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Story of a smith that used to roam the land

  • Thread starter Dern_Ironskull
  • Start date
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Dern grew up in the mountainous mines near Coveteous. He used to kick huge piles of ore form the Coveteous mines all the way to the blacksmith shoppe in Vesper. And it was there that he first heard of the great adventurers that fought both the monsters and murderers throughout the land.

Although he loathed it, Dern worked feverishly at mining ore so that he would have enough ingots to return to the blacksmith shoppe in Vesper. He couldn't decide which he enjoyed more; Making and repairing the swords and armor for the warriros, or hearing their strories. One thing was certain, if you wanted to find Dern, you only had to look as far as the blacksmith shoppe in Vesper.

One day, the Guildmaster of one of the local honor guilds asked Dern to join his order. This particular group was concerned with hunting the murderers and brigands of the land, and protecting the innocent. And thus, with the number of brigands afoot at that time, they were quite busy. They were always in need of repairs and replacements of lost armor & weapons. Which was fine with Dern, because that meant he also got to hear of all the stories of Valor and good deeds.

Everything seemed to be perfect in Dern's world. He had all he ever dreamed of, and couldn't imagine it being any better than this. But little did he know of how his life was to change so soon...

After a weekly guildmeeting, a number of the warriors were at Dern's forge getting repairs and telling their tales when the cry for help came. There was trouble at the Coveteous mines! The miners there (his friends) were being slaughtered by a buch of ruffians!

The guildmaster burst into the forge, and ripped open a gate to the mines. As the warriors filed through the portal with the cry of battle, Dern felt incomplete. He knew that he could not live through other people's valor and good deeds, but he would now start living these virtues for himself. So Dern picked up a newly crafted waraxe, grabbed a shield, and dove through the gate before it closed.

When Dern came to, he was back in his forge wearing nothing but a robe. He had the most awful headache, but he felt completely alive today, despite seeing the world in black and white the day before. Needless to say that after that day Dern still made armor and did repairs for the guild, but he did it in his chain & plate armor, ready for battle.


A long time has passed now. The brigands and murders have been beaten back, his guild is gone, and there are no more stories passed around the forge. Dern still bangs out weapons and armor, and manages to even sell a peice or two thorugh his vendor friends, but the war drums have long gone silent. The only sound is that of hammer and steel in a lonely forge....


That's a pretty nice story.

Is it based on in-game events?
I used to have a smith before Trammel housing, but I ended up spending more time protecting miners from the spawn north of Minoc than I did actually mining.

A nice ending as well.
I do appreciate an ending that isn't a character becoming a hero, rich, famous, or whatever. I tend to have a thing for endings that can best be described as "oh..."


Yes, its based on real experiences. Its was my bio for quite a long time. I even submitted it to a fortune teller on the UO boards before they closed down, and here was my fortune:


UO Destiny
By: BoskOceania
The great forge of Dern Ironskull's heart, rumbling deep amidst the clashes of Iron and Tongs is one which shall never be extinguished.
The hard life of the Smithy has embossed his spirit with a desire to see justice prevail among his kin, achieved with axe wielded in both hands.
Dern has never questioned the violence of his actions, nor will he again as his future tales shall include grand victories over murderers and thieves, outcasts and scoundrels - rabid dogs parading in human forms who shall be butchered as Dern sees fit.
With age comes experience, and Dern will learn to stalk his foes with all the patience and cunning of a wild cat, savouring the kill and all the while knowing that his bravery and dilligence is often the sole division between a land that is fair and just, and the apocalyptic visions of anarchy of those who would see it destroyed.



Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
That was very nice, and tinged with the same melancholy that I wrote in my post just now. What shard are you on?


Final act::

Dern lived in a far away land near a group of mountains that he coveted, and that were known by the same name. He spent many a hot day mining ore in the coolness of the caves, and many chilly nights smithing by the warmth of the local forge.

One night, the land just died. A blight had come over the land, and all the trees and greenery decayed. It was quite a depressing sight, but not as depressing as what followed. After the blight came, the honorable people of his land began to leave, even the heroes. The honorable folk left, so the heroes were no longer needed. The heroes left, so the crafters like Dern were no longer needed either.

