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Name: Karel Truesilver, Commander of the Order of the Griffin (HM, 11th lvl Paladin-Divinate-kit)

Submission by: Scott Paffenroth

Abilities:
Stats: Str 18/75, Int 15, Wis 15, Dex 15, Con 17, Cha 17
Alignment: LG
Magic Items: +4 Defender, Armor of Command, Helm of Valor, +4 Shield of the Griffin.
Spell Spheres: Combat, Divination, Healing, Protection, Guardian
Notable Proficiencies: Longsword, Lance, Battle Axe, Dagger, Horseman's flail, Footman's Mace, Horseman's Mace, Artistic Ability, Blind Fighting, Dancing, Etiquette, Heraldry, Modern Languages, Oratory, Reading/Writing, Religion, Riding-Landbased, Riding-Airborne (Griffin)
Divinate Kit:
Devoutly religious, Divinate's serve as the military branch of the church and consider themselves soldiers of their god. Their religious discipline imbues them with a clear sense of purpose; promoting the principles of their faith is not only morally correct but a sacred duty.
Special Benefits:
In addition to Combat, Divination, Healing and Protection Spheres the Divinate may choose an extra spell sphere from . . . Charm, Guardian or Sun.
If he/she builds a stronghold, it must be a monastery or other religious edifice. Church Elders may actually sanction this building and help provide contributions. The Divinate must still provide for half. Typically this sanction is not granted until 12th level (It can be earlier with special reasons.)
Special Hindrances:
Extra tithing . . . either 20% or a standard monthly minimum (1-10 GP)
Meditation . . . The Divinate must meditate for an hour each day to cleanse the spirit, if they do not meditate they cannot cast spells the following day.

History:

Karel Truesilver is the fourth son of a minor noble from Waterdeep. The name Truesilver is more an honorarium than an actual landed title. As a young man, Karel learned he would receive little wealth from his father. He is the youngest of four sons, his brothers will head the family and receive their due whilst he would be given the smallest of stipends. Instead of becoming bitter, Karel turned to prayer. It was during a visit to the temple of Mystra that his prayers were answered.

Karel had been searching for inspiration when the Mistress of the Weave responded to his plea. A sapphire blue nimbus of light sprang from Karel when a man in shining plate armor approached. The man introduced himself as Sir Darren Bedron of the Order of Mystic Fire. He explained, to be called as a holy warrior in the service of Lady Magic is an honor. He further discussed the Order and its basis. Some of which are to strive each day to uphold the tenets of the faith, and protect the Church from those who spread evil and chaos across the land. Those who practice the art are brothers and sisters of the Order and must be protected as they wield the divine gift of Lady Mystra. Any who abuse the gift, and use it against innocents feel the wrath of the Order.

Karel found contentment with the church and order as they fit his ideals. After training diligently with the Divinate's for three years, learning the Mystran faith and his position within the hierarchy, Karel enlisted in the Waterdhavian guard. Karel's superior's knew serving in the guard would provide Karel the opportunity to develop discipline and the skills necessary to serve the Order in the future.

With his connection to the Order of Mystic Fire and his noble blood, Karel was granted a commission in the Waterdhavian guard. He began his career as Junior Officer and was given the opportunity to command troops. Over the next 10 years, Karel took every available opportunity to increase his skills and education and eventually rose to the rank of Captain.

In his tenth year as a guardsman, Karel's enlistment was up for review. At this time he received the Order's next assignment. He was to join an adventuring group known as the Wardens. The Order of Mystic Fire was interested in one of the members, an Arcanist of the church of Mystra, named Sharelle Brightstar. At the age of 24, he was excited by the prospect of seeing more than just people from different parts of the world, this would be his chance to see the world. Until this point Karel's whole life revolved around the guard and the Order.

Karel traveled with the Wardens for about 10 years before retiring from adventuring. In that time he became acquainted with many powerful friends and foes. One of Karel's greatest moments was administering the slaying blow to a mature red dragon. Karel took just one item from the hoard, a suit of Armor of Command. It was this same armor that later served him in his life as a field commander. It had always been his way to take little more than he needed and give the rest to the church.

During the 10 years he was with the Wardens, Karel participated in titanic struggles with numerous foes. He gained his defender in a massive battle against an archmage and his henchmen near the city of Everlund. He was gifted with an Elven Helm of Valor by the baelnorn, Carylynth Korianthil in the City of Song, Myth Drannor. Karel prevented a pit fiend from destroying the histories of House Korianthil by holding it at bay while Sharelle, the Wardens and Carylynth destroyed it.

During the Time of Troubles Karel witnessed the damage the Gods' presence caused. He was present, in Waterdeep, during Myrkul's summoning of the denizens of the Underworld. Karel defended as many people as possible during the crisis. He was surprised Midnight rose to Godhood, but thankful to have her stand against Cyric.

Karel's decision to retire from adventuring was simple, he originally started adventuring to see the world and find his place in it. Witnessing the ascension of two gods and seeing the Overgod was enough. No memory of his will ever shine as bright or as dark as that day.

It was his intent to use the funds he had acquired adventuring to begin a training ground for other soldiers of Mystra in Silverymoon. He believed the time to rebuild the world was at hand. His calling as a Knight of Mystra grew stronger and he felt it was time to train new Knights based on the same principles he represented. Karel Truesilver knew one day he would be called on to expand the worship of Mystra, and to protect the knowledge and priests of the faith; when that day came he would be ready.

