Adventures through Kells
There was once, or there once will be, a great calamity engulfing all the planes, all the dimensions, and all times in absolute chaos. As some planes crash together and others threaten to tear themselves apart, an anomaly emerges. The material plane becomes an amalgam of far-off realms, and alternate times. Unknown to all but the most accomplished scholars, this is both a past state as well as a future destiny.
The people living in this time knew it only as a time of great strife, but were blind to the scope of the threat they faced. No one seemed to notice that the town next to them was now across the planet, or that the river flowing to the north was actually a river from a different dimension, from a time that had not yet come to pass. The inhabitants of the material plane simply could not comprehend the violence of planar instability. Their minds instead retreating inwards and creating a false sense of normalcy.
It was during this period, where all was on the verge of collapse, that a group of heroes emerged and brought order through great personal sacrifice. The great druid, Drake, gave up his life to bring the natural world across all the planes into harmony. The great monk, Vizo the immaculate brought balance to all the people. Rodriguez, a powerful mage, became the guide that brought order to the paths between planes. A stealthy archer, who’s name has been lost, felled all who dared spread chaos to the planes. And Aaeru Altii held closed the gate between the planes and the outer void.
At some point in the future, the gate to the beyond will break, a race of sentient constructs named shardminds will be born from the pieces, and the planes will begin their hurtle toward the chaos that will be and once has been. It is this gate that Altii is destined to keep shut beyond all limits of time.
This is the creation story told through the generations in a certain small valley tribe. According to legend, Altii is the name of their founder. Their revered ancient was a barbarian from a tribe much like theirs. One day, he left his tribe in order to found his own that would be comprised of only the strongest warriors and it would put his old tribe to shame. At the start of his travels, he encountered a legendary barbarian who impaled his 300 lb. greatsword into the ground and challenged Altii to take it. After several failures, and after being beaten to within an inch of his life as punishment for his weakness, Altii put his life on the line and was able to tap into an internal rage and desperation that allowed him to draw the sword from the ground.
At first, only strong enough to drag it along the ground, Altii spent years traveling and fighting with the unwieldy weapon in tow, every day feeding his rage like a carefully tended fire. His strength and rage grew every day and eventually he became capable of wielding the monstrosity with absolutely devastating effects. He gathered only the strongest around him, asking only that they take his family name and swear tribal oaths of brotherhood. His strength and rage bypassed the limits of mortal flesh and he became blessed by Kord, becoming capable of the might to lift mountains, the will to maintain reason while in the depths of rage, and a rage so hot he would erupt in flames whenever he entered his battle trance. After himself rising to the status of demigod, he dedicated his power to keeping shut the door to the unfathomable evils of the beyond.
Vyura doesn’t really much believe in all that crap. In the center of his village, there was a huge statue that was supposed to be the weapon Altii carried with him. Vyura has tried, but there is no way anyone short of a giant or maybe a really strong goliath can even make that thing budge. He’s seen it himself, the current tribal leader, Uthaal “Mountainhurler” Altii gained his position by uprooting it and dragging it around. That guy isn’t just big by Goliath standards, he could just be considered short by giant standards! Even he couldn’t do much more than drag it around. There is no way anyone could swing that thing no matter how pissed they were. It’s a cute story and a well crafted statue of a sword, but nothing more than that.
The Altii tribe does function much like an exclusive warrior’s club. The strongest warriors and people with great potential are invited in. Those that are born into the tribe are trained from birth to be the finest war dogs anyone can ever have the misfortune of facing. There is also some evidence that the Altii tribe was once the center of an empire or regional alliance back in it’s heyday. While they no doubt produce the finest fighters, they have lacked in their magical talents, producing few wizards. Today the Altii tribe is strong, but a shadow of their ancient glory.
Vyura was one of the people deemed worthy of recruitment about 55 years ago. He doesn’t remember much about his past, but he’s discovered that he is around 305 years old now. He’s a Shadar-kai, which basically means that he’s infused with shadows and if he doesn’t get off his ass and live a damned hardcore life, he’s going to die like a bitch. He’s fine with it anyways, there’s no room for caution in a life lived to the fullest. If anyone sits on their ass all day, they may as well be dead. Apparently he almost died 55 years ago when he went a little too overboard.
By what Vyura’s heard, he used to be a warlock. One day, a horde of undead were sweeping across the countryside and he thought it would be fun to take them on, take all of them on! so he got everyone to cross a bridge and he tried to hold it against the horde. it was working too. He laughed as he blasted corpses left and right, they were all abominations to his goddess, the Raven Queen. It was the dead of winter and a snowstorm blew in, blocking sight and sound. Using the cover, a zombie wyvern managed to bypass his detection by flying overhead. It landed behind him, sweeping it’s massive spiked tail, and breaking Vyura’s back. as he lay there, the undead horde marched over him and he was trampled.
Three days later, the villagers returned to clear out corpses and Althaea Altii, a Drow ranger, was in town tracking the movement of the dead army. Althaea stopped briefly to help the townsfolk clear the bridge to allow for supplies to reach their village. She was told the story of the warlock that stood against the horde and she was moved by the story, cursing that she hadn’t been there just three days sooner. Amidst all the corpses and all the snow, body after body was piled into a cart. As the cart drove off, one of the bodies woke up. Everyone readied themselves, women fleeing, men readying whatever was on hand, and Althaea drew her bow.
The body fell off the cart and dragged itself on the ground for a few feet, unable to walk. Under closer inspection, the townsfolk realized to their horror that this mangled corpse was in fact Vyura, the warlock, and he was somehow still alive! Althaea began treating his wounds immediately and sent word ahead of her to have a local contact pick up the trail and continue her mission for her. Eventually, he was well enough to be transported and he was brought back to the village where he was given the opportunity to join the tribe.
After 55 years of recovery and training, Vyura has finally begun to regain his mobility, but has lost all of his magical power. His brush with death seems to have ended the contract that gave him his warlock abilities. As far as anyone can tell, it was either that contract or a blessing of the Raven Queen that helped him cheat death that day. Because he lost all his tricks, he set forward to learn the ways of the ranger that once saved him. She trained him whenever she was back in town, but he mostly learned from whoever was around. Althaea hasn’t been back for a couple of years however, being sent on a mission in far off lands. Vyura’s still a scoundrel, but his reckless nature seems to fit right in with the Altii clan. Now that he has regained most of his physical faculties, he’s been trained to hunt dragonborn and shadar-kai. Somewhere in Kells are two skilled warriors, a dragonborn fighter that should be recruited, and a skilled shadar-kai rogue that should either be recruited or put down. It’s Vyura’s mission to find them, his first mission.