Twigwil "Twig" Dueravil
Eccentric Dwarven Druid
Twigwil “Twig” Dueravil, born Azdek Vondak, was the third son of Eberk and Ilde Vondak. Instilled with the values of fealty to family and clan by his parents, he worked as a miner alongside his father and siblings upon finishing his mandatory military training.
One day as he was working alone in one of the more remote tunnels, a terrible rumbling shook all around him as dirt and rocks fell, snuffing out the torches. The mine had collapsed, trapping Twig inside. He could see that any attempt to dig himself out would only cause the mine to collapse further. Thus, Twig could only sit and hope for rescue.
On the fifth day of his isolation, Twig had all but given up hope of ever being found and contented himself with a quiet death among the stones and earth. For five long days, he had strained his ears to hear the pinging of pickaxes on rocks, the scratch of shovels in dirt, any sign of a rescue in progress but all that surrounded him was silence. No rescue was coming. He would surely die.
Whether due to delirium, those curious mushrooms he had eaten in desperation, or truly the touch of a divine being, Twig saw a glowing ghostly figure seep through the crevices in the rock, perform a few gestures, and with voiceless lips mumble a silent incantation. Then, with an echoing voice that tickled the back of his mind, a small earthen creature rose up and stated, “Azdek Vondak, you have been chosen by the god Obad-hai. You will not die here. You shall be reborn in his service. Abandon your life and your name and learn the ways of the stone and the beasts and the forests. Unnatural beings stir in the earth. Use this second life you have been given to return things to as they were meant to be.” As the earthen creature collapsed in a pile of loose soil, a small sapling sprang from where it had stood.
When the other dwarves finally found Twig several days later, he sat on the ground surrounded by wood shavings, muttering to himself and clutching in one hand a small worn-out pocket knife and in the other a rough-hewn quarterstaff. While it seemed in the days following his rescue that he was slowly returning to normal, Twig grew restless and could not forget the voice that tickled still in the back of his mind. He soon abandoned his mining duties, dyed his hair a moss green leaving it unkempt and wild, and tried to tell every dwarf around him about what he had seen and heard. It did not take long before he was branded eccentric and cave-addled.
The unfavorable attention Twig was garnering unsettled his father. Twig’s elder sister, Glorwynn, was being courted by Dolkel, a strong warrior from an honorable family. Eberk feared that, should rumors of his son’s recent antics reach the ears of Dolkel’s parents, they would call off the engagement, fearing that a strain of insanity ran in the blood of Eberk’s family. One day as the engagement was being finalized between the two families, Dolkel’s parents came to feast in Eberk’s house. As they sat down to their meal, Twig burst into the room waving his quarterstaff and carrying a selection of stones and roots. Seeing for themselves the terrible mess that was Eberk’s youngest son, the parents of Dolkel quietly excused themselves from the table and from Eberk’s home. Many days later, a letter arrived requesting a halt in marriage discussions as Dolkel’s parents reviewed Glorwynn’s eligibility to marry their son. Infuriated by the damage that Twig had caused to their family’s reputation, Eberk stated “Azdek Vondak, I strip you of your given name. It is obvious to me by your actions that you no longer value the wellbeing of this house. Leave here at once and take that godforsaken twig with you!”
Thus with no name and no house, the dwarf that was once Azdek Vondak renamed himself Twigwil Dueravil, taking identity and strength from the quarterstaff that was a gift from the god he was sure had spoken to him and saved his life. For the next ten years, he trained to attune himself to the natural world, revering Obad-hai, and attempting (rather unsuccessfully) to show other dwarves the error in their foolish devotion to family and tradition when they could so easily be at one with the earth that was all around them.