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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2011 :  07:40:50  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Aerik "Stormraven" was born Aerik, son of Bandaer; and he was a farmer. He was a farmer from Shadowdale...just a common man. Here, however, is a scene from his life that shows how far from comman a man can become under certain circumstances:

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Killing the wizard had been easy; the fool Djanul dropped like a slick red brick out of Aerik's hands. Now getting out was going to be the hard part!

Unlike a wizard, chain armored Zhentilar didn’t yield easily to a pair of strong choking hands around their neck while their face was smashed again and again against a stone wall…indeed doing that would get a man a sword in the guts. Aerik stood at the top of the stairwell, his breath coming hard and fast as he heard the men scrambling over the body of the first man to try the stairs and have a dagger impale his more lightly armored leg sending him tumbling. Aerik yelled down the stairs, “Do you give up yet? I’ve got more than a dagger up here. Oh! And that thrice damned son of a Zhent whore wizard isn’t really feeling up to casting a spell out of his crushed face!” Aerik’s mind raced, he just needed to reach the street. “Damn all gold to the nine hells!” he mumbled angrily under his breath.

He stood, whirled about and leaped down the steps, literally flying through the air; his crossbow twanged and a bolt planted squarely in the chest of the lead soldier, Aerik’s feet landing to either side of it. As the soldiers again struggled against a downed comrade’s weight, Aerik slammed into the stairs, the air forced from his lungs; but he knew he didn’t need it for at least a few seconds more. A brutal life had made him accustomed to having the air forced from his body; he knew he had plenty of air in him already and so slid neatly to his feet and drew a dagger in his left hand and his shortsword in his right. The crossbow lay on the stairs all alone and forgotten by the man who had carried it for years; it’s notched hilt marking each and every man Aerik had murdered with it…little good sentiment has for a killing man anyway though.

Aerik stood just as the dead Zhentilar soldier was finally thrown back down the stairs by the next man in line. “Keerus! You old devil!” Aerik’s half-grinning informal greeting to his former friend caused only a grunt to erupt from the man as he chopped heavily with his longsword at Aerik’s knees. Aerik leapt forward…always forward, whirling and dodging and cutting was his way…his left knee slammed into Keerus’ face as the older man’s blade arm began to wrap around Aerik’s legs; but the brutal knee to the face caused the man’s arms to go limp as his head snapped back. Aerik began to fall forward, his legs somewhat tangled by Keerus’ unconscious arm.

The next man in line was Faldik, a man that owed Aerik over two dozen gold coins from their gambling; Faldik died as Aerik’s shortsword stabbed down heavily and entered the exposed neck just in front of the coif as the shocked man leered up at the descending form of his former captain. Aerik pulled his legs forward and tucked them under him as his head landed on Faldik’s head and he began to roll down the dead man’s back; then using the dead weight behind him he kicked out and slammed into Syorith’s chest with his leathern boots and sent the man flying over the railing behind him. Aerik slammed into the stairs again as he was taking in a deep breath; but too late as his body rebelled in a massive spasm as a rib or two on his left side cracked from the impact. He had only a moment he was sure before the next man was on him; Syorith had face planted on a table over the other side of the railing and wasn’t likely to get back up quickly…if at all. That wouldn’t bother the other five Zhentilar at all; and Aerik was down to a dagger in hand, his shortsword still sticking out of the neck of Faldik. “At least one of them has a dagger in his thigh!” he thought, only slightly contented by the fact.

Aerik began to push up to his feet just as Hazan the Calishite whirled around the railing with his scimitar and slashed at Aerik. Aerik quickly used his dagger to push the blade up and into the wooden rails after dipping his head back, its curved blade pushing between the rails and nearly bouncing off the head of another Zhentilar soldier; Aerik’s dagger sank into the wood of one of the rails. Aerik’s forehead lashed forward and met Hazan’s nose in a sickening CRACK followed by an eruption of blood atop Aerik’s head and down Hazan’s face. As the dazed man’s head whipped back, Aerik’s right hand whipped hard up at an angle into the swordsman’s elbow to produce yet another loud CRACK while his left hand abandoned his all-time favorite dagger to its own fate and snapped forward in a knife-hand and crushed Hazan’s windpipe cutting short the man’s screams of agony to be followed soon by the end of his life from suffocation and shock.

