Greyhawk 636 CY: The Rise of Asmodeus
(Paladin of Heironeous)
Born in the remnants of the Great Kingdom, Wilhelmina (or Will, as everyone calls her) is the scion of a great family of knights, paladins, and clerics. She is a relentless champion of justice and good. Unlike many paladins, she’s not terribly fond of diplomacy and would rather kick evil in the teeth than broker a treaty.
Will tends to be aggressive in all her pursuits. Having often been paired with clerics and other more level-headed folk, she’s found that approaching everything at full speed tends to be the balancing force to their caution and reason. Though she’s no fool, she has realized that evil doesn’t wait for people to put together the best plans. Too much hesitation can lead to loss of life.
Her aggression is tempered by a friendly and open personality. Just as she doesn’t hold back on the battlefield, she gives her all to friends and family. Despite being raised among nobles, Will has no taste for politics or dissembling. She can hob-nob with aristocrats when called for, but generally prefers being blunt to being feminine and charming. In fact she’s rather terrible at being girly at all.
She is never seen without her father’s heirloom longsword, her mother’s battered, silver holy symbol of Heironeous, and an expensive gold and platinum locket (though it is usually tucked under layers of armor).
The Stalwarth family served a powerful noble family, the Von Slythe’s, for many generations before discovering that their masters were in fact fiend-blooded infernalists. The Stalwarth’s stormed the Von Slythe’s ancestral castle in an attempt to stop a dangerous summoning. They were successful, but the backlash from the ritual utterly destroyed the site and killed everyone inside. Both families were devastated by the catastrophe and left with only a meager handful of still living members. The Von Slythe’s power seemed entirely broken and their remaining resources seized by by the Stalwarth’s in order to assist the population of the area that chose to remain there.
Will and her family still act as the protectors of the land and slay the frequent undead and other bizarre creatures spawned by the blighted area. She has a particular hatred of fiends in all their forms and zealously seeks to rid the Flanaess of their influence in any way she can.
Wilhelmina’s family was known for its long history of producing paladins, knights (most often of the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom) and clerics. They were brave, noble, and generous and served the local nobility, the Von Slythe family, for hundreds of years as bodyguards and diplomats. So it seemed quite natural that when a daughter was born to the leader of the Stalwarth family just three years after the head of the Von Slythe’s had given birth to a son, that a future marriage was arranged for the two. It was also good fortune that the children became fast friends. Will and Jaquard were rarely seen apart during their early years, usually with Will leading the way and calling the shots.
Will’s uncle runs a general store and does his best to stay under the radar. He completely lacks the family’s famous zealous spirit and would prefer to simply live a peaceful life with his wife and children. Sadly for him, his two twin sons, Adam and Tobias, have both become paladins and his young daughter, Thereca, just completed her training as a cleric of Heironeous. Touma is practical and shrewd. He prefers to stay out of the lime light whenever possible. With a sense of humor that is quirky at best, Touma has learned to leave the jokes to the rest of the family. He harbors a great deal of resentment towards the Von Slythe’s not only for murdering his older brother but for the death of his wife, Laurael. A year after the catastrophe she contracted a strange illness that was resistant to even magic forms of healing. Like the other villagers who had the disease, she quickly wasted away and died. The assumption was made that it was due to the corruption of the surrounding lands.
Tobias “Tobi” Stalwarth
(Paladin of Heironeous)
Laid back and always sporting a knowing smile, Tobias rarely seems to be flustered by anything. He is an expert diplomat and can talk even the most stubborn and combatant folks down from a fight. While not as handy with a blade as his twin brother, Tobias is quite good with his hands. He has taken to maintaining the family’s aging equipment. Being asked to join the Knight Protectors was a huge honor for him. Mindful of his cousin’s feelings, Tobias tends to keep his thoughts on the Von Slythe’s to himself. Privately, he thinks it’s for the best that none of the main family survived.. He is more trusting than Adam, but also more cautious. Tobias and Jack were actually quite good friends, and Jack is one of the few people he trusted to look after his rambunctious cousin.
