Rochendir Galanthor

Rochendir Galathor was, by all obvious measures, a normal human boy in a tiny hamlet on the outskirts of Featherdale. He lost his parents when he was just an infant and was raised by his uncle, Alendir, who had lost his wife during an orc raid 5 years ago. Alendir maintained a small farm and tannery, where Rochendir began to work as soon as he could walk. He quickly showed promise as a trapper, able to sneak up on foxes who were casing the neighbor’s chickens before he was 10. By the time he was 12, he was bringing in wolf and bear pelts. The Galathors provided skins to their neighbors, who would barter with their extra food, hand-made furniture, or tools. It was a small, but the close knit community who had little money yet survived well enough without it. Few books were available, and they were mostly fairy tales or mythical stories passed from one family to the next. There was never any news or new books coming into town, so the townsfolk frequently made up stories by the community bonfire

Alendir had raised Rochendir as his own, teaching him everything he knew, but kept one secret from him: Rochendir was actually half-orc. His human-like appearance throughout his youth made keeping this secret very easy, and Alendir thought that any half-orc traits would have surely shown up before the boy was old enough to walk.

Once Rochendir reached puberty, dramatic changes began to happen. He had always been a quick and strong boy, consistently a few inches taller than the boys his own age and able to roughhouse with boys a few years his senior. At 13, he started to sleep later and later in the day, which helped him stay awake during his nighttime trapping forays. Most teenagers exhibited the same behavior, so this didn’t alarm him. At 14, his hair had turned from sandy brown to jet black, while his eyes went from chocolate brown to a yellowish hazel. Alendir told him it was just part of growing into a man. At 15, his skin started to lighten to a chalky grey, which he assumed was a lack of sunlight. Shortly after he turned 16, Rochendir realized he could see in the dark. He kept this to himself, for fear of being branded a demon and banished from his community. He wondered if others had this ability. He had heard of elves being able to see in the dark, so he assumed he had some distant elf relative that had passed this ability on to him. When his lower incisor teeth began to grow and protrude out of his mouth, however, all of the stories he heard at the community bonfire came rushing back to him. Dark hair, pale skin, seeing in the dark, long teeth…there was only one explanation. Rochendir was turning into a vampire.

How did he turn into a vampire? Another vampire had to bite you in the neck. He never saw any bite marks. He was used to getting cuts and scrapes when chasing game through the woods, but could he have been bitten and not know it? He knew vampires were incredibly fast and could change into bats, so that must be how it happened. He had been around plenty of bats when he was tracking bears into the caves at the foothills of the mountains. One of them must have bitten him while he was fighting the bears.

Sensing the inevitable, Rochendir decided to leave home before his transformation was completed, hoping to spare his uncle and the rest of his small town. Without a word or note to anyone, he left on a scheduled hunting trip, with his usual supplies that would last him for a few days. But once he reached his normal hunting grounds, he started running. As far and as fast as his legs would take him, he kept running. He couldn’t bear the thought of biting the flesh of his uncle, his friends, his neighbors…it was better if they thought he simply died while hunting. Eaten by a snake, drowned in a river, or mauled by a tiger. Then they wouldn’t look for him. Knowing he would eventually crave blood and commit heinous acts upon innocent people, Rochendir decided to live the rest of his human life committed to offsetting that evil. Maybe he could find the vampire that turned him, kill it, and revert back to a human. In the meantime, he would protect the travelers on the road from orcs and goblins, rarely showing himself at all. He would silently flush out the game for those who were obviously too inept to capture it themselves. He never stopped for acknowledgment, payment, or even conversation. When he had no choice but to visit a town for supplies or weapons, he would seek out those who ask few questions and deal in dark alleys. As he travels across Dalelands, he keeps his face hidden with a deeply hooded cloak made of bear and wolf pelts and a simple black cloth tied over the lower part of his face. His massive frame, standing almost 7′ tall, seems only half that size when tracking game in the woods.

He avoids mirrors because he knows that as soon as he no longer sees his reflection, his transformation will be complete. He will not enter an abode without an explicit invitation, will not go within 100 feet of any place serving food that smells of garlic, will not set foot inside a church of any kind, and attempts to sleep upside down, usually while hanging from a tree branch or rafter. After multiple falls, however, he usually knocks himself out. He panics at the sight of sharpened wooden sticks. He has no knowledge that half-orcs exist, and assumes that anyone who looks like he does either do not realize they are becoming a vampire or does not care that they are becoming a vampire.

He’s not stupid, just ignorant. He thinks logically and uses the little knowledge he has to come to a definitive answer, but most of his knowledge is based on stories and fairy tales. Nobody ever said those fireside tales weren’t true.

