After the Storm
Dwarf of Zhufbar, Vagabond (Foreign Messenger) background
4’10" tall (a bit tall for a dwarf), 155 lbs (31 Enc if carried by another).
Str 3, To 3, Ag 3, Int 5, Wp 3, Fel 3, Wound Threshold 13
Skills: Education (History), Dwarf Engineering (acquired), Observation
Actions: Dwarf Stubbornness (not usable yet)
Talents: Smarter Than He Looks (exhaust and suffer 1 Stress to treat Intelligence as one higher for skill check, or when target of opposed check), I Seem to Recall… (exhaust this card to add two fortune dice to any Intelligence check).
Stance: Conservative C3/R1
Wealth/Social Class: Comfortable/Silver Tier
Current Career: Student (once per session add Expertise die to any Education or Folklore check); Past Careers: None; Planned Future Career: unknown (ultimately Engineer)
Notable Career Traits: Academic, Social, Urban
Experience Earned: 2
Advances Spent: 1 (Observation)
Character Rank 1
Corruption Points: 0
Vagabond: once per session, when rolling a comet on a Social action, recover 3 stress as well as normal comet effects.
Grudge: a fortune die to all Melee Attack and Ranged Attack actions against greenskins, and any target which has wounded him, for the rest of the encounter.
Night Vision: two fewer misfortune dice from darkness or insufficient light penalties.
Disease Resistant: two fortune dice to disease checks.
Sturdy: add 5 to encumbrance limit
Narrative bonus: dwarfs are well-known for getting the best of markets, once a session spend a fortune point to locate a desired item for purchase (skip roll to locate).
Where Often Found In Streissen:
Harek lives at Count’s College in the student dormitory in, sharing a room with Matthias Hofmeister.
During the school year spends his days in his professor’s class or eating meals with other students. His evenings are his own time as are Marktag mornings and all day Festag when there are no classes.
During the school year, he usually wears the required student garb of a black tabard (a loose cloth over-coat) and cap.
Quick Links to Relevant Pages
As a young adult, Harek is 33, a Gnutrommi (young clansman) who has just received his first set of tools. He won’t be an Altrommi (full beard) until about 70.
From a comfortably-off family in the dwarfhold of Zhufbar.
Though not living in Zhufbar, he is not an ‘expatriate dwarf’. These are dwarves who have chosen to live permanently in human lands, sometimes being second or third plus generation – dwarves who are still citizens of the Everlasting Realm look down on these sorts. Of course humans pay well for dwarf craftsmanship but they are so ignorant that quality becomes a thing of the past when trading among them.
Dwarf engineers combine creativity with a dedication to guild secrecy and tradition (yes, it’s a contradiction through dwarfs don’t see it that way). They tend to favour Morgrim and hold sacred some strictures:
• Any who steal or dishonourably sell Engineer secrets must be brought to Dwarf justice in accordance to Dwarf law.
• Craftsmanship must be kept to the highest level. Shoddy work is unforgivable and dishonourable.
• Uncontrolled or dangerous innovations must not be undertaken, particularly not to the detriment of craftsmanship.
• All knowledge is sacred and must be preserved, even at the cost of innovation (e.g., skills must never fall out of use even if the use for them appears past).
• All construction phases of an Engineer’s craft must be accompanied by the recital of the appropriate Guild litanies and incantations.
In 2518 to 2520, he travelled to seek inspiration. Harek has been through Stirland and Averland and knows where to find other dwarves in larger settlements in both provinces. A brief trip to Nuln revealed that the human Engineering Guild there is too curious about dwarven technology for comfort and so he left.
Harek has found Streissen with its colleges and hostels to be the best environment for thinking, and a place to earn coin. It has a small dwarf population and a decent tavern. It’s not as many dwarves as Grenzstadt (which is about 10% dwarf) but is not as crowded or rowdy.
In Fall 2522, Harek enrolled in Streissen University‘s Count’s College, studying under Professor Freidrich Ursinus, Professor of Logic, Geometry and Astrology – interested in the works of Leonardo di Miragliano. He completed one year of study and must decide whether to continue with Professor Ursinus or pursue study elsewhere – such as with Logazor (below).
Harek left Zhufbar voluntarily, but this is in part due to a recognition on his part that his ideas and interests are too radical and non-traditional for acceptance by the conservative engineering community (so effectively he has banished himself to pre-empt the inevitable).
