Friday, April 21, 2006

A Portrait of a Dungeons and Dragons Character

How much longer? thought Jethraak. He grunted as he wiped the sweat from his brow with a muscular, yellow forearm. The sun beat down, high above, in the Talenta sky, and though Jethraag was of hardy, hobgoblin stock, the heat was proving to be much to bear.
“Go faster!” yelled a halfling astride his swiftfoot mount as his compatriots laughed. His words were in broken Goblin, despite assurances by Jethraag that he could speak the Common of Khorvaire quite well.
Heaving out a massive sigh, the burly hobgoblin picked up his smithing hammer and began pounding again on the cherry-red metal. The forge was cheap, something likely scavenged by the halflings from some caravan, and though of appropriate size, if was of inferior make. Jethraag counted himself lucky for having packed his tools with him. These he now pounded with the rhythm of the forge, beating down on the armor. It was of Valenar make, if Jethraak was to judge. And from the bloodstains left on some of them, they were not donated voluntarily to the loot-packs of the halflings. He was not one to pass judgment on matters of armor-obtainment, though—his own armor, piled to the side of him was cobbled together from years of battle-spoils.
How much longer until they’re satisfied? The halflings had assured him that in helping to refit the armor for them, he was helping the position of Darguun in trade negotiations with the Half-Moon tribe. Three days later, he was not so sure. After three days of back-breaking labor under the burning sun of the Talenta plains, and under what he was beginning to suspect were constant Talenta insults from the halflings, he was beginning to suspect that they little humanoids were taking advantage of his hard work and generosity.
While his body was no stranger to the hard work, his generous nature was wearing thin. Sweat poured down his face, plastering his red hair to his scalp. Muscles rippled under his sweat-soaked tunic, yellow skin gleaming in the sun. A sudden blast of sparks flew from the forge accompanied by one of the infrequent gusts of wind native to the plains. While his leather apron caught most of it, a great spray of burning motes flew against his arms and face.
“Rakka!” he swore in Goblin, dropping his tools and shielding his face. This elicited another burst of laughter from the nearby halflings.
Why am I doing this? Jethraak thought to himself, picking up his tongs, wiping the sweat from his face.
As he did, his fingers brushed over the raised scars on his forehead. He knew they continued around his head, marking him as a member of the Rhukaan Taash, the Razor Crowns, those loyal to Lesh Haruuk Shaarat’kor, the King of Darguun. His loyalty to the crown was unswerving, his dedication to the nation like tempered steel. If this is what it took to aid Darguun, then so be it.
He nodded to himself and reached down his hand to pick up his hammer. Sunlight flashed over a band of gold on one finger, sparking memories. He saw his wife’s face, and knew that she was waiting for him on their farm just outside Rhukkan Draal. At this time of day, Valnaara would be feeding the twins, Kivvi and Jetraag, with a kobold servant helping nearby. Outside the other kobold workers would be plowing the fields on the acre of land they owned. Jethraak saw their faces in bright detail and remembered his promise. He had seen the wonders of the human nations during the Last War, and he had sworn to make sure that his children would grow up in a Darguun that matched or surpassed the human nations. He would go to any lengths to make sure they saw a world that was bright and gleaming. He would hammer out a thousand sets of armor, a million, if that is what it took.
With a determined smile on his face, he brought down his hammer and began his work again.

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