Vannel

Elan Psion (Kineticist) and ex-sailor trying to avoid the attentions of a slightly crazed goddess.

Description:

Vannel

Sex: Male
Age: 125
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 190
Race: Elan
Class(es): Psion
Level: 2
Hit Points: 18

Attributes
Strength: 9
Dexterity: 16
Constitution: 16
Intelligence: 16
Wisdom: 16
Charisma: 8
Saves
Reflex Save: +3
Constitution Save: +3
Will Save: +6
Armor Class
Base AC: 15
Touch AC: 13
Flat-footed: 12
Attack Bonuses
Base Attack Bonus: +1
Melee Attack Bonus: 0
Ranged Attack Bonus: +4
Skills
Appraise 3
Autohypnosis 4
Balance 3
Bluff -1
Climb -1
Concentration 8/11
Diplomacy -1
Disguise -1
Escape Artist 3
Forgery 3
Gather Information -1
Heal 3
Hide 3
Intimidate -1
Jump -1
Knowledge(psionics) 5
Knowledge(sailing) 4
Listen 5/7
Move Silently 3
Psicraft 4
Ride 3
Search 4
Sense Motive 3
Spot 5/7
Survival 3
Swim 1
Use Rope 3
Feats:

Psicrystal Affinity, Psionic Body

Class/Race Abilities/Bonuses:

Aberration: Not subject to spells or effects that affect humanoids only.
Naturally Psionic: +2 Power Points at first level.
Resistance (Su): As immediate action, spend 1 Power Point to gain +4 on saving throws until beginning of next action.
Resilience (Su): As immediate action, reduce the damage about to be taken by 2 hit points for every Power Point spent.
Repletion (Su): Spend 1 Power Point to go without the need for food or water for 24 hours.
Enter a meditative trance for 4 hours instead of sleeping.

Attacks:

Light Crossbow: +4, 1d8, 19-20×2
Short Spear: 1d6, x2

Armor:

Leather Armor: +2 AC

Languages:

Common, Aquan, Elven, Draconic

Powers Known:

Vigor, Inertial Armor, Energy Ray, Control Object, Matter Agitation

Bio:

Growing up, Edrich Drake was a normal human boy. He enjoyed many fantastic tales as the son of merchant sailors, and developed a longing to see the world. He dreamed of sailing beyond the wharfs of Morend, as his parents regularly did, and learning new stories to bring back. Then, by chance, his parents introduced him to a beautiful Elan woman, with flaming hair and eyes deep enough to hold all the secrets of the world. He was overwhelmed and enamored, and determined from that moment on that he would become an Elan himself. The woman, named Yvenne, taught him simple meditation techniques to strengthen his mental discipline. He practiced them with dedication and then tried to follow a sleeping technique that the she called the Graceful Repose.

Edrich was soon visited by strange dreams of things he had never even heard of before. An island bathed in light. Ruins buried in the sand. A haunting voice singing words he didn’t know. Though strange, they were enjoyable enough, so he thought it was part of the training. Soon, however, the dreams turned to nightmares. He saw men in armor rent to pieces by terrible creatures and heard whole cities crying in anguish. People burned alive as the sun fell from the sky and the air tasted of blood. He often woke up screaming, covering his ears until the shuddering, suffering voice that had sung so sweetly before faded away. When his parents found him half-asleep one morning plunging a dagger into his leg, they sought the help of clerics.

Edrich seemed to improve during his stay at the waterfront temple of Nendra. Though his dreams still swung from to euphoric to terrifying, he seemed to be bothered by them less and less. The clerics and priests were about to send him home when they noticed that he had taken to standing on the piers at the dock, staring vacantly out at the sea. He would also whisper a chant that even the clerics didn’t recognize. When they would try to bring him in, his body was rigid and strangely hard to move. The clerics became convinced that he was somehow being influenced by a spiritual power and invoked the power of Nendra to try and free him. Despite their efforts, they could find no spirit to banish, while Edrich’s dreams got worse. One fateful night, the head priest awoke to the sounds of his disciples yelling in panic. He left his chamber to find an entire wing of the temple in flames. The men were slowly dousing the fire, save for one. In the middle of his burning bedroom stood Edrich, eyes vacant and impartial to the fire. He held a torch, and though the fire licked at his clothing, he showed no signs of injury.

