Fauna of MeyerHawk - The Auroch

2022-11-13

I hope you like this first in my series of the fauna of my campaign. Animals are often overlooked in fantasy role play, which is understandable when you have so many more interesting options to use. Still I think there are room for using the natural world and its animals (and plants) in your campaigns.

Focus is also often on predators so this article is an attempt to show that a herbivore and "prey animal" can be interesting. A herd of these impressive beasts are enough to make even a party of midlevel adventurers make a detour. Animals that can take a stand against even worgs need to be powerful enough, and a herd of these beasts pack a serious punch!  

The Auroch

The aurochs are grand oxen creatures. This large, horned animal has a brown to black thick fur and an aggressive temper. Its horns are wide and sharp and both males and females have them.

Origins

Aurochs ancestors roamed the northern plains and forests of central Oerik west of the Bakluni Basin. They spread west and east, and even north during the ages of warmer climate. It was probably during one of these warm periods when they first arrived in the Flanaess via the Thornward gap and the Dramidj coast. Well adapted to both cold climate and covering long distances to find good grazing these first Aurochs quickly made themselves at home.

Soon the worgs that were one of the few predators powerful enough to successfully hunt them followed and both species are now part of the fauna of the Northern Flanaess.

Description

It is the largest bovine in the Flanaess at around 7 feet tall and often weighs more than a ton, bulls are slightly larger than cows. They live in herds ranging from around 20 - 30 in areas where they are rare and used to being hunted by intelligent hunters (like humans), to many hundreds in the few areas where they are still common.

The fur of bulls range from pure black to medium brown. Cows are only rarely black, usually having a dark brown to light brown or even grey fur. In winter they are covered by a much thicker dense fur giving them the ability to survive in near arctic climates if necessary.

They are highly aggressive and are ready to charge and kill anything that seems threating. Cows are only mildly less aggressive, and all adults cooperate in defending the herd.

Size: Large  Type: Animal

AC: 13
Speed: 40 feet
HP: 78  Bloodied: 39
Hit Dice: 12d8+24
STR: 20 (+5), DEX: 10 (+0), CON: 16 (+3), INT: 2 (-4), WIS: 10 (+0), CHA: 6 (-2)

Maneuver DC: 13
Damage Resistance: Cold
Damage Immunities:
Damage Vulnerabilities:
Condition Immunities: 

Senses passive Perception 10

Languages: none

CR: 4
Proficiency Bonus: 2

Powerful Build. The aurochs counts as one size larger when determining the aurochs' carrying capacity and the weight it can push drag or lift.

Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage.

Charge. If the aurochs moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a Gore, Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (4d8 + 4) piercing damage, the target must succeed on a DC 15 Strength or fall prone.

Trample (bonus). The Auroch uses its weight and hooves to deal extra damage, a creature takes 6 (2d6) bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone.

Distribution and Habitat

After having been hunted extensively for many millennia only a small number are still living in the northern wilderness of the Flanaess. Summer grazing ranging from the Burneal Forest in the west to the Hraak forest in the east, and in winter they move down to range from the Vesve to the Fellreev.

The wars of late was first devastating to the Auroch population being hunted in their southern grounds. As the war intensified meant that a large part of the humanoids in the north was needed to fight in the south which meant that much less hunting of them in their main areas in the north, so the population have slowly started to increase again.

Domestication and Symbolism

Aurochs have played a major role in the lives of various cultures throughout their presence in the Flanaess. Early on they quickly became a symbol for strength, courage and aggressiveness, and most likely plays a large role in stories of the Horned Ones of old Flan.

The Suel of the Thillonrian also saw them as a symbol for strength, but more so as a main target for their hunting prowess. The Stonefists who are a mix of the Suel and Old Flan settled on the narrow stretch of land between the Griff and White Fanged Bay, to be well placed to cash in on the Auroch migration to and from the Kelten and Amaran Atamanships each spring and fall.

In the west both the Tiger and Wolf Nomads revered the Aurochs as their most prized prey, and many are the horns decorating the helmets of their best warriors. The Wolf Nomads are also currently the most successful in their attempts to domesticate Aurochs. They occasionally manage to capture male calves, castrate them and use them as draft animals. Using males means they impact the numbers of wild Auroch the least, but the main reason for only using male calves are that females seemed determined to retain their aggressiveness no matter what.

