Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Haakon Blackwing

Haakon Magnusson, also called Haakon Blackwing
Pitborn Tiefling
Barbarian 1/Fighter 2
Fauchard +7 melee (1d10+5, reach, trip)
Darkvision 60 ft.
Perception +5
Languages: Common, Abyssal, Infernal
HP (1d12+2d10+6)
AC (+6 Armor, +2 Dex)
Fort +7/Ref +2/Will +0
+1 vs. Fear
Resist cold 5, resist electricity 5, resist fire 5
Str 17 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 13 Wis 10 Cha 9
BAB +3
Racial Abilities: Shatter 1/day, Vestigial Wings (+4 to flight), Commune with Ancestor 1/week
Class Features: Fast Movement, Rage 6 rounds/day, Bravery +1
Feats: Fiendish Heritage, Combat Expertise, Exotic Weapon Proficiency - Fauchard, Improved Trip
Skills: Intimidate +5, Perception +5, Ride +6, Survival +4, Swim +9, Acrobatics +6, Fly +4
Equipment: Spiked Breastplate, +1 Fauchard, Composite Longbow (+3), 60 Arrows, Backpack, Bedroll, Small Tent, Signal Horn, 50 ft. Hemp Rope, 5x Trail Rations, 10 GP

Haakon is a tall and heavily muscled Tiefling, who normally dresses in black plate armor and wields an exotic polearm. Although he appears mostly humanoid, people can tell immediately that he looks wrong. His skin is pale and sickly, his long black hair is unkempt and greasy-looking, and his features are hard and seem to suggest a snarl, even (and especially) when he is smiling. In addition, his irises are a deep blood red, and in complete darkness, they seem to glow faintly. In addition to these subtle signs of his demonic heritage, Haakon also possesses a pair of nonfunctional vestigial wings. They resemble a bat's wings, but appear broken and tattered. Haakon tries his best to conceal them under his faded red travel cloak.

He is 28 years old.

Haakon can be cold and off-putting. While he is normally very serious and professional, he has a dry wit and a sense of humor that makes most people uncomfortable. He tries to avoid confrontation if he can, but does not back away from a necessary fight. He is a hardened mercenary who shows no mercy to his enemies. He has a desire to do good, when he can, but he also knows the world doesn't always work that way, and that no one should expect it to. Separated from the culture he was raised in, he feels alienated, but due to his Tiefling heritage he's used to being an outsider. Combat remains the only thing that makes much sense to him.

Haakon was born to a tribe of seafaring warriors known as the Krigere, a people whose entire way of life is based around raiding and conquest. Much of their lives are spent on large yet nimble ships or between hidden settlements. He is the illegitimate son of a Keisar, a kind of minor king who rules over a large collection of ships. Haakon has never met his mother - she disappeared shortly after birthing him, and he has grown up hearing only rumors of the dark sorceress who managed to seduce the Keisar. Haakon was born a twisted demon child, who nonetheless bore a striking resemblance to his father, Magnus. Magnus elected to recognize Haakon as his own, but took a dagger and cut off the child's bat-like wings. Throughout Haakon's childhood, the wings would be painfully chopped off, only to grow back over the course of a few months.

Magnus had three legitimate children with his queen, as well as two other illegitimate children, giving Haakon a total of five half-siblings. The oldest of the legitimate children, Harald, had been born only a few weeks after Haakon. They thus grew up together and formed a close bond. Though they cared for each other, their relationship was defined by competition - they each strove to outmatch the other, and thus became great warriors. Harald had an advantage in raw strength, but Haakon had a mind for tactics that Harald lacked, and would best Harald more often than not.

But Harald was the legitimate son, and first in line to Magnus's throne. Haakon eventually grew resentful of the preferential treatment Harald received, despite their comparable abilities. He had also grown to despise his father, who routinely caused Haakon agony in a callous way, demanding that Haakon be as normal as possible. In addition, as Haakon came of age, he began to struggle with a deep rage that seemed to simmer in his very blood. He would sometimes hear voices urging him to kill and destroy. It became a constant struggle to keep this anger under control.

One day, Magnus called Haakon and Harald to his quarters , and the aging king revealed a plan for a very ambitious raid that would completely sack a large settlement. It would require the cooperation of several of the Keisars in a coordinated assault, but the payoff in resources and artifacts and gold would be massive. As Magnus explained his grand plan, he revealed a further detail - that Harald would be the one to lead the assault. Harald would also have the honor of wielding the ancestral Fauchard, Tyrfing.

Haakon's blood began to boil, his head filling with whispers urging him to kill. He repressed the anger, and coldly inquired why he, with his superior tactical mind, would not be leading the charge. His father's reply was equally cold.

"I'll not have my armies led by a demonspawn abomination." He spat.

For the first time, Haakon was overcome by the urges. He let out a monstrous roar and lunged at his father, grabbing him by the throat and slamming his head against the wall with a sickening wet crunch. Harald lunged to restrain Haakon, but in his enraged state Haakon knocked his half-brother aside with a single blow and continued his assault. Years of pain and rage and resentment flooded out and Haakon lost himself.

When the haze cleared, Haakon was on his knees, his hands covered in blood. His father's lifeless body was impaled with the ancestral weapon, pinning him to the wall. In a daze, he looked over at his brother, who was climbing to his feet. Harald met his stunned gaze alternately with confusion, shock, sadness, and fury.

"Haakon," he said finally. "You must leave here. Leave here and never return, or you will answer for this crime. Please, Haakon. Run."

And Haakon ran, leaping into a small boat and heading for shore. From that day forward, he feared the demonic power within him, and what it could do if he gave into it. But he never cut off his wings again.

Over the next 10 years, he has avoided the Krigere people entirely, and worked as a hired sword farther inland. Over this time, he has been contacted telepathically by the demon who sired his line - a Balor Lord named Chax. Chax is constantly urging Haakon to give in to his baser impulses, but Haakon refuses, instead walking a path down a deliberate middle. Nonetheless, Chax seems to want him to succeed and grow powerful, and offers helpful advice from time to time.