- Name: Dain Tornbrook
- Race: Aasimar
- Birth date: 9th day of Mirtul in the Year of the Bloodbird (1346 by Dale Reckoning)
- Height: 6'2"
- Weight: 200 lbs.
- Hair: Short, well-kept blond
- Eyes: Blue, varying in intensity based on mood, with golden flecks around the pupils
- Titles: High Adjudicator of the Triad, the Dragonslayer, the Judicator of Wrath, Knight of the Merciful Sword
Dain stands with firm posture and typically wears a calm half-smile on his always-clean-shaven face. He wears rather unique plate, its shining blue and black and gleaming gold accents standing out against the common soldier's or mercenary's armor. He wears a long sword across his back and at his left hip, the sword at his hip conspicuously missing its pommel. When armed and armored, a long, crimson-stained cloth hangs from his belt; its redness is blood wiped from his blade, a constant reminder of the blood on his hands and a warning to the wicked that mercy will sometimes lie at the end of a sword.
Dain doesn't often speak his feelings on a subject, preferring to keep his opinions free from whatever scrutiny whatever public might offer. His eyes, though, have a habit of betraying his true feelings on a subject, frequently glimmering, clouding, creasing, narrowing, hardening, and so on as the situation warrants. Where he was once open and friendly, the paladin's experiences as Sundren's champion and frequent abandonment by former allies have crafted around the man a distant air; when he is seen, he is usually seen alone.
The paladin loves music and will lose any sense of self-awareness if a particularly accomplished musician is performing, and he enjoys dance, though he avoids demonstrating his competency in either of these disciplines if he can.
Born to the land-owning, noble Blackmantle family in the Cormyrian countryside, Dain had a childhood of privilege and study, his time devoted to various guided academic and athletic pursuits. His father was an aspiring statesman who spent days, weeks, and months at the capital city of Suzail. Dain's mother was the consummate matron, insistent on Dain's studies but generally hands-off in his upbringing.
Dain held little interest in the disciplines his parents prescribed to him. Still, he managed to gain some competency in swordsmanship, horseback riding, music, and dancing. His tendency to disappear from his family's manor and be found near the twisting stream a few miles into their property earned him the nickname "Tornbrook." He'd often retreat to the torn brook to escape his studies and ponder life beyond the far-reaching borders of his family's land.
As Cormyr descended into political chaos and violence, the patriarch of the Blackmantle family was discovered to be in league with the agents of the Black Hand working to sow unrest throughout the country. He was caught and slain in a duel by a Hammer of Grimjaws, one Tristan Terliaux, who encouraged Dain to leave Cormyr and his father's friends and enemies. Dain did so, eventually traveling to Waterdeep and then Neverwinter, where he took in with an eccentric swordsman who taught him the craft in exchange for a patient ear.
Dain spent some years there but grew restless, and he decided to head to Sundren to embark on his new life, independent of the nobility and expectations his last name implied. He booked passage under the name Tornbrook, and Tornbrook he's been ever since.
Dain's first close friend after arriving in Sundren was a Sunite named Priya Sera. While Dain was passing time in discussion with her at the Sunite temple in Aquor, two Talessans attacked the temple, setting fire to it and destroying most of its artwork, furniture, and shrines. As flames quickly spread and threatened to engulf all those inside, Dain braved the smoke and fire to pull victims to safety. After the temple was evacuated, Dain collapsed in a heap among the shrubs outside the temple, and in his bleary reverie, he received a vision from Tyr, the Even-Handed. Some days later, he took the paladin's oaths and began his training at the Temple of the Triumvirate.
Since taking his oaths, Dain has been active in the defense of Sundren and her peoples. He has slain a dracolich, foiled the necromancy of Vraer, the Myrkulite, retaken Mirakus Post from the Black Hand and dispelled the taint that caused the dead to rise there, and led countless forces deep into dangerous lands to stop wicked plots and armies as they began to muster. He is Sundren's keeper, the errant knight who succeeds where armies fail.
The Warden of Wrath
Sundren is protected by its Harbingers, secretive individuals of tremendous skill and purpose who seek out Sundren's enemies and dispatch them. One Harbinger, Wrath, made his identity public, and in order to continue to execute his purpose, the Harbinger of Wrath chose to take on a new Warden that would act as an extension of his will. Dain Tornbrook was this Warden.
