"Name and Occupation please." - Thak, working as a bouncer in Gottsbruck
Thak Dragonsbane (also known as Thak Icebane) was a Half-Orc Barbarian, and a player character in the Shadows Over Elderain campaign, played by Josh. He would go on to become King-Commander of a newly forged Dragonsbane Tribe, a highly powerful tribe following the deity Pellor that operated as a peace-keeping force in the North.
- 1 Early Life
- 2 Life after the Tribe
- 3 The Shadows Over Elderain
- 4 Thirty Years of Leadership
- 5 The Fall of Elderain
The only son Rogar Icebane, the leader of an Orcish Stronghold in the Northern Wastes, aka the 'Icebane' tribe, Thak Icebane was born with the weight of expectation on his shoulders. Home life was cruel, with his mother having passed away during Thak's birth, his father resented him and found any excuse for punishment. Despite, or perhaps because of this, Thak learnt at a young age how to track, hunt and fight. However, at the age of 15 the confines of the stronghold became too frustrating to bear. Thak abandoned the stronghold and left to the cities, much to his father's chagrin.
Life after the Tribe
After leaving the tribe, Thak spent the next several years roaming around city to city finding work. Very quickly Thak became involved in the criminal underworld as he found a way to 'earn' a living. Finding a natural talent as an enforcer thanks to his natural half-orc size and strength, Thak often worked with local thieves guilds or on occasion worked freelance for various corrupt nobles and men of importance. Preferring to use of brute force to sneaking and thievery, Thak's work during this time mainly involved extortion, assault and on rare occasions even working as a hitman.
Horace: An Unexpected Friend
During his time in one city, Thak came across a modest elderly halfling named Horace Bimbledy when Thak's usual work, and therefore funds, had briefly dried up. Horace offered Thak residence in his home, where he lived alone, in exchange for doing small tasks around the house such as gardening, maintenance or shopping. Horace worked as a very talented alchemist and he even tried to teach some of his knowledge to Thak, these efforts however proved fruitless as Thak didn't quite have the mind for it, not even being able to read the title of recipe books, nevermind their contents. However, during his time with Horace, Thak learnt the kinder and more comfortable side of life, making him more aware of morality, consequence and ultimately making him highly averse to harming innocents.
Flight of the Barbarian
Despite Thak's time with Horace, he still found himself working often with the local thieves guild, until one fateful day forced him out of it. A powerful member of the local guild, a half-elf named Transil Vekkarien, sent Thak on a mission to kill a supposedly corrupt salesman named Samuel Tarry. The mission however was a decoy, a decoy that allowed Transil to take Thak, certainly the most physically dangerous man in the guild, out of the picture temporarily while Transil executed a plot to kill and deposed the current leader of the guild. Not realising what had happened until it was too late, Thak mortally wounded the humble, innocent salesman before finding out about the subterfuge and deception. Thak became overcome with rage and a whole new emotion: guilt. With not long to act, Thak rushed Samuel to Horace, hoping the old alchemist would be able to save the man from an otherwise certain death. Fortunately, Horace was able to stabilise Samuel, however before he could give Thak wise counsel, Thak had already rushed off towards the guild headquarters, tasting blood. At the headquarters Thak managed to slay several corrupted members of the new regime and brutally injure many more, however managed to find a shred of sense and flee before he ended up dead himself.
Now an enemy of the guild and the city, Thak fled to the wilds, ensuring to eliminate any evidence of his connections with Horace, hoping no harm would ever come to the gentle soul Thak saw as his mentor and surrogate father.
Spending almost a year in the harsh wilds, Thak was tracked down discreetly and by unknown means by the Grey Remnant and delivered a letter offering him new work. Itching to find a direction in life, Thak packed his things and headed for the Whistleway Tavern, ready to stop a rumoured Drow insurgence.
