"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." - Martin Buber
"Not all who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien
A record of Sherman's life and adventures upon arriving in the city of Liminal.
Sherman's entire tribe was annihilated by the Chosen, a group of adventurers, as often happens to kobold tribes - adventurers just can't seem to help themselves. Murdering 4d12 kobolds is akin to an adrenaline pumping, mind numbing narcotic for them. Well, following the massacre, two of the adventuring party, a newly wed couple known as Otto and Scarlet Rune-Warden, had noticed a single egg that had survived the destruction of the hatchery. They thought it would make a cute pet and chose to snatch up and take the little egg with them before their companion Roselynne the pyromancer decided it would make a better breakfast instead.
Very soon after they had returned to their home, an offensively large manor near a city of unimportance to this tale, the egg hatched and they named the tiny yipping creature that crawled out from it Sherman, after Otto's favorite childhood dog. Sheldon grew and matured quickly, as is normal for his kind. In time, his owners stopped thinking of him as a pet and more as a child. This connection grew even deeper after they had discovered that Scarlet could not bear children after an adventure where she had to be resurrected following a fatal rending incident at the hands of a summoned demon. Sherman came to think of them as his parents and they called him their son. It was lovely.
Sherman's parents were famous and successful mercenary adventurers and were very wealthy, which allowed him to live a very privileged life. But they were afraid of how the world would treat him and kept him largely isolated in their home. The only people he ever saw beyond his parents were they adventuring companions, his mother's hateful brother Renaldo who lived in the manor with them, and a few servants who never truly stopped seeing him as their rich master's exotic pet.
Sherman was educated by his mother. She taught him history and about magic. He did not have the knack for spells as she did, but he did prove to have magical talents in other areas. She seized upon this spark and began teaching him what she knew of arcane crafting and alchemy. What she lacked in personal knowledge she made up with in books, scrolls and the occasional dubious tutor (but they were being paid very well, so they taught the little monster their trade despite strong reservations). Sherman was a bright student and buried himself in his studies. The joy of concocting a potion or imbuing an object with magical energies was exhilarating.
Sherman's father was a renown swordsman, stunningly handsome, had some vague ties to distant nobility and wielded a legendary sword named...something-or-other, it's not important, but it was very impressive to look upon. His mother was a wizard of no small reputation, had many apprentices that had moved on to become legends, possessed beauty and grace that would cause a celestial to blush and was destined to save the world or something along those lines, which had already happened two or three times. Oh, and she was eladrin. Their companions were all just as impressive. That they had adopted a kobold was viewed with the public eye as a bit...eccentric, even for them. When he was very young, his mother had marked him and sealed a sentient elemental entity called Byggir og Verndari within his body, just as she had done to herself, her husband and all of her apprentices in the past, each with their own unique alien parasite living within their souls. Not creepy at all. She said that it would forever be there to aid and protect him when he needed it. But it was no protection from the tragedy that was to come. When Sherman was 12 (an adult amongst kobolds), his parents and their companions, being adventurers had accepted a mission from an anonymous, mysterious robed man with no credentials, references nor any reason to be seen as trustworthy...in a seedy tavern. His mother kissed him goodbye and his parents told him they would be back within a fort night, off to kill evil, save a princess, end tyranny, break a curse...something like that. They didn't come back. Seven months later, his "Uncle" Renaldo had successfully bribed and convinced the city to pronounce them as dead. Their wealth and estate was divided up between Renaldo and the city government (debts owed for when they had burned down a quarter of the local lords home during an inter-dimensional battle years prior). Sherman was unceremoniously kicked out onto the streets with next to nothing but the clothes he was wearing.
Renaldo ignored Sherman's desperate pleading for succor as he left the manor following its sale. He never saw his uncle again and assumed he must have moved somewhere else. Probably somewhere sunny and warm and nothing at all like cold, wet city alleyways with rats that could stand up nearly as tall as you are. Sherman had no experience with people and cities, much less surviving on the streets. His parents had never prepared him for such a life. They never thought they would need to. The people of the city were either fearful or aggressive when they saw him. Some had heard of the famous adventurer's odd pet, but with them gone, any protection their legend might have provided him had vanished. Even their old house servants treated him poorly when they saw him. He was forced to live in the shadows and dark places of the city. It was during this time that he met a little girl, a gutter rat named Ophelia. Her mother was a lady of the evening and she had no father. She befriended Sherman and taught him how to survive and how to steal food and take coin from the unwary. Sherman was pretty sure that Kaedlah, his parents patron deity, who he too would pray to, was probably quirking an eyebrow at his actions, but hoped she would understand that he was doing what was necessary to survive. He'd make good on it one day.
