Baldin Ironside was a controversial figure in the dwarven race. Beloved and seen as a wise religious war hero by some, and as a traitor and heretic by others. This was mainly due to Baldin’s strong and at times out of the norm ideas and beliefs.
Baldin was given away to a humble farming farming family by his Grandaxe and Frostbeard parents. Being raised by Rù Firebeard and Chelsea Treebeard, two dwarves that lived far away from the lands of Urguan. During his youth the young dwarf loved nature and the wild. At the young age of 10 Baldin saw his parents were killed by a raiding band of Uruks from Krugmar. Baldin was saved by Rodrik Sharpblade a nomadic Farlander. Rodrik brought the young dwarf in and accepted him as one of his own family. The human gave the task of caring for Baldin to his son Murk Sharpblade as the man already had a son (Kord) and a daughter (Talia). Talia and Baldin were very close friends as they both shared a love of nature.
Later Childhood (The Fringe)
In the Fringe the Sharpblades were fighting for the Crimson-Silver alliance. At the time Baldin was 25 years old. Due to the fact that the dwarves were part of the Krughanistan Bloc hence fighting against the Crimson-Silver alliance many in the Sharpblade clan felt distrust towards Baldin. The one who distrusted Baldin the most was Kord who challenged him to a death duel, believing as well that Baldin’s relationship with his sister was brainwashing her to feel sympathy towards the dwarves. Baldin was not a particularly good warrior but thanks to dwarven resilience he was able to take down Kord. Despite having killed her brother Talia still loved Baldin. They married soon after the duel. Some members of the clan did not approve of the weeding between the young dwarf and the human girl, but when it came down to it Talia’s grandfather approved the wedding.
Teen years (Thales)
Here Baldin would have his first children Haddi and Boldo. Apart from this happy event the rest of Baldin’s life in Thales was very simple, where he mainly focused on farming and taking care of his family. During this time many Sharpblades were leaving their clan to become formal citizens of nations.
In Athera the Sharpblades diminished in numbers and settled close to the borders of Urguan. Baldin would soon lose his wife to the a rise in undead activity in the area. The undead attacked the Sharpblade’s camp killing most of its members including his wife Talia. Baldin was devastated. He took his two twins and left settling in the borders of Urguan for safety. He was able to find a small plot of land where he was able to farm illegally without Urguan’s government to notice. Every time Baldin visited the capital he had to decline the invitations to join the Legion as he was not interested in the dwarven race as he himself was not raised as a dwarf. One day Baldin left with his daughter to the market and left his son to watch over the farm. When they returned from selling their goods Baldin and Haddi found the decapitated body of Boldo on the ground with a note clearly written by orcs from Krugmar. Baldin was furious and he went to the Legion to ask for justice to be made, but to no avail. During this time the Grand Kingdom of Urguan, Krugmar, and Oren were all helping each other fight off the undead from the land. Because of this he decided to leave his only surviving child with a group of farmers, leaving to hunt uruks as a way to avenge his son. Haddi would never forgive her father for having abandoned her, and Baldin would never forgive himself either.
Soon after his departure from Urguan Baldin encountered a band of Uruks from the Iron Uzg. Baldin was able to kill one of them but when the Ologs that accompanied the group intervened the battle became very one sided.With their raw power the Ologs were able to capture Baldin. Captured and chained, he was then taken to the lands of the Iron Uzg. In these lands Baldin mainly worked as a slave miner and gladiator. Baldin was never a legendary fighter but he was able to defeat his adversaries with quite the little effort, mainly as he was faced against other slaves, most of whom were farmers like himself, but who lacked the natural dwarven strength.
During a feast were Baldin was obligated to serve as a servant he met two other slaves that happened to be elves; Faen the wood elf, and Erniel a snow elf. The three of them grew close and planned a way to escape from their captors. With the help of dwarf and elven ingenuity the three descendants were able to escape. His new companions took him to the elven city of Cerulin where Baldin resided for some years helping hunt down orcs with anyone that was willing. During his time with the elves Baldin had three children with Erniel; Ermageon, Exmord Stormfist, and Belrig Stormfist.
