Kingmaker: The Choral Marches
Polluck "Pol" Hammerhand
Marshal of the Choral Marches, Cleric of Torag
Lawful Good Male Dwarven Cleric of Torag 7
“Marry?” The thought of mashing his thumb on the temple’s anvil was more appealing. “Marry, your daughter?”
Polluuck Steelbright Rocksoul Hammerhand, or Pol, as most called him, was more defiant than the norm at this particular temple of Torag. He could get away with it. He had the ‘gift’ that few dwarves had, and was valuable because of it.
Most at the church could work a forge with some degree of skill, give or take. But as it went, any idiot could swing a hammer, admittedly fewer could craft quality steel, but it was an extreme minority who could instill the power of Torag into a weapon or a piece of armor. That was the ‘gift’ Pol possessed.
Father Toopis frowned a wrinkly frown at Pol. “There are many who would relish the hand of Gertrude, not to mention the influence having her ear would bring.”
“With all due respect, Father, I will not be caged here like a toy for the sole purpose of profit,” Pol said, stating what was obvious.
The church could sell Pol’s abilities, netting a sizable profit. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Gold was needed to finance everything from food to the transport of ore for the forges. It wasn’t greed that motivated Toopis – at least, not entirely.
Toopis wasn’t done. He still had a card to play – a threat. “How long has it been since you’ve heard from your father?”
Pol’s father, Bolp, had been reassigned to a temple in the harsh northern lands of the Ulfen people two years ago. Toopis himself had signed the order. Pol had suspected then that it had to do with his own future, but until now he hadn’t been certain of it.
The truth was that Pol hadn’t heard from his father in some time, but Toopis couldn’t know that. Besides, if his father had sacrificed his comfort on Pol’s behalf then Pol would not dishonor that choice. As his father had always told him, ‘a dwarf can only be as honorable as he is permitted to be’.
Pol answered matter-of-factly, “He says he enjoys the climate. He reports that breathing the cool air has quieted his cough, thank you for asking.” Pol called the elder priest’s bluff. “Is there need for me there?”
“No. There isn’t,” Toopis snapped angrily. “But, if not marriage, then what ever will you do? Spend your days here, in servitude?”
Pol didn’t know a great deal about Father Toopis, but what he did know was enough. Toopis had Torag’s favor, to a point. He could wield the trivial cantrips, and a few of the adept’s spells, but his strength wasn’t in his faith. He was a business-dwarf, and to his credit, the temple had doubled in size and influence since he had come to power. But the god Torag didn’t answer to the amount of gold in the temple’s great gates, nor did he acknowledge the vane manner in which Toopis garbed himself in his silver-threaded, obsidian robes. It was in honor, or at the forge, or in victorious battle, where homage to Torag took place. That was Pol’s ambition, and he would not be swayed by Toopis’s financial desires.
“Servitude does not honor our god, father. Spreading the will of Torag – that is the only way that does.”
“What are you trying to say?”
“There is word of a survivor of the House of Rogarvia, and in the honor of Torag, I will learn the truth behind their disappearance. If evil is at its heart it will be purged.”
Toopis stammered as if struck dumb.
Pol was not finished. “I will bring the name of Torag to the Narlmarches and the Kamelands, and temples will be built and our god will flourish in lands virgin to his presence.”
Father Toopis slammed his fist on the stone table. “I will not permit your insolent behavior. You are a disciple of this temple, and it is I who speak for your actions. Your duties lie here, with this church, not with the heathens of an uncivilized land, and certainly not to the House of Rogarvia. Their fate is their own to bear. If you do this…” The threat was left unspoken.
Pol was not intimidated – or at least, he hid it well. “You can cast me from this church, but not from grace, for your voice is not the voice of Torag. You can neither have me imprisoned, as I have committed no crime.”
Pol left Toopis trembling with rage. It was time the young cleric gathered his belongings and vacated the temple, before the father could find an excuse to stop him… or worse.