PLAYED BY: Ryan Jopp
CHARACTER NAME: Brother Ventaris
AGE: Presumably 35
HAIR: Short brown hair with a beard
OCCUPATION: Lion of Arnath, Cleric of the Order of Arnath
KNOWN SKILLS: Heavy armored combat, Laborer Skills
APPEARANCE: In combat, he wears the heavy plate, red tabard, and tower shield of the Lions of Arnath. Out of combat, he is usually seen wearing a simple monk’s robe and red tabard.
NOTABLE TRAITS: None that are noteworthy.
RELATIONSHIPS: Strong ties to the Order of Arnath
BIO / BACKGROUND HISTORY:
I never knew my parents.
Were they rich nobles who cast me away because of a political agenda? Perhaps a bastard son who would spoil a bloodline and instead of drowning me in a creek they instead turned me in? Or perhaps an orphan found on the streets, handed over to give me a place that wouldn’t eventually lead to theft and crime?
Perhaps it was a combination of all three?
Regardless, my life truly began when I was handed over to the Order of Arnath. The war had been raging for decades… the penitent and undead relentlessly pressing on the Kingdoms of Man and Syndar alike. The Order needed fresh troops to keep up their campaign and fight back. It was a glorious cause, but everything is flawed in some way.
I believe I was born in roughly the year 230. Nobody really knows, but I was part of the Youth recruits to the Order. Train, do chores, listen to the clerics. Every day, over and over again. It was much more boring than you would think a highly organized and militaristic religious order gripped in the midst of a nearly half a century long war would be. People came and went, important people, and hushed discussions seem to follow. The May’Kar turned and followed “them”… would the followers of Arnath do the same? At the time I had no idea what they meant. Now I do… and those accusations offend me.
For years I served in the Layorder Youth groups until it was finally time to take the tests to become a member of the Order. I had learned the scriptures, I had done the initial battle testing. I was good too. A few of the other kids learned not to mess with me, that I was quick to bust out a tooth and pummel someone. Lions are taught to wield fury as a weapon and apparently I was good at it. I had decided I was going to be the best Lion and eventually lead a Chapter and then even serve as Hand one day. My youthful arrogance was a detriment but the fact that I did what was needed to be done to advance meant that it fed my ego as well.
It was time for my testing and I had my sights set on becoming a Lion of Arnath. Righteous with fury, unstoppable in battle, our armor turning away the wicked and our zeal burning back the tide of heresy. I believed in it. I lived and breathed in it. I wanted and had to have it. But unfortunately… I did not possess the willpower to have it. Class after class I was recycled back in… my martial skills were ready but I did not possess the divine talents. Each season the Youth around me seemed to get smaller and smaller… my fellow Youth cadets coming in, training, gaining their divine aptitude, and moving on to begin training as a lion. For some reason I was unable to tap into the powers of the divine and to begin the steps of the Lion training, you must become an ordained cleric of the Order of Arnath and possess his magic.
I was angry. I was hurt. I lashed out and screamed at the world and wretched myself to sleep wondering about my purpose and every other angsts-like thing that young people do when faced with looking truly inwards at themselves. I asked Arnath time and time again what he wanted me to do? I asked him to come and save me, to grant my salvation and lift my fears, to come and rescue me? Arnath is selective in his hearing, for my prayers were never answered. As time wore on, I stopped testing for training to become a Lion. I was allowed to help the Order scholars and do other tasks that took me away from the Youth program. It was apparently not my place.
News reached us that a continent had been found… a place they called Mardrun. The war was not going well and even some of the Order fortresses had been lost or nobody had heard from them in quite some time. It seemed like every year the future looked more bleak. For two years I served as a priest…not an ordained Cleric, but just a holy follower of Arnath. I learned the scripture. I truly learned it, not just memorized it to pass the Youth trials. I held sermons for others and talked of Arnath’s great deeds. I helped people. I did what I could with what I had. Sometimes that was combat… for I never abandoned my training and kept my skills sharp, but I never joined the Layorder Militia because I felt that once I began that path I would never return to test as a Lion.
News arrived that the May’Kar Dominion, the great holy traitors to the Kingdoms of Man, had finally been destroyed. Two decades of warfare and their oasis fortress of a capital had finally been defeated. The startling details of the final stages of the war… of the massacre of tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians alike that were murdered for their beliefs. It was enough to wretch the stomach and it took me many years to truly understand why. It was then that a large callout began; a fortress monastery was being built on the new continent of Mardrun. The conflict with the wolf-people was over and refugees were being sent to build a colony and survive. The Order had been preparing to send battle barges across the sea loaded with supplies, to begin a great plan to build a presence on the new land. Soon after the May’Kar Dominion’s fall the undead menace had begun to besiege Aldoria. Reports of the inevitable fall of the Kingdom were talked about all over. It was hard to hold onto the world as I knew it when an inevitable ending seemed near. I began to lose my way a bit, I questioned things and felt my belief slipping.
I had thought about signing up to go to the new continent. They will need laborers and priests there to help with daily activities. One of the battle barges was leaving to go along the coast and eventually go far east to the new continent. Do I stay? Do I leave? What do I do?
That night I prayed for Arnath to guide me, to tell me what to do. I had truly relinquished myself to the inevitability of fate and that I was unable to change my own course. That it was up to Arnath’s plan for us all to take us where we must go.
I prayed the hardest I had ever prayed in my life for what my fate should be… and he answered.
The message was clear. There was no misunderstanding it. No way to misinterpret it.
It simply said three words.
And when the core of my being reverberated with the deafening roar of these whispered words in my mind, my hands began to glow in silver light. I wept with joy and now I fully understood. I was ready.
In the morning, I packed my things and volunteered for the voyage to Mardrun. After a long and dangerous voyage at sea where I contemplated my faith, held sermons to still fears, and understand the wisdom of Arnath and his ways of teachings… we finally arrived. The moment I landed on the shores of Mardrun in 253, I signed the papers necessary to prepare for another test to enter the Lions of Arnath.
This time… I knew that things were going to be different.