The Edge of Empire
A simple, sturdy, kind-hearted young follower of Lathandar
Class: Hybrid Fighter | Cleric
Weight: 235 lbs
Age: 26 years
Armor: Piecemeal Scale
Shield: Battleforged Heavy Shield
Finn grew up as just another simple-minded peasant in Loudwater. He often hung around Garwain’s curiosity shop, dressing up in old cast-off armor and weapons and imagining himself to be a hero of legend. The dwarven proprietor grew fond of the human child (after all, it’s nice when someone takes an interest in your livelihood), and as Finn grew up Garwain offered him odd jobs around the shop—simple work requiring only strength and diligence, well within the boy’s somewhat limited abilities. Over a period of several years, he also managed to teach the child to speak and read Dwarven and, later, Draconic (though the boy was never very good at the latter). Finn’s parents, peasants living hand-to-mouth, didn’t mind at all that their son was spending most of his time (including meal times) out of the house.
Never having given much thought to what he’d do with his life, Finn ended up drifting from town to town in the Gray Vale working various jobs once he was too old to live under his parents’ roof. He went “adventuring” several times, but he also found food and shelter between excursions by working as a laborer, hunter, farmer, guide, caravan guard, porter, and medic. His ultimate occupation (and his true vocation) came from a chance discovery in his youth.
At some point while he was still helping Garwain in the shop as a boy, Finn got hold of an old book about Lathandar from among the dusty stacks, and he fell in love with the Morninglord. In all the years since he began worshiping Lathander, Finn never realized that Lathander had “revealed himself” to be Amaunator, as devotees of this latter god claim. Indeed, Finn never got wind of any controversy about his god until he arrived in Waterdeep and came upon a street preacher who was spreading the word about the true Sun God—and was being ridiculed by passersby as a crazy old codger. Finn didn’t understand why people were heckling this nice man who was just trying to let them know how great Lathandar was, but he stopped and introduced himself to the preacher to let him know that Finn, at least, had heard and believed in his message.
This first chance encounter on a street corner led to Finn joining Lathandar’s Remnant, a large but somewhat humble collection of worshipers of the Morninglord who gather regularly for worship in different people’s homes throughout Waterdeep and who cooperate with a larger network of Lathandarian churches and priests in small towns and villages in the area.
One thing the Remnant does in particular is keep alive some of the old traditions and duties of the Waterdhavian Temple of Lathander. For example, every year, the Temple used to send 1000 specially made candles to the town of Llorkh for their Festival of Lanterns. The candles are made using special ingredients in a divine ritual. Only a few remain who even know how to make them, and no one remembers what the ritual is supposed to accomplish. Nevertheless, the ritual continues because it’s tradition, and the delivery continues because Llorkh pays handsomely for the candles and the Remnant needs the gold.
This year Father Radnic, an older cleric who had made the journey to deliver the candles to Llorkh many times, asked Finn to accompany him. Downriver of Loudwater, the travelers were told by local authorities that passage upriver was dangerous because of a rash of bandit attacks, so Father Radnic decided to take an alternate route he knew through the Swamp of Chelimber: it would be slower, but safer.
Unfortunately, Father Radnic fell ill with a fever on the pair’s first day in the swamp. Barely conscious, the old cleric lost his bearings and wandered deep into the swamp with Finn at his side. The young man tried folk remedies, poultices, and prayer to fight the old cleric’s fever over the next few days, but to no avail. Finally, Finn was relieved to hear voices coming from a rocky structure jutting up from the swamp. But when he approached to ask for help, he and Father Radnic were set upon and captured by the resident Kenku tribe.
The Kenku were unsure what to make of their new catch. They tried to eat the candles Finn and Father Radnic were carrying, realized they are inedible, and left them alone. As for the humans themselves, the Kenku decided to try to sell them as slaves. Fortunately for the pair, the Kenku were new to the slave trade and asked a ridiculous price of the local slavers, who scoffed after a cursory examination of the sick old man and his simpleton apprentice revealed that they were not, in fact, sculpted from gold and were therefore worth nowhere near what the bird people were asking for them.
In the middle of the night after the departure of the slavers, Father Radnic emerged briefly from his feverish stupor and carefully handed Finn a tightly folded old piece of cloth from under his tunic. Finn unfolded it, revealing a tattered and slightly burned standard of Lathander bearing the symbol of the Morninglord on a field of white. From the wear and mildew on it, the standard seemed to be well over a hundred years old.
As Finn examined the standard, Father Radnic whispered weakly, “You must bear our standard now, Finn. Unfurl it in your time of need and evil will flee from its presence. But use it sparingly, for its power is fading. If only I had time to tell you what this banner has seen … how the glinting armies massed below it, standing on faith alone against insurmountable evil. It is yours now, Finn. It wants to be yours. Bear it honorably, young man.” The old man then smiled, urged Finn to stow the banner under his clothes, and drifted back into a feverish sleep.
Not long after that night, the Company of the Scepter Tower rescued Finn and Father Radnic from the Kenku. Tragically, Father Radnic died in the escape; when he buried the old man, Finn had a sense that the banner (or perhaps the old man, or even Lathandar himself) wanted Finn to “follow the unconscious one,” which Finn took to mean the halfing Una Jorenssen, who had been knocked out by the same creature that had felled Father Radnic. Nothing if not obedient, Finn has been traveling with the Company of the Scepter Tower ever since.