Pathfinder: Tales of Tyrthes
Despite being incredibly lazy and incredibly overweight, Grayden still manages to be astute and generally jolly.
Dressed in a grey robe, the only thing initially noticeable about Grayden is his size. His manner is usually friendly and inviting, if somewhat nervous. Typically preferring to avoid confrontation, he will often be the first to take the path of least resistance, especially if it means he doesn’t have to do any real work. Grayden carries a hammer at his built, that seems to rarely get much use. However, he is never seen with out a wineskin, mug, and a rather large sack of provisions, which he dips into frequently.
Grayden was born to a family on the frontiers. Unfortunately, he was stillborn. However, a cleric that was passing through town was present for the birth, as it had proved to be a difficult labor. Praying over the child, it returned to life. Though, whether through the power of his prayers or not, the cleric was unsure. Thinking the family would be glad to have their boy alive and healthy, instead the parents and the entire village shunned him, cursing him as a changeling and worse. Fearing what would happen to the boy if left to the mercies of the village, the cleric took the infant with him.
As the cleric was rather elderly, he knew he could not take care of the child on his own. So, after several weeks of travel with the unnaturally quiet child, the cleric left him with the brothers and sisters of the Abbey of Dartmoore. Built on the River Dartmoore, the Abbey served several small nearby towns and villages.
Not telling the members of the Abbey of the strange circumstances surrounding the childs birth, the Cleric left and never returned.
Grayden grew up among a small group of other children, some foundlings and some from nearby towns. As the abbey was the only center of learning for quite some distance, many parents sent their children there to learn their letters and numbers, and some to join the priesthood. However, even from a young age, the priests noticed some odd happenings around the boy. For instance, some of the other boys had found a dead bird on the Abbey grounds. Clustered around it, they did not notice little Grayden approach. He knelt next to the bird, and picked it up. Holding it in his palm, the bird began to move and thrash about. The other boys ran to get the priests, yelling that Grayden had healed the bird. The priests were surprised and thought they were witness to a miracle. it wasn’t until later, that they realized he had not returned the bird to life. Merely to a state of undeath. Hiding this fact from Grayden and the others, the priests wondered what this meant.
Never quite fitting in with the other children, Grayden spent much of his time in the boneyard behind the abbey. This worried the priests and further ostracized him from the other children, as he would stand there for hours, speaking to himself. About the only time Grayden expressed any interest in life was during meal time. He ate with a gusto and quickly become a very big boy.
It wasn’t until years later, when many of the other children had left on pilgrimages or back to their villages, that Grayden discovered his talents. As the unrest in the rest of the kingdoms grew, fewer children were sent to the abbey. This led to more and difficult work for the people living there, many of whom were in their later years. Choosing a good book and a big meal over manual labor, Grayden would often be chastised by the priests. It was during one of these periods, when told to chop wood for the week, that Grayden discovered something about himself. All the voices he could hear that no one else could, and the strange feelings he got sometimes snapped into focus. He realized that he had been speaking with the shades of those buried in the boneyard. Having passed on to their rewards, they had little to say, and none of it useful, but Grayden had spents hours and hours talking with them. So, in silent protest at physical labor, he called to one of those voice.
And it answered. A skeleton crawled its way from the ground.
Some hours later, a few priests went out, intending to help the boy finish his chores. They were quite surprised to see him sitting on a log, next to a rapidly growing pile of wood. He was reading a book, and eating a joint of mutton. Standing next to him, wielding an axe, was a skeleton. Never tiring and following Graydens every command, it had been chopping wood for hours.
It wasn’t long before Grayden had all manner of ghoulish “helpers” wandering the abbey grounds. As visitors to the out of the way place were rare, the undead minions were soon seen as irreplaceable. When necessary, they were covered in loose fitting robes, and kept out of sight as much as possible.
It has been a couple years of this. Graydens “helpers” did most daily tasks required to run the abbey, and the priests and nuns spent their time in study. Grayden joined them, between meals, at least. However, over the years, many of the residents of the abbey joined the ranks of the departed. Soon, it was only grayden, a single elderly priest, and a horde of undead wandering the grounds. Realizing that this was a recipe for trouble, the priest began to plot a way to get Grayden out in the world, and to put his unique skills to use.