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Rating: 4.25
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ID: 2086


December 25, 2005, 10:18 pm

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Jon Raptorclaw


Man, too, is a primal creature, though he binds himself with the chains named Reason and Law, locked link by link from birth. Yet, those locks can be opened, the links broken, in both the savage world of the street-slum, and in the gilded cages of nobility.

One such creature is the falconer Jon Raptorclaw, once no more than a street urchin, now one of the king’s most valued rangers.. when he can be found.

Jon is a short and wiry young man, barely more than four and a half feet tall. His facial features are sharp and pointed, his hands and curiously, his toes gnarled and curled as if to grasp at something. His build is slight and deceptively light, the man weight barely more than fifty pounds all told .

He favors light leather clothing, earthy brown and dark grey, as like to be stained this color as dyed. He carries no apparent weapons, though his eyes glint with a penetrating gaze.

A common street urchin as a boy, Jon, who had no surname, was one with little hope of much except perhaps surviving the next cold, brutal winter. That is, until his ninth birthday, when he sat begging in the city square, and chanced to look up. There, perched upon the beams above was a falcon, one that cocked its head as unblinking eyes bored into the boys, a stare that was broken with a raptor’s scream and flight. What could a homeless boy do but follow?  And thus began his tutelage by the spirit-being known as Voonsai.

All manner of things the spirit-being taught him, to spy the scuttling creature, to swoop down upon it, to hide in the high places where all could be seen. His once-steady diet of trash augmented by rats and bats and pigeons, Jon soon found himself able to contemplate things besides the next meal, and so he was brought into the company of the Wyldlings.

These theives too, did he learn from, the thrill of the hunt, of the chase, and yea, even that of fleeing, for none is as swift or as fleet as the falcon. And so, the most basic of needs fufilled, food and shelter and joy, Jon was able to do more than live. For the first time in his life, he was able to thrive.

But these moments pass, as moments so often do. Raptors are not social creatures, and as they grow and gain their wings,  they leave the nest, and become solitary whispers upon the wind. As the urges began to grip him, Jon fled not only the Wyldlings, but the city in entirety, for the great forests to the north. Though the voice of his Teacher fled from him once he had left that citadel of civilization, he knew that he no longer needed it. And thusly, though he suffered many a hungry night, Jon became a ghost of the forests, some impulse within driving him to care and tend for the land about him, even as he preyed upon the creatures there for his own sustenance. 

This, indeed, was a moment that could have lasted forever, until they came. Fell men they were, with foul rituals whose sights and sounds and scents set the woodsman’s stomach a-churn and his mind aflame with rage. For weeks he agonized over their dreadful chanting, over the shrieks of terror and pain that eminated from their camp, over the blackness that had begun to envelop his home.

And so, one noon, as they lay asleep the day after some dread performance, he fell upon them from the trees above, screaming his rage and displeasure. Swift and lethal he was,   but there were far too many, and some with unholy powers, and he was overcome despite his rage.

Casually, they shattered his limbs and threw him aside, to survive or not until his time of sacrifice. For three agonizing nights he laid there, unable to do more than spit upon his captors as they past, until upon the fourth mourn, the aid he so desperately needed came. Rangers and druids and soldiers they were, and to Jon’s pain-bleary mind, it seemed as if all the might of man and nature had come to his rescue.

Taken back to the city of his birth, the man was treated with the few other captives of the fell band that had survived, and to his surprise, one of the men who had rescued him had taken an interest in his wild spirit. And this man offered him a deal. Jon would remain in the woods, and while there, he would continue to protect them, but in addition, he would also do the king’s bidding, and to report back to this man. In return, he would gain tools, the network of the rangers, and though he cared not for it, a salary. Indebted for his rescue, and knowing that much of it was what he wanted anyway, he agreed, and thusly, entered into the service of his King.

Now, he wanders the northern forest, occasionally ranging further, a scout and warrior in his King’s name.