The actual damage was minor, and Edrich’s parents paid for the damages with profuse apologies. All Edrich could remember was a particularly vivid and frightening dream, and the voice whispering dark words to him. The head priest, a thoughtful and considerate man, suggested that it would help to put Edrich on a ship for a time. Whatever was affecting him seemed drawn to the sea, after all. His mother was hesitant to let their son go along with what she felt was the will of a dangerous influence. When they both saw him gaze toward the ocean as the clerics had, however, she relented. He was a teenager by now, and well old enough to serve aboard a trade ship.

Edrich took well to the sailor’s life, even if it was one of trafficking goods rather than adventure. The dreams became more pleasant, and soon he no longer feared going to sleep. Still, things were far from normal. The strange events that started at the temple followed him to sea, although they had become much more benevolent. The crew would wake in the mornings to find damaged sails repaired, sour wine turned sweet, and rheumatic men dancing jigs on the deck. Seeing that these happy tidings began after Edrich boarded, they called him their Albatross.

Things didn’t stay that way for long, though. Edrich grew tired of the repetitive route, and his frustration soon turned to anger. His dreams grew dark again, and the ‘blessings’ that the crew enjoyed became mixed with misfortune. Lines would snap or winds would die suddenly. The crew, alread tired themselves of Edrich’s foul tempter, began to talk of leaving him at a port. A prominent and wealthy merchant traveling with them encouraged them in this, fearing for the safety of his cargo. Edrich overheard some of this talk, and became afraid of what would happen to him. This time, it was Edrich who awoke to the yelling of the crew. The merchant had died in the night when, amazingly, a spear of coral shot through the side of the ship into his bunk. While the crew was ready to throw Edrich overboard, the Captain, a practical man immune to superstition, ordered him locked in storage until they returned to port.

After five years at sea, Edrich returned home a rattled 20-year-old. The merchant’s death was the talk of the town, and in the whispers Edrich would always hear his name. He feared for himself, and hoped that his parents would be able to help. As fortune would have it, when he opened the door to his parents’ house, the redhaired Elan woman from his youth greeted him. In all the years since he had seen Yvenne last, she hadn’t changed a bit. Except now he had to look down to meet her otherworldly eyes. She had come because it was time for his appearance before the Elan council. Edrich, eager to make himself scarce (and remembering that Elan had no need of sleep or dreams), quickly left with the woman.

It was a long and trying interview, but Edrich managed to win the approval of the elders. He was obliged to tell them everything about his life, and he feared that the stories of his dreaming and the odd things that happened around him would surely dissuade the council. If anything, though, they grew more encouraged by them. With a quick farewell to his parents, he was sent to an Elan enclave to begin the transformation.

For many days and nights he sat in meditation, until he was deemed ready to receive his new life. Two Elan stood on either side of him, and he felt powerful energies flow from them into him. His mind swirled, and soon his vision was filled with light. There was something else, though, in his mind. Something that was not Elan, but very powerful. The voice that had been haunting his dreams since he was a boy spoke to him. This time, however, he understood its words.

Why do you run from me? I have shared my dreams with you, so you know in part… Oh, but they have not been pleasant. Not all. Oh, I am sorry. We are sorry. We are… trying. To wake up. To… hold together. But there is so much… hehe… so much blood… teehee!... so much… oh, Avannan… NO! I must speak now, and clearly. You can be the one to help me. Long ago I died to save them all. To save you. They still sleep, but now I awaken. My thoughts… are scattered. The dreams are still wild, and dangerous. You have seen. But they can be good again. You have seen. You will be different now, but do not forsake us. You can… call us back. Avannan… remember, Vannel. Dream and remember.

