It is said of the Whetstone-Tuatha insignia that the silver “W” symbolic of their commitment to quality; however, that claim is hotly debated by almost every other Dwarven clan. The house of Dwarrownase is one such clan, come from nobility, who had the means to pursue what would become the mega-corporation into the age of space travel and colonization. And while they never had the growth, the success, or the wide-spread recognition of Whetstone-Tuatha, their business never suffered; the Dwarrownase even established a handful of mining operations (and even a factory) off-world. To those who know them, their crafts and machines are renowned for their uniqueness as well as being some of the finest works on Nasca—the Motherrock—though they lack the mass production capabilities of the Whetstone-Tuatha. To that end, the Dwarrownase have earned a reputation as a “mom & pop” corporation. If one hails from the Motherrock, they have likely heard of Dwarrownase. Their pride in their craftsmanship is rivaled only by that which they have for their large (even by Dwarf standards) noses—a tradition dating back to the clan’s founding, though it is not entirely understood by outsiders.
History, Hearth, and Hammer
Loremasters and scribes of the Motherrock are likely familiar with the stories behind this clan of Dwarven nobles. Legend has it the Dwarrownase, as it would be known, traces its earliest roots back to Schnauze who apprenticed under the master smith Jimi “the Durante” during the Age of Exploration. Of his many works, all worthy of Dwarven song, there was one Jimi named his true masterpiece; the very forge from which came all things that he had made: the Arkanhearth. A marvel of engineering and enchantment, it captured the heat of a supernova in its making and gave off a faint scent of ozone when the weapon being forged was at a perfect temperature and purity. The young Schnauze’s large nose made detecting the ozone all the easier, allowing him to highly attune his craft. Because of this, the Arkanhearth became known by another name: Ulf Akator, or in the common tongue, the Olfactory. After years of Jimi’s instruction, Schnauze made his masterpiece: a mighty, two-handed hammer—the grandest and largest of its kind, yet perfect of balance and not overly cumbersome—the size symbolic of the nose of the apprentice of the master and the hearth.
The Rise of a Legend
It was during these days in the Fifth Age that the Eladrin came from across the Sea, as cartographers mapping the world, but it was also the time when Drow, the Dark Elves, emerged from beneath the surface of the earth to wage war against the races above. In the midst of the long, bloody years of the conflict, Jimi fell in battle. Schnauze, filled with sorrow and rage, named his weapon “Durante” in memory of his fallen master, and took to the Drow with a newfound bloodlust. His deeds were great and many, earning the battle-hardened Dwarf much renown, and it was said the Drow faltered at the sight of the hammer, Durante. Even to the present day, those who know the legends wonder if it was Schnauze who made the hammer great, or if he was made great by the hammer. When the Drow were finally pushed back, the cost was immense, especially for the Dwarves, now bitter because of how little aid they received from the other races for their vigilance below Nasca. Once the Dwarves almost entirely withdrew from the surface, Schnauze took up Jimi’s place and founded his house. He would become Schnauze I, wielder of the great Durante, Lord of Dwarrownase. His hammer would be passed down from father to son for the ages to come. It is said that an ancient power resides deep within the weapon.
The Age of Stars
With rise of the Thirteenth Age came the discovery that magic could be used to help the peoples of Nasca literally reach for the stars. A handful of individuals (such as the Dwarf, Sir Morlin Stonemantle of the Platinum Whetstone, and Lord Ceylon Tuatha of the Eladrin order of the Children of Tuatha) foresaw the changing times the market would bring, and invested in advance. Others noticed the trends and followed suit, though they did not become the wide-spread mega-corporations of those who entered the market before they. The Lord of Dwarrownase, Schnauze (VII), Son of Khonk, and his son Knare were one of the few houses to do this and not only have their business survive but be successful in its own right; Schnauze, however, would not live to see the fruits of his labor, leaving Knare and his sons, Knostril and Nasil, to manage the affairs. Despite the Dwarrownase fortune paling in comparison to that of the Platinum Whetstone, the Olfactory ensured they were sought for special projects. They could often turn a profit on a handful of commissions alone.
Once the portals of the Shardmind Hub appeared in the sky, bringing about the boom space travel and colonization had become, the dragons grew eager to exert their dominance over the prosperity of the galactic community that had sprung up in the 250 years (approximately) since the dawning of the age. Many Dwarves, content to remain on their “Motherrock” and desiring to claim the planet for themselves, were eager to see the dragons off-world. A general order was issued by Briganan Earthroot—known as the Planet King—to all Dwarves to aid in the arming of the dragons, even going so far as to build massive ships, but some were not happy with this decision, and even outright refused. When the captains of the Planet King arrived on the doorstep of Dwarrownase, they were promptly turned away by Lord Knare and his kin; so strong was their conviction no good could come from dealing with the wyrms, even if it meant their mass exodus off-world. The king was furious but there was enough of an opposition that he was unwilling to commit any resources to move against it while the dragons waged their war in the Shardmind Hub. He would not forget the transgressions of the opposing clans, and of the Dwarrownase in particular in which he lusted after the Olfactory.
