The Alliance of the Crimson Tunic
(Deceased) Paprika Smelling Gnome Warlord
Str: 16 Con: 12 Dex: 11 Int: 17 Wis: 10 Cha: 16
Silver Short Sword +1;
Gnome Warlord; Tactical Presence;
A gnome of small stature who greatly makes up for it in presence. He is often the first to suggest action and is usually the first to charge head into a situation. Yet for his impressive daring to run head on into battle, those close to him notice that he does not bear the mark of many scars or dents in his armor. In fact the most recent dents can easily be drawn from the battle with the rat king. His voice bares an odd raspyness when barking out orders, as if scarred by harsh conditions. The faint scent of paprika that most people notice when being around him can be traced to a small bag that he carries on his belt. When asked about the bag he quickly changes the subject or pretends not to notice. Those that try to get too close notice his hand quickly go to his sword hilt and the small gnome body tighten up in apprehension.
Roondan was born at the Eye of Fire to the blissful parents of Mederah and Eldon Daergal. His early childhood years were tough but happy times. He travelled with his family searching for the hidden depositories of spice in the desert. Several months after reaching his eighth year, the caravan his family was traveling with was attacked. A band of cyclops came and began to ravage the camp. While the caravan was used to bandit attacks, the cyclops were out for blood that night. They were finally stopped and driven off, but in the aftermath of the destruction lay Mederah Daergal, killed by a spear through the skull.
Roondan and Eldon were never the same after that day. Roondan started to become very reserved and focused. He began training harder with the guardsmen of the caravan and learning desert tactics. He vower he would never again let such senseless slaughter happen. Eldon instead gladly voiced his outrage. He began to call for a joining of tribes and wandered through the desert gathering them together. His voice echoed in the sands and followers slowly congregated. By Roondan’s tenth year, a convening of the highest leaders of the gnome people met in the Eye of Fire. It was a very solemn event; Eldon spoke with conviction and fire, and the other gnome leaders buckled under his words. Eldon voiced his plan to create a unified people under his leadership, and with their strength they would purge all those that would wish the Gnome people harm from their lands. They would be united under a common goal to become leaders of their own destiny, instead of being followers of fate.
Less than a year later, the gnome watchtowers had been placed. Secret plans were being laid by Eldon and his most trusted followers. Dark moonlit meetings were held in the farthest reaches of the desert. Often times, several robed figures would leave the meetings and wander off to the east, into the far deserts that few would dare venture into. Meanwhile, Roondan was left at the central western guard tower. There he hoaned his skills under the sharp tutelage of the best gnome warriors in the desert. He quickly garnered the respect of his men with his kindness and well-meaning nature.
Several years passed by. Roondan had now moved up in the ranks, slightly accelarated by the rising status of his father who was now referred to as king of the gnome people. Rumors of cyclops hitting the southern outposts were growing. Concerns of an all-out attack seemed more imminent every day. Roondan decided to travel the eastern desert to talk with his father of the growing concern. Approaching his father he noticed a distinct difference in his overall demeanor. His eyes burned with a wild fire and his movements were frantic, always on the move.
“Ah my son, shouldn’t you be at your post?” Eldon smiled at his son. “Always need to keep a constant vigilance.”
“But father, there is growing concern amognst the outposts that a cyclops attack from the south is coming. We need to pull our men back. There is no way we will be able to fend off a concentrated attack into our land.”
“Don’t worry son.” As Eldon turned away from his son a slow, mischievious grin spread across his face. “Plans have been set in motion already. Soon we will gain the upper hand.” He turned back quickly to his son, switching his face to that of concern. “We all have our parts to play. Yours is to be the constant guardian of our borders, to stand up for our people and show them that we are not afraid.” Roondan looked down at the sand. “Yes, father.”
Eldon moved over to some of his equipment. “I have never showed this to you, my son. You are old enough for it now.” Reaching down, Eldon picked up a small, worn leather bag. “This bag was your mother’s. She used to carry small amounts of spice in it to help aid injured travelers that she would come across. She always said that with this bag she could be a beacon of light and good amongst the harsh lands around her. I want you to have it. Take it to remember what we are fighting for.” Roondan took the bag. Trying to hold back the tears that were forming in his eyes, he muttered, “Thank you.”
