Tomb of Strahd
Arkantos was born in strange circumstances. He doesn't remember his early childhood but he remembers growing up in a secret utopia-like community known as Asgard. He, along with his sister he doesn't really remember, were assigned to his parents who were human. When he was 17 he ran away from the society seeing that there were cracks in this "perfect" society. People never spoke against the leader of the society but there was also great fear in their eyes when he graced the members with his presence. After he ran away he lived in the woods for some time learning to hunt and survive on his own. He became a skilled archer and swordsman with innate magical abilities to channel nature's wrath and use it. A few years later he traveled to the city and worked as a hired hand working for coin wherever he could. In one of his quests, he was to take down a crime lord with the name of Iarno Albrek that was ravaging the streets of Neverwinter. There was another man assigned to help take the crime lord down, Frederick. Arkantos wanted to send Iarno to prison but Frederick wanted him killed for all the horrendous crimes he had committed and claimed that many of the wardens of the prisons of Neverwinter could not be trusted as they have been bought off by Iarno and other crime lords. However, with great reluctance and with the help of Arkantos, Frederick put Iarno to sleep and handed him over to the town guards.
Iarno escaped a few days later from the prison after being sentenced to death and went to the small town Frederick was from and killed Frederick's wife and kids. Frederick gave Arkantos an ultimatum, "Leave Neverwinter or else". Arkantos being as smug as he was said, "Or else what?" to which Frederick replied, "Or else I will hand you the most painful death imaginable". Arkantos left Neverwinter and headed for the Sword Coast where he had made some contacts.
While doing some jobs in Waterdeep, wandering the crowded streets, he realized his coin pouch was gone. How could someone as sneaky as him get outsneaked and pick pocketed. He looked around and spotted a suspect, a half-elf, Xiamora. He fell in love at first sight and allowed her to steal that coin pouch (especially since there was only like, 3 gp in that one)
Then one faithful day on the 12 of Eleasis 1492, Arkantos overheard a conversation in the Leaky Cauldron's bar. A job prospect that was paying well. He persuaded the dwarf, Gundren Rockseeker, to allow him on the team that was escorting a wagon to Phandalin. He joined Shamash, Dabbledob, and Celeste and they set off to Phandalin.
The Road to Phandalin
Arkantos and the party traveled on the High Road for a few days with Gundren's cousin [[Therdir Rocksmasher]] and then turned on a seedy side road towards Phandalin. It was on that road they were ambushed by some goblins. Arkantos hid like a little girl behind the wagon they were escorting while the other party members did most of the work. After they dealt with the goblins the party found that the horse dead on the road belonged to Gundren and his partner Sildar Hallwinter. They decided if they were to get any money they would have to find Gundren. So begrudgingly they followed a trail that led to a hideout of goblins. On this trail, Arkantos was caught by surprise to see that Xiamara had been following the party. She was on her way to Phandalin seeking a crimelord with the alias of The Black Spider when she spotted Arkantos. Arkantos was smitten and asked if she could help out and travel with them to Phandalin. She agreed and Ximara was now a part of the party. While in the goblin hideout, Arkantos came across a man in colorful clothing who was imprisoned and screaming, laughing hysterically, and talking to himself. He beckoned Arkantos to come close, by name. He told him The Great Old One's arrival was coming, and that the world would come to ruin as the "seals" are breaking. Arkantos was like "cool." until the man grabbed onto him and Arkantos saw visions of a dark looming figure emerging from the sea. Arkantos was kinda weirded out. The party then found [[Sildar Hallwinter]] in a bad state being guarded by Korg, the goblin clan's second in command. If they brought him the head of the goblin leader to Korg, he would allow Sildar to leave with the party. After killing the goblin leader, the party was about to deliver the goblin leader's head to Korg when Korg was shot in the back by some magical beams and killed instantaneously. A figure wearing a mask riding a giant black spider and accompanied by a couple more black spiders and some bugbears emerged from the woods and told the party to hand over Sildar as he had something he needed. The figure announced he was The Black Spider and removed his mask, revealing he was Frederick. He said if the party gave up Sildar, he would spare Arkantos' "friends". After the party took too long to decide what to do, Frederick brought out Gundren and promptly killed him in front of his lover. Arkantos and the party decided to fight The Black Spider. The party did a pretty good job against him but his forces were overwhelming. Before either Frederick or any of the party members could be killed, a mysterious fog enveloped the battlefield and suddenly Arkantos found himself alone lying next to an overturned colorful wagon. He thought he was dead. He heard a baby crying inside and approached the wagon. Something about this scene seemed familiar: he saw a man and an Elven woman injured and trying to calm the baby. When Arkantos entered, they looked up and smiled and handed him a bow with Elven writing etched into it and the woman said "Stay safe, Erasmus" and then the scene faded away.
"Welcome to Hell…"
After each of the party members had awoken, after their fight with Frederick, they found themselves in a gloomy land, blanketed in mist and darkness. They made their way to a town named Denton which was rundown and the roads sucked. One thing led to another and they met a man named Ismark who told them of the man who ruled this land, Count Strahd von Zarovich. Ismark claimed that "the Devil Strahd" has been trying to capture Ismark's sister Ireena.
Eventually they left Denton for a church in Vallaki to escort Ireena to safety and out of reach of Strahd. On the road to Vallaki, the party ran into a couple of Vistani who were on their way to a Vistani Camp near Tser Pool. They suggested they stop by the camp and get their fortunes read by their leader Madame Eva. They told that she knows of the future. Ismark and Ireena hid from them and moved on ahead past the camp through another path. So the party went and got their fortunes read. At the camp while partying with the Vistani, Arkantos tried cheating in cards and failed.
Arkantos' Tarot Reading
"Ahh. Arkantos… you are a curious one. You are…seeking your family, no? Your "true" family? Do you not know that family is not always of blood? Nevertheless, be wary… family of blood is not always what one expects. I digress, you left your sheltered community and ran straight into danger. You experienced visions of evil in your world, but once again, be wary, evil can sometimes travel world to world unless you seal them away…"
As they exited Madam Eva's tent, they noticed the partying had stopped and their was now a large black carriage on the road leading out of the camp led by 4 horses with manes of flame. One larger flame-maned horse was there with Strahd standing next to it. He invited them for a welcome feast at his castle and subtly coerced them into going into the carriage. When they entered the carriage, Arkantos and the party found Frederick and Sildar inside. Sildar looked beat up and near dead. And Frederick was seemingly now a Vampire Spawn. Very "delighted" to see Arkantos and smiled with his new pearly whites. He said as much as he wanted to kill Arkantos then and there, he was ordered by Strahd to keep all of the party alive.