Quiet, innocent… drawn into a world of terror and triumph. With some role to play in ancient prophecy, and thrust into a world where he needs to defend friends and family against those with evil agendas, Griften knows little of the aesthetic life
What is it that makes this character unique?
Lost in the Shadowfell… Trapped by the demilich Acererak… or did he allow himself to be captured!?
Everything about Griften is unremarkable. He is average-looking in almost every way. Standing just over six feet tall, Griften has a toned and slightly muscled frame from a lifetime of discipline and training of both body and mind. He wears his brown hair longer now than years ago, sometimes tied in a ponytail. Griften‘s relative youth compared to his closest companions is now hidden by lines of worry and stress carved in his face; much tragedy and loss have taken their toll in just a few short years. Often cloaked and cowled as a sign of humility like all monks of his order, one thing a passer-by might take note of is Griften‘s piercing, steel-grey-coloured eyes. Not glowing or luminescent as evident with some of the gifted elves Griften has met, but silver like the most polished coin and deep; decorated like kaleidoscopes and fractals. Since childhood, it’s been evident that wisdom and power have been lurking behind those eyes, and Griften is quickly coming to terms with the price of that power. Griften also dresses in a mundane manner. His order allows wide variety in choice of dress, so long as a sash or belt of pale yellow is used; displayed proudly or covered in disguise, monks of the Yellow Rose always wear this subtle reminder. Simple cloth shirts and trousers are permissible, but Griften prefers long robes of brown, blue or grey to avoid unwanted attention. Griften often wraps his ankles and wrists; years of monkly discipline have made this both comfortable and practical, and Griften is seldom without a staff; either magical or otherwise. For a long time, Griften wore only a robe of deep black, this was a quiet penance, a subtle reminder to Griften of a costly transgression. Griften has since atoned in a matter befitting the transgression and has assumed again robes of colour representative of his station in the order.
When Griften was first sent outside the walls of the Temple, he was well-schooled but poorly experienced. Light-hearted and jovial, wide-eyed and anxious, the companions soon to be known as “The Scourge” would often regard his antics with quiet smiles and gentle joking. However, the years have tempered these characteristics dramatically and Griften is now reserved and cautious, quiet and placid, suspicious and defensive. Griften is slow to anger but quick to the defense of his companions. His studies with the Brotherhood did not prepare Griften for all that had happened. A once light-hearted and jovial attitude has now been beaten into a reserved and cautious distrust. Griften has been witness to horrible tragedies, and personal loss, and still faces the emptiness of the unknown. As a result, Griften is quiet and brooding, almost reluctant to take steps (at all!) for fear of their consequences. Griften‘s unassuming presence is not just a result of his mundane appearance. Griften‘s companions are heroes of great renown; pivotal figures in the continued struggle of good vs. evil. Tanamier, Tempus, Caelynn and J’afrock. Cyndr, Tiemel, Riyan and Grier. Even comrades regrettably fallen are not uncommonly heard of in taverns and campfires. Griften feels incredibly lucky to have these grand heroes call him a friend, and is alive for no other reason today. However, it is this reality that reminds Griften of his role in their midst; companion, ambassador, scholar, ally. One day, when stories are written of these heroes, perhaps they will write that Griften also lived in these times.
As mentioned above, Griften is unassuming but for his piercing, steel-grey eyes. Despite being fully clothed at all times in a deep robe of varying colors, Griften has a series of tattoos that start on his forearms and curl upwards and wrap to his shoulders and shoulder blades. These are arcane in nature, and mark both his station in his Brotherhood, and also augment his psionic ability. These tattoos are illustrated as dragons, weaving and curling around each other in fury.
As a young boy, Griften spent much of his time helping his parents on their small farm just outside the capital city of Rel-Mord. It was hard work, but out of all his varied duties, he grew to find enjoyment in repairing fences, mending wheelbarrows, and anything that involved wood. Pretty soon, young as he was, Griften was well on his way to an apprenticeship in the city with a family friend who had a carpentry service. This of course was put on hold as it was clear that Griften had a power inside him beyond creative woodworking. The years spent at the Temple of the Yellow Rose offered Griften little opportunity to continue this trade, but there would be the occasional work that Griften would happily set himself to do. Even since leaving the Temple, Griften‘s love of woodworking often has him whittling twigs and making small carvings with his pocket knife while sitting by the fire with his companions. Recent events, however, have offered Griften little ‘idle time’ to improve this craft further. Instead, Griften has thrown himself almost obsessively into further study of The Far Realm. Its inhabitants, lore, effects, and natives are now his focus; Griften wants desperately to use this knowledge to turn horror into hope, but also to free himself of a prison carved of guilt, not walls. The time that has passed since “The Scourge” was brought together again was spent in secluded study; where Griften turned the powers of his disciplined mind to The Tharizdun Gambit.
Griften‘s main residence is now the Citadel of Serenity, nestled deep within the Oytwood Forest. During one of his adventures, acting seemingly as if controlled by some external force, Griften subjected himself to the magic of the Deck of Many Things. The result was that Griften immediately became aware of this large structure where none stood before. As if masons and stone workers had just completed it, furnished and boasting the comforts expected in a keep of its size, Griften immediately traveled there to investigate. When it was confirmed, Griften immediately sent word to the Temple of the Yellow Rose that they now had a stronghold in the west to continue their works. Since this day, Griften remains the keeper and absentee master of the tower. Now populated with a large host of monks of the order, the Citadel has changed from an echoing, empty stronghold to a bastion of learning, training, and security in a forest fraught with dangers and in a region where political turmoil persists.