The Ur-Flan successfully bred Aurochs with a southern bovine that are now extinct to create the first domesticated cattle breed in the Flanaess. Later Suel and Oeridian immigrants brought with them other domesticated cattle breeds, but there are still a significant amount of Auroch in a lot of the cattle breeds today.

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The Good and the Bad of old Great Kingdom

2022-11-04

Time for a heraldic historic deep-dive. Together with Gary Holian I'm proud to present a look at the heraldry some of the best and worst of the Great Kingdom, the Saints and the Death Knights.

Saint Benedor

A flaming trident forged from the strength of Pelor himself used by the patron saint of the Knight Protectors Sir Benedor Monlath of Chathold. 

Saint Ceril "The Relentless"

The patron of the Pale and a legendary Pholtian.

Saint Eleador the Survivor

Andromansis

Monduiz Dephaar

This is an old shield that might need updating, but I include it now to make the list complete.

Kargoth

Lady Kath

Also an old design included for completion.

Luren the Boar

Oslan Knarren

Sir Maeril of Naelax

St Carmichael

Urkar Grasz

Myrhal


Minar Syrric

Rezinar of Haxx

and last but not least Thyrian of Naelax

a HUGE thanks to Gary Holian for helping me on this!

You can find more about the characters behind these crests here:

- Bennie, Scott. "Setting Saintly Standards." Dragon #79. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1983.

- Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002.

- Cordell, Bruce R. Bastion of Faith. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 1999.

- Holian, Gary. "The Death Knights of Oerth." Dragon' #290. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2001.

- "Demogorgon's Champions: The Death Knights of Oerth, part 2." Dragon #291. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2002.

- Holian, Gary, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, and Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2000.

- Reynolds, Sean K. "The Lost Temple of Demogorgon." Dungeon #120. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2005.

- Sennert, Matthew. "Ecology of the Death Knight." Dragon #360. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2007.

and more in various issues of Oerth Journal.

Shield Lands - Pre War Province Map

2022-10-26

Her comes a look at the provinces of the Shield Lands before the Horned Society and later Iuzian invasion and the Greyhawk Wars.

There have been serval takes on how many provinces Shield Lands used to have, 21 or 23. Now in hindsight of both Living Greyhawk and the PaizoHawk development of Alhaster I have come down on 25, including the Principality of Alhaster.

Lets first look at the titles used and what that can tell us, they are with one exception Counties or Earldoms whish are for I take it seen as equal, but one step lower that a Principality in status. I can see that most of the Shield Lands was settled by adventurous people and nobles of lesser rank from the Great Kingdom in its early days and even a bit before. The Walworth's settled the strategic island in the Nyr Dyv and therefore laid the foundation for the future nation and a strong claim to its leadership held to this day.

Alhaster I imagine being settled by a Aerdian princeling looking for opportunity and better prospects away from the rigors and stale power structures back east. He, because I assume it was a male ancestor to the current Prince Zeech, settled the strategic coastline connecting the old lands of Urnst with the new lands of Ferrond in the west.

I' don't know if the early details are available, I might have missed something in my theories here. I marked this as version one so I can go back and update it as it gets scrutinized by all you knowledgeable Greyhawk nerds! 🙂

I've added the heraldry I've done so far to the map as well. I will try and fill in more and more of it as my campaign goes on and we get deeper into the Shields Lands.

Thank you again for all the support!!   

Twitch Shows Tomorrow Wednesday Oct 19th

2022-10-19

I'll be on BlueBox's Loremaster's Arcanum  and as usual we have a Legends & Lore Show on Lordgosumba .

Loremaster's Arcaneum starts at 5:30pm CDT and I will talk Goats and More with John and the others on the BlueBox team, always fun to be on their channel!

Tomorrow's L&L will be a bout Scaly and Slime folk in Greyhawk which can be interesting, and it starts right after BlueBox at 8pm EDT. So it will be a busy day tomorrow.

