The Æcyr Gréne Campaign 

The Characters Writeups

Cardhu Mac Callan (Clansman of the Dynndh)

A wandering clansman of the Dynndh, recently having spent some time serving as a Mercenary for various Corydan lords. A more indepth character history is also available below.

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Character History 

Son of Lachlann of the Sharp Glance (Lachlann Suil Géarchúiseach), mother unknown and presumed dead.

Cardhu remembers nothing from before the third anniversary of his birth, though he sometimes hears a laugh or sees a woman with flaxen hair and feels a twinge of recognition that makes him think there is something of his mother about the sight or sound. His first real memory, however, is arriving with his father at the tall gate of Dun Aeidinn, on a dark, rain-tossed night. Inside, he stood shivering before a fierce and strong-looking lord, the Chief of the Glenforach Callains, and when the men had talked for a while his father turned and knelt before him and said “You must stay here, son, Lord Allain will see to your keep. Be well, and the world walk with you.” Then he was gone, and Cardhu did not see him again for seven long years.

His childhood was not hard, for he was adopted as a ward by Lord Allain (who proved far less fierce than his countenance had first promised), and was fed, clothed and educated as one of the Dynndh elite. His status as the son of a powerful Uates Drus, a member of the Gorsedh, ensured that he was treated with respect, and his education was seen to in much the same way as the sons of the Lord himself. However, he never felt truly at home, seeking as a child his own company more than that of others. Also, something about his nature made people look a little askance at him, muttering about Sidhe blood. So, when his father returned in his tenth year, he was overcome with excitement.

Excitement soon turned, however, to disappointment. His father was a distant man, and a very busy one, and seemed to have little time for Cardhu’s questions and desire for attention. Perhaps he was unused to children, or too wrapped up in his own affairs to spare any precious time, but at that time the seeds for later dispute were sown. He was also disparaging of Cardhu’s feats of physical prowess, and did little to conceal his disappointment at his son’s undistinguished academic ability. Chagrined, and resentful, he reacted as many young lads do when treated such a way, and became a most stubborn pupil for his poor, tutors. When his father left again on his travels six months later, Cardhu told himself that he did not care whether the man was at Dun Aedinn or not. And yet, he watched from the castle wall until his father’s horse disappeared over the hill.

His closest friends in these years were Fionn, second son of Allain, and Braca, a rough lad whose father was Lord Allain’s Stable master. With the one he learned the warrior arts, showing real promise in blade and shield work, and with the other he got into numerous scrapes and mishaps, usually the idea of the mercurial Braca. Regular hidings from Callum, Lord Allain’s Fyrd-Sergeant, did little to curb this taste for rebellion. However, he grew up strong and tall, if slender for a Dynndh, and the servant girls began to glance at him in a manner he found most pleasant.

However, it was not to last, and the end was brought by two events happening one onto the other - the first being the return of his father again, and the second being the death of Lord Allain’s elder son, Dunald. The latter came first, and happened as a result of an adolescent game of dares that went terribly wrong, and resulted in Dunald drowning whilst saving his younger brother’s life. Fionn blamed Cardhu, and would have nothing to do with him from that day forth; indeed, his enmity was so great that the two lads, now full-grown, could not be trusted to train in arms together for fear of one trying to brain the other.

The return of his father came not long after, and after the man returned life changed very much for Cardhu. Lachlann opened up his tower again, a few miles up the valley from the fortress, and Cardhu was obliged to lodge there with him. Once established back in his home, Lachlann took it upon himself to amend the “disappointing deficit in his education”, and tutored his son personally. However, Cardhu was surly, resentful pupil, and resisted any attempt to knock lore of Dynndh law, legends and customs into him. The only topic he showed any enthusiasm for was when Lachlann touched on knowledge of the supernatural, and of magic.

He pushed his father for more tales of what could be done with magic, and how one might wield it, but his father was reluctant to impart more than the most basic theories, telling Cardhu that “he would learn more when he had acquired the necessary wit and wisdom”, an answer the young man liked not at all.

Finally, driven to outright rebellion, he enlisted Braca’s help to break into his father’s private rooms at the top of the tower. They managed to climb the rough wall and break in the window, and gained access to a room stuffed with bottles and scrolls and various strange and mysterious items. At a loss as to where to start, they rooted through the junk until Cardhu came across a small black box. Some strange compulsion made him try the lid, and he remembered no more ...

When he regained consciousness, he was back on the ground below the tower, Braca beside him, and black smoke was wisping from the window overhead. Braca told him that on opening the box he had screamed and batted at the air, thrashing about the place like a drunken man, then had collapsed. In his fit, he had knocked over a bottle. It smashed on the wooden floor, spilling a caustic substance that released gagging smoke and fumes and setting the floorboards smouldering. Terrified, Braca had dragged him to the window and lowered him down with the rope they had brought, before following himself.

Fearful that he had set the tower alight, Cardhu decided to flee. Braca, taken with the idea, decided to come with him, and helped him appropriate two horses from Lord Allain’s stables. They rode out of Glenforach with no great plans, merely an idea in their heads to head southeast toward Corandyn lands, where rumours of war and strife suggested that they might find employ with a mercenary band.

After several (mis)adventures, they did join a company of sell-swords, though much of their time was spent on dull guard duty or standing the worst watches at merchant guild-houses. The romance of the life soon palled, and homesick hearts turned heads to thoughts of home, but youthful pride could not allow either of them to admit they had erred. Eventually they saw battle, which proved rather different from the tales of the Filidh back in Dun Aedinn, and learned to ape the contempt of their brothers in arms for the political machinations of the Corandyn nobles and merchants for whom they worked.

In this time, Cardhu was also increasingly disturbed by black dreams and feelings of foreboding or dread, and sometimes the hand that had opened the box would go numb and cold. He tried to ignore these symptoms, but they grew more and more frequent. Finally, he decided to swallow his pride and return homeward. Braca had fallen in love with a young doxy, and was enjoying the freebooter’s life too much to give it up so soon, so the two companions bid each other good fortune and parted ways. Cardhu headed north-west, feeling the dread grow within him with every mile travelled ...

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