Isidor Thalberg

Isidor Dietrich Thalberg

Profile (age ~17)

This information describes Isidor at an age of approximately 17, his first appearance in the campaign world.
6’5”, 290 lb.
Very light blue eyes
Very pale skin
Short-cropped, fine, blond hair

Profile (age ~19)

To do later

Isidor is a particularly large, strong man. Even amongst his own people, he is a towering hulk of a man. After generations of spending their lives primarily underground, Isidor’s people have lost much of their pigmentation; Isidor is typical of his people there, having light blue eyes, fine blond hair (kept short), and pale skin.
Isidor almost never removes his armor; he feels naked without a good layer of hide or metal between himself and the world. He feels most comfortable axe and shield in hand, though he has learned to keep his weapons stowed (but accessible) while in the confines of the city. He keeps his axe and shield either on his back or in his hands. His picks are always at his sides, and he keeps multiple daggers about his person. Isidor does not bother to hide his daggers; these are not covert weapons, merely backups.
Isidor favors grey, brown, and dark green clothing. While familiar with stealth and accustomed to moving quietly, Isidor is not a master of sneaking about. He is much more accustomed to fighting toe-to-toe in a defensive battle.
If you look closely enough at Isidor (Spot DC 20), you start to get the feeling that something is not quite right about him. You begin to feel that he is almost unnatural, perhaps in a threatening way. A shadow may seem to cross behind his eyes as though something else is looking out through his skull. His skin may seem to momentarily glisten as though it were truly made up of thousands of fine, white scales. His teeth may seem momentarily as if they are too pointed, as if his mouth is full of fangs instead of normal teeth. His cheeks seem too sunken; his brow, too pronounced. In short, he seems monstrous, if only for a moment. Those who notice this may be inclined to dismiss it as a paranoid delusion due to Isidor’s kind, outgoing nature.

Isidor comes from a small, isolated village. His customs differ greatly from those of the rest of (what is left of) human society.

  1. Isidor speaks, reads, and writes a dialect of High Suvanni that is unique to his village. Though he can understand the gist of conversations in modern Low Suvanni, he does not have a real grasp of the language.
  2. Isidor can read ancient Suvanni runes, though his understanding of them is somewhat hampered by 600 years of linguistic drift.
  3. Metalwork is rare in Isidor’s village – the villagers do not have sufficient manpower and resources to run an effective smithy. New weapons and armor can only be forged every 5 to 10 years as the city build up the resources to restart the forge. As a result, weaponry and armor are revered amongst Isidor’s people. Isidor names his weapons, cares for them almost obsessively, and knows the minutest of details about the history of each.
  4. Isidor is unaccustomed to paying for many things. Most trade in the village is handled by barter of goods and services, and critical services (e.g., food, shelter) are provided for free so long as the villager pulls his weight. Isidor now knows that he must pay for food and other items in the outside world; however, he has very little concept of how much things do and should cost. His first impulse is still to grab food without paying at inns and taverns, however.
  5. Due to the small population of Isidor’s town, Isidor has been taught from a young age that the women and children must be protected completely. Women and children are taught to fight just as well as them men, but women are always heavily guarded during attacks. Isidor is uncomfortable seeing women on the front lines in battles now when they could have been brought to a safer place.
  6. Isidor was brought up to deeply respect his elders. Anyone who lived long enough to become an “elder” obviously deserves to be respected and heard.
  7. The better warriors, the skilled smiths, and the best survivors in Isidor’s village often have multiple “wives.” The wives are treated with great respect – any male who doesn’t is subject to severe penalties, up to and including death, as the breeding women must be protected to keep the village alive. This arrangement works in the village because more men than women are killed in the guard and scouting parties. As a result, though, Isidor truly doesn’t understand the concept of monogamy.
  8. The villagers often eat their non-humanoid kills. Isidor sees no issue with this; food has to come from somewhere. Humanoid kills might be eaten, but only during particularly lean times.
  9. The villagers keep trophies from their kills, often decorating their weapons and armor with feathers, scales, hides, claws, and so forth. The trophies serve to underscore each warrior’s battle experiences; the more decorations on a warrior’s weapons, the more battle-hardened he is.
  10. Villagers get tattoos for encountering and overcoming certain challenges. These tattoos take the form of highly-stylized runes following a strict convention that allows anyone viewing the tattoo to understand instantly what the person has been through and/or accomplished. These tattoos are inscribed on the forearms, upper arms, and thighs. Isidor has a tattoo for each of the following milestones:
    1. Hearth + War: Combat in defense of home and village.
    2. Magic + Self: First spell cast
    3. War + Death: First kill
    4. Self + Blood: First significant injury in combat
    5. Hearth + Death: Loss of a party member
    6. War + Death + Soldier: First humanoid kill
    7. Silence + Travel: Going on a scouting mission
    8. Magic + Shield: First find of a useful magical artifact
    9. Soldier + Blood: Rescue of a party member
    10. Silence + Travel + Soldier: Leading a scouting mission
    11. Shield + Travel: Trading with the mountain-men
    12. Hearth + Self + Abigail: First marriage (i.e., building a home)
    13. Hearth + Blood: First child
  11. Knowledge of very few of the deities has survived in Isidor’s village. Only Erastil (god of family and home), Iomedae (goddess of valor, justice, and honor), Torag (god of protection and strategy), and Pharasma (goddess of fate, death, and birth) are still worshipped. The domains not covered by these deities are normally ascribed to various spirits, which are deliberately set apart from the true deities. Isidor doesn’t really believe in the other deities he has encountered in the greater world and is much more respectful of clerics of his deities. Furthermore, the domains ascribed to the gods by his people have drifted slightly from the true domains of those gods.
    1. Erastil: Known as Father Erastil, he is perceived as ruling over everything to do with family and home life.
    2. Iomedae: Known as Justice Iomedae/Iomedae Lawgiver, she is perceived as the provider and the ultimate enforcer of all the broader societal rules.
    3. Torag: Known as Torag, but his name is often shortened to Tor. He essentially plays the role of a “god of war” for Isidor’s people, though a war-god of a particularly defensive nature.
    4. Pharasma: Still known as Pharasma, she is largely perceived to be concerned with births and deaths. Loss of a warrior in battle is often referred to as “receiving Pharasma’s call.”
  12. Isidor is not used to actual privacy. The caverns are packed too tight for any but the most revered elders and the greatest warriors to have truly private areas. Isidor, as befits his society, has mastered selective hearing and selective sight – he would never admit to seeing or hearing an obviously private moment between others, as that would be impolite.
  13. Isidor has a… reduced sense of personal space due to the lack of space in the tunnels and caverns. He sometimes stands too close to people for comfort when talking with them. Due to his build, his stature, and his pidgin common, this can be (mis)perceived as a threatening gesture.

