Corruption of Azim
Male Human Fighter 3 / Sorcerer 4 / Dragon Disciple 1
Ability Scores (Modifiers): Strength 15 (+2), Dexterity 18 (+4), Constitution 12 (+1), Intelligence 14 (+2), Wisdom 9 (-1), Charisma 18 (+4)
- Alignment: Lawful Evil
- Hit Points: 47
- Speed: 30 ft.
- AC: 20 (two-weapon 21, touch 14, flat-footed 16)
- Initiative: +4
- Base Attack: +4
- Fortitude: +7
- Reflex: +5
- Will: +5
- Height: 5’11”
- Age: 24
Skills and Feats Appraise +2, Balance +4, Bluff +8, Climb +6, Concentration +7, Diplomacy +4, Disguise +4, Escape Artist +4, Forgery +2, Gather Information +4, Handle Animal +4, Heal -1, Hide +4, Intimidate +10, Jump +7, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Knowledge (history) +3, Knowledge (nobility) +5, Listen +4, Move Silently +4, Ride +6, Search +2, Sense Motive +1, Spellcraft +9, Spot +3, Survival -1, Swim +3, Tumble +6, Use Magic Device +6, Use Rope +4; Eschew Materials, Persuasive, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon DefenseSpells
- 0-level Sorcerer spells: arcane mark, dancing lights, detect magic, flare, light, prestidigitation
- 1st-level Sorcerer spells: burning hands, endure elements, magic missile
- 2nd-level Sorcerer spell: flaming sphere
- flaming longsword +3
- flaming burst sickle, “Red Claw”
- leather armor +2
- Bracers of Armor +1
- signet ring
- “Spark,” lizard familiar
- “Flint,” light warhorse (rose gray color)
Dustin Ashe is the bastard son of a high-ranking nobleman of Lysidia, for his mother was amongst the most renowned of prostitutes there. But Dustin has nothing but contempt for his anonymous father. Given to pyromania and revenge, he would now like nothing better than to watch the seat of Validras burn.
Dustin’s mother, Drusilda, grew up in a cottage near Fallerun but came to Validras as a young woman. Though native to the kingdom, Drusilda quickly became famous for her exotic look. She exuded a cold grace that made her the favorite of many powerful men in Lysidian government, including Jonathan Riker, Bernard Isley and King Heron himself. But when she bore a son, Drusilda became somewhat less of a hot commodity. No one wanted anything to do with the brat, always following her like a godforsaken shadow.
Drusilda named her son Ren, but having no surname herself and not quite sure of the identity of his father, she forbore giving him one. Ren grew up flitting from manor to mansion, always abandoned in a corner or courtyard while rich men made merry with his mother. He was a hiss and a byword to all who deigned to notice him. Drusilda doted on him like she would a puppy, but could also be neglectful and cruel. Ren developed a love-hate relationship for her but nursed only contempt for those with wealth and power.
As soon as he was old enough, Ren escaped the manors for the narrow streets of Lysidia, creating a reputation for himself as a fearless brawler and ladies’ man in the seedier parts of town. Around the same time, a nobleman enamored of Drusilda took pity on Ren and gave him an old, battered sword to play with. Not long after that, Ren made his first kill—a territorial rival—and kept enough of his wits about him to elude the authorities. Under the alias Dustin Ashe, Ren began to compete in The Midnight Murders, a sort of no-limits fight club specializing in swordsplay and wrestling. He began to duel without fear for, in a jam, he could always slip away into the well-to-do neighborhoods where he lived with his mother. His skill and charisma attracted a small gathering of adolescent riffraff, including a young halfling rogue named Geoff and many female admirers.
Ren also developed a love for flame. In fact, his pyromania claimed the occasional tavern and, not coincidentally, the manor of more than one of Drusilda’s benefactors. On several occasions, authorities very nearly caught up with him. Ren often couldn’t tear himself away from a good inferno.
