Cleric of Halav
A cleric of Halav, clad in brown robes with a medallion bearing Halav’s image. A man of slight build, his face and hands bear witness to a life of hard labor and much sorrow. Under the robe, an observer would notice scale armour. He also bears a small steel shield, a mace and heavy darts. Sergei is unremarkable when quiet, preferring to listen at first. When, however, the time comes to weigh in, Sergei rarely hesitates. He is wise beyond his young years, and well-spoken.
Sergei was born to poor farmers in a small community west of Luln. His family could barely scrape a living from the hard earth, and the extra mouth eventually became too much for the family. At the age of five, Sergei’s parents took him to the local parish of the Church of Halav to offer him as a servant. The prior, a goodly and soft-hearted man, took the boy in and began training him in the ways of the Church. As a servant of the Church, Sergei became more familiar with the suffering of others. Destitution, hunger and death were never far from the populace. In addition, Sergei watched helplessly as the Black Barony began to terrorize Luln and surrounding regions. In time, his empathy turned to resentment, and then to anger as pleas for help fell on the deaf ears of the Duke. How could this man be Halav? When would he realize his immortal calling, and strike down the sinners and unbelievers? How long must the True Believers wait? To his credit, Sergei was a bright and hard-working young man, and his righteous indignation fueled his desire to do something more. He studied and worked hard, and was finally admitted to the ranks of Halav Clerics as an Acolyte. He began to gain access to the blessings of Divine Power. As he did so, he felt that surely there must be a means to grow and magnify this power. He began to realize that Halav was testing the True Believers. He wanted them to take what had been given them, and to increase it, to His glory. Only then, could Halav accept them as worthy and make His triumphant return. Sergei began to try to share his thoughts with other Clerics, but was rebuffed. Halav, he was told, will make His return when He is ready. There was little any mortal could do to move this forward. While still a servant of the Church, before his admission to the ranks of the Halav clerics, Sergei watched as a horrible attack by agents of the Barony was repelled by a handful of strangers. Yes, the guards fought alongside them, but the guards’ efforts would have been futile alone. These incredible strangers also bore evidences of Halav. How had they come into possession of such artifacts? Surely there must be more. Most of the strangers left before Sergei could find an opportunity to approach them to ask. Saladin, alone, stayed to help defend the city. Unfortunately, Saladin was a man of some popularity, and Sergei found it difficult to find a time to ask him privately. He did hear, as many others, stories of the victories of Saladin and his comrades in places north and far east of Luln. Places where no man had set foot in many years. Sergei reasoned in his mind that if these unbelievers could find artifacts and knowledge, then surely a devoted servant could as well. Over nearly two years afterward, the strangers were not seen again, and the Church found a rising foe in the ranks of the Church of Karameikos and in it’s Order of the Griffon. Sergei at once despised them as heretics and admired the Order for developing warrior-clerics of skill and strength. Sergei knew, as many quietly did within the Church, that the Order would prove to be a terrible enemy should open conflict break out. Sergei knew that if he could gather his own group of warriors, that he could seek and find the necessary tools to defeat the Order. Sergei spoke to the Prior, explaining that to resist the Order, they must begin preparing by assembling more warriors to help them. Saladin’s friends returned during this time, and the Prior felt that they would be a great ally, as the Conjurer among them had made an offer to help fortify the city. They did not remain long, however, and have not returned from what one of them described as a “routine” exploration. Saladin himself appears to have become concerned, and can periodically be seen looking northwest from a battlement on the city walls, as if anticipating their overdue return. Sergei again took the opportunity to discuss the matter with a now much less reassured Prior, who relented to Sergei’s request. Sergei has come to Minrothad for two reasons. First, since the guilds are renowned traffickers of goods, he hopes that he can get more exposure to antiquities that may provide more evidence to the cause of the Church. Secondly, Sergei knows that he needs help to accomplish the tasks that he discussed with the Prior, but realizes it may be difficult to find help in Karameikos, particularly in light of rising tensions with the Order.
Sergei’s beliefs are not necessarily completely in line with those of the Church he represents. Before Sergei left for the Minrothad Islands, he exchanged letters with a fellow Cleric of Halav named Alexi on the matter of their sponsoring Immortal, and how Sergei perceives his role as one of the Faithful. Those can be read here.