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Free Dwarf of Bowland Prequel

The Banks of the River Hodor, two days travel East of the Tower of Blackmere- the last Remaining Imperial Dwarf Naval outpost in Estacarr.

The column of Dwarfs stretched back as far as the eye could see, from its head at a series of low hills next to the winding river the Dwarfs were following, until it vanished in a haze of dust and heat which blurred the figures of the Dwarfs and their wagons. The multitude of Dwarfs were being shepherded by Brock Riders that were placed at the head of the column and at intervals along the side of the column furthest from the River, dotted here and there in the mass of Dwarfs were the larger bulky figures of Dwarf nobles on massive armoured bears, towering above the Dwarfs and even above the Brock mounted berserker Dwarfs that formed the escort. Also interspersed along the length of the column of Dwarfs were the Armoured figures of Ironclad Regiments, forming solid blocks of colours amongst the myriad of Dwarf clothing colours. Green for the Brock Clan, Red for the Bear clan and Blue for the Raven Clan. Further out than the Brock Riders scattered parties of barely seen cloaked figures could just be made out, these were Herneas’s Ranger Troops that had guided and protected the vast traveling band of Free Dwarfs since they had left the Halpi Mountains, these Green and Brown clad, hardy Dwarfs had been the Eyes and the shield of the hapless refugees, making sure that they kept together and survived the long and arduous journey across the plains to their new home in Estacarr.

Across the River small groups of mounted soldiers could be seen, lazily keeping pace with the slow moving mass of Dwarfs, while further away a larger group of more heavily armed soldiers were apparent, their armour catching the suns rays and sending sparkles of light about them. These would be the Basilean Border Legion from their nearby Colony, watching to make sure that the Free Dwarfs didn’t violate the Treaty they had with King Golloch and watching for an excuse to renege on their part of the bargain just as Men always did when land and wealth were involved, even the Dwarf Raven Scouts such as himself were forbidden from crossing the natural boundary of the River Hodor and giving the Religious Human fanatics an excuse to interfere with the land grant given to the Free Dwarfs by the Dwarf King Golloch. They had been granted an ancient Dwarf Hold to live in, far from Gollochs Kingdom in a long forgotten area called Estacarr, once part of the Dwarf Lands it was now more of a frontier zone, settled and squabbled over by Human adventurers, Goblin Nomads, Ogre Mercenaries and worse. Rumours abounded of the fell things that awaited on the edges of this new Home that the Free dwarfs had yet to make their own.

Unfamiliar with the Terrain the Raven Scouts ranged ahead of the Free Dwarfs throughout their travels, working with the Rangers to find a safe route to their new home and other times circling effortlessly over the column as he was now, deceptively relaxed but alert to any danger from any direction on land or in the air. From his high vantage point even he struggled to see the end of the column which disappeared into the dust of its own passage far back along the trail.

He could see the vanguard of the Column beginning to mark out lines for camps and knew that their travel was over for the day, they had made some good progress but the slower moving elements of the column would probably still be moving for several hours yet before reaching the safety of the designated camp. Brock Riders and Rangers moved further out to form advanced outposts whilst Ironclad regiments marched into the grasslands to construct their fortified overnight camps in a ring of steel around the larger camp for the Free Dwarf civilians, all carried out with the discipline and strength of purpose characteristic of the Free Dwarfs and even more remarkable given the hardships they had already endured, it made him proud to be a part of their people.

Tomorrow he was tasked to be part of the advanced Scouts, perhaps he would be the one to have first sight of their new Holdfast, he would see what the new day would bring to him and smiled as he spiralled down to the Raven Clan camp to take his rest with the others.

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