When Urguan finally declared war on the Iron Uzg Baldin was ready to return and fight the beings that killed his son. He once again abandoned his wife and his three children and left to Urguan. When he returned he found out he was the son of Renlak Grandaxe and Tulip Frostbeard. The Grandaxes took Baldin in for a while as he thought was given time to decide if he wanted to become a member of the clan, having him stay in Kal’Eknar. In no time the Legion recruited Baldin during the war against the Iron Uzg. As the years passed and the war continued Baldin was becoming more and more patriotic, and more and more like a true Dwed of Urguan.
It was during the battle of the Grandaxe village (Kal’Eknar) where Baldin’s life took a turn. In this battle the dwarves were at the wall defending the village against the orc hordes of the Iron Ugz and their allies. While the dwarves stayed in the wall shooting arrows at the orcs Baldin ignored command and led a charge against the Uruks. Only wearing his leather boots and his cheap sword at hand, the dwarf charged fearlessly towards the enemy. After the battle the Legion left Baldin for dead, but he lived. He was bloody, scared, and his face was half burnt, but he lived. After the battle he was proclaimed by the Frostbeard as a war hero and a living legend. From that day onward he would be known by the Frostbeards as Baldin “Ironside” hero of the battle of Bloody/Tall grass. Feeling the appreciation from his mother’s family Baldin joined the Frostbeards.
Hellio’s poem of the battle of the bloody grass:
Baldin Frostbeard "The sun was setting low but our moral was high As we sang the song of Baldin our voices reached the sky!
Our fort was strong But their forces grew Trebuchets were deadly with all the rock they threw
The walls started shaking As the dwarfs began to fall In all of that chaos Only one dwarf stood tall
Baldin prepared for battle He charged at full force Even if he died now He had no remorse
A great fight occurred Dwarven bloodlust was fed But Baldin was armorless And we thought him dead
The battle was over Orcs fell like newts But Baldin returned With only his boots
The orcs were falling back Our victory was grand So let this tale last Until the end of our land!" -Hellio Frostbeard
After multiple years in Urguan as a Frostbeard Baldin became friends with two very popular dweds; Skippy Irongut, and Verthaik Frostbeard. These two great figures ran for kingship of Urguan. In the elections Skippy Irongut won and in anger Verthaik Frostbeard started the First Frostbeard Rebellion. Baldin had his back against the wall; Fight for the Mountain Monarchy against Urguan and fight his father’s clan, or fight for Urguan and betray his mother's clan. These were the two obvious choices but Baldin chose a third option which was self exile.
Baldin departed and traveled around the world for 100 years helping small towns with beasts, spreading the faith, and overall trying to be a good dwarf. Even after the Civil War ended Baldin did not return as five years later in 1525 his friend Skippy was murdered. Suffering from the pain of losing his two friends he refuse to return going back.
Adulthood (II) (Axios)
Many dwarves were surprised to see that Baldin had returned. Some (Frostbeards) claimed that he was brought by the Brathmordakin to help the clergy, and he himself said that Wyrvun commanded him to return home. As soon as he returned home Baldin created a statue for Wyrvun on top of the Frostbeard Clan Hall in Kal'Omith, a shrine to Dungrimm in the wilds, and a shrine of Belka. It was a bright time for Urguan and for the Frostbeards that lived in it.
During this time Aldal Ireheart named Baldin Prophet of the Brathmordakin. His first years as prophet Baldin was faced with the spread of Korvad worshippers in the kingdom. During these years he was reunited with two of his sons from Irnabel Frostbeard; Gardalf and Barle. With the help of his sons Baldin was able to capture and kill many of Korvad’s followers that plagued Urguan. He also created and became the leader of the Bear guard, whose job it was to protect the Clan Father of the Frostbeards. He incorporated Throri and a young Edel Silvervein, giving them the titles of Warmheart and honorable respectively.