It started raining as Dern watched the last of the heroes leave. Dern offered to make the hero some armor, or a weapon, for their journey. But the hero replied that “hope had been lost because the sword in the sun had returned to insure the death of this land.” Dern wondered what the hero had meant by that, but unfortunately the last hero faded into the drizzle before Dern could ask.

Dern entered the lonely forge and stoked the fires that had been his only companion on too many of a night. He began crafting a broadsword, and questioned why he would make a sword when there was no one left to wield it. Dern’s amusement with the situation quickly turned to sorrow. Why did he continue to craft when hope, honor, and heroes were gone? As Dern hammered out the sword, he also hammered out the question he posed to himself. As he stood there admiring the newly forged sword, Dern came to the resolution that he crafts because that is the profession he has chosen, although sometimes is seems like the profession chose him. Honor and heroes will be found again one day, but Dern should remain true to the calling.

At first, Dern did not recognize the whisper. He thought it was a strange whistle coming from the familiar forge’s bellows. But when the bellows stopped, the whisper remained. Dern though it might be from the wind and rain that had been falling most of the night. But the rain had stopped, and the wind seemed to be calm. Hearing the whisper a bit clearer now, he could tell that it came from the forge. Dern checked the ceiling of the old forge looking for leaks that were prone to splash into the smoldering coals of the forge and burn off with a sharp hiss. But the ceiling was dry. So Dern investigated what was inside the forge was making this whispering noise, and that is when he saw it. The symbol in the forge….

It certainly wasn’t the first time Dern had seen this symbol. He had seen it every day of his life. It was the same symbol that Dern placed on all of his crafted items, his calling card, his insignia, and even his signature. Dern even had the symbols on his arms. They had been there his entire life. Not quite a tattoo. Not a scar, or a birthmark. No, they were something else. Dern could not explain what they were, so when those that noticed the symbols thought Dern had burned himself on one of his own signatures still to hot to the touch, Dern did not correct the observation.

Dern quickly compared the symbol in the forge to the symbols on his arms. He could barely discern the outline of the symbols on his arms. He remembered the symbols were always much more prominent during the time of the heroes, but had faded ever since the blight took over the land. The symbol in the forge shined with a light brighter than the smoldering coals. And as the light intensified, the sound of the whisper became more audible, until it exploded with a flood of blinding light and deafening sound. The symbol was the last thing Dern saw, and the last thing he heard was the command to find the land of Dransik.

Forty days later, Dern could hear and see once again. He immediately began searching for the land of Dransik. It took him several weeks to find the portal to the land of Dransik, but eventually he arrived in Silvest. After entering Dransik, the symbols on Dern’s arms were more prominent once again. Those that noticed the marks on his arms told Dern about an honorable group of heroes that bear the same markings. Dern searched far and wide for the leader of this group, The Chosen Twelve, and caught up with its leader Korocain in the town of Josody.

...all the kings horses, and all the kings men, couldn't put UO back together again

from this thread..


Indeed, this makes me sad everytime I read it. But, I keep coming back every few months to read it again.


Aye.. this is one of the really good ones.. *runs off to the archives to dig up a few more*


I don't think it sad so much as hopeful, it would be interesting to hear how Dern has fared since... The time of heroes in this world are long since passed, one wonders how the heroes of Dransik fare


Aye.. if you dig around the archives, there are so many good stories about guilds, wars and players long since gone. I hold hope by continuing to write about my adventures in game.. one never knows.. another 5 years from now two different may be standing where we are now, Noni.. saying the same thing...


...ask and ye shall receive, Noni.

The Story of The Chosen Twelve CXII

Before the time of the King, the people of Dransik knew the Gods, and that The Light was good. The land was peacful, but not without threats. The God Isos had many temples, and many devoted people; both of which needed protection from the wild world. The guards and protectors of the Temples of Isos were known as The Defenders of the Light. It is here that the Chosen XII have their origins. It is an origin that has its history tied to the coming of the Rune warriors, and the rise of the King.

