Gilgrik Cavebuckle sat down at his brother’s table with a groan, they were out of the dark beer that he liked to wash the taste of sleep from his mouth with. “You lazy git,” he grumbled, “yeh drank all my beer again and do no hard days work. Dwarves don’t do lazy.”
“Someone has to keep this pile of gold and rubies safe,” Mukal snapped in his unpracticed growl. “It’s not like you have yer-self a wifey to keep them cave thieves from barging in throughout the day, without me you’d be a pauper, no matter how well paid you are fixin’ them forges.”
The older dwarf glared at the entitled younger sibling before he grabbed the tankard of pale malt his brother held and downed the contents. “You’d be better off not wasting time on that tarnish and rubble, only the outside dwellers put any value in it. Get some work, you’d do well as a time singer, if you’d stretch those vocal cords.” He turned and left their dwelling, headed into the cold passageways leading to the city of Blessedbraids.
As he walked, a group of four lady dwarves were braiding each other’s beards in the fashion of the court. Gilgrik tried not to roll his eyes at the elaborate time wasting and excessive giggles. “Morning” he mumbled while passing them. He squeezed against the uneven stone wall to get by and once again made a mental note to repeat his petition to have this particular corridor expanded and polished.
It took nearly a cycle for Gilgrik to get to the main boiler. The guards on duty this morning were in grim spirits as word of ‘another round of dead attempting to make it to the capital’ circulated. They gave him no grief though as he passed through their gate into the compound.
The day’s list of repairs appeared to be a series of routine calls, a mixed blessing of mind numbing repetition. On his third bypass whistle replacement, before lunch, something unusual happened. After Gilgrik fitted the replacement part into the piping, but before he reached the master bypass valve he heard the bypass whistle emit a bone vibrating blast. It could only mean one thing, one of the other boilers had produced back pressure on the system. He quickly returned to the site of his work where he found there was no sign of moisture from the recent blast he had experienced.
Gilgrik spent the rest of his shift attempting to pretend he hadn’t heard the whistle at all. When he shared the story with an old friend they became quite obviously concerned, having turned slightly green, and said “that sort of whistle blast isn’t one you’d imagine hearing.” Gilgrik knew this was true, and returned to work on his own time to try to solve the mystery. Unfortunately, the only object he found that appeared to be out of place at all was a pick-axe polishing rag, still damp with mining oil.
The walk home seemed to take many cycles as he fought each step to raise his weary feet. Finally when he shambled through his front door he found Mukal laying prone, on the animal hide rug Gilgrik despised but could not get rid of, completely passed out. “Now, I know where my ale keeps going” he muttered as he stepped over his snoring brother.
The repairman turned investigator did not sleep well that night, he woke regularly from having a reoccurring nightmare that involved pick-axes and steam explosions. By the time morning song drifted into his bedchamber Gilgrik was relieved to be done with the night. Upon finding his door wouldn’t let him through, he looked through the small crack which caused him to realize his brother had become a door-stop. Instead of yelling, Gilgrik gave a grim smile before he opened the door onto his Mukal’s oddly shaped head, repeatedly.
Finally shooing his brother out of his way, Gilgrik Cavebuckle sat down at his brother’s table with a groan, they were out of the dark beer that he liked to wash the taste of sleep from his mouth with. “You lazy git,” he grumbled, “yeh drank all my beer again and do no hard days work. Dwarves don’t do lazy. You need to get a job before I toss your indolent braids to the tunnels.” He turned to leave their dwelling, then paused before he added, “They’re always looking for rubble removers.” He headed into the cold passageways leading to the city of Blessedbraids.
It took nearly a cycle and a half, a strangely long time, for Gilgrik to get to the main boiler. The guards on duty this morning talked darkly among themselves. They gave him no grief though as he passed through their gate into the compound.
The door to his office block burst open as he approached, and his boss, Bargun Strongvault, hurtled into his path as he stumbled to a stop, nearly bumping into Gilgrik’s admittedly overlarge stomach. “Thank Marthammor you’re finally here!” Gilgrik saw a shine of sweat on the man’s brow and knew something big had happened. “The number three boiler blew a back-flow valve last night. The safety procedures worked, fortunately, but there was a blowout in one of the feeder pipes and the entire combustion assembly was soaked. We’re going to be down a main boiler for the day…” Bargun trailed off, as he appeared to finally be out of energy to panic any further.
“This is going to be an interesting day.” Gilgrik smiled to himself as he hurried to solve a fresh mystery.
One thought on “The Brothers”
It’s good to see that you’re still making stories.