Wizards of Earthsea
Dragonborn Beguiler/Leader of the Black Knights
Bronze Dragonborn Beguiler
Leader of the Black Knights Assassin’s Guild
Valdar was hatched in the brood of Agliss on the far east continent of Firesky. Their nation, Tanak’en Kalor was in a perpetual war fending off hordes of undead from the northern remnants of an ancient Titan forge.
As a dragonling, Valdar was taught under the tutelage of mastersmith and carpenter Vesper. He was fast learner and quickly became skilled with a blade and a mallet. Ready and eager to fight but still young and impatient, the young Valdar rushed headlong into the fray.
Still unfamiliar with tactics and lacking experience, he was no match for undead he faced. Wounded both in pride and body, he scrambled back to his encampment. Upon the request of the Mastersmith, Broodleader Ouryu paid Vesper’s young apprentice a visit. Valdar did not fear death, but was ashamed of his own impetuosity. Ouryu raised his hand at the youngling and spoke these words:
“Death is not the end for the strong, if you are to die, your body and soul will be returned to the fires of Vesuvius and you will be reborn anew…..but life is not to be forsaken. Your spirit only grows stronger if it learns from it’s mistakes and passes that knowledge down. Your life is not yours to throw away, we let the fire decide if you are worthy or not..”
Ouryu then raised a glowing red orb to Valdar’s chest, and in a flash, a searing wave of heat and agony pierced his heart.
Valdar awoke having felt his whole experience a dream. He searched for his sword but it was nowhere to be seen. Slowly he came to the realization that he did not know where we was. He clutched his chest as he struggled to stand, feeling the scar and scorch marks left on his scales. He was stranded on an island, he noted as he peered off to the horizon, his homeland nowhere to be seen. He managed to scavenge enough materials to build a boat but with no heading, Valdar opted to sail off towards the sun.
A week went by as he sailed adrift, fading from fatigue and dehydration, before he finally saw a city in the distance. A small island town named Atuan stood before him. The indigenous creatures, humans, were inviting, despite his appearance. He found himself a new home. The town was small but it was built on a series of labyrinths underground and rumor of a minotaur that raided the village and captured the young and dragged them into the passages kept the villagers from ever being settled. These farmers had never seen combat before; they lived a solitary life bereft of conflict. But life was not to be forsaken; the people had all but given up hope when Valdar arrived. He trained the men and women to fight with their farming tools and together they journeyed into the heart of the labyrinth, slayed the minotaur and rescued the children.
Years later the Murkblood orcs raided Atuan from across the sea. Valdar was no stranger to orcs either; a clan called the Bilebloods had made refuge near his old home. He knew of their rage and lack of remorse. Once again he took up arms to defend his new home, but as he made his way to the beach, a thick fog appeared from nowhere blanketing the island. Images of a young human child flashed before him but he could not sense any thought. The child was an illusion. The garbled cries of orcs pierced the wind as they plunged from the cliffside to the jagged rocks below. The children were running the orcs to the pier and the fog obfuscated the footing. The orcs were led to their deaths without a single weapon being drawn in defense. So long had Valdar been a swordsman and yet still he had no inkling of tactics but he was beginning to see.
He later discovered that it was in fact a child by the name of Duny who had saved Atuan. A travelling sorcerer had healed the boy and taken him to a city called Juno to train his latent abilities. Valdar, ever an opportunist, wished his home well and went in search of Juno to find the boy.
Four years had passed before their paths crossed again. The young wizard now going by the name of Sparrowhawk was confronted by Valdar and a band of mercenaries who called themselves the Black Knights. Four years Valdar had to learn the nuances of the city; gathering information, hiring trained killers, he learning how to fight, not with swords but with words and deceit, and money and influence.
He had gained quite a reputation of power, leading the underground movements of Juno defending the weak and empowering them. Defensively, Sparrowhawk questioned why the leader of the Black Knights had sought him out and to his surprise, the dragonkin knelt before him.
“Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person. It is an honor to finally meet you Duny Sparrowhawk.”
“How do you know my name? I’ve never used that name in this city before.”
“I hail from Atuan, as you do. You saved my life once, now it my time to return the favor. There are dark machinations in the works, ones that even I cannot fully understand or stop; the darkness is coming for you and we need to run, now! We are the Black Knights, followers of the Black Dragon in the mountains. Only he can help you now.”