Thorbin Copperlode (tore’-bin cop’-er-load")
Female Undead Dwarf; Medium Humanoid; Lawful Neutral
|AC:||19 (touch 19, flatfooted 15)|
|Saves:||Fortitude: n/a, Reflex: +11, Will: +11|
|Abilities:||STR 16(4), CON n/a, INT 16(4), CHA 9(-1)|
|Skills:||Balance: 14; Climb: 11; Hide: 17; Jump: 11; Listen: 17; Move Silently: 17; Spot: 10; Tumble: 17;|
The Copperlodes were working-class dwarves, and like her brothers, Thorbin went to the mines quite young. However, being tall, wiry (for a Dwarf) rather than stout, and left handed (a rarity, at least among the Clans) she found the mining equipment awkward and was often in the way. She has a poorly-healed scar on her left cheek from the accident which saw her exiled from the mines.
Left to seek her own means of support—her family had no room for a youth who wasn’t drawing an income and he had neither trade nor combat skills—she was “adopted” by a gang of human toughs who had a base in the foothills. This gang provided protection to the few traders between Dulacis and the Clans, for a “fee.” While not entirely on the level (be a shame if anything were to happen to that fine wagon, wouldn’t it?), their price was reasonable and there were enough goblins, kobalds, and and the like in the mountains and foothills—not to mention the dangers of the long-running conflict between the Clans and the Dulacis Empire—that most travelers paid willingly enough.
As she grew into young-adulthood, Thorbin learned how to fight, how to move quickly in mountainous terrain, and even picked up some of the languages of the mountain people and creatures—giants, gnomes, and the like. However the gang leader, Wallace, saw her obvious intelligence as a threat, and as Thorbin became more skillful, Wallace began to make it clear that it would be best if she moved on.
While she was still contemplating her next move—she didn’t really want to fight Wallace for leadership of a gang, and the extortion aspect had always made her uneasy anyway, while her only other obvious choice, the Dwarven military, was equally unappealing—a solitary monk who had (pointedly) refused their services found himself ambushed by a pair of hobgoblins not far from the gang’s camp. While he handled himself well, the monk was clearly outmatched. Breaking with the gang, who wanted no part of action they weren’t getting paid for, Thorbin stepped into the fight and together with the monk won a narrow victory over the two attackers.
Seeing Thorbin’s agility, the monk, who introduced himself as Fr. Jameson, made the unusual offer that Thorbin come study with him at the nearby Three Bells Monestary. Since she was now on the outs with Wallace’s gang, and having nowhere else to turn, Thorbin reluctantly accepted the offer.
To her surprise, she found that monastic life suited her: the daily ritual, the physical and mental training, the simple hierarchical social order, all found a place in her life she hadn’t known was there. While the monks didn’t put much stock in the Empire’s attempts at Dwarven conquest, being the only dwarf at an otherwise-all-human monastery, and being substantially older—in development as well as years—than the other novices, she was still something of an outsider. She made no close friends beyond Fr. Jameson, but he was naturally quick of hand and mind and diligent in her training; she advanced quickly through the novitiate. When old Abbot Charles passed beyond and Fr. Jameson was elected the new Abbot, some grumbled about Thorbin’s seeming position as “teacher’s pet,” but none could deny her work ethic or her skill. She has few friends, but no enemies at Three Bells.
After taking her Orders, now-Sister Thorbin hoped to become a traveling monk, walking much of Dulacis Kingdom promoting the cause of order and justice in an increasingly chaotic world. However the increasing tensions between the Empire and the Dwarven Clans made that a difficult proposition. Instead she found herself recruited into a half-organized resistance movement lead by the Lich Pratt (doppelganger of Dulacis Prime’s Wizard Pratt). While Pratt’s methods were not always to her liking—the wizard had a certain fondness for chaos that Thorbin found disturbing—the resistance’s goal of reining-in the power-hungry Empire and returning to a less-militant, more peaceful Dulacis aligned well with Thorbin’s own desires.
She spent much of her time away from the monastery listening for stories of minor troubles in the outlying provinces—situations where a little enforcement could go a long way, but the Empire authorities were unlikely to get involved—or were already “involved”. She sought out petty thugs, cattle rustlers, overbearing, abusive guards, and the like—and applied what force she could to the problem. By this point most of the peasants, small-time farmers, backwater merchants, and such in Dulacis have at least heard of “that dwarven lady-monk from Three Bells” though few would claim to know her personally.
When the Conquest of the Dwarves began in earnest, Thorbin felt called toward the center of command in the capitol city rather than the mayhem and ever-shifting lines of the actual battle, hoping, even, for a chance to disrupt the plans of the leaders themselves. Unfortunately, that chance never came, the Dwarven Clans were routed and slaughtered, and at least from what she knew the resistance was never able to pose more than a minor nuisance to the powers of the Empire.
With the majority of dwarves killed or enslaved, it became more difficult for Thorbin to move about the city unnoticed and uncontested. Still, she felt she owed the resistance—and Lich Pratt personally—her aid for their part in trying to oppose the expansionist Empire and prevent the decimation of the Dwarven Clans—however futile that opposition appeared to have been. She remained in the capitol, targeting such mid-level officials and soldiers as she was able with precise, efficient attacks. Within a few short years, however, her conspicuousness and growing reputation led to her inevitable capture and imprisonment. Had it not been for her unforeseen rescue by Illeah, she would undoubtedly have been executed.
Some time later, while traveling through the Underdark, her sense of duty overcame her reluctance and she accepted the offer of a Lich to use a powerful artifact and became undead, believing it was the only hope for the success of her adopted mission to save the world(s). As part of her decision, she extracted a promise from Illeah not to leave her undead: even destruction being preferable to such an “existence” in the long run.
* * *
At 4’5", 165 lbs, Thorbin is tall and slight for a Dwarf. She has a prominent scar on her left cheek which mars the symmetry of her beard. Otherwise she’s fairly nondescript, with tanned skin, medium brown hair, and light brown eyes shading to hazel. She wears a simple green-gray monk’s habit, and for many years had an ornate sword and scabbard strapped over her right shoulder across her back. When traveling, she additionally carries a pickax and a moderately-sized, well-packed rucksack full of mundane but useful items over her left shoulder. She doesn’t put much stock by magic unless someone she trusts can vouch for it. “Leave the magic to the magicians,” the old Abbot used to say, “rely instead on your training, your instinct, and your tools.” Despite her somewhat unusual appearance, there’s some quality about her which leads the eye elsewhere, and not many people remember encountering her.
Thorbin is used to working by herself, and doesn’t make friends quickly. While not exactly gruff or off-putting, she’s not a sparkling conversationalist, asking few questions and giving terse answers. Once someone has earned her trust, however, she is fiercely loyal, using all of her skills in their service, and she’s likely to help even a stranger who is making an effort to uphold the rule of law and order. She doesn’t kill sentient creatures easily, but will do so when she believes it to be necessary, and prefers to be efficient about it. After a run in with werewolves some years back she always makes sure to have some form of silver weapon ready to hand.
She appreciates a well-made tool, a well-performed task, and excellence and quality in even their most mundane forms. She’s the sort of person who would consider purchasing a masterwork soup spoon if it happened to catch her eye (although for the most part her monk’s asceticism has won out over such impulses). Like any dwarf she enjoys a rich beer, and carries her pipe and a bit of fine tobacco in her money pouch, but she rarely indulges to excess, preferring to keep the senses sharp and the waist trim.