Rise of the Stone Lord
A half-drow bard trying to protect his home from a terrible demon that hunts him.
Reth’Baelisarmus Half-Drow Bard 1 CG; S 10, D 13, Cn 10, I 12, W 12, Ch 17, Hp 6, Ac 13, T 11, FF 12, Init +6, Spd 30, Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +3, BA +0, Grpl +0; Diplomacy +8, Gather Information +8, Concentration +4, Bluff +7, Hide +5, Knowledge(History) +5, Perform(Encourage) +7; Halfspear +0 melee (1d6×3), Longbow +1 ranged (1d8×3); Leather armor +2 +6 0 10% Light, 2gp; Improved Init, Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, +1 diplomacy-gather inform-listen-search-spot, Immune to sleep, low-light, +2 vs enchantments; Common-elven-orc; SPELLS: 0-flare, daze, resistance, detect magic; Spells per day: 0-2(
), 1(1), 2-(1), 3-(1);
Reth’Baelarmus, or Baelrath for his shortened name, was born in the elven community of Aeryth Solith. His father came from the underground drow stronghold of Zaik Zyira.
Baelrath’s father’s name was Malyr and he led a drow mercenary force onto the surface world to fight for the Blood Conquerors. The Blood Conquerors were an organization intent on reviving their loathsome god before his appointed time. But they were few and had to enlist many mercenaries to fight their numerous foes. Among these mercenaries was Malyr’s unit, thirty strong and elite quality they were given some of the most dangerous missions; nevertheless his band was surprisingly successful in their every goal with relatively few losses. But eventually, between the costs of mercenaries and the tenacity of their foes, the Blood Conquerors were driven back to their final bastion, the Blood Fortress.
The Blood Fortress was once a magnificent castle built on the edge of a barren wasteland. Its original use was to fend off raiders but had been turned into a red and brown abomination by its new inhabitants. Prisoners were never released and never escaped but first left hanging on the walls with their throats cut.
During the climactic battle at the Blood Fortress, Malyr’s band was sent through the front lines of the enemy to stop four trebuchets in the middle of the enemy camp. Great losses were suffered during the first push and the rest were lost when the catapult workers were protected by two powerful sorcerers. Alone and wounded, Malyr himself was the only to escape the slaughter that took place upon the rest of the army. Pulling a potion of invisibility out of his belt pouch and quaffed it down. Using his stealth and a few distractions, Malyr was able to escape the main battle. But at the edge of the besieger’s stockade Malyr’s potion wore off and he was sighted by a platoon of archers. Arrows whinging past him, Malyr ran as fast as he could in the opposite direction. Then two arrows struck him in the back and the leg; falling to the ground it turned out to be a hunter’s trap, a self closing trap. Lying on the damp leaves that covered the ground, Malyr heard, and saw the shadows of his pursuers. They searched some around the pit but did not find it or him and soon left.
Some hours passed and the light was fading before Malyr heard another sound above him. The roof opened and a figure looked down into the narrow space. Malyr couldn’t make out its face because he only saw an outline before he lost consciousness from loss of blood.
When he awakened he was in a strange place. In a room on a bed, he quickly found that his wounds had been mended. He began to explore his surroundings. He found many windows which looked out to a canopy of trees with the ground far below, a doorway, the bed he had woken up on, a small table and stool, and a tree limb that ran from one side of the room to the other through the floor. Exiting through the doorway Malyr saw a human woman sitting at a table. She looked up as he entered and smiled.
That was his first encounter with Anara, who would become his wife in three years. They lived in the elven community for two more years before giving birth to a son, who they named Reth’Baelisarmus.
Aeryth Solith was first a military encampment set to provide a reserve for an elven army. The war lasted more and more years and the commanding officer finally allowed the troops to have their families on base. That was three generations ago. The soldiers live in the settlement still, waiting to be called as a militia to face threats that are either too dangerous for the volunteer army to tackle on its own or for things too trivial for soldiers to be sent.
