As her feet hit the ground she saw Astrid and a large man approaching. The man looked exactly like what dwarves had been pictured as in her childhood stories, only this man was tall and built like a bear. He had a long copper colored beard which he had wrapped in three sections with silver thread. He was heavily armored in the legs and wore only a fur cape over his massive muscled chest. In one hand he carried a wood and metal shield, in the other a massive hammer, and under his arm a horned battle helmet.
“Lord Obsi,” Astrid said with a bow, “this is Bjorn. He is a rider and an expert base builder. He is here to help with our plans for this evening.”
Bjorn dropped to one knee, placed his helmet on the knee in front of him, and both hands on top of the helmet. “It is an honor to meet the youngest daughter of the great King Jarod. I hope to serve you as well as he served his people.”
Astrid noticed that Obsi was a bit mystified by Bjorn’s actions, so she waited for him to stand and said, “Bjorn, please get the den ready for tonight. The others will be here soon as well. Please make sure there are no dragons in the stalls adjacent to Gunnar. Obsi, please take me to your Master Druid. We will need to enlist his help as well.”
“Of course,” Obsi replied. “Master Bjorn, thank you for your kind words and for your help with this…issue…”
Bjorn bowed to both of them, then strode off in the direction of the den. Obsi led Astrid to the Hall of Research, where they found Druid Tim waiting.
“I had a feeling you would be paying me a visit,” he said with a smile.
Astrid laughed. “Is that so? Well, let’s get right to it then.” She pulled a piece of parchment out of her belt. “This is a list of materials I will need for the spell. Additionally, I’d like you to be there. If things happen to go awry, which I do not anticipate, I’d like as many reliable people close by as possible.”
Druid Tim blushed a little as he took the list from Astrid. “Thank you for the kind words. I will get these items for you right away.” He paused and read over the list, then smiled. “If you are planning what I believe you are, I will most definitely be there.” He quickly turned and almost ran deeper into the Hall.
“What exactly are you planning?” Obsi asked as they walked back across the base to the Den.
Astrid smiled. “I cannot say just yet. The less people know before hand, the better.”
Obsi nodded. “If you say so, I trust you.”
“And Gunnar trusts you,” Astrid said softly. “That is the key to this plan. Take care not to waver from protecting him.”
“I will,” Obsi said slowly. A familiar figure exited the den and slowly walked toward them. Obsi squinted for a moment then exclaimed…