January by the Numbers 26: Deep Delving Dwarves: a ficlet.

January by the numbers continues (We’re in February now but hey)

From sauergeek‘s prompt Deep delving dwarves discover dragons; discussions, disagreements develop: a ficlet.

The Dwarves of Daunaiya were not, as a rule, the deep-digging sort. They were, as a group, a little taller, a little less stocky than, say, their Northern Yudarsha cousins, and there were some who thought that they, not the nearby fae, were the cause of the “under-hill” myths. After all, the Daunaiya Dwarves dug under hills, not mountains, their tunnels following veins of silver and copper and lapis that wound under Darrenshire, the tallfolk land above Daunaiya.

Divisha cha-Doathshin was not born for the shallow digging. Some said it was in her blood — a grandfather from Yudarsha, a great-grandmother from Pellaye up in the Pellasher Mountains — some said she was just contrary, and some thought she was too proud for the team-based work of most dwarven mining.

But she was good, and when you are just that good at swinging your ax, just that good at sniffing out new veins, just that good at knowing exactly when to stop mining a seam, you are given some leeway. So when Divisha said she wanted to dig down, she encountered far less resistance — the political and social sort, at least — than another dwarf might have.

Down they dug, finding a vein they had not discovered before, down into metals only their ancestral records had words for, down into stones that glistened and shined like the sun itself, like grass after a rainfall, like lovers’ eyes. They were not deep-digging dwarves, and every hand-width down became that much harder, became that much more tempting, became that much more maddening.

They were twice as deep and half again as any Daunaiya dwarf had ever dug when Divisha suddenly called out “Stop!” And every single one of them know what that meant. Knew to hold onto their pick and hold their breaths the second she said it.

But there were diamonds and fesk-faturn glittering in young Dreniall’s eyes, and she swung her pick one more time.

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