The World We Never Knew
== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ==
Namib, level 1
Razorclaw Shifter, Druid
Build: Swarm Druid
Primal Aspect: Primal Swarm
Background: Geography – Desert, Shifter – Persecution, Early Life – Isolated, Isolated, Occupation – Poison Master, Parentage – Raised by Jackals (Bluff class skill)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 13, Dex 13, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 15.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 13, Dex 11, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 15.
AC: 14 Fort: 11 Reflex: 12 Will: 15
HP: 25 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 6
Nature +9, Insight +9, Bluff +7, Endurance +5, Intimidate +7
Acrobatics +2, Arcana, Diplomacy +2, Dungeoneering +4, Heal +4, History, Perception +4, Religion, Stealth +2, Streetwise +2, Thievery, Athletics -1
Druid: Ritual Caster
Level 1: Sly Dodge
Druid at-will 1: Swarming Locusts
Druid at-will 1: Chill Wind
Druid at-will 1: Pounce
Druid encounter 1: Stinging Cloud
Druid daily 1: Summon Pack Wolf
Ritual Book, Adventurer’s Kit, Hide Armor, Totem
Animal Messenger, Traveler’s Camouflage, Dowsing Rod
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My earliest memories elude me like dust drifting across the cracked mud of the badlands. I can remember the sand, the heat, and the biting wind, but I can’t remember their faces. There is one memory though, that I will never forget.
It was Ambrymont or Svwifmont. I’m not sure. Either way it was as hot as the chaos. A salamander would have felt right at home. The last of the Pangi Cactus plants were drained dry of their precious moisture and it was time for the tribe to move on. We were preparing to make the yearly migration from Sune canyon to the Garbashi Shrublands far west of Fallcrest.
The tribe was breaking down the last of our felt huts and preparing to break camp. I think it was morning. I couldn’t have been more than three or four years old. I remember dropping my breakfast, a juicy slice of Pangi. It fell on the ground and became covered in dust. I began to bawl. As the tears started flowing down my cheeks, something happened that shocked me senseless and to this day haunts my memory like a fiery brand.
A great wind filled the canyon around us lifting all manners of dirt and sand into a swirling, stinging cyclone. Our beasts panicked, and began to stampede and ran amok trampling some of us. I remember seeing an old shifter woman; I know she was a fortune teller by her colourful scarves and bandana. She was crushed and broken before my very eyes as two camels and a water buffalo charged madly thither. As her blood began to seep into the sand of the canyon floor, a shadow fell over the camp. High above us, through the dust, I could see a huge, winged form descending on us. The sound of thunder cracked and boomed in the air, but there were no clouds in the sky.
Just as a group of frightened and confused shifter warriors assembled to face the strange threat, a bolt of lightning streaked from the shadowy form, striking the ground right in the middle of the warriors. A huge burst of lighting flashed out and they all collapsed on the ground, incapacitated and twitching. The smell of ozone was thick as the shadow reached the earth. Huge wings folded out, completely blotting out the sun, to grasp the air, but it was so massive. It’s landing was ruinous and thundering. A thick cloud of dust flied from it into the faces of my people, choking and blinding us. After retching and choking, and clawing at my face, I saw what had arrived.
An ancient blue dragon stood before us. The sun, now reflecting off of its azure scales was brilliant and dazzling, but the dragon’s eyes were smoky and murderous. He shrewdley summed us up, gazing to and fro with those cold, calculating orbs. As he reviewed us, our people could do naught but cower; for the dragon, Culdreth is his name, has an overwhelming presence that can cause even the mightiest of men to seize up in fear.
As he glared upon us, I could hear the tromping sound of heavily armed people approaching from all directions. Just as the braver and nimbler shifters were regaining their feet, mercenaries clad in dark iron armor were upon them like rabid dogs. The soldiers, dragonborn most of them, were savage. They struck down anyone who looked at them with cruel, damaging blows. I watched as they quickly subdued the strongest three of our warriors; slitting their throats as the tribe watched on, horrified. As they terrorized us, a beautiful young shifter woman stealthily gathered me up in her arms and bundled me inside her cloak. Sobbing, she whispered for me to hide and stay silent and leapt aside into a clump of sage. She quickly pushed me under the plant and then rolled aside to bear the mercenaries’ wrath. I could hear the thump of chain-clad boots approaching nearby, the sound of a blade swooshing through the air, a gurgling noise , and then two thumps as the body and head of the woman fell to the ground. I’ll never know if that was my mother. I still can’t remember their faces no matter how hard I try.
I became so scarred and traumatized that I have large gaps in my memory. After the woman was killed I blocked out almost everything. This is conjecture, but I suspect that I lay there in shock unseen and overlooked under the bush as the mercenaries, under the dragon’s orders bound and enslaved my people, stole their posessions, and slaughtered those they thought were undesirable or too troublesome to keep. The last thing I remember is the sound of chains echoing off of the canyon walls, becoming fainter until the only sound remaining was my ragged, shuddering breath.
I became quite feral. A natural predilection towards survival helped me thrive somehow, alone in the wastes. Even at a very young age I could hunt well. I was skilled at catching desert hares and mice and so sustained myself for months, feeding on the meager rodents and cacti. Eventually, as the seasons turned, I found myself roaming farther and farther afield searching for food and territory. It was at the end of Flaurmont when I foolishly set out to leave the canyon and find someone. I had been alone for almost half a year. I didnt have the experience to know that the hot season was just starting.
As I headed out of the canyons towards the Garbashi, I unwittingly headed in the direction my tribe was departing when they were captured. As I had no destination in mind, I wandered the parched lowlands that led on for miles in all directions. As the days went on water became too scarce. The cacti I depended on for moisture did not grow here and there were no streams or creeks as in the canyon during Numont.
I went without food for several days, managing only to catch one vulture picking at the remains of a dried-out gopher. The vulture blood sustained me for a short time, but I ended up collapsing with heat stroke, 10 days travel from the mouth of the canyon in a dry gully.
An old hermit found me, laying before the Raven Queen’s door. It’s incredible in fact. I sometimes wonder at the chances. Nobody lives or dwells in the lowlands around the canyon mouth. It is a miracle that he was there on that fateful day to find me. I once asked what he was doing out there. I don’t know if I believe him, but he told me that his pet raven, Kaw, had run away. Kaw, being his only friend was dear to him, so he chased Kaw all the way to where I lay with Kaw perched upon a rock by my side.
I would tell you his name, but it is a sound of the desert and would have no meaning to you. I can tell you he took me in and taught me the ways of the land. I remained with him for years, learning and growing. He was a longtooth shifter and very wise, though he hardly spoke at all. The first time I heard him speak, I had already been with him for some time. It was the first time I had heard a person speak in almost three years. I burst into tears confused at the sudden flood of memories. I remembered my people, but not their faces. I did not understand him at first and so he slowly taught me how to speak in the way people speak. Understand that we did not need speech to communicate, we were able to communicate as animals would with body language, scents, and empathy, but he taught me that there were others in the world who I would have to treat with.
As I became skilled and strong, my mentor taught me how to speak with animals and summon their spirits. He taught me how to hunt, how to survive, how to blend in. He taught me of the Raven Queen and her ways and of the primal spirits of the desert. Finally, he told me of the towns and settlements and of people.
To be continued…
Stuff to talk about later:
-Fascinated with insects and vermin and their poison
-Continually searching for his family