About Hrodlan Gurnwold
W R A T H OF THE R I G H T E O U S
AC 16; Touch 13; FF 13 (+3 Armor, +2 Dex, +1 Dodge)
Speed 30 ft.
Str 18, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 7
Skills (8 - 6 [Ranks] + 1 [Int] + 1 [Human])
Languages Abyssal, Common, Hallit
Average Starting Gold: 175
Despite his own misgivings about the nature of his "profession" and the hardline measures he is forced to take, Hrodlan presents a unified front when such views are called into question or doubt. His actions are necessary to ensure that the crusade does not fall from within—allowing such a thing to happen would likely spell the end of world at the hands a tide of demons.
Effect: You take a –2 penalty on Diplomacy checks and Sense Motive checks made against all creatures whose religion or alignment differs from your own.
Threatening Defender (Combat): Taught by veteran crusaders in the vaults beneath the Cathedral of Saint Clydwell, Hrodlan's instructors stressed the need to remain fluid and in motion when facing down an opponent. His forms and techniques seldom leave an opening for his enemies to exploit. Benefit: When you use Combat Expertise, reduce the number you subtract from your melee attack rolls by 1.
Demon Slayer (Regional): Adopted as a ward of the Iomedaean church and repurposed into a divine weapon against foes of Mendev's Crusade, Hrodlan's training has centered around not only how best to locate demonic cultists, but how to quickly lay low any demons with whom the cultists have allied. Benefit: You gain a +2 trait bonus on weapon damage against demons, evil fey, and plants and animals corrupted by evil.
STOLEN FURY [MYTHIC: Champion] (Campaign): Hrodlan was forced to take part in a demonic ritual after having been captured by cultists. Whatever the ritual's purpose may have been, it didn't work out the way his captors had envisioned—rather than corrupting Hrodlan's soul, he absorbed the ritual's energy and made it his own before escaping to safety. Ever since, he has been haunted by strange nightmares about the ritual, and has long felt that the energies it bathed him in had changed him. Recently, those energies have changed—it's as if he has finally managed to come to terms with his past and has turned the ritual's aftereffects to his advantage, following the old adage of what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. He has been unable to learn more about the ritual or what it was for, but the question lingers in the back of Hrodlan's head to this day. This nagging has instilled in him a fury against demonkind. Today, when he faces demons in combat, those energies greatly bolster his fury. Benefit: You gain a +2 trait bonus on all combat maneuver checks against demons.
Hrodlan's height might not be a match for his crusader-father, likely owing to the flag of his mother's Taldan blood, but his lean and sculptured physical features are an altogether different affair. The church of Iomedae, under direction by Lord Hulrun himself, have crafted Hrodlan into a veritable weapon. Traces of his proud Sarkorian heritage show plainly across his features: a head crowned by thick, black hair sitting atop a strong brow and defiant steel gray eyes. His upbringing at the Clydwell Cathedral have yielded a Kellid who lacks the tribal garb and tattoos of his kind, but his ferocious bearing is undeniable.
Like all members of the Fellowship, Hrodlan tends to dress in subdued or unassuming clothing—a means of standing out less among throngs of people in the streets of Kenabres. He wears no badge of station openly, given the nature of his assignments, and tends to wear lighter, less restrictive armor to afford him the range of motion he needs to adequately pursue his prey. To many, his appearance is not altogether unlike a common rake or brigand, though such notions are often quickly dispelled after having spent any amount of time in Hrodlan's presence.
† Forswear all claims to title and inheritance †
Roga Gurnwold was a celebrated crusader and long time friend of Prelate Hulrun Shappok—a friendship further cemented by Roga's decision to marry Lucilia, one of the Iomedaean Warpriests that belonged to Hulrun's flock. It was a tremendous blow to both the cause and Hulrun himself when the pair fell to Drezen's demonic hosts. Left behind in the church's care was their first and only child: Hrodlan—a child whose tenacity and power would stand to rival even that of Roga's, while the divine grace inherent in the boy's soul rose to shine even brighter than that of his mother, Lucilia.
