Balin

Balin is the ruler of Balin’s Holt and the great-great-grandson of Shalein. Balin became an adventurer with a lofty goal of eventually retaking Fangaroot from the kobolds and completing his ancestor’s heroic task. Balin succeeded and Fangaroot was renamed after him. Balin made a strong friendship with his fellow adventurer, Terry. When Terry died of old age it destroyed Balin. His life lingers on in depression and alcoholism.

Balin came from a wealthy connected family. His ancestor, Shaelin, played a prominent role in ending the dragons’ rule over mortals bybeing the first to kill one of the oppressive dragons, Kenderax. Balin hoped to follow in Shaelin’s footsteps, figuratively and literally. He wanted to reclaim Fangaroot from the kobolds that still occupied the city.

Balin teamed up with two of his best friends to accomplish this goal, his sneaky halfling pal, Terry, and his wizard cousin, Isdmir. Together they planned to rid the Dalleer area of monsters. After defeating the monsters Balin would parley their fame and recognition for political power that could eventually be used to organize an invasion of Fangaroot.

The first part of Balin’s plan proceeded perfectly. His trio defeated lizardfolk bands that had been driven west by the rangers of Eastern Cimmeria. They slew kobold raiders coming out of Fangaroot to the west of Dalleer. Finally, Balin, Terry, and Isdmir thwarted a troglodyte attack on Dalleer itself. The smelly beasts had tunneled underneath the city to capture citizens for cannibalistic rituals. The heroic trio discovered the threat, rallied the city’s defenders, and journeyed into the Underdark to slay the troglodyte chief themselves. Days after this amazing victory Balin, Terry, and Isdmir were the heroes of Dalleer.

After accomplishing their goal of becoming heroes of Dalleer, the trio retired from adventuring. Balin used his reputation to insert himself into the upper ranks of Dalleer’s politics. Terry used her adventurer funds to start a life of luxury and ease. Isdmir suspected that the troglodytes had been working with someone inside the city. The monsters had gotten too close to completing their plan to have been working alone. Isdmir began investigating. Balin, Terry, and Isdmir maintained their friendship.

After a decade of detective work and many false leads, Isdmir finally discovered who had let the troglodytes tunnel underneath Dalleer. The city’s leadership had been infiltrated by a group of evil shapeshifting snake people. Isdmir, Balin, and Terry rejoined to root out the nefarious snakes. They succeeded and the snakes were exposed and executed. The snake people had made up a good portion of Dalleer’s leadership. With them removed, Balin’s influence became de facto law.

Balin used his power in Dalleer to retake Fangaroot from the kobolds. Isdmir died in the fighting, but his sacrifice helped the city to be retaken. After more than four hundred years Fangaroot was in the hands of the Conclave races again. Balin quit Dalleer to assume leadership of Fangaroot. Using the old name for the city seemed inappropriate, so it was renamed in Balin’s honor as Balin’s Holt. Balin renamed the nearby river the Isdmir in honor of his cousin’s sacrifice as well.

Balin ruled the new city of Balin’s Holt as council leader for many years. However, his halfling friend’s life expectancy could not match that of a dwarf. Terry died of old age and his departure sent Balin into a downward spiral of depression and alcoholism. He retreated from public life. As Balin left, the council enacted a series of reforms that made Balin’s Holt far removed from the realities of life in the rest of Cimmeria. The practice of magic is now largely illegal within the city.

Balin still holds the title of council leader, but it is purely honorary at this point. He is now only seen for the hour of midnight in the first pub on the south of town looking out over the lake. The pub is named Shaelin’s Glen after Balin’s ancestor. When he goes there many people ask him questions as if he were a sage or try to sell or buy magic items as no licenses for trading magic are given to anyone else in the city.