Holy Paladin of the Spires
The world can be a terrible, unforgiving, and downright miserable place that is full of darkness. I should know, I’ve experienced more than enough darkness to last me a few lifetimes. My tribe called The Breaks mountain range home. When I was old enough to hold a weapon, my parents sold me off into slavery to strangers from below the clouds.
Supposedly they received enough food to last them two winters. At least that’s what the men told me as I aged and started asking questions. Guess being a Goliath child makes you a valuable trade commodity. Lucky me.
The first few years were the hardest for me. I didn’t know what was going on exactly, only that I left my family and tribe. The men were cruel towards me every chance they could. Most of them picked on me, while others starved me, and at night the ones without partners did things to me.
Like I said, the first few years were the hardest. After a while, everything seemed to blur together. My next set of memories are from when I started to reach my growth spurt. One of the men, Gerald Niom, gave me a sword and a shield and taught me the basics of fighting. Scars are a quick teaching lesson. Once I understood the basics, the men took me on their raids. I was already taller than most of the men by my thirteenth year, at a few inches over six feet.
I lost count of the lives I took during the next two years. That’s what those men did for a living. They would rob and kill anyone that had something valuable. It didn’t matter if the people offered up their wares without a fight. We… I killed them anyway. It’s what I was told to do. I tried to resist at first, but there were more of them than me. They punished me if I didn’t do what they demanded.
Just like when I was younger.
When they first took me.
Then one day, during my fifteenth year, we came across a group of travelers. Just like always, majority of us hid out of sight, waiting for them to draw near, while a few remained closer to make the call for us to rush out. But something unusual happened. Their party stopped several yards away from our spot. The closest man, their leader, casually dismounted from his steed and casually strolled forward. He was short, shorter than those in my group. I later learned he and his companions are dwarves. His dark armor gleamed and reflected the sun’s light, even though it had marks of battle. The man bore a long two-handed ax on his back. Draped over one shoulder was a cape that fell to his knees. It lazily flipped in the wind. And by the Spires above, he had a glorious beard that ended in two long braided strands.
His voice was strong and he spoke with confidence, as a man who knows when he gives an order those around him will follow them. “To those of you hiding. I, Theodalin Rockhammer, third of my name, and loyal servant to my King as well as the Great Spires, am offering you this one warning. Lay down your weapons and come out from the darkness so the light may shine upon you. Do this, and I promise you that no harm will fall upon you this day. My King will allow you to live if you come with us. You will be tried for your crimes and if found guilty, will serve you time in our mines and forges. You will receive food, clothes and a proper roof over your heads.”
The path was eerily calm. The wind blew and you could hear the whistling trees grow louder as time stretched on. I felt myself sweating. Did I want to lay down my weapon? We’ve beaten fighters before, and with all of that gear, we might have enough supplies we wouldn’t need to work until next year.
“Bugger off you stumpy little bastard. We’ll be the only ones leaving today. You and your stumpy coal eaters will be soaking the ground with your blood,” our leader barked out in defiance. Several of the men roared in approval, slapping their weapons against anything hard for noise.
Theodalin stood his ground like a stone statue, features never-changing. That’s high praise coming from a guy with blue, rocky skin myself.
“Does this man truly speak for all of you? If not, I ask only that you lay down your weapons and come forth. Take this final chance to save your souls before blood is spilled this day. Your band has been a blight in this area for years. And it is time that you pay your dues for the atrocities that you and your kind have committed,” he said with total clarity and calmness. I watched his men; there were about twelve of them and everyone were just as calm as he.
How could they remain so calm when we outnumbered them three-to-one? What gave him such confidence?
After a few years of waiting, a couple of our fighters made their way onto the path: hands empty of weapons. I’ve seen injured game with stronger body language. Before they reached Theodalin, the sound of javelins crashing into their backs broke the silence. Theodalin face changed to total shock, he must have the same thought I was; Why? The fighters had been struck down by their own party.
“Let that be a lesson to anyone else with thoughts of betraying us,” our Boss yelled. “This is our land. If you’re not willing to fight for it, then you’ll be as dead as these stump humpers.”
Within a heartbeat, everything changed. The air turned thick and I couldn’t seem to catch my breath. Theodalin unleashed a powerful battle cry, his men following his lead. Our men screamed out in response. I watched as our fighters lunged from our hiding spots, descending on the strangers. The world filled with screams and the music of metal clashing against metal.
But why hadn’t I charged in as well? My brain told me to act, but my body was betraying me. I felt as if a massive pressure was keeping me locked to that spot. I saw Theodalin swing a heavy blow that cut through two of our fighters. As he regained his footing, his gaze swirled around onto me. We were probably thirty javelin lengths apart, but I knew he was staring at me.
