The Cult of Orcus
HP – 30 SPD – 7 Init – +3 AC – 15 Fort – 13 Ref – 15 Will – 17
Raised by his Aunt Charsi, Brandis Silverthorne didn’t have the convenience of close friends. He often spent his time playing in the woods, pretending to be a great adventurer like his father.
From the age of 9, he only saw his father on occasion, when treasure or adventure brought him within riding distance of the small town where he lived. He was a famous adventurer, after all, and was always seeking forgotten treasure and what not… The things legends are made of… While his father was away, Brandis received letters on occasion, detailing his most recent run-ins with angry draconians, or mountain dwarves, and usually containing money for Aunt Charsi and him to live on, or random trinkets from his travels.
Around his 17th birthday Brandis received a package with a letter from his father. He took the package, and ran to his favorite spot deep in the woods, where the river ran through the heart of an ancient oak, long since passed. He tore open the package, and found that it contained a necklace with a dark green jewel, unlike any he had ever seen before, set in silver on a chain.
The letter read:
Son, in my recent travels I came across a very interesting person. He never told me his name, but he spent a deal of time traveling with me these past few months. He was a very wise man, seemingly able to communicate with nature, always knowing the right path to take by simply chatting with the trees. During our time together, we shared of our lives and families, and I told him of you. He said that he knew about you, and what you were to become… I thought this strange, but usual for this odd fellow, and didn’t think much of it. Before we parted ways, he gave me this necklace and told me to make sure that you received it.
I hope that it finds you well. I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to visit you this past year. Please know that I think of you often. Unfortunately, I don’t know when I can return. I am very close to the treasure I have been chasing for the past 2 years, and I have learned of the secret passage beneath the waves which leads to it.
I fear this will be the most dangerous adventure I have taken, but if I’m successful, I won’t have to adventure anymore, and can come home to be with you. I will write you as soon as I can. Be safe.
After reading the letter, Brandis slipped the necklace over his neck. The necklace erupted in bright green light, filling the small clearing with blinding radiance. A voice echoed in his mind.
“Ah, young Silverthorne, I’ve been expecting you… Today your training as a druid begins…”
The green light grew brighter, and tore open his tightly shut eyes, penetrating down to his very soul. Visions of a thousand memories flashed through his mind… Visions of trees and animals and nature, until everything went still, and he was consumed by darkness.
As he awoke, to the light of the dawn, he somehow felt different… Was it all a dream? Whose voice was that, and how did it know his name? As he got off the ground, he held the jewel away from his chest, and noticed that it still faintly glowed. As he leaned up against the tree, he felt it’s life force, the power it held… He gasped in shock and stepped back.
Brandis thought back to the many memories of the night before… One stuck out… He focused on the graceful cat he saw bounding through the jungle. His mind cleared, as he focused on the form of the cat. When Brandis opened his eyes, he saw the world through different eyes. He looked down and realized he was no longer in his body, but in the body of the cat that had been playing through his head.
“Very good Silverthorne, you’re a natural” the voice echoed in his mind.