Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Granite Pilger, Dwarven Priest of Horm

Horm is holy
Horm is high
Horm is the Only
Now you die!
-- Horm's Prayer


[This character (NPC really) has been reimagined in several game systems; 1ed AD&D, Rolemaster, FUDGE(man rewriting this I miss how awesome the Fudge Ladder is for writing readable free form "stats"), and now basically rules free. But something I'd use with Castles & Crusades.]

Pilger, son of Gretchin, Granite Brother, 2nd Order priest of Horm the Mighty

Pilger is a weathered old Dwarf of 250 years who has devoted his life to the great, the mighty, the only, god of mining and mountains, Horm the Harsh. Pilger's beard betrays his age, although still mostly red, handsome white streaks are forming on either side of his mouth. Like all of Horm's Order, Pilger regularly shaves his head and braids his sideburns, finishing them with small silver carvings of Horm's Symbol and Pilger's ancestral crest. His typical dress includes his mountain plate & helm (see below). Often wrapped up in his red trimmed gray cloak which features a large Clan Granite's emblem worked in golden threaded on its back. This handsome covering is held fast by a platinum clasp from which leers an abstract dragon's head carved from a single large Spinal (red-brown gem). An ornament passed down from Durgin's great uncle. It is one of many ancestral heirlooms Pilger honors with use.

Being a respectable couple Pilger's parents had but one child. His father, Durgin, died in the Fourth War of the Deep while Pilger was a young initiate of Horm's Order. Pilger's mother, Gretchin, died of old age and sorrow a few years after her life mate's demise. Pilger's only current living ancestor is an ancient uncle, Galdur. Brother of Gretchin and so called priest of Durthang(god of Metal/Metalwork, a major Dwarf god), and "dead" to Pilger because of that. Pilger makes daily penance to Horm for his uncle's misguided skulduggery.

Amongst the Brothers of Clan Granite Pilger is the only chosen servant of Horm. To his unending consternation numerous pretenders to the mighty, high, and holy throne of Horm receive succor and support in the form of false priests within Clan Granite. Priests who undeservingly retain the clan's support despite Pilger's repeated long, rousing, drunken tirades during Festhall. After much brooding and casting of ancestor bones it has become obvious to Pilger that Horm wishes him to leave the clanhold. That he has chosen Pilger to spread Horm's holy might, kill Orcs, and seek adventure across the vast world from the uppermost peak of Tichen to the deepest Droogish mine. The entire clan assisted in preparations for his pilgrimage and enthusiastically bid him farewell...


Equipment

Horm's holy symbol - Necklace composed of square hematite beads with a central bloodstone pendant carved into a mountain peak from which dangles a pick of pure platinum. This is the holy symbol bestowed to Pilger by Horm (in absentia) when he was ordained. It is not replaceable.

Small Adamantium chisel and Mithril hammer - For engraving Horm's Prayer and Pilger's ancestral crest everywhere.

Ancestor Bones - Various squares, triangles, and rounds carved from the bones of Pilger's ancestors. Used during prayers and when "Bone Casting" to seek the wisdom and power of Pilger's ancestors.

Glenda, Miner's Friend - Ancestral heirloom passed on by his father when Pilger left to join Horm's Order. A magical weapon & tool that transforms into one of three forms upon command. Silently "flowing" into the new shape it takes but a second to transform. In all forms Glenda appears to be plain, unadorned Mithril free of scratches or marks, which she is. As if fresh from the forge ready to be engraved, which she certainly is not. For one can find mention of The Miner's Friend in the Cavern of Deeds that was carved some 1600 years ago.

"langax" - a 7' long pole arm with opposing axe and hammer heads. It generally allows the wielder to strike first in combat.

"krieghammer" - a 4' war hammer with large double heads. Equally wonderful at crushing rock and skull of orc.

"spitzhacke"
- 3' pick of the miner / mountain climber variety. A ring (for attaching rope) is set into its handle. With a robust swing behind it the pick head will pierce rock, stone, and even metal that lessor tools wouldn't scratch.

Heavy Crossbow, "The Icicle" - Constructed from strips of flat steel, bound to a stock shaped from the thighbone of an Frost Giant. Beautifully adorned with silver inlays and detailed carving depicting a glorious unnamed battle between Brothers of Clan Granite and marauding Frost Giants. If the main scene is to be believed the very same battle in which a Frost Giant gave up his leg to make this bow. Also featured are the huge icicles the giant brigands form from their breath and hurl as javelins. The cranking gear ratio on this bow is so high it takes minutes to draw. But the reward is a bow with the power to literally shatter doors.

60 x iron quarrels strong enough to withstand being fired by "The Icicle".

2 x spools and ample twine. One end of twine attached to a quarrel can be used to send a lead line across a chasm or up a cliff.

Pilger's steel mountain plate -
Under the guidance of Horm's Order Elders Pilger crafted by his own hand this armor in the Sacred Forge on the holiest of Horm's holy days. It is holy and magical. Gilded with gold & platinum. Engraved with scenes from Horm's greatest triumphs; Slaying a 100 orcs with a single axe swing, Drinking Gruld the Gluttonous under the table. Ejecting the fey emissary from The Divine Festhall landing her on her butt. Climbing unassalable Mt Tichen in a single day defeating Ice, Snow, Frost, & Glacier Giants, the Great Snow Serpent, and the Frost Witch of Tichen along the way...

