Flames and Steel: The Chromatic War
Tharrison "harry" Balg
Tharrison "Harry" Balg, son of Dozer Balg, son of Dosol Balg
dwarven ranger two-handed weapon fighting (lucerne hammer)
The Balg Clan of Dwarves were not an ancient clan with long line stretching back to when Toraq made the stout people of Doul. The lineage goes back some 400 years as family reckoning tells it. Dosol Balg is the oldest patron of the clan. There is nothing that set this particular Dwarf apart. He was born in the Larian Mountains overlooking the stronghold of Halar. When he became grown Dosol went into Halar looking for a way to make his name. Guides were in demand at the tim for traders and travelers who sought safe passage through the wilds to the capital city Doul. Dosol decided to take up the task. Amid the many treks the middling dwarf began to draw maps and pictures of the plants and animals he saw. Not long after as Halar hit its true stride, Dosol’s maps were in almost higher demand than his services as a guide. With this in mind, it was time to settle down. Wynn Bellringer, very beautiful by dwarf standards with her round face, bright eyes and with her tightly braided red hair, fell for the map-maker and allowed him to court her. Out of the courtship three brothers were born; Demol, Dozer, and Dert.
Demol became a guard to the citadel at Halar. Dert went to Doul to make his name and Dozer wished to follow in Dosol’s path becoming an explorer. Dozer’s aptitude for learning and ability to memorize rote facts made absorbing all the information in his father’s books easy. When not tending his family’s shop, Dozer sought the knowledge of the Elven Rangers that frequented the town. Skeptical at first, as elves are of dwarfs, most of them mocked him and pushed him away. But an elder half-elf ranger felt a kinship with the stalwart Dozer and befriended the dwarf. Dozer was the first Balg to venture into the labyrinthine caves of the Larian Mountains. Like their father, the three boys were stout, stubborn and devoted and none had trouble finding mates. Dozer found his soul mate in a spirited girl with all the intentions to keep the wander lusted man at home, keeping the family shop and furthering their well known skills. The last thing he did before marrying Belle Stonegrinder, was become the first of his clan to take the rite of Gladdringgar; the custom carving your name into the deepest place you’d ever gone underground. Dozer did so in the caves of his youth.
From Dozer and Belle came Tharrison. Tharrison grew up every way like Dozer and Dosol before him. Rarely was the boy home. Of course he learned the trade of map-making. But he was not content to sit home. Belle demanded that at the very least Dozer have the same old Half-elf ranger, Dys’art Derillian, train Tharrison to become a ranger so he would not get killed in the wilds. The son of Dozer was thrilled to become an apprentice ranger. When Tharrison surpassed Dys’art’s expectations, the wizened ranger began instructing the boy in the language of the Blue Earth Dragons, just to see if the boy could do it. Yes he could read and write the strange language quite well but his dwarven tounge was clumsy and stumbled over the flowing vowels and melodic intonations. Even amid his training Tharrison still he spent many days exploring ever deeper into the caves his father told stories of.
One day when the boy was around 11 years old by human reckoning, a terrible fate befell the city of Halar. a group of Red Dragons attacked and burned the city to the ground. But Tharrison was not in the city at the time. He was in the caves. Fate kept this boy alive. On his way back home, Tharrison stumbled upon a badger, wounded and stung, its head stuck in a beehive. Not content to see the animal suffer, he freed the animal, which still fought him as ferociously as it could until exhaustion and the venom set in and she, as was discovered, fainted. Using what knowledge of the plants he’d leaned the Dwarf Ranger treated the stings and bandaged the merely sprained leg and endeavored to take the badger home to nurse back to health. But as Tharrison emerged from the rocky outcrops he saw only flames licking the sky and the red Dragons take to the sky with roars echoing laughter in the dwarf’s ears. Heartbroken, but honor-bound, he swore to find the dragons and get his revenge, killing any other malicious dragon in his wake that he could and set off for Doul, via Shurg in the mountains, to inform his last remaining family what had happened.
