Dinner For a Hungry God
An elite soldier of a divine war disbanded after 75 years of fighting. He now searches for faith in a troupe of fools.
Endis Tir, level 4
Elf, Avenger Build: Pursuing Avenger Avenger’s Censure: Censure of Pursuit
Background: Disbeliever, Birth – Prophecy, Veteran of a Religious War, Occupation – Military, Elf – Urban Elf, Geography – Urban (Insight class skill)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES Str 10, Con 14, Dex 16, Int 12, Wis 19, Cha 10.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES Str 9, Con 14, Dex 14, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10.
AC: 20 Fort: 15 Reflex: 16 Will: 17 HP: 46 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 11
Religion +8, Insight +11, Perception +13, Acrobatics +10, Nature +13
Arcana +3, Bluff +2, Diplomacy +2, Dungeoneering +6, Endurance +4, Heal +6, History +3, Intimidate +2, Stealth +5, Streetwise +2, Thievery +5, Athletics +2
Level 1: Closing Pledge
Level 2: Initiate of the Old Faith
Level 4: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Avenger at-will 1: Bond of Pursuit (retrained to Overwhelming Strike at Level 2)
Avenger at-will 1: Radiant Vengeance
Initiate of the Old Faith: Grasping Claws
Avenger encounter 1: Whirlwind Charge (retrained to Angelic Alacrity at Level 3)
Avenger daily 1: Argent Mantle
Avenger utility 2: Distracting Flare
Avenger encounter 3: Sequestering Strike
Longsword of Oaths Fulfilled +1, Adventurer’s Kit, Magic Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +2
Endis Tir idolized his elder brother, Lokis Tir. Ever since he was young Endis would hear stories of Lokis’ bravery and cunning on the battlefield. Separated by near a quarter century in age, by the time Endis reached the Age of Entitlement and was allowed to join the Holy Army of Rhoth, Lokis had already made a name for himself as a hero and had been granted leadership of an elite squad of soldiers, infamously known as the Storm Wolves. For years, Endis trained and and advanced in rank to meet the high demands of Storm Wolf indoctrination. Eventually, after 20 years of fighting along side the conscripts, Endis was accepted into the squad. For another half century, the Storm Wolves acted as the surgical knife of the Holy Empire of Rhoth’s divine wrath combating the insurgent undead to the West. It was at the end of the war the Wolves were sent on their most dangerous, yet possibly most rewarding mission yet: Kill Askrymir.
They were ambushed by an entire company of wights and ghouls whilst crossing Ugnaret’s Pass, a hundred leagues from their assassination target, the Demon Prince and supreme commander of the invading undead army, Askrymir. The battle was fought hard and long that day, but eventually the undead were able to overwhelm and defeat them. Of the fifteen, only three survived Pillok, Japh, and Endis. Japh managed to carry Lokis’ body to safety where they were able to give him a proper burial, praying to the Raven Queen that he might find respite from the undead curse.
Upon returning to base the next day, the three remaining Storm Wolves discovered the camp in disbanded ruin, with no sign of conflict and no body left behind: alive, dead… or otherwise. A note was found nailed high upon a post, written by decree of High Minister Carmelon (who apparently just received a new promotion) that the army disband and everyone return home- a treaty had been signed with Askrymir. Outraged and confused, they continued toward Tirson.
Once there, they discover that General Kaive, the superior to which Lokis and the Storm Wolves answered to, had been stripped of office forced to his family homestead… with more than a considerable windfall, complements of Carmelon. Whilst speaking to their respective contacts, the three Wolves were also able to catch rumors that Carmelon orchestrated the war with Askrymir in an attempt to unseat the reigning High Minister, and in the process managed to seize numerous titles, wealth and lands from “treasonous” lords refusing to lay down arms after the treaty was signed. It also became clear that Lokis and the rest of his squad were sent to die, and rumors of their defeat spread mere hours after they left base camp.
That night, while planning their next move and possible vindication against Carmelon, the inn in which Japh, Endis, and Pillok were staying was raided by the Marshall Hren and his city guard. Brought before Carmelon, they were forced to pick between exile in solitude or summary execution. Pillok spit at Carmelon’s words, taking a nearby guard’s sword and rushed the High Minister before being struck down by Hren’s sledge from behind and soon after beheaded as Carmelon gloated over his broken body. Japh and Endis reluctantly chose banishment.