Meanwhile, he continued to fight for bragging rights and money and made something of a name for himself in Lysidia. But in a city that size, there are always bigger fish. A particularly nasty swordsman decided to teach a lesson to what he thought was an upstart young nobleman. In the ensuing duel, the master swordsman humiliated the boy in front of his gang, told him to go back to his mansion, and said some particularly nasty (but coincidentally true) things about his mother. Just talk really; few knew who Ren really was. But something very powerful awoke in Ren that day and lifted him off his bloodied knees:
“You speak of my mother,” he croaked in his rage. “Those are your final words.” The swordsman’s choked on his condescending laugh when Ren’s hands burst into flame and channeled a cone of fire down his throat.
Shocked at the flame he had summoned from within, Ren and his posse watched the man writhe in agony and die. Cracking down on The Midnight Murders, the town guards were suddenly upon them. All were captured, including Geoff—all, that is, except Ren. He eluded a few guards and fled to his where his mother lived. Disbelieving and shaken, her son asked Drusilda for answers to his newfound power.
After much deliberation, she told him, “My mother once told me that she was bedded by a seven-foot man who seemed to simply appear in the clearing where her cottage stood. He ensorcelled her, and the morning after a night of passion, she heard the cry of a dragon and the beating of great wings.”
Ren shook his head, not understanding. Drusilda took his hand and placed his fingers on the calloused lines and ridges of her hauntingly beautiful, exotic face, the one that had brought powerful men to their knees. “We are not entirely human, you and I.”
That night he forsook his childhood name forever, and Dustin Ashe snuck out of Lysidia and set out west toward the foothills of the Eversmoke Mountains. His mission is to find the true nature of his maternal heritage. After all, his grandmother may still be alive. After a series of misadventures, including some trouble with pirates, and a foray into some known dragon country, Dustin has arrived in Fallerun. He’ll find his grandmother, then return to Lysidia, discover his father’s identity, slay him, and claim the title ripped from him at birth.
Dustin devoutly believes the ends justify the means. Though his goal to eliminate the corruption and debauchery in Validran government is noble, he doesn’t care about hurting innocents in order to do it. He envisions himself to be a man born to rule but still of the common people.
You might say that Dustin speaks two dialects of Common—both Lysidian—but one is the elegant speech of the nobleman and the other is the speech of the ne’er-do-wells and rogues of the seedy side of town. He switches between them depending on the company he’s with.
In fashion, he is an unwitting trendsetter. He likes to dress in fine materials, but hates current styles (because he hates those in power) so he has a sense of fashion all his own. When he’s on the road, Dustin knows how to dress the part of a traveler (though he never completely forgoes finery). But if he were to, say, crash a party, one would notice his distinctive style. He never wears gloves, rings, or long sleeves because he likes to keep his hands free for his fire spells. He keeps his signet ring on a chain around his neck. His lizard familiar, Spark, rests in a little inside pocket at his chest.
Dustin is a ladies’ man. He quite naturally hits on any beautiful female humanoid he sees. He is outgoing and gets along with just about everyone, except noblemen and idiots. He will subtly ridicule such types to their face.
Though Dustin enjoys humor and flirtation, he can be deadly serious when the situation requires. In battle, he wears an intimidating smile right up until he loses any hit points. After that, he’s all business. Probably because he relies on agility more than strength, Dustin’s fighting style is very fluid. He’ll often let fly a fire spell to “soften up” the enemy, then charge into the fray, both weapons drawn and whirling. It helps tremendously that his enchanted sickle bursts into flame at will.
Dustin now believes in something mightier and nobler than himself. He may have been moody as a teenager in Lysidia, but maturity, experience, and purpose have tempered his feelings somewhat. Dragons represent everything majestic and awe-inspiring in this world. He hopes the story his mother told him proves true. It’s given his life focus and meaning. The down side is it’s also feeding his narcissism a bit.