Sví Dunhark : Dwarven Industry

When a part is worn out, it is replaced.  This is the way of Dwarves. Sví comes from a family tradition of generations of artisans training under and then taking over from their parents.  She learned woodworking from her mother, but her obsession with combustion engines and moving metal parts has colored her work in wood.

As a young Dwarf, Sví apprenticed under a failed human wizard named Ralvertsby, who made it his life’s work to refine and further steam engine designs in complexity and scale in hopes of making the world of magic and wizards obsolete.  Unfortunately, 10 years into the project, Ralvertsby lost an arm and a leg when his baggy and ragged clothes got caught in a gearing section of his latest engine for merchant ships. Unfortunately, this is a rather common injury for steam engine designers.  Sví lost her job after her attempts to nurse him back to health and away from his progressively darkening mood were to no avail. After finding other steam engine artisans lacking in her level of enthusiasm, Sví returned to her ancestral home and resumed her life as a woodworker.  Now happy in her pursuits, Sví joined Item Woodworks when she realized her designs could embody both her love of the repetition and exactitude of industrial-scale metalwork with the beauty and timelessness of wood.

Advice for apprentices who want to improve: 

Practice the motions of woodworking with machine-like repetition.  Practice something 114 times more than you think you should.

Design hallmark:

Sví is a believer in hand planes and their ability to show off her greatest technique: the piston fit.  A piston fit is when a lid or inner box is able to glide slowly to rest inside another container on a cushion of compressed air caused by the two boxes coming together.  She demands that each box she designs must have this element.

Norm Thistletoe : Gnome Sadist

Dominance is a natural part of life, according to Norm.  In his designs he attempts to dominate the wood he is working with to bend to his will.  Born and raised in Ardeep Forest, a place many gnomes call home due to its misty weather and hidden cliffs and valleys among the trees, Norm was a bit of an outcast as a youth for not using colorful paints and dyes as the other Gnomes were taught to use.  Norm preferred the utilitarian and brutalist style of the Half-Orc artisans. When he learned not to cower at other’s insults but to mute his pain through his unwavering belief in himself, he began to see the power of control not only in his art, but in his daily existence.

Norm’s parents were traveling shopkeeps who sold their wares to all the other gnomish villages in the area, but because Norm’s style was shocking to the lay-gnome’s aesthetic sensibilities on his first few outings (and his parent’s pocket-book when his items were hung alongside theirs) in lean years, they did not take him.  This left a young Norm understanding of his parents’ situation, but inwardly heartbroken. Determined to create an income for himself and to find his audience, Norm ventured into the more clandestine sections of Ardeep where fellow outcasts might appreciate his wares. This, of course, led to his abduction during a deal gone south with a small collective of particularly cruel Kobalds.

Tortured for months, Norm had every process they inflicted on him seared into his mind.  He also vowed that if he was ever to escape, he would use this pain to further inform his work. And if he was doubly lucky, he would give every Kobald hiding in Ardeep the same torturous pain they once inflicted on them.  Besides his art, this is his second calling.

Though Norm bears the scars of his life’s burdens, he is a kind soul to all upon greetings.  Well, other than with Kobalds. He has an entirely different greeting for them...

Advice for apprentices who want to improve:

The only way to learn is the pain from your mistakes and the resolve to overcome them.

Design hallmark:

Minimalist objects with a singular goal of torturing dice.  

Remmen Alatar : Elven Elitist Teenager

Remmen is 111 years old.  That’s old for a human soul.  But for an elf, he has been an adult for 11 years.  Born of two parents who rarely had time for him, he was raised by the nanny, who was a bit of a push-over when it came to teaching Remmen about, well, anything he didn’t want to learn.  Rich by birthright, Remmen had a significant amount of money showered on him out of his parents’ guilt for being away from him - often for years at a time.

He spent that time deep in playing the lute, penning ballads of elven feats throughout history, replacing the main character with himself, naturally, and singing these songs in only the largest of venues.

Still in the throes of his final adolescence, Remmen is… rather new to adulting.  Perhaps that explains his “exuberant narcissism” as he would say, for a High Elf has no equal.  

