Hunting in the Deep
The History of the Father: The Later Adventures of Kael the Revenant
The height of Kael the Revenant’s career came in 1368, The Year of the Banner, when he battled and defeated Danis Blackmoor in the streets of the Dock Ward alongside his companions Adriel the Teifling and Sophieluin Meryl, his elven partner and lover. Waterdeep rewarded him richly and for years afterward he enjoyed great fame. He and Sophie were constant companions for two years afterwards but their romance was doomed to fail as she could never seem to escape her own demons. Kael’s career ended abruptly in 1373, The Year of the Rogue Dragons during the pursuit of fellow hunter Duece, who finally wound up with a bounty on his head for murder. Kael managed to take him down but in the struggle he took a dagger to the ribs and fell from a rooftop to the street. The fall killed Duece and for many days Kael lay in a coma. When he awoke he learned that a young maiden named Danica Starling, his assigned nurse, had stayed by his side near constantly. As it turns out Miss Starling was the intended victim of the killer Slythe that Kael and Sophie had rescued back in 1368, although she had been but a girl at the time. Kael and Danica fell in love and he courted Miss Starling through most of 1374. The two were married in Uktar of that year in what can only be described as a celebrity wedding.
Kael’s celebrity wore hard on him. He was under constant pressure to join the Watchful Order and the Harpers but declined both. He feared that by taking such an appointment that he would put Danica in danger. His fears came to light in 1376 when Heryn, a former associate of Blackmoor’s, together with the half-orc brothers Grut and Froth, attacked their home in the Castle Ward. While Kael struggled to fight off the half-orcs Heryn nearly strangled Danica. It was Perci (Percvayne Eladorian Ozymuth Daniseer Veracles III) who came to his aid, who just happened to stop by for a visit (and to try and persuade him to join the Harpers yet again) and used a polymorph spell to dispatch the brothers (into one misshappen lump of orc-flesh) which allowed Kael to come to his bride’s aid. The incident rattled Danica and Kael demanded that if Perci and the Harpers were really all that grateful then they should find a way to help him and his wife retire permanently. Perci did so; offering Kael a farm in the countryside surrounding Waterdeep and a cover story that Kael the Revenant had left on a long journey after joining the Harpers. Those interested in doing him harm would have to travel to Shadowdale for the only Kael to be found in the farmland surrounding the City of Splendors was Valorian Kael, a humble farmer.
Kael was pleased with his new identity and his new life and he and Danica welcomed their first child in Marpenoth of 1379; a boy named Valorian ‘after’ his father. Next born was Avery in 1382 followed by a girl; Genevra in 1384, another girl Staci in 1385, and a final boy Terrin in 1388 who was named after Kael’s old friend Sgt. Terrin Baldermore who died earlier that year.
The History of the Son: The Origin of Avery Kael
Life on the farm was tough but satisfying. Avery grew up always in the shadow of his older brother Valorian but he idolized him nonetheless. He and Genevra were particularly close. Always in competition with his older brother, Avery built a lot of lean muscle, often pushing himself beyond his limits. His mother, of the noble house of Starling, (although he didn’t know that) taught the children each morning and Avery and Genevra were her best pupils, the two of them competing for knowledge as much as he and Valorian competed in strength. Once they were old enough Kael taught his sons how to swordfight in his own two-sword style. He raised them up to be defenders of women, humble, and valiant.
As he grew older Avery began to surpass his older brother, both in strength and in swordplay. His sense of adventure often led him into trouble and he most often pulled Genevra along with him. Kael lamented his son’s lack of reason and chastised him frequently for not thinking though his actions, particularly when he endagered his sister.
In 1397 the Kael farm received a visit from the mage Percivayne Eladorian Ozymuth Daniseer Verecles III, now an important figure in the Watchful Order and apprentice to Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun, the Archmage of Waterdeep. During Perci’s visit, however, he let slip the secret of Kael’s identity and his past to his children. Avery and Genevra especially were fascinated by their father’s true identity as they easily recalled tales of ‘The Revenant’ as related by their mother who had only omitted their father’s name. Kael warned them away from foolish ideas and told them that it was only a past life, and a reckless one. However, Avery could not banish it from his mind.
Nightal (December) 1397: Kael, now 59 years old, announced that next year he will retire and named his firstborn; Valorian Kael II, as the inheritor to his farm. Valorian was well suited for this as he would be 19 years old in Marpenoth and is already well-familiar with the day to day operation of the farm. The decision puts Avery in a predicament: He could either remain on the farm and in the service of his older brother (and remain in his shadow) or he could leave the farm and somehow make his own fortune. On Ches 5th Avery announced his decision to his parents to follow in his father’s footsteps as a bounty hunter in Waterdeep. This decision is immediately condemned by both his father and mother and is mocked by Valorian, who insisted that he needs Avery’s help on the farm. Genevra (15) supported him, however, and her support bolstered his stubborness. Both of his younger siblings Staci (13) and Terrin (9) were worried about their brother leaving but Terrin especially seemed to admire his decision and began to idolize him. On the 8th of Ches Avery and Kael have a serious arguement and Kael told him he will have no part in supporting his son’s decision; effectively disinheriting him and refusing to give him any money or equipment at all. Avery remained defiant, insisting that he didn’t need anything other than the old, worn training weapons that his father had given him for his 12th birthday. The week was tense as Avery set about making preparations to leave, ignoring all who warned him against it. By this time Staci had slid firmly in her parents’ camp and opposed his leaving. Only Genevra and Terrin now supported him and Terrin swayed back and forth as he did not want his brother to leave.
Ches 15th, Avery’s 17th birthday. Genevra gave Avery a brass locket, one of her treasured possessions that she had bought from a peddler 2 years before. It’s a cheap item but it means alot to Genevra. At first Avery tried to convince her not to part with it but she insisted that if he’s leaving then he must keep it with him for luck. (Added to his equipment, so long as it’s in his possession he’ll gain an extra 1d4 Character Points per level and 1 CP per successfully completed mission.) Terrin gave him a simple, undyed hemp bracelet that he made on his own. (No bonuses, the quality is predictably low.) Staci helped cook his birthday dinner. Valorian offered a thick winter blanket, which Avery accepts but notes has been in the family’s possession for many years. The biggest surprise came from Kael and Danica. His mother gave him 33 gold pieces and his father offered him a new shirt of chain mail which he had just recently purchased. Kael reiterates that he doesn’t want Avery to leave and he doesn’t want his son to encounter the dangers of being a bounty hunter but since he can’t change his mind he wants him to be as safe as possible. Avery begins to refuse, reminding his father of their earlier arguement, but Kael tells him that the armor is his birthday present not any form of support for his decision and if he feels immortal then he’s welcome to leave it at home. Avery nods and thanks his family. Kael reminds him that he is always welcome to return home and that he would be happy to help him find some other career path.
Ches 18th. Avery buys some equipment from a trading post.
Ches 19th. Avery left home just after the sun rose, setting off in the direction of Waterdeep. It is a tearful farewell, but Genevra is nowhere to be found. His mother told him that despite her support his leaving will affect her more than anyone else. As he hugged his father goodbye Kael told him that he’s proud of him, especially of his determination to make it on his own. He gave him with a list of names of his old contacts who may still be around and told him to try and seek them out. With the farm still in sight he found Genevra down by the creek. She cried and said that she will miss him but that she’s happy for him to finally be able to escape the farm. She made him promise that it’s not the last time they will meet.
Ches 19th, 1398 The Year of the Voyage 11:30 am; The North Gate, Waterdeep