Heirs to Shadow
A Noble Heart Beating Within a Savage Breast
|Also Known As: Nishi No Oni||Class: Fighter||Level: 1|
|Race: Orc||Subrace: N/A||Alignment: Lawful Good|
|Height: 5’9" (176.5cm)||Weight: 217lbs (98.6kg)||Age: 18|
|Hair: Black||Eyes: Amber||Skin Colour: Grey|
|Homeland: Wa (Kara Tur)||Religion:
||Background: Noble (Knight)|
|Armour Class: 16||Hit Points: 13|
|Str 18||Bonus: + 4||Save: + 6|
|Dex 8||Bonus: – 1||Save: – 1|
|Con 16||Bonus: + 3||Save: + 5|
|Int 12||Bonus: + 1||Save: + 1|
|Wis 10||Bonus: 0||Save: 0|
|Cha 10||Bonus: 0||Save: 0|
|Acrobatics – 1||Lore: Strategy/Tactics: 2|
|Animal Handling 0||Medicine: 0|
|Arcana: 1||Nature: 1|
|Athletics: 6||Perception: 2|
|Deception: 0||Performance: 0|
|History: 3||Persuasion: 2|
|Insight: 0||Religion: 1|
|Intimidation: 2||Sleight Of Hand: – 1|
|Investigation: 1||Stealth: – 1|
|Lore: Art 2||Survival: 0|
|Languages:||Wa, Common, Orcish, Dwarven|
|Tools:||Calligraphers Supplies, Gaming (Dragonchess)|
|Weapons:||Simple Melee: X, Military Melee: X|
|Weapons:||Simple Ranged: X, Military Ranged: X|
|Armour:||Light: X, Medium: X, Heavy: X, Shields: X|
|Greatsword||+ 6||2d6 + 4 S||Heavy, Two Handed|
|Longsword||+ 6||1d8 + 4 S||Versatile (1d10 + 4)|
|Shortsword||+ 6||1d6 + 4 P||Finesse, Light|
|Dagger||+ 6||1d4 + 4 P||Finesse, Light, Thrown|
|Quarterstaff||+ 6||1d6 + 4 B||Versatile (1d8 + 4)|
|Relentless Endurance: When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.|
|Savage Attacks: When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.|
|Fighting Style: Great Weapon Fighting – When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the Two-Handed or Versatile property for you to gain this benefit.|
|Second Wind: You have a limited well of stamina that you can draw on to protect yourself from harm. On your turn, you can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10 + your Fighter level. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.|
|Ashwood Fairmantle. Human ex-slave, now confidante and majordomo. Mid 30s. Kind and helpful. (NG).|
|Rowan Fairmantle. Human ex-slave, now herald/squire. About 12 years old. Serious but also fun loving. (NG).|
|Vondal Coldforge. Dwarven Smith. Mid 70s, gruff but kind. Master metalworker. (LN).|
|Personality Trait||I judge people by their actions, not their words.|
|Ideal||It is my duty to protect and care for the people beneath me.|
|Bond||I protect those who cannot protect themselves.|
|Flaw||Once someone questions my courage, I never back down no matter how dangerous the situation.|
It was a time of war and hardship. Jin Veru, one of the minor despots that call themselves Shogun in the provinces of Wa was pressed from two sides of his minor realm, and for her safety (and because despite his despotic nature he actually loved her) he sent his wife Maru away on a diplomatic mission to the West.
Maru was supposed to make contact with the Court of Azoun IV in Cormyr, but her entourage was set upon by elves when travelling through the Cormanthor forest. Bruised and bleeding the survivors managed to make it out of the forest, before collapsing hungry and weak from exposure a few miles from the treeline. As luck would have it, a hunting party from the nearby Orcish city of Gondar found them, and saved their lives.
They were nursed back to health by the Orcs, and were subjects of great interest – their skin colour, dress style and language was unlike anything the Orcs had ever encountered. It even drew the attention of the Clan Masters youngest son, who visited Jin Maru every day. As days turned to weeks, he found himself falling in love with her, and tried to convince her to stay. Maru, for her part, loved the noble Orc, and if fates had been kinder, probably would have stayed, but she was already married and to abandon her husband would have brought great dishonour to her. So after consummating their love only the once, Maru was escorted back to the edges of the ‘Unapproachable East’ (as the lands of Kara Tur are known) by the Clans bravest warriors.
By the time she arrives home, some six months after she left, the wars that occupied her husband’s time were done, and their Shogunate was almost three times the size it used to be. No longer loving her husband, she still went through the motions of being pleased to see him, although her mind (and her heart) were far away.
Months later, Maru gave birth to her firstborn. The child that would be heir to the Shogunate. When the boy was born, it was clear that she had been unfaithful to her husband, as instead of the pure features of the human clan, the baby’s features were dark and demonic in appearance. The baby had a greyish tint to its skin, a sloping forehead, and a jutting jawline speaking of a demonic origin (as Orcs are almost unheard of in Wa). The mother was imprisoned for her dishonour, though the son was spared, because despite his obvious appearance he was an innocent. Even so, he was hidden away in a monastery being trained by warrior-priests.
With such a demonic appearance, it was unlikely that he would ever inherit the title, so instead he trained as a warrior. In this role he excelled, though his companions throughout his training never quite trusted him. In fact they were often accusing him of bestial traits, and trying to make him appear less than he was to his instructors. Because of this, his temper grew short and he learned to trust only a select few people, and to defend and assist those he called his Clan with his life, and honour.
