Deep under the Vastwood live the Gronthul. That race of Elves typically ignored. Unlike the Wood Elves above, the Gronthul are not so easy on the eyes. Elves have a reputation for being beautiful, one of the fairest races. Tall, svelte, pretty. The Gronthul are none of those. No taller than a Dwarf, not quite as wide, not quite as strong, but exceptionally nimble. If Dwarves are subterranean bulldozers, then the Gronthul are rock scalpels.
To see a Gronthul is to see a walking gem field. Their sharp eyes, quick hands, and acute sense of smell allows them to find precious stones and rare metals as easy as a dog finds a juicy bone. They display the finest of their finds on their bodies, weaving gold, silver, diamonds, sapphire, and rubies into their clothing and hair.
Today Untheph is digging alone. Thought he caught the scent of a gold vein down this corridor, but lost the trail a short time after he started digging. It happens, only thing to do is sit and wait till the dust settles. That’s why the dwarves miss so much. Never pause to taste the rock, instead they go barreling on. After waiting a half hour Untheph is certain he’s caught the smell of gold. Instead of digging again he sniffs. Moves down the tunnel, sniff-sniff. Hmm, no, not this way, too far. Turns back, sniff-sniff-sniff, ah, there, okay back this way. Where you at you shiny yellow bastard, sniff-sniff. Hmm, no, not this side. A little more careful sniffing and he’s pretty sure he’s on its trail.
Some careful digging and he finds the vein. Not big, but it’ll melt down and make a nice hair ring. Maybe enough for another on his finger. He continues digging, and the vein turns out to be smaller than he hoped. Not enough for a finger ring, and probably not enough for one in his hair. Well, darn. Add it to the stash of loose bits, or—he grins—maybe get some food for the week with it. But for a Gronthul to part with a find is no easy thing, even to buy food. He tucks the gold into a pouch and heads on home. Not all Elves are pretty, but not all care.