The air grew thicker, the sun brighter, and all sound in the world crashed into me.
Six lights surrounded me. The ground rumbled beneath my feet before ripping apart – tossing me back as if I was a mere pebble in the way. In fact, I was. A great tower emerged from the ground and began growing like a mighty tree. It stood in the center of the six lights. Above the tower was another, more powerful and brighter light. I could see lights reaching out from the mighty tower through the ground. They spread like roots, reaching out to the other six lights.
It was beautiful.
I fumbled to my knees and tears began flowing down my face as I stared in awe at the spectacle. From all directions the Light folded around me, embracing me. Warming me with its power. The Light whispered into me. It was forgiving me, tearing away all the darkness that had been around my soul. Once the darkness had vanished, the Light filled me with visions – choices I could make from this moment forth.
One was of me finding my parents, trying to reconcile with them. That void I had inside of me, the questions of why they abandoned me. Another was of me traveling the world, being on my own and finally free from the bandits who raised me. Another was of me peacefully ascending into the sky, leaving no trace I had ever been on this plane.
Then there was the final vision, the one I felt was… no, knew was my true path. The Light had filled an empty vessel: my body. Once it was seething with darkness, but I knew there was a seed of Light inside now. With proper care and nourishment, it would grow and expand like the roots I saw stretching from the great Spire before me. I saw myself working with the Light to fight the darkness that sought to consume this world. I wouldn’t turn away from the gift the Light had given me.
Several days passed before I finally awoken. According to the little man who was near my bed when I finally awoken. He was nice and used a gentle voice with me. The little man told me his name was Liam and explained how I had managed to come under his care. Theodalin and his party had cleared out most of the men I had been living with for the greater part of my life; a few managed to escape. Liam didn’t sound angry at that part, but I could see the emotion in his face. Evil had squirmed away from justice, and it was something that had to be done.
It was after the battle had settle, that the men came upon my body. Theodalin had sensed something when he found me, and had decided to bring me back to their temple. Which is where I was now, according to Liam.
My recovery was long and difficult. The bandits had destroyed me mentally. I was nothing more than an animal all those years. It was something I never noticed.
Theodalin and his kind belonged to a temple worshiping the Great Spires of the world; and he was a Paladin of the Spire. Over the course of the following two decades. I worked with their order and devoted my life to serving the Great Spire. Their temple was in the Dwarven City, one of the mighty cities surrounding the Great Spire. Theodalin had become my mentor and guided me on my path, helping me to nourish the seed of Light that resided inside of me.
A very long time passed before I was willing to pick up a weapon again, and the others respected my wishes. It wasn’t until a few years ago when one of our order had a vision of darkness slithering out again, spreading its dark shadows. That night I had a dream of the my vision with the Great Spire, and I saw myself wielding a weapon of light, fighting against the darkness.
I knew it was time I began the next part of my path. With the help of Theodalin and the others, I began training and working to become a Paladin of the Spire.
These last few decades I had found a home. Settled down in this city and with the others of my order. I had finally put down roots and allowed them to stretch to all aspects of my life. Unlike those years I was with the bandits, never knowing a proper home or family.The seed of Light inside of me was ready to bloom.
I was ready to become a Paladin.
Name: Paenkoi Kiirnodel
Eyes: Charcoal Grey
Skin: Kyanite Blue
Hair: Shaven Bald.
Facial Hair: Full beard with a braided knot that drapes down to my chest.
Clothing: Comfortable traveling clothes under a suit of darken metal chain mail
Favored weapons: Long sword and a scutum style shield with my religions symbol.
Gem: Hexagonal Bastnäsite gem on the inside of left wrist
Hobbies: Training to keep my wits about me. Worshiping my faith in order to keep my mental state as sharp as my blade. Helping those around me in need, allowing my faith to shield others from the darkness.
I also enjoy singing and whittling small objects from wood I find on my travels.
Personality: Kind and gentle. Growing up with a dark past left a terrible stain on my soul. Even though the Light had cleansed me, I will never forget the pain and suffering I caused. With that, I will do whatever it takes to help anyone that seeks redemption or those who find themselves covered by darkness.
Highlights: (These are more for my GM and my outline I used to create this character.)
- Parents sold me into slavery
- Raised as a fighter and a bandit
- Dwarves saved me and took me in
- Raised up in a Temple of the Spires
- Voice spoke to me, and that day forth, I knew I would dedicate my life to the Spires and helping others, much like the dwarves who saved me had done