The Hold of the Ebon Hand - Dwarves

















Ovak Werick - The Ebon-Handed Dwarf
Dwarf Lord
His name means 'cunning-axe battle-brother'.
Ovak was a bold dwarf, eager to seek out challenges and demonstrate his strength. When his clan home was beset by Greenskins above and Skaven below, he was ready to join the sortie, proudly bearing his two hand axes, eager to clear a route for an escape. In that fateful battle a mere forty-two Dwarves escaped with their lives as the enemies savaged all around them, whilst the mountain itself could take no more and collapsed upon Dwarf and foe alike. The refugees fled deeper into the mountains, but were bereft of a leader as the only nobles who survived were but younglings. Instead they turned to a Dwarf who had shown immense courage, skill in battle, and superior tactical strategy - Ovak Werick. From this day he led the stragglers, looking for other survivors and seeking a new home. Over the many years since, he has led them bravely, yet also taken opportunities to venture forth with only a small scouting party to explore in more depth. On one of these missions Ovak uncovered an ancient Dwarven hand axe, jet black in colour, and bearing powerful runes. Wielding this axe he felt as though he had never been stronger. However, the axe was a cursed weapon from the traitorous Dawi Zharr. The evil began to leech into his skin, clawing its way through his veins, leaving only blackened flesh in its wake. Thankfully Ortwin Thyssen, a Runesmith and close advisor to Ovak, was able to forge a holy bracer. This could be worn on Ovak's forearm with sharp barbs digging into his limb, constantly circulating blessed water, keeping the evil at bay. Ovak would never be able to fully remove the curse and the bracer would always be a source of pain, but he bore it with great resolve, determined to purify the weapon by using it to dispatch enemies wherever they are encountered. This has led him to become even more defiant in facing off his foes, earning the moniker of 'The Ebon-Handed Dwarf'. The fateful survivors have since swelled, joined by forces of other refugees and wandering clans. They have made their home in a long-forgotten mountain hall on the edge of the range - The Hold of the Ebon Hand.



Ortwin Thysson
Runesmith
His name means 'gem-dwarf son of Thy'.
Ortwin was among the survivors who managed to escape the butchery and destruction of the clan home alongside Ovak. A venerable Dwarf with quite exceptional talent at working runes, he has always been a well respected individual, offering advice and guidance to any who ask. He has long been seen as Ovak's most trusted advisor - a link to their shared past and comrade through their struggles. His ornate dragon-headed runestaff/hammer is something of a trademark, seemingly never out of Ortwin's grasp. Even Ovak does not know the origin of this ancient heirloom, guessing only that Ortwin received it from his father Thy, a runelord of the clan home who died many many years before the escape and destruction of their home. Ortwin has regularly led the forces into battle himself, saying that one should never steer other people towards paths and actions that one should not willingly undertake themselves. He expertly tackles the ebb and flow of the winds of magic over the battle field, thwarting many horrid spell attempts of enemy casters, before tracking them down on the battlefield, inspiring the dwarves around him to pound the magic users to pulp.



Ephraim Mount
Runesmith
His name means 'elder-strong-king bold-highborn'.
A refugee from another fallen Dwarven settlement, Ephraim led a small ragged band of five survivors to the newly established Hold of the Ebon Hand. Ephraim was the brother to the Lord of their outpost, sons to the previous Lord who had reigned for a prodigious time with his name etched into the histories for his just decisions. However, their clan home had been ransacked for anything and everything golden and runic by the forces of Chaos as they poured from the North. During the attack on the settlement Ephraim saw his three trainee runecrafters all murdered ruthlessly as they sacrificed themselves to allow Ephraim time to escape that section of the home and find his brother. Unfortunately he was too late; as he stood over the corpse of his brother, tears in his eyes for loss of the last member of his family, he was still able to earth some of the lethal chaotic magic to prevent further destruction to the meager Dwarven forces surrounding him. Fleeing towards the forges with the few remaining Dwarves, they were able to set the forge fires to overheat to cover their escape through a tunnel, hidden behind one of the forges, that led under the mountains. It had not been used in countless years and the opening mechanism was of ancient design, yet it yielded silently under pressure, giving Ephraim and his few remaining followers a chance for freedom.


