Are Dwarfs Demons?

Carmichael Mine Entrance

##-@-##

Loc emerges from the mine amid a small troupe of miners. They are all covered in a light layer from a hard days work in the mine. The group seems in high spirits and is a little noisy.

Sehsis walks down towards the mine followed by Nasrin, he is holding a box and speaking to her, “-Should be around here… Ah yes, I should mention, some of the inhabitants of this mine- that is, the majority- are not…Human”

Nasrin follows after him, furrowing her brow. “What, you mean this is where the demons live? I thought that was all the way along in Narnia… There’s not other places where they live, are there?”

Loc spies a familiar figure walking toward them and waves enthusiastically, in a wide, sweeping motion. “Well Sehsis! Good to see you back again!” He calls out loudly, in a jovial manner. The distance is still too great for the comment about ‘demons’ to be overheard by the boisterous lot.

Sehsis waves a hand as if to stop her and says in a low voice, “No no they’re in Narnia, these are just not human also, don’t call customers demons” in a louder voice he calls out, “Hello Loc, it’s been a while”

Nasrin rolls her eyes and mumbles something to herself about demons being much too common, before hearing Loc and giving him a wave.

Loc says something to the miners and splits off of the group, heading over. He gives a small bow to the woman with a “milday” and looks to Sehsis, “Too long. But then, Winter was too long this year as well..” He glances at the woman once more. “You have a very lovely wife. Have you also brought your little one to Narnia as well?”

Sehsis blinks slowly at this and for a moment he looks vaguely horrified, “What? No no…No you have it all wrong! She’ not my…”

Nasrin smiles at the compliment. “Lovely! Well I never met such a charming customer before.” She looks to Sehsis and looks back at his friend. “But we’re definitely not married!” She looks mildly offended at the mere thought.

Loc’s eyebrows lift and he looks rather horrified as well by the reactions. He coughs, his cheeks colouring a little. “Oh… I um…” He coughs again. “Sorry… Not for saying you’re lovely, but just… assuming…” He trails off and gestures haplessly.

Sehsis takes a moment to regain a little composure, “Loc, this is my niece Nasrin. Nasrin this is Loc”

Nasrin nods in greeting, looking sympathetic. “Pleasure to meet you, Loc. You don’t have to get so flustered over a silly mistake! …but a second compliment can always make up for the insult.” She gives him a small grin.

Loc gives a sheepish grin, “You are very kind, Nasrin. Normally a small mistake wouldn’t be so bad, I just have a way of putting my foot in my mouth.”

Nasrin chuckles and waves a hand dismissively. “There’s no need to fret over a mistake like that. I’d probably have made the same if I were wearing your shoes.”

You say, “Yes well, now that’s over with..”

Loc coughs and grins a little, “I see you’re here to restock our supplies. Just in time too.”

Sehsis seems glad of the change of subject, “Yes indeed, coffee and tobacco, correct?”

Loc nods. He flags a miner who is taking a break near the entrance, calling out, “Oye, we got more coffee and tobacco. Want to lend a hand?” The dwarf nods, looking pleased and heads over to retrieve the supplies. Loc looks to Nasrin, “Sehsis introduced us to the wonderful luxury that is Calormen coffee and tobacco, and now the men can’t get enough of it.”

Nasrin is busy staring wide-eyed at the bearded little man collecting the supplies as Loc talks to her, seeming entirely oblivious to the rest of the outside world. “I’m–I’m sorry?” she says after a moment, blinking as she realises he was talking to her.

Sehsis glances to Nasrin, “Don’t worry about them”

Loc tilts his head to the side a little, then says, “Oh, they just like the stuff your Uncle brings.”

Loc smiles, “We’re glad to have his business.”

Nasrin grimaces as she watches the dwarf walk out of sight, and earshot too for good measure, before turning back to them. “Why should I not worry about, about, about… that? I didn’t know demons could look like people too!”

Loc grimaces a little, saying under his breath, “I’ve known plenty a demons that look like people, and they ain’t anything like the dwarfs.”

Sehsis says slowly as if choosing each word carefully, “The dwarfs are not human, it is true, but they are also not demons, so you need not worry about them”

Nasrin frowns, looking to where the dwarf walked off before looking back at Sehsis. “How are they /not/ demons?”

Loc looks to Sehsis to explain.

Sehsis remains silent for a while, then he continues to speak in that careful way, “They have never done anything demonic in my presence, and have shown more courtesy than some humans have- I think the empirical evidence points to the fact that they are not, and are just…Something that is different”

Nasrin looks at him disbelieving. “If a demon that looked like a cat didn’t talk around you, does that mean it isn’t a demon? It might like you stroke it, but does it stop it from being a demon? They’re tricksters, after all!”

You mumble “Look when you get right down to it you don’t insult paying customers!”, to Nasrin.

Sehsis mumbles “… when you get … down to it you don’t insult paying customers!”, to Nasrin.

Loc watches the exchange with interest. “Well.” He says after a moment, “What makes you so sure they /are/ demons?”

Loc says, “Just because they look different?”

Nasrin gives him an incredulous stare. “Where are your standards, man?” She sighs and shakes her head, looking to Loc. “They’re not right, no.”

Loc asks, “Have you ever seen a demon?”

Nasrin says, “Not with my own eyes… But I have been educated about them.”

Loc says, “Not the same thing. they tell ya all sorts a things in books. But there’s stuff they don’t know about.”