Since Griften was sent as an emissary from the Brotherhood of the Yellow Rose, he has met an incredible array of individuals who have shaped his life for the better. Some he now calls allies, some even friends. Closest among these are the members of the former ‘Scourge of the Underdark‘; now scattered throughout the Flannaess or lost to the next world. Even the great powers those Chosen of the new gods wield cannot stop fate from stealing away those closest to us. Kings and princes, High Priests and Dukes, and Generals wielding entire armies, all share Griften‘s goals of peace and prosperity for all. However, even those that history will forget, Griften will not. Lesser-known friends and allies, names as yet unsung by the bards across the world may one day include:
- Brotherhood of the Yellow Rose
- Shra’kt’lor – Joining the heroes from the mists of the Astral Plane, Shra’kt’lor was apprenticed to Brother Griften to temper his chaotic soul
- Cyndr of the Summer Stars – Encountered in the city of Winetha, and brought together by chance, Griften and Cyndr would meet again under very different circumstances
- Ventrius – Charged to Griften by the Brotherhood to nurture his psionic talent in preparation for the role Ventrius was to play in thwarting the Shadow Circle
- Griften‘s parents – both now living at the Temple of the Yellow Rose for their own security
- Darin Insaith – Current whereabouts unknown. Initially recruited willingly to assist their sister Xenoria, Darin, the youngest, could not have known what he was getting into
When Griften first traveled to the Temple of the Yellow Rose, it was to nurture the spark of psionic power growing within him. He had no idea that this affiliation would expose him to a world much darker than he knew existed; fraught with treachery, deceit, and evil beyond comprehension. Significant among these evil powers and diametrically opposed to the Brotherhood of the Yellow Rose is The Scarlet Brotherhood. Recent events have shed light on an even darker corner however, Griften now finds himself involved in The Tharizdun Gambit, racing against The Scarlet Brotherhood towards either the end of the world or the saving of it. The dread god’s ever-threatening return serves now as Griften‘s waking nightmare. Other notable enemies include Pizentios: a scholar like Griften, during one of their initial skirmishes with the Necromancers of Skahlehn, Pizentios skewered Griften with his scythe; only Tanamier‘s healing gifts saved Griften. They have clashed several times since, most recently in the Citadel of Bone where Pizentios was discovered to be leading a band of would-be worshippers of Acererak. Korenth Zan, Master of Obedience: The Leader of the Scarlet Brotherhood made a play in person to acquire Griften‘s comatose form from within the walls of the Temple of the Yellow Rose itself when Griften was rendered helpless by the Deck of Many Things.. Only Tanamier‘s intervention bought enough time to force the powerful monk to retreat empty-handed, but this risky maneuver by a reclusive tyrant plagues Griften‘s mind to this day… why is he so important? Mistress Pantryche: an Alu-Fiend temptress, Griften has been successful in ‘slaying’ her on two separate occasions. It seems she takes a personal interest in Griften, and how do you vanquish forever a demon from the Abyss? and finally… Xenoria Insaith. Griften‘s sister. Member now of the Necromancers of Skahlehn; lured by power and the dark arts by Abi-Dalzam himself. Resigned to have lost his sister to a pursuit of darkness and shadow, Griften was horrified recently to learn that Xenoria‘s interests have turned to their youngest brother: Darin; a simple man but ‘necessary’ in some way to Xenoria. This, as if there was not already enough reason, is cause for great concern.
Short-Term: Griften‘s immediate concern remains to solve The Tharizdun Gambit. There can be no denying that events that began as far back as The Scourge‘s formation in the “Sunless Sea” began a domino-like effect that has most recently culminated in The Council of The Planes. Even though it was suggested and largely subscribed to that the immediate threat had been ended, Griften remains of the opinion that it is not over. Through trial and tragedy, Griften continues his work to both decipher an archaic prophecy and bring to light the web that he remains convinced interconnects all events in recent years.
Long Term: The Almorian Border. In the grand scheme, perhaps The Iron Duke is but a small player in all that will transpire, but lives are lost daily in the skirmishes along Nyrond’s border, and Griften‘s long-time friend, Tanamier requires the help of his friends. As if the coming of a dread god and the security of a nation were not focused enough, Tempus needs to be found. Disappearing without a word some weeks ago, his wife Tamarina knows nothing of his whereabouts and the whereabouts of their newborn son. Furthermore, Griften is constantly reminded that he owes all that he is to the Brotherhood and their teachings. Griften would like very much to see his Brotherhood rise in influence and recognition and become a serious deterrent to the feared and loathed Scarlet Brotherhood. Through political maneuvering and championing the cause of goodness and justice, Griften hopes to make the Brotherhood of the Yellow Rose a powerful force to stand as a check against evil and corruption in the Flanaess. Lastly, re-instate the names of his companions wrongfully exiled from his native country, Nyrond.