He decided to take his education in the direction of his own interests with the intention of proving the validity of his ideas once the legwork has been done (and hope that his innovations will be acceptable once proven). I see Harek as a brilliant introvert who has a very Un-Dwarfish interest in natural systems and biology, humans for their tendency toward radical (if typically poorly realized and unstable) insights and innovations, and gasp the culture and integration with the natural world of the “noble savage” wood elves.
He seeks to be Dwarven version of modern bioengineers, a field of study that takes examples from nature to inspire practical applications, and this is the approach to engineering Harek will take, rather than the steampunk/industrial version that is typically represented — he’s going to be examining insects and trees and complex integrated biological systems to learn how they work with an eye toward emulating them with engineering and applied materials science. For example, if he were to approach the engineering of a flying machine it would be based on copying a wing rather than a copter or dirigible, or he might prefer to re-engineer a crossbow based on use of new wood/resin composites for more power and range rather than work or rifling or scopes for a firearm (does this sound sufficiently radical from the perspective of a traditional Dwarven engineer?)
This explains his choice to study with Professor Freidrich Ursinus for Leonardo di Miragliano’s theories involve a conjunction of natural world and engineering though human engineers, like dwarf engineers, have focussed on the latter.
Harek and Matthias Hofmeister get into together while in Averheim last year (mid 2522). Matthias had learned of illegal logging and smuggling of timber as another criminal activity going in in Averheim. Despite dwarf views of “timber as fuel”, Harek’s view of “natural systems” means he is sympathetic to the policy in Averland that in addition to requiring nobles maintain roads, each holding must maintain various stands of trees (often along roads), and he helped Matthias identify some of those involved (who tried to sell timber as fuel for the Efficient Eviscerator).
In later 2522 after Harek came to Streissen, he was approached by the Caslach family. They had learned of his work on automating animal slaughter, the Efficient Eviscerator, and ever anxious to complete with Averheim’s slaughter-houses wanted him to work for them. Harek did not wish to revisit this episode but the Caslach’s tried making it a “question he couldn’t refused”. He resorted to hiringBrunhart Katzlmacher to protect him and discourage them. He is not at all eager to work for them though ending any enmity from such a powerful family would be useful.
Harek’s views are such that despite misgivings about human magicians he’s inclined toward a favourable opinion of those who are interested in or connected to knowledge of the natural world. He would still be very suspicious of most magicians but can at least have a somewhat more tolerant attitude toward druidic and shamanistic magics that draw from the natural world. He wonders if “life-based” magic is, in some sense, more “priestly” than magical forms that tap into different kinds of winds.
(It is likely that Matthias and Harek travelled together to Streissen since both may have known they were planning on attending university that fall)
Recently,Harek has been keenly working with Logazor Borginson to learn about the inner workings of the body as machine. This involves lessons in anatomy and biophysics. Levers, pumps, hydraulics, sockets and structural/material characteristics; as well as chemistry and homeostatic balance principles in functioning bodies. Some of what they have discussed and worked on might push the lines of propriety (anatomical dissections are highly frowned upon and the supply of bodies it is acceptable to dissect is very limited). What alarms him is perhaps the chance of getting into trouble with the human religious/university authorities over some of these views/activities, but more and more fascinated by the intricacies of these biological mechanistic systems.
The dwarf healer Logazor Borginson (Longbeard of 130), is Principal of Borginson Hostel at Streissen University. Constantly at odds with the dominant views of Count’s College and its medical school, Borginson denies the theory of humours or medical value of astrology and conceptualizes medicine as “dealing with a machine that is broken” (the body is a machine). He was given the opportunity to form a hostel largely out of a desire to avoid insulting dwarves (who are held in high regard in Averland). His views are radical among humans but essentially the standard views of dwarven culture (machine metaphors are commonplace).
He will never abandon Averland to disaster (in general) and Streissen University (in particular) so long as Logazor is there, stays there, and is therefore under threat. Logazor’s presence is the basis for any focussed desire to prevent disaster from befalling the region.
Secondarily is a recognition that the Averlanders are a bulwark against Greenskin incursion in the area, having repeatedly repelled or suffered their incursions, and having connections with dwarfs as ancient as any of the tribes of humans. So they are a people worthy of aid and respect if any threat comes from that direction.