Bruenor Battlehammer

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Bruenor Battlehammer
Game information
Homeland Mithril Hall
Gender Male
Race Dwarf
Class Fighter
Alignment Neutral Good
Age Upper 300s 350-375
Setting Forgotten Realms

Bruenor Battlehammer is a fictional character in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. The character first appears in the Icewind Dale trilogy by author R. A. Salvatore.[1] He has also appeared in subsequent books as the trusted dwarven companion to popular drow hero Drizzt Do'Urden. In the 4th edition version of Forgotten Realms, he is said to have died.[2]

Bruenor is the adoptive father of a human female named Catti-brie and of the Barbarian Wulfgar. He is the King of Mithril Hall, and lifelong friend to drow ranger Drizzt Do'Urden[3] and Regis, a halfling thief. He crafted Aegis-fang and presented the gift to Wulfgar. It was said to be the best weapon Bruenor had ever made. As a youngster he was forced to flee his ancestral home at Mithril Hall when the kingdom was attacked by a great shadow dragon named Shimmergloom and an army of duergar, or gray dwarves. His exiled family and kin then took up residence in Icewind Dale close to Ten Towns living by selling weapons and armor to the local merchants.

The character of Bruenor Battlehammer was listed as number 11 in UGO Entertainment's list of "The Best Dwarves Ever".[4]

Fictional character history[edit]

A blustery and fiery dwarf who is "Gruff even for a dwarf",[citation needed] Bruenor Battlehammer first meets Drizzt in the novel Sojourn. Despite his daughter's affection for Drizzt, Bruenor does not trust him. After Drizzt saves him from a remorhaz and Bruenor chases away a bounty hunter looking for Drizzt, the pair become close friends.

After the battle with Akar Kessel and the Crystal Shard, Bruenor tricks Drizzt by pretending to be dying to get his help in finding Mithril Hall.

The Companions of the Hall think Bruenor is dead when they see him ride the shadow dragon Shimmergloom into Garumns Gorge, with both on fire. While Shimmergloom dies, Bruenor survives thanks to Icingdeath, a magical scimitar with cryogenic properties that Drizzt previously lost in a battle with Artemis Entreri, and which Bruenor later found.

Over the next few weeks, Bruenor works his way up from the lowest levels of Mithril Hall, disguising himself from the duergar that now reside there and killing any that discover his subterfuge or whom he catches alone. Bruenor eventually escapes, although he is poisoned from a spider bite in the process, which renders him unconscious.

He awakens in the care of Lady Alustriel, ruler of Silverymoon. The lady divined Bruenor's predicament and moved in to help. With her aid—and that of the Harpells of Longsaddle—Bruenor, in a flaming chariot and accompanied by Catti-brie, pursues Drizzt and Wulfgar, who are themselves pursuing Entreri, arriving in time to aid their ship in a battle with pirates.

The reunited Companions travel to Calimport, where they catch Entreri, rescue Regis, and cause the downfall of the dominant thieves' guild in the city. They return to their home in the North, and spend the winter gathering up forces to take back Mithril Hall. During their efforts to regain this lost dwarven stronghold, Bruenor slays the shadow dragon Shimmergloom.[5] Bruenor and his armies drive out the duergar, and Bruenor becomes King of Mithril Hall. A small party of drow led by Drizzt's sister, Vierna, seek him, causing the apparent death of Wulfgar, and Bruenor loses an eye in a battle with them.

The death of his adoptive son Wulfgar sends Bruenor into a depression. Drizzt goes to Menzoberranzan to settle accounts with his people. Catti-brie sees Bruenor as being grief-stricken to be useful in her pursuit of Drizzt. Upon the pair's return, their news of a planned drow war on Mithril Hall forces Bruenor out of his depression.

With aid from neighboring kingdoms and people, Mithril Hall survives the assault. Bruenor and company seek out the leaders of the drow—the Matron Mothers. Bruenor kills Matron Baenre in battle, ending her centuries-long rule of the drow city. Afterward, they find Gandalug—founder of Mithril Hall and Bruenor's ancestor—who had been Matron Baenre's magically-held prisoner for almost two millennia. The discovery allows Bruenor to abdicate the throne to his ancestor and pursue his own ambitions in Icewind Dale and its mines.

During Drizzt's and Catti-brie's six-year absence from his side, Bruenor becomes closer friends with Regis and has a cleric restore his lost eye. When the balor Errtu gains the Crystal Shard, Bruenor helps defeat the tanar'ri. Drizzt and Bruenor are initially over-matched until Wulfgar, thought dead, reappears and joins the battle, helping them to win.

