Pathfinder Cycle of Ruins
A gentle soul in a suit of armor.
A young paladin of Madriel who favors shields, long spears, and heavy armor.
The first words that Darren ever heard were spoken by Madriel, the goddess of love and redemption, and they began the quest that has lead him from one side of the world to the other.
They found him as a babe on their doorstep, and they didn’t know what else to do. For years the couple had tried to forge their own child, but after seasons without fruit to show for their labor they had given up, despondent. Madriel had abandoned them, they each whispered only to themselves in the dead of night when they believed that the other was no longer awake. And there would be no child.
But there it was, lying silent and looking up at them with wondrous golden eyes from it’s swaddling clothes on their doorstep. A child of their own, appearing out of thin air one misty morning in spring. A gift from the gods.
They raised him as their own, and the town embraced it. Surely the good sheriff of Old Ashton was worthy of a miracle. But it became clear in time that the boy was unlike any others.
For one, he was born deaf. Though that didn’t slow him down from learning to speak, and to read the lips of those around him. Many seasons were spent with his mother, learning to read in their humble cottage on the edge of town. Learning to control his voice took longer, but after several years he was taught to smooth his voice and match the cadence of those around him. And in time, his affliction was largely unnoticed.
Other peculiarities became apparent. Dreams and visions appeared to him regularly, and no one could deny that the boy had a way with the sick and the wounded. With calming hands and a soothing presence, Darren spent many of his younger years learning the healing arts and tending to the invalid at the direction of the temple of Madriel.
If his evenings were spent in the temple, his mornings were most often spent in the fields that the town guard used as training grounds. Endlessly drilling with his father and the rest of the town guards, Darren learned of the use of arms and armor, and found a joy in fantasy of being able to dedicate himself to the protection of the town.
And soon enough, that fantasy became terrible, bloody reality. After helping to defend the town against a vicious goblin invasion and uncovering ancient ruins in the forests containing word of an even more ancient evil within, Darren was reached by the voice of Madriel – the first angel of mercy herself.
She spoke to him of a terrible, forgotten evil that was awakening in the land, and charged him with the task of finding it out.
Together with a band of close friends and compatriots, Darren left the next morning, and vowed to himself and his god that he would find that evil and vanquish it where it slept. Together, they stepped outside of the boundary walls of the only home they’ve ever known as adventurers, youthful and untested. But not for long. .
Together, they are Virtue’s Charge.