Heroes of Sturmsbane
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The Heroes of Sturmsbane

The secluded town of Sturmsbane seems to be a magnet for outcasts and the very strange. While most of the population is human, there are quite a few half-Elves, and even a few examples of even more exotic species. Toward the end of the five thousand and first year of the calendar of Pelor, strange things start happening in Sturmsbane, and a band of heroes set forth to deal with them. Here are a few notes on those heroes.

Eleneryn Ranger Eleneryn

Eleneryn is, like many dwellers of Sturmsbane, born of two worlds. He is part woodland Elf, part human in heritage, but he leans more heavily toward his Elven heritage in his love for the woods, and his habit of sleeping under the stars. He has a special affinity with the blink dogs of the plains, able to speak their language, and has even taken a blink pup as an animal companion (albeit a very small one).

In combat, he is lethal with his twin blades or his longbow. He knows about the many dangers posed by the wilderness around Sturmsbane, filled as it is with dire beasts and an abundance of monsters.

Sir Ent Sir Ent, Paladin of Ehlonna

Sir Ent's full name is hard for most to pronounce, as he is a Half-Elf like Eleneryn, though his Elven blood is from High Elf rather than Sylvan Elf stock. He is handsome in appearance, strong of limb, and brave in heart, but many note that he is not particularly sharp in mind. He is not native to Sturmsbane, having only recently arrived there during the winter, while on an ongoing quest, looking for ways to serve his deity, the Nature Goddess Ehlonna.

Lothar the Testy Lothar the Testy, Fighter of Kord

During the heroes' journey across the plains, they encounter a large and heavily armored man, who identifies himself as Lothar the Testy, a warrior pledged to the service of Kord. He is very faithful in his service to Kord, in that he is most certainly chaotic, and eager to smite the forces of darkness.

Lothar has told more of his story to Kori, during his time defending the town of Carlston.

Sister Paenitia Sister Paenitia, Cleric of Kord

Sister Paenitia is a cleric who serves with the monastery of Kord on the mountain overlooking Sturmsbane. She was delivered to the monastery under mysterious circumstances, quite literally an infant delivered in a basket on the doorstep. The monks were at first alarmed by Paenitia's demonic appearance, but they decided that this must be Kord's will that they care for the creature; they have done their best to raise her up in the ways of goodness (if chaotic goodness), and to steer her aggressive tendencies toward more constructive uses. While she is very valued by the heroes for her healing powers and her educated ways, she is also a fearsome combatant, sometimes all too eager to join into the fray ... for she is always struggling with that darker part of her nature.

Victor Reynard Victor Reynard, Journeyman Bard

Reynard the Bard is a talking fox, a strange creature that hails from a distant place he knows only as the "Enchanted Forest" -- or, at least, that's what the hawkers and showmen in the traveling circus claimed was his original home. When the circus fell on hard times, little Victor made good his escape, and eventually found his way to Sturmsbane, where he was not the only strange creature welcomed there by the village. He trained in the ways of the bard, under the tutelage of Councilman Merrysong, and now he travels in the company of a great band of heroes, in order to ensure that they are immortalized in song and legend. But on the way, he has a personal mission: to fulfil a promise to a small but magical kitten by the name of Seither, to help him find his parents. As it becomes apparent that this kitten's parents may be from another plane of existence entirely, Reynard may be on this quest for quite some time!

Seither Seither the Shatterkitten

This small tabby kitten looks at first glance to be not particularly threatening, but upon closer inspection, he has large paws, and his claws are curiously crystaline in appearance. Far more conspicuous is his habit of shredding his way through stone and wood with equal ease, and supplementing his diet of meat and bones (eaten in entirety without discrimination) with the occasional rock. His bell-tone meow is capable of making destructive harmonics, and his resistance to harm makes it questionable just how much he really needs Reynard's "protection." At present, only Reynard is capable of communicating with the kitten (without the aid of magic, in any case), and Seither's primary objective seems to be just to find his way home.

