Paladin of Ehlonna
“My name is Hannah Straightoak. I am a Paladin, travelling in service of Ehlonna. I am from the north, but like birds migrate to the south, I find myself called to this city for a time. Ehlonna grants the world many blessings, but rarely do we deserve gifts, so I must also work for my meals when I am not doing her work.”
Hannah is a young woman, but not a child, with the typical coloring and features of people from the north, and a little bit taller than usual for a woman. She is the only daughter (and granddaughter) of a long line of blacksmiths and lumberjacks, so no one has ever told her she wasn’t pretty. She doesn’t offer much information that isn’t necessary to the topic. She answers questions pretty straight when asked, and if you manage to venture into some topics she might tell you that a topic is between her and the gods and you just drop it. She writes some poetry largely about nature. If you ask her about it she’ll show it to you, but it’s pretty bad (although there are a few…)
And if you ask the local gossips…
Hannah Straightoak is a young Paladin newly arrived in the city. She came from the north, from a village at the edge of the Vastwood. She’s the only child of a lumberjack made good who managed to collect enough high grade ore to provide the strange but expensive dowry required and marry the blacksmith’s daughter. Hannah’s home village (referred to in Common as Shady Haven, since most traders can’t pronounce the local name) is known in the city for two reasons. It, like this city, is a crossroads of it’s own, though on a much smaller scale. Wild things come out of the woods to trade (many of them human). Many traders not crazy enough to follow the Long Road through the Vastwood wait there to organize caravans of lumber from the edges of the Vastwood, wonderful furs, or handpick the choicest strange goods all the way from Jarlheim. While considered basically a civilized village recognizing the laws of the land and worshipping the gods of good in public, most of the permanent residents are mostly worshippers of Ehlonna and as long as you take the barfight out back, few of the limited law enforcement agents are likely to break up a simple brawl.
Shady Haven has another reputation of late. Logging, pulling caravans, smithing – all are hard labor. A few years ago, the story goes, a mage arrived offering the services of organo-golemnical-calcified machines to many of the citizens in town. Though the village is small, with all the trade, there is significant gold buried in the basement of many homes, and with significant investment, this strange fellow was able to build a significant force … which eventually turned out to be an invading army of undead destroying the town and ransacking for the gold or wealth that hadn’t already been turned over. The townspeople set up barricades to prevent travelers from entering town and protect them from the plague of undead, dramatically impacting trade travel on the Long Road, since it was an important re-equipping point.
Hannah’s parents had been trying to spend their gold to give her a finer life. They sent her to school, and she performed her the dignified duties of tending Ehlonna’s shrine in the garden in the center of town, leading to the folks in town occasionally referring to her as Hannah Stickupherass, but never in the presence of her father or grandfather. But when the undead infestation started to emerge, Hannah felt called to take up arms and destroy them. Equipped by her proud grandfather, her victories clearing the undead out of basements and storerooms added up. One afternoon a poor, ancient woman who lived just outside of town came to visit — with an elaborate chest in a cart pulled but a graying but strong horse, not used to cart duty. She stood vigil with Hannah in Ehlonna’s grove all night long one night, to the confusion of the grateful but exhausted townspeople. The next day, the woman gifted Hannah with full plate armor, a shield, and a new sword that even her grandfather could not fault the quality of. With a strange look in her eyes, Hannah charged into the forest as dusk set the next night, and returned the next morning dragging the body of the necromancer behind her. The townspeople were thrilled, but were never quite sure what to make of her after that. Hannah returned to her books and prayer, spent time in the forest … and one day took off for Kalos Jamorda. She said goodbye to her parents, but no one in town knows much else, though some of them may be secretly relieved that she’s moved in. Those guys are mostly at the tavern most of the time.
As the campaign starts, she is staying on the north edge of the city, sleeping on a cot in the hayloft/attic of a house. The house belongs to a caravan master and his incredibly chatty, gossipy wife who was originally from Shady Haven (hence why anyone who asks will get the whole story in more detail than you ever wanted). Hannah visits at least one temple or shrine everyday and is trying to get to know the city. She buys simple food and helps take care of the ponies from the caravans so as not to impose too much on her hosts, but is probably running out of money at this point, you know honey, and we just don’t know what she’s going to do next…