Ashbrook Urssen

"Go ahead and hit us as hard as you like, friend! But then it's our turn."

Character Info

Ashbrook Urssen, level 3
Longtooth Shifter, Shaman
Build: Bear Shaman
Companion Spirit: Protector Spirit
Birth - Among Another Race: Among Another Race (Human)
Background: Birth - Among Another Race, Geography - Forest, Society - Noble, Early Life - Well-Loved, Totemic Ally, Disgraced (Among Another Race (Human))

Str 13, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 14, Wis 18, Cha 10.

Str 11, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 10.

AC: 17 Fort: 16 Reflex: 15 Will: 18
HP: 36 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 9

Nature +10, Perception +10, Heal +10, Arcana +8

Acrobatics +1, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +5, Endurance +5, History +3, Insight +5, Intimidate +1, Religion +5, Stealth +1, Streetwise +1, Thievery +1, Athletics +4

Level 1: Protector Spirit Adept
Level 2: Resilient Spirit

Shaman at-will 1: Haunting Spirits
Shaman encounter 1: Thunder Bear's Warding
Shaman daily 1: Spirit of the Healing Flood
Shaman utility 2: Protective Roots
Shaman encounter 3: Spring Renewal Strike

Adventurer's Kit, Leather Armor, Club, Dagger, Sickle, Ritual Book, Totemic Spear Longspear +1, Amulet of Protection +2, Summoned Leather Armor +2
Animal Messenger, Gentle Repose, Tenser's Floating Disk Rendered illegible after an arsonist's fire in the inn Ash and his companions were staying at.


-Help to make the Greenbelt safe for trade.
-Defeat the Horned Lord.
-Return Mango to life.

-Reclaim his place among the Urssen (Personal)
-Depose the Skald Jerrick (Personal)
-Convince the Urssens's chief, Bodiskapa Bloodpine, to heed the Spirits' counsel and call off his reaving of the lands beyond the Icerime Peaks (Personal)
-Learn his True Name and Parentage (Personal)


-The Tree of Were: Crafted by Ashbrook under Beor's tutelage in a dream, this longspear serves as both a fearsome weapon and spiritual implement.
-Protecting Amulet: A bluestone set in gold, with symbols of luck and warding visible within the jewel. Found in an ancient tower protected by skeletal guardians.
-Ogrom's Armor: This suit of leather armor can be dismissed into the ether, and recalled with a mere thought!
-Gloves of Grace: Thin fingerless gloves, with an herbal scent about them, found in a wererat's lair. They seem to be imbued with a medicine man's skill.
-Mammoth the Yak: Rescued from Goblin hunters, Ash hopes to domesticate him for use as draft animal, and perhaps one day as a mount.


Cheerful, Supportive, Loyal. Generous, Compassionate, & Protective. Sees life as a game, but savage when pressed. Impulsive and quite happily bounces from one objective to the next. Confident in his abilities, but doesn't always take threats as seriously as he should. Believes in the possibility of redemption for all but those Dedicated to Evil disciplines.

Loves: Meat, Mead, & Maidens. Contests, Music. The crisp wind at sunrise on the winter solstice (his nameday). A good hunt, and the boasting tales that come afterwards.

Loathes: The Aberrant. Plagues. Slavers, Liars, Bullies, Traitors and Hypocrites. Those that would subvert Nature's ways or the Spirits' will, the Deliberately Malicious.

Religion: Urssen Tribal beliefs- Erastil Deadeye and Saranae Dawnflower as husband and wife, and all the spirits of the world are their cubs.

-Do not hunt bears without undergoing a purification rite.
-Do not kill any creature who has not yet reached adulthood, regardless of type.
-Never sleep with your back facing east or a body of water.
-Do not eat lamb.
-Oath of Hospitality—Offer food and shelter to any who seek it including an enemy who swears the oath in return. Speak no ill or take no action against one's host, even a sworn enemy.

Journal 7: The Hunt That Hurts (1/16/11)

Even walking was exertion to the point of exhaustion.