MeyerHawk - Iuzian Zombie Goat Horde

2022-10-13

The new Iuzian small menace are individually but a mere nuisance for brave adventures, but they often come in numbers, and that changes things.

Iuzian Zombie Goat Horde

Size: Large to Huge  Type: Undead

AC: 9
Speed: 40 feet
HP: 75  Bloodied: 37
Hit Dice: 10d6+40
STR: 10 (+0), DEX: 14 (+2), CON: 12 (+1), INT: 3 (-4), WIS: 6 (-2), CHA: 4 (-3)

Maneuver DC: 11
Damage Resistance: Cold
Damage Immunities: Poison
Damage Vulnerabilities: Bludgeoning
Condition Immunities: Fatigue, Poisoned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 8

Languages: none, but can respond to simple commands given by priests of Iuz.

CR: 9
Proficiency Bonus: 2

Undead Nature, A zombie goat doesn’t require air sustenance or sleep.

Horde, The horde is composed of 5 or more zombie goats. If it is subjected to a spell, attack, or other effect that affects only one target, it takes any damage but ignores other effects. It can share its space with Medium or smaller creatures or objects. The horde can move through any opening large enough for one small creature without squeezing.

Area Vulnerability, The horde takes double damage from any effect that targets an area.

Horde Dispersal, When the horde is reduced to 0 hit points, it turns into 2 (1d4) goats.

Climb, zombie goats can climb near impossible obstacles like walls rocks and anything that isn't smooth and vertical.

Unturnable, zombie goats that fail their save will turn stiff and roll over and stay stiff for a minute or until revived by an Iuzian priest.

Vile Discharge, The zombie goat dumps its discharge when killed, leaving a slippery poisoned mess of slippery difficult terrain. Once the horde takes damage creatures standing next to it must make a Dexterity saving throw DC 14 or fall prone, then having to make a Constitution save DC 12 taking 5 (2d4) poison damage on a failure.

Multiattack, the horde can attack all creatures within 5 feet of it.

Gore, Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit reach 5 ft. one target. Hit 1d6 + 1 piercing damage.

Painful Stare, Ranged Spell Attack +4 to hit, range 10 feet, one target. Hit: 5 (1d10) psychic damage.

MeyerHawk - More Iuzian Zombie Goats

2022-10-11

Old Eye

A while after the creation of the first zombie goats some soft of mishap led to the creation of a the "Old Eye" variant of zombie goat family. Maybe it was the will of Iuz himself, a freak accident involving Iuzian clergy using their power around innocent goats, or devious plotting zombie goats learning new tricks from their surroundings.

Some of the zombie goats acquired the ability to inflict pain by staring at person wit their enlarged eyes that looks like lenses focusing the dark red almost bloody stare of Iuz himself. Again the effect is not devastating for hardened adventurers but can be terrifying for common hapless locals, the common target for these goats.

Iuzian Zombie Goat Old Eye

Size: Small  Type: Undead

AC: 9
Speed: 40 feet
HP: 10  Bloodied: 5
Hit Dice: 2d6+4
STR: 10 (+0), DEX: 14 (+2), CON: 12 (+1), INT: 3 (-4), WIS: 6 (-2), CHA: 10 (-3)

Maneuver DC: 11
Damage Resistance: Cold
Damage Immunities: Poison
Damage Vulnerabilities: Bludgeoning
Condition Immunities: Fatigue, Poisoned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 8

Languages: none, but can respond to simple commands given by priests of Iuz.

CR: 1
Proficiency Bonus: 2

Undead Nature, A zombie goat doesn’t require air sustenance or sleep.

Undead Fortitude (1/Day), If the zombie goat is reduced to 0 hit points by damage that isn’t radiant or from a critical hit it’s instead reduced to 1 hit point falls prone and is stunned until the end of its next turn appearing to be dead.

Climb, zombie goats can climb near impossible obstacles like walls rocks and anything that isn't smooth and vertical.

Unturnable, zombie goats that fail their save will turn stiff and roll over and stay stiff for a minute or until revived by an Iuzian priest.

