The gnarled old campaigner was perched perilously on his stool. Telling stories in exchange for ale had become a lucrative second career for him. “Tell us another one, Wrathbone,” prodded a caravan roustabout. “ Yes! Yes!” shouted the patrons of the Lusty Halfling.
“Tale-telling is thirsty work lads,” he said. “Besides, I’ve already told ye all the good ones.”
The barmaid, who had grown weary of the stories, chimed in “tell ‘em the one about the Dwarven Nuptials.” Wrathbone shot her a withering glance and absently rubbed the scar where his left eye had been. Clearly, this was not his favorite story.
If you are fortunate enough to be invited to a dwarf wedding, there are some things you should know—things that could save your life…
What Side to Sit On: Leave your weapons at the door; whether or not you are with the groom doesn’t matter; and you will want to be on the side with the toughest warriors and the most clerics. There is going to be fight at some point.
The Perfect Gift: Hammers with ale in them (not to be confused with an ale-hammer).
The Buffet: If you survive the ceremony, you are not out of the perilous caverns yet. Let’s just say that there is a good reason that dwarf caterers are not in high demand elsewhere.
The Toast: Dwarves live a very long time and have great memories; you should sit down and leave this to the professionals. If you do drink the wedding mead, you can subtract 5 from your Wisdom score after you wrap a belt around your head to keep it from exploding.
Scoring with a Bridesmaid: Don’t even think about it. After 3 or 4 flagons of Old Goblin Mashers’ Stout, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the men and the women. (Hint: the males have more gold in their beards.)
Dancing: Dwarf women don’t think it’s cute when you get on your knees to look them in the eye. (Remember Wrathbone?)
Not many outsiders are invited to these rare ceremonies. You will either have a great story to tell your grandchildren or a couple of scars. Or both.