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- My first D&D edition was 4th but since then I've had experience with all editions both as a player and as a DM.
- I also have played many other RPGs including World of Darkness, Exalted, Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds, Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Warhammer, and Mouse Guard.
- I do not rank one edition or RPG or game system above another and enjoy pointing out the positives and negatives of each game equally.
- Currently I DM a Pathfinder campaign and a Next playtest, and play a 4e campaign with a character that shares my username.
- I have also recently began a series of one-shot World of Darkness games at my local game store.
- Races: Cadmian, Sphinx
- Powers: Rime of Terror, Rage of Unsheathed Fury
- Equipment: Khanda, Kilij
- Classes: Lioneer
Aprils Fools category
- Races: Duck
- Powers: Handicapped One-Hit K.O., Healing Heal of Healing Heal-ness, All the Damages, Epic Solo, Banana Sneak Attack
- Equipment: Amityville Toaster
Alastor of Sheeld
Past the coastal mountains lies a peninsula with a dormant volcano hiding a clan of Dragonborn smiths. Once a year a representative from the village takes a large cart of the village’s wares to sell at the market in the city over the mountains. One year this representative had been a young and inquisitive yet strong and cunning smith named Alastor. Selling all his wares he made the trek back to his village to rejoin his brother and family for the traditional feast to celebrate the year’s work. Upon his return Alastor set his eyes on the most horrid of sights. His entire village lay slain before him. Men, women, children all dowsed in their own blood. He rushed to his own house to see if his family had met the same fate. Lying before him were the bodies of his brother, his brother’s wife, and their four children. A rage like no other swept over him and he ran out of the house to see a goblin looting the bodies of his fellow townspeople. Taking up his own dagger he attacked the goblin but the goblin evaded. The goblin yelled that he had nothing to do with the people’s deaths. Alastor stopped for a moment and calmed himself. Grabbing the goblin by his shirt he demanded information. The goblin divulged that he follows a group of Drow rogues who roam the mountains and attack travelers along the paths. Alastor forced the goblin to help him put the dead to rest. In his village it was custom to throw the dead in the volcano so they may rejoin Io in the earth.
Alastor gathers what he can carry and makes the goblin take him to the Drow camp. The goblin obliges out of fear of death. Alastor waits for the rogues to sleep. He kills the sentries with ease for his mind is focused on vengeance and his movements become fluid and precise. He sets fire to the tents and waits for the panic to ensue. As the Drow attempt to flee from the flames they are greeted with even more sights fire. Alastor had set traps made of trees and flammable liquids around the entire camp trapping the rogues in a circle of heat and death. From atop a tree Alastor throws sacks of oil used to light the trees. The Drow are soaked with the flammable liquid. The unlucky ones were too close to the flames when the sack bursts and begin to burn and scream in pain. Alastor shoots flaming arrows that ignite any Drow attempting to avoid catching fire. With his ammo depleted Alastor waits. In the morning when the fires are now piles of ash. Alastor looks for any survivors of the assault…there are none.
Taking up his pack Alastor begins to wander the coast training with a blade he forged before departing his village. Although his vengeance had been satiated his rage had not quelled. Anger floods his mind and body daily and his bloodlust begins to grow. For fear of hurting innocent lives in his enraged state Alastor avoids towns and uses his own cunning to obtain resources like food and clothing. After a few years of this meandering aimlessly Alastor comes upon a clearing with a single shack near the center. His curiosity getting the better of him Alastor knocks on the door. An old Eldarin answers and greets Alastor warmly. Inviting Alastor into his home the Eldarin offers Alastor some tea and asks him his name and what brings him so far from the cities and towns. Alastor responds with his tale of woe and blood. As they sit sipping their tea the Eldarin says his name is Janus and like the Greek god he is named after he will offer Alastor a choice. He tells Alastor that he can train Alastor to deal with his rage or Alastor can continue on his way and forget about this encounter. Alastor asks if there is actually a way to get rid of his rage. Janus says that his rage will never leave him but with work there is a way to control the fires that burn inside him. Alastor accepts Janus’ offer with a feeling of elation. And so Alastor began his training with Janus learning ways to fight and ways to calm. He learned to be at peace with his inner flame and cage it. A sort of peace fell over Alastor in his time with Janus. Janus decided to test Alastor and his progress. One day Janus began to shun Alastor and tell him that it truly was his fault that his people died that day. Janus said that if Alastor had been there then he would’ve been able to defend them. Alastor’s anger tried to break free but he calmed himself and with the utmost calm Alastor punched Janus. As Janus lay on the floor laughing a puzzled look fell upon Alastor’s face. Janus told Alastor that he has truly mastered his inner fire. Like the day they met Janus offered Alastor some tea and they sat down to drink. Janus related his own tale of how he came to reside in the wild.
