Almonihah growled, baring his teeth. “No.”
“Almonihah…” Garkhen murmured, reprovingly. He turned to the council. “As we said before, we do not think it wise to do so, given the proven powers of the artifact…”
“We are aware,” one of the male elves said, “And thus have prepared ourselves. While you may not believe this sufficient, we cannot simply trust your word if we are to support you.”
Garkhen sighed, with a slight nod. He looked up at Almonihah.
The half-bronze dragon looked back and forth at the two druids, the council, and then down to Garkhen. Finally he grumbled, “Don’t like it…”
“We have little choice, my friend,” the Warder replied.
After a long moment of muttering under his breath, Almonihah said, “Fine. Short look.”
Garkhen smiled slightly, then turned back to the council. “We will show you what we bear.”
He pulled a small box out of his pack, and slowly walked forward, stopping several paces from the table.Cautiously he undid the latch on the box, and then opened it, revealing the chains binding the multi-hued rock.
The two druids cried out in unison, and the elven councilwoman shot to her feet. “Close it!”
The Warder snapped the box shot and latched it, letting out the breath he didn’t know he had been holding. “That is what we seek to destroy.”
The two druids looked physically ill, and the councilwoman’s face was ashen. “You bear a heavy burden,” she stated as Garkhen put the box away.
Almonihah snorted. “Gotten a lot ‘f people killed, too.”
“And if it is not destroyed it will kill many more,” Garkhen added.
One of the druids managed to recover his composure well enough to speak. “That… thing must not remain here.” He turned to the council. “They have spoken truly about its danger. Whether or not the Mages of Midport may divine the means of its destruction, it must leave.”
Several of the council members nodded or voiced agreement. The other elven councilor stood.
“We now see the necessity of your quest, but you must know of our situation. Our ancestors have lived here since before living memory, making a living from the jungles here. But as men built ships and explored the oceans, pirates also followed in their wake. Many times they landed here, and many times we drove them back to the sea.”
“But eventually, they gained a beachhead, and since that time they have expanded their depredations to our own people. We have no access to the sea any longer, for it is their domain, and some of our people they have enslaved.”
At this the dwarf stood. “And some of mine, and some of theirs,” he pointed at the nearest human councilman. “We’ve been able to free some, but…” he balled up a fist and pounded on the table, “They keep capturing more!”
I struggle with secondary characters. Hopefully these council people don’t seem too flat.