Under the town of New Korelth you can find one of the long lost books that tell of The Defenders of the Light.

The mysterious warrior with the glowing sword was none other than Lotor himself. It was before he was made King. And with this act of heroism he managed to save the last of The Defenders of Light. What remained of the Defenders of Light, joined Lotor in forming an Army of Light to fight back the Rune Warriors, as told in the well known tale:

<u>The Time of Darkness</u>
No one knows where they came from, the dark warriors. Suddenly they were everywhere, speaking languages not known to the people of Ashen Empires, seizing knowledge of the runes wherever they could find it. They used the runes to create items of terror — weapons, armor, implements of torture, objects that wrenched mind and soul. These runic devices corrupted the spirits of all who used them.

As the armies of Rune Warriors grew, so grew the resolve of the people of Ashen Empires to destroy them. The desire for peace, even the very concept of peace, was abandoned.

Lotor, a nobleman of Krythan — and later king of that region (once Ashen Empires was sundered into warring nations) — was the first great defender against the Rune Warriors. He built armies of his own, made peace among nations that had been founded upon strife, outmaneuvered his enemies, and gave hope to a world that had all but lost it.

And even though the war grew long and Lotor grew old, he found a warrior to succeed him as the hope of Ashen Empires. Talazar, the Sword of Krythan, a noble fighter no Rune Warrior could stand against, led Lotor’s armies to victory again and again.

He was a hero for all the world.

But such heroes do not last forever.

<u>The Time of Ash</u>
In time, the armies of Krythan defeated the Rune Warriors and assembled all their runic artifacts. King Lotor summoned his twelve greatest warriors, Talazar among them, and commanded them to take the artifacts far away — to hide them where the eyes of the thinking races would never find them. The twelve accepted their duty and rode from the capital with these items of evil.

But none ever reached his intended destination.

What is not commonly known, was that one the Priests of Isos was there the day that King Lotor gave his Chosen Twelve the quest to rid the land of the runic artifacts. The priest wrote the following in his journal:

...King Lotor asked the twelve men to carry out their task, and they all rose their hands and made a solemn pledge. At that moment, a brilliant light filled the great hall, and a voice was heard resonating the words "Until it is finished!"

When the light receded so that all could see once again, it was found that each of the twelve men bore strange markings on their forearms. Surely these marks were given by the God Isos!

Much of this was lost to antiquity, that is, until the Time of Renewal:

<u>The Time of Renewal</u>
In recent years, prophecies have hinted that a new era was dawning, a time of change and instability, a time when the ugly balance of the Time of Ash could be lost... for better or for worse.

Sixteen summers ago, in the nation of Krythan, a boy-child of Lotor’s line was born and given the name Lotor. He survived to reach his age of majority and this summer not long ago received the crown of Krythan, taking the royal name of Lotor II.

Not long after, military forces claiming to belong to Talazar began laying waste to towns and cities in the western regions. They claimed not to follow some descendant of the original Talazar, but the corrupted warrior himself, and tales filtering from those distant places say that he is now a demon, a thing of inhuman places and unknowable intent.

Heroes, men and women skilled in fighting, have become more numerous in recent summers, some flocking to the side of Lotor II, some joining the forces of Talazar, others seeking their own way in this increasingly turbulent land.

Not only was there a return of Lotor &amp; Talazar, but there was also a return of those bearing strange marks on their arms. In the Sanctuary, was a band of 12 men, each with strange marks on their arms. What they also had in common was that they were all visited by a light.

Seeking an answer to the phenomenon, the twelve approached the priests at the Temple of Isos. The High-Priest of Isos was stunned at this find. The marks on the arms of the men were compared to a sketch in an old journal, and they were a perfect match.

With answers to the questions that long plagued them, the band of men adopted the name of The Chosen Twelve, and sought how to carry out the task of those that came before them. They soon found that the task assigned was much larger than just 12 men could handle. Lotor's greatest knight Talazar was one of the original twelve, and could not complete the task. To this end, the twelve have recruited others to the cause under the banner of The Chosen.

