Avyx (Sunny Meadow) Baltarran
Name: Avyx (Sunny Meadow) Baltarran Age: 25 Race: Tiefling Class: Warlord Hometown: Castlehaven, Sto, Naissus Parents: Corinthia & Ipso Baltarran (formerly Corinthia Gauvain and Rided Sadak) Grandparents: Mother’s Side: Arcti & Parzifal Gauvain (both deceased); Father’s Side: Arundhati & Vosegus( deceased) Sadak Aunts & Uncles: Mother’s Side: Great Aunt Andromeda “Sunny Meadow” Gauvain (deceased, sister to Arcti); Father’s Side: Murzim, Mantile, Bittern (deceased), Riglon (deceased), Cervus, and Via Sadak Other Significant People: “Uncle Levi” Leviathan (Dragonborn Warlord), Sarbrooke Gallows (human innkeeper, friends since they were teens); Ex-Boyfriend- Magnus Derg (Tiefling Warlock of Asmodeus) Parents’ Hometowns:; Father: Dagmal Manor outside Baenatasch- the old capital of Bael Turath Empire; Mother: Troye- small Tiefling village within the Majan Forest Parents’ Occupations: Mother: herbalist, healer, alchemist; Father: raised to be a paladin to Asmodeus (escaped), Tiefling & Dragonborn historian, amateur pastry chef Personality Traits: Protective of traveling companions but generally distrustful of everyone until they have proven themselves in a variety of manners. Feels the need to do everything herself and doesn’t like asking for help. Doesn’t charge into situations without thinking nearly as much as she did as a teenager but is still prone to throwing herself into harms way when she perceives it as her duty (which has a great deal to do with her past). Despite being easily annoyed she is capable of being a very understanding and compassionate person if a real problem is perceived
Corinthia Gauvain, as she was then, grew up a wild child of the forest, every day another adventure with the neighborhood horned hoodlums. Occasionally, human and other non-Tiefling merchants, adventurers, and pilgrims passed through on one of the trails of the Majan Forest on their way to any one of a number of human cities surrounding the wilderness. Her parents ran a small apothecary that often carried rare herbs or hard to make potions in demand throughout the region. Then the “Fires of the Nine Hells” (as rumor named them) came sweeping in from the larger western Tiefling colonies in the form of a newly formed Asmodean cult bent on reforging the Bael Turath Empire through the renewal of blood pacts with the god of devils and domination. While the fanatics were never large enough in number to be a threat to the cities, small villages like Troye had to deal with their repeated attempts to recruit the young and insight violence towards other species. Eventually the situation came to a head and the town was plunged into an all out battle. As the Troye burned to the ground its inhabitants dragged many of the Nine Hells down with them. A number of the townsfolk had died in the fight, including Corinthia’s parents Arcti and Parzifal. Corinthia (only 9 years old at the time) along with the other children had been taken out of the forest by a few of the younger adults, including Arcti’s sister Andromeda. The small troupe had sought refuge in the nearest shelter outside the forest that could hide them from the surviving fanatics who had taken a special interest in collecting children to train for their cause. This happened to be a small temple of the goddess Avandra. Eventually the remaining townsfolk came secretly to collect their children and depart for new, safer villages far from here. Andromeda and Corinthia lingered on at the Temple while the Nine Hells continued to hunt for what remained of the Gauvain family because of the many followers who had been killed or maimed by Arcti and Perzival before they were finally struck down. The priestesses were able to smuggle the two of them away from Majan to a temple near the lake district of Baenatasch where they stayed on as herbalists. Andromeda eventually became a healer at the temple and Corinthia spent the remainder of her childhood here learning from the temple’s massive collection of books stored in what was also the regional library. She remained here until the age of 20 when she wandered out in search of adventure carrying The Creeveroe, an old family ring of knotted silver passed to her from Andromeda. When she handed the ring to her niece, Andromeda said the ring would protect her and that she should pass it on to her daughter when she was left home. Corinthia had not gone very far when adventure found her in the form of another young Tiefling on the run.
