Rufus Darkbright, Champion of Rovagug
Formerly Rufus Albright, Paladin of Iomedae
A dark and powerful champion of Rovagug, always carrying his massive axe, thrumming with his dark god’s power.
The Albright family is a well respected and good lot. But alas, all trees have their rotten fruit, and Rufus Albright could be his own gnarled branch entirely. Brother to Marcus Albright, Rufus was a renowned paladin of Iomedae. He upheld every code and embodied the perfect soldier; until the day he fell from grace, losing his footing and slipping deep into the folds of darkness.
He was charged with driving back a force of demons that had snaked their way across the gulf, and he did so with great zeal, pushing the fiends all the way back to the spawn up through the badlands. On his way there, however, he passed a small drow village. There he was given a place to stay for him and his men as thanks for saving them from the demons, and he met a half-drow woman named Emrika, who he fell half-heartedly in love with in the three days he spent there.
After driving back the demons, he returned to the village on his way back, and again they stayed, this time for a week. His men were given quarters, but he stayed ever near Emrika. It was undecent, and the other villagers took distaste to his love for her. Wasn’t being half-human bad enough, now they sought to sully their proud genes further? The drow attempted to force Rufus and his men to leave, but even violating the doctrine of the church in this unwedded romance, Rufus’ men were still loyal to their leader. They, upon his orders and his lead, slaughtered the drow village leaving only the women.
Emrika was hopelessly in love with Rufus, and bearing his child, would not leave him. The other women, though some objected, went along with the takeover to save their own children and their own lives. The men under Rufus’ order also took drow wives, some against their will. The days that followed saw horrid disasters – the first day, the cooking fires would not light, no matter how they tried. When Rufus attempted to use his holy magic to light them, his hands could not hold his symbol, and the prayers would not leave his lips.
The second day, there came a storm so violent it forced them all inside. The third day, the storm still raged, and now the trees caught fire despite the whirling wind and hard rain. The fourth day, there was no disaster. There was no prayer uttered. There was no Rufus. He had gone up to the peak of the mountain, to face his once-goddess alone.
There on the peak of Mount Fallen, Rufus denounced Iomedae, and swore allegiance to Rovagug, who came down onto the peak with a great flaming tornado, granting Rufus protection from Iomedae’s wrath, and gifting him with a gleaming greataxe that he wields to this day. His lover Emrika stands by him and helps him raise his son, Markov Darkbright, in the ways of evil and the worship of Rovagug. His men and their slave-wives also reside with him on their new keep on top of Mount Fallen, still loyal to their disgraced master.