The Shadows Over Elderain
Thak found his way to the Whistleway tavern, being told in his letter to meet a dwarvern fellow named Angor Frostwell. At the tavern, Thak saw no such dwarf and so proceed to the bar, where he met a fellow patron, another half-orc named Barym, a local miner. Barym told Thak he had not seen a dwarf, whilst also indicating he had a dislike of the race. Sometime around then Angor arrived. Thak met him and the others gathered for this mission, Elarus, Niriley and Viridia and spoke briefly before thinking it would be a fun idea to introduce Angor to Barym, who Thak said was his cousin, 'Doran'. Since Barym had no knowledge of this, a very short brawl ensued, with Niriley blasting Barym in the face with acid, Viridia stabbing him with a spear, and Thak eventually knocking him unconscious with a quarterstaff. Niriley rather sheepishly healed the unconscious half-orc from the acid damage he had taken.
After paying a very disgruntled barkeep for their rooms, Thak dragged the unconscious Barym up to his room, where he proceeded to "Interrogate" him, which largely involved two not-very-smart half-orcs trying to work out what each other wanted. After some persuading, Thak managed to not only win Barym over, but also recruit him to the party despite Barym having a heavily pregnant wife, sometime shortly after he was given the new name Barym-Doran by Thak. The party set off the following morning, with a quest to kill the King of Elderain and prevent the drow's conquest.
The Early Adventures
In the early days of the party, Thak formed a fast friendship with the other members, finding himself suddenly surrounded by other misfits all working together towards a common goal. During their initial travels in the Ghostwood the party discovered an abandoned abbey, inside which they battled resurrected corpses and, after Thak and Elarus ran out screaming carrying a chest each, Thak acquired himself Boots of the Winterlands. The party continued through the woods, saving a diseased wolf and naming it Chowder, the wolf follwed them for a short while before it returned to the wild to find it's pack when they reached the forest's edge. It is unknown what happened to Chowder, though he is likely dead now.
Sometime around here Thak found and first wore a Holy Symbol of Pelor, a deity that would shape Thak, and indeed the rest of his compatriots, future for the better.
Thak met Aura Glaive while on a mission to rescue an Owlbear from a drow forward party. However at the time she was using a hidden identity of Mirielle. As they travelled together the pair learnt each other spoke in thieves cant, a language commonly used in the underworld for discretion, and from then on would use it to communicate when the occasion called for it. Around this time Thak became highly confused by the similar nature of the nickname of three of the party members; Viri, Niri and Miri.
Thak also helped out the Crown Prince Vilgon and Niriley in the fight against the mislead werewolves in the Lost Light valley, ultimately seeing Niri's good friend Janta become the pack Alpha. During this time Barym-Doran was injured in the battle of Lost-light and forced to stay in Yarbugh to heal while Thak moved on to Cair Vanta. Around this time the mysterious monk Zhang joined the group.
Thak participated in the Melee of the Vanta Tournament going on when the party arrived in the city. He won the melee and acquired the Sword of Champions, a longsword he quickly grew a great affinity for.
Letting the Past Die
While in Vanta Thak and the party investigated the local thieves guild after Angor was attacked by a group of thugs in the street. During this time Thak learnt that his old foe, Transil Vekkarien was in the city enquiring about Horace Bimbledy, who was also in the area. At the thieves guild Thak found out more information that allowed them to find Horace before Vekkarien. Horace told Thak and the others how after Thak left the city, Transil was disgraced and cast out of Thak's old guild for hiding while Thak marauded through other guild members in his rage, and since then Transil dedicated himself to finding and taking revenge on Thak, funded by a significant sum of guild funds. He found Thak's connections to Horace and Samuel Tarry and tracked the pair down, kidnapping Sam and taking him back to his heavily trapped and guarded residence in Vanta.
The party took advantage of Niri and Aura's previous meeting with Transil, where they had been tasked with assassinating Thak, Transil of course not realising their affiliation. As such, the party lured Transil out of his home by taking Thak, who was feigning death, on a cart to Transil's doorstep. The plan worked to a charm, and quite fortunately too, as Transil's residence was covered in all manner of traps and incantations. However, as Trasil came out the house to identify Thak's body and give a reward, it was revealed that one of his close bodyguards was none other than Rogar Icebane, Thak's own father. Upon learning this, Thak leapt furiously from the cart and assaulted his father, starting the difficult fight.
