The Salderine Empire
Name: Roderick Usher
Faction: Party, Imperial Order of the Spellblade
Attitude To Party: Founding Member
Theme Song: Dragonforce – Heart of a Dragon
Skin: Pale Red
Distinguishing Marks: Red Ram’s horns, prehensile tail
Roderick Usher was born the middle of 5 children into a family of blacksmiths in a small mountain hamlet. He began working in his father’s forge and learning the art of blacksmithing when he was 8 years old. Everything was going along very well, Roderick’s unusual intelligence helped him progress quickly and he was already helping forge weapons when, at the age of 12, the change began to happen. In the span of a few weeks he had gone from a normal adolescent to a fully-manifested Tiefling youth. His skin turned a blood red, he grew a tail and horns, his eyes turned completely black and he was quickly outcast from his family, who now viewed him an aberration.
After living homeless in the woods for two years, Roderick was found by a hedge wizard from closer to the heart of the Empire, Marcus. Marcus not view the manifestation of Roderick’s demonic heritage as an sign that he was evil. Marcus took Roderick under his wing, and they spent 25 years together, wandering the mountains, Roderick heavily cloaked when in public, practicing wizardry. Roderick grew, not only physically, but also in arcane power. It took a good portion of that 25 years for Roderick to overcome the stigma which his physical changes cursed him with, but in time he learned to deal with people’s reactions towards him. In time, Roderick discovered the age-related aspects of his lineage. For while he remained youthful and not even yet entering his prime, his master and friend grew older and died. When Roderick was 39 years old, he had to bury his only real friend in the world.
Roderick then wandered for a further 10 years, continuing to practice and hone his arcane skills, and occasionally improving the blacksmith skills he had learned many years previously. Over the course of these 10 years, Roderick became more accepted in the villages he frequented and eventually struck out for the heart of the Empire. It was close to the capital where he encountered the man who was to train him in the martial arts.
It was Augustus, a retired soldier and mercenary, who taught Roderick how to wield a sword and hammer. Roderick studied under and traveled with Augustus for a further 12 years, until his teacher retired to a quiet life, too old to wield arms in any meaningful way, and ready to take on new pupils.
Roderick was now 50 years old and decided that the time had come to see what existed beyond the Empire’s boundaries. It took him 26 years and many misadventures to reach the fringes of the Empire. Along the way he stopped in places, for years at a time, to continuing honing his skills and feed his unquenchable thirst for knowledge of all sorts. During these travels, Roderick learned more hard lessons about the differences between what the law says, and what it does. It was these lessons that ultimately taught Roderick that good does not always equal nice, and that sometimes the law is unable to properly serve the greater good.
Now, Roderick finds himself finally at the Empire’s boundaries and looking forward to what lies ahead, perhaps for the first time in years..