Tales of Draeth
John Baist, "The Baist God"
The Yokedest of all the lords of House Baist
An adept ranger, chaotically bent, whose loyalty to the interests of House Baist are surpassed only by the savagery with which he disembowels foes.
Born into House Baist—one of the richest, most powerful houses in Costor—John Baist was trained from a young age to become an unstoppable killing machine and favored heir to the throne of Based Gods. As he grew toward young adulthood, however, the pampered lives of the nobles around him grew increasingly distasteful, and he longed to make use of his training. With the blessing of Lord Baist, John set out into the woods to survive with none of the protections of his birthright. After a year of wandering, and training ascetically, his reputation as a slayer of beasts and men had become the stuff of hushed gossip in the backwoods, and a legendary band of mercenary rangers set out to find the young man and make him one of their own. Amused to find that the young wanderer was none other than the heir to House Baist, the rangers branded John with the goadingly affectionate name “Lil’ B.” Roughly a decade of adventuring followed. Lil’ B’s renown grew with the rangers’, and as he rose toward leadership, it seemed as though his fame might eclipse that of the group.
But one day there came a message from the family forgotten. House Baist required a ranger, and John could not refuse to offer his service.
Baist, having joined the caravan transporting Gundrin Rockseeker’s goods to Fandolin, proved himself more of an asset to the band of adventurer’s than any had anticipated. His massive physical strength and peerless skill with the bow brought down as many monsters and men as any in the party.
Yet the brotherhood formed with his companions never overcame his loyalty to his House, and after dispatching the guardian of the spellforge and executing the shapeshifter thought to be Gundrin, Baist revealed his intention of turning over Wave Echo Cave to House Baist. The party was sundered, and Baist fled to Corromir, hoping to prevent the party from ever informing House Costor of the discovery.
Baist remained in the city even after Lord Alvor seized control of the mine. He plotted to regain the mine for House Baist, even going so far as to send for the deadliest assassins available in the Kingdoms. To occupy himself and gain allies in Corromir, he joined the Red Hand, a local mercenary group. He quickly ascended through the ranks, and gained enough acclaim as hired muscle that even House Costor’s attendants hired him as added protection for the special agents Costor had recently contracted.
In all his actions, Baist’s pride, arrogance, and penchant for violence shown. He became known, even among his companions (with whom a certain tenuous truce was formed), as a sociopathic monster. His bullishness brought many potentially diplomatic encounters to blows and bloodshed, and he relished a cruel kill above a quick and clean one.
So fitting, then, that the moralistic, stoic Syllo would mark Baist with a slash across the chest — a mere nick, but a portent of the inevitable. Baist’s hubris was to be punished.
The party’s investigation into reports of a mysterious visitor to the Keeper of the Light led them to an isle off the coast of Corromir. After discovering that the isle was in fact House Costor’s political prison, and that its main captive was none other than Baist’s brother Alec, Baist and Kip attempted to rescue Alec from the prison by holding the Keeper hostage. But in the confusion caused by Alec’s recalcitrant powers and the betrayal of the sanctimonious coward Syllo, Baist was overwhelmed by guards. A blow directly to the area where Syllo had slashed him reduced Baist to unconsciousness, where he lay until the isle was bathed in Heqanacht’s flames. His charred body was never recovered.
In death, John Baist earned a nobility unseen in his black life. Sacrificing himself in an attempt to save Alec was unlike anything he had suspected himself capable of. No witnesses to this selflessness survived that day.