During the battle Transil disappeared for a short time before reappearing to stab Thak in the back. Fortunately, Zhang kept Rogar down, Viri and Aura fought another bodyguard, allowing Thak and Niri to fight Transil. Despite cries to keep his father alive, Zhang dealt a lethal blow to Rogar that should have killed him, however his half-orc resilience kept him alive, before Zhang hit him again to kill him properly. Aura also dealt a lethal blow to the other bodyguard, who was revealed to be an enslaved Samuel Tarry, disguised by illusion, fortunately Viri was able to administer quick aid and prevent his death. Thak finally dealt the finishing blow to Transil. This and his father's death finally put his past evils behind him and could fully shift his focus onto doing good.
The Barbarian's New Clothes?
The party had found their chance to kill the King of Elderain. They had been heavily expedited by a message from Yarburgh that the drow were marching, as well as the death of one of their close associates in the city, Lord Vassiel, assassinated by a shadowy figure named Glint, who had also arranged the unsuccessful hit on Angor. The party were to enter a ball at the place of Cair Vanta, having acquired invitations from the now dead Lord Vassiel and his daughter Lyra and there they were to do the deed. However, the prospect of a ball terrified Thak for one sole reason: clothes. Thak had to this point refrained from wearing any type of clothing or armour apart from a meagre pair of pants, which even those he wore begrudgingly. So Thak made it his mission to find his way in without needing a fancy frock, instead being able to wear his usual attire.
Thak first went to visit the palace, hoping to sneak in as a guard to avoid wearing something fancy to the ball; this was, unfortunately, unsuccessful. So great was his consternation at this concerning prospect, however, that he sought out the second most powerful man in the city, the Arch-Deacon of the cathedral, and told him a complete lie about his father's dying wish to be for him to attend this ball but that poor Thak was allergic to cloth. The Arch Deacon, taking sympathy on Thak, agreed to speak to the palace and allow him to enter without wearing a suit.
The final hurdle for Thak however came upon entry to the ball, the guards allowed him through, however he was accosted by the royal clothier, Klaus, who offered a silk doublet and trousers. Thak however, managed to convince Klaus that he was allergic to not only cloth, but also silk, velvet, ermine, and lace... and somehow managed to get a drink out of him, too. Truly Thak was a master wordsmith - ironically a word he likely could neither spell nor say.
To Kill a King...
The party had two objectives at the ball, to kill the King and to acquire the Star of Elderain. Thak was mainly involved in the second. After pretending to apply to be a kitchen server to the King himself, Thak familiarised himself with the dungeons, rescued a dwarf named Urgok Firebrand and eventually he, Zhang and Niri acquired the Star from a lone guard.
Meanwhile, up the tower of the palace, Aura, Viri and Angor were in the process of killing the King. With one swift critical blow, Aura dealt a disastrous amount of damage to the King with poison acquired from the thieves guild, killing him instantly. It was then however that Angor revealed himself to be a drow, orchestrating a plot with the fiendish Count Vladoc and after a brief skirmish fled the palace. Aura and Viri did so too, meeting the others and Lyra outside the palace grounds.
Before leaving the city they visited Horace's house, only to be greeted by a devastating sight. Horace lay dying on the floor and Lady Mirielle, a noblewoman Aura swore to defend that had only recently been found and hidden safely at Horace's, was gone. Thak and Niri extremely fortunately managed to safe Horace's life but could only do so by preserving him in a comatose state.
Bundling Horace and Sam Tarry, who had been out getting supplies for Horace at the time of the attack, into Lyra's carriage and getting in themselves, the party embarked on a journey to Gottsbruck, where they hoped to find a way to respond to the crisis.
Before the End...
