Rulund Drussel (1st Vassal and Relic Hunter)
Setup: During the 11th year of King Moltov’s rule of Parna a group of warriors and priests from Parna entered the Dwarven lands without permission of the local dwarven clan. This resulted in a brief violent encounter between several members of a dwarven warrior clan and the Parnarians. The small group of warriors and priests from Parna, which also included a member of the Dwarven Teamster Guild, did find and destroy a demonic presence that had cursed both eastern Parna and the western Ven mountains. The actions of that small group benefited both the dwarven lands and Parna.
However, the insult to Dwarven sovereignty was answered by the arrest and imprisonment of several Parnarian nobles traveling within the Ven and the closure of the trade routes between the Dwarven city states within the Ven. King Moltov called together his court to discuss the best course of action with regard to impending crisis with the Dwarves.
Appearance and Impressions:
There are few places in the world where a man like Rulund could be overshadowed. But Moltov's court is such a place. Despite being 6'6" tall with broad sloping shoulders and powerful rounded arms Rulund is not as imposing a personality as the Holy Warriors that make up most of the court. Visiting dignitaries have mistaken him for a servant or worse have not noticed him at all. His hair is black and worn slightly long, and usually without consideration for style or hygiene. He prefers to keep his beard tightly trimmed (he finds long beards get painfully snagged in his helmets), but that can vary depending on how long he has been away from campaigns. He usually wears long fur cape, a sign of wealth among the Ator, and riding clothes in greens or dark reds. He finds wearing armor to court uncomfortable, but prefers to carry his more valuable weapons and jewels with him at all times.
When interacting or observing Rulund one will eventually encounter four distinct manifestations of Rulund's character. The first Rulund likely to be encountered is the The Aloof Rulund. This is not an affectation, Rulund geniuely finds most people and conversation inane and uninteresting. Furthermore, Rulund is extremely class conscious, and thus if one does not have a position of note Rulund is even less likely to engage the individual. This is not because he believes in the sanctity of the divine rights of leadership, but he believes that the lower classes have little to offer him. Spoken insults or compliments will do little to draw Rulund out; unless they are part of an explicit well-defined challenge or spoken by a beautiful woman.
The second Rulund a person is apt to encounter is Rulund the Competitor. Rulund is deadly (sometimes literally) serious about every competition in which he participates. This Rulund may seem furiously angry or manically happy, but regardless if there is a contest he is completely engaged. This behavior will sometimes translate into disgust if Rulund does not believe it is a contest he is capable of winning. He is the type of competitor that hates losing more than he loves winning. A physical contest will rule his emotions, and it will be extremely difficult to get him to disengage if believes he has a chance of success.
Third Rulund has a deeply self-satisfied nature that can be observed when Rulund is in a private moment or discussing his spoils. Rulund has achieved all the goals of his youth and much beyond that. In times of reflection or relaxation Rulund can be caught smiling or sometimes even laughing to himself as he makes a mental account of his successes. He is extremely impressed with himself, and people who know him know of the Prideful Rulund. While he does not boast or brag assertively, questions regarding his military escapades, or more often his spoils of battle, can drive him to conversation. Rulund has the greatest collection of rare items and valuable relics in Parna, and he loves them.
The final Rulund is Rulund the lover of women. Rulund is far from the most handsome or charming warlord at Moltov's court but his lust for women and their affection is insatiable. Rulund can be shameless, and is capable of great suspension of personal pride in order to get the woman wants. As a lover he is jealous and demanding of affirmation and attention. His relationships progress quickly from lust to a one sided emotional need. When he is denied that attention he can grow angry, and when insulted by a lover he will turn livid. The most pointed example of this is his wife Alya. He is openly hostile towards Alya, despite her many public declarations of love and admiration for her husband.
Personal History and Politics
Rulund was born a dark haired commoner, and raised by a single mother. Ator is a country controlled by red headed nobility raised by warrior priests, and the circumstance of his birth didn’t do him any favors. But Rulund always chased his fortune or his next meal with his hammer and his lust. This outlaw was eventually captured by a Baron named Moltov (the future King of Parna) in the seaside hamlet of Drussel. Rather than punish the outlaw, Moltov made Rulund a man-at-arms. Rulund was with Moltov when he raided the King's Keep in Mota, and was part of the party that force the subjugation of that King. Rulund himself captured the Hammer of Mota from the heir. With the spoils of that raid, Rulund was established as Rulund Drusselsky. Sir Drusselsky rode with Moltov's freemen's cavalry, and was Moltov's left hand guard during Moltov's feud with Baron Grutheon.
