Pathfinder - Carrion Crown
Male Human Barbarian / Rogue
No realm in northern Ustalav is more barren and harsh than that of the Tusk Mountains. A thick line of defense which remain as the only thing separating the Orcs of Belzen, and the people of Ustalav. The Tusk Mountains represent the northern most reaches of North-West of Ustalav, and create the border between north-eastern hold of Belkzen and the the southern edge of the Realm of the Mammoth Lords.
In this region however, a clan of Shoanti tribesman have taken control. This tribe, originally employed years ago by the Palatinates to keep the Orcs at bay while Ustalav went through a revolution, now occupies most of the upper regions of the Tusk Mountains. The clan, although the agreement’s end date came and went years ago, still keep a watchful eye on the Orcs who attempt to cross the mountains, and of course to their Ustalavian Masters to the east.
The tribe, know as Ochii-Muntiis (Eyes in the Mountains) are primarily represented by the Shundar-Quah (The Spire Clan) whose aim it is to seek to re-unite the disparate Shoanti peoples under one banner that they might once again have a place they can all call home, and the Tamiir-Quah (The Wind Clan), who are among the most territorial of the Shoanti people, and some of the fiercest warriors in all of Golarion.
Some years ago, the son of the leader of the Tamiir-Quah and a Tamiir-Quah warrior woman fell in love and soon after gave birth to a child named Roakk’ad. Born of these two clans, it was hoped that Roakk’ad would one day lead his peoples. A witch, and follower of Thremyr named Kala’ess however, had other plans.
On the day before the day of his 18th birthday, Roakk’ad was summoned to the alter of Thremyr, a half days travel into the mountains. There he was met by Kala’ess who convinced the young and naive Roakk’ad to take part in a dangerous vision quest. Roakk’ad had always questioned the teaching of Thremyr, as he was not inherently evil, and found that following through fear alone was a journey he did not feel he should be taking, especially if he was to unite his people.
Roakk’ad agreed to take part in the ceremony, and in doing so fell into a deep, fever fuel dream-state. Unfortunately for the witch, the ceremony did not go as planned, and her wishes fell silent on the ears of her evil god. Another, however was listening, and provided Roakk’ad with a vision. A vision, which would change his life forever.
In the vision, Roakk’ad stood on a plain of ash and dirt, a large tower looming in the distance, lightning flicking across its roof-tops. A deafening raw, and a light rumble on the ground was all that he could feel. Suddenly, the noise stopped, and Roakk’ad heard the unsheathing of two weapons. He realised that he was not alone. As he spun to his side, he saw a man of short stature, wielding two blades, and who features were similar to that of a rat. The man’s eyes were fixated on the temple before them. Roakk’ad felt no compulsion to attack him. In fact, it was quite the opposite. It was then that Roakk’ad felt a hand touch his shoulder. He spun around, Greataxe at the ready, only to be confronted by a woman with pale white glowing skin, all dressed in black. “You must face this evil Roakk’ad”, the woman whispered. “All our fates demand it. Will you fight alongside your brother against this great evil? Will you fight against the darkness? Will you fight against that which should not be? The choice is yours alone.”
Roakk’ad questioned the figure, “Are you a dream? Who are you?”
The woman did not reply, only telling Roakk’ad that he was being manipulated by the witch who had summoned him, and that she was attempting to manipulate his mind to assist this great evil. The woman continued, explaining that time was at stake, and that agents of the evil were already well on their way to raising the greatest evil Golarion had ever faced. The woman urged him to leave now.
Roakk’ad again question what she was saying.
“You must travel south, Roakk’ad. You will know your brother by the mark of the rat that he bares. You must move quickly and tell no-one of your quest until you reach your brother. Go now, amiss all depends.”
Roakk’ad’s eyes snapped open, the witch leaning over his body. The witch begged Roakk’ad to tell her what he had seen, and as instructed by the mysterious woman, Roakk’ad refused. It was then that the witch knew she had failed to do what she had initially intended. With that, the witch attacked the young warrior.
Through some stroke of fate, or perhaps something else entirely, Roakk’ad bested this somewhat powerful being, the battle ending with Roakk’ad throwing her off the side of the cliff. Injured and in need of healing, Roakk’ad fought the urge to return to his village. Somehow he knew that there would be questions. Questions that he could not answer. He had no time to bid his family goodbye. He must go at once with what he carried. And so, armed only with the Great Axe that had been given to him by his late father, Roakk’ad headed towards the cities of Ustalav, driven by the vision of the man with the mark of the rat.
After many days, traveling through the mountains, battling Orcs and other creatures of region, Roakk’ad arrived in Tamrivena. As he attempted to enter, he was stopped by the town guard and questioned at length. With no coin, or means to trade, he was refused entry and sent on his way. Roakk’ad felt he had failed in his question. It was not until later that afternoon, that he saw a group of children playing near the side wall, closest to the river. As he watch, Roakk’ad saw the children move through and overgrown part of the wall. Upon closer inspection, he saw that the wall was in disrepair. “A way in perhaps?” he pondered.