Janus was a fighter among his people and prided this village’s unity with nature. Their houses resided in the trees of the forest and their food came from the bushes and fruit bearing trees below. One day an army of humans came into their forest. The Eldarin remained in their trees waiting for the humans to pass but the humans did not continue on their way. The humans began to chop down the tall trees that were the homes of the Eldarin and Janus. Their homes began to fall and the Eldarin with them. Being so tall the trees were near impossible to completely climb down before they fell and any attempting to jump died because of the sheer height. Janus remained the only survivor. Anger flooded Janus as it did Alastor but instead of vengeance Janus sought solitude for his people’s teaching said that bloodshed should not be countered with further bloodshed. Meditation and physical training brought Janus to nirvana.
With the end of his tale Janus says that this is where the friends part for he sees that Alastor has a greater destiny than a life in solitary. Janus tells Alastor that he may join Alastor one day but for now he shall meditate and view the nature of things. Alastor bids his friend farewell and leave for the city and new challenges.
Alastor of the feywild [This chapter takes place a year or two after Alastor parts with Janus]
While walking down a forest trail Alastor comes across a human family pulling along a broken cart. Alastor asks them if they need assistance. There are three members of the family: a father and two sisters. The father warily accepts the Dragonborn's help. As they walk the younger of the sister's begins to cry. Alastor asks what is wrong. The little answers that she misses her mother. Alastor questioned the father on what the girl was upset about. The father told Alastor that earlier that they had been attacked by a group of rogues. The rogues had damaged their cart, took many of their belonging, and kidnapped the mother. Alastor knew of a small town coming up on the path. He took the family there and told them to stay there while he goes to look for the thieves. He asks the father what direction the thieves had traveled and the father pointed east. It does not take long for Alastor to pick up the trail that the thieves left behind. They seem to not be taking measures to cover their tracks. Alastor knows from what the father had told him that the thieves are goblins with about five members in their party. Having experience in scouting a campsite Alastor observes the situation from afar and accesses his options. To his surprise he sees that the goblins are not the only creatures at the camp. Yelling at what appears to be the lead goblin is a red haired human with a foxlike face.
She screams at the goblin, “You idiot why did you kidnap the woman. I told you to only take their valuables. And where the hell did this satyr come from?!”
Alastor looks to where the fox woman points seeing a gagged and blindfolded satyr attempting to speak his way out of this situation with little to no success. As the fox woman turns in aggravation Alastor sees her face more clearly and is surprised even more than he first was. He recognizes her as an old friend from his past who had helped reintroduce him into the civilized world. Her name is Kitsune, a fox hengeyokai, and she is one hell of a thief.
Kitsune turns back to the goblins and says, “Did you at least get what I told you find?”
The lead goblin pulls a small item from his pouch and hands it to her. Alastor cannot discern what the item is but a small amount of blackish light glints off its surface reflecting in every direction. Kitsune stows the item on her person somewhere, Alastor never could figure out where she hid all her loot.
The lead goblin asks Kitsune, “What should we do with the woman?”
Kitsune responds, “I got what I needed she is not my concern.”
Kitsune then turns and bounds off into the opposite direction. Alastor is slightly shocked at her response to the goblin but if his memory serves correctly it’s not the first time she left someone in an ill situation.
The lead goblin turns to others and shouts, “Feed her to that owlbear we captured earlier. We don’t want it to get hungry, and maybe the taste of human flesh will make more ‘compliant’ with our use of it.”
In the trees to the right of the goblin troop is large figure that Alastor didn’t take much notice of before. One of goblins goes to the mother and grabs and begins to lead her towards the large figure that Alastor now assumes is the captured owlbear. While the goblins are distracted by what they hope is a spectacle of gruesome entertainment. Alstor is able to reach the satyr unnoticed.
He says to the goat-man, “I’m going to untie you but you must by silent and promse to aid me in free the others these goblins have captured.”
The satyr stops his babbling and silently nods in agreement. Alastor cuts his ropes and the satyr removes his own gag and blindfold to see a black scaled dragonborn next to him with his sword drawn. Alastor pulls a small dagger from his hip and hands it to the satyr. The satyr shakes his head and pushes away the dagger.
