Last Updated: April 20, 2014
On his journey to Mistledale, Okul stopped at the Abbey of Swords near Essembra in Battledale to honour where Tempus divine form first appeared in Faerun during the Time of Troubles. Okul learns that Tempus then journeyed to Mistledale at Sword Creek, where many valiant and honourable Daleland warriors fought and fell to vanquish a vastly superior numerical foe, before he once again ascended to the eternal battlefield, taking the bravest with him. A pilgrimage to trace the journey of Tempus from the Abbey of Swords to Sword Creek may bring Okul greater insight as a warrior, to see and feel what Tempus did before that great and terrible battle.
In Okul's discussions with the priests, he learns that although the vanguard of the drow first entered from portals to the underdark that are under the Abbey of the Sword, the Dalelands could have been overrun then and there by the armies of the drow were it not for the sacrifice of many brave defenders, especially that of Eldan Ambrose (founder of the Abbey) who destroyed the portals before his soul was snatched by a powerful drow demon.
Many in the dalelands may blame the Abbey of Swords for unleashing the drow into Cormanthor, but there are other known passages to the underdark such as the Old Skull near Elminster's Tower in Shadowdale, and no doubt others that are unknown and being actively used by the drow to reach the surface.
Also, several years ago, a Red Wizard named Dracandros along with his drow and red dragon allies took up residence in a ruined keep along the cliffs of Haptooth's Hill, and were only routed after much effort. A few months ago, another Red Wizard calling himself Bareris was asking about Dracandros and the ruined keep on Haptooth's Hill, but has not been seen since.
Okul grew up in the city of Gildenglade, at the foot of the Aphruun Mountains under the vigilant eye of his maternal grandfather Doar Tarmikos.
Doar was one of three squad leaders of the Iron Fist platoon from the Call of Arms company hired by the local Elven leaders to bolster the ranks of the Dwarven militia. Dwarven miners made up the bulk of the local militia and were not able to quickly answer the call to arms in case of attack. Rumours that several fist-sized flawless emeralds had been discovered within a vein of gold increased the frequency and intensity of the attacks on the city.
The Elven leaders offered the immediate families of the Iron Fist platoon homes and free education for their children so not to split-up the families. This was not a completely altruistic act by Elven council, but military strategy; these hired mercenaries would not flee in the face of overwhelming odds if their families were within the city walls.
It was a cool spring day when Doar and his family arrivd in Gildenglade on the 1st 2nd day of Tarsakh. Aphila his wife, their oldest daughter Yaaga (15 years old), and their twin boys Armos and Araas (12 years old) were excited to explore their new home.
The rest of the platoon arrived over the course of the next day and they all began training with the local militia.
The rumours of the increased riches of Gildenglade had even reached the ears of Emberspeak, an adult Red Dragon living in the Orsraun Mountain. Her scales tingled at the idea adding these unique emeralds to her hoard of treasure. She hatched a plan with the leaders of the Kobold clan of the Scything Claw that lived in the Aphrunn Mountains above Gildenglade, which raided some of the smaller villages and towns. With her leadership and strength, she could help them assault Gildenglade and claim the emeralds for her treasure hoard and let the kobolds loot and pillage as they wished.
Emberspeak launched the assault on Gildenglade at dawn of the Greengrass Festival (a traditional day of rest for all). She swooped down towards the main barracks as the sun rose over the mountains, which masked her approach perfectly, and belched forth a column of fire and brimstone. Many of the soldiers died in their bunks without a chance to met death on their feet. Next, she reduced the main gates to smoldering and splintered timbers, allowing the Kobolds to stream into the city. It was a scene of chaos and mayhem.
Doar and his family were spared from Emberspeak's initial assault, being housed away from the barracks, close to the trade and market district. His wife and children barricaded themselves in a secret chamber Doar had discovered in the cellar of their home.
Doar assembled the few men he could and they began the task of repelling the Kobold hordes that were rampaging through the streets of Gildenglade.
Unbeknownst to the Tarmikos family, their home was Emberspeak's goal. Until several months ago it used to belong to the head gem cutter whose fortunes grew with the discovery of first smaller emeralds and the secret chamber was the repository for the raw and prepared stones. Doar chalked up the heavy stone construction to Dwarven craftsmanship and pragmatism.
