Venture Unto Glory
Position: Former Marshall of Ibahalii
Aldous’ wide-brimmed hat hangs low over his face, casting a dark shadow over one eye. The unconcealed eye bulges – wide and bloodshot – fixed in an immortal stare for want of an eyelid. Old bandages hang loosely off his gaunt face, exposing sparse quantities of his decaying skin – the bottom of his nose; the area around his mouth. The retracted skin of one cheek engenders a grotesque grimace through rotted and absent teeth. Removing his hat reveals that only a few wisps of gray hair remain.
A worn traveler’s cloak mostly obscures the leather armor hiding underneath. Even his hands are covered by gloves, though it does little to mask his affliction. Contrasting with his generally haggard outerwear, his feet are adorned by a pair of ornate boots. Made up of elegant folds, they appear to be crafted out of living leaves.
Aldous’ past is a touchy subject, as it isn’t exactly filled with pleasant memories. Born in Issia to an impoverished fisherman and his wife, he was given to the Church of Abadar when they realized the impossibility of providing for him. The church, having a vested interest in maintaining peace in Brevoy, began training him at a young age to carry out their bidding.
Often neglecting his studies, Aldous preferred to sneak off and explore outside the walls of the monastery. Though he was an effective marksman, he possessed no great talent at swordplay or spellcrafting, and thus would have been little use as a paladin or cleric. The Church decided, instead, to take advantage of his keen mind and his abundantly curious nature, charging him to act as their agent in solving more enigmatic problems. It wasn’t long before these abilities were put to other uses, however – tracking down those who would commit acts of sedition against the Church itself or would potentially upset order in the region.
In one particular mission just a little over three years ago, tragedy struck. Afflicted with zombie rot, Aldous fled to the closest cleric in the hopes that he could be healed. Unfortunate circumstances led to the curse being slowed, but not cured.
Searching for the Cure:
In the vain hope of finding a cure, Aldous made a pilgrimage – abandoning the church of Abadar – to the desert nation of Kelesh, where he had read the people were followers of Sarenrae, or the Healing Flame. Once there, he joined the Chruch of Sarenrae, and prayed for redemption and – desperately – for salvation. Wielding a scimitar, the favored weapon of his new deity, Aldous made his way back to his homeland of Brevoy in order to do good in the divine light of Sarenrae. When he received a charter tasking him with reclaiming the Stolen Lands from the bandits and scum that inhabited them, it seemed a sign from Sarenrae herself.
As fate would have it, Aldous arrived at Oleg Leveton’s Trading Outpost at the same time as Cassandra Walker, Ziu Wolfcaller, Nalrod Radvage, and Lance Kilmore. Together, they fended off a bandit attack led by Happs Bydon and began their excursion into the Stolen Lands.
Well-traveled and learned in cartography, Aldous took charge of keeping up the charter’s map. It wasn’t until much later that he discovered his compass was faulty, and the true direction of north was approximately 90 degrees clockwise from the assumed north.
Having been examined by Jhod Kavken, Aldous was informed that his ailment was no accident – the man who he had trusted to heal him had deliberately augmented the curse. Though preoccupied with running their new kingdom, Aldous exhibited renewed vigor in seeking out and punishing the man who cursed him doubly. All the while his condition worsened.
The Mind Falls with the Flesh:
Visited by strange dreams, Aldous begins experiencing bizarre mood swings – sensing a foreign presence creeping at the fringes of his mind. Only able to remember flashes of memories of a hooded man, and a single word: Vordekai.
Drawn to a strange crop of ruins Northeast of Glory, Aldous appealed to Cassandra’s compassion to allow the charter-bearers – now accompanied by Jed Ingwersen – to investigate. The deeper the caverns went, the more perilous they became. As he emerged into a strange atrium, Aldous was immediately skewered by unnatural tendrils of dark energy. The depraved entity consumed Aldous’ mind and turned him against his friends. Aided by a platoon of undead warriors, Aldous would have butchered his former allies were it not for Ziu’s quick thinking and tactical positioning. As the tide of the battle turned in the mortals’ favor, Aldous disappeared into a black veil to a destination unknown.