Highest stat: Strength, weapons of choice: All
Name- Alfo Nightmantle
Hair color- Black
Hairstyle- A sloppy braid in the back, but otherwise frizzy and messy all over, with a medium-sized uncontrollable beard mess.
Eye color- Dark brown
Clothing - Wears faded scale mail that looks like it got a rushed refurbishing job recently. (Now wears dark forge armor pulled out of a unicorn’s mane). He wears a simple dark coat with the insides lined with pockets and dog treats. His large pack is always brimming with innocuous looking tools of affable use and messily scrawled journals. His belts and coat are bristling with more weapons than any one man should need, and his overall attire gives him the easily identifiable look of a man who has lived his whole life alone in the mountains.
Facial features- While in his eyes one could notice a glimpse of fear and darkness, his overall face is genial and welcoming. Otherwise he looks older than his age, having more wrinkles and wear.
Body type- Stocky with great upper body strength. Totally ripped.
Demeanor/Body language - He is usually smiling, but occasionally his eyes start darting around the room, and he’s prone to drifting off, apparently no longer paying attention to the person he’s talking to. When he talks, he gives a distinct air that he knows what he’s talking about, and can charm and deceive others when they underestimate his intelligence. When he isn’t actively engaged, he appears withdrawn and small, not really standing out in a crowd. After he’s had a few too many drinks, he may start quietly sobbing or mumbling to himself and be completely unresponsive to others.
Scars/freckles/moles/etc.- Much of his uncovered body, like hands or face, has a myriad of shallow scars that blend in with the dirt and wrinkles. He has several tattoos down his arms depicting aberrations, skulls, and wolves. His chest has the Dwarvish script for “Wolves of War”, and his back is a meticulous mural of him cutting off the head of some demon lord with a background of lightning and fire.
Backstory - Alfo is a child of the Nightmantle Clan, a family of rangers spread across the mountains hunting strange, dark creatures. Little is known about them, but that they were part of a contract made with a local religious leader to keep the remnants of an old demon lord at bay. Many of the Nightmantle clan grow up mostly in the homestead, or doing jobs at any of the outposts. Because of this, Alfo has had a life-long relationship with death and the unexplained.
Alfo showed exceptional skill in fighting, soon becoming the single strongest member of his clan. At a very young age, he came upon a lone wolf hiding in the shadow of the trees. Since then, Alfo was never seen without the wolf following obediently behind, ready to leap the moment Alfo was threatened. She is kept busy with her cooperation in Alfo’s daily training regimes and scouting missions. She seems to be playful and even silly at times, but shows much pride and determination in battle.
With the hopes of his family, the weight of the friends he’s lost, and the backing of his beloved Abbott, he set off to become a Hero. Perhaps if he was strong enough, the darkness could be stopped before it consumed the planet.
After spending time with Alfo, it becomes clear that he’s lead a very insular life. He seems to be able to talk eloquently enough, but misses key social cues, coming off as discourteous or slovenly. His attention span is relatively short, and his worrisome daydreaming means he can’t be relied on to be very observant.
He takes risks almost flippantly, and in general doesn’t seem to have a very solid grasp on the long-term consequences of his actions, as if he was expecting the world to end at any moment. Because of his fatalistic views, he’s not particularly ambitious, and holds very little interest in money or possessions. Alfo’s solitary concern is becoming stronger, and as of now, to make sure everyone in the Night Guard becomes stronger.
His actions and emotions seem to mostly be in control, and only seldom prone to spontaneous irregular activity. He is slow to trust someone, but has an irresponsible level of loyalty to those who earn it, whether they deserve it or not. To those that he likes, he can be affectionate and nurturing, and frequently doles out gratitude to people he appreciates.
Most importantly, Alfo is a bit unstable. Having a friend like Shadow has kept him sane for most of his years, but he’s started to lose some grip on his sanity, teetering on the brink of losing it altogether. He seems to be kind-hearted and optimistic deep down, but the hollow look in his eyes when he stares off into the distance gives the impression that he’s already seen too much.
