Shank Bitterbark

"Come down here and say that…"
-Shank Bitterbark

Shank was born into a rare and opulent life of hereditary domestic servitude in the Kingdom of Corwyn. His family had waited on the noble House Hoarbite for so many generations that they were allowed to style themselves in the name of their noble family, a rare honor for any Halfling clan. Shank Hoarbite despised every minute of this life. He refused to attend balls and garden parties. He would not heed his culinary, needlework and etiquette tutors. The final indignity came when Shank was found playing look-a-bitty-bum-bum with a young heiress of a rival house. He was stripped of his name and sent into exile.

What Shank didn’t know was that life outside the Hoarbite fold was nasty and violent. Shank was mercilessly pounded by other street creepers on a daily basis, turning his once-gorgeous visage into a scabrous mass of flesh-putty and shattered teeth. He spent nearly a month as the toss-ball for a game of Orcish Cribble. The day Shank’s torment ended was, coincidentally, the day he earned his first nickname, Shank Groinbiter, by which he would be known for many years hence. Once he started capering with the other hooligans, Shank discovered his talent for breaking complicated and expensive things. Every gizmo and gewgaw conjured up by local artisans and wizards became a brain-teasing riddle for Shank to smash.

No sooner had Shank adapted to his life of crime than he found his life turned upside-down yet again. In the Trollbark Forest, a ferocious hag druid confronted Shank’s band and demanded tribute for their passage. When they had nothing to offer her, the hag slew each of Shank’s comrades. Finally, when the hag asked Shank what he had to gift, Shank told the hag he would cook, clean and sew for her, instruct her in noble etiquette and hold a grand ball in the forest for the hag and all of her friends. The hag was intrigued, and Shank’s life was spared. For many years, Shank groomed and cultured the hag until she became a proper Lady of Trollbark. All the while, Shank watched her work magic from the shadows and learned the secret ways of the druids.

Eventually, word spread to Corwyn that a strange and terrible court had risen in Trollbark, and the noble Houses sent forth their champions to slay the monstrous Lady. Shank, however, had become fond of his forest, and sought to parlay with the approaching forces. Rather than speak with him, the captain of the army had Shank beaten, shackled and tortured. The captain forced Shank to watch as they set fire to the forest. In that instant Shank swore an oath of vengeance against the noble houses of Corwyn, becoming Shank Bitterbark. The fate of the green Lady and her verdant court remains a mystery to Shank, who sat locked in the gaol deep underneath the City of Suzail.

His fingers bound, his voice silenced, it looked like Shank would never escape this dungeon. The purple wax seal that the war wizard had placed on his neck still stung quite a bit and its curse caused his voice to seize-up every time he tried to work a spell. Hanging his head in defeat he was beginning to loose hope entirely, then there came the noise of footfalls and the jangle of keys. A war wizard entered his cell followed by man in simple leather garb. He introduced himself as Rauligan, and offered the halfling his freedom in exchange for his service to the crown. Shank noticed the pin shining prominently on the man's collar (a harp and crescent moon design) and decided he could do worse. Besides maybe he could worm his way out of the agreement. The halfling acquiesced to their terms and the war wizard moved up to Shank and roughly pulled him around to get at the purple wax seal on his neck. He spoke some arcane words unfamiliar to the druid and he felt the weight of the curse lift, only to be replaced by another feeling; an odd tiny voice in his head that seemed to take issue with every thought in the devious little thief's mind. Shank had heard of spells like this before, "Gasses" or something like that.

The men led the halfling up the stairs from the dungeon, explaining to him that if he broke the agreement he would regret it. He was to accompany them to the eastern side of the Wyvernflow River near Wheloon, where they were to meet-up with another party. It was to be Shank's duty to stay with the group and aid them in their quest. They returned his gear and even outfitted him with a few extra items and enough money to help him along. Rauligan explained that if Shank succeeded in this task, all charges of conspiracy against the crown, and theft, would be dropped. Additionally, he would be given legal consent to adventure within the realm of the Forest Kingdom of Cormyr. The war wizard was preparing some components and just as Shank was about to ask a question the world around him disappeared…

After traveling with the group into the Vast Swamp, Shank began to get quite homesick. Geas or no, he eventually decided to strike-out on his own and find a new home in the swamp, and build his druidic power. With his newly acquired ring of invisibility he slipped from the group while in the midst of storming the Lost Refuge. He and Marf headed out into the misty autumn of the Vast Swap to find service to, hopefully, a powerful hag or medusa willing to break his geas and conscript the devious little druid.


A Halfling with wild green eyes, long salt-and-pepper hair and many broken teeth. He smells of compost.


Halfling; Male; age 29

Druid 4 / Rogue 2

Chaotic Neutral

STR 12

DEX 18

CON 12

INT 12

WIS 18

CHA 10

Fort 6 (4 class + 1 race + 1 con)

Refl 9 (4 class + 1 race + 4 dex)

Will 9 (4 class + 1 race + 4 wis)

Base Attack: 5 (4 class + 1 size)

Armor Check: -5 (-3 hide armor - 2 large wooden shield)

HP: 35

AC: 20 (10 + 4 dex +1 size + 3 hide armor + 2 large wooden shield)

Equipment: Green Dragon Hide Armor, Large Duskwood Shield, Shortspear x2, Sap, Sling, +1 quickloading crossbow w/ Acidic Energy Assault Crystal, +1 acidic burst duskwood dagger, Infinite Scrollcase (w/ multiple druid spells), ring of invisibility

Feats: Shield Expertise, Spell Focus: Evocation, Greater Spell Focus: Evocation

Skills

Climb 8 (5 ranks + 2 race + 1 str)

Concentration 6 (5 ranks + 1 con)

Diplomacy 5 (5 ranks)

Disable Device 9 (5 ranks + 4 dex)

Heal 9 (5 ranks + 4 wis)

Hide 13 (5 ranks + 4 size + 4 dex)

Jump 8 (5 ranks + 2 race + 1 str)

Knowledge (Nature) 8 (5 ranks + 2 class + 1 int)

Listen 11 (5 ranks + 2 race + 4 wis)

Move Silently 11 (5 ranks + 2 race + 4 dex)

Search 6 (5 ranks + 1 int)

Spot 9 (5 ranks + 4 wis)

Survival 11 (5 ranks + 2 class + 4 wis)

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