From the Ashes of Angels
Raven Queen Landskneckt
== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ==
Deitrich Essenbach, level 1
Human, Fighter (Weaponmaster)
Fighter Option: Combat Superiority
Fighter Talents Option: Brawler Style
Human Power Selection Option: Heroic Effort
Disgraced Noble (Bluff class skill)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 13, DEX 14, INT 8, WIS 14, CHA 10
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 16, CON 13, DEX 14, INT 8, WIS 14, CHA 10
AC: 18 Fort: 19 Ref: 13 Will: 13
HP: 28 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 7
Athletics +9, Bluff +5, Endurance +6, Intimidate +5
Acrobatics +2, Arcana –1, Diplomacy +0, Dungeoneering +2, Heal +2, History –1, Insight +2, Nature +2, Perception +2, Religion –1, Stealth +2, Streetwise +0, Thievery +2
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Bloodsworn Utility: Bloodied Determination
Human Racial Power: Heroic Effort
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Fighter Attack 1: Grappling Strike
Fighter Attack 1: Cleave
Fighter Attack 1: Hack and Hew
Fighter Attack 1: Seize and Stab
Level 1: Enduring Mountain
Level 1: Pin Down
Level 1: World Serpent’s Grasp
Scale Armor x1
Flint and Steel
Belt Pouch (empty)
Hempen Rope (50 ft.)
== End ==
“Hindsight is perfect”. Yea, I can attest to this. I sometimes wish I could go back and make decisions knowing which stupid thing I was about to do was worst. Sometimes I wish I was a little less slow to make the right connections. But I can’t, and I’m not, so all I can do is regret and try to make things better afterwards.
As a kid I was stupid, but it was to be expected. My family had titles and enough money that I lived fairly well. We weren’t the biggest name – I understand now that politically, the Essenbach name lives in a precarious position, but hey, no way I picked that up as a kid, right? I grew up with a number of other noble kids of my age, pulled stupid pranks, got into trouble. The normal stuff.
I was still stupid when we were all coming of age, though. I wish I could have seen things clearer. Joff, who had always been somewhat of a hanger on with our group, started calling more of the shots. He had the [placeholder] family name, so the group listened. At first it wasn’t bad, but Joff’s “pranks” were more cruel. Less eggs in the boots of a guard, and more fire in the stable keeper’s yard, or cutting off the hair of a couple servant girls. At first, it was still fun – yea it was exciting, and as I said, I was dumb.
But I started having second thoughts. It wasn’t any one incident – it just built up to the point that I no longer was having fun. Like an idiot, I told Joff strait up that I didn’t like his pranks anymore. Joff just nodded and said nothing else at the time. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe I thought he would tone things down. Instead, he decided to get rid of me. I wasn’t that hard to set up. I was sweet on a girl in another house, and everyone knew it. Steal my dagger, send me a letter so that I’d be in the gardens at the right place and time, send some guards to find me and the body. Instinct saved me that night. I happened on Anina’s body first, and I bolted from the guard. Yea, I might have cemented my “guilt” in the minds of the guard, but I have no doubt now that Joff would have found some way to make sure the magistrate ruled against me.
I was on the run a few days before I even made it back to the Essenbach estates. Met my father in the foyer – flanked by trusted house guards. Gave me a long speech about how I had failed the family, how he was disowning me, would turn me in to meet the Baron’s justice. Funny thing is, in hindsight I really do think he was doing what he could to help me out. There wasn’t any way for the Essenbach family to defy the [placeholder family]. The guards had been placed far from the entrance, and didn’t move until I bolted. I think my father really was trying to give me the best chance to escape that he could while keeping the family afloat.
I didn’t feel that way at the time, though. I left bitter, angry, and desperate. There are some unsavory opportunities for such a person with skill around a sword. No excuses. I turned to banditry. I won’t get into detail here, but I bought in. I was trash, but I didn’t care. I am very much glad that it was only a year or so before some mercs were hired to clear us out. Almost died. Should have died. But I didn’t.
Thing is, that was when I met Albrect, a priest of the Raven Queen. He was cleaning up the mess of battle when he came across me. He didn’t nurse me to health or anything, per se. Just gave me food and water and the time to let me work out whether or not I wanted to live. You do a lot of reflection, on death’s door. I didn’t how I turned out. Didn’t want to end as “Deitrich, Ass and Bandit”.
Albrect gave be a chance to change that. Saw something in me that maybe I didn’t see for myself. When I pulled myself off the sickbed, offered me a job – said he needed protection. From bandits like I had been, I suppose. For whatever reason, he offered a path out of the mess I had gotten myself into. Kept him safe, too, over the next few years. Was with him when he passed away, safe in a bed, far from any battlefield.
So here I am now. A loyal sword of the Church of the Raven Queen, but not because I’m true to the faith or anything. But because I’m loyal to Albrect, who was. He says I don’t owe him or the church anything, but I don’t think I can just throw away this debt. Not if I intend to stay true to what I want to be instead of what I used to be.