Growth - (updated 10/4/16) So far, Alfo has taken it upon himself to learn more about his companions. Since the moment they flocked together with their ‘number 1’ tickets, he’s set his sights on improving their strengths and accommodating their weaknesses. After a year in their company, he decided to leave the life of a ranger behind him to focus on strength and endurance, those being the team’s most obvious shortcoming.
Teamwork was never a burden for Alfo, who spent most of his life depending on his clan’s ability to work together despite their distance. He knows to appreciate what his team offers that he could never do alone.
He admires Pat’s intelligence and thoughtfulness, being able to make decisions based on history and logic. Slowly, Alfo is starting to turn to him to give him a reasonable plan of action, where Alfo’s sheer determination has failed. He has trouble understanding Pat, and puts him on a pedestal, feeling like the world that he came from (read: college) is one that he will never be able to relate to. He strongly regards Pat’s authority, but most of what Pat does is a complete mystery.
He respects Tam’s pragmatic observations, as well as feeling a tacit kinship to one who feels so close to animals and nature. He trusts Tam to have a deep understanding of their surroundings and situations, being more lucid than Alfo may hope to ever achieve again. Alfo expects to take Tam at his word, though he has yet to test out Alfo’s rampant loyalty. Shadow appreciates having an ally that doesn’t recoil from her natural affection, and relies on Tam for extra sneaky snacks.
As for Val, Alfo feels completely comfortable leaving the talking to him. Alfo’s aware of his own awkwardness, and prefers to stand out only when necessary. Not only that, but Val has proven to be a great source of income and prestige that Alfo could never hope to garner on his own. His mind is more at ease knowing someone is taking care of that boring stuff, and Val almost seems to enjoy it. The way he cheers on Shadow and himself fills him with fighting spirit, bringing hope of victory into his heart even if just for a moment.
After being captured by orcs and making a hasty deal with their leader, Alfo is feeling uneasy and scared for his and his teammates’ safety. He secretly curses himself for being so blindsided by the treasure he wanted, and for not seeking his teammates’ council before making a decision.
Though he has experienced much, he still hasn’t seen much of the world at all, and realizes a bit too late that his thoughtlessness could lead to the destruction of everything he’s worked his whole life for. He resolves to make fewer decisions alone, and in the depths of the Underdark, he attempts to listen to his team through his uncontrollable bouts of paranoid behavior.
(updated 11/22/16) As the team trudged on through the Underdark, Alfo’s grip on his sanity seemed to lessen. He reunited with his uncle Franklefrag, only to watch him die before his eyes like so many of his brethren before. He’s forgotten the smell of fresh air, and the song of birds, and has begun to think that he may never escape. Still he maintains his jovial attitude, though his drinking has gotten heavier. As a diversion he took up brewing and costume making.
He bonded with Tam after he spent time captured with his uncle. He imparted his uncle last words, and was told good things about Alfo’s reputation in the Nightmantle clan. Alfo tried to talk to Val about his unease about spending too much money, but Val refused to open up. Alfo was present when Val was confronted about owing a large debt, but didn’t pry, as he has little concern with financial troubles, as money is a temporary vice.
When the party had to cross a large lake in a boat, they came across Shadow’s greatest crutch, which was a petrifying fear of water. She was inconsolable during the trip, but was able to be transported with much coddling and coaxing from Alfo, who covered her eyes and shielded her with a big blanket. The Underdark was also taking a toll on her, as she started to need more help from the party to keep from being overpowered.
Alfo began to try taking a more cautious approach to surviving in the Underdark, and took a more active role in trying to mitigate the dangers they faced. He preached caution with the Drow farmer they saved, and chose to side with the Goblnoids rather than the Drow.
When the wild magic switched Pat’s position with the Yuanti sorcerer Manuya, Shadow immediately warmed to him, proving the party trusted Shadow’s instincts when they decided to trust him. Alfo trusts him implicitly with Shadow’s blessing, but gave him a long line of questioning anyway, seeming satisfied with his answers. He put his new costuming skills to use to craft Manny a pair of wings so that he could pass himself off as a Deva of the God of Subjugation so that the party could easily ingratiate themselves with the Goblinoid warlords in the battle at Glutton’s Teeth. Going forward, Alfo wants to protect the team but is listening to the plans of the more strategy-minded members.
