A short, compact man, almost as wide as he is tall. A brown beard, woven into a single braid, rests on his chest, a mail coif covers the rest of his hair. Blue eyes peer out from from a craggy face, with a hawk-like nose dominating his face. His armor is a collection of mismatched mail and leather, but the axe riding on one hip is a masterpiece of crafting, combining form and function into both a work of art and a fearsome weapon.
Beltarne is young, for a dwarf. He can be as unyielding as the mountains when his mind is made up about something, like most dwarves, but he tends to overestimate his ability to accomplish the tasks he sets himself due to his inexperience. While this occasionally gets him into trouble, it also sometimes results in seemingly impossible accomplishments, merely because of his refusal to take no for an answer. He also has what may charitably be described as a deep and abiding love for gold. Even some dwarves may admit that he takes the pursuit of wealth to an extreme. He not only seeks out almost any opportunity to obtain gold, but is extremely hesitant to part with said wealth once it is in his possession. However, his lust for treasure is tempered somewhat by his black and white world view, and its correspondingly dim view of those who will go to ANY extreme for wealth. His strict sense of honesty and fair play also temper his willingness to engage in illegal acts in the pursuit of wealth.
Beltarne is a devout follower of the dwarven pantheon, in particular Gorm Gulthyn, Fire Eyes, the deity of defense, watchfulness, and vigilance. He maintains the daily rituals required of a priest of the Lord of the Bronze Mask, and while these can be a bit mysterious to those who are unfamiliar with them, he takes them very seriously. He is willing to lay down his life to protect other dwarves, and usually extends this dedication to those who have proven themselves as faithful companions. He is unforgiving to those who threaten the safety of those he has sworn to protect, and holds those who knowingly worship evil deities in special contempt.
He tends to extend dwarven cultural roles onto society at large, and can be a bit overprotective of women. His youth and inexperience sometimes shows itself in his tendency to prefer working in groups, as opposed to on his own, where he may make a mistake that reveals his lack of years. He also tends to tell long rambling stories when not immediately occupied, in an effort to impress those who don't know any better. Like most dwarves, he prefers telling these stories over a mug of good ale. He also has a seemingly irrational dislike of trees, as they remind him of a forced march through an old growth forest he undertook several years ago, with repeated ambushes by goblins throughout the experience. Not to mention elves seem to like them so much, which almost automatically makes them suspect.
Beltarne's goals are simple. To spread the light of his faith, to eradicate evil wherever it may rear its ugly head, and if at all possible, to earn fame and fortune in the process. He seeks to test himself and his faith against some of the harshest trials the world has to offer, in order to demonstrate his commitment and to make the world a better place for all good beings everywhere.
Beltarne was born the third son of a third son of a third son. The Rockholm clan is a large one, but not an enormously wealthy one. As a result, Beltarne spent most of his life using the hand-me-downs of his siblings. His older brothers, groomed for minor leadership roles within the clan and for crafting apprenticeships, constantly overshadowed Beltarne as a young man. Beltarne had a bit of a chip on his shoulder as a result of these factors, and began to get into fights once his own apprenticeship began. While he usually didn't start the fights, he did tend to finish them, displaying an amazing natural aptitude for pummeling foes with blunt objects. The fifth and final time this happened, his exasperated master expelled him from his apprenticeship. The priest called(for the fifth time) to patch up Beltarne and his opponents, somewhat bemused and concerned for the future of Beltarne, offered to take him in to be trained as a priest. Beltarne's parents weren't too thrilled with this, but seeing few other options, agreed.
Happily, Beltarne was well suited for a life of religion. The rigid order imposed on his new life helped to cool his sometimes overeager impulses, and the fact that neither of his older brothers nor many members of the Rockholm clan were priests helped to alleviate some of the feelings of inadequacy he had nursed in the shadows of his extensive family. While he never completely settled down, the priests in charge of his training wisely allowed him to train rather extensively with the more martial orders of the dwarven pantheon, channeling his natural skill and aggression into a more socially acceptable form. When he finished his apprenticeship, Beltarne became the first dwarf in his clan to take the oaths of the "Barakor" Warrior-Priests of Gorm Gulthyn in several centuries. The clan patriarch gifted him the axe of the last Barakor in the Rockholm clan, Beltarnes Great Grandfather.
Despite the restraint Beltarne had learned during his apprenticeship, he still wanted to make his name in the world instead of dwelling forever in his brothers shadows. He also never fully shed the habits of near-poverty learned as a young dwarf, saving every last coin that came his way. For these reasons, among several others, he signed on to a military expedition to a recently re-established outpost of the city most of his clan lived in. The pay was good, it got him away from his family, and it allowed him to minister to dwarves outside of the safe confines of his family's home. The expedition ran into some fairly serious trouble, but after several years of warfare with indigent goblins and other things best left unnamed, the outpost was reestablished and on firm footing. Beltarne regarded the prospect of heading back home with dread, and had listened intently to the stories of the more experienced soldiers he had served with. Several of them spoke of their time out adventuring in the lands of the humans, and beyond. Of the honors they had won, the wonders they had seen, and the riches they had known. The last part especially intrigued Beltarne. So, upon the completion of his contract with the newly established outpost, he mustered out, took his final pay, and headed into the world of the humans.
Unfortunately, the journey westward was much more expensive than Beltarne had anticipated. Bit by bit, his hard-earned savings slipped out of his grasp, until he was left with virtually nothing but what he was carrying. Luckily, he has finally reached the edge of civilization, where brave adventurers may explore ancient ruins, right wrongs, and rid the world of nefarious evils, hopefully for a decent wage.
Exploits and Deeds of Valor Edit
Beltarne arrived in Polisberg low on cash and without any fame. He performed credibly during the delve at the Caverns of Madness, but did not stand out in any way other than his successful healings and exorcisms.
Reason for and Method of Leaving the Group Edit
Upon returning to Polisberg after exploring the Caverns of Madness, Beltarne decided he was being selfish and returned to the seminary for further study.