Last Updated: August 10, 2011
Powerful Enemy (Red Wizards of Thay)
Zealot of Kossuth
Overall, Gideon's stay around Mistledale has so far been quiet and uneventful. A local ranger, Jarrod Rold, on patrol with his fellow Riders of Mistledale, stops by Gideon's cottage every now and then to briefly say hello and to make sure he has not been troubled by any drow raiders running wild through the woods. During the past month, several Dale's folk have vanished. Just recently, Councillor Zander Wolcott lost a groom, one Walter Little, and Axel, a prized stallion. Wolcott has offered a reward for their safe return (100 gp each). Other people have offered rewards for their missing folk too.
One day, as he was in the Ashabenford market gathering supplies, a woman dressed as a Sister of Pure Flame and follower of Kossuth discreetly introduces herself as Kulara Tolmen, a member of Chathi Chathendum's Company of Thayan Traders that often passes through Ashabenford as they journey to trade all over the Dalelands. She whispers to Gideon "Fear not Brother, the Red Wizards do not know what we know". And before Gideon can stammer out a response, she walks away into the crowd and is lost from view.
Gideon becomes aware of rumours of a growing darkness building in the forests of the Dalelands and that the old haunted keep known as Galath's Roost appears to be the centre this amorphous threat. And thus, he heads into town to muster a group of heroes to vanquish the dark with the bright flame of Kossuth.
Kulara Tolmen, before he can enter the tavern, warns Gideon that not all is as it seems and that a traitor will lurk amongst the allies he gathers - one that will attempt to douse the light holding the darkness at bay. Suddenly, the noise of revelry spilling out into the street as a drunkard stumbles out the front door of the tavern draws Gideon's attention and when he looks back, the elusive Kulara has once again disappeared.
As the caretakers of the Righteous Vengeance Monastery tell it, Gideon entered their lives nigh 10 years ago on the eve of the summer solstice.
As the tale goes, Brother Raed was in the process of tidying up from a day's work in the garden when he spied a shadow break away from the amorphous dusk-murky edge of the forest that backed onto the Monastery property. As Brother Raed moved to hail this figure, it appeared to collapse and disappear into the tall meadow grasses that bordered the forest.
Immediately, Brother Raed rushed forward and discovered an unconscious young man of no more than eighteen summers sprawled in the grass - his tunic torn - fresh blood anointing his face and body - his limbs a twisted jumble of awkward angles.
Brother Raed scooped the young man into his arms and carried him within the walls of the Monastery to the wondering stares of the other Monastery residents.
For three days, the young man's body was wracked with fever and he slipped in and out of consciousness - fever induced madness spewing from his lips. The residents of the Monastery, the clerics and monks of Kossuth, were eventually able to bring their considerable skills and gifts to bear to heal the young man's physical wounds and he fell into a deep slumber from which he did not awaken for a fortnight.
When he finally regained consciousness, the young man had no memory of the events that brought him to the Monastery or any other details of his past except his given name - Gideon.
However, the traumatic events that brought Gideon to the Monastery haunted his dreams, causing him to startle awake in the dead of night, but any memories of his past evaporated like the morning mist with the coming of the dawn. Frustrated by his inability to remember his past, he soon embraced the spiritual and mental discipline offered by the teachings of the clerics and monks of Kossuth. So dedicated was he to his spiritual and mental training, soon after completely regaining his physical health, Gideon cloistered himself in the Monastery for nine years so as not to be diverted from his studies.
When Gideon emerged from his self imposed exile, he emerged a young man 17 hands tall (5'6'') weighing 9 stones (138 lbs) - broad in shoulder and narrow in hip. As was tradition, when an individual was deemed ready to bear the mantle of "Cleric of Kossuth", a ceremony was performed on a hillock overlooking the countryside to commemorate that individual's ascension to his new life and calling. As the clerics, who had formed a circle around Gideon, were completing the final rites, a column of fire issued from the heavens, engulfing Gideon and so bright was the flame, the awestruck clerics were forced to avert their eyes or risk blindness. Moments later, the column of fire was gone and all that marked its passing was a charred circular area on the ground at the centre of which stood Gideon - arms outstretched to the sky. The elders of the Monastery immediately declared that Kossuth had marked Gideon as a Chosen One and declared that from that day forward, he would be known as Gideon Fireforged - Chosen of Kossuth.
Gideon was sent out into the local countryside to offer his aid where needed and his reputation as an avenger of wrongs soon grew amongst the local populace.
However, as is their way when it comes to "unique" items or individuals or events, the agents of the Red Wizards of Thay took a keen interest in Gideon.
Eventually, Gideon began finding it difficult to deal with the increasing attention from the agents of the Red Wizards of Thay, despite the attempts by the clerics and monks of Kossuth to dissuade them, and came to the difficult decision to move on from the Monastery and explore new lands. The decision did not come as a surprise to the elders, who had foreseen such a scenario developing and they wished Gideon well on his journey. They encouraged him to seek out Kossuth's temple in whatever city or town he happened to be in so that news of his travels would filter back to the Monastery.
Gideon first journeyed north and passed through the region of Rashemen where he encountered the fierce berserkers and mysterious masked spellcasters of that land. Gideon's stay in that chaotic land was shortlived and he soon found himself west in the Great Dale. The reclusive nature of the people of that land made it difficult for him to continue his works in the name of Kossuth as the populace was not quick to trust and would not accept the aid of a stranger willingly.
Once again, Gideon traveled west and eventually found himself in the bustling region of Damara where he found acceptance amongst the populace of that land. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding with a cleric of Tempus who was in favour with the royal court once again forced Gideon to move on. Gideon did not even pause in Moonsea, its smelters, foundries and mining camps not appealing to the young man whatsoever.
Deciding that he had not much luck moving west, Gideon changed direction and traveled south into the Dalelands. Here, Gideon traveled from canton to canton and eventually, he joined up with a group of Sembian merchants who were members of a trade caravan that passed through Mistledale, selling a variety of wares.
During his time with the trade caravan, Gideon became enamoured with the forests outside of Ashabenford in Mistledale and eventually took his leave of the caravan to settle in the region.
Though all in the area recognize that Gideon is a good man and that once you have earned his trust, no truer friend will you ever have, rumours still persist about Gideon's supposed "dealings" with supernatural beings.
Grigor - a "fixture" of the Velvet Veil - claims that Gideon has taken a fire elemental as a lover, citing Gideon's devotion to Kossuth and the fact his cottage is built of stone - a substance that can not be burned - as evidence. Though Grigor only spouts such nonsense when he has had plenty of honey mead to lubricate his palette - usually by the grace of Gideon's kindness and generosity.
Heldo and Parvus Ubler - the miller's sons - both claim to have seen Gideon speaking to the air - obviously meaning that he was in the company of an invisible spirit. However, both Heldo and Parvus have been the recipients of the justice Gideon metes out to those deserving of it and their stories are dismissed as those of resentful louts.
Jarrod Rold - a Rider of Mistledale - dismisses all the rumours as the work of bored old women with nothing better to do - though Jarrod admits that sometimes Gideon can be a bit eccentric - but then again, as Jarrod points out, who isn't?
Arlho of Arabel - the purveyor of "Arlho's Ashaben Ale", "Black Boot Stout", and the silky-smooth "Pearls of the Moon" green grape wine - also dismisses the rumours. As Arlho likes to say, any man who buys as much Pearls of the Moon wine as Gideon, is welcome to do whatever he likes and act however he likes.
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