Nasrin asks, “I wouldn’t be so sure about that. My tutors were very wise, after all… What wouldn’t they have known about demons?”

Loc says, “They might think they did. But… let me tell you something about the folk there…” He gestures to the mines. “They might look funny, and talk strange, and sometimes they’re a little loud and like their ale–but they’re so much /more/ than that. They chart the stars, and know the earth. They can sing beautiful ballads and weave wondrous stories. They too are wise. And it ain’t right to judge someone just ‘cuz they look different or seem different.”

Sehsis decides now would be a good time to interject, “I’ll speak to her later in a not so…Charged environment, this is unfamiliar and I know what it’s like to have the shock of the unfamiliar”

Nasrin looks between the two and simply nods, putting the issue behind her.

Loc grins a little, “But it was just gettin’ good.”

Sehsis nods a little, he breathes a little sigh of relief that this issue didn’t become an argument.

Nasrin returns a grin to Loc. “Another time, we can have a debate.”

Loc nods and seems to enjoy this idea, “Sounds excellent. Maybe over a cup of tea in the local tavern? Won’t be good as the Calormen kind, Im sure, but… you make with what you got here.” He pauses, then looks to Sehsis, “As long as that’s okay?–You can moderate the debate.”

Sehsis sighs, “As long as it all remains civil”

Nasrin nods. “Don’t worry about that, uncle – how bad could it get? A friendly debate over a nice cup of tea.”

You say, “I suppose so”

Loc chuckles softly and grins, “I can do civil. Besides, debate is one of those learned things, isn’t it? It’s a good way to learn how to better express yourself and all that?”

Nasrin nods. “He’s right you know uncle, it helps you figure out what you believe in and why. It can even change minds.”

You say, “Yes, yes alright you can have your debate”

Loc says, “Or at least help you come to a decent consensus on accepting you both cannot find a place to agree.” He grins and says, “I look forward to it.”

Nasrin smiles. “Shall we?”

You ask, “You want to now?”

Nasrin asks, “When else?”

Sehsis looks to Loc questioningly.

Loc seems taken off guard for a moment, then grins. “Why not. Besides, what better way to help familiarise her with the surroundings.”

You say, “But not that subject”

Nasrin hmmms at Sehsis before she looks to Loc. “So where is this tavern?”


Fischer’s Tavern, Carmichael

##-@-##

Loc holds the door in a gentlemanly fashion for them.

Nasrin thanks him and strolls on in after, taking a look around the tavern.

Sehsis walks to the bar and orders them all some tea.

Loc finds a table by the fire and motions for them to join him.

Nasrin sits on down at the table and accepts her cup of tea, drinking from it. “You’d be surprised, you know. They do have the same kind of tea up here as they do down in Calormen.”

Sehsis looks at it, “Not quite the same, preparation I believe is slightly different, as is presentation, and quantity”

Nasrin says, “Quality can differ too, naturally.”

Loc thanks Sehsis and sips his tea.

Sehsis sips his own tea, “Well, it’ll do”

Loc grins a little at the exchange, “At least it isn’t like our coffee, right?”

Loc’s eyes spark with delight and mischief.

Nasrin says, “I’ve never tried the coffee, but I’ve also never heard uncle complain about anything else so much before.”

Sehsis grimaces, “That you simply cannot find made well over here, which reminds me have I ever shown you how to make it properly?”

Loc pauses, to consider this. “I don’t think so. I remember getting the pot and everything before the snow–and then winter came and the mine got busy…”

Nasrin asks, “What’s working in the mine like?”

Sehsis nods, “And I…Rather avoided this place in the winter”

Loc gives an empathetic nod to Sehsis and grins, “Me too.” He looks to Nasrin. “Well, it’s… a lot of things. Hard. Dirty. Long hours, sore muscles and all that. But it’s rewarding too. When you work together down there, you’re family. You all learn to depend on one another. And it’s surprisingly similar to a sort of city. It’s all set up very efficiently. And there’s something special about pulling out the ores and gems that you do. To the dwarfs, mining isn’t just a job, it’s an art. Sometimes they’ll leave a shaft natural because of the way it looks. Like this one wall… the way the ore moves through it it almost looks like waves a water.”

Loc says, “It’s all about finding hidden potential and uncovering it.”

Nasrin nods along to his tale as she listens, sipping slowly from her cup of tea. “Yes, it does sound very charming.” She smiles. “How long have you been a miner then?”

Loc sips his tea thoughtfully, buying some time.

Loc says, “Feels like forever, but I think about six or seven years now? Maybe five?” He frowns. “It all sorta bleeds together.”

Nasrin nods understandingly. “Well, I can see why. I’d feel the same doing something I love for so long.”

Loc grins over the tea. “Yeah. I never thought I’d find something like mining so fascinating but… it really is.”

Sehsis finishes his tea, “I’m afraid the journey has been long and I am quite tired. I’ll be checking into the hostel” he says to Nasrin, “You can stay here longer if you wish or you can come along, the choice is yours”

Nasrin finishes off her cup of tea. “I’m not quite sure where the hostel is as it is, so I’ll be best coming with you.”

Loc finishes his tea and stands. “I should head back. Tomorrow will be an early morning… will you be in town a while?”

Sehsis nods, “Probably, yes”

Nasrin nods. “I don’t see why not!”

Loc smiles, “Good. Then I will see you both around.”

Sehsis nods, “It was good to see you again”

Nasrin smiles, “And very lovely to meet you.”

Sehsis bids Loc farewell and walks out of the taven

Loc waves.

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