Brave & Foolhardy
Ale doesn't stand a chance.
Class: Fighter (Battlerager)
Role: Defender (“Tank”)
Weapons/Implements: Craghammer and Kopesh
Skills: Athletics (9), Endurance (12), Streetwise (7)
Deities: Maradin, Kord, Avandra and Melora
Languages: Dwarven, Common, Giant
Surge Value: 17
Passive Insight: 17
Passive Perception: 18
Name: Berend Sheildhammer
Hair Coler: Cooper
Eye coler: Emerald
Scars: Berend has scars covering his body from his life as an adventurer, the most notable a lightninbolt like scar runiing down the left side of his forhead over his left eye and down his left cheek, a reminder of his battle with the ogre Shretitec.
Outlook On life:
The History of Berend Shieldhammer
Berend was born to Duke Thrigress Shieldhammer, the Left Shield to King Krethol Ironbeard, and general to the armies of the dwarven realm of *Krethol*” and the Duchess Herthell, some seventy years before our current story. Berend was the third son to grace the lord and lady and they were loving and attentive parents. He did not want for anything and received the best tutelage and arms training that the dwarven realm of Krethol could offer. He learned the ways of axe and shield and of ale and song. He was a paragon of dwarven upbringing and the finest son a father could ask for.
At the age of twenty, “a relatively young age for a dwarf”, he joined the Light Shields. The Light Shields were a brigade of young dwarfs who were to young to join the military so they sought glory and renown by patrolling and protecting the mine tunnels and highways of the under-kingdom of Krethol. For the most part, this involved little more than long patrols and the running off of the few creatures stupid enough to trespass. But after a year of uneventful drudgery, Berend got his chance to shine.
After a particularly long trek deep into the old mines of Tregery, an old abandoned dwarven kingdom neighboring Krethol, Berend’s patrol chanced upon a group of goblins. These weren’t average goblins though , they were well armed, organized , and on a mission. The Shields, being dwarves and young , charged strait into the cavern to claim their victory . The shields were out skilled and within minutes the patrol was reduced to three members and these three, Nigal, captain of the Shields, Margris, Berend’s best friend, and Berend were taken prisoner.
The goblins were an advance scouting party for an army of goblins, giants and other denizens of the under-realm. The diabolical army’s goal was to overtake the kingdom of Krethol, claiming its resources and enslaving its peoples to help fuel their insurgence into the upper lands. Berend and his companions were tortured for information about Krethol’s defenses and the names and locations of key locations and individuals. The young dwarves held out for several days without giving in, but upon witnessing the brutal dismemberment of their captain that lasted an entire day. The next day, the orcs turned their knives to Berend. At the young dwarf’s first screams of agony, Margis broke. Margis began giving their captors all the information they wanted in a futile attempt to save his friend.
Berend quickly realized he had been forgotten and ignored so he used the blade his torturers left in his flesh to cut his bonds. Berend knew that he couldn’t escape since he had been left weak after the the days of interrogation and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to overcome his captors. So he made his choice, and it was the hardest and saddest decision he would ever make.
He charged the group of orcs as fast and as silently as he could, and with all the strength he could muster, he crashed through their numbers and drove his knife home into the throat of Margris, his best friend, his shield brother. He then threw himself off the cliff into the abyss of the deep, dark chasm. Hope and faith told him that it would at least send him to a quick death.
Berend awoke to find himself in the sand on the shore of a great underground river. Elated that he had survived, he moved to stand and he writhed in pain. His body was battered and broken and he could little more than crawl. A deep, dark despair took hold in his mind, for he has spared himself one slow death only to be confronted with another.
Several days passed and his body weakened even more until all he could manage was to breathe. Berend knew his time had come and he would face it alone and broken, no enemy to hate, no shield for protection. He began his Death Chant, a song of his deeds, which were short. He added a prayer to the Stone Father to take him and keep him.
It was then, when all was lost and all was ready to be given, that Berend saw a light. As it approached, he saw that the light was a stone carried by a dwarven female, the most beautiful dwarf woman Berend had ever seen.
Berend awoke later to find himself laid out on a slab of stone. As he looked around, he decided he must be in a tomb, for there were many carving recanting the glories of an ancient dwarf heroine, Angalia Stormhammer. Berend recognized the name from legend. She had led the dwarves into these caverns that soon became the Great Dwarven Kingdoms.
