Orion Woodson grew up in the forests of Highfolk, a region where elves and human coexist peacefully. Son to a woodcutter, Orion discovered early that while he was healthy and athletic, he lacked a certain might needed to follow in his father's footsteps.
So Orion left the Vesve Forest and traveled to the city of Highfolk to find his place in the world. Along the way, he met a group of clerics traveling to the temple of Ehlonna. During the trip, he fell in love with Themis, a young elven acolyte. By the time the group arrived at Highfolk, Orion had decided to become a cleric of Ehlonna, mostly to remain with Themis.
Years passed, and Orion learned much. He and Themis were very happy in the temple, which was built in and around a large park in the city. Naturally outgoing and also quite adept in the forest, he rose within the temple quickly. By 3rd level, he would often lead expeditions into the forest for younger priests to seek animal companions. This is where he found his first animal companion, Artemis.
During one expedition into the Vesve Forest, Orion was saddled with a strong but ill-tempered elven acolyte named Verek. Orphaned at an early age, Verek had been raised by an abusive human couple until he was old enough to run away from home. The high priest of Ehlonna had found Verek on the streets of Highfolk and brought him into the temple. While he was a quick learner, Verek still held a deep resentment of humans and thus did not like Orion (or his relationship with Themis).
Late one afternoon, Orion and Verek came face to face with a dire wolverine. Having already cast animal friendship on a hawk that morning, Orion had no other choice but to fight. Artemis jumped into the fray, and Orion called to Verek to flank the beast, but Verek had other ideas. He decided to teach the human cleric a lesson and disappeared into the forest. Orion leaped forward to aid Artemis, but the wolverine turned on him and knocked him out.
Luckily, Themis heard the sounds of battle and came to help. After stabilizing Orion, she charged into battle. Between Themis's swift sword and Artemis's claws, they drove the beast off, but not before it tore open Themis's shoulder, leaving her unconscious and bleeding. The rest of the acolytes showed up to find Artemis guarding the two unconscious clerics. Orion's wounds were cured, but it was too late for Themis. Verek was nowhere to be found.
The next day, Orion released Artemis and his hawk back into the wilds and went looking for the dire wolverine again. He found "Jack" not too far from the scene of the previous day's battle and befriended him. Orion would later tell the high priest that he wished to make peace with the beast, but in reality, he planned to hunt down Verek and seek his revenge. Upon delivering his wards (and Themis's body) to the temple, Orion left the temple to seek his revenge.
Shortly after departing Highfolk on his quest, Orion met a group of adventurers and traveled with them. He learned to cast spells from the group's sorcerer and called a familiar upon gaining 6th level. With time, the pain over the loss of Themis subsided somewhat, but Orion continued to search for Verek. He had many adventures and fought many battles beside his new friends -- Geoff, the simple-minded cleric of Heironeous; Geoff's best friend, Horatio, the boisterous paladin of Heironeous; Taerhannen, the quiet but fearsome sorcerer; and Grimlock, the semi-literate barbarian/fighter.
The group's adventures spanned from Verbebonc to the Yeomanry over the next few years, and the party came to rely increasingly on Orion's leadership and diplomatic skills. Eventually, he realized that he no longer sought vengeance against Verek and that although he enjoyed defeating evil in dungeon after dungeon, he now longed for the forest and for the more contemplative life of the temple.
So, Orion left his friends to found a temple to Ehlonna in Dyvers, near the Gnarley Forest. Along the way, he picked up Elsa, his new dire lion companion, found and commanded Lump, the shambling mound, and attracted Decker, the Templar and a cadre of acolytes. At 10th level, Orion can be found in his grove, surrounded by his menagerie, living a more contemplative life again. But who knows what the future, or fate, might bring to this idyllic life?
About the Author
Before moving to the Online Media department at Wizards of the Coast, Will McDermott was editor in chief of TopDeck magazine and, before that, The Duelist. Will has written strategy guides for both Magic: The Gathering and the Pokémon TCGs, and is currently writing a Magic: The Gathering novel.
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