Rannek dresses in the standard garb of a monk of the Order of Might, a black gi, with red accents.
He’s obviously strong, and carries only a bow.
He’s also quite simply ugly, unfortunately. With an oversized head, bulbous nose, eyes at an unfortunate kilter, and ears that stick out, he’s quite a sight that one would wish he had not beheld. He is socially inept and has extreme trouble making and keeping friends. Except that he oddly seems to have no trouble keeping the attentions of a very select group of people, strangely enough, a group of people that is constantly changing.
A long time ago, a young street urchin, a human named Veobryn Taemyr, the bastard progeny of a penny whore and a lustful wanderer, was left to mostly fend for himself. He has not seen his mother since the age of 8, and had never met his father. He has many half-siblings, none of whom are close to him in any way, and as such, he considers himself to be a loner. He has relied on his own wit, cunning and natural physical ability to survive the tough streets of Ethe. He relied on no one save for himself, fended for himself in the streets for long enough to become a street smart, intelligent and tough young man. He didn't so much leave his home as much as it was that he never had a home. He spent his days panhandling for change and food, getting in minor scrapes with the law, and doing what he had to do in order to survive.
At the age of ten, he happened upon a wizard, named Rannek, putting on a display of intelligence and problem solving to dazzle the crowd, hoping to impress them with his grasp of logic with a difficult and paradoxical riddle. At an inopportune moment, the observant and precocious youngster blurted out the answer to the riddle. The wizard was annoyed to say the least at being shown up by this youngster, but was impressed with his mental acuity. Seeing this as an opportunity to gain a free meal from a wealthy patron, Veobryn agreed to Rannek's offer of a meal and a conversation. The wizard quizzed him about his background and tested his mental capabilities. He wasn't the brightest kid in the world, but he was hungry, in every sense of the word. Never having had an opportunity to have a family of his own, the wizard was seeking an apprentice that he could consider like a son. The wizard offered to teach him the ways of the arcane arts, to take him in and care for him, until he reached an age that would allow him to seek his fortunes as a traveling wizard. Veobryn was cautious but accepted, and soon found himself embroiled in a world of studious attention to detail, the minor prestidigitation of the cantrips, and soon, he would learn his first spells that wizards are taught, the ability to read and detect magic.
Years pass, the boy grows into a young man, and as he does, he spends more and more time under the tutelage of Rannek. He learns his first few wizard spells, and begins to use them in earnest. Veobryn grows to think of himself as Rannek's adopted son, and the wizard develops a kinship with the youngster like that of a father to his son.
One day, Veobryn decides to take a day off and join his friends at a local tavern, the famous (or infamous) Rolling Barrel, made famous by the adventurers known as 'Plan A'. After a day of carousing with his friends, and listening to the outlandish stories of the now retired adventurers found there, he stumbles home, drunk and happy, to sleep it off.
When he arrives home, in his drunken state, he quickly sobers up when he sees a dark figure standing behind his mentor with a dagger in his hand. He can't react quickly enough to prevent the inevitable. The dark figure says "This is what you get" and slits Rannek's throat. Rannek stumbles around the room as he bleeds out, covering the entire area with his blood. Standing there, frozen in shock, Veobryn is covered in his mentor's blood. He blinks as the blood splashes his face, and he watches, frozen in shock, as his father-figure turns from a healthy glow to a pale and sunken corpse. Rannek collapses at his feet, and says, in the hoarse whisper that can only come from a person who's throat is cut from ear to ear, "Avenge me" Rannek dies in Veobryn's arms.
"We'€e not done yet'€, says another voice. Veobryn twists his head around to bear the brunt of a face full of club. Stunned and bleeding, he collapses to the floor, his mentor's body falls beside him. He can see everything that is going on, but is unable to do anything about it in his stunned and shocked state. The dark figures open Rannek's chest and take his heart. The first voice says "what about the kid?'€ The second voice says "he's no threat.'€ A figure bends down over the weeping Veobryn. "You don't want what he got, do you?'€ as a dagger is run over his throat in a threatening manner. "You see that? That is what happens when people mess with US. Don't forget it.'€ With a whirl, the two dark figures stand up and exit, Rannek's heart in their hands.
Approximately half an hour later, numbed from the pain in his face and the shock of what he has witnessed, he makes a vow to avenge his father-figure and mentor's death, if it is the last thing he does.
His mentor receives the appropriate funerary rites of passage, and is buried within 3 days. During this time, Veobryn spends much of his time trying to figure out how he will find his mentor's assassins, who are completely unknown to him, and how to best exact his revenge.
While drowning his sorrows in an appropriately large amount of alcohol, Veobryn finds himself commiserating with a hooded figure that he happened to sit next to. This is Han Tzu Li, a member of a secret organization of monks called the Ultus Sect, a faction of the Order of Might, a well known order of monks that believe in the philosophy that the weak exist to serve the mighty, and the weak are indebted to the mighty and must learn all they can from the mighty, so that they might one day be mighty enough to make a difference in the world.
