The Compass Rose
High Priest of Pelor
Born in distant Altamere, Noltus Innersol and his family migrated to Sasserine after a devastating financial scandal threatened to have both his father and mother imprisoned and their two children sent to fosterage. Reasoning that being free in Sasserine rather than a prisoner in Fallfast, they quickly left with little more than the clothing on their backs.
Arriving in Sasserine, Noltus’ parents found themselves caught up in the politics of the local magician’s guild, the Witchwardens. Rather than practice their craft in the city, they moved to become servants in one of the outlying plantations. Life was boring, but good enough. They could continue casting magic in service to the owners of the plantation, while they and their children earned their keep. A young Noltus, however, grew increasingly dissatisfied and craved more than sun-up to sundown labor.
In his early teens, he moved to Sasserine and discovered his calling accidentally. He found a cheap place to stay courtesy of a young woman he had just met, but finding a job was more difficult. By habit, he had woken well before dawn, and while he was wandering, he encountered a Pelorian priest walking three mastiffs. The two struck up a conversation, something that Noltus had discovered a long time ago he was very good at. As they walked, they spoke about everything from the nature of the sun to local politics (which Noltus knew very little about) to how difficult it was for a young man to find a job in this city where it seemed like you had to know someone to get in the front door. Several hours later, the priest offered Noltus a one-time job: return to the woman whom he’d been living with and convince her to do something good for this city with him, then come back and tell the priest about it. He’d give him ten gold.
Noltus thought it was amusing, and ten gold was ten gold, so he did.
It was easy, actually. She was vain and silly, so when Noltus suggested she spend most of her forty saved silver pieces on the poor because it would make everyone around think better of her, she did.
When Noltus returned to the priest, he pointed out that Noltus had, by his actions, caused the woman who had opened up her home to him because she thought that, perhaps, the handsome young man might love her, had, in fact, just tricked her into spending most of her money on foolishness, Noltus was greatly embarrassed.
The priest gave him his ten gold, claiming that “a deal is a deal.” He then sent the young Noltus on his way.
Noltus went back to the woman and gave her the ten gold.
Confused and saddened, Noltus took to hiding in his room, until the woman eventually persuaded him to, in not so many words, look for a job.
And the following morning, before dawn, he ran into the priest and his three mastiffs once again. And they got to talking, again. And Noltus admitted that he didn’t really care for the woman, but she was kind to him, but he didn’t want to be with her and he felt awful manipulating her. And the priest listened while Noltus talked.
They soon found themselves at Pelor’s Temple, and the priest asked Noltus to come in for breakfast and to continue talking about things, which Noltus agreed to. It was well into the afternoon before Noltus realized what time it was, and by that time he had learned a great deal about the temple, including the fact that they bred mastiffs as guard dogs. The priest asked Noltus if he’d like to work with the dogs, perhaps learn how to train them? The pay wouldn’t be great, but it would be a great skill to have.
Noltus agreed, and over the following months, he spent less time with the woman, and more time with the priests and their dogs. He’d also learned that he had developed a true faith in Pelor and in the blessings of light and redemption.
The following three years went remarkably well, though when Noltus learned that the Witchwardens had been conducting magical experiments on dogs they had bought from the Pelorian Temple, he became incensed. From here, he realized that he had been far too trusting of everyone; he expected everyone to trust him and in turn he trusted everyone… and while betrayals were rare, when they happened, they hurt. Hard.
So, it would be best to leave civilization behind. The priests of Sasserine gifted him with one of their most exceptional mastiffs and he set off on one of the Vanderboren ships southward, on a voyage of exploration. They were glad to have a healer of Noltus’ ability on board. He’d heard they had found a huge island to the south, one that the (in)famous Captain Barbarossa had discovered many years ago, and was only now just rediscovered.
This would be his opportunity to get away from betrayals, from people, and from the trappings of civilization, where people act like they are better than the mastiffs he has trained, but are, unfortunately, often not.
So, they went south. The Vanderborens disembarked to trade with locals, but they couldn’t understand their language. Over the next day, they managed to get into no end of trouble, as the Olmecan concept of property and trade was just not open to Sasserine’s mercantile ways. During this day, Noltus made it clear he would stay behind and spread the faith of Pelor; perhaps he could even prepare the Olmecans for the return of the Vanderborens.
And the island was huge and dangerous. He spent time among the Olmecans, but he learned that their culture was just not open to trade in the sense that the Vanderborens could appreciate. He also learned that they were not interested in Pelor; they appreciated his magic, but nobody seemed interested in his faith.
So Noltus spent time among the people, learning their ways. He came to understand them over the following two years.
When the Vanderborens returned, this time with some Meravanchis, Noltus assisted them with negotiating the location of their trading post/colony, Farshore. They could have a mostly uninhabited island if the people who lived there would agree to be “friends” with the seven villages.
Noltus and the two ships sailed for the island, and the colonists that had come with them began the long, arduous endeavor of establishing a colony. The Vanderborens left the Meravanchis in charge while they returned to Sasserine to gather more supplies, or so they claimed. Noltus didn’t particularly trust them, but it was good that they were on their way.
Noltus and Mandalay Meravanchi entered into a divine pact that they would protect Farshore.
Over the next year, the colony grew, and Noltus was able to spend more and more time away from the colony, growing ever more powerful in his faith and magical abilities in the process. He began to investigate the big island, seeking converts to Pelor among the smaller villages, even the non-human ones, with some small success.