The Zhentarim Gambit
The Wood-Elf Ranger
Mindartis Ilphelkiir (Gemblossom), a wood elf ranger, hermit.
Mindartis is a spry 243 year old wood-elf, who measures at a 5’ 6" and 8-and-a-third stone on a good day, though that’s what he’ll always tell you. With green eyes and copper hair Mindartis has a habit of blending into the forests where he has spent most of his life. Mindartis would not be one to say that he mistrusts other people, rather he does not see why he should let anyone else perform a task when he would do it better.
Deep in the eastern woodlands, just north of the Sapphire Lakes, sits the ancient elven metropolis of Twalædor. 300 years ago, on the eve of the wood-elf celebration of their victory over the demon Naesohr, the Ilphelkiir family had a child. Their daughter was graceful, well liked, and a prodigious warlock whose power had not been seen for more than a generation.
Joryldin and Imra Ilphelkiir could not have been more proud of their daughter and her abilities. Since she could talk, Filyara was always weaving her spells with the goal of getting herself ahead of her peers. Full of ambition and a passion for power, she began resenting her brother before he was even born.
A scant 57 years after his sister, Mindartis joined the Ilphelkiir family. The two children could not have been more different. While Filyara was casting spells and making political allies, Mindartis took up the sword and bow and spent most of his time alone. More often content reading stories of the outside world, Mindartis never was one to care about other peoples’ opinions. His unshakeable apathy only caused his sisters’ bitterness for him to grow.
One day, while Mindartis was practicing his swordplay with his small group of friends Filyara seized her chance to rid herself of her brother once and for all. Clouding the minds of the other elves, Mindartis’ friends attacked him with the fury of a pack of starving wolves. The sound of the fight attracted the elders of Twalædor who got to the scene just in time to see Mindartis cut down the only friends he had ever known.
Before the elders could react, Mindartis ran from the city and disappeared into the northern forests. For the past century and a half he has lived off the land, keeping out of the prying eyes of the elves that would have his head. Occasionally he helps a stranger pass through the forest, or works to quiet one of the local giant clans. Mostly, however, he lives alone.
One summer night while he was heading back to his hut he heard a noise that sounded like a rock being skipped across a frozen lake. As he was investigating he soon realized that the forest around him was dangerously unfamiliar. As he ventured further through the thickening trees a deep fog swirled around him and he suddenly came upon a lake. Standing on a rock in the middle of the lake was a small spirit holding a scabbard. The spirit looked Mindartis in the eye, drew a glinting sword and then disappeared into the mist. When Mindartis reached the rock he found an ornate golden scabbard covered in runes from an ancient language utterly foreign to him. Try as he might the scabbard did not seem to fit any sword that he had in his possession.
The very next night he awoke as a searing streak of lighting arced past his hut and lit the surrounding forest on fire. As the acrid smoke began to cloud his eyes a howling gust of wind ripped past him and struck the thundercloud. Down tumbled two vast elementals, clashing in a primordial battle that threatened to destroy the entire landscape. Just as the flames reached Mindartis’ hut the two elementals disappeared.
As his life burned before his eyes for the second time, he decided to head south and see what the world outside the forests had to offer him.