Kolvar grew up in the small dwarven holdfast known as Bel Torum, one of the few places the dwarves retreated to after the fall. Within that stone edifice, the remnants of several Dwarven clans work together to eke out an existence on Antilia. Clan Ironspire was the least of the three groups that could rightly still be called clans. There were numerous individuals and pairs who claimed heritage from various other clans, but only Emberforge, Leadbeard, and Ironspire had multiple family lines in Bel Torum and were considered full clans.
In the hold was an elder dwarf named Grimorden Stoneheart. He was, by far, the eldest in Bel Torum and, though he was young dwarf and merely an apprentice at the time, had seen Antilia before the fall. He tried to tell his stories to anyone that would listen, but most in Bel Torum were more focused on the daily tasks of producing what modest goods they could to trade with the nearby settlements and considered his stories merely a distraction. Kolvar, on the other hand, was fascinated by the tales of fantastic sprawling cities and magnificent technology fueled by a magic that no longer existed. Grimorden took Kolvar under his wing and shared more of his knowledge with Kolvar, as well as old tomes and relics that he’d kept through the centuries, and Kolvar wished he could have seen that world where larger societies existed, along with the organizations that supported them.
In Kolvar’s 51st year, a rash of thefts broke out in the hold. They had obviously been occurring for some time before gossip and communication between families and clans made it apparent that valuables and heirlooms were disappearing. Kolvar, having been especially fascinated by the old descriptions of police forces and detectives that solved crimes took it upon himself to start looking into the thefts.
After a couple weeks Kolvar was finally able to catch of a glimpse of the dark figure wearing a backpack disappearing down an alley and into one of the small side tunnels in the mountain surrounding the hold. He carefully and quietly followed the thief’s circuitous route until he came upon a small cave, lit inside with a torch. Peering cautiously inside, he saw another young dwarf and recognized Moril, nephew of the leader of Bel Torum, Skobran Emberforge.
Instead of confronting Moril, Kolvar retreated and made his way to the Warden and told him he’d solved the thefts and that Moril was the culprit. Kolvar was exhilarated and offered to lead the Warden there right away. The Warden tried to calm Kolvar down and told him to just head home, stating that he and the guards would handle it.
Kolvar woke the next morning to shouts and guards storming into his family’s home. The Warden declared Kolvar under arrest for the thefts and dragged him away to the commons. Much of the hold was turned out. The stolen items were arrayed on the tables nearby and King Skobran was standing on a dais nearby, his nephew Moril behind and to the side. Without any chance to defend himself, Kolvar was summarily sentenced to banishment.
As he walked alone down the mountain and out into the wastes, the elder, Grimorden was waiting for him just out of sight of the hold’s gate. He pressed an ancient tome into Kolvar’s hands. He explained that the tome was older, even, than the other things Kolvar had read; ancient traditions that were old even before the fall. Grimorden pointed out into the wastes. “Do not let this day turn yer heart black. Ye’ve a spirit that’s far too rare anymore. Use the lessons in here to make that world better.”
Kolvar spent three days in the wastes, trying to follow the faded track. He stumbled into the nearest settlement, Pullman Yard dehydrated and delirious. He sold most of his meager belongings to arrange for lodging. He found a job working at the stable. A few weeks passed before some ruffians rode into town and started threatening folk and storming into the general store, taking whatever they wanted. The frightened townsfolk just let it happen. Kolvar learned that it was just the way in Pullman Yard. The folk expected bandits every few weeks and had just accepted it. Infuriated, Kolvar vowed to put a stop to it.
Each evening he laid out several traps and waited in the shadows. Eventually, the same ruffians returned. This time, however, they were met with an ambush. Kolvar fired his crossbow from the shadows, dropping one and drawing a second toward his position. That second then neatly stumbled into the snare that Kolvar had set up and Kolvar’s makeshift sword made quick work of the bandit. Kolvar tossed the body out of the shadows. The last bandit, seeing his two companions now dead with no sign of the assailant, immediately turned and fled.
For the next decade, Kolvar wandered from town to town finding folks who were in need, who were being victimized by bandits, or local robber barons. He came into towns under some sort of cover and then sussed out where the true problems lie, and then he dealt with them before walking off into the sunset once more toward the next trouble. With patience and cunning, he was always able to get the upper hand.
That is, until he came to the town of Silver Brook. There he his luck finally ran out and he underestimated the forces arrayed against him. Fortunately for Kolvar, a young half-elf named Zil had just crossed his path and would prove to be his savior and future best friend.