His exuberant narcissism is also due in large portion to the fact that he is the greatest pop songwriter of his generation.  As of this writing, he has the Elvenlands number one downloaded album (in elvish) “Star Power” for High Elves, Wood Elves, and even the Drow.

How does woodworking tie into this, you ask?  Well, this is merely is his side gig. You know, to get away from it all.  And as he would say: “A side gig and I’m still the most brilliant designer there ever was.”

In full disclosure, Remmen would like the reader to know that he did not write any of this bio and gave the writer complete license to depict him as dispassionately as a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist would, such as he would inevitably become if he ever chose to write anything down without his assistant who is totally not writing this with Remmen over a shoulder.

Yes, write that. Keep in - every - word.  Even these ones I’m saying now. The public won’t care.  I have wasted enough time on this. Now it’s time for an oatmeal bath…

Advice for apprentices who want to improve:

Give up.  There is no way you can accomplish the feats of craftsmanship I have.

Design hallmark:

An elegant single-mindedness for form in the shape of a unified piece, deconstructed.

Maxime Lefevre: Human Loremaster

Maxime Lefevre loves knowledge.  Not merely information recorded, but the expression of knowledge in action.  Born to an industrious family in a small village, Maxime’s parents owned a small bookshop with an inn upstairs and a carpentry business off the side of the same building.  He and his brothers and sisters were all put to work at a young age. Maxime loved books, but never took to the flights of fanciful stories like his siblings. He preferred books of knowledge that would apply to his growing work in the carpentry shop.  He obsessed over techniques, skills, rules, and sequences, but never at the expense of his attention on the working surface.

Always a bit too didactic, Maxime was quickly given the nickname of “Le Professeur” by his friends, and the townspeople were known to ask him a question about something only so they could time how long it took him to answer.  They would place bets on the time: winner take all.

He spent most of his time in the dark corners of libraries, reading any book on lore, monsters, heroic moments in the histories of all races, and inter-planar travel.

Of course, a small town would never be enough for the wandering mind of Maxime.  He tired quickly of books already read, provincial games, superstitions, and set out to the largest city he could reach by foot to beg for an apprenticeship with the guild of historians and lore.  

For the first year every door was slammed in his face.  Well, every door but the library. But the library didn’t fill his belly with food. He was soon entirely penniless.  Another beggar boy in the streets, he would scrape together coins by “borrowing” a local fruit seller’s empty fruit crate, mark it with a black oil crayon:  “Boy knows everything: donate and knowledge is yours” When a patron, hoping to outsmart a smartass, asked him a question that he didn’t know the answer to, his grasp of vocabulary and his gift of gab would confound the average listener into believing him.  Often, he did know the right answer, and his didactic nature would get the best of him, leaving that listener confounded anyway.

In fact, it was on one of these busking forays that he was hired by his first loremaster.  Two argumentative loremasters, Didi and Gogo were doing their weekly Sunday night ale binge to face wash away the inevitability of the impending Monday.  Didi wagered a drunken bet that the boy on the box, who just so happened to be outside their favorite tavern would know more about status effects inflicted by monster than his rival Gogo. Gogo scoffed the froth right off the top of his horn, finished what was left, and wove out into the street to challenge Maxime the beggar boy who “knows everything” to a battle of wits.

Half an hour later, Maxime had won.  Beating both Didi and Gogo in the knowledge of monsters and status effects.  Well, as adjudicated by Grack the Half-Orc bouncer, who frankly, after all the adventuring of his youth, could have dusted all three of them.  But that is another biography for another time.

Maxime started his studies the very next day by procuring a “hair-of-the-dog” potion for his hangover-swollen masters, and has never looked back in his thirst for knowledge and craft.

Advice for apprentices who want to improve:

The target of an artisan is to practice your work so well that it becomes art.  

Design hallmark:

A love of simple expression, but detailed notes.


The Apprentice : A long-suffering chap; joyful nonetheless.

Kyle Lange is the apprentice.  He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, and various German-authored board games since he was a 7th grader.  He has always been handy, but the obsession has grown over the years. Kyle has had many different artistic iterations, musician, voice actor, theatre performer, teacher.  He hopes to use all of those skills here for the shop.