Bruenor is also one of the main characters in the Drizzt-centric Paths of Darkness novels, where he is often the supporting father figure to a struggling Wulfgar after his torment in the Abyss.

In The Hunter's Blades trilogy, Bruenor returns to reclaim the throne of Mithril Hall after the death of Gandalaug Battlehammer. In The Thousand Orcs, Bruenor suffers a near-fatal blow and for most of The Lone Drow is kept alive only by a constantly labouring team of Dwarven priests. Bruenor is brought out of his near-comatose state by the halfling Regis, who persuades Bruenor to aid his fighting kin. In The Two Swords, Bruenor finally reclaims his rightful throne and leads the dwarfs against King Obould and his army of orcs and frost giants.

In The Orc King, Bruenor sets out to find the ancient Dwarven homeland of Gauntylgrym, believing it will contain the secret to defeating Obould's horde. The Orcs, led by the half-ogre/orc Grguch and his clan, assault the dwarves and Moonwood elves. Bruenor's group uncovers what is believed to be Gauntlgrym, but is revealed to be a city founded by dwarves on the surface, and co-inhabited by orcs. Bruenor, however, believes the orcs double crossed his ancestors and destroyed the town. He attempts to kill Obould, believing him responsible for the latest attacks. Drizzt convinces Bruenor that the only peaceful solution is to slay Grguch and make peace with Obould. Bruenor then saves Obould and helps him kill Grguch. A treaty is created between Mithril Hall and the Kingdom of Many Arrows.

Bruenor travels to Spirit Soaring in The Ghost King and helps Drizzt, Jarlaxle, Danica Maupoissant, and Athrogate kill the dracolich Haephestus. While living in Mithral Hall, Bruenor fakes his own death in order to leave, journeying with Drizzt and Thibbldorf Pwent, and later Jarlaxle and Athrogate, to again seek Gauntlgrym. Bruenor falls after a battle with a pit fiend in Gauntlgyrm, dying after sealing in the Great Primordial, the powersource of the Great Forges of Gauntlgrym, thus preventing catastrophe across the Sword Coast. He wakes up later in a special heaven created by the goddess Meilikki, and rejoins Cattie-brie, Regis and Wulfgar for eternity.

In an August 2011 interview, author R. A. Salvatore confirmed that Bruenor had indeed died, saying of Bruenor and Pwent, "They didn't 'seem to' meet their demise; they met it."[6]

In the 4th edition version of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, Bruenor Battlehammer is said to have died sometime before 1479 DR.[7] [8]

Other media[edit]

Bruenor also appears to the protagonist in Baldur's Gate II along with Catti-Brie and Drizzt. He later helps the character with a very difficult fight against vampires in the crypts in Athkatla.

Appearance[edit]

Bruenor's hair and beard are red,[9] which later began turning a light gray.[10] His eyes are gray.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jacob, Merle; Apple, Hope (2000). To Be Continued: An Annotated Guide to Sequels. Greenwood Press. ISBN 157356155X. 
  2. ^ Cordell, Greenwood, Sims (2008). Dungeons and Dragons: Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Wizards of the Coast. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3. 
  3. ^ Shippey, T. A. (1996). Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature. Salem Press. ISBN 0-89356-906-2. 
  4. ^ Jensen, K. Thor (November 1, 2011), The Best Dwarves Ever, UGO Entertainment, retrieved August 23, 2012 
  5. ^ Dekirk, Ash (2006). "Dragons in Literature". Dragonlore: From the Archives of the Grey School of Wizardry. Career Press. p. 139. ISBN 1-56414-868-8. 
  6. ^ Carroll, Bart (August 5, 2011). "The Legend Of Drizzt: Neverwinter Tales Interview". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ Cordell, Greenwood, Sims (2008). Dungeons and Dragons: Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Wizards of the Coast. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3. 
  8. ^ Heinsoo, Bilsland, Bonner, Boyd, Schwalb (2008). Dungeons and Dragons: Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. Wizards of the Coast. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8. 
  9. ^ The Crystal Shard - "Bruenor stroked his red beard."
  10. ^ The Two Swords - "His great and wild beard seemed more orange than red under the artificial lighting, perhaps because those long hairs had become more infested with strands of gray since the dwarf king's ordeal."
  11. ^ Streams of Silver - "Only surprise delayed Regis's immediate squeals of joy when Bruenor opened his gray eyes and winked."

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]