Roondan traveled back west to his tower outpost. When he arrived, he made sure that his men fortified the tower as best they could. He would stand here and be the shining ray of hope that he knew his mother would want him to be. Before long, the cyclops arrived. Out across the sands there were hundreds of cyclops armed to the teeth with varyous assortment of weapons and armor. Behind the initial ranks stood powerful magi who could already be seen gathering their arcane energies.
Roondan’s heart sank. He knew that there would be no hope to stand against this force alone. Quickly calling out for retreat he begin to move out of the tower. He heard no footseps behind him. Turning, he looked at his men. “We must hurry. If we move quickly enough we can get to the eye before night.” His men looked at him and spoke, “The king has ordered us to stay at this outpost. He told us help is coming. We must stand strong for our people.” Roondan was outraged. “If you stay you will all die. No help will be able to make it in time. Look east! There is no one coming!” The guard stood defiantly and said, “We stay.”
Roondan felt a dark pit in his stomach looking over his friends. He had spent most of his life with these proud gnomes. Roondan knew the odds, though. There was no way they would survive. Sadness filling his heart, he blinked and moved to the east. A day later he returned back to the tower. Death lay in wait for him. The carnage was awful. The tower had been completely obliterated to a mockery of its former self. His people lay torn apart everywhere. Based on the tracks, the cyclops had moved farther north, likely heading for the next tower. Slowly, Roondan began burying the bodies of his fallen comrades. It took him several days before the last body was buried.
Moving into the center tower he walked to the lone cyclops body that his allies had been able to take down. He stared down at the cold lifeless corpse.
“Son!” The shout startled Roondan. He looked up and saw his father running at him with severl regiments of guards. “What happened?”
Roondan moved foward violently and began to shout, “It was a slaughter. A bloodbath. I told you we had no chance against them.” Tears streamed down Roondan’s face. “You ordered them to stay and meet their death.”
Eldon looked over the destroyed tower. Without even a tremor in his voice he said, “They fulfilled their duty to their people. With the destruction that the Cyclops have caused this day, our people shall find a renewed faith in our cause.” Eldon waives for his guard to stand back.
Roondan face turned to shock. “You knew this would happen? How could you?”
“It is for our people, son. While some may have suffered today, they died proudly to save our people.”
“You’re a monster.” Roondan began to draw his sword. “I will stop this madness before you destroy us all. You have shamed my mother today. She would have died before seeing her own people die.”
At the mention of his wife, Eldon’s face turned to rage. “These beasts stole her away from us. Now we can unite the people to stand and face this threat head on. We will rid these creatures off the face of the world.” Eldon begins to draw his sword. “This desert will be ours. That is what your mother would want: peace throughout the land. The only way we can achieve peace is by ridding ourselves of those who have plagued our people through the ages. The thievery and constant attacks by the other races will end. We will show our force, and if they don’t bow down before us groveling like the cowardly worms they are, then we shall destroy them.”
With a gutteral scream Roondan charges Eldon. Their swords clashed. A flurry of blows erupted from both men. The sand swirled up with the speed and viciousness of their swings. After several moments, Eldon gathered his stregth and shoved Roondan off his feet. Landing several feet away, Roondan quickly stands up and begins to retreat. He runs to the west, needing to escape the desert before it consumes his soul. Eldon dusts off. Turning to his guard he says, “Roondan Daergal is now a traitor of the people. He is to be brought before the council if seen again… dead or alive.”
Roondan traveled west, eventually reaching the fervant forests surrounding Merrywood. For the next several years he joined various traveling outfits, mainly has a hired guard. His heart was never in it. Those he traveled with were often thieves or vagabonds. Roondan would often blink out of battles hoping that his comrades would die. One fateful day, however, he was pushed out of a moving cart and saw a young robed man approach…