He says, “I do not use the tools of death and destruction. I will distract them as you come up from behind.”
Alastor agrees to this plan and moves through the trees to flank the goblins. The satyr shouts at the goblins insults and begins hopping from one foot to the other. This draws the goblins’ attention away from the mother and owlbear. As the goblins charge the satyr, Alastor rushes from the trees slaying the goblin holding the mother. He removes her removes her binding and tells her to hide in a bush until he come for her. Alastor throws his dagger at the nearest goblin as they chase the satyr around the camp. This draws the attention the other three. While they become distracted the satyr kicks at the head of the nearest goblin knocking him unconscious. The other two look at their surrounding and unwisely decide to split and attack. One goblin attacks Alastor with his sword and barely misses allowing Alastor to counter with a slash of his scimitar to the neck of the goblin. The goblin falls and his head lands beside him. The satyr dodges the remaining goblin’s attacks and returns with another kick but this time to the creatures chest which sends him knocking into Alastor’s waiting sword. Alastor calls to the mother that all is safe. She appears from behind a tree and cautiously approaches the dragonborn. She thanks him for saving her and questions why. Alastor relays the events leading up to this leaving out the knowledge of Kitsune.
Alastor says, “We’ve freed two of you but there is still one other that needs releasing.”
He turns in the direction of the owlbear and cautiously approaches with the satyr close behind. Alastor calms the owlbear while the satyr unbinds the poor creature from its chaining. The owlbear is grateful to Alastor and senses something unseen by the others causing him to take a deep liking to this scaly yet kind humanoid.
Alastor turns to the satyr and says to him, “Thank you for your assistance. My name is Alastor. What, may I ask, is yours?”
The satyr replies, “My name is Orlon Blackleaf, but my friends call me Lonnie. We are now friends.” Orlon turns to the unconscious goblin and asks, “What do we do with that one?”
Alastor replies, “First, I have some questions for him.” He grabs the goblin and slings it over his shoulder. The pair begin lead the mother back to town with the owlbear following Alastor willingly. Drinks are bought and good feelings are had when the mother is reunited with her family. The goblin was brought to the jail and awaited Alastor’s return. He asks the father about the item that the goblins had given Kitsune hoping for some insight into her motives. The father tells Alastor that is was a piece of a broken rod that appears somewhat crystalline with a black color. Aside from it being found in one of his fields the father had no other information on the item. He brought it with him to see if another merchant or anyone with arcane knowledge could tell him its worth. Alastor have a faint idea as to the identity of the rod piece. Later, Alastor goes to jail and requests to interrogate the goblin. His status as an adventurer and hero are enough to gain him access to the goblin but only for a short time.
Alastor demanded the goblin to answer his questions: “What was the item the woman wanted? Why did she want it? And where did she go?”
The goblin replies, “I don’t know what it was. She merely told us to retrieve some black stick. And as to why she wanted it, she only said she was also hired to procure it. She left without saying her destination. Please leave me be. I’ve answered your questions.”
“One more question, goblin. Who hired you and the woman?”, Alastor retorts.
The goblin begins to respond, “Please don’t make me tell. I’d be killed if….”
The goblin jerks and then falls forward in his cell. When his body hits the floor Alastor sees a kunai sticking out of his neck with an orange ribbon with a red stripe down the middle tied to it. Alastor recognizes Kitsune’s signature and rushes out of the jail after her. He’s too late to see any sign of her. Alastor looks off into the distance:
“Damn it, Kitsune. Why do run? Why won’t you just let me help you?”
Epilogue Alastor returns to the jail to make the jailer aware of the body that now lies in the cell. Alastor leaves town and begins to walk down the road sullenly. Out of the trees the owlbear he had freed earlier joins him.
Alastor turns to the owlbear and asks, “You wish to join me?”
The owlbear gives a slight nod, which surprises Alastor for he did not think the owlbear could understand him. The Alastor and the owlbear, whom he soon names Neeche, continue to walk along the road and after a few weeks of travel come to a caravan with a group of adventurers and a dwarf discussing some sort of payment for a mission.
Alastor looks at the owlbear and tells him, “Neeché, hide in the woods while I talk with them. If there is a quest to be had follow along but stay out of sight.”
The owlbear lumbers into the forest and watches. Alastor approaches the adventurers…[The end of this tale is the beginning of the 4e campaign I am using Alastor in.]