The haze began to cover his eyes, Aerik knew he needed a moment to gather himself before going on; he needed air and a damnable weapon in his hand! His left hand still on Hazan’s throat, he pushed the man before him and then to the left against Jeald’s body and thus prevented the man’s axe from arcing around and striking. Aerik stepped forward and, using his right hand, pulled Hazan’s curved jambiya from its sheath. Releasing Hazan’s swiftly dropping body he threw himself over the stair’s railing and into the common room. He landed heavily on Syorith’s back knocking the man back to the ground as he dazedly began to gather his wits and quite possibly breaking his back as well; Aerik wasn’t a small man at all! Aerik rolled to the right over his shoulder and then onto his side, coming up with his left knee on the ground and his right foot planted firmly on the floor of the common room. “Hells!” he thought to himself, “Can’t believe I made that jump!” as his breath finally came to him and he looked over his shoulder, to see Jeald scowling death at him from almost ten feet up over the railing of the stairwell.

He heard the click of the crossbow and was almost shot through the head by the heavy bolt shot by Tannin; the man he had thrown the dagger into first. Instead he ducked his head just quickly enough to be grazed across the top of his head by the barbed bolt, losing some small amount of scalp and hair in the process. Lunging toward Syorith’s unhanded longsword Aerik came up at a run right toward Tannin and the entrance to the stairs, looking the young boy in the eyes squarely as the pathetic former farmer dropped his crossbow and tried to again pull his own sword. “Should have run away Tannin.” Had anyone heard the whisper they would have sworn it was filled with sorrow; but would have wondered how as Aerik viciously slashed out with the longsword to lift Tannin’s own blade high in a block to only have the curved jambiya slide up under his arm and enter under his chin so brutally that the boy’s face split at the jaw and his body heaved off the floor briefly as Aerik off-handedly hurled him backward with the jambiya still protruding from his head toward the first man to come back around and into the common room. His strength and brutality were beginning to wane however, and Tannin’s body was little effect against stocky Bolan.

Bolan shrugged Tannin’s lifeless body off his shield and whipped his broad-bladed bastard sword heavily overhand and down toward Aerik’s head; but the clumsy blow missed its mark badly as Aerik followed Tannin’s body to the right with a leap that planted his right foot on the wall. Following his momentum back to the left and pushing hard with his leg, Aerik was suddenly at a much higher angle than Bolan’s shield arm had covered. Aerik slashed downward as his body twisted to his left and descended toward the ground again; the blade neatly snapping the chain coif on Bolan’s head at the ear and pounding bone beneath the padded hood under the coif. Aerik knew Bolan was most likely still alive, but badly injured by such a blow to the head as the man slid to the ground unconscious. He was glad that the man that had just loaned him five gold coins that morning and gave him a brotherly hug while doing so wouldn’t be dead; Aerik had always liked Bolan who often gave coppers to hungry children on the street.

Aerik stood there then, facing two more men in the hall in front of him. His strength was nearly spent and he was battered and bruised, while both Jeald “The Axe” and Syorith’s brother Kyorin were both fresh and full of vitality. Jeald was nearly foaming at the mouth, but Kyorin seemed much more fearful as he spoke, “Why Captain, why did ya turn on us like this! We was the best unit o’ guards in th’Keep!”

Jeald was obviously looking for his opening, hoping to benefit somehow from Kyorin’s fearful banter. Aerik looked at the scarred man, remembered all the times Jeald had beat people on the street, raped women in alleys, and murdered innocents for their coins because he had run out of drinking money. Jeald would be easy to kill and not lose sleep over; but Aerik knew he was going to be haunted by yet another face if he had to kill young Kyorin. “Run away Kyorin. Run and bring more guards ok…you don’t have to die here son.” Kyorin’s face began to turn white, he was going to run; and Jeald leapt forward at that very second knowing the table had turned heavily against him. He launched his axe down the hall at Aerik who barely knocked the heavy headed weapon to the side; but he knew Jeald already had another axe in hand.

