War and Subterfuge
Last of a secret martial order, he seeks vengeance for the massacre of the village he was sworn to defend.
In the remote north-east of dapreeva, there are a close-knit community of villages at the edge of the Endless Desert, nestled at the foot of the Sleeping Mountains. These villages were settled only recently, by a group of Elven immigrants from a faraway island Empire. Seeking escape from the persecution of their homeland, they fled to the new kingdom of Dapreeva. These backwater settlements are rarely visited by the merchant caravans, tax collectors, or other officials of the Dapreevan king. They are left largely to fend for themselves, and have been for years. This has left them at the mercy of the savage beasts and monstrous raiders who occasionally emerge from the mountains – not to mention groups of unscrupulous humanoids who have turned to banditry or worse. However, these strange folk from across the world were not defenseless.
The ancestors of the families who settled the Sandej villages carried with them a secret tome, a book full of mysteries from the time before the great migration, and traditions from the land across the sea. Kept safe by the village elders in accordance with tradition, this book, known as the Book of One Thousand Blows, was a training manual, instructing the reader in the deadliest martial arts. Because these arts were so difficult to master, The Sandej villagers decided to train one child from their village in every generation, one child who would master the unstoppable techniques of the Book of One Thousand Blows. This child would be trained from birth to defend his or her people. They would be known as the Warden, and each Warden would train the next.
Raiden was the latest Warden, and he is now the last. He defended his village well from bandits, marauders and monsters. But the one thing he could not defend against was an army. The Rhonians swept in like an unstoppable tide, and for each one Raiden felled with his fists and feet and elbows and knees, there were three more to come. And eventually, even the Warden was overwhelmed. The villages of Sandej were massacred – those not slain outright taken as slaves or scattered to the four winds. Raiden managed to escape captivity, but, alone in the wilderness of Dapreeva and without, for the first time, mission in life, Raiden is at something of a loss.
Raiden is tall (for an elf), and slender. He is muscular, but lithe, rather than beefy. He favors simple black and white robes, that leave him free to move, and carries a bandolier of potions. He tends to hide his stern features beneath the hood of his Elven cloak. Raiden is, like many Wardens, a serious and uncompromising man. The strict training regimen of the Wardens left him little time for socializing or exploring the world, and as a result, he can come off as brusque or uncouth. Raiden is used to living an ascetic existence, requiring only the tools of his deadly trade, and little else. Though serious minded and given little to social niceties, Raiden is nothing if not moral – he believes utterly in right and wrong, good and evil, law and order. And now, he believes in vengeance for the lives the Rhonians took at Sandej. If he had any friends to speak of, they might wonder if the shame of his failure to defend his village has not made him reckless – even suicidal.