|Class: Priest of D'lokka|
|WIS: 13 (15)|
Appearance: Daufer has dark grey skin, brown eyes, and long black hair. He usually wears grey vestments and the symbol of his goddess around his neck. He favors dark, somber colors, though he will occasionally wear a red belt or scarf.
Personality: Daufer is serious and soft-spoken, believing that his faith and philosophy can be applied to all aspects of life. However, he is open to learn and experience new things, to broaden his understanding of the world. He is prone to sharp bursts of anger, but will not usually be provoked to action, believing that one should only do something if they truly believe it is worth it.
Daufer's grandfather, was a brilliant military strategist. His name basically
means "great strategist" or "long term planner." In fact,
many of Daufarin's compatriots noted a certain elvish quality in his ability to
think ahead, plan contingencies, and so forth.
His talents were not that great a help to him in the slaying of the various monsters that plagued Legar, but were put to good use in quelling the frequent rebellions and defending the borders from enemies. These things he did for many years, serving his drow masters faithfully.
Gaut did not inherit his father's mental prowess. His own talents were in his strength of arms. However, while Daufer was cleverer than his father, he could not hope to reach his grandfather's lofty heights. Daufarin found that his progeny would become a series of disappointments to him.
Daufarin's drow masters began to recognize his potential when, 40 years ago, he routed an undead army at the Necros border. Using an envelopment offensive, he surrounded his enemies and quickly slaughtered them. The mindless undead simply surged forward into the trap, and the necromancers leading the army who only respected power could not fathom the intricacies of the battlefield.
After many more victories there, he was sent to the Daemon front and met with the same success. His mind was keen to the finer points of formations, tactics, strategies, logistics, terrain, and so forth, more so than his drow masters, who rarely battled on the surface. They saw in Daufarin a useful tool, if leashed properly, that could devastate their enemies.
Daufarin found himself one of the more privileged hobgoblins in Legar, able to circumvent the many bureaucracies that plagued the lower strata of society.
Soon, Daufarin was given authority over a frontier town, charged with defending it from outsiders and monsters. He formed a union with Alehska, a priestess of D'lokka, a popular religion with hobgoblins local and abroad. Through this union came Gaut, his eldest son. Though not technically married to each other, they remained close as she began to build up her temple and flock at town, with Daufarin's assistance. Soon, as they gained more converts, the religion of war became the most prominent one in town, eclipsing Kulak and Shadowbite. Throughout the years, Daufarin fathered more sons, who were all half-brothers. His blood grew numerous and prosperous.
Daufarin was often called to the western fronts, sometimes two or three times a year. Soon, he developed a strange sort of camaraderie with his enemies as they battled regularly over the years. He often looked back with grudging respect toward his various nemeses: Aglung the Ice General (Necros), and Vermar Damaoine, the Grim Death (Daemon), to name only a few.
Around the time when Gaut was full grown, about seventeen years, he went on campaign with his father. Many of Gaut's younger brothers went along as well, as pages, attending to the full warriors, and filling other noncombatant roles. Gaut had already proved himself a capable warrior and had earlier petitioned his father for a commanding role, such as command of the army's supply train. However, Daufarin had his doubts about his son's ability to lead and had refused.
However, one of his most trusted lieutenants, Asulf, suggested that Gaut be put in charge of a scouting party. Daufarin relented, and Gaut left the main army that afternoon with seven other soldiers. Nominally, he was in command, but should have deferred to the experience and wise judgment of the soldiers who were near twice his age. However, Gaut was headstrong and rash, completely the opposite of the calm and collected air of his father. He pushed further and further into the mountains, for though Gaut was stupid, he was astute enough to know that Daufarin, on the very best of days, was disinterested in his eldest son, seemingly not expecting too much, and Gaut sought to prove himself.
It was soon night, and still Gaut insisted on pressing forward, despite the protests of the other soldiers. A human soldier, not much liking taking orders from a hobgoblin whelp, was the most vocal. Suddenly, the night became eerily quiet and a quarrel stuck out from the human's throat. They had been ambushed.
