A Passage of Days
A Dwarven Cleric loyal to the Great Gold Wyrm and bearer of a tragic Destiny
Description of her weapon: The mace has sapphires set in the bottom of the handle. The handle is made of wood, with grooves that exactly fit her hand. A fine line of gold spirals its way up from the top of the handle to about three fourths of the way up the shaft of the mace, where it ends, or rather, appears to flow, into a ring of gold. Etched in the gold, if one looks very closely, are markings that appear odd to Helja’s eyes — like writing, but none that she recognizes. Between the gold ring and the top of top of the mace there are carvings in the wood handle: a tree, becomes a dragon, becomes a fire. The top thickens, with six flat blades. Though at this point she has used it much in fighting, the blades remain sharp and have never needed to be sharpened.
Born Helja Loderr, Helja’s family ran a series of shops in a major marketplace. They had odds and ends, or whatever they could sell. They were always trying to turn a profit, and not always through honest means. In some circles, it was known they would buy goods with no questions asked, and if you wanted to buy something that was not openly sold in the market, (like illegal goods), in those same circles it was known that you could ask her family and they could often get it. They ran with the shadier elements of the dwarven world, and were considered shady themselves. Sometimes the shop would be shut down, but they always reopened it under a new name. Before joining the army, Helja helped with all aspects of the business. One of her earliest memories was of stealing an item at another shop and bringing it to her family to resell, a deed for which she was praised. She became a shrewd negotiator and salesperson, and could often tell when people were holding back or if they would walk away.
When Helja had just come of age, around 50 years old, her settlement was attacked by an orc army, led by the terrible Oogugbu Helllash and all of fighting age were called upon in the name of the Dwarf King to serve in the army and resist the attack. Helja entered the resistance, but gave Torunn as her family name and, demonstrating good fighting skills, was taken under the wing of a cleric, Tharnuil Runehead, also serving in the army. Helja had met Tharnuil before, when he had frequented her parents’ booth looking for various magical items, some of which were, shall we say, not commonly sold. He was particularly interested in any item that was marked with or rumored to be related to the Prince of Shadows. Helja always wondered if Tharnuil had kept her close and treated her nicely to ensure she did not speak about these purchases, which he had always made clear were to be kept private. Though those around her knew her real family name, her fighting skills and honor on the battlefield led those around her to accept her new name. She quickly earned the respect of those around her, rising through the ranks, honing her fighting skills, and learning cleric spells. She became regarded as a folk hero for her deeds on the battlefield, specifically saving the life of one of her commanders, Erighut Deepfall. Erighut was a fierce fighter. During the famous Battle of the Half Axe, the orcs, with Oogugbu in the lead, had pushed their way through the tunnels and were nearing the Great Hall, the heart of the biggest city under the Mountain that Helja had always called home. During the fierce fighting, Erighut had been completely surrounded by orcs. As he fought, one of the orcs hit Erighut’s battleaxe and split it in half. Erighut picked up the broken half and continued to fight, eventually coming face to face with Oogugbu himself. The two engaged in fierce battle, and though Oogubu was badly wounded, Erighut appeared dead. Just as Oogugbu was going to strike a blow that would cut off Erighut’s head, Helja stepped between Oogugbu and Erighut, and, with Oogugbu off balance, cut off Oogugbu’s head. She immediately turned around and stabilized Erighut with one of her cleric spells, stabilizing him enough that he could be carried off the battlefield and later saved. As she cast the spell that saved the life of Erighut, she had a vision of the Great Golden Wyrm, and felt the Wyrm’s power moving through her. She knew that the Great Golden Wyrm had helped her save her commander’s life, and in the moment she promised to serve the Wyrm. In that moment, she knew she must devote her life to protecting those around her from attack, and healing and saving the lives of those she could.
She returned from the battle, her deeds preceding her. The death of Oogugbu and been a blow to the orcs, and they were subsequently easily beaten back. The Battle of the Broken Axe was regarded as the turning point — the reason the Dwarves won against their aggressors. As a result of these stories about Helja, the Dwarf King sent for her. She went to a lavish but cleverly hidden room far under the mountain to meet him. He praised her deeds on the battlefield and, as a reward for her bravery and service, gave her a mace that he himself had forged. With pride, he told Helja that he had imbued it with magics that would keep it forever sharp without sharpening. She has since learned that this is because a: The Dwarf King forged it and he doesn’t like it when his artwork gets tarnished and b: he’s actually a fairly crappy blacksmith and the weapon wouldn’t hold up to much abuse otherwise.