Dante Sunsworn


Radiant Servant of Pelor


Ashenport should have died a generation ago, as did the other towns along this rocky coast. The town thrived despite its remote location, rocky land, and harsh seas. Before they had this boon the town was on the brink of collapsing with townsfolk deserting. When the local priests could offer the townsfolk no hope, they turned to a darker patron, guided by several of their eldest citizens who remembered older, bloodier ways. Ever since, the people of Ashenport have dwelt, if not in luxury, then at least in comfort. Fishing, hunting, and farming are easy. Sunken treasures appear regularly in shallow waters. A trade route long fallen into obscurity has begun once again to show traces of life. But the Prince of the Depths gives nothing for free. Every autumn, at the lowest tide, the dark waters beyond Ashenport sing a terrible song. The sea resounds with Dagon’s Call, a mystical summons that compels all who hear it—save for Dagon’s own worshipers—to march into the sea and allow themselves to drown. The souls of the lost go to feed Dagon’s ravenous hunger, while their bodies are infused with his essence, mutating into ichthyic horrors.

Dante was born at the heart of one of these great storms; a great wind howled as those not devoted to Dagon marched helplessly into the biting tide. Dante’s family had learned the secret of surviving this dark town and had to teach Dante to also pay tribute to the Prince of the Deeps. His childhood was mostly spent working in the sea with his father, Arack, on their large fishing boat and ended with the same prayer to Dagon every night. Dante did not truly understand the words he spoke to Dagon but had to endure violent beatings whenever he questioned the practice.

It was during this time Dante found out that his mother, Asyia, was sick with a disease and was going to die. This was devastating for Dante and also was the start of regular beatings. Dante’s mother had been a local teacher but after finding out of the disease, she started leaving the house every night and not returning until the morning. His father told him that, “Mum would be alright now,” when he asked about it.

The regular beatings from his father caused a spark of hate to form in his heart. He was too weak to fight back against his father and on top of that, his friends would sometimes completely disappear from the town after the great storms. Determined to find out where his friends were going, Dante sneaked out of the house during one of the storms. Dozens of people, some he knew and others he didn’t, walked slowly towards the ocean. The tide was exceptionally low but the current was unimaginably rough. Despite that, the people kept walking into the water like the dead. Dante tried to shake a new traveler that had arrived into town the day before but he would not respond. Scared, Dante ran away towards the lord’s manor and guard quarters.

Dante pounded on the gate of the manor as hard as he could but the howling winds of the storm proved too powerful. Resigned he put his back to the gate and slid down onto the muddy ground sobbing. A moment later, lightning forked in a blinding streak out of the heavens down upon two twin trees in front of the gate. The lightning seemed to be of pure gold and incinerated the trees in one instant leaving the deafening roar of the air heating but in the same instant cooling, crackling violently. In that instant he could see nothing… hear nothing… except the sound of a woman sobbing nearby. Dante regained his senses to realize he was lying on his black more than twenty feet from where he was sitting before the strike. His clothes emitted heat and smoke. He looked down at his charred clothing remembering the woman crying. Adrenaline pumping, Dante ran towards the gate charging it with his shoulder. The hinges creaked in protest as the pressure and force caused them to explode. The gate fell easily and Dante was off towards the manor. Dante rushed into the house where the crying was much more prominent. Rushing through doors and hallways, he burst into a dark room to see a woman curled up in the corner crying into her hands. Getting closer he realized it was his mother lying there naked. Asyia looked up at Dante embarrassed and confused but she still forced out a smile. Dante helped Asyia escape back to the house. She explained that Dagon has required her body as “service” to cleanse her of the disease.

Inside the house, Dante’s father stood waiting impatiently. He paced back and forth muttering under his breath. Instantly, Asyia dropped to her knees begging for Arack to understand. Out of nowhere, he lunged at Asyia grabbing at her throat. Spiraling into a rage, Dante reacted instinctively, picking up Arack and tossing him back in one swift motion. Arack spun through the air trying to catch his balance but was stopped short as one of his fishing speared entered his skin and pierced his heart. Arack let out a loud gasping choking sound as blood filled his lungs and spilled out onto the floor into a crimson pool calm as the seas during the solstice. Dante’s senses slowly came back to him with the realization of what he had done. His hands shook uncontrollably. Asyia had a look of horror on her face as Dante fled from the house to the docks. He had to get away.

Dante quickly prepared the boat for travel despite the thrashing waves and fierce winds. After setting sail, he passed out from exhaustion. Dante awoke off the coast of Sayre. After docking he quickly was able to sell the boat and settle into the city doing labor work when it was available. His size was an easy sell to anyone looking for help. Having as much money as he did from the boat, Dante felt the allure of prostitution, gambling, and alcoholism.

No matter how much he drank or tried to forget about the terrible things in his life, it made him even angrier to the point he would go into a blind rage. Many bar fights were started and ended badly because of this. Some even ended in the death of the patron provoking Dante. He eventually was confronted by a guard in which Dante picked him up and snapped his spine. Suddenly a swarm of guards came in to arrest Dante. He was tried and convicted to life in prison. For the next six years he worked hard to become stronger reflecting on the chaos of the day he left Ashenport.

One day, the temple of Pelor was being reconstructed and they needed strong labor to help build it. Virgil, the high commander of the church suggested getting prisoners to help as a way to build character.

Despite the prison’s reluctance to let Dante help, Virgil understood Dante’s pain. So they worked together and built a magnificent temple to Pelor but Virgil used the opportunity to mentor Dante. He showed him how to focus his anger to a single point to accomplish tasks far beyond a normal person’s then related that focus and warmth to the power and grace of Pelor. Over time Dante began to understand that he was misguided as a child, full of hate, and needed to help guide others back to the right path.

One night he had a vision of Pelor and of a great quest he had to embark on to recover a holy relic, a tangible weapon of light. Throughout the entire vision the only clue he could find as to where it starts is of the shadow of a bird across the sun in front of a temple of Pelor. After drawing a picture of this vision and showing it Virgil; Virgil explained that it was once a great church in Overlook. From there, Dante escaped to take on this challenge from Pelor.

The ending was rushed for the sake of not boring you all to death. A couple of points.

1) Dante was first reached out to by Pelor through the lightning strike.
2) Dante’s mother is still alive and was forced to be a servant to Dagon.
3) Virgil vouched and was able to get Dante pardoned because of his good behavior.
4) More about Dagon for the curious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagon_%28Dungeons_&_Dragons%29

Dante Sunsworn

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