Tales from Karickbridge
Isembard is a dwarven warrior with scholarly tendancies, as likely to be found in the library as on the practice grounds
PSYCHIC TAL. 11
- Eihwaz – accuracy / precision
The Ironfist clan are miners and metalworkers at home in what the Elleslanders call the Pagan Mountains and what the dwarves call Kharaz Grong ("The Anvil Mountains"). The clan has very little to do with their human neighbours and live a largely autonomous existence, with the exception of a little ore trade, mostly with Thuland. This segregation is partly geographical and partly a trust issue. Dwarves are long-lived, have even longer memories and are slow to reproduce. Humans on the other hand are short-lived and prolific in comparison. For the dwarves and elves who have inhabited Ellesland forever, it seems like only yesterday that the first men arrived on these shores and yet they now dominate most of Ellesland.
Isembard is a dwarven misfit. In a culture where skill with a hammer and tongs is respected above almost all else, Isembard has turned out to have two left hands when it comes to forging, mining and almost all things metallurgical, and thus a huge disappointment to his parents. To add insult to injury, Isembard is very intelligent and somewhat of a scholar, which hasn't endeared him to his more manually-inclined kin. He has therefore been farmed out to his uncle Grim, who following a scandal concerning a broken courtship as a young dwarf left the clan to seek a position as a blacksmith in the lands of man. Some 60 years ago Grim hired on as castle blacksmith in Karickbridge with the present Lord Karick's grandfather and has remained to serve his son and now his grandson. Unfortunately, Isembard has turned out as more of a burden than a help to his uncle due to his inability with a hammer and his incessant questions about human culture. As his name suggests, Grim can be a gruff character, keeps largely his own council and company. He's not used to visitors and finds Isembard's questions intensely annoying. He presently remains at a bit of a loose end in Karickbridge, his favourite haunt being the small library that Lord Karick keeps in the castle.
Because of his scholarly nature, Isembard is fluent not only in his native dwarvish (written and spoken) but also Elleslandic (though his pronunciation tends to be somewhat strange at times – after all studying a language on paper and teaching yourself is not the same as learning it from a native speaker). He is also something of a scribe and his travels have left him with excellent map-drawing skills. It is unlikely that someone travelling with Isembard would ever get lost, whether above ground or below (although forests tend to confuse him a little).
Despite his clumsiness, Isembard is neither a weakling nor a coward and will be quite handy in a scrap.
The only things that the rest of the party know about Isembard are that he is Grim’s nephew and that the two of them don’t get along particularly well.
Isembard has only just arrived at Castleford. He has been sent by his clan deep in the Shriven Hills to help his uncle Grim Ironfist, Lord Fensham’s armourer. The reason that he’s been sent is that it turns out that he’s absolutely useless at founding and the clan didn’t know what to do with him.
Not being very good, he’s not much help to his uncle either and so he’s at a bit of a loose end.
For a dwarf, Isembard is an unassuming chap, not easily provoked as some dwarves are, but keen on good ale and a good smoke. He’s painfully aware of his shortcomings and proud of the dwarven heritage.