(updated 02/05/17) Alfo strained to keep hold of his senses in the lengthy time he spent in the Underdark. He was plagued by myriads of grim visages, being called by the incessant voices of the dead and damned. He has learned much about survival and what it means to be strong, such as keeping the team’s best interest in mind, but insisting on expedient removal from danger. Alfo’s beforehand easy-going attitude has been hardened into one that seeks the quickest and safest path towards his current goal.
He helped plan to fool an army of goblinoids, agreed to going back on everything they promised them, and even ignored the Drow who pretended to offer an alliance in favor of fixing the elevator to the surface as quickly as possible. Alfo’s delusions grew so strong that he would sometimes become completely incoherent, begin crying over imagined phantoms, and seeing family members where none stood.
In times of clarity, Alfo still seems to be in high spirits, throwing parties and insisting on an optimistic attitude, but also becoming increasingly vocal about avoiding unnecessary danger. Since being told that he may be in a different thread of fate than the one he was on before, Alfo doesn’t know where he stands in this world. His one and only intention is to get things back to how they should be, lest the darkness gain an advantage in the confusion.
When they entered the Shadow plane, Alfo learned to always be prepared for battle, when Anti-Val “killed” him in one swift movement. Continuing back into the dream, Alfo showed prowess in battle by using unpredictable weapons, getting extra attacks, blocking incoming damage for his allies, and using tactical maneuvers. His unobservant and self-serving days behind him, he weighs in on deciphering prophecies and formulates questions for Manny to ask his god.
He feels safe and happy at the Tila Estate, enjoying the company of some of his clan and other similar ale drinkers. Alfo despairs over his inability to correspond with friends while he was in the Underdark, now compounded with the fear that he may be in a timeline where all of his loyal ties back home mean nothing, even that of his beloved Abott Banmir. He sends a tacit letter to assess his standing, wanting badly to return to a world where the battles he fought were meaningful, and fearing that the Anti-Alfo may be a coward who burnt the bridges between his friends and God.
Mysteriously, Alfo bought a potion that he had “been thinking about for a long time”, since he had not been able to afford it before. He gave it to Shadow without consulting with the group, and she melded into a shadow, only to reform as an aberration. Their visage was gruesome and horrifying, but they spoke to the party like an old friend. They have incredible, otherworldly abilities that the party has only just begun to understand.
(updaded 5/4/17) Alfo attempted to get closer to Shadow, the creature who devoured Shadow of the Tree’s soul in exchange for a force of terrible power in battle. They could speak telepathically to the party, and vanish completely in thin air. Neither Alfo nor any member in the party could seem to instill inherent trust in them. They were more than happy to take part in Alfo’s fate of reaping, but seemed little interested in committing to anyone’s cause.
Alfo and the group traveled to Sindaleth, where Alfo asked Tam for help to access the Wildwood Assembly to do research, and spent his downtime hunting aberrations in the wilds. Val joined him on a hunting trip, but the two were unable to have a meaningful talk, as Val seemed nervous about his future, and not yet ready to open up about his insecurities. When the group gathered up to head into the snow, they entered a world of permanent nighttime, and were pursued by a creature who looked like Alfo.
The group was able to most avoid him, and forced their way through cold and rough terrain. Having been a ranger and lived most of his life out in the elements, Alfo was able to overcome every blizzard and trap set in his way by brute force alone.
Earlier They came across the king of Sindaleth on the way, who peered into the party’s minds. In Alfo’s mind, he saw the great uncertainty and darkness lurking in Alfo’s deepest thoughts, but chose to say nothing of it to the party.
The Maiden lifted the uncertainty from Alfo’s mind, making things suddenly appear very clear. While she delivered Alfo from insanity, she inadvertently drove him to accept what he must do, and to finally act on it.
Alfo changed since then. Usually the one out to start a party or lift the party’s spirits, he suddenly became very quiet, and even left Manny’s parent’s wedding early to sulk in his room.
What is Alfo’s dark purpose, and will he succeed?