Arallyn “Hawthorne” Ar’Asstellier

Arallyn, also known in the common tongue as Hawthorne, was born to Shandeira and Mestellyn Ar’Asstellier in the High Forest, some 117 turns ago. The second of three children, Arallyn was not as happy a youngling as other wood elves his age. Always with a serious demeanor, he was loathe to dance and sing and find joy in life, preferring the solace of the deep woods to the company of others. It was as if he heard the trees calling him, beckoning him beneath their boughs.

His parents were part of a group of elves seeking to rekindle the elven nation in what was once Cormathyr. They and a few other families were pioneers, seeking a new home. It was in this sort of wandering lifestyle in which Arallyn grew up. At an early age, he developed a more than passing fascination with the elven art of archery, and took fiercely to it. All aspects of the art called to him, and he sought tutelage with a Master Archer, learning not only the use of bow and arrow as weapons, but also the art of the Bowyer, and of the Fletcher. By the time he attained his 100th turn, he was quite the archer, often leaving the group for days only to return with fresh meat and game. He soon became an accomplished hunter by his own right, preferring to hunt alone rather than as part of a larger party.

Often his group would come across the remains of a goblin raid, sometimes on humans, sometimes on elves or gnomes or other peoples of the land. He began to see goblins as a plague on the world, and a blight in the High Forest itself. He would often volunteer to join war parties as they sortied against any goblins they found, and had racked up a not insignificant number of kills to his name. Goblins soon learned to fear the woods, and the whispering death that would come from the trees to smite them with all too frequent occasion.

One local goblin leader united three smaller clans together, in hopes of defending themselves, and gain land of their own within the lush woodlands. On a damp summer night, 200 goblins found the small elven encampment, and struck without mercy. Arallyn was out hunting that particular night, many leagues away to the west. The goblins left no survivors, even slaying the children. The swiftness and sheer numbers of the goblins surprised the elves, and the attack was a success for the goblins. When Arallyn returned from his hunting trip three days later, it was to a scene of ruin, death and destruction. Animals and vermin had gotten to the remains the goblins had left, leaving the corpses rotting in the summer heat. Goblin tracks, discarded broken weapons and a few goblin bodies told the tragic tale. Arallyn buried the remains of the 43 elves of the pioneering party, marking their final resting place with moonflowers, before setting off in search of the goblins. Arallyn was 110 turns old at the time.

Over the span of the next five turns, Arallyn hunted goblins in that part of the High Forest with single-minded determination. Not for him the reckless head-long charge into battle, but the steady, relentless tracking and shooting from cover. No goblin was safe. Lone scouts went out to search and went missing. Small hunting parties vanished into thin air. When bodies were recovered, most often it was with an arrow or two lodged into it, all bearing the same elven design. Matters grew more fearful for the goblins, when in the middle of a gathering of great religious import, their shaman was struck down by one of those self-same arrows, while surrounded by dozens of goblins. Panic erupted, and they spread out to find the culprit and bring him to justice. Their search was fruitless, and five of their best warriors also were found dead, each of a single shot from a well-placed arrow. The remaining goblins fled into the mountains, running from the implacable death that hunted them in the darkness.

The next two turns saw Arallyn ally himself with various mercenary parties and adventurers, never staying overlong with any one group. He spent a few rides with a band of humans and half-orcs as their scout, as they trailed a band of hobgoblins. Mission accomplished, Arallyn returned once again to the High Forest, to continue hunting goblins, when he met with Serillian, a moon elf warrior and spell-caster. Together they went in search of a small band of goblins rumored to be nearby…..

Broknar

Broknar, son of a corrupt merchant. Broknar soon grew jaded with the life of the powerful. At 16 years old he ran into the forest. Not much can be said about the years spent in the forest, for not much is known. He resurfaced only a short while ago.

…Hearing familiar cries in the distance, he looks in the direction of the sound, his blood instantly boiling. He takes off, moving without thought. As he nears where the sounds are coming from he draws his bow. He sees 4 of his father’s men raping his one true love. Hey sees his father on horseback watching. Broknar lets his arrow loose placing it in the spine of his father, instantly knocking him of his horse. Before he hits the ground he takes 2 of the 4 men with shots to the throat. Broknar drops his bow. Drawing his swords, he quickly closes the distance. Disemboweling the man standing and beheading the man still on his knees, Broknar turns to his screaming father. As he approaches his father cries out, “Did you think I would let you marry an elf.” Without thought Broknar ends his suffering. Broknar moves toward the woman he loves. She is beaten and battered. Blood runs from her mouth and down her legs. He can see right away that she will not make it. Broknar sit down behind her knowing this will be the last time he talks to her. Stroking her hair she soothes her, by telling her “Everything will be ok.” He calmly draws his dagger, proclaiming “I love you, Mary Jane.” Sliding the dagger into the base of her neck, he ends her misery. With a cry of anguish, he swears to wreak havoc, to protect woman kind, and to destroy his father’s House.