(Story Request) The Seventh Grimcracker

Hey, folks! I do story requests now! This request came from Aaron, who needed a dwarvish, slightly misogynistic fairytale for his RPG campaign. Want to commission a piece? $1 gets you three haiku sent to your inbox, $5 gets you a postcard-length story with the postcard sent to your actual mailbox, and $10 gets you a story between 300-500 words on whimsical stationary that’s also sent to your mailbox.

Interested? Send me an email with your idea at k.ehler@gmail.com and then make your payment on PayPal. Stories posted by permission of the patron. On with the story!

Seven is thought to be a very lucky number for us dwarves and so it usually is, but not for Morin Grimcracker, he of middling ability at the forge and seven sons. So he did what any dwarf would do in his position and sent them all out into the vast, bright world to seek their fortunes.

So they did, for to be one of seven is to be a creator of good luck, even if not necessarily for one’s old father. The first became the great smithy his father never was, the second a feared berserker. The third created the most clever music boxes, the fourth became an ambassador to the High King of Men. The fifth discovered the true depths of the Mines of Koradaz, the sixth invented a most excellent percussion instrument with the skulls of the treacherous elves he had slain.

But what of the seventh, whose very birth gave them good luck? Was there any left for him?

He traveled far – as far as the others, then farther still. He was but a pebble when he set up out, his beard only reaching his septum. But years passed and that beard grew to his knees and his muscles filled his leather tunic to the straining point. And yet, for all his renowned competency in whatever task he was hired for, fortune was delayed in finding him.

One day, he descended to the halls of the Helastone, only to find the residents in mourning. Black was their garments, their jewels exchanged for hoops of iron, their armor dull and unwaxed. “What has happened here,” asked the seventh Grimcracker.

“Our king is in mourning,” he was told. “His daughter was stolen by a dragon and he has no sons or nephews to carry on his line.”

Oh, thought the seventh Grimcracker! If only my father could have given some of his sons to this king; then this wouldn’t be such a great tragedy!

“If some brave dwarf were to rescue the daughter,” continued the townsfolk. “He would surely gain her as a wife and become king after the father has passed to the Mines of the Great Smith. But all who’ve tried… Ah, the smell was of roasted pork, report the witnesses.”

The seventh Grimcracker lost no time in setting out, pointed in the right direction by dwarves who wondered of his sanity but doubted not his courage nor the excellent maintenance of his axe. For many days and nights he traveled, until he came across a suspiciously rich city (‘suspicious’, because the inhabitants appeared to be men, not dwarves) at the foot of a lonely mountain. As he approached the city, something curious occurred: a bonafide dragon swooped down to the front of the city gate and deposited a heavily-laden sack.

The gate opened. Pleased and professional men trooped out, opened the sack, and inspected the contents – such armaments and ornaments that would make a master smithy weep in joy and envy. In exchange, the men counted out a great quantity of gold and other raw materials into another sack and a dragon’s dinner’s worth of meat into the third, which said dragon graciously accepted. Then he flew off.

Oh, thought the seventh Grimcracker. This will not be difficult at all.

That night, he stole away to the stockyards. The sack of meat for the next day had already been prepared and had been placed in an icebox (a mark II Stronginthearm model, if you must know). He slipped into the sack and settled down to wait, occasionally munching on a leg of raw mutton.

Night passed. Morning passed. The sack was thrown into the back of a cart, and not gently. And soon… He was aloft. (And certainly did not black out in terror from having so abruptly left the father soil.)

Before he knew it (and not when he came to to), he felt the sack being placed on solid ground once more. He readied his axe. The sack began to open.

“Ris, I believe there’s some nice beef steak in here for you. I put in your request for the cut precisely. They quite like those traveling machines with the two wheels and wonder if you’re interested in mass production-”

Four feet of hairy death flew out of the sack, his axe jabbing the dragon in the back of the throat. The dragon fell, dead and surprised by it. An impressive amount of blood sprayed on our hero, the seventh Grimcracker.

He rubbed the blood out of his eyes and saw the loveliest dwarf maid the imagination could conjure. Beard fetchingly curled. Biceps the size of babes. Hips that could birth those babes and probably a full-grown son of Man besides. The king’s daughter! She was positively speechless in gratitude!

“I shall return you home,” said the seventh Grimcracker. “And your father shall wed you to me and we shall be King and consort after him and you shall bear me many sons! How does that sound?”

Still speechless! Well, she did have a rather terrifying time lately, so it was no wonder.

The two eventually managed to return to the halls of the Helastone, although for mysterious reasons, it took rather longer than the trip out. The halls were filled with music and celebration and events proceeded much the way the seventh Grimcracker foretold in the dragon’s lair.

And they lived happily ever after… until his consort birthed seven sons in turn. But that is a story for another night.

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