Name: Sir Stefan Darganz, Second Sergeant in the Order of the Griffin (hm LG Pal5)
Submission by: Scott Paffenroth
Stefan is 25 years old, stands 6' 1" and is 185 pounds. He has dark brown eyes, chestnut brown hair, a mustache and goatee. From his time on patrol he has developed a deep bronze tan and a well muscled body. Stefan was born to a family of farmers, and was sponsored by Karel to the Order of Mystra in Silverymoon. Stefan's simple upbringing gives him a unique outlook to his current position. He exudes a boyish charm, is openly honest and is not as haughty as many Paladins within the Order of Mystra seem to be.
Stefan has natural magnetism that is readily evident in his bearing. He walks with a regal stride and when he speaks his voice demands full attention. As a young boy, he was a diamond in the rough. He could stand in a crowd of people and immediately be noticed. He could be led yet had vast potential to be a leader of men.
Stefan first met Karel when Karel and his troops stopped at Stefan's parents farm for water and feed. When Karel returned to Silverymoon he approached Sharelle concerning a candidate for the Holy Order of Mystran Knights. Within 3 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.
Stefan's father was very proud of his son when he was selected to join the ranks of the holy warriors of Mystra. He had traveled with a group of men looking for adventure as a young man. However, his adventuring career was short-lived as most of his friends died at the hands of a band of trolls. Following this tragedy, Gareth took his share of the wealth and bought a farm but he always kept, his prize possession, a platinum ring. Thinking back to his days as an adventurer, he decided to give Stefan the ring he had earned himself. Stefan received the gift from his father with humility and told him he would forever keep it to remind him of his family. It wasn't until four years later that Stefan learned how valuable a gift he had received.
Stefan remained at the Tower of Balance for four years as an initiate. Each year Karel returned to Silverymoon to check on Stefan's progress. Stefan learned the ways of Mystra and his place in the hierarchy of the church of Mystra. At the age of 19 he was taken on his first patrol with Karel and the Order.
It was on this patrol that Stefan learned the truth surrounding his father's gift. He was in a pitched battle and was closing in on an evil mage. The robes of the mage billowed with the complex spell he was casting. Stefan wasn't sure if he would have a chance to attack before its completion but continued his charge whilst breathing a prayer to Mystra. As he neared his adversary, the mage completed the enchantment and pointed at Stefan. A black emptiness streaked towards him, and as it approached the blackness destroyed everything around him and struck. Recoiling from the magic, he discovered it left him untouched but had reflected back to the mage, incinerating him. Questions assailed Stefan, how he survived the spell of the mage was a godsend but how had he reflected the spell back to its source? He asked Sharelle Brightstar, upon his return to Silverymoon. Stefan found out his father's gift is an extremely valuable ring of spell turning. No finer gift could a holy warrior of the goddess of magic have.
After spending five years on the road with Karel and his troops, Stefan was glad for the chance to move to Arylon. It gave him an opportunity to serve Mystra in a new environment without harassment from his peers about being a farm boy. It also gave him an opportunity to raise a family away from the rough, harsh environment of the frozen north.
Sir Stefan Darganz has special duties in addition to drilling his men; he is in charge of training new paladins of Mystra. This is in addition to his continued training he receives in the hierarchy of the Order. He actively pursues the challenge of adding more paladins to the Order. Whenever he discovers a suitable youth, he attempts to guide him/her along the same path he has walked. During the course of training new recruits, Stefan introduces the trainees to the tenets of Mystra and the credos of the Order of the Griffin.
Stefan's desire to raise a family has been put on hold because of his duties. His diligent search for new recruits has takes most of his time. Stefan feels his personal life will change after he has trained a suitable candidate as a sergeant in the order of Paladin's. After such time, he will begin to attend formal social gatherings in hopes of finding someone to share his life. The ladies of Arylon believe Stefan is aloof to their charms and are slighted by his lack of attention to their flirtations. The future holds bright promise for the young paladin when he decides to fix his attention on a young lady, for there will be a great competition amongst those vying for his attention.
Stefan has recently returned from a faith quest to Mystra in the Fields of the Dead. A vision prompted Stefan to travel into the fields with only what he could carry on his back. He took food, water, rope and his longsword. During his travels he fought off many undead, calling upon Mystra for their destruction.
For two weeks he followed a recurring dream until he discovered the object he sought. He came upon an encampment of gnolls and in an iron cage struggled the most beautiful stallion he had ever seen. The horse stands 18 hands high. Its coat is the color of a moonless night, its mane a glistening raven black. It has a pair of white stockings on its forelegs and a star pattern upon its brow. The stallion was the object of his quest and he diligently fought the gnolls to gain the stallion's release.
After defeating the gnolls, Stefan's heart raced as he opened the door for the great horse. The stallion pranced round Stefan, enjoying its freedom. The great horse's muscles quivered as it turned and stared with its liquid brown eyes directly into Stefan's. At that moment, Stefan and the magnificent animal were bonded. Stefan had completed his quest and made a lifelong friend.