Dermod Blackmaul

Brenna's older brother, a blacksmith


Dermod grew to adulthood in the hinterlands of the dwarven territories. His father, Ari Blackmaul, was the chief of their tiny tribe, clinging desperately to their mountain stronghold despite frequent and vicious attacks from orcs and goblins. The iron ore mined from the mountain depths made the danger worthwhile – Blackmaul iron was prized across Varisia. The small clan was comprised almost entirely of miners, while Ari himself smelted and refined the ore into solid iron bars for trade with the outside world. Dermod learned the smithing trade from his father as well as the skills needed to defend the stronghold from orcish and goblin invaders.

The clan was in decline. In the past century, the orcs had begun to kidnap dwarven women, and within two decades, their purpose became apparent. Half-orcs make excellent strategists.

Dermod’s own mother had been one of the earliest victims, and his father Ari was loathe to marry again. Yet Fimkka eventually convinced him otherwise, and Dermod soon had a lovely baby sister, Brenna. By now, the clan had dwindled to scarcely fifty adults – the vast depths of their stronghold were full of echos when young Brenna ran teetering about shrieking with youthful exuberance.

The final orc raid came at night, with the entire clan asleep in the hold. Like a flood they surged in through every crevice, an unstoppable force laying waste to the small muster of dwarves guarding the gates. They came for the women again.

Fimkka was gone, along with every other dwarven woman. It was too much to bear. Ari gathered the men together for a final assault against the orcs. They would get their women back, or die trying. Dermod and a few others were given the last of the packhorses, a few loads of iron bars, and the children to take to Janderhoff for safety. If Ari and the men were successful, they would reunite in the city. No amount of profit was worth this heartache – they would abandon their homeland.

Dermod never saw his father again. The city of Janderhoff absorbed the remnant of the clan with great sympathy, and Dermod set up shop as a blacksmith, raising his sister as his own child and training her in the ways of smithing. He didn’t forget the trials of the past, carefully instructing her in combat against the reviled orcs and goblins that had decimated their people.

Brenna seemed fated for another life, however: she was accepted into the Fortress of Torag to train as a paladin. When her malady struck and she made plain that she would travel the world until she found a cure, Dermod was beside himself. He couldn’t bear losing his last living family member – he would travel with Brenna.

Adventuring is horrible. There is never enough food or mead, and sleeping in open air is abhorrent. Worse yet, humans know nothing of the laws of hospitality. Some even attack you on sight. After crossing the continent, Brenna finally conceded that they both needed a break. Dermod has happily settled in Sandpoint, helping Savah in her shop, keeping her wares in excellent condition and mending any broken arms or armor of the locals.

These days, when he is not minding the fires of his forge, he can be found in meditation at the House of Blue Stones. Perhaps here he finds the peace that has long eluded him since the loss of his family and clan, or he finds peace in the company of its proprietress, Sabyl Sorn.

Dermod Blackmaul

Rise Of The RuneLords Strahd42 RuthIe