Arawn Darkdreamer

Dragonborn Paladin of the Raven Queen

Description:

Arawn, level 9
Dragonborn, Paladin
Build: Avenging Paladin
Dragon Breath Key Ability: Dragon Breath Strength
Dragon Breath Damage Type: Dragon Breath Cold
Background: Occupation – Military (+2 to Endurance)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 20, Con 14, Dex 11, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 14.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 13, Dex 11, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12.

AC: 25 Fort: 21 Reflex: 16 Will: 18
HP: 77 Surges: 14 Surge Value: 21

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion +9, Intimidate +13, Insight +11, Heal +11, Athletics +12

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +2, Arcana +4, Bluff +6, Diplomacy +6, Dungeoneering +6, Endurance +8, History +6, Nature +6, Perception +6, Stealth +2, Streetwise +6, Thievery +2

FEATS
Level 1: Berserker’s Fury
Level 2: Weapon Expertise (Axe)
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Execution axe)
Level 6: Weapon Focus (Axe)
Level 8: Durable

POWERS
Lay on Hands: Lay on Hands
Paladin at-will 1: Holy Strike
Paladin at-will 1: Ardent Strike
Paladin encounter 1: Divine Pursuit
Paladin daily 1: Paladin’s Judgment
Paladin utility 2: Divine Counter
Paladin encounter 3: Hold Fast
Paladin daily 5: Martyr’s Retribution
Paladin utility 6: Valiant Rush
Paladin encounter 7: Thunder Smite
Paladin daily 9: Knightly Intercession

Bio:

Arawn Darkdreamer was hatched Arawn Baranir in lands that used to be the Empire of Nerath.
His mother and father were honorable dragonborn mercenaries, fighting for pay but always
striving to serve a good cause. Arawn’s father used to claim they were decendent from
Arkhosian nobility but then, most dragonborn do so it’s hard to verify the accuracy of this
claim. Perhaps the family was indeed once rulers in the long dead dragonborn empire.
Perhaps.

Arawn and his younger brother Teladrin were raised to the mercenary life, taught the sword
and axe and bow along with their letters. They were taught to revere Bahamut, to fight
without fear, to honor the enemy but never to underestimate him. They moved through many
of the southlands as their parents contracts dictated. They went where the fighting was and
where the money was. They saw their share of courage, and they saw their share of horrors.
As so often happens, plague follows war and the boys were in the thick of it. Eventually,
it came home to roost and Arawn and Teladrin both fell ill.

For a full week, Arawn tossed and turned in sweat soaked sheets, out of his mind with fever
and delirium. Eventually, his fever broke and he came to his senses only to learn that
Teladrin had not faired as well. While not yet gone, he was burning with fever, dehydrated,
and obviously dying. Arawn was beside himself. He instantly began praying to Bahamut to
save Teladrin, but the boy just slipped further and further away. In desperation, Arawn
began praying to other gods, to any that would listen, offering his life and his soul for
the life of his brother. Weakened from his sickness, Arawn eventually fell into sleep and
into dreams.

He dreamt he stood before a great castle seemingly cut from black ice in a land of snow that
he’d never seen before. The color seemed to have been washed out of everything, all was
shades of grey. The sky was raining stars that fell towards the black citadel. The gates
were closed but a raven flew down from one of the towers and perched on Arawn’s shoulder.

It spoke, “This is the citadel of The Raven Queen, The Dark Lady, The Spinner of Fate who
rules this Shadowfell and all the souls of the dead that come here. She is calling your
brother home. Who are you to beg for someone to thwart her will?”

Arawn was amazed but ready to bargain, “He was young and strong before the sickness. His
heart is good and pure. He will go on to spread goodness and joy in the world as he has
been taught. I am sure it is his destiny. If he dies now, all that will go to waste.”

The raven shook his head sadly, “Mortals are blessed for not seeing the great pattern of fate
as my Mistress does. Truly I tell you, your brother is dying for a reason even if you do not
understand. The child does not know that the stove is hot and thinks the parent cruel for
slapping his hand away. If your brother lives, he will bring death and sadness into the
world.”

“That’s impossible! I do not believe it!”

“Nevertheless, it is so.”

“I won’t accept that. Your Queen is wrong and what she does is evil.”

“No, what she does is necessary. She is all that stands between mortals and the enslavement
of evil beings like Vecna and Orcus. Death is the price you pay for life. Not even my Queen
can see all ends but she does her best to manage the pattern and keep life worth living and
death noble and unsullied. I tell you this again, it is in the world’s best interest that
your brother dies this night.”

“Save him and I’ll do anything you ask of me. Take my life instead of his, it matters not to
me! He is too good to die.”

The raven cocked his head as if listening for a long while. Finally, he heaved a sigh, “Your
bargain is accepted, but we will not collect tonight. I will return when you understand why
things should have been the way they were fated. Then you will truly kneel before my Queen,
though I fear it will be in grief.”

Arawn awoke the next morning on the floor beside his brother’s bed. The fever had broken and
Teladrin slept easily. He would recover. Arawn eventually decided the dream was a product of
exhaustion and let it go. He was sadly mistaken.

