Ghost of Kalidria
“Beldon, Lord of the Forge. It is he who guides our hammers. It is he that gives us the gift to create. Lord of Iron, Bronze, Gold and Stone. Lord of the Fire that breathes life into the Stone; life into the Iron. He who breathes life into the Mountain and forces it to spill forth it’s blood with his mighty hammer stroke.” ~Priest of Beldon, hearth-time prayer
Beldon is a dwarven god depicted as having a long red beard that is said to wrap around Kalidria three times. The first wrap is for Rock, the second for Iron, the third wrap is for Fire. He is the Lord of the Forge and the chief god of Durg. The dwarven people that worship him are believe that volcanoes are caused by Beldon’s hammer strokes reshaping the mountains.
Beldon is always imaged with a large hammer and a braided beard wearing a smith’s apron. His hair is depicted as long and pulled back with a long iron tube engraved with knot-work. Generally he is seen as serious and fierce. The dwarven priests see him as the great creator as well. They believe that it was he that forged Kalidria, then forged the dwarves from the stone of the mountain and hair from his beard.
To cut a beard is to cut the beard of Beldon a cardinal sin for his dwarven followers.
Potential priests begin their training at the age of 5. They can be chosen by priests or if a parent feels that the child has the potential can give him to the Great Forge for his trials. All orphans of Durg are also brought in, as they feel that an orphan has lost all and can be blessed most by what they can give.
The call is given on the Day of Beldon the longest day of the year. Each initiate will be given a hammer 1/4th their weight and a block of iron equal to their weight. These are set on one of the veins of the mountain that flows. The vein is covered with a platform for the initiate to stand upon. The stone platform is hot enough to cook food upon.
Their task is to beat the block of iron into 5 to 7 lbs bricks of iron. They are then given the task of stacking them into any structure that they wish. They cannot rest until this task is completed. The structures will be reviewed as the young ones stand behind their work. Only their work is seen by the Priests that will choose the children that will begin training.
There is no set number of how many will be chosen. Instead it is more about the quality of the work that they can accomplish. Once they have passed the initial test, they are “Ore Casts.”
They will begin the apprenticeship process working with other masters on learning the art that is their religion. Blacksmithing. They will work to learn the ways of Smithing and the ways of Beldon. They will remain in training at the Forge until they craft their first “Book of Beldon’s Way.”
This book is a record of what they know. The book will begin the size of small book. The book will be made of a material of the same kind as their specialty. They begin making their first book when they become full Apprentices of the Forge. Completion of the book and having it approved by a Brother of the Forge will mark them elevating to the rank of Journeyman of the Forge.
At this level of their training they must now journey into the world to begin applying what they know and learning more on their own. Once they run out of space in their current book, they must make a larger book. The older book must be sent back to the Forge, so no parts of it can be used.
Once sufficient knowledge and understanding has been gained, as well as proper quality, the Journeyman will be called back to the forge. They will be given a test to progress to Brother of the Forge.
This rite of passage gives them the ability to live as a craftsman in Durg or to continue to travel the world and build their own Forge. The goal of this level is to produce items of quality and to support a town, village or a Kingdom. The Brother continues to send their books back when they have filled the prior.
The masters of the forge keep a watchful eye on the knowledge held within and use this themselves to train or learn from to increase their knowledge in hopes to one day be given the title of Grandmaster of the Forge. Part of their test and requirements is to train others. Their ability to teach is as important as their ability to do.
As Grandmaster they continue to do more of the same leading and instructing the Masters. At this level they are expected to be such skilled craftsman that an item crafted by them would be held as a work of art.
Beldon’s Hand is the head overseer of the entire Priesthood. There is only one and another is chosen by the Grandmasters should the fires of Beldon take his Hand home to the eternal forge.
Priesthood is open to man and woman, though there are few women in the priesthood. Priesthood is not closed to them, nor are they slighted against in any way. It is unknown even to the members of the priesthood why so few women choose the call.
Ranks of Priesthood
- Ore Casts
- Wrought Ones
- Apprentice of the Forge
- Journeyman of the Forge
- Brother of the Forge
- Master of the Forge
- Grand Master of the Forge
- Beldon’s Hand