Ipso, or Rided, as he was first, was born into the wealthy mercantile Sadak clan, which claimed its ancestry in the founders of Baenatasch in the days of the Empire (though even Rided knew at least part of this was the work of well paid writers of historical fiction). His parents, Vosegus and Arundhati fancied themselves displaced nobles surrounded by inferior species. They raised their five sons and two daughters with the same mentality though Bittern and Rided never took to it the way the rest of the children did. Murzim and Mantile were designated as the future of the family business, Via took it upon herself to become the family queen of espionage and Cervus and Riglon enjoyed being the muscle behind the Sadak business deals leaving the family disappointment, Bittern to play middle management. While the family did not engage actively in terrorizing the neighboring human cities (mostly because they needed the business) they saw no harm in handing over their youngest child (Rided) to the clan’s alchemist/Tiefling religious historian/cleric dabbler in the religions of the dark gods – Melezir for training. Melezir was knowledgeable of the appearance of scattered Asmodean cults, particularly in areas close to the old capital. Through his extensive research regarding the formation of his species and their pacts with devils, he thoughtfully decided to grace Rided with the honor of becoming the first Tiefling Asmodean paladin (aka his own religious guinea pig) of what would surely soon be a flourishing movement back to power. Rided, while enjoying the historical and martial side of his “training” had more interest in honing his culinary skills than learning how to mutilate chickens with a magic spell. He carefully avoided ever gaining any real skill in this form for as long as possible while attempting to convince his parents that Melezir was unstable and untrustworthy. Only Bittern ever listened but no one paid he nor Rided much attention. Then one day, Cervus and Riglon thought they could make themselves into great heroes by “avenging” their old empire’s destruction on a group of Dragonborn passing through the area. Bittern followed not long after, trying to stop them but he was not fast enough. When it was over one Dragonborn, Riglon, and Bittern were dead. Vosegus and Arundhati mourned their sons only long enough to use them as propaganda for a forced removal of all Dragonborn in the region, which would have increased their land holdings. Rided had had enough and after his brothers were buried he vanished one night and was Rided nor more.
He ran until he ran straight into Corinthia one night at a pub. Within the blink of an eye they were inseparable and on the run. They avoided Sadak contact, befriended the Dragonborn warlord Levi, and gathered their share of treasure. But the past caught up with them while visiting Andromeda. Via had found them and she, Vosegus, Cervus, and Melezir were waiting. Ipso wanted to leave to protect the new family he had made but Corinthia and Levi would not let him, and Andromeda and the priestesses vowed Avandra’s temple would not cease in giving them sanctuary. A fight ensued, and when Melezir threatened her with a slow and painful death and an even more heinous afterlife in one of the Nine Hells, Andromeda simply informed him that if he tried to curse her it was he who would spend eternity as a demonic slave, for death would only make her stronger. He threw his curse anyway, and when the flashes of lightning and fire were over, all that remained of Melezir was a twisted gangrene corpse and Andromeda had left only her gray cloak. The rest of the Sadaks fled until they could decide if Rided’s punishment was worth continuing to meddle with the gods. Arundhati demanded retribution but Vosegus mysteriously died before they could give chase, providing a needed distraction. Corinthia, Ipso, and Levi stayed at the temple only long enough to mourn Andromeda and pay homage to the their protective goddess. From there they headed south, sometimes working as herbalists and chefs, or taking out the local troublemakers for a fee. They avoided Tiefling settlements for fear that Via’s eyes and ears would spot them. Instead they looked for suburbs on the outskirts of metropolitan areas of mixed species and took an old family name from Corinthia’s ancestors of a line that had died out-Baltarran, to disguise themselves.
