"You may have a beard and you may be short, but only honour can make you a cousin of mine!"
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Tonlim is a dwarf of the clan Copperpick which has been a mining clan for millennia. Most of the history is known by members of the clan through writing and some of it only through oral tradition, but the clan has always been expanding deeper underground searching for more valuable minerals and metals, and as such some members live a whole life oblivious to the outside world, and some oblivious to the light of day.
Tonlim’s family, the Leadboot’s, have always been a family of defenders and is one of the most ancient settlements of Copperpick. Leadboot is a settlement consisting of a small outpost near the entrance to the mines. Trade caravans and couriers arrive every few months, but it is essentially self sufficient, since the mine is connected to the rest of the Copperpick settlements.
Tonlim’s close family (uncle’s, aunts, cousins and grandparents included) is a family of gatherers. Hunters and fishermen and some farmers. Tonlim’s father has trained Tonlim and his sister with a stern hand ever since they started growing beards, as per tradition. His older sister Balgerda is a lot stronger and tougher than himself, and she has never respected him because of this. She has pushed him around ever since he can remember. She is 18 years older than him, and usually caring and cheerful, but women of the Lead Boot family have always had a habit of taking out their anger on the men.
Tonlim had to leave the settlement though. It is tradition that before a female dwarf is too old to marry, one of her brothers must find a suiting husband, if she hasn’t already found one herself. This tradition usually comes into play when the family is low on offspring. Tonlim was ordered by his father to find a strong man for his sister. When he told this to his sister it turned out she was in a bad mood. She beat him up like there was no tomorrow. After wards she told him:
“If you ever want to find me a husband, you had better get tougher. I’m not letting a weakling decide who I’m supposed to marry!”
Tonlim brought the best men he could find from neighbouring families, but to no avail; she did not accept a single one of them. It became increasingly clear to Tonlim that he could not stay in the family since he was unable to fulfil his duty. He left at the age of 78 swearing to return some day with a fitting husband for his sister. It has been 9 years.