Name: Phalen Worock First Sergeant of the Order of the Griffin (hm CG B3/F7)
Submission by: Scott Paffenroth
Age 27, 7'4", 400 pounds, fiery red hair, long droopy mustache, and sea green eyes. A mountain of a man, the only man who doesn't need to look up to Karel. Rambunctious and lively, this jovial giant's appearance is more that of a ship captain, bellowing orders to be heard above the din, than the knight he is. He tends to wear vivid colors of a bright yellow or crimson red silk shirts with a deep blue overcoat or tunic, with black pants and boots.
He is known to stir a man's soul with battle songs. As a young man, Phalen was gifted with a melodious voice and a desire to perform and trained as a bard in Silverymoon. His teacher, Malik the Fair, believed Phalen would become a very promising performer. What Malik had not taken into account was his star pupil's enormous appetite and increasing height and weight. By the time Phalen reached the age of 16 he already stood 6'8", ungainly, and tended to intimidate patrons by his size. In addition to his new size, Phalen found his voice was strained. He was crushed that he couldn't control his sweet voice anymore, it was beginning to deepen to a baritone's level. No longer could he hold the long sweet notes of his younger days. Considering it occurred well after most young men went through the voice change, Malik had no idea how long it would last. Malik decided maybe the life of a Bard was not for Phalen, but not wishing to leave the young man without a career, Malik found Phalen a new instructor in Karel Truesilver.
Using the skills he learned in his bardic past he was a natural to voice commands to soldiers in the field. When he goes into battle he sings of the tides and turns of past battles, some his own, others of great men of antiquity. Phalen uses this tactic to boost the morale of his squad and they have begun picking up his songs and emulating the man who leads them. Phalen's squad has never failed to be the lead and rallying point in any battle.
Phalen has been a member of the Order of the Griffin since its inception, and he was the first to become a sergeant. Phalen has trained and traveled with the Order of the Griffin for 10 years and his decision to come to Arylon was simple. The life he has known has been as a knight of the Order. In his ten years, he has participated in a great cause and for the sheer joy of a new endeavor. Phalen knows that he will not always be young and Arylon offers a place for him to retire away from the Frozen North. Here he would have a chance to set up a homestead and maybe raise a family. He has already used his earnings from past exploits to buy a small piece of property and plans to start building within the year.
He was presented the Griffin Sword of the Order when the barracks were finished in Arylon. The sword represents the Order's ability to defend its home. The master weaponsmith, Bili, crafted the weapon and Sharelle Brightstar placed its enchantments. The pommel is in the shape of an outstretched griffin with the wings forming the crossguard. The blade is tempered mithral cured with Dwarven Blueing. (DM's Note: Its enchantment is +2, damage is 2-16 with the following additional powers: monster summoning: Griffins 1-4 in number, 2-5 turns, 1/week, and the holder is able to speak with griffins.)
If there is one characteristic that represents Phalen, it is his whole hearted belief that life is to be enjoyed as each moment could be your last. He likes the rough life on the road but enjoys raising a tankard among friends and entertainment. His only downfall is his enjoyment of a good bar brawl. Phalen will be standing amongst the fallen he will be singing and swinging, truly loving every moment of it. The Order has on more than one occasion had to bail their first sergeant out of jail.
It was during one such incident that Phalen learned of the martial arts. The order was still new and were in Silverymoon recruiting members. Phalen and a group of his peers were 'out on the town' when he made the mistake of insulting a small group of merchants from Shou-Lung. Deep into his cups Phalen pointed out their servant looked like a withered flower in his silk robes. Insults were flung across the room as pointed and sharp as thrown daggers.
