|Organization||Brotherhood of Serroth, Lower Guild|
NPC usage: Open to GMs
Most Benevolent Seeker of Untold Bounties of Esoteric Knowledge in Service of the Greater Glory of Our Lord Serroth the Wondrous Bearer of the Thirsting Pick Upon the Holy Field of Battle and the Slayer of the Unrighteous and the Cowardly
Ben is a tall, unassuming young man with straight brown hair. His build is average, but there's a definite gleam of intelligence in his eye, and a sincerely friendly smile on his face.
Ben is outgoing and honest, but underneath his sunny disposition is a canny individual. However, his first love is the pursuit of knowledge, whenever he's not helping people, his nose is buried in a book. Ben has seen little combat, so although he's quite aware of his failings in single combat, he is only beginning to understand his gifts as a commander.
For some reason, Ben becomes distinctly uncomfortable whenever the subject turns to dreams or destiny...
Ben is currently working in the Lower Guild, where Enza Furros has grudgingly granted him a tiny office. Ben has sold a gold sword he received from Emiliana Forenicci and is using the proceeds to recruit unemployed young men and women of Ranocchio into the Lower Guild. The newly minted regiment is still a work in progress, but it's already turning heads ... and possibly stepping on toes. Ben has recruited a woman by the name of Mai Lin as his sergeant-at-arms.
Ben was a foundling left at a the monastery of the mercenary priests of Serroth, a neutral god of war known mostly in the outskirts of the Landadel Baronies. Ben has grown up in the order and believes strongly in his patron deity, even to the point of overlooking some of the more vicious acts committed in Serroth's name, quite possibly with Serroth's approval.
However, his life so far has been one of constant conflict with the brothers. Ben has a natural inclination to do good, but his foremost love has always been the pursuit of knowledge, and both of these put him at odds with the overwhelming majority of Serroth's priests, who care little for books and who believe in battle above all else. In fact, the name given to him -- with its repeated references to Serroth as a warrior -- is a thinly veiled insult to Ben's own scholarly tendencies.
This being the case, in Ben's score of years, he has earned the ire of almost every monk, priest, and abbot that he's ever known, with the exception of a rare few kindly teachers. And so when it was decided to send a missionary to Venza, Ben jumped at the chance, and the abbot was glad to be rid of him.
One thing that Ben hasn't mentioned to anyone is the recurring dream he's been having. Actually, there are two dreams, and they come to him simultaneously. In one dream, he's clad in a silvery armor that gleams underneath the blood and mud of battle, and he seems resolute and noble. In the other, his armor is dark and festooned with skulls and other grisly war trophies that he doesn't want to think about, and a cruel, twisted smirk plays across his lips. Both of the dream-Bens are scarred and older, and in the dream they seem almost to be superimposed on one another as they look across a field of tremendous carnage. And the battlefield itself is two different fields at the same time: where the noble Ben stands, an army of dark, inhuman beastmen lie vanquished, while priests and healers tend to the victorious wounded. On the other, with the sadistic-looking Ben, the beastmen have won the day and are feeding gruesomely on the corpses of legions of paladins. Perhaps most disturbing is that both visions of Ben bear the insignia of Serroth.
When the dreams came only two or three times a year, Ben dismissed them as the product of an overactive imagination and too many books on military history. However, they're visiting him once a month or more these days, and he's beginning to get worried.
Ben is a support caster with little ability to inflict direct damage. When combat starts, he will grant Seize the Initiative to the ally with the greatest chance of battlefield control (a wizard with a Grease spell prepared, or a fighter with the Stand Still feat, for example). During combat, he will generally use Inspiring Command on front-line fighters, with healing as necessary. Ben also has the Selective Channeling feat and can designate 3 targets who will not receive healing, so he is not shy about using burst heals in a crowded fight.