Black Tide Rising
"When the cold, indifferent winds of fate erode the edges of the mighty kingdoms, when those edges crumble to dust and the once-strong cry to the heavens for mercy as the world they have built crashes around them, I will only smile."
Kensai 4 /Fighter 4 / Rogue 2
Human Male, Chaotic Neutral
Ht: 6’3" Wt: 240lbs
Hair: Black Eyes: Gray
Str 20 +5
Dex 18 +4
Con 15 +2
Int 15 +2
Wis 10 0
Cha 8 -1
Base Attack Bonus +8 / +2
+ 2 Spiked Chain of Speed & Deadly Precision
Att: + 16 / + 16 / + 10
Dam: 2d4+11 Crit: 19-20/x2
3d6 Sneak Attack Damage, +10 Disarm, +9 Trip
+2 Mithral Breastplate
Armor Bonus +7 ; Check Penalty -1
Cloak of Resistance +1
Amulet of Natural Armor +1
Ring of Protection +1
Ring of Sustenance
Gauntlets of Ogre Power, +2 Str
Headband of Health, +2 Con
Boots of Striding & Springing, +10’ Speed, +5 Jump Checks
Cure Light x4
Cure Mod x2
Cure Serious x1
Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Spiked Chain
Weapon Focus, Spiked Chain
Weapon Specialization, Spiked Chain
Improved Critical, Spiked Chain
Sneak Attack 1d6
Gather Information +8
Move Silently +8
Sense Motive +10
Knowledge, Local +7
Knowledge, Nobility & Royalty +7
Abandoned on the streets of Corsus at a very young age, the fighter’s earliest memories are of eating garbage and sleeping in sewers and alleyways. He has no memory of his parents, and he spent his earliest years with little to no real human contact. He didn’t speak until the age of 10, when he was lucky enough to be noticed as a quick-thinker by a thief named Varyx. Varyx was a low-ranking member of one of the least powerful thieve’s guilds in the city (which is known as the City of Rogues). He used the street urchin, who had no name at the time, to run errands, trail people, be a lookout, and whatever else he felt the boy was capable of handling. There was no love between the two; Varyx was scum, who used the young orphan only because he was capable and pliable. During his years of informal tutelage under the scoundrel, he was most often referred to as “boy”, though Varyx would occasionally use more colorful nicknames for him, all derogatory.
Still, the thief kept him busy and relatively safe. The boy had not eaten so well in his life before he met Varyx, and his young mind soaked in everything that he was taught. He quickly came to recognize that the skills he was learning would serve him well. As he matured, he began to forge out on his own. He was an excellent burglar and had a knack for picking targets to rob. He never bothered with con games or pick-pocketing, which were the specialties of Varyx. He began to view his “master” as weak, much weaker than him, and saw Varyx’s methods as pathetic.
By the age of 14 or so (the warrior still does not know exactly how old he is), he broke away from Varyx completely. He moved from the high-city, which is near the top of the cliff face into which Corsus is set, to the low-city. The low city was a very dangerous place, overflowing with scum from across the realm who used the port of Corsus as the ultimate black market. There it was much more perilous to rob and steal, especially for a loner and a youth. He found work in gambling dens and taverns as a server/cook/cleaner, a job known in the area as a “rag”. The rags were basically the bottom rung on the ladder of commerce in the low-city. Still, they were a step above those who had no job at all. Being used to the name “boy”, he cared little when his bosses called him only “rag”. At the age of 15, the orphan still had no name, but had managed to carve out an existence in the one of the most unforgiving places in the known realms.
During this time, he favored working at places with a fight-cage. Very popular in the low-city, fight-cages are exactly what they sound like- enclosed spaces where two or more men fight, sometimes to the death. When he had a moment of reprieve from his unsavory duties, he would carefully watch the men in the cages. He made mental notes of tactics that worked, and of what didn’t work. He began to gain a sense of the types of men who step into the cage- the men who fought only for money, or for glory, or to test themselves. There were also men who were forced into the cage against their will. Those men died, often whimpering. Whenever he began to watch a fight in which one of the combatants was clearly frightened, he would turn away. There would be nothing to learn from that fight, and he already knew how it would end.
