Wrath of the Righteous
Haggard and beleaguered, Aron Kir has the look of a man haunted by his own weaknesses and worn down by the loss of too many friends.
Aron Kir grew up on the streets of Cassomir, working as a burglar in Dog’s Teeth after his parents were thrown in prison for life on charges of treason (rightfully prosecuted, Aron is always quick to say). After establishing a solid reputation for disarming traps and locks, he joined a local gang as a more lucrative approach to a life of crime. Success came easily in those days, and he was rewarded handsomely for his contributions. Flush with coin, he soon became a frequent visitor to the brothels and pesh dens along the waterfront, indulging in all manner of decadent behaviors and addictions. This led to a gradual erosion of his abilities and a slip-up on a high-profile job that landed him in prison. Eventually, the Taldan magistrates sentenced him to a 3-year tour in the Worldwound as part of the Condemned—a military unit of low-risk criminals conscripted as disposable soldiers and frontline fodder in the Mendevian Crusades.
This life-changing event provided Aron with much needed structure and discipline, enabling him to survive and even serve with distinction. He also found religion in the war-torn north. Rather than a specific faith, he chose to honor all of the goodly deities, hoping they’d watch over him as he served penance while fighting back demons on their behalf. At the conclusion of his tour, Aron volunteered to stay on, and was reassigned from the Condemned to a larger force of trained crusaders. Unfortunately, this landed him with a band of mercenaries known as the Kenabres Wolves. These were mostly men and women of low character, many of whom had lost themselves to even harder drugs than Aron was accustomed to—drugs such as demon blood and shadowblood. It wasn’t long until Aron was mired in an addiction that challenged his fragile new faith.
Once again, Aron’s addictions led to inattention on the battlefield and the death of several friends. He felt directly responsible for their fate and entered a deep depression as he fought through withdrawal. In desperation, he sought the aid of the church of Shelyn in Kenabres. There he met Sosiel Vaenic, a priest of Shelyn who eventually became far more than a friend. Sosiel has provided Aron with much needed ballast and support in his life. With the cleric’s assistance, Aron broke through his addiction again and started contributing to the crusaders in Kenabres. Despite a few relapses, his ability with traps came to the attention of the dwarven engineers constructing defenses all along the Worldwound border. They soon put him to work, sharing stories and details about their own trap designs and fortifications dating as far back as Citadel Drezen and the First Mendevian Crusade. Aron readily absorbed this information and became one of their best students, distinguishing himself yet again.
A few weeks before the fall of Kenabres, Aron accepted a temporary post at Clydwell Keep, where he was to aid a team of engineers sent to overhaul and maintain the traps and defenses of the aging fortress. He’d barely started his work there when the explosion of Kenabres’s wardstone threw his world into chaos. He almost abandoned his post to rush back to the city to find his lover, but he knew Sosiel would never approve of him abandoning his current charge. And so, against his urges, Aron remained at Clydwell Keep and aided in the castle’s defense against numerous demonic assaults. The last of these was the worst—a pair of enormous ulkreths and a small army of lesser demons attacked the castle and destroyed several of the outer walls. The defenders were looking death in the eye when the PCs finished their task and unleashed the full final fury of the wardstones. The blast of holy fire slew the demons and saved everyone in the keep. Aron helped ensure the place was secure, then returned to Kenabres as soon as he could, eventually reuniting with Sosiel a harrowing few hours after finding the church of Shelyn in ruins.
With Sosiel’s assistance, Aron continues to do his best to look and act the part of the dutiful crusader so can he keep his drug-addled past behind him. Even so, he constantly struggles with his inner demons, sometimes turning morose and introspective as old cravings hit him. During these times, he often busies himself by meticulously caring for his weapons and armor, all in an effort to keep his hands from shaking when the shadowblood calls to him. When traveling, he shares a small tent with Sosiel, as he depends on the priest to help him through his worst episodes in the darkest parts of the long nights.