Emberspeak polymorphed into a human female warrior brandishing a flaming short sword and led a group of Kobolds toward the trade district, slaying all those whom opposed her. The door of the Tarmikos home was torn from its hinges. The Kobolds ransacked and searched but returned empty handed. She entered the cellar and noticed a small sliver of light coming from between several stones in the basement wall. With a wave of her hand the wall exploded into the vault, instantly killing Aphila and the twins. Yaaga was pinned to the floor under her mother's lifeless body. Emberspeak stormed out of the house, infuriated at not finding the emeralds.
Yaaga had managed to sneak out of the cellar and grab a small spear. As Emberspeak turned, Yaaga lunged with her spear and caught the enemy warrior square in the face. Blinded by the spear, Emberspeak returned to her natural form with a deafening roar and lashed out with her tail. Yaaga was sent flying. A juvenile Gold Dragon snatched her limp body in mid-air. Yenamros had seen the columns of smoke and decided to investigate. Knowing, he was no match against an adult dragon, he took this brave young woman to a near-by cave to tend to her wounds.
Rumours were circulating after the assault, that a young woman had single-handedly repelled the Red Dragon, but was snatched by one of the Dragon's minions and presumed dead.
Yenamros assumed human form so not to alarm his ward. The impact of Emberspark's tail had slashed open her flesh and caused major internal injuries. It took several hours just to stabilize her and she remained unconscious until early the following day. She slowly opened her eyes and tried to sit up, but the pain allowed her only to moan. Her stirring brought Yenamros out of a light sleep and he was kneeling by her side trying to keep her calm and still. He quickly explained that he had "found" her nearby and was tending to her wounds. Many more days of bed rest would be required before she would be strong enough to travel. As she drifted off again, she thought to her self that his eyes were like shimmering pools of gold. Over several weeks with Yenamros tending to her wounds and keeping her well fed, Yaaga regained her strength and also began to fall for her benefactor. Yenamros, was not immune to the presence of a beautiful young woman and also began to develop feeling for his ward. They shared a single night of passion. It was during this night of passion that Yenamros forgot to renew his polymorph-self, and during the night he reverted back to his natural form. Yaaga awoke during the night to this fearsome form beside her and fled.
Yaaga was able to find her way back to Gildenglade, where the repairs to the city were well underway. Her father greeted her with open arms. Doar thanked Tempus for keeping his daughter safe. She told him of how a female warrior with a flaming short sword had destroyed their home and killed her mother and brothers. She told him about the young man who had tended to her wounds and how she awoke to find him missing and dragon sleeping beside her. The last part of her harrowing tale was kept secret.
Nine months later Yaaga died giving birth to her son Okul, whose deep brown eyes sparkled with small golden flecks.
Doar trained his grandson in the art of combat with the Greatspear, but he also imparted a sense of honour in battle; each soldier fights alone and should not rely on his comrades for help since each must hold his ground on the battlefield.
Okul's skills with the Greatspear improved by leaps and bounds under the tutelage of his grandfather.
Okul's Dragon Bloodline began to manifest itself as he approached adolescence. Large shiny scales had to spread across his back, up around his throat and down his arms. The gold flecks in his eyes had begun to bleed together when the scales appeared. His eyes had become shimmering pools of gold. He stood out like a sore thumb. This attracted unwanted attention and rumours swirled that he may be the spawn of the Dragon that had assaulted the city more than a decade before. Most people just stared and gave him a wide birth. Others who were less tolerant, feared him and he had been the victim of some brutal beatings, where the other townsfolk just watched not coming to his aid.
During the Reign of Misrule Festival, when Okul was 14 years old, he was almost lynched by a mob of overzealous and inebriated residents. Once again not one soul lifted a finger to help him. This reinforced the lessons taught by his grandfather about soldiers on the battlefield.
Okul's life in Gildenglade changed dramatically when Doar died peacefully in his sleep, his body succumbing to the many hard years on the battlefield. Okul was only "accepted" in the community out of respect for Doar. Several days after Doar's funeral, Okul was ripped out a sound sleep by acrid smoke filling his home. When he called out for help, not a soul stirred. Realizing that the blaze had been set deliberately, Okul quickly gather up a few meagre possessions and his grandfather's greatspear and quietly made his way out of Gildenglade.
His career as a mercenary warrior had begun.