Male Thadan (Dwarf) Fighter/Priest
Information on initial travels/adventures are at Journal of Valrin Hearthstone
Detailed Background History:
Valrin was born to Ernhorn and Rala Hearthstone in the prosperous, though minor, delve of IronForge. The small community was established initially as a prospecting camp and had since grown into a small Thadan city of approximately 400. The prospecting revealed an incredible abundance of mineral wealth in the area. In addition, the nearby human settlements allowed trade to flourish. The mountainous terrain provides ample protection from surface attacks and the tough Thadan warriors were able to carve out a living in the bleak underground tunnels.
The Hearthstone family had been one of the many families comprising the original prospectors. When Grimnyr IronForge was made the first ruler of the camp through divine mandate, the Hearthstone family members swore fealty. The Hearthstone family has since served every Thadan ruler of IronForge as smiths, warriors, brewers, priests or a combination thereof. In particular, the family is well known in the region for producing quality masterpieces of smithwork time and again. In fact, the biggest claim to fame of the Hearthstone family was the creation of the IronForge Armor, a magical set of plate armor worn by the third ruler of IronForge and his lineage since.
Valrin was the second born of his parents. His older brother, Zaraf, was a score of years older while his younger sister, Gilta, would be nearly a decade behind Valrin’s birthdate. His extended family consists of two surviving grandparents, several uncles and aunts, and many cousins. His family, as all good Thadan families, was close knit and built on solid Thadan ethics and teachings.
At an early age, Valrin was introduced to the forge and mines that had served his family for generations. Much time was spent in the light of the fire watching and listening to the anvils that his father and other relatives would make ring with beautiful music while the forge priests would chant in time. When old enough to understand such things, he was given formal religious training and was found to have wisdom and devotion sufficient to enter the priesthood. In addition, he was allowed to follow the warriors and stonemasons of the clan about so he could watch and learn. However, his early years were not all work. They were also rich with Thadan traditions and fun, especially festivals at which his skills at hammer throwing, stoneworking and other such activities won him a certain amount of notoriety. In addition, he frequently went with his father on trading caravans to nearby human establishments, giving Valrin multicultural experience and exposure to the other denizens of the world.
Nonetheless, his early years were not without danger. When still a beardless rock whelp, Valrin played in the mines like many Thadan children. Unfortunately, a prank by an elder child left him stranded for several days in the lower tunnels of the mines. Eventually his favorite uncle, Torzon, found him; though just in the nick of time. Valrin had fallen into a water filled chute and nearly drowned just barely holding on to the rock wall until his uncle rescued him. Only his faith in his deity and family kept Valrin from letting go of the rock wall. Valrin has harbored a fear of large amounts of water since that day.
As Valrin grew into adolescence, he was taught the ways of the forge and the axe. His ancestry served him well in both regards. His skill in smithing and reciting the forge chants was evidenced early and he received increasing levels of training as he fully entered the priesthood of Thadar. Likewise, his weapon skills were readily apparent and it was decided that he should receive proper military training for the good of the hold and for his own personal development as a battle priest. By the end of his training, Valrin had honed his mental and physical abilities to the same razor sharp standard his axe carried.
During his military training, Valrin forged a strong friendship with Onis Rocklam, a fellow trainee and initiate of the Thadar priesthood. Frequently stationed together, they formed an excellent tandem that complemented each other in most ways. Onis and his family were incredible storytellers and soon Valrin found that he had nearly picked up the talent through practice and attending dinners with the Rocklam family. Their interest in the religions of the world frequently resulted in long debates and research of the religious icons, items and rituals associated with the deities.
As both dwarves neared the ending of their military training, they happened to be stationed in a guard post that experienced a fierce goblin attack. Both were nearly overwhelmed due to the surprise, but managed a strategic withdrawal that kept the goblins at bay. Onis was nearly killed by a goblin arrow, but Valrin managed to hold off the goblin pursuers allowing Onis to escape. Valrin himself got away only by triggering a local collapse of a section of tunnel. Their friendship has continued since their days in training and the Rocklam family regards Valrin as a hero and friend.
As Valrin neared adulthood, the fortunes of his clan and family seemed to wane. Attacks from goblins and more sinister creatures became more frequent. In one such skirmish, the leader of the clan was struck down by a malady that left him feverish and sickly until death. However, the most direct touch of misfortune was the disappearance of his father and subsequent death of his mother.
On a routine trading trip to a nearby human city, something or someone of incredible power evidently surprised the Thadan caravan. Normal human patrols found the wagons burning with a great deal of cargo onboard. Investigations found no bodies of the dwarves and no tracks could be found. The dwarves of the caravan tried to put up a fight as crossbow bolts and such were found around the site of the occurrence. One of the dwarves leading the caravan was Ernhorn, Valrin’s father.
The unexplained disappearance of her soulmate left Rala unbalanced and depressed. Zaraf, always one to make quick decisions, set out in search of his father immediately upon hearing of the mystery. After a year without hearing word from father or eldest son, Rala succumbed to a wasting disease that was caused by her weakened mental condition.
Valrin grieved for his mother in proper Thadan tradition; solitary confinement remembering her spirit while praying for the gods to take her to paradise. Shortly after his mother was laid to rest, a rich vein of gold was found. Unfortunately, a vicious band of Orcs also lurked in the newly discovered tunnels. At the behest of King Craildoth Ironforge, Valrin accepted a mission to seek aid from the human kingdom of Ravikka. Thus, his adventures began…
Valrin exudes the following traits: Honorable, charismatic (for a Thadan), dutiful with a willingness to help others. Though strong-willed, he is often willing to negotiate to reach a consensus. A likeable Thadan with few rough edges, it takes some time before he accepts others in his company or fully trusts them. His creed is law and good, but believes that in a struggle of morals the greater good must sometimes prevail over the law.
Devoted to his faith and kin. Strong personal code of honor and Thadan ethics, great faith in Thadar to allow him to endure whatever will come. Amiable and patient, he fills the role of leadership well.
Fear of large amounts of water, developing a slight pragmatic viewpoint, minor overconfidence, proud of ethnicity.
Likes: Working the forge, storytelling, good smokes and a tankard of fine Thadan brew.
Dislikes: Dishonorable people, stereotypes, natural precipitation, Goblin’s Piss brew.
Tall by Thadan standards (about 4’ 6”), this lengthy Stout has a heavy-set, muscular frame. Auburn hair and beard are braided in Thadan battle fashion and fall onto his damaged scale armor. His earthy complexion has browned a bit; its obvious that this Thadan has been on the surface for some time. A notched, but well-maintained, battle axe sticks out of his belt and a holy symbol of Thadar can just be made out under his beard. Several gold rings are braided into his beard and he wears a platinum ring with a ruby inset in a nasal septum piercing. Of average fairness in the face, his dark gray eyes size you up in an instant before he smiles and begins speaking in a gravelly baritone voice…