The Exile of a Young Lord
Several years later, the dust had settled, truces were made, and the Emerald Council was formed within the newly dubbed Wyrmweb Station. A young Knostril, the eldest son of Knare, had entered the years of adulthood (by Dwarven standards) and was ready and eager to come unto his heirloom, the legendary hammer of his clan. He did not understand his father’s apparent hesitation. He was more than prepared to prove his worthiness and defend his home from the Planet King and his ilk with the mighty Durante! He tried being patient, but that eventually wore thin, causing a degree of tension and estrangement between father and son.
One day, in the dead of the night, Knostril was awoken from his slumber by rumbling and two guards who told him they had orders to escort him, his brother, and his mother safely out of the mountain. The Dwarrownase was being overrun by the forces of the Planet King. But why was Lord Knare ordering his two sons away and not summoning them to his side? Surely they had prepared for such an eventuality. Where was he? Where was the hammer? Much to his great protest, Knostril was escorted from his chambers and joined with his mother and brother. Fate, however, was cruel that day as an explosion forced a ceiling to collapse, separating him from his family, and his guards were later killed covering his escape. With his home swarming with enemy soldiers and also not knowing if his family were alive or dead, Knostril knew he would have to live to fight another day. He took a secret shuttle to the Motherrock’s moon and appealed to the Monarchs for aid. Remembering the commissions the Dwarrownase had done for them in the past, King Darvill and Queen Amelia weren’t sure how much aid they could offer what with the political turmoil and myriad affairs of the Emerald Council. They couldn’t and wouldn’t just rise up and go to war with the Motherrock despite the promises of handsome repayment made by the wrathful and grieving Dwarf. The Human Icon advised Knostril his best bet was to go into hiding for the time being–somewhere far beyond the reach of the Planet King.
Knostril would eventually find himself on the Ferrosa colony with little more than the clothes on his back and what little money he had left over for the journey, gifted to him by the Monarchs. He had no home, no title (at least that could be used openly), no connections, and he dared not make who he really was known–even if he could, would the name Dwarrownase mean anything so far out in the galaxy? He was simply Knostril, and he had to start over. He eventually took a position as a colony guard… run by his old competitors, the Whetstone-Tuatha. The irony and humility was complete. He was wracked with grief for his family and was simultaneously angry with his father. Why was he ordered to be sent away? For surely, it would’ve been better to die than survive with nothing to his name. And Durante… if he had to flee, why not send the hammer with his son to keep it out of the vile reach of the Planet King? None of it made any sense! And thus he spent many years alone with his thoughts and his internal brooding.
But in time, the young Dwarf steeled himself, remember his purpose: to live and fight another day. He would rise from the ashes as his forefather, Lord Schnauze I, rose from nothing before him. He would not let his noble line die in shame with a whisper. And as Schnauze I avenged his master Jimi, he too would avenge his fallen family and return their honor one hundred fold! Even if it took him the rest of his life, the exile was resolved to do so, powered by his anger and his hatred for the Planet King. He would wait; he would plan; he would work his way up the ladder and make connections; he would do whatever it would take. He would never forgive, he would never forget, and he would take back his home and his heirloom with such a vengeance as to be worthy of song!
Knostril, Son of Knare, Son of Schnauze, Rightful Wielder of the Great Durante, Lord in Exile
Knostril has become hardened in the years since his exile–in more ways than one, colony life being what it is. He’s always been a quiet individual but at times he is almost hermit-like. Knostril may be gruff and curt, but he’s typically respectful around others. He does, however, have a general distrust of all dragon-kind–not surprising given his background, of course–and avoids associating with even the Dragonborn when he can help it, even though many are no longer affiliated with the great wyrms. When he does get surly, it’s usually because someone is trying his patience. He’s a very “no-nonsense” person, taking what he does seriously, knowing his place as a guard and firmly believing in duty. He becomes incredibly frustrated when things aren’t as they should.
Being from nobility, the Dwarf possesses a certain pride which can be seen even in the way he carries himself. And as any Dwarf, Knostril is proud of his beard, but as a Darrownase he is proud of his large nose all the more! His is a pride that persists despite what humility he has learned to temper it with over the years. Even with his quiet nature he can be opinionated, and when he does have something to say there is almost this expectation his viewpoint or assertion will be will be considered, or even implemented. He is, however, not the most charismatic and is frustratingly aware of this fact.
Despite his grim and disillusioned outlook, shaped by his past experience, what idealism still remains can be found in Knostril’s strong sense of duty and honor. Though he does prefer recompense for his assistance, he will lend his aid if he deems the need great and worthy enough. He is passionate in all he does and his resolve is stalwart–something which is likely fueled all the more by his desire for vengeance and the return of his heirloom, Durante. It is an obsession the Dwarf keeps to himself. He does not warm up to others easily. Neither his trust nor his friendship are lightly given, but neither is there a friend more true nor loyalty more unshakable.
At the start of the campaign, he is well acquainted with two other colony residents, Cassie and Julie, and he is ordered to keep his eye on some visitors during the Touchdown-Festival.