Halldis Steinnefa is a half dark iron ranger and bounty hunter who has become notorious as a cold-blooded murderer and perpetual drunk.
Consequently, she’s also become an accomplished explorer, for she’s been banned from most cities and towns she’s been to, and must forever find new ones.
An aggressive, foul-tempered, usually drunken hellraiser by nature, Halldis Steinnefa has gradually become less arbitrary in whom she directs her violence and cruelty at since becoming friends with Isilyë, the new “calming” element in her life, as well as less mercenary in her motives for taking up arms.
The Bad Seed of Dun Morogh
How few would the numbers of dwarves and similar races be were it not for Brewfest and the heady ales it celebrates?
Halldis was conceived on a night of drunken Brewfest debauchery made even more debauched by party-crashing Dark Irons from the Grim Guzzler. Details vary depending on who’s asked, but the relationship between Hurley Blackbreath of Blackrock Depths and Sive Steinnefa of Dun Morogh did not outlast the night, leaving the latter to raise Halldis on her own in the shadow of Ironforge.
Which was no easy charge, for as Halldis grew older, she became possessed of such a wantonly violent temper and predilection for criminal behavior that she had to be kept isolated from other people or be exiled from Dun Morogh altogether.
People weren’t the only ones loathe to be near her; animals, too, had reason to fear her approach. But as her years of isolation went on, it was with animals — usually those that themselves had an infamously vicious streak — that Halldis had the closest bonds.
But the older (and drunker) Halldis got, the less her mother’s policy of isolation kept her out of trouble, and it came as no surprise to anyone in Dun Morogh that she was deported from the region the moment she came of age.
Escape from Searing Gorge
Her travels and run-ins with local law since then are too many and varied to list here, but she eventually more or less settled down in the Searing Gorge, where she began working with the Thorium Brotherhood but also, on the sly, with her long estranged father Hurley, who paid her handsome bounties for any ill-gotten Thunderbrew kegs and recipes she could procure.
This arrangement worked well for a time, until one day when a Thorium Brotherhood member saw Halldis with a wagonload of Thunderbrew stout and offered to pay twice what she was planning to sell it for.
Halldis agreed, but Hurley found out about the transaction, and while Halldis had never actually offered that particular wagonload to him, he regarded it as his.
In retaliation, Hurley had Halldis abducted and brought to the Grim Guzzler, where a drinking buddy of his cast a curse on her that would kill her in one month unless she returned with something to repay her debt to Hurley — specifically, the Staff of Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan, which Hurley reckoned would buy him tremendous favor or even noble status if he presented it to the current king.
So Halldis set about looking for the lost Staff, but as accomplished an archaeologist as she had become in her travels, the Staff and its whereabouts were well out of her ken. And after a month of frantic searching and bloodshed was nearly up, she resorted to a ruse: she attached a rod to an artifact she had found — the Chalice of the Mountain Kings, which does nothing but create a short illusion of a historic sword dance — and rigged it to look like a ceremonial staff.
When she returned to the Grim Guzzler, Hurley declared her debt paid and had her curse removed, then immediately set about gaining an audience with the king to present his “mighty gift”.
Halldis, for her part, made straight for Ironforge, using some schematics she had found during a foray into the Molten Core to buy herself amnesty and protection, which she was granted on the condition that she behave. One misstep, she was warned, and she would be exiled again.
The Defector Protection Program
Good citizenship was not an easy thing for a drunken, violent character like Halldis; much like in childhood, she sought out the remotest, most isolated parts of Dun Morogh and hid herself there, seldom camping in the same place for more than a night, and always attended by a small detail of Ironforge guards.
In the years that followed, she became romantically involved with one of her security detail, a dwarf named Bec. It was said by those few still in contact with her that he had been a very positive force in her life, having gotten her off booze and otherwise “civilizing” her — though it was still with great effort that Halldis kept her ferocious temper in check.
Later the two were married, had several kids (Leanan, Rowan, and Seeva), and over time Halldis found herself repeating the patterns of of domestic life so much that it almost seemed natural to her.
Revenge Is a Dish Best Served with Booze
The threat of Blackrock had been a distant memory for years now, but it all came back in a grisly flash after a secret rendezvous between Bec and Innkeeper Belm of the Thunderbrew Distillery.
Belm had been supplying Bec with non-alcoholic drinks and nibblies for a little while, but unknown to both men, Hurley’s spies had been tracking Belm’s movements for weeks now in an attempt to discover the source of his Rhapsody Malt. They didn’t find the malt, but after they started tracking Bec, they found something else they had more or less given up on: Halldis’ current whereabouts.
A few days later, Halldis returned from gathering firewood to find Bec and their three children’s mauled remains strewn about their lodging. There was no indication as to who did this or why, but there were tufts of worg fur amid the body parts in the snow. Fur that could only have come from Blackrock worg.
Halldis hadn’t taken up arms since her repatriation to Dun Morogh. She hadn’t taken a drink in almost as long. But after she buried what she could find of her family, she dug up and dusted off her old armor from her Searing Gorge days, then polished off a bottle of Thunderbrew’s hard ale. Then she went looking for her old animal companions, Timber and Bjarn, whom she hadn’t seen in years.
She didn’t find them, for all her desperate, drunken cries into the wild, so she staggered off to exact her revenge alone.
After a couple of days, she found her quarry — the largest, meanest black worg she had ever seen, along with several of Hurley’s cronies breaking camp. She introduced herself, announced her intentions to kill them all, then started shooting.
It didn’t go well for her, but much to everyone’s surprise, Timber and Bjarn leapt into the fray, and together the three of them made gory work of the assassins.
When it was over, Halldis discovered four worg pups in the camp that she hadn’t noticed earlier. She killed three of them — one for each of the kids she lost — but kept the fourth to raise as her own.
She also took what she could from the bodies, shedding what little was left of the domesticated dwarf she had been for so long as she donned the metal skins of her enemies.
Then she drained another bottle and headed out for Blackrock.
Needless to say, she got her revenge: She shot her way into Shadowforge City, rained fire and blood on the Grim Guzzler, then set fire to her father before feeding his remains to her new worg pup.
But she did more than that — along the way, she met up with a secretive party of dwarves and a certain elf named Isilyë that, she eventually discovered, were on their way to Blackrock just as she was. Once there, she learned their real purpose, which was to assassinate Emperor Dagran Thaurissan, a mission she helped them with once her own objective was accomplished.
The regicide was meant to free Queen Moira from the ensorcellment she was presumed to be under and enable her to return home to Ironforge. Instead, it destabilized all of dwarvendom, and plunged Ironforge into near civil war.
Going home was no longer an option for Halldis — indeed, it wasn’t an option even if it weren’t for the teetering instability there. After all her efforts, all the sweat and tears of others, she could no longer live what was left of her life as anything other than what she was: a drunken, vicious gun for hire.