War of the Burning Sands
Class: Druid – Swarm
Theme: Elemental Priest
Stat/Modifier/Plus Half Level
STR: 10 (+ 0)/(+ 1)
DEX: 14 (+ 2)/(+ 3)
CON: 16 (+ 3)/(+ 4)
INT: 12 (+ 1)/(+ 2)
WIS: 18 (+ 4)/(+ 1)
CHA: 8 (- 1)/(+ 0)
HP: 33 (+5/Level)
Healing Surges: 10
Spoken Languages: Common, Elven
Read/Write Languages: Common
Skill Bonuses: +2 Nature, +2 Perception
Trained Skills: Nature (WIS), Endurance (CON), Perception (WIS), Arcana (INT)
Feats: Stinging Swarm, Ritual Caster, Wild Talent Master, ?
Wild Talents: Body Equilibrium, Mental Tools, Thought Projection
Flaw: Nightmares – You suffer from inconsolable images each night, making it hard to get proper rest. After each extended rest, make a saving throw. On a failure, you regain one less daily power.
Racial Abilities: Elven Weapon Proficiency, Fey Origin, Group Awareness, Wild Step, Elven Accuracy
Armor Proficiency: Cloth, Leather, Hide
Weapon Proficiency: Simple Melee, Simple Ranged, Longbows, Shortbows
Implements: Staffs, Totems
Class Features: Balance of Nature, Primal Aspect (Swarm), Ritual Casting, Wild Shape
At-Will Powers: Wild Shape, Swarming Locusts (B), Grasping Claws (B), Fire Hawk
Encounter Powers: Scattered Form (B), Elven Accuracy, Spirit of Athas
Daily Powers: Fog of Insects (B)
Rituals: Animal Messenger, Make Whole
Equipment: Backpack, Bedroll, Fire Kit, Belt Pouch, Five Survival Days, Giant Hair Rope, Leather Armor, Spear, Dagger
Wealth: 55 gold pieces
There is beauty in the desert. A stark land with no place for the lazy and weak. My name is Aelar. Like most other elves my tribe travels the sand, rocks, and ridges of this land. We go where we decide and we call no Sorcerer-King master. Sometimes that earns us quick enemies, but more often than not we move on before it becomes a problem. So how did I end up here in Altaruk? Well… I just sort of ended up here. No, its not a cop out you impudent wretch.
When I was younger I often claimed to my parents I could hear the call of the land itself. They of course told me to stop being foolish and keep moving, but I always felt a connection to the land. One day when I was a bit older we passed a destroyed caravan. Reaver had likely been the cause of their demise. While my tribe picked through the remains looking for anything of value I found myself watching a far more interesting display. I watched as a colony of desert ants worked in unison to liberate pieces of grain and wood from the caravan and haul it back to their colony in the rocks somewhere. Shortly thereafter my mother smacked me accross the back of the head of dawdling. What? Yes, I’m getting to how I got here. Sheesh you are impatient.
A few years later we traveling the table lands in the proximity of Tyr. After some fruitful trading in Tyr it quickly came to our attention that we were no longer wanted there so with all due haste we made our exit from the city proper…
Sorry, I was just… thinking.
Yes, I’m fine. Don’t I look fine my good impatient sir?
We left the city, but it wasn’t long before the Templars were on us in the dark of night. There… there was a lot of screams and dying. I don’t know what happened to my mother. My father died on that sand. His life bled out of him. Fires burned our belongings and trade goods. Those fires lit the night skies and we mourned those we lost. As for me… well I was invited to an extended stay as a slave for Kalak. I was put to work in the quarries, a life of hard labor I was told was fitting for a layabout elf.
I remember the crack and burning sting of the lash. The sting burned like that of a Spider Wasp. I hated that man with the whip. I learned to endure the whip, the humiliation; to ignore it, to outlast it. My chance at freedom came through strange circumstances, that I can only credit to the land itself.
