Rynn Fowler

Name: Rynn Fowler
Race/Gender: Male Half-elf
Class/Levels: Ranger 4, Urban Ranger 1
Alignment: Chaotic Good

Game Statistics

Bio / Backstory

Early Years

Rynn was born the third child of a human mother and a elven father. Due to being gone much of the time his father did not spend much time with the family, but tried the best he could. The family lived in Camden where Rynn grew up.

To do: Flesh out more of his family and early years later. Why was his father gone so much?

Juliet

One day when he was 25 years old, he happened to see a beautiful young human girl that caught his attention. Her name was Juliet Alard (age 19) and she was just in town for a few days with her family. They had traveled from their small village to purchase supplies before the winter. They quickly grew close and Rynn couldn’t keep his mind off her.

Eventually Rynn decided that he had to follow his heart. He gave up his job, sold some possessions to buy travelling gear, bid his family goodbye, and went with the Alard family back to their home of Silver Meadow (so named for the silver-gray colored flowers that grow in abundance there). The Alard family were merchants and travelers who brought goods into their little village, but they were best known for training dogs. Juliet’s father had taken a liking to Rynn (especially since his daughter was so fond of the half-elf) so he brought his prospective son-in-law into the family business. Rynn discovered that he had an affinity for canines and quickly learned how to work with them. Rynn and Juliet were married in the spring and were very happy together.

Loss

During the summer of the next year, Rynn went with Juliet’s older brother, Jacob, back to the half-elf’s hometown to buy supplies, trade goods, and sell trained dogs. On returning a few weeks later they were shocked to discover that tragedy had befallen Silver Meadow. The village had been razed; buildings were burned down or damaged and corpses lie rotting on the ground. Soon they found two bugbear corpses and thus identified the source of the destruction. Rynn and Jacob searched all throughout the village for survivors, but there were none to be found. However, not everyone could be accounted for and Juliet was among those missing.

Heartbroken, the two took the time to bury the bodies of family and neighbors. Juliet’s father was one of the corpses found, and Jacob wept for an hour after burying him. After their task was done, Jacob grew silent and brooding. For two days he hardly spoke a word. Then finally he declared that they should try to track down these bugbears and get their revenge.

Using their dogs they managed to find and follow the bugbear trail into the Deadlands. The days and nights began to blur together for Rynn as they wandered in the wilderness, driven only by Jacob's desire for revenge. Eventually they found the bugbear camp.

On finding the bugbears, Jacob immediately attacked in a fit of rage and was quickly killed. Badly injured, Rynn managed to escape, but not before discovering that there were survivors serving as slaves. He didn’t see Juliet among them, but this brought him some hope that she still lived.

Lost and Found

The next six weeks went by in blur for Rynn. His injuries caused him to black out often. During periods of consciousness he tried to distance himself from the bugbear threat while trying to find food and water. The short nights of the Deadlands did little to help distinguish the passage of time.

Somehow Rynn managed to scrape by. He was lucky that his injuries healed so well with only his rudimentary ability to bandage and splint himself. But he was hopelessly lost in the Deadlands. Over time he learned how to survive in the wild and avoid many of its dangers.

Nearly two years later, Rynn was found by an elvish ranger named Arandur. Although the elf was a hard and solitary person, he took pity on Rynn and took the half-elf under his wing. Rynn eagerly learned the ways of being a ranger. He was happy to not just be merely surviving. Arandur taught him how to hunt, track, and fight.

Time in the Deadlands

Once Rynn began to show independent skill Arandur took him to a small orcish village. There they worked odd jobs and bartered to get Rynn some daggers and wood to create a bow. Patiently Arandur taught his apprentice the art of bowmaking and finally Rynn ended up with a longbow of his own make.

Being hunted by worgs was one of the most harrowing experiences of Rynn's life. For over a week, the wolf-like pack hunted him and his master. They were always skulking nearby in the ever-present shadows of the Death Side. But worst of all, sometimes they would speak in the goblin tongue in the night, whispering of how their prey would taste as they were torn to shreds. But the pack was wary of Arandur; the ranger's precision archery slew two of their brethren early on, and he wielded sharp steel as well. Meanwhile, the rangers could not win an all out fight without risking their lives, so the stalemate continued until the worgs eventually found easier prey.

Encountering a legion of Drow troops marching the Deadlands was unexpected, to say the least. When the ranger and his apprentice first found the tracks, curiosity got the better of them and they followed. But the Drow scouts were very good; Rynn and Arandur were taken captive. The dark elves were cruel, but had little interest in the pair. Bound by ropes, Rynn eventually fell asleep on the ground and when he awoke the army had moved on, leaving their captives behind. Once they managed to free each other, they collected their discarded gear and fled west, the opposite direction the Drow were marching.

His worst enemy is Inyel the Blood Ranger. Not only does she represent the dark side of a ranger, but she also fixates on him. She's dangerous and kills for fun. Worst of all, she would sometimes prey on Rynn's depression/despondency. In his darkest moments, he considered giving in to her beauty and letting her have her way with him, knowing that she would murder him in the process.

Eventually as they made their way back toward the east, the two companions located the bugbear village only to find it abandoned. Arandur judged that they had packed up and moved several months ago. They were unable to find a trail, but their searching found an old battered tunic which Rynn recognized as Jacob's. Thus he was sure they had found the same place.

Rynn despaired for a time, knowing that Juliet was probably dead, but still clinging to a ray of hope that she lived.

Return to Civilization

Having spent nearly five years in the Deadlands, Arandur wanted to return to civilization for a while. He saw that this might help Rynn move on with life, so he encouraged the half-elf to come along. Rynn was hesitant to leave and if it weren't for his mentor's insistance he might have stayed wandering the Deadlands.

Together they headed for Twilight. The sights and sounds of the city brought many memories of Camden flooding back to Rynn's mind. Although city life was familiar and he enjoyed interacting with the people, Rynn found himself feeling distant and detatched. His long isolation had changed him and he felt drawn to the wild.

Arandur found them various odd jobs that were suited for their skills. They also helped locate some miners who had been lost in the forest, and later helped settle a dispute with a local goblin warlord. Rynn found comfort in helping people. That solace eventually helped him to realize that he needed to move on with his life.

Airships occasionally travel between Twilight and [city 22] to trade goods, and after a few months Rynn and Arandur had saved enough to buy passage on one and sail over the Chasm of Endless Night. At [city 22] Arandur offered up their services to a caravan which was headed to [city 21] and then Hretzifer.

Voyage to Gallidus

Rynn especially enjoyed the work of guiding a caravan for it allowed him to spend time in nature while helping people. Being more outgoing than his mentor, he became friends with one of the merchants, a human named Tim MacDougal (though more commonly just Mac), who was impressed with the rangers' abilities.

In Hretzifer, Mac offered Rynn a job. He was shipping goods by airship to [city 34] and then on to Hammerdine, and he had need of a good guide. Arandur had no desire to go, but encouraged Rynn.

"I've already taught you what I know," he said. "You won't learn anything else following in my shadow. Go. Go learn about the world. See Gallidus and Slyn. You've seen enough of the Deadlands, my friend."

Parting ways with his mentor and friend, Rynn sailed to Gallidus with Mac. As promised, he helped guide the caravan to Hammerdine and then back to [city 34]. But when Mac was ready to return to Thanor, the ranger opted to stay behind.

Arandur's words had left an impression on him, so he spent several months exploring the land and helping various travelers on their way.

Niktean Wastes

As the campaign begins, Rynn is traveling by himself through the Niktean Wastes on his way to Tidewater City with a tentative goal to take a boat down to Slyn to see the elven lands. This goal isn't a strong desire however, and he's likely to abandon it if something else comes up.

Mannerisms / Attitudes

Rynn's ears and goatee immediately mark him as a half-elf. His dark brown hair comes down just below his shoulders and is often pulled back into a loose ponytail. When his hair gets too long, he just lops off a few inches with his dagger. This gives him a slightly unkept look.

His dress gives a similar impression. He wears an explorer's outfit covered by studded leather armor. Although he takes good care of his clothing, it bears the well-worn marks of the outdoors. His dark green cloak is often splattered with mud.

Rynn is a minimalist, carrying only the things that he feels he'll actually need and use. His few possessions are carried on his person or stowed in his pack.

In personality, Rynn is outgoing and friendly. He enjoys helping others and will often travel many miles to escort a group he just met on the road. He is comfortable in large cities, but rarely stays long in them as the draw of the wild calls him. The balance of nature has become a guiding force for him and he likens the attack on Silver Meadow to the violence of nature. He has no hatred for bugbears, but has learned to fight them and other goblinoids. He's even learned to speak their language.

Rynn doesn’t dwell in the past nor think that he should search endlessly for Juliet. But he does often think of her with a distant look in his eyes. If he ever finds a trace of her, he’ll follow that trail wherever it may lead. The nagging doubt of whether she’s alive drives him to spend time in the Deadlands in the hopes he might come across her someday.

The ranger has a streak of potential leadership within him. He likes to work with people and help them get along together. He has a strong moral code (which is based on ideas from nature) and tends to be quite altruistic. But he's not a charismatic leader — never one to try to rally people around him — but instead is more of a leader by action: a guide. If he were ever conscripted, he'd made a good squad leader.

In speech, Rynn tends to be very straightforward. He has no secrets, so he has no need to lie. He is very polite and rarely (if ever) sarcastic. But his long isolation has distanced him somewhat from other people, so he hasn't felt close to many in years. It also means that he isn't particularly chatty. He avoids talking about his own history unless asked about it, in which case he'll open up (assuming the interest is genuine and not merely passing).

Tactics

When in battle, Rynn has a habit of shrugging off his backpack to reduce any extra burden. After the battle is complete then he will backtrack to find his pack again. He is comfortable using longsword, dagger, and bow in combat depending on the situation.

When alone, Rynn prefers to keep as far from an enemy as possible, using his bow from 80+ feet. He'll back up as he fights to get in a few extra shots before the enemy closes, at which point Rynn quick draws his longsword.

When fighting alongside allies, Rynn is more flexible, but his basic tactic is still ranged combat. While prefering distance, he'll also stick close to any spellcasters which might need aid if they are forced into melee. Therefore, he'll usually be found about 15-20 feet behind the magic user with his bow. Rynn prefers to avoid shooting into melee, but will do so as needed.

Fharlanghn

Rynn's father was a devout and meticulous worshiper of Corellon Larethian. His mother's family respected Pelor, but were very passive and not exclusive. When his father was around, Rynn would participate at the temples. But for most of his youth his family had very informal religious practices.

Being travelers, the Alard family were followers of Fharlanghn. Open-minded himself, Rynn was happy to adopt the practices of his wife's family. In memory of his wife, and in recognition of both his long wanderings in the Deadlands and travels as a ranger, Rynn has adopted Fharlanghn as his primary diety.

Calling Rynn a "worshiper" of Fharlanghn would be an overstatement. He pays deference to Fharlanghn at roadside shrines and temples when he happens upon them, but doesn't seek them out. On a day to day basis he rarely thinks about any of the gods, but he does assume that Fharlanghn aids him on his travels. By his nature, Rynn does practice many of the tenants of Fharlanghn's followers though — he is a perpetual traveler who happily assists others in their travels.

Rynn also respects Ehlonna, due to Arandur's guidance and training. He recognizes that she and nature itself will often be the source of his eventual magic abilities.

Character Flaws

Like anyone, Rynn has some character flaws. Several of his minor ones are related to his nomadic ways. His unkempt look can sometimes be off-putting, though his natural charisma often offsets this. Although friendly and outgoing, the ranger has trouble relating to people. When he gets into a wistful or brooding mood, he'll often become inattentive to those around him — this sometimes happens during conversation, especially if he's asked about his past.

Rynn is easily persuaded to help those he encounters. He won't consciously help those who oppose his moral code, but then again he doesn't always ask questions before assisting. He is much more likely to help any woman who reminds him of his lost wife in some way, but he doesn't flirt — he still considers himself a married man.

The ranger can be honest to a fault. He prefers to speak his mind and say what he knows. Lying doesn't come naturally, mostly because it usually doesn't occur to him. He's not great at bluffing, but can do so if he has some solid truth to focus on. He isn't opposed to lying if the situation warrants it; he's just not very good at it. For this reason he avoids playing cards.

Rynn also has a minor alcohol problem: he can be a very angry drunk. Depending on how 'smashed' he is, his behavior can range from rude to violent. While drunk Rynn may also exhibit some lustful behavior toward human, elven, or half-elven women. If he remembers his drunken-actions the next day, Rynn always regrets it and will usually disappear into the wild.

Fortunately, Rynn doesn't encounter this problem often. He doesn't carry any alcohol in his travels. When at taverns he usually orders only a basic ale and avoids the more potent beverages. He can 'hold his liquor' pretty well (certainly enough to be a social drinker) too. But he has difficulty saying no to people who kindly offer him stronger drinks.

I'd like to suggest the following game-mechanic to represent/handle Rynn's drunkenness. Whenever the DM feels that Rynn has had 'too much' he will call for a Constitution check and specify a DC based on the situation and type of drink. For typical drinks, the DC should probably be 10-15. If Rynn succeeds on the check, he is able to act normally. If he fails then his behavior is determined by how much he failed the check:

  • 1-2 = He's just moody. Cranky.
  • 3-4 = Rude.
  • 5-6 = Rude. Flirtatious toward women (may even kiss someone).
  • 7-8 = Angry, semi-violent, and lewd.
  • 9-10 = Violent. May pursue an intimate encounter.
  • 11 or more = Enraged violence.

Whether he passes out from being too drunk would be handled by a separate Fortitude (not Constitution) check, as would any hangover. Whether he remembers his drunken actions the next day would be handled by an Intelligence check with a DC of 10 + the failure amount from the Constitution check. (I chose to use CON checks instead of Fort for drunkenness because it doesn't scale up so much as Rynn levels. His drunkenness shouldn't disappear as he levels.)

Goals

Rynn is primarily motivated by the call of the wild rather than "goals" per se. His old life and ambitions were lost along with Juliet. Nature has become his new way of life.

Nevertheless, he has some minor goals revolving his ranger ways:

  • Explore the world as per Andrur's parting council.
  • Improve his skill at archery.
  • Get a magic bow. Although he treasures the bow that Arandur helped him create, he knows his skill is not enough to make a magic bow. So if he can ever save up that much money then he'll want to buy one.
  • Craft a masterwork longbow, then pay for it to be further crafted into a magic bow (he knows he won't likely have the feats or magic abilities needed to make it magic himself).
  • Help others, especially in the wild. That is his solace and gives him purpose.
  • Find a wolf for his animal companion.

At this point in his life, Rynn isn't searching for Juliet because it seems like a lost cause. But he thinks about her frequently, in a distant wistful way. Eventually his doubt over whether she's alive will cause him to return to the deadlands, unless he gets wrapped up in other things.

However, if he ever finds clues that indicate that Juliet or any of the others from Silver Meadow are still alive then that will become an overwhelming draw for him, possibly even causing him to drop whatever else he's doing.

As the campaign develops, I expect that Rynn may find new motivations. He's not sure what to think about being called a 'hero.' And though he's familiar with the stories of the Dark Times, he just hasn't thought of himself as playing a role in the war with Arkanos.

Purchase Ideas

This is a list of items that Rynn would be interested in purchasing or obtaining at some point. They aren't goals per se, just a list of useful equipment that he'd like to have. I've listed the standard DMG prices for reference.

  • Magic composite STR +2 bow; longbow or shortbow (2,600 gp for +1 composite longbow)
  • Magic longsword (2,315 gp for +1)
  • Magic studded leather armor (1,175 gp for +1)
  • Ring of protection (2,000 gp for +1)
  • Ring of sustenance (2,500 gp)
  • Ring of regeneration (90,000 gp)
  • Amulet of health (4,000 gp for +2)
  • Amulet of natural armor (2,000 gp for +1)
  • Bag of holding (2,500 gp for Type I)
  • Bracers of archery (5,000 gp for +1)
  • Efficient quiver (1,800 gp)
  • Handy haversack (2,000 gp)
  • Gloves of dexterity (4,000 gp for +2)

Campaign Changes

As the campaign has progressed, Rynn has found that his quests and involvement with his friends has tempered his wistful nature. He still thinks of his long lost wife from time to time, but he does not dwell on the loss as much as he once did. He's also become more confident in himself as he's grown stronger. He's no longer the poor young man who was rescued by Arandur, but has come into his own.

But by far, the major shift for Rynn has been his change from Neutral Good to Chaotic Good alignment. He has been jaded by events such as in Hammerdine and later with the Mansonites, and feels that Lawfulness is a nice idea but in practice becomes corrupted. Coming from smaller cities and after spending so much time with Arandur in the deadlands, he never realized how people could do so many bad things in the name of a greater good. The ranger finds this hypocritical, and now harbors a healthy disrespect for authority.