About Taedric Starfell
Taedric is a native of Umok, and the only son of an innkeeper's daughter and a local huntsman. A somewhat precocious child, Taedric was a fixture at the Inn, sneaking into the common room almost every night, drawn by the easy conversation, the performances and the fun games that were being played. After a few years, even his mother gave up on attempting to keep the boy away, deciding, instead to apprentice him to one of the local bards who frequented the tavern's stage. Still, as much as Taedric enjoyed hearing his Master's stories, he never applied himself to the study, instead, spending his time learning new card and dice games rather than tales and musical theory.
He was in his mid twenties when the Goblinblood War took place -- resulting in the death of his father and the near-destruction of his home. As the goblins came to Umok, Taedric's head was full of epic tales of heroes, and between his faith in his own luck (he often claimed there was a Halfling in his ancestry some time back) and his mischievous nature -- he decided to sneak out of the non-combatant shelters to see the battle for himself and to use his minor magics to harass the goblins. Sadly, he was completely unprepared for the resulting ferocity and destruction -- memories of blood and burning locked into his mind forever.
Unable to take anymore of the horrors, he tried to flee from his hiding spot to find safety but, unfortunately, he was seen by some of the invaders. One of the goblins decided it wanted to have a spot of fun with the unarmed, cowardly gnome-boy, and so it began chasing him through the fire-riddled alleys, eventually herding him into a barricaded alley -- a dead-end. Taedric tried to distract the goblin with his internal magics, but dancing lights and ghost sounds did little to dissuade the rushing creature. Thinking himself doomed, Taedric closed his eyes as the goblin approached, hearing its wicked laugh and promises of pain in badly-accented Common.
He opened them again in shock as the laughing turned to a gurgle. Through the smoke and his own tears he saw the outline of the Hero of Umok, the paladin sent to save them astride his mount, pulling his lance from the now-dead goblin. The Paladin bade him to go find a safe place to hide, which he did. However, the sights of the battle -- and the aftermath -- hardened something within him, such that he gave up his bardic training and instead dedicated himself to emulating the image of the one who saved his life. He would dedicate his life to protecting others - those weaker than himself, or those who lack the will or ability to fight.
He enlisted in the town militia (which was desperate for new blood) and began to learn the ways of battle. During his training, Taedric adapted well to the structure of military life, gaining some measure of discipline as he came into adulthood. Still, he never stopped dicing or playing cards in the barracks or the taverns, and he began to feel a growing sense of wanderlust which combined with a growing sense of discontent as life in Umok became more and more regimented, nomincally to keep the goblins at bay.
He finally decided to leave when on patrol one day he was ordered to destroy a den of wolves simply because they might one day be used as mounts by as-yet-unseen goblin warriors. He thought the order folly, and yet, he entered the den to carry it out -- at least, until he saw the defenseless pups. They were ruddy and black in colour, rather than the brown most common to wolves in the area, and something in him stayed his hand, preventing him from following through. He brought the defenseless animals out of the den in a sack to show his fellows the "threat", insisting that they could not be evil. He argued that it would be a far better to use them against the goblins than to destroy them. Ultimately, it was not until he threatened to defend the pups in combat that they were allowed to live, brought back to Umok to be raised as gnomish mounts, though Taedric was promised disciplinary action to come.
Rather than face it, Taedric left home with one of the pups, one that he felt strangely drawn to, a similar feeling to a run of luck in a game of dice or cards. The pup was mostly black and grey, but had almost-perfect red diamonds over its eyes, the thing reminding him of the Fool Card. He named the wolf "Trumps".
He wandered with the wolf for two winters, trying to help those in need as he found them, drifting slowly south and away from Umok and the Chatterwood, going from village to village and performing small deeds, either gambling for supplies and equipment, or buying them from his small rewards.
During one of these minor helpful acts, Taedric rescued the daughter of a man named Stin Marcek from a mountain cat, using his Gnomish magic and the presence of a wolf to convince the cat to seek better prey. Stin had been one of the Steel Viper Eagle Knights than came to Isger to aid in the Goblinblood War. He was injured in combat, or as he liked to put it, he "lost his arm but found his heart", having fallen in love with one of the women who nursed him back to health. The ex-Knight invited the gnome in for a meal, carefully taking his measure of him, noticing his dedication to help and the way he took put aside some choice pieces of meat for Trumps.
At the end of the meal, Stin offered to train Taedric to be a proper Cavalier. That very night, Taedric took his vows to the Order of the Shield. After a year of training, Stin gave the young gnome his own shield to mark his graduation, directing him further south to Haughin's Ear, where rumours have said there are strange things afoot.
HP 30 (3HD - 10, 8, 6)
Special: Hatred (+1 Bonus vs. Goblinoids and Reptilian Humanoids), Challenge, Cavalier's Charge, Ride-by Attack
Base Atk: +3, CMB: +3
Once per round when your mount is hit in combat, you may attempt a Ride check (as an immediate action) to negate the hit. The hit is negated if your Ride check result is greater than the opponent's attack roll.
When you are mounted and use the charge action, you may move and attack as if with a standard charge and then move again (continuing the straight line of the charge). Your total movement for the round can't exceed double your mounted speed. You and your mount do not provoke an attack of opportunity from the opponent that you attack.
Whenever you and an ally who also has this feat are flanking the same the creature, you deal an additional 1d6 points of precision damage with each successful melee attack. This bonus damage stacks with other sources of precision damage, such as sneak attack. This bonus damage is not multiplied on a critical hit.
Courageous (Combat Feat)
Your childhood was brutal, yet you persevered primarily through force of will and the hope that no matter how hard things might get, as long as you kept a level head you'd make it through. You gain a +2 trait bonus on saving throws against fear effects.
Naturally Gifted (Magic Trait, Gnomish)
Cavalier's Charge (Ex)
Bonded Mount (Ex) (Trumps the Wolf, see below)
Gnomish Magic(Sp) (Caster Level 3), Trait grants 1 extra use of 1 ability per day
Tactician (Ex) (Standard action, 1/day; 4 rounds)
Backpack (Small): [Bedroll (Small), Trail Rations (2 days), Torch, Waterskin (Full) ]
Trumps' Saddlebags: [20 Arrows, Trail Rations (5 Days), Rope (Silk/50 ft.), 9 x Torch]
Male Wolf Animal 3 (NG Medium Animal)
Init +2; Senses: Low-Light, Scent (Perception +6
AC 20, Touch 14, Flat-footed 16, CMD 18 (22 vs trip)
hp 24 (3HD)
Fort: +5, Ref: +6, Will: +2
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
Melee: bite +5 (1d6+2) + trip
Base Atk: +2;CMB: +4;
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Feats: Armor Proficiency (Light), Dodge, Weapon Focus (Bite).
Skills: Acrobatics +3, Acrobatics (Jump) +11, Climb +6, Escape Artist +3, Perception +6, Stealth +3, Survival +5, Swim +2.
Possessions: barding (leather);
Trained for Combat Riding
Knows the tricks: attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel.
Additional Tricks: Attack II, Fetch, Track
Trip (Ex) You can attempt to trip your opponent as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity if you hit with the specified attack. If the attempt fails, you are not tripped in return.
Link (Ex) A master can handle her animal companion as a free action, or push it as a move action, even if she doesn't have any ranks in the Handle Animal skill.
Scent (Ex) You can detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. You can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights. You can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range. When you detect a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed--only its presence somewhere within range. You can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. When you are within 5 feet of the source, you pinpoint the source's location. You can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom (or Survival) check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry's odor is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Survival skill. When tracking by scent you ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.