Talanor, the Bright Tower
Maddok of Mestahl
Maddok was born in Mestahl, a large fishing village built at the mouth of the Avalost River. His mother, a ranking priestess of Celestari, raised Maddok with the Vengeful’s faith alongside the skills and trappings of nautical life. When he wasn’t learning Celestari’s ways, the youth spent his days roughhousing with the children of the privateers and hardened sailors that lived and worked within Mestahl’s waters. Maddok took well to the lessons of his youth, growing up brawny and muscular and showing a talent for channeling his patron’s divine essence. The strongest manifestation of this talent occurred in Maddok’s early teens when he transformed, briefly, into the form of a hulking bear in the middle of a bloody tussle with another local boy. When news reached his mother, she was not surprised – the beast’s form and strength was a gift inherited from Maddok’s unknown father.
When he was 17, in an act of rebellion common to young men at that age, Maddok left for Meshtahl’s larger neighbor Parthis. He was eager to be ordained as an official member of Celestari’s faith by the ruling priesthood. He easily passed the tests of lore offered by Parthis’s priestesses but his heart sunk when the priestess in charge explained the limitations placed on him as a man. He was welcome within Celestari’s church but would never be more than a cerulean – a servant to true leaders of the faith. She explained the importance of the tradition attached to Celestari’s ruling priestess and that his gender would be a dangerous distraction from those important duties. The discrimination left the young man speechless. Weren’t men just as capable of appreciating the music of the storm or the ferocity of crashing surf as women? Was the Vengeful’s power and justice denied to men?
Abandoning his quest, Maddok returned to Mestahl in a rage. Finding nothing but apologies in his mother, he packed a bag and signed a contract with the first vessel scheduled to head up the coast that was hiring deckhands. Maddok still loved his mother and he recognized that she wasn’t responsible for the ways of Celestari’s church but he couldn’t stay in Mestahl. There was no future for him in the fishing village. Mestahl could never be home again.
In the years that passed since leaving Mestahl, the last vestiges of Maddok’s youth have melted away, leaving a tall, broad-shouldered, brawny, and hirsute man. Despite being in his mid 20s, his square features are worn and lined, prematurely aged by years of exposure to harsh sea air. He keeps his head shorn and his wears no beard – remnants of his now largely abandoned faith. The rest of his body is noticeably unshaven; dense thatches of dark hair are visible on his forearms and chest from the top of his hardened leathers. He wears a large wooden iron-rimmed shield strapped to one arm and a heavy mace hangs from a hoop at his waist.