At nightfall, Roakk’ad stealthily made his way down to the river and made his way through the mud, through the broken wall, and into the city. Roakk’ad had no way of knowing this was where he needed to be. All that he knew was that he was driven to do so, and as guided by the gods, made his way to the loudest tavern he could find. It was not long before he was united with his brother and that with the trail of fate.
Roakk’ad followed his newly found brother, and witnessed his death in Schloss Caromarc after which he vowed to return the fallen warrior to his rightful home in the Tusk Mountains. However, before this could be conducted, Rurrt’s body was stolen by the Whispering Way for other nefarious purposes. Roakk’ad’s blood boiled, and soon after he, and his associates pursued the cultists into the Shudderwood.
Roakk’ad soon learned that the Whispering Way were again one step ahead, and after dealing with a strange Werewolf Spirit at Ascanor Lodge, and helping end a civil war amongst waring werewolf clans, learned through the god Desna that his destiny lay with further battles with the same cultists who had taken his brother’s corpse.
Roakk’ad and his companions tracked across central Ustalav to reach the broken town of Felgrau. It was here that Roakk’ad’s sanity broke as he came face to face with his brother, now resurrected as an undead abomination. The mental strain was too much, and the broken Roakk’ad was captured and brought before the leader of the cultists, a necromancer named Vrood. After a time, Vrood heckled Roakk’ad’s companions from atop a tower in the middle of Felgrau. Roakk’ad knew what needed to be done, and so broke free of his magic bonds, and tackled the wizard off the top of the tower and onto the ground below. The broken wizard attempted all that he could to destroy Roakk’ad, but his attempt failed.
With the wizard dead, Roakk’ad knew that his sanity would not be sated, and took it upon himself to deal with the creature he once knew as his brother. The battle was fierce, but soon after, Roakk’ad had returned his brother back to where he should have remained. From this point, Roakk’ad was never the same. Kalissa agreed to take Rurrt’s body to his clan in the Tusk Mountains, but Roakk’ad, now focused on seeking revenge for what the Whispering Way had done to his brother’s remains, vowed to continue onwards. This, however proven to be a fatal mistake for Roakk’ad and his now dwindling mental state.
Roakk’ad followed the heroes from Felgrau to Carrion Hill after they were met by a Cleric named Mopec. Roakk’ad, who at this stage began listening to his battleaxe which he claimed spoke to him during the evenings, was easily influenced, and so listened carefully to Mopec’s teachings. Mopec was the member of a strange sect of the Pharasmin Church which Roakk’ad perverted in his mind to be that he was a chosen one of Pharasma. Roakk’ad turned away from his own gods, swearing a fealty to Pharasma instead.
This further turned Roakk’ad’s sanity on its head, and as he and his companions learned more about the Keepers of Old who were worshiping ancient gods from Dark Tapestry, Roakk’ad was brought to breaking point.
Arno was the first to notice, however as Arno was now surrounded with newcomers to their quest, he decided it was best to reveal his theory. The group’s further investigation at Illmarsh, the subsequent death of Mopec, and their discovery of the skum’s worship of gods from the Dark Tapestry were the turning point when Roakk’ad broke. What was unknown at that point, was that lurking in Roakk’ad’s blood was a curse of lycanthropy. During the battle of Felgrau, Roakk’ad had been mauled by a beast, and was slowly turning towards the way of the wolf. It was not until Roakk’ad was sent insane by a creature from the Dark Tapestry. This resulted in the death of Arno, and almost death of two of his companions. Through the quick thinking of Iaome, the four companions were teleported back to Carrion Hill. Eventually, Roakk’ad was subdued and placed in a cell below the Pharasmin Church.
In the cell, thought strong enough to hold the mostly insane barbarian, change was set to occur. The following evening, Roakk’ad’s body gave into the beast, and the once fierce and cunning warrior became an an insane and ravenous werewolf, tainted by the demon blood of the creatures who they had attacked in Felgrau.
Eventually, this creature too was brought under control through a combined effort of their new friend Augustus and Iaome. With the assistance of the head cleric, Arno was raised, and Roakk’ad was cured of the affliction. But Roakk’ad’s sanity was all but gone. Now, the Barbarian believed himself to be of the shadow realm, tasked by Pharasma to rid the world of evil spell casters and those who worshiped the undead.
Eventually, under the guidance of Arno, Roakk’ad and the others returned to finish their investigations in Illmarsh. This decision was the straw that finally broke Roakk’ad. In the depths of the skum tunnels below the Cesturn Rocks, the heroes came face to face with an Elder God of Evil from the Dark Tapestry. Roakk’ad finished the creature with his axe, but not before losing his mind in the process.
Now a dribbling fool, Roakk’ad was taken to Caliphas were he was handed over to the care of Dr. Beaurigmand Trice of the Havenguard Lunatic Asylum. There, it is hoped, that Roakk’ad can be returned to his former self and be allowed to return to his homelands. Unfortunately, the horrors that Roakk’ad had seen have assured that his release will be a long way away.