Features include:
- Reinforcement, bracing and built-in harness for climbing.
- Several hard-points (metal rings, snaps, and threaded bars) facilitating the connection of ropes, cables and equipment.
- Chisel toed boots for jamming into crevices while climbing.
- Attachable crampons for use over ice, snow, and other treacherous ground.
- Removable padding made of fine wool and the warm inner hair of mountain yak.
- Klimbers: Devices that attach to the plate boots and are toe operated. When used with waist and chest hard-points allows the wearer to climb and have arms free. (see hand operated Klimbers below for details).
- Two small, hidden compartments one under the left arm and the other along the right calf are designed to hold a small number of gems and/or coins.

Gray yak leather backpack - Oiled to be water resistant. Contains pockets, fastining points, loops, etc. for all of Pilger's special mountaineering equipment. Attaches directly to the mountain plate. Pilger can disconnect from the pack in seconds via a quick release mechanism.

Steel helmet - Gilded and engraved to match the mountain plate. A triangular Bloodstone (grey with red flakes) 1" on a side is mounted on the helmets brow. Crossed above this are a platinum pick and golden hammer, a stylized version of Pilger's ancestral crest. Situated at the top front is a shuttered compartment suitable for a magical light stone or one of the more mundane cold-light substances that will not ruin Dwarven darkvision. This "lantern" can be adjusted from dim to full and from narrow-beam to flood.

Steel chain-mail - Warm weather armor, 70 deg F is hot to Pilger. Specifically constructed to be cooler than plate/plate-mail.

Gertrude a.k.a. "Gertie" a Mountain Yak
Max Load: Pilger has reached it, after loading his equipment and himself. Typically he walks alongside Gertie. After all, Horm admires those who carry their own weight. Gertie is not Born of Stone and will not pass into the ancestral realms. Pilger treats Gertie as he does his other valuable equipment, with respect and care so that they will serve him long and well. But, in the end, she is just a tool.

100' of 'Kord' - a 1/8" dia rope made by weaving the filaments of a special mineral. It is very strong and thin but not very flexible. It must be spliced and cannot be knotted. It is too thin to hold onto without the use of special hardware such as Klimbers. One end has a snap ring spliced to it. The other end is terminated with a butt splice. This is probably the second most valuable item Pilger carries after his mountain plate. (Horm's holy symbol and his ancestral heirlooms are irreplaceable and beyond value)

2 x hand operated Klimbers. Usable on Kord or rope up to ½" dia. They alternatively hold fast or let slide a rope that is inserted into them. When used with poor quality and/or twisted ropes they tend to jam, damage the rope, and lead to the death of operator.

4 x 1" dia steel rings attached to devices similar to Klimbers. Used with Kord to tie or pass rope through the rings, attach equipment to the rings or someone to the Kord.

8 x 9" steel spikes with 2" dia steel swivel rings attached to their thick ends.

2 x 3" single wheel brass and steel pulleys with snap rings. Usable with rope up to 1" dia. Kord is too thin and inflexible to use with these.

1 x 50' and 2 x 25' masterwork quality ½" braided rope. Each of the shorter lengths has a snap ring spliced on one end and a dead eye on the other.


Misc Equipment:
Cooking utensils, flint&steel, fire starter sticks. Cold and temperate weather cloths, in layers. Extreme cold mukluks, mittens and cloaks. Water skin filled with beer. 1 months supply of Dwarven Bars. Splicing tools for Kord and rope. Armor and weapon maintenance equipment. Shuttered lantern. 2 x iron flasks, filled with quality, slow burning, smokeless, odorless oil. Small collapsible spade. Small collapsible grapnel head.

Traveling money:
Pilger has access to a great amount of family wealth stored at Granite's Clanhold. But, it is an extremely disgraceful thing to take from instead of add to the ancestral vault. Even for an "investment". Dwarves have dim views on spending money to make money. A Dwarve wouldn't rent out their grandma for any amount of platinum. Similarly, they wouldn't part with their gems and coins for the chance to receive more in the future. Horm especially disdains commerce and "work". The proper method to obtain wealth is for it to be bestowed by him after lengthy and arduous labor mining and smelting ore or to reclaim the this bounty from thieving orcs, dragons, fey, and man.

These are high purity Dwarven coins. Dwarven face value given in parenthesis. They are worth more in many regions. Especially the "gem coins" which rarely pass into the hands of non-Dwarves.

5 x platinum coins highly engraved and set in the center with a precious stone (100gp)
20 x gold coins highly engraved and set in the center with a semi-precious stone (10gp)

The following are strung on stout cords in groups of 20 and referred by non-Dwarves as "Dwarven Necklaces."
40 x plat coins octagonal with round hole in the center (5gp)
40 x gold coins octagonal with round hole in the center (1gp)
40 x electrum coins octagonal with round hole in the center (.5gp)
40 x silver coins octagonal with round hole in the center (.2gp)
40 x copper coins octagonal with round hole in the center (.05gp)

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