The conversation with Han Tzu Li is a challenge of the young man's fortitude. He listens intently to Han's tale of violent death and retribution with wide eyes and a strong stomach. So many acts did this man perform that would be considered the very essence of evil in his quest for vengeance, but once you know the man's story, it all starts to become that much more understandable. During the course of this conversation, it becomes clear that this is the path he needs to follow, and Han explains what is required to live a life of this style. It is demanding, but rewarding, for the patient one.
As a part of his new way of life, the Ultus Sect requires him to change his name. His new name will be Ultus Rannek Taemyr. Nobody will know of his affiliation with the Sect, he will appear on the outside to be simply a monk of the Order of Might, so the name "Ultus'€ is a secret name, never to be spoken to anyone not capable of understanding the need for vengeance in the most extreme way. His new given name will be Rannek, the name of the person that set him on the path of vengeance and retribution.
Mystics of the Order of Might following the path of vengeance in the Ultus Sect must follow a strict code in order to meet their obligations to the order. Any attack must be met with a like degree of force; if your opponents intended to kill you, you are obligated to kill them with as high a degree of vindictiveness and vengeance as possible. They must always provide an opportunity for those they are going to kill the opportunity to defend their lives, there will be no sneak attacks. Furthermore, the final deathblow must always be made in such a way that the creature can appreciate the nature of who has exacted vengeance upon it. It is not only acceptable, it is preferable to slaughter the wicked when they are helpless, so that they may feel what their cowardice does to others they have harmed.
His friends understand his need for vengeance. Being loyal friends, they work around his minor character flaws, and find his lack of mercy and compassion to be useful from time to time.
His personality "on the job'€ is all business. Off the job, he's a normal guy, but when he's on his mission, he's quite somber and serious, to the point of being a pain in the butt. He has no interest in creating "carnal relationships'€ with anyone, and is devoted to his order and his task of vengeance. He is unwaveringly loyal to his friends, and to anyone who shows loyalty to him.
He is responsible for donating all of his worldly possessions to the sect, which operates in secret from a non-descript building inside of Ethe.
Rannek intends to learn all that he can from the monks in order to exact his revenge upon the people that were involved in his mentor's assassination. He's not sure how that will be accomplished, or even if he will find those ultimately responsible, but he's going to try, and woe betide the creature that steps in his path when he's got his sights set on the men responsible for setting this quest in motion.
Because of his unattractive appearance, he didn’t get much social conditioning as a child. Everything he says is misconstrued and taken in the worst possible way. He generally means well, but, for example, instead of discretely indicating that someone has something on their nose, he’d just blurt out 'gonna wipe that booger sometime this year?' So, basically, everyone who isn’t physically repulsed by him is generally annoyed by his forthright personality, except those who get used to it.
To that end, his master, who looked beyond his appearances to see the diamond in the rough, as the first 'real' spell he taught him, told him the ways of 'Charm Person'. Done discretely enough, this spell would allow him to bypass the stages of friendship that are based on first appearances, to hopefully develop friendships on deeper levels once the charm has worn off. It works to some degree, but he still has trouble forming relationships with all but the most understanding of people. Unfortunately, this was the last spell he taught him.
For this reason, when he’s got down time, he will often be found in the company of a strangely diverse assortment of characters, from caravan guards to prostitutes to runaways to alchemists. He often brings these people to meet his new associates, who hang out at the Rolling Barrel. He’ll be trying his best to be friendly to these people, and they always seem to have an understanding ear for his bluntness and social ineptitude. He tries to make his friends comfortable and make sure they have everything they need, and is generally pretty flattering, in his own socially inept way. From time to time, he suffers a major setback in his relationships with individuals in this strange assortment of people, and usually they are never seen again, but there are those that hang around him for longer than others. The rest of his friends usually form at least a passing relationship with all of these people, and sometimes they actually become genuine friends of the people in the party, often star-struck by the lifestyle of the adventurer.
Of course, what his friends may suspect but never really prove is that he is spending his time using Charm Person to make friends. He's trying to create an information network so he can hear rumors, and be able to function more easily in the world. He’ll charm anyone he feels might one day be useful, as long as he thinks he can get away with the activity. For now, he’s sticking to the lower eschelons of society, but he’s going to move up as his confidence improves. Because he knows that the Charm will only last a short while, in order to maintain the relationship in even the most cursory of ways, he wants to make sure the friendships are made between his friends, who aren’t so inept socially, and the people he charms. It is his hope that he can create a rumor mill network that will garner more and more information to assist him in finding the assassins of his mentor.