The energies broke off, and Edrich fell to his knees. The voice still thundered in his head amid thousands of years of new memories. He screamed, thinking his mind about to shatter. His eyes rolled back in his head, and he fell unconscious. When he came to, the voice was gone. The Elan asked him many questions, but his answers only raised more mysteries. He spent the next few weeks in the enclave sorting out his old lives and learning about his new body. When it came time to choose his new name, he chose Vannel, the name the voice had used. It was an odd thing to do, he admitted to himself, yet it felt right.

At first he had wanted to show himself off to his parents. His once brown hair was now bright red and his formerly dark eyes were now a brilliant blue. The shape of his face and the texture of his skin had even changed a bit. He looked a bit more handsome and healthier, he thought, even though he carried the unsettling stare that all Elan seemed to share. Before he left, though, Yvenne came to the enclave. She had to fight back tears as she congratulated him, which caught Vannel off-guard. None of the other Elans seemed so emotional about it. Still, they embraced, appearing now as brother and sister or husband and wife. Her face then darkened with the news she brought him. She told him that what he thought had been a few moments of unconsciousness following his transformation had actually been 100 years. The Elans of the enclave hadn’t dared tell him this in his fragile mental state. What was more, Morend was gone. The orcs had finally overrun and sacked the city, leaving the few survivors nothing to do but sail to new homes. Eventually, others settled the area, bringing in geomancers and dwarven engineers to drain the swamps. The old city was nearly forgotten now, nothing more than legend.

Vannel’s parents had escaped the orc invasions and started a new shipping company with one of their friends on a nearby island. Yvenne’s voice grew softer. She had kept up with them as much as she could, but the story was always the same. Their son slept, surrounded by an aura of energy that no Elan could lift. They lived as well as they could, but there was always a sadness in their eyes. Yvenne had been one among many at their funeral.

It was too much for Vannel. He leaped from the seaside cave into the ocean and swam out into the darkness. Yvenne jumped after him and soon caught up to his mad swim. She knew he wasn’t a good swimmer despite his years on ships, so she grabbed him around the chest and used her powers to cause them to float. Physically spent and overcome with grief, he broke into tears. Silently, Yvenne held his head on her shoulder. The two of them remained there, bobbing in the darkness until dawn, as Vannel’s tears flowed into the sea.

Home gone. Family dead. In an instant (or what had seemed one), Vannel’s whole world had changed. Yvenne and the Elans of the enclave helped him through his grief. Soon the weight of his new existence hit him. He was Elan. The Edrich who mourned for a life lost was gone. He had a new, vitalized body and a brand new world. He decided to chart a new course for his future.

He asked if Yvenne would come with him. Unfortunately, she told him, the Elan council had an important task for her to do, and she couldn’t say how long it would take her. Before she left, though, she promised to find him again one day. After all, what did they have if not time? The sea still called to him, so he took up with a privateer ship to see where his fortunes would lead. For many years he enjoyed the carefree adventuring, hopping from ship to ship. He even took to the fighting, with his Psionicly-charged body protecting him from harm. He eventually decided it was time to develop his talents, and began to study some of the tomes he had been given by the Elan about the powers of the mind. He crafted a Psicrystal, and infused into it a portion of the mental focus he had developed. Many of his shipmates thought him a sorcerer upon seeing his new abilities, and he was content to leave it at that. Being Elan meant keeping some things secret. Sometimes the crew would see him sitting alone on the deck during the night watch, staring at the moon and humming long-forgotten tunes. Every now and then, he would ask new crew members who seemed worldly if they knew of a place called Morend. No one ever did. So he continued to ply the seas, unaware of what he really was.

Eventually, the ship he was on heard of a bounty on a group of orcs. They were a crew that loved a good hunt, and he soon found himself camped out on a small island, unaware of the turn his destiny was soon to take…

Further Info:

Morend:

Originally Moor Rend (or Moor End, according to some), the thriving port town lies upon a fertile delta formed where the mighty Emond River splits before emptying into the sea. Further inland, the river feeds the many swamps that are the dominant feature of the land surrounding Morend. Smaller towns have been built on the grasslands and foothills that are interspersed between the swamps. They trade with Morend by way of the tributaries that feed into the Emond. These towns subsist on the great surplus of grains that Morend’s fields produce, offering timber and metals in exchange. Morend has an unwritten agreement to provide armed assistance to these towns in the event that orc and kobold assaults become too great for them to manage. Morend was named for the fact that the delta it inhabits splits the swamps that surround it.

