Daniel Andersson appears, if you seem him during the brightest part of the day, to be a relatively short human man in prime health; tanned skin is stretched across the sinewy muscles of a farmer's body, with a tangle of coal-black hair typically plastered down to his scalp by sweat and a coating of dirt across him from his labors in the fields. His clothing is generally a patchwork affair, the faded cloth looking as if it has clad his body for centuries, with countless patches that might have been vibrantly colorful, once. Under the fullness of the sunlight, the only suggestion that there is something strange about Daniel is the sheer focus of his expression as he tirelessly tends to mile after mile of farmland at a pace that no normal man could hope to match. As the light fades, the true nature of the man becomes more apparent, as the eldritch glow emanating from his flesh puts the lie to any natural force behind his relentless energy. Even when the sun has set and mortal farmers retire, he can be found out in the fields around the city, the light pouring from his flesh more than sufficient for him to be able to see to continue his tireless work. His expression, always one of focus, seems even more severe by this shadowless radiance.
Really, the only thing that can be said about Daniel's personality is that he is, beyond any doubt, a driven creature, his whole essence wrapped around the purpose that fuels the magic sustaining him. He has no time for small talk, answering those who bother him with little more than grunts and the occasional gesture - unless they either offer some benefit to his fields or cause harm to a single plant in his sight. The former will pique his interest, briefly - for a few scant minutes he'll pause in his furious labor, and speak with the one offering the benefit; his voice, rusty and dry from disuse, sounds much like the croak of a raven. Still, this attention can only last so long, and he only makes a single attempt at bargaining before the fields draw his attention away again. There are those decisive merchants who have made a small fortune from the deathless farmer, but countless others who, in trying to haggle, lost their opportunity.
May the gods have mercy on those who harm the fields in Daniel's sight, however. The deathless farmer is all but immune to weaponry due to the power of Alabrin which sustains him, and he has, over the centuries, become an expert at using his simple tools as weaponry; he willingly brings these to bear with lethal force against those who despoil even a single plant, his raven-croak of a voice harshly labelling them as would-be murders and thieves, trying to steal food from the mouths of his family. More than one accidental trespasser has been turned into mulch for the fields in this way, and even the heavily armored steam caravans that pass by each autumn give the fields a wide berth, the drivers having learned the hard way that Daniel's wiry build belies the magically-fueled might he can call upon.
Daniel was, centuries ago, a simple farmer's son; his father, a peculiarly shiftless man, did the bare minimum to sustain his family, passing as much of the work to his children and wife as he could get away with, so that he could spend more time sharing ale with his neighbors. All too often, the family was reduced to begging for charity when the winter frost came too early or lasted too long. Daniel's clearest memory of his youth is the impression of gnawing hunger that visited his entirely family each winter, and his father's hypocritical words, ringing in his ears as the man blamed his children for not working hard enough in the field.
It stayed with Daniel as he grew into a man, his height stunted by malnourishment as a child and his body lean and wiry; it drove him when he married and settled on a new farm, rising hours before anyone else and coming in from the fields only when the last of day's light seeped from the heavens, weary and filthy. Many who knew him were amazed that he found the energy to sire children with his wife; others, envious of his prosperous farm but unwilling to emulate him, whispered that he was being cuckolded. Neither Daniel nor his wife paid heed to the rumors, each sustaining the other through the trials of life, raising nearly a dozen happy, healthy, industrious children.
Daniel's greatest fear was that his children - and later, his grandchildren - would suffer the bitter hunger he had suffered as a child. It drove him into the fields even as an old man, laboring at tasks that any of his children would gladly have taken up for him. Inevitably, it was also the death of him; in the fields he had spent his life tending to keep his family safe from the specter of starvation, he collapsed from a fatal heart attack. His funeral was attended by everyone for miles around, a rite of mourning that has since entered local legend and, with his return, become a yearly holiday.
His spirit did not rest easy when he slipped into the quiet embrace of Kronath, the Lady of Shadows. Even in death he felt the twisting fear of hunger, causing him to writhe restlessly amid the shadowy world beyond the mortal realm. So it was that when a would-be necromancer, a man who had coaxed the secret of revival from one of Alabrin's Chosen, sought to raise a petty thief to be his servant, Daniel sensed the questing thread of magic slithering into the darkness. His spirit pounced upon it like a hungry cat on a plump mouse, his focused will dominating over that of the spellcaster as the magic drew him into the cooling flesh of the other's body.
The necromancer had expected to command the weak will of the rogue whose body he sought to animate; it was a horrific shock to the man as intense, pure light erupted from the corpse, the body seeming to flow like wax as the spirit forced it to a semblance of the shape it had worn in life, the binding magics sundered by the indomitable will of the simple farmer. So it was that Daniel Andersson walked the world again, his youth and vitality restored and augmented by the light of Alabrin, his entire being consumed by the need to assuage his fear - to ensure that his family was nourished.
Years had passed since his death; his wife had passed into the shadowy lands of death not long after his own passing, save that where his spirit had roamed the darkness restlessly, hers had quietly slipped into the dreamless and peaceful slumber of the dead. His children all refused to believe his return, at first, until he proved his identity to them; then shock, followed by a mixture of fear and joy, overcame them. His farm, divided among them, was willingly given back to him, regardless of the troubles of the local magistrate in trying to find a precedent for it. The discovery that he no longer needed to eat, drink, or sleep was a welcome one to him, as was the radiance of his skin, allowing him to work through the night. It took little time for him to bring his farmland to an even more bountiful state than it had been in his life, to the point that by the first winter after his return he had overtaken his childrens' fields as well, gifting them all with a bounty of crops far in excess of what they could eat. So it was year after year, with his children, and then his grandchildren, helping him to tend the fields during the daylight hours.
