Thursday, May 16, 2013

Taric Tannershall, take two: Warpriest of Pelor

This is a revised version of Taric, customized to fit Elwen's version of the DnD Encounters season Beyond the Crystal Cave.  The build is fairly similar, but his background and RP sample is completely revised to fit the campaign.

Character Name: Taric Tannershall
Race: Human
Class: Warpriest of Pelor (could also easily convert him to a paladin (cavalier) if needed, though my preference is the cleric)
Alignment: Lawful Good
Gender: Male

With above-average height and an athletic build, Taric can be an imposing figure. On the battlefield, he radiates the brilliance of his god as he pushes through his foes with sword and shield, clad from head to foot in shining armor. Nevertheless, his facial features are fairly soft, and are punctuated by kind eyes that often set those around him at ease.

Strong, compassionate, forthright, and devout, Taric embodies the teachings of Pelor. Yet while many of the Clergy seek to proselytize at every opportunity, Taric has found that he is far more effective in accomplishing the goals of his god--and in so doing, winning new devotees--by instead leading by example. As a result, he has earned a reputation in the poor districts of Sybaran as a caring man who is willing to help those in need while asking little in return. At times, he is probably a bit too willing to help; in the past, he's found himself manipulated by those who would take advantage of his selflessness.

The Tannershalls are a minor noble house within Sybaran. The excesses of Taric's great-grandfather unfortunately left the family destitute, with few resources beyond the value of their name. This, however, proved enough to help the family get back on its feet. Starting with virtually nothing other than their name, Taric's parents played the politics of Sybaran with great skill. Other houses found that when they need to gather support within the modest noble court of Sybaran, the Tannershalls are often willing to cast their lot to those who can provide them material wealth in return. And by keeping their ears alert to gossip, along with no small amount of guile, the Tannershalls have managed to foil those families who might seek retribution when double-crossed. From an early age, his older brother and sister, Cedric and Dalia, also demonstrated tremendous political competence, and thus house Tannershall is known as a small but rising power.

Taric was the youngest of the family, born a full 10 years after Dalia. While the rest of his family engaged at court, Taric often spent time on the grounds of the local temple. A half-elf priest there named Garren, an extended relative of the Tannershalls and former adventurer, would watch over the boy. Garren played games with him, told him stories, and even taught Taric basic weaponcraft as he matured.

As Taric came of age, he found the life of his family, marked on all sides by the need for political gain, was a poor match of his sensibilities. Indeed, while he had basic competencies in custom and culture, his parents often treated him as a liability, asking that he do little more than smile and nod at social functions. As a result, at 18 years of age, and with his family's blessing, he joined the Priesthood of Pelor.

There, he found his calling. He proved an excellent student of his chosen god, and almost immediately forged a close connection with Pelor. As he completed his studies, he volunteered to work not with the nobility--as he certainly could have done given his connections--but rather to follow Pelor's charge and work instead with the poor. He became a champion on the streets of Sybaran, working with both citizens and the guard to drive out gangs of ruffians and establish social support systems within the city. While he always tried for a diplomatic solution to hostilities on the street, he also was known to accompany guardsmen when they were forced to clear out a den of criminals. Word quickly spread of the young cleric, shining in battle as if illuminated by the Sun, fighting back with divine radiance against those who would take advantage of the downtrodden.

When Count Varis Sybar put out a call for adventurers to help maintain the peace between Sybaran's neighbors, Taric volunteered the next day. There was, of course, still much to do in the slums of Sybaran, and he was reluctant to put that work on hold. Nevertheless, as he believed that Pelor revealed in a dream, war between Crystalbrook and Sildaine's elves had the potential to do great harm to the region. Indeed, were the fighting to spill over into Sybaran's borders, it was the very poor that he'd worked to protect who would suffer the most.

Role-playing sample: 
The moon was still shining brightly in the sky as Taric rose from his bed, a make-shift cot within an equally make-shift house. He looked up at the night sky through a hole in the roof before setting to work. In a small trunk nearby, he collected several small artifacts: a sun-shaped pendant, which he placed around his neck, a book of scripture, and, perhaps the only item he possessed that belied his family heritage, a mechanical timepiece. Those in hand, donned in robe, stepped outside, and climbed a ladder up to the roof.

Gazing about, he could see and smell the slums around him starting to awaken. A trickle of people made their way through the streets: some leaving for the day, others finally returning home. Looking to the east, he could just make out the first hints of dawn. He sat cross-legged upon the roof, left hand grasped around the holy symbol at his neck, and immersed himself in familiar ritual. As the minutes ticked by, he read softly the creed of his god, though he knew it by heart. "I will alleviate suffering wherever I find it, just as sun of mercy shines upon those in need. I will bring Pelor's light into places of darkness, showing kindness, mercy, and compassion. I will be watchful against evil, just as the Lord of Light casts his gaze to the earth throughout the day."

As he completed his prayers, the sun peaked over the horizon. Following custom, he focused just below the horizon, averting his eyes from the power of his god. As he meditated in the glory of the morning light, he had a vision of a great conflict. Elves warred against man, bow against shield, forest against plains. And caught in the fury, he saw the slums of Sybaran burning.

The vision faded as the sun cleared the horizon, leaving Taric to his thoughts. There was still much work to do in the slums. But the announcement of Count Sybar's call for adventurers hung in his mind, as did the image of his town burning. He knew what he had to do.

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