A Kind of Homecoming
Build: Hunter Ranger
Fighting Style: Archer Fighting Style
Str 10, Con 14, Dex 20, Int 8, Wis 17, Cha 10.
AC: 22, Fort: 18, Reflex: 21, Will: 18
HP: 51, Surges: 8, Surge Value: 12
Level 1: Twilight Adept
Level 2: Lethal Hunter
Level 4: Hobbling Strike
Level 6: Battle Caster Defense
Ranger at-will 1: Nimble Strike
Ranger at-will 1: Twin Strike
Ranger encounter 1: Two-Fanged Strike
Ranger daily 1: Skirmishing Stance
Ranger utility 2: Begin the Hunt
Ranger encounter 3: Disruptive Strike
Ranger daily 5: Flying Steel
Ranger utility 6: Perfect Balance
Belt Pouch (2)
Oil (1 pint) (2)
Hide Armor of Exploits +1
Thunderburst Longbow +1
Bracers of Archery (heroic tier)
Power Jewel (heroic tier)
Peacemaker’s Periapt +2
Inescapable Longsword +1
Defensive Scourge +1
Late in the evening after the battle at Markus’ home Theros sits by the fire pondering his past. Sitting on a log staring silently at two piles of hair, one snow white and the other jet black. So lost in thought he doesn’t seem to notice Rassimohn approaching.
As he settles in next to Theros, Rassimohn looks at the hair with no little confusion, and asks Theros what he is doing. Theros replies, haven’t you ever wondered why I never told you anything about my life prior to joining up with the Crimson Feyahr just before… St. Wynfrith? I guess this fight just got me thinking about it. Rassimohn replies we all have our pasts, and much of mine I would rather not talk about so I guess I just figured you we the same way.
Theros looked into the fire for a long time and said my given name is Turin Taltheros but the street urchins I ran with in Helgabal couldn’t get it right so I eventually was just Theros. Did your father ever mention my name? Rassimohn thought for a minute and said no, not that I recall. Why did you know him before? Yes, and if I had lived my life honorably in my youth I’m sure he would have talked about me. In fact you would have probably even know me your entire life. With a confused look, Rassimohn said go on.
Theros picked up a single strand of hair from each pile and began to deftly weave them into an intricate pattern. I was born in a small village called Roseglen. I’m not sure if you knew it, but that is where your grandfather was from too. When I was very young the village was attacked in the night and almost everyone was killed. I don’t really remember it, and to be honest I couldn’t even tell you who did it or why.
There were a total of sixteen survivors. Most of us had been away from the village on a several day hunting trip at the time of the attack. My father, my grandfather, your grandfather, and I were among them. Nobody knew what to do or where to go when we returned. We had nothing left. Your grandfather took charge immediately. He was a great man. He had everyone gather what arms and supplies were left to be found in the village, and we moved into the forests. He said we were going to fight to make sure that this never happened to anyone else. He gave an amazingly inspirational speech about how we were going to find the men who did this and kill them all. Naturally, not many of the survivors were skilled fighters, but convinced them that we had to try. He said he would train everyone and we would make them pay no matter how long it took.. Soon I was living in a regular military camp. I was too young to fight, so I was the companies first messenger. Over a couple of years the company grew. At that time he called us the Crimson Thorns in memory of Roseglen. Before I knew it we were fighting on a regular bases. At first we were hired to drive off or kill bandits, defend merchant trains, and stuff like that, but it wasn’t very long before we were involved in much larger things. They really didn’t tell me much because I was so young but I knew we were fighting for money. He never lost sight of the original goal. We were constantly searching for some clue that would lead us to who attached our village and where they could be found.
My father and grandfather were close friends with your grandfather and they were his best scouts. I remember telling them that I wanted to fight and I would be the best archer in the company if they would just give me a chance. My father would just laugh and tell me I would get my chance soon enough, and I shouldn’t go looking for a fight.
