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Author Topic: Toymaker  (Read 2024 times)

Bifur (Smalls)

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« on: January 21, 2013, 06:52:00 PM »
Bifur stood and scanned the untidy workshop, its long shelves covered in sawdust and bits of metal and wood, and tried to remember what he had been doing. The room was warm and bright, a fire blazing near the door and a huge lantern hanging above the table providing plenty of light for his work. An array of tools lay spread out in tangled piles on the table, the occasional weapon carelessly thrown in. Another range of large weapons stood propped up by the door, in what other houses might have called a walking stick stand. Bifur surveyed these, standing ready by the door in case of intruders. But so far his workshop had been his safe haven, a place of what little comfort and peace could be found in the Blue Mountains. Though he had grown up here, living in relative prosperity, at times the distant memories of his birthplace welled up inside of him, and he could think of nothing but the Mines of Khazad-Dum. But soon after came the memories of Moria, and the Orcs that swarmed the mines with their filth and hate, who cut down legions of Dwarves in their defense of the pit, and brought Bifur's own sorrow upon him...

But in truth Bifur found solace in his little shop, and his only visitors were his cousins, who frequently came by, Bofur to share a story or to ask questions about the construction of a toy, and Bombur to be jolly and make supper. Speaking of Bombur...

Bifur glanced over at the fire and the pot that was simmering above the flames. Unfortunately it was one of Bifur's own creations, not one of Bombur's excellent dishes. Though Bifur could never get Bombur to remember that he didn't like meat, the texture of flesh that reminded him of Orcs and Goblins, and the stench that filled his mind with visions of burning Dwarves...

He took a step forward to stir the vegetable stew, and stepped upon something, something that cracked under his heavy boot. Bifur sighed, and bent down, picking up the new toy he had been working on. He tossed it onto the work table and sat heavily down on a stool. Much of the time Bifur struggled with his memory, unsure of where he was or what year he was in, but it was in his workshop Bifur was most focused. Even his dear cousins, his friends who looked out for him and stubbornly refused to abandon him, did not know how much he remembered in that workshop. But at times the madness reached him even here, and threw him into a raging frenzy that resulted in smashed toys and the destructive redecoration of his furniture.

Several minutes passed as Bifur sought to remember, grasping at reality and the small trinket on the table. He gazed down at the toy, one of the grotesques that had come to replace the bright and beautiful things he used to make for the children of the Blue Mountains. Bifur sighed and reached out to grab his tools, intent on fixing the thing. At one time, ages past, he used to work with skill and precision, and now his fingers were clumsy and his vision foggy.  But he was determined, and with the strength of will and a ferocious concentration, Bifur pieced the figure back together and tested it, allowing it to lope across the table, its clockwork clicking in rhythm.

Bifur stood and took the toy in his huge hand and strode to the door. He pulled it open and passed quickly through the main living area before drawing open the heavy front door. He wound the toy, set it gently on the ground, and watched as it skittered away, moving shakily across the rough mountain road. After a few seconds, it was lost to sight, and Bifur slid back into his house and shut the door firmly behind him.

The toy ran steadily on, though its joints creaked and clicked. It was soon lost amidst the bustle of Dwarvish life, narrowly missing being crushed by heavy boots and passing wheels. Only one pair of sharp and curious eyes saw the thing, a tiny Warg and Rider pressing persistently on, toward some unknown evil.


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