Harry has become weary of his travels with the ragtag group that tracking the red dragon flight had led him to. The loss of his longtime friend Scirocco laid heavy on his mind and heart and the mockery of the others hurt is pride just as much. Never the less, Harry thought; his friend went out as any one could hope in this world; fighting. Fighting no less than a mature Red. Harry, with help from the clan of ninjas (though he rarely admits that) had killed the Red that took Scirroco’s life. It was something of a hollow victory.
As of late he was not even sure he wished to stay with the so called “Heroes of Kassadin,” and sought to return to Trinity as soon as possible to recollect his thoughts. The portal as the top of the Library of the Phoenix gave him his chance and he quickly darted through for better or worse.
Sadly there was no refuge to be had inside Trinity’s shattered walls. Something had ravaged the city, memories of Halar flooded back to Harry. Reds had been here. In that moment, seeing the devastation renewed both bitter hatred and reminded Harry of everything he folks had taught him. Too long had be been away from people. His time spent in the wilds neared years and had made him more callous than he realized. Harry darted to the Dwarf section of the city to seek his cousins whom he knew had taken up jobs there.
Stopping to help the injured and to respond to cries for help made the trek arduous and lengthy. Never the less within the Dwarf section he does finds a familiar face. His cousin Eiko, one he always felt could be more like a sister, informed him that his cousins were well and had spread out to be of help throughout the city. She also told him that of all people, his old mentor Dys’art Derillian had come calling only days before.
Immediately Harry pulled the compass from the inside of his shirt and opened the lid. Runes danced around the semi-precious stones inlaid inside the hard rock lid. He closed it and clamped his hands around it tightly. Concentrating hard Harry uttered the words to a spell he didn’t quite fully understand. It was a spell however, Dys’art had instructed him to use if the runes in the compass danced as they were.
Sure enough the wizened old elf appeared from seemingly thin air. Though he barely looked a day older than the days of Harry’s youth, his weary eyes spoke of how the situation had tasked him.
“Glad to see you remember something I taught you.” The elf smirked.
“Teacher,” Harry inclined his head. “What do you ask of me?”
“I take it you are still on your hunt.”
“For the monsters that burned my home and killed my family.” Harry spat angrily.
“And I see Scirocco is no longer with you.”
“He died bravely! Fighting a adult red!” Harry fought back tears. “And I finished the fight!”
“A noble sentiment but you’ve forgotten what I taught you.”
“Your training is all that has kept me alive Teacher. How I have I dishonored you?”
“War with the reds is at hand. We can’t afford to stand idle. We all need allies.”
“Trust the dragons?” Harry frowned.
“you dolt. I have taught you more respect than that! Too quickly you jump to conclusions and accuse.”
“I have fought alongside blues.” Harry’s voice was flat, bordering on defensive.
“I should say you have!” the half-elf smirked. “All your life in fact.”
Harry cocked his head. “Teacher you don’t mean?”
“Correct I am half blue dragon, all along you had no idea.”
Harry bowed his head. “My distrust of the Greens was mis-placed.” He said quietly.
“The Greens are stubborn and reclusive.” Dys’art muttered.
“Mainly I’ve come to remind you. Remind you that your path makes you an outsider as well. Treat others accordingly. You do need allies because not all problems can be solved with that rock-hard skull of yours.” A ball of fur uncurled itself from the shadows in the alley and trotted over. “I also have a someone who wishes to join your quest.”
Harry crouched and extended a hand. The black badger trotted to him, paused, then smelled his hand. Then it opened its mouth and clamped down on Harry’s hand. The Dwarf winced as the creature chewed slightly. Knowing it was a test of mettle he dared not pull away. Besides jerking back now would only cause further pain and damage. Minutes later the creature relented and sat beside Harry. The bleeding dwarf pulled a cloth from his pack and quickly wrapped the injury and while he knew Dys’art could have healed the bite, keeping it was a sign of bond between master and companion.