Zarteen Zarteen the Open-Handed, Human Monk

Zarteen is a native of Sturmsbane who took up the way of open-handed fighting after being trained in the basics of this art by a traveling monk. His hands are as lethal as swords, and his reflexes so quick that armor would only slow him down. On occasion, circumstances conspire to make his path cross that of the other heroes, so that he shows up at crucial times to lend them aid ... but his path is such that he often walks it alone.

Maori Maori, Half-Goblin Wizard

She was protected from infanticide only because her mother was the chieftain's favorite mate, and a rather respected female in her tribe - even if one who had tried to "elope" with a human prisoner. So, Maori grew up and was tolerated among her kind mostly because she could reach the top shelves, and do other useful things. Of course, the goblins were wary of her larger size and lighter skin, so they passed her quickly to a good strong goblin male who would "keep her in line."

However, Maori never grew violent or lashed out physically the way most goblins were expected to, and she discovered in herself an intelligence unappreciated by the average goblin. She grew curious of books, getting a captive human to teach her to read, and hoarding any literature brought back by the raiding parties (since the other goblins didn't use books for reading, anyway).

Through these, she taught herself wizardry, and grew restless of her homely and degrading life as she read tales and heroic deeds. One day she grew tired of it, and "accidentally" set her mate on fire when he attempted to shake "such nonsense" out of her. Taking a Worg companion from the camp (who promised to stick with her as long as he could escape the tribe as well), she set off on her own, learning to disguise herself in human cities, and searching for a band of heroes to seek glory with....

Nif Nif, Worg

This large lupine creature accompanies Maori the Half-Goblin Wizard on her adventures, serving as riding beast and guardian.

Kori Kori the Killer, Elven Archer

Possessed of legendary skill with bow and arrows, Kori the Killer is a wandering elven warrior who has a curious origin. As he tells it, he belonged to a tribe of woodland elves, but after he fell from a tree, his parents had supposed him dead, and - as was their peculiar tradition - simply left him there to let nature take its course. He was discovered by a wandering band of armored hedgehogs, who nursed him back to health and raised him as one of their own. They trained him in the way of a bow and arrows, since he had no quills of his own to shoot. In time, he parted ways with them to seek his fortune; he likes to fight hard, to gamble, and one of his greatest ambitions is to some day tame a dragon to serve as his personal war-mount.

Felorin Felorin, Elven Thief Acrobat

It's unclear whether she's real at all, for only Sister Paenitia and Maori remember her from a curious shared dream involving adventures in a strange land with talking cards and rabbits and games involving whacking hedgehogs with birds. What little is known of her is that she seemed to be an especially agile elf, skilled in leaps and tumbles, and also with a lockpick and a bow. A sorry thing it must be for a rogue to acquire so many marvelous treasures, only to wake up and find that it was all just a dream!

Caelum Caelum, Dragon-Blooded Sorcerer

Some might mistake Caelum for an elf, what with the pointy ears, though his parents (who run an apothecary shop in Sturmsbane) appear to be quite human. As Caelum explains it, he has a bit of dragon somewhere in his distant ancestry, and every now and again, it surfaces in his family line. He happens to be a lucky example, as he credits it for his affinity toward the magical arts. Caelum joined the heroes of Sturmsbane for part of their first adventure, and met up with a pseudo-dragon that has become his familiar. Since then, however, his work at the family apothecary shop has kept him away from further questing.

Hercule Hercule, Human Apothecary

Hercule is an unassuming apothecary, herbalist and alchemist who plies his trade in the city of Thornsdale; on the side, he works a bit of hedge wizardry. He encounters our heroes briefly during their stay at the Silver Flute Inn, when there's a disturbance involving a foppish noble who has a bit too much to drink of a fairly toxic ale.

Rations Rations the Mule

Faithful (and impassive) Rations the Mule has been with the heroes ever since their first adventures out of Sturmsbane, carrying gear so that they don't have to!

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