The Chosen Twelve are now the High Council of this order. There have been times when one of the Chosen Twelve have fallen in battle, but when a replacement to the High Council has been selected, the new member has always received the markings from Isos. That is the way it has been, and shall be....until it is finished!

Loyal to King Lotor. Faithful to Isos. Thus is the story of the Chosen XII.


The images are from the game Ashen Empires, by Ironwill Games.
The parts of the story (The Time of Darkness, The Time of Ash, and the Time of Renewal) are all part of the main RP story for the game Ashen Empires, and can be found here www.ashenempires.com
I needed to put that since it is a big part of my guild story, and I don't want to take credit for those sections that are not mine.



Yes, its based on real experiences. Its was my bio for quite a long time. I even submitted it to a fortune teller on the UO boards before they closed down, and here was my fortune:

UO Destiny
&lt;br&gt;By: BoskOceania
&lt;br&gt;The great forge of Dern Ironskull's heart, rumbling deep amidst the clashes of Iron and Tongs is one which shall never be extinguished.
&lt;br&gt;The hard life of the Smithy has embossed his spirit with a desire to see justice prevail among his kin, achieved with axe wielded in both hands.
&lt;br&gt;Dern has never questioned the violence of his actions, nor will he again as his future tales shall include grand victories over murderers and thieves, outcasts and scoundrels - rabid dogs parading in human forms who shall be butchered as Dern sees fit.
&lt;br&gt;With age comes experience, and Dern will learn to stalk his foes with all the patience and cunning of a wild cat, savouring the kill and all the while knowing that his bravery and dilligence is often the sole division between a land that is fair and just, and the apocalyptic visions of anarchy of those who would see it destroyed.&lt;p&gt;&lt;hr&gt;</blockquote>

[/ QUOTE ]


The cloth glided effortlessly across the flat of the blade, as if the metal were ice instead of steel. "Its been a while since Ive cleaned you properly, hasnt it?", Dern said to the blade. And it was true. The battles have been constant lately, and quickly wiping the blood of his foes off the blade after the battle had left a haze over the sword. But now the blade was clean enough to reveal the superior craftmanship in its mirror-like finish.

That is when he saw it.
Admiring the blade, Dern saw a light appear behind him in the reflection. The light grew to an intensity that he recognized, but when he turned to look, it was gone. In its place was a dark alley, the type that one would not enter; not unless they had to.

Dern quickly checked his forearms, where the mark of the Chosen Twelve had been. They had not returned, but the last time the light had appeared to him, they were there. He did not regret the passing of the marks to another. He had gotten long in the tooth, and the Chosen Twelve that bear the marks now have done him proud.

"But we are not twelve at the moment" Dern thought to himself. "And with that Infamous chosen being consumed in the Inferno before he could find the other twelve, the task is tougher".

"Perhaps Isos guides me to one of the twelve" Dern said to his sword before he sheathed it. Then he rose and walked towards the darkened alley. Dern moved to the side of the pathway as he entered the alley, so as to avoid the raw sewage that flowed down the center of the way.

"Isos, you give us sight in the dark places..", Dern muttered, as he placed his hand to his nose, "..perhaps you can do something about the smell as well."

Dern rounded the corner at the end of the alley, not knowing what he would find. What he did find was the source of the darkness -- a greater heartwood tree.

This noble specimen of the tree family had an impressive network of branches which grew above the rooftops, and managed to keep the seemingly unimportant courtyard ever-dark beneath its shade. It appeared that nothing could possibly grow in the tree's shadow, but one scrawny sapling was struggling to survive at the base of the mammoth tree. Dern could not understand how this sapling received enough light to survive, but survive it did, somehow.

Sitting on a set of stone stairs in the corner of the courtyard, was a small child. The boy was dressed in rags, which at one time might have been of some color, but now they were stained the hue of soot. Likewise, his arms and face were similarly dirty, enough so that he almost blended in with the color of the stairs. Had it not been for the wooden sword in his hand, Dern may not have even realized he was there.

