oed Orduum was born within the proud dwarven expanse of Igladan, “City of a Thousand Halls.” He is the younger of two brothers, yet he and his brother developed a close bond that remains to this day, the two of them having spent the bulk of their childhood roaming Igladan’s vast network of tunnels and playing together in its subterranean fringes. They spent many a year simulating the battles of fallen dwarven heros, dressing up in mock armor and wielding makeshift weaponry, as they scampered about the underground chambers of their home. (While human heros are typically remembered for taking their stand on the great plains and battlefields of Eriond, many dwarven heros are immortalized for their rock-like defense of family and people amidst the dark, dank tunnels of their cavernous strongholds.)
Toed’s father had inherited the family craft of developing caving tools and equipment, yet there was a small, restless spark within him which compelled him to leave the comfort and security of Igladan and move to the struggling city of Caldoranth. There, now with the help of his oldest son (Toed’s brother), he plied his trade, adapting his craft to provide customized exploration equipment (and the occasional service of a cave-guide) to all those with a thirst for adventure in the underbelly of the Hammodrans.
Once Toed came of age, rather than work alongside his brother in his father’s business, he tried the life of a hired sword (or hired warhammer, in his case), principally serving as a caravan guard for the various merchants traveling the trade routes to and from Caldoranth. Apparently, he had that same restless spark that his father had. As might have been expected, when his fellow guardsmen witnessed his acrobatic movements in combat, they didn’t hesitate to nickname him “Toad!”
After several years, he took what he had learned as a merchant guard, and joined Caldoranth’s city watch. Here as well, he spent many years in faithful service to those he had sworn to protect. However, working in the city watch exposed Toed to the stresses and strains that naturally arise within the tight confines of a human city (i.e., a city without the strong rule of law, as he was familiar with in Igladan), not to mention the growing struggle between the rising merchant class and the landed nobles in Caldoranth. Essentially, Toed was confronted with human corruption and degradation, here in the rebuilt ruins of a former dwarven citadel, no less. As best he could tell, this corruption had even reached the city watch.
For many years, Toed tried to ignore the rumors and the angst he was feeling inside, attempting to stay focused on his responsibilities. He assumed that eventually these wrongs would be righted by the structures of the city watch itself, that is, by those above him. He of course felt that the troubles of the city as a whole would also right themselves. Surely the governing authorities would clamp down at some point. But as time rolled along, Toed was forced to face the sober reality that he was not living in Igladan.
Perhaps it was all the visions of his youth and the reenactments of fabled dwarven defenders that made the realities of Caldoranth too difficult to bear. Whatever the reason, something snapped within Toed. He couldn’t continue his service amidst this tainted city watch, not knowing the things he knew. At the same time, he couldn’t sit by and watch, while the city fed its inner darkness and inevitably consumed itself. Fortunately for Toed, right at this time, an excuse arose for him to leave the city watch. His father had become ill, all while his older brother was out on an expedition servicing an adventuring party. This meant that Toed himself would have to maintain the shop, while at the same time caring for his father.
Eventually, his brother returned, and Toed continued aiding his father and brother through the rest of the year, all the while stewing on his angst and frustration, and even brewing the first thoughts of what he might eventually do in response to the city’s ills. He decided that he would use his knowledge of the streets of Caldoranth to arise in the night and trouble all those troublers of Caldoranth.
Unfortunately, as he made his first forays into the alleys and along the rooftops of Caldoranth, he became painfully aware of how rusty the slinking skills of his youth had become. He could not afford to be discovered too early, before he had a chance to leave his mark. He must leave Caldoranth indefinitely, and hone his skills of stealth and acrobatics. Then, by the determination of mighty Caelovarod himself, he will return and haunt their nightmares.
On his departure from Caldoranth, Toed remembered that his family had told tales of the great dwarven hero, Druingar Glintaxe, who was an ancestor of theirs. Calling these stories to mind, Toed was able to trace the route of Druingar Glintaxe’s final quest along a winding path to an ancient alpine dwarven monastery midway between the Hammodrans and the Atrowan Heights, just south of Darkmoon Wood, eventually to arrive in the town of Falcon’s Hollow. The trip was long and arduous, but Toed used the time to gather information on current affairs in the region.