Krandar Blackrock was a member of Hetimor clan, from the dwarven nation of Tarkhandor. He lived in the dwarven stronghold Smolderholm, high in the Moonlight Mountains. It was a mining community, which traded with the nearby human city-state of Tarlbur. Tarlbur was nestled against the Moonlight Mountains and the Wolf Mountains spur, enjoying good protection and a healthy trade with the dwarves. With the coming of the Rantell Empire, the king of Tarkhandor decided that the dwarves would "go deep" - conceal themselves underground with only sporadic contact with the surface. Thus they would avoid slavery and death.
The clan-chief of Hetimor clan had foreseen the king's decision, and entered into negotiations with some of the grey dwarves - the duergar - to ensure a safe passage for his folk. Even though the dwarves all benefitted from his actions, negotiations with the grey dwarves had been forbidden by the king. Therefore, the Hetimor clan, who had always been a little less traditional than most dwarves, were barred from retreating to the safety of the lower depths with the rest of the kingdom. Hetimor clan stayed in the stronghold for a short period of time. Unfortunately the Rantell scouts saw the stronghold as a strategic position (not to mention an inadequately defended source of dwarven slaves), and the army seized the stronghold.
The dwarves fought hard, and prevented any dwarves from being taken as slaves (preferring death in battle). A few dwarves had not been in Smolderholm, scouting for more defensible positions, and returned to find the stronghold overrun. Most of this group later fought in the pitched Battle at Heartforge Pass, the gateway to the kingdom's heart, where the dwarves and shantair stopped Rantell's advance, dying to rehonor the Hetimor clan name.
These details are only known to the clan (and they aren't telling). The entire clan was disgraced; however this fact is generally not known to the other races (dwarves being a private people). Most humans know that Krandar is helping them to defend their towns - and that is what he'll say he's doing away from his people. ("Ha - humans need all the help they can get, and a dwarf is worth any five - no make that ten - humans!")
Krandar survived the battle. Still barred from descending with the kingdom, Krandar went to the human lands. When the Rantell Empire began to gobble up the smaller city-states about 20 years later, Krandar put his Wayfinder skills to use, helping human skirmishers to find concealed ambush points in the mountains. Occasionally, he would also help locate mine sites, which were quickly exploited .
Krandar's first battle alongside the humans of Tarlbur was the Battle of Wolf Pass. Krandar was instrumental in setting up an ambush which crippled the Rantell's first forays against Tarlbur. Four years later, after Zilfur had fallen, Rantell's armies marched across the plains and seized Tarlbur without having to navigate the pass.
Krandar led a few important figures from Tarlbur to Grangen, using old mining tunnels for much of the way to conceal themselves from the armies of Rantell. When Grangen fell five years later, Krandar fled the city-state, again with some more of those "important" humans. (Krandar figured that the humans were playing one of their silly political games. Hmmph).
Now in Bern-Kastel, Krandar awaits the onslaught of the Rantell. Curse these humans - they finally figured out that they had to fight as one kingdom. Krandar has already spent a few years scouting the nearby hills and mountains, years that the Rantell have used to solidify their holdings in this region. An iron deposit he scouted out was quickly utilized by the desperate Sentazans, even though the grade was lower than Krandar would have wanted.
Now the elves advocate giving up the land and regrouping in Thorjac. Cursed elves don't know the value of a confrontation - if they had their way, they'd have the humans running away all over creation.
Krandar at this point is a little grumpy about his situation. He wants to regain honor for his clan, but is with humans. The chances of him being rejoined with his people and getting a chance to redeem himself is, in his eyes, virtually nil. He is looking for something that would be of sufficient worth that even if the dwarves only heard about it from humans, they would still grant him back his place - even if it is posthumously.
If the party (as it comes to be) starts exploring Thorjac in the interests of paving the way for a Sentazan retreat, Krandar will undoubtedly grump about that too. That would take him even further away from something glorious. However, he knows the futility in fighting a losing battle - which is why he has stayed alive while helping the humans.
General info: alignment is Neutral. He is too much of a pragmatist to be good (he would have no compunction about killing when that is the most efficient alternative, but will not do so unnecessarily; he also will attack from behind to gain an advantage if possible), and he is too individualistic to be lawful, but too tradition-bound to be chaotic. His personality is essentially a blend of the Grumbler and the Pragmatist (from the Dwarves Handbook)
Krandar generally carries a Great Axe when traveling; he also carries a battle axe and a pair of throwing axes, and heavy crossbow; his armor is leather and shield. He also owns a suit of chainmail he wears in situations that he knows he does not need to be stealthy (for instance going into an open field battle); he usually does not carry that unless he has a convenient means of transporting it.
Softer leather clothing is under the armor, but has obviously seen better days. The clothing has been patched a few times. His eyes are a steel grey, and very hard - when he stares at someone (which he doesn't do all that often), it can be unnerving (Krandar does have Intimidation NWP).
He generally wears a backpack, and a few pouches are at his belt; boots on his feet (thick soles). In general, he looks like a dwarven version of a prospector, with an axe. He smells "a little dirty", since he doesn't bathe very often. His tools and weapons are well-cared for - in fact a human would swear that Krandar takes better care of his axes than he does himself (and they wouldn't be too far off).
Another dwarf, or someone versed in the ways of dwarves, would notice that his beard is kept trimmed and meticulously cared for; it is also woven and braided in parts [note - that's where he keeps his thieves' tools, as part of the braiding]. The style in which the beard is woven would indicate his clan, and the braiding and trimming allows Krandar to tuck it into his armor to get his beard out of the way when delicate work is needed. His great axe has a few very subtle runes etched in the haft, telling a history of its ownership (it was an heirloom). The haft also has a spike at the bottom, to allow Krandar to ground it while he uses another weapon; the spike is very strong. His backpack has been waterproofed, and is made from an underground aquatic creature (a leatherworker would recognize that the BP is not standard leather).
Krandar knows enough about working leather to patch his clothing; he is learning (thru doing it himself) some of the other components of leather working.
Other quirks: Krandar actually likes the camp rations; he won't eat them in town (although he may snack on them), but he does not have the aversion to them that most others do. He chews leather while working, and will sometimes flavor leather scraps he carries with the leavings from the camp food (wiping them in whatever cooking pots he can). He is fond of collecting tools of a variety of sorts, and tinkering with them (he will not steal tools though - that is sacrilege). Whenever he can get good dwarven ale, he usually spends a lot of his traveling cash and drinks himself into a stupor (only then do people see hints about his history); unfortunately he gets even more surly when drunk; the bartender usually has a friend discreetly remove his weapons once he's in his cups. Fortunately for the humans, good dwarven ale is not very common any more (since most of the dwarves have "gone deep"). Krandar is something of a dwarven snob - he KNOWS that dwarves do everything better - at least everything that matters. He's a little afraid of horses (one trampled over him once), and will always prefer to walk
Height is about 4' tall, weight is hard to guess from looking at him (he's heavier than he looks). His epithet of Blackrock (which most humans think is his last name) is from he first started wayfinding, and discovered some coal. He generally does not use his clan name around humans; dwarves can generally tell what clan he belongs to.
Krandar's Adventuring Journal
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