Born a runt among the hearty shield dwarves, Bravil stands barely four feet tall. Truth be told, he might be a little shorter, but he vehemently reacts to any skepticism of his claim. He is also scrawnier than most, but stocky for his size nonetheless. As a small child, he was fascinated by the forge and the creations of the masters of his race. One fateful day, his curiosity near the furnaces ended in tragedy as a gaseous explosion sprayed his head with molten metal. The healers of the clan were able to save his life and alleviate some of the damage; however, the scars will remain forever.
With his entire head bald and badly scarred, he continually keeps it covered with a helm or hood at all times. His eyes, once the brightest emerald green, now resemble the color of dark smoke. Thankfully most of his face and beard was spared, though the exposure permanently discolored the hairs to the grey hue of a dwarf past his prime even though he was but a youth. Due to his height, his eyes, his beard, and his head covering, most new acquaintances often mistake this young dwarf for an elder of his race.
His short stature and physical abnormalities did little for his social graces as he turned inward for strength and reassurance. He withdrew from general society, grew bitter, and shifted his attention on the few things that continued to bring joy and hope. He turned to the unwavering love of his brothers and to the forge. He apprenticed as smith and worked with zeal that even those of greater stature could not match; however, try as he might, he could never quite understand how the masters created such powerful enchanted items.
As time wore on, he discovered a rare book, in one of his cloistered moments, containing information on a Dwarven patron with whom he truly identified. An elderly Dwarf with faded eyes with an unequaled love for the masters of the forge, Thautam, the Dwarven deity of magic and darkness, filled a void his soul that none other had ever been able to do. That night changed his life forever as he swore to serve the one whom mingled creation of metal and magic. He swore to aspire to the craftsmanship of masters and of the furtherance and rediscovery of Dwarven legacy.
Unfortunately, Bravil, with his social ineptitude, was unable to gain apprenticeship with any of the mages nearby. Defeated and disillusioned, he once again turned inward seeking a way to make good on his oaths to himself and his new Lord. As chance would have it, one day while exploring alone, he saw a dwarf, besieged and nearing death at the hands of a strange creature. That lone dwarf looked small and dark, much like his own reflection, and sparked an act of courage driven by compassion. Bravil entered the fray, but quickly found that he was in over his head and was about to face the same fate as the one he was trying to save. However, his distraction of the creature had been enough, for powerful magic exploded all around and the creature disintegrated into mist before his very eyes. That runty dwarf rose, ambled close, and offered his hand along with a debt of gratitude. It was only then that Bravil understood his true nature, for he stood face to face with a Druegar.
The Dark Dwarf pledged to repay his debt and even though the very core of his being thought better, an idea, seemingly placed there from above, began to form. Over the next months and years, Bravil worked the forges by day and studied magic with the Druegar by night. It was not the lofty magic Dwarven mages of his clan wielded, yet it was equally, if not more powerful. But like his teacher, it was dark and very dangerous. Bravil did not care. He would do what he must, and in his heart of hearts, he somehow knew that Thautam and even his brothers approved. Yet, like all other times in life, his luck would not hold.
As Bravil went for his lesson late one evening, he found no one there. Bravil did something no self respecting dwarf would do, he cried in frustrated despair until he spotted the small note in his teacher’s writing. The writing that informed him that the debt had been repaid, the teaching was at an end, and they would meet no more. Beneath the note, Bravil found a magical item, a gift from his teacher that was the culmination of his teachings. Finally, something in his life was going well and he fell on his face to give thanks to his Lord and to the never failing support of his blood kin.
Now that he had learned some magic and now that he had an item to study, Bravil went home, elated and eager to begin his experimentation. He would make good on his oath, though his creations would border on antithesis of traditional Dwarven enchantment. He knew that he must remain cautious and careful with these dark discoveries, and he knew that most would not welcome his nontraditional methods. Regardless, Bravil held faith that he was being led by the faithful hand of Thautam and that he finally had the means and skills to live a life of purpose, even though his brothers would have loved him nonetheless.