The brutal man swung the second axe in a left to right arc in the front of his body from across his shield because of the tight confines of the hall; but this caused Aerik to back away from the hall just as Jeald had planned. Aerik stepped back on his right heel and then stepped to his left following the arc of the axe so that it would be out of position for a right to left swing by Jeald; then as the axeman brought his arm in a widening arc back over his back to swing down Aerik followed it in and lifted his blade to block the axe in a high position. Jeald had to step back again toward the hall with his left foot behind his right, and then Aerik drove all his weight on the man’s right knee bending it backward. Flailing wildly backwards to keep his knee from being broken; Jeald landed heavily with Aerik right on top of him.

Aerik glared into the man’s eyes with his own, not two inches away; his body pinning Jeald’s left arm to his body and Aerik’s arms pinning the man’s right arm to the ground over his head. “I never liked you Jeald, I guess you don’t like me now either since I just throttled your master Djanul eh? I always knew you served him with more than the words out of your mouth you she-dog!” Jeald struggled against Aerik’s greater size and strength and then looked up the hall toward Kyorin who was still simply standing there. “Kill him Kyorin, or Commander Kalt will flay you alive!” Kyorin stepped forward one step only, caught Aerik staring at him and froze again. He nearly wimpered as he spoke, “Just tell me why Captain!”

Aerik looked him in the eye and said sadly, “Money boy…just money.” Kyorin became enraged. Aerik pulled his left arm down quickly and pulled Jeald’s dagger from the man’s right side sheath and smoothly slid it into Jeald’s armpit; the man screamed in the agony of a man that knows he is going to soon bleed to death. Aerik pushed up quickly to one knee and flung Jeald’s axe off the end of his longsword at Kyorin’s face causing the enraged Zhentilar soldier to pause long enough for Aerik to roll backwards and come up to his feet in the common room again. Kyorin froze in his steps, glancing down to see Jeald pulling his own dagger from his body and groaning. Looking back up, he saw Aerik’s grim face staring him down. “I told you to run boy. You know you can’t match me with blades because I’m the one that taught you how to use that damned notched bitch of a blade you love so much.”

Kyorin looked at his sword, “I love it because you gave it to me Captain.” The soldier looked over at his brother lying broken on the floor, “And you gave Syorith his sword too. You brought us off the street and gave us a life Captain.” Tears began to fill his eyes, the man’s spirit obviously broken; a sob breached his mouth and spittle flew from it. He looked back up and saw only cold blue eyes looking at him within a red-bearded face that was pale and scarred by war. “Why this way sir?”

Aerik broke inside then, and realized that the man standing before him wasn’t evil at all. “I told you it was for money Kyorin; but not money for me. Djanul killed my father, my mother, my wife, my son and my daughter…for less money than it took to arm and equip you boy. He killed them twenty years ago today. I was away, pushing a cart full of turnips to market for my father.” Kyorin stared in amazement. He didn’t even hear the horns outside in the street; but Aerik did. “I was just a common man once Kyorin; and though I may die today here in this Hells accursed city of Zhentil Keep, I have avenged my family. I was just a common man son…a farmer” The horns grew closer. The now empty common room hadn’t been empty when the fight had started; obviously the patrons had called more guards.

Kyorin lowered his sword. “If my brother is dead, I will have to try and hunt you down Captain. You would understand that wouldn’t you?” Aerik looked at him with understanding, “Yes Kyorin, I understand. If he is still alive, this pouch has a gem worth over five thousand gold coins to have him healed.” Aerik removed a small pouch from inside his sword belt and tossed it to the soldier in front of him. “Use what is left to get the hell out of Zhentil Keep son.” Kyorin just watched as Aerik turned and ran past the bar into the kitchen and then most likely out into the alleys of Zhentil Keep beyond. Kyorin quickly tucked the pouch into his own belt pocket, right where Aerik had taught him to stash loot that wouldn’t be found, then fell to one knee and slammed his face on the edge of the table he was standing next to. When the guards entered the tavern, all they found were several dead men and several unconscious men…but their Captain was nowhere to be found.