As the Warden, Dain did endless battle against the Myrkulite necromancer, Vraer. With companions Centurio Peridan Twilight, Mara Brinsbane, Tigen Amastacia, and his sworn swordguards Ursus Ahrahl and Tigen, Dain reclaimed Mirakus Post from the Black Hand and used his holy sword, the Embodiment of Wrath, to purify the grounds surrounding the site.
Following the capture of Vraer, Dain moved to stab the necromancer as he began to cast a spell within the Temple of the Triumvirate. The sword shattered and turned to ash the moment it touched Vraer's flesh, and so the Embodiment of Wrath was no more.
The Judicator of Wrath
Shortly after the destruction of the famed sword, the Harbinger of Wrath summoned Dain. Explaining that the broken sword was only crafted from the pommel of the true Wrath blade, the Harbinger gifted the paladin with a new holy sword, the Wrath Eternal, and Dain now wields that blade, which conspicuously lacks a pommel. In addition to his new sword, he has a new title: the Judicator of Wrath, a position of greater judgment as to the execution of Wrath's will. With his new sword and responsibility, he still tirelessly strives against the undead and the Black Hand. He is Sundren's champion, immune to the law but ever mindful of it.
Since the promotion, nearly every notable victory over the Black Hand has been led by or due to the exceptional efforts of the Judicator of Wrath. While many adore the paladin for his accomplishments, many yet dislike and even distrust the man, his continuously dour countenance darkening their opinions. Only Priya Sera understands the extent to which Dain struggles every day against the whim of his sword, Wrath Eternal, to maintain his humanity and not forgo mercy for the wicked. He would set the sword aside, but the Harbinger of Wrath has called it (in Dain's hands) the last great hope for winning this conflict, and so it is ever at his side.
The paladin also endures frequent attempts on his life, from assassins both living and undead. This, along with with the scale of the battles he fights and the strength of the opponents he's called to dispatch, has convinced him he won't live to see thirty. He throws himself into battle to be the rock the wave of evil breaks against, yet he's always standing afterward. The sword has something to do with this, he's noticed, and he quietly strives to unlock the sword's potential: it has hallowed ground, healed his wounds, restored life to the fallen, and dispelled the undead, but never at his command.
Since Dain's promotion to Judicator, another Warden was chosen, but she was unworthy and fled Sundren. No new Warden has been named to replace her, and the Harbinger has gone silent in his insistence to name a new Warden.
The Pursuit of Justice
Dain has made a name for himself in his unflinching pursuit of justice. Those with a prominent profile who step on the just laws quickly find themselves at odds with the paladin. Dain's pursuit drove the notorious murderer-but-ally-of-the-state Malaclypse into hiding, and his insistence drove Maia Nanethiel to seek asylum with Centurio Peridan Durothil, who pardoned her crimes and offered his support, much to the paladin's chagrin.
Captain Gromlin Onxylum of the Veritas Syndicate, the dwarf who claimed responsibility for the bombing of the City Watch building in Sundren City, was hunted and subdued by the Judicator of Wrath. Faced with the inevitability of Sundarian justice and defeated by the state's champion, Gromlin slit his own throat at the feet of the paladin, his last gesture a middle finger raised against the Judicator and his scruples.
The High Adjudicator
In recognition of his peerless service to the Triad, Melchior and Caspar named Dain, a Tyrran, to the position of High Adjudicator of Torm, a position empty since the fall of its previous holder, Balthazar. Dain reluctantly accepted under the condition that he be replaced the very moment a Tormite was deemed worthy of the office, thinking his Tyrran vows and ideals not well-suited to the nurturing of paladins of the Loyal Fury. After Dain's departure from the Valley and the death of Caspar in the sacking of Arbiter's Stand, Darius Blackwell was appointed High Adjudicator of Torm. Dain predictably and appropriately assumed the position of High Adjudicator of Tyr upon his return to the Valley.
