Hôl, Son of Ahto [pc]

First Appearance: In Pursuit of Adventure Session #41 (click here to jump to stats)

Hôl, son of Stig, never knew his mother. Raised by a family either paid and/or intimidated by his father into doing so, they were never cruel to him out of fear of Stig the Reaver, but were never warm to him either. In any case, Hôl's father was cruel enough during his infrequent visits, often taking the boy with him to taverns and brothels, forgetting him days at a time, leaving him to go hungry and at the mercy of disreputable men and women who revere the Pohjola.

Neither his foster family (Faflor, his wife Sook, and their son Popi), nor his father even mentioned his mother's name, but it was well-rumored around town that she was a witch-priestess dedicated to Tuonetar, spending most of her time in an underground lair with her coven, performing dark rituals to bring death and mayhem to the Northern Reaches, especially the people of the Kalevala.

Despite this, Hôl had a group of young friends he ran with in Jaista Torni (a shore-hugging settlement a few leagues east of the City-State of the Pohjola and under its jurisdiction). They were a close-pack, taking advantage of those smaller than they or without a close network of compatriots. Though Hôl was never the type to use his father's reputation or the rumors of his mother's power to his advantage, as he grew older he realized that all his interactions were colored by this reality. Even those who were his friends feared him because of this. This led to Hôl's habit of severely beating any of his friends or other young people in town who outwardly expressed deference to him for these reasons, wanting to establish his own strength and prowess. He developed a quick temper and a quick hand.

Upon coming of age, Hôl was conscripted into duty serving in the army of Louhi the Crone, Witch-Queen of the Pohjola, working first as a guard at the Tower of Black Ice that watches over the main road between the two city-states of the Northern Reaches (and from which Jaista Torni gets its name), and later as a crew member of the Valru Kima, a longship that raided towns along the shore on both the Kalevalan and Pohjolan sides of the shoreline. It was during this time that he learned of his father's death, killed by another Pohjolan reaver of his own crew that wanted to prove his prowess.

Hôl participated in many evil acts as a member of the crew of the Valru Kima—acts he will not frequently discuss now, not only because of his shame, but because he fears that to tell these stories is a form of praising them or to sensationalize the acts in such a way that would undo the humility he feels he should have at having gotten a second chance. Despite the evil nature of his crewmates, Hôl still felt a camaraderie with them, and a loyalty that was returned by most of his mates. Most of them did not know of his father's identity, and none knew of his mother's, and this was the first time Hôl felt like he belonged to something like a family.

Fleeing a losing sea battle with a Kalevalan naval vessel, the Valru Kima ran aground along the black rocks west of Kalliotalla. The few crew members left (most wounded) were crushed or drowned, and Hôl would have certainly been among them if not for the divine grace of Ahto. According to the walrus-hunters that found him, he was being watched over by a walrus-cow—the breath of life had left him, but when they lifted his body from the icy-sand he coughed up a gallon of seawater, coming to life.

Despite clearly being Pohjolan in origin, the people of Kalliotalla nursed Hôl back to health, interpreting his revival as a sign from Ahto to welcome him into their fold. However, it is not as if Hôl was immediately won over. After a few weeks in Kalliotalla, spending time helping with their fishing and hunting boats, and taking part in one walrus hunt, he returned to Jaista Torni. However, once there he not only began to realize that the community warmth of Kalliotalla was a superior way to live, his former reputation was used against him, so while people still deferred to him, there were more snide remarks now that the news of his father's death had reached them, and suspicion among the militia superiors regarding his being the only one to survive and his long absence. He fled back to Kalliotalla and over time made a place for himself in that community and began to open his heart to the teachings of Ahto, eventually traveling to the City-State of the Kalevala for training and taking part in several adventures along the way and afterward in and around Kalliotalla.

As often happens to Sons of Ahto, Hôl began to feel a call to travel. Having already spent much time along the shores of the Northern Reaches and its outlying islands, and worried he might be recognized and thus bring danger to those he sought to learn from and help, he volunteered to travel south. Hôl accepted a mission to gather information about followers of the northern gods in the southlands and to seek out the potentially dangerous Orb of Storms. He was also to investigate the extent to which cults have risen around the Pohjolans gods in Central Aquerra, and if at all possible, he was to forge friendships with the followers of southern gods and learn of their ways, and illuminate southlanders as the power of the Kalevala through fellowship, good will and willingness to aid good people against the evils of Midgard.

Hôl had the unique experience of traveling from the Northern Reaches to Derome-Delem by way of a ship crewed mostly by dwarves and associated with the NDMC (The Stone Canoe). On the long journey he picked up a smattering of dwarvish, and through this was able to visit Ettinos and then Cutter Jack's. He then traded for passage on a shore-hugging long ship of Northern Reaches ex-patriots that have begun a modest business trading goods along the isolated southern coasts of Derome-Delem between Princeton and the Far Shore League. He then traveled from Goldport to City-of-the Spices in Thricia, and then from there to Westron via Haffar's Port. In Westron he befriend Drevindor of Tefnut and later signed up with the crew of the Lady Esmerelde.

