Helga Helmsplitter

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Helga Helmsplitter

Post by inthecorridors on Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:02 am

Helga was, contrary to popular belief, just as intelligent as any other dwarf. She spoke in a clearly low-born dialect of her people, and had an unfortunate speech impediment was all. She was, however, wiser than the average dwarf, and thus did not bother to dispel this misconception about her mental abilities, knowing it could be useful. Besides, she had no desire for a "book learnin" education in the fine points of Dwarven literature and lists of ancient battles and their dates that Dwarves had fought in, provided the weapons and armor for, or profited from. It just wasn't her thing. Neither was learning to bake the best possible mushroom pie or local gossip. No, she was happiest following her father around his small forge, and since he couldn't afford an assistant, it made him happy too.
This was why, though her parents and her betrothed and her family pretended otherwise, she knew her upcoming marriage was really a business arrangement. The head clan of her small area had long been served by a particular family of dwarves that had been their personal black and whitesmiths for centuries. The last member of that particular family had died a few months ago without an heir. With her marriage to Granite, her family would take over that role. They would live in the small house on the clan head's property that was nonetheless much larger than their current house, with a rather better forge. Helga's father could actually afford to buy metals for forging jewelry as well as axes and flails and pony-shoes and plow blades, because he would buy them on the clan head's credit. The pendant that had caught the family's eye in the first place had sent him into debt.
What did the Stonecrushers get out of the deal? Well, these days, any other family expected to forge exclusively for their family would expect to be paid, not just given a place to live and food to eat and a permanent family business. Helga's family was impoverished enough that this was seen as a great deal. This matter of money might not normally have been the concern of a head clan family, but the gossip she pretended not to hear indicated that the same Granite to which she was betrothed had an unfortunate gambling habit along with some... poor choices... with dwarfwomen. It was hoped that marrying him off might settle him, or at least make him look more respectable. Granite was aptly named. Trying to talk sense into him was like trying to convince a stone wall to move.
So much the better if his wife to be was presumed simple, meaning that she would not notice if he strayed. The Stonecrushers appeared to find this solution very neat, crushing several tunnel rats with one stone. Helga, for her part, was fine with a husband unlikely to be interested in her much. She wasn't particularly interested in him.
This presumed simplicity allowed her to get away with certain things, such as the way she had spoken up after keeping a long silence while the families essentially bargained for her. "I won' 'afta cook an' clean out de slops from de chamber or give any dem fancy speeches or appear in any dose cerenies? I not marry de rockhead it if I 'afta do dose fings." Helga's family had gone pale with horror. Lady Stonecrusher tried to find words while Lord Stonecrusher smirked behind his beard (which, given that he was not required to do manual forge labor, was many times bushier than Helga's father's). Granite laughed openly, which caused his parents to go pale, and patted her hand. "No, no dear, we have many servants for that sort of thing that you're used to yours sisters doing, and it's clear that you are not cut out for those particular tasks of the well born dwarf in the least." Lady Stonecrusher flushed red and glared at her son, then smiled sweetly at Helga. "What he means is that we are so pleased that you will join our family that we could never ask you to bother yourself with such burdensome tasks!"
"Okeh." Helga turned back to carefully linking rings of chainmail together. The entire room around her resumed normal color, except for Granite, who was already looking bored and probably wondering when he could go visit Elsa again... mm... Elsa... didn't grow the faintest wisp of a beard, nor even sideburns... he knew it was strange, and unnatural, and generally considered a sign of poor health in a dwarfwoman, but he found it oddly interesting... Elsa, for her part, spent a small portion of the gold he gave her bleaching and shaving, and another small portion on that enchanted perfume.

Wedding plans continued. Helga continued to make her own chainmail veil, despite the Stonecrushers' insistence that the job could be hired out. "No. I make my own. It's t'dition. 'Sides, I learn from my father well. I make de links finer dan any else in de town." They looked at what she held in her hands and admitted, twas true.
---

"Helga, darling, we've got a wedding rehearsal in five minutes, won't you be a dear and come on now?" Granite poked his head into the forge and tried to smile at her.
Helga looked up from where she was kneeling and shot him a molten glare that he missed because he was checking his reflection in a half finished shield. "Inna minute. I'm praying."
He looked over at her, surprised at the glare she was still giving him. "Praying, what for?"
"To Ralth. I ask dat he bless dis chain veil, and our marriage, and dank him for--"
Granite interrupted with an impatient interjection that has been much speculated on. Helga refused to repeat what she termed a hideous blasphemy against Ralth, and Granite forevermore was not only prone to forgetting what he'd been talking about for the past hour, with a permanent ringing in his ears, but terrified of the name of Ralth. Wouldn't you be too, if suddenly an already massive dwarfwoman swelled up with pure rage, and hit you upside the head not with the hammer next to her, but the anvil?
It's a good thing he had his ceremonial helm on. As it was, at the bottom it was split and broken, like a banner left out in the wind too long. One crack extended all the way up into the eyehole.

---

"--banished, stripped of your family name, and the employment contract will NOT go through--"
"Dat is wrong."
Lord Stonecrusher looked shocked. "WHAT?"
"If you dun employ my family, I tell de whole town who make Elsa AND Agata with child."
Dead silence.
"That is mere rumor, and--"
Helga leaned forward and looked right at Lord Stonecrusher. "And I will tell de whole town how you cheat old Ironfoundersson out of many payments in his last days, when he wos confuse easy. So many payments he die in debt and his chil'ren not know what happen, de books say ev'thing right, but the money gone, dey hafta sell business to you, fancy dat."
A much, much deader silence. Dwarves tend to be very touchy about that sort of thing. Very bad things could happen to the Stonecrusher family if that got out. Like death by an enraged mob armed with very heavy weapons.
Lady Stonecrusher licked her lips. "Perhaps..."
"De deal is dis. You will employ my family as planned. I will leave. I will give up de family name. You will tell de town dat you honor the contract because is not dere fault I am wild. Instead, my sister Greta marries Granite. She fink he cute, like to cook and clean, and dun talk like dis, make you look good at cerem'ny. She like fine things, like to keep books, she will agree." Helga paused. "Sides, yous should be danking me. Tell me dis, dis Granite, he has no placed a bet or visited Elsa since I hit him with the anvil, no?"
"No..." said Lord Stonecrusher faintly. "He actually does what he's told for the most part now..."
"Good. Oh yes, and you give de business back to the Ironfounderssons to show what good clan heads you are."
"Of course!" Lady Stonecrusher said enthusiastically.
"Yous dunno anything about iron an'way. Stick w' rocks."

----

So Helga left her home, stripped of her family name, with nothing but a mushroom pie, a cloak with a hammer dyed into it, and an old hammer. She dropped her family name as promised, and never tells it. She christened herself Helga Helmsplitter (dwarves do have a sense of humor) and started making her way around Aenea in the service of Ralth.



Helga Helmsplitter
Chaotic Good
Cleric of Ralth
Charisma score of "That's unfortunate..."
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Re: Helga Helmsplitter

Post by daveyeisley on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:01 pm

This is *fantastic* stuff!!!

four smileys!

Smile Smile Smile Smile
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Re: Helga Helmsplitter

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:23 am

Smile

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Re: Helga Helmsplitter

Post by Svair on Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:19 am

I liked that write-up. :-)
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Re: Helga Helmsplitter

Post by inthecorridors on Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:54 am

"A drink for dese nice peoples! Ale all 'round! Err... yous guys is paying, right?"
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