In disarray, the scouting party struggled to a semblance of formation. However, they were wearing only thick leathers, and the quarrels relentlessly found their marks. Gaut, surged forward, in a towering rage, resolving to take the fight to the enemy. He counted at most three bowmen. Quarrels stuck into him like spines, but still he moved, relentless. The bowmen could not reload fast enough, and two were felled by his axe, the other fled into the night. Wiping blood from his face, Gaut made his way back to the party. Five men had died.
When Gaut made his way into the camp the next morning, with only two soldiers, Daufarin knocked the young warrior down where he stood.
"Any gob can swing a sword," he sneered. "It's what you do with your head that matters." Sadly, the lesson was lost on Gaut, who felt that he should have been welcomed as a hero. However, their position had been given away, and so the army had to break camp before a proper supply line had been established, setting back Daufarin's plans and strategies by many weeks as they moved to a more secure location.
The hobgoblins, humans, and other races around the frontier town he defended treated him as a hero. His reputation among the soldiers was legendary; it was said that he could take the must undisciplined lot of soldiers and train them up into a fearsome fighting force. He was even widely respected among his enemies. But though Daufarin was accorded special status among his peers, he was still considered a slave to the whims and wills of his drow masters.
The single event that seemed to highlight this was around when Daufarin was in his forties or fifties. He was notified that a drow official was coming to the surface to inspect the performance of the armies. The visit was somewhat of a surprise to Daufarin, for he could only recall the drow coming up to the surface only once before, nearly twenty years ago. However, the previous year had been especially stressful for Daufarin because he had been forced to give ground to the armies of Necros in the wake of a particularly harsh monster attack: a seeming concerted effort where almost five frontier towns had been attacked. However, despite these losses, Daufarin had suffered worse losses over the years of his leadership, so the real purpose of the visit was puzzling to him. The drow even superceded his commands at various points, displaying his lack of knowledge of battle on the surface while doing so, setting back mobilization efforts by months.
Daufarin was treated as inherently inferior by the drow official. In the same way that he treated his sons as gobbish fools, the drow official treated Daufarin as if he were in a lower sphere of intelligence, despite Daufarin being versed in many languages, including Drow, despite his being knowledgeable in the histories of all the peoples living on Renos, and despite his being inherent to the defense of Legar, and ultimately to the interests of the Overlord. He began to realize that despite his efforts, his life had been devoted to masters that did not ultimately care about him or his interests. He was simply a tool that they used and would eventually discard when he became too old to do the job. And most humiliating of all, the drow were the only ones who Daufarin had to bend his knee to, prostrating himself to them as if they were gods.
His thoughts did not turn to outright rebellion here, but the drow's visit left his mind disquieted and planted the seed for events later to come.
Gaut was later sent to recover a drow defector who has fled to the surface. Daufarin did not go, because a particularly well-timed invasion from Daemon had caused a gaping hole in the defenses. The drow seemed to place the apprehension of the defector a high priority, though, so Daufarin delegated the task to his incompetent son, though it took some convincing from his lieutenants that Gaut was probably the best choice, since they didn't want to divert much needed resources in countering the Daemon invasion.
Gaut successfully caught the drow defector, but not without taking one of the treasures he carried as plunder.
It was a large horn, from an unknown creature. It had the power to call to it any surrounding natural and unnatural fauna. Those called can subsequently be influenced by someone with sufficient willpower to direct their animosity toward a specific target or targets. The more called, however, the harder this is to do. Though useful, it is particularly dangerous to use in Legar, since sounding the horn can call a vast horde of creatures to the sounder, thereby assuring his death.
Gaut returned to his father with the horn. When Daufarin realized what Gaut, and therefore, the potential ramifications, he drew his sword and told Gaut to draw his own weapon, for he would die for betraying the family, and he should at least die fighting. Gaut is confused, but after Daufarin drew blood across his chest, Gaut fought in earnest. However, he lost, when Daufarin cut at his hamstrings, thus causing Gaut to lose his ability to stand. Daufarin then finished off his own son with a single blow.
Daufarin traveled with a small contingent to where the drow were stationed to return the horn, not really knowing what exactly it did, only knowing that it rightfully belonged to his drow masters.
Once Daufarin arrived at Shadow Spire, he was taken prisoner immediately, without question.
