The Errant Scholar

A Tale of Gale Evenwood, hedgewizard, sellsword, and mercenary scholar

Gale Evenwood
External Services:
  • evenwood@livejournal.com
"The Art is much more than the ability to smash things and fling balls of fire. I just happen to be relatively apt in those regards."

Gale Evenwood is a D&D character that daviot plays in real life. Originally from the Dalelands, Gale is a traveler who practices both magic and swordplay, and hires out his mercenary services in order to pay for the rather expensive costs that the practice of wizardry requires.

Gale Evenwood

Race: Human (negligible amounts of moon elf)
Ethnicity: Chondathan (Dalelands)
Height: 5’8” Weight: 132 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Dark brown, almost black
Age: 20
Class: Fighter / Wizard / Raumathari battlemage
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Homeland: Deepingdale
Profession: Mercenary (Guard, Bodyguard, Caravan escort) / Self-taught scholar
Fighting Style: Dalelands Archery / Self-taught swordsmanship / Raumathari sword channeling
Magic Style: Self-taught arcane wizardry (no specialty) / Raumathari battle magic

Gale is of average height, with green eyes, near-black brown hair set on a slender build. While not as burly or resilient as some Dalefolk, Gale is both strong and agile. His regular garb consists of a pair of sturdy but worn leather boots, trousers and a knee-length grey-black scholar’s robe. Underneath the robe, he wears a tunic of typically some neutral color, and a studded leather chest plate. He recently changed acquired a shirt of fine mithral chain, which he changed out for his leathers. Instead of a regular belt, Gale wears a belt with ten loops designed for potions and flasks, allowing him to keep healing potions and alchemical items ready at all times.
Most striking is the four-foot long bastard sword on a diagonal sling-scabbard across his back, with the hilt projecting the right of his head. However, most folk don’t notice the arrow quiver on the left of his waist, nor the Dalelands longbow on his back nestled between his shirt and robes. Even fewer are aware that he keeps a large dagger inside the sleeves of his robe.
Overall, Gale gives off an interesting image to those he meets. A scholar who carries a large sword—it’s an odd but not inherently threatening image. At least until they learn he’s a wizard, to boot. While some potential employees and other hired guards or mercenaries may mock his appearance, it becomes evidence that he is the epitome of both apparent facets: much of the self-taught student’s free time has been spent polishing or sharpening a blade while reading a propped-open book.

Gale’s parents and neighbors live in a nameless hamlet a league away from Highmoon. Further relatives (mostly human or half-elf, with a few elves) live in or around the town of Highmoon, and some of his more distant cousins live in the elven village of Bristar.

Personality and Outlook:
PHB II Data: Archetypes: Mercenary, Sage, Theorist, Seeker (Staff of Memories)
Traits: Calm, Disciplined, Erudite
Gale is unusual for a man born in the Dalelands, but still adheres to the identity of his homeland. While he opted to not follow the path of the ranger and forester like his parents, he did acquire the archery skills of Deepingdale, and above average stealth and survival skills. Being raised in an area that venerates Oghma and educated by the Oghman temple known as Leaves of Learning has left him with a healthy respect (almost venerating) for knowledge and its incarnation, books.
His wizardry and swordplay, however, are a different matter. Since leaving home at the age of sixteen, Gale looked to no one but himself to improve himself, teaching him magic from books and sparing against fellow hireswords and mercenaries to improve his swordsmanship, and accepting rare offers for help with such things. Learning either practice is demanding enough, but Gale has done both admirably.
Gale is calm, well-spoken and loyal, though he does have a tendency to come off as brash. He respects his superiors and elders, but is much more likely to appreciate a person who has come into their office by their own hands—a Dalelander such as himself has no lost love for haughty nobles that flout themselves on nothing more than the right of their blood. He does not mind large cities, but is most at home on the road or in the backcountry, and is much more likely to identify himself with a farmer, fellow mercenary, merchant, or city guardsman than to the plights of high society.
Owing to his to chosen profession, Gale has little patience for thieves and ruffians, which has led to trouble with the Shadowmasters of Telflamm and a distrust of the party’s “scout”, Dual. Sorcerers irritate him, as they fall under the same category as nobles: those who attained their status innately and not by their own labor. He enjoys the company of more properly trained mages but cares little for the scoffing rebuts of “proper, ivory-towered wizards” against a simple, if not highly trained and powerful hedgewizard.
Still, in the end, so long as the work is honest and pays enough to cover the cost of wizarding expenses, Gale minds little. He won’t go out of his way to help those he has no connection to, but neither will he knowingly help the agents of evil: his skills are for sale; his loyalty is not. His recent trips working for Waterdeep have brought him both closer to death and fortune than he would care, but he still steels himself by telling him that the payment (expenses covered, enchantments to his sword’s hilt, and a personal safehold) and the knowledge gained in the past few months make up for it. And it has. He’s magically powerful, calm, determined, and steeled enough to ignore intimidation or even the radiating fear of a great dragon during a fight to death.

