I was running a second edition D&D campaign, and we were already in pretty deep. The characters were A human ranger, an elf wizard, a dwarven cleric, a half-elf druid, and Sir Nevar, a paladin reincarnated as a minotaur. The campaign had been very long and difficult emotionally, both in game and out. The characters were just reaching the levels where they got followers, when during a completely random bit of flavor text changed everything. As they entered a walled town that had recently been under siege 'the slums of this town are particularly squallid, right at the edge on the road are beggers lined up, many of them are children. You see one goblin pup so weak from hunger and beatings he cannot hold up his beggar's bowl.' While the scene was to tug heartsrings, the goblin was really to illustrate how bad things were, if a goblin who can eat just about anything is starving to death. The paladin managed to buy/threaten a large wagonload of bread out of the city guard who were in control of rationing during the siege to feed everyone in the slum. Handing out the bread the Paladin found the near dead goblin child again, and picked him up. Nursing the goblin back to health when many paladins would have simply killed the goblin or left him to die for being an 'evil' race. During the downtime Sir Nevar brought the goblin back to full health. When he first wokeup up Nevar asked his name and the goblin replied "I, Gun'A'Dye." "No you will not die." Nevar replied, getting a weak laugh. Gun'A'Dye eventually explained, his goblin tribe had made a deal with the city, rather than fight over the goblin inhabited land the city was built on. The goblins lived underground, they would work jobs goblins were better at than tall folk. In return the city would protect them from tall folk who would have killed them. This had grown to four tribes before the seige, Gun was of the Dye tribe, who worked in the textile district. Mostly with making dyes and dyeing cloth with dyes that were toxic to humans but goblins barely noticed. His name as spoken was Gun of the Dye tribe. But hungry goblins can go mad with hunger, and many of the Dye tribe had succumbed as during the siege there was no work for them. Hundreds had to be put to the sword to stop them eating thier neighbors, even more had died trying to stop their mad kin. Gun'A'Dye grew up as one of Nevar's followers, and caused more than one problem with other paladins. He was even called to answer 'why' by the leader of his order. "When I first became as I am now, I was often feared and attacked just for being a minotaur. It made me question everytime I attacked a creature because the books I learned from in this very temple declared them evil by their nature. Yet when I found Gun'A'Dye I could not see a monster of evil nature, but a child at death's door through no fault of their own. His people worked with the city of Camwehn for centuries with few problems, only reverting to violence when driven mad with hunger. So I raised this child as my own, he follows me with the same loyalty as the others, I have seen no seeds of evil in him, but rather the beginnings of a great hero."
This went on for the rest of the campaign, Gun'A'Dye following Nevar, eventually gaining class levels. Publically, and to Nevar he was a kind of Bard, he played music,composed epic poems and otherwise just made himself generally useful. Some of the other character knew, Gun'A'Dye had gone off and trained as an assassin during the downtime Sir Nevar was busy elsewhere. He became the silent pragmatic foil to SIr Nevar's idealistic honor, using backstabing and poison to effect the greater good Sir Nevar was trying to accomplish. Sir Nevar never questioned why sometimes enemies he couldn't fight outright would have sudden changes of heart or die to an assassin's blade. As the campaign was reaching its end, Gun'A'Dye was getting old. 25 years wasn't long to the party members, but Gun'A'Dye was a goblin and thats most of his lifespan. During the parties final adventure they had journeyed to stop a ritual involving Orcus, not wanting to be raised as undead they had a "True Death" spell cast on themselves that would prevent them from being raised as undead, it also would prevent them from being brought back to life. Getting there through hordes of undead, demons, and cultists, they found the ritual chamber, only to discover Orcus already there, the ritual was not to summon the demon lord as they thought. The ritual was an attempt to accend to godhood. With a mighty "Attack" the party and all followers charged into the room. The battle was long and costly, Orcus could not join the battle for risk of stopping the ritual, but many of his lieutenants were present, each hoping to rise to Demon Lord in his place after his accession. By the time the demons were defeated all the followers and the Ranger were dead, except Gun'A'Dye, who was waging a one goblin assassin war on the cultists from the shadows. At last the ritual was disrupted, Orcus enraged stood to fight.
"Do you pitiful mortals have any idea how long it took to gather enough blood of gods to make this ritual circle?"
With that he attacked, the battle was even longer and harder, the party was one down and their resources almost exhausted. Gun'A'Dye throws the wizard the cult leader's amulet, it was linked to Orcus, and any spell cast on it would effect Orcus as well. A quich Banishment spell openned a portal that started dragging Orcus back to the abyss.
Orcus used his Wand of Orcus to summon Vrock who he threw the wand to.
"Kill these fools." He screamed as the portal closed behind him. The Vrock started finishing off the party when Gun'A'Dye appeared and started cutting him to peices. Desperatly the Vrock triggered the Wand's Wretched Blight spell. Gun'A'Dye being neutral evil was unaffected but the tendrils of darkness hurt the party, killing all but Sir Nevar, with his massive minotaur constitution, he rose up and charged the Vrock. The Vrock swung the wand as a mace and both rolled a hit. The Vrock dissolved as it died, but Sir Nevar was dying as well. Gun'A'Dye knelt by his father and savior.
"My time is up Gun'A'Dye, I have one last gift for you." Nevar pulled a scroll and potion bottle out of a pouch. "This is a potion of longevity and the instructions on how to make more. Even two of these will give you almost as many years as a human. Promise me you will live them well."
"Gun'A'Dye promise." after Nevar passed Gun'A'Dye grabbed his still glowing holy symbol of Tyr, god of Justice, ignoring the pain as it burned him. "Gun'A'Dye promise to be the blade in the dark, that saves the innocent and punishes the guilty."
With that that campaign ends. But not Gun'A'Dye's story. Two campaigns later the party is investigating what appears to be a war in the shadows between two theives guilds thats ging on in almost every major city of the Kingdom. The investigation however says otherwise, they are contacted by theives guild and told flat out they aren't involved. Arriving atone of these fights they find what they at first take to be halflings in masks, fighting cloacked figures, several of whom can cast magic. Capturing a few of both sides, they find the one side are branded with a hand with an eye inside, the sign of the cultof Vecna. The others turn out to be goblins, not halflings. They eventually track the Goblin's back to an underground fortress, where they are curiously invited in. Shown through tunnels to a large room, dominated bay a round table with a of the kingdom on it. Little figures with hands or daggers are moved around by goblins reading from messages, it looks every inch a war planning room. Standing above is a strange figure, he seems a goblin, but there is a weariness to him, an age in his eyes that doesn't fit the age of his body.
He turns to the party and speaks, "Welcome to Blades in the Dark, my name is Gun'A'Dye."
With that the players who had been part of that campaign lose it. Gun'A'Dye has appeared is several of my games since then, in a variety of roles, from gulid leader to 'Gun'Aye'Dye's Travaling Alchemy Imperium' (yes thats how he wrote it), with the running gag being, its always the original Gun'A'Dye the goblin who will never die.