The Story of Audhild Brightforge.
The Brightforge family of the Ulysses Dwarf Mound was not famous, but was also not unknown by any means. Many citizens and travelers knew the Brightforge name, and knew the high quality they could expect from the renowned smiths.
Audhild was born into the family unwillingly, as we all are, and she took to the trade as a youth, oblivious to the rest of existence. For her first twenty years she went to school, made friends, learned to smith, and became involved in the family business.
She was a fantastic smith. Dwarves are known for their affinity for stone and metal, and the Brightforge family could work with the best of them. Audhild had been gifted the family skill set, and was making excellent use of it.
She loved working in the forge; orange light gleaming off her face, the smell of heat and metal, and the methodical rhythm of the hammer strikes. It was as if she were a member of an orchestra, that manufactured goods instead of music.
She was so proud of her production. She would make shields and armor, blades, warhammers, even simple tools and nails. Each completed product gave her a swell of pride, and a sense of ease and suitability. Yet something was missing.
Audhild did not feel like the divines were calling her to the family trade. She had not felt as though she had been led astray, no she felt more that despite all her prowess, it was not her destiny.
For a while, Audhild worked and thought about what it was that she wanted, or needed as time went on. It became something almost sinister, that clawed at her consciousness as she tried to focus and work. During such distress was one of the few times she had completely botched a project.
She was working on a small holy symbol. She was crafting a set of them per an order from the Temple of Good. She had struck the symbol at an angle, and while still recognizable, it was irreparably bent. She tucked the bent symbol into her pockets, and spent the remainder of her day focusing.
She tried to tune out distractions, but a handful of guards entered the shop and began yelling at her uncle about some of the chain mail they had produced. They claimed it was faulty and showed it to the smiths, who easily pointed out how the armor suffered damage as it should, and that they should avoid using chain mail against giants and other brutes who would smash against it, rendering its protection moot, and the rings bent and broken.
Audhild looked at the soldiers, their battered armor, and their battered bodies, and had an epiphany. She went back to work, completed the order of holy symbols, and went to deliver it herself.
She carried the box to the Temple of Good, and informed the steward of her purpose after entering the sacred hall. She also requested to speak with the high cleric.
The steward took the box for her, and instructed her to wait. She sat on a pew in the entry hall, and did so. While she waited, Audhild watched people come and go. She payed attention to what was going on around her. She closed her eyes, and prayed.
After fifteen minutes had passed, she opened an eye to look towards the sound of footsteps coming from the hall that the steward had gone down. The high cleric walked up to her, performed a ritualistic motion, and greeted her.
She told the high cleric her name, her duties, her purpose in coming here, and also revealed her disbelief in the eventual failure of even her own craft. She had once been so proud to provide the soldiers with their armor and shields, but seeing soldiers whose armor failed them…
She could not continue, creating protections only for them to eventually fail. She wanted to be able to protect people entirely. She was well on her way to becoming a master armorsmith, and would be able to create some of the strongest defenses of the realm. She now turned to defenses that were beyond the realm.
The high cleric offered that only the life giving forces of love and goodness would protect someone any better than the armor hammered by a Brightforge. He told her that she could stay as an apprentice to the Temple, and that if her will was strong, she would be able to learn.
Fifteen years went by. The Brightforge family continued to smith, although business took a small hit after the public learned that Audhild was no longer working for them actively.
She had lived at the Temple since that day. She hadn’t gone back home, even once, despite being in the same, albeit grand, city. Her family was invited officially on the day she became ordained a cleric of life. Afterwards, some of her family came to try to visit her, and they met happily. She wasn’t estranged from her family, she had just taken a different path.
She finally was able to come and go as she pleased, and was tasked with spreading goodness through missions to other parts of the realm. She accepted her assignment, and went off, leaving home for the first time.
She wore a steel breastplate she had made herself to protect her body, and had her faith to protect her soul.
She was confident. She was proud. She was a dwarf in her prime, supported both physically and spiritually, she felt strong enough and secure enough to accomplish anything.
She left the dwarf mound with a spring in her step, and that bent holy symbol hanging from a chain around her neck. A warm smile on her face, and hot eager blood running through her veins, Audhild Brightforge was prepared for the world.
Audhild Brightforge is a female Dwarf Cleric in her mid 30’s, taking the Life Domain.
She is stalwart, and logical, but also thoughtful and deeply invested in her faith of goodness. She is consistently positive and optimistic, almost to a fault, and feels confident and secure knowing that she is in control of everything protecting and healing her and her allies. Even when her fantastic armor fails, she has the providence to heal any wounds.
She comes from a wealthy, respected, skillful family and has endured very little hardship, thus she sees life as something to life all the way through, and preserve, which she does both with her armor and divine magic.
She is convinced that this is her path. She was successful at smithing, as well as learning the way of the cleric. Her life has lead her to come to be protective and preserving of life such that she ignores danger and underestimates risk because she is so confident this is what she must do, and the power of goodness is with her.
She is adamantly loyal to her family, as well as the Ulysses Dwarf Mound, and the Temple of Goodness, and will do anything to protect them.
Audhild is most often cheerful, but rational, and understands the world as a dwarf who grew up around smiths would. Everything is measured, calculated, and tempered; however, there is also a certain feel to things, a fire if you will.
Her favorite color is forge-hot orange, the color of metal as it heats. It’s also the color of the sun, a great source of warmth, which is something she values. Audhild doesn’t particularly like the cold although she is thick skinned, and almost never complains of heat. She also values close relationships, and warms up to people easily, though she is not naive, nor careless in her choosing of companions.
Her favorite food is slow roasted boar, something she was lucky to enjoy a few times growing up due to her families reputation, but nothing common to dwarven society.
Audhild Brightforge; a dwarf, a smith, a mighty cleric; as sure of her faith as her warhammer strikes; goodness will always prevail.