Ill Winds Over Verbobonc
Calmert of Saint Cuthbert
The long-standing under-priest of the Cudgeller in his native Hommlet, this portly fellow ran an orphanage in Verbobonc years ago. He has long served as a brotherly mentor to Oscar Scarlord.
A tall, jolly priest wearing the russet robes and holy symbol of Saint Cuthbert. Whatever physique the middle-aged Cudgeller once had has long since given way to age and love of comfort; he wears a goatee and moustache, perhaps to hide his chins, and more than a little grey has made its way into his black hair. In addition to his clerical garb he wears a long coat to ward off the chill of the temple, and a small mace can be seen slightly obscured in its folds.
The long-standing (and long-suffering) under-priest of the Temple of Saint Cuthbert in the village of Hommlet, Calmert handles much of the day-to-day administrative issues for the church in addition to managing efforts fund-raising and liaising with the village council and militia leadership. He is also in charge of basic instruction and discipline for the small cadre of acolytes and aspirants that hope to enter the church of the Cudgeller. The portly priest also bears the distinction of being the very first native of Hommlet to serve as a priest of Saint Cuthbert, and his first-hand knowledge of the process of obtaining converts has also made him the chief proselytiser of the settlement.
And yet, this was not always the case.
Many years ago, after Camert had graduated from the role of acolyte and earned the rank of adept, he found himself at loose ends within the church at Hommlet. Canon Terjon of Saint Cuthbert had been assigned to the parish, and orders had not been sent for him to move on, so he was tasked with many of the duties of under-priest. Calmert was not needed in Hommlet, so he was sent to the capital by his superior Canoness Y’dey in order to be properly confirmed into the service of the faith. While on the road, he happened upon a desperate, starving woman and her two teen-aged children, and young Calmert chose to assist them by escorting the ragged family to Verbobonc. While they made the trek, the kindly and somewhat naive priest developed an affection for them, particularly due to the sober and earnest attitude of the boy Oscar, and he sought to situate them safely when they did finally arrive in the capital.
Having found himself managing an orphanage for the church less than six months later, Calmert was saddened to discover that the mother, Yala, had abandoned young Oscar and his sister, Lofreth, at the doors of the cathedral. Oscar was placed in his care, and over the years to come Calmert would become something of an older brother or perhaps an uncle to the lad. The sombre, thoughtful ways of the youth, and his capacity to ask searching questions, reaffirmed Calmert’s own faith by searching out answers in the words of Saint Cuthbert, and though applying those lessons in the rearing of his charges. Along with the other boys, they would frequently be found fishing Gillendyll’s Run, the Pond of the Hart, the Ash Horn Stream, or the Velverdyva itself. Indeed, Calmert considers fishing to be a prime tool in the development of patience, temperance, and self-sufficiency, three traits near and dear to Saint Cuthbert, and Oscar’s expertise in the pursuit was of great use to the priest in his efforts to teach those virtues to the other boys.
Over the following years, their relationship as mentor and student would make them as firm as brothers. When Oscar was later lured away from the orphanage by the machinations of his brother and sister, Calmert would resign his role as master of the orphanage and head out into the wilds, risking his life to bring the young man back into the fold. Despite the stain on Oscar’s reputation, the older priest would also then successfully champion his entry into the service of the Cudgeller to Bishop Haufren.
By 585 CY, Calmert would come full circle, called back into the service of Canoness Y’dey in Hommlet. He returned gratefully, sick of the slick ways of the capital and the delicacies of church politics. Still, he would keep up a ready correspondence with Oscar Scarlord, advising the acolyte on the dogma of the faith and the ways of the world. With great joy he would welcome the young man, now a talented adept and warrior-priest of the Order of the Billet, when he arrived in Hommlet in the summer of 591 CY. After observing the formalities of introduction to the canoness and Canon Terjon the two men were seen heading straight for the Nigb’s Run, rods and tackle boxes in hand, and chatting like no time had been lost at all.
Calmert trains with the militia and is a member of the leading council of that body. Able to take a hit, reasonably adept at dealing one in turn, and quick enough in the use his his healing magics when strife presents, in truth Calmert has never had an impressive physique, and his strengths lie elsewhere than serving as a guardian of the faith. Having been born in Hommlet and possessed of a most agreeable nature, Calmert’s chief value to the Church of Saint Cuthbert is in his role as intermediary with the common folk. He is also very good at needling donations out of people for the services that the faith provides, and indeed his capacity to do so with the adventurers who fought the Second Temple was a strong source of revenue for the construction of Doomwatch Keep. He is entrusted with much of the daily administration of the temple, as well as a good deal of the discipline and instruction of his underlings. And finally, Calmert has mastered the ability to scribe magical scrolls, as evidenced by his quiet donation of such to Oscar Scarlord when the Band of the Silver Spear marched off to investigate the ruined Moathouse.