In prison, he met, by chance, the drow defector that his son had caught. The drow was going to be taken underground for summary execution, a fate Daufarin would not share. Surface-dwellers died on the surface, while drow died underground. Upon speaking with him, Daufarin discovered that the drow was slightly insane. However, he also discovered what his son had stumbled upon.
Daufarin engineered an escape for himself and his men. They took with them various artifacts, but most importantly, the horn.
The insane drow also, somehow, left with them, complicating matters at many intervals.
Daufarin rallied the armies to him by riding to key fortresses. Many declared allegiance to their charismatic leader, though a few deserted, staying loyal to the drow. As he moved closer toward the mountains, his army grew larger, mirroring Napoleon's return and march to
Daufarin knew that despite the size of his army, the drow still held an overwhelming advantage over him. Their magical powers, vast knowledge, mastery of the underground, and finally, centuries of indoctrination to the superiority of the drow race were all points against him. But he felt that he had a good chance if he could lure allies to his cause--allies across the borders of Legar.
He sent couriers to his fighting comrades, those generals he had been at near constant war with: the Ice General, the Grim Death, and many others, trying to entice them to ally with him against the drow.
Upon receiving the message, the Ice General tore it up, without even reading it, sneering at the messenger: "If General Daufarin has anything he wants to say, he can come here and say it himself!" Vermar was more compliant, but still hesitant that this was a ploy to weaken the borders of Daemon, lest he invite Bloodtooth to attack while Daemon was vulnerable in aiding Daufarin. In short, he needed Daufarin to win a battle against the drow to insure his ability and good intentions.
Daufarin began moving his army north, to meet and parley with the Ice General, knowing that the undead armies of Necros would prove useful against the Drow.
While doing so, however, the ground erupted beneath them, and the drow armies poured out of the caves. However, Daufarin had predicted that the drow might do this and was prepared for them. A large part of Daufarin's forces perished with the first wave of attack when he sounded the horn.
At first, the effects were not immediate, and Daufarin despaired. However, a rumble was heard and a veritable horde of monsters rushed on the two armies. It took immense willpower for Daufarin to direct most of the onslaught to the drow armies, and in the confusion, Daufarin and his army retreated, in an organized manner. However, they had accomplished their goal, to meet with the Ice General. In later times, this would be known as the Battle of Kaltarp, the first battle of the Hobgoblin's Insurrection.
After meeting with the Ice General, Daufarin decided that the best way to achieve his goals were to march on Shadow Spire and try to repel the drow stationed there. He did not feel that he could actually keep it and hold it, but with his current resources, he felt he could at least conquer it. Then, his alliance with the Ice General and Vermar would be enough to keep drow retaliation at bay. Thus, Daufarin began preparations to invade Legar. Aglung and Vermar contributed a few units to the cause to monitor Daufarin's progress. Daufarin and his army hid out in the mountains, ever watchful for a drow attack, but none came.
After coming up with the perfect strategy, Daufarin began to move his army toward Shadow Spire. He met with little resistance on his march.
On the eve of the attack, Daufarin was visited by Alehska. She warned Daufarin that he cannot hope to win against the drow.
Daufarin: "Alehska, you arrive on the eve of victory."
Alehska: "You're a fool. You cannot hope to win."
Daufarin: "Oh? Why is that?"
Alehska: "You are fighting beyond your station, beyond your place in the world. Beyond your fate."
Alehska: "You think otherwise? Why, in thirty years, have you never broken the drow chains of enslavement? Why in thirty years have you never taken the fight beyond the borders of Legar? Conquered Necros or Daemon once and for all, for all your vaunted skills! Why? Because you were content! You never questioned your place! Why do you do so now? What has changed?"
Alehska: "Nothing! Nothing has changed. It was Gaut who--"
Alehska: "Yes, Gaut. He saw beyond his station, he had vision. Dreams. And you saw fit to snuff him out."
Daufarin: "Gaut lived only to please me."
Alehska: "Motive enough to see beyond what he had in life. Unlike you. It's too late. You can't change your destiny, Daufarin. You will forever be a slave to the drow. It's who you are. Everyone has a place in life. And that is yours."
