Duergar background for DM review

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Duergar background for DM review

Postby Artie Pen Dragon » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:26 am

I was hoping to apply for a Duergar for my +1 level slot. I know the race is banned, but I feel like it shouldn't be. I also came up with a giant epic and awesome background that has many opportunities for plot devices that other players can join in on, Ryan Steel especially.

Without further ado, please check out this background;

GRIMBUR DEEPHAMMER ( http://drakonis.org/uploads/7/v/0/7v0ng ... 6044cb.jpg )


Excerpt from the journal of Jerrin Greyshadow ( http://drakonis.org/uploads/7/v/0/7v0ng ... fa62f5.jpg): Sorcerer of Bane

"These drow think they are so superior. Yet they have the wills of small orcish children, and are helpless against my magics. A foolish drow merchant tried to use an enchantment on me today, to get me to pay an outrageous price on some below average quality slaves. I let him believe his foolish trick worked, and then I bended his mind into giving up the slaves for half their worth. I should tread lightly though, as I don't want to attract too much negative attention, as my plan is in it's infancy. Next time I deal with that drow, whatever his unpronounceable name is, I will let him feel he has triumphed over me in some deal... maybe give him some of those weapons that are just lying about for a steal.

Acquisition: 2 orcish slaves, not yet broken. A deurger stone mason, perhaps I can have him teach others, and have a palace built for myself. 10 goblins, for fodder. And a hobgoblin arena champion named Gruthuk, the pick of the litter."


Letter written by Olef Skarr(A mercenary captain and secret Dreadmaster) to Yarmuk (Orc quartermaster in Zhentil Keep)

"Hail Quartermaster, your loyal servant carries out your orders with efficiency and urgency. The enchanter Greyshadow has enlisted several orc tribes into his plans; plans which remain mysterious. He has taken over an old abandoned dwarven fort that lies at a small and not well known entrance to the Underdark. He launches raids into the Underdark, with his orcish allies, acquiring more slaves as he progresses deeper and expands his influence down. It's as if he's carving out a small little kingdom for himself. He has done all of this without permission, and many of the small orc clans he raids have sworn allegiance to the Many-Arrows. If he keeps this up the Many-Arrows will destroy him. I think the mage has gone mad, and we should distance ourselves. He will damage our reputation."


Journal of Harper Agent Lilly Sunsilver

"I tracked that half orc brute Yasgul to his lair, which lies a few days walk from the city, within a cave at the mouth of the mountain. It's an out of the way place, with not but trees and trolls around, but apparently there is a small community of orcs there. What surprised me was that these orcs were of different tribes, I recognized a few of them, Elfeaters and Broken-Tusk, former rivals now living together. Then I saw a few hobgoblins, and even humans, and I knew I had discovered something sinister. They were systematically mining for stone, cutting down trees for lumber, and they even had a forge where they made weapons. This must be more than just some orc strongman's doing, I thought, and I was RIGHT. I stayed hidden for a few days and watched them from a mile away atop a cliff. All them seem to answer to this handsome blond man in green robes. He is definitely in charge. He is a mage of some sort, as I saw him blow this poor orc to smithereens with a terrible lightning bolt last night, apparently for some failure, or for fun for that matter. What a horrible and cruel despicable man. He keeps slaves too. I see groups of them go in and out of the cave every night, forced to mine and cut down trees. The orcs whip them and beat them regularly, and I have seen a few die already from this treatment. something must be down about this. I will continue to spy on this man, and find out more about him.


Grimbur is the 4th son of a Duergar general, he is by far the youngest, being born years after his mother was considered too old for childbirth. And while his brothers all hated and conspired against each other, the birth of yet another new son inspired them to finally agree on something, that Grimbur had to go. Grimbur's mother knew what was up, and her maternal instinct made it impossible for the brothers to openly work against the child. But as Grimbur got older, his mother also got older, and by the time he was a teenager(in dwarf years) she was almost bedridden. Grimbur's father too was getting a bit long in the tooth, and civil war in the household loomed. As soon as the dwarf was unfit to lead, the brothers would all make a move against each other, and warfare was expected. The various sycophants that huddled around each of the brothers would be sure to hack at each other until only one brother was left.