Though he had been shown mercy and friendship by Anara, Malyr was still a drow. And, as a drow, was mostly shunned by the rest of Aeryth Solith for many years; and after that he was still treated with caution and some fear.
Baelrath, as he became known as, was only half-drow and treated with more kindness though a lingering suspicion due to his heritage. All in Aeryth Solith found him to be agreeable to be around and comparatively few arguments with other youths came to blows because Baelrath could usually talk his way out of fighting someone bigger than him.
As was common custom, Baelrath was taught by several different tutors; each teaching him when they could. But even for elves he received varied instruction. He started by being trained for combat by Myashk during her free time but soon learned from Luekash and Saereth. All were busy but he was able to jump from one to the next each day, giving him a jumbled mess of a teaching. But he thrived on such, except for the lessons by Mairad in the temple which he found so boring that he looked for ways to slip away, and all too soon was part of the annual ceremony marking his full growth.
Then the trouble began. A busy road between cities became impassable. Many went down it but the few that got to the other side had been robbed and beaten senseless, only just able to crawl back with no memory of their attackers. Soon, a company of soldiers was sent to deal with the brigands. What they found was the beginnings of an orc horde some thousands strong. They returned to civilization at one-third strength to relay the story. The standing army could not defeat so many so the militia was called up in every town, including Aeryth Solith. Malyr had been permanently wounded by the arrow to his knee and could not go but Baelrath was more than eager.
Baelrath was sent to the front lines to provide encouragement to the troops. It was there, in the carnage and chaos of battle, bodies falling to the ground all around him, the enemy rushing forward with murder in there eyes, the cries of the wounded, the rush of adrenaline when a volley of arrows you had helped shoot thinned the enemy ranks, it was here that Baelrath found his true calling. Most block out their experiences on the front line, some go mad, but it filled Baelrath with new life. Shouting at his comrades and doing what they could not he rallied them back again after some had fled. For his conduct and achievements Baelrath was promoted to a special position: morale officer. His job was to do what he had been doing, and he did it better than ever.
The elves were winning. They had almost completely defeated the orcs and were at the final battle. The orcs were a mere four-hundred strong and trapped in a natural crater. The elves were three-thousand strong and lined the crater four ranks deep. But the orcs had an ally. Half-demon and half-wolfman, he stood in their midst, towering above and directing them. The battle was hard but the victory was never in doubt. With Baelrath’s encouragements his squad quickly pushed through to the figure in the center. A violent fight erupted and the platoon was quickly killed despite their courage. But Baelrath stood his ground and attacked the demonic being. He pulled a lucky hit and cut the creature’s hairy throat. It fell to the ground, swearing vengeance and marking Baelrath’s chest with a black mark as it breathed its last. The mark was in the shape of a clawed hand.
The battle over and all of the orcs slain, the celebrations began, and Baelrath soon forgot the demon-wolf. But he remembered later and looked into it with the aid of a skillful mage who lived as a hermit. The hermit told him that it was a curse that would be a beacon to the demon when he returned, whenever that might be. There was little to worry about except for when the demon found him because it would be even more powerful. The last piece of bad news from the hermit was that it would take a powerful spell to remove the mark, Baelrath could have the spell cast but it would cost thousands of gold pieces. Heartbroken, Baelrath returned to his home and explained everything to his parents after telling of his life in the army. Now, the army Baelrath was part of does not replace a unit that has been completely destroyed in battle as a honor to those who served. Baelrath was still alive but was considered a liability and counted among the dead of his squad.
Soon after he gathered his things again and left his home. He would not return until the demon was slain forever or the mark was removed so as not to put his family and camp in danger. After that, Baelrath searched for others to adventure with; for he craved battle again and the rewards that heroes received were too much for him to resist. He found three others who were searching for a similar goal as himself, they are Ambros, a paladin, Zellion, a cleric of Heironeous, and Estheim, a rogue. Baelrath is uncertain of how well the four of them will work together but, with luck, they shall triumph.
Reth’Baelisarmus died fighting a raptor. The raptor was soon killed and a talon was taken from it to be strung on the Wyzern Brigade’s standard in memory of Baelrath.