Day 192 – The Dwarf In The Iron Strap

Legend tells us that Iron Strap was both the greatest and worst of all dwarven pirates – for, if you are the only one, you are both at once. He was the sole dwarf to decide his fortune lay not in the depths of the mountain mines, but atop a different kind of deep altogether, and based on his infamy among the seafaring community after a storied, eventful career, none would dare allow a dwarf onboard, should one be misguided enough to follow in Iron Strap’s footsteps.

A sturdy individual by birthright, he was valuable on deck, pulling many a heavy rope. (Knots eluded him entirely, however, and he offered to nail a rope in place so often that his superior officers began saying, “No,” without him having to ask.) His reputation for strength extended into one of the most sacred of all piratical locales: the tavern. There he would emerge champion from a race to the bottom of any number of flagons, and having done so he would share a bit of wisdom in the form of another pirate tradition, for his profanity was so roguishly artistic that many pirate curses commonly used even today can be traced back to Iron Strap. Perhaps you are familiar with them yourself, although it would be inappropriate to recount them for verification here.

As for an example of Iron Strap’s mishaps on the open sea, perhaps one should look no further than the story of his name itself. Like any pirate worth his sea salt, this dwarf was subject to an injury that required prosthetic replacement. In his case, an eye lost during some daring raid was replaced when he strutted into a blacksmith’s at the next port of call and expertly molded a plug for the socket and an iron band circumscribing his head to keep it in place. Though that in itself was no great failure, there were many who regretted – albeit briefly – their decision to request he fashion a similar item for themselves, when he proved that his ability to perceive how deeply the plug should be hammered was irreparably awry.

So went the adventures of an individual living joyously where he did not belong.

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