May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with fairies, and talk to the moon!
The babe had a beard, but it was still a babe. It grabbed Merellion’s slender finger in a small hairy fist and brought it to his? Her? (Merellion checked beneath the blanket) his mouth where he gummed it, gurgling happily.
Merellion and her wife Elluin had longed for a child for a century at least, but elven children were rare and adoptable ones even rarer. But here was a healthy babe, come swirling down the stream, straight into her arms. She gathered the infant up and whispered a prayer into its chubby belly, inhaling the warm milky baby smell. She did not care that he was a dwarf. He was a miracle. Her Faeregrim.
As he grew up, Faeregrim’s family rarely stayed in a single place for long, as Merellion and Elluin were clerics of Desna, devoted to travelling throughout the elven homeland of Kyonin and spreading the Song of the Spheres. In exchange for room and board on the road, they worked odd jobs, told stories, danced, sang songs, or read fortunes. While Faeregrim did not have Merellion’s talent for storytelling or Elluin’s finesse at swordplay, he had a natural affinity for metalworking and he was fit to burst with pride the first time he brought home a handful of coppers to Merellion after a day’s work in the forge.
Faeregrim’s childhood wasn’t all fairy tales and footraces; growing up a dwarf in Kyonin was not easy. Faeregrim quickly outgrew his contemporaries in maturity, but the older elves refused to socialize with a “vinë.” He was constantly teased about his height (he remained hopelessly short even next to the younger elves) and, though he would wake up early every day to shave his beard, it would grow back by midday.
But there were worse things than childish teasing. While dwarves were not as hated as humans in Kyonin, he was an outsider, no matter that he had never even seen another dwarf in his life. While most villages welcomed them with open arms, his entire family had been at times shunned, insulted, and cursed. One village had chased them out with threats of violence, and they had spent the night eating trail rations under blankets stretched over tree branches to keep the weather off them. Merellion and Elluin would never blame their son and truly only cared that he was safe, but in Meldarion’s eyes, it was his fault that his mothers had been run out of town. If he wasn’t a dwarf…
Nonetheless, his faith was strong and he took the vows of Desna like his mothers before him. In the Desnan tradition, when he came of age on his fortieth birthday, Faeregrim’s parents packed his rucksack with enough hard cheese for two days, a waterskin, a woolen cloak, and a wooden butterfly lovingly carved by Elluin, and turned him out. For eight years (one year for each of the Eight Scrolls), he must explore the world, trusting in Desna to protect him on his adventures.
The first place he turned was south, to the Five Kings’ Mountains, center of dwarven culture on Golarion. Despite his decidedly elven dress and manner, he was welcomed back into the dwarven lands like a long-lost brother. He saw the miracles of engineering under the great mountains, he studied with the best smiths, and looked down on the world spreading out beneath him from Highhelm. From there, he traveled through much of the Inner Sea, from Andoran and Absalom to Qadira, even the northern marches of the Mwangi Expanse, etching a crude found-mark everywhere he went.
He found much beauty in the world, but he also found much to regret. Tyrants, slavers, dangerous beasts that prey on the weak and the poor… After his pilgrimage, he returned to Kyonin, where he told his parents of his journey and his decision to commit himself to the eradication of corruption and evil. He forged himself a set of armor, complete with shield and warhammer, and set out once again.
Faeregrim wears heavy armor painted silver. His pauldrons are in the shape of unicorns’s heads and painted white, one on each shoulder, and he wears a green tabard embroidered by Merellion with butterflies and flowers in bright thread. His helm is trimmed with fresh flowers, which he replaces frequently and according to the seasons. The shield he carries bears a brightly-painted butterfly of Desna outlined in metal spikes.