Ash winced and put a hand to his ribs as he staggered. He was still unsteady on his feet after his ungainly cliff dive while fleeing the Great Carrion Crawler, but was eager to help the group collect all of the items they had been able to recover from the wererats' lair. Leaning on his longspear for support, he stooped down to pick up an carved length of wood that had fallen out one of the bags he had thrown while running. His eyes widened when he realized what he was holding.

Wrapped around a pine branch were green vines woven to resemble a mother bird sheltering its young beneath its wings. Ash quickly recognized it as totem often used by medicine men to heal their warriors of wounds taken in battle. He scowled at Kalandra and shook the totem in her direction. "How did you come by this?" he demanded.

Kalandra shrugged dismissively. "The same way we get anything. We took it."

Ash shook his head and corrected her. "You mean to say, 'The way we used to get it.' For as long as you're with us, you'll follow our lead." Recalling the legends he had heard of the ancestral city-state of there wererats, he exclaimed, "Kalandra, this isn't Man Teev, there are rules!"

"Whatever you say, dogboy," she replied indolently. She turned her back on the shifter and sauntered off towards Maegrym, no doubt to wheedle him for more cheese and wine. Ash grunted as he watched her go. She was only the second being like him he had encountered, but while he had much in common with the smith Kliff Ironwood, Kalara and he couldn't have been more different. He had been raised to believe that his heritage was a sign of the gods' favor and to strive towards selflessness in the aid of his community. By contrast, Kalandra was unabashedly avaricious,and had shown precious little grief over the deaths of her kin. He had to admit that she could have killed him when she found him along the riverbank, but Ash doubted this was due to any altruism on her part.

Despite being repulsed by her attitudes, Ash still couldn't deny a physical attraction that was almost instinctual. Even though she was unwashed and unkempt, with a voice that grated on his nerves, his mouth watered at the sight of her figure and the thought of a tumble beneath his blankets…

Ash shook his head again, this time to clear his head of such fancies. Surely such thoughts were just the surges of his youthful passions, Indeed, it had been too long since he'd been able to indulge in such pleasures; when they returned to Oleg's he was resolved to find himself a lass that was both winsome and willing. "Filth fever," he reminded himself, and made his way over to his affliceted companions, who'd been infected by the disease during the fray with the wererats.

As Beor's frosty chuckles floated on the breeze though, Ash flushed, and quickened his pace as other spirits in the area began to join in. Their ephemeral chortles filled his ears, and he sighed in exasperation. It was one thing to be able to hear the spirits' counsel, but quite another to hear them laugh at his expense!

Journal 6: The Spoils of a Skirmish (1/14/11)

Ash grunted as he hauled Ogrom's corpse to the pile of bodies he had assembled. It had taken some time to gather all of the fallen bandits together, but he did not want to risk any of these fallen warriors rising to threaten them once more.

Ogrom's head lolled as Ash set him down, and began removing his furs and skins to avoid setting them ablaze. He grimaced as his hands ran over those leathers that had borne the Urssen rites. They had been damaged in the fire when Vilgorr and his men had torched the Dragon's Inn in Restov; while the leathers themselves were still usable the instructions for his rituals had been smudged beyond legibility, and Beor had challenged Ash to relearn them on his own. He chuckled as he thought again of the melee that had taken place while he and his companions were clad only in their smallclothes.

Ash's musings were cut short as Ogrom's head, which had been dangling precariously since his execution came loose with a snap and rolled down the hill. "Plaguerotter!" Ash swore, still holding the half-orc's body by the armor's cuirass. Watching the head roll down the slope, Ash's muscles groaned at the mere thought of having to make his way back down and retrieve it. He wistfully thought of nice it would be if the head had just fallen by his feet and save him the added effort…

With a start, Ash looked down and realized that was precisely what had happened: the head had materialized before him, still in its leather helm. Ash's nose twitched with the sharp smell of magic, like lightning in winter. He picked up the head with one hand, looked at the armored body in his other, and gave a low whistle. "Well now," he mused to Ogrom's head. "This has some possibilities. Sorry Ogrom, to the victor goes the spoils. May this armor protect me better than it did you!"

