Legacy of the Azure Torch
Valiant knight of Bahamut
Born Elric Umbrabane to wealthy landowners, his parents were viciously murdered by a small group of tiefling fanatics when he was but months of age. Found by a wandering company of paladins in service to Bahamut, the child was taken to a small, remote city known as Garenheim, where it was decided he be raised. Rhogar Firescales, leader of these paladins, unknowing of the child’s true name and heritage, named him Cliffton, in namesake to a former apprentice of his. In time, Cliffton would take up the surname Steelheart, hoping to evoke in himself an unbreakable will and strong conviction.
As Cliffton grew under the guidance of the paladins, who appropriately called themselves the Errants of Bahamut, he came to hear of the dragon god’s ways, and of heroes and legends, and grew an intense fascination for these tales. He read stories of champions of justice and stout adventures, of chivalry and light. These stories greatly inspired young Cliffton, and when he was of ten years of age, he asked to be trained as a paladin of Bahamut, and fight alongside those he had come to view as mentors and family. After much consideration, Rhogar accepted his request, and Cliffton began his rigorous and strict training. He learned prayers to Bahamut, his ways and his laws. He learned how to fight and wield a sword, enduring a multitude of brutal sparring sessions. The training was demanding, and taxed nearly every bit of Cliffton’s strength, both physical and mental. But he was eager to learn, and the work was rewarding in it’s own right. In time, he became one of Rhogar’s most faithful pupils, even if at times he had a tendency to enact Bahamut’s ways in a somewhat larger proportion than was necessary.
Cliffton had a very close friend in Garenheim, a girl of his age named Claire Faireblood. The two spent much time together, exchanging passions and interests. In fact, it was her who introduced poetry to Cliffton, which he would take up as a hobby later in life. Cliffton cared much for Claire, and always looked forward to their meetings. If one hadn’t known better, they would mistake the two to be brother and sister.
However, on the fifth year of Cliffton’s training, tragedy befell him. One evening in Garenheim would become one of Cliffton’s most horrifying and will-crushing experiences. A group of dark warriors named the Servants of Tiamat raided Garenheim, led by a vicious blackguard named Armon the Crimson. Along with a large company of soldiers, the Servants had also brought with them a powerful red dragon, whose flames would come to turn Garenheim into nothing but smoldering ash and dying embers. In the chaos, Cliffton would witness his family of holy knights and his precious friend Claire be ruthlessly slaughtered by the invaders. By hiding in an old, abandoned windmill on the outskirts of the city, Cliffton would become the sole survivor of Garenheim’s fiery death.
Once the raid was over, Cliffton stepped out into the wreckage, and felt his spirit break from the sight of the charred bodies and burned buildings. Garenheim was but a memory now. An entire culture and people had been completely decimated in but one night, yet it felt to have been one-thousand lifetimes. On the verge of hopelessness, Cliffton cried out to the souls of his deceased teachers asking what was he to do. He readied himself to throw it all behind and give into despair, but his call was indeed answered. Appearing before Cliffton was the visage of the platinum dragon, Bahamut, and the spirits of his fallen friends. They spoke to him, telling him to not give in, to fight against evil, and to protect the needy, so that another incident like Garenheim would never occur under his watch. Bolstered by these words, Cliffton resolved himself to a life of sword and service, and to assist in cutting down the evil of the world.
Still unfinished in his training, Cliffton would spend the next five years traveling the realm and assisting those he crossed paths with, readying himself for the greater fight. One night, Cliffton had a dream, another vision of Bahamut. The divine dragon told him to travel to the Elsir Vale, to a town called Brindol. When Cliffton awoke, he obeyed Bahamut’s instructions, and traveled there, where he would begin the journey toward his epic destiny…