Upon the marriage of Rendford and Jairie, Brethil Greymountain and her sister Doris Fairhill had been whisked from Ironforge’s Great Forge district to a house built in-thanks to her son and daughter-in-law. The Lightstone’s were determined to make sure that Rendford’s immediate family lived in comfort just as Jairie’s family lived in comfort. In this case, not only did Brethil and Doris have a house in the city of Alfimar, they also had a private home in sight of Iron Peak. The latter of which served as the home of Jairie and Rendford as well as the seat of government for the Barony of Alfi, one of the many that dotted Loch Modan.
It was on Mother’s Day that Rendford decided, after his daily routine and kissing his wife, that he would pay a visit to his mother with flowers in hand. He mounted astride his wolf and rode down the gentle sloping hills and across the green fields that made up the realm. He had aimed east towards Lake Alfi. His mother and aunt’s home had a view of one of the smaller lakes dotted the Loch Modan region, one of the bodies of water not affected by the Cataclysm. The day was muted by a ceiling of light gray that obscured the sun and dropped distant curtains of rain. Those story clouds seemed to be lured upon the city of Alfimar to the south or north to Galfi Mine. The way going to his mother’s seemed to be clear, which was fine by Rendford, though he would never let the patter of rain deter him.
As his wolf neared the house the beast paused and dipped its body forward. Its wet nose leaned towards the earth for a sniff and then raised again with a short growl. Rendford’s blood went cold and his eyes jumped from the wolf under him towards the house. The white picket fence seemed untouched, the grass was properly clipped. The stones of the house were smooth and stained to a softer color of milk-and-tea mix as opposed to harsh grays or blinding limestone. Like many Dwarven buildings the roof was flat, though a wooden awning was built over the porch which included a wooden swing which swung empty in the wind. Rendford had his rifle in his hand and a shell loaded. He started towards the house when the front door opened and he nearly pulled his rifle up to aim. He paused short of drawing as he blinked, what he beheld struck him harder than any fist.
A Dwarven man stepped onto the porch with Brethil Greymountain following behind, her arms wrapped around his neck as a content smile held on her face, “Mmmm.. some sugar fer ya,” She said, which prompted the men to turn and the two to exchange a long, lingering kiss. Rendford had the rifle across his chest. A certain desire was within him to draw the weapon down and shoot the many who had the audacity to kiss his mother in such a manor. He could only exclaim with a startled yelp, “Ma!”
Both Mrs. Greymountain and the man looked up with a shocked look.
Brethil Greymountain sat upon her couch with her head held high. The second daughter of the Fairhill family, she had been taught to always hold her head high. That teaching stuck with her, even as her light brown hair sported streaks of gray, and her buxom figure had thickened. She still held her head high. She also worked hard to stay active so that she never walked with any bending of her frame or a noticeable limp. Still, despite her pride, her cerulean eyes were softened by concern by the way her son moved, “I really love the flowers, Rend.” She said.
“Oh, aye? They’ll look good on that… man’s grave after I’m done with ‘im.”
Brethil clapped her hands with a sharpness that grabbed his attention, “I’ll not hav’ that talk around here, boy. Now, ye come sit with yer mother.”
Rendford stood and crossed his arms across his chest. It took a second, “Rend…” from her before he sighed and marched to sit next to her on her loveseat. The rain had begun to fall in earnest.
“Are ye angry wit’ me fer findin’ a boyfriend?” She asked.
“No… never,” Rendford said, “I am just… surprised.” He half-turned and looked down to see her hand resting on his. He flicked his eyes back up to meet her eyes, after a pause, he broke into a small smile, “I just… I dunno… ye weren’t suppose to find someone else… ye were suppose to-”
“I know, Rend, I know. But jus’ because we come from stone doesn’ mean our hearts do not beat, nor our blood run cold, my lovely. I love yer father, I shall always love yer father. But he would understand I cannot jus’ sit around sewin’ all day and sleepin’ all night. Not while I got life in me bones.”
“It’s still a hell of a way to greet yer son-”
“Hell o’ a way, I ddn’ expect ye at all.” Brethil replied, “Ye could hav’ told me ye were plannin’ tae visit.”
“It’s mother’s day, ma. Did ye not expect me to come down?” Rendford asked. His smile had broke into a defensive roar.
“Well, I mean, I was going tae see ye at the manor tonight. I figured Roland an I had some time-”
“Dinnae say it, ma. I don’t want tae know details o’ what ye an… Roland? He’s got a name too?”
Brethil tilted her head and blinked at her son, “Aye, ye dunce. He has a name. Ye should know. He’s one o’ yer wife’s groundskeepers.”
“Thought he look too young fer ye-”
“He’s one o’ tha semi-retired groundskeepers. The man is my age, boy.”
“The man’s not going to be breathin’ in a moment-” Rendford stood and was half-way towards the door when he heard his mother call and he turned to her. She was quite quick, Mrs. Greymountain. In a few steps she was over to him and her arms were around him in a firm hug. Out of instinct his head wrapped around hers and his cheek rested against her cheek.
“I really like the flowers, Rendford. I really love tha’ ye found a nice girl an’ ye settled down. I’m sorry I didn’ tell ye abou’ this.”
Rendford spent a moment just holding his mother tight. A cold realization that, after all this time, there would be another man in his mother’s life that was not him. Then again, he imagined his mother had the same thoughts about Jairie. He held her close and he said, “Nay… tis nothin’ to apologize about, ma.” He leaned back and kissed her cheek, “Happy Mother’s Day.”
When they broke apart, Rendford stepped towards the front door and opened it to let Roland Mossycliff back into the room. The older Dwarf was pale with touches of gray in his brown beard. He shivered as his chocolate eyes met Rendford’s cooler blue gaze and the only strength to be found was the smile of Roland’s girlfriend, Miss Greymountain.
Rendford said to Roland after a stare, “Tis nice to meet ye, Ser.” He offered his hand and enjoyed a handshake. Rendford smiled easy as he added, “By tha way. If ye hurt me mother’s feelin’s, I’ll hunt ye down and feed ye tae me wolf.”
Brethil rolled her eyes and said, “Rendford…” She kissed her fingers and waved to her son, “And by tha way, love! If ye wish tae give me another gift…”
“Anything fer ye, ma.” Rendford said.
“I could use some more grandchildren…” Mrs. Greymountain said.
It was now Rendford’s turn to blush.