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|“||Some take pride in craftsmanship, or in hunting, or in haggling for the best price on a blade or other piece of steel. Me? Talking with my fists is my art form.||”|
|— Khelgar Ironfist|
Standing just under five feet tall, Khelgar Ironfist was immediately identifiable by his manners or, quite often, lack thereof. In spite of his size, Khelgar acted with next to little subtlety and was easily provoked by insults and threats, though perhaps less out of a concern for dignity or safety than because he actually took delight in such attacks, seeing it as another chance to prove his skills in combat, either armed or unarmed. Khelgar was, of course, more than willing to return the favor and was often foul-mouthed and ill-tempered.
This behavior was not without its cost, however, and though Khelgar was in many ways handsome by dwarven standards, due in large part to his impressive musculature, the constant battles waged a physical cost on the dwarf. Covering Khelgar from foot to head were a collection of cuts and bruises, which, along with his missing teeth, recounted the shield dwarf's countless encounters with a wayward foot or fist. These injuries did not seem to discourage Khelgar, however.
Khelgar was, at heart, a fighter. Most at home in a tavern brawl, the shield dwarf preferred a straight, fair fight to either negotiation or a fixed one. However, Khelgar was neither cruel nor unconcerned with the sanctity of life and had, buried deep beneath his thirst for thrills and adventure, a strong sense of justice. While Khelgar was more than eager to jump into a fight, he wanted to be sure that the fight didn't dirty his name and was often thrilled at the opportunity to act on others' behalf and distrusted selfish tendencies by others to fight only for the sake of profit or self advancement. With enough pushing, it might have even been possible to transform this altruistic side of Khelgar into a crusader's heart, filled with the desire to do good whenever possible rather than simply whenever it was convenient.
However, Khelgar was not without his dark side. Khelgar was often blind, for instance, to the way his actions impacted others and his ambitious drive could manifest itself as selfishness when he ignored the harm his pursuits for glory brought on others. Likewise, Khelgar harbored deep prejudices of other races, such as elves or, more particularly, tieflings, who he viewed as backstabbing thieves.
It is unclear where Khelgar Ironfist was born, though his clan's ancestral home long ago was the Ironfist Stronghold deep within the Sword Mountains. A skilled fighter from an early age, Khelgar sought adventure and glory, much like the other dwarves of the Thunder Blessing generation, which Khelgar was likely a member of. However, Khelgar's pursuit of glory put him at odds with the rest of the Ironfist clan and the dwarf eventually left his clan, somewhat in disgrace, though he did not view it as such. The departure was a bitter one and an affront that the rest of the Ironfists would not quickly forget, though Khelgar would soon put it out of his mind.
Early adventuring careerEdit
Khelgar then became an adventurer, touring the roads of the Sword Coast. Eager to further his skills and earn honor in battle, Khelgar often deliberately provoked fights between himself and other patrons in taverns or, when insulted, was quick to strike back with his fists. These fights were rarely dangerous, but earned Khelgar more than his share of scars and bruises.
Khelgar eventually found his purpose in life in one such bar fight. Severely drunk and "insulted" at a group of robed humans' water drinking, Khelgar insulted the patrons, hoping to stir up a fight. When they refused his challenge, Khelgar was enraged and attacked them himself, smashing a chair over one's head, whereupon he was severely beaten and defeated by the "skinny robed humans" who, Khelgar later discovered, were a band of monks devoted to Tyr. Awed by their battle prowess, Khelgar decided to leave his clan and travel to Neverwinter in hopes of training at the city's temple of Tyr in order to become a monk himself.
It was shortly after Khelgar set out upon this quest that he met the Kalach-Cha while in the midst of yet another tavern brawl, though this one, outside the Weeping Willow inn deep within the Mere of Dead Men, was more deadly than most due to his attackers' use of weapons rather than fists. When the young adventurer came to Khelgar's aid, the two decided to form a partnership, since both were headed towards Neverwinter.
The Shadow WarEdit
Khelgar traveled with the Kalach-Cha for the remainder of the coming Shadow War, which soon engulfed the Sword Coast North. One of the Kalach-Cha's closest companions, Khelgar was changed by the journey, in some ways for the better. Eventually, Khelgar and the Kalach-Cha made it to the Temple of Tyr in Neverwinter, where they met with the abbot of the order Khelgar had fought.
Khelgar was immediately eager to join but the abbot was concerned that his temperament and motivations were ill-befitting those expected of a monk. In order to join the order, the abbot told Khelgar he would have to overcome three trials to prove he was not only physically competent, but both spiritually and mentally sound as well. Although not quite sure of why he had to fulfill the trials to become an expert brawler, Khelgar agreed to try.
The first of these trials was the "Trial of the Even-Handed," which required Khelgar to learn to judge others on their own terms rather than by prejudice or preconception. His partnership with the Kalach-Cha, who also took on the elf Elanee and the tiefling Neeshka as companions, would required Khelgar to overcome his prejudice towards the races. It took time, but through his friendship with the Kalach-Cha, Khelgar learned to be more open-minded in general, gaining a wider perspective of the world.
