The story of Avajio, the Drow Duelist


As a DM, I’ve had many players with many great characters. Today I am gonna share the story of one of these characters. His name is Avajio, the Drow Duelist.

The setting was a homebrew world consisting of many island-nations. One of these nations was the setting for a previous campaign the players failed to complete, so the BBEG of the previous campaign was the ruler of the nation. He ruled with an iron fist over the world and no other nation was strong enough to resist his expansion. This was a pirate setting, with technology and feel like Pirates of the Carribbean with some dark tones here and there to make it unique. Avajio was a young drow. He was the son of a very infamous pirate who had left him at a young age in the care of a prostitute. As a result, Avajio grew in the streets and had to fend for himself most of the time. His first job was as a smuggler working under a senior sailor who knew his father well. Avajio’s player always envisioned Avajio as a swordsman who could fight with his rapier and do backflips and tricks like an Errol Flynn type character (he was a rogue). I set his sights on the Duelist prestige class (system was Pathfinder 1e) which is a good prestige class if you want to make your Rogue or Bard more combative, without needing to dip into fighter. However, I told him that in order to start learning swordsmanship, we would have to find an in-game reason to tie it to the narrative.

Some days later the opportunity came. The party had to inflitrate a fortress to rescue the daughter of the emperor (the previous BBEG). While the rest of the party was fighting the guards, Avajio snuck up to the tower bypassing the opposition. The plan was that the party would provide distraction for Avajio to climb the tower and rescue the princess. Avajio climbed up through a window and found a man, no older than 60 years old. The man had an elegant outfit and an even more elegant rapier. “Your father would be so dissapointed in you, young man.” said the old man drawing his rapier. Avajio took out his sword and they begun fighting. Well, fighting is one way to say it. The old man easily parried all of Avajio’s attacks and mocked him. “Have you ever stopped to think that the princess doesn’t want to return to her father?”. The old man disarmed Avajio and held him at the tip of his rapier. “Who are you, old man?” said Avajio. The old man answered that he was a friend of his father’s and that he would be disgraced if he could see his son working for the Emperor. The old man seathed his sword and gave Avajio an old emblem with lines in the shape of waves on it. “The princess is in the other room. Your friends will have bested the guards by now. Consider what I’ve told you and act accordingly. If you make the right choice, come find me in the House of Roses.” said the old man and left.

In the next few days, Avajio searched about the emblem the man gave him. The crest belonged to an ancient order of Sailor-knights whose mission was to protect the people from the dangers of the sea and unfair or unjust rulers. He also met the man in the House of Roses. This was were his first swordsmanship lesson took place. The House of Roses was called that because there grew roses which could drain the blood of anything they came in contact with (shamelessly stole that from the Gentlemen Bastards books, thanks Scott Lynch!). The man used the roses to teach Avajio about the importance of balance in swordsmanship. Turns out, the man was a knight of the Order of the Sea, same as his father, who was a great fighter and leader until the Emperor shunned his name when he marked him as a pirate. The man also told him that his father perished when his ship was sunk by the cannons of the Empire’s Man o’ Wars.

In the next few sessions, Avajio and the rest of the party became members of the active Rebellion against the Emperor and took various missions that helped the cause. Avajio grew to become a skillful swordsman and grew from a mercenary outlaw to a chivalrous knight of the Order of the Sea. Unfortunately, real life got in the way and the campaign was cancelled. However, this still stands as one of the most epic settings and campaigns I have ever run, not because of the story or the world, but because of the PCs…

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