I've noticed that people with one interest and one focus tend to do more than people with varied interests and talents. For example if all you can do is swim then you swim and swim and swim. Even if you're mediocre at it you can become great since there's nothing like painting or mathematics to take your mind from your goal.
When I was a kid one of my many jobs was delivering newspapers. This was before Ipods so I would entertain myself by writing story lines in my head. I've kept that storyline up now for about 30 years and if written would be 10 novels a thousand pages each. Something to think about really. It would be a fantasy series though and frankly it's a bit daunting to think about. I did get the urge to write a little fantasy. Maybe one day this will start a novel called "The Dwarf Queen"
Farg walked into his cave, leaned his pick axe against the natural groove by his small chair and took off his boots. The motions carried out without any thought after over 300 years of doing the same thing. His evening started the same but today it would end differently. He looked around his living quarters noting all of the little things about it that have made it a home. Everything had a story and for the first time in a long time those stories made him smile.
He tossed 3 pieces of coal the size of his hand into the little stove he used for cooking and lately for warming his old bones. He traded 3 diamonds the size of his thumb for that stove and two small emeralds of matching size for the teapot and a poker. He could have had it made it all himself or had one of his many cousins pound one of out sturdy kar iron but he wanted it to be different and unique for his new wife. He smiled again as he noticed the smoke trench hastily carved in the ceiling when they realized they hadn't properly planned for ventilation. They're first night together as husband and wife and they nearly asphyxiated.
He knew his bride had pentient for wood and items made above ground. His chair was made from Gray Elm and after a few repairs and a lot of attention was still sturdy enough to hold him when he took of his boots. It's mate sat pushed in at his wife's side of the table. Probably not safe to sit in anymore since nobody had done so in so long. Was it 50 years? 75? The mines helped to focus and helped to forget.
Farg pulled water from the small pool in the far corner of his eating area and put it on to boil for tea. He took down his crockery cup now riddled with tiny yellowing cracks through the purple flowers painted on the surface. It's mate had yellow flowers and like the chair under the table sat on the shelf unused and in better shape. While the water heated He emptied his pockets of the days find. The seam along the bottom gave way. He chuckled. He was never good at sewing but if was going to give out today was as good a day as any.
A small piece of ore filled stone and a good handful of rubies or blood diamonds as the humans called them. He piled them on top of piles of other stones heaped in the room that used to be a sitting room. The room was all piles of gems and ores now completely covering the furniture he himself had carved from the living rock. He had no use for them anymore. He didn't trade outside of the caves for anything. He hunted gems because it's what he had always done and it kept him from thinking. "Pick and Stone when you're alone" was the old saying. It had worked well enough for him until now.
The tea was done and he poured a cup. The earthy smell of the mosses he used helped to bring back more memories of his very long life. The tapestry separating the sleeping room was threadbare and starting to sag. All of the colors were faded to a shades of gray except for the yellow which refused to become less brilliant. Flowers, three birds perched in a tree and a sliver of sunlight was all the color that was left in a field of shadows. He knew when he bought it that it wouldn't last past a hundred years. Few things made by humans ever did. But he knew she would love it and she did for all of her life.
He finished his tea and out of habit cleaned the cup and placed it back on the shelf. It didn't occur to him that it wouldn't matter anymore. It was still important to have everything in order. He picked up his pick axe and moved past the tapestry into the next room. The light was very dim but he even though he would go decades without coming to this part of his home it was as much a part of him as his own hand. On the dark wall was a small table with the small tools she used to make jewelry. She only ever made a few pieces but they were stylish and well constructed and they made him proud. Only three pieces remained in his possession. Their wedding bracelets, made from dragon steel. He had never taken his off and it had only worn a little considering the centuries.
He could see the back wall and the alcove there perfectly fine. He carved it so that light from main room would shine directly on it so that there would be no need for a candle. In the center was a curved raised platform. The dwarf version of a crib. In its center was a tiny necklase holding three tiny yellow diamonds. They were called canaries and nearly glowed. It was meant to be for his daughter on her second year. Their daughter.
Their daughters death devestated them both but he had his pick and the mountain to lose himself in. For days he would swing and take away part of the mountain. No thought distracting him or reminding him of his life. Fargs wife had no such luxury. Nothing could take her mind from the loss. One day he returned to find her in their bed. She had changed to stone. She looked like a perfectly formed statue of a sleeping dwarf. The first he had ever seen. He looked at her now exactly the same as when he found her. Her clothes had rotted away making her look even more like she had been shaped by mortal hands. Only her marriage bracelet was not the white ash color of her new body.
There is a belief among some dwarfs that a king is coming to lead them into a new and prosperous time. He would make the new dwarf nation without war and make them one of the great races. The sign that this was going to happen would be the return of all of the dwarfs that had gone to stone. Farg was never religious and wasn't sure that going to stone wasn't death but it didn't matter anymore. His mind was made up. Changing the mountain was easier than changing a dwarfs mind. He leaned his pick axe next to the bed and undressed. He knew instinctively It wasn't necessary to be naked for the change but he wanted to match her as much as he could.
He clumsily crawled over her so that he could hold her as he did in sleep. Her back to his front his lips on her neck and his arm over her. He placed his hand over hers so that their marriage bracelets touched. Though she was now stone there was warmth where his skin contacted hers. Under him the cold from the living rock of the mountain was seeping in to him. He knew this cold. It was part of who he was, part of being a dwarf. At his core he called to the minerals of the land. From a distance he could feel his tissues hardening. Becoming strong and eternal. There was no feeling anymore and he knew it was nearly done. If the king came they would wake in each other arms. If he did not then he had found his eternity.