“This must be the ancient tombs of legend, and if so, I am close to the Dwarven Highway, which means I can get home,” he thought. Berend realized that while all this had been going on in his head, he had sat up and thrown his legs over the side of the stone slab. He was healed, sore but healed. “Oh, what a miracle was this,” he thought. And then he remembered the dwarf dame he had seen. “Where was she?”
Berend exited the tomb to find he was in a large cavern. In the cavern were built tiers, and on each tier held tombs. “This place must a burial ground, long lost to our people,” he thought. “If I get home, I will make this known to our people. Now, how do I get home?”
“That is the question Berend Shieldhammer,” said a voice behind him. Berend turned to find his savior standing in front of Angalia’s tomb and again he was struck down by her beauty. Several minutes passed in silence and then the lady smiled. “Hello,” she said, “My name is Angalia Stormhammer, and yes, I am that Angalia Stormhammer. I am the guardian of these cairns, and as such, I have been gifted with immortality. But, now I am tired and I’m ready to move on from this life. It is time for me to pass the mantle on to another.” she said. “No Berend, that is not you or your fate. Your destiny lies elsewhere.”
“I can’t tell you what it is, for I do not know, but I can tell you it is not your fate to live your life as the shadow of a king, protecting and serving at his whim. No Berend, you will find your destiny in the outside world protecting all the peoples. Your fate is outside these mountains.”
Do I have no choice in this?" asked Berend. Angalia looked deeply into Berend’s eyes. “Oh yes, Berend, you do,” she answered. “Understand that to be a hero, to live a life of adventure, you will always have a choice. But will you, or the World, be better off for it? that, you must ask yourself…always.”
“Know then, that we have little time and you must warn your people of this invasion,” she continued. “You will find the road you seek down the Eastern Path. In two day’s time you will come to the Trinidad’s Crossroad. From there, you will find marker’s to show you the way.” Berend bowed graciously to Angalia Stormshield and said, “Thank you m’lady, for my my life and the information, disturbing as it may be. I will take my leave with your permission. I hope that I make it in time to warn my people.”
“Hold for just one moment,” said Angalia turned and retreated into her tomb. Several minutes later she returned carrying a battle hammer in one hand. “Take my weapon,” she said. “It is powerful and it will serve you well. It has the power to hit your enemies with the force of a falling mountain when you are brave and lead the way. Know with it you make a vow. If ever the hammer calls you, you will return, for my successor is in need of your help. That is my one condition.” “The vow is given freely, my lady, even without the use of your mighty hammer, but the use of a good weapon is thanked,” said Berend. Angalia gave Berend a polite bow and said, “Now go Brend Shiledhammer, May your shield never break.”
With that, Berend took up the hammer and fled the tombs of his ancestors. True to her word, in two days Berend found himself at the large crossroads. Within a short time he found the markers leading home and he took off in haste. There were many side roads, crossroads and forks, but by following the markers he found himself in familiar terrain. It took him four days, but he finally reached the outer defenses of Kethrol.
He was too late. The invading army of orcs were already laying siege, but the dwarves of Kehtrol had already mounted their defense and were holding. Berend took several secret tunnels and pathways to get past the enemy army. He made his way inside and went straight to the battlements where he knew his father and the king would surely be. True enough, they were there mounting the offensive push to force the orcs out of Kethrol.
At the sight of his son, Berend’s father dropped to the ground and wept. Concerned for his father, for he had never seen the Left Shield cry before, Berend crouched down to give his father a hug. His father pushed his arms away and rose. “A momentary weakness lad. I’m fine now,” he told his son. “Ha! By the Stone Father, I should have known that even an orc army couldn’t take MY son. By the Father, I am so overjoyed I could take those bastards myself. My King, look, my boy yet lives!” he said.
The king turned and smiled when he laid eyes on Berend. “Berend lad, where ’ave you been?” the king said. “I thought you’d miss all the fun.” Berend shifted the hammer of Angalia in his hand and said, “Oh no my Lord, I’ve got a bit of anger that needs ventin’ and some damned orc army seems the perfect method for its release.”