Following the year the Gods walked Toril, Sharelle's followers grew in numbers and among them were trainable soldiers. Karel organized a new order in Silverymoon in 1363 DR. The order began as a military unit composed of highly disciplined heavy cavalry (fighters, rangers, cavaliers, and paladins). Karel banded them together under his leadership and Sharelle's colors to become the knightly Order of the Griffin, Mystran knights. Karel knew he would need to train his troops in all situations. Therefore, he volunteered his men to guard caravans for the Towers of Balance and bring raiders to justice. He created a force of elite soldiers who are highly trained in magical and martial combat.

The Towers of Balance helped Karel financially and faithfully. In years past when members of the Wardens had taken their share of treasure, Karel had given his earnings to the Mystran church and they now gave back to him. During his first three years, the Towers sponsored his troops, giving them room and board and instructing each in etiquette and reading/writing.

It was during these early years that Karel met Draylin. Draylin was a young lad who lacked the patience to become a priest but had the strength of character to keep trying. Karel took him under his wing and taught him to harness his rage and use his skills to better himself and those around him. The raging behavior which set Draylin apart from the priests worked in his favor as he learned to channel it into becoming a Knight. Karel helped mold Draylin's bitterness into the cool thoughtfulness of maturity.

During the last few years the order was in Silverymoon, it received its first Holy Warrior. During a patrol, Karel met Stefan at the Darganz farm while stopping for water and feed. When Karel returned to Silverymoon, he approached Sharelle concerning a candidate for the Holy Order of Mystran Knights. Within three months, Karel returned to the Darganz farm with an invitation for Stefan to come to Silverymoon for testing as a Paladin in the service of Mystra. Excitement invigorated the Order as a major step in creating Karel's vision had begun.

Karel's decision to bring the Order to Arylon was simple. The Order of Mystic Fire needed him to accompany Sharelle and protect members of the church. He was also told to build a permanent garrison and increase the size of his Order. He was given church sanctions and funding for the development of his Order. This was in combination with the sanctions Sharelle received from the Church of Mystra to expand the current shrine in Arylon.

In 1366 DR, Karel and Sharelle went before the Arylon City Council with Edain Bradley, a retired Silver Crescent, to request a charter for the Order of the Griffin. Karel was informed, by Edain, about the magical deviations of the Fields of the Dead and about a more immediate concern, the appearance of planars and gates in and around Arylon. Karel and Sharelle agreed to take on the responsibility of watching the city's ever increasing number of gate travelers, as well as eliminate the wild and dead magic areas in the Fields.

Karel is 6'5", weighing upwards of 250 pounds of muscled sinew, close cropped black hair, just starting to gray at the temples, and steel gray eyes. He is 45 years old and his clean shaven appearance and rigid posture makes an imposing impression. He prefers to dress casually when around his troops, wearing browns and grays. However, he knows he is the representative of the Order of the Griffin when in public, and wears a crisp uniform of nightshade purple with blue trim, and impeccably shined black boots. On the battlefield, he inspires awe in his gleaming suit of full plate armor tinted cerulean blue, elven helm and shield of the Griffin.

Karel is a large man but leads not with a gauntleted fist but by example. Every day he can be found on the drill field practicing his weapon's work, and each day he chooses a sparring partner. Many of the soldiers feel honored to be his chosen partner for the day. Karel would never ask another man to do anything he himself would not do. Unlike many commanders in battle, he leads his soldiers from the front lines. He is their shining example and inspiration. A standard formation for his troops is a flying wedge, soldiers in formation two to three deep, flaring to each side of him. All wheels and counters are completed to each side of him, and he is the cotter pin holding them together.

Karel has been a father figure to many of his soldiers, taking the time to be thoughtful and compassionate. He has taken in some unusual men, with personality quirks or pasts. He tries to look beyond their past and expects them to use their present situation to improve their future. He knows he must keep discipline and has had to make an example of Sergeant Worock from time to time.

Karel spends so much time helping his troops that he rarely has any time for himself. When he does, he works on his favorite hobby, painting. Karel has painted murals in the barracks. He loses himself in creation of an image in his mind's eye. He has practiced painting for about 15 years. His next major project is to create a likeness of Sharelle, Gallene, Faellien and himself as the elders of the Church and Order.

Taking on the responsibility of watching the city's ever increasing number of planar travelers has given the Order a very important purpose. Knightly Orders are generally open amongst their own. However, Karel is a pragmatic leader and hired a man (?) known only as the Ebony Knight. The Ebony Knight is used to gather information about the gates and their travelers. Karel knows in the best interest of the city and the order, little should be known of their watcher except for the detailed reports he presents to Karel, Sharelle and Edain.

Karel has attained a majority of his dream of creating the Order of the Griffin and will continue to lead as long as he is physically able. He knows one day he will hand over command to Draylin and when that day arrives he will retire knowing the order will be in good hands. On that day, Karel will give up the position as the Defender of the Order and the Shield of the Griffin will be passed to Draylin.

Magic Item, Shield of the Griffin:

The Shield is a +4 Kite shield with the additional powers of summoning and communicating with Frithnath and his family of griffins. Once per day, the shield has the power to cast Charm Monster, only versus griffins, save at -4. The Shield is the symbol of the Commander of the Order of the Griffin.

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