Derobera is the product of an experiment in warfare. Down in the deep dark there isn’t the space for large armies to properly fight, so battles are decided on many small fronts in tunnels and caverns. Unable to afford the expense for a full professional military, Clan Dûnhark wanted to create an elite cadre of warriors to bolster the conscript levy. Seeking soldiers that would be dedicated to fighting with no distraction, General Graysheild recruited children from the orphanages and slave traders. They would be formally adopted by the guard and be soldiers from the day they could hold an axe and shield. They would be the Special Mines Company.
As the shieldfast in her squad, Derobera is outfitted in the best dwarven armour available and carries a magical shield that can shift in size and shape upon command. She holds the line and keeps the enemy away from the spellcaster and the alchemist, a role Derobera’s trained to do since she was 3 years old. She has lived, practised, and learnt along with Hadoul, Yuosk, Tuzol, Madisli, Firsumora, Werdrag, and Novre for the past 15 years and being a warrior is all she’s even known. Whilst some of the other SMC soldiers show some curiosity about the clan and hold they’re charged with defending, Derobera is content. She has no memories of anything other than following orders but finds something deeply comforting in the certainty that military life provides for her.
That certainty has now been completely pulled away from her. On a routine dungeon crawl mission, her squad found an unnatural portal in a dark wizard’s lab. With the wizard’s death, the portal became unstable. The last thing Derobera remembers is pushing Yuosk out of the way before it all went to white as the portal engulfed her. Thanks to her survival training, she was able to trudge for five days with a broken leg across the arid Barriden Mountains until she found the little oasis village of Melody. The shaman there set the broken leg and healed her wounds, but no-one in the village spoke her language. Derobera found herself very far from hold and home.
It’s been a full year since Derobera arrived and she’s slowly been able to learn some of the local language. It’s enough for her to express her needs and get involved in the evening social activities. At first the villagers weren’t sure what to do with her, as whilst Derobera is undoubtedly the most skilled soldier the Barriden Mountains have ever seen, she has no other skills that the village can really use. At first she was able to teach the smith some advanced dwarven techniques that she knew to help maintain her armour but without access to rare metals there’s little the smith can do with the knowledge. So Derobera works as a labourer, doing physical tasks around the village for any who need it and generally just being strong and helpful.
When newcomers to Melody meet Derobera, she’ll likely be guarding something, most often the bridge over the River Sanguine that forms the eastern edge of the village. As the village only gets three to five visitors a week, save for the seasonal trading caravans, there’s not much for Derobera to guard against. She’s set up a little guard post to give her shelter from the brutal sun and has added a little gate. Though she’s getting used to the heat, the bright light still bothers her, so when the last trading caravan came through she used her savings to purchase two pieces of darkened glass to fashion herself a pair of sunglasses.
Image Credit – Dark Iron Dwarf by Armpitcore420 – CC-BY-NC-SA-3.0