Generations passed, and the glowing figure remained driven - with each new generation, more people were included among those who were of his blood, and more fields joined his peculiar domain; were it not for the work ethic taught by his descendants, holding the glowing figure up as an example to which one should aspire, even Daniel's tireless efforts would eventually have been overcome. Now, in the present time, the town has become a city of farmers and craftsmen, all dedicated to their trades with the fervent energy of mortals trying to match one of the deathless. Icons of Daniel can be found in nearly every house, and many pray to him for the energy or inspiration they need to excel at their craft. So it is that at some point, without noticing, Daniel slipped across the boundary from one of the undead to a Mortal God, the belief of his descendants infusing him with vigor beyond that of his resurrection.
Now, the undead godling needs no more help from his distant descendants, even as they supply it in a strange form of worship; each season's turning allows him to tend the myriad miles of farmland that feed the entire city, his entire being wrapped around the drive to feed them all.
Daniel is a farmer; nothing more and nothing less. Clad in clothing that has been patched so often that nothing remains of the original garment, he doesn't srike a very imposing figure; a simple farmer, almost always with a how, a scythe, or some other farm implement in hand as he moves with inhuman speed amidst the rows of flowing greenery. Still, in his hands, those tools are the implements of the Divine, and as such are as strong and deadly as the mightiest mortal warrior's blade, should need arise for them to be wielded thusly.
-Drought has struck the region Daniel tends; now, faced with miles of wilting crops, the farmer has found a river that he intends to divert, even if it means the death of any downstream. How do the PCs handle this - do they help the farmer ensure the bountry of his fields, earning the gratitude of an unknown god and his children, or do they try to stop him, even if it means risking the death by famine of an entire city?
-A merchant has heard of the bounty of this land, and seeks to bring new crops to sell in exchange for some of the surplus from the fields. The party is hired as guards for the steam caravan.
-A wizard obsessed with the nature of mortal divinity has heard of Daniel, and seeks to capture the god in order to study him, and if possible, drain his power to allow the mage to transcend his own mortality and the risks associated with mortal magic. The party may be hired by the mage to help capture Daniel, by his descendants to free their divine forefather, or they might come across the mage as he tries to draw the essence of divinity from the deathless god.
-One of Kronath's Chosen, a wielder of one of the Shadows of Mercy, has come to the city, seeking to return Daniel to his slumber. Not even a god, of course, can resist the summons of She Who Brings Tranquility, should She wish to bring one of her lesser kindred into her fold - but without Daniel, the city may soon begin to starve. Will the party help Kronath's Chosen restore the natural balance, or will they seek to avert the potential famine by keeping Daniel from his second death?
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? Responses (17)
Have the City Guards ever tried to arrest him for murder?
They might have /tried/ at some point in the past, but as one of the Accursed of Alabrin, he's not exactly easy to subdue. By now? He's a lesser god on top of everything else. Just about the only thing that can even slow him down is one of Kronath's Chosen with of the Shadows of Mercy.
A good example of one of the driven, even if it's not quite what I had originally imagined. May want to link to the types, 5664.
Yeah. I intended to do it as a 'suggestion' link, but I can't figure out how I'd go about it with the new design. I'll add it here in a bit.
Added; it's 'magic' in the sub text.
Nice to have a non-evil Undead for a change.
A non-hostile, non-obscene, non-evil, relatively peaceful (in most cases, but don't step on the crops) undead god, yes.
A very cool encounter - I like the plot ideas!
Any character that the creator can't come up with plot hooks for, unless it's intended as merely a color character, is incomplete.
Not bad at all ... I was wondering 'okay, but why would the PCs care about him?' before running into the plot hooks.
Two other ideas, mostly entwined: by marrying one of his descendants, Daniel probably considers you part of his 'family'. Considering that part of his task is to ensure that none of his descendants go hungry... Imagine if an adventurer married on of his children, then wound up someplace where he or she was starving. Likewise if one of his actual blood-descendants wound up in such a situation.
There's no way that Daniel himself can leave the fields for long enough to deal with it - but that passing group of Heroes just might catch his attention, and find themselves with a bunch of food and a Divine Mandate to go feed his child, as well as getting them out of the situation he or she has wound up in, ASAP.
Why are my HOH's still at 0?
Farmer turned undead turned godling... an excellent character!
Glad you appreciate it. Now, I dare any Citadelians who have the courage to create more of the Accursed of Alabrin.
Daily Highlight pointed me here and I'm glad it did.
Concept: Full Point - Based on: 'Is this a good and/or interesting idea?' Yes. An interesting take, a very usable idea.
Craft: Full Point - Based on: 'Did I find the work free of errors and written with a reasonable level of technical proficiency?' Yes. I spotted a single typo, but it's otherwise pretty tightly written.
Style: Full Point - Based on: 'Did the work give a good sense of the material, a 'flavor,' so to speak?' Yes. The piece gives a good sense of not only the character, but the world which spawned him.
Substance: Full Point - Based on: 'As a GM or Player, Can I take what's presented and run with it?' Yes. With some name changes to fit the setting, I could see this easily fitting into an Everway tale, a wonderful legend to set the stage for an interesting adventure.
Extra Mile: Full Point. Based on: 'Did the work go above and beyond in one or more of the above criteria, and/or did this piece somehow 'speak' to me in a way which is not accounted for by the four criteria?' Yes. It's a great piece which was clearly crafted with both care and imagination. It speaks to me.
5.0/5.0, and an HoH