Hulrun had no time to raise the child himself, instead installing the Hrodlan as a ward of the church proper. The aging Inquisitor became a distant sort of uncle figure to the boy—seldom seen, but always admired. For the impetuousness of youth, however, an occasional uncle-figure is a poor substitute for a child's need of a father. And so Hrodlan acted out frequently, the worst of which involved his sneaking out at nights and delving into corners of the city and its outskirts best left undelved. All of the clergy's punishments and Hulrun's reprimands did little to stem the tide of mischief. Many would blame the reckless blood of his Kellid father for Hrodlan's apparent resistance to discipline and guidance.
Ultimately, all were forced to admit that a studious upbringing in the vast libraries of the cathedral simply was not meant to be for the youth. Fortunately for Hrodlan, on the heels of flagging public opinion involving the nature of the Prelate's aggressive campaign against cultist elements in Mendev, Hulrun had already begun scheming on another means of achieving his aims. In Hrodlan, the aging inquisitor saw a burning desire and longing for purpose that might be fashioned into a potent weapon in service of The Inheritor. And so, the young Kellid's training began in earnest.
† Forswear all faiths before The Lady of Valor †
Admittance into the Fellowship of the Forsworn Blade was to be permitted only to steadfast devotees of Iomedae. Those demonstrating a disposition towards a certain sort of proclivities were sought out and recruited; proclivities consistent with the nature of their intended task would be first sought out from within the ranks of the church's own initiates before seeking outside sources. Hrodlan happened to fit perfectly into this niche, and so was among the first to be honored with the opportunity to join such an elite task force.
His training was grueling and relentless, but such labors bore fruit unerringly. Veteran crusaders of the faith no longer fit for active duty were enlisted as instructors, teaching the up-and-coming Fellowship methods and means for fighting and rooting out cultist threats within and beneath the city of Kenabres. Their pupils learned well the lessons the grizzled veterans had to offer; methods for rooting out and destroying both demon and servant alike. When turned loose upon the world, they would be a formidable force indeed. Such relentless training would see them through the horrible tasks that would be demanded of them.
Heavy armor was traded in favor of maneuverability and the ability to visit swift ruin upon those they pursued. Skills of pursuit and observance were honed to a fine point, that their students might never be misled—the trail never cold. They were slayers. Implements of destruction to be leveled against those who foolishly sought to rot the crusade from within. And to this task, they were taught well.
† Forswear all cravings of the flesh †
Members of the Fellowship were strictly forbade from indulging their baser instincts. Whether for love or lust, relationships were not permitted as they were an unnecessary distraction and means for their enemy to compromise their purpose. How many crusaders had met there end at the hands of desperation and longing for wife and home? It was not a mistake the Fellowship of the Forsworn Blade would be allowed to make. All manners of vice were equally forbidden, lest they muddle their mind and dull their senses to ruin. Always would their focus remain on their enemies. Their faith in Iomedae was to be their drink, and their devotion to the crusade their lifelong companion, until such a time that their bodies could no longer weather the demanding labor asked of them. When such a day arrived, they would then take up the charge of training the next wave of members.
Hrodlan passed such time with pride. He had found new purpose amongst his peers in the Fellowship of the Forsworn Blade. He had found for himself a calling that would honor both the memory of his parents and the glory of the crusade. The Kellid threw himself into his role within the crusade with all the fiery zeal Hulrun had come to expect of him. His faith in the rightness of his deeds was unshakable—at first. Even so secret an organization such as The Fellowship was not ironclad. A cell of Deskari cultists operating from within Kenabres caught wind of a clandestine training assignment within the sewers that ran beneath the city. Outnumbered and outclassed, Hrodlan's instructor fell to a swarm of scythes. And though Hrodlan himself attempted to mount a resistance, there is only so much a child of thirteen can accomplish against a superior foe. He was captured and taken deep within the bowels of the city, the cultists intent on enacting some malign ritual in service to their demonic lord.
Despite his hopeless situation, providence was delivered in a most unexpected package. Restrained to a table, anointed in vile magics and splayed amid several demonic circles, Hrodlan's mind raced for an avenue of escape he knew would never come.
"He's... he's only a child." The voice belonged to a woman, elderly and raspy.
