The Rebirth of Nerathus
An old dwarf veteran looking for some peace and quiet
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ====== Daradok Ironclad, level 6 Dwarf, Warlock Build: Scourge Warlock Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution Eldritch Pact: Infernal Pact Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Hammer) Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Rod) Background: Brother in Battle (Brother in Battle Benefit)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES Str 17, Con 19, Dex 8, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 10.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES Str 16, Con 16, Dex 8, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 10.
AC: 20 Fort: 18 Reflex: 16 Will: 16 HP: 56 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 14
TRAINED SKILLS Insight +9, Arcana +9, Endurance +17, History +9, Athletics +10
UNTRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +1, Bluff +3, Diplomacy +3, Dungeoneering +6, Heal +4, Intimidate +3, Nature +4, Perception +4, Religion +4, Stealth +1, Streetwise +3, Thievery +1
FEATS Level 1: Dwarven Weapon Training Level 2: Armor Proficiency (Chainmail) Level 4: Berserker’s Fury Level 6: Versatile Expertise
POWERS Eldritch Blast: Eldritch Strike Warlock encounter 1: Vampiric Embrace Warlock daily 1: Armor of Agathys Warlock utility 2: Inspiring Fortitude Warlock encounter 3: Fiery Bolt Warlock daily 5: Hunger of Hadar Warlock utility 6: Red Leeches of Nihal
ITEMS Adventurer’s Kit, Chest (empty), Handaxe (2), Battleaxe, Cloak of the Walking Wounded +1, Pact Hammer Mordenkrad +1, Dwarven Chainmail +1, Parry Gauntlets (heroic tier), Potion of Healing (heroic tier) (2), Battle Standard of Might (heroic tier), Rod of Cursed Honor +2 ====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======
Daradok was born the son of a warrior, who was in turn born the son of a warrior and so on for as long as the Ironclads have been members of Hargromm. Trained in a traditional style of dwarven combat, Daradok excelled beyond his peers. He brought honor to the Ironclad name when he was accepted into the elite Underlanders, a group of the best and most hardened dwarven warriors of the city.
The Underlanders were tasked with scouting and surveying new tunnels and were the first called to investigate any reports of strange activity in the deep. This work was the some of the most dangerous a dwarf could find in Hargromm and Daradok was born to it. The Underlanders butted heads with the foulest creatures of the Underdark, sometimes dozens of miles of uncharted black away from the nearest safe haven, and the Underlanders did so with minimal casualties. Every night the Underlanders could afford it the group could be found, along with ale and song, in the Dragon Fire Pub sharing tales and stories and growing fast as brothers in arms.
As Daradok neared his 5th decade, and his experience and honor put him into a place of high respect in Hargromm, the Ironclad warrior desired to start a family. He married a long time friend, a daughter of an influential dwarven baron, by the name of Tobera Garduum. Taking many extended parental leaves from the Underlanders, Daradok raised a family beside his wife. His eldest child and firstborn son grew up as the reflection of his father, excelling at martial combat and joining the Overlanders who operate on the surface. The eldest daughter was raised as a maiden of Lady Truesilver and became a gifted member of the community. The youngest, twins, were inseparable as children and grew up to become model members of clan Ironclad, the boy joining the military, and the daughter marrying the son of a wealthy merchant. Returning to full time active duty in the Underlanders, Daradok rejoined his comrades as a proud and happy father and husband.
A few decades pass. Daradok becomes one of the most senior and decorated members of the Underlanders, and his family grows as he becomes a grandfather. Hargromm stays strong and vigilant as dark times envelop the world above. Grim stories and tales reach the city concerning the fall of Nerathus, yet the dwarf hall continues as normal. Normal, except for the Underlanders. Daradok and his comrades begin to encounter more foul beasts than usual, and tunnels begin to grow darker and deeper with each passing month. The Underlanders confront this phenomenon with unparalleled vigilance and disciplined ferocity. Even so, not even they were prepared for what lied ahead.
Operating deep within the tunnels on a report of strange activity, Daradok, who had recently just celebrated his 107th birthday, and the rest of the Underlanders, patrolled the deep dark passageways in hope of finding what was stalking these corridors. What they found, only a few would survive. A sudden and massive cave in dropped the Underlanders into a lower tunnel system. Daradok could hardly remember the fall. It was sudden, instantaneous, and it all went to black. He heard the screams of his comrades, his friends, as though they were miles away. He fled into the tunnels, as a blur. Minutes became hours as he ran, the screams growing louder and louder as they bored their way into Daradoks mind. Madness seemed to take the old dwarf as one last sight came to him when he finally turned into the large cavern the majority of the Underlanders fell into. The mangled bodies of his comrades dominated his view, some still alive by foul magics, howling desperately for mercy, while others flail and squirm, their bodies cloaked in dark fire. Daradok fell into darkness.
Daradok slept for days, possibly weeks, with the images he saw bored into his mind. He saw blood and he heard screams. He smelled the scorching of flesh as fire burned all around him and he felt his hands dig deep into skin. Never once did Daradok see an assailant. He awoke in a fit of rage. The priest by his side suffering a number of broken ribs before three men could restrain the Underlander. He laid restrained to the bed for three weeks before he was deemed safe to release. Daradok questioned whether they were concerned for his safety, or for others. He saw the fear in their eyes when they spoke to him. He heard their voice shake.
