Forges of Karak Azgal
Mourendar’s intensive metal craft and labors have shaped his broad form, but as he’s matured his girth below the chest is seemingly catching up with his four and half foot stance. Anyone thinking he may have slowed with age though may be shocked to find he’s as fast as any elf, in a straight line, even while wearing his armor…Mourendar created his rune armor; the leather, chain and plate is of the best craftsmanship and very ornate, after the dwarven fashion. In his powerful hands he is often clutching his very own rune hammer Haglkorn ‘Hail Stone’ and his matching shield. When adventuring only his face may be visible revealing a deep bronze complexion, acquired through the years as he toiled over the forge; there may be some that are unsettled by the flinty glare of his pale gray eyes — deeply reflecting his circumspection of those he meets. Early in Mourendar’s career, while adventuring through The Empire, he learned that many humans (among others) don’t say what they mean; an altogether alien concept to the rustic, Grey Dwarves of Karak Norn. With his visor up or down his long – braided copper hair and beard remain visible, and are bound with rings and pendants.
Mourendar ‘Boulderdash’ is dour in the face of fools, their word or deed. He’s grown to mistrust the motives of others that he meets, but has kept his honor — even when dealing with those that betrayed him. It may be said that Mourendar is the salt of the earth — even as you’ll feel the sting of rock — salt in his speech:
“You’ll profit more in the service to the living, than you will by bleeding the dead.”
“It’s better to boldly — die upon your feet, than live on your knees as a parasite.”
Those demonstrating honor and compassion for the less fortunate will discover a robustly faithful friend – willing to lay down his life for them. Having arrived in Karak Azgal, Mourendar has a new found appreciation for the dwarven ancestors, particularly Valaya – mother of dwarves, and with this he’s found his place in the scheme of things:
“My pride resides in humility before our ancestors, and I will only be as great — as the children deem laudable.
My actions belong to the present, my tale to the ages, but my value — will be revealed through the children!”
Recently Mourendar has shouldered the burden of founding a dwarven knighthood; devoted to the will of the dwarven ancestor and matron Valaya – of the hearth, healing and brewing. The order’s badge is reminiscent of one dear to Valaya: an escutcheon purpure, a barley sheaf or, bound & knotted with hops vert, and will be called The Order of the Sceaf and Scyldingas of Valaya (Sheave and Shields of Valaya.) The neutral templar’s commission: to reclaim the lost dwarfholds for Valaya and posterity. This duty will not be born alone, with the deep and abiding friendship of Valaya’s priestess – Kwarjieh Headstone, they’ve sworn to see this through; as Kwarjieh revealed to Mourendar:
“Our race’s enduring struggle for survival won’t be found in retaking the glory of a past that can’t be lost, but by reclaiming the homes that were!
Mourendar was born a little over 100 years ago to the clan of runesmiths within the halls of Karak Norn, amidst the impoverished Grey Mountains. His refugee clan was driven out of Mount Silverspear; as are most of the dwarves that gathered here, when their dwarfholds’ in the World’s Edge Mountains fell to the greenskin onslaught, so very long ago.
The meager prospects within the Grey Mountains have recently provoked many dwarven youth to seek their fortunes elsewhere, but Mourendar’s situation proved more promising. The mystical talent necessary to pursue the runesmith’s craft was manifest within Mourendar, but to demonstrate his determination and the service sought by the clan’s elders, it was essential to begin his career as a runebearer. Unlike the other dwarven youths, Mourendar’s departure from Karak Norn would be delayed many decades; as he sought to fulfill his potential, and begin his career as an apprentice runesmith.
Once his ambitions were realized though, he was put upon by his elder’s to assume yet another task as a runebearer, and deliver a package to the City of Altdorf, the capital of The Empire. Mourendar hasn’t looked back! His dwarven honor and naivety of the human world have plagued him throughout The Empire though, and while he kept his honor; Mourendar has learned that suspicion is the order of the day, particularly when dealing with those in power!
Mourendar assumed a comfortable life as a smith within the Town of Mittleresdorf, for some time; though soon enough, the dwarven community therein convinced him to participate in the campaign to retake the Dwarfhold of Zhufbar, that had recently fallen during the Chaos Attack. While enroute Mourendar received word from the Runelords that Ghal Maraz had been lost within the ruins of Karak Azgal and must be recovered. Mourendar made his apologies to many of his companions, and with his loyal defender, the shield breaker Thrunbor Gimrigson and a band of ten dwarven smiths, they made haste for the ruins.
Upon his arrival, he was aggrieved to find that corruption and power donned the same face, but this time his scorn would be for another dwarf, the Thane Furagrum Kazorson, Chief of the Lawbringers; fortunately he found allies in the Master – Runesmith Rorantok Damirson, and the High Priestess of Valaya – Balikina Furlisdotr. With their guidance, Mourendar now perceives that gold is valued more than the sanctity of the ancestors, and like his mentors, he is deeply troubled by the desecration of their heritage. Although he is incensed by the callous outsiders as they loot the wealth and heirlooms of his race, Mourendar truly loathes any dwarf actively profiting from their activities (particularly the lawbringers and their smug chief.)
To Mourendar’s consternation, his companions weren’t of a like mind, and it was necessary to remind them daily of his scruples, in this regard. He achieved a degree of success with the Dragon Slayer Imrak, but he eventually developed a real dislike for the halfling thief Viktor. Fortunately Mourendar was delighted to gain the friendship of the Dwarven Priestess of Valaya — Kwarjieh Headstone, of Zhufbar.
Following the failure of the Zhufbar — Campaign, she learned of Mourendar while treating the wounds, of the dwarven soldiers. When her aid was no longer required, she made the perilous journey to Karak Azgal to meet this runesmith, of selfless conviction…Kwarjieh’s presence and gentle demeanor are an invigorating wellspring, giving Mourendar the strength to continue his quest. Of like mind, Kwarjieh’s wisdom ‘’ has inspired Mourendar to redouble his efforts, and with her friendship he is certain there will be someone covering his back.
Mourendar diligently seeks to convince others that they may profit more in the service of the living, than by bleeding the dead! Those assisting him to reclaim the ruins and Ghal Maraz are offered rune items, in place of the spoils they would otherwise seek. Having cleared the Forges of Karak Azgal — Mourendar, Kwarjieh and others now reside within the ruins, to hold the gains they have made, as he begins creating the gifts he has promised the others.
Through his troubles and with the encouragement of his new friends – Mourendar seeks to establish a Dwarven Knighthood, The Order of the Sceaf & Scyldingas of Valaya; their commission to retake the lost dwarven strongholds in her honor!