Isidor is unused to having excess material. He treats his weapons almost like members of his family – they must be respected and cared for as they are all that stands between his village and the rampaging hordes.

  1. Battleaxe: Herzshutz (“Guardian of that closest to my heart”)

Isidor’s grandfather bequeathed this axe to Isidor when he became too old to fight. Isidor’s grandfather attributed much of his success in battle to this axe, which he said seemed to have a mind of its own and seemed always to know where to strike. Isidor has only had this axe for a short two years, but in that time, he has started to see what his grandfather meant. Grandfather even spoke of one battle where he severed the heads of two dragonborn from their bodies as they charged the entrance to his family’s sleeping chambers. Though Isidor hasn’t felt that sort of power from this axe, he feels the tingle of magic when he wields Herzshutz. He knows that the battleaxe is enchanted, but he has not yet felt the stirrings of the power that Grandfather described.
Herzshutz is an ornate battle-axe with a pick back. The handle is wrapped with the hide of white dragonborn, and the handle is wrapped in black drow-leather taken from the armor of fallen attackers. The axe-head is inlaid with silver runes and traced through with a single gold vein. The wedge is obsidian. A leather handle-strap hold various token of fallen attackers – feathers, bits of hair, and armored scales are strung on the loop.

  1. Mithril Shield: Vergeschenk (“Gift of the Mountain Men (dwarves)”)

When he was 16, Isidor and his scouting party heard sounds of a battle in one of the entrance-shafts. Running toward the commotion, the party came upon a team of dwarves heading to the village for trade. The dwarves hadn’t been seen in 40 years, but the stories about them and their visits were still told throughout the village. Isidor recognized them immediately; more seriously, he recognized that the creatures attacking them were overpowering the traders. Isidor’s party rushed in and flanked the attacking monsters, turning the tide of the battle; during the fight, Isidor drove his axe through the head of the monster attacking the leader of the caravan. After the battle, the dwarves rewarded each of the scouts with a piece of metalwork of a quality they’d never before seen. Isidor, having taken down 4 of the creatures himself and having saved the life of the leader, was granted this shield in trade for his damaged steel shield. Despite its amazing lightness, Isidor found this shield to be amazingly effective; he named it in honor of the men who bestowed the gift upon him.
Vergeschenk is a very plain heavy kite shield adorned only with the trade-mark of the dwarf-guild who gave the shield to Isidor (on the lower outside corner of the back). The face of the shield is unadorned and mirror-polished. Because Vergeschenk was a gift, Isidor has not altered its appearance, though he cares for it exceptionally well. Gifts may be recalled after a period of time in Isidor’s society; keeping the item as it was when it was given to you is a mark of respect on the part of the recipient.