After a couple of years, Ophelia's mother decided it was time for a promotion and to bring her into the family business, which was no place for her pet "sewer lizard" as the nasty woman called him. Ophelia's new training and responsibilities left her little time for Sherman, though they remained friends and she would visit when she could find the time. She was a rather pretty girl, and thus was enjoying the fruits of her successful new career. Sherman saw less and less of her. Eventually he decided that it was time for him to leave the city and see the world. He thought that perhaps he could find others of his kind and live with them. It would be nice to be accepted. He was so very clueless.
Sherman traveled and eventually found and moved in with a tribe of kobolds called the Blood Fang. They were...a bit violent. He did his best to live amongst them, but the life was very hard, very harsh, violent, fast and...kinda EVIL. He did not relate with anyone, and they took umbrage with his fancy education, weird clothes and mannerisms. Even the way he spoke was insulting to them. It's not his fault he was taught proper draconic, not the "yak yip yak" sounding slang degenerated dialect that they coughed up and called speech. The Blood Fang Chief took Sherman aside and told him that he should go before the tribe killed him; which they had decided was to be that night if he didn't run, very fast, to somewhere far away. The tribe never got a chance to try and kill or pursue him as they were attacked and slaughtered by a pack of rabid adventurers mere hours after Sherman had left.
Sherman was on the road again, roaming without purpose, not quite sure what he was looking for. One foot before the other, he would let chance and perhaps the favor of Kaedlah, his patron goddess lead him...somewhere. That is if she was not too cross with him for his less than stellar choices and associations in his recent life. He stood at a crossroads where a man glowered at him inside a cage.
"I'll go left.", Sherman announced to no one in particular. The man barked a dry laugh and watched in amusement as the little kobold made a "hmph!" sound at him, lifted his muzzle in an attempt to look more confident and began to stride down the road he had chosen. Behind the caged man an old broken sign post lay covered by overgrown bushes. The sign that had once pointed down the road Sherman now traveled read, "Liminal".
Sherman is a rather atypical looking kobold, which is no surprise given his upbringing. He is short (even for a kobold), standing a full height of 3' 6" and well beyond stocky side for his species. Overweight kobolds are rare, usually due to a lack of food and having to share what little food they do have with massive tribes and/or the bullies that take it from them. Sherman had never wanted for anything when he was growing up, thus food was always readily available and physical exercise was not a high priority in his life, so his frame widened as a result. His scales are a rusty bronze color, but the underside of his tail, belly, chest, throat and lower jaw is bold blue. His tiny horns and the barbs that grow upon his arms are the color of old dark rust, though they grow increasingly less noticeable as he ages, due to the unusual tufts of dark brown fur has grown from gaps in his scales all over his body, including his face, allowing him to cultivate an impressive mustache and goatee that he's quite fond of. His bright eyes are yellow with red, nearly black vertical slits. Sherman bears an engraved "tattoo" upon his scales that glows with a dim iridescence and sometimes changes color based on his mood. The etched design is a long, serpentine array of complex, interlocking runes that coils up from the back of his hand, up his forearm and around his arm to his shoulder, then it spirals out from there over a quarter of his chest and back. When garbed, the markings upon the back of his hand is the only portion that is visible.
Sherman wears finely made, yet practical traveling clothes with some lovely embroidery he added himself, including the sign of the Rose & Thorn. He also wears protective leather armor of a deep russet color with dark iridescent symbols that seem to flicker in and out of sight. He is always perfectly groomed and impeccably clean due to enchantments he maintains. He has stowed away his old long scarf and stocking cap in favor of a russet colored fez adorned with two massive peacock feathers. He often wears goggles that help dim the bright glare of daylight and as protection when working with alchemical substances. Draped over his left shoulder is a richly embroidered half cape bearing the heraldry of the Spellwright's Guild and pinned with the sigil of the Chosen adventuring party.
Sherman generally wears a belt-pouch and backpack holding all of his worldly possessions with a small cylindrical valise containing his portable alchemy lab strapped atop that. Strapped to the end of the alchemy case is a well-worn and obviously well loved faded blue plush bunny rabbit with floppy ears and buttons for eyes. He keeps a dagger (that resembles a short-sword in his hands) sheathed at his side and a hand-crossbow opposite it. He walks with a stout staff with iron caps upon each end and runes around the top.
Moneys: 118gp, 72sp
- Banked: 25pp, 900gp
Carried Equipment: ritual book, alchemy recipe books (2), alchemy case, small spice kit, dagger, backpack, waterskin, belt pouch, trail rations (10),vial of laudanum, bottle of absinthe, crossbow bolts (20), residuum (50), plush rabbit, journal, ink & pens, stick "wand", Staff of Iron Infusion +1 (equipped), breaching leather armor +1 (equipped), elven cloak +2 (equipped), distance hand crossbow +2 (equipped), omen sticks (focus), ceramic hand (focus), weird ritual book, fine clothing (+2 social),
My parents taught me that every self respecting adventurer should hoard and display symbols of great deeds and trophies from their defeated enemies.
