LVL 10 Longtooth Shifter
His clan was killed by the Church of the Silver Flame in Western Terkent in their zeal to kill all evil creatures, conflating Shifters with their feral ancestors, lycanthropes. Gaard was left for dead. He spent some time hunting down and brutally killing members of the Church, but he found no satisfaction in vengeance. Eventually, he found his way to the Western Woodland and was adopted by a clan of wild elves. This is where he was given his elvenmesh armor and where he constructed his bowsword.
The chaotic band of elves dispersed, and Gaard was on his own again. He found his way to the Feywild, and has lived there for the last ten years or so. He has spent his time wandering and avoiding the politics and disputes of the inhabitants of this realm. During this time, he has become more in touch with his animal side. Now, he has the instincts of the most cunning hunter, and the ferocity of the most savage beast.
This combination was put to its greatest test when Gaard decided to attempt to acquire his most prized possession. He heard about a displacer beast in the area, and decided to test his skills by tracking it. Eventually, he caught up to the beast and was able to kill it. He skinned the great cat, and turned its coat into a cloak that gives him a significant advantage in every fight.
Recently, Gaard has had run-ins with some of the local powers in this area of the Feywild which has led him to become a pawn for the local political powers – a situation Gaard is not familiar with. And one he will do anything to get out of.
It started of innocently enough. Gaard has always hated gnomes. They way they manipulate, conceal, and otherwise try to control nature goes against everything Gaard holds sacred. So he decided to start hunting them. He was successful for quite a while. Gnomes can be quite arrogant when they think they are safe within their illusions, which means they often get careless. The hunter Gaard easily took advantage of this weakness and systematically picked off the little pointy nosed critters for weeks as if they were some kind of powerless minions (although he didn’t take their treasure). Even after they realized they were under attack from some outside power and strengthened their defenses, Gaard found ways through and continued killing the damned nuisances.
What Gaard didn’t count on was the gnomes’ close relationship with the local Eladrin clan – Clan Yorilam. Even the overly cautious hunter was taken by surprise when he saw Eladrin hunting parties in the area. Gaard had no reason to think they were here for him, so he decided to watch them from a distance and see what they were up to. For once, the hunter was the one caught of guard. The shifter was easily captured and soon found himself in the nearby Eladrin stronghold of Mishovana in front of the clan leader, Safiya.
Safiya embodies everything Gaard hates about the Eladrin who have chosen to organize into clans and rebuild their fallen cities. She rules her clan with an iron fist and tolerates no disobedience from her subjects. If this weren’t enough for Gaard to hate her, Safiya doesn’t seem to care about rebuilding her city in a way that is in tune with nature. She is ripping up the land and forests around the area in order to build elaborate (and some would say gaudy) palaces. She cares more about land acquisition for resources than in preserving the natural environment. There are rumors that this is because she has connections with the Prime Plane and is doing the work of someone more powerful, but no one has yet been able to substantiate this rumor, and more importantly, no one has the power to question her.
When Gaard was brought before Safiya, she saw a potential in him. If she could control this hunter, he could be a valuable asset. She gave Gaard an option: be put to death, or fulfill one task for her clan and in return she would grant him a generous piece of land on which he could live, hunt, and be left alone. Gaard took the deal.
Now, the hunter who once held his freedom and independence has his most valuable possessions, is working for someone else toward a political goal. Safiya wants land and resources, but she is running out of easy targets near her. She has heard of an island that might have everything she wants. This is what she demanded of Gaard: find a way to this mysterious island and bring back any information that would be helpful in conquering it.
For his part, Gaard is planning on fulfilling his part of the contract unless he finds a better option. As much as he hates Safiya, having true freedom beyond the reach of politics would be nice. But there is a part of him that is tired of the Feywild. There is something unnatural about this “nature.” If this mysterious island feels better, he might just stay there. Or there is even a part of him that wants to go back to his life in the Prime Plane in Terkent. As always, Gaard will decided what is best for the moment, and let the future take care of itself.
Gaard does not like most other people. At best he tolerates others, at worst he is openly hostile. Because of his connection to nature, he is more inclined to ally with those who gain their power from the primal source; although, because of his abrasive personality and his unwavering beliefs, any true friends are few and far between.
Like any hunter, Gaard prefers to stalk his prey patiently, then weaken them from afar with strategic ranged attacks. Once melee is inevitable or Gaard sees an opening, he shifts and attacks ferociously.
As a hunter used to fighting alone, Gaard’s attacks often target more than one enemy. While he is an intelligent fighter, it might take him a while to get used to fighting alongside allies. Until he gets the hang this style, it is likely that he will charge in and allow himself to be surrounded, ignoring the benefits allies might provide him.
Something that sets Gaard’s fighting apart from others is his treatment of all enemies. As a believer in the primal spirits, and as a creature who has reacquainted himself with his feral side, Gaard sees all enemies simply as prey. He shows a lack of mercy to “animals” or those others might consider more sophisticated or sentient equally. If he has set a creature as his target, he will follow through with his chosen path regardless of pleas for mercy.
(I’ll fill these in later.)