Darax MacNede


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"...Baelogg... ya worthless bastard of a god! "Ere's only but two things I ask as I die - ta smash ya wi' mae right 'and, an' ta club yae wi' me left!..."





Darax MacNede is accustomed to living in the wrong place in a strange world. Borne unwanted due to the aftermath of a Goblin raid on Castle Bortniegh, it was not long until the Albans realized he was going to be different. Although half-goblins aren’t unheard of, his size and temperament made him a difficult child to handle. The MacNede family took him in and he grew through childhood with three half-brothers; but the obvious differences with which he had to deal gave him that temperament, and the steady diet of Hoggi, lamb and salmon gave him his size and strength.

When the MacNede family competed in the Alban Games to determine which clan would rule, Darax was forbidden to enter; his lineage was cited, but everyone knew there was no match for him in the grueling, week-long competition. Tormented and derided his entire life, he left home at the ripe young age of sixteen, with some sadness in his heart for leaving the only parents he ever knew.

He followed the life of a barbarian, often catching his adversaries quite by surprise due to his extremely thick Alban accent even more than his stature. His first encounter gained him an Edgemohr, a fabled six-foot sword much sought after in Alba and on much of the continent. He soon used it to gain another weapon, an Earthbreaker, by downing an unwary Goblin after being called a Halfling—one of the few names to which he takes considerable exception.

If you’re lucky enough to understand him, you’ll find him a capable ally; or you may hear him utter an ancient Alban curse just before he gives you a dual personality. You see, being born an Alban, he was born without fear.

Oh, one thing he rarely mentions - he hates the undead.


Tole


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"One possibly outstanding dislike I find I possess, throughout my many travels among the short of Toulne, is their constant disrespect and underestimation of my... well, rather severely impressive intelect."

(some excerpts below from "The Moonpoles of Toulne")

The wooden gates opened with a screeching groan on their wooden bearings; the gobo wood that gave Boldegash the huge fruits it traded also gave the continent its strongest natural wood, which had its own lubricant and was usually pressed into service for such jobs. Water began to flow into the second lock on the West Side works; as it did, it spun the huge turbine that ran the winches and cranes that lifted the latest of Strathlowe’s freight barges to the next level.

That screeching groan that started this latest leg of the travels of the next huge load of iron ore, from the Sea of Slaught to Strathlowe’s huge iron ovens, was initiated by two very large hands, owned by one named Tole. One of the few Giantkin living along the shores of the inland sea, he had come here to learn a trade; but it didn’t take long on Toulne to have life place you where it needs you best, not where you want to be.

Tole was a gentle, easy-going giant, in the least; at his worst, those who knew him would say he could be the most fearsome fighter on the planet. Standing twenty feet high and weighing nearly a ton, he could lift ten times that lifted by the most powerful of circus strongmen; in fact, during his brief experience as a soldier, he once upended a log cabin to roust the men hiding within.

He was one of the very few of his kind remaining on Toulne. The War of the Ebony Horn scattered his people to the ends of the planet, killing most in a heinous lie that would leave even each god with less of a soul. The true losers were the Giantkin, most of whose survivors driven to madness in the great frontiers and wildlands.

But something stirred in a few. Tole’s older brother, Bent, lives a long and rewarding second life as a shaman on the islands of Ho'omo'lo'gai. A cousin, Dame, lives among the strange beings of Dugunder as a medicine woman, and is very well respected and revered. There were stories of a few unrelated ones living near the glaciers of Ojdoor. And then there was Tole.

Having been revered for his size and strength when he began, he had come to understand the workings of most of Pirulea’s many industries as well as the economics of Toulne’s only industriocracy. He had gained the admiration and trust of his employers and was elevated to the position of Lock and Dock Boss, with excellent benefits and pay.

The pay was used to purchase book after book, which he ravenously devoured by candle light every evening. Such acclaimed writings as ‘The Storm of Ever’, by Gudgeon Tan; Manfrel Fleeg’s ‘The Zippers of the Blue Sea’; Mo Tan Olomata’s ‘History of the Eastern Isles’; ‘The Gods do Play Today’, by Vrizhimiliath, the crystal dragon himself; hundreds of technical manuals; ‘Bolderdash Uber Alles’ by Genrik Heinmat; ‘Tears From Above’, by an unknown author named P. Ganz; and most treatises on the religions of the planet, each in their original language. He was as well read as many scholars in the cities, and had penned a few, himself.

Most surprising, many people feel, is his flawless command of each language he speaks, and his ability to defeat an opponent with equal aplomb on the chess board, the daggut field or with a large rock.

Diebold


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"...I never thought of myself as your average, run-of-the-mill dead man..."

(some excerpts below from The Moonpoles of Toulne")

"...The Boldegash farmer took little time between hearing the scream and arriving at the farmhouse; still, it wasn’t enough. It took a few seconds to hear the second scream, to drop the plow and to grab his bow and arrows from the pack on the back of the ox.

A tiller of soil around the city-state of Boldegash had little to fear from its enemies, as the State maintained a well-trained army and they had a reputation for quick and ruthless handling of problems. But if tales were true, several bands of feral moon cursed were known to roam the lands around the central plain of Karamuha, and had escaped capture for several months.

Johnathan White’s heart sunk and his blood raced as he entered the rear yard; about half a dozen moon cursed had grabbed his wife Anna and his three children and were dragging them off. He screamed her name but try as he might, he couldn’t catch them as his feet became more leaden and useless the harder he pushed himself.

He stopped and nocked an arrow; the shot was true and stuck in the lead villain’s skull, and he let loose Anna’s arm. Two of the others turned from the children they were spiriting away, turning toward Johnathan, and engaged him as he ran toward his wife; they clawed and scratched at him with long, crooked nails and rotting teeth…"

Johnathan was a simple farmer, but quite a successful one; he succeeded as a husband and father, as well. As a protector against the scourge that was the Undead, though, it would be hard for anyone to succeed. He was blessed, or cursed, with living a life of remembrance and replaying of his cowardice, his inability to fight them off, his lack of preparedness.

He dedicated what was to remain of his life to learning the fine art of wizardry, being what is believed to be the first true undead wizard. His mentor, a long-time nieghbor and friend Karastan, accepted the responsibility to teach him, as well as to help sate his daily need for fresh flesh and blood. Karastan found some new powers in his understudy, however, and as long as he can stay fed, Diebold has been able to push the envelope of normal magical powers.

His powers are often amplified by his proximity to his shadowman, known also as Diebold.

Strassa Seena

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St. Jacques can be a very interesting place to live, especially for a Shune'kai. And life in the party town seems to have fit Strassa quite well. After making quite an impression in the Kara army as a ranger during the border skirmishes with Heartland, he retired with a pension that enabled him to buy a wedding ring for his childhood sweetheart Nassina, and a down payment on a curio shop in the heart of the liveliest district in the wild party town.

But with senses that excel any of his human counterparts, a tail that is an integral part of his ability as an archer, a six-six frame of three hundred fifty pounds of solid muscle, he has always been a force with which to reckon.

His thick St. Jacques accent and the colorful swamp colloquialisms make Strassa a very amicable person; but there's no doubt when his temper has peaked - like most Shuny, his scaly skin bursts with spiny spikes that protrude along his back, arms, legs and tail when confronted with dangerous situations, making him a one-man bar fight.

Being serpentine, he does have difficulty with colder weather; but in the warmth of water, he is almost piscean in his ability to swim.