“Her name is Shirin. Believe it or not she found me and specifically asked for you by name.”
“Shirin,” Harry looked at the black badger, who returned his gaze with her own brown-eyed stare. “I don’t know who you are exactly, but I do know you don’t I?”
The badger brushed against his leg confirming his query.
Having completed his task, the old half-elf disappeared in a flutter of blue wings and vanished from sight. “Be well young dwarf. Terrible things are coming, I hope our paths will cross again.” The words were only in his mind and all he could do was reply in kind and hope his teacher could hear. His teacher’s message and the destruction before him had been enough to galvanize his resolve. Despite the differences each of the group had brought, he needed their help and they needed his. Now that he was sure his family was alive and well, as they could be, he sought out the guild, knowing his friends would sooner or later return.
Side Story: The wolves:
When harry was about 16, a few years prior to the destruction of Halar he and his companion, whom he cared for deeply, Kurika Cordier, were out exploring, deep in the mountains, deeper than either had ventured alone. As they camped in a narrow valley amid the high peaks they were ambushed. The valley had only two entrances, one on each, opposing side unless of course, you consider going OVER the mountains. The warning traps the pair had set were completely useless, both in location and in tactic. Orcs, goblins, even giants, well not giants, since that would be a death sentence regardless for a pair so young; those were the expected enemies. Orcs are hardly agile or clever enough to climb the mountains to then jump back down to attack and goblins? Too short to scale the sheer walls. Either group were bold enough and confident enough to just march straight through. Besides who would be expecting a trap in such a desolate place? But for some reason on this night, it was a pack of werewolves. Indeed a rarity, only in the deep elven forrests did anyone think they would live. And to this day, Harry quite possibly having something to do with it, no stories of wolves in the southern Larian mountains have been told.
Poor Kurika. Harry still has nightmares. They silently pounced on her; claws and fangs bared. Her scream echoed across the cold valley like an icy wind. To this sound Harry awoke instantly, hand on his hammer and up in a flash. But the damage had been done. She had gutted one in her defiant struggle, and the dying beast’s blood soaked into the ground beside her. Another was blinded and staggered away with the help of its pack. At least one more was wounded bad enough to leave a faint trail of blood. Harry could only helplessly hold Kurika, with a punctured throat and gapping jagged gash through her stomach, no help would make it, nor would she make it to them. The heartbroken ranger, in the spirit of the rangers, burned the body. For hours he stared into the flames, until the embers died, then tearfully buried the girl’s ashes beneath a pine cone in the hopes the tree would grow to a marvelous tomb marker.
Swearing revenge and using what he had learned, Harry tracked the beasts. For a week straight he hunted, losing the trail more times than he could remember. Delirium fueled his determination. Harry buried his rage, stored it. He found the pack in the late evening, the sun’s glow behind the peaks. 20 in all slept in that cave still in human form.
Finally letting himself slip, Harry became directed by only hatred. First he killed the females of the pack as they slept; silently slit their throats one by one. Then he waited for the males to awaken in the darkness, which his eyes had no problem seeing through. Not until the last male finished his transformation did they realize what had befallen their pack. Senses now on full alert, they could smell the dwarf in their cave. Harry did not let them have the pleasure of finding him first and launched his attack. The mighty hammer crushed bone and spiked back tore flesh. Heavy dwarven leather armor frayed under the retaliatory slashes. In the brutal fight with the 5 remaining males Harry was gouged deeply across his back when the tattered armor could take no more punishment. Somehow the wound did not turn him into one of the beasts. Never the less, it is a wound that still causes pain having never fully healed, and damaged the nerves beneath. The blinded one; he let go, to wander, howling in misery, instead only breaking its leg so it could limp away. As for the rest of the pack, the revenge crazed dwarf skinned them, and hung their skins at the entrances of the valley. And from the Alpha, he claimed its teeth. To this day around his neck he still carries one fang on a chain imbued to be nearly unbreakable.