When the men were questioned, they said only that their Captain had a falling out with the Zhentarim Wizard Djanul and one of them said it was over money…

AD&D for me!

Edited by - Dalor Darden on 04 Apr 2011 07:44:50

Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2011 :  07:51:51  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I should note here that I like the name Aerik Stormraven. I've had three characters named that!

This character was a Fighter and Thief. He would be considered "evil" in his alignment; but never saw himself as such. He was a murderer to be sure, but went out of his way to not harm what he considered innocents...even sparing orc or goblin children; though he would cut down an enemy where they stood from the shadows if he had to. He was Lawful Evil with Good tendancies maybe? More fighter than thief, he was really fun to play.

The original Aerik Stormraven was a Ranger/Evoker from 2e that lost his Ranger status later in life at a bridge with a tower...I told that story elsewhere.

The other Aerik Stormraven was an Evil Wizard from Luskan...and I think I posted him somewhere too.

AD&D for me!
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6624 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2011 :  16:08:18  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Completely unrelated to Arik (Ayrik), son of Korth, of course.

[/Ayrik]
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2011 :  18:32:35  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

Completely unrelated to Arik (Ayrik), son of Korth, of course.



Completely.

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MalariaMoon
Learned Scribe

324 Posts

Posted - 04 Apr 2011 :  19:26:31  Show Profile  Visit MalariaMoon's Homepage Send MalariaMoon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
May I be the first to say Aerik Stormraven is a badass!
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 05 Apr 2011 :  01:04:46  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon

May I be the first to say Aerik Stormraven is a badass!



Thanks...I really had fun playing him...

The Scene I wrote was actually the START of his adventuring career.

He didn't get the "Stormraven" name until after a while later when he "stormed" the Citadel of the Raven when he was after a cleric of bane that had escaped his party. I went solo and crept into the place. It was easy for me to blend in since his background was being a officer in the Zhentilar. The game started with us all at 5th level, so from the get-go he was a Fighter 3/ Thief 2.

He got up to I think 9th level before we stopped playing (Ftr5/Rog4).

AD&D for me!
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MalariaMoon
Learned Scribe

324 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2011 :  17:37:02  Show Profile  Visit MalariaMoon's Homepage Send MalariaMoon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What happened to Kyorin? Was his brother dead?

I'd like to hear about the single handed storming of the Citadel of the Raven!
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2011 :  18:36:40  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon

What happened to Kyorin? Was his brother dead?

I'd like to hear about the single handed storming of the Citadel of the Raven!



I actually never ran into Kyorin again.

I always liked to think that he and Syorith somehow got out of Zhentil Keep...I honestly think the DM just forgot about them.

As for the "storming" of the Citadel, that is just the story I told the rest of the party. I actually snuck in by killing a number of reinforcements headed to the Citadel from the Keep; then pretending to be the Captain of that group.

I knew the protocols, usual motions to go through and such. The only sticking point as I remember it was when a Cleric tried to verify my story with magic. I got really evasive on that one. Eventually they "let" me be detained over night. As Aerik was a smooth talker, I had a couple of the guards slip me some strong drink for a few coins...which I shared with them. After they were knocked out I went looking for Kardrel of Bane.

I don't remember all the details, but I eventually found him and it was a hell of a fight since he was higher level than I thought!

I'll write it out maybe in a couple days...it was a SWEET ride!

AD&D for me!
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2014 :  07:38:13  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Never did get around to writing about the fight with the Banite...if I have time I'm going to do it though...

...time...hmmmm

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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2018 :  17:46:34  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I should stat this guy out in 1e/2e, 3.x and now 5e.

I miss playing this particular character almost as much as I miss playing My Ranger/Evoker from 2e.

AD&D for me!
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