Dwarven Ranger/Goliath Druid
Thornbeard Thistlecap is a wild-eyed dwarf with an unkempt beard and a spiky mop of reddish hair. He was once known as Hilfred Stouthammer, but it’s been years since anyone has called him that. The last time he heard it, in fact, was as a child, when his clan was set upon and torn asunder by vicious trolls. His father, Svengar, had shouted, "Hilfred, run! Save yourself!” as he was being mauled and mangled by one of the foul brutes. But, before Hilfred could act, and to his complete surprise, he was snatched up and carried off by a stone giant! He feared for his life and squirmed to get free, but soon realized that he was being rescued. The giant, whose name he has never learned, carried Hilfred to safety, but then set him down and left without a word.
Hilfred found himself alone in the wilderness. But, he was a quick learner and found a way to survive. Now and again he thought he caught a glimpse of the stone giant that had saved him, or spotted a familiar giant track in the mud. He wondered whether his savior was watching over him, but the sightings became less frequent over time, and eventually ceased altogether. Over the years, he came across civilized folk occasionally, but he never offered his given name. During one of the rare times that he sat around a fire with a group of folk, a traveling minstrel called him Thornbeard Thistlecap, and the name stuck.
Thornbeard now roams the dangerous foothills to the east of the Mindspin Mountains, occasionally visiting Trunau for supplies and libations. He’s a bit odd—tough but gentle and awkward yet bold. However, when it comes to nature, foraging, and living in the wild, Thornbeard is quite accomplished. Because of this, he is sometimes hired by Trunau locals as a guide, or to help them find the area’s delicious mushrooms. He has an affinity for plants and animals, and adores Engwe, his horse.
Thornbeard is no wallflower, and rather talkative when in the company of others. In general, he’s friendly and cordial, and willing to help peaceful folk in need, but his interactions with acquaintances are usually short-lived due to his nomadic lifestyle.
As of late, Thornbeard has been having dreams and visions of giant beasts and giant dwarves moving through a green valley. Sometimes in these visions, a horned beast calls out to him from a copse of cedars. Other times, a volcano smolders on the horizon behind a looming figure with the arms of an ape and the head of a boar. He recalls that a long time ago, in a valley in the Mindspin Mountains, he saw such beasts and dwarves, but they vanished before his very eyes. He explained away the experience by chalking it up to the mushrooms he ate for lunch, but now he wonders whether there’s something more to these visions.