As he looked out across the world from the clans great stronghold in the mountains, there was a great calm upon him. The calm of a decision made. The calm of knowing the next steps he would take, the calm of taking action to assuage his own guilt. The calm of the grudge to be settled.

He let out a sigh, the view from here was truly awesome, and this would likely be his last gaze upon it for a long time. It was always a melancholic sight for him. The first time he had seen it he was so young and filled with grief, anger and guilt. He had been stood on this very spot with his father, Grimbul the stone, a hand of reassurance placed on his still healing shoulder. He had still been Fargrim son of stone at that point, his fathers comforting grip and wise words had drifted to him, passing in to his mind but never settling on his heart. Those same old feelings always returned as he stood here looking again on the vista. It was no different this time.

Heganbor Hold was at the furthest part of the clans influence and had always been a place of legend, a far outpost always under threat from whatever evil might be waiting and wanting to sweep it from the world. The dwarves that stood there were cast of iron they used to say. It is where Grimbul had earnt his name, defending the walls from the green scourge before returning to start his family. These tales had been part of Fargrim’s earliest childhood and had followed him as he got older, moving step by step from tales to desires. He wished to stand on the walls of the famous hold, carve his own stories and be numbered amongst the great dwarves of his clan like his father. A wish he would eventually fulfil. As a young warrior he traveled from the great stronghold in the mountains, to Heganbor, traveling with supplies and other young naive warriors looking for adventure and their own tales of greatness. Their arrival was a shocking lesson in the realities of legend. Heganbor Hold was a dirty looking, low level set of keeps, with a wall surrounding a small, dirtier, courtyard. It stuck ugly from the rock of a small rise, and looked to all that it may have been built by humans. Its saving grace, however, were the great vaults and halls carved below the ground, all lavishly decorated and furnished. Not as grand as the great mountain stronghold but more than adequate, and then for Fargrim there was her.

Within a short period Fargrim realised that the stories were perhaps exaggerated by those who had been there, and his time at the hold would be uneventful, despite the occasional skirmish along the trade route, very little went on. Then one fortunate day he saw the most beautiful dwarf he had ever seen. Her name he later found out was Balarra, and she had smiled at him as she first walked past. Fargrim had only managed to stare, then trip over his own shield and fall over in a rather undignified manner. Much to the amusement of his fellow warriors and Balarra herself. Once he had finally got over his embarrassment, he managed to ask her name, and after she made a joke at Fargrims expense to the friends she was with she had told him. The two got closer and closer as their time at Heganbor went on and they found that their love blossomed. Balarra had a wicked sense of humour and made jokes and gently ribbed Fargrim. She had no malice in her, her jokes being sweet and tender and causing Fargrim to only love her the more, every time she made them. They decided that they would return to the great stronghold and wed, start their family as Fargrim’s father had all those years ago.

As their time at the hold began to draw to an end, attacks on the hold had slowed to a point where they were almost non existence. Fargrim had neither noticed nor cared, his world was complete with Balarra at his side, a meeting of two destined hearts, souls and minds giving him peace and contentment. By this time he had become an accomplished warrior, still young as the long beards would constantly remind him. But a well respected leader who had led his dwarven warriors to victory a number of times over his years at Heganbor. So when the attack came he was one of the first to the wall, rousing his men and charging in to the fray as they had so many times before. This was different, the forces attacking were numerous beyond counting and they were organised. The lack of attacks prior to this suddenly made sense. They had been waiting for this moment to strike hard and look to overwhelm the dwarves who were now easily outnumbered maybe twenty-five to one. The battle was to be bloody, brutal and lengthly. The Dwarves fought as they always do with grim determination, but attrition was to be the deciding factor in this the last fight for Heganbor. Fargrim was to fight long and hard to be able to grip to this far outpost, that his father had helped defend so long before him. The call to retreat and give up the hold came only as the last resort, much to the disagreement of some, Fargrim included. He fought with the rear guard to get those they could away, at all points his mind on the safety of his love, Balarra. Until he heard she was not among those who were fleeing.

His mind broke at the news and the steady and solid dwarf warrior slipped instantly in to a rage filled and panicked monster, his only thoughts to fight back in to the hold and find his love. His ferocity pushed him back in to his enemies and for a while they fell from his axe like water to a well. His bitter anger had left him unfocused and the wounds to his own body began to tell eventually he took a strike so brutal it all but smashed his arm from his shoulder leaving him too broken to fight on with his axe. It did not force him from his path, and he continued to fight back at them with his shield and brute force trying desperately to make his way back to Heganbor and his Balarra. He fought on like that to a standstill with his enemy, but more kept coming and his strength and stamina slowly but inexorably ebbed away from him. Eventually he was pulled away from the fight by some of his warriors as he refused to leave the fight on his own accord. The sight they came across shocked them to the core as the dragged him clear. Not given to such emotion, dwarves stoic and determined strength is that of legend, Fargrim was a dwarf lost in grief and despair. He screamed at his enemies
“Balarra, Balarra, Balarra, I am coming for you.” His screaming so constant that he was becoming horse with the effort.
His body was covered in blood, his face scorched by tears of desperation. In the brief moments when he wasn’t savagely striking his enemies with his now buckled and gore smeared shield, he was visibly shaking. Eventually he was clear of the fighting and the small number of Heganbor dwarves made their way back toward the mountain stronghold, in a slow mournful silence. The hold had fallen, many had died and Fargrim had lost his love.

The devastation of the fall of Heganbor struck every dwarf as its tale spread around the great stronghold. Of those who were there the deep and bitter scars of loss were palpable as they entered a room. And yet none were as deep and cavernous as Fargrim’s. His own personal loss and the guilt he felt were so colossal that he neither spoke nor meet anyone for a number of years, and Fargrim the son of stone became Fargrim the lost.

Fargrim noticed the storm brewing in the distance, the blackness of the clouds mirroring the dark in his soul. The rolling of thunder came to him in a repeal of noisy and crackling bellows, like creation shouting back his own thoughts. His head began to nod slowly to the arrhythmic pounding of the sky as if in agreement with a notion not voiced.
“Yes.” He said softly “The storm comes.”
He turned away from the scene as lighting streaked the far off sky and walked away.