Sunday, January 9, 2011

meet harold the minotaur

Later today I’m all set to take part in the first session of a mini-campaign, Keep on the Shadowfell, that will be held at Stonebridge Games up in Longmont. After I decided that I wanted to play a minotaur fighter named Harold, I went ahead and geeked out by writing a short bio of my character. I looted quite a bit of material from an article in Dragon #369 by Robert J. Schwalb titled, “Playing Minotaurs.” The last paragraph is spun off of one of five story hooks that the DM gave us last week to help us place our characters into the adventure’s setting. The photo to the left is the mini I’ll be using to represent Harold during the campaign.

Rare is the minotaur who leaves his home to seek a life of adventure, but Harold is a good-hearted, young warrior who broke free from a clan overcome by demon worship. His clan collapsed into violence and depravity when cultists of the demon lord Baphomet secretly infiltrated the community. The wicked temptations planted by the cultists drove Clan Terios to embrace the dark impulses that tug at all minotaurs. Upon escaping, Harold vowed he’d fight evil wherever he found it, especially the corruption of Baphomet, the Horned King. Bound by conscience and honor, Harold has taken up allegiance to Pelor so that he won’t succumb to the demonic brutality that stains the souls of numerous minotaurs.

Like other brave minotaurs who have escaped the clutches of dread Baphomet, Harold suffers suspicion and hatred from other races. Despite his unimpeachable manners and quiet nature, he often cannot overcome the animosity that stems from not only his monstrous appearance but also from the widespread infamy of wicked minotaurs. Everyone knows that minotaurs embody the tension between civilization and savagery, and everyone has heard the hair-raising tales of minotaurs who have lost the fight with their conflicted nature.

Like all those of his kind, Harold’s appearance combines the features of human and bull, having the build and musculature of a hulking humanoid, but with the cloven hooves, bovine tail, and (their most distinctive feature of all) a bull’s head. He has dark brown fur and skin. At an imposing seven feet three inches tall, he towers over most of the other residents of the Nentir Vale. Harold wears a battered but well-maintained suit of scale armor and in battle he skillfully wields an enormous greataxe. All minotaurs take special pride in their horns, so it’s surprising to see that one of Harold’s horns has been broken off halfway down its length. Those who summon the courage to ask him about it will find that he refuses to talk about how his horn was broken.

Harold is currently making his way northwest along the King’s Road. Grundelmar, the dwarf priest who oversees a temple in Fallcrest dedicated to Pelor, requested he investigate rumors suggesting an “evil death cult” has been operating in and around the small, remote town of Winterhaven. If there is any truth to the rumors of a death cult, the zealous dwarf has tasked Harold with revealing the extent of the blasphemy and disrupting any nefarious schemes the cult may be involved in.

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