High King Medyr IX
Following a period of significant flux in the Union of Mishtoon, which saw eleven High Kings and Queens come and go in the space of 10 years, known as the ‘Decade of Mourning’, High King Medyr IX’s reign has been seen as a welcome period of stability for the Union. Medyr’s time on the throne is commonly referred to as being prosperous and productive, where the nation’s good Dwarven folk could settle down and get on with business without too much excitement. That does not mean that all has been banal and stress-free under Medyr’s watch. As the Dwarves of Mishtoon continue to delve deeper and deeper into the earth they are becoming more and more involved in the complex politics and diplomacy of the Underdark below, whose twisting tunnels and hidden caverns are home to peoples and creatures that are often far from friendly to visitors from the surface. This has been further compounded by the activity of Korinthos in the deep places of the world, further muddying the diplomatic waters and leaving High King Medyr IX with a significant challenge to face, from above and below the surface.
General Physical Condition
Like many of his kin, Medyr is stout and stocky, and his body bears the obvious muscular build of someone who has spent much of their life working in a demanding, physical trade. Although he has stopped cutting down trees since becoming High King, he maintains a strict regime of physical activity, both martial and athletic to maintain his personal ethos of ‘Strong body, strong mind’. Many members of the court also believe that Medyr’s often-gruelling bouts of physical exercise are primarily designed to vent his frustration at the slow pace of court and political life. In stature, Medyr is of average height for a Dwarf, standing at about 4’5”. His large, rectangular face is predominantly covered by an enormous beard, that almost reaches down to his belt buckle, and is often braided with finely wrought gold rings incorporated within. His hair, which he keeps quite short, are both red-auburn in colour, and his eyes, barely visible beneath his thick eyebrows are a bright green hue. When he stands, Medyr’s posture is always very grounded and strong, as if he is constantly ready to receive a charge. What he lacks up for in height compared to other races, he more than makes up for through his incredibly loud voice, and innate talent for making even a Goliath feel small and insignificant under his withering gaze.
The current High King of the Union of Mishtoon, Medyr IX came from humble origins, and was born in the town Coeduchal, far to the south west of Mishtoon in 367S.E. Coeduchal is the seat of Clan Dwr-Haearn, the clan that Medyr and his family have belonged to from long before the beginning of the settlement era. As a child, Medyr was restless and often got into trouble for being in the wrong places at the wrong time, but by the time that he came of age he followed his father into the woodcutter’s trade. Like many of his compatriots in the trade, Medyr fell into the familiar pattern of work. He toiled hard through all weathers on the slopes of the Eira-Gwyn Mountains; cutting lumber for use in Coeduchal’s thriving woodworking industry during daylight hours, and then frequenting one of the local taverns at night to ease the pains and sores of a life of physical labour. It was during his time in the town’s taverns, that Medyr discovered his talent for wrestling and axe throwing, sports that most Dwarven taverns have specific areas for to entertain their patrons. As the years went by, Medyr’s fame as an athlete grew, even taking him to compete against other clans across Mishtoon. The growth of his reputation, however, drew attention from the Clan elders, including the Prif who headed up Clan Dwr-Haearn. At the time, the Union was going through a dark time, known as the ‘Decade of Mourning’, as a quick succession of High Kings and Queens came to the throne, only to die in office shortly after, many of them from wounds sustained in the brutal funeral games used to select the next monarch. Clan Dwr-Haearn had been unsuccessful in all of the recent selection games, but in Medyr, the Clan’s Prif saw their chance for success. After some rather serious cajoling and persuasion, Medyr agreed to accept the somewhat dubious honour of being appointed as Clan champion, and gave up life as a lumberjack to train. Medyr did not have to wait long before his chance came. Less than a year after being appointed as champion, Medyr found himself in the capital of the Union, Ebenbirn, preparing to fight for his life in the funeral games of a deceased High Queen. Medyr entered the games with low odds of success, but he quickly moved from combat to combat until he was one of two champions left in the running. After a brutal contest lasting nearly four hours, Medyr