(Paladin of Heironeous)
Boisterous and outgoing, Adam tends to enjoy being the center of attention. He takes his duties as a Stalwarth very seriously, but happens to know how to cut loose as well. He is much quicker of temper than his twin brother, Tobias, and sometimes needs to be talked out of doing something rash. A master swordsman even at his young age, Adam has never been beaten in a match. He’s a bit jealous that Tobi was asked to join the knight protectors instead of him, but supports his twin. Out of the family, Adam is the least forgiving of the Von Slythe’s. He has privately vowed to kill any of them that try to come back to their land and is often quite vocal about his hatred of them, frequently adding “someone has to say it” when expressing his opinions. Adam is incredibly protective of his sister and cousin. He’s got a bit of the old-school chivalrous mentality even if he respects their abilities.
(Cleric of Heironeous)
Thereca is cheerful and helpful. She has always wanted to be a priestess and has proven to be wise beyond her years. Currently she is serving as the assistant to Father Slocum who was sent to replace the previous high priest of Heironeous (who had been one of the Stalwarth cousins). Unfortunately, Slocum is quite old and getting senile. He still gives a ripping sermon, but has a good bit of trouble handling much else. Thereca has perfected the art of steering him in the right direction and reminding him without pricking Slocum’s sense of pride. Her friendly manner makes her very popular with the locals — especially the young men her own age. She has found it’s easy to get them to help out around the church with just a smile. Thereca also has a romantic streak a mile wide and has become the defacto local match maker — something she’s very good at. As the youngest of the Stalwarth’s, Thereca often gets coddled. Something she hates. In fact, she’s looking forward to a day when she can prove herself just as able as her brothers and cousin.
Dinah and Alfred Stalwarth
(Paladins of Heironeous) – Deceased
Will’s parents were both paladins. Dinah fit in well with the Stalwarth family from the start. She was zealous and gregarious, though prone to fits of rather terrible temper when her sense of justice was affronted. Alfred tried to be the practical one, but tended to be lean towards boisterous and energetic instead.
Dinah was born in Nyrond and came from a family similarly devoted to Hieroneous. Her parents died when she was young, and her elder brother, Bergen, raised her. Both siblings were paladins, and, despite the ten year age gap, were very close. Unfortunately, Bergen was apparently killed during the Archlich war when he went to help the good armies. His body was never found. Dinah, now alone, carried on the family traditions for years. Until the fateful day she met Alfred.
Accompanying Dominika on some political errands in Nyrond, Alfred was instantly smitten with the fierce Dinah. Initially, she wasn’t terribly interested in the red headed man, but over the course his two week stay, he proved to be just as devoted and true as anyone she had ever met. She was sad to see him leave, but understood his duties lay elsewhere.
Dominika, over the following two years, came up with all manner of reasons for Alfred to go back to Nyrond and was quite adamant that he should pursue this woman who had stolen his heart. On the last trip, Alfred returned with the love of his life, marrying her the following year. Dinah was welcomed into the Stalwarth family with open arms, fitting in effortlessly. Being strong willed, she took charge of the homestead, making sure things ran as smoothly as possible so they could focus on their other duties.
She and Dominika became fast friends, having tea several times a week and puzzling their menfolk by the uncharacteristic gossiping. A gifted swordswoman, Dinah was positively ferocious in combat. She was not one to be cowed and seemed to possess no fear. The woman could make even the most formidable warrior stutter with one of her stern looks. The only thing that could fluster her was her husband’s handsome smile. Even till the end, he could make her blush with just a grin thrown her way.
Alfred, for his part, was always madly in love with his wife. That’s not to say their marriage was entirely blissful. The two admired each other’s proud spirits too much to never butt heads. Still, Alfred was the more laid back of the two, happy to let Dinah take charge and make the day to day decisions. He possessed a stubborn streak that would rear it’s head every now and then, making him dig in his heels and refusing to yield. Cheerful and pleasant, Alfred was a favorite among their people. He was just as preoccupied with justice and righting wrongs as the rest of his family, however, and could be terrifying if he was defending his charge. He and Thanus often found themselves perplexed by their wives’ bouts of more “girly” behavior. The two men were always good friends, though Alfred was extremely protective of Dominika since the two were raised together. He was secretly very pleased by the thought his daughter marrying his dear friend’s son.
Alfred was the one who uncovered the Von Slythe’s plot and was mortally wounded in the process. He survived long enough to make it to his family and tell them the awful truth. He died in his wife’s arms. Berserk with rage and grief, Dinah gathered every able bodied person and led an assault on the Von Slythe’s castle. It was her quick thinking and capable leadership that prevented a much worse catastrophe, and she personally killed Dominika and Thanus, though she died in the process.