Burya "The Storm" Noch
The blue guy with the sword
A Sword Mage who is crazy about his sword. He is affable and doesn’t much care for social graces. He treats everyone fairly equally and is good natured but has no room for social hierarchy. He firmly believes everyone needs to be able to take a joke. He will test this theory to a fault.
He is smart and hardy with a quick smile. He is fine running or jogging and although not particularly graceful, he can actually fly from time to time if need be. His hair, at emotional times, seems to be a storm itself. He has a scar on his face that is prominent and almost supernatural.
Burya Noch was born to a tribe of vagabond elves of the northern land. Mostly living as hunter-gatherers they boasted a proud tradition of crafting, swordplay and storytelling. To hear it from one of these elves, their tribe was there at the beginning of the planes, holds the place of highest honor to Corellon and is know throughout the realm as the possessors of the greatest grace and most impeccable fashions. Burya’s mother, Curya, was chieftain and embodied all the vanity and skill of this tribe. It was Curya who first taught Burya how to handle a blade and it was under his mother’s close tutelage that Burya spent the first 20 years of his life.
At his birth Burya was betroved. He was to marry an elf from the inner kingdom – a noble from a major house of a more civilized and sophisticated kingdom to the south. As a pledge to this arrangement the kingdom to the south gifted Curya a finely made elvish blade. This is the sword that, to this day, Burya refers to as “the misses”. In return, Curya’s tribe sent the southern kingdom a finely made skin rug. According to an (exaggerated) tale, this skin came from a great fey beast that terrorized a dozen lands and was responsible for the destruction of whole planes of existence. Of course credit for hunting and falling this great animal went directly to Burya’s very own mother.
On the eve of Burya’s 20th birthday, the sword of the southern kingdoms was delivered. Shortly there after a terrible plague began to infest the tribe. First the herd animals fell ill. Soon the elderly of the tribe began to show symptoms. Eventually even the healthy warriors and chief family became infected. It killed slowly. Very slowly. Between when an elf first showed symptoms and when they died, a full six months would pass. The disease worked in phases – uncontrollable torrents of sweat, a scorching fever, strange shocks running through the nervous system, a necrotizing of some flesh, and strange and remarkable translucence to the skin and finally the poor patient would combust into flames.
Curya sought help. Not being the wisest leader she put her faith in the remedies of a wandering gnome selling a type of “cure all”. The treatment would be described as ‘bold’ by the most forgiving of critics. One had to “bond” with a blade through a mystical ritual. Then you were given a shard of material -supposedly from another plane – that you had to lodge into you skin and allow to fester (much like early vaccines for smallpox). This would send the patient into a state of shock and a meditative comma that one was promised to wake up from in 2 months time. For whatever reason, Curya trusted the gnome. She paid a grand ransom and put the whole tribe on the treatment.
The tribe made camp in a secluded part of the north. They hired local rangers, wardens and Druids to ward the area in protective magics. They then set about enacting their “cure.” Burya was the first to go under.
The 2 months in the comma were not a peaceful one. In what seemed at times a heavenly dream and at times a damned nightmare Burya’s consciousness visited plane after plane after plane. Eventually he learned to control his travels and preceded to spend most of his time on the plane of storms. At home in the wind and lightening and thunder, Burya walked on the many planes as a scared and amazed child.
When he finally awoke it was with a frightened shock. Burya has never really understood, moment by moment, his experiences in the coma. It is more actual to say that he has a strange muscle and emotional memory of the experience. Not fully remembering what happened, Burya looked around and saw the members of his tribe around him. They were clearly not in a comma. Each and every one of them was dead. The first chance he had to examine himself he realized that his time in the planes had changed him. He was no longer really an “elf” but now something else entirely.
Burya waited many weeks, living off the land and keeping close eye on the camp. After the second week the smell of the rotting bodies got to be too much. His old tribe was clearly dead. He buried them on a hillside and, with the help of a band of storm Druids gave them a proper send off.
The Druids took a special interest in Burya (who they only referred to as the Storm) and proceeded to teach him about the wonders of Kord. Burya soon came to understand this god and felt at peace in the storm. One particular oddity about these druids – they were all pixies. Perhaps that is where Noch gets is social irreverence from.
Traveling with the Druids, Burya came across a wizard who had also traveled the planes. Given the unusual nature of Burya, the wizard decided to travel with the Druids and further study the young gensai. As part of the give and take of this arrangement, Burya demanded to be taught in the ways of magic.
Mustapha was a good teacher, but plain magic did not come easy to Burya. Using orbs and wands seemed clumsy and indirect. It seemed to Burya a poor way to go about directing arcane energies. Mustapha claimed that the ritual bonding Burya to his sword prevented him from properly channeling the energies. Not knowing if the ritual was really at cause, and unsure if keeping the ritual intact had something to do with keeping the plague at bay, Burya declined to give up his sword bond. Burya opted to find his own solution. He began to combine the martial talents of his tribe with the arcane teachings of Mustapha resulting in a novel method of spell casting – the swordmage. Although Burya has never met another Swordmage, he is not entirely unfamiliar with the concept – there are tales of great swordmages performing great deeds, after all.
After a decade of study Burya decided it was time to leave the Druids and Mustapha behind. He had three very important and dangerous tasks to accomplish
1- find the source of the plague and seek revenge
2- find the gnome and learn more about the supposed “cure”
3- Learn more about being “plane touched” and see if there is a way to once again become an elf.
The first place he decided to seek information on the plague was the Jewel of the North – Waterdeep