Wile in Gottsbruck, Thak developed a rather fervent desire to find and use narcotics. It is unknown whether or not this came to be as a coping mechanism for the disaster and chaos all around him, or if it perhaps was a gentle reminder of one of his last nights with Horace in Cair Vanta, where the pair, amongst other in the party had smoked a lot of herb and had a great time.
The party met with a dwarf named Rigby, who both told them of how the Star of Elderain could be used against the drow, and also directed the party to the temple district to try to save Horace and awake him from his coma. It was here the party rather fatefully came across a Temple of Pelor, whose clerics told them that Horace could be saved, but it require holy water found in the northern mountain passes. The party decided it would be worth the effort and planned to set off soon.
Around this time Thak learnt that Yarburgh had been attacked, thanks to information to Niri's guardian spirit Naru. The fate of Barym-Doran was unknown but it was known that Janta, the new leader of the werewolves had escaped with some other survivors.
Thak acquired a horse for the journey North, which he affectionately named Dobby. However soon into the trip, Dobby was squished by a rock thrown by an awoken Rock Giant, narrowly missing crushing Thak too.
Thanks to the druids of the party's ability to wild shape into birds, they were able to acquire the holy water promptly, also recognising the barren northern ice sheets they would have to cross in order to defeat Count Vladoc.
Forging a New Tribe
Whilst hunting for the holy water in the north, the party reconvened with Elarus, who was accompanied by Astrelas Windlen and Curuin, Viridia's father. They learnt of an army led by a dragon rider marching towards the small town of Delanor and set off north, Thak acquiring a new horse who he uninventively named 'Dobby 2'.
Whilst heading north the party happened to come across the nomadic remnants of the Icebane clan. The tribe had been significantly weakened by wars with human neighbours and now only stood at 9 members, led by and elderly wise woman, Dalenka. Thak pushed his claim and challenged Dalenka for leadership of the tribe, defeating her champion in a incredibly fierce single combat. With his new found leadership, he converted the tribe to be followers of Pelor, took the only two able-bodied warriors on the trip to Delanor and adopted the title 'King-Commander', the first known recorded use of such a title.
At Delanor the party fought Duke Attoir's Black Dragon, Tharos, in a bloody and fateful conflict. One of Thak's new orc companions, Thirsk, was melted by acid as well as Astrelas, who was killed whilst manning a nearby catapult. Curuin revealed his true form, that of a bronze dragon known as Xhu Luin to bring back Tharos to the ground. After many attempts to get on Tharos' back, Thak finally delivered the killing blow to Tharos, slicing open it's soft underbelly with his new Urgosh weapon. After the fight Thak renamed himself, and by extension his new tribe, 'Dragonsbane'.
They see me Bouncing...
After the battle with the black dragon Tharos, the party and the remnants of the now Dragonsbane tribe returned to Gottsbruck, where they met a retreating Prince Vilgon once more. The Prince gave them a new task; to kill the wicked mage Atramedes, a task which would allow the Prince's armies to travel north past the great glacier to Ashbury and do battle with Count Vladoc's forces.
The following day Thak found out about another ball the party wished to attend, of Lady Frances of Deionn. Again fully intent on not being made to wear conventional fancy clothing, Thak persuaded and politicised his way into taking over the security duty for the party, using other orcs and half-orcs from his tribe. Around this time Thak also had the clerics from the temple of Pelor teach the tribe (and secretly himself) the ways of Pelor, comissioning a holy bow from Rigby afterwards in order to match the stories of Pelor.
The ball was a disaster, Thak did a poor job on the door, being unable to read the guest list or write the names of new arrivals, he instead rather arbitrarily allowed or disallowed entry to people due to their personality or bribes. The leader of the local merchant guild arrived at some point by boat, Lady Alinara. After some time into the ball, Martha, a dwarf who the group had once drank with, was found murdered. Moving with haste, Thak left the tribe members to protect and see people out whilst he and the rest of the group followed the traces of the attacker into the Gottsbruck underground tunnels.
