The Threat From the Deep
Wild isn't my middle name. It's my first, actually.
Trait: Nightsighted (+10ft darkvision, -1 Spot)
Flaw: Shaky (-2 ranged)
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack
Rhôvanion Aefaradien (elvish for “Wild Falcon”)
Age: 28 (of a 140-180-year lifespan)
Rhôvanion, or “Rhove” for short, was born in an isolated village in the Idris mountains east of Strathmaer. His village was raided by black-skinned, white-haired fiends. They were a little-known subrace of elf known as the Drow. When they departed, they left behind more than corpses. He resulted from this, the bastard offspring of good and evil. He was not the only one. The other two, however, were not so well-received. Their brains were dashed out in the village square mere minutes after their birth. The mothers, weak from childbirth but strong in resolve, shouted encouragement into the crowded streets. The priests were mercifully swift in exterminating the so-called “demon-spawn”. His mother was horrified to witness these acts, and determined that even if her child turned out to be the product of her rape, she would give it the chance to prove its alignment. Her husband was not thoroughly pleased by this, but he was certain that any half-Drow child would be evil and need to be slain. He could wait for his wife to realize that. He could only hope she wouldn’t get too attached to the thing.
He was born without incident, but the darkness of his skin (darker even than his surrogate father’s) against the paleness of his hair made no secret of his mixed blood. For the first few weeks what little hair he had was dyed black with kohl, and any time they had visitors his eyes were bandaged over because of a fictional eye infection. The husband was sent, with their savings, to Strathmaer to acquire a medallion enchanted to disguise the wearer so Rhôvanion might live a more normal life as he grew up. He objected greatly, not wanting to spend so much of his hard-earned money on a kid who might turn out to be evil. His wife reassured him that the medallion would not lose its value, and it could be sold back if the child needed to be… taken care of. But when they were alone and she stared into those eerily pallid blue eyes, she felt that there was no evil in the child.
The medallion was a success, giving him the appearance of black hair and brown eyes and lightening his skin a little. While it might have been easier to give him pale skin entirely, that would have aroused suspicion from those who had seen him as an infant prior to getting the medallion. His “father” paid little attention to him, remaining detached in case he might one day be required to kill the child everyone thought was his son. He wondered if his wife had a convincing story prepared for that event too. Of course, this lack of fatherly attention made Rhôvanion all the more determined to be noticed by just about everyone else in the village. He was outgoing, a little pushy, and convinced (from his doting mother’s example) that women were only too happy to be in his presence.
Growing up was a rapid process physically for Rhove, but not so much mentally. Maturity was undoubtedly the last thing on his mind. Because of his Drow blood, by the age of two he had the appearance of being eight. During his early years he was always bigger than other elves his age, which gave him a bit of a superiority complex. However, even his rapid growth did not seem to hinder his natural grace, which he found quite useful in avoiding getting dog-piled by the others when he played unfairly. Naturally, a time came when his growth slowed and the rest of his classmates caught up. Even so, they always seemed more slender and fragile, which only further solidified his conviction that he was made of tougher stuff than anyone else.
At the age of ten his mother entrusted him with the dark secret of his bloodline, though she didn’t have the words to put a name to the species of dark elves that had come through their town. Not fully understanding, he wasn’t particularly devastated. His mother was especially attentive that week and even spoiled him with gifts, fearing that his non-reaction was the beginning of some descent into depression. As a result, Rhôvanion didn’t really have a problem with being a freak of nature. At least it explained why he had to keep wearing that medallion, and why his hair and eyes were so alien when he removed it. But now that he understood that what he looked like without the medallion was “the real him”, it made him wonder if there would ever be a place where he wouldn’t have to hide.
The answer was, invariably, no. After a few days of mild distress, he determined that since he couldn’t be himself, he might as well lie about other things too. He soon became known in the village for making up wild tales about monsters just to get an audience. This sustained him until his mid-teens, when he determined that tales about other creatures weren’t nearly as interesting, and he inserted himself. He would return from supply trips to Strathmaer with stories of adventure and heroism. It got a little out of hand in time, and the skeptics in his audience began to ask for proof. He was able to make excuses for a while, but their insistence plagued him. Finally he decided to leave the village, saying he was going off to bigger adventures. He even lied to his mother about it. Instead, he went to Inverrin and wormed his way into a mercenary establishment, where his basic sword skills were honed significantly and he learned to use a longspear. He made up for his slightly smaller stature with quickness and stealth, and any errors on his part he quickly made excuses for. However, working in close company with so much dumb muscle only encouraged his dishonest streak further, and he would sometimes filch some of their pay. The company assigned him as a bodyguard to a traveling merchant, which appealed to his taste for adventure. However, he had never seen any creatures like the mythical horrors he used to talk about.
He doesn’t like to talk about why he left Iverrin, which is very unusual for him. Rhove likes to talk. It seems that something happened there that even he cannot put a happy face on.
Rhôvanion is narcissistic, to say the least. He takes pride in his abilities and (oddly enough) his falsified appearance. While he has never harboured an inherent dislike for his natural appearance, he’s not a fan of what it stands for and what it causes. Sometimes he likes to look at himself when he is far from civilization, but his disguise always seems more familiar than the pale features he unveils. While he understands that to judge his own worth on something he cannot control would be irrational, he does not expect others to be so level-headed about it. Rhove rarely reveals his strangeness to anyone else.
Moral dilemmas seldom plague him; he is self-serving above all and rarely given to self-doubt. When outmatched, he tends to fight dirty. He is not so great at taking blows, and prefers instead to make himself very difficult to hit. He will run from a fight if the odds are poor and the motivation to stay is not sufficient. However, he views this as tactful rather than cowardly. Rhove is easygoing and more than able to laugh at himself and the trouble he gets into. He is friendly but has difficulty making lasting friendships. Whether this is because of his constant travel, constant demand for attention, or tendency to pickpocket people who aren’t paying attention, he cannot tell.
Bits and Bites
|more ladies||deep water|
|particularly attractive rocks||getting stabbed|
|Cure Disease (cough cough)||competition|
|looking at himself in the mirror||getting his pretty face messed up|