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Valen Shadowbreath was a tiefling fighter and weapon master. He was in the rebel drow encampment of Lith My'athar in 1372 DR.

Although distrustful of others, Valen made his services available to an adventurer.

As a tiefling, he was often tormented by the violent nature of his infernal blood and his dark past.[1]

Birth, Heritage, and Early Life Edit

Valen was born in Sigil the City of Doors - specifically the Hive Ward. The poorest and most dangerous of its districts, Valen had a rough upbringing, born into poverty and becoming a street urchin at a young age.

Valen was born to a human woman, murder by a demoness in his childhood. Valen implies that this demoness (his mother's employer) was brothel owner in the Hive, who as punished his mother for her underperformance when she fell ill, by violently killing her... Valen verifies the nature of his mother's employment by telling the player he'd, "rather not say" what she did, but simply says, "she belonged to what you might call the oldest profession."

Valen does not make mention of his father, (or knowledge of one) and it can be reasonably inferred that Valen may have been the product of a being with demonic ancestry who sought "services" at the establishment where Valen's human mother was employed.

(Tiefling ancestry is categorized differently in later versions of Forgotten Realms, for the purposes of this campaign it was defined as a human with demonic ancestry - through more diluted that a half-demon/devil.)

After his mother's death, Valen was immediately thrown out, despite being a young child by his mother's former employer. Valen remarks his childhood misfortune is not a unique story in Sigil, a city bountiful in orphaned waifs. Rather he makes claim to being unique in that he survived his chilhood to become one of the top 5 pickpockets in the city - despite being a popular target for kidnapping into the Blood Wars because of his demonic ancestry.

The Blood Wars Edit

As a young man, Valen was eventually snatched off the streets of Sigil to fight in the Blood Wars as a slave of the demon Grimash't. Valen reveals to the player that being forced to fight in the Blood Wars as a slave stirred Valen's demonic blood began to drown out his humanity.

Valen and Grimash't were called to Toril by a drow priestess during the course of Drow incursion against the "Seer" and her forces. Valen describes his encounter with the Seer on the battlefield as the moment he recalled his humanity and as she "looked into his soul". After the being sent back to the Abyss Valen's self-awareness was again awakened and he began to struggle internally. Grimash't sensed Valen's increasing rebelliousness to slavery and the demonic taint and tortured him to suppress this internal struggle. In order to break Valen Grimash't eventually violently murders the slave-woman Valen deeply loved - forcing him to watch.

Almost defeated by the loss of the woman he loved Valen was almost resigned to his fate when the cage in which he was keep was damaged during a raid of a warring faction of demons allowing him to escape. Grimash't pursued Valen, finding and eventually cornering him only to be defeated by him. Valen was single-minded in attempting to reach the Seer who had awakened his humanity and escape the Nine Hells.

He reluctantly and somewhat shyly, implies he may have had to exchange sexual favors with a succubus in order to access a portal through which he escaped into the Underdark.

The Seer and the Camp in Lith My'athar Edit

When Valen reaches the Seer in Lith My'athar, she teaches Valen that he is not controlled by his blood and helps him fully restore his humanity. Valen pledges himself in the defense of the Seer and her cause for her help and is fiercely loyal to that end. Valenacts as a bodyguard for the Seer and eventually becomes the General of her army. Despite not being a follower of Elistree he is nonetheless passionately committed to their cause. He is initially quite hostile with the player until the player proves to be a boon to the Seer, trustworthy and not a threat. Each time the player proves their trustworthiness players have a chance to learn more about Valen's past.

Cania and the Nine Hells Edit

Valen struggles increasingly with his infernal blood if sent with the player back into the Nine Hells and even will suggest the player abandon him the deeper in the go do to his lack of 'control.' Exposure to demons and devils will slowly begin to overcome Valen's humanity, demonstrating itself in increasingly aggressive PTSD-like episodes - attacking mobs of demons and ignoring the commands of the player. Only Valen's bond with the player, (particularly a romantic one) allows Valen to resist the call of his infernal taint. If the player learns Valen's true name from the Knower of Names can he be can be freed from the infernal taint permanently at the Player's command before returning Toril in to face the Demon Lord in Waterdeep.

Romance Edit

Female players can pursue a relationship with Valen if they successfully convince Valen to reveal his painful past. If the romance is fulfilled, Valen confesses his love to the player, and the player will have the option to either return the confession or insist on friendship. If love is mutually confessed Valen will not be tempted by Mestophiles during the final confrontation. In addition, he will be the PC's one true love, as revealed by the Knower of Names (unless the PC was already made the one true love of the Sleeping Man earlier in the conversation).

Relationships Edit

  • Valen entertains a tenuous friendship with but a few characters, primarily the drow Nythyrra and Amoth.
  • He is almost blindly loyal to the Seer. He respects her in an almost reverent manner.
  • Valen can become extremely close to the player depending on their choices or keep them at arm's length doubling down on his standoffish, cautious nature.
  • If romanced by a female player, Valen admits he would like a future with the player, to live a normal life and have children. Valen's response to a romantic female player is to be embarrassed by overt or implied forwardness by the player. Valen will refer the player as "my love."
  • Valen tolerates Deekin. He is less than fond of Kobold's nickname for him "Goat Man." He will however occasionally sing with Deekin - though his opinion of the Kobold's voice/racket is about the same as Deekin's opinion of his. He will joke with Deekin during marches through the Underdark with the adventurer if Deekin is also a companion - while not so subtly threatening to throw him down the Underdark's deepest pit.

Curiosities Edit

  • Valen sings a number of limericks during long marches through the Underdark i.e. "The Lass of Sigil" and one about his deadly heavy flail.
  • Valen is a weapons master specializing in the use of a heavy flail, he is particulary attached to his weapon "Devil's Bane."
  • Valen refers to the player as Rivil (surface dweller) until he comes to trust the player.

AppendixEdit

{{Incomplete}

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


ConnectionsEdit

Companions of Drogan Droganson's Pupil
During the Raising of Undrentide
Deekin ScalesingerDorna TrapspringerXanos Messarmos
During the Valsharess' War
Aribeth de TylmarandeDaelan Red TigerDeekin ScalesingerLinu La'neralNathyrraSharwynTomi UndergallowsValen Shadowbreath
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