Dragon pix

Gar

Gar's Picture

Gar was born Valgari Silverpalm to loving parents roughly 26 years ago. His father was a highly successful Merchant, leader of the small Mine set into the mountains where they lived and as such in charge of commerce and relations with the nearby Human settlement. His mother was all the best things of a society lady with none of the drawbacks - she worked with the wealthy and nobility to better the cause of the poor and to constantly improve relations with the Humans.

Just before Gar was to graduate his basic education to apprentice to his father as a Merchant, his family was torn by war. His father volunteered for service, with Mother's tacit agreement - she knew that it was everyone's duty to protect those who could not fight, and would not grudge her husband that honor.

For a year, Father wrote home from battle, telling of his adventures and the course of the conflict. Then the terrible news came - Gar's father had been lost in battle, his remains not discernible from the carnage for a decent funeral and pyre. Gar's mother was heartbroken - in the absence of Father, she retreated into her work becoming distant and cold. Left without a sponsor, Gar begged apprenticeship with the Smithy, and found there his own escape from his father's death - and an unexpected talent for working metal.

Two years passed, and Gar progressed rapidly towards his Journeyman status. Then his mother pulled him aside for a talk. She had found a beau - a visiting statesman supposedly from a distant dwarven Clan who had expressed interest in settling and bringing resources vital to the Mine. Mother found him not unlikeable, and the deal had been arranged. Gar would soon have a new father - and three new brothers.

Gar's new father was the worst strain of noble even unfit to use the title. He was sweetness and politics itself whenever Mother was around - but when she was absent his true nature was revealed. It turns out that he was nothing that Gar's mother thought - he was a noble, but had no interest in increasing the prosperity of Gar's home Mine. His only desire was to drain its resources for his own wants and desires.

Shortly after the wedding Gar's mother took ill and showed great difficulty in recovering; each time she seemed to be getting better, she would suffer a relapse. Gar worried for his mother and knew without needing proof that his new father was the cause of her problems but the evil man never left a shred of evidence to implicate anything other that terribly bad luck. Having lost his father at war, Gar knew that he would soon loose his mother to intrigue and there was nothing he could do about it.

The sad day came when Gar's mother's death was announced. Being the eldest son, it was Gar's position to inherit control of his Mother's position and finances in event of her demise and prepared to step forward to claim his inheritance. But before he could, it was also announced that Mother had left a final wish on her deathbed, that Gar's new father be pronounced full heir, to better guide the Mine towards increased prosperity.

Gar's life was crushed. In a depression, he hid himself in his chamber for months, taking only meager meals while his 'father' proceeded in destroying most of what his family had worked to build. When he emerged, his 'father' pronounced that he had been discovered to have inadvertently been the cause of his Mother's demise - and as punishment he was forbidden to leave the Mine, or pursue any form of employment beyond simple menial labor for the rest of his life. Of course, this also made it impossible for Gar to inherit, and his birthright passed on to his 'brothers' - each one just as despicable as their father.

Gar quailed, but there was no way for him to fight events that had already transpired while he had been hiding away from the world. Broken, he turned to his only remaining point of contact - the Smith-master who had trained Gar and had just begun polishing his talent when disaster struck. The Master knew Gar's innocence as much as Gar knew his 'father' had killed his mother, and they struck a secret deal.

The Master retired from his position, but not from his forge, passing the burden of training new smiths over to his Journeyman-Master at a forge of his own but still practicing his own craft. Gar was his assistant - but the Master continued Gar's training when no one would suspect the teachings.

For years, this continued, until Gar met his Journeyman requirements and was well on his way towards Journeyman-Master status in his craft. Over the years, the Master and Gar found that there were many who saw through the noble's veneer and wished to place Gar back in charge of the Mine. As the rebellion was gathering steam, the Noble discovered the resistance and moved quickly to prevent it. He accused the Master of treason for teaching a convicted criminal a trade. Whether he knew this was the truth or not, no one discovered, as events transpired quickly thereafter.

Gar was copying a 5th seed from his Master's Tome when the old Smithy burst into the room and threw the bar across the door. He clutched a large pack which he hurriedly strapped on Gar's back, then worked two spells. The first made the older smithy look exactly like Gar, the second turned Gar invisible. Then the military broke down the door and hauled off 'Gar', who was playing the part admirably.

Not knowing what to do, Gar followed the group silently out of the forge/house, down the street, and into the town square. There he watched, frozen in fear of discovery and dread of what was to come, as the Noble pronounced sentence on him - execution for the murder of his mother and treason for breaking the conditions of the suspended sentence - at tomorrow's first light.

Gar knew what he had to do - and he knew that it had to be done before his Master could no longer support the invisibility.

That night, he sneaked into what was once his home, noting that the Noble had not bothered changing any of the security charms or rendering useless the hidden passages since his semi-exile. He found in his pack his Journeyman-Master trail pieces - the Hammer and Armor he had forged from scratch under the watchful eye of his Master - the closest thing to a father he had since his Father had died so long ago.

