Backstory of Hephaestas, “Smith of the Gods”
Unsure of how old he is… he is a he, yes? He isn’t even sure of that anymore – his cerebral mainframe has had the need to delete any information deemed impractical or unhelpful in order to store more data on what he is programmed at his core to do.
Smith. Invent. Create.
All he remembers is he has devoted himself to learning any new secrets to the science of magic and metallurgy. But lets turn back a page or two…
His creator long since forgotten… he has adopted the name “Hephaestas” – as it means “smith of the gods.” A renowned alchemist (and portable-library), Hephaestas used to once create small magical trinkets, blades, shields and more for members of his past. It is all a bit of a blur to him now. Data that is either corrupt, missing, or tampered with – and now no longer usable. Frequently referred to as a creator as often as a destroyer, Hephaestas is always looking for new ways to improve his current physical augmentations, his personal creations, and ever-hungry to store more arcane secrets into his cerebral archives.
In recent years, Hephaestas settled in the city of Stormreach, working as a Research Scