Monday, October 10, 2016

Eckehard the Dhampir

Dhampirs are feared, but mostly forgotten relics of the past. They once flooded the high plains of the Northern Realm as loyal soldiers and wandering lost souls. Their numbers have dwindled in the long years since the Masters fell, but some still roam the earth yet.

Dhampirs are wanderers and adventurers. As hunters they lead a solitary life. Dhampir adventurers may find their way into civilization and be shunned or hated by those that recognize them. And yet few in human lands do. In fact, many dhampirs call the Free Realm and Kelet home.

Dhampirs must always struggle to maintain inner calm. Older dhampirs manage their hunger better than young dhampirs. Their bloodlust, however, is not based on the sight of blood or the exposed neck of a supple maiden (unless of course, said dhampir is psychotic). Instead, a dhampir’s inner calm is overwhelmed as it boils over during emotional encounters. Strong emotions like anger, serve as the strongest trigger for losing control. When it reaches that point, he may battle and battle until nothing is left standing or he is slain, and if there are no other foes to assuage his need for violence, he will feed, and not simply to drink blood, but to tear at flesh like an animal. Some of the greatest warriors in history were secretly dhampirs.

ECKEHARD THE DHAMPIR 

Eckehard was abandoned and left to die by his mother in the marshes of Blackmoor. By chance, the Baron Gerold of Blackmoor found the baby and brought him home to his barren wife Anelie (of Hargrave), whom he loved dearly.

Eckehard's early life was relatively unremarkable until puberty when he first felt the hunger. The first time the hunger overcame him, a particularly buxom maid drew his eye. She, unfortunately, did not survive the encounter, dying quite violently. His father and mother then realized his true nature, having read the old stories of the masters and their offspring. But they loved their child and covered up this first transgression. 

A second incident put a major strain on the family. He spoke openly of the hunger to his parents and lamented at what he had done, expressing his fear that the hunger could not be satiated. So they again covered up for their son but decided to no longer invite relatives and members of the gentry to their home, instead remodeled a hunting lodge to entreat guests. 

But this was not the end. Baroness Anelie interrupted the third and final incident. In his bloodlust, Eckehard killed his mother. For three days Eckehard was alone with his dead mother. He threw out the house staff in a grievous rage and then cleaned and dressed his mother's corpse, all the while waiting for his father's return. 

When Baron Gerold returned his home, he became bitterly angry and drove his son from his house. Shortly after Gerold left his home to hunt his son. For four years Gerold hunted his son before he became extremely ill. For weeks he lay bedridden. On his last day his son returned to Blackmoor Manor. Ultimately Gerold spent his last hours with his son Eckehard in a spirit of forgiveness. It was then with Eckehard's Uncle Hereward as his witness that Gerold signed and stamped with his seal a document legitimizing Eckehard as the true heir of Blackmoor. Within the document's contents, it is revealed that Eckehard was the bastard son of Gerold and an elven maiden  (to cover up the fact that Eckehard was adopted, which is frowned on). 

Gerold's death hit Eckehard hard. He put his affairs in order and left the barony for the wilderness. He spent more than 100 years from home. When he returned no one remembered him and the manor of Blackmoor was all but abandoned. However, his experiences left him with a desire to continue his adopted families legacy. He spent the next decade proving his lineage and keeping up the charade of being half-elven. Afterward, his adventures were much shorter. He would never spend too long from Blackmoor, a fief in the northeastern region of the Free Realm. It is a relatively rich region. Blackmoor's residents export dye and dyed cloth. Grains such as brown rice, tubers, and plants for dyes like madder, woad, and weld grow easily in Blackmoor. The Blackmoor seal is a black shield with three silver stars. 

On his journeys, he found the sword, which he named Istvan's Bane. His encounter with the necromancer Istvan was the last encounter before his first return to Blackmoor manor. His journeys since then have centered on the discoveries made in the tomes of the necromancer's lair (and were added to Blackmoor's library). Since then he has become secretly obsessed with the long forgotten history of the Master Eshe, who was detailed in the tomes. Now he sees her in his dreams. His obsession now turns to desire, despite the fact that Eshe is more a matron than sexualized creature. Now he spends summers searching for her last resting place.