Phalen had enough and leaped to his feet enraged like a bear roaring its challenge. Meeting him midway was the servant Shoji Uno. Phalen couldn't believe the merchants sent such a small man to protect them. Thinking of ending this quickly, he swung a great hammer blow to the man's skull. Shoji's hands fluttered about the descending arm and Phalen found himself flipped onto his back. Enraged, Phalen sprang to his feet and attempted to connect with a flurry of blows. Each cutting blow would have been enough to stagger a man but the servant deftly avoided each and returned stabbing blows that felt like stinging daggers. The rain of the blows would normally have enraged Phalen into an all out onslaught, but he found himself taking a more cautious route.
Rising to the balls of his feet he prowled about his opponent sending in jabs now and again to find a weakness in his opponent. Shoji was no ordinary opponent, he was a highly skilled combatant. Never had Phalen believed an opponent so small could be so dangerous. Feeling drained from his efforts Phalen knew he had to end this quickly. Feigning a stumble to his left he quickly leaned forward and stood up into his opponent's reach. Rushing through numerous blows Phalen managed to bear hug Shoji. Squeezing and shaking for all he was worth Phalen attempted to crush the life from his opponent. With all his effort on crushing his opponent he failed to notice Shoji had an arm free and calmly touched Phalen's temple.
Awakened by a splash of beer from his troopers was the next thing he remembered. Draygor told Phalen that they were cheering him on when he toppled like a felled oak tree still holding onto the Shou servant. He gently removed himself from your grasp, stood, and then bowed to you. He said something in their language and the whole group left. Phalen always believed he was a match for most opponents in hand to hand combat, never would he have thought such a small man could have felled him so easily. Using his contacts in the city guard he found the merchant's home and presented himself as a humbled man. He was accepted into their household on the condition that he help them in return. The family of Shoo desired to expand their commerce to include travel to Waterdeep and Phalen, being a Knight of Mystra, could assist in guarding and guiding their caravans. In exchange he would be taught the combat of the fighting crane.
Returning to the Towers of Balance he approached the subject with Karel and Sharelle about the possibility of travel back and forth to Waterdeep as an emissary of the Order of the Griffin. Karel suggested that one half of the current knights would travel with him under the leadership of Draylin. In exchange for the training Phalen would receive no other compensation from the Order.
His duties in Arylon include drilling his troops, and staying on top of the training schedules in addition to finding ways to improve troop morale. Phalen has, on more than one occasion, taken his entire company out to see the sights of Arylon's nightlife. Tavern owners are forewarned if Phalen's company decides to visit their establishment. As the Order's marksman he has used his expertise with a crossbow to bring down an enemy. He has even received a few special enchanted bolts from Sharelle. She has yet to tell him of their properties, saying that when the time is right he will know.
The first weapon Phalen learned how to use was the crossbow. As a youth he was much smaller than other boys his age. His father, Pharnem, wished the boy to follow in his steps and be proficient with the use of a bow but he lacked the strength to pull and hold a bow and arrow. Using a crossbow had the advantage of his being able to use his entire body to load the mechanism. Phalen found he had a gift for sighting his target and practiced diligently until his 13th birthday. It was after that year Phalen was "discovered" by Malik and his training as a bard began. By this time he had acquired a rare gift of quick firing his favored weapon at a pace that nearly equaled any master of the weapon.
His further duties include weaponless combat and bowmanship. Contests are held once a year for company marksmanship and to date Phalen has never lost. Some of the troops say no one ever will, not necessarily because he is the best but no one would like to upset the giant. Some even whisper behind his back that the Shou weapon he uses is enchanted to increase his already exceptional skill. He received the repeating crossbow as a token of gratitude from the Shoo family. It was during a caravan trip to Waterdeep when the head of the house of Shoo was attacked from behind. His attacker had a knife to his throat, threatening to kill him if any moved. Phalen was a good fifty yards distant but leveled his crossbow and fired, taking the man in the forehead, killing him.
Because of his carefree style Phalen will probably stay first sergeant until he retires. He has been heard to say that he is content to stay at this level of responsibility, no headaches of the upper level of command. If the worst were to happen, if Karel and the Lieutenants were to perish he would have no problems taking over the order but he would never say so.