As a kid with his head in the clouds watching all the soldiers come and go I always watched the scouts and I knew I would be one. Every night I would dream of myself fighting. With each dream the fights, locations, enemies, and even myself changed, but deep inside I always felt like they were true dreams. For several years I had these dreams and I would tell my father about them and about what I would become. He was listen intently to every story and say he had no doubt that I would be the best. I knew he was just humoring me but the more he said it the harder I worked. My grandfather began to tell me storied about Elith Sel’Galvar the greatest archer of our legends. He said that he fought with a bow that he made with his own hands. The story spoke of the wood he used to construct it singing to him the moment he laid eyes on it. It was said that rather than horse hair he used hair he cut from his grandfather after he fell next to him in a horrible battle with a giant. He claimed that his grandfather guided his hand each time he drew the bow. My father told him to stop filling my head with foolishness, and that these stories were only going to make me to do something foolish someday. I grandfather only laughed and said I was a boy and boys needed stories of heroes to encourage them to do foolish things. Otherwise there would be no more heroes.
Then one day my life changed. We finally some information about who destroyed our village five years earlier. It was a group of orcs and they had been sacking villages a few days east of us. The company came to life in an instant. Everyone knew in their hearts that there would finally be justice. I begged to go along, but I was told it was far too dangerous, and I was left in the rear with your grandmother and infant father . Several days past and I had a terrible feeling that something had gone horribly wrong. About an hour later your grandfather and twelve men of the original fifty came into camp dragging wounded bodies. My family wasn’t with them. I was kept away while their wounds were tended but I managed to sneak in to see your grandfather sometime later.
Theros paused to grab some more hair and adding an even greater level of complexity to his weaving. This part is a little fuzzy. It was all like a bad dream. I remember he had the saddest look in his eyes. He didn’t say anything for the longest time. Then he sighed and said I had the right to know what happened. He told me they were eager for revenge and extremely over confident. They come over a small rise and saw about 75 orcs breaking camp to run. In a fervent rage the company charged. By the time the realized what was happening it was too late. It was an ambush. Two large band of orcs each lead by a Giant were laying in wait and struck from each side as they engaged the camp.
Wiping a tear from his eye, he said, I’m sorry son they didn’t make it. The fight was bloody and it was all I could do to stay alive. When the orcs broke and ran I started looking for your father. I found them on the left flank. Your father was already gone and your grandfather was bleeding badly. I shouted for a healer, but they were also in the rear of the left flank when they ambushers struck. They were the first to go down. Your grandfather reached up with a shaking hand and cut a big chunk of hair from his head. He looked me in the eye and said that he was an old man and he had seen enough death to know he wasn’t going to make it. He said he wanted me to cut the rest of his hair and your grandfather hair and bring it to you. He asked me to tell you that he believes in you and that you have it in you to be the next Elith Sel’Galvar. Your grandfather cried openly for several minutes. Then he said, I don’t know about any magic bow strings boy, but did as he asked. He pulled two washed leather bags from his pocket and handed them to me. Take these and remember them son. They were great men.
Theros pointed at the two leather pouches at his feet. I have carried them with me but never did anything with them. They are all I have left of my family. From that day forward your grandfather was my family. He took me in and he and your grandmother cared for me.
That day he changed the name of the company to the Crimson Feyahr and set to rebuilding the company. Something changed in him that day as well. I could never put my finger on it but he became more distant and militant. I was still too young to fight at 13 even though I thought I was old enough. The fighting we got involved in got progressively more bloody and the reputation of the company grew. within six months it was larger than ever and being drug into every major fight in the realm.
Fearing for our safety he took your grandmother, father and I to Helgabal and got us a small house in the city. I became resentful for being abandoned… at least that is how I saw it. Your grandmother quickly lost control of me, and she had her hands full caring for your father on her own. Rather than fight with me she let me come and go as I pleased. She never said anything about it but I knew in my heart that I was breaking hers.
I fell into the darkest part of my life. I became a thief and a cut throat. I didn’t care what I did or who it hurt. I was only interested in getting money and impressing my lowlife friends with the risks I would take to get it. My reputation grew quickly as a fearless second story thief who wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty if things got rough.