Departure and Return
Having achieved some measure of peace in Sundren - the vampires subdued, the Harbinger lacking missions requiring his attention, and the Triad consumed with charity and training - Dain, with Priya, boarded a ship to southern lands. There they reclined and enjoyed each other, but Dain was frequently visited by odd dreams: observations of moments in his past, some joyful, some painful. Sure enough, after a number of months spent in relative bliss, he received a sending from an unfamiliar feminine voice: Sundren was going to war, and her protector was needed. He boarded a ship bound for Sundren to resume his duties as champion and end whatever threat had the Valley so shaken.
The Valley fell into war with the Bloodmaim and Black Hand. The engagements were sudden and sporadic, give the Judicator little hope of finding the heart of the enemy army and stopping it cold. Small victories by the Allied forces of Sundren were the catalyst for the Black Hand and Bloodmaim congregating into a singular, massive force bent on taking the city. Outnumbered more than two-to-one, the Sundarian allies fought desperately to keep the city from being breached so that the Hand of Mundus could complete a spell that would lift the city into the sky, clear of the encroaching army.
Tornbrook and the rest of Sundren's champions and irregulars stood where the fighting was worst. Tornbrook made his presence thoroughly known and keenly felt in dispatching more than half of the Black Hand's gathered champions himself, behind the lines of the enemy and cut off from his allies. The Sundarians managed to stave off this initial assault, and they managed to salvage just enough time for the city to go airborne precious moments before they would have been completely overwhelmed.
Now that the city is airborne, Sundren is divided in half, with the skyward citizens enjoying some measure of peace and security, the ground-dwelling subject to banditry and malaise. Dain travels endlessly between the city and the Valley, fruitlessly trying to stretch himself over the whole of the Valley. With his temple and the LaCroix needing his leadership and Sestra desperate for a savior, Tornbrook finds himself having a muted effect, though he is unwilling to abandon any of those efforts. He has taken again to errantly walking the Valley's roads as he once did when the vampires were so prevalent. His lack of true allies with whom to share these burdens troubles him further, as does the silence of the Harbinger of Wrath: he has been unseen since the city ascended, and with the Arbiters no longer in power, Dain is not certain exactly where he stands.
Priya Sera: Best friend. Confidante. Lover. Priya Sera is a well-respected lecturer at the Sundren University. She is extraordinarily beautiful, gifted, and knowledgeable on several subjects. She is his truest companion, giving him patience, balance, and perspective when he has difficulty finding it elsewhere.
Her most recent disappearance from the Valley, having left no word to her whereabouts, convinced Dain that she was hiding from him, perhaps trying to release him from her companionship that he might learn to love another better suited to his convictions. Indeed, he tried, entertaining adoring thoughts of a sun elf unlike most. Priya's sudden return to Sundren, though, saw the two falling into each other's arms all over again, and he loves the Sunite as fiercely - perhaps more fiercely - as he ever has.
Centurio Peridan Durothil: The gruff, one-eyed elf of the Sundarian Legion, Peridan shared Dain's rare conviction in the fight against evil. Dain counted Peridan as his closest ally in the field, and he felt no need to project the air and authority of a paladin when around the Centurio. Dain enjoyed the Centurio's company, perhaps because the dour elf's temperament was a reflection of a man destined to do good but who had seen too much evil.
Peridan was slain, along with most of his legion, in a skirmish with the Bloodmaim at Arbiter's Stand. Dain was brought the news in the same sending that begged his return, and he grieves the loss of his closest friend.
Tigen Amastacia: Dain's alliance with Tigen came about unexpectedly as Tigen swore himself to the Warden's protection when Dain gained the mantle. Since then, they've battled several fell foes, with Tigen's unique set of skills often weighing the scales heavily on the side of Wrath. Though Tigen's brashness and willingness to toe the line between right and wrong sometimes put him at odds with Dain, the two usually resolve their differences, and for his own part, Tigen fiercely defends the paladin from assailants physical and otherwise.
Clive Tarsus: The Dread Vampire, the foremost of the Black Hand's clergy. Clive is Dain's foremost opponent and the champion of strife. The two have had a number of titanic clashes, but the paladin's continued growth in power and resolve have seen the Dread Vampire becoming scarcer and scarcer; though vast in strength, Clive is similarly cunning, preferring no fight where his triumph isn't certain.
