Thunder of the Heavens
Otso (Otsodovmahon Ennamundo)
Just an old gnomish hippie, living as a wandering bard...warlock...warlord...bear shaman.
Otso was born two centuries ago in the gnomish nation of Zilargo to a family of gemcutters who named him Sylfwyndel Aureoct. He found himself at odds with the family’s focus on wealth, prestige, and shiny baubles in general. His passion was music, which was patiently tolerated so long as out was a respectable sort of music that could be bragged about during parties.
All that changed when he met the Aquarius College, a group of wandering bard and minstrels who played without care our limit. The clan would have threatened to disown him if he joined had they been given the chance but Otso (then Syl) spared them the trouble and ran away from home immediately. He learned the way of the wanderer, the musician, and the free spirited artist.
As lovers and artists, Aquarius was opposed to war in general. So when Zil asked them to inspire the people during a conflict, they played songs against war…and bards began disappearing. Most were too naive to understand what was happening, but Otso caught on fast. He sent Aquarius running to the four winds before they all vanished and took to singing double meanings to confound the shadow police who’d taken and reeducated his friends.
Alone and lost in a country opposed to everything he believed in, Otso sought guidance in the magic of the stars. He looked to Ursa Major, the Great Bear…and saw nothing at all. Ursa MINOR, on the other hand, offered him the Star Pact of the warlocks and showed him the history of Eberron, its triumphs and failures, and opened his eyes to many truths. Having awakened to the wider world he named himself Anzilon-Ur Exaquari and followed the stars north out of Zilargo to see the world.
Cyre, land of song, dance and art, was a much better fit for Otso (then Lon) and he wandered all around the nation singing strange and esoteric songs with a good dance beat. In his wanderings he met many people and played many tagos. However, it was a fellow foreigner who made the greatest impact; Formoth, a retired dwarven general from the Mror Holds retired to Cyre in his twilight years. The old dwarf heard the meaning hidden in Otso’s songs because he too had come to hate war, but he was a bold and straightforward man work little patience for riddles. He took Otso under his wing to teach him about that which they both hated, that he might use knowledge of war to fight against war itself. They traveled through Karnaath and into Aundair and Breland, whose borders and disputes taught Otso to care for the wounded and command with song and voice where once he merely implored. On those borders he was known as Raz Peacecraft, a warlord who led men out of battle and back to their homes when other leaders expected “glorious sacrifices”.
Formoth Peacecraft (as Otso’s [then Raz] brother against arms came to be called) died with satifaction after a long haul back into Karnaath with a number of soldiers from that land who had been left for dead. Otso couldn’t help but feel that an era had ended with his friend and so moved on, returning to a bard’s life and wandering eastward to the Talenta Plains. There he found a different sort of war; the struggle of nature, where men fought not other men but powerful beasts for survival. By the time he reached Valenar he couldn’t help but see these warmongering elves as the perfect example of the foolishness of men, who fought and killed where they needed nothing as opposed to nature which fought only to live. Disgusted, he traveled west into the woodlands to escape it all.
He sought guidance from the primal protector spirit of nature: the Great Bear. It came to him in the form of a mighty grizzly…which spent two weeks trying to eat him. But after this narrow escape, a LITTLE bear came to him and showed him the ways of nature. This bear became his spirit guide, Rosie, and guided him to the shaman’s path. And so he became Otsodovmahon Ennamundo, bear-child of all Khorvaire.
Otso (finally Otso!) spent while living in the woods. He built a den, foraged for food, mastered the arts of mind-expanding herbs, and spent his days offering wisdom to tribal peoples and superstitious villagers. He used his warlock’s pact to channel the stars for arcane rituals and enchantments, creating potions and wonderous things for those who undertook the quests to find the ritual’s components. As he become more in tune with his shamanic ways he even began to cross the threshold to the spirit world, reaching across to call upon spirit beasts other than Rosie and occasionally calling back the dead.
It was in one of these sojurns to the other side that he encountered an old friend; Formoth! Otso was elated, but Formoth only smacked him upside the head. “Daft boy!” his spirit shouted, “did we undertake so much to save those lads only to abandon them once they reached home? Ye cannae help the world by removing yerself from it. I’ll stand with ye as long as ye walk the earth, but ye’ve got tae WALK IT!”
Otso awoke from his vision with a new understanding and set out again as a bard, bringing music, magic, strength and wisdom to the people of Khorvaire that war might depart from their hearts forever. He was a shaman of the streets and cities. Rosie started wearing spectacles. And Formoth, true to his word as ever, walked beside him in his times of greatest need as well.
And so the circle is completed and starts round again.