Lost Mines to the Apocalypse
John Smyth (male human) is has been Red Larchs blacksmith for a decade and a half and has taken only a handful of days off work in all that time. John was raised by dwarves after an unfortunage incident while his parents were traveling with a dwarven caravan. The result was a surprisingly skilled smith, who grew up in an environment that left him sturdy as a dwarf, strong as an ox, and eager to ply his trade. Recently, he has begun to pass the torch of smithing in Red Larch to another family who arrived from Yartar, and was pleased to learn that a vacancy would soon be opening as John relocated to Phandalin. Though the plans are in place, John was awaiting word from Shule. Shule used to work at his shop, and shares a strong connection with John. Shule moved to guarding caravans for Mr. Cavalo only when he realized he lacked the innate skills that John was blessed with. John is still smithing, but has been doing less of it as he prepares for departure. He is only taking special orders now (orders that require that specialized alloys or treatments), or orders for which the new smith and his children don’t have time.
Eldras Tantur (male Turami human thug) has been ramping up to become Red Larch’s new blacksmith for a couple weeks. Eldras and his children-a strapping son and two strong daughters-are skilled smiths who can make almost anything that requires no specialized alloys or treatments. They can temper swords and reinforce armor, and they often repair tools and weapons. John has reluctantly agreed to teach them some of the basics of working with more special and rare materials (for an undisclosed price), but they still pass any such orders on to John.
The Tanturs rarely emerge from their smithy. They work all day long every day filling endless orders for hasps, hinges, locks, and chains, plus hardware for wagons such as cotter pins, bolt rings, wheel rims, and wheel hubs. John Smyth, however, gets out quite a bit now.
Eldras is a plain-dealing sort who knows almost nothing of the current mood and troubles in Red Larch, since hes so rarely away from his forge. His wife Laefra, who orders metals via the merchants she deals with, hears much of the troubles, but she tells Eldras and their children none of it. Life is better undarkened by such matters, she figures.
John Smyth is a remarkably skilled smith (by human standards), and a darn good one even by dwarven standards. He has a particular fascination for dwarves, and anything touching dwarven lore, legends, or artifacts. He did not truly raise Shule, but the long hours Shule spent in his shop as a pre-teen, and then as a teenager shaped not only Shule’s body, but his soul as well. There is a bond between Shule and John that is typically only shared between father and son.