Fey touched dwarvish druid
A soft spoken dwarf who has lived the life of a hermit for 40 years. Villtur was fey touched 6 months ago and is just beginning to tap into and understand the power of nature that now flows in his veins.
Villtur has become disgusted with the way the peoples of Faerun have treated the land. He vows to seek out new wild places and protect their natural power.
Fairness Villtur abhors uneven fights, especially in the hunt. He will never use magic to kill an animal and views ranged weapons used for hunting with the same disdain that an avid muzzle loader enthusiast in our world might have for those who hunt with rifles and salt lick baits.
Natural Beauty Fancy cloths, jewelry, makeup and displays of wealth are gaudy. A genuine person is much more beautiful to Villtur. When in civilization Villtur prefers quaint and cozy accommodations rather than lavish ones.
Peaceful Resolutions Diplomatic solutions are preferred to violent ones.
Experience and introspection To Villtur, learning things through life experience is more valuable than formal education. Inward reflection is more important than winning arguments.
Socially awkward Four decades with minimal humanoid contact has left Villtur out of touch. Insightful people will notice that Villtur’s mannerisms belong to a generation long since passed, while normal people might assume his out of place way of speaking is due to his dwarvish heritage.
Poor sense of value Villtur is not a fool, but he has had very little use for money. He will tend to over value items that could be useful and undervalue things like precious gems, art work, or ornamental craftsmanship. He will often attempt to barter even when it would be inappropriate.
Twin plumes of hot steam rise out of the boar’s nostrils with every rhythmic breath. They twist upward in the still morning air before merging with the cold mist that clings to the forest floor. Malevolent eyes scan the underbrush ahead looking out over a set of viciously sharp tusks. The old boar smells signs of the hunter in the woods: sweat, blood, leather, adrenaline. The brush all around reeks of the hunter, but gives no clear sense of a direction.
Ahead there is a rustling sound followed by running foot steps. The boar charges headlong forward, crashing through the bramble. He can see the hunter ahead, fleeing. The boar is gaining on him. 40 feet. 30 feet. 20. The boar will soon be on the hunter, goring him with his tusks and tossing his snout to rend the hunter’s flesh.
Just as the boar is about to make contact, the hunter suddenly ascends, scrambling up a boulder that was concealed by a thorn bush. The boar cannot stop himself in time, and slams into the rock. Dazed and enraged, the boar thrashes the undergrowth all around him. He does not see the hunter retrieve the spear that had been hidden on top of the boulder. The hunter falls on the boar, leading with the sharpened quartz tip of his spear
The struggle is over in a matter of seconds. The boar lets out one final puff of air, his snout half submerged in a mud puddle forming out of his own blood mixed with dirt. “Rest now, great father of this wood. Your strength returns to the earth.” the hunter says as he begins a chant of blessing over his kill. A moment of silence passes before the dwarvish hermit bends to the task of preparing his game.
Childhood in the Citadel
Even from a young age Villtur obviously did not fit in well with his kin at Citadel Felbarr. While the other children were racing through the halls of the citadel playing games like “Golem’s Gold” and “Hold Person Tag” Villtur would wonder up to the ramparts and look out over the pass below with it’s little stream winding through hills and forests. He would become enamored with watching vultures and hawks circle high in the clear blue sky.
Villtur would look for any excuse to venture out into the pass or up onto the mountain behind the citadel. He would often miss meals or classes and get reprimanded by his parents and the Education Masters at the Citadel. When he was learning his trades, he would excel in areas where most dwarves struggled, but lacked motivation for work which the other children loved. He did not enjoy mining, or prospecting work. Rune writing was boring to him. He was appalled by the way his people did animal husbandry. When learning art, he had no taste for stone carving. He did enjoy painting, but could only find motivation in wild landscape subjects, rather than the typical portrait and mosaic styles favored among the citizens of Citadel Felbarr.
He earned the teasing nick name “fey kin” from his peers (which is the dwarvish equivalent to calling him “pussy”, “faggot”, or “fairy”). He had few friends among the dwarves, and no close companions. In the clan based society of the dwarf a close circle of friends is a form of training for loyalty to the group, and by being excluded from such a group Villtur found himself on the receiving end of the torrments of childhood. He would often be drug into fights, which he would sometimes win and sometimes lose (while his mentality ran counterculture to that of the typical dwarf, he still retained an exemplary stout build and strong body). No matter the outcome of a given conflict, each one would push him farther and farther to the fringe of the Citadel life.
Life in the Pass
When he was a young adult, he found a greater sense of kinship with the dwarves of the pass. These people who would dwell outside of the Citadel made lives for themselves by farming for the Citadel Felbarr and running patrols through the pass to seek out any marauding goblinoids and trespassers. Villtur found a greater level of acceptance among these people, although his differing interests still created barriers to making a real connection.
Villtur would alternate between odd jobs as a farm hand and going on patrols through the pass. While farming, Villtur proved himself to be a reliable and sturdy worker in the field, but in the stable he still felt uncomfortable with the way his kin treated their animals. This aversion to a large part of farm living gradually made Villtur favor patrol work that would take him down the pass by the river and sometimes into the forest. Each patrol would last between 2 and 6 days, and most of the Ranger’s of the Pass (as they called themselves) would take turns patrolling and resting at the villages to enjoy their pay. For Villtur, the patrols were more restful than the time spent at the village, and he began to go on back to back to back patrols, often only spending 3 or 4 days a month in towns.
This constant patrolling earned Villtur a reputation for knowing the woods, and he was soon being sought out for guide and scout work beyond what the typical patrols would do. This extra work brought Villtur some prestige among his peers, but it also meant that he was now spending more time in solitude in the woods. He was also earning a lot of pay that would rarely be spent. It was held in his name by the very reliable Felbarr bank where it would remain earning gradual interest. The pay was never a factor for Villtur, who found much more satisfaction in the peaceful solitude of his wide scouting patrols.