While he worked, and trained, and served the priests that raised him, he was allowed to secretly visit his mother. During their visits, she told him of his true father, and of the wonderful “kind demons” that lived to the West. She taught him the demons language, and filled his heart with honour and nobility, of a people that fought against prejudice and co-existed with humans. He was filled with awe and wonder at the City of Demons which was called “Gonudaru”, and vowed, that one day, he would visit and introduce himself to his father.
After his training was complete, he returned to the Lords castle, and knelt before his… mothers husband… (to call him ‘father’ would be a lie…) and the Shogun looked down at the grey skinned creature before him, and saw only the indiscretion of his wife. He decided to pit the ‘creature’ against greater and greater foes, until it fell in battle… Maru begged for her sons life, begged for an alternative to being put to certain death. With loathing in his voice, Viru told the “Demon of the West” (Nishi no Oni, a name he still wears like a millstone around his neck to this day) to prove himself worthy of being part of his family. He challenged him to perform some great act of heroism, or die trying. He threw the boy a purse full of coins as “the only inheritance you’re going to get”, and banished him. Then in a fit of anger at her dishonour, Viru drove a sword through Maru’s heart, killing her. Gai watched as his mothers lifeblood pooled upon the floor of the throneroom, and cried out as he saw as the spark of life leave her body.
Screaming in rage and pain, Gai took his weapons and armour, including his No-Daichi (Greatsword), Katana (Longsword), and Wakizashi (Shortsword) which had been given to him as honour blades by the priests of Hachiman when he had completed his training. He gathered up all of his possessions, into a small backpack and set out to ‘prove himself’. He swore to Hachiman that one day he would return and put an end to Viru’s tyrannical reign. He placed Maru’s signet ring gingerly upon his little finger and waved a sad goodbye to the warrior-priests, who had been the few people in his life that had looked past the grey skin and protrusive teeth, to see the heart of the noble warrior that beat beneath. With nothing but what he carried, he set forth to find his real fathers city.
With barely suppressed rage and sorrow, Gai travels west, meeting people on the road that are terrified of his visage, but they soon find the warrior to be a honourable and good man. The trip west takes weeks, and just as he crosses into the lands of Thay, he encounters a group of red-robed Thayans dragging a chain of human slaves towards a huge throne made of human bones. Around the throne, ritual casters are chanting the start of a spell, which cannot bode well for the captives. Gai leaps into action, swinging left and right with his no-daichi felling Thayans left and right. Unfortunately he is not fast enough and some of the ritualists get to finish the incantation. Before his eyes, several of the slaves drop dead… but stand up once more, eyes blank, and movement lurching and uncoordinated. The Thayans were turning their slaves into zombies!
With renewed vigour, Gai attacked the remaining Thayans, and slew them all before any more innocents could be transformed. Then his attention turned to the raised dead themselves. By the time he was done, only three people stood. Gai, and the two surviving slaves, a middle aged man and his young daughter. The man introduced himself as Ashwood Fairmantle, a merchant from the Dalelands who was on a trip to see Family near Glarandar in Aglarond nearly nine years ago when their caravan was attacked by an undead army, and they were captured by the Thayans. They had lived as slaves since then, but they were no longer considered ‘useful’ by their masters, so they were being “converted” for the army of the dead. His daughter Rowan was originally being used as collateral, kept as insurance of Ashwoods good behaviour. Though that changed this morning when they decided to convert all of the household slaves. Ashwood and Rowan accompany Gai on the rest of his journey, no longer having much of a home to go to in the Dalelands, and owing the Orcish warrior their lives.
The three travel together, and Gai enjoys the company of the intelligent man and his energetic and optimistic daughter. He takes Rowan under his wing, and starts to teach her the tenets of the code he lives by, as they travel, and is overjoyed when she takes to the ways of bushido like a duck to water.
It is not long after that, they the trio arrive at the gates of Gondar. Gai finds his father is now the Culture Master, with his uncles in various positions of power within the city. While he is presenting himself to his father, a young dwarf stumbles out into the throneroom, and kneels beside Gai and his friends. He introduces himself as Vondal Coldforge, first of his name, who has been living in the shadows of the Orcish city for his whole life, and no longer wants to exist as a nonentity. He throws himself at Gai’s mercy as a visiting dignitary but the Orcs of the city immediately suspect the Dwarf of being responsible for several acts of sabotage that they think they have suffered in the city in the last few years.
Seeing what was likely to be about to happen, Gai stepped in the way, and stared down the Orcs, demanding proof of the accusations before he would allow the Dwarf to be punished for his accused crimes. After several days of investigation, it was determined that the “sabotage” was not sabotage at all, merely unfortunate happenstances. The Orcs grudgingly accepted the Dwarfs innocence, but would not accept his freedom within the city. So Gai took him on as a personal smith, and as part of his retinue, Vondal was given a place measure of respect and freedom with the Orcs.
The Orcs respect Gai’s forthright nature and backbone. His willingness to face down anything or anyone in order to defend his point of view. Unfortunately, that gains him a few rivals in the city, and even with his fathers protection, it is soon obvious that he needs to leave to find his “great act”. So with Ashwood, Rowan and Vondal, he leaves the city, to seek his fortune.