In the underground the party found a lair and subsequently a gate through to the realm of Romar in Bhaaldor, a layer of the seven hells. Realising they were not well equipped to enter such a demesne, the part instead investigated other nobles of the city before heading back to Lady Frances' manor.
The scene was horrific, dead bodies covered the floor, including most of the tribe-members Thak used as security. One was left alive, Drum, who told how many of the nobles at the party committed the murders in some sort of ritual.
A Knight in Shining Armour
Returning to the gate and entering Bhaaldor, the party made their way to Romar's holding. Here they met a rather courteous Romar, who revealed the many deaths he was responsible for were sacrifices that would allow him to reach the height of his ambition; to become a god. Despite offering to fulfil the wishes of the party - even to kill Count Vladoc - in exchange for their eternal devotion and servitude, a fight ensued.
The fight was the toughest faced yet, almost costing Thak and others their lives. However the tide turned as Elarus cast enlarge on Thak, making him meet the 12 foot height of Romar, whilst also triggering a wild magical surge that had a bizarre but fantastic effect. For a white shining portal opened and bursting from it, riding a mythical uniform, came Barym-Doran, now a Paladin of Pelor. Together, they all managed to defeat Romar and as a prize in the aftermath, Thak took Romar's flaming greatsword for himself.
Barym-Doran revealed how he had been transported into the Feywild in the chaos in Lost Light valley, in which his steed, Jenny, drank from a magical pool, turning into a unicorn. He also embarked on a journey to recover a magical shield, which very nearly cost him his life, before Pelor himself intercepted fate and saved Barym-Doran, telling him his journey was not yet done.
Into the Feywild
After discovering that Atramedes tower may well be hidden in the Feywild, the party travelled there through the use of a Fey-gate that Viridia's circle knew of.
During their adventures in the Feywild the party came to help members of the House of Glaive, Aura's adopted family. They were escorted to the Anduin Glaive, Aura's adoptive father, who was living in a floating castle. While here, Thak requisitioned a crown to be made that would consolidate his title of King-Commander, the crown was made of mithril, crystals, a sword and his holy symbol of Pelor. This crown went on to be known as the Crown of Pelor.
After enduring trial and tribulations in Atramedes' tower, they eventually fought and defeated him and a pet Beholder in ever changing illusory landscapes. After the defeat of Atramedes, the tower and House of Glaive shifted into the real world and the party acquired a mysterious orb.
They found out from Anduin that to orb was a pocket dimension and inside they found Gloria, Barym-Doran's wife, who held her and Barym-Doran's newborn child in her arms. Barym-Doran named the child Thak Jr in honour of his companion and Thak named him his heir and swore to protect him.
A Battle to End All Battles
With the glacier gone, the party met with the Prince and his armies. Here they made their preparations before the battle. Thak involved himself somewhat in planning the tactics of the battle, proving to have a rather apt mind for warfare, despite not for anything else. It was decided however that whilst the battle raged, the party would sneak into Ashbury via a labyrinth known as Dead Windings.
After navigating the labyrinth as the battle began, the party found their way into the castle. In the dungeon they found Percy Groone, a noble that had kidnapped Lady Mirielle previously, who begged for a quick death. Despite Aura leaving him to suffer, Thak granted his request and killed him.
After fighting their way through the courtyard the party met Angor, who was to hold them off while Count Vladoc made preparations. After a brief fight and Angor disappearing using an invisibility potion, he attacked Thak as he scaled the tower. Despite this, Thak, aided by Barym-Doran, overpowered Angor and the pair of them took his pendant of disguise and flung his true drow form off of the balcony, skewering him on a spire of the lower roofs.
Across a bridge to the observatory tower, Thak almost lost his life as Count Vladoc flung him off. However, Barym-Doran and his flying unicorn steed, Jenny, grabbed him by the hand and charged Count Vladoc, skewering him through the heart and pinning him to the wall.