Baldin’s faith was shaken when one day out of nowhere the high prophet Morug banned the public worship of Wyrvun, the patron god of the Frostbeard clan at the time. Baldin’s Shrine of Wyrvun was burnt down to the ground. Angered Baldin went to argue with Morug, he did not change his mind. Baldin accused Morug of heresy for burning down a holy image of a lesser god. Morug took the insult to heart and challenged Baldin to an honor duel. Morug was clearly a better fighter than Baldin. Morug was known for one of if not the best dwarven fighter of all times, but still Baldin’s pride like Morug’s was unshaken. Morug stood victorious. The legendary dwarf was going to kill Baldin, but a cave dwarf that saw the duel asked Morug to spare Baldin as he showed honor and stood for his beliefs. Morug taking the words into consideration asked the crowd weather Baldin should live or die, the people cheered to let Baldin live, Morug accepted the will of the people and allowed Baldin to live. However, Morug did want to punish Baldin for his worship of Wyrvun. At first Morug was about to cut Baldin’s beard but he was stopped by the same dwarf that stopped him from killing Baldin. When Morug’s men took the dwarf away he reflected and instead of cutting Baldin’s beard, he sewed his mouth shut with a silver string and then removed him from the clergy. Baldin eventually was able to un-sew his mouth but the humiliation and hate for Morug stayed in his heart.
Baldin alongside other Frostbeards were deemed a heretic by many. Baldin rebuilt his shrine of Wyrvun 3 times, and the 3 times they were burnt down. When the Frostbeards eventually left due to the anger they felt towards Urguan so did Baldin. There he was named High Prophet by Kerwyr Frostbead so that he could lead the clan’s faith.
After King Bastion Ireheart’s suicide the council of Hammers assembled to choose a new High king of Urguan. Soon before in Jornheim, the Frostbeards were having a meeting. In this meeting Oyvind Frostbeard (later Goldhand) the Grand Marshal of the dwarven Legion proposed that the Frostbeards should take their rightful place in Urguan putting a Frostbeard dynasty on the throne. Kerwyr agreed with the Grand Marshal. Baldin was oathbound to the Clan Father so he did voice his acceptance or denial of the plan. At this meeting the Frostbeards voted for their king, the runners being Kerwyr and Oyvind. Kerwyr won by a landslide, and so the Frostbeards marched to the senate of Hammers where they proclaimed Kerwyr as High King of Urguan. This undemocratic claim by the Frostbeards angered many of the other dwarves who soon pulled out their blades. Baldin did not want to spill Grandaxe blood, but Kerwyr still had him under oath. The allies of both the Urguan clans (Courland), and of the Frostbeards (Flays (Romstuns)). With their might the Frostbeards were able to smite the other Clans and their allies but they were also helped by the incompetence of a Courlandic soldier that mishandled Alchemic Fire and burned a large part of his own forces to death. There were no Frostbeard deaths, however they were not proud of what they had done. Baldin was no different. This event (Slaughter of the Senate) sparked the throne wars after the Frostbeards couped the city of Kal’Omith.
Baldin remained loyal to the Frostbeard’s new king for most of the war. He accepted Kerwyr’s religious changes which he then had to spread to the other clan members. During the war Frostbeard were winning, they had the numbers, the capital, and the resources. However, ever since the Frostbeard ocupation of the dwarven capital Kal’Omith was empty. Kerwyr saw this and named Baldin Steward of Kal’Omith. Kewyr ordered Baldin to repopulate Kal’Omith and was given an honorable discharge as captain of the Bear Guard.
