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Kaggan of Blackhills

Kaggan of Blackhills is a general of the Ortalian army, the leader of the Pitch Black Brigade, and the former baron of Blackhills. He is the last dwarf in the line of Stridig of Blackhills, one of the founders of Ortal who led the Northbound Expedition.

Description

At 350 years old, Kaggan is in his twilight years. He has silver hair at shoulder length, and a well-kempt beard that is rather short for a dwarf (though he had a longer beard in his younger days). Bushy white brows above brown eyes, and wrinkles spread all around, he is still considered good-looking for his age.

Most of the time he wears the Pitch Black Brigade's signature black ilmenite plate armor, with only a red cape with his heraldry attached to show his rank.

Personal history

Early life

Born as the second and last child to the barony family of Blackhills, Kaggan received a military education, while his older brother was raised in the arts of politics, destined to take over as baron when their father would eventually die. Kaggan proved to have a natural talent for leadership while in the military, and quickly went from one rank to the next. It was common for nobility to have leading ranks within the army, but Kaggan rose due to merit.

Though never aiming to join the reavers, he led many expeditions alongside them in the Wastelands of Gorlovoye. Here he met the legendary general Rupert McBlutered, another Blackhills native, who saw great potential in the already talented dwarf. Under the general's tutelage, Kaggan was given tasks and responsibilities way above his station. Successfully handling most challenges thrown his way, he became a general himself before the age of 50, well under the 150 year average age of dwarven generals in Ortal.

While stationed in the Fortified Vale in Gorlovoye, overseeing reaver operations to the west, Kaggan was informed that his family, along with one third of the population of Blackhills, had died from pox. Now having to take on the mantle of baron, had to leave his military career at the age of 80.

Baron of Blackhills

By grim luck, the new baron returned to Blackhills to find the coffers full, the result of a very successful harvest and tax collection before the pox had taken hold in the region. Never destined to be a baron, Kaggan used a military approach to his initial ruling. Bolstering the guards, the investing in healthcare, improving roads, letting any citizen work to improve their own society instead of dreading their old everyday duties proved to massively improve the people's morale after the disastrous pox outbreak.

The population of the barony would boom under Kaggan's rule. Life expectancy and general quality of life rose under his efficient rule. Incorruptible and fair, making sure every incoming tax coin would benefit the taxpayers, all while maintaining personal relationships with the common folk, these qualities made him known as the greatest baron in the history of Blackhills.

In the year 1923 PGE, after ruling for decades, he finally found the time to pursue a relationship. In 1924 he married one of the many nieces of the king, namely Yaram of Breakberg, and the couple would have a daughter, Rose, born early in 1925. The couple was reportedly very happy together, and would joyfully banter with each other in a very informal manner, even when in public. This only improved the people's perception on the baron, not only was he a fair an efficient leader, but a loving family man.

First goblin siege of Blackhills

In the summer of 1925 PGE, the unthinkable happened. After almost 2000 years of successfully containing the goblin threat within the Gorlovoye Wastelands by the reavers, a goblin horde had dug their way to Blackhills City. Ascending from underneath the castle catacombs, the baron found every part of his residence to be besieged by goblins. Slaying servants and guardsmen alike, the goblins even managed to breach his bedchambers. Unable to hold back the horde that was now rushing into his most private room, Kaggan saw his wife and newborn daughter slain, only saving himself due to his ilmenite armor. Enraged, he picked up his warhammer in his right hand, and his dead daughter in his left. Holding the baby gently to his body, he swung his hammer with deadly precision as he carved his way through the horde towards the catacombs.

Finding along the way that the only survivors in the castle were his personal guard, all wearing ilmenite armor, they all joined him in his march to the catacombs. Though furious, his helmet hid his emotions. To any onlooker, he appeared calm, moved silently, and the only noise coming from him was his hammer hitting goblin skulls. His guards followed his example, and a silent storm of black clad dwarves glided elegantly through goblin gore. Eventually finding their way down to the catacombs and the magically sealed tomb of the Blackhills family, Kaggan laid his daughter to rest near the sarcophagi of his father and brother.

Kaggan and his men fought their way out of the castle through a secret exit in the catacombs. Arriving in the river surrounding the castle islet, an explosion of hitherto unheard of magnitude shattered the bridge leading to the castle. It was the sound of the cannon brought by the newly arrived reaver, Warden Favne, shot for the first time outside of the Gorlovoye Wastelands. Being the only truly experienced goblin killers in the area, Kaggan and Favne managed to keep the horde within the castle using the cannon to collapse the structure in strategic places. After two days, reaver reinforcements arrived from Gorlovoye. Kaggan and Favne together led the assault into the castle that would clear it of the horde.

Aftermath

While Warden Favne received medals and honors for his contribution in the siege, the baron was only rewarded with a deep depression. The other local nobles took note of his condition, and like vultures would swooped in to take advantage. In a petition to the king, they would claimed that the now heirless and depressed baron would be unfit to rule any further, particularly so after letting goblins invade their lands. The petition was apparently well-received by the kind, and the rule of the barony fell on to the Pewter Family.