Vile Discharge (on destruction), The zombie goat dumps its discharge when killed leaving a slippery poisoned mess in a 10 feet square of slippery difficult terrain. Creatures entering the area must make a Dexterity saving throw DC 14 or fall prone then having to make a Constitution save DC 12 taking 2d4 poison damage on a failure.

Gore, Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit reach 5 ft. one target. Hit 1d6 + 1 piercing damage.

Painful Stare, Ranged Spell Attack +4 to hit, range 10 feet, one target. Hit: 5 (1d10) psychic damage.

Mortis Jump (bonus), The zombie goat can make a 10 feet jump as a bonus action.

---

Correction: The Old Eye is a CR1 and the standard Zombie Goat is only CR 1/2, I've changed the earlier post to show the correct statblock. Movement is also added.

Here is the Iuzian spell that are the likely source for the zombie goats Painful Stare attack:

Pain of the Old One

Level: 1
School: Necromancy
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Touch
Target: One creature
Components: S
Duration: Concentration (1 minute)
Saving Throw: Charisma halves (special)

Your patron is giving you fell energies that torment the target. You need to succeed on a melee spell attack that deals 1d10 ongoing psychic damage. And it turns the targets eyes red and bloody.

The target can make a saving throw each round and only suffer half damage when successful. The bloody eyes persists until the spell ends or the target takes a life. On a round the target kills someone (or something) no save needed and the pain goes away.

The spell can also be ended using a Remove Curse spell.

Cast at Higher Levels

Increase the duration by 1 minute per level above 1.

---

Conduit: Divine   Strain: Fiendish  Taint: Evil

This spell is presented using my format, which is standard D&D5E except the terms Conduit, Strain and Taint.  

Conduit are the way a spellcaster can learn to cast a spell, or use a magic ability. I currently have three conduits in my campaign. This spell are Divine which means it is given to the caster from a powerful being of some sort, like a deity, Abyssal Lord or someone (or something) else the caster serves or sworn a pact with.

Strain are the source for the spells power, in this case it is Fiendish power. This might enhance or reduce the effect of the spell depending on the circumstances when it is being cast.  

Taint is a note on what type of residue (if any) a spell leaves on the caster and the surroundings. In this case the spell is evil and can be detected as such and will leave a taint on the caster.

Zombie Goat Ram

Not all zombie goats are created from female goats, there are of course the occasional male one too, and they are much tougher, retaining and even enhancing some of their natural ferocity. The ram can also charge for extra damage.

 Zombie Goat Ram

Size: Small Type: Undead

AC: 12
Speed: 40 feet
HP: 26  Bloodied: 5
Hit Dice: 4d8+8
STR: 14 (+2), DEX: 14 (+2), CON: 16 (+3), INT: 3 (-4), WIS: 6 (-2), CHA: 4 (-3)

Maneuver DC: 11
Damage Resistance: Cold, Piercing
Damage Immunities: Poison
Damage Vulnerabilities: Bludgeoning
Condition Immunities: Fatigue, Poisoned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 8

Languages: none, but can respond to simple commands given by priests of Iuz.

CR: 2
Proficiency Bonus: 2

Undead Nature, A zombie goat doesn’t require air sustenance or sleep.

Undead Fortitude (1/Day), If the zombie goat is reduced to 0 hit points by damage that isn’t radiant or from a critical hit it’s instead reduced to 1 hit point falls prone and is stunned until the end of its next turn appearing to be dead.

Climb, zombie goats can climb near impossible obstacles like walls rocks and anything that isn't smooth and vertical.

Unturnable, zombie goats that fail their save will turn stiff and roll over and stay stiff for a minute or until revived by an Iuzian priest.

Vile Discharge (on destruction), The zombie goat dumps its discharge when killed leaving a slippery poisoned mess in a 10 feet square of slippery difficult terrain. Creatures entering the area must make a Dexterity saving throw DC 14 or fall prone then having to make a Constitution save DC 12 taking 2d4 poison damage on a failure.

Gore, Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit reach 5 ft. one target. Hit 2d6+4 piercing damage.

Charged Gore, Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit reach 5 ft. one target. Hit 3d6+4 piercing damage and the target must succeed on a DC 12 Strength or fall prone

Mortis Jump (bonus), The zombie goat can make a 10 feet jump as a bonus action.

