A Grain on the Scale
No-nonsense, pious defender
- 4’2", 141 lb
- Black, heavy hair worn in a braid down to the backs of her knees
- Startling aqua-green eyes
STR 14 HP 77 SPEED 20
AC 22(26) TOUCH 11(15) FLAT-FOOTED 22(26)
BASE ATTACK BONUS 8/3
Waraxe (bonded 3)
MWK Mace ATTACK BONUS 9/4 CRITICAL X3
DAMAGE 1 d8 3)
Light Crossbow ATTACK BONUS 7/1 CRITICAL 19-20 X2
RANGE 80 ft.
DAMAGE 1 d8
Shield ATTACK BONUS 10(8) CRITICAL X2
DAMAGE 1 d6+2
Raised in a traditional dwarven home, Suska Goodkind was taught that community, hard work and discipline above all else were the keys to a stable, fulfilling life. Not one to upset clan order, she kept to her work and studies with a stubbornness and seriousness above that of her older sister, Arabela, who was somewhat feckless and sometimes said unkind things to Suska about what she perceived “uptight-ness”. Suska almost always took these comments in stride, for she knew in her heart that Arabela was a bit jealous of her little sister for the praise she got from elders of the clan for her heart and work ethic. Arabela, like some of the other young people of the clan, were also aware and leery of the meaning of the apparent blessing bestowed upon Suska at birth—a small but unmistakable mark, shaped like a hammer, on the inside of her left wrist. Arabela at the time was still quite young and didn’t understand, but the girls’ parents knew immediately that Torag, God of the Forge, had seen fit to use their youngest child for something much greater than a life of work underground.
As they matured, older sister grew to increasingly resent younger, and a rift developed between the two. Suska tried over and over through the years to mend this tear, but was rewarded each time with coldness, indifference, or outright hostility. She loved her sister, but she finally realized she hadn’t the time to deal with Arabela’s pettiness if she was ever going to answer her calling.
Saying goodbye to her family was a bittersweet thing. She hadn’t known when or how it would happen, but she trusted in her god and kept to her faith until one night, during her final prayer of the night, she was hit with a wave of dizziness and heat; her face flushed and her palms and brow began to sweat profusely; she felt a burning, itching sensation along her left arm and, panicked, opened one eye to look down. Her birthmark, that little hammer on her left wrist, the mark that had brought her so much respect and ire and to some degree even fear, was blazing red now. The edges of Torag’s hammer were white-hot and furious and Suska knew, finally, that it was time for her to serve her lord and to leave her home. Time to leave her family, to leave her sister, with whom she’d never been able to reconcile, to…what? She wasn’t sure exactly what was expected of her, only that she needed out of her dwelling to do it. Her sister…if only Arabela could see, if only she would try to understand…Suska felt a pang at that, but shook her head to clear her thoughts. No time.
Shaking, sweating, and dizzy, she rose unsteadily from her kneeling position and began to pack her things. Having always been a minimalist, this didn’t take her long. Once loaded up with almost every worldly thing she possessed, Suska prepared to see the elder Bofir, who had trained her for her entire life in the convictions of Torag. Before leaving her dwelling, she stopped into her parents’ chamber. Her father was snoring. Loudly. She smiled and felt a tear sting the corner of one eye. No time. She bent down and kissed his brow. He made a snuffling noise, coughed, and opened one eye. “Wha…?”
“It’s time, Father.”
“Time? Time for—” His other eye flew open and he reached over to shake his sleeping wife. “Gloridris, it’s time! It’s time for…wake up!”
Gloridris made little sleepy noises and Suska had to fight down another tear. “Gimral…stop SHAKING me…Time? Right…right now? Suska?” Her mother reached around in the dark over her father and grasped her daughter’s hand. Suska grasped the hand tightly and placed it against her forehead. “Torag sent me a sign.”
Both of her parents, fully awake now, scrambled up out of bed to embrace their youngest daughter, the chosen daughter, and to say goodbye. Suska hated to do it, but she pulled away from them and took in their beloved faces for what she knew could be the last time. After the last goodbye, Suska slipped as quietly as she could into Arabela’s room and thoughtfully regarded her sleeping sister. She was always the pretty one, Suska thought with a small measure of amusement and a surprising measure of envy. She frowned at the realization and stepped closer to her sister’s bed, drawing a delicate silver bracelet from a pouch at her hip. Arabela had always loved this stupid bracelet, which had been a gift from an admirer of Suska’s and another reason for Arabela’s contempt. It had brought Suska herself no great pleasure, but she had kept the trinket out of politeness. Now she placed it gently on the table beside the bed and drew away. She scratched at the diminishing itch on her left wrist and headed out to seek counsel with Bofir, who gave her his blessing and sent Torag’s chosen out into the chill air of the above ground.