Caretakers of Chaos
Gnome mage from the future.
Current Timeline: 8 year old gnome boy, neighbor of the Razanton and Kinzeel households. Son to Bedouin Diplomats, Peregrine and Gyrfalcon Sarsarun.
Plagued Version: Male, Gnome, Rogue/Wizard. Follower of Moon Goddess and Sune. Currently Displaced in an alternate past from his own.
Kestral is a gnome from the Bedouin people whose parents moved to Blackhoof when he was a small child. Kestral’s parents are diplomats of the bedouin people, and travel to and from the camp, and their home in Blackhoof.
Kestral’s family is 3 of only 4 gnomes in the Sarsarun clan. His parents were adopted into the clan when they were older children, and therefore try to mesh their Gnomish and Bedouin cultures. Growing up in both Bedouin camp and Blackhoof, Kestral as a result is a very multi-cultured person, and polite.
In the Plagued timeline Damakos and Dontearse return to Blackhoof 10 years after their departure through the portals- to them it had been only a week. During that time, the course was set for a lot of bad things to go down- this is Kestral’s part of the story.
As little kids, the Razanton children and Kestral played together a lot- during the first few years of her husband’s absence Rosemary spent a lot of time with the Sarsaruns. As her hope that he (Dontearse) would return faded through the years, she distanced herself from them, and buried herself in her books more and more- she began to send the children to their gnomish family less and less, and relied on her own family less and less. The twins ended up spending a lot more time with the Sarsaruns, and the kids all decided to start studying the portal.
When the twins were nearly 13, a life-changing event happened. There was a large earthquake, and for the first time in 10 years, the portal hummed to life, and out walked a harrowed-looking Damakos and Dontearse. Kestral wasn’t there when they arrived- but he remembers the fallout.
Word spread quickly that the Heroes of Blackhoof had returned! There were cheers and laughter, and the people of Blackhoof were excited and rejoiced- but for those close to the heroes, it wasn’t all joyful. For a week, nobody in the Razanton household left the tree- late at night; Kestral heard yelling and longed to comfort his friends.
Bored, Kestral went to visit the portal, and found Damakos guarding it. He later found out that the tiefling, back at his position as head of the royal guard, had reinstated the guarding of the portal and took every available shift that week.
Unbeknownst to either of the adults, Kestral was in earshot when Xander came to visit Damakos at the portal. He crept closer to view the exchange- it was the one and only time Kestral ever saw the dark leader of The Sigrún cry. Apparently somebody important to the both of them hadn’t come back through the portal with them.
A week after the return of the heroes, Kestral finally saw the twins again. They’d been spending most of the week with their extended family while their parents caught up. They had hoped they would be a family again, but for some reasons they weren’t told, both their mother and their father were very angry.
Rosemary moved out of the tree house into a little apartment in the city library.
The two never truly reconciled- though Kestral wondered if they would have, if given more time. Three years after Dontearse returned, Rosemary died.
It was the saddest day of Kestral’s life. Rosemary had been like a second mother to him. She’d often hug him and tell him how she’d always wanted more children, and having him around was like getting that wish. Rosemary suffered from the spell plague scars worse than any one Kestral had ever met. She’d never really learned to control her magical abilities- they seemed to just overflow from her along with her emotions. When Dontearse returned, she became even more covered in them, and stopped leaving her little apartment altogether.
The day she died, the kids were in the study rummaging through old books and notes. Dontearse was at the tavern, and Rosemary stopped by to grab a few things she’d forgotten in the move. Kestral thought she seemed disappointed that Dontearse wasn’t there- but he would never share this information with Dontearse Sr., thinking it might break him more.
She was there like always- a smile across her face as she watched the kids in the study. She started to warn them to tidy up when they were done, when she fell. Just fell, like she’d fainted. The kids panicked. Azhima ran across the street to get Damakos for help.
The boys tried to help her up, but she was just so weak. Her form seemed too frail, so light, but they just couldn’t lift her. When Damakos arrived, there was nothing he could do- it was the only time Kestral ever saw the tiefling cry. The image of his tears drying before they completely crossed his cheeks is still very vivid. Her scars all began to glow white.
Rosemary told him to keep an eye on Dontearse and the kids for her- then she was gone. She became a flash of light, and she wasn’t there anymore.
