Curse of InniStrahd
Darius "Red" Black
Lane's Tiefling Ranger
Personality Traits: I’m always picking things up, absently fiddling with
them, and sometimes accidentally breaking them.
Ideals: I am honest and forthright.
Civilization may think me a monster or savage, but that makes me neither.
Bonds: I will prove myself to the world: I am more than I appear
Flaws: I am slow to trust members of other races, tribes, and societies.
Darrius’ father was human. This did not, unfortuantely, make him any less of a monster. This at least is what his mother, Rose, always told him. The man- Darrius’s father, whose name his mother never told him, lived on a remote farm, and came into the town where Rose lived for supplies. She was young, and foolish, and fell in love with him. She was never too detailed about her reationship- what lead her to run away with him to his remote farm and marry him despite her family’s objections, but she did. And things were good for about a year. Then he started to get mean. This she was a good deal more explicit about the details of, but I’ll spare you. Suffice to say he got cotrolling, and then he got violent.
Things got bad- but what was she to do? He was a monster, surely, but Avacyn didn’t seem eager to fly out to knock off the human veriaty. Eventually Rose got desperate. Ater the man had headed out into one of his extended forays into the forest, Rose discovered she was with child again. She had lost pregnancies before, as the result of her husband’d anger, and she vowed it woudl not happen again. She got desperate enough to turn to other sources of help- sources who seemed more willing to take action against humans. There, alone in a remote farm house with no one to turn to, Rose invoked a demon. She half expected it not to work, but she was out of options. Unfortuantely, it did work.
Here, her story gets vague again, all she would say is that she made a deal with the entity who appeared, an entity she would ever only refer to as Darrius’s Stepfather, and Darrius got the idea that this was for fear that it would answer if she called it’s name. He agreed to take care of her problem, and to protect her child, and would take “a fair price” adding, after all was agreed, that it “always wanted a child.” His father was never seen again.
She gave birth some months later, alone on the farm, and the demon’s cryptic comments suddenly bacame clear: his skin was a dark red, his eyes glowed a soft golden, with small, sharp nubby horns growing from his forehead. She named him Darrius, after her Cathar father, and Black, her maiden name.
Over time the farm overgrew and the little farmhouse became just another little shack in the woods. She managed to trap and forage enough food to keep herself and her babe alive, sheltering him from teh world who would forever think him a monster. The nearby villiages started to tell stories of the old chrone, and whisper tales of how she would curse you if you neared her shack. Of the demon she kept on a leash that would eat trespassers. She never kept Darrius on a leash, to be clear. She doted on her son to the best of her ability, and loved him early. but she did encourage the rumors, as they kept the outside world away. As he grew, she taught her son to fend for himself, and he socialized mostly with thhe wild.
He learned that there were three kinds of animals: Those who were more powerful than everything else, those who banded together, and those who died. He was aware of his own limitations, and knew he was no apex predator- and that even if he were, apex predators only survived for so long as they remained on the top. It looked exhausting. And so, once he got old enough, he took after his mother: he ignoredhis parent’s objection and struk out on his own, ranging the forest. He returned to check in on his mother, leaving her deer he had killed to make sure she could eat, and as his horns grew in large, hee wrapped them and added little bits of metal so that, when seen rom teh right angle, their silouette looked like the Avacynian holy symbol- he had concluded that what others thought of him did not determien who or what he was, and he made abit of rescuring those he found lost in the woods, or taking out threats to villiages. Soon, stories sprung up about him too, not just his mother. Stories of ‘the Red ghost’, or, for those in the few villiages who learend not to try and kill him on sight, “Red Black” though he likes to joke that he’s always thought he was more of a maroon.