Byrrnoth Grundadrakk

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Byrrnoth Grundadrakk is the King of the Dwarfen stronghold of Barak Varr. He was born into the ruling clan some three centuries ago, the younger of two brothers. He spent time with the Sea Engineers, learning the art of building iron ships, and had many friends amongst the merchants and navigators.

Tragedy struck Byrrnoth's father and brother whilst they were at sea. They were hunting a fleet of Naggaroth Corsairs when their vessel was attacked, sunk and eaten by an ancient sea dragon named Mauldekorr. There were no survivors.

When Byrrnoth heard the grim news he abandoned his old life. He swore an oath at the shrine of Grimnir to avenge his kin. He claimed his birthright, the axe Rhymakangaz and took to the sea to hunt down the wyrm.

The quest of Byrrnoth occupies one hundred and seventeen stanzas of the Barak Varr Book of Deeds. The King did not step foot on land for over 20 years. He almost passed into myth - the doom-laden Dwarf and his ship of iron, ever-prepared to follow the slightest clue to Mauldekorr's whereabouts. He searched along the Vampire Coast, past the Citadel of Dusk to the Boiling Sea. He dared the Churning Gulf and the Bitter Sea, finally finding the drake in a bay off the Dragon Isles.

As the dragon wrapped itself around the ship and started to crush it in its coils, Byrrnoth leapt upon the beast. Mauldekorr picked the dwarf up by his leg and hurled him into the air, opening up his fanged mouth to swallow the Byrrnoth whole. The King's rage engulfed him, and he willingly plunged into the gaping maw and started to cut the beast apart from the inside out. The dragon thrashed in pain, diving below the surface, writhing and twisting, but nothing would dislodge the Dwarf. Blow by blow, Byrrnoth hacked his way out, severing thigh-thick arteries and hewing thick, scaly skin. The crew of the Dwarf vessel watched the sea froth crimson and boil with the death throes of the dragon, fearful for their liege. Their despair turned to joy as Byrrnoth broke the surface, gasping for breath, his axe held high in triumph.

Upon his return to Barak Varr Byrrnoth was acclaimed by the populace. Few had believed that he would be able to fulfil his oath and it was with great pride that they hailed him as King.

The quest had changed Byrrnoth, not least because his leg wound never truly healed. He felt closer to his ancestors than ever before, and for the first time truly mourned his kin. He also realised that Barak Varr was allowing traditions to be diluted by contact with outsiders. He renewed the practice of sending Beardlings to Karak Kadrin to complete their education. Visitors wonder if Barak Varr will continue to be open for business, but such is the respect he has earned amongst his people that their support for his rule is absolute and without question.

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