Deephammer family tree.

Gen. Vurgun Deephammer ( http://community.wizards.com/sites/mtgc ... k=6NP3tvZI )

Vurg is a war hero who built the family estate from scratch by leading a war party of kin to conquer an orc clan that had inhabited the caves where the family fortress now stood. He was titular head of the Deephammer clan, and had a few hundred warriors under him. In his later years, he ruled with an iron fist, and the various influences in the area feared him. Drow, orcs, goblinoids, all respected and feared his clan, and he grw rich in trade, managing to put money into arming the clan with excellent weaponry and armor.

Grimjam Deephammer ( http://digital-art-gallery.com/oid/116/ ... al_art.jpg )

Grimjam is Vurg's first born, and a capable wizard. His father never respected his study of magic, and considered his first born son inferior. However, Grimjam's power has caused the clan to respect him, even if his father dismisses him. He has adventured often, going into the Lowerdark and uncovered strange magical mysteries. He is the most powerful of the brothers, and is expected to win in the event of any sibling rivalry. He could summon demons to fight for him if he wished it.

Sgt Thangardt Deephammer ( http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/gre ... 0224235850 )

Truly his father's son. Than is a strong warrior(strength 17) and a dwarven defender. His father always kept him around, and he has stood by his father in battle countless times, slaying orcs and derro and drow, oh my. He has done much to expend the kingdom, and the Laduguer clerics favor him to be ruler once Vurg is gone. He has many warriors under his banner, and the support of his uncles.

Kulmar Deephammer ( http://www.enormkritik.se/inlagg/monste ... rgar/2.png)

Kulmar is a rogue and a rich merchant. He grew extremely rich off of slaves, rare metals, and weapons. He has contacts throughout the Northdark, and has gotten his hands into all sorts of extracurricular intrigue. He's also an insane cultist that worships Ghaunadaur, and enjoys eating sentient beings. It was Kulmar who had Grimbur sold into slavery, doing it at the behest of Than, who promised Kulmar that he would allow him access to all the family's slave pits once he took over. Kulmar doesn't want to rule, he wants to grow rich and enjoy his debauched pleasures. The other two brothers will have to try and win his support to tip the scales in their favor.


When Grimbur was very young, his brothers had him sold into slavery. Kulmar is a lout, but he did have some mercy on his young brother, and made sure that he sold Grimbur to a drow matron in Menzo who intended to have Grimbur join her slave-mason corps as a stone mason. Instead of a short brutal existence as fodder, he would have a longer slightly less brutal existence as valued skilled labor. It's hard to train dumb orcs to build anything, and goblins are almost useless, dwarves take to it naturally.

So for 18 solid miserable years Grimbur worked as a builder, remodeling drow houses, and mining, and being beaten for any slip up. He hated his life and contemplated suicide regularly, but he was too afraid to, and he feared his matron, and soon bended to her will in every way. She used enchantments on her slaves, making them docile and pliable.

There were many shield dwarves in the slave building corpse, and working side by side with them for years they developed somewhat of a tolerable relationship. One of them, Brunner Trueshield, was actually a historian, and taught Grimbur the history of the old Dwarven Kingdoms, especially Barakuir. ( http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Barakuir )

Being betrayed by his family and clan, and abandoned by Laduguer, Grimbur threw away worship Laduguer, and became hateful of Duergar society as a whole, and against rules and regulations generally. Constant beatings and humiliation made him cowed, and resentful of existence itself. Each night was a struggle between the will to die and the fear of death. His only happiness in live was uncovering rare gems when he was mining, and hearing about history when he got to work alongside Brunner, who was really his only "friend" in the world.

Well, as luck has it, things got even worse for Grimbur. Political machinations in Menzo lead to his matron's death, and her slave holdings were sold off to the highest bidder.

Grimbur was bought by a human sorcerer and Zhentarim named Jerrn Greyshadow. He had been expanding his influence into the underdark, picking on orc tribes and having in his possession a small fortress that guarded the entrance to the surface. Jerrin was a powerful enchanter, and had a few small time orc chiefs under his thumb.

