This page last updated on 2016-12-24
Coin Name : Dwarven Soul
Edition Name: Blue Pearl
2014 – 50 coins
The Dwarven Soul coins are 2 inches in diameter and have their own custom icon. This edition features two colors of blue pearl enamel with a nickel finish.
*** Narrative ***
What is a symbol? Is it just something we make up? Does it have a reality beyond what we make it? Does it reflect a deep truth of the universe?
Math rode on a horse headed toward the small village of Larsgaard and with him were his loyal men as well as the loyal Dwarf, Muukbin, who served as master of the foundries. Math didn’t much like the fat little Dwarf, but he respected his skill with metal and he did his best to treat him well. In return, the Dwarf was a hard worker and treated him as someone important, for Math was the greatest metal maker that humanity had ever produced. Now he was going to meet a very influential group from the Dwarf city under the mountain and he really did not know how he felt about the Dwarves he was riding to meet. Would they give him some good news? Would they kill him?
A symbol. Around Math’s neck was a symbol and he did not know what it meant. He wore a solid gold chain that held a locket. Most lockets are girlish and delicate, but this one had been crafted by Dwarf hands to be worn by a Dwarf man so it was heavy and sturdy. Inside the locket was something that had once been beautiful; no, beautiful was far too weak a word; it had once been breathtaking. Now it was crumbling and grey and looked like a shriveled bug that had died seasons ago.
Many years ago, Math had lived with the Dwarves in their city and they had taught him to smelt and work metal. His two most dedicated teachers had been the master of the foundry, Remkkel, and Yaffah, The Daughter of Midda.
In those days Remkkel had still called him ‘Kitten’, which means ’Little One’ in the Dwarvish language. “Kitten”, said Remkkel to Math, “I have been told to teach you our ways and I have also been told that there are some things that I must never teach you or even mention for these things are for Dwarves only.” Remkkel paused as though collecting his thoughts or maybe arguing with himself and then resumed speaking. “Kitten, I am old and I was never very good at doing the things that I am supposed to do. Now, that the years still in front of me are short, I am even worse at being a good Dwarf. I am going to show you one of our deep secrets.”
Math was afraid that if he said anything it would be the wrong thing so he remained very quiet as Remkkel began to lead him along paths that led ever downward. After some time, the two of them exited into a chamber that held a river flowing far down inside the mountain. Flowing into this river were numerous little streams of water that from the smell obviously carried sewage. Math had come all this way to see the city’s sewer. He was disappointed as well as revolted but maybe there was still a good secret here to be learned.
Remkkel started walking down a path that led downstream and Math followed with a minimum of words. The Dwarf spoke. “what I am going to show you is a secret, because it is shameful and sacred to us Dwarves. It is a secret that makes us feel better about ourselves and worse at the same time.”
What is he talking about? thought Math. Is he talking about the Dwarf sewers? Are they bashful about Dung? That didn’t make any sense; from what he knew of Dwarf humor they would probably fling dung in each other’s faces and laugh about it.
They had walked down the path some distance when Remkkel abruptly knelt down near the edge of the river and put his right hand in. Math was horrified that the Dwarf would touch the filth and his stomach began to churn. Would he lose his last meal?
Rekkel looked up at Math and a big grin spread across the Dwarf’s face showing all of his huge teeth. “you think I’m disgusting, don’t you?” Remkkel laughed at his own words. “You think that this river is full of Dwarf dung, well, you are right, but it is already becoming clean. If we walk a bit further, you will be able to drink this water and not get sick. Here is why.”
Remkkel pulled his hand out and pointed where it had been. “Do you see those?” Remkkel pointed to what at first looked like white and brown rocks, but then Math realized that they were oysters.
“As you know, we Dwarves don’t like Elves and we don’t trust their gifts, but long ago things were different. When the world was very young, we worked with the Elves and we did wonderful things together. Out of all of the Elves, we most loved an Elf named Valossa Tähti. That was his Elf name; we called him Orkokhav. He was skillful at creating things and very wise. He gave to one of our Smiths a glass flask full of water and said the following:
’This water contains my gift to you. But please do not think of this as a gift from one Elf to One Dwarf. My gift will be with you as long as there are Dwarves in Midgard so you should think of this gift as being from all Elves to All Dwarves.
In this age, Elves and Dwarves are friends, but we see the world so differently. I fear that one day our differences will become too great. My gift is for Dwarves alone and it will will always remind you of the nature of Elves.’
Valossa Tähti told the Dwarf Smith to pour the water into the city’s sewer and his gift has been with us ever since.”
Remkel reached into the water and tore several of the larger oysters off of the rock that they had been clinging to. ”Math, his gift was a good one. the oysters clean the sewer water. Whever we go, we take some of the water that the oysters live in and new oysters grow to clean our water. That is probably the best part, but here is where his gift really shines.”
