Character concept by Jason Hoffman, all rights reserved.
Priest of Xoriah
Date of Birth: Unknown; probably some time in 1308.
Current Status: Summer, 1331 Avard. Simon can often be found in Kashin, Rakore – working for the Church of Xoriah's Chosen Saranella and her husband, the Disciple Aust Nailo. The rest of the time, Simon can be found throughout the world, acting as an Inquisitor, smuggling mages to Rakore. He often works with the mage-smuggler known as Jynx Maysolu and his contact Travis Durasoth. Simon occasionally visits Teras, Rakore, where he is friends with the herbalists Himamoto Aliunii and Himamoto Hotaru. One of Simon's other mage-smugglers is the pirate captain Kelmok Nightstrider.
Simon Valent appears as a slight man of moderate height, with long flowing hair bound back in a pony-tail at the nape of his neck. He dresses in red and white leathers of exquisite quality and dye, from his tunic to his flowing robes. His green eyes seem to have an animalistic quality to them, and the cut of his leathers lends itself to chaos. 'Torch', as he is more commonly known, has reddish-tinged skin that seems permanently sunburned; that, and his baby-smooth face are the only aspects of his Toomaran heritage seen. For the most part, he looks like many other Vridarans, though his eyes and clothing draw attention almost subconsciously. Over one shoulder, he wears a small leather bag of soft brown leather, the same color as his belt and sandals. Hidden beneath the folds of his robes is a long brown whip coated in some greasy substance.
Well trained by the shaman Rocking Bird, Torch has taken to making a great deal of his own leather equipment, from clothing to sandals. His most dangerous possession is a specially made whip soaked in flammable oils and then sealed with an herbal grease. Xoriah has granted Torch the ability to create flame at will, and he can do so while using his whip to create a burning tongue of leather and rope that resists being burned up. While he can create these items at will, given time, his most valuable possession is his holy symbol – a phoenix made of flaked obsidian with wings capable of slicing through leather and flesh. He also carries a small book of psalms in his pack, that are his only holy insights into Xoriah – gifts of the crusader Kraken Titamus. Next to the book of psalms lies several scrolls of laboriously copied elemental spells, also learned from the crusader.
Torch's eating knife once belonged to a mage, and was confiscated during the Second Crusades, and turned over to the Church of Lul for safe-keeping. In return for finding the Talon of Lul, he was given several holy items from the church.
Torch was the bastard son of a Vridaran merchant and a Toomaran horsewoman of the Spring Buds tribes. Raised as a Toomaran by his mother, Whisperer, he grew up in harmony with his world, and the worship of Elinthar. From an early age, he showed great potential as a shaman. Whisperer had him fostered to the shaman Rocking Bird, and hoped he would become a great shaman or druid. The War of the Undead swept through the Toomarans, bringing disease, chaos, and all manner of vicious nightmares that struck in the dark. Rocking Bird was killed in the confusion, and Torch escaped death by hiding in a Vridaran merchant wagon that spirited him to his father's lands in the empire. When the merchants found him, they cast him out, and Torch took to wandering the streets of the Vridaran capital, Brevit, for several years.
Feeling abandoned and useless, a passing crusader of Xoriah took him in for the span of a few short months. In those months, Crusader Kraken Titamus showed Torch the vision of Xoriah, the ways of pure fire, and the wrath of furious vengeance. The crusader moved on, to further spread the word of Xoriah, and accomplish his mission for the fledgling church of the Goddess of Flame. In his wake, Titamus left a devoted followed to Xoriah who would go to extraordinary means to spread the word of the goddess. It so happened that the crusader had journeyed from the forbidden lands of Rakore, where mages roused in the aftermath of the War of the Undead. The crusader had brought with him the secrets of magic and wizardry, which he imparted to Torch before passing on.
In an attempt to establish Xoriah in Vridara, Torch took to preaching in Brevit and Thayon. In an effort to raise funds and find land for a temple, Torch chose to aid the First Temple of Lul in Thayon in finding the legendary Talon of Lul. His original companions were slain by traps in an ancient dwarven tomb, and he swore to Xoriah that they would once again walk the earth. Taking on a paladin of Arpelos and a witch from Chilleth, as well as converts and other allies, Torch eventually succeeded in finding the Talon of Lul, and returning it to the temples.
Resurrecting his friends, Torch realized that Vridara was not the place for Xoriah's resurgence; instead, he went to Rakore to join the Church of Xoriah.
He goes by Simon as much as he goes by Torch, making the best of his mixed heritage. Rather quiet and introspective, most of the time, he has a deep love of animals, and cannot stand to see them suffer. Torch understands flame intuitively, and has studied it extensively in his travels. Being part sorcerer, and part Vridaran, he understands how the Inquisition works, and often makes use of his knowledge of the various religions and his disguise kit, to pass himself off as an Inquisitor. He works with anyone and everyone willing value the goddess' philosophies, but he harbors an old grudge against the Church of Lul for their antipathy towards Xoriah's existence. A pyromaniac at heart, he looks forward to burning anything or anyone that gets in the way of his goddess. Diligent and resourceful, Torch is unafraid to give hours or even days to study, thought, or introspection. And though he might play the Inquisitor, he is a friend to mages.
Torch speaks the Common tongue, Vridaran, and Toomaran (Spring Buds dialect).
Torch was given a Vridaran shepherd puppy as a gift, by a child that had supposedly died four centuries earlier. Attached to the strange puppy, the priest and mage ensorcelled the puppy, binding it to him as a familiar. In the binding, he gained very little insight into 'Cinder', though Cinder's abilities manifested themselves rather quickly. In the course of two weeks, he grew into an adult, and his coat of fur turned a coppery red color. The Vridaran shepherd dog has all the abilities of a hell hound.
While preaching in the city of Thayon, Torch gained a convert from Lul, to the ways of Xoriah. Torch's earnestness, coupled with the man's disgust with the pursuit of wealth in Vridara, brought Damian Falstaf into the fold of Xoriah's church. An orphan raised by the city, he set out to make his fortune, and a name for himself. Several years later, living by his wits, he had won and lost so much money that wealth came to have little meaning for him, save as a means to an end. Working as a mercenary, his deep-seated anger at the system in Vridara wore him down – until he met Torch, who renewed his sense of purpose and place.
While questing for the Talon of Lul, Torch and his party were ambushed by a small group of bandits. Easily defeated, one was left alive. For the first time in his life, Gaelin Vristorn had a goal, a purpose, money, protectors, and most of all, faith. Torch's powerful presence made the agnostic bandit convert to Xoriah whole-heartedly, and his faith in the priest and the mage is unquestioned.
5th-Level Specialty Priest of Xoriah, 4th-Level Fire Elementalist
STR 12, DEX 9, CON 14, INT 14, WIS 15, CHA 14
AC 8, THAC0 18, HP 20
Weapon Proficiencies: Whips, Hummingbird style (see unarmed combat styles).
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Animal lore (secondary skill), animal training, animal handling, religion, reading and writing Common, Toomaran and Vridaran, leather working, dancing, rope use, disguise.