The Fall of Sarpedon
Possible Friend, Possible Foe, Guaranteed Trouble
Ariel Stormshadow was born in the Moontear Islands and lived a typical childhood until her parents were lost aboard ship to a storm, leaving a teenaged Ariel to learn how to care for herself and her younger brother Lexx on thier own.
Faithful to her homeland, but understanding that Moontear was no place for struggling children, Ariel and Lexx found their way to the mainland, where she supported the two of them by various odd jobs from tavern wench to longshoreman. Stunningly beautiful, Ariel quickly learned how to defend herself from the attentions of men, and became an accomplished combatant. During this time she also realized that she had a natural gift for seafaring, and would eventually gain respect as an equal among those who plied the ocean.
As Lexx began to mature, Ariel discovered that her brother was in fact born a Sorcerer, making him a pariah in any civilized community. Although Lexx attempted to hide his powers, inevitably he would lose control and release them, forcing the siblings to flee from where they had settled and attempt to start over elsewhere. Eventually Ariel met Rhen Zabril, a Sorcerer like her brother. Knowing the burden he suffered, Rhen agreed to help mentor Lexx in learning to control his powers.
After some time, the three became a family of sorts, with Ariel and Rhen becoming romatically involved while Lexx became more adept at Sorcery. One day during Lexx’s training, however, an accident occurred that apparently eradicated Lexx in a ball of Arcane fire. Ariel was grief-stricken at the loss of her beloved brother, and in her rage blamed Rhen for his death. Inconsolable, she fled from Rhen and made her way back to the closest place she’d ever known to a home, the Moontear Islands. Her heart hardened by loss, Ariel changed her name to Stormraven and joined the Moontear Buccaneers, where through unmatched ability and sheer ruthlessness, she soon became Captain of her own ship. Before long, Stormraven was known as the most feared pirate on the Endless Ocean, plundering Jal Gorda shipping so effectively that the Council of Sires voted to strengthen the nation’s navy for the sole reason of eliminating her and the other Moontear Pirates forever from the seas.
Stormraven and Rhen met again during the PCs endeavor to defend the town of Dark Rapids. Although still exhibiting obvious hatred towards Rhen and his friends, she has shown some signs of benevolence, such as apparently being swayed by Rhen’s plea to allow the party to keep the Orb of Light when she could have easily stolen it and sold it to Dergan for a fortune, as well as deliberately leaving a clue on how the party could track down the Withered Hand.
After Dergan’s defeat, Stormraven pressured Rhen to recover a dragon egg from the gnome’s vault and give it to her. Out of respect for their past relationship, Rhen complied, but was unaware of her true goal for the egg, as she had discovered a means to use it as a device to gain the aid of a flight of black dragons through their matriarch, the ancient Quetzallus. With dragons at her command, she sought to conquer Jal Gorda and establish Moontear as the ruler of all nations of Axiom. Stormraven flaunted her power by having Quetzallus single-handedly destroy the entire orc warband attacking Dark Rapids, and later by landing in front of the Council Chambers of Jal Gorda itself to announce that the Republic surrender or face extermination.
Agreeing to her terms, a treaty signing was scheduled soon after on the Isle of the Colossus in Jal Gorda harbor. The signing was a carefully laid trap by the PCs, however, and Quetzallus was distracted by the animated Colossus, allowing the party opportunity to attack Stormraven and her two smaller dragons directly. With the ensuing battle going against her, Stormraven yeilded, agreeing to Rhen’s terms of giving up the egg in exchange for her freedom. She was last seen piloting a swift ship out of the harbor, defeated but yet unvanquished.