Layonara World Lore > Hall of Heroes and Heroines

Shiff Dragonheart ~ The "Great" Protector


In Memory of Shiff Dragonheart
Loving Father, Faithful Husband,
Loyal Friend, Stubborn Protector,
Master Swordsman, Honorable Man.
[/SIZE]  [SIZE=13]May his spirit forever watch over [/SIZE][SIZE=13]the people he spent so much of [/SIZE] [SIZE=13]his life trying to protect.[/SIZE]  
 [SIZE=13]Shiff Dragonheart was born Jular 29, 1390 during Sinthar's War to a pair of apple farmers living on the outskirts of Prantz. There Shiff lived with his father, Drakus, and his mother, Saria, in peace, enjoying the simple comforts of farm life. Shiff would often be told stories by his father, who had recently joined the volunteer corps of the Prantz army, of the great heroes of this time, but seemed to love the stories about a man his father called the Norseman. Many a night Shiff would lay in bed thinking about being a great warrior, wielding a mighty sword and slaying monsters. Shiff would even spar with his father, chasing his father around with sticks with a bucket on his head.

Everything changed, however, when Shiff was eight years old. While riding into town to sell some apples, a man jumped them from the trees knocking them off their Wagon. Shiff hit his head in the fall and could barely stand, but his father and mother were trapped by the thief. Wanting all their gold, Shiff's father stood rooted in fear, until the thief snatched Saria from her husband’s side. It was then Drakus, fueled by anger, attacked the bandit unarmed. All three fell to the ground, Saria landing on the thief knife, Drakus' throat slit in the ensuing struggle. Standing, the thief tore through the clothes of Shiff's parents, robbing their dead bodies of all they had. Two days past until someone found them. Shiff was still sitting in the same spot, staring at the bodies of his parents....

Shiff was taken in by the Citadel of Toran in Prantz as an orphan. There he learned of Toran and his Ways, taught how to count and use arithmetic, how to read and write, and most importantly, how to fight. Shiff would spend hours in the Temple's training room being shown how to use the long sword by the Paladins, but he had a special interest in something... greater. By the age of ten, Shiff had become so proficient with a great sword that none of the other young men and women at the temple wanted to spar with him, and even a few of the youngest Paladins were intimidated (though they could still best him). By age eleven people could be heard around the Temple wondering if Shiff would join the ranks of the All Watching's Paladins, but life in the Temple was about to come to an end.

In 1402, Prantz came under siege by the forces of Bloodstone's Deep Dwarf General Rael. As the invading army made it's way into the city, it attacked and destroyed the Citadel of Toran, but the Paladins and Clerics did what they could to hold back the hordes for as long as possible, giving the clergy the chance to round up as many of those unable to fight. Shiff however, got separated from the rest, and found himself standing before a Deep Dwarf ready to break him to pieces, but just as he rose up his mighty war hammer to smite the poor boy, an arrow flies over Shiff's head striking the dwarf dead, the fletching poking out of an eye socket. Turning to look where the arrow came from as the dwarf fell dead Shiff saw a man in blue, armed with a bow and rapier, running deeper into the city, before being scooped up by more refugees and led from the city.

In the aftermath of the War Shiff, now twelve years of age, found himself in a boarding house in Lor. With Prantz fallen the Toranite Church acquired a small but respectable place for worship, but Shiff's faith in Toran had now begun to waver. The God whom his father and mother and even the Priests had told him cared so much about protecting the people whom had faith in him seemed to have failed. Toran's Paladins had not rallied the people of Prantz to victory. Instead they died, filled with arrows, bludgeoned with hammers, hewn with axes, at the hand of heartless followers of the Deep Lord. Shiff slowly spent less and less time with other Toranites, often joining merchant caravans to visit Castle Mask and spend time among the crop fields like he did when he was young.

Then a moment came were Shiff, now eight-teen, felt strongly for Toran again. A few Toranites who knew of the Murder of Shiff's parents had somehow found the man, based on a description given to them from Shiff. Shiff, whom they told immediately, went with them to the local courthouse to press charges against the man. A court date was set for the next week.

When the day came, Shiff sat behind the defendants bench, fists clenched, burning a hole in the back of the man's head with his eyes. His thoughts were filled with justice, seeing the man hanging from the gallows as crows pecked out his eyes. But then something snapped him back to the court room. Not an hour had passed when he heard the gavel, but instead of the word "Guilty" coming from the Judge, he heard "Acquitted." The Toranite lawman pleaded for the judge to reconsider, but apparently a description of a man a child say ten years ago was hardly evidence. Shiff became enraged, yelling that the he could never forget the eyes of the man who killed his parents, pointing his finger at the now grinning man in the defendant’s chair. The Judge yelled back, letting him to sit down or be arrested, but Shiff didn't care anymore. He jumped over the small fence between him and the man, and before he could be stopped, smote the man across the face with his fist.

Shiff spent the next night in jail, while the man was taken to the local temple to rest from Shiff's assault. When Shiff was let free the following night, he went to the Toranite temple, cleared out his things, and headed to the docks, looking for a ship to take him away from there. Standing there on the docks, seemingly waiting for him was the man, with a knife in his hand. Shiff charged him, dropping his things on the dock. The man swung at him and missed, Shiff wrestled him for the knife, but the man was not as lucky as he was last time. Shiff won the knife, stabbed it into the man's stomach, and lifted it up into his ribcage. The man died with barely a sound.

Shiff dumped the man into the sea, knife left in his chest, before running about a ship bound for Hurm. There Shiff became a member of a pirate ship for three years, until he tried to take over the ship of a Sun Elf Pirate from Voltrex, earning him the nickname, "The Damned Mercenary." Despite having the Ship, Shiff was chased all the way to Port Hempstead, where he eventually abandoned the ship, running along the roads as fast as he could.