Interlude: Character Relationships (1/9/11)

Note: The spirits' guidance is italicised.

Majji & Mango: The closest Ash now has to kinsmen. His hunts with Majji are thrilling, and he and Mango seem to share a sense of heroism that transcends culture. These twins take similar strides along a different path. Strive to achieve the same harmony with the spirits that these two demonstrate with one another.

Maegrym: The two quickly bonded over a shared love of good meat and drink. Maegrym has saved Ash’s life on more than one occasion, and his command of the Divine Mercies is awe-inspiring. Despite the size difference, he regards the dwarf as a big brother. A kindred servant to a greater power. You would do well to learn from his example.

Harrow: Ash’s most confounding companion. His necrotic nature and willingness to use his allies as pawns is unsettling and make the hackles on Ash’s neck rise every time he uses his powers of Shadow. On the other hand, his noble bearing, panache in the face of danger, and benevolent mercy towards a defeated enemy are all traits to be admired. For now, Ash keeps a wary eye on him, just as he would any other untamed predator. Shrouded in shadows that not even the spirits' sight can pierce, ravens are perched on his shoulders as worms wriggle about his feet.

+Journal 5: Secrets in the Crypts (12/30/10)

Sifting through the crypts, the hackles on Ash's neck raised with the familiar tingle of magic. He closed his eyes and remembered to focus his mind as the Shamans of his tribe had done for generations, and found himself drawn to one of the sarcophagi. Hanging from the door from a golden chain was an amulet, a bluestone set in gold.

Turning it over in his hands, Ash examined it closely. The chain had kept its sheen remarkably despite its age, and the amulet's gold seemed to have tones of green and blue in places. His eyes widened in surprise as peered into the blue stone, there appeared to be an image within the gemstone itself! It almost appeared to be writing, and while he couldn't be sure, Ash thought the symbols resembled the ancient runes of luck and warding, which he had long before committed to memory.

Ash hung the amulet around his neck and loped over to his comrades, eager to show off his new prize. Hopefully it would provide him with the arcane protection it seemed to promise to its wearer. "Sorry, skinny," Ash chuckled smugly as he stepped over a skeleton's remains, "If you'd actually been wearing this, perhaps you might have stood a chance against us!"

Journal 4: An Ally Falls (12/16/10)

His friend was gone.

While Ash could never claim the blood ties Mango and Majji shared, he had always felt a kinship to his tribal comrades. Perhaps it was they were both outsiders in this strange land, both outsiders whose very appearance marked them as Other. They had overcome many dangers together, and while Ash had grown more adept at commanding the spirits to join their strength with his, Mango had recently demonstrated remarkable feats of discipline, including mastery over gravity itself!

For all their combined prowess, though, Ash was helpless to save his friend from falling in battle against a pack of wild boars that were harassing a family of travelers. They had managed to save most of them, but it was small consolation when faced with the loss of one of their own.

Ash was no skald to compose songs or chant elegies, but he felt Mango deserved to be remembered somehow. Among his people the Urssen, warriors who had fought with him would boast of their fallen clansman's deeds in life, while those women that loved him would beseech the Dawnflower to let him be reborn into this world quickly and in good health. But Ash remembered his mentor Beor's counsel: Their ways are not your own. Would Mango approve of any efforts to honor his spirit that were not of his traditions?

Now they were riding towards Restov, in hopes that a priest might be found who could recall Mango's spirit into his mortal shell. Ash had only heard of such deeds in legends as the Grace of Saranae in generations gone by, but Maegrym and Harrow seemed confident that such a rite could be performed. More troubling though was the implications of what a sudden death would mean for any of them and their obligations. Harrow made no secret of the fact that he was driven by some pressing purpose, and both Majji and Mango had referred to themselves as Eternal Seekers. When his own time came, what unfinished business would he leave behind?

