D&D 2E: Answering the Call
7th Level, Half Elf Druid (Curtis)
Summary: Starting and almost failing at life in the frigid mountains, Thoben helped and joined a tribe of minotaur as they moved away from the cold to join a related tribe. In a warmer climate, his abilities finally worked. Eventually after helping out in every way he could, he left for new adventures.
Thoben found his druidic calling almost by accident. He found little use for the organized towns and strange customs of “civilization” so he spent most of his days and nights just camping around. He made a very meager living by being a guide and gathering rare plants in his homeland – a cold and mostly desolate area high in the mountains. It was a miserable life but it was the only one he knew.
One day, a tribe of minotaurs found him. They were forced out of their home and were on their way to join a tribe of distant relatives in a much warmer climate. The minotaurs paid Thoben to be their guide through the harsh, nasty winter to the base of the mountain. After three days of walking in circles, the minotaurs had enough and beat him unconscious. By then, the blizzard had passed on and the trails were visible. They picked him up and carried him along to their new home. After joining up with their fellow tribe they tossed him in the middle of their large encampment and debated what to do with him.
Beaten, scared, and seated on a rock completely surrounded (what I’m getting at is he really didn’t have any options), Thoben did the only thing he could do… ask the nearby animals for advice. While the minotaurs decided his fate, Thoben coaxed a chipmunk out of the tree overhead, seemed to speak with it, then shooed it away. He motioned to one of the minotaur’s large hunting dogs and it came bounding over playfully. He wrestled around with it a bit, chatted with it, then sent it on its way. Next was a small owl that silently landed on his arm. It cocked its head side to side as they conversed, then launched itself off, snatched up a rodent then flew off. One by one the minotaurs stopped discussing/laughing and stopped motioning how they’d rip him to pieces and watched the display, silent and confused.
All of the sudden Thoben jumped to his feet and pointed to the tree line the East of their clearing and began jabbering frantically. His audience jumped to their feet and grabbed their weapons in reaction. The hunting dogs went nuts barking and growling. One of the minotaurs named Asteron, the leader of the group that originally hired Thoben, brought his axe down on the chains holding the dogs. The dogs leapt away, ran straight past Thoben and engaged a huge snake-like creature, hidden in the tall grass, that was headed straight for a group of calves playing in a stream. The full force of the tribes came down on the creature and it was simultaneously killed and buried by the fury of blows.
When the dust settled, the tribe turned their attention back to Thoben. After retaking his seat on the rock, he waved and gave them an encouraging thumbs-up. Asteron charged at full speed and Thoben closed his eyes, thinking his life would soon come to an end. Instead of being gored though, he was grabbed, tossed high into the air, caught, and paraded around. Alcohol was passed around and Thoben went from being a disposable toy to the guest of honor.
In this new setting, Thoben quickly found his calling. He helped the minotaurs and their village integrate into their surroundings so they wouldn’t stand out and could live in relative peace but still be nearby to towns with those pesky action-hungry adventurers. In return, the minotaurs welcomed him into their tribe. Thoben took on the name Nighthoof from their comments about how his jet-black hair and, now darktanned, leathery skin matched the night better than the day. Some of the tribe tried to get him to take the name “Hoof Hearted” but he turned that suggestion down.
Eventually, the tribe was self-sufficient and practically invisible to any outsiders just passing by the area and Thoben found himself bored. Needing a change, he bid farewell to the tribe and went in search of adventure. He found it as well as a few non-minotaur comrades. They’re not as cool as animals but they keep him from going just full-on feral and denying his race entirely.