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|“||I'm Grobnar Gnomehands, probably guessing where that last name comes from, don't you, well, tends to confuse most people... Quite a collector - and maker - and teller of tales, I am, all the Gnomehands are... except the ones they hanged in Luskan.||”|
|— Grobnar Gnomehands|
Grobnar Gnomehands was a gnomish bard of the Sword Coast North best known for his travels with the Kalach-Cha during the Shadow War. A fun-loving and inquistive soul, he was also known for getting into trouble.
Grobnar's appearance could probably have been best described as unkempt, though no more so than is typical of gnomes. With wild hair exploding in every direction from his head and a hyperactive mouth, Grobnar exhibited many of the common qualities of gnomes. But while Grobnar often seemed child-like in manner, his physical appearance suggested otherwise. With wrinkles evident along his face, it was clear to observers that Grobnar was far from youthful, in spite of his energy, being well into his middle ages.
Grobnar preferred to dress in leather armor or simple clothes, carrying with him often at times a lute or other magical instrument for use as an implement. He also claimed to have a codpiece with a spring-mounted shield, amongst other oddball devices.
Jovial and inquisitive, Grobnar was an ever curious and blissfully bright-eyed individual who took delight in the discovery of new things and their recording. He had a love of tales, collecting them and telling them, though sometimes to a degree that others found irritating. He appreciated such qualities in others as well, complimenting them if they remembered some piece of particularly obscure lore or were able to decipher something he was unable to.
In many ways, Grobnar seemed slightly out of touch with reality, demonstrating what seemed to be an excessive amount of naivete as well as a utter disregard of the dangers involved in some of his research. His belief in the Wendersnaven, against all evidence to the contrary, would cause skepticism amongst many of his companions as to the creatures' existence. However, at other times Grobnar appeared more cunning than he let on, successfully reactivating the badly damaged Construct as well as solving several puzzles on behalf of the Kalach-Cha. Likewise, when Bishop tried to decieve him into providing the overrides for the Construct, Grobnar secretly prepared another set, which he may have used to prevent Bishop's treachery.
Grobnar has demonstrated a surprising facility with languages, running through at least six when he attempted to translate "Kalach-Cha". The closest he came to a translation was Draconic; apparently the word means something like "gizzard stone" if you drop the 'k'.
Not much is known for sure about Grobnar's early life. Evidence seems to suggest that he was from a long line of bards, and Grobnar claimed that the Gnomehands were all "tellers of tales." He also mentioned to the Kalach-Cha that a few were executed in Luskan. The significance of these earlier ancestors was otherwise untouched on by the bard however and Grobnar rarely spoke of his home. He was also supposedly once polymorphed into a mule.
Grobnar was also a fan of the works of Deekin Scalesinger about Undrentide and the Underdark, whom he may have later had the chance to meet in Neverwinter, where the kobold had taken to living. This was slightly unusual, given the usual enmity between gnomes and kobolds.
The Shadow WarEdit
The Kalach-Cha and their company first encountered Grobnar in an open field on their way to Old Owl Well to aid in the search for a missing ambassador of Waterdeep. Grobnar had decided to camp there hoping to catch the attention of a Wendersnaven, mythical creatures that could supposedly not be seen nor touched and were both everywhere and nowhere at once. After encountering the party and relating to them a story, Grobnar offered to join and would continue to travel with the Kalach-Cha throughout the Shadow War, in search of new inspirations.
Grobnar would be considered an annoyance by some members of the group, such as Khelgar Ironfist or Bishop, although he would grow on others. Notably, when Shandra Jerro joined the party, she and Grobnar would grow to form a sibling-like relationship, often spending time together and he would be the most affected by our tragic death. Grobnar would also prove useful in his own way, helping to solve puzzles, reconstructing a damaged blade golem the Kalach-Cha found while rescuing Shandra, and possibly helping to prepare the defenses of Tavorick's estate. He may have also helped the Kalach-Cha during their Trial by Combat through the use of various enchantments.
Joining the group would also give him the chance to carry out a search for the Wendersnaven whilst the Kalach-Cha was seeking out allies for Crossroad. While the chase would seem ultimately pointless, Grobnar would claim to have found an invisible kazoo, the Wenderkazoo. While many doubted its existence, particularly since it was impossible to see and it sounded, when played, like Grobnar humming, it did appear to increase the effectiveness of Grobnar's spells, as though it were an implement.
Grobnar would prove a useful ally and would, along with the rest of the Kalach-Cha's companions, take part on the assault of the King of Shadows fortress in the Vale. There, Grobnar may have played a pivotal role, ensuring the Construct's loyalty to the party instead of to the King and his servant Garius, depending on how close the gnome was to the Kalach-Cha and whether or not the treacherous Bishop chose to flee or not.
Ultimately, however, Grobnar would not survive the battle. After the defeat of the King of Shadows, the fortress would begin to collapse, held together apparently by the magic of their enemy. In the chaos, the Construct, whilst helping to clear the rubble, became in danger of being crushed by the rubble falling. Eager to save his beloved golem, Grobnar threw himself over the Construct, in a vain attempt to protect it, an act which Ammon Jerro witnessed and would later related to the Kalach-Cha.
But a year after, in many taverns along the Sword Coast, the people would say about a very talented gnome bard, whose strange invisible musical instrument made a great success. Have the Wendersnaven protected Grobnar from his fate?
Behind the scenesEdit
Grobnar was voiced by Andrew Pang in Neverwinter Nights 2. Evidently, in German, Grobnar's name sounds similar to a composition of the words grob, meaning "rough," "crude," or "course" and narr meaning "fool," "jerk," or "jester." Whether this was an intention pun on the part of the developers is unknown.
Like many characters, Grobnar suffered slightly from deleted content. One example was a conversation between him and Duncan Farlong, in which the bar owner complained that Grobnar did far too much talking and too little performing and that what performing he did generally drove customers away, rather than bringing new ones in. He also mentions Grobnar's disconcerting habit of "breaking" various items in an attempt to "improve" the Sunken Flagon.
Amie Fern • Bevil Starling • Kipp
During the Shadow War
Ammon Jerro • Bishop • Casavir • The Construct • Elanee • Grobnar Gnomehands • Khelgar Ironfist • Neeshka • Qara • Sand • Shandra Jerro • Zhjaeve
During the Spirit Eater Curse
Ammon Jerro • Gannayev-of-Dreams • The Imaskari Golem • Kaelyn the Dove • Okku the Bear King • One of Many • Safiya