It was not until Kerwyr started to believe the Frostbeards were not actually descendants of Urguan that Baldin’s loyalty started to falter. Not just for the falsity of the claim but also because he stated that the Frostbeard were superior dwarves to the descendants of Urguan and should kill any clan that should oppose them. During Kerwyr’s speech Baldin made it known to his king that he did not feel like that was the right course of action. Due to having grandaxe blood in his veins aldin made the case that genocide of clans that would not bend the knee to the Frostbeards was not a suitable course of action. Kerwyr reassured Baldin that if they were acting in a wrongful way their patron god Wyrvun would let them know. At the end Kerwyr made it clear to the rest of the clan that Baldin’s doubt just came from his mixed blood, but that at the end of the day he is still a Frostbeard Legend and will always help the clan.
Not soon after Baldin received an invitation from the clergy leaders of Urguan to meet in the flying city of Arcadia to talk about the future of the dwarven religion. After much debate about the course of events Zahrer Irongrinder used a magic stone to summon a portal that lead to the realm of Wyrvun. Here Baldin was able to converse shortly with Wyrvun. Wyrvun explained to Baldin that he was not a Brathmordakin and that the only thing he truly wishes for the dwarves is for unity and the end to kin slaying. When his lord said this Baldin’s world was turned around, however he knew what to do.
After listening to his lord’s wishes Baldin led the gathered armies of the clans of Urguan to Kal’Omith where he opened the city gates and allowed them to enter the city. When the news reached Kerwyr he was enraged at Baldin’s betrayal of his “king” and banned him from Jornheim, dishonored his name, and branded him as a traitor to his clan. During the retake of the city Baldin found an orphan boy whose parents had been killed by an Urguanian soldier. The name of the child was Norkai (Cloud in dwarven) but Baldin re-named him Kerwyr II, as he still had great respect for the king he had just betrayed.
Baldin, despite being hated by his clan and his once friend Kerwyr, loved them both. Even after Kerwyr’s thugs chopped-off his arm while he protected King Gror Ireheart who they attempted to kill, Baldin still loved the dwarf. He knew that Kerwyr was a victim of unfortunate events, he knew that the death of his daughter was a devastating and maddening experience. For that he wanted Kerwyr to be forgiven of his sins, but at the end of the war, when Kerwyr was handed to King Gror by his own clan. His friend Kerwyr was executed for treason.
The Frostbeards blamed Baldin for Kerwyr’s death. He was banished from his home in Jornheim along side of his new adopted child. He turned back to Urguan and with the suport of the High Prelate Fili Grandaxe created the order of the flame a religious order meant to clear the sins of any dwed that joined it. Baldin had only one thing left in his life his adoptive son and squire Kerwyr II. Baldin taught Kerwyr all he knew about the Brathmordakin, teaching his adoptive son that in a way he was a child of Dungrimm, a child whose identity was molded by war and death. This child would eventually form the Steelhearts a dwarven subculture based on the teachings of his adoptive father and his philosophies at the time.
As the years went by Baldin saw how what he sacrificed his honor to stop which was tyranny came back to haunt Urguan. Everywhere he looked everything was controlled by the Irongrinders, it was not until Zahrer Irongrinder became high king of Urguan that Baldin fell to his lowest point. That is the moment he saw that Urguan itself corrupted the dwed clans. Because he was sworn by oath to protect Urguan, he could not join the Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah to try to depose the Irongrinders and allow Urguan to flourish.
Baldin sent his son Kerwyr to join Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah so that one day he could use it to help bring back the Urguan Baldin knew back in the day. However, when Kerwyr II joined Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah their king Verthaik II Frostbeard sent assassins to kill Baldin. They were successful. After his death Baldin became a ghost. During this time he haunted Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah in particular he haunted Morug who he still hated.