I became friends with a kid named Simon Smally, but everyone called him Slick. He was known as the best thief and con artist in Helgabal. For five years we worked together taking everything that wasn’t nailed down and most of what was. My reputation continued to grow among the less desirables of the city and I was soon know as the best thief around.
One afternoon Slick came running up saying that he was just offered our best job yet. It was risky but there was a lot of money to be made. Interested I listened intently to his tale of a man with his face hidden by a cowled hood approaching him that morning. He told Slick that he wanted us to rob the head of the Jeweler’s Guild. The jeweler is out of town until tomorrow so it should be easy. Slick held up a bag. With a glint in his eye he said fifty gold pieces each! The man also said we could also keep anything we find as long as we bring him a black box the jeweler keeps in a compartment under the floor of his strong room. Skeptical, I said are you crazy? It will be guarded. Slick said I don’t know it may be, but I get the feeling that we don’t want to tell him no. He said to do it tonight or he would get someone else and we would be… taken care of… I for one and going, but you do what you want Theros. Against my better judgment I agreed to go.
It proved to be easier than I thought… Too easy looking back on it now. There was one guard on the back door sleeping in a chair. I raised my crossbow and put an arrow through his eye. He never made a sound as he slumped in the chair. We picked the lock and quickly dragged the guard and his chair inside. Slick said we have to be quick. He will be waiting out back to get the box in fifteen minutes. We broke into the strong room and I filled my pockets while Slick looked for the box. I had never seen so much wealth. Slick said the box isn’t here. Filling his pockets as he made for the door he said, we are running out of time. I’ll go out back to tell him we are working on it, and you check the jeweler’s room. I’ll take him with me and we’ll you back at the Shiny Penny. (That was an in we liked to drink at.) I didn’t like it but I agreed.
I snuck up the stairs and into the jeweler’s room. As I stepped into the room I saw a shape in the bed and froze. As I approached the bed slowly, I saw that there was no movement. It was the head of the Jeweler’s Guild with a dagger standing out of his chest.
I ran to the window and say Slick talking to a squad of royal guard. As I watched him smile up at me I heard the boots on the steps. I looked for a way to escape, but there was only one door and there were bars on the window. I tried to fight my way free, but there were too many. I was struck with the flat of a sword and everything went black.
The next thing I remember I was in a cell. I spent several weeks before anyone would even speak to me. Then I was informed I was to be executed.
I’m not sure how he found out about it, but the next morning your grandfather came to see me. With a disappointed look on his face he asked me how things came to this. I broke down and told him everything. He shook his head and walked away crying and said I’m sorry I failed you. I was baffle. I just kept thinking that he didn’t do this, I did.
The next morning they came to lead me out. I went without saying a word. I was lead into the executioner’s square with twenty other men. On the observation platform, I could see a man would could only have been king Dragonsbane, and your grandfather was standing next to him. One by one the men were executed. I was last in line and was forced to watch my fate played out over and over again.
When it was my turn I stepped up like and with every ounce of courage I had I refused the hood and put my head on the block looking at the king. As I waited I saw the king hold up a hand and everyone stopped. He looked down at me and said I will pardon this may by royal decree under the condition that he submits himself to enlistment under the commander of the Crimson Feyahr. Yet again your grandfather saved me.
He came to see me and said he was going to release me from service and he never wanted to see me again. He told me if I was going to follow this way of life at least I could put my skills to good use. He handed me a piece of paper with a man’s name on it and with the word Spysong above it. He said find him and try to redeem yourself. I found him that afternoon, and worked for him until the horrible night Yarin Frostmantle had him killed. When they came for me was able to escape, and I ran to the only person I could think of. Your Grandfather. He forgave me and took me in.
That is my story. I hope you don’t think less of me.
Theros reached down and picked-up a piece of burled almost black wood almost six feet long. Tonight after the fight I sat for a minute catching my breath and I felt something drawing me toward the forest. Not singing, but pulling. before I knew it I was standing in front of this. He fell silent for a minute then said I am going to make my bow now. I think I have to…