A tough, surly dwarf, banished from his clan to wander the fallen lands of Osradin.
‘Ello there! The name is Rangrim Stonecrusher, and if I can crush stone, just think of what I can do to your skull, so listen up and don’t go pissing me off! You can call me Rangrim or ’Grim, I lost my clan name many years ago. You see, the Stonecrusher clan exiled me because I refused to acknowledge divinity and instead I opted to embrace power that I found within my own mind. I suppose now is as good a time as any to write down the events that resulted in my banishment from the only family I ever knew.
It all started 15 years ago…well I suppose to be honest it probably started at birth, the moment I was brought forth from the stone. I was always a bit different from the rest of the clan. The Stonecrusher clan were renowned for their skill as masons, our clan halls were truly magnificent. Every carving, every statue and every structure were built as a dedication to Moradin.
Our clan followed the teachings of Moradin very closely. We took great pride in our creations and despite minor squabbles, the tribe remained fiercely loyal to one another. The head priest of the temple was Gardain the Stoic. Not only did Gardain serve as head priest, but Gardain was also the primary adviser to King Bravok. I spent many a days walking the long corridors of our home, Belfalode Fortress with Gardain. Gardain was relentless in trying to teach me of Moradin. Unlike most of my brethren, while I never openly rejected deity, I also never truly accepted it. I suppose Gardain viewed me as his own little reclamation project. I always humored him, and listened intently as we walked. The truth of the matter was I enjoyed the walks, it was a time for me to focus my mind on something other than my work. The mental sparring that would occur kept me sharp. I also enjoyed having a bit of company, even if that company spent every minute possible trying to preach to me. I am pretty sure that Gardain knew he was getting nowhere with me, but he never gave up. Sometimes I think he liked to just hear himself talk, other times I think he enjoyed the debate. Most dwarves never dared to question his teachings. I on the other hand would question Gardain at every opportunity.
I was always a fairly good laborer in the quarry…never particularly strong, but I had the endurance of an ox. While most of the other laborers did their best to mine out large chunks of granite at a time, trying to finish the work as quickly as possible, I was content to whittle away at the stone for hours upon hours. I always felt that to move a mountain, it would be done one pebble at a time, rather than moving the mountain as a whole. I often worked very long hours, well beyond the time when the rest of the laborers had gone off to enjoy a few tankards of ale. It was then in the solitude of my corner of the quarry that my powers began to surface. While I was good at what I did, it was the thrill of battle that I truly longed for. I would often imagine the rock as my foe, striking at it with my hammer, honing my crude technique. I played out narrow victories over the vile undead, valiant stands against my evil brethren the Duergar, and vicious encounters with the hated orcs. Sadly, while our clan was very capable in battle, we were not well practiced in martial abilities. The bulk of our defense were comprised of clerics and paladins devoted to Moradin. They scoffed at the idea of martial prowess without divine intervention. I tried to seek training and counsel from members of the Belfalode Guard, however I was turned down at every request. Desperate, I looked to Gardain for assistance but was denied assistance due to my lack of devotion to Moradin. It wasn’t long before I discovered that my late night sparring had garnered the attention of Gardain. I thought that perhaps if he saw how hard I was working, that perhaps he would change his mind. Sure I wasn’t fully devoted to Moradin, but I was also not a heretic. Day in, day out I would finish my work, watch for Gardain to show up and then lay in to the stone with my trusty craghammer. I began pushing harder and harder, sparring until the wee hours of the early morning. Eventually I noticed that not only was Gardain observing my self teaching, so was most of the Belfalode Guard. I could feel my mind toughening…some days it was as though my mind itself was attacking the stone…I could feel a sense of power growing within me.
