Frozen is an apt name for this grizzled hero. Noble scion of Clan Frostbeard, in the line of the throne of Kaldorimm Hold, holder of the sacred hammer of Travok, and servant to Travok’s Hierarch of Moradin, Frozen was once beyond nobility: a member of the royal bloodline of Moradin’s Sons. Now, because of his thirst for justice, “Froz” has been forced to leave all that behind and pursue another life as a lowly adventurer.
The Frostbeard Clan has held Kaldorimm Hold since it was excavated shortly after The Fall. The Frostbeard leaders held to one very simple maxim for the safety and security of their beloved clan-hold: Do not trust outsiders.
Twenty-seven years ago, this tried and true maxim failed. Overnight, the clan’s keep and the city it defended were overrun and destroyed. With it went all of Frozen’s known family, friends, ancestral home, and birthright.
Frozen grew up in the dwarven royal family of Clan Frostbeard, defenders of Kaldorimm Hold. Because of his birthright, Frozen was cloistered in the Temple of Moradin for training in the holy arts of his people: faith in Moradin and knowledge of battle. The training and devotion to Moradin were based in justice, truth, and the defense of dwarvenkind, and Frozen excelled in his training. Where others became Temple Guardians, generals in dwarven armies, clerics of Moradin, or invokers, Frozen heard the clarion call to become a paladin.
After a decade of cloistered training, Frozen was released to learn about the history and traditions of his people at the feet of his family.
Coming of Age
For years, decades, even centuries, the simple clan-hold law of xenophobia and isolation had held the clan together behind locked doors and high walls whenever threats arose.
However, twenty-seven years ago, a force of goblins, orcs, and their giant allies gathered outside the hold’s mighty walls. Were it not for an early winter stopping their advance through the Borotir Vale, the city-state may have been overtaken within a week. The city elders (the Hierarch, the King, and the War Council) overwhelmingly decided to sit tight as they always had. Only one voice dissented: Frozen Frostbeard, nephew of the King.
Frozen argued that the time had come to seek help from the outside. A tribe of elves dwelt in the forest across the Vale, and humans had cities beyond that. With sufficient promises of trade, wealth, or safe passage, Frozen believed that another community could be made to come to the aid of the Frostbeards.
His elders, and the rest of the Council, believed otherwise.
Taking the matter into his own hands, Frozen left the safety of the clan-hold and snuck out into the Borotir Vale. In the depths of winter, he crawled across the Vale to make contact with the elves living in the Tulnwood at the far end. Alone, embattled, and avoiding a bored and half-starved army of goblinoids and their allies, Frozen’s journey was a slow one.
Finally, he reached the glades and boughs of the Tulnwood. Blundering through the forest, it was not long before elven rangers picked him up and escorted him to the ruling families. Frozen made an empassioned plea for his people, promising that if they would help that he would assure them of good faith in trade, mutual defense, and gifts of silver and iron. With words of gold and steel, inspired by Moradin, his pleas fell on willing ears. A troupe of rangers was dispatched to escort him back to Kaldorimm Hold and begin preparations to defeat the goblinoid army.
When Frozen and the rangers arrived back in Kaldorimm, his brethren met them at the gate overjoyed to see allies to aid them in the upcoming siege. But while the commonfolk were ecstatic, the elders knew they had been betrayed.
Frozen had been part of the decision of the Council; it was not in his power to overturn it on a whim. It was not the way of the dwarves, nor (they believed) the way of Moradin.
Without a word to the elves who had risked their lives and agreed to risk the lives of their very people for the Hold, Frozen’s uncle passed judgment:
Frozen had betrayed the sacred trust of his people: as a dwarf, a warrior, and a leader. He was stripped of his birthright in the line of the throne, no longer allowed to bear the sacred hammer of Travok, and denoted a traitor to Travok’s Hierarch of Moradin. They took everything from him but this: paladinhood. With this crushing deliverance, removal from the Clan, Frozen was exiled from Kaldorimm and all of Borontir Vale, for as long as the line of Frostbeards remained unbroken.
Broken, disheartened, and furious, Frozen and the insulted elves left the clan-hold. Frozen gave the elves everything of value he owned as payment for their broken trust; with nothing but a sackcloth and a ceremonial smith’s hammer he parted ways with the rangers and began a new life for himself as a scorned, dispossessed dwarf.
By spring, he had made his way all the way to Lyridock, where he took up residence in a temple of Pelor which had been acting as a hospital for the poor of the city. He remained there until summer, when he booked passage with an expedition from the city of Sanctum to go and work with the Ironroot Clan in the Drekken Mire.
On his last night in Lyridock, a wild ranger slipped into his cell at the temple. Frozen drew his hammer, but put it away quickly as he realized this was one of the men who had accompanied him in his doomed journey to gain allies for Kaldorimm. The man was grim. He held out a hand with a small parchment, sealed in the wax of the elder families of the Tulnwood. Frozen took it and opened it, but when he looked up to ask of the man why he had come, he was already gone.
He looked down at the parchment and read the words he had prayed, fervently, would not come to pass:
“Your clan is no more. The greenskins destroyed all. Our rangers have found no survivors.”
Frozen left the following morning for Sanctum.
A Hero falls…
Frozen was volunteered for Sanctum’s Hope by Milgurn Ironroot II as the dwarven representative on their fateful mission to secretly visit the Witch of North Drekken. Duty-bound and ready to aid his adopted brothers-in-arms, Frozen defended the company through their initial encounters with disensouled zombies and winged grave drakes, as they struggled to reach the Witch’s hut.
However, after beginning their dread march to Kalgorash, they encountered a black dragon wyrmling leading a band of guard drakes. This encounter with the drakes would prove to be Frozen’s last. Doing everything in his power to stave off the ferocious raptor-like creatures and keep Sanctum’s Hope from failing, he sacrificed himself so that they might live to get to the fabled city of the dragonkin.
Punctured, torn, and dead, the company was forced to build him a hasty cairn for burial and press on: to tarry longer would have meant Frozen’s death would be in vain.
A Hero rises, again!
With the danger of the dragonkin invasion averted, and the Witch’s instructions for the destruction of the Monolith of Dura carried out, Frozen’s body was recovered by Sanctum’s Hope.
With great dignity, Crag carried Frozen’s lifeless body as Hope escorted him back to the hallowed halls of Moradin’s temple in Sanctum. The priests of Moradin prayed with hammers of thunder to their lord to re-forge the soul of this anointed champion, and restore him to life.
Their prayers were granted.
Frozen awoke from the sleep of death, invigorated, renewed, and fundamentally changed. His great physical strength was gone, bled out by his tenure in the rock of the earth. In its place, wisdom and strength of will radiated.
Where once, Frozen’s strength, supported by Moradin, carried him through the tasks appointed him, he faced the world now with Moradin’s grace and radiance.