CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Dwarven Smith

The dwarf sat at her desk behind the counter admiring the oblong piece of steel about the size of a tower shield. The mold had set the metal perfectly and it was just the right size and shape to fit her needs. Although the steel had the durability she would need – especially infused with her magic – it still wasn’t quite ready to fulfil the customer’s requirements. The second part of the process would have to start once the piece had a chance to settle.

The old dwarf looked up as the bell to her shop rang out. A young man – obviously an adventurer seeker – pushed into the small armory. Homgrid studied him as he entered her shop. Looking at the confidence held by her customer, she remembered her own days of adventuring. She had been away from her birthplace in the Five Kings Mountains for quite some time when she went on her first trek, although she was still wide-eyed as she explored the world. Years of training with musty tomes and minor cantrips had nothing on using magic to fight monsters. She was eager back then and she could see the eagerness in the boy’s eyes. She wondered if he would last.

The would-be adventurer – a human by the rounded ears and height – picked a breastplate and came to haggle over the price. It wasn’t her best work, but he didn’t know that. She had managed to tie a few minor enchantments into the armor which is always a major selling point to those who seek adventure. He wasn’t very good at bargaining so she let the misconception that all dwarves are stoic and straightforward aid her position. In the end the boy – because that’s all he was – walked out spending probably a good hundred gold pieces more than he intended. The snorting squeal said that Jorn disapproved.

Jorn had been with Homgrid since her days in the Theumanexus College. Many of the other students choose their familiars because they looked cool, or made a statement. In Korvosa Imps were popular familiars for the older students. Homgrid, however, had found herself drawn to the piglet from the local farm. She probably saved him from becoming someone’s morning bacon but his constant nagging made her wonder sometimes if he was worth it. He squealed again, or at least that’s what anyone else would have heard. Homgrid however understood him loud and clear as he reminded her she might very well be dead without him. She may not have spoken her thoughts out loud, but he could sense her general mood as she could his.

Jorn pulled a small basked across the floor that contained a number of pieces of unrefined gold. He nuzzled against Homgrid’s leg and she smiled. She could never stay mad at her friend for long. She sorted through the nuggets of gold looking for just the right pieces. Like her father, and his father before him Homgrid could substantially sense the purity of a piece of ore just by its weight and feel. Her father had wanted a son to take on the family business but Homgrid was his only child.

She and her father never saw eye to eye. Magic wasn’t something dwarves did according to him. At least not the finger waggling kind Homgrid had seemed to find an interest in. She wanted to enhance the family smithy with arcane tools, and magical devices but he would have none of it. Both of them were stubborn and when he threw her out of the family home, she swore to never go back. After he died she regretted that decision but even after the funeral she knew she could never truly return home.

Having picked the nuggets she wanted Homgrid flipped the sign to “closed” and threw the latch on the front door. Picking up the molded steel piece she shuffled into the forge room in the back of the store. Jorn pulled along the other tools she’d need in the basket she designed for him to move around the shop. He was no longer a piglet, at this point probably about as big as a good sized dog. He was incredibly helpful to her work even if he didn’t have hands of his own.

In the forge room she set up her work space and began her incantations. Crafting had always been in her blood and much of the magic in her spellbook was used to create or enhance weapons, armor and other objects. Whereas other students had chosen specialties, forgoing one form of magic or another to reach greater strength in their chosen field, Homgrid saw no point in denying herself access to any type of spell. She may not have been the smartest wizard at the College but she was often the most dedicated.

With her arcane power set into place she went about melting the gold to a useable consistency. She needed to more than just coat the steel piece in gold she needed to infuse it with the gold’s very essence. She was looking for not just the metallic sheen, but a manner in which to grant the gold the durability of the steel so it would not mar easily. At least not after she got it into the design she wanted. So with the gold heated to a liquid she used her unseen magic hand to dip the piece as she released the transmutation spell she had placed earlier and began casting the protective spell to finish the job.

During her childhood her parents had brought Homgrid up as a worshiper of Torag. Her uncle Unthal was a priest of the smith god. The father of the dwarves always seemed to look favorably on the Oregrinder family smithy and even Homgrid herself. After years of being separated from her family and her homelands she lost faith in Torag. She spent much of her time as an adventurer seeking again the call to the divine. She always felt she had a connection to one of Golarion’s divine beings, it just took her awhile to find out which.

Homgrid stared at the piece as it began to cool, hanging from a strong wire like her mother used to hang clothing. The dwarf closed her eyes a moment visualizing the finished product and then a set of claws popped from the fingertips of her right hand. Using her talons, she dragged them across the flat part of the piece that faced her. She drew the gold away from the surface in place giving it a worn and natural look. When she was done she slid her golden talons back beneath the weathered flesh of a smith’s hands.

The dwarf smiled and looked over to Jorn. The pig looked up at the pieces and nodded his agreement. The commission was finished and ready for installation. Now Homgrid just had to wait for the customer. She’d already received half payment so it didn’t matter to her how long she waited. But she told the man she’d have it ready today so she expected she’d see him soon.