During that feud, Rulund met and fought with or against all the major figures over 30 years old at Moltov's court. Rulund fought along side Jalibur and Igor when they were sent to kill Grutheon's Sorcerer. Jalibur saved Rulund's life during that fight, and pointedly, Igor and Rulund did not form a bond. But the most enduring relationship Rulund developed was his rivalry with Zanthar Kirkov. The two are often described as the best of enemies, and Zanthar is the only person whom Rulund appears interested to see while or greet while at court. Their competition is well know among the nobility, and their jousts and blunted duels are the favorites of the tournaments. Rulund has crassly stated that, "The only prayer I offer Roarck is that I be the one to slay Kirkov."
Once the Grutheon and Moltov feud ended, and throne of Ator no longer in dispute Drusselsky was introduced at court. Their Rulund wooed and married Alya Trimbre'ov. With her dowry he established his own pack of Calvary: the dark horsemen. (The title has little to do with color. They were so named because they were not enlightened Holy warriors of Roarck. The Devotee's of the Way most often wear white, the dark horseman's banner was a green chevron on red field.) The dark cavalry served the King of Ator in the the War with Mota, and during the conflict with Greyspine mountains. In both cases Drusselsky's cavalry work on detached orders, raiding supply wagons and attacking targets of opportunity. Rulund leads a fierce fighting force, but his units are not disciplined enough to serve with Devotees of the Way.
Drusselsky was never landed in Ator, and thus owed no feudal loyalty to Ator. He took his men into Parna with Moltov. Drusselsky was however not at The Battle. He road ahead and captured the Oldstone Keep and was the last person to see to the old King on the Throne. After Moltov took the crown, Drussel (Rulund dropped the Sky suffix from his name) was granted the largest, and perhaps most valuable vassal ship in the Kingdom. He is responsible for the Northern border of the Kingdom all the way from the border with Dwarven territory in the East to the Buccnar forest in the west (just over 500 miles across). The raid into dwarven territory occurred along his border. The Ator Lord, Talltov, who was killed by the Dwarven Teamster, who's knights made up the lions share of the raiding party, was one of Drussel's vassal.
Drussel would rather go to war with the Orcs of the north or hunt down Jocit and his band than invade the dwarven land. Jocit is known to have great deal of rare and mystical items in his possession. He believes that
"...these (the Orcs and/or Jocit) will be easier nuts to crack than the steel skinned dwarves in their caves, canyons and fortresses"
He is however tempted by the quality of plunder that a war with the dwarves could provide. He is not disturbed by the death of Talltov.
Skills and Abilities
Rulund grew up along the coastal cliffs of eastern Ator. As a child he help provide for his mother by diving for oysters along the shore. Rulund is a strong swimmer, and a rare combination of risk taker and survivor. Rulund has the ability to accept risk with out being fatalistic. Furthermore, as self satisfied as he maybe, Rulund has a very realistic view of his fighting abilities. He has a talent for picking his fights well.
As a warrior Rulund is a master of mounted combat, knowing how to work a horse and lance with devastating efficacy. When engaged in melee, either on foot or on horse back, Rulund is an expert with the warhammer. He is quick to respond to all threats and a difficult man to take unawares.
Rulund is also in possession of several powerful relics and weapons that grant him super natural power. The first is the Hammer of Mota, this great weapon weapon was originally forged by the dwarves centuries ago before it was obtained by Royal family of Mota. In addition to delivering a powerful superhuman blow to whom ever it strikes, the Hammer produces a deafening cone of sound in the direction of its swing. Rulund also won the Banner of Dannuk during the Greyspine Campaign. This ancient flag from the days of elves is made from a rare and durable silk. It was used to cover the shoulders of combatants after a blood duel. It helps to restore the strength and speeds the wound healing of whoever touches it. Rulund wears this around his waist. Finally, Rulund wears a Heart of Lota which he took from assassin sent to kill him. These silver lockets are typically worn by the accomplished followers of Obber. When they touch the wear's skin they protect him or her from coercive enchantments. It also creates an aura around the person that inspires fear in the weak or the young.
