The Mark of Prophecy
Dragonborn Mercenary from Droaam
Balothron is a Droaamish Dragonborn who wanted to leave his hellhole of a homeland, so he hired himself out as a mercenary to House Tharashk as soon as he could – three years before the end of the Last War. His company was then hired by Breland to take care of various mundane duties, such as supply line defense, minor raids to keep the enemy off-balance, etc.
Despite the small-scale nature of the missions he was sent on, Balothron came to demonstrate a strong presence on the battlefield, acting as his company’s de facto leader in combat. As a result, his commander, a half-orc by the name of Scrag, chose to promote him to his second-in-command when his previous lieutenant died. For two years, Balothron glorified the unglorious, making his men feel as though their tasks were important, inspiring them to become one of the better small mercenary companies employed by the Brelish military.
When Breland marched on Cyre in early 994 YK and their supply lines began to come under attack, they gave Balothron’s company the vital task of stopping the raids. For weeks, they guarded the caravans, engaging in occasional skirmishes with the raiders, though the raiders always managed to split their forces just right to hit some target hard while keeping Balothron’s company occupied. Frustrated by this, Balothron and Scrag began analyzing the raiders’ tactics, and Balothron in particular came to appreciate and, eventually, understand the thinking behind them.
This in turn allowed him to predict the raiders’ next target – a small waypoint for supply caravans to feed their horses and maintain their landcarts. When the raiders came on 20 Olarune 994 YK, Balothron and his company were ready for them with an ambush Scrag had planned. Both sides fought hard, but the Cyran commander, not expecting such strong resistance, realized that he had to retreat and began rallying his troops to break their way out of the ambush. Balothron, not wanting his quarry to escape, forced his way through the Cyran troops to their commander, while his own men, inspired by their leader’s actions, came in behind him, engaging the troops that Balothron had left behind. When Balothron finally made it to the Cyran commander, he found that what awaited him was the hardest fight of his life – this human was the strongest and most tenacious opponent he’d ever come across. As often happens in such fights, the two began exchanging banter for no particular reason, and Balothron learned that his foe was named Darin ir’Riclamin.
This went on for a short time as the skirmish raged around them, but then, Balothron felt a shiver run down his spine – one the likes of which he had never felt before. He instinctively turned east towards Cyre and saw a terrifying sight. The event that would come to be known as the Mourning had occurred. Balothron, realizing that this was far bigger and more important than any of them, looked to Darin and roared two simple words, “cease fire” – an order to his troops and a demand to his enemy. Whatever fighting remained after the sight of the Mourning had stopped, and Balothron began giving orders to the men, regardless of their commander, to look for survivors and set up a field hospital and kitchen for them.
When these tasks were sufficiently underway, Balothron returned to his camp to get the troops who had stayed to defend against the Cyran raiders’ diversionary attack. Scrag, however, would have none of it, arguing that it was the perfect time to strike – the Cyran troops were scattered in small bands looking for survivors while he still had almost half his company ready for combat. When he ordered Balothron to hunt down and kill the Cyrans, Balothron refused, and Scrag ordered his troops to kill him. Balothron, however, called to the troops to help him help whoever may have survived, and they sided with the one they thought of as their true commander and chased Scrag from the camp.
Balothron and Darin’s men aided whoever they could find, but, as the days passed, they found fewer and fewer survivors. After several days passed where they found no one at all, they decided they had done all they could, and the two companies disbanded. A few of the men most loyal to Balothron remained with him as he decided what he would do now that he had earned a black mark in House Tharashk’s book, while the rest returned to their homes and families with the wages they had earned in their years of service. He eventually settled on a simple idea – he and those who remained with him would keep to small, remote towns and offer to protect them from bandits and monsters for room, board, and some nominal fee. Balothron did this for a few years, making sure to keep in touch with Darin in case either of them needed help with anything important, and then, near the 5-year anniversary of the Mourning, he received a note from Darin asking him to get some of his more trusted troops back together and wait.
Does not think that gnomes are actual people.
Does not think very far ahead.
Enjoys sitting back, drinking booze, and swapping stories (preferably war stories).