The Dwarf pulled a knife from his belt and sliced the oyster open. Inside was a huge blue pearl. It was beyond any pearl that Math had seen before and he felt compelled to take it. As Math reached out for the pearl, Remkkel slapped his hand away abruptly. ”This is for Dwarves only. I am showing you this because you need to see it to understand our shame.”
Remkkel held up the pearl so that Math could see it better. It was about the size of a cherry and full of different colored blue swirls. Some of the swirls were so dark as to almost be black, while others were much lighter in color and almost transparent. It was possible to see into the pearl a bit and the effect was both beautiful and mysterious.
”Kitten, we Dwarves like things made of metal or stone, but the Elves like living things such as trees or grass. Their greatest gift to us, would of course be something alive. We have not liked the Elves for countless ages and we want nothing to do with them. We wish that everything they touched would disappear, but we can’t let go of some of the things that they gave to us. They gave us tools and weapons that we still use today, but more than anything else, these oysters remind us that we used to be friends. We can’t let them go because they keep our cities clean. Even more so, look at this pearl. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?”
Math bent a bit closer to look at it but was careful not to get too close since he did not want to offend. The longer that he looked at it, the more its beauty captured him.
”We Dwarves love these pearls and we never show them to outsiders, because they were made for us alone. They only live off of Dwarf dung. Nothing else is right for them and nothing else will keep them alive. . . ”
Remkkel was about to say more, but Math interupted. ” What is the shame in all of this? The Elves gave you a nice gift. Doesn’t that make you happy?”
”Yes, it does make us happy, but it also makes us weak. The Elves have treated us poorly and we would like to never see them again, but these oysters remind us that we do not live alone. We can’t give them up because we need clean water and we don’t want to give them up because we cannot bear to lose their beauty. Also, they were made for us alone. That is a gift that we would never refuse.”
”Look here!”, the Dwarf cupped the pearl in his two hands like it was a small animal and he breathed on it. ”This is an Elfish thing! The pearls need us. If we don’t breath on them they will turn grey and finally crumble into dust. I don’t understand it, but in some way they must be alive. Breathing on them once a day would probably be more than they need and breathing on them just once a month would probably be too little, but if we tend to them, they can keep their beauty for hundreds of years.”
Math had a thought and spoke. ”The elves live forever; is Orkokhav still in Midgard? Is he an Elf that Dwarves could talk to?”
”We would like to talk to him. We hold no ill feeling toward him and we call him one of the good Elves, but he is gone now. That is yet another reason for us to hate Elves. He didn’t find these oysters in some mountain stream or in the sea. He made them. I can’t imagine what sort of craft he used, but he was able to make living things and the Elves said that this was a gift that could not be in Midgard. They sent him away over the sea and now he lives in Asgard. It is another crime of the Elves against Dwarves.
That was not the last time that Math saw a blue pearl. One more Dwarf broke the rules and showed one to Math. In fact her crimes were even greater because she allowed herself to love him and she gave him a blue pearl in a gold locket. Like Remkkel, she told him that he must tend to it by breathing on it or it would fade and crumble. Was that pearl a symbol of their love? Later, when the Dwarves forced him out of their city and when Yaffah told him that their love could not be, he took the locket and pearl with him. It was one of the few things that he was able to carry.
Math wanted to hold onto the Dwarves even though they had rejected him, so he breathed onto the pearl to keep it alive. He saw its beauty begin to fade so he breathed on it many times each day, but he could not prevent it from turning gray, losing its weight, and starting to crumble. He decided that it was an appropriate symbol of a love that could not be.
Now, after all of these years, the Dwarves wanted to see him again. They had arranged to meet with him in a small village that would act as neutral territory. Apparently he might once again be useful to them, or maybe they wanted to tell him that he owned them. They had taught him to make metal and now he was one of the wealthiest humans alive.
Math clutched at the locket around his neck. Why had he worn it? Did he still hold on to hope that they could love him and he could love them? No, that was impossible and the locket proved it. He had tried to keep that damn pearl alive as best as he could, but it was now nothing. Only the gold of the locket remained uncorrupted. The Dwarves seemed best at making dead things. The symbol was obvious. His love for Yaffah and his love for all Dwarves was dead. He was incapable of keeping it alive.
Math swore, which caused all of his men to turn to look at him, because he was known to never swear.
Of course he had not been able to keep that pearl alive, because he was not a Dwarf, but the Dwarf Muukbin had come to work for him almost immediately. Muukbin could have kept the pearl alive! The love between Yaffah and Math had never been about just two people, it had always been about two communities coming together. The Dwarves had brought him to their city so that he could be a bridge builder and that would be how he would pay off his debt to them. He would ask them for another pearl and this time he would make sure that it remained alive.