Personal Weaknesses and Failings
Rulund's vices are an obvious part of his personality. He is a fool for smooth talking or seductive women. He is also extremely manipulated by the promise of rare or wondrous items. Rulund is prone to what Alya (his wife) calls "Rage Surrender". If things are not going Rulund's way and he does not believe he can master the situation than he will quit the endeavor. Rulund's motivation are almost always personal, and thus he is a poor solider despite being an excellent warrior. Finally Rulund is a poor administrator. He relies heavily on his subordinates to carry out the responsibilities of being a Lord. This is not because Rulund does not have the skills to manage his vassal, but rather he believes that subordinates and servants should except full responsibility for every task requested of them. He sees no reason to concern himself with
"...warriors counting sheep and drawing lines on maps? (governing as far as Rulund sees it) Why would a warrior do that, when their are priests and old me to do it."
He see his vassalship and title as rewards alone, and not associated with responsibilities beyond fighting for the King's banner.
The extent of Rulund's wealth is not known to anyone. He has never stopped campaigning. He and small groups of his cavalry adventure near year round to follow up rumors of treasure or exploit weaknesses in neighboring regions. He does this often without permission from his king and without paying tribute.
Rulund is engaged in a secret feud with his wife. She has killed or injured several of his mistresses and some his bastard children. He longs to get revenge on her but does not believe he can get away with it. He does not think he can out smart her, and if he killed her directly he is sure he would get caught. If caught the best case scenario would be a duel with Igor (the King's Justice) and he is not certain he could win that fight. The possibility of losing a direct conflict with Alya is the only thing that stymies his anger.
The Heart of Lota that he owns is considered very distasteful among the followers of Roarck. If he was a Devotee of the Way or a Steward of War (Roarck's priests) than it would be sacrilegious to own it. Rulund keeps this item a secret from the rest of court. He does not want to force the question of whether or not lay Nobles should be allowed to channel the power of Obber in Parna. Channeling Obber is a crime in both the churches of Bell'ra and Roarck, but in Moltov's Parna the King is the final law. The King has not had occasion to rule on this topic yet.
Rulund wears a full helm with his armor. This is not the style with most Ator warriors. Rulund also prefers to wear the full helm when ever riding (even for sport) and when ever he is sparing or dueling.
Languages: Ator, Natal (ancient language spoken by Elves, some Orcish tribes and used by the church Bell'ra in holy writings)
Primary motivation: Rulund has extremely competitive nature, and receives a great deal of satisfaction from winning even the smallest contests. He pursues success with a total ruthlessness. By the same token Rulund despises losing and prefers contest in which he feels confident of success.
Secondary Motivation: Revenge against Alya Drussel. The Rulund feels an overwhelming need to exact revenge.
Tertiary motivation: Acquisition of Powerful item, relics and artifacts of great power. Rulund believes that he can transcend his current condition with the right tools.
Male human Ftr16: (6 ft., 6 in. tall);
hp 121; Init +4; Spd 30 ft.; AC 10; Attack+20/+15/+10/+5 melee, or +16/+11/+6/+1 ranged; SV Fort +12, Ref +5, Will +8;
Str 19, Dex 11, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 11.
Skills and feats: Climb +14, Handle Animal +12, Intimidate +19, Ride +15, Knowledge (Nobility) +5, Listen +5, Ride +10 , Spot +5, Swim +17; Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Greater Weapon Focus (Heavy Lance), Improved Critical (Heavy Lance), Improved Critical (warhammer), Improved Initiative, Mounted Combat, Ride by Attack, Quick Draw, Weapon Focus (warhammer), Weapon Focus (Heavy Lance).
Notable Possessions: Hammer of Mota +5 to hit & +5 sonic damage.
The Banner of Dannuck (worn as sash) regn. 2 hp/rnd,
A Lota Heart(worn as amulet-silver incased) cause fear for creatures under 5HD, renders wearer immune to charm or enchantment spell