Campaign of the Month: January 2014
Greyhawk 937 CY: The Age of Steam
Half Orc Bard And Sailor
Race: Half Orc
Profession: Poet and Explorer
Worships: Lydia and Aislin
Weapons: Staff and Bow
Roderick Bradenton was born to an orc mother and a human father. He would like to believe his father loved his mother; and there is evidence to show that may indeed be true. A young Oerdian noble falls in love with a half orc barmaid. They know each other for years and when they finally consummate their love; they both realize just how constantly fertile orcs are. He knows there were times when his mother was the only person there for his father. He knows there were times his father saved his mother’s life. So it is not impossible to think he truly loved her. It is actually very likely. But then there is the fact that he abandoned her when she became pregnant. That she died brokenhearted and that he grew up an orphan. So maybe he did love her. Maybe he loves her still in some way. But in the end his love could not overcome shame and fear.
It was with the philosophy of that last thought that Roderick lived his youth. He sought out stories of pain and suffering to make his own heart feel better. He watched pain and suffering and did nothing to stop it. And he gathered more stories of horror and pain. But in all of them there was this seed of hope. And in some that were promising to be full of suffering; there were these things…heroes. All of it enraged him. Where was his hero? Why couldn’t it have been the man it should have been: The man who ran away from him and his mother.
So he resolved to kill his father. He was easy enough to track down, he lived in a manor after all. He had a routine. Waiting outside one evening in a tree and prepared to go over the wall, he took a deep breath. Weeks of planning and little sleep were about to pay off…and he would take the life of the man who cost his mother hers.
While in the tree he became aware of a woman looking up at him from the ground. He cursed because he did not want to kill anyone else. Just one man.
The woman was Flan but she was odd. She bore all the marks of their birth seasons. She called up to him, “Roderick…is this your life?”
He was about to yell back that it was the life he was given but he said instead, “Wait…how do you know my name?”
The woman called up, “Because this is a dream Roderick. And a moment of decision. Perhaps if you would have slept for the last week with any consistency…you’d be a murderer by now. My hope is this moment of rest clears your mind. Have a life of your choosing Roderick not one of accidental design directed by the fear and prejudice of others.”
“But…my father abandoned…”
“My father is Nerull, god of darkness and night and all that happens in it. For the longest time he was insane and god of undead and murder. Our parents choices effect us but they do not control our fate. Only our dreams do that.”
“Wait…you’re a goddess….and dreams…so..”
Aislin took out a large saw and started cutting down the tree. “It’s not that hard Roderick…I’m being pretty obvious here. You are five minutes away from murdering your father…I don’t have time to be subtle and cryptic. So time to wake up and make a choice.”
As the dream tree crashed down to earth Roderick found himself face down on the ground, having fallen from the still standing real tree. In his ear he head a final whisper. “you are about to kill your father if you choose. Think. Why are you not killing his wife and child as well?”
Roderick thought. Because he does not have any. He never married. An Oerdian noble who never married? Who never moved on. He thought with a clear head for the first time in days. His father was there in this manor alone. The one or two times he had broken in to explore to make the murder easier he had found evidence of how stern the old parents were. How much they ruled his fahter’s life. He began to think for a moment, maybe his father did not deserve death. He was not sure if he deserved his love. But he did not deserve death.
Roderick moved on. He began learning the tales and songs of heroes. He took to the sea…where he found freedom and choice. He still wonders if he will go back to his father some day. The man is not old yet and there is time. Perhaps his travels are a way to put that decision off. He is sure that should he need to see him he will have another…what he calls, tree moment.