Kyle Rendell: The self-proclaimed (and quite possibly) greatest swordsman in Sundren, Kyle Rendell and Dain began an unlikely friendship when Dain at first mistook Kyle's bravado for humor. Having more patience for Kyle's unique personality than most, Dain's seen a side of the swordsman few others have, and so the friendship persists. Kyle took it upon himself to train Dain in the arts of swordsmanship. While Dain was instructed by his temple's warriors, Dain relied heavily on Kyle's teachings, and much of Dain's prowess with a blade is directly attributed to Kyle Rendell's hard-taught lessons.
A high-ranked Blackwood mercenary, Kyle works for money and fame, which would sometimes put him in less-than-ideal situations. Recognizing this, Dain spent a fortune on enchanted equipment for Kyle in exchange for an indefinite contract of Kyle's services. Kyle seems to have forgotten this contract, even selling the blade Dain had crafted for him (by the deceased Peridan Durothil) and the scabbard that Dain gave as a token of friendship and trust. Thus ended Dain's friendship with the mercenary; Dain has little patience for the man now, and he treats him with cool indifference.
Lasvi Norreitryn: A "young" sun elf from the Anauroch desert, she is nearly two centuries Dain's senior, yet she once projected the passionate innocence of a barely adult human, and her universal love and charity touched a part of the paladin's heart that had been kept hidden and protected. Her incredible vocal talent ensorceled the paladin, causing a tender affection to bloom between the two.
Her inexperience in romance put Dain at ease, as he thought this would allow him to delve into Lasvi's character without the constraints of expectation or passionate devotion. Priya Sera's sudden return, however, in but a moment convinced him to abandon this pursuit. The sudden change in their relationship soured the elf, and she regards him with a cold distance. Dain deeply regrets the loss of friendship and companionship, but the quick turn of her love to spite showed him that she never felt what he knows to be love for him, and her constant insults, despite the extensive effort he expended toward her nurturing and safety, have done much to widen the rift the dismissal of a possible romance caused. He thinks her yet lost, blindly feeling for a path, and she has taken to what the paladin considers to be rather depressing pursuits, shunning personal contact and tending the silent dead at the mausoleum in Sestra.
Perhaps more depressing are the parallels he draws to their respective states: both lost nearly everything from their youths to the servants of Bane, both have experienced tremendous loneliness because they are seldom understood. However, against Dain's urging, Lasvi has fallen into the service of the Banite Exarch of Sestra, Adeodatus Exitium. After an emotional farewell, Dain now counts the days until Lasvi truly and completely falls from the light, when he will be forced to bring his sword against a woman who had a rare chance to understand him and whom he very nearly loved.
Centurio Emiliana Blackwell: Dain has distantly watched Emiliana's rapid growth from the spritely, impossibly romantic girl that she was when she came to the Sundered Valley into the Iron Fist of the Fourth Legion that she is today; once she had become the latter, Dain even had a brief, torrid romance with the woman when he thought his lover, Priya Sera, had moved on. The two are fiercely competitive and see themselves as champions that ought to be followed, leading to frequent and fierce confrontations between one of the commanders of Sundren's army and the man who sees himself as Sundren's true champion.
Adjudicator Darius Blackwell: Darius Blackwell, called by some the Sword of Torm, is brother to Emiliana Blackwell, and very nearly followed his sister into the ranks of the Legion when he came to the Valley. The calling of his faith won out, and he's since risen to the highest point possible within the Halls of the Triad. Though he is similar to Dain in age, Dain often (erroneously) views him as a younger paladin to be mentored, and he struggles in trying to decide just how much faith and trust he ought to invest in the older Blackwell despite that Darius walks the Triumvirate's floors with equal authority.
Ruby Heartstone: A vampiress of incredible strength and the cruel rage to match, when Ruby was first turned, she became one of Dain's most regular and dangerous foes. Despite the paladin's faith and zeal, the vampiress's raw power often enough forced the paladin to retreat. However, that changed drastically when the paladin allowed her to feed from him to spare a hapless noblewoman the same fate. For unknown reasons, Sebastian, most powerful among the vampires, enacted some sort of ritual over the prone, subdued paladin.
