Rooke comes from a long line of heroes and villains.
Rooke is the surename of a man whose lineage can be traced to the isle of Lantan, which was flooded and nearly destroyed as a result of a power struggle between the god Cyric and the goddess Mystra, which resulted in the latter’s murder and the former’s imprisonment in Pandemonium, a realm of chaos, terror, and insanity.
For generations, some say thirty three, others say two hundred and eleven, all able bodied and willing Rookes have attempted to venture into Cyric’s prison, but alas, all have failed. For example, the Thunder Rooke was killed by a swarm of rabid fruit bats on his way to the Portal to Pandemonium. Another Rooke, a steppe nomad named the Wild Rooke, led a horde of his warriors in a savage thrust for Pandemonium’s center where Cyric was imprisoned, but was blasted to smithereens by a barrage sorcery, and the Traitor Rooke became possessed by a demon lord, fighting and killing the next five generations of Rookes who attempted to avenge their home’s destruction. The last Rooke who made the attempt, known as the One True Rooke, managed to slay the Traitor Rooke, but too perished after the rigor of his ordeal left him with a fatigue so great he fell down the flight of stairs that stood before the entrance. So close, and yet, so far, so dead.
No more Rookes made the attempt after that. It happened incrementally; the next Rooke walked away. The next Rooke dithered and the rest simply lost heart and then in time, stopped trying.
For about seven generations following, the lineage began to move away from vengeance, and into normal, honest work as mercantilism, law, and politics. As such, the day to day rigors of life began to take precedence, and the memory of Lantan began to fade, until one day, the latest Rooke, the one people called the Wandering Rooke, an aimless individual, distant nephew of the great Lord Rooke, fell upon a tome kept by a family friend. It was a diary, and in its yellowed, frayed pages was the story of Lantan, and the story of the Rookes. In it, the following words were written.
“We Rookes were honest folk once. We once had a country, but hardship and the repetition of failure beat us down and kept us there. We slunk away and tried to forget, but I could never forget, and neither could my predecessors, for in spite of all our good work on this planet, Cyric still lives, and his influence grows.
Oh how my days and the days of our house simply drift on by. I often ponder with great troubles; of Lantan and the Rookes: is this how it ends?"
- Lord Rooke
The Wandering Rooke read these words, and then, spiked by curiosity, began to read the rest. Little did he know, that as his face remained buried in the yellowed pages of his family’s rich history, that he was walking south, towards the Desert of Raduun.
NOTE ON JOURNAL ENTRIES: Rooke’s journal is not so much filled with sentences and paragraphs as they are littered with shorthand scrawls, notes to self, and memos.
Rooke’s Notes – Entry One
Writing from Desert of Raduun, Oasis Town of Desheb.
Found company of fellow travelers.
Human, two half elves, dwarf.
Young, but more than capable in battle
Almost died, yet pulled through
A real trooper
A true warrior;
Won us the day in the Temple of Three
Note to self: Don’t piss him off.
What is his game?
Clerics. Must be religious. Be weary if approached for conversion.
Healing skills will prove valuable to longevity of party
Stay on good side
Rat eating mongrel from underground
Unsure if passionate or unhinged
Be careful around him. Might kill and consume me if I provoke him more than I already might have.
Took job for merchants: rat problem.
Temple of Three – Majesty long gone. Very sad. Glad to have seen it anyway. Will visit again soon. Found lots of rats. Killed what ones we saw.
Ventured deep. Saw signs of trouble. Encountered monstrosity underneath.
Notable and suspicious: scrawled on wall in temple
“He sees me with nine eyes”
note to self: hit library or archives for possible leads on these words. Very suspicious.
Long and trying day. Watchful and alert regarding new company, but thankful for their presence.
Looking forward to quiet, peaceful, and trouble free night of slumber.