Unbeknownst to the public, the king had personally contacted Kaggan after the nobility's petition. Reluctant to give the title of baron to another family, especially since the current ruler had such great favor among the people, the king asked Kaggan if he even wanted to be baron anymore, to which Kaggan answered no. Once again returning to his former duties as a general, he assigned himself to Fort Crane.

Pitch Black Brigade

Kaggan was not the only one to suffer after the siege. Most soldiers of the Green Cloaks, elite rangers serving in Blackhills, had deserted during the short but horrific fight, and Fort Crane was all but abandoned. Thinking back to how his expensive ilmenite armor had saved the lives of him and his personal guards, Kaggan decided he would use what funds he had to train the few soldiers that were left in fighting while wearing the heavy armor. Additional funding was received by his old friend Rupert McBlutered, and together they sponsored an ilmenite foundry to be built within the Blackhills' crafting temple.

Personally training the common soldiers into becoming silent killing machines, Kaggan's anger-fueled project became story of success, as he sent his heavily armored men to all corners of Ortal. Showing prowess above and beyond any soldier in the dwarven army, the troops were eventually discovered by the king. Wanting more soldiers of the same kind, he gave Kaggan free access to the royal treasury, thus giving birth to the Pitch Black Brigade.

Still led by Kaggan to this day, the pitch black brigade is spread all over Ortal and Gorlovoye, acting as elite special forces.

Second goblin siege of Blackhills

History would repeat itself in the late spring of 2127 PGE. Goblins would infest the mountains to the north, and eventually made their way into the Blackhills castle once again. The death toll was less significant this time around, as the pitch black brigade held off the horde until most of the castle residents could escape. Left behind were the unpopular "new" baron, Uwe Pewter, and his youngest daughter, Emerald. Unbeknownst to the public, they were spared by Cesciyb, an Avatar of Misery that sought to corrupt them.

The castle bridge was once again destroyed with cannon fire. Kaggan being the highest ranking soldier in the region took on the task of defeating the invasion, but at this point felt too old to take on an entire goblin horde. Enlisting the help of a master of stealth, Fenrick Fraud, who just so happened to be in the area, a rescue mission was planned and executed, saving both the baron and his daughter.

Leaving the clearing of the castle this time to his brigade, Kaggan along with a team of conspirators including Fenrick Fraud, Rupert McBlutered, Cumbernauld MacBlutered, and the baron's younger brother Kraken Pewter, all signed a petition to have the current baron removed from power. Where Kaggan had a choice to leave his position as baron, Uwe Pewter was given no such luxury, and was deposed by order of the king. Many expected Kaggan to take back his title after this, but chose instead to mentor Uwe's eldest son, Garnet Pewter, who is expected to take on the title when he comes of age.

As of the year 2128 PGE, Kaggan is regent baron of Blackhills.
Alignment
Lawful Good
Species
Age
350
Date of Birth
9th of Chainbreak, 1778 PGE
Children
Current Residence
Belief/Deity
Aligned Organization
Other Affiliations

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Cover image: by PrippyMontyPoppyCock
Character Portrait image: by Sara Campolo

Comments

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Eternal Sage Wordigirl
LexiCon (WordiGirl)
15 Aug, 2022 05:15

Hi there! You may not know me, but I am the sponsor of the Great Leader of Their People Summer Camp Prompt this year! Since you wrote this article, I would like to know, would you mind me reading it aloud on my Twitch channel this week? I have a lot to get through so it helps to do it live while people watch. I've scheduled to go live at 8am and 8pm Eastern Time every weekday. If you join and comment, I can go over your article right then and there! If you'd like to coordinate a specific date, let me know. If you aren't able to make it (or don't want to be present live), you can also always watch streams after the fact on my YouTube channel   BUT, if the answer is NO because you'd rather I not, it's okay! Not agreeing to be streamed definitely does not put you at any disadvantage for winning in my eyes. Please respond swiftly by replying here (make sure to click REPLY under my comment or I won't be notified), message me on my World Anvil profile page, Discord, or anywhere else you find me online.   Thanks again! Whatever you choose, God bless and much success! <3

Be exuberantly blessed. Much success!!! maybe click here, I guess...
15 Aug, 2022 15:11

Hello! Feel free to read it or not, it's all the same to me! Being featured (or even winning) is not my goal, I simply like to write lore. If you do end up reading it I can't be there to watch though, as I plan on disappearing deep into the forest this week on my perfect vacation! Good luck on the adjudication process!


Hohohoho merry world ember!
Eternal Sage Wordigirl
LexiCon (WordiGirl)
15 Aug, 2022 22:13

Sorry you won't be able to make it live but I appreciate the response and the permission! <3 Have a blessed holiday!

Be exuberantly blessed. Much success!!! maybe click here, I guess...
Eternal Sage Wordigirl
LexiCon (WordiGirl)
23 Aug, 2022 04:08

Hi there. I pray all is well. I went over your article tonight. Here's the link for the replay if you'd like to take a look. If not, no worries at all. Thanks again for allowing me the honor! Have a blessed one. <3

Be exuberantly blessed. Much success!!! maybe click here, I guess...