Daufarin: "You're ranting, woman!"
Alehska: "Even as we speak, the drow move into position, ready to cut your army down!"
Daufarin: "Wha- What you have you done!"
Alehska: "You killed him! You killed my son!!"
A fight broke out between the two, and Daufarin managed to wound Alehska, but she escaped. Daufarin marshaled his army for the coming battle.
Before leaving on the march, Daufarin had to split his army. Mobilizing against Shadow Spire with a single large army would take months, travelling overland. So, he divided his army into divisions and hoped for the best. Communication via a system of wizards and clairvoyance spells would keep him appraised of all situations with the other divisions.
After confronting Alehska, Daufarin went back to his main army to be informed of the current situation. He discovered that he had lost contact with two divisions, mere hours away. He called all the remaining divisions to him, feeling a foreboding sense of doom. He dug in and waited.
He didn't have to wait long. Both moons shone brightly. Over the horizon, the dreaded drow army had encircled his own. Without waiting, he sounded the horn. However, something was not quite right.
He could not hear himself speak. A lieutenant, a goblin shaman, would have said, "They've silenced us!", except, no sound would come. Daufarin's army shuddered under the hesitation and indecision when the drow army charged.
Daufarin realized that they could not cast the spell from the distance the drow army was. They must be closer. Probably led here by the treacherous Alehska. Sure enough, his intuition proved correct, and out of the shadows came a pair of drow assassins, appearing instantly from an invisibility spell, about to strike.
Daufarin had only an instant to react. He was lucky, while his lieutenants fared worse. He managed to take down the assassins, when the drow army met head on with Daufarin's.
The battle raged on, Daufarin hoping for more reinforcements. He tested the horn and found that sound came forth. However, it was a warped and muted sound; something had happened to it.
Hastily, he tried to call some order or semblance of discipline in his armies, but they were panicking under the drow onslaught. Eventually, the battle was lost.
Daufarin was forced to witness the execution of all his lieutenants. He himself was taken to Shadow Spire for an audience with the Overlord himself, with whom he had never met. When asked why they did not immediately execute him, like his officers, Dynin replied:
"Execution? My wayward general, you are mistaken. We deal death only to those who are inconsequential, insignificant. You, my friend, have earned a special status. You will not feel the sweet release of death for as long as we can manage it, I promise you. After all, you are the worst sort of criminal: a hobgoblin who believed he could challenge the drow and win!"
Daufer was conceived shortly before Gaut was killed. Daufer's mother, Aebbe, somewhat idolized Daufarin. She transferred her feelings to the son, and the result was Daufer. One trivial note, Daufer was born around the time Daufarin suffered his final defeat. Aebbe made her way in the world mostly silver by silver. She was a waitress at an Mirthful Miner before she had to resort to prostitution to live. She had a short life, dying when Daufer was thirteen.
Alehska had not only lost her son, but she had also lost her priestly powers. By cutting short what might have been the one of the greatest wars in the current age, Alehska had turned her back on everything she had once stood for. Both Alehska and Daufarin remained unaware of the existence of Daufer.
Daufer led a normal childhood in Voxis. When he was six years old, he was drawn to the somewhat dilapidated temple of D'lokka. It is there that he met a middle-aged hobgoblin priest, named Hrodgud. There, he learned of the great wars and battles of the past, of the legacy of the hobgoblin warriors of ages gone by.
At first, Daufer only did small chores around the temple, cleaning it, repairing it. It was healthy work, and he did not have much else to do with his time. But, the best part of his day came when Hrodgud would appear on the steps of the temple from some sort of meditation or other, and sit down and tell Daufer the teachings and philosophies of D'lokka, of war. It was a piece of stability in Daufer's somewhat unstable life.
Over time, Daufer was allowed to read from the canon of D'lokka, reading for himself the great strategies, the histories, and the words come from those touched by D'lokka herself. He learned the ways of the Lady of War, that one should always be prepared for the next war, the next conflict; only through conflict could one test his mettle and discover his worth as a man. All these teachings and more he took in during the early years of his life.
Though Daufer was looked as strange for following a strange religion, he made friends somewhat easily. A human named Gaheris sometimes convinced Daufer to shirk his responsibilities at the temple to find amusement in town.