The two surviving wolves were immediately sent off in separate directions, Japh to the South, Endis to the East. While defeated and tired, Endis managed to continue along the road until Tirson’s spires appeared as anthills along the horizon. Here Endis collapsed in a pile of self pity and faithless doubt. Sleep soon overtook him as he lay in the brush beside the road…
Dreaming, Endis sees himself back in the war against hordes of undead, side by side with Lokis. The two fight for hours, days, or mere moments as the body count of relentless skeletons and zombies pile higher beneath their feet. Brelak, the mighty god of victory, smiles down upon the brothers as their death toll, as well as elevation, continue to rise. Soon Brelak is bearing witness to an everlasting skirmish taking place mere meters from the seat atop his towering throne. The battle is finally won… the brothers stand at the summit of a motionless mountain of the defeated. They turn and bow to Brelak, their patron.
A light thread, floating softly in the breeze, dangles down from the Brelak’s feet. “PULL!” says the god of battle in the quietest tone he knows how; and Endis pulls. Kord wafts into the air, like some mummer’s reveal lifting back the silk veil on the act’s deceit. Where Kord once sat, a man of gold is exposed, shiny and smug, donning a mitre formed from dried blood and dust. His laugh is quiet yet in penetrates to Endis’ very core. As if readied for the golden man’s gesture, bony, rotting hands, too numerous to count, erupt from the mountain’s peak snagging and grabbing at Lokis. As swiftly and suddenly as the hands arrived, they sank again into the mound, taking their prize with them with little more than a panicked scream and the clattering of bones against flesh. Furious, Endis, sword at the ready, hurls himself at the man of gold, who seemingly bored, swings his hand in front of him as if to shoo a fly. The force caused by the slight gesture proved more than enough to send Endis toppling backwards, down the mountain side into the shadowed valley below.
Endis eventually finds himself bruised and broken at the base of a mountain of his own creation. Looking up toward the summit, he sees a glint of gold before it is completely out shined by the rising moon overhead. As if beckoned by the moon’s mystical pull on the tides, Endis feels his skin crawl and tingle, and with a shiver, sprouts fur like grass in spring. His clothes and sword disappear into his body, obscured in his transformation. He can feel his teeth grow sharper, his perceptions more feral. He smells the emotions of the night wisping about him, whispering secrets long forgotten and rolling back into the warm surrounding shadow. He howls in rage and pain.
“How like you my gift?” a soft voice emanates from the gloom behind him. Whipping around, Endis turns sharply enough to crack stone, bearing his eyes in the direction of the speaker. Before him he sees the goddess Sehanine as she has appeared to him before, cloaked in silvery robes, half of her face hidden by a mask in the shape of a crescent moon. “My gift,” she repeats, “do you not like it, young warrior?”
Hurt, defeated, angry, and now confused, Endis opens his mouth to speak, but finds words have left him.
“Come now,” Sehanine giggles lightly as she approaches, “Hath thou no thanks? Thou art blessed!” Sehanine rests her hands on Endis’ newly formed muzzle. Her touch soothes with the sensation of cool morning dew splashed and clinging against Endis’ boiling blood. Panic and shame leave his body like steam, yet enough sorrow remains enough to pull his eyes to meet the goddess’ as if to ask “Why?”
The matron of lovers meets his gaze as directly as she knows how, peering through curtains of steel and stone erected by Endis’ mind as easily as shade passes beneath a tree. She shrugs smugly, “I don’t suppose all your riddles are so ingeniously clever,” Her words appeared in his head, mockingly playful, “But I suppose this particular one should bear some weight since it has survived eons without an answer.” Endis waited in silence for moments, allowing his gaze to drop toward the ground. Sehanine’s hands gently direct his face upwards again in time to catch her mirthful sigh, “Ah, young elf… do as you do best: protect our new friends… be my sword and my claws… and maybe yet, you may discover an answer where I have none.”
Endis, confused yet fortified by his hallowed pep-talk, stands straight on all fours, looking back over his shoulder. Where the undead mountain once lay, now sits a small camp harboring a motley band of travelers headed south on the side of the road bordering a swamp. The stillness of dawn almost breaks about them as Endis turns his head back in the direction of the goddess, to find nothing but mist and light breeze in her place. “Go to them… with them you shall find your answer…”
Endis woke the next day to find himself fully elf again, but not at all relieved by his divine edict placed upon him, or the disturbing transformation that took place within. With great doubts and reluctance, Endis continues on his new path to meet up with the group shown to him in his vision.