Jerrin wanted Grimbur to train his other slaves in stone-working, and to do repairs on the fortress, which was quite old and in disrepair. Grimbur found himself ordered to work alongside orcs, and living in filthy squalid conditions. He was a tough son of a bitch, though. Where other slaves might have died, he kept on living.

The madness of Jerrin Greyshadhow's plan was apparent to any who might take an interest. If he expanded too far underground, the drow would surely have hum eliminated. And raiding orc tribes under the banner of the Many-Arrows Nation was also madness, as they had the power to easily crush him as well.

The higher ups in the Zhents also saw Jerrin as a threat, as he was powerful and also reckless. They feared he would make the Zhents look bad if he, as one of theirs, got crushed easily by orcs or drow.

It was Dreadmaster Olef Skarr ( http://drakonis.org/uploads/7/v/0/7v0ng ... 5d80f5.jpg ) who finally uncovered proof that Jerrin had secretly converted to Cyric worship, and had gone insane.

Olef was given permission by the Zhentrim assassinate Greyshadow, and so he hired a group of mercenaries and recruited adventurers, all under the guise of killing off an "evil wizard aligned with foul orcs."

The Harpers also were keeping an eye on Greyshadow, as his enslaving of nearby villagers had drawn their attention. When Olef Skarr lead his attack on Jerrin's dwarven fortress with his mercenary force, the Harpers struck, sneaking into the slave quarters and freeing many saves, including Grimbur. The Harpers knew they had to act quickly, as they were aware of Olef Skarr's true nature, and knew that the slaves would just be carted off to be sold elsewhere if he had his way.

In the chaos of the battle, Grimbur and Gruthuk(a hobgoblin arena champion) found their cages destroyed and freedom before them. Some of the Harpers were killed when Jerrin stumbled on them in his fortress.While Grimbur and Gruthuk found themselves free, they ertr on their own for the time being.

Grimbur an Gruthuk fought their way out, taking weapons from their former slave-masters, who lied dead and scattered about, and cut their way through orcs to the surface. Grimbur barely survived. If not for Gruthuk, who actually saved his life, perhaps for altruistic reasons, or more likely because having an enraged durgar fighting alongside him was safer than trying to fight out there alone, Grimbur would be a skeleton under rubble right now.

Gruthuk was a cunning calculated tactician, feigning left, but going right, cutting orc's heads off with a calculated blow that seemed effortless and graceful. Grimbur on the other had, fought like a caged animal, barreling into orcs and bringing his axe down on them with monstrous ferocity, biting off their testicles when grappled, and beating them to death with bare hands once he had chopped off a leg, just out of malice. It was good to get some of that aggression out after years of abuse. But had had to be smart, and more than once Gruthuk had to grab him by the shirt and pull him off an orc.

They actually managed to escape, and they both ran for their lives. They ran together for a while, until things seemed like they were clear, and then went their own separate ways. Alliance concluded.

Jerrin then battled Olef Skarr personally, and the destruction from the spells used in that battle brought the fortress down. At the end of it, most of the orcs of the Broken Tusk were dead, including their Chief Griswulf, Jerrin had escaped, and Olef Skarr was barely alive.

As Grimbur watched the fireworks from the treeline, the Harpers approached him, as he was badly injured, and offered him help if he wanted to escape. He begrudgingly accepted.

They fed him, clothed him, asked him about his life, and were horrified. They even set him up with a job as a mason, to maybe rehabilitate him? Who knows. But he had nothing else going on, and this strange surface world he was not in offered more thna his former life.
Artie Pen Dragon
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Re: Duergar background for DM review

Postby Rosemadder » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:59 pm

Request Denied. Pls re-submit in 30 days for further denial.

Waterdeep is a citystate run by a good aligned government. Duegar are not suitable for this location.

I refer you to the discussion at hand in An Adventurous Proposal.

Thank You.
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Re: Duergar background for DM review

Postby tooitalian » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:06 pm

Artie, at the very least you have a well written NPC.
He who laughs last, laughs alone.
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