was finally emerged victorious, delivering the deathblow to his opponent with a perfectly timed and aimed axe throw from across the arena. Shortly after his victory, Medyr was crowned as the High King of the Union of Mishtoon. Since coming to the throne in 477S.E., Medyr has distinguished himself in becoming one of the longest reigning High Monarchs in the history of the Union, a period of stability that was much needed after the years of the ‘Decade of Mourning’. Overall, however, Medyr has stayed the course followed by the other High Kings & Queens of the past, that of ensuring that the Union is stable and not immediately threatened by anything or anyone. This means that under his rule, Mishtoon has drawn closer to the Sultanate of Fashaddon, strengthening the ties of the old alliance between the two nations to support one another on the international stage. Equally, this also means continuing to keep a cool distance from their other neighbours, the Republic of Castar and the Kingdom of Sharisar, whom Mishtoonians have always felt watched them with jealous eyes. This attempt, however, to maintain the diplomatic status quo is being threatened. The activities of Mishtoon in their towns and cities below the surface of Turoza are increasingly bringing them into contact with peoples who are less than friendly, Shadow Elves, Deep Dwarves and worse all view the Dwarves of Mishtoon as invaders encroaching on their rightful lands. Skirmishes have already broken out between Mishtoon and the denizens of the Underdark, and the strength of the Union and its High King may well be tested sooner rather than later.
Medyr has very little in terms of official education. He was never particularly interested in acquiring academic knowledge, and was much more content being up and about doing physical things rather than being stuck at a desk before a musty tome. Since becoming High King, Medyr has had to undergo some formal tutoring, mostly to bring him up to speed with the intricacies of Mishtoon’s laws and policies, and to ensure that his knowledge of current events and cultural niceties is good enough that he won’t accidentally offend any foreign delegates or rulers who come before him.
Prior to his appointment as High King, Medyr had led a rather simple life as lumberjack, where he harvested trees from the dense forests covering the sides of the Eira-Gwyn Mountains for use in his Clan’s wood shops. It was the discovery of his talent for wrestling and axe throwing that eventually landed the honour of being Clan Dwr-Haearn’s champion to complete for the crown of the Union.
High King Medyr IX is well known for his ferocious temperament. Before attending an official audience with him, or before presenting anything to him, visitors, regardless of who they are or where they are from are instructed to make things as brief as possible, or risk drawing the High King’s ire for wasting his time with unnecessary details or tasks. This is reflected in Medyr’s own conversation, where he is almost always matter of fact and to the point, and he will very rarely hold back on giving his personal, unfiltered assessment of a situation or person. On the other hand, one can guarantee that a compliment or commendation from the High King is absolutely genuine, and despite his rough nature, Medyr is keen to ensure that those who are capable get the praise they deserve. As well as this, Medyr is known for his short temper, a trait that many believe has been amplified since his ascension to the throne. This does occasionally lead to Medyr being slightly rash with regards to his immediate reactions, and he has been known to challenge those who have offended him to single combat for slighting him, including on one memorable occasion a high level diplomat from the Republic of Castar, who was a too sarcastic for his own good. Although Medyr’s personality causes quite a few headaches in the court of Ebenbirn, it has ingratiated him with the majority of Mishtoon’s population, who appreciate his candour and factual representation of any situation. Equally, under his reign, the Union Council, who have learned not to infuriate the High King by delaying too long or engaging in too much open politicking in his presence, makes decisions far more efficiently. This does not mean that the Union has seen a drop in political wheeling and dealing during Medyr’s reign just that it rarely happens when he is in the room.
Wealth & Financial state
In terms of his personal wealth, Medyr is actually penniless. One of the conditions of becoming High King/Queen of the Union of Mishtoon is that the incumbent must give up all of their worldly riches and property, save items of deep personal significance. In exchange, Medyr, like all the High monarchy before him is kept in lavish comfort and accommodation at the expense of the state.