Homgrid had been an oddity her whole life no matter where she went. In her home in the Five Kings Mountains her desire to study the arcane made her stand out. When she traveled to Korvosa to study at the Theumanexus College she was the only dwarf to enroll. After a few years on the road when her eyes turned that golden hue she stood out even amongst the other treasure-seekers. She never minded being an oddity and that’s what made Kaer Maga the most logical place to settle. The fact the city sat a top a massive cliff face and was riddle with tunnels, that reminded her of the home she could never return to was also a plus.

The bell over the door jingled again and Jorn gave Homgrid an odd look. They both recalled her throwing the latch but the door opened quite easily for the newcomer. She made her way to the front of the shop to see who the intruder was. The man was tall, with pointed ears and slightly upturned eyes. The elf made his way into the shop the door swinging closed behind him and the latch being thrown again without him even touching it. When he faced Homgrid and she saw his golden eyes she recognized her client.

The pale elf with the golden hued eyes walked straight up to the counter. He grabbed his side and winced a moment before putting his hands on the counter.

“Is it ready?”

Homgrid smiled, “Precisely as ordered. I think you’ll be pleased.”

She nodded at Jorn who practically pranced off to the back room. He may not have had hands but the pig could summon up a little of his own magic. It would be enough to loosen the pin and catch the piece in his basket. It wasn’t long before he returned dragging the piece along behind him. Homgrid and the elf sat in silence waiting.

Even in just glimpsing it in the basket brought a smile to the customer’s face. When Homgrid hefted it up and handed it to him the stoic smile spread into a toothy grin. He admired its color and shape, and even rapped his knuckles against it and nodded in approval of its density.

“I was told you did good work dwarf. Your name has spread among my kind.”

She let out a pig like snort of her own, “Well I’m sure I can add you to those who bring praise to my work. Would you like to make sure it works as promised?”

Not taking his eyes from the golden object he held, the elf nodded.

Homgrid opened up the flap on the counter allowing the client to pass behind its sacred barrier. She then led him to the forge room where she stopped in front of a half empty shelving unit. Jorn poked his little snout to a space on the base of the shelf and it slid to the side revealing a staircase that led down.

The stairs had no lights as Homgrid had no need of them being a dwarf. The elf apparently had a manner of being able to see in the darkness as well. Poor Jorn had to stick close to the legs of Homgrid, the passage was pitch black to his eyes. All three managed to make it down the stairs which opened up into a massive cavern.

“This should be enough space yes?” she asked the elf.

He again nodded.

The elf took the piece and set out to the center of the arena sized open space. He held it close as if it was a long lost child. Once in in the middle of the cavern he set down the golden object and held his side once more. A few moments later his image began to shimmer and a transformation began. The magic set the room aglow until finally a massive golden dragon took up a large part of the cave. Homgrid looked over the creature and saw the space on its left flank where a scale had gone missing.

“It doesn’t look too bad,” she pointed out.

“Maybe to you dwarf but to me it aches. Beyond that even if it didn’t hurt one could not have its form marred. It just isn't done.”

She recalled the first time she met a dragon. A young copper one up near the Stroval Plateau. He too was vain about his appearance, more concerned with her appreciation of his scales than her companions rooting through the old library in the ruins where he had taken up residence. The great dragons of Golarion would always fascinate her from that day forward. She would learn why much later.

“Well, we should get that set in for you then. And there are still a few enchantments left to add.”

The dragon huffed, a little fire puffing from its nostrils, “Be about it then dwarf. I trust you know your work better than I.”

Of course she did, and that would be about as close to a compliment she’d be getting from the gold. Homgrid picked up the piece where it lay and looked up to where the bare space on the dragon’s side disturbed the integrity of his scales. She cracked her back and strained her muscles until a set of large golden wings spread from her shoulder blades. She understood the golds; their pride was well deserved. But of course she was much like them, their blood was her blood.

Homgrid flew up until she was hovering where the scale was missing. She placed the new scale in place feeling it slide into the empty space perfectly. A gout of fire escaped her lips as she softened the piece just a little to mold to the more natural shape of the other scales. Once set, she let loose a final incantation before landing on the floor of the cavern.

“It should be set master dragon, but you should change forms again to make sure.”

The giant gold’s form began to shimmer once more as it shrunk back to the form of the pale elf with the golden eyes. He touched his side and raised a lip in satisfaction.

“I was not led astray smith. It feels just like the original.”

Homgrid huffed at him, “It should look just like the original too.”

“Yes, yes. Here is the other half of your payment,” he handed her a small bag containing a number of very expensive gems.

“I like a man, um dragon, who pays in full. Wouldn’t want to have to repeat that mess with Jalandrix the Silver.”

“Of course not. We gold’s are always true to our word.”

“Well then master dragon. You can see yourself out.”

The elf nodded and made his way back up the stairs. Homgrid turned away from the stairway and headed for a small alcove. Although she didn’t need it she lit a few candles around a small shrine. With a reference point Jorn trotted over to sit by his master. The two both looked solemnly at the shrine set into the alcove. The dragon in the holy symbol of Apsu stared back at them as Homgrid said a prayer.

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