Putting them on, he was no longer totally invisible - but he worked a small spell of his own, lighting the armor and hammer with a ghastly blue light, and began impersonating his fathers voice. He stalked through the halls of his home, those guards still loyal to Gar's father bowing and allowing Gar by, those loyal to the Noble running in terror.

He finally found the Noble in the dungeons, torturing 'Gar' for the location of his Master. The Noble's sons, watching with sadistic glee, drew weapons to protect their father. Calling on Scyndar's will to avenge the affront to his Craft, his Family, and his Clan, Gar pulled the heat from the coals banked nearby. The flickering flames shone while hot, with the dark black-red of his anger outlining them as Gar formed them into a ball before him.

Howling in rage, Gar threw the ball of fire at the three now cowering boys before him. Gar never found out if the fireball hit the boys - the three broke and ran as the sphere left his hand, their weapons clattering to the floor.

Suddenly, Gar heard a cry from behind him, and saw his Master's illusions slip and fade. Whirling, he had just enough time to bring his hammer to block the strike of the twisted dagger that sought to do to Gar as it had just sought to do to Gar's Master. The Noble saw the invisibility fade and spat at Gar, cursing him and coming in to attack again.

Gar sidestepped the thrust, but found the Noble's back-swing in his way. He felt the blade as it scraped down his side, slipping on his armor, before slicing into his thigh near his knee where the armor stopped. Gar bellowed, adjusting his grip on his hammer, and threw himself towards his opponent and down, the hammer held crosswise before him.

The Noble stepped back - but the haft of Gar's weapon hit the Noble's weapon arm just below the elbow. Gar's roll bore the Noble's arm down under the hammer's long handle - and the handle met the floor through the Noble's arm with a sickening crunch.

The Noble howled, his sinister dagger skittering away across the floor and his feet scrabbled against the cold dungeon stones as he tried to get away from Gar, holding his now useless weapon arm across his chest where it bent twice in opposite directions and twitched uselessly.

Gar pursued the Noble - his limp still faster then the other's desperate semi-crawl. As the Noble's back hit the wall, his eyes widened with terror as Gar closed the last remaining distance and raised his hammer.

"For my Mother, you son of a bitch."

Gar brought his hammer down on the Noble's head as he had brought his hammer down so many times before in the Forge and the dungeon was suddenly silent.

Valgari...

Gar heard his Master's voice rasp out behind him. Gar dropped his hammer and limped to where the old Dwarf lay bound. He saw that the wound he had sustained would be fatal within a few minutes, without immediate healing. The old Master asked Gar to free him.

ar looked around, and found the Noble's dagger. He made his way to it, picked it up, and made quick work of his masters' bonds. His Master rolled heavily to his feet, breathing hard, and sent Gar to get a hammer from the hallway above.

Gar limped managed his way upstairs, grabbed one of the ornamental hammers, and nearly tumbled back down to his master. Master was leaning heavily against a Rack, coughing and breathing hard. Dark liquid oozed slowly but inevitably from his wound and down his side. Gar flipped the hammer upside down and handed it to his Master to use as a cane. But Gar's Master grabbed the hammer, and swung it twice, crushing the Noble's lifeless skull twice more.

Gar stared at his Master's actions, confused. The old dwarf, looking haggard in the flickering torchlight, stared at Gar with a grave expression on his face. He told Gar that the young smith must leave town - it was not safe until the power structure was redefined. Gar did not understand, but he trusted his mentor. Gar swore, and began packing his arms for swifter travel.

As he did, the old smith told Gar to check in at the first Adventurer's Guild he came to. Gar would find that he had passed his Journeyman's trials, and had been promoted to Master, and would find an apprentice Runesmith's tome to continue his studies elsewhere in the world.

The Master smiled, and his hand found Gar's face as the young dwarf finished stowing his gear. "Would that I had had a son such as you, Gar - now go!"

Gar left, not noticing in his rush the tear that leaked from his Master's eye. He ran form the Mine, only barely registering that, at some point, he had again become invisible and his leg no longer pained him.

Much later, back in the Dungeon, the Master stood - leaning heavily on the war-hammer over the dead body of the Noble as those House Guards that had not fled before Gar's entrance came down to investigate what had happened.

"I am Rungyof, sworn to Scyndar. This dwarf murdered our Matriarch, usurped control of this Mine from the rightful heir, and just tonight attempted to kill myself and my apprentice. I claim Rule by right of Combat, and declare my heir to be one whom a council of our Mine declares fit to rule. You are all sworn to be my Witnesses and my Will in ensuring a fit ruler."

And with that, Rungyof fell to the ground, dead.

In the mountains, in a pass out of the Valley, Gar tripped over a rock and fell to the ground with a grunt. He did not register that his invisibility faded as he tried to get up. He could not, so settled to rolling off the road into the brush alongside, and felt a chill go up his spine as a gust passed over him. The chill was replaced by a strange warmth and he slipped into a dreamless but somehow comforting sleep.

Gar dropped most of his name for anonymity, and became an adventurer - thinking that if anyone were ever to send word he should be in a position to receive it. He kind of knows that Run is dead - he tries not to think about it much.

He's still looking for a Runesmith to learn from.