Garhan Stornhorn, also known as Garhan the Great, was a legendary leatherworker amongst the Highmountain tribes.
Long after leather had shown its usefulness to our people, we became complacent with it, believing nothing further could be done to harness its potential. Garhan believed that we had just scratched the surface of what could be done.
Many moons he toiled in his tent, applying various treatments to the leather to see if there was any change. Months passed, and seasons passed through their cycles, until one evening Garhan discovered something that made history.
His wife, Mahne, was preparing their dinner while Garhan was at his bench, deciding what to try next.
She was preparing to make a soup and had a pot of water boiling over the fire in the middle of their tent.
"Garhan, my dear. Put down your leathers for a minute and come help me with this," she said delicately. She knew how important his work was to him, and didn't want to frustrate him further.
"It just doesn't make sense," he responded, "Nothing I've tried, NOTHING seems to make any significant changes to the leather. Is this really all we can do?!" He slammed his heavy fist upon the workbench and bowed his head in thought.
"All the more reason to step away for a moment, and focus on something else to clear your head. I'm sure your answer lies ahead of you. You'll find it in time."
Garhan stood from his bench and moved to where Mahne was cutting vegetables for the soup. "Here, put these in the pot for me please," she said as she handed Garhan a handful of herbs.
As Garhan approached the pot, he looked down and his mind wandered. "What if I boiled the leather?" He continued standing there, herbs in hand, wondering what could happen from trying such a thing.
It was already known that water treatment made leather easier to mold into shapes, but cold water from the river had always been what was used.
Garhan turned around and put the herbs back on the table. He rushed to his workbench, grabbed a few pieces of leather, and dropped them in the pot. What he saw made his eyes go wide. The leather began to shrink, and become more dense.
"What on earth have you done to my soup?" Mahne asked in surprise.
"I'm sorry, Mahne, but I think I've found what I've been looking for," Garhan replied. He fetched a spoon and fished out the leather. After it had cooled, he tested it. The leather was thicker, but still pliable. As he continued to examine it, it became cooler and harder.
After a few hours, the leather had completely hardened. Garhan held it in his hand, and examined what it had become. "This is it," he thought to himself. "This will change everything."
Over the next few weeks, Garhan perfected his process. He fashioned a jerkin and fit it on to himself. It was as light as leather should be, but felt stronger.
He tested spear and hammer against it, and it proved to be much more durable than the tanned hides his people were accustomed to.
And so it was that Garhan Stornhorn fashioned the first true leather armor of the Highmountain tribes. His methods and his legend spread far and wide.
His legacy was honorably carried on by his daughter, Leyota. But that is a different tale for a different hide.