Then 15 years ago, everything changed…it was a particularly dark evening at the quarry. I was sparring to the light of a single lantern, while a detriment to most races, this did not impede me. My vision had grown accustomed to working in very low light conditions. Tonight it did not matter, the fire of anger brewing within me would have been enough to light my way. You see, earlier in the day I had approached Gardain one last time to ask for his aid in securing training from the Belfalode Guard. With what appeared to be sorrow in his eyes, Gardain looked to me and explained that King Bravok himself had heard of my sparring and my requests for training. By order of the king, I was forbidden from ever receiving training due to my lack of faith in Moradin. My hopes destroyed, I slowly made my way back to the quarry. Along the way as I would approach a member of the Guard, they would turn the back to me and refuse to acknowledge my presence. I was crushed…the loyalty that was so important to my clan had now been denied to me. When I arrived at the quarry I located a large rock face that would be my next target. As I stood there, I could feel the blood pumping through my veins, I focused on each beat of my heart as I locked in on my target. Tonight I was not squaring off against an orc, or the undead, but rather I could see in front of my all of my brethren who had turned their backs…even Gardain himself. At that moment, something within me was awakened. I could feel the energy swirling within…the stones that littered the floor began floating up into the air around me. I swung my craghammer at the air as a concussive blast struck the stone wall in front of me. The earth began to rumble as a enormous crack began to run up the middle of the stone wall. I continued to press the attack, visualizing my weapon striking my enemies, swinging my weapon through the air as the power within my mind lashed out to strike the stone. The vision of Gardain stepped forward from the stone, imploring me to put down my weapon and stop attacking. He kept insisting that was going to cause the quarry to collapse. I turned and faced him as I unleashed yet another thundering blow. The sound of Gardain’s skull smashing into the rock behind him snapped me out of my mental battle. Gardain was alive, but badly hurt…both he and I were surrounded by large chunks of granite. The stone face of the quarry was trembling as though it had just withstood an earthquake, but more granite was beginning to fall. I quickly drug Gardain to safety, but was quickly taken in to custody by the Belfalode Guard. The commotion from the quarry had drawn the attention of nearly the entire clan, they lined the halls as I was bound by thick iron chains and lead off to the prison.
There I sat, alone in darkness and silence. The solitude I once craved now tormented me. Once a day a meal would be tossed into the cell for me to fight over with the large population of rats. Day after day, I sat there, thinking back on what had happened…thinking about the power I felt within…and regretting the injuries I caused to Gardain. If only they had trained me…if they had just helped me to discover my skills in a safe manner…none of this would have happened. Soon the days turned in to weeks…the weeks months. I lost track of just how long I had been imprisoned, when finally a familiar voice rang out. It was Gardain, he was fully recovered…within his voice I could detect both disdain…and fear. He explained that there was going to be a trial to decide my fate. I was lead to my home so that I could clean up before going in front of King Bravok and the council. As I was lead in to the courts, my brethren lashed out me, calling me a heretic and a spawn of evil. The trial was very short, there was only one who spoke…Gardain. Gardain regaled the courts of our many talks in the halls about my disbelief in Moradin, he talked about the countless nights I spent sparring the rock, and then he recounted the day that I nearly took his life. The crowd began to yell for my head, the Guard struggled to hold them back, but the crowd quickly fell silent as King Bravok stood to declare my fate. It was decided that I would not be killed, rather I would be shamed by being stripped of my clan title. My name would be erased from all records within the clan hall and I was to be cast out into the lands of men. This decision angered Gardain…had it been up to him, he would have sent me to meet Moradin right then and there. I was escorted the Belfalode Guard and Gardain to the surface…my eyes straining to see through the bright light of the sun. I was given my craghammer, a suit of old scale armor and a shield and was informed that if I ever dared to return, Gardain himself would strike me down in the name of Moradin.
So once again, I found myself in solitude, roaming the lands and trying to survive. As I traveled I began to learn how to control the power within. I sought out battles to test my skills, killing many an orc along the way. Then two years ago, I was wandering the lands, looking for a new adventure. There wasn’t a single tavern to be found that wasn’t bustling with rumors about what had been going on in Osradin. I decided that it was the perfect opportunity for me to bash some skulls, find some treasure and grow me powers. I was determined to prove just how big of a mistake the clan had made when they gave me the boot…Someday I would return and show them just how powerful I was, and they would have two choices! They could either beg for mercy and make me the new king of clan Stonecrusher, or they could get their skulls split open one by one.