Sterling Adventure Company
Dawrven Tunnel Ranger
A servant, Hamlir, took it upon himself to protect the young Tordask. He doted upon him, taking care of his needs and filling him with stories of his great heritage. But he could not teach Tordask any of the skills of leadership. In addition, Hamlir feared for the safety of his charge. Hamlir had no status, so he could not wield power in Tordasks name, even if he had the ability. But he figured others might try to do so, and others still might try to do him in. He also feared the dragon might come looking for Tordask, or that whoever sent the dragon might do so. So Tordask was hidden from the Silverrock community, and by most assumed dead.
Naturally, Tordask grew up spoiled and incompetent. However, he was wise enough to realize his shortcomings. Either that, or he was too fearful to act on his destiny. He knew that if he was truly king, he should gather together the remaining strength of Silverrock and lead an assault on Aurgloroasa. But he did not believe any would follow him, and even if they did, any attack on the dragon would lead to utter failure. So he avoided dwarves from the Mountain, yet irritated the dwarves of the community he insinuated himself into with his superior airs. He had children with a much younger dwarf he managed to charm, yet refused to formally espouse her because of her supposedly lower station. She eventually left him, and he died a very bitter old dwarf. Only his eldest son, Baern, stayed with him to the end, and that was only out of duty, not for love.
Baern was even less fit to be king than Tordask. Not only did he have no training in leadership skills, but the whole idea filled him with shame. His father was basically a laughingstock of the community, and occasionally Baern was even teased for being a “prince”. He denied the charge vehemently, and was tough enough to eventually (literally) beat the rap. Ultimately, though, his anger and his bond to his crazy father left him with no friends within the community.
Baern believed the community, believed his father was crazy, but stuck with him from a very strong feeling of filial duty. Baern often turned to his faith in the ways of Moradin to carry him through difficult times, and this faith in turn kept him true to Tordask. It was hard on him when his mother left, for he wanted to be true to her as well, but she had the younger children, and Tordask had nobody. And by then Baern was so self destructively filled with anger that he chose the harder path to spite himself.
For full of anger Baern was. First of all, he was an adolescent. Then, he was angry at his father for being a crazy old coot, but also for being a coward, he was angry at his community for treating his father and his family with scorn, he was angry at his mother for leaving, angry at his siblings for going with her and leaving him with his father, angry at the gods for putting him into such a miserable life, and angry at himself for not doing anything about it, which was the same thing he was most angry at his father about, not doing anything. However, when his father (finally) died, things started to change.
Now, Baern really did not believe he was an heir to kings. He may have when he was very young, while he was still only interacting with his mother and father, but not once he saw the scorn with which the community treated the idea. But when his father was on his deathbed, he gave Baern his ring, a ring that Tordask had never shown anyone before. It was…special. It was not so much to look at. Just silver, not gold or any other special material. Not set with stones. It was well made. The story that Tordask gave to go with the ring somehow really moved Baern. He said that it was the first item ever made with the silver found in Silverrock, and the kings under the Mountain had had it from the beginning. It did not in and of itself make Baern believe his father’s story, but it was enough to instill some doubt. Maybe he was in fact an heir to kings.
With the death of his father, Baern also found himself released from his anger. He had no place in his community, but when he left he found he could form friendships with others. He was not particularly good at it, and still spent a lot of time alone, but he found he could enjoy some company. He figured this was important, for if he were king, he would need to be able to work with others, even learn to trust. And as long as he was thinking about what if he were king, he figured he would need to know something about leadership. And if he were ever to recapture Silverrock, he would need to learn about fighting. So he joined a company, and went with the direction his talents took him: scouting the underdark. He was never an officer: he couldn’t claim privilege, and probably wouldn’t even if he could. But he watched, and learned what he could. He served a few tours of duty, was between jobs and/or between companies, and that’s where
we find him at the start of this story.