Syldan Iaam and his parents Nordan and Bryrie were traveling artists from Isentheas, a far off land beyond the Rugorim Woods, who wandered the world learning new forms of art. As long as Syldan could remember, they had always been on the road. Then one day around the time Syldan was twenty-five, while traveling near Orinthal, heading to Nephenee, they were attacked by bandits. They would have died, but their lives were saved by a traveling monk named Berel. Immediately awed by the monk’s skill in combat, Syldan begged his parents to allow him to go study with the monk. Being free spirits by nature, they gave him their blessing, so long as they always knew where to find him. Berel told them that his monastery was near the capital city of Orinthal. So Syldan told them that he would always be either in the monastery or the city.
Syldan studied with the monks for about twenty years, under Berel who just so happened to be the headmaster of the Monastery of Qacaos. The first ten years of his training were hard but his progress was smooth and Syldan enjoyed his training, specifically Berel’s teaching. However as the looming threat of ghouls and dragons kept growing, many in the monastery were called to action, as an order well-trained in combat. This slowed Syldan’s training significantly. Eventually even he was sent out with a battalion of younger monks to help fight in the conflict.
While fighting with his battalion, news reached Syldan’s ears that Qacaos had been attacked. Rushing home as quickly as he could, he found the monastery had been wiped out by a dragon attack. There he found Berel dead, holding the ancient weapon of their order. Hence the responsibility of rebuilding the order as well as looking after the younger monks was thrust onto Syldan.
In the time since the conflict, Syldan was working as a member of the City Watch. Uniquely trained in combat, yet never wearing armor, Syldan was easily able to blend into crowds, making him a valuable asset to the Watch. The money he made from working, he sent back to the monastery to help with the efforts to rebuild.
Daryll began his life as a street urchin. One day while trying his skill as a cutpurse, Daryll attempted to rob what he thought was an unsuspecting half-elf, but turned out to be the arch wizard of the local wizard academy, Zoxiara. She took pity on the boy and allowed him to work as a cleaning staff for the academy. Despite the chasm in social standing, Zoxiara was always kind to Daryll. He came to think of her as a mother figure, as he never got to know his birth parents.
Eventually Daryll worked his way up the ranks, devoting himself to the study of magic. He took a liking in particular to the school of Evocation. Spells that manipulate energy, creating something from nothing, struck a chord with him. The power to cure wounds was also the same to create a ball of immolating destruction.
During the events of the Cataclysm, Daryll was tasked with keeping watch over the academy with other students. He wanted to be on the front lines to protect his fellow students, but Zoxiara insisted he stay behind. It was at this time that Zoxiara gave Daryll her figurine of wondrous power, an Onyx Dog name Ebrath. She said that in her youth she adventured with Ebrath, finding new magical secrets, and that she hoped he would protect Daryll now.
Unfortunately, Zoxiara never came back from the Cataclysm. Daryll never learned the circumstances of her end. He now continues his studies, under the tutelage of Noah Lightglide, in the hopes that one day he can live up to his old mentor’s expectations.
Kalima was born an only child. Her mother had a few miscarriages but rarely spoke of them. Her father always doted on her, wanting her to marry a knight in shining armor, but Kalima wanted to be the knight in shining armor. When she was old enough, she took up arms and joined the military. To appease her mother and be in relative “safety,” she joined as a medic in hope she could gain her parents’ approval for her choices. During the war, Kalima really only wanted to smite the undead and survive, not really aiming to rise in the ranks or gain any glory. She was not out to be a hero, just doing her duty.
Her unit was called into the rotation for the front lines of the war and on the third day of fighting, her commander fell, grievously wounded. Kalima was near enough to hear her commander instruct another medic to burn her. Kalima stopped him from doing as commanded thinking she could save her commander. She disobeyed the order and procedure. Kalima stopped fighting and attempted to heal her commander, but it was too late. Her unit was overrun and many of them were killed in the onslaught. Only Kalima and two others retreated behind enemy lines, but one was badly injured and died shortly after. It was a hard blow for her and the rest of the forces that day. The other man with her unit that had survived the initial defeat, Mellekah, returned to the front lines and was later killed, taking with him the knowledge of what she had done.
