Ill Winds Over Verbobonc
Derim of Saint Cuthbert
A young priest of the Cudgeller, ready to advance to the next ranks of the Order of the Billet. He is a technical subordinate, as well as briefly the student, of Oscar Scarlord.
A young priest wearing russet robes and the holy symbol of Saint Cuthbert. His nose is aquiline and his deep-set brown eyes have dark circles underneath them, lending him a shy, mousy, and even meek appearance, but his build is strong enough judging from the way he fills out his formless robe. Despite the ink stains on his fingers his hands are strong and calloused. He is armed with a heavy mace and a dagger.
When adventuring, Derim protects himself with a mail shirt over gambeson and a light shield of linden wood. He has also adopted the use of the crossbow, the better to be useful when his meagre selection of spells is exhausted.
When Canoness Y’dey charged Oscar Scarlord to investigate the ruined Moathouse, she also introduced him to Derim, who had passed all his trials to be raised to the rank of an adept save firsthand knowledge of battle. In order to properly join the ranks of the Order of the Billet he must face trial by combat, and so Y’dey commanded Oscar to take the acolyte along and see that he gained some first-hand experience of danger. Pleased to be entrusted so for the first time, but cautious of losing the acolyte in the extraordinary danger to which the Band of the Silver Spear had grown accustomed, Oscar ordered the youth to pay attention, hang back, and leap into the fray only when it could not be avoided.
On the road, Derim quickly fell into the role of camp cook, having had long experience assisting the temple cook, Myella, in preparing meals for Y’dey, Terjon, Calmert, and Orrina. They would learn his tale, as little of it as there may be, on the road. A native of the capital from a large and good family of dedicated Cuthbertines, he elected to join the church as he felt called, and because one of Bishop Haufren’s subordinates discovered that he had a talent for channelling divine magic. Derim went through his aspirant stage some years after Oscar, and once he reached the rank of acolyte he was sent to Hommlet in order to learn the hierarchy of the church, the life of the Order, and the town itself. Y’dey has told him that he is expected to be quiet, observe, and learn quickly. It is his hope that he will prove his worth and be given a village to watch over, perhaps even Hommlet one day.
Altogether he showed himself to be a careful young man, given to thinking through his course before acting upon it. Throughout the course of the adventure in the Moathouse and below it, he would do as he was told, assisting the Band of the Silver Spear with his spells when he could, and dragging them from the front lines when they fell. Finally, when the party fought a desperate battle against cultists of Elemental Evil, he leapt into the fray, protecting Candyce Palfreye from an undead skeleton that sought to flank her. Afterwards, he would take a crossbow from one of the fallen enemies to better assist the band of adventurers while fulfilling Oscar’s charge that he not get himself killed.
Despite his fortitude and willingness to stand at the back and guard their flanks, Derim was forced to act when ghouls ambushed the party deeper in the dungeon. The ghouls’ crypt was under the influence of an extraordinarily heavy Unhallow spell, and when both Throm and Derim attempted to call upon their deities to turn the undead, they both instead found their connection to their respective gods severed.
For the remainder of their time below the Moathouse, both of them suffered a crisis of confidence in the absence of their gods’ presence. The dwarf coped with the desolation by getting recklessly angry, but for his part Derim retreated into depression and silent dread. Oscar sent him to the tower above to be safe in company with their hirelings and the poisoned halfling, Questin Himble. Unfortunately, despite their attempts to defend themselves the lot of them were subsequently captured by newly arrived cultists commanded by Chenashi, who attempted to use them as her hostages to compel the Band of the Silver Spear to surrender their weapons and the artefacts captured from the vanquished cultists below.
Despite the obviousness of her intention to carry out her threat as she held her knife to Derim’s throat, the Silver Spears chose to respond with threats and aggression to her ultimatum. Without hesitation, Chenashi drew her blade across the acolyte’s throat, cutting it from ear to ear. Derim looked at his new friends in uncomprehending horror as blood gushed from his throat, the young priest collapsed to the ground and pathetically plucked at the wound as his life’s blood spurted across the filthy broken cobblestones of the Moathouse.
The young priest was saved from death, but was rendering mute because of the savaging of his throat. Unlike the brothers, Derim came around to seeing the logic behind the actions of the Silver Spears, but he was not at all pleased with the fact that they considered him to be expendable. He would harbour no ill will towards Oscar and Throm, both of whom attempted to negotiate, but he was afterwards wary of the rest of the party. He would journey with them to the Cathedral of Saint Cuthbert in Verbobonc City, there to be healed of his injuries by Bishop Haufren, but thereafter took his leave of them, assigned to further training in the father temple as an adept of the faith.
Portrait by David Talaski.