Dontearse arrived shortly after that- Damakos had sent a kobold to get him. With one look, the tiefling sent all the kids out of the room. No one knows what he said to Dontearse, but the resulting earthquake that rocked the house was impressive.
When they left the room, both were bloodied, bruised, and tired. That week, the meetings started- once a week, at the Lucky Scoundrel, private room with a card table. Kestral tried to sneak in once- it didn’t work.
As a teenager he spent some time at the Sigrún school in La Liba Jabal run by Xander and showed some talent in stealth and observation and was on his way to being a decent rogue, and possibly a member of The Sigrún. However, his gnomish heritage gave him a knack for magic, and when his best friends decided to dedicate all their time to studying Dontearse’s past work and the portals, he felt the need to help them- he became the guinea pig for what Dontearse Sr. had dubbed, “Defiler Magic.”
The kids soon learned that the Defiler Magic was difficult to grasp at first, but once understood was easy to perform. It also resulted in no plague scars. The kids had to keep it a secret from Dontearse Sr. The one time they’d mentioned it, he’d gone off on an angry tirade about the real purpose of magic, shouting angry curses at the people of Onokoro and their sheer arrogance. He didn’t leave his lab for 3 days after.
Donte went away for a time taking some of his father’s notes with him. It was during that time that Kestral and Azhima became a lot closer. During an expedition to go find the lost portal of La Liba Jabal, the new couple consummated their relationship with terrifying results- leaving Kestral with a large scar across his entire torso.
As Azhima attempted to heal him with her magic (not healing magic, but use her own magic to knit together the wound) the gash became the dark blue of the spell plague scars. Kestral entered a deep sleep, exhausted from the whole ordeal, leaving a distraught Azhima to watch over his unconscious form.
When Kestral awoke, he was greeted by a relieved Azhima, and a returned Donte. The reunion was short-lived, as Donte explained he still had work to do in the desert, but reassured his friend that he was okay and would return completely soon. He had a bandage around his right eye, and refused to talk about it. The two didn’t breathe a word about their new status as a couple to Donte at this time- both a little unsure how things would play out.
The expedition continued, quietly. When the dwarven stronghold was reached, little was there to be found. The Sigrún forces had already combed most of the outlying tunnels and all that had been found on portals was entrusted to Rosemary during Dontearse’s 10 year absence. All other tunnels and halls had been thoroughly explored by the dwarves that now lived there.
So, back home to talk to Dontearse about Rosemary’s notes- which was probably going to be harder than exploring La Liba Jabal would have been, even WITH Hallows.
On the trip back to Blackhoof, the couple reconciled and agreed to take it easy till Azhima learned how to better control the sudden outburst she had. Neither spoke of their fear- that Azhima was just like her mother, and might suffer a similar fate.
Once in town, they met up with Dontearse Sr. – Kestral wanted to honor the gnomish tradition of courting and ask Dontearse’s permission. Azhima thought it silly- stating that she wasn’t just gnome, but Dhoane and she was allowed to explore as she wished. They finally decided to just combine all their cultures to the best of their ability. Kestral told Azhima that Bedouin also ask permission so she finally caved and let Kestral ask.
It was during his talk with Dontearse Sr. that Donte finally returned. Clouds gathered, thunder rumbled, and lighting flashed. He arrived, riding upon the head of the biggest behir anybody had ever seen. Dontearse Sr. chuckled and told Kestral he’d always known his boy was special, “stole my designs too!” He said that he really didn’t need to threaten the younger gnome considering himself and the company he kept, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go greet my old behir friend. I haven’t seen him in a while.”
“I am going to have to marry that girl, or die trying. I have no other choice.” Kestral replied to the seat left by the older gnome.
GM NOTE: I love Kestral. The poor guy isn’t THAT above average, and finds himself in the company of legends. His girlfriend is a super-talented sorceress, his best friend is the first being other than storm giants to tame and ride a behir and an accomplished Storm Mage. All he ever wanted to do was help his friends and find love, and ended up caught up in this huge adventure in the process.
Kestral is named after a kestrel, the smallest type of falcon. His mother is named Peregrin, the fastest falcon (and fastest raptor, I think), and his father, Gyrfalcon is named after the largest falcon.
Originally I was going to make him the son of the bedouin shaman the party met before, but decided not to.