Noticing Dern, the child exclaimed "I found it!” obviously too excited to remember that he was talking to a stranger. The boy then thrust out his arm and held the sword sideways to proudly present to Dern his find. Taking a couple of steps forward to get a look at the sword, Dern noticed the quality craftsmanship of a skilled woodworker, and the inscription in the blade; which read: S w o r d o f T r u t h.

"My, that’s a mighty fine sword you've got there." Dern said, with a wiry grin.

“Yea, my father gave it to me!” the boy said, as the smile ran from his face. “He was going to bring me a shield too..” he paused as his momentary joy completely drained out of his face and posture. “..but he’s… dead, now.”

“I’m sorry to hear of your loss.” said Dern, as the smile faded from his face just as quick. There was an awkward silence as Dern watched the grief and tears well up inside the child. Finally, Dern asked “Can you tell me about your father, or is it too hard to talk about?”

The boy would not look Dern in the face, but stared out past the great tree, as if he expected his father to appear home at any moment. As he stared into the darkened courtyard, he related to Dern what he knew about what happened, at least as far as he could understand from what he overheard the others saying about it.

His father was a guard in the city of Parian, and he was attacked and killed by a minion. The hairs on the back of Dern’s neck bristled at the mention of that word… “minion”. Apparently, the minion attacked the boy’s father, cutting his throat, and then ran off laughing. The boy had trouble understanding this, because as far as he knew, minions were small winged creatures that were no match for his father, because his father’s shoulders were as broad as a tree trunk, and he wielded a sword with much skill and power. The boy was also confused about the fact that he had never heard of a minion using a blade to attack, nor had he heard of them running, or laughing for that matter.

The child repeated the fact that the last thing his father gave him was the wooden sword in his hand. This seemed to break him out of his far-off stare, and his eyes rested upon the sword.

“I was so upset.” he started up again, “I thought I had lost it forever!” Pointing to a crevice between the stone stairs, and the wall he said, “It fell in there, and I couldn’t see it.” Dropping his chin to his chest, the boy continued “I was too afraid to reach in the darkness, because I thought a minion would get me.”

Dern’s heart flared with rage, and melted at the same time.

“But then,” the boy said with a more excited voice, “everything got bright all of a sudden, and I could see the sword, so I grabbed it!”

“I see..” replied Dern.

“I know its just a wooden sword, but it means so much to me”, the boy said with a sniffle, “because my father gave it to me. It was made from the wood of our tree.” Pointing to the canopy overhead, he said “Just a few weeks ago, a storm came through and one of the branches fell into the courtyard. My father took some of the wood to Parian with him, and said he would have a surprise for me when he returned.”

The boy stopped there, and sat shaking form the re-living of the experience. Emotionally exhausted, the child‘s mind ran through a series of incoherent memories of his father. Dern did not know what to say either, and so they were frozen in the moment, with the only noise being the sound of the wind in the branches of the great heartwood tree.

Dern was the first to speak, “Would you like some pie?” Dern winced as the words left his lips. “Oh, good one there, Dern, you idiot!” he thought. “The boy has poured out his soul to you. Telling you about the death of his father, which is probably the most tragic thing he will ever experience in his life. He’s also shared his fears with you, and all you can say is ‘do you want some pie?’”

The child’s ears perked up at the mention of the food, confirming Dern’s suspicion that the boy probably hadn’t had a decent meal in days, so Dern produced a couple pieces of pecan pie from his backpack. The boy took a slice, and then handed Dern his wooden sword, so he could grab the second slice with his other hand.

Looking at the sword again, Dern noticed that it was indeed made of greater heartwood. He turned the blade over in his hand, and read the inscription again, “Sword of Truth”.
“This poor child does not know the truth at all” Dern pondered, “but how am I to explain it to him?”

Indeed, how could he explain that the “minion” was not a winged creature, but in fact a 'Minion of Talazar'? How could Dern explain to the child that Talazar was once a dutiful member of the kingdom, like his father once was? How could he explain that Talazar once bore the marks of the chosen, like Dern once did &amp; that Talazar had the same quest as Dern to destroy these items of evil? The same items that eventually tuned Talazar into a daemon lord and leader of the “Minions” that killed the boy’s father. How could Dern tell the boy this “truth”, when the child was in such a condition already? Dern decided that he would have to give the child some truth, but he was not sure yet what that would be.