He eventually found Hlint, and by that we mean Shiff ran head first into the walls of Hlint after being chased by a deer. Since arriving in Hlint, Shiff’s always had been bouncing between troubles of different sorts. Whether it was strange things in the Red Light Caves, the rats in the Hlint sewers, undead in the crypts, or dark elves attacking the town, Gnolls taking over the Haven Mines, Pirate Lords searching for ancient relics, Shiff always seemed to be there somewhere in the background, messing around with something he shouldn’t have been touching.

That, though, wasn’t all the self proclaimed “Damned mercenary” was up to. He had made several good friends in the years in Hlint. Tegan the Sorceress, Tath the Islander, Talia the cleric, just to name a few, but he also met the woman he would one day marry: the tall, brave, strong-willed, and tough Valmara Dormin. He’d be seen with her almost as much as the great sword he’d become well known for wielding and the two would become a team known for standing back to back in the midst of great dangers (despite Shiff’s usually protest that she should be someplace safer).

However, there came an event in Haven that changed Shiff’s life for ever. Not long after the old Haven Mines were taken over by gnolls, Shiff led a group of misfits down there on a mining Expedition in an attempt to collect some of the gems and ores unique to those mines. The trip itself went well, but upon leaving, they found a little girl following them. She had lost something inside the mine. Shiff found it, but soon after a Gnoll followed Shiff out and attacked the girl, killing her instantly. This changed Shiff forever. Once a man always boisterous and wild, charging enemies without a care became a wreck of a man.

For an entire year Shiff was little more then a drunken bum; unkempt, dirty, haggard, and haunted by nightmares of blood, dead friends, and gnolls. It was the love of his friends, as well as the love of the woman he loved, and their encouragement that kept him going. During this time he found some faith in the Goddess Beryl, and the friendship of some of her Priests.

His first chance at peace came at the end of that year. A letter came to him from two people from Prantz. They were his God Parents, and they brought him somewhere he had never been before, the graves of his mother and father. He broke down then, crying and hugging their grave stone and promising never to let anything like that happen again. He got the chance not long after. His God Parents where soon after Kidnapped by Dwarven bandits, and though he managed to rescue them, it nearly cost them their lives, as well as the lives of the friends who helped him. Afterwards Shiff vowed never to pick up a sword again unless he had to.

Shiff married his sweetheart, Valmara Dormin, not long after that in the newly rebuilt Temple of Beryl, and soon after moved to Fort Llast. For a while Shiff repaid Beryl for what he thought was the blessing of a loving wife by helping the Emerald Quillwem gather resources for the rebuilding of the once razed city of Stone, and later helped mine into the caved in Temple of Beryl that was still there.

After a time Shiff and Valmara had their first child, a young daughter named Tyra. Though still plagued by the nightmares, he was now able to fight them, having a family that loves him greatly. But his family would soon grow, and an old vow would have to be broken...

One day, while Shiff was in Port Hempstead minding his own business, he noticed a man trying to convince an old farmer to sit at the bottom of a pond and hold is breath until he couldn’t any more in exchange for a wish. The mere idea angered Shiff, and with the help of some other attentive people drove the man off and brought the old farmer home, but soon trouble started. Shiff, and the few with him, were set upon by diseased rats and snakes, then decaying undead and lastly vile demons. Shiff and his companions fought all off as best as they could, but in the end Shiff was defeated by the power of a demon, thrown aside as the demon broke into the farmers home and took him. Shiff, feeling as if he had failed the man, began to investigate, but the man found him first. Shiff was exploring the mountains to the North East of Port Hempstead with a colleague when the Man killed his colleague before appearing before Shiff. He warned Shiff not to meddle in his affairs or he would regret it, before disappearing just as he appeared. Shiff feared the worst. Shiff rushed home gathered up his family and had them travel to Stone. Asking a favor of his Berylite friends there he had his family hidden deep below Stone in a Gnomish City. He knew he couldn’t protect his family from such a powerful Sorcerer. But he wasn’t going to just run and hide either. Leaving his family to the protection of Beryl’s faithful, Shiff returned to Port Hempstead, determined to stop the Sorcerer. Spending near all his time in and around the lands adjacent to Hempstead, Shiff fought off numerous attacks against those living and traveling through the fields, until Shiff managed to gather a group of like-minded adventurers and eventually discovered the Sorcerer’s lair and destroyed him.

Not long after Shiff returned to Stone to fetch his family, and discover to his joy and surprise that Valmara had been pregnant with their next child. Months passed and Shiff began to move the family to a new home in Haven, while preparing for their next child. Not long before moving to Haven, Valmara gave birth to a son, whom they named Drakus Voran.

Shiff was now even more determined to make sure he could always protect his family, and though Haven was a reminder of the shadow of his past, the Family moved into their new home there. Still, Shiff’s drive to protect those around him kept him always from home and always in search of ways to protect those who cannot protect themselves, regardless of what it took to do so, and would ultimately result in his death at the hands of an ambushing vampire.

That would become the legacy of Shiff Dragonheart. Always ready for a fight, but always in the service of protecting the people. Shiff would one day save and change the lives of a Port Hempstead family, standing up for them and bring them back from the brink of ruin. They would live with Shiff and his family, even beyond the death of the Hero. Shiff is now laid to rest on a hill overlooking the city of Haven, the place that he would have died to defend. A master swordsman, Shiff always sought to use his skill in the service of others. Hopefully his spirit will not be forgotten, and may yet inspire another to take up his mantle, and continue fighting for those who cannot protect themselves.

And it's Done!!!  :)


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