Gale has picked a bit of free climbing and rock hopping in his travels and has become an expert long jumper. Owing to his to need to dodge and party blows rather than take them right out, Gale is also adept and rolling, tumbling, and evading attacks.
In addition to his combat and magical skills, Gale has picked up a variety of other practical skills. Gale picked up a bit of bladesmithing to keep his sword in top condition, and later tested his skill by constructing a dagger after he forgot his former knife in Daggerford (no pun intended). Gale picked up the study of alchemy as part of wizardry studies, and has used it to fabricate various items, identify and synthesize smokepowder, and in a first-of-its-kind experimental fashion, separate out blood from a piece of parchment to identity the race of the unfortunate owner. Despite having no formal training, Gale’s understanding of spellcraft and knowledge of both arcana and history is extensive, equivalent even to a ranking War Wizard of Cormyr.

Gale had as his unofficial patron, Oghma, the god of knowledge, due to local tradition. While in Scornubel, Gale came across an unattended shrine to Azuth, the patron of arcane spellcasters, and was so impressed as to declare his following to Azuth. Since then, he’s taken up the philosophy of sharing and teaching spells to those responsible.

Gale’s Motley Companions:
Dual Soulcaste: Dual, a rogue and “scout”, an orphan originally from the Dragon Coast, was the first member of the party Gale met, and the only one that still manages to irritate him. Gale kept him from stealing from Menth Akeym’s caravan in Waterdeep, and subsequently pointed out his pickpocketing of the Lathander cleric and paladin to said cleric and paladin, which resulted in a swift moral lesson and a religious conversion that made Dual into an acolyte of Lathander.
Since then, Dual has been on a short leash, but still manages to bluff past his guardian, Darvin. As an agent of the church, and with a soft spot for orphans, Dual still steals everything not bolted down, but he prefers to steal from the party’s adversaries and donates a portion to charity. That doesn’t mean Gale has started trusting him, and hasn’t stopped the explosive runes on Gale’s spellbooks and journal.
Since touching the artifact known as the Staff of Memories, Dual has awakened to the path of sorcery, an appropriate fit to his surname and origin. Again, it’s not likely to improve Gale’s opinion of him.
Darvin Windrivver: A cleric of Lathander, or more specifically, a favored soul, a person who has a more spontaneous connection to a deity than a cleric. Darvin is probably the meekest favored soul or cleric Gale has ever met, but is still a trustworthy friend. Gale is unlikely, however, to pay much attention to Darvin’s apologetic excuses for his charge’s (Dual) behavior.
Tabris Crael: A Mystran cleric and wizard. Gale was enthused to meet a cleric of the goddess of magic, and has learned several dozen spells thanks to Tabris’ help. Gale considers him a quiet man, trustworthy man (with a likewise cautious ferret, Yuno) who keeps to his deity and studies, as well as vein of experimentation involving mixing natural divine magic and the arcane, which might explain the cat’s tail and partially photosynthetic skin Tabris quietly gained.
Tandil: Gale is more inclined to understand Tandil’s concern over protecting a patch of forest, and since after actually partnering with him in the ruins of Hellgate Keep and after vowing to correct things after the destruction of Silverymoon, Gale considers Tandil a trusted friend and ally.
Orel Bresk: Gale worked with Orel for several employers during his stay in Impiltur. If Gale was hired as heavy artillery, they hired Orel, a tall, buff, and imposing Damaran man, as a deterrent, since the mere sight of a 6’2” man in heavy armor and wielding a greatsword was enough to keep some bandits at bay without even drawing a weapon. Orel is not the sharpest point mentally, but he is tough as a rothé and as strong as an ogre, and prone to making periodic outbursts of wisdom. Gale considers him an able friend, ally, and drinking buddy…Orel does most of the drinking.
Alistair Archibald von Andremor: Gale unexpectedly met up with this Sharakim (“noble orc”) duskblade while on the outskirts of Waterdeep. After exchanging thoughts over a three-hour horse ride, it turns out that Alistair had been sent from the Spine of the World to investigate the very things Gale and his fellows were after. Thus, Alistair joined the group. He’s quite well-spoken for being six and a half feet tall and blue-skinned, and Gale appreciates an honest man who mixes swordplay and sorcery, in an elven style, no less.