Unknown to the rest of the company, her commander was carrying several vital maps. As she later found out, those maps fell into enemy hands. Several weeks later, carefully laid battle plans lead to a crushing loss, after a brutal ambush. Had Kalmia not stopped the other medic from following orders, the maps would not have been discovered and used against them.
After the blows of her time on the front line, Kalima decided to fall back in the ranks and focus on healing the wounded. She decided it was too dangerous and painful to try to fight and heal and that she needed to choose one path or the other. She decided to fall in line with the healers, keep her head down, and obey orders.
After the war, she was selected as being the last survivor of several attacks to be part of the contingent of ambassadors from Meliamne. She did not really want any of the glory but her new commander told her she had earned it, though he did not know what happened on the field that fateful day.
Torr (Rurik Meldwall)
Torr was born as Rurik Meldwall to a respected dwarven clan of the Thessun Kingdom. In his youth, he was openly rebellious and prone to committing petty theft/vandalism. A heist gone awry finally gave him something more productive to do with his time. Specifically, he stole a shipment of books on their way out of the kingdom. He soon learned why they were leaving; no one in the kingdom wanted them. So, instead he decided to get some use out of them by reading them himself. Their contents sparked a life-long interest concerning the origins, behaviors, and anatomy of monsters, which came to a head during the cataclysm when ghouls plagued the kingdom.
Most Thessun Dwarves had distaste for this subject matter, since monsters (especially ghouls) were reviled. The prevailing sentiment was that studying them had no value since they ought to be killed on sight. This controversy was a part of what made the subject matter so attractive to Rurik, since it provided a legal way to fight against societal expectations. He learned to enjoy subversion through hard work and proper channels far more than he ever enjoyed an aimless life of crime. At the end of the day, he concluded that annoying clan elders was best achieved while also serving law and order.
Rurik’s uncanny knack for finding missing things and solving problems earned him some begrudging respect over the years. However, everything changed when someone sabotaged an important presentation of some groundbreaking findings. His data was tampered with and stolen, and his credibility was destroyed. This led to banishment, forcing him to take on a new name and a new life in Orinthal as a mercenary. Torr spends much of his free time searching for clues as to who tampered with his presentation, and why. He hopes one day to reclaim his name and his dignity.
Sarya has never known a normal life. She was born in seclusion within a small conclave to the north of the city of Orinthal. Never knowing her parents, Fulmar Viriana raised her with the strictest discipline to achieve her full potential. The elf was Sarya’s mentor, surrogate parent, and only companion, keeping her in seclusion.
Fulmar trained Sarya as a fighter, spurning all magic, to achieve physical perfection. To improve her mind, she read extensively on nearly all subjects. Whenever she tried to question the ultimate goal of this training, Sarya was met with rebukes and punishment from Fulmar. Sarya occasionally caught glimpses of a blue, female dragonborn, known only to her as the “Watcher” who she was convinced was privy to the true purpose of everything.
Fulmar generally treated her well, but without kindness, rather like a prized animal. Sarya determined to escape her cloistered life, but wanted to bide her time until she was certain of success. In her early teens, Sarya discovered she was an aasimar, as her angelic powers manifested themselves, allowing her to heal and even fly.
Soon after, Sarya began experiencing what she believed were visions, snippets of the thoughts of others. Fulmar’s disdain was a constant theme in her recurring nightmares. Eventually, she began to experience these perceptions within her waking hours as well. Without understanding the source of her knowledge, Sarya believed she was developing some kind of mental powers.
As her training with Fulmar progressed, Sarya sensed a growing disappointment from her. While Sarya was capable of overcoming nearly all challenges she faced, her strength failed to meet with Fulmar’s expectations. One day, she suddenly became aware of Fulmar’s memories of a conversation with a mysterious person known only as the “Overseer” who called for Sarya’s termination. Wasting no time, Sarya made her escape, slipping away from the conclave, and making her way to the renowned city of Orinthal.
Here she learned of Zoxiara’s Academy of the Arcane, a beacon of hope for wizards, researchers, and the lost. Over the course of the last years of the Cataclysm, Sarya spent her time researching to learn more of her newfound powers and helping those who were suffering under the constant war.