Ruskin is an artisan dwarf from the Central Peaks fastness, which means he is from one of the lower castes of dwarf, and therefore a slave to the bigshot Forgemasters. Like the others in his fastness, he is sick and tired of the Forgemasters and their privileged, unjust ways.
Although dwarves are not supposed to do anything without the Forgemasters' permission, Ruskin has escaped and gone off to the Wizards' University. He explains to his new tutor, Wizard Corkoran, that he is there "by the virtual manumission of apostolic strength to train on behalf of the lower orders."
When Corkoran directs him to translate that, he explains that he was chosen by his peers, who each gave him a piece of their magic and a piece of gold to go and learn enough wizardry to overturn the tyranny of the forgemasters for good.
Ruskin's character & appearanceEdit
Ruskin is kind of a darling. He is short, but broad and strong like most dwarves. Both his reddish hair and his beard are plaited with bones & red rags, and his face under his steel war helm looks young. He speaks in a very low, very resonant voice, and when he whispers he makes things buzz around him in a very distracting way.
When his first-year colleagues, following the advice of Griffin Elda's human father Wizard Derk, begin reading the magical classics from the University library, Ruskin is transfixed. He's in love with ideas and with theory and the ways it interacts with practical magic to create huge possibility. He is particularly good friends with Elda, and a firm, loyal friend to everyone in his tutorial group. Eventually he becomes a citizen of another place entirely, and looks forward to a long and profitable mining life there.