The old woman was soon silenced by the other cultists arrayed about the room, stifled and bid to fall in line lest she incur the wrath of Deskari. She grew silent, and seemed obedient. But in her resided the means of Hrodlan's liberation. Even as the runes and symbols about him began pulsing with a sickly green light, the faintest sliver of a shred of morality yet harbored by the elderly cultist flared to life. Abandoning her task, she set to ruining the circle that bound Hrodlan. Demonic energies seeking to take hold recoiled and rebounded throughout the room; many cultists were destroyed outright, while Hrodlan himself seemed to somehow draw upon the fel miasma that began to choke the room. Newfound strength pulsed through the boy's veins, and the shackles that restrained him bent and broke like twigs before his struggle.
Hrodlan never learned the old woman's name. He never discovered what became of her. Released from his bindings and reeling from the strange strength that coursed through the very fabric of his being, he would have yet likely failed to escape were it not for the old woman's continued aid. She guided him out of the cultists' lair with barely a word spoken between the two, leading him to a familiar stretch of sewers before disappearing herself into the city's depths.
A detachment of Iomedaean crusaders were later dispatched to the lair, guided by Hrodlan, but they found nothing upon their return. The place had been evacuated and scavenged clean.
† Forswear all laws of man that hinder your charge †
Laws are an important part of society, but not infallible. Hulrun would often illustrate such a point by referring to the waning efforts of his Inquisitors; stifled by laws of men and bleeding hearts unwilling to set themselves to task and forcefully purge that which would unravel them from within. The Prelate had no intention of allowing the Fellowship to be bound by the same pedantic end as his own efforts had been. Hulrun's Blades would sacrifice a bit of forthrightness for practicality, meting out justice to threats independent of governmental half-measures and sensitivities.
Though he has thus far followed his teachings and orders without expressing discontent or objection, Hrodlan's mind begins to wonder at the fairness of their actions. With no checks or balances to ensure those they hunted were truly guilty—no court or tribunal to determine the potential for innocence—how could they be certain their very blind devotion was not in fact blaspheming against the very goddess they claimed to serve? How many wicked lives were required to balance the scales for every innocent claimed by their indiscriminations? How many souls culled by their relentless hunt could have been redeemed? Would their very acts against the servitors of demons condemn their own souls to the Abyss for their transgression? Such questions posed to Huldrun have always been dismissed as frivolous and counterproductive, eliciting a response bordering on contempt from the Prelate. Hrodlan has always mastered his tongue before earning Hulrun's ire for such doubts, but they continue to fester within his mind.
So many questions with no outlet; no forthcoming answers; no souls with whom he could confide. Hrodlan is a man very much at odds with himself, despite his stoic demeanor. With Armasse approaching, their hidden vigilance among the crowd is to be expected lest the cultists gain foothold to defile and ruin. Hrodlan would serve dutifully as he always had, but the questions ever remained—always burning like embers in the depths of his heart, mind, and soul. He begins to realize the bleak existence that awaits him: always hunting, always killing. Despite belonging to a fellowship, he can not help but feel that he is very much alone.
CONFLICTED: Hrodlan tries to adhere strictly to the tenets laid out by his instructors, but suffers from much inner turmoil over the nature of his tasks. The thought that he might be putting innocents to the sword due to false suspicions by the Iomedaean inquisitors torments him. Nevertheless, he has remained steadfast in his duties thus far.
SURLY: A far cry from the free spirited youth he once was, Hrodlan's company is now something suffered and rarely enjoyed. His severity and outward facade of unbending loyalty and duty to rooting out corrupt elements of Kenabres inevitably results in a person with whom social interactions are difficult. Occasionally glimpses of the person beneath can be glimpsed, but these are rare.
BRAVE: Hrodlan will not hesitate to place himself in the path of danger for country, faith, or friend. He places far more value on a good death than a coward's survival.
JUST: At his core, Hrodlan holds fast to the teachings of Iomedae, to whom the concept of justice and redemption can be attributed liberally. Hrodlan wants to believe that corruption is not so absolute that there can be no return, even if his training and assignments insinuate otherwise.