Former Party Members:
Shiro: Holier-than-thou Shou diplomat and haughty noble who, among other things, refused to give his last name. Hypocritical, loud, insulting, and patronizing to everyone, he met his end after casting a deadly spell to finish off a few helpless driders…through the lines of the party, despite screams not to and Tabris’ best attempts to restrain him. It killed Tandil and the party guide, Aradon, (both have since been resurrected at great difficulty) and Gale decided, after a string of insults that this act of indifferent manslaughter (followed by a snide remark) was the last straw. He released a true strike spell stored in his sword, and charged the cowardly Wu Jen and slew him in one devastatingly powerful overhead blow.
Tamas Nathandem: An overly effeminate, overly emotional, and overly fearful (yes, you heard me) paladin of Lathander. Was eventually recalled by the Order of Aster due to his own behavior.
Breshia Nityuv: Damaran Knight-Errant. A justice of the peace back home, Breshia took an extremely direct solution to solving problems—by breaking their proverbial or literal nose. Armed and armored to the teeth and astride an enormous destrier warhorse, Breshia was a force to be reckoned with…
Vasily Nityuv: …at least until Breshia’s brother showed up. A mounted knight and master of the halberd, the two finally found each other after being separated for several years and headed back to their homeland.

Allies and Enemies:
Among his allies are Piergeiron the Paladinson, the Open Lord of Waterdeep (and his current employer) and his former employers. He recently freed from a Red Wizard stasis field one Izmira Rosthara, an errant historian, diplomat, and Hathran “witch” of Rashemen, whom he had served as bodyguard while in Thesk. After displaying his skills, she asked to train him in the ways of the Raumathari battle magic, a state secret of Rashemen, for his own use.
Gale hates few people, but there are few he considers his enemies. Gale dislikes drow and abjectly hates Vhaeraunian drow due to their actions against the Dalelands. After his travels in the Unapproachable East, Gale picked up a dislike for the Red Wizards of Thay, and due to his mission and the evidence stacked against them, he is also at odds with the evil Arcane Brotherhood of Luskan.
On a related note, Gale is unlikely to be welcome the next time through Telflamm. When a Shadowmaster thug took a knife to Lady Rosthara’s throat in an attempt to extort some coin, the mugger didn’t count on her bodyguard having a bow. He met his end with a quick arrow through the skull.

Equipment and Possessions:
As a traveler and a mercenary, Gale prefers to travel light, and all of his material possessions are those that can be carried on his person. In addition to those things on his person, Gale keeps a rucksack (with bedroll) that includes such things as his spellbook, tools for alchemy and bladesmithing, his journal, quill, ink, silk rope, a magnifying glass, and a variety of alchemy items, ranging from alchemist’s fire and stonebreaker acid to nearly a pound of alchemic smokepowder for use as an explosive.
Dalelands Bow: Gale’s bow is a gift from his parents, and his typical of a Dales bow: a composite longbow of yew and hickory. It is powerful, compact, and well-balanced, and Gale keeps a small quiver of broadheads at his sides.
Gale’s Sword: Gale received his preferred weapon, from an Impilturian merchant in exchange for monetary payment. He thought little of it, but accepted the offer and decided to keep the sword and teach himself swordplay.
The well-made but plain blade is a bastard sword, a “hand and a half” sword with eight inches of hilt and a good forty of blade, but is extremely well-balanced. The Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors, Waterdeep’s pseudo-mage’s guild, replaced the hilt with a jeweled hit with three cabochon-cut gems. One activates a hold monster spell on hit, the other projects a cone of cold as a spell completion item, and the third can store five levels of spells that can be released as a swift action, as well as serve as the activation trigger for Gale’s new extradimensional safehold. Gale has since then enchanted the blade (previously only the hilt was magical), and has begun adding more specific enhancements to the weapon.
Gale recently found out that the small, “decorative” markings near the hilt are actually in the lost Imaskari script, and they make up a maker’s imprint. The sword is actually from the now-fallen Raumathar Empire’s arms stockpile at (the recently-ruined outpost of) Beacon’s Cairn, on the far eastern edge of Rashemen. Until Waterdeep touched it, the sword was non-magical (since the anti-aging transmutation used to preserve the blade leaves no magical residue).
Recently, Izmira instructed and helped Gale empower the blade for use in the Raumathari style for use as an arcane channeling focus. Since then, runes have appeared on the sides of the blade in the old Roushoum tongue, which read “Forest Zephyr”: the transliteration of Gale’s name.
Dagger: Gale carries a dagger for utility and eating, and promptly left and forgot his unremarkable knife during an overnight stay at a converted festhall while in Daggerford. Since then, he took an old, broken short sword blade from a Waterdhavian merchant and refinished into a finely balanced and serviceable dagger.