The years passed swiftly and Arawn and Teladrin grew up fast, as dragonborn do. They soon
joined their parents in service and were able to command a full wage. They saw some action,
mostly against bandits and humanoid raiders, and proved themselves competent and capable.
Arawn’s parents were considering having another child and so they took a contract as guard
force for a small town called Nierkeeping a few days ride outside of Southport. Here Arawn’s
life would forever change.

All seemed well and for several months the change of pace was welcome. The family took turns
at watch with the local guardsman, and the occasional tavern brawl resolved quickly when
several large dragonborn showed up to keep the peace. However, one evening, Arawn awoke to
screams. He rushed out of the barracks to find the small walled town ablaze and rough men
running through the streets pillaging and raping. He rushed to aid but the militia had
obviously been caught completely unaware as most of the force was still struggling to arm
themselves. The fight was over quickly, most of the militia were killed and Arawn was struck
unconscious before he could find any of his family. While he was unconscious, the vision of
the raven returned.

“All this death is your brother’s fault, Arawn,” the raven said, “Had you let fate take its
course this would never have happened.”

“That is ridiculous, I don’t believe you! Is my family safe?” Arawn asked frantically.

“Your brother is dead. Your parents are gravely wounded and they will soon go to my Queen as
well. Your brother fell asleep on watch, Arawn, and that allowed the bandits to gain entry
undetected. They slit his throat where he slept and crept over the wall at his post. They
were in the city before anyone knew what had happened. Your brother wasn’t an evil person, in
fact he was a very good person, but even good people make mistakes. His had tragic
consequences. My Queen has to always look at the Scales of Fate before she makes her choices.
She does not cut threads in malice, Arawn, she does it out of necessity. Mortals hate her
because their vision is veiled. Do you see that now?”

Arawn did not want to believe, but in his heart he somehow knew the raven spoke the truth. He
knew his brother was on watch this night, and while he didn’t want to admit it, it was
possible he had dozed. Things had been very slow the past couple months and Arawn himself
had nearly drifted off on several occasions during the late night watches.

“Save my parents and I will do anything you ask of me!”

“I’m sorry; the fate of your parents is in the hands of others. Even now, guardsmen from
Southport are hearing of the bandits attack. They will liberate the village and break the
bandits. If they arrive in time, the clerics with them may save your parents but the odds
are against it. Besides, you have already made that commitment once, or have you forgotten
our bargain? Rest assured, my Queen has not. She has foreseen troubled times ahead. Her
enemies grow stronger. Orcus, Demon Lord of the Undead, wishes to take my Queen’s throne and
if he does, the prime plane will become nothing but a pleasure house for his demons and undead
hordes. My Queen needs champions. The world needs champions. Serve us and you will not be
disappointed. We are not bright, shining masters like Pelor or Bahamut, but our goals are no
less important. We do not fight for good or evil, but simply for life as you know it. Don
the black, Arawn. My Queen needs you.”

Arawn felt the call but before he could answer he was returned to consciousness to see a
cleric of Kord bending over him, “This one’s alive!” he called over his shoulder.

“My parents….hurt….find them…please….,” was all Arawn could speak before he returned to the
darkness.

Arawn’s parents did not survive. The clerics did all they could but they could not save
everyone. This saddened Arawn but only firmed his resolve to never rely on anyone else.
His Queen, The Dark Lady, would be his protection. The Weaver of Fate now guided Arawn’s
destiny. He joined the Order of Winter in Southport and was ordained a Paladin of the Raven
Queen and imbued with her power. He honed his healing skills so that he could save those who
name had not yet been called by The Dark Lady, those who were not fated to die.

(I may flesh out more of this time period if I think of other fun things, but for now he was
sent north by a dream of a northern river valley in danger, ending up in Fallcrest.)

Often Arawn has strange and vivid dreams. Only the raven dreams have ever been clear, the
others are muddled and terrifying but Arawn is certain they are all sendings from his Queen
and tries to follow them as best he can. Whether they are truly prophecy or simply the
product of a mind that has suffered fever, grief, and injury only time will tell. He does
his best to fit reality into the context of his previous dreams, however, always looking for
a way to tie what’s happening today in with what he dreamed a few nights ago. While he does
not fault others for not worshipping the Raven Queen, he pities them for their
shortsightedness. In the end, only her words matter and her kingdom is where we all must
go, even if only temporarily. Arawn has had visions of his death, but they are some of the
most unclear of his dreams. However, he takes courage from that for he feels he will
recognize his death when it approaches. He is not afraid to rush ahead because,
“I have seen my death, and this is not it!” He despises undead as thwarting his Queen’s
will and will destroy them whenever he can. Some might think he would be resigned and
morbid, but in reality he celebrates life wherever he can, though his past losses still
mute him and some days he can be very quiet and withdrawn. He spends much of time trying to
make sense of his dreams, because he sometimes feels his Queen is speaking to him and he
is not understanding. He tries to be honest and forthright, but he also realizes the greater
goal is the most important. If there is one thing his experience with the Raven Queen has
taught him, it is this – the ends justify the means.

Arawn Darkdreamer

The Nentir Irregulars sonicfil