MeyerHawk - Iuzian Zombie Goats

2022-10-05

In this spooky season lest look into a some appropriate monsters, and first out are the Iuzian Zombie Goat.

Background

Zombie goats, or more accurately Iuzian undead goats, are the result of a combination of sad and terrible factors creating a scourge of lands under the Old One and beyond. It started with minor priests of Iuz lacking the ability to control and manage their quickly growing holdings they where set to dominate. Their greedy master demanded both tribute in the form of meat to feed his troops and that all forms of resistance in conquered lands where brought down. 

Lack of manpower were soon a big problem, people where either sent to the front to fight worked to death under appalling conditions and then tuned undead to serve on with menial tasks. When priest of the Old One found themselves without people to give the gift of Orcus, they turned to an still ample resource in these half barren lands, goats. the little hardy critters where everywhere in, large numbers, and could be bread much faster and easier than people. 

Thus some inventive clergy of Iuz killed a goat, stripped it of most of its meat and animated it. Giving it instruction to guard, chase down any humans hiding in the area and similar tasks, the undead goats became a simple solution to both supporting the war effort and controlling the lands. The practice spread and now there are probably many thousands of Iuzian Zombie goats roaming the lands of Empire of Iuz.  

A single sheep is not a more than a nuisance for hardened adventurers, but for the few common folks still struggling in the Empire of Iuz they are a deadly resource of the priests keeping the population in check.

There are rumors' of more deadly variants of these critters either being created by innovative priests, maybe Iuz himself, or by the malign nature of the land.  

Iuzian Zombie Goat

Size: Small Type: Undead

AC: 9
Speed: 40 feet
HP: 10  Bloodied: 5
Hit Dice: 2d6+4
STR: 10 (+0), DEX: 14 (+2), CON: 12 (+1), INT: 3 (-4), WIS: 6 (-2), CHA: 4 (-3)

Maneuver DC: 11
Damage Resistance: Cold
Damage Immunities: Poison
Damage Vulnerabilities: Bludgeoning
Condition Immunities: Fatigue, Poisoned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 8

Languages: none, but can respond to simple commands given by priests of Iuz.

CR: 1/2
Proficiency Bonus: 2

Undead Nature, A zombie goat doesn’t require air sustenance or sleep.

Undead Fortitude (1/Day), If the zombie goat is reduced to 0 hit points by damage that isn’t radiant or from a critical hit it’s instead reduced to 1 hit point falls prone and is stunned until the end of its next turn appearing to be dead.

Climb, zombie goats can climb near impossible obstacles like walls rocks and anything that isn't smooth and vertical.

Unturnable, zombie goats that fail their save will turn stiff and roll over and stay stiff for a minute or until revived by an Iuzian priest.

Vile Discharge (on destruction), The zombie goat dumps its discharge when killed leaving a slippery poisoned mess in a 10 feet square of slippery difficult terrain. Creatures entering the area must make a Dexterity saving throw DC 14 or fall prone then having to make a Constitution save DC 12 taking 2d4 poison damage on a failure.

Gore, Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit reach 5 ft. one target. Hit 1d6 + 1 piercing damage.

Mortis Jump (bonus), The zombie goat can make a 10 feet jump as a bonus action.

VGHC 2022 - My Mapping & Campaign Seminar

2022-09-30
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Virtual Greyhawk Con 2022 is almost here!

2022-09-28

I'm prepping hard for VGHC 2022, its only a few days away, and my agenda is jam packed with stuff all week!

Tonight we have a Legends & Lore Show - Politics.

Watch it here: https://www.twitch.tv/lordgosumba @8PM EDT!

