Age of Worms
Tanner was born in small village in the outskirts of Waterdeep to a hard working family with a long history of working in the local tannery. Just before Tanner was old enough to start learning the family craft a plague came upon the village slowly killing everyone who worked at the tannery including all his kin. Rumors whispered in the village that the social elite owner of the tannery switched plants used for the tannin to a poisonous type trying to save a few coppers.
Tanner was on his own as a sturdy young lad equipped with his youth and charismatic personality. Vagabond by choice he would do odd jobs in the smaller villages outside of waterdeep trying to earn enough coin to partake in some pub refreshments.
On one of his late night pub expeditions Tanner crossed paths with an elderly man named Pagus. Pagus was dressed in vestments that looked older then waterdeep itself and he offered Tanner a job excavating a collapsed shrine off in the hills for his order. Tanner initially refused as the work would keep him away from the taverns, ale and more importantly the maidens until Pagus informed him of his wages which were trice what he made in the villages. Early in the morning they made off for the hills. Pagus walking with his pack mule next to Tanner with sack and pickaxe on his shoulders.
Pagus forever talked of wild adventures, history and mystical powers on the trip out into the hills. Only pausing to drink from his silver flask with his order’s emblem etched on the front. Pagus would share his flask with Tanner which had the best tasting ale he had ever had in it. The ale seemed almost chilled, tasted sweet and left his mind feeling clear. By the time they reached the shrine Tanner knew everyone of Pagus stories as told them even in his sleep. While setting up camp Tanner noted the shrine looked like it had recently collapsed in on it self unnaturally.
The work was hard moving rock after rock with Pagus pacing back and forth almost searching the ruins. With nothing to do in the downtime Pagus taught Tanner how to improve is reading using a book from his order.
Finally seven moons into the excavating Tannis uncovered a small chamber late in the day. As Tanner started to enter Pagus noted that they would search the area at first light and their evening meal which included the last of their meat was cooking over the camp fire. Tanner obliged as his stomach rumbled and callused hands throbbed in pain. Tanner tired and full barely made it in his bedroll before his eyes closed. Pagus rambled to himself reading by the campfire.
Tanner awoke as he felt a breeze like none he had felt before as it seemed to pass through him. Groggy he looked around as the fire still burned as he heard what sounded like the old man digging around in the shrine on his own. Grabbing a torch Tanner made his way to the Shine only to see a strange light emitting from the chamber and the sounds he made out now were not of digging but of what sounded like battle. The light in the chamber flashed out with a loud rumble.
Tanner rushed into the chamber to find Pagus on the ground surrounded by the old bones of maybe a half dozen graves. Tanner thought to himself “not a battle just a crazy old man wondering in the night…“
Tanner moved to Pagus side helping him up and instinctively retrieving the flask from his leather belt bag offering him a small drink in hopes that would help. Tanner heard a noise of something heavy being dragged in a dark corner of the chamber. Still kneeling with the old man he raised the torch reveling what looked like a toddler completely covered in an old tattered robe dragging smoothing heavy. Tanner called out to the toddler as it lifted his head and Tanner realized it was only made of brittle bones as he seen a hammer clumsily starting to swing towards him. Tanner raised the flask foolishly hoping it would block the blow. Once the flask was in the air Tanner felt like a peddle dropping in a calm pond causing ripples of energy to emit from him. The toddler seemed to fall apart in front of his eyes letting the hammer above his head fall to the ground not before crushing his own empty skull. Tanner hadn’t realized Pagus was awake and touching his leg emitting the power through him.
Tanner had Pagus by the campfire all day waiting for him to wake up. When Pagus finally woke up he had little too say for once. He dodged Tanners questions and said that he had too return too his temple. When Pagus paid Tanner he handed him a large leather sack as extra thanks for saving him. Tanner opened that sack seeing a book, vestments and the silver flask on top. Looking up to question Pagus he had vanished out of sight.
Tanner took a drink and started to read the note Pagus had left him in the book answering some of Tanners questions ending with “Ale clears the mind, Glory clears the soul!” Tanner packed his things including the warhammer from the night before and started heading to the nearest town on his map, Daggerford.
As Tanner entered Daggerford looking for a tavern the town seemed alive as what appeared to be two higher class people fighting in a ring surrounded by drunk miners yelling and wagering. Thinking of the tannery from his childhood Tanner told himself “This may be the place for me”