Born to a wealthy merchant family, Suleidan Kithkani spent time as a corsair, a slave, a gladiator, a mercenary, and the lord of a manor before hanging up his swords.
Suleidan took to the sea at an early age, accompanying his uncle on many ocean voyages. During this time he learned to be a proficient sailor, and dreamed of becoming the head of a merchant family. One day, the merchant vessel was attacked by pirates. The buccaneers spared the young Suleidan, and over the next few months he became a skilled member of the crew -- or so he thought.
On the Outer Planes
But the pirates' use for Suleidan was short-lived, and they soon sold him to a band of slavers. Before the slaver ship could return to its home port, however, it fell victim to a githyanki raiding party from the Astral Plane. These foul creatures brought the survivors back to their astral fortress for purposes of which Suleidan didn't even dare think.
An illithid raid on the fortress gave Suleidan the opportunity to escape, and he fled into the void of the Astral Plane. Stumbling through a planar portal, he found himself in a noisy, foul-smelling metropolis filled with a variety of creatures beyond belief -- devils walking in the street alongside elves, archons bargaining with tiefling merchants, and other strange beings defying description. This was Sigil, a great planar metropolis that held itself to be the "center" of the outer planes.
With no money or contacts, Suleidan drifted into the less reputable parts of the city. He soon fell in with a crowd of gamblers betting on arena combat in a hellhole called "The Blood Pit." A series of fortunate circumstances found him possessing the contract of a minotaur gladiator named Dawthdun. In leaner times, Suleidan even entered himself as a gladiator, winning a fair number of fights.
As his fortunes grew, so did his ring of comrades. Soon Suleidan found himself the leader of a mercenary group called the Taskmasters. Over the years, this group became Suleidan's new family and included such individuals as an elven undead hunter, a sickly human enchanter, a scholarly githzerai rogue, a sewer-dwelling tiefling, and an ogre mage transmuter. The Taskmasters visited many strange worlds and planes, growing in notoriety along the way.
Fall and Redemption
Suleidan's fortune and power continued to grow. Eventually he gained a cohort, Ankus, and followers. He also came into possession of a large manor in Sigil and established a profitable import/export business. But then his comrades began to notice personality changes in Suleidan. At first, he only seemed less patient and forgiving of errors, but these tendencies soon blossomed into a streak of cruelty that flew in the face of his normal personality. When he sacrificed the loyal Ankus to a necromancer in trade for his own freedom, his fellow Taskmasters knew that their friend was no longer himself.
Suleidan's allies soon traced his personality change to the acquisition of a flail and circlet retrieved from a temple dedicated to a dark god. These items had slowly poisoned Suleidan's mind, turning him into a worshiper of evil. Faced with the certainty that their ally was lost to them, the Taskmasters took it upon themselves to destroy the dread artifacts in the only manner available -- consumption of them and their wearer by the great sand dragon that laired in the distant desert wastes.
To the surprise of all involved, Suleidan survived this process and was purged of the evil that had possessed his soul. Reborn, in a fashion, Suleidan vowed never again to fail his friends. Though he has since hung up his swords, Suleidan Kithkani remains ready to spring to the aid of any of his allies.
About the Authors
Andy Collins is a designer and editor for Wizards of the Coast's Roleplaying Games R&D department. Recent credits include codesign of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game and editing Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil.
Greg Collins, a web developer for ESPN.com, has been playing in Andy's campaigns ever since he was just "the little brother." Suleidan is one of the many memorable characters Greg created in Andy's campaigns.
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