Friday the 30th is my Mapping and Campaign seminar: https://tabletop.events/conventions/virtual-greyhawk-con-2022/schedule/3

Saturday I'm playing Saxa Frost, a priest of Heironeous in Michael Mossbarger's game "The Brokenstone": https://tabletop.events/conventions/virtual-greyhawk-con-2022/schedule/7

Right after that on Saturday I'm on the panel in Troll Lord Games seminar: https://tabletop.events/conventions/virtual-greyhawk-con-2022/schedule/21

Sunday I'm streaming a session from my MeyerHawk Shield Lands Campaign: https://tabletop.events/conventions/virtual-greyhawk-con-2022/schedule/57

And then I'm on the "Ask the Experts" stream at the end of the convention: https://tabletop.events/conventions/virtual-greyhawk-con-2022/schedule/2

I hope to see many of you there, and please take a look at the games, there are still seats open in some of the games!

VGHC 2022 - MeyerHawk - Meet the Characters 1 - Bruenor

2022-09-27

Only a few days left until Virtual Greyhawk Con 2022 starts, and I'm working hard to get everything ready for my little part in this years convention.

I will have a seminar https://tabletop.events/conventions/virtual-greyhawk-con-2022/schedule/3 on Friday presenting what I'm up to in my Greyhawk related projects. This year there will be a bit less new maps but more other cool related stuff coming that I think you will be interested in.

On Sunday I will be debuting as DM streaming a game session in my ongoing Shield Lands Campaign https://tabletop.events/conventions/virtual-greyhawk-con-2022/schedule/57

There will be three invited guest playing pre-gen characters, and the first one is being presented in this post. The rule system I'm using are "Advanced 5E" (A5E) AKA "Level Up" from EN Publishing https://www.levelup5e.com

I'm in the middle of house ruling it, which I will go into detail about later. The main thing I've changed is to try and make it classless.   

On to the first pre-gen character, meet Bruenor...

Bruenor of Herechel

Medium Humanoid (Human)

Age: 23

Alignment: LG

AC: 17 (Studded Leather +2, medium shield)

HP: 58  Bloodied: 27 HD: 6d10

Speed: 30 ft.

STR 16 (+3), DEX 12 (+1), CON 14 (+2), INT 11 (+0),  WIS 16 (+3), CHA 13 (+1)

Maneuver DC: 14         Proficiency Bonus: 3

Saves (prof): Dex: 3, Wis: 5

Skills (prof): Animal handling: 5, Insight: 5, Medicine: 5, Persuasion: 4, Religion: 3, Survival: 4

Senses: passive Perception 14

Languages: Common, Goblin, Flan


Multiattack:  Bruenor can make two attacks

Turn Undead: As an action you present the holy symbol of your deity and speak a divine word rebuking the undead. Each undead creature within 30 feet that can see  or hear you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails it is  turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage from any source.

Exertion Points: 6

Heironeous' Precision (1 point) whenever you miss with a melee weapon or melee spell attack you  gain advantage on your next melee weapon or melee spell attack.

Faith Within (reaction, 1 point) When you fail a saving throw against a spell or other magical effect that makes you charmed frightened poisoned or stunned at the start  of your turn you can use your reaction to repeat the saving throw.

Actions:

Keen Radiant Longsword +1, Melee Weapon Attack +6 to hit reach 5 ft. one target. Hit 8 (1d8+4) slashing damage plus 4 (1d8) radiant damage.

Dagger, Melee Weapon Attack +5 to hit reach 5 ft. one target. Hit 4 (1d4+3) piercing damage.

Composite Longbow +1, Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage.

Spellcasting

Divine Spellcasting granted by Heironeous, Bruenor’s spellcasting ability is Wisdom (save DC 15, +6 to hit with Spell  Attacks). He can cast the following spells:

Cantrips (at will): Blade Ward, Corona of Light, Detect Magic, Resistance,  Sacred Flame

1st Level (4/day):  Absorb Elements, Bless, Calculated Retribution, Heroism, Cure Wounds, Healing Word

2nd Level (3/day):  Darkvision, Enhance Ability, Lesser Restoration, Prayer of Healing, Glorious Weapon, Magic Weapon

3rd Level (3/day): Beacon of Hope, Daylight, Healing Word, Mass, Spirit Guardians, Remove Curse, Tongues

Equipment

Studded Leather +2, Medium Steel Shield, Helmet, Quiver with 40 arrows, Winter Clothing, Holy Symbol, Backpack, Silk Rope 50 ft., Dry Supply for 5 days, Water Bottle, Prayer Book, Ink and Pen, Small Steel Mirror, Bedroll, Hourglass, Incense (small block), Note Book, Soap, Tinderbox, Whetstone, Scroll of Revivify, Scroll of Daylight, Scroll of  Flamestrike. Potion of Healing (x5), Potion of Lesser Restoration (x2).

