I'm named for some ancient hero. Then again, so is every other stout. Few enough as we may be now, there's been a lot of us, and there's only so many names to go around. Ma, Berronar bless her, read the ancient sagas to me, my sister, and everyone else she could bend the ear of.
So no, I'm not related to the Dorn of old. Last time our houses met was probably Old Shanatar. Or maybe even before. Old Shanatar was a pretty big place.
But this is my tale, not his. And I'm Dorn of the Iron Anvil clan.
That's the Iron Anvil clan of Brogendenstein. We're a good clan. These days you won't find many of us in Council, or in Grundi's Forge. But we're organised as well as any, and help keep things running in the background. Need a northern outpost guarded? Iron Anvil Clan.
That's us. Not myself, but that's the meat (and whiskey) of this tale.
Don't get me wrong. Iron Anvil has a lot going for it. Mithral Hall may have a reputation, and maybe they deserve it. But they'd learn a thing or two about danger over in Arelith. Those mountains are Dangerous. That breeds a certain kind of stout. And a certain routine.
Wake up. Bread and Ale. Battle training. Shift ore. Talk about Camp Duin. Bread with stew. Clean forge. Stew with bread. More Ale. Talk about Duergar and the latest foolish adventurer. That's fine if you're a typical holdborn. Keeps you upright and most of your blood inside you.
But I've always been a delver. Ever since the days of sneaking past a younger version of Grundi to grab a peak at the mines.
I remember the delvesson of Dumathoin talk about how the stone is alive. And she was right. It's alive just like you and me, just on a different scale. Think a decade between breaths. And it shifts, lives. Hurts.
Put beings in it, and it lives a different way. The stone moves faster, and the folks move faster yet. A human city? It's another level of fast. The stone lives so fast it's broken. Mostly. Stacked upon itself like a pile of old bones. But teaming with life, each bit of it leaving it's mark. But the stone leaves it's mark back.
It's a morbid place for a stout. Not a place for a decent stout. Not a place I thought I'd ever end up.
I had other choices, of course. But I'm not as young or foolish now. Well, not as young anyway.
At that place, at that time, to me it was looking like Camp Duin or get off the Isle. I chose the latter.