One day an old crone approached him, demanding his name. She was largely incoherent and babbling. Unbeknownst to him, this was Alehska, his own grandmother. The sight of Daufer was causing her much distress because he looked the spitting image of his father and grandfather. She meandered away, causing Daufer to become impatient with the woman. He put the encounter from his mind.
However, weeks later, the old crone, driven by voices only she could hear, driven by some unseen fury, took torch to the dilapidated temple of D'lokka. The temple he had dedicated most of his life to was destroyed. He felt a great rage, but stayed his hand: there was no honor in letting his anger out on an old woman. She ran away, and Daufer made no effort to pursue.
The building was destroyed, as well as most of the religious texts. Hrodgud decided to leave Voxis and erect another temple either further north, or leave Legar completely and make his way back to his home in Bloodtooth. He offered Daufer to come with him, but Daufer felt that his place was in Legar and declined.
When Daufer was 18 years old, he decided to truly test his mettle. So, he left his home on a pilgrimage of sorts. He would live out in the harsh wilderness for a month, not to test his wilderness skills, but to see if he could survive, through a trial of conflict.
He was woefully unprepared. He had lived his entire life in the city. While, life at the temple was not exactly easy, it was nothing compared to the Legar wilderness.
He very nearly died when his life was saved by a passing traveler. He could tell by his dark skin that he was a drow, but he kept his hood up. While conversing with him, Daufer also discovered that the drow was completely crazy. His ramblings were indecipherable, but Daufer was thankful to the drow all the same. They parted ways, and Daufer traveled back to his home.
When Daufer returned to Voxis six weeks after setting out, he felt that he had gained a new perspective on life. To spread the word about his religion, his philosophy, he needed to improve himself by gaining new experiences in the world, see how the philosophy of war pertained to the world outside. His own view and experiences were too narrow. That's why when Gaheris came to him to start a Slayer group, despite Daufer not seeing the human in almost three years, Daufer agreed.
Campaign Events: Daufer worked for the Shadow Bats for some time, but eventually his pursuits in building a new temple to D'lokka and converting the Karik Orcs led him to neglect the group. Later, he returned to them and met with the group's new members, Eskar and Aidan. Daufer had also come into possession of an ancient weapon that once belonged to Dukosh, son of Dan'gen--the world's greatest hobgoblin general. This maul was known as Dukosh's Valor.
When Daufer discovered the ruins of a lost temple of D'lokka, he convinced the others to help him explore it. After clearing out all of the undead, he learned of his destiny and his history. He also learned that Dukosh's Valor was sealed, and only if he proved himself worthy could he break these seals and unleash the weapon's full power.
In the final battle, Daufer survived. However, the gateway to the Abyss had all ready been opened. Valiantly, he threw himself into the portal to seal it with his own blood. Although there is no proof, many have come to believe his soul was retrieved by D'lokka and now rests with his ancestors on her plane.
DM's Commentary: As you can see, Daufer's thin appearance and personality are more than made up for by his rich history. When Joe created Lon in the last game, he regretted that the character didn't really fit in with the game world. So he set out to correct that with Daufer. And in that regard, I believe he succeeded. I had hoped to explore more of Daufer's past in the final arc of the game, but things went south so we had to wrap it all up sooner than I had intended.
The problem with Daufer, is that outside of Gaheris (and perhaps Meschior and Loreleii to a lesser extent) he seemed to have no interest in any of the other party members. He kept the PCs all at a safe distance, and this made it difficult to like him. The other PCs often complained whenever Daufer was in charge--not because he was a poor leader, but because they just didn't like him personally (which is no way to rate a leader, but that was an issue with the others).
Another problem was that while Daufer had an interesting backstory that was worth delving into, none of the other characters were ever in a position to give a crap. Since none of them liked him and there was little profit in it, it was difficult to come up with quests that involved Daufer that the others would be interested in. That's a shame, because his backstory was infinitely more interesting than the rest of the group's (at least in my opinion).
Favored Weapon: Maul
Favored Prayer: Cure Light Wounds
Henchmen: Loreleii (1/5)
Birthday: Sardonx 8, 645
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