After several years of this type of work, roaming farther and farther into the wilds, Villtur reached the limit of what he could learn of the woods while performing his duties as a patrol man and scout. He often wanted to spend his time in the wilds focused on observing the natural world around him, but the mission at hand would always pull him away. In the blunt and decisive manner which was a hallmark of his dwarven heritage, Villtur made up his mind. 1 day later, when returning to the village after the current wide patrol, Villtur received his pay for the week, asked the paymaster to apply it to his account and simply said, “I’ll be leaving then.” He gathered his kit which was still packed and strode out of the village, the pass, and the lands of the dwarves of Citadel Felbarr.
Life of Solitude
Villtur spent several months on the road, moving from town to town performing odd jobs for lodging. He wintered over at a trading post as a laborer helping to build the wall and a new stable. In the spring he struck out into the nearby woods. He discovered a cave up in the hills and called it home.
The life of a hermit suited Villtur splendidly. He now had all the time in the world to focus on the things that brought him joy. in a given year, Villtur would make a handful of stops in at the trading post for supplies that he could not make on his own. He did a lot of paintings, which required oils and dyes that he could not manufacture. Metal tools were extremely precious, as were indulgences such as baked goods. Villtur would barter the things he gathered from the woods such as furs and pelts, roots and edible mushrooms, rare saplings and cuttings from trees considered exotic to some travelers.
By far his most valuable asset was the gathering of hard to find components from the woods that practitioners of the arcane arts required. over the years, he developed a reputation for finding these type of objects when others could not. Wizards of the realm would spend weeks in the trading post hoping to make a special request of the dwarf hermit, for no men knew where he called home to seek him out.
Years of uninterrupted communing with nature in this way coupled with instructions to seek out the hidden magics of the woods to bring back as components brought Villtur into sporadic contact with what he referred to as the “wood weird”. These included dancing lights that would wink out when approached, whispers and laughing on the wind, terrain that had just been passed moments rearranged with trees in different places and the brush along the ground arranged differently. Some times Villtur would hear pan pipes in the middle of the night and shadows would move just outside of the firelight.
The Wood Weird
Despite these weird and sometimes unsettling signs, Villtur never felt threatened in the woods. in fact, he became fascinated with the wood weird often chasing the voices and wisps far off of the path. All of these visions and mysterious happenings would stay on the edge of sight and hearing. Closer inspection always revealed nothing. Still, the dwarf persisted it seeking the wood weird. In his pursuits he found strange and wonderful hidden places in the deep forest.
One such place was a placid lake tucked away and bearing no sign of the presence of man. While following the wisps in the woods, Villtur pushed through the brush and beheld the water glistening in the mid day sun, and out in the water stood the maiden. Her bare back was towards him as she walked out into the waist high shallows of the shore. He watched her for several minutes, confused how someone came to be out this far from the closest village. Then, she suddenly became aware of him, and dove into the water. Villtur walked out of the treeline and to the edge of the lake, peering intently at the place where she went under. The glassy surface betrayed no sign of movement, yet a moment later the maiden pulled herself out of the water on the other side of the lake, nearly 100 yards. she stood naked at the shore line watching him, then stepped backward into the tree line, and was gone.
Villtur spent the next two days circling the lake looking for signs of the maiden. He could find no tracks, no discarded gear, and no ashes from a campfire. While resting he would turn what he could remember of his fleeting glimpses over in his mind. She was taller than he, but shorter than most humans he had met. She had features sharper than any elves he had seen. She was lithe like an elf, yet had sun browned skin the shade of walnut bark that matched none of the fair skinned elven folk he had met in his life. The dwarf returned to his cave, dejected at not finding a trace of the maiden.
However, he would see her many times over the following months, years and decades. the forest maiden became a staple of the wood weird signs. Sometimes it would be only a faint smell of flowers, other times he would spy her casually strolling naked through the forest. Villtur would do his best to try and catch up to her, but she seemed to always know where he was and keep herself teasingly just out of reach. she would match his pursuit speed, moving unencumbered through the thick brush, then pass behind a tree and disappear altogether, only to reappear days later in some other part of the wood.
Eventually, both the hermit and the forest maiden would come to rely on one another in a vain attempt to protect these woods, although no words would ever be spoken between them and they would only ever touch once at the tragic end. Still, Villtur will always look on these years as the most tranquil of his life, and forever seek to recreate the tranquility of his forest from these days.
Villtur never had an issue with the idea of animal husbandry at its core. The beasts of the earth were useful and strong, they could help men and dwarves do things that would otherwise be impossible. What he took issue with back at Citadel Felbarr was the complete disregard for the comfort and dignity of the animals they used. The dwarves were never cruel but they would spend no time or energy on the considering what their beasts of burden deserved. Old horses who served well for years but were now past their prime were not given an open field to spend their final years in: they were slain as soon as the grain they ate began to outcost their worth and used as food for the hounds. Milk cows were penned in as close as possible, not because the dwarves wanted to torment the animals, but because it was most efficient to fit more cows into the same space.
Likewise, Villtur saw nothing wrong with the hunt. predator and prey was part of nature itself. He hunted the forest avidly and not just for food. Pelts and furs were primarily what the folk of the trading post wanted, along with other natural treasures the hermit found. Certainly Villtur took a more primal approach to the hunt than most, preferring his spear to the bow, but he did not begrudge the humans harvesting the land with him.
However, 3 generations of humans had come and gone at the trading post during the 4 decades that Villtur lived his life of peace and solitude. It was the grandchildren of the good man who Villtur had worked for all those years ago in charge now, and the trading post had expanded from a single walled store into a full village.