While laboring in that quarry the ground caved beneath me and sent me plunging into an underground colony of soldier ants whose bite was said to be worse than being shot by an arrow. Manacles encircled my ankles and my rope drug two other slaves with me into the colony of ants. The were on us within a moment, biting and stinging, the pain was mercilessly. I could hear the screams of agony from my compatriots. Pain coursed through me and I clenched my jaw in an uncontrollable rictus of pain. Blood oozed between my teeth; I had bitten clean through parts of my inner cheeks. Then a strange euphoria passed through me. I opened my eyes and I could see the winding tunnels of the ants whose colony I had crashed through. The sight of the ordered structure of the place struck me as beautiful. I swear I could touch the whole of the colony, feel the power of the group and order of the ants. The pain ebbed and I was aware that the ants weren’t biting me anymore. My limbs were swollen and numb from the stings, but I wasn’t dead. The screams the two others had ceased. I felt myself being pulled upwards into the light. I must have been a sight, battered, broken, cut, and swollen from possibly hundreds of ant bites. One of my eyes was swollen shut now, the other likely not much better. The cruel slave masters stood over me. Their weapons of torture coiled in their hand like snakes. I heard a voice, raspy and unpleasant, “he’s beyond worth healing, leave him for the carrion feeders.”
I only had a moment to consider my situation that I was being left for dead, when I felt a sudden overwhelming presence beneath me. I didn’t understand what it was, but I felt connected to it. From the hole I tumbled through a swarm of soldier ants raced out. The swept over me in a tide of chitin and clacking. The screams of the taskmasters were incredible to hear as ants swarmed over them, stinging over and over, condemning them to an agonizing final moments of life. As the ants coursed over me something in me let go and I felt myself become part of that swarm. I wasn’t an insect exactly; I was part of the swarm… I was the swarm I think.
In minutes the screaming had died down. Three slavers lay dead in the sun, awaiting the carrion feeders. I stood there looking at my hands. No bonds held me anymore. I looked out towards the sands and started walking. Something told me that the land needed me. A soldier ant clung to my hand and I looked at it with admiration. My liberator and my inspiration.
What? Oh, how I got to Alturak. Yeah, yeah.
Lets see after I left the quarry I set out into the Tablelands. Thankfully living on the move taught me a few things about surviving out in the wild. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t pleasant, but I survived. Sadly that is when the nightmares began. They have since been my constant companion for better or worse. I wandered for a time through the Tablelands hoping to find evidence of my mother or any other survivers from my caravan, but I was never successful.
In my journies I meet a strange fellow, a dwarf no less. He found me in a ravine sheltering from the high sun. It seems the land told him to travel to this very spot and find his student. Having never attended a school I was a bit confused and I told him so. After a good hearty laugh he said that he’d never attended a school either and together perhaps we might discover new truths out here in the wilds. Still more than somewhat weary he went on to explain that there are others like me that channel the powers of the land. He showed me how to channel my power and how to control elements and assume the forms of beasts and insects. We did not stay together long as he explained that all he could do was teach me the basics and the rest I would learn for myself through time and contemplation. He bade me to share what I have learned with any who showed the promise of channeling the powers of this dying land and he told me that it was my duty to protect and try to return the land to a state of life.
So from there I continued my travels. I used the powers of beasts and the elements to attack slave caravans when the opportunity presented itself and I even struck out at Defilers when the chance arose. Sadly in more than one case I bit off more than I could chew, but I never relented in my attacks. The land itself supported my efforts and I knew what I was doing was right. All people deserve the freedom to live their life free of shackeles and the land needed those willing to fight for it.
Finally after a few years the rumor surfaced that Kalak had finally been removed from power. I don’t know how a Sorcerer-King was desposed, but I hope it was bloody and messy personally. So I returned to the Tablelands to find out if it was true. Having answered the question I decided to venture away from the Tyr region and I have found myself in Alturak at this inn, rambling away at a slack-jawed fellow for the price of water and a plate of food.
Although now I hear rumor of an impending storm destined for the Tyr region and I feel a little confused on whether I should care or not. Well come what may I will find my way through the storm.