Ernst is a trained metal smith and a runic artisan. He was an apprentice to a master blacksmith but got the wanderlust just as he was about to learn how to imbue weapons and armour with permanent Words of Power. (He did, of course, promise to go back to complete his training).
He joined military service to see the Underworld and find more Words. He’ll do anything to meet new dwarves from the Other places and see all their exotic runes to see if he can write them himself.
Ernst has developed the habit of always carving pictographic runes on the walls where significant events have occurred. He always carries his chisel and always takes the time to carve runes on any suitable surface after battles and at forks in paths…among sundry other excuses to express his art in New Stone.