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Gnurmish Bane

Gnurmish Bane: Bound within this mighty hammer lies the essence of the once feared daemon Gnurmish. Once, years ago, in the frozen north of Midgard, this loathsome beast laid to waste any that crossed its path. Many brave souls tried to relieve the land of this terror…they tried and died. Many decades would pass as Gnurmish ravaged the frontier villages. Resting only in the day, when it could not abide the light. Alas, when night fell on the land so did fear, for the people knew that death would ride the evening winds. As word traveled south to the troll city of Galplen, it caught the ear of a mighty warrior, Telmok Foehammer. Telmok, always one for adventure, readied his pack, said good-bye to his wife, Reti, and kissed his infant son Bjarninn farewell.

Making all haste north, Telmok steeled himself for the coming battle. For all his prowess with the blade, Telmok knew that he could not simply kill a daemon, for they were not of this plane. Once slain, the beast would simply return to the Underworld and bide its time 'till it was strong enough to reemerge into our reality once again. And surely it would track him down to exact its vengeance. This Telmok could not have, for he had his family to think of. Seeking counsel in Jordheim form the wizened Gothis, Telmok was bestowed a mighty amulet that could bind to it the essence of a slain daemon. Forever trapping the horror so as it could not return home. With the plan in motion Telmok set out on his quest.

Finding the creatures lair was an easy task, many knew it whereabouts, many knew to stay away. Approaching at dawns first light, offering prayers up to Odin, Thor, Eir and any other deity that would hear his call, Telmok ventured into the den where Death slumbered. Setting his trap carefully, Telmok waited for the perfect opportunity to strike. As Gnurmish slept Telmok readied a pair of nets he had brought along to snare the beast's wings. Then in the span of a hares heart beat he flew into action, hurling the nets with the precision that comes with years of seafaring onto the leathery wings of his foe. Earthbound, Gnurmish struggled to break free. As the beast flailed about, Telmok struck the soft underbelly with such fury that the opening blow nearly ended the fight. Centuries of life had imbued the daemon with reserves of strength that would not be extinguished so easily though, and the beast was far from finished. For many hours the battle raged on, neither side gaining the upper hand. But as with most epic conflicts, it's the littlest things that turn the tide of battle. And it was in this moment that the littlest thing did happen, for in the bloodlust, Gnurmish, failed to remember the carcass of his last meal. Slipping on remnants of what appeared to be a half eaten wyvern, the fearsome foe crashed onto the cavern floor. Seizing the chance, Telmok leapt high into the air and onto the belly of Gnurmish, impaling the daemons heart with his sword.

Gnurmish knew what was to come, as his soul was passing from this world, he merely smiled at the troll, for he knew one day he would return and claim this upstarts head as a trophy. But just as he felt the final vestiges of life leaving his mortal body he noticed a smirk on Telmok, something wasn't quite as expected. PAIN…pain ripped through Gnurmish's soul as it forced into the stone that was now held aloft over his head. Now imprisoned, Gnurmish raged, banging on the sides of his rocky cage. But to no avail, the magic of the Gothis' would not bend or break, he was trapped.

Returning home, Telmok, was greeted as a hero. Wife and child met him with loving arms and nothing short of the finest feast was awaiting him in the town proper.

Many years would pass in peace for the Foehammer clan. Bjarninn grew, learning the ways of battle and song, for he was destined to the House of Bagi. No finer skald would there ever be (well that's what his mother and father would say if you asked). Bjarninn neared the end of his teaching, being in his 47th season of school, as the first of the dreams came. For many days he was plagued with sleepless nights, filled with strange images of daemons and of quests not yet fulfilled. Needing advice he sought out his mentor, Kyldrik Sindarbane, as to what it all meant. Not knowing what to make of Bjarninn's visions, Kyl suggested a trek to Jordheim to consult with the sages there.

For the better part of a day Bjarninn related his dreams to the seers as best he could. Consulting with the bones, the seers told him this…
"A quest you must take. A quest started years ago by your patron, one that will bind daemon to steel. Venture to the frozen lands of Malmohus. Deep within it's borders seek the dragon's lair. There you will find a black tree, fed from years of blood shed and charred from the fires of the epic battles with Gjalpinulva. From the heart of this tree you shall have made a haft. For blade, axe or maul I cannot see, but the crafters hands will decide the weapons fate. From there you must seek out a cave in cold depths of Spindelhalla, delve from it the cold metal contained within. But beware the trows, for they greedily hoard their treasure. When all is gathered, take your prizes to the dwarves that reside in lava-strewn lands. Tell them not what you want forged, for the materials themselves will do that task. One last thing Follower of Bragi, the amulet…yes the one your father keeps locked away. It too is part of your future. The amulet must be laid to rest inside the very metal, forever housed in its embrace. Go now and tell not a soul of this. For this journey ye must make alone"
Not knowing what passed between the seer and Bjarninn, but trusting in his friend that he knew his fate, Kyldrik bid farewell to him and they went their separate ways. Many weeks will have had passed before the two would share a mug of ale.

More than a month did Bjarninn quest, braving the horrors of the fenrir and hiding from the dragon in Malmohus and the cold dark of Spindelhall, where all manner of foul creature lay in wait for the unexpecting adventurer. But before the next full moon rose he stood before the Dverge in Muspelheim with the trio of components the seer bid him assemble. For days Bjarninn awaited the results of his labors and hopefully answers to his dreams.

On the eve of the fifth night of his stay in the dark dwarven city, as the Blood Moon rose high in the sky a shrill scream pierced the air. When the throng of dwarves and Bjarninn got to the forge, the master smith was dead. The look of terror inscribed on his face told of a painful death but none knew the cause. On the forge lay his final masterpiece…a hammer. Bjarninn's hammer, it could be none other, for on one facing of it was the amulet. All seemed in order, aside from the dead smith, but the dwarves, forever loyal to money, completed the transaction with the troll without further ado. Not wanting outsiders nosing into their business, they sent Bjarninn and the accursed hammer out with a warning never to return.

Eager to test the strength of his new weapon, Bjarninn quickly found a good sized drake in the area. In the opening strike against the creature a great shriek wailed from the hammer and as the hammer connected with the drake it stumbled back, convulsing in agony. His own strength was considerable, but Bjarninn knew that something was amiss with this kill. The beast flailed and tumbled as if something was still wounding it even though the massive troll stood many feet away. Slinging the hammer and once again heading to Jordheim, Bjarninn needed to speak with the seer once again.

Taking the great maul from Bjarninn the seer studied it intently. While the story of the kill was being related to the seer, his eyes widened and terror fell upon the face of the sage. Upon inspecting the hammer, the seer noticed a ever so small fracture in the amulet that held the essence of Gnurmish. Fearing the worst he began chanting protection spells to ward them from harm. But no attack came, the daemon was still bound within. For, while there was now a crack in his prison, it was not sufficient enough to exact an escape. Gnurmish could barley manage to lash out occasionally at near by foes, such as enemies on the receiving end of the great hammer he was now bound in. But he did not care, for blood was blood. And after years of solitude he craved the stuff of life. The daemon thought to himself that this troll would supply him with food and war, for now he was content…for now. Instructed to make one last stop before leaving Jordheim, Bjarninn sought out the Gothi of Bragi. Laying many blessings upon the hammer, the Gothi insured that Bragi would always watch over the young skald and keep him safe from the spirit within the steel. Now Bjarninn was ready, ready to smite the enimies of his homeland, ready to rally in defence of the frontier, and ready to share that pint of ale.
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