- A framed magic-wrought paper with a lifelike image of his parents and their old adventuring party, all of them are blood spattered & his mom is cradling his egg in the photo
- Sherman's first alembic
- Carved & lacquered hair comb, a keepsake from Ophelia given to him when he left the city to seek his own path in the world
- Blood Fang fertility charm, the chief deemed him to be a useless warrior, so the charm was a plea to their false goddess to transform him into a female for breeding purposes
- Half of a broken and squid-spackled skull from the Cannibal Wolf Bitch
- Baby red dragon tooth
- Spellwright's Guild Acceptance Letter
- Raven costume
- Silver serving dish engraved with the sigil of House Elohash
- Sherman's hippie-wrought astrological chart
- Badlands' Five-Tribes orcish war banner
- Foulspawn Seer's staff
- Framed cocktail napkin from the Cloister of Decadence
- Liminal arena champion medal/trophy
Level One Rituals
- Brew Potion (Creation 1, Arcana/Religion (no check), 30 minutes, special cost)
- Make Whole (Exploration 1, Arcana (no check), standard action, special cost)
- Arcane Mark (Creation 1, Arcana (no check), standard action, no cost)
- Amanuensis (Creation 1, Arcana (no check), standard action, no cost)
- Comprehend Languages (Exploration 1, Arcana, standard action, no cost)
- Silent Image (Deception 1, Arcana (no check), standard action, no cost)
- Tenser's Floating Disk (Exploration 1, Arcana, standard action, no cost)
- Unseen Servant (Creation 1, Arcana (no check), standard action, no cost + focus)
- Fastidiousness (Warding 1, Arcana (no check), standard action, no cost)
- Magic Mouth (Exploration 1, Arcana (no check), standard action, no cost)
- Traveler's Camouflage (Deception 1, Nature, standard action, no cost)
- Animal Messenger (Exploration 1, Nature, standard action, no cost)
Level Two Rituals
- Seek Rumor (Divination 2, Arcana, standard Action, no cost)
- Spirit Fetch (Exploration 2, Arcana, Religion, standard Action, no cost)
- Read Omens (Divination 2, Arcana or Religion, standard action, 1 healing surge & focus)
- Explosive Runes (Warding 2, Arcana (no check), standard action, 1 healing surge)
- Tree Shape (Exploration 2, Nature (no check), standard action, no cost)
- Lower Water (Exploration 2, Nature, standard action, no cost)
- Animate Rope (Exploration 2, Arcana (no check), standard action, 1 healing surge & focus)
Level Three Rituals
- Calm Emotion (Deception 3, Arcana or Religion (no check), 1 minute, 2 healing surges)
- Wind Words (Exploration 3, Arcana or Nature (no check), 10 minutes, 25gp)
Level Four Rituals
- Enchant Magic Item (Creation 4, Arcana (no check), 30 minutes, special cost)
- Knock (Exploration 4, Arcana, 10 minutes, 35gp & 1 healing surge)
- Delay Affliction (Restoration 4, Heal, 30 minutes, 50gp)
Level Five Rituals
- Magic Circle (Binding 5, Arcana, 1 hour, 100gp)
- Object Reading (Divination 5, Arcana, 1 hour, 25gp)
Level Six Rituals
- Disenchant Magic Item (Creation 6, Arcana (no check), 30 minutes, FREE cost)
- Sending (Exploration 6, Arcana, 10 minutes, 50gp)
- Cure Disease (Restoration 6, Heal, 10 minutes, 150gp)
- Commune With Nature (Divination 6, Nature, 30 minutes, 140gp)
Alchemical Recipe Books
- Alchemist's Acid - Book 1
- Alchemist's Essence - Book 2
- Violet Phosphor - Book 2
- Woundpatch - Book 2
Byggir og Verndari
Byggir is the name of the sentient elemental entity, a being of thunder & lightning, forever sealed within Sherman's body by his mother. Both of his parents had similar markings. Byggir itself overlays a magically infused "tattoo" etched upon Sherman's scales and appears as a long serpentine design of complex interlocking runes that coils up from his forearm and around his arm to his shoulder, then it spirals out from there over a quarter of his chest and back. When it is in passive mode it appears to be a dimly glowing iridescence upon the engraved markings in his scales that will often flash and shift in color based on Sherman's emotional state. When active, Byggir will flow from Sheldon's body and manifest into an animated luminous image of the runic marking that glides effortlessly through the air with an alien, serpentine grace.
