Uldrus: Ice and Darkness
A Mordent defector. He finds traps. Sometimes he shoots things.
The heroes were exploring the Delta Sector of Drogue when the sharp crack of rifle fire indicated that they were under attack. The rogue that they had so recently rescued from the clutches of an illithid went down immediately, one of her legs having been completely blown away. A Mordent scout crested the top of a nearby mound of garbage, his rifle at the ready. The party quickly formed up into a defensive position, and was prepared to retaliate when several more Mordent appeared, completely surrounding the adventurers. Outnumbered and in a disadvantageous position, it seemed as though it would be a nasty battle…until the first Mordent turned his rifle on his comrades and began attacking his own teammates.
Only the traitor Mordent survived the ensuing battle. When he had gunned down the last of his squad mates, he lowered his rifle and the heroes warily circled around him. The traitor explained-in the Common tongue-that he was sick and tired of serving in the Mordent armed forces and carrying out their murderous agenda, and so that he had allowed this to serve as his resignation. He had only shot the rogue because she had exhibited signs of being infested with mind flayer larvae; signs that he had come to recognize in his years of campaigning in the Underdark. To prove his point, he took a knife that was as long as his forearm and went over to her corpse and proceeded to cut her open. Sure enough, there were dark leech-like things writhing in her abdominal cavity, filling the spaces once occupied by her now atrophied internal organs. This served as sufficient confirmation that the defector was telling the truth, at least in part, and the heroes cautiously accepted him into their ranks.
Over the course of the following months, Sergei proved himself to be a trustworthy companion. His distaste for his brother Mordent ran deep, deep enough that he would gladly kill his former comrades whenever he got the chance. Guilt and shame prevented Sergei from ever truly elaborating on his past, but it seems that the tyrannical and fanatical Mordent leadership rubbed him the wrong way, and also that he deeply regretted his actions while serving as a scout for the Mordent armed forces. The Mordent imperative to “kill anything that breathes” had compelled Sergei to gun down unarmed civilians, even children and the elderly, in order to further the unholy crusade. It was apparent that he very much regretted his part in perpetrating such atrocities, and was seeking penance by fighting back against his former allies.
If he proved himself to be trustworthy, he also proved himself to be more than competent in combat. He frequently claimed that his primary abilities lay in reconnaissance, stealth, and the neutralization of hazards and booby traps. He executed all of these functions with an adequate excellence, but he showed his true colors whenever he aimed his rifle at an enemy. The rifle itself was an enormous thing, far larger than any normal person should ever be able to carry, tricked out with scopes and a laser sight and a bayonet the size of a greatsword. Sergei had constructed the rifle himself, and spent his idle hours casting lead into four-inch-long bullets when the rest of the party found that brief peace of sleep that, as an undead creature, he could never know. The weapon’s enormous caliber, in conjuction with Sergei’s extensive experience in mobile warfare, meant that one or two shots from the rifle were sufficient to fell most any foe. Having channeled his resentment of the Mordent into his combat training, undead creatures were especially vulnerable to his attacks.
In time, the heroes accepted Sergei as one of their own. Rhyken in particular made frequent attempts to draw Sergei out of his shell, and met with limited success. However, Sergei was more willing to discuss impersonal matters, such that he was able to give the heroes some insights into Mordent culture, and was able to teach Rhyken the Mordent language. Sergei was always gruff, critical, slow to trust and quick to resort to violence as a solution to any problem, but he nevertheless made himself as much a friend to his new companions as he could.
Sergei had the appearance of a human male in the twilight of his youth. Like all Mordent, his skin was a bloodless, pallid grey, and his eyes were a white, expressionless void. His nose was somewhat broad for human norms, and his face bore trenchant lines across the cheeks and jaw and brow. He wore his stark white hair trimmed short, usually beneath a camouflaged kerchief that he had wrapped over his head. He never abandoned the black and grey camouflage fatigues of his ranger unit.
After acquitting himself well in the battles beneath Drogue, at the Mountain of Forbidden Knowledge, and in the ruins of Guia, Sergei fell to the attacks of an Elder Black Pudding in the vampire lair outside of Hopetown. The Pudding proved all but immune to his attacks. The ooze engulfed him, destroying all of his equipment. The other party members were able to kill the ooze that had engulfed him before fleeing from the remaining puddings. Their last sight of Sergei was of him naked, covered in black acid burns and grabbing rocks up off of the floor of the cavern to hurl at the pudding in a last-ditch effort. When the party returned the cavern, there was no sign of Sergei, and his is presumed to have been killed in action. Rhyken has stated his intention to bring Sergei back by means of a Wish spell or True Resurrection; whether he accomplishes such a goal and whether whatever afterlife Sergei has gone on to will stand to release him remains to be seen.