Journal 3: Fears by Firelight (11/11/10)

Ash smiled lazily as the hunters laughed and joked with one another. He'd wanted to make sure that Vin-Chens and his compatriots were recovering nicely from the Eye Tyrants' assault, and they'd insisted he share in their night's bounty. In return, Ash had unslung his skin of fine Dwarven ale and passed it around the circle. He didn't know the details of the business venture he'd gone into with his comrades, but he was happy to have an abundance of good drink and the promise of silver in his pocket. He now lounged indolently by the fire, his stomach full of roast rabbit and fine beer. His longspear, the Tree of Were, lay by his side, gleaming in the light of the cooking fire.

It was good to see that at least some of the wildlife had begun to return now that the unnatural predators had been chased off. Ash frowned, and brushed his shaggy hair out of his eyes. His burns from the Eye Tyrants' rays of fire had healed once he had transformed into his bestial form, but his hair and furs were still singed in places, and crisped as he shifted his position. Until now, the Eye Tyrants had been only a cautionary legend to him, and the tales had always spoken of them dwelling in the deepest caverns. That they should be real and present in the Greenbelt made his hackles rise and a growl rumble low in his throat.

Questions raced through Ash's mind as he stared into the fire: What other monstrosities lurked in the shadows, ready to spring forth from the distant past? Were the Spirits aware of their encroachment, and was this why the Norns had counseled against the Ulfens' desire to go a-reaving in the South? The hunters may be smiling tonight, but Ash still saw the fear of their ordeal behind their eyes. These monsters had struck without warning, and who could say when more would come?

Vin-Chens clapped him on the shoulder and passed the skin, shaking him from his brooding. The hunters' celebratory mood was infectious, and Ash soon found himself trading tales of trophy kills and lost quarries. He smiled as he remembered the first time he had hunted boar with the men of his tribe, and chasing hares under Beor's watchful eye. He wondered if Harrow and the others would let him keep an eyestalk or two from the corpses to wear as a talisman or what uses he might find for their innards. Ash took a long pull from the skin and considered what lay in store for him in the depths of the Greenbelt…

Journal 2: Another Vision (11/4/10)

Once again Ash stood before Beor in the sacred brook. This time though, his dream-form retained the bestial features he had taken on while fighting off Vilgorr and his thugs. Beor also appeared more inhuman as his customary bearskin cloak draped about him like a second skin. For the first time in many weeks, his weathered features were creased in an approving grin, and a pride that surpassed mere fatherly affection beamed in his golden eyes.

"Well done, cub," he intoned. "You acted quickly and decisively, and drew upon the primal forces both around you, and within. You're finally learning. As you develop your own inner strengths though, have a care that the needs of your family are not ignored. Just as we aid you, so should you be a spirit to them. Learn to act in harmony with the spirits, and mind that you don't leave your companions behind as you flit from one place to another like an excitable pup!"

"The look on Vilgorr's face when you reared up in front of him was worth it," Ash replied proudly. If he'd had a tail, it would have been wagging.

Beor chuckled. "We did run him to ground, didn't we? And we finished him off with a mighty clout, like this!" His blow took Ash under the chin and sent him sprawling into the snow. Ash rolled to his feet and leapt towards his mentor and the two warriors roared happily as they wrestled. Soon they were both lost in the contest, and Ash was simply Laughing Cub once more.

When they had at last exhausted themselves, Beor and Ash lay a short distance from each other, breathing heavily as steam rose from their mouths and nostrils. Beor sat up and motioned for Ash to come closer. With a single finger that was dwarfed by the bear's paw fastened to it, he began to scratch a mark on the packed-down snow. It was an unfamiliar rune, one Ash had not seen before. "This is called the "Tree-Of-Were Rune," Beor began. "It strengthens your hand in both your realm and ours. Attend…"

Journal 1: Ash's Vision (10/28/10)

Surrounded by darkness, Ashbrook clutched his throbbing head and blinked in-surprise as he looked around him. The last thing he remembered was fighting in a Melee competition, yet now he found himself back in the ancestral lands of his tribe the Urssen. Former tribe, he corrected himself wryly. Looking around at the clear brook, the snow covered ground, and the white-barked ash trees, he realized that he was standing at the very site he had first communed with the spirits and earned his Namesake.

