Saturday, 6 April 2013

F is for Friar, Blessed Roderic Leer, Ulrican Friar

Roderic Leer was born to a woodland father that worshipped Taal and a mother who was quietly an Ulrican. Roderic grew up honoring Taal, but abhorred the labor of the woods. He soon found an opportunity to join the militia of Talbecland when a muster in Klepzig was held. The muster would credit his father's liege as required by the Elector Count, but it paid directly. His years as a soldier set his path toward becoming blessed by Ulric, and some say a "Saint-in-the-wings."

Roderic's company became separated from the main body on a march to Kutzleben, a farming community on the Taalbaston, outside Talabheim. Roderic's company was surrounded by Skaven in an ambush. Roderic rallied the troops and formed a pocket of resistance against a collection of boulders and high ground near the Taalbaston. In what seemed like a situation that would eventually end with the entire company eliminated to a man, Leer, out of desperation, started to pray to Ulric. Huddled in rain ditches and tumble down rock holes, listening to the chittering ratmen in positions only 10 yards away, he quietly prayed for bravery. It came when he could take no more of the plotting by the Skaven below. With a fierceness he would later say was the hand of Ulric, he charged the foul "children of the horned rat god" and routed them.

Roderic and nearly three dozen soldiers survived. Barely honored by his captains, Roderic opted to complete his service quietly and left Talabecland for Ostland. Roderic wandered the Empire for two years reconciling the his salvationf, his friends lives, the loss of so many, and the denial that ratmen could have been responsible for the ambush. Initially, his wanderings afforded him opportunities to tell stories at taverns or coaching inns for lodging and food. But soon he was avoiding the armies marching through villages, conscripting any man able to wield a halberd. He knew now that the Storm of Chaos moved over the Empire. Roderic would not know of the devastions of the war until he arrived outside of the ruins of Wolfenburg.

Skirting Wolfenburg and deftly hiding from bandits, beggers, and sellswords, he would stumble upon a cave in the Middle Mountains that would bring him quick closure and honor, after his years of wandering and fighting. In the cave, a "bishop of Ulric" was hiding with a group of monks, all persecuted by the Sigmarites that ruled the refugee camps and garrisons surrounding the remains of Wolfenburg. It was here that he became an initiate in the Ulrican cult. He would succeed the "bishop" who initiated him when Sigmarite zealots raided the camp and his mentor was instantly killed as he tripped and fell against a rock.

Ulric would deliver him from the Sigmarites when several of the soldiers he served with in Talbecland stopped the monks as they crashed through their campsite. The small company of sellswords would slaughter the zealots and Roderic would convert them all to the Ulrican faith. The new martial order would settle in a wilderness area near Ferlangen far from Wolfenburg. They would clear all manners of Archaon's stragglers from the woods. The monks would also render aid to those that tended the forests and lands around Ferlangen. Roderic would also ensure the safety and care of Ulrican temples and priests far from Middenheim. Alas, the order would be arrested during renewed persecution by the governor Ferlangen fearing witch hunters and "witnesses" that would bear false witness that the monks were truly mutants hiding in the woods, corrupted by the very things they fought. Caught and tortured, the were promised mercy if they were to worship Sigmar. They refused to a man. The monks were beheaded. Roderic would be tortured and burned at the stake in Ferlangen in 2523 IC as a heretic and mutant.

Roderic's ashes were quietly spirited away and poured over the pile of skulls of his monks outside of Ferlangen. Talk in taverns of Ostland and in temple's of Ulric tell of an elderly woman--his mother! it is said in some places--performing this act. Today, Ferlangden farmers tell of a ghostly order of headless monks that clash with beastmen daring to terrorize the surrounding farms. Quiet groups of Ulricans are said to visit the bump in the grassy field where the monks were unceremoniously buried, heads separate from body.

Roderic's champions for Sainthood in the Ulrican faith wear a stylized ear with a cut and ragged lobe, a personal trait reported by some in Ferlangen that saw his execution. "Rodericans" often can be seen discretely pulling their ear when encountering others that honor Roderic's faith, leadership, and martial order. 

Roderic's Character Sheet is presented as an artifact of his life. His ghost, if real, will possess these skills.

Posted by caffeinated at 12:00 AM in d10