Appearance:

Albreck is most commonly found in full set of plate armour, ornate and highly polished. A dragon-carved helm covers his head, with a long, glittering plume of feathers cascading down his back. His shield wears a dragon crest, as does the hilt of his razor-sharp bastard sword, which he wields in one hand as if it were a rapier. When not prepared for battle, he is a blonde-haired young man of clear complexion and boyish good-looks. He stands a few inches over six feet, and is well-muscled and graceful.

Background:

Albreck was the second son of a minor Eastern lord, pledged to the clerical life from an early age. Such was his talent in all things military, however, that the priests of the local temple realised his potential as a Paladin. Auguries were cast, and the omens were promising, Albreck, it seemed, would be a legendary Knight of the Church. His father agreed, and Albreck entered the Temple of the Dragon Father in the foothills of the northern mountains.

All went well for many years. Albreck faced the many challenges which barred his way, and overcame them all without stumbling. Aged seventeen, he took the final test and appealed to the Dragon Father for His blessing. During a long and painful ceremony, the blessing was delivered, and Albreck emerged from the ceremony, wounded and near death, as the Temple's newest Paladin.

His career progressed as the auguries foretold, he vanquished numerous foes from the foothills around the Temple, protecting the weak and innocent and fulfilling his duties perfectly. All would have been well if a marauding bandit warband had not entered the area, pillaging villages and burning farmsteads to the ground. The Temple mounted a great defence, but the warband captain was aided by a dark mage, who unleashed terrible spells upon the farmers and priests. Albreck, seeing the destruction, went into a berserk rage. He crashed single-handed through the warband, slaying the captain in a single stroke and hacking the mage into dozens of pieces. By the end of the battle, his sword had taken more than thirty lives, but he stood without a scratch. When, finally, the rage lifted, he dropped to his knees and prayed for a full day and a night. When he arose, weak and delirious, he declared that Dragon Father had cast him out, and that he would serve the Temple no longer.

He left that very night, officially stripped of his rank by the elder of the Temple. Feverish and confused, he left the village, vowing revenge on the eternal spirit of the warband's mage, the foul sorcerer who had provoked his berserk fury. As the days and weeks passed, Albreck convinced himself that this was his true mission â to rid the world of mages, to destroy the unholy taint of magic. Only then, he knew, would the Dragon Father accept him back into the fold. Until then, he decided grimly, he was no longer bound by the honourable oaths he had taken. He would destroy all magi, no matter the means or the cost.


Roleplaying Notes:

Albreck, at first glimpse, seems to be the classic noble Paladin, wealthy and supremely self-assured. He talks in a flowery and eloquent style, is faultlessly courteous, and strives constantly to embody the image the perfect Knight. Perceptive characters, however, may notice a few discrepancies in his personality and story. How does a Paladin, allegedly sworn to penury, come to have such expensive armour and weapons? Why does he shy away from any discussion of his temple or beliefs? And why will he go to almost any lengths to avoid priests and clerics?

Albreck can be gallant, heroic and a valuable ally, but his violent hatred of magic makes him unreliable and potentially dangerous. He is, as the Temple saw when they cast him out, dangerously unbalanced, prone to berserk rages and unpredictable behaviour. There is little hope of a cure ironically, it was this latent insanity which made him such an ideal Paladin in the first place.

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