✦ Kendor the Clanless, dwarf Bard/Serpent Slayer

    Kendor is a gold dwarf from who comes from a long line of warrior-devotees of Clangeddin Silverbeard, dwarven god of war and valor. His entire clan had died out as a result of their zealotry. He and his father, the last surviving members of the clan, had moved to the Great Rift when Kendor was a wee boy so he could continue to train while his old man sought employment as a mercenary. 
    Kendor grew up to become a chanter—a bard who inspires troops through marching songs and the use of a percussion instrument to set a cadence. True to his familial roots, he became a devotee of Clangeddin and worked as an adviser and negotiator for various military commanders of his southern homeland.
    Young Kendor served as an aide-de-camp to Aglaya Rockfist, high priestess and commander of the forces at Endar Aglandtor ("Sword Grotto"), an abbey of Haela Brightaxe near the Serpent Hills (which was the northern part of the long-ago dwarven kingdom of Oghrann). Aglaya was like the mother Kendor never had. She taught the young bard military history, battle strategies and, more importantly, the belief that war is not always won on the battlefield but, at times, on the parley table.
    On the day of the Feast of the Moon while celebrating the Commemoration of the Fallen, Endar Aglandtor was attacked by a large force of ophidians and their yuan'ti masters. The Scaled Ones were after ancient weapons that were stored in the armory, and in doing so they intended to overrun the abbey and slaughter its entire dwarven contingent. Kendor was on watch duty that night but he was so inebriated that he failed to sound the alarm when the enemy breached the gates.
    At the end of the furious battle, Aglaya was unconscious and bleeding to death, and Kendor was on his last legs. Summoning all his remaining strength, Kendor triggered the explosive trap that was designed to prevent the abbey from falling into enemy hands, then used his last mana to cast a g’elsewhere chant to get Aglaya and himself to safety. The Sword Grotto imploded and buried itself under tons of rock and debris.
    Many dwarves lost their lives that night, and the Scaled Ones were able to slither away with most of the weapons in the armory, including ancient ones that were not of dwarven make and were stored in a secret room.
    To atone for his mistakes, Clangeddin gave Kendor a special task: to help those dwarves who seek to retake and rebuild ancient dwarfholds. The wargod did not reveal his reason for doing this, but it was part of his plan to save his friend and ally, Gorm Gulthyn, dwarven god of vigilance, from dying.
    Kendor journeyed to the Sword Coast North when news of the discovery of a long-lost dwarven clan reached him. Clan Melairkyn, which was thought to be completely annihilated by the drow centuries ago, had survived deep in Undermountain. The clan had recently started rebuilding and crowned a new king. He sought the dwarf adventurer who set these events into motion, Kiira Stoneblade.
    Kiira, as it turns out, was a cleric of Clangeddin. Kendor understood that it was the wargod's will that they work together. He also believed that she will become a great leader someday, and he would faithfully serve and guide her until the day when Kiira finally builds her own dwarfhold.

Behavior and Tactics Kendor is a natural-born leader. He exudes authority and presence combined with a sense of panache (a trait that is rare among dwarves). He is a master of diplomacy and debate who could resolve seemingly intractable issues between multiple, and sometimes implacable, parties. Though such resolutions tend to be peaceful, Kendor has shown remarkable tactical cunning in situations that required violence, as befits a devotee of a war god.
    Like all dwarves, Kendor is prideful—but a lot less stubborn than his kin, and knows when to ask for help. He possesses the ability to empathize and understand the people he works with, and is attentive to the needs of those people. And since his brush with mortality, Kendor has learned how to take risks and seize opportunities in a manner that is both decisive and cautious.
“Maybe we can't stroll to the music of the lute. We must march to the sound of drums.” 
- Capt. James T. Kirk, This Side of Paradise, Star Trek (ToS)
    As a bard, Kendor's primary role in combat is to bolster his companions' fighting abilities with his bardic music, particularly Inspire Courage reinforced with the inspirational boost spell. He also makes use of dimension door and g'elsewhere chant to get companions out of a tight spot, and dispel magic to remove harmful effects. He fights with weapons only if all his other options have been exhausted—Kendor believes that he could serve Clangeddin better as a strategist and morale-raiser—but if his party finds itself in dire need of aerial support, Kendor would fly using his winged mask and attack with a ranged weapon.

Appearance As a gold dwarf, Kendor possesses features common among his people—dark skin, black hair, brown eyes, and wears a lot of gold to accentuate his overall appearance—but he is considered very handsome even by the standards of other races (even by those haughty elves). Kendor has piercing eyes, high cheekbones, a sharp nose, thick eyebrows, and a long beard that he keeps braided and neatly trimmed. His speaking voice is a deeply rich baritone that is uncommon among the rough- and gruff-talking stout folk. But a few mugs of mead never fail to reveal the loud and hearty dwarven laugh that this accomplished diplomat also possesses. 

Sources (D&D 3.5e)
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook II
DMG - Dungeon Master's Guide
DMG2 - Dungeon Master's Guide II
MM# - Monster Manual (I, II, III, IV, or V)
EDP - Expedition to the Demonweb Pits
FRCS - Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
MIC - Magic Item Compendium
Mag - Magic of Faerûn
PG - Player's Guide to Faerûn
SC - Spell Compendium
SK - Serpent Kingdoms


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