Bruenor Battlehammer

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Bruenor Battlehammer
Game information
Homeland Mithril Hall
Gender Male
Race Dwarf
Class Fighter
Alignment Neutral Good
Age Upper 300s 350-375
Setting Forgotten Realms

Bruenor Battlehammer is a fictional character in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. The character first appears in the Icewind Dale trilogy by author R. A. Salvatore.[1] He has also appeared in subsequent books as the trusted dwarven companion to popular drow hero Drizzt Do'Urden. In the 4th edition version of Forgotten Realms, he is said to have died.[2]

Bruenor is the adoptive father of a human female named Catti-brie and of the Barbarian Wulfgar. He is the King of Mithril Hall, and lifelong friend to drow ranger Drizzt Do'Urden[3] and Regis, a halfling thief. He crafted Aegis-fang and presented the gift to Wulfgar. It was said to be the best weapon Bruenor had ever made. As a youngster he was forced to flee his ancestral home at Mithril Hall when the kingdom was attacked by a great shadow dragon named Shimmergloom and an army of duergar, or gray dwarves. His exiled family and kin then took up residence in Icewind Dale close to Ten Towns living by selling weapons and armour to the local merchants.

Fictional character history[edit]

A blustery and fiery dwarf who is "Gruff even for a dwarf." He first met Drizzt in the novel Sojourn. Despite his daughter taking a shining to him, he still distrusted Drizzt. It took Drizzt saving him from a remorhaz, as well as his daughter's honesty and courage to get the stubborn Bruenor to think twice about him. After chasing away the grudge holding bounty hunter Roddy McGristle, Bruenor accepted Drizzt and has been a close friend to him ever since.

After the battle with Akar Kessel and the Crystal Shard, Bruenor tricked Drizzt by pretending to be dying to get his help in finding Mithril Hall.

The Companions of the Hall thought Bruenor was dead when they saw him ride the shadow dragon Shimmergloom into Garumns Gorge, both covered in flaming oil and Bruenor hacking wildly into the dragon's spine. Bruenor's ride down the gorge kills Shimmergloom. The only thing that kept him alive was possession of Icingdeath, a magical scimitar with cryogenic properties, that Drizzt had lost in a battle with Artemis Entreri, and that Bruenor had later found and kept with him.

Over the next few weeks, Bruenor worked his way up from the lowest points of Mithril Hall, covering his beard and hair in ash to disguise its color from the duergar that now resided there. The old warrior killed any gray dwarf who found him out, and any he caught alone in the tunnels and chambers of The Hall. Eventually, he escaped by climbing up a chimney shaft—during the process of which he was attacked by a giant spider. Though he was bitten, Bruenor managed to kill the spider and find his way up to a vent to the outside. Finally overcome by the poison, Bruenor lost consciousness.

He awoke to discover himself in the care of Lady Alustriel, ruler of Silverymoon. The lady had divined Bruenor's predicament and moved in to help. With her aid—and that of the Harpells of Longsaddle—Bruenor was able to give chase to Drizzt and Wulfgar, who were, in turn, pursuing Entreri. Covering the hundreds of miles in a flaming chariot provided by Alustriel, Bruenor and Catti-brie arrived in time to aid Drizzt and Wulfgar's ship in a battle with pirates.

Afterward, the reunited Companions went to Calimport, where they tangled with Artemis Entreri, rescued Regis, and caused the downfall of the dominant thieves' guild in the city.

They went back to their home in the North, and spent the winter gathering up forces to take back Mithril Hall—Bruenor's long-held dream. During their efforts to regain this lost dwarven stronghold, Bruenor slays the shadow dragon Shimmergloom.[4]

Bruenor and his armies drove out the duergar, and Bruenor was set up as King of Mithril Hall, with a couple of thousand settlers from another dwarven kingdom swearing their allegiances to him.

The peace was short-lived, though, as a small party of drow led by Drizzt's sister, Vierna, seeking him, caused the apparent death of Wulfgar. In the skirmishes during this exchange, Bruenor lost an eye.

The death of his adoptive son Wulfgar sent Bruenor into a profound depression. When Drizzt left to go to Menzoberranzan to settle accounts with his people, Catti-brie saw Bruenor as being too engrossed in his own grief to be a useful companion when she chased Drizzt. When she and Drizzt came back, months later, their news of a planned drow war on Mithril Hall forced Bruenor out of his depression.

With aid from neighboring kingdoms and people, Bruenor and his kingdom survived the assault upon Mithril Hall. Bruenor and his friends even set themselves to seeking out the leaders of the drow army—the Matron Mothers of the most powerful houses. In the battle upon their meeting, Bruenor—with much difficulty—killed Matron Baenre, ending her centuries-long rule of the drow city. After the battle, they found Gandalug—the founder of Mithril Hall and Bruenor's ancestor—who had been Matron Baenre's magically-held prisoner for almost two millennia. The discovery of another legitimate king allowed Bruenor to abdicate to his ancestor and pursue his own ambitions in Icewind Dale and the mines his clan had made there.