  1. Chain Shirt: Klinschutz (“Sheltering home” or “Sanctuary”)

Isidor acquired this armor from the dwarves he rescued. He traded a bunch of damaged armors for this chain armor. Since he acquired this armor, Isidor has not been seriously wounded in battle, leading him to dub this armor his “sanctuary.” Isidor always feels uncomfortably exposed when without this armor.
Klinshutz is an ordinary overlapping-ring chain shirt. Isidor has adorned it with strips of leather woven through the rings; each leather band was taken from a monster he killed. Isidor has hung 5 drow-darts from the left side of the armor using woven drow-hair strings. A green snake-skin is woven through the chain of the right arm.

  1. Light pick (right hand): Drachereisse (“Dragon-render”)

(formerly Stalbrecher or “Armor-breaker”)
Isidor acquired this pick from the smithy during its run when he was 11 years old. He chose a pick so that he could fight like his father. He named it because of its effectiveness against a band of breastplated humanoids that attacked during his first week on the night-guard. Despite his young age, he stove in the (admittedly brittle) breastplate of one of the attackers, killing him with a single blow.
Stalbrecher is a standard light pick with a clean edge. Isidor keeps the pick-head free of rust but does not polish it to a fine shine. The haft is cloth-wrapped with brownish-black runes rough-drawn onto it. Each rune represents a creature and is written in the blood of that creature.
TODO update with notes from hydra battle

  1. Light pick (left hand): Kohle (“Coal”)

This pick belonged to Isidor’s father. As a young man, Isidor’s father was fighting off an invading monster the same day he had been given this pick by the master smith. With his first swing, he missed the creature and buried the pick in the tunnel wall deeply enough that he could not immediately withdraw it. Fortune smiled upon Isidor’s father, though; he drew his Daumen-kniffe with his off-hand and drove it into the creature’s foul, dripping muzzle. The creature retreated and was set upon by the other warriors in the tunnel. Isidor’s father was very near to cursing his luck when the pick suddenly came free, revealing a small vein of coal suitable for the smithy. This was seen as fate, as the smithy was nearly out of fuel and was being prepared to be shut down; the coal vein allowed the smiths to run for another week, allowing all of the newly-trained warriors to be fitted with metal armors instead of leather and hide armors. Since that day, Kohle served Isidor’s father very well, splitting the armored hide of many an encroaching monster. Isidor received Kohle as a gift from his father on the day he led his first scouting mission.
Kohle is a serrated-edge light pick with a dark carbon-steel head. The pick-head carries a blunt weight on the off-side. The blunt head isn’t large or sturdy enough to be used as a hammer, but it adds some mass to the head. This allows the pick to be semi-effective as a mining pick as well as a weapon. The blunt side is wound with the hair of various creatures, mostly drow and goblin-kin, but including the hair of one giant-kin. The handle is blackened with coal dust with a lacquer coating over it to keep the whole pick dark.

  1. Daggers (boot): The Zeigers (“Pointer-Fingers”)

All members of Isidor’s village are taught knife-fighting from a very early age. The first knife-fighting skill taught to children is that of the Zeiger-kniffe. A Zeiger is a well-balanced throwing knife with a narrow, sharply-pointed blade. It is named after the mnemonics used to teach proper knife-throwing skills to children.

  1. Daggers (thighs): The Fausten (“Fists”)

The second style of knife-fighting, using the Fausten-kniffe, is taught to adolescents. This dagger is slightly longer and much broader than a Zeiger-kniffe. It has a reinforced tang and a larger handle, but it is still largely a thrusting weapon. This knife is so named because the children are taught to hold it backward along the arm, presenting only their fists to their enemies until the strike lands.

  1. Dagger (back sheath): Daumen (“Palm”)

The third and final style of knife-fighting taught in the village is that of the Daumen-kniffe. This dagger is designed almost like a short sword and is primarily used as a cutting weapon. However, it does have a rounded tip that makes an effective thrusting weapon against unarmored foes.

  1. Heavy Crossbow: Weitmord (“Death from afar”)

This pristine heavy crossbow is the first and only weapon Isidore has purchased outside of his village. Isidor’s village does not use crossbows – they aren’t very necessary in the winding and narrow underground corridors. Instead, Isidor and his people generally used slings underground. When Isidor saw the crossbows in the hands of the Throman guards, though, he knew he needed to acquire and learn to use one of these formidable weapons. As of the start of the campaign, Isidor had not used his crossbow outside of the firing range.
Weitmord is an off-the-shelf heavy crossbow. Isidor has not decorated it at all yet because he has not yet used it in battle. TODO: Update with notes from Hobgoblin battle.

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