Curse you for a blind auroch, you sodden cub! Have you forgotten everything we've taught you?!

Ash reddened under the scolding of his teacher Beor, the Urssen's shaman before him. While Beor never hesitated to offer praise when it was deserved, it seemed that Ash had incurred his anger all to frequently these days. Still rubbing his right temple, he said, "Ah, Beor, what'd I do now, huh?

Beor's yellow eyes bulged. "Nearly got yourself killed, that's what! With all the ability and potential at your command, you might try actually putting some of it into practice. Or were you too busy prancing for that soft crowd of street-walkers?

His memory trickling back to him, Ash now recalled what had happened just before blacking out. He had taken a blow to the chest that had almost taken the wind out of him before he and Beor (in his semi-corporeal Bear Spirit form) dispatched his opponent. Instead of calling upon his innate connection to the primal forces of nature to rejuvenate his body and bolster his fighting ability, Ash had looked up and caught the eye of a lush red-haired lass, the same maiden who had served him and Omar frothy ale with a knowing wink and a smile just an hour before. For an instant, he had hesitated; would this wench still be smiling once he let his bestial heritage transform his body and face? That moment's hesitation was all it took for another combatant to take him out of the fight with a well-placed blow upside his shaggy head.

Ash lowered his head sheepishly. "Oh. Yeah. Maybe I did have a lot to drink after all." He looked up at Beor and his expression brightened. "I did get in a few good licks, though, didn't I? And besides, it's not like this was a real fight, anyway. It was just some silly contest!"

Beor frowned. "It's that kind of complacent attitude that allowed Jerrick to have you forced out of the tribe in the first place!" Ash flushed with the sting of that reminder. "Haven't we always taught you to approach every challenge with your whole heart? If you don't take your life's trials seriously, you will continue to fail yourself, and your comrades."

At the mention of comrades, Ash's thoughts turned unbidden to the companions he had met over the past few days. Sensing his pupil's attention turn distant, Beor's features softened. He floated across the brook's frosty grass and took Ash's head in his immaterial hands. Their vision blended together as Ash viewed his allies through the eyes of his spirit guides:
-Harrow: Shrouded in shadows not even the spirits' sight can pierce, ravens are perched on his shoulders as worms wriggle about his feet.
-Eolan: Some predators are deadliest on their own. For now, give this hunter the distance he desires.
-Maji and Mango: These twins take similar strides along a different path. Strive to achieve the same harmony with the spirits that these two demonstrate with one another.
-Maegrym: A kindred servant to a greater power. You would do well to learn from his example.

At this the brook and its pale trees began to darken and fade. Beor started to vanish as well, the stare of his golden eyes locked with Ash's own. Let the spirits guide you, Laughing Cub, he admonished. And Know Yourself.

Beor's voice drifted on the crisp wind, as Ash stirred and sniffed the air softly. He soon fell into a warm slumber surrounded by meat, mead, and maidens.


Ousted in a power struggle between him and the tribe's Skald, Jerrick. At the behest of the Spirits of Erastils Children, Ashbrook counseled against reaving the the lands beyond the Icerime Peaks (namely Brevoy). The Skald persuaded Bodiskapa Bloodpine, chief of the Urssen and Skerrick's "Uncle Bodi", to order Ashbrook's exile.

Ash hopes to serve the greater good amidst a new community, and also win back his station as Shaman amongst the Urssen. He hopes to steer his tribe away from the dangerous path they have chosen.

Allies include:
-Beor the Bear Spirit, the tribe's former shaman and Ash's mentor.
-The Traveling Cleric Javos, who stayed with the Tribe for a few seasons and encouraged Ashbrook to think of the world beyond his tribe.
-Possibly the Centaurs, one of whom entrusted Ashbrook to the keeping of the Urssen tribe when he was a cub.