The incantation gave him pain and imbalance for a period of time, but eventually the paladin's conviction and purity won out over the attempted corruption, resulting in an even stronger, more faithful knight of the Just God. Since then, Ruby - and the rest of the notable vampires - has been soundly defeated in every encounter. The vampiress became obsessed with again drinking Dain's blood, resulting in threats and violence against those close to the paladin in an attempt to draw him out. A very brief encounter ending in Ruby's return to her coffin along the breeze seems to have subdued her infatuation, and she was scarcely seen up until Dain left the Valley.
Anasath Zesiro: When Dain sent missive to Waterdeep asking for Lathanderite clergy, they sent missive to Mulhorand, where a young, eager priestess of the Morninglord joyfully accepted the assignment to Sundren.
At first put off by the woman's limitless positivity, Dain grew to appreciate her optimism. Where he only allowed casual banter, he soon developed what might have been an actual friendship with the woman. However, a journey to the abyss to retrieve the soul of a fallen paladin ended in tragedy. The soul was retrieved, but Anasath was claimed by Grazz't, the demon prince. Given a chance to reclaim her, Dain failed, despite his numerous promises to her otherwise. He blamed himself entirely for her loss, and his confidence in himself and the truth of justice was shaken. Three times, Dain braved the abyss to try and retrieve Anasath, and three times he failed.
However, Anasath returned from the abyss, the beneficiary of events Dain still doesn't understand. Her renewal forced him to confront feelings he'd set aside: affection, guilt, and regret, one of which he hasn't completely resolved. However, she has since passed from the world, taking her own life to prevent herself from again falling prey to the demonic possession that once ruined her. Dain hasn't spared the time to truly grieve the loss; he fumbles for words to speak to a tomb that won't speak back when finally addressed.
Adeodatus Exitium: Perhaps 20 or so years of age, Adeodatus Exitium has nonetheless proven a cunning opponent for the paladin. Where once Dain saw only bluster, gaudy armor, and fear mongering, Adeodatus has revealed himself to be an ambitious leader, skilled diplomat, and sinister mouthpiece, having already taken two of Dain's allies under his influence after seizing Sestra in an almost bloodless coup. Time and patience have shown the Banite's quality, and Dain now searches for a weakness in an enemy he did not expect.
Isaac LaCroix: Cousin of Lucius LaCroix, in whose home Dain is a perpetual guest, Isaac LaCroix, of the highly esteemed LaCroix family, is the Myrios of Sundren's Fourth Legion and a feared combatant. Isaac once demanded of Dain a duel to restore his honor after Dain declined to consider him for the vacant Warden position. The duel ended in a draw, both men collapsing from serious wounds in a contest that turned deadly the moment the first blow was landed. Dain learned much of Isaac that day when the Wrath blade bit into the man's flesh with divine eagerness, and he has regarded the nobleman with caution and patient suspicion ever since. Since the encounter, Isaac has been nothing but honorable, respectful, and even friendly on some occasions, but Dain receives the graciousness with cool neutrality, as he wonders what sins are on the man's heart and if he'll ever repent.
Saulus Mursaudus, Harbinger of Wrath: The famed and feared Harbinger of Wrath, ageless executor of Sundren's fury, chose Dain among a throng of would-be heroes to be the champion of Wrath. The man's deeds are legendary, his stature imposing, but he always greets Dain with warmth and familiarity. The man has a darker side, Dain knows, and on the occasions Dain has disobeyed the Harbinger's directives to forsake his own morality for an easier means to an end, Saulus has let him know in very certain terms the painful death that awaits traitors. Promises of death from such a illustrious figure would give most pause, but Dain is a paladin, incapable of fear and stalwart in his convictions. Dain views the man as something of an enigma, a powerful ally on the right side of justice but whose pursuit of wrath and vengeance against the state's enemies needs tempering, and Dain thinks himself the only man fit for that task.
Wrath Eternal: The powerful sword given to Dain by the Harbinger of Wrath, Saulus Mursaudus. It is a Holy Avenger in the truest sense, a mighty weapon that guides its wielder with wrath. It contains several latent abilities that Dain hasn't yet been able to command at his own will, and it conspicuously lacks a pommel.