Eventually Avyx was born and while her parents tended to stay in towns longer than before, no place ever felt like home. The caravans they travelled with rarely had other Tieflings, especially children. They never told her why. Levi was the only friend she had and he was only around when between campaigns as a warlord. Avyx had inherited the quick fiery temper common in the Sadak clan, which she always struggled to keep in check. Corinthia and Ipso had trained themselves to be unassuming, making it easier for them to go unnoticed and appear far less threatening to the humans they were often around. As she grew older, her naturally imposing form and size in comparison to others her age meant she was often left in charge of the children they were traveling with. , She hated being forced to play the calm and understanding nursemaid when she was constantly frustrated and aggravated by her parents’ refusal to discuss the family history, the lack of Tiefling companions, and her required good behavior so as to not frighten the humans. She finally got her chance to play hellion at the age of 15 when the travelling caravan included a number of Tiefling families with children around her age. Eighteen-year-old Magnus Derg and his friends provided her with her first opportunity to learn what life was like for the rest of the Tieflings. They filled her mind with dreams of the lost empire, of escape from continual displacement and fear among other beings, and their superiority as a species that they should not have to hide. They gave her acceptance and wormed their way into her confidence. She was Magnus’s girlfriend before long and sneaking off to pick fights with the local guard or at the local pubs they were passing by. Theft, vandalism, and a bit of terrorizing awaited anyone who crossed them. But then Derg made the error of showing Avyx his real purpose when he attempted to force her participation in the ritual sacrifice of some stolen animals. He was an aspiring Asmodean warlock, which only his followers knew. Avyx may not have known a great deal about her family, but she knew enough about Asmodeus to know she was in trouble. Her temper got the best of her and she and Magnus got into fight before the others arrived which ended in a brawl. Just as Magnus was attempting to unleash something magical and nasty, she nailed him in the horn with his own sword. The result was her getting a face full of half formed curses and Magnus limping away with a bleeding head. She managed to stumble back towards the camp but she passed out before she made it all the way. Levi, who had heard rumors of a group of traveling Tiefling Asmodeans, turned up in time to assist Corinthia and Ipso find his adopted niece. Avyx never recalled a great deal from that evening, but remembered vaguely being carried into camp by Levi and having a night of strange dreams with her Great Aunt Andromeda trying to tell her something. Magnus and his followers had disappeared from the caravan permanently and Corinthia and Ipso finally told their daughter her true history. The family travelled into Naissus and settled outside Sto, in a small village called Castlehaven. There they took on a run down long abandoned fort on the edge of town that had been used centuries ago by Tieflings, Dragonborns, and humans for defense. They settled in as herbalists and bakers who also dabbled in a bit of alchemy and made themselves indispensible to the local community of mixed species.
Avyx was never very proud of her actions while with Magnus and had a constant reminder of the grave error she had almost made in the form of a permanent scar on her cheek and singe marks on her horns that would never fade. While she had escaped the full force of his magic, she discovered that she herself could not work any spells or touch certain objects without ending up with blood oozing out of her pores. The local witch could only say her magical “wiring” was now slightly askew. She spent a few years trying to teach herself some patience and control of her anger while attempting to learn the family trade. While her temper could still get the best of her at times, she learned to like her role as protector of the youth younger and smaller than her and considered the trust placed in her an honor not to be taken for granted and a penance for her past. She became good friends with the innkeeper’s daughter, Sarbrooke but was never really content at mixing herbs. She had Asmodean cults on the brain and she knew the damage they could do. She wanted to fight the forces that had plagued her family for so long. She finally asked her Uncle Levi to train her as he had been trained, to be a warlord. And so, once she had mastered some basic martial skills, she joined him on a number of military endeavors in the region. After a few years with some battles under her belt, she decided she was ready to go on her own. Before she left Corinthia gave her daughter The Creeveroe, which Avyx never removes from her neck.
This is an interesting example of where my players and I have come into conflict over the creation of Naissus. This biography isn’t quite the sort of “world” that I’d imagined when creating the world, but what am I to do? I certainly am not going to tell Avyx that she can’t be the daughter of lost Tiefling nobility, the niece of a dragonborn, and also a baker. What I have done however is to key in on a few specific aspects and extrapolate those, and incorporate them into the campaigns.
Of note have been the incident with Magnus and the Asmodean cult and small portions of her heritage. So for my creation purposes I view Avyx as a Tiefling with noble heritage, who has had intimate run-ins with unscrupulous Tieflings obsessed with restoring the past glory of the Tiefling Empire. This isn’t to say that other aspects are not true or any less real, but for my narrative purposes this is how I view Avyx.
This is a wonderfully rich backstory, filled with all sorts of specifics (even if they weren’t my cup of tea), I felt I owed it to Avyx to make this a reality in the game-world. I hope she feels the payoffs have been worth it.