As you walk by, you look and then look again. A shaggy minotaur, covered in rich, red fur that hangs in his eyes reclines against a tree. His armor heaped in a pile, he seems ready to take a nap.
Ferdinand stands 7 feet tall, which is short for a minotaur. His pelt is composed of thick, wavy, red fur that cascades in a tangled mop over his eyes. Long white horns crown his head, and a subtle smirk creeps across his lips. His scale armour is enameled in a deep green; it isn’t particularly well cared for and its skirt is missing most of its scales. He carries an enormous axe with a cruel, serrated edge that is well honed.
His voice is higher than you expect, but not comicly so. He always seems at ease, leaning back in his chair and folding his hands behind his head. He orders drinks laced with exotic spices and plates of fiery peppers stuffed with cheese and rice.
“I like to live well,” he says, “and I like for my friends to live well. Drink deeply when you can, eat hearty when there’s food, and sing as long as there’s air in your lungs. Life’s a fickle thing, and luck doesn’t reward those that live less. Do you know what I mean?”
When he brushes the hair out of his dark eyes, you see that there’s serenity and joy in them. He waves strangers in, invites them to share his massive meal. The regulars at the tavern don’t think it’s strange; you are taken aback by such wanton lust for life. Soon enough, what is normally a pretty sombre place erupts into a party. Ferdinand dances clumsily with all the women and some of the men, singing off key while his voice crescendos with a crack.
“We need a little light in dark times,” he says, grinning and extending you a hand. He pulls you to the dance floor; you can smell his sweat, musky, but tinged with orange and clove.
“Dance while you live, for soon enough, we all die!”
Ferdinand was born deep under the mountains of the North. Ferdinand was saddled with the burden of being the second son of a pair of twins. His brother Willem was studious and rigid, taking his role as heir to their father’s title very seriously from an early age. Due to a cruel trick of fate, Ferdinand would inherit nothing but suspicion that he would try to assassinate his brother. The bards were already writing ballads in preparation for what seemed inevitable. How was it possible that it couldn’t all end in blood?
The bards never considered that Ferdinand just didn’t care. He sulked in the darkness below the mountains, shirked his studies, and read books written by Dwarven adventurers about the world above and all its glories. As a youth, he attempted to cultivate flowers and trees from the surface in pitiful underground gardens, but it was to little avail. He started to believe that everything he would try would end in failure, so he stopped trying. Seeing his lack of determination, Ferdinand’s parents insisted that he apply himself more.
However, he had no real skills. He was too softhearted for politics and too lazy for the military. They decided that Ferdinand should take his vows as a Cleric. Ferdinand didn’t care for the idea at first, but warmed to it when he was told he would go to the Temple of Ascension. The idea of traveling so far thrilled Ferdinand. He imagined the foods and sights he had read about, and was elated that he would be able to have such experiences.
His parents were happy that he was leaving. One less financial burden meant that they could better solidify their minor holdings. Ferdinand’s father, in a grand gesture, gave Ferdinand an heirloom axe supposedly taken from Baphomet’s domain eons ago by a forgotten ancestor. Willem was angered, but his mother persuaded him to accept the loss of one minor artifact. After all, its history was questionable at best…
Ferdinand traveled the world for five years, meandering around the kingdoms with various adventuring parties before arriving at the Temple of Ascension. He considered all the gods; their massive images implied heritage and importance. Worst of all, they implied a lot of hard work. That is when he discovered the Order of Drago.
While it was entirely possible that the Four Fathers were just charlatans, they instructed him in Drago’s ways, such as they are. The Four Fathers bestowed on Ferdinand a taste for expensive wine, exotic spices, and fine clothing. They also managed to leave him penniless after a month, congratulating him on his entry into their priesthood and disappearing in the night. Ferdinand was uncertain if it was a trick, or if it truly was the way of Drago. He simply assumed the best and went onwards, and was shocked to discover that his prayers were actually answered.
He continued to travel the world, eventually settling down in Itoni. He became fast friends with the riff-raff, encouraging goodness when he could and breaking a few skulls when he had to. Then the Storm Ravens came, ruining a pretty good thing. The Occupation wears on Ferdinand daily. His gold goes towards buying components so that he can purify water and cure minor maladies. His patience is nearly at an end, and he waits for Drago to send him a sign.