One night, about a year after the teenager left the high-city, Varyx entered the seedy back-alley tavern where the boy happened to be working. Apparently, the crook had come into gold because he was garbed in opulent attire. Rings covered every finger and gold chains sparkled around his neck. With him was an entourage of the six largest men that the boy had ever seen. The nameless rag stood gaping at the thief for a moment too long, for just as he was about to sneak away, Varyx’s eyes fell on him. A vicious, drunken smile crept across his face as he pointed to the boy, “Fetch him.” One of his thugs lunged at the boy, painfully grabbing him by the scruff of his neck. Though maturing, the lad was still scrawny and slow due to years of malnutrition. He attempted to fight back but had no chance. “So, here I find you after all this time. You know, boy, you were an investment of mine. If not for me, you would probably be dead. And what thanks do you give? Sneaking off in the night! You owe me, and I will have my due!” His stinking breath stung the boy’s eyes. “Throw him in the cage! I wish to be entertained.”
The brute tossed the boy roughly into the cage, and stepped in after him. The scared orphan stood and faced the man, whom he now realized had a share of orcish blood. Two small tusks protruded from his lower-lips and his skin had a very slight green tinge. He towered over the boy, cracking his knuckles and watching him expectantly. The boy realized that the monstrous bodyguard was waiting for him to drop to his knees and beg for his life. Despite facing his death, the defiant young lad would not give this scum the satisfaction. He stared into the half-orc’s eyes without a hint of fear.
“Do your worst.”
The thug beat the beat the boy to near-death. He fought back as much as he was able, but in the end he lay on the cage floor in a pool of his own blood, barely drawing breath. As he faded in and out of consciousness, he could hear Varyx laughing, a shrill sound fueled by spirits. He was tossed into the alley, presumably to die. Miraculously, he did not.
Across the alley was a whorehouse, and one of the prostitutes there noticed the boy laying in the alley and took pity on him. She and a few of the other ladies brought him in and set up a place for him to sleep in the cellar, as they were unable to spare a room. For weeks, he lay on that floor, helpless. He was grateful to the women who rescued him, but knew that he could not stay any longer than necessary. He nursed himself back to health, and left as soon as he was able to stand on his own.
For the next 6 months, the youth was obsessed with his experience in cage. He recalled every moment of the incident that he was able, and ran through the scenario in his head over and over again. This obsession drove him, fueled him, to better himself in every way. He began to sleep for only an hour at a time, and every waking moment he spent training his body and mind to a sharp edge.
He worked for the women that saved his life, as a bouncer & bodyguard, and they fed him well. He accepted no money, only food and occasionally a place to sleep. He now studied fighters extensively, sitting for hours watching fight after fight. He grew into his adult frame, strong and lithe. He was fast as well; his reactions were quick and his movements fluid. Though he had no formal training, he knew that he was ready to re-enter the cage.
He went back to very same place that he had suffered his brutal beating. He told the bet-takers that he would fight in the cage that night. “Who will you fight?” they asked him.
That night the teenager fought six times, one man after the next. He felt no fear in the cage, and no anger or rage either. He was able to forget everything about his existence; the only things in the world were him and his opponent. He won every match, though not easily. By the end of the night, he was covered in bruises and cuts, and one eye was swollen almost completely shut. For the first time in his entire life, as he stepped triumphantly from the cage, the boy felt pride and joy. He knew enough not to display any emotion, however. When one of the stunned spectators asked him his name, the boy was struck with inspiration. Knowing that he was now a man, and no longer a nameless, pitiful rag, he knew that he would call himself something that will strike fear into those who heard it. He turned to the gathered, silent crowd and addressed them in a strong clear voice that belied his bloodied face.
“My name is Scourge.”