[GTFO] Gorneo


Deep in the Northern part of Faerûn hidden in the darkest parts of the Frostfell lies a secret compound. This is the home of the Monastic Order of the Dark Moon. It is there that Gorneo first was brought into the world of Toril. They had no families in the order they were all family under the light of the moon goddess. The monastery held belief that Selûne and Shar were two aspects of the same deity. From an early age Gorneo showed the ability to master all the knowledge taught to him by his family. He learned about the creation of Toril by the Goddess and how she created Mystria the goddess of magic. They taught him about The Weave and how the Goddess along with Mystria were the sources of The Weave. Tradition spoke of the the bright light of the moon represented by Selûne and the dark shadows of night represented by Shar. Gorneo was taught how to manipulate the shadows and to channel The Shadow Weave to exert its will on the world as well as travel through it. In order for this to happen though the monks told him something had to be given in exchange. He was locked in a room in complete darkness and told that the only way out was through the Shadow Weave, death was the only other way out of that room. Gorneo meditated for how long he was never really sure, but he felt it tug at the corners of his mind. The madness, chaos, the shadows. His mind then felt like it was being ripped apart and rearranged, intense pain was shooting through his entire being. Then he was standing there, on the path of shadows. He could see the corridors of the Shadow Weave as the twisted and turned in their dance with the Weave. It all made sense to him now, the interactions between the two, the connection of this realm to the goddess. Gorneo looked at his hands and arms, he saw black tendrils of shadow writhing all over in strange pattern like tattoos on his body. And then, he appeared on the other side of the wall much to the praise of his masters. The tattoos were still there once he emerged from the shadows. Part of the price he had paid, he was told, was his shadow had been ripped from him and placed on his body to show his commitment to the goddess. He was told that knowledge of the shadows was sacred and that no one outside of the family should know his secrets, and he should keep the shadows in patterns similar to tribal tattoos. Gorneo’s ebony skin was tinged with blue from years of exposure to the Frostfell, now with black tattoos across his large muscular frame. They taught him to control the shadows through meditation. Once his martial training was complete he was told by his masters that he was to be sent to another school of the goddess to learn more. They told him to hide his upbringing, disguise himself from the others there to protect the knowledge of the tradition.

Gorneo then travelled to a Moonstar temple on the edges of the forest in the high north. It was there that he learned all about Selûne and the Moonstars. They were a highly secretive group of individuals formed by Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun with the aim of unifying the humans and other races (especially elves) against the forces of evil. While at the temple he made friends with many of the other students and scholars there. Gorneo spent quite some time with the Moonstars learning all he could about the goddess and her other face as he saw it. During his time there he made good friends with a half elf named Savalis. He was the descendant of a line of priestess and guardians of the temple and was training to join the ranks of their holy order. Savalis was strong, much more than Gorneo, but he had a short temper and was quick to act. Savalis would always defend and protect the otherwise docile Gorneo who to his knowledge had never been in a fight in his life. Their friendship and bond grew and grew until one fateful night of the full moon on a winter solstice. The day of the solstice was coming to an end when Gorneo’s master arrived at the temple to see him in his chambers. His master walked to him and simply said the word “KILL”. The next thing that Gorneo remembered was coming to in the courtyard of the temple. There was no firelight just the bright light of Selunes moon above. He looked around him, there were bodies, carnage strew all over the grass and stonework. The bodies of the priestess, acolytes, guards, teachers, children, everyone were laid out in a pattern for a ritual to Shar around the very spot that he was standing. He looked down at his hands covered in blood, the shadows of his tattoos alive writhing with power. Gorneo turned and saw there was still someone alive. It was Savalis! Beaten and broken laying on the stones behind him. Very real fear flashed across Gorneo face as he stared with horror at his defeated friend. And so he ran, opening himself up to the shadows he disappeared into the night.

Horrified at the things he had done Gorneo returned to the monastery to confront his master. That one word “Kill” it had not been a dream he remembered it clearly. As night fell, Gorneo made his entry into the monastery. He was greeted by some of the very people he knew to be his family. They seemed to be less than thrilled to see the confusion on his face, and showed him to the head master. “Master, why did I do it? All those people, did you make me kill them?”

