Monday, September 20, 2010

The Origin of Aldowyn the Wanderer

So, here's the origin of my D&D character, Aldowyn. He's a 25 year old half-elf sorcerer, with good INT and CHA ability scores and a really, really bad wisdom score. (4, if you really want to know.) I'm going to try to do a series of posts on his adventures, and this is the first. We haven't played any of this, it's just an intro so the DM can learn about my character and figure out how the PCs end up together. That's why the end is a little shaky, there's no story to put there yet!


The Origin of Aldowyn the Wanderer

I was 13 when it happened, when I was abandoned to my fate – maybe 9 or 10 in human years. My mother was an elf, the widow of one of the village champions who had died in an orc attack, decades before I was born. She had never remarried, and left the village for some reason I never discovered – to find her purpose in life, maybe, I don’t know. When she returned, she had a human husband and carried a baby beneath her heart, ready to give birth any minute. My father, that human, left as soon as I was born, leaving me nothing but my name as his legacy.

My mother tried to pretend nothing had changed, that I had just appeared in the woods one night, and tried to protect me from the discrimination of the rest of the village. In truth, the rest of the village treated her differently, to say nothing of me.

I was a bastard -- a half-elf, with a human father, and elven mother, and most of the adults treated me as one. The children, however, remained innocent, ignorant of the bigotry and racism of their elders. They saw me for who I was. With my natural affinity for people and my problem-solving skills, I quickly became their informal leader. We often adventured into the calm woods surrounding our village, foraging for nuts and berries, sometimes just to explore. All in all, it was a good life.

Or it was, until disaster struck me for the first of many times. I was only in my eleventh year, and I do not care to elaborate on the events of that day, even those that I haven’t blocked from my mind. All that needs to be said is that, after all that transpired, a child lay dead, and I was to blame.

I was very nearly stoned out of the village, but my mother and the chief, who had never really paid attention to me, intervened on my behalf, and in so doing saved my life. I know not why he did this – he had locked himself in his hut with an article he had possessed as long as I can remember, and when he came out, he knew exactly what was happening and proclaimed that I must live.

So live I did, though nothing was the same after that. The adults treated me worse than ever, and the children were almost afraid of me after the events in the forest. My mother tried to take me in, but I became almost wild, venturing into the woods alone for days at a time, contemplating my situation and praying for guidance to our god, Corellon Larethian, the Protector. Life passed.

The day it happened, I was out in the woods. The usually bright and cheery woods were dark and quiet, as if the forest itself was afraid of something. I had retreated into the woods because one of the older children had insulted my father and I. After dark, as I was preparing to sleep for the night, I heard a crackling noise. I looked towards the source of the noise, the village.

It was burning. The red glow stained the sky; the smoke obscured the sun. I rushed back, not knowing what I could do, but knowing I must do something to save the village that had succored me in my infancy. I slowed down as I neared the village, using my meager skills to hide in the forest, and saw for the first time those who were destroying my life.

They were drow, dark elves of the Underdark. I had never seen them, but they were unmistakable with dark gray, almost black skin, white hair, and malevolent red eyes. There were over two dozen of them, warriors, rangers, and mages with great evil beasts at their side. My eyes were drawn to one in particular, leaving the hut of the chief. He had the look of confident arrogance, and almost radiated the feel of magic. At his hip hung a cruel-looking scimitar, visibly crackling with electricity. A huge cat prowled at his side as he strode through the village, casting down any of our warriors who dared oppose such a powerful adversary. The last thing I noticed, just as he put it away in his pack, was the chief’s artifact. The drow leader, for such he was, glanced through the woods, and I jerked down, making so much noise I thought a deaf man could have heard me, but his eyes just passed over my hiding place.

I ran. I ran like a coward, no longer thinking of saving the village, just fleeing from that terrible mage with his piercing eyes and otherworldly magic. Before long, I tripped on a tree root and fell on my face. I quickly rolled over, only to see one of the drow warriors standing over me, looking almost as surprised as I felt. I yelled, feeling something stir deep within me, saw a flash of light, and the dark elf fell back, dazed. Not understanding what had happened and barely believing my good fortune, I leaped up and continued my flight. Nothing else of note happened, and I escaped the forest unscathed except for a few scrapes and bruises. I followed the moonlight and starlight to a nearby human town, where I found a corner in a stable and stayed out the night.

The following morning when I woke up, I thought it had all been a terrible nightmare, until the stench of the human’s mounts reached me. It all came rushing back, and with it came a cold, terrible feeling. Right there, in the muck of the stable, I vowed that I would discover who it was that attacked my town and killed my mother. I thought of my father, and reasoned that he would share my thirst for vengeance—as well as satisfy my own curiosity concerning who I was.

Thus my journeys began. I wandered from town to town, seeking information on the dark elves and my father. I learned little, although I did acquire some knowledge of my newfound powers of sorcery. I also acquired a familiar, a raven I named Nighthawk, who became my companion through out my travels.

Years later, as I was becoming disheartened, I fell in with a group of adventurers, on a great quest. Little would I know how this quest tied into my own, and how both would come to shape my life -- and indeed, that of the world.

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