Sea of Madness
Carrying an immense maul over his shoulder, and smiling broadly beneath his shaggy beard, Talmud Starhammer is a kindly dwarf devoted to Moradin. Talmud believes that Moradin is forging him into something great.
The first time I saw the ocean, it was my father’s funeral. In my grief, I found myself thinking of Moradin. The rippling tide reminded me of his flowing beard, the ceaseless waves pounded on the shore as his hammer against steel. From that day, I knew that I wanted to be a cleric in service of my god. I was a lad then, and I devoted years to the faith. I truly believed that the Great Smith had chosen me to walk the path of a warrior for the faith. Yet, when the day came for my final test, I failed. While my skill at the hammer was superb, I wasn’t able to channel the power of Moradin.
The High Priest of Moradin tried to console me, saying that “Moradin makes some dwarves of silver, others of iron, and others of steel.” His words could not break through my hardened heart and I turned away from the faith. However, I couldn’t deny that the fires of Moradin’s forge still burned within me. I could not devote myself to a debauched life, nor could I deny the Great Smith’s power. I returned to the place of my birth and opened a small shop where I could would with metals and clay. In the evenings, I would go to the ocean and watch the waves.
The waters called me, promising a world beyond my imaginings. I’d listen to sailors’ songs about the fantastic lands beyond the horizon. How I longed to see more of the Great Smith’s creation! I decided that my life would be one of a traveler. Adventure would bend and shape my destiny as the hammer bends and shapes steel. It would make me wiser and stronger, and I hoped that I could spread Moradin’s word beyond the Dwarven halls and settlements.
Talmud Starhammer is genuinely gregarious. His cheerful demeanor seldom disappears; when he wades into battle, he tends to be more serious, but even then one may detect even the slightest grin on his face. He is very proud of the armor and maul that he has crafted, and can frequently be found talking with other blacksmiths. His enthusiasm for the art often impresses other artisans, making them feel at ease.
Talmud has, more or less, replaced his father with the god Moradin. He has embraced the god’s teachings, devoting himself to being hardworking, steadfast, and loyal. He cares deeply for loyal friends; while he is slow to trust someone, once that trust is won, he would give his life for them. Whenever there is a job to do, he is often the first to volunteer to do it. He despises laziness and will often try to pull the most slothful along with him to do the hardest of tasks.
Talmud is afraid of failure. When he sets himself on a task, he is tenacious. His inability to channel Divine power makes him feel inadequate, and his failure to become a Cleric haunts him. When confronted with a failure, he will try to find some success in it. If he cannot, his usual happy mood will become wrathful. If he’s unable to comprehend a situation, or if he’s unable to master a skill, he becomes very short tempered and potentially violent.
Talmud respects Clerics deeply, and will faun over the ones dedicated to Moradin. He enjoys the company of other Fighters, relishing the opportunity to learn from them. He is unsure of how he feels about Paladins; he admires their abilities, yet sees them as too stoic. He cannot tolerate Rogues. Their furtive nature vexes him; he sees no honor in their backstabbing. He likes Warlords, mostly because they make handy allies and can help hold a line. He is wary of Warlocks, and does not completely understand their abilities. He always likes to have a Wizard on hand. He likes to converse with them, learning all sorts of valuable information. Also, he can grasp their abilities more than those of the Warlocks.
Talmud is average height for a Dwarf, and is slightly heavier than average. Parts of his dark hair cascade in tight ringlets, while others flow in loose waves. His beard is long, clasped with a golden band. He never learned the proper ways to braid his beard, so he keeps it as simple as he can. Talmud’s eyes are a deep brown, his skin a creamy white. Daily, after training, he smears ashes on his face, reminding himself that he is being forged in the fires of Moradin.
Talmud’s armor is made of steel and enameled in blue, with a skirt of chainmail which has been treated to look as though it was gold. Underneath, he wears a simple tunic and leather pants made from sharkskin. His maul is covered with various symbols that ensure its power and effectiveness, and he carries it over his shoulder when he isn’t swinging it around with the intention to hurt someone.
Talmud sees himself as a Robin Hood-like hero that steals from the rich and gives to the poor. He wishes for a society that is equal, where everyone does their part to build a bounty that can be shared by all. He imagines a world without rich and poor, one where the people can rule themselves. However, he realizes that his dream cannot be attained without first gaining great power.