Rise of the Stone Lord
The White Stagg Hunter of the Wyvern Brigade
Aorund Clioghdenae is a tall man shrouded in a thick cloak that matches him well; both are travel-stained and weather-worn. His face is obscured by the huge skull of some antlered animal, most likely a stag. The stench of dead animal hangs around him like another, darker cloak and his breath seems to rattle behind the skull. In one thin hand he clenches a sword with a short, curved blade that is made from a large bone. In the other, a web of light and energy is strung between his fingertips, ready for use.
The empty eyes of the helm glower out at the world, mysterious and dark like the one wearing them. His limbs are shrouded in his cloak and almost nothing is open to the light.
His stance and posture speak volumes of preparedness. The turn of his head talks of a twisted spring ready to release in a lash of power.
Human Sorcerer 1. True Neutral with a dabbling of demonic influence. Wears the skull of a stag for a helmet and only takes it off when absolutely necessary. Wields a short sword made from the bone of the same stag that he got his helmet from. He is moderately strong and hardy, and averagely intelligent, wise, and dextrous. He does have, however, an extremely powerful presence that he can use to command and persuade others.
Aorund began life as the son of a hunter in the tiny village of Thud. His early life was mainly usual in every aspect. He went on to be a hunter just as his father was, even though he did not have very much skill for the occupation.
It was in his twentieth winter that everything changed for him. He was hunting in the woods one evening, just about to return home without anything to show for a day’s work, when he stumbled upon an ancient ruin.
In all the years that he had been living near the Waywyrd Woods, Aorund had never found anything like the grouping of standing stones that he was confronted with. Too curious for his own good, Aorund ventured inside the ring made by the stones.
Immediately, there was a rushing of wind and a huge, wolf-like shape appeared in front of Aorund. In a booming voice the form inquired who had disturbed it.
Aorund quavered as the form coalesced into a wolf malformed into the vague shape of a human. The creature saw Aorund, and then raised one hand to kill him with a fistful of crackling black energy. Then it stopped, as if thinking.
After a moment, while Aorund trembled and tried to spy a way out of the creature’s view, the thing spoke. It told Aorund that it had need of his services, and that he would be well rewarded, and not killed if he agreed.
Seeing no alternative, Aorund agreed without really knowing what he was getting into.
The thing smiled.
The next two days were sleepless for Aorund. He was vusy gathering the supplies that the great form demanded. They were partly mundane and partly very odd things. Aorund didn’t ask questions, but just hurried back and forth between his village and the forest. He had a dreadful feeling that the creature would find him and kill him.
Finally, everything was gathered and the creature began to perform a dark ritual over Aorund and himself. As it continued, Aorund became increasingly worried about the outcome and began trying to pull away from the circle inscribed in hare’s blood.
But Aorund’s will was weak, and the creature was strong. He felt himself being pushed into the creature, melded, mixed. With a gasp, Aorund pulled away one last time and managed to smudge the circle. The creature let out a roar of fury, and the two of them were thrown apart.
Nursing a broken rib from where he smashed into a tall stone, Aorund fled from the forest and collapsed. He slipped into darkness. While unconscious, Aorund had a nightmare that showed him the true form of the creature he had just escaped. It was a powerful demon that called itself Clioghden. It was a master of the Hunt that chased souls through the Abyss and devoured them to gain power.
Aorund dreamed of how Clioghden had come to the Prime Material plane to find fresh souls, and had there met another great demon of the hunt. This one, called the White Stagg, was prepared for Clioghden and trapped him in a magical circle of standing stones. With his power shunted off, and his minions still in the Abyss, Clioghden was unable to free himself.
He was forced to wait until some hapless mortal stumbled into his prison. Then he could bind himself to the mortal and thereby exploit a loophole in how the White Stagg had designed its trap.
Aorund fit the bill perfectly. But he was somehow able to stop the ritual before the two of them were fully bonded. This caused a connection to form, but not as strong as to let Clioghden come out of his prison. However, it did allow Clioghden to force Aorund into a deal.
Aorund would kill the White Stagg, thereby freeing Clioghden from his imprisonment, and, in return, Clioghden would not strike down Aorund from his prison using their bond to guide his magic.
Aorund’s broken rib healed after just a day, most likely from Clioghden’s influence, and he went away from his village. He would not be able to kill the White Stagg if he stayed there, and he wouldn’t be free of the demonic presence in his mind if he did not kill the White Stagg. He journeyed through the forest to the South, to the town of Taxdus.
He stayed outside the limits of the town for a few days, hunting in the forest edge. Since his melding with Clioghden, Aorund had noticed that his skills were much increased, and he found that things would seem to happen when he concentrated.
When he finally found enough courage to enter the town, Aorund found that he had gained a very powerful presence that people seemed to respect. He also found that he had a new gift called Sorcery.
Living off the small wages that he could make by trapping animals in the forest, Aorund began to train his new power. In back alleys and woodland clearings, he slowly grew in skill and precision while he also grew in knowledge of his new predicament.
He found that he was unable to use most weaponry when he attempted to use a bow to hunt. He also discovered that Clioghden was not completely unaware of how he spent his time. Whenever Aorund seemed to not be doing enough work towards the goal of finding and killing the White Stagg, Clioghden would strike him with a debilitating curse that forced him into a state of paranoia. He would always be looking over his shoulder, as if he thought he was being followed.
Eventually, through trial and error, Aorund was able to discover that the only weaponry that he was able to use was that made of the body parts of a stag.
In a kind of riled annoyance, Aorund hunted a stag and killed it, and then used his skills to craft a short sword from its bones and a helmet from its skull. With the smell of dead animal still in his nostrils, he donned the helm and left Taxdus.
His next year of travels led him around the nearby countryside, always training his magic and never resting from his travels. He never took off his helm except to eat and sleep, so he soon gained a reputation in the neighborhood for being an ill-omen mage who brought death on his heels.
Eventually, he made his way to the gates of Homilion, there to find adventure and power and, possibly, the way to the White Stagg.
In Homilion, Aorund was recruited into the Wyvern Brigade as their current spell-slinger. With them, he went into the Waywyrd Woods to hunt for Arcana Berries. After that, a short adventuring career led him into the Homilion arena, and then into the Silverlight Swamps. There Aorund met his end by ancient magic that burst upon him. There was no mourning.