Nalut Bofili
Thane, Battle Standard Bearer
His name means 'honoured-nobleman ancient-pride'.
One of the few noble younglings to escape with Ovak, Nalut has stood proudly at Ovak's side ever since. Growing and learning under the steady and watchful gaze of his elders, he always demonstrated exemplary respect, and accordingly benefitting from great wisdom, training, and honour. With the swelling band of refugees eventually finding the forgotten hall and founding The Hold of the Ebon Hand, Nalut wanted to gift Ovak something to demonstrate the gratitude of the dwarves who had turned to Ovak to guide them. So he sought out Ephraim Mount and together they wove and runed a mighty standard to clearly display the pride of the Ebon Hand. When Nalut presented this to Ovak, not a word was said for over thirty minutes, with Nalut increasingly feeling uneasy, as though unseemingly glorifying Ovak's place as the head of the Hold. Eventually Ovak broke his silence, saying only that there was but one Dwarf who could accept this honour - Nalut himself, naming him as a noble Thane and the official battle standard bearer. A deep sense of honour and pride has burnt inside Nalut ever since.


Arathic Dwarn
Thane
His name means 'blood-victor fierce-fist'.
Arathic is a rather single-minded Dwarf with only one real philosophy - the only way that you can really get to know or understand anyone is by seeing them in combat and fighting alongside them. This view drives virtually every behaviour that he displays. Consequently, he routinely organises and participates in wrestling matches and gladiatorial contests to foster a better understanding of the Dwarves under his command, building within them a reputation for martial prowess and solidarity. However, Arathic will brook no dissent, expecting absolute obedience from the troops under his command, routinely barking orders at them. He can always be found on the front line, eager to get to grips with the enemy, relishing charging into battle, keenly reviewing the combat abilities of his foes to spot how he can best exploit a weakness in the enemy's formation.

Nurbere
Master Engineer
His name means 'steady hand'.
Nurbere used to be a wandering engineer, travelling with an organ gun in tow. Long ago he had left his clan as the elders would not recognise his skill and inventive ideas, not permitting him to even construct prototypes. Travelling virtually aimlessly he had befallen many fates - spending time as a slave to a band of Fimir, working in a human village, and selling goods to humans and Dwarves alike. However, his path had eventually led him to The Hold of the Ebon Hand. Whilst he had received offers to stay in numerous other locations previously, it was not until experiencing the diverse mix of refugees, clans and wanderers that he truly felt accepted. Since this time he has worked tirelessly to promote the devastating use of black-powder technology, always seeking to tinker and perfect his creations. There is now a sizeable populace of the Hold that wear the storm-grey-blue colour that marks their deference to Nurbere for his engineering expertise.


Urnivar
Dragon Slayer
His name means 'skull-exile'.
Urnivar was not among the refugees who initially fought and escaped with Ovak at the destruction of the clan home, but a later addition. After many years of wandering through the mountains, Ovak's company happened to encounter a solitary slayer battling against ranks of skeletal horsemen. Whilst many dwarfs rushed to help, the slayer shouted viscously, bidding them remain and not intervene. Instead they circled the tomb cavalry and the slayer, ready to converge as required. Whilst he hacked away at the skeletal limbs, the slayer bellowed out an angry introduction, naming himself Urnivar, a wanderer seeking redemption through death. He would accept no help on his task at hand, he would not be cheated of his fate. Yet that was not the day for Urnivar to die, though it was fateful nonetheless as it led to the meeting of two mighty warriors. Ovak was wary of this exile, for who knew what reason he bore the orange hair? Once the last skeleton was crushed beneath Urnivar's boot, Ovak strode into the circle that his company had formed and challenged the slayer to try to hit him. Urnivar laughed at such foolhardiness from a seemingly respected Dwarf. Urnivar lauched attack after attack; each swing either deflected harmlessly from Ovak's armour or missed by a hair's breadth as Ovak dodged, parried, or simply shrugged off his blows. Urnivar fumed, yet saw clearly the talent that his opposite number showed. Clearly this had been an introduction orchestrated by the ancestors and that Ovak would lead him to a glorious fate. To this day, however, Urnivar will not state what it was that led him to take the slayer oath, nor does Ovak ask.


Garurt
Dragon Slayer
His name means 'bear-battlerager.
There are few individuals who lose themselves to the battle-lust and rage to the extent that Garurt does. When the red mist descends upon him in battle he loses all sense of his surroundings. Indeed it was this trait that led to him neglecting his position in the Dwarf battle line, exposing his unit to the enemy, resulting in their untimely deaths and Garurt shaving his hair. Consequently, when he now enters battle and feels the rage taking over, he hopes vainly that these will be his last thoughts before atoning for his deeds. Only when the battle is over will the rage break, it is then that Garurt surveys the damage that he has wrought. Countless enemies have fallen beneath his fury, yet the death that he seeks continues to evade him. There have been several times that fellow Dwarves have returned from battle saying that they saw Garurt fall beneath a tide of enemies, yet they could not find his body to lay at rest. After a few moons Garurt returns to the Hold saying merely that he remembered the red mist descending upon him, and then waking up somewhere unfamiliar and having no knowledge of what had happened in the meantime. Consequently he lives a very solitary life.