Breaching the Storm
A Half-elf Paladin of the Goddess Asir
The paladin Vearn (pronounced V-air-n) Truthseeker was born Vearn Yaro on a small farm south of the Ento Forest. While Vearn was still a child, a band of thugs pillaged the farm and murdered the Yaro family and their farmhands. Vearn was comforting an injured foal in the barn at the time of the attack and survived by hiding beneath the straw. The thugs set fire to all of the farm buildings including the barn. Vearn suffered some minor burns, but escaped just before the barn collapsed. He wasn’t able to coax the foal out with him.
Tired and disoriented, Vearn wandered in the direction of the nearest town which he remembered from taking goods to market with his father. The next day, he arrived in the city of Yemeth where he was spotted by the high priest Fri Undier. The priest brought Vearn back to the church of Asir for treatment. When the priest heard what had happened to the boy, he made arrangements for Vearn to stay at the church.
At first, Vearn had trouble with the ideals of the priests. He struggled with the concepts of selflessness and devotion when the tragedy of his family was still so fresh in his memory. Vearn preferred to spend his time studying swordplay. If he’d been a skilled warrior, Vearn thought, he could have protected his family.
It wasn’t until he received an especially deep wound from a sparring session that he began to understand. One of the paladins of Asir placed his hands around the wound and repaired his flesh in a flash of light. Vearn thanked the paladin and asked him, if he possessed such magic, why was he here in the church instead of out ridding the world of thieves and evil monsters?
The paladin explained that there is work to be done in every corner of the world, not just in thieves’ dens and undead filled dungeons. “The magic we possess,” he told Vearn, “is a gift from the Goddess Asir for our devotion. We thank Her by performing Her will, wherever that may lead us.”
This juxtaposition of power and humility ignited something in Vearn. His interest in the way of Asir was immediate and insatiable. He found the path of the paladin to be a satisfying combination of his desire for martial prowess and his growing relationship with Asir.
By the age of twenty-five, Vearn had become an established member of the church. He was a respected paladin both for his skill in combat and his devotion to the Goddess Asir. He was always looking for more information regarding Her or new ways to interpret what others believed. Vearn had taken the surname Truthseeker, not as a replacement for his family’s heritage, but as a rebirth in the arms of the Goddess. He would remember and respect the Yaro name and honor his family with his deeds in the name of Asir.
Vearn was twenty-nine when he decided to leave Yemeth. He had aided many injured and dying folk while at the church of Asir. But, he felt a calling to seek out others in need, a calling that he attributed to Asir Herself. There was work to be done elsewhere, important work. He could feel it.
He left the church and travelled east and south toward Mount Cao. He encountered many small towns along the way including one at the base of the mountain surrounded by a protective barrier. There were a few folk in need along this path that Vearn helped in the name of Asir, but he didn’t stay at any one town for long. He still felt a pull. Although, its direction wasn’t clear.
As he travelled farther south, Vearn heard of a church of Asir in the city of Tao. Surely there he could be of use and learn more of the Goddess. So, he headed toward Tao.
Vearn could hardly believe the size of it. The buildings were like mountains, stretching back farther than one could see. And, in between them, a sea of people moved in every direction. He didn’t find the church until almost nightfall. But, when he walked through the doors, he felt at peace.
Vearn spent the next several years in Tao. While at the church of Asir, he began working with a local armorsmith in his spare time. But, there were always wounded to help and information to uncover in such a large city. He found that although there many great things in the city, there was also darkness and evil.
During his time in Tao, Vearn occasionally heard the name Annesville connected to theft, loss, or suspicious activity. However, it was the tales of the Blighted Temple that interested him the most. How could this place of evil be suffered to exist so close to a town – even one so unruly?
It was six years after his arrival in Tao that Vearn decided to investigate the tales of Annesville. He hoped that he could bring some light to this cesspool while he learned what he could about the Temple.
Upon his arrival in Annesville, Vearn could feel the presence of evil. It was thick and offensive. He found a room at The Third Step. It was clean enough and would suit for now. He also found a seemingly honest blacksmith in the market who was in need of an assistant. Dealing in the market during the day and asking questions at the inn at night would bring Vearn the answers he sought.