"My name is Karrel, elf. I have traveled with this weapon for years in search of its origins. Do you recognize it?"
Serond arched a brow in interest as he saw Karrel draw a fine Elven blade and present it to him. "I am Serond," he answered simply just before taking the blade and handling it with care, examining it with respect. By his side, Kragnar snorted quietly at the sight of an elf-made weapon, as if amused by the idea.
"I do indeed recognize it," said the elf, turning the short sword over once in his hands before turning back to Karrel and placing a finger near an Elven inscription written on the blade itself. "In the tongue of the ljosalfar, this reads 'Order to balance Chaos.'"
"An' what's that supposed to mean?" Kragnar abruptly asked. Serond gave him a quite clearly annoyed look, but Kragnar merely shot a glance at Karrel as if to say, 'well I'm sure that's what you were going to ask, anyway.'
"It means the blade belongs to a small, nameless group of like-minded elves who believe that battling the Chaos races will slow the coming of Ragnarök," said Serond, his attention directed pointedly at Karrel rather than the dwarf. "I believe some Men refer to them as the Divine Scales, as a reference to maintaining the balance of order and chaos."
Kragnar shrugged, noticing he wasn't wanted in this conversation and politely turning his gaze elsewhere - for the time being.
Serond then returned the blade to Karrel with as much respect as he had taken it. "Those elves are among the most noble of our people. You should be honored to hold one of their weapons."
After a moment, Kragnar said nonchalantly, "Divine Scales sounds pretty silly, if ya ask me. Could jus' as easily mean they're a bunch o' fish scales who were touched by the gods or somethin'."
"I believe I mentioned that the elves themselves did not construct this name," replied Serond, not so much as giving Kragnar a downward glance. Kragnar just gave a laugh.
Neither of them spoke as they reached Sandor's cabin. Kragnar stayed close to Serond in spite of himself, as he derived some odd amusement from the elf's ridiculous attitude. Even as Sandor remained far from welcoming, Kragnar maintained as pleasant an air as he could - Serond, meanwhile, merely stood by impassively, watching as Kurtz and the others spoke with the ranger.
Then, a great bear shambled from the woods. Kragnar instantly let out a surprised noise that was not quite a yell and went for his axe. Serond took no physical or even verbal action to restrain the dwarf, instead calmly taking a few steps away from him just in case the small humanoid brandishing his axe and teeth managed to rile up Monty. Now it was Serond's turn to chuckle at Kragnar's actions.
When Sandor explained in his own frank way, Kragnar frowned up and hastily put away his weapons, feeling foolish. Serond couldn't resist a smile.
"I don't want to hear your story, want nothing of your noble quest." Sandor spat the last few words like venom from his lips. "All I want is to warn you. You've reached the end of the road. Turn back. This is no place for men."
"Aye, but not all o' us are Men," Kragnar replied with an overconfident grin. "An' those o' us who are men are no common fortune hunters. Yer warnin's are appreciated, master ranger, but - an' I dunno about all these others - I got no intention o' turnin' away. I know the risks."
"I don't believe that you do," Serond murmured as he leaned his back against a nearby tree, though his eyes were upon Tyrrik, who was occupying himself by bashing on his own arm. "However, your reaction is quite typical of a dwarf. I have met few of your kind, but so far, you're holding quite well to my expectations."
"Same to you, elf," Kragnar replied with a large, wry smile. Then, he followed Serond's gaze over to Tyrrik and grimaced at the sight. Meandering over - while Serond merely rolled his eyes and silently thought over more typical Dwarven personality attributes - Kragnar stopped near Tyrrik and blinked in surprise as the Imperial continued pounding a rock on his own arm.
"Uh, I don't mean to interrupt or intrude or nothin', lad," Kragnar said hesitantly, "but if you'll pardon my askin', why're ye doin' that to yer own arm? Could I maybe help ye somehow...?" His tone was, as usual, nothing more than friendly and concerned.