Avannan:

The ideas here are an expansion from the material from a previous D&D game. It can be found here, in the form of a legend: http://twilightbound.blogspot.com/2007/02/fall-of-avannan.html

Avannan was an ancient kingdom of people who were closely tied to and immensely blessed by their patron Goddess, Vann’ya. She is the Keeper of the Dreaming, where all things are possible and will sometimes bleed over into the real world. Avannan disappeared long ago when Vann’ya was forced to take the Avann into the Dreaming with her. She died in the process, but death in the Dreaming is not like mortal death. While the Avann drifted between the planes and the dreams of other races, Vann’ya slept, her essence diffused amid the magic of the Dreaming.

More recently, when Yvenne was an explorer of ancient lands, she found a relic from Avannan. By using the artifact and the power of Dream Traveling, she found an Avann from the Dreaming in his nascent state. Her psychic energy resonated with him and drew him into the real world, where the artifact provided him a body. Being wrenched from the Dreaming like this, without the aid of Vann’ya, did not leave him a full-formed adult Avann, but rather an infant with only the racial memories of his people and former life locked away deep in his developing mind.

Feeling responsible, Yvenne gave him to a couple she knew to be kind and wanting for a child. She then reported her findings to the Elan council, who advised her to keep covert tabs on the boy. No one knew what kind of beings the Avann had been, but whether through ignorance or impotence, Edrich showed no signs of being anything other than human. When she discovered that he held psionic potential, she was instructed to reveal herself to him and train him in rudimentary Elan mental disciplines.

As the first and only Avann to awaken from the Dreaming (even though he had no recollection of who or what he was), his presence called to Vann’ya and roused her consciousness before her essence had been fully reformed. Thus, the chaotic dreams. The Elan knew of (and some vaguely remembered) Avannan but had no clear explanation for what was happening to Edrich/Vannel. Nevertheless, they were fascinated. So, they agreed to let him petition to become an Elan. Eventually, after his stints with the monks and the sailors, Yvenne came to him again. Over the years, her sense of responsibility to the boy had grown into affection. She had been pained to hear of his suffering, and was worried for him when she learned of the merchant’s death. Seeing how he had managed to weather his hardships, she took heart and hoped that life as an Elan would offer him a deliverance from his tribulations (and an answer to the questions of many Elans).

The energies of the transformation ritual allowed Vann’ya a brief but clear entry into Vannel’s mind. Overwhelmed by his new Elan essence and the unfettered thoughts of a Goddess, Vannel fell into a coma. Vann’ya had unintentionally pulled him part of the way back into the Dreaming. So he laid comatose until the power faded and his body settled into the Material Plane.

As for Yvenne, seeing what happened to Vannel when he became Elan, the council tasked her with searching for more relics of Avannan while they studied the original one she found. Vann’ya is still a broken entity and has focused her thoughts upon Vannel. So she pursues him when she may, a half-crazed mother seeking one of her lost children.

Religion:

Vannel, being an Elan, has taken up some of his race’s belief in their responsibility for their own fates. He is still young enough, though, to remember the gods and their might. As a sailor, he has offered up many prayers to Nendra. He also feels a particular debt and fondness to her thanks to living with her clerics and to the kindness they showed him (even after what he did to their temple). She receives his greatest devotion and worship, though he would hesitate to call himself a ‘follower’. He is, after all, wary of powers and beings that he can’t see.

Love Interests:

Vannel has special feelings for Yvenne. She was there for him when everyone else he cared for either couldn’t help or was gone. As a fellow Elan, he can also share things with her that he must keep secret from others. It used to be, when visiting a new port, his pulse would quicken at the glimpse of long red hair passing in a crowd. Her memory has grown distant over the years, though, along with the hope of her return.

Vannel

The Life Aquatic, or Not wmccain