THE DWARVEN EXPLORER NOGGI PENMARK
Noggi Penmark (790 b.S.-?), one
of the most renown dwarven explorers and
historians of the
Age of the Blood. Noggi dedicated his entire life to the better understanding of
the mythical Ylossian Dwarves, a
clan that might have lived during the Age of Myth. The Ylossians were sad to
have had their homes in the Tandala Mountains until they were hunted into
extinction by Dark Elves. The same tunnels, who are said to belong to the
Ylossians, were used by the
orcs to invade Southern Sarvonia in SW III.
Biography. Noggi was born in the Month of the Dead Tree, 790 years before Santhros brought the races together in a united kingdom. He was the son of a rich and learned father, Normo from the Boltgrumms clan, and a dedicated mother, Hegga, both of whom never questioned his thirst for knowledge and only fed it with books and various ancient writings. Noggi was a small child, which might explain why he spent all his time reading and not playing with the other young dwarves. Being the rich familyís only son, the parents spared no expenses in their childís life. Very untypical for his race he was born and raised in the human city of Nyermersys and spent his childhood reading whatever he could, and studying simple military tactics.
Noggi's First Expedition. It was in one of these early readings that he first learned about a small, cryptic race of dwarves that lived and died in the Tandala Tunnels. These were just rumors when first read by Noggi, but he made it his lifelong passion and at a very young age for a dwarf, with only 41 years, he set forth to the mountain range to the north in order to prove the stories. It was a costly journey and a dangerous one to enter dragon infested territory. It also seemed very unlikely that Noggi would to be able to prove the existence of an extinct race of dwarves.
With SW I raging all throughout Sarvonia, and also knowing the population of dragons, orcs and dark elves around the mountains was rather high, Noggi brought a whole company of mercenary dwarves with him at his fatherís expense. The entire company numbered in the range of 200, and every one of them was an expert at mountain and forest warfare.
The first attempt to secure a camp in the northern parts of the Calmarios, the woods of the Cyrathrhim elves, was destroyed by trolls. There were several dozens of trolls patrolling the borders of the forest, that were aroused by the dwarven vanguard containing about 75 scouting dwarves. It was a massacre. The trolls knew the land and hid their camp so well the dwarves didnít know they were even close to them until they were in the middle of the hunting camp. At a given signal, the trolls attacked at once, thinking they were part of a military attack on their race, and they took no prisoners. The lightly armed scouts didnít stand a chance, they were mown down before they could draw their swords and clubs. Not one dwarf walked away, and the trollish dead were never seen either, for the camp was moved and the dead lugged away along with all the other remnants of the trollish occupancy. The only way the dwarves knew it were trolls, was the fact that the cowards retreated off so fast leaving no trace. The rest of the dwarven army hurriedly headed northeast, out of the Calmarios and towards the Tandala Highlands, towards their cryptic cousins. It was in the very southeastern foothills of the Tandala Mountains that Noggiís Company established Fort Penmark, a small-fortified structure that would serve as a home base while winter wore out and the mountains were explored.
Inside the Tandala Tunnels. Noggi Penmark was one of the first explorers of the mountains and their long gone dwellers and searched hard to find the fabled entrances. He and a select group of keen-eyed dwarves spent the long cold days searching for the entrance to this underground world. It took no less than 156 days to find an opening, all the while avoiding any fights possible and defending against any that were not avoidable. It seems like a wonder that Noggi and his company weren't attacked any dragons, which surely would have put a quick end to the researches.
Anyway, the tunnels were found on the eastern side of the mountain. Within the caves, Noggi found many treasures of the ancient race, including metal objects, weapons and rare ores. Most of these Noggi sold for more provisions, thus allowing him to stay in the mountain as long as possible. But legend has it that a few of his favorites were left in their place, including a magic helm, which supposedly was unbreakable. When at last Penmark left the range, he had been underground for almost a century, and he thought he had conclusive evidence for the existence of the Ylossian Dwarves, and he even published a book a few years lated called "The Forgotten Dwarf".
"The Forgotten Dwarf". After this book was read by the scholars, many critics only laughed at his accomplishments, calling him a phony and a liar. They held a council to decide if there was enough truth to Penmarkís words to warrant a second, more "educated" party taking a trip to the tunnels, but Penmark had little concrete, physical proof, for he had sold most of his findings in order to stay underground longer. Noggi on the other hand claims...
that the existence of The
Ylossian Dwarves is strongly
suggested in these findings of metal workings and ore which were littered
about the cave floor. Sadly, most of these fine items had to be sold, so
that I could buy food and other essentials, to allow myself and the
dwarves, who accompanied me in this endeavour, a longer stay
underground. - What do you think? We hadn't been sleeping all day long in
the tunnels - in fact we built our own town!
Footnote: I also have to admit that some of the riches disappeared mircaculously as did some of my fellow-dwarves - two suggestions here: Either they served as a good meal to a dragon somewhere around (well, "Never leave your home if you don't have to" as an old dwarven proverb says) or those dwarves just weren't as reliebale as I had thought them to be. Hmm."
-- Noggi Penmark: "The Forgotten Dwarf", p. 143-
Tharian Translation from Thergerim by Thomas Ohlong
Any metal, markings or weapons he did supply them with in person was taken as
only stemming from the orcs, who might have
chosen as small cave to live in within the mountains. The Council found Penmark
to be crazy, and threw his book out the window to demonstrate that they thought
it to be only an imaginitive concoction. Now Noggi Penmark was exiled as a liar
and a madman, and nothing he could do or say would bring him out of this
reputation, so after a few years of this treatment he returned to his beloved
mountains, where he is said to have lived the remainder of his life in solitude, until he passed
away probably sometime near 600 b.S., although no one can be sure if he even
reached the mines.
Afterthought. Noggi Penmark donated his life to the better understanding of a mythical tribe of dwarves, but after spending over half his natural life underground gathering evidence, his only publication was found to be incorrect and all his work wasted. "The Forgotten Dwarf" can still be found in some libraries and miscellaneous stores, but to mention it to scholars is still considered blasphemy, though the invasion of the orcs through tunnels within the Tandala in SW III makes Noggi's belief in the Ylossians more probable. None of the united races has yet entered the core of the Tandala tunnels since his first expedition, so his entire life was, from an explorerís point of view, in vain.
Information provided by Ralhag