Sparks fly and flames roar as the Auric Runesmiters awaken
the power of Grimnir from ur-gold. Under their booming chants, energy flares and blazes out from Fyreslayer runes, the lodge’s warriors fighting more furiously as the fiery might of the ur-gold courses through their souls like molten lava.
Runesmiters are the war priests of their lodges, charged with calling forth the power of Grimnir in the heat of battle. Whether on foot or riding a ferocious Magmadroth, they charge into the thick of the fighting, where their skills are most needed. Here, amongst the screams of the dying and the coppery stench of blood, the Runesmiters work their divine magic, the runes pressed into the smouldering flesh of their kin glowing bright in their presence.[1a]
Having chosen the path of the Zharrgrim, the Runesmiters stand apart from the Runefather and his sons, as well the Fyreslayers of their lodge. Unlike the venerable Runemasters, who stand aloof among their peers, Runesmiters nevertheless keep a close connection to the duardin they fight beside. The sight of a Runesmiter moving among a battle line is one met with cheers and nods. Oaths to Grimnir fill the air as the Runesmiter does his work. To many Fyreslayers, the Runesmiter is the messenger of their god, delivering a measure of Grimnir’s strength as he moves amongst them.[1a]
Not every Fyreslayer has the skill to become a Runesmiter, as an aspirant must show an affinity with ur-gold that surpasses that of his kin. All Fyreslayers have at least a partial sense of this precious substance, but only the truly gifted can discern its precise location within a chest filled with gold, or in a vein of ore across a cavern wall. Though it takes many forms across holds throughout the realms, the Gilded Test is something Runesmiters must pass before they can be inducted into the ranks of the Zharrgrim priesthood. Traditionally in the Vostarg lodge, aspirants are taken into a chamber filled with broken masks of Grimnir, where they must find the pieces that are made from ur-gold. Only when he is able to create the complete face of his god can his training begin.[1a]
In time, a Runesmiter might prove himself worthy to fight alongside his lodge, earning the right to ride a molten-skinned Magmadroth into battle and carry a latch-axe. A Runesmiter may even ascend to become the Runemaster of his lodge, though for many, their place is in the thick of battle.[1a]
Known Auric Runesmiters
All Runesmiters carry a Latch-axe, and many also keep Fyresteel Throwing Axes close at hand. Some also bear a Runic Iron, as much a weapon as itis a tool of office. If a Runesmiter has proven himself worthy he might instead carry a Forge Key, an artefact of pure ur-gold forged from the remains of a deceased Runefather, which has both symbolic and mystical power.[1b]