Thaddeus Theophilus Foambeard

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Thaddeus Theophilus Foambeard, was born in the dwarven city of Clifftop in the region of the Undercity Caverns. His father was a shieldsmith of small yet loyal reknown, having inherited a reputation built over several generations. His mother was a prietess of Hanseath. He had two older brothers. The eldest was destined to take over the family forge, and the middle was more free-spirited and settled into the life of a traveling caravan merchant. Thaddeus himself was not born until his middle brother was already out on his own, so he was not seen much. In fact, it was amazing that Thaddeus was even born at all. His mother was said to be past her child bearing years. Yet birthed he was. When barely able to walk, his father was taken to prison on the charge of treason. It was rumored that he got mixed up in a political coup that went sour. The family refused to talk about it. Thaddeus’s mother died shortly after her husband was taken. Despite all the prayers and offerings, disease can claim the most hearty of souls. It was a grim day in the city when she died, every dwarf in every pub for miles around raised their mugs and stood silent with heads bowed when that single bell tolled. Thaddeus was left in the charge of his eldest brother. While capable of carrying on the family’s work, Thaddeus did not have the patience for it. Add that to the fact that there was a very striking resemblance to his mother, and it made it hard for his brother to be around him. So it came to pass that he was indentured to the temple of Hanseath, in hopes that he would carry on in his Mother’s honor.

Life in the temple started simply enough. Temple pages spent their days doing household chores and their evenings learning the tales of the gods {knowledge religion}. Punishments took the form of scribing stone tablets of prayer runes and recipes {craft: stone}. Thaddeus seemed to have a knack for this (getting punished, not crafting), he never turned down a chance for mischief, but to his credit, he never refused to admit what he had done and always took his lumps (sometimes literally). Upon coming of age, he was elevated to the rank of Apprentice Brewer, which basically moved his chores from the chapel proper to the brewery. His lessons however moved from religion to brewing, which he took an immediate liking to {Profession: Brewer}. His family however, had not forgotten him. His eldest brother sent him a great spiked steel shield. His middle brother sent him chits good for training at a local master-at-arms. This led to two pivotal discoveries. First, that he was no great soldier. He could swing his club with some skill but he tended to stay behind his shield too much. The master-at-arms, sensing this was the boy’s nature, focused his further training on shield work, and how to best use it to his advantage {Improved shieldbash}. The second discovery was the master’s son, who soon became his best friend. Things went down hill from there. His friend and his crowd were a rowdy bunch. They spent most nights in pubs drinking and getting into fights. While this kept with the tennents of Hanseath, Thaddeus had not yet learned moderation. So it was that windy night when they had been thrown out of their fourth pub, that they found themselves along the cliffs at the edge of the city, drunk and foolish. They were taking turns running towards the edge and seeing who could get the closest before stopping. Thaddeus won, only because a gust of wind caught his friend and sent him over the cliff to the rocks far, far below. Thaddeus took his friends death very hard. The formal investigation into the death caused the temple a lot of bad publicity, which led to hard times for the young priest. So it came to pass that night while cleaning the railings of the catwalks over the great vats that Thaddeus looked down and saw his friend looking back up at him from beneath the foam. In his already depressed state, he dove over the side and into the brew. Despite his attempt, the water elementals used to stir the vats saved him. They handed him over to the priests, who confined him to his quarters.

It was several days later that he was wakened by the head brewer himself who told him that he must prepare himself for a trip that he would probably not return from. He was not going alone, Dame Hilga, one of the high brew-priests, and friend of his late mother, would be accompanying him. Together they were to venture to the surface, to the city of Sasserine where they would join the Temple of Morradin there and take over it’s brewing facilities. Dame Hilga as the Temple Brewmaster, and Thaddeus as her assistant.

They left the following morning at dawn. Neither one said anything to the other. Thaddeus was lost in himself and Dame Hilga sensing this, left him to his own musings. On the morning of the third day, they broke out of the confines of the underdark and ventured into the surface world. It was Thaddius’s first time seeing the sun. It lit a fire in him that he had not felt since his friend died. The next days found him more talkative and Dame Hilda proved to be a good conversational companion. They spent the rest of their journey in debate and speculation. They stopped at every pub and inn on the way (some a little out of way), to ‘spread the word of Hanseath’. Thaddeus’s faith was rekindled, and soured to new heights. Being on road and visiting new places struck a chord with him. Every place he stopped, he never had problems finding someone to ‘preach’ to. He learned several new contests of strength and skill as well. It was all so invigorating [travel domain]. But all good things must come to an end.

They reached Sasserine a few weeks after the worst of the shipping season. With the oncoming storms, there would be diminished travelers and merchants. It was a good time to set up shop and rebuild an aging temple. They were greeted warmly by their fellow dwarves. They seemed surprised to see Thaddius, as they were only expecting a replacement Brewmaster. There were already several young apprentices, so Thaddius didn’t have much to do. With his days on the road still fresh on his mind, he took it upon himself to spread his teachings around town. He soon learned that the most apt ‘parishioners’ were to be found in the pubs clustered around the arena. Without realizing it, he soon became involved with a rowdy bunch of fighter and gladiator types. While strictly forbidden from unsanctioned prize fighting, nothing was stopping him from watching the games. He soon came to appreciate the sheer strength and prowess of the participants [strength domain]. He spent more and more of his free time with them. The only thing that occupied his mind more, were his duties as a disciple of Hanseath. In those he was diligent almost to a fault. He even started insisting his friends pay homage to the god before and after every battle.

One thing Thaddius refused to do was gamble. A friendly wager over feats of strength or games of skill with rounds of drinks as a prize was open praise to Hanseath, but betting coin on the success and misfortunes of others was an offront to the tenents of Hanseath. While he did not participate in such things himself, he did nothing more than glower at his friends while they did. Then one night one of them came to him and asked him to take them to the temple because there were men after them for gambling debts. Thaddius agreed with the intent on getting some of the priests to help him scold his friend. They had only been inside when the pursuers came into the temple and demanded to the high priest of Morradin himself that they surrender the man to them. They were refused. They stormed off threatening public revenge. Come to find out, the man had borrowed money from one of the minor nobles in the city and he had the ear of the ruling class. Rumors started to spread of the temple’s involvement with criminals. They even cited Thaddeus and his bouts of ‘preaching’ as proof of this involvement. It was Dame Hilda that came to Thaddeus and suggested he take his teachings out of the city. She did not know how long he would have to stay gone, but if he never returned it would not be a bad thing. She kissed him on his cheek, handed him a purse of coins, told him to gather his things and be out of the temple before first light. As she turned to walk away, her last words were “If you ever get lost, pray to Hanseath, have him ask your Ma what you should do.”

Thaddeus did as was requested. He grabbed his few meager belongings, the purse, and his shield, and set off for the docks. There was a spring in his step as he thought back to the trip that led him here, and then as he thought of the road ahead.

Thaddeus Theophilus Foambeard

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