Domains: Healing & Sun
Alignment: Neutral Good
Layla Larroque is a half-elf that grew up in a rural human community, trying to blend in. Her elven father was a trader who disappeared on a mercantile mission when she was young. He is presumed dead, although the circumstances were mysterious (TBD). Layla has few memories of her father, and her mother was reticent to talk about him. Townsfolk speculate he faked his own death to avoid a dull life tied to a human wife and half-elf daughter.
Layla lived with her mother and maternal uncle growing up, and worked on the homestead tending and herding sheep. When Layla was an adolescent, her mother contracted a fatal illness and died a slow death. Layla felt helpless watching her mother die, and resolved to become a cleric to learn healing magic. Upon reaching adulthood, she left the homestead and went to a prestigious cleric school (or wherever clerics-in-training go in this world). She’s not particularly dedicated to a deity, but worships Pelor because that was the dominant deity in her hometown.
After completing her training, Layla works as a healer but finds herself feeling empty and passionless. So when an injured bard arrives telling stories of an elven pirate captain that sounds remarkably like Layla’s father (gasp!), she jumps at the chance to set out on a very stereotypical, coming-of-age adventure to find out the truth about what happened to her father.
Diary Entry: A Gathering in the Ambersand
I go to bed a different person than I awoke this morning. I knew my quest might be perilous, and that I might encounter those that would do me harm, however I did not expect to resort to violence so readily.
It all started when I encountered a group of strangers outside of Desheb. A grungy-looking dwarf with a number of poorly-applied bandages requested my assistance as a healer. He was walking fine and didn’t seem to be in pain, so I offered to redress his bandages once we got to town—lest his request be part of a ploy with the other strangers to rob me out in the desert once I was distracted! The dwarf, whose name I learned was Musushi, took offense at my offer and seemed to think I was obligated to stop at once and tend to his superficial wounds!
I barely had time to take notice of the other strangers when a trader’s wagon came over the hill, pursued by three men brandishing weapons. They quickly overturned the wagon and sent the trader tumbling to the ground. Several of the strangers immediately attacked the ruffians, dealing fatal blows (although the man named Rooke ran away at first) without even attempting to negotiate or offer the chance to surrender.
My concern was for the fallen trader. One of the ruffians reached him first, however, and beat him almost to death. Words and reason failed me, and I too joined in the violence with an attempt to stab the ruffian with my spear. Although it was only a glancing blow, I may as well have killed the man myself, for in that moment that was my intent.
I have dedicated myself to the preservation of life and alleviation of suffering, and yet without a moment’s hesitation I was ready to trade one life for another. I half-expected the healing spell I cast on the trader to fail— that Pelor would find the intent behind my instinctual violence unworthy of His divine power. I do not know what it means that the healing was successful. Perhaps my desire to protect the trader’s life was pure enough. Or perhaps the source of my magic does not come from the popularized concept of Pelor at all.
For better or worse, I have decided to travel with this new band of strangers for the time being. Going from a small, peaceful town to training at a Pelorian hospital has not prepared me for traveling alone through the desert of Raduun.
There is a haughty woman named Elythia, who also seems to be searching for pirates. Although she doesn’t seem much more suited for adventurous travel than me, she also does not quail in a conflict. Thomas is a silent figure, but a boon to have as an ally in a fight. Rooke is a curious character. He seemed cautious and shifty at first, but later offered to trail the group in case of an ambush from behind. And finally, Musushi.
At first I thought the dwarf simply suffered from mental retardation, for he did not seem to know what birds were or understand the nature of coin, however I later became aware that he had only recently emerged from an under-ground dwelling civilization. I must try to have patience with this individual, for in addition to mental slowness he is also unfamiliar with the customs of civilized society.
Diary Entry: The Burning of Memphun
So much has happened over the past few days, I hardly know where to start. An entire city destroyed by a falling star. A demon, raising soldiers from the dead. Thomas flirting with a tusked shopkeeper.
Any prior doubt I held regarding Pelor’s existence is gone. How can I doubt, when our lives were saved by Naphrem himself? Our band of strangers, out of all the mortals in the world, has been tasked with a holy mission to prevent the apocalypse. The gods may be real, but they may also be mad.
We must find an artifact known as the Stone Heart. An enchanted book provides our only knowledge of the artifact, and even that is in a cryptic poem. It sounds as if the Stone Heart is a placeholder for an ancient entity’s heart, and will provide some form of protection or counter measure to the malignant god Cyric. Naphrem indicated Rooke had knowledge of this Cyric, however the mysterious man seemed hesitant to discuss the matter. The book tells us the Stone Heart is guarded by a golem, and I sincerely doubt the creature has been waiting to hand the artifact over to a group of mortals. I fear many more lives will be lost before this quest is complete.