes. Both the humans and my people’s forces had been exhausted, and our settlements had been turned to ruins.

    “Don’t cry, little one,” he had told me as he crept toward me, “I apologize for their actions. They know not what they were doing.” The human man lifted me to his chest and held me in his arms.

    “It’s over now. You didn’t deserve this. But it is over now.” I suddenly felt the embrace of a woman pressed against my side.

    I had barely survived the night before. As my house collapsed, my mother tossed me under falling rubble, moments before a cruel man pierced her heart with his dagger. I awoke the next morning, bruised, twisting and turning to free myself from the rubble. That is when Charles and Emma found me.

    I was raised in a house by the river in a new settlement developing directly on the outskirts of the new capital of Erybis. The surrounding neighborhood consisted entirely of humans, while the dwarves primarily lived across the river, in the mountains. I occasionally crossed the river with Emma, to go to the market for bread and cake. Sometimes we simply enjoyed the scenery. Other dwarves in the market would give us dirty looks. They made me feel like an outsider.

    Since the First Treaty of Erybis, the two races prospered and built from the ashes a marvellous settlement, led by the Nemertingi, Elias. For the first few decades, tensions between the races were moderate, though now acts and movements toward unity are on the rise. The economy is growing, and Erybis is expanding across vast distances. It had been 110 years since I lost my mother, 40 since I lost Emma and 35 since Charles. I now, too, lay on my deathbed, reflecting on my years in Erybis. I will never forget the horrors that the humans demonstrated us over a century ago. I will, however, never forget the wonders and the love that the humans gave me. That they gave Erybis.

    From a dying dwarf, thank you, and goodbye.

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