Fennel and Dill: An Introduction to Dorn and Riordan

Landscape from Stenbjerg with moon,
Peder Severin Krøyer, 1889

Landscape from Stenbjerg with moon,
Peder Severin Krøyer, 1889, Source

It is only fitting to begin the story of this campaign with an introduction to the characters.  There are two for now and hopefully there will be more to join later.  Players’ identities will be kept confidential for the time being.  I preface the writing of these descriptions with four sessions under this campaign’s belt.  Sessions typically last three to five hours at a time.  This has given the players time to add personality and nuance to their characters.  Anyone can and should be allowed to jump right in and play with only a basic character sheet filled in.  A good DM will allow the player the space to let his or her character emerge in time.  Dorn is a relatively new character (a few months) while Riordan has been transplanted from another group and campaign (and is closer to two years). 

Let us start with the newcomer, Dorn Greycastle.  Dorn is a half human and half elf.  He is in his 20s, medium tall and well built.  His skin color is that of a white human with light blue eyes and brown hair.  Dorn is learned and religious.  He knows a lot about arcana (e.g. secrets and mysteries), history, medicine and religion, and is insightful and perceptive.  He was once a sailor and now is a cleric.  His weapon of choice is the mighty warhammer.

Dorn’s player tells his story:

“Born to Alrik Greycastle, a wealthy noble from the city of Neverwinter, and his wood elf bride, Althea, Dorn grew up seeing his father mocked, not only for taking a “savage” as a bride, but for his views on nobility.  Dorn’s father taught him that the duty of nobles is to care and provide for the people, and that success is not an indicator of superiority, but a challenge to provide for those who struggle unceasingly.  These insults fell on deaf ears, except for those of Willem, Alrik’s first son, who cursed Dorn as a half-blood or a bastard.

Not wanting Dorn to grow up in a world of hate, Alrik arranged for him to work on one of his merchant ships.  After five years of sailing and occasional fighting, Dorn’s ship was destroyed by a kraken, and Dorn was rescued by passing merchant marines.  That night, the god Valkur came to Dorn in a dream, telling him that he was meant to do better things, and that he would see to it that he did them.  Dorn awoke inspired and empowered, and soon discovered that the ship’s captain was a priest of Valkur, and he taught Dorn of his new protector.

Returning to Neverwinter, Dorn learned that his father had died just weeks prior and that Willem had taken over his titles and incomes.  Upon hearing of the destruction of Dorn’s ship, Willem had declared him dead, claimed his inheritance for himself, and confined Dorn’s mother to an unseen room in the family estate to hide the family’s shame.  When Dorn went there, he was turned away at the gate, the servants telling him only that he was unworthy of troubling the family any further.

Using the money given to him by his father before he’d left and what he had been able to save in the subsequent five years, Dorn bought the equipment he’d need to serve Valkur as an adventurer, and set out to earn his place on the Sword Coast. One day, he will return to his family home, and Willem will see what true worthiness looks like.”

As the DM, I have found Dorn to be lawful and good.  He does not quite see the world in black and white, but with some outlines in shades of gray.  He thinks often about the wellbeing of others despite their lot in life and thinks twice before harming anyone or thing even if society has deemed them unworthy.  Although he is not quick to judge, once he deems a being or creature as evil, he will stop at nothing to destroy them for he seeks to protect what is good in the world.  He seems to be striving to be a good leader and mentor, and wants to prove his worth.  His biggest vice comes in the form of brawling in the rougher parts of cities where other sailors roam.

Riordan Xiloscient is a wood elf.  Although he is 87 years old, he is relatively young for an elf.  He is slightly shorter than Dorn and is quite slender.  He has light copper skin, hazel eyes, and brown hair, all which help him to camouflage to his ancestral environment, the forest.  Hence, it makes sense Riordan is a ranger.  He knows a lot about nature and survival.  He is athletic, perceptive, investigative, and very stealthy.  His weapon of choice is the swift and silent longbow.

Riordan’s player tells his story:

Born to a clan in the High Forest, Riordan grew up hunting and tracking and learned how to survive in the wilds for weeks at a time.  Showing great skill, he soon became one of his clan’s most trusted rangers.  One day, while scouting, Riordan came across a group of orcs.  Using superior positioning to strike swiftly, he took them out, only to discover they were stragglers from a larger war band.  Though he ran as fast as he could to warn his people of the coming danger, he was too late: his people were dead, his home destroyed.  Wandering the Sword Coast, Riordan eventually found his way to Neverwinter. Shaken by his failures, he took what work he could as a scout and tracker, using most of his wages to drown himself in drink and nurse a hatred of orcs.

I was first introduced to Riordan a couple of years ago in a separate gaming group where I was also a player.  Riordan was brooding and dark, but also highly loyal and quick to action.  At the time Riordan had not changed his class to ranger yet; he was a rogue.  I played a character named Zuria and she is also a wood elf ranger, and his distant cousin.  She was the Commander of Wood Elf Archers, but now she also wanders the land lost and looking for answers, and although she is more reserved and composed than Riordan, she suffers greatly from survivor’s guilt.

From a colleague player to a DM, I have seen Riordan transition from a rogue into a ranger and it is fitting in his growth as a character.  Unfortunately, as with many of us, Riordan has experienced two steps forward and one (or three) steps back in his journey.  Without his first adventuring group, he has returned to drinking and quick judgments.  It seemed that without a team, he is lost.

Here is where Dorn and Riordan meet.  Both wandering.  Both staying at the same tavern, The Fennel and Dill.  Dorn watches Riordan down drink after drink and sees a fellow being in pain.  And so, Dorn elicits Riordan to partner with him as an adventurer and mercenary.  Riordan agrees as he has no other path, and so they begin their journey together in the morning out of Neverwinter south towards the town of Phandalin.

Next time the adventure begins! Please join us on our new campaign, The Dragon of Icespire Peak! Subscribe to this blog or follow us on Twitter, and thanks for reading!


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