It should be noted that he never takes real advantage of the people he has charmed, because he wants the relationships to last beyond the charm. He does nothing that a friend wouldn’t regularly ask of a friend, nothing exceptional. He doesn’t even ask for price breaks from the charmed business owners in the area. So, in this way, he hopes that there is an unspoken understanding of his motives, that they are generally pure, if a little morally ambiguous.
His order, the Order of Might, espouse a belief that the weak serve the mighty, and the mighty are to be revered. He believes very deeply in this philosophy, and as such, he will treat with proper reverence and respect anyone whom he believes to worthy of that respect. He will likely treat anyone he deems as 'weaker' with a certain level of contempt, except when that person is useful to his goals. If the person is weak but has information to be gained, he will treat that person with respect until such time as they are no longer 'mighty with information', at which point they will be viewed with disdain for being simply weak.
He respects the abilities of other adventurers, and wishes to learn as much as possible from them in order to one day exact the just rewards for the people who wronged him. He is currently weak, and recognizes this, and so will walk the world with a sense of humility until he improves quite a bit more. His goal is to improve to such a point where his revenge will be able to be wrought on those that ended his mentor’s life, and he’s not sure how mighty he will have to be to accomplish that, so he’s going to bide his time.
As such, while he has little moral compunction that would prevent him from doing the things that people are unwilling to do, and if asked, he will give his honest opinion about a situation, he will not force that opinion on others. He is willing to work within a social group in order to accomplish his real goals, even if that means he doesn’t get to satisfy his thirst for true vengeance for many years. He is, in fact, eager to work within a group, because it is within the group that he stands the best overall chance of exacting his revenge.
The only thing that should be noted is that the people who killed his mentor will be treated with almost insane hatred, and will be brought to death as slowly and painfully as humanly possible. If he KNOWS that a person you are after is one of the people who is somehow responsible for his mentor’s death, once the quarry is in sight, he will be VICIOUSLY handled, to the point that he will do every miserable thing he can think of to make what little time the person has left to live as painful as possible, and others are advised to simply stay out of the way, and if you don’t have a strong stomach, leaving the room will be your only option, because once it starts, there will be no stopping Rannek’s revenge. If someone friendly to Rannek seriously tries to intervene, it is HIGHLY likely that he will do everything possible to reason with, then circumvent, then incapacitate, but definitely not kill, the friends who intervene. After all, they are his friends that he’d be facing at that point, and he doesn’t want to hurt them, just the person they are trying to prevent Rannek from killing, those that deserve a just and warranted demise.
It is hoped that his friends will have a good understanding of the reason for this particular bloodlust, and would do what they could to simply 'let it be' when it takes place. While I appreciate that certain friends would definitely try to intervene when this happens, they've got to know that it would happen that Rannek would do his very best NOT to fight him, but if that didn’t work, he’d do what he had to do to get the job done.
- Rannek has three spells in his spell book, and can cast 2 1st level spells per day: Charm Person, Read Magic and Detect Magic. Since he is no longer a wizard, he will never again learn any new arcane abilities. He learns 2 charm persons per day, if they are cast.
- Rannek appears on the outside to be little more than a monk of the Order of Might. He will never willingly reveal his association with the Ultus Sect, or his real name, Veobryn Taemyr.
- Rannek may view any adventurers as potential sources, and my initially try to charm them from afar. He will determine his success by approaching the specific person he targets and striking up a conversation that appears to anyone NOT charmed to be extremely rude and obnoxious, but to the person charmed, it would simply be his quirky personality. He will seek information about anything untoward that the PC’s have had dealings with recently. The player of the charmed PC should play along as if he is a trusted friend.
- Any time the PC’s are involved in taking down bad guys, it’s possible that these bad guys are directly involved in Rannek’s quest for vengeance. If they intervene, he will attempt to charm one person and explain the situation, and continue his task of killing the persons involved. If he can’t charm them, and they sour to his manner, as they are likely to do, he will attempt to use his knowledge of martial arts to incapacitate anyone who stands in his way(including Pain Touch, Stunning Touch and Paralyzing Touch, at appropriate levels). He is not seeking to kill anyone other than those directly involved in his mentor’s death, and will make that clear to anyone who intervenes. That said, if someone DOES present a mortal threat, he has no problem killing them and leaving their body to rot.
- Because he is seeking information that he doesn’t realistically know how it will help him, Rannek is likely to have all sorts of useful and useless information at his disposal. Any reasonable rumor would eventually float his way, making him a very central point for any rumor-milling that happens to take place in the game. He might be ugly and socially inept, but he knows a lot of stuff, and this makes him useful as a point of contact to any adventuring party.
- He seeks information specifically about underworld connections, and any obvious thief in a party of adventurers would be an INSTANT target for his charming. He could try again and again if he specifically identifies a less than scrupulous rogue in the party, believing that his best chance for finding his mentor’s killers lay at the heart of an underworld conspiracy.