Adulthood (III) (Atlas)
In Atlas Baldin’s spirit became mad. He wanted to help the dwarves but he did not possess a body to be able to help in any important way. In his search for a body he found and became afiliated with an order of mystics. Within this order there were Gehrtarir and Quinn two mystics that helped transform Baldin into a Paleknight (Paleknights). Thanks to the fact that Baldin was friends with those that helped him get the form he was mostly free to do with his powers as he wished. However, the mystics did use him to hunt down rogue members of the order. This gave him the nickname Baldin “the executioner”. The longer Baldin stayed an undead the more his personality changed. It came to the point that Baldin started looking for revenge on both the Frostbeards and Urguan. Due to this he tried to infiltrate Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah becoming part of the kingsguard for both; Hamnil Frostbeard, and later to Edel Silvervein. During this time Baldin created the order of the Mark in Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah, where he offered people immortality and any other wish if they were willing to help other members of the Mark achieve their wish. The mark spread past Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah at its high having around 1000 members. There were even clan fathers and magic users that joined the ranks. With the eventual fall of Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah Baldin went to the Confederation of Hammers where he hid as he had no use for his order now that the Kingdom Kaz’Ulrah had fallen. When the Confederation and Bogrin merged to form the Kingdom of Agnarum Baldin came out of isolation and hid inside of Aganarum as a magical stone. There he gave advice under the alias of the Oracle Stone to anyone who came to ask for it. This way Baldin could keep watch on the clans of his descendants; Stormfits, and Metalfists.
One day Baldin left Agnarum to try to start a new life away from his past. However he became unconscious in the middle of a forest. When he woke up he was mortal once again with no recollection of the past decades ever since his death. There he was found by Fraye Ragnhild Cottonwood, who tended to him. With time they both fell in love and got married. Baldin alongside his wife joined Hefrumm (a union of Forest dwarf clans) which was under the relatively new Kingdom of Agnarum. Here Baldin became a shepherd and was later released from his vows to the Order of the Flame by the High Prelate Fili Grandaxe who later disbanded it. The memory loss of so many years of his life and the constant nightmares had Baldin worried. Because of this he started looking for someone to help him regain the memories he had lost. However, it was to no avail. Not late after that Baldin found out about his daughter's (Haddi's) death.
Adulthood (IV) (Arcas)
In Arcas Baldin and his wife and his two young children: Ursula Cottonwood-Frostbeard, and Orson Cottonwood-Frostbeard, lived in Hefrumm the village of Forest dwarves under the jurisdiction of the Under realm of Urguan. In the village Baldin was made Windcaller, a Hefrumm title give to a respected dwarf who is to pass down the story of the dwarves orally to other younger dwarves.
In Arcas Baldin found out what had happened to him by getting into contact with the mystic that made him a Paleknigh: Quthartis. He told him about his time as an undead and his time in Atlas. Baldin decided to work with the synod and Quthartis as a way to repay them for helping him during his lowest times. During this time Baldin also became a member of the clergy reaching the rank of Preceptor second only to the high preceptor in the dwarven clergy. Eventually Baldin was allowed to be taught the magical art of Mysticism by the Barrowlords of the Synod. He also helped trying to get Urguan to forgive the Frostbeards for their past crimes and allow them back into the Kingdom of Urguan.
The 13th of the Grand Harvest, year 1715; High Chief Bjor 'Sugar Tits' Cottonwood died turned to stone by arla creatures, sacrificing himself to save a couple of forest dwarves. This was a harsh date for Baldin as Bjor was a close friend of his and all his family. The funeral of the Cottonwood was organized and carried along by Baldin with all races and all types of dwarves assisting the death of the dwarf. Baldin would propose making Bjor a Paragon for his great deeds in life and his honor and bravery in death. Bjor would be made paragon in the year 1716. The next year Baldin would become the High Preceptor of Da Kirkja Dverga. In 1719 Baldin crowned Atandt Irongrinder as the new Under King of the Underealm of Urguan.
