Eliminster the Sage

The Company of the Silver Coin
Amber the Ranger

Thorn Silverbirch

Marla Silverbirch lived in the King's Forest, Cormyr. She was a huntress; a guide and a scout dedicated to the ultimate triumph of Good over Evil.

Marla was not a people person, hers was a life of hard travel and combat rather then social graces but her life was changed when a man called Jarlon walked into it. He claimed to be a travelling storyteller. He was wise, charismatic and could describe places that Marla had only heard of so well that it was like she was there herself; he seemed to know her innermost thoughts and his very presence seemed to give her strength. It was no surprise that the pair fell in love and before long Marla gave birth to a son, Thorn.

Assisting in the delivery was a Gillian, a Druid who lived nearby and would become the child's closest advisor. Their happiness was not to last more then a few weeks. One terrifying night Marla's simple cabin was attacked by dark agents of The Cult of the Dragon, some flesh and blood and others a twisted mockery of life. The night was long and terrible but Jarlon was able to get Marla and their son through it by his wits and before then unguessed at displays of power. As the sun rose the next day Jarlon made a bitter confession. The Cult had attacked because of him. He was not a human at all but Aurus, a Great Golden Wyrm and bitter enemy of Nevarlarich a dragon of the Cult. The look of horror and betrayal in Marla's eye's was worse then any injury he had received the night before and he and fled, partly in despair and partly so they would not be attacked by his enemy again. She would never see him again.

Marla decided to hand her infant son over to the keeping to a Druid on Hullack Forest whilst she sorted her feelings out. Marla was an indifferent parent and her wandering nature would mean Thorn spent months at a time in Gillian's care, where he learnt to fish and hunt, to understand the ways of plant and animal. On his fourteenth birthday Thorn left for Cormyr's capital to begin a four-year apprenticeship with a master herbalist. It was there that he fell in love for the first time, with his master's daughter Heather. Returning to his home in the King's Forest four years later Thorn found that it was deserted. Gillian informed him that his mother had left everything to him and headed off to parts unknown. In fact The Ravernmaster, a powerful Hierophant Druid who lived in the Thunder Peaks, had approached her. He had entrusted her with The Book of Thorns, a tome of great power and an equally great potential for evil created by Sammaster the Mad and the druids of Battledale, saying that the lives of Aurus and her family could be forfeit if it was not destroyed.

Thorn became a lay-member of the local Druid Circle. It was his responsibility to grow and care for the rare herbs which the Initiates and Druids used for their miracles and potions. His life carried on in this quiet manner for several years until Gillian convinced Thorn, now in his mid twenties, to become a full member of the circle. Thorn was the oldest of the batch of would-be Druids who began years of difficult, strenuous and sometimes life threatening training to earn the title of Initiate, and one of the few who were selected. As an Initiate Thorn had a freedom of choice that a true Druid had not and, perhaps displaying a little of his mother's wanderlust, decided that he could best serve Silvanus by travelling The Realms. He planned to learn all he could of it's ways and bringing that knowledge back to The King's Forest. Thorn began by exploring his home country. He had barely reached Arabel when he heard of a man called the Wolf Lord, a ranger fallen into darkness who could command wolves and their kin. Seized by the idea of tracking down this being he decided to find a band of adventurous souls. He learnt that the best place to find such men and woman was an inn called The Murder Manticore…

Over the course of his travels Thorn had matured from a brash, arrogant young man to a leave headed, focused agent of Silvanus with a reputation for being prepared to make any sacrifice required to maintain the Balance of Neutrality. The expectance of his half-dragon heritage changed that drastically, rebuilding Thorn not only in body but also mind and soul. The "new" Thorn is far more in touch with his emotions and freer in expressing them. His world-view has shifted away from the abstracts of Neutrality to the guardianship of nature, particularly the wild-places that are Silvanus's dominion. The majestic beauty of Nature, from a single flower to a raging storm, constantly fills with Thorn with wonder and joy and, if he has nothing more pressing to occupy his mind, he will often discard his humanity temporarily to become a part of it as a wolf, owl, etc.

Linked with his empathy for Nature is a renewed respect for life, even that of his enemies. If possible he will attempt to defend himself by non-lethal means (causing weapons to become too hot to hold, inflicting temporary blindness or having plants entangling a foe) when faced with a flesh-and-blood enemy. While he still likes to plan his moves in advance Thorn is now more willing to act spontaneously when he feels it is nessary, a habit which has got him into more then one tight situation.

To those who have never seen a half-dragon before Thorn's appearance can be both shocking and fascinating. In some respects his appearance is elven, all be it a 7' tall one, with a lean and slender frame, pointed ears, a slightly elongated face and long, delicate fingers. However in other ways his appearance is unique. His skin is a coppery gold, his hair is the colour of ripe corn worn long with a loose curl and his snake-like eyes are purest amber. A small pair of horns adorns his forehead and his hands, if tensed a certain way, become talon-like. A bemused smile or a look of delight is two of the most common expressions on his face. Yet at the same time there is an air of a being that stands apart from the world, forever a stranger amongst a crowd. The entire effect is one of unnatural beauty mixed with a strange empathy and a gentle strength. This strange man is clad in clothing appropriate to one who lives in the wilds; brown and shades of green are his colours. A slim staff of black wood, banded in silver and a woodsman's dagger are the only weapons he appears to carry, though in his hands they seem more the tools of a traveller then implements of a warrior. Many pouches hang from his belt over-stuffed, like a young lad's pockets, with bric-a-brac. A silver pin shaped like a harp and crescent moon is worn discretely on his tunic and a torc of silver encircles his neck. He wears a plain, wooden ring on his finger, a gift from Amber on their wedding day, and around his neck, on a leather cord, is a carved wooden oak leaf.

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