In furious vengeance, Vladoc's whirling chain weapons knocked Barym-Doran unconscious and sliced Thak numerous times across the chest, eventually striking his heart, killing him outright. As Zhang slay Vladoc and the druids adjusted the Count Vladoc's machine, now housing the Star of Elderain, Thak's Crown of Pelor began to glow and miraculously, Thak opened his eyes and breathed.
As the light of Elderain shone, Count Vladoc's armies were routed and the day was won. In the aftermath, the Prince, now King, Vilgon offered Thal lands and a title, but he chose to refuse them, instead venturing off into the wilderness with his Dragonsbane tribe - taking with him Jenna, Horace, Berym-Doran and Sam Tarry. In time the tribe would grow humongous and be a force of peace, shining the light of Pelor to even the bleakest of places.
So ends the tale of the War of Shadows. And yet, the main party - Thak, Niri, Viri, Aura, Zhang, and Elarus - was still to meet again, in a different time and place...
Thirty Years of Leadership
In the days since The Elderain War, Thak Dragonsbane became the leader of one of the most famous tribes in the world. Operating particularly in the Northern Wastes, the Dragonsbane Tribe spent their time acting as peace brokers in cities of high unrest or even between warring nations. Over time the Drangonsbane tribe grew and grew, even cultivating a significantly sized permanent settlement, Narod Kaht, at the northern border of Elderain. Functioning as the capital of Thak's ever growing tribe, it has also been declared a holy site for the followers of Pellor, with many followers around the world undertaking pilgrimages there.
Thak surrounded himself with a good council and always had his faithful Holy Warrior, Barym Doran as his right hand man. As well as this, Thak officially nominated Barym Doran's child, Thak Jr, as his heir. Spending a lot of time training the child both in combat and teaching him Thak's vast knowledge of the world, Thak formed a very close bond with him.
Despite the training and tutoring, as Thak Jr grew to be a man he became impetuous and careless - so when he turned 20, Thak and Barym-Doran agreed to send him adventuring alongside a dwarf and halfling to hopefully knock some sense into him. Before his return to Narod Kaht however, Thak and Barym-Doran returned to Elderain after many pilgrims were attacked on the roads and they heard rumours of a crystal plague in the Glimmerwood.
The Fall of Elderain
At the Glimmerwood a portal had been opened and Niriley had re-summoned her allies from the War of Shadows to help close it.
After failing to close the portal by trying to lure a stone giant into it, an island sized black dragon came through with an unknown rider on it's back, sending horrible purple crystals all over the land.
Heading to Cair Vanta to speak to King Vilgon, Thak noticed the waters of the nearby lake were suspiciously hot and heard rumours of a very recent, and very sudden tsunami. Thak pieced together the clues in his head and realised the great dragon may be hiding inside the lake, however struggled to to communicate this to his other party members effectively, who still remembered his ridiculous schemes and... lack of intelligence. This proved to be very unfortunate, as when King Vilgon gathered the people of Cair Vanta to the palace to send of the heroes on their journey the dragon emerged from the lake, killing a tenth of the populous, along with the royal family, in one swift blow. The party fought the dragon briefly before it set off for the House of the Golden Dragon.
At the House of the Golden Dragon, Thak and the others battled the black dragon and, upon the dragon's back, Thak saw that the rider was Thak Jr - under the influence of the Faceless Man. Elarus opened up a portal to the celestial plane in an attempt to counteract the dark energy, only to find it had been destroyed, as negative energy seeped into the world and dealt great damage to many people. As Thak confronted his companion's son and his chosen heir, the battle raged on and lives were lost. The dragon Curuin and two of Zhang's disciples were lost, along with the great dragon itself however. In a last ditch effort, Thak grappled Thak Jr and threw himself off of the dragon, taking Thak Jr with him, hoping to sacrifice himself to stop the chaos. However, Thak Jr opened up a portal as the ground rushed to meet them and the pair plummeted through it.
The entire surviving party followed into the portal to continue their fight on the other side of it. It is still not known to this day what happened on the other side.