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A tale of the bewitching Barelegs Sisters.


The Barelegs Sisters

For a time, every man of Emberdeep was rapturously in love with one of the "Barelegs Sisters": Astrid, Thora, and Helga. It was hard to argue - and many a dwarf lost life or limb trying - which of the three was the most beautiful and enchanting.

The place whence they came is not known, but it is generally believed that they ran away from home when very young. One can only speculate on the reason and whether they left by their own choice or by consequence of their beguiling effect (even as very young ladies). They thence moved from place to place, never staying long before wearing out their welcome or fleeing from a frothing manly mob and an enraged womanly populace.

Their time amongst the men of Emberdeep began when they were found floating aboard a raft by a Dverga ship. They were not, it is told, on board but a few minutes before their presence triggered something of a donnybrook. Such a ruckus would not be unexpected on a ship full of men long at sea, but this row was without equal. So irresistible were the sisters' beauty and - to the diminutive Dverga - their novel tallness, that the crew took complete leave of their wits.

After a few days, the ship returned unexpectedly to Emberdeep whereupon the sisters were ordered ashore. Before the captain confined them to quarters (specifically, the captain's own quarters) he gave them a choice: "go ashore or off the plank." The sisters, who'd grown bored of their time at sea, gladly obliged.

In Emberdeep, the sisters caused a stir unmatched even by their previous exploits. Their towering height and preference for shortened dresses offered even the tallest man of Emberdeep an irresistible and heretofore unimagined view of their beauty. And the shorter men amongst them described an even more breathtaking vista.

Not only were the sisters beautiful and exotic, but each was capable of driving a man mad in her own way: Astrid for her blond hair and long legs, Thora for her sweet voice and laugh, and Helga for her way with a sword. The last is curious as it was fact often repeated of the youngest sister, but no one could ever recall seeing her handle a blade.

But, their stay was to be predictably brief. Beautiful women always inflame jealousy in both men and women, and the Barelegs Sisters were no exception. Once they began appearing in bedrooms all over the Obsidian Isle, the women of the great dwarven houses howled for their expulsion. But the Council - its members, to a man, smitten with the sisters - refused.

So it was, until all three sisters were discovered in the bedchambers of a Rathiri envoy. The envoy himself managed to flee, but the sisters were not so fortunate. A quickly staged trial found them guilty of disquieting of the peace and other moral outrages and sentenced them cast into the sea. Their pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears as each surrendered their breath to the deep.

To this day, Dvergan men take to the seas in secret hope of finding the sisters alive, well, and waiting aboard a flimsy raft, and those back home pine for the Barelegs Sisters return, even if for only one night.


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