Speed 2, Fly 6 (hover)
- Constant Benefits
- You gain a +2 bonus to Athletics checks to jump.
- You gain a +1 bonus to your fly speed, when you have one.
- Active Benefits
- Runic Wings: Once per encounter as a move action, Byggir can fly an adjacent ally (or you, if you are adjacent) up to 6 squares, then lower the creature gently to the ground.
Making the following Skill checks regarding Sherman reveals the following information about him.
- DC 15: Sherman is an artificer, a specialized Arcane magic wielder who focuses on the imbuement of items with magic, either for a few short moments during combat, or for a longer period of time with more complex magics.
- DC 20: Sherman also has training as an alchemist, allowing him to create complex alchemical items if he's got the right materials and recipes that allow him to do that.
- DC 25: Sherman also has a strange tattoo that you recognize as the ground-breaking work of a human wizardess known as Amalthia "Scarlet" Rune-Warden. No one really knows how she did it, but she managed to somehow create a strange, occult intelligence to inhabit the magical sigil-tattoos she created. She created a few of these tattoos for a few others who were close to her before she disappeared entirely several years ago.
- DC 20: Sherman's turns of phrase and particular habits reveal that he grew up among the culture of Tamous, a nation to the southwest of Liminal. It is a distinctly feudal society, backed by knightly orders and noble houses, all in support of a single king. It is also dominated by the Faith of the Throne, a dogmatic religious system that preaches an imperialistic theology and worship of Aevo and his daughters Khoro and Sacrista (as they call the Red Lady locally).
- DC 25: Sherman's accented Common reveals he hails from the city of Ervidor, in western Tamous. It is a city notorious for its adventurers, many of whom use Ervidor as a base to strike out in exploration of the Thundering Range, well known for its ancient and abandoned dwarven citadels.
- DC 15: Sherman is a kobold, but not a very typical one. Above all, he seems far more individualistic than most kobolds do. Also, fat with patches of fur.
- DC 20: From his small traits there and there, it is clear that Sherman worships Khaeldah, the Empyrean goddess of language, thought and Mystery.
- DC 20: From subtle cues, you can tell Sherman has spent some time on the rough streets in his recent past.
Other Important Individuals
- Otto Rune-Warden: Sherman's adopted father was a wealthy, well known and highly successful mercenary swordsman and co-founder of the Chosen.
- Amalthia "Scarlet" Rune-Warden: Sherman's adopted mother, who was a famed mercenary wizard and the other co-founder of the Chosen.
- Renaldo Thews: Sherman's hateful uncle on his mother's side, who had only ever been around in order to mooch off of his sister's fortune. He was quick to have Sheldon cut off and thrown out as soon as he was able to have his parents proclaimed as dead by the city some months after they had vanished during a mission. Renaldo sold his parents estate and vanished.
- Ophelia: A gutter rat, now promoted to lady of the evening, that Sherman ran with for a while. Recently rescued from foulspawn, she has decided on a career change and is staying with Sherman until she decides what she wants to do with her life from this point forward.
- Master Drinlea: An ally to the Company of the Rose & Thorn and member of the Mercantilists.
- Sundaryn: Sherman's sponsor and mentor within the Spellwright's Guild as well as his mother's mentor & friend.
- Uncle Kevin: the only survivor of the Chosen adventuring party after they had entered the Wretched Citadel, known for his tracking and combat prowess, though these days he is better known for his ability to quickly de-stock a tavern in a single night.
Projects and/or Downtime
- Help Ophelia with whatever new endeavor she wishes to pursue. Perhaps she would like to sell potions & enchanted baubles for a living?
- Complete and graduate from his Journeyman training in the Spellwright's Guild.
- Join the Society of Deeds Valorous and spend some quality time with Uncle Kevin.
- Complete Project Worgie and make lots of money selling them to other small races!
- Buy/build space in preparation for opening "Sherman's Marvelously Magical Emporium of the Weird & Wondrous".
- Investigate Grok, Ruhe & Zethas' affliction. Meet up with the sage who was researching the means to trace the link between the three of them and the abomination holding the leash.
- Continue investigation of the alien ritual in order to better understand the far realm threat. Agree to share copies of the ritual with Abraxian and the Keepers, so long as they include him and his companions in their findings as this situation clearly involves all of them. If they agree, he will make the same promise. He believes that transparency in this endeavor between the two will result in much greater success.
- Investigate, find and read everything ever written regarding the Wretched Citadel in the Accords. Search the water for the secret entrance the Oracle spoke of.
- Start sending out feelers to track down any of the Sisters of Sleer. He would like to know more about his mothers research, the Rite and the creatures she bound to them all and if the ritual or perhaps some other meddling had been done that would explain his continued un-kobold-like mutations.