“I am going to be traveling to Parian” Dern said as the boy finished the first slice of pie and started on the second. “It is a long journey” Dern continued as he reached into his backpack, “much too long to be carrying something as heavy as this.” Dern pulled a Hammer of Veldan out of his backpack, and handed it to the small child.

The heavy hammer pulled the child’s whole side of his body down. The head of the hammer smacked the stone stair with a sharp crack, and twisted out of the boy’s hand. “Oops, sorry!” Dern said as he picked up the hammer and set it on the stairs with the handle sticking straight up in the air. “See, I told you it was too heavy.”

Dern looked around the courtyard, and spotted exactly what he was looking for. An old wheelbarrow was lying on its side at the far end of the courtyard. “Perfect!” Dern said to himself, as he turned back to the boy.

“Could you do me a favor?” asked Dern, and to which the boy nodded. “Great! I need you to take this hammer to the bank for me, you can use that wheelbarrow over there” Dern said, pointing over his shoulder.

“Do you know Alzatar, the banker? Dern asked.

The boy still had a mouthful of pie, but answered “Yes”, showering Dern with crumbs.

Dern laughed, and brushed the crumbs off of his cape. “Well, Alz is an old friend of mine. Take this hammer to him, and ask him to place it in my bank. Tell him that I said for him to give you as much venison, and beef steak, as you can carry. Could you do this for me?”

Still eating, the boy responded with a nod this time.

“Excellent! I will pay you for this service, of course.” Dern started to loosen the strings on his coin pouch, but decided instead to untie the bag from his nightfall belt. Then Dern pressed the small bag packed with gold coins into the boy’s free hand, and said “Give this to your mother. She will know what to do with it.”

“Thank you!” the boy said as he finished his pie, and started licking his fingers.

Then Dern crouched down and got on one knee, so as to be on the boy’s level, and said “Little one, do not fear the darkness.” Dern paused a moment and looked over his shoulder up at the canopy of the greater heartwood tree that blocked the sunlight. Turning back to the child, Dern gave him his sword of truth.

“Do not fear the darkness, for ‘The Light’ is with you.”

Dern’s muscles began to tighten with anticipation of what he was to say next, so he stood up once again.

“As for ‘The Minions’, I shall see to them, for that is why I am here.”

Dern could feel his desire for justice, and his wrath, begin to etch a fierce scowl into his face. He did not want the child to remember him this way, so he turned and walked over to the great tree. The young sapling was brushing against Dern’s leg as he thought to himself “So, Parian it is. I shall need the speed of the deer.” Dern produced his sword, and held it before him as the green glow of the spell illuminated the darkened courtyard.

Dern was not going to turn around, but when he snuck a peek in the reflection of his blade he saw a woman, obviously the boy’s mother, standing in the doorway at the top of the stairs. Dern wondered how long she had been standing there, and turned to meet her sad eyes. Her hand was pressed firmly against her mouth, so Dern could not tell if she was crying, or smiling, but it seemed like both.

“Sir!” the boy shouted. “The hammer… the banker… who do I tell him… I don’t know your name!”

“My name is Dern Ironskull, and I am one of ‘The Chosen’.”

Dern placed his hand, which was still holding his sword, to his chest, and bowed to them both; a slow, deep, and low bow. Dern bowed like one who had received a great gift would give to their benefactor. Then Dern turned and headed down the alley, moving at a speed greater than legs at his age would normally go, and not noticing the smell of the alley at all.


It is almost as disturbing and moving as the post itself the fact that it is was ever relegated to page 6.

*raises yet another toast to good memories and good friends that have departed Sosaria*


Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
here it is 16 years later. 16 years! and I read this and still get sad. I wonder if Dern is still around.


Babbling Loonie
Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend
Thread necromancy, but I enjoyed the read.

It's strange to think this tale is now old enough to drive.
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