Location: City of Hightown
Caterina Newcastle, a half-elf, was born to Lorenzo (an elf fighter) and Maria (a human seamstress). She also had two older brothers, Francesco and Juliano. Francesco was an apprentice to a blacksmith while Juliano became an acolyte of Pelor. Lorenzo left often on adventure for periods of time ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months, seeking information or treasures for various nobles in the city. More often than naught, he would return with the small band of men he adventured with, unscathed and with funds that sustained the family in a nice but modest home. This was also enough money to help sustain arcane training for Caterina. In addition, Lorenzo and Francesco would spend time teaching all members of the family to defend themselves, as they lived in an area where raids outside the city were not uncommon. Caterina, more than her mother and brother Juliano, had more interest in this and asked for additional training whenever possible. She would even go on hunting trips to learn other wilderness skills, such as trapping. This did not happen often and usually did not last for more than 2 days.
After an adventure lasting 1 month, the Newcastle family was about to celebrate a particularly lucrative return with a nice meal of venison, when shouts from the street could be heard. Francesco, Lorenzo and Maria were at home while Catarina and Juliano were just about to leave their studies to meet the family when this occurred (they often returned together as the locations of their studies were in close proximity and they used that time to eagerly talk about what they had learned in their prospective fields). Upon hearing the shouts, seeing people scattered and fire consuming some buildings, Juliano and Caterina separated (Juliano returning back to the Temple of Pelor and Caterina returning home – which was the plan when such an event were to happen).
Upon returning home, Caterina found the house had already been ransacked and there were an uncountable number of bodies of goblins on the street. It had looked like the fight had moved on and it was rather quiet. Caterina, unsheathed her dagger and cautiously approached the house. The door had been busted open and as she walked into the building, five more goblin bodies were lying in the living area. A trail of blood was seen to extend into the other rooms. Following the trail and in fear of what she would find, she could hear weeping. As she entered the main bedroom, she saw her mother crying over Francesco’s body, bloody from a crude weapon that was thrust into his chest. Approaching her mother, she also realized that she had sustain a nonfatal injury. As she attended her mother, Caterina asked her mom what had happened. Through her cries, she told of an orc raid that was looking for a particular item (some kind of bracelet) that had been stolen from them. Staunching the blood flow from her mother’s wound, she asked about her father, and was told that he had been beaten and taken by a band of goblins. Some time had passed, Caterina was in disbelief about the current situation, when she finally came to and remembered her brother Juliano. She ran out of the house to find the streets and found a small group of guards making their rounds, looking for people aid and hoping to kill more goblins. Caterina called them over for assistance for her mother. She told her mom that she was going to check on Juliano and that the guard would take care of her.
As she made her way to the Temple of Pelor, she began running into more of the city guard and acolytes of the various Temples, helping people that had been injured. As Caterina helped with an injured man, she inquired of the attending acolyte what was going on and found out that the raid had moved out of the city, leaving with at least three captives (her father and two other men from his adventuring band). She eventually made her way to the Temple of Pelor and found her brother attending the wounded. She embraced her brother and told him of Francesco and their mother. The two sat comforting each other for a while. Juliano stayed at the Temple, while Caterina eventually made her way back and attended to household matters.
Almost two weeks had passed and there was no news of the men that had been taken from the raid, despite several searching parties that had been sent out. One night, as Caterina had been preparing a meal for her mom and Juliano, she heard a faint voice coming from her father’s study. As no one had been in there in weeks, Caterina in confusion, asked her mom if she had heard the voice. She said no but seemed to give her a saddened look. Again she heard the voice and followed it into the study. In the darkness, she saw a faint glow coming from an object that was sitting on the bookshelf. As she got closer, the glow brightened and was emitting from a rather mundane looking black rock. As she picked the rock up, she heard the voice more clearly. The voice of a woman, calling herself the Raven Queen, told Caterina, that she had been chosen to continue the pact that her father’s side of the family had been in with her for generations (only one person from the family would be chosen and a new person would only be chosen if the previous family member had died). The Raven Queen told her that her father had just passed from continuous wounds inflicted from repeated beatings. The Raven Queen would, through the pact, provide powers to Caterina and periodic information for the ability to get revenge for her father’s and brother’s death if she would periodically do favors for her. Out of the love for her family, she agreed to the pact. She would communicate with her through the rock and she needed to keep it on her at all times.
The next day, Caterina, not really knowing how to approach the topic with her mom, sat down with her and told her that an otherworldly presence had talked to her and told her of her father’s passing. Not knowing that her father had confided in Maria about the pact, Maria began weeping for the loss of her husband. A time later, she told Caterina that she knew about the pact, and that sometimes the adventures her father would go on were in her service. Caterina explained that she had to leave upon the instructions and, by doing so, would get answers to her father’s death. Maria hesitantly told Caterina that she understood and would constantly keep her in her prayers. Through the Raven Queen’s instruction, Caterina was to pose as a destitute desperately seeking fame and fortune in the city called the Last Hearth. Once established, she would give her further instructions….
Patron Attribute – My patron has guided and helped my family for generations and is kindly toward me.
Special Terms of Pact – When directed, I must make immediate action against a specific enemy of my patron