And it wasn’t just them. When he was released from the priest’s care he noticed it in others too. Long stares met Daradok everywhere he went. Conversations were short, even among friends and relations. Patrons of the Dragon Fire Pub gave the once respected Underlander a wide berth, no one dared look upon him. Even Daradok’s eldest son forced a smile when speaking with his father.
He shortly learned why. He was found in the deep dark caverns several days after the cave in. Daradok was ragged, covered in gore, and rambling incoherently among the dead of the Underlanders. No other bodies were found. No traces of an assailant, and no other entrance led into the massive cavern that the cave in fell into. The only survivors of the Underlanders was Daradok, and two other dwarves, both of whom were driven mad. Daradok’s hammer was caked in blood, and his nails were red with gore. He heard the whispers. He knew what the people thought. He couldn’t even disagree with them.
There were other whispers, too. Whispers concerning the weeks he spent in the care of the priests. Rumors have surfaced that Daradok would awake screaming into the night, shouting words that no scholar has ever heard and staring, eyes unblinking, at the nearest dwarf. His madness was accompanied by strange things. Lights and sounds. Conjurations and shadows. The priests were known to pray madly to expel the demons. Even after his release, he knew this continued. He would awake to find Tobera, the toughest dwarf maiden he knew, ashen and wary, as if she were up the night before trying to contain him. And the nightmares. The nightmares never left.
Daradok received word from the military soon after his release. The Underlanders were to be disbanded as the only living members were unfit to serve, and that a shrine would be erected with the clan names of all its members emblazoned upon it. Furthermore, Daradok was to be honorably discharged from the military and awarded for his heroism for the years he served. Honorably discharged. Daradok knew no Ironclad, and no dwarf warrior for that matter, would take nothing less than death as an honorable discharge. The only solace the old dwarf had was in his wife, the only person to trust and speak openly with him.
Time passed slowly as Daradok was confined to the home or the forge, and though Tobera took good care of him the nightmares would always return. These debilitating horrors were thought to be on the mend yet the sudden illness that overtook Tobera halted all progress Daradok once achieved. With his wife’s physical health and his own mental health in a steep decline, Daradok found his only reprieve in the hard drink. As word spread of Tobera’s sickness and of Daradok’s reliance on ale to quell his madness the citizens of Hargromm grew distant and resentful of the once honored family. Despite arguments presented by his eldest son, Daradok refused to relinquish Tobera to the full time care of others, as even in poor health she was the only person with whom would confide and bring solace to the the fallen Underlander.
As the years carried on the health of Tobera waned further and further, and Daradok spiraled lower and lower into severe depression. As his drinking increased the nightmares became more vivid and recurrent and his waking hours were horrors themselves, which would only be sated by the drink. Trapped in a cycle of self destruction Daradok was incapable of stopping the death of his wife. The night of her passing, as an inebriated Daradok knelt crying at her bedside, the eldest son came into the home. The sight of his poor mother and of his pathetic father stirred a rage within him that he couldn’t contain. He bellowed accusations at the father, claiming his neglect and depression was the cause of her death. Words came to force as the son pulled the Underlander from his wife’s side and threw him to the ground. The old dwarf lay sobbing in pain and sorrow as his son kicked and shoved him further from the room, yelling in disgust until his father lay defeated on the ground. The son turned back to his mother, whispering prayers for forgiveness from his ancestors.
Behind him, Daradok rose slowly to his feet. The thin dam holding back his madness finally broke completely from the confrontation. Cackling and uttering shattered fragments of words, Daradok charged his son with a burst of foul energy. The previously broken and intoxicated Underlander, now invigorated by some dark power, rained punch after punch into the younger dwarf. Daradok, fully gripped by his madness, rises above his beaten kin and walks to the hearth where his old hammer, dusty and cold from years of disservice, lay waiting. Returning to his sons side, hammer in hand and mad smile upon his face, he raises the heavy weapon high above his head in preparation for a final blow.
One last sight of his wife, laying peacefully on her bed, gives Daradok pause. In a moment of realization the old dwarf sobers immediately, his mind once again his own. He drops the hammer to the floor where it cracks the flagstone and he falls to his knees, begging for forgiveness. The son, bloody and beaten, rises slowly from the ground and staggers out of the home without another word, leaving his father to wallow in self pity.
The next day Daradok gathers all the items from his home that he can travel with, including his hammer, his bags, and a few pieces of his old plate armor. He also gathers many items of sentimental value and places them in a small chest which he plans to carry with him everywhere he goes. Feeling alone and wracked with guilt, Daradok leaves no word of his departure or destination and before most of the residents of Hargromm are awake, the old Underlander departs the city in silence.
On the surface, Daradok finds his mind at ease. The terrors of his past become distant memories and his travels among the races of the world give the old dwarf a great insight into others. Using his martial skills which, after such a long time in disservice and poor health, are slow to return, Daradok lives the life of an adventurer in hopes of helping the downtrodden and the weak. Daradok travels with many bands of young heroes and thrill seekers during this time of his life, always on the move. It is during this time that the nightmares finally vanish, and the powers which previously only surfaced during fits of madness became a viable tool to the old dwarf. Daradok lived several decades as wandering adventurer until at last he feels the need to settle down and enjoy the last few years of his life.
This desire to settle down comes to fruition when Daradok comes to the town of Trappers Haven. The cool air of the region and the solace of the Black Forest are a welcome change from the balmy bleak rock of Hargromm. Settling down to the simple life of a logger, Daradok hangs his hammer up and lets his budding arcane powers subside. At least, until they are needed once more.