The second trial, the "Trial of the Maimed," was meant to help Khelgar learn to understand the consequences of actions on others. Brash and single-minded, Khelgar had forgotten the hurt he'd caused his clan by his departure and was surprised when, during the Kalach-Cha's journey into the Sword Mountains to fight the orcish hordes plaguing Old Owl's Well, he met some of his clan brothers led by Khulmar Ironfist and found them unwilling to deal or even speak with him. However, with the help of the Kalach-Cha, Khelgar was able to make amends, aiding his clan, without selfish purpose, in driving out a bugbear tribe occupying his clan's ancient home in the Ironfist Stronghold. Even better still was Khelgar's discovery of the lost gauntlets of Ironfist. Awed at Khelgar's selflessness and skill, Khulmar insisted Khelgar keep the gauntlets, as a symbol of his renewed bond with the clan.
The third trial, the "Trial of Justice," required Khelgar to learn how to fight for a cause, rather than for fighting's sake. Khelgar was unsure of what this meant at first, but his answer came with the Kalach-Cha's trial over the massacre at Ember. Framed by a section of the Arcane Brotherhood the Kalach-Cha faced execution for crimes against Luskan. In the end, the proceedings of the trial proved a mockery for both sides and the right of trial by combat was invoked, with Lorne Starling to face the Kalach-Cha. Realizing the vast injustice of the Luskans and their false accusations, Khelgar demanded the opportunity to fight on behalf of his friend and for those who had been slaughtered in order to frame him.
Pleased by his passion, the abbot determined then that Khelgar had fulfilled the Trial of Justice and was therefore worthy of membership within his order. Whether or not Khelgar decided to join the monks is unclear but the experience changed him substantially. With a better sense of justice and morality, Khelgar became not just a fighter but a force for justice. When Neverwinter prepared for war with the King of Shadows it was Khelgar who proved instrumental in mending old wounds between Neverwinter and the Ironfists. When the clan leader Keros Ironfist refused to aid Neverwinter, Khelgar recovered the belt of Ironfist from the clan's ancient foes, a group of fire giants residing on Mount Galardrym. With both the belt and the gauntlets, Khelgar was able to wield the hammer of Ironfist, which he used to defeat Keros in a challenge for leadership of the clan. When Keros was defeated, Khelgar, instead of taking the glory and leadership, gave Keros back his position, at last persuading both him and the clan as a whole to come to the defense of Crossroad.
Khelgar later fought beside the Kalach-Cha during the Siege of Crossroad as well as during the Kalach-Cha's assault on the Vale of Shadows. After the battle, during the collapse that resulted from the King of Shadows, Khelgar was able to escape with his life, though not before witnessing the Kalach-Cha's capture by gargoyles in the service of Nefris. Khelgar tried to pursue the gargoyles but was unable to follow them into the Plane of Shadow, which fellow companion Ammon Jerro also headed into.
Stewardship of Crossroad KeepEdit
Khelgar returned from the Mere physically and emotionally scarred, and demanded that Lord Nasher send out search parties to find his missing friend, but so many of Neverwinter's men had been lost in the Shadow War that no one could be spared. Instead, Nasher asked Khelgar to take his friend's place as the Knight Captain of Crossroad Keep. Khelgar refused the title, stating that there was only one Knight Captain, but grudgingly accepted the post of steward and a temporary position as one of the Neverwinter Nine until his friend returned. Unfortunately, the Sword Coast had become a lawless place in the wake of the war. Monsters and bandits roamed the countryside, the military forces of the area were severely depleted and the economy was in a sad state of affairs. Crossroad Keep was experiencing an exodus of people due to the lack of money-making opportunities and the traders who had generously offered to help the Keep had mysteriously disappeared. Luckily, more traders suddenly appeared from Samarach and took over the trading post, quickly turning the economy of the area around. The troubles were not over for Khelgar though. Not only were remnants of the King of Shadows' army still harrying the Sword Coast, but a quartet of bards who sang and danced for people in the courtyard managed to steal the gauntlets of Ironfist from the Keep.
After the events of the Spirit Eater curse, though, the pair were reunited and the Kalach-Cha restored to the title of Knight-Captain. In spite of the many troubles that Khelgar oversaw during the Kalach-Cha's absence, Khelgar lamented missing out on his friend's adventures in distant Rashemen.
Behind the scenesEdit
Khelgar Ironfist was voiced by Adam Sietz in Neverwinter Nights 2, though the actor did not reprise the role when Khelgar reappeared in Storm of Zehir, where he was played by another actor. Khelgar was also the recepient of the "Best Character" award for GameSpy's Game of the Year awards for 2006.
Unlike many other characters, Khelgar does not seem to have suffered from cut content and most, if not all, of the Ironfist clan quest lines are intact.
- Neverwinter Nights 2
- Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer (mentioned only)
- Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir
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