In his time as High Preceptor He focused on detaching the religion from politics and protecting the religion from being used as a tool for the king or anyone else. For the protection of the clergy and for it to be able to do its job to the best of its abilities he created a couple of orders which welcomed individuals that were not directly part of the clergy but were willing to help serve the Brathmordakin. Baldin also focused on purging any corruption from within the clergy to make sure its believes are not corrupted. During his time as High Preceptor the clergy reached numbers rarely seen in the clergy. He spearheaded controversial decisions about the clergy like accepting the members of the clergy of Ulrah as default members of the Kirkja Dverga legitimizing their religious leaders. Under his leadership Dutesli Treebeard was made a Hero of the Faith. Baldin stepped down on the year 1728 choosing to return to his duties as Preceptor and founding the order of the Shadow Priests. His greatgreat grand child Lyra Goldhand would take up the mantel of High Preceptor after him as she was elected by the council of Preceptors. In 1731 after Lyra's departure, Baldin was chosen by the council of Preceptors to become once again the High Preceptor. Some years later he fell ill and made Norli Starbreaker his Herald of Yemekar making Norli the dwarf in charge while he was sick. Some years later when Baldin recovered he held a meeting where once again he stepped down and a vote was made to make Norli Starbreaker the new High Preceptor. After the election Norli made Baldin into his Herald of Yemekar.
Not having heard news from the Synod order of Mystics Baldin decided to visit their old base of operations. There Baldin found a powerful Frost Which and her blood mages. They opened a portal to the Elemental planes of the Spirit Realm and tossed Baldin inside to suffer unespicable pain at the hands of the Inferis that inhabited that plain.. Eventually Baldin was able to escape his ordeal thanks to a rogue blood mage. After this encounter Baldin’s health continued to deteriorate until the point he was obligated to step down as Preceptor and Herald.
Over time Baldin started to loose his mystic powers and his health started to return. With a new youthfulness and renewed belief in the dwarven gods Baldin started to investigate the runic symbols of his ancestors and became a seer of the Brathmordakin. The High Preptor Norli Starbreaker did not approve of having Baldin teach divination to the people of Urguan as he did not like the fact Baldin refused to allow the clergy to get directly involved in it. After a harsh conversation Baldin was removed completely from the clergy and as a last act Baldin posted his 30 thesis on the door of the Temple of the Brathmordakin as a guideline of what a clergy should be, based on the teachings of him and his mentors.
After this issue Baldin continued his teachings on divination as well as working as a magistrate for the kingdom of Courland.
Like many of his fellow mountain dwarf Baldin was taller than average. He had a distinctive long brown beard. But what he is most known for in his appearance is the burn that covers half of his face and the golem arm he has, both testaments of his sacrifices for the dwarven race.
Compared to other dwarves Baldin was quite tolerant to halfbreeds and other races. Despite this he has an unwavering belief that the dwarven race is holy and that the death of a dwarf should be taken with utmost seriousness. He showed a strict code of conduct he would almost never break which caused him to butt heads with many other dwarves.
Baldin had a lot of descendants most notable: Gimli, Thumril, Norkai, Boreas, and Egoi. However the ancestors of Baldin did not play a big role in his life. Baldin was abandoned by both his parents and the only reason he was able to reunite with the dwarves was because of his necessity to avenge the death of his first born son.
Baldin has played a role in multiple major events in the dwarven race. He was responsible for the end of the 2nd Frostbeard Rebellion by becoming a loyalist and handing back the capital city of the dwarves to the Urguanian forces. Baldin fathered over 20 children some of which became clan fathers and led with his ideals. His beliefs were interpreted and turned into the Steelheart culture by his son Norkai. In his time in the clergy he was the one that proposed to make Bjor into a Paragon of the Brathmordakin.
Baldin’s time as a slave of the Iron Uzg allowed him to learn Blah, the native tongue of the orcs. Baldin’s first wife was a human and also his adoptive sister. Baldin was the first dwarf to have been recorded to have mastered mysticism.