Character of Cimmeria: The First Björn and Björn Ballath

Björn on the left and Ballath on the right.

Lord Björn was a faithful advisor of King Cogard. He was one of the few who had stayed loyal to Cogard during his political showdown with the Dwarven Regency Council. When Shaelin abdicated his position as Lord of Dalleer a successor was needed. Shaelin selected his friend, Björn, rather than his own son. Björn was a stellar choice due to his governmental experience and his friendships with Cogard and Shaelin.

Björn served as Lord of Dalleer for many years. He defended the city and led troops during the Dragon War. He took no sides during the Dwarven Civil War. At the war’s unclear conclusion he found himself without a Dwarven High King to serve. Queen Shortrastor courted Björn’s allegiance and a political marriage was arranged between Princess Tandia of Dominarie and Stroso, the first son of Björn’s first son, Olofric. Everything seemed perfectly positioned for Björn’s family and for Dalleer.

Björn’s nomination of his successor ruined his progress. Rather than having his son succeed him, Björn named his human friend, Ballath, to take over after his death. This announcement came very late in Björn’s life and he died soon after. Ballath took over Dalleer. He promised to honor Björn’s memory and even took Björn’s name as a title, becoming Björn Ballath. Nothing was enough. Björn’s family and many of the dwarven population abandoned the city. The developing marriage alliance with Queen Shortrastor went away with the rest of the dwarves.

Ballath had been a competent civic advisor prior to taking over Dalleer. He was born into a rich and well connected family of textile merchants. Ballath grew up during the githyanki invasion and his apprenticeship was unusual in nature. He served a dwarven banker friend of Björn’s who was also a rebel working against the Lich-queen. With his learned skills Ballath smoothly transitioned into a role of power and influence after the githyanki left. Eventually his hard work, excellent training, and natural ability paid off with the top prize of ruling Dalleer itself.

Björn Ballath had loved the first Björn during his life. Wishing to emulate his predecessor, Ballath also nominated someone from outside his family to succeed him. A young, talented man named Skizofren who had risen to prominence within Ballath’s court, much as Ballath had before him. Unfortunately, just as before, the snubbing of Ballath’s children split Dalleer in half. This rift would lead to war. A sad legacy for Björn Ballath to leave.

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