Eclipse on Nyvar
Things were looking up for Kaden Broadfoot when he was the youngest person ever to be made mayor of his small halfling village. It wasn’t a big village and historically mayors hadn’t done much, but he had made it into the top spot through good looks, an affable manner, and piercing insights into the (demi)human mind that belied his age. His plan was to keep the status quo and enjoy the office as long as he could. Everybody liked him and thought he was a fine mayor in that he did very little and asked very little of others. He had a very effective assistant, Jahn Merrywine, to take care of most of his work for him.
Unfortunately things got very complicated a few years later when men from a nearby human realm came to the village with what they said was good news: their divinatory had found a huge vein of iron in the foothills into and around which Kaden’s village was built. The iron was going to be instrumental to the military campaigns the human nation was involved with. All the halflings had to do was let the miners get to work and the humans would share the profits with them, 50/50. This caused considerable debate among the halflings (including from his assistant Jahn), but Kaden wasn’t made for conflict or negotiation, so he allowed the humans to set up their operations.
At first things were fine, but after a year or so the humans started asking more more concessions: some halfling families would have to be displaced to make room for new mining sites. The humans who had moved to the village started to mistreat the halflings and take more liberties with their lands like unauthorized construction and domination of fishing at a nearby lake. Worse, there was crime. The halflings petitioned Kaden to push back on the humans, but he soon found that he was in over his head and was pushed over every time he tried to make demands. His citizens began to blame him for their problems.
Things got worse one winter when the humans stepped up their mining operations by bringing in wizards and sorcerers to start making drastic and much more destructive operations. Woodlands were wiped out and sterilized by magic. Entire hills were obliterated, and the nearby lake and river were polluted by magic and reckless industry. Worse, halfling citizens started showing up dead and lynched —especially those who were outspoken about the humans. Yet Kaden still felt powerless and nothing he tried seemed to work. On the one occasion when he tried to make demands, the overseer of the mining camp beat him senseless and made very direct threats about Kaden’s family that would be carried out if he tried to interfere again. When the citizens tried to remove Kaden from his mayorship, the humans orchestrated harassment and intimidation campaigns to keep him in office. Everyone now saw him as a puppet for the humans, but he lacked the courage to do anything about it.
Eventually Kaden’s assistant Jahn Merrywine took matters into his own hands. He traveled into the nearby forests to petition a druid that he had heard lived there. The druid agreed to help after hearing and seeing the destruction to nature that was happening. Along with a group of adventurers that Merrywine was able to hire with money stolen from bribes the humans had been tossing Kaden’s way, the miners were routed.
The druid and Jahn Merrywine, however, passed harsh judgment on Kaden. Summoning him in the village square, the druid cursed him with an infection that scarred the left side of his handsome face with pock marks and sores. The druid then cast him out of the village, telling him that he would bear that disfigurement until he was able to restore some balance to the world by performing acts of good for others.
Kaden was crushed and wandered the wilderness for months, during which time his personality soured and he became much more brooding and sour tempered. But eventually he decided that he would have to atone in order to return home, and thought that the best way to balance out his sins was to follow the druidic path. Indeed, part of the effect of the druid’s curse seemed to be that Kaden now had a talent in that area, especially in the areas of toxins and poisons. Perhaps the old druid had an ironic sense of humor. Kaden figured that Prydesden would be the best place to find adventure and chances for good deeds, so he boarded the first ship he could find and headed out.