Roleplaying Notes

Jon prefers the forests near the metropolis to the city itself, and will only enter when no other option presents itself. As a whole, he is content with his rough lifestyle of living off the land, and he maintains his contact with his king only out of the imposed feeling of debt. If that ever vanishes, he will slip away into the forests forever. He is reclusive, and must generally be sought: An area, after all, can only support so many birds of prey, and unlike the wolf or cat, the raptor has extreme difficulty with creatures its own size and larger. As such, he prefers the life of a loner, though the /urge/ occasionally siezes him, and he will attempt to woo some lady out to join him. As of yet, this has met only failure, for what city girl wants to live out there where there is no civilization?

He prefers the diet of the raptor, eating almost entirely rodents, small birds, and yes, even insects, usually raw. Most adventurers will find this repulsive.

In combat, Jon prefers to strike from above and in passing,  his attacks vicious slashes and tears with his bare, clawed hands. His hollowed bones and short limbs place him at a -severe- disadvantage in close combat, and he will try to avoid this with phenominal acrobatics and a disturbingly impressive movement speed - some opponents have sworn that he flew in combat with them, though truthfully, he is not capable of this.

The DM should also remember that while Jon is a human, he is also a midget, and adjust accordingly.

Jon’s only real supernatural ability is the ability to craft his hands and feet into talons for fighting and hunting.

In all, Jon Raptorclaw is as much a bird of prey as a man, and should be played as such.

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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Pariah
December 26, 2005, 23:41
I like him, for an incredably light midget he has style. I can just see it now, out of the tree drops a little person, you don't know if it's a small human or a big starved hobbit. Oh, and as its falling it claws out your right eye, sucks to be you.
Voted manfred
December 27, 2005, 11:58
The theme of a spirit teaching human has not lost its appeal... especially when well executed like this.

Good work, Siren.
Voted Strolen
January 6, 2006, 23:18
All in all I like it. The poetic prose had its difficulties as descriptions are somewhat glossed over and left to us to figure out which probably caused me more mental power than I have available at the moment, but it is a solid idea and very interesting too. Fun irony that he was taught by a falcon and then through misfortune had his hands and feet gnarled into bird shapes.

The mentioning of "Wyldlings" without any description of them caused me to stall as did the reference to the capitolized "Teacher." While both can be inferred by the reading, I don't think it is obvious enough.

Good submission!!
January 7, 2006, 6:20
Just note the linked character... but perhaps it should be linked directly in the text, too.
Voted EchoMirage
April 6, 2009, 7:29
This one flows naturally; it's well-written, and needs little more.

Link Backs

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Monument

When the characters approach a clearing in the forest, they will see 4 ogres who are guarding, and preventing from escape, 4 human males, and 3 human females. The ogres will see the party and leap to attack. The females will scream "OUR SAVIORS!!" and run screaming straight across the currently forming battlefield, in between ogres and party members, to hide behind the rearmost party members. They will be safe there. The males will try to skirt the battle to the north side to join the women.

To the south, giants will be hiding in the thick underbrush until the party has engaged the ogres and then attack the most opportune target EXCEPT the ones that the females are next to.

It should be noted that the female commoners are not female commoners at all, nor are the male commoners actually male commoners. The female commoners are the hags, who have polymorphed themselves as the commoners in their stewpot to escape detection. The males skirting the battle are actually MORE ogres, the hags were in the process of polymorphing ALL the ogres into regular humans for ambush purposes. The REAL commoners are already dead, having found their way into the coven's cauldron for dinner.

The hags (the women) will position themselves near to any spellcasters in the rear first, and then near anyone else in the back of the fight. The ogres (the men) will wait until the hags shift form, and then attack first the rear folks, then shift into the melee.

It is possible that the characters, as they approach the ogres, will notice the giants in the bush, and be able to warn the others of the ambush.

GAME NOTES: If you sell the screaming women correctly, they will not even be suspected until it is too late. Therein lay the problem. This encounter is ESPECIALLY deadly to the rear eschelon of the party. It is entirely possible that the hags will finish off half the party before they even realize they have been duped. Caution is required if the game master wishes to avoid a TPK(total party kill).

Encounter  ( Forest/ Jungle ) | July 14, 2005 | View | UpVote 2xp

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