During Drizzt's and Catti-brie's six-year absence from his side, Bruenor became closer friends with Regis. He also had a cleric attempt to restore his lost eye—which succeeded, albeit gradually.

When the balor Errtu gained the Crystal Shard, Bruenor joined his friends to defeating the tanar'ri. At first, Drizzt and Bruenor were overmatched owing to Errtu's magical abilities, until Wulfgar regained Aegis-fang and joined the battle, allowing them to win. As it turned out, Wulfgar had not been killed six years before—rather, he had been taken to the court of the drow goddess Lolth, who traded him to Errtu in exchange for Errtu's services to her. Errtu then spent years torturing Wulfgar and seeking a chance to cause Drizzt to release Errtu's banishment. After Drizzt accidentally released the banishment, Errtu brought Wulfgar back to the Prime Material Plane to witness his friends' destruction. The arrival of Aegis-fang, however, allowed the friends to destroy the demon, again banishing it for a hundred years.

Bruenor is also one of the main characters in the Drizzt-centric "Paths of Darkness" novels where he is often the supporting father figure to a struggling Wulfgar after his torment in the Abyss.

In "The Hunter's Blades" trilogy, Bruenor returns to reclaim the throne of Mithril Hall after the death of Gandalaug Battlehammer. In The Thousand Orcs Bruenor suffers a near-fatal blow and his life stands on the edge of a knife for most of The Lone Drow, being kept alive only by a constantly labouring team of Dwarven priests. However Bruenor is brought out of his near-comatose state by the halfling Regis who uses his magical gem to persuade Bruenor to aid his fighting kin. In The Two Swords Bruenor finally reclaims his rightful throne and leads the dwarfs in the defense against King Obould and his army of orcs and frost giants.

In The Orc King, Bruenor sets out with several companions, including Drizzt and Regis, to find the ancient Dwarven homeland of Gauntylgrym, believing it will contain the secret to defeating Obould's horde. During this time the Orcs, led by the half-ogre/orc Grguch and his clan of similarly bred orcs, assault the Dwarves defensive positions and the Moonwood elves. Meanwhile Bruenor's group uncovers what is initially believed to be Gauntlgrym, but is later revealed to a city founded by Dwarves on the surface, and later co-inhabited by Orcs. Bruenor refuses to believe this, believing the Orcs only did it to double cross his ancestors and decades later destroy the town. He instead opts for killing/assassinating Obould, taking his best warriors with him, believing Obould is responsible for the latest attacks. Drizzt eventually convinces Bruenor to do otherwise, telling him that the only peaceful solution is to slay Grguch, and make peace with Obould. Bruenor then saves Obould's life and assists him in killing the vicious half-ogre. A treaty is then created between Mithril Hall and the Kingdom of Many Arrows.

Bruenor travelled to Spirit Soaring in The Ghost King and helped Drizzt, Jarlaxle, Danica Maupoissant and Athrogate kill the Dracolich, Haephestus. After this Bruenor and Drizzt lived in Mithral Hall awhile, until Bruenor faked his own death in order to leave the Hall. He then journeyed with Drizzt and Thibbldorf Pwent and later Jarlaxle and Athrogate to find Gauntlgrym, legendary homeland of the Delzoun dwarves. Bruenor fell after a battle with a pit fiend in Gauntlgyrm. He died from wounds too great for an ordinary dwarf, but managed with his last breaths to seal in the Great Primordial, the powersource of the Great Forges of Gauntlgrym from wreaking catastrophe over the Sword Coast.

In the 4th edition version of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Bruenor Battlehammer is said to have died [5] sometime before 1479 DR. [6]

Other media[edit]

Bruenor also appears to the protagonist in "Baldur's Gate II" along with Catti-Brie and Drizzt. He later helps the character with a very difficult fight against vampires in the crypts in Athkatla.

Appearance[edit]

Bruenor's hair and beard are red,[7] which later have been turning a light gray.[8] His eyes are gray.[9]

References[edit]

  1. Jacob, Merle; Apple, Hope (2000). To Be Continued: An Annotated Guide to Sequels. Greenwood Press. ISBN 157356155X. 
  2. Dungeons and Dragons: Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Wizards of the Coast. 2008. pp. 149. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3. 
  3. Shippey, T. A. (1996). Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature. Salem Press. ISBN 0-89356-906-2. 
  4. Dekirk, Ash (2006). "Dragons in Literature". Dragonlore: From the Archives of the Grey School of Wizardry. Career Press. p. 139. ISBN 1-56414-868-8. 
  5. Dungeons and Dragons: Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Wizards of the Coast. 2008. pp. 149. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3. 
  6. Dungeons and Dragons: Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. Wizards of the Coast. 2008. pp. 4. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8. 
  7. The Crystal Shard - "Bruenor stroked his red beard."
  8. The Two Swords - "His great and wild beard seemed more orange than red under the artificial lighting, perhaps because those long hairs had become more infested with strands of gray since the dwarf king's ordeal."
  9. Streams of Silver - "Only surprise delayed Regis's immediate squeals of joy when Bruenor opened his gray eyes and winked."

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]