He has recently learned that his mother may not be a priestess of Tuonetar at all, but the Pirate-Queen, Misery Tlalok.

Description: At just shy of 5' 8", Hôl is shorter than average for a man, but has well-built shoulders and a stocky frame, giving him a forceful presence. He has very deeply olive skin (almost mocha), and short tight knappy light brown curls on his round head. He has a similar beard (short, neat, tight), that is prematurely white in places, bleached to an almost soft sea green in certain light. Or maybe that is a trick of his big bright hazel eyes. He has a big mouth of bright teeth and is prone to smile.

Eschewing armor as is the requirement of his order, Hôl wears an open tan sailcloth shirt that reveals a hairy chest, and navy blue woolen pants with large cuffs and pockets. He has brown fur-lined oilskin boots. About his waist he wears a webbed belt holding a fisherman's knife, with a large silver and green rippled wave buckle, which also serves as his holy symbol. His arms have a score of silver bangles, bands, and bracelets and he wears a big silver hoop earring in his left ear and the Moon Pearl Cloak Pin. as a heavy gauge plug in the right.

He is rarely seen without his warhammer and heavy shield (etched with an image of the ice-cliffs of Immenhosk) as well as a quiver of javelins.

When in his native clime he typically wears a fur vest and a long woolen sailor's pea coat with a hood.

Hôl (aka "Hanno" or "Little Han")

Human male (medium); Fighter 2 / Son of Ahto 7; HD: 2d10+7d8+8; hps: 62; Dies: -17
Init +2 (+2 Dex); Speed 30 ft (6 boxes); - Al: NG

AC: 18, 20* (+4 mstrwrk heavy shield), +2 Dex, +3 BDB, *+1 Dodge); Vs. Adjacent Opponents: 20, 22* (+2 Str); Touch: 15, 16*; Flat-Footed: 14
Attack: BAB: +7/+2; +9/+4 (melee), +9/+4 (ranged); +11 (Krigtan) or +9/+4 (short bow) or +9/+4 (short sword)
Damage: 1d8+3 (Krigtan) or 1d6+2 (masterwork shortbow) or 1d6+2 (short sword).

Saves: Fort: +7, Ref: +3, Will: +5 (+6 w/Moon Pearl Plug)
Abilities: Str 15 (+2), Dex 15 (+2), Con 11 (+0), Int 10 (+0), Wis 13 (15 w/ pearl) (+1 (+2)), Cha 16 (+3), Com 13

Special Abilities: Spontaneous Casting (1 spell/level/day from either Strength or Water domain), Turn Undead (9/day; -4 to checks in non-aquatic environments), Aquatic Empathy +10, Forceful Presence (Str Bonus to AC vs. Adj. Opponents), Lungs of Iron (+33 rounds), Surge of Strength (1d4+3), Improved Aid Another, Sanctity of the Surf
Spell Progression: 5 / 4+1 / 3+1 / 2+1 / 1+1
Spell Saving Throw DC: 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16
Domains: Strength and Water
Spells Known: Son of Ahto Spell List

Reputation: Hand-Smasher +1, Of the North +1
Influences: (33 points total, 11 unapplied)

Skills: (54 points total; cross-class skills are asterisked*; untrained skills are in italics; total including armor check penalties in [brackets])
Balance +2 [+1], Bluff* +3, Climb +6 [+5], Diplomacy* +3, Disguise* +3, Escape Artist* +2 [+1], Gather Information* +3, Heal +1, Hide* +2 [+0], Intimidate +3, Jump +3 [+2], Knowledge (oceanography/navigation) +4, Knowledge (religion) +3, Knowledge (sea lore) +1, Listen* +2, Move Silently* +2 [+0], Profession (fisherman) +2, Profession (sailor) +5, Profession (surveyor) +3, Ride +2, Sense Motive* +1, Speak Language (dwarf) +1, Spot +6, Survival (oceanic) +3, Swim +8 [+5], Use Rope +4, Survival +3 (+1 pt unspent)

Feats: Weapon Focus (warhammer), Toughness, Improved Toughness, Healing Surge, Dodge, Improved Aid Another, Extend Spell

Vows/Restrictions: The Skin of My Back, Brothers in Arms, Deference.

Hero Points: 0; Action Dice: 3

Notable Equipment: Krigtan, Moon Pearl Plug, Javelin of Lightning (1), Masterwork Heavy Shield (+4 total), Crystal Bear

Treasure and Coinage:
  • 77 sps, 4 cps (h-land), 16 silver obleks, 10 sp (Thricia), 6 sps (b-isles)

See also: Ahto, Fighters, In Pursuit of Adventure, Player Characters, Sons of Ahto