Background

Bruenor was born in Delard in County of Axeport as it was known back then as the only son to a couple who maintained and repaired small boats. Young Bruenor was only 4 years old when the forces of the Horned Society closed in on the town and the family decided to flee. They ended up in Herechel, a large town on the Furyondian side of the Veng estuary.

Life in Herechel was comparatively good and his parents could continue their work. Herechel have a small port suitable for the kind of small vessels they had worked on in Delard. War was continually close by during Bruenor's whole upbringing, first the Horned Society conquest of the Shield Lands and the escalation into major conflict in 585 CY when Iuz forces took over the occupation of the Shield Lands and attacked Furyondy.

Very eager to join the fight, as a 10 year old Bruenor was too young to join any military unit. When he was 15 he and a group of young Shield Landers in exile took the ferry from Veng Keep to Southroad and told the first official they encountered that that wanted to join the order and fight for their homeland. That very night the youngsters witnessed first hand how a large force of hobgoblins lead by a Iuzian cleric stormed the towns defenses that was only partially built at the time. Bruenor was tasked with assisting those wo where bringing the wounded and the dead to safety.

That brutal baptism of fire made him see war clearly, both the brutality and grief but also the determination and courage of the Shield Landers who defended the town. Young Bruenor decided then and their to be as tough as they where. He was sent to Onea on Scragholme Island for basic training and early on he got recognized for being levelheaded and keeping his cool.

After two years in training, in the summer of 595 CY he was sent to Southbridge for his first front line assignment. He was part of a new generation of warriors trained by hardened veterans and well equipped who got a chance to show the enemy what they where made of. He served well and gained a reputation for being both brave and patient. He swore and oath to the order and was now on his way to become a knight.

Slowly Heironeous call became stronger and stronger and Bruenor decided to concentrate on serving the arch paladin in the role of protector of the faithful instead of becoming a knight. The blessings from his new master grew stronger over the next few years as Bruenor participated in the defense of the area around Critwall and the daring raid to retake Southbridge keep in 597 CY. He was part of the reconnaissance force and made quite impression during the clandestine river crossing and further action behind enemy lines. This led to Bruenor being asked to join the Shield Patrol by Ottumin one of the unit's commanders.

The last year Bruenor have spent a large chunk of time on patrol deep into occupied territory hiding from the enemy more than actually fighting him, but from time to time the action have ben brutal. After a daring recon mission along the Sente river he was given his most cherished possession, a longsword blessed by Heironeous, which have proved very useful in later missions.

After a few weeks of light duty and rest in Critwall Bruenor was selected to recon for the large force that was going to set out to retake Southkeep under the leadership of Katarina Walworth herself. This was the first time he saw the now legendary commander in person. He arrived with his ragtag looking band of fellow warriors. Bruenor had in youth imagined himself in shining armor, which he had worn a few times as an honor guard in Critwall, most of his service had been dressed to blend in among the ragtag souls still present in the occupied southern Shield Lands.

On Sunsebb the 12th 598 CY they attacked Southkeep with full force, the sheer intensity, brutality and suddenness stunned even him. It was the first time he witnessed what a force several thousand strong could could bring to bare. Only five of the enemy managed, or was let to escape, the rest was given no pity and those who had any signs of the Old One was put to the sword. A handful of civilians was found in a slave pen half frozen to death in the winter chill. They was helped back to recovery and sent back west for interrogation and assistance.

A large part of the force continued to press on and the next day Katarina told them that the next stop was Auldet a small town that had been occupied since the start of the war. It was going to be used as a base for further venturing into the Serion Hills. Katarina laid out a plan to check in on a an old mountain stronghold in the hands of a band of freedom fighters led by a servant of the Old Faith Maidjan, and then retake the Serion Keep next door. Bruenor herd some people laughing or muttering something about Vayne's hunting lodge.