The headmaster looked down at Gorneo and simply said, “I know not of what you speak Gorneo. Who have you killed? Certainly it could not be on my order for I have been here.”
The frustration showed visibly on Gorneo’s face as he processed what the master told him. “You were there at the temple, I know. I REMEMBER!” All at once floods of memories bombarded him as if flood gates had been opened and the entire lake was spilling through. He remembered everything, his training, his learning, every second, of every day, since the day he first learned how to manipulate shadows. He remembered the many times he had been sent to kill by his master somehow, memories while his own seemed completely new. Faces, blood, pain, death, all at his hands all at the command of his master. The pieces all connected at once for Gorneo, the old man had been wiping his memories and using him as a sick pawn, an assassin. He looked up at the head master and said “You have lied to me my whole life, this was all for Shar, the goddess are separate. My whole life has been poisoned by the evil you have burned into my very being!” The shadows on his body sprang to life more invigorated than ever. Blind rage took him as he lunged for the head master. The fight was short for Gorneo could not be stopped. He did to them what they had made him do to some many others. He saw them all, every face, every word, everything! Sometime later Gorneo emerged into the snow of the Frostfell, in a daze wondering with all sense of his world shattered, yet unable to forget even a single detail of the nightmare.

For months Gorneo wandered through the wilderness at the Spine of the World exposed to the elements of the Frostfell. Five months, Fourteen days, Three quarters of a solar cycle. Meditate as he may the thoughts all came back when he was done, constantly aware of time, condition, and every memory from his past. That day he physically could go no further and collapsed in the snow, finally ready to accept the judgement that must be in store for a monster such as him. He fell into a deep sleep, nightmare wracked his consciousness, the screams of the people he killed, friends, family, strangers, so many fell to his hands. Suddenly he was awake, he was on a table a warm washcloth on his forehead. He was in a one room cottage with a fire in the corner and a table with a kindly looking human man with a long white beard smoking a pipe. The man told him that his name was Gahard and that he was a hunter and trapper out in these parts of the wild. “I don’t mean to pry young man but you must have been through an awful lot to be having dreams like the ones you seem to be plagued with.” Gorneo told the man that indeed his past was a troubled one and that he was lost and confused not sure what his life really was for. He admitted to the man that he felt like he needed to make some atonement for what he had done. “Well I’m just a simple country man, but from what I know about Justice, Honor, Glory, from old tales my pa told me. You should seek you Ilmater the broken god, Tyr the maimed god, and Torm the loyal fury. They form the Triad of Justice in Toril.”

And so Gorneo set off to seek the Triad of Justice. He traveled all over the north, eventually finding his way to the sword coast, where he found many worshipers of the gods. The clerics of Ilmater were especially comforting to him as the explained to him the possibilities of atoning for his past sins by doing good and following the path of Justice. They believed that suffering is part of life, and that one must endure. Gorneo felt at home with the monks of Ilmater and learned all he could from them, not forgetting one single detail. Quickly Gorneo had devoured all the knowledge he could from the various temples and monasteries in the north and he headed south to Calimshan. There while helping the common folks in the streets he met Ghazi Al Din and the black raiders. Covered in tattoos, Ghazi looked remarkably similar to Gorneo’s own. Only a chance meeting, but Ghazi told Gorneo that he was heading up to Baldur’s Gate and that he knew a great deal about all the gods if he cared to travel with the company for a time. Gorneo agreed on the stipulation that he was not part of the band, and that he would not kill for Ghazi. Gorneo learned much from Ghazi about the history of the Triad, during the time of trouble, and after. They spent many nights in theological discussions and sparring sessions. Each night Gorneo would be wracked with his nightmares, but he was learning to control his sleeping outbursts with meditation. They reached Baldur’s Gate, and Ghazi asked Gorneo for a very special favor. One of his lieutenants was traveling towards the north east and he needed her for a special job. Knowing that you were going to be wandering that way don’t suppose you could find her for me?

[GTFO] Gorneo

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