A time went by it became clear to his caretakers that he would never be quite like everybody else. Shy, he had problems reading other people's emotions and his mind worked in strange ways often finding unorthodox solutions to the problems presented to him. The other orphans nicknamed him the half-gnome.
When adulthood was approaching the priests send him for an apprenticeship at the Gun Works, the part of the the massive steelworks district where Highhelm's cannons where manufactured. Torag's clergy had a pretty good clue where some of his abilities may lay. He was instantly smitten by the job. Something inside him just knew the ways of the black powder and its mysteries.
When it was time to leave the orphanage Grunyar was happy with his life. He had a steady job as a steelworker and was doing fine for himself despite beginning to show spontaneous supernatural talents. His co-workers nicknamed him Feyblooded but it did not bothered him, he was after all the half-gnome anyway. The young dwarf started to research the arcane arts by himself trying to control his "gifts". He would visit all the eldritch scholars he could find and pester them with questions and requests to research their books. During his studies he discovered a unique way to blend his innate talents with his profession of choice, in his hands any gun became much more than a mere piece of steel.
As a farewell gift the priests returned to him the only valuable possession found on his person when he was rescued in the wilderness so long ago by a scout team of Highhelm's 7th Battalion. An old, battered and broke Alkenstar pistol the youngling have been using as a club.
The gun unlocked his first and only memory from "before". A merchant caravan of redheaded dwarfs crossing a green field, and then... fire. Grunyar doesn't know their names or what happened with those people but something tells him he is the only survivor. In the back of his head a voice whispers to him that he does not really want to remember, that he should not, because only pain awaits at the end of that road. But his inquisitive mind does not relent, a curiosity was born that seems unquenchable and he cant stop wondering... Who was I?
For three generations the Stonewalker clan from Janderhoff run a caravan business between the dwarfs and varisia. Their convoy connected the dwarven Sky Citadel to Korvosa, Magnimar and Riddleport bimonthly. The family patriarch Trogon Stonewalker was also the caravan master and his sons worked at the company together with other relatives.
The old dwarf had three heirs, Gloern the oldest and the young identical twins: Norum and Norbur. While Norum inherited his father's gift for diplomacy and was probably going to continue the family business his twin was a shy kid still trying to figure out his place in the world. Very retracted, Norbur made a habit of letting his brother do all the talking. Plagued by an inexplicable uneasiness without reason or focus always driving him away from the rest of his kind. The child had no way of knowing that it came from the dormant magic in his blood, an inheritance from a distant aasimar relative.
Magic talent was not unheard of in the family. The eldest brother Gloern Stonewalker was already a promising wizard and a scribe certified by the blue library. He stayed in Janderhoff where he could put his talents as a compulsive organizer to use administering the company's office while his family cruised the varisian flats . The arrangement enabled him to move forward with his studies while still contributing to the clan and it pleased them all since Gloern hated to travel.
In its last trip, the caravan did not take Norum who was recovering from a severe sickness. To brighten the mood on the road for the other sulking twin who missed his brother Trogon gave Norbur one of his older weapons, an ancient Alkenstar six shooter pistol. That seemed to cheer him up but the joy would not last. There were recent talks about troubles in the north with a powerfull mage calling himself a Runelord. The increasing number of refugees and horror stories made the wise dwarf decide to cut the trip short. Trogon backtracked from Magnimar making his way home as fast as ten loaded wagons could. Unfortunately it wasn't fast enough. His caravan got jumped at night by Karzoug the Claimer's undead armies on their way to the coast.
Total chaos erupted as most of the dwarfs got slaughtered and their caravan burned. The young Norbur ran away blindly into the night after watching his father being killed. In a stroke of luck he bumped into a relative, a second degree aunt called Herkka who also made out but was injured. Together they fled the carnage and tried to make their way back to Janderhoff. It was a long and hard path. They had no provisions, map or guide and with war boiling all around, no knowledge where was save.
Hiding during the day and traveling by night they scavenged a living anyway they could in the wilderness while Herkka's health got increasingly worst. More than once they got attacked and robbed. But they also stole and fled, from the living and from the dead. At some point his aunt died from her injureis and with her what was left of Norbur's mind. The dwarven kid wandered the land lost, living of scraps and turning almost feral. Eventually he was found by a scout patrol from the 7th Battalion and send to Highhhelm to be swallowed in the waves of refugees.
Another relative survived the disaster, a distant cousin called Barur. Being a ranger of some expertise he manage to make his way to Janderhoff where he reported the caravan lost and the whole crew dead. While he did not planned to lie out of malice the truth he told benefit him immensely and paint his picture as a hero who fought to the last moment. Barur was sure nobody could have escaped the raid to say otherwise, he only did so himself because of his quick wits. After spotting the approaching army during his watch he knew it was going to be a slaughter so he hided. Now he is the only surviving family member old enough and with the experience to be the next caravan master.