Sun and Stone

by Noel Oliver

Copyright 2016 Noel Oliver

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Moxley Alten opened his eyes, cursed the daylight streaming through the cracks in the shutters, and pulled the heavy quilt up over his head. Damn that elven wine, anyhow. This was the third time since he'd come to Alvarranen that it had snuck up and blindsided him, leaving him with a splitting headache. If only he could get a proper mug of dwarven ale.


At the moment he may as well just stay in bed. The whole reason he'd gotten accidentally drunk the previous night was because of the end-of-term celebration; most of the students had already left, and his fellow teachers were heading off over the next few days to spend the winter solstice with their families. Moxley and the two other dwarves who had come to Skywhisper Academy to teach that fall would be left rattling around the empty halls. At least Finn and Jessa had each other.


He gave a little grunt of exasperation at the thought and flipped over his pillow, pushing his forehead against the cool side. If he wasn't careful he'd start feeling sorry for himself again. It was true he hadn't really wanted to come here in the first place. Moxley had grown up a child of nobility and had only left the caverns in the heart of Mt. Drom a handful of times in his life. The dwarves called Mt. Drom “Heart of the World”; it was the center of their kingdom and, supposedly, the origin of their race. Nowadays the only dwarves who lived inside the mountain itself were the oldest and richest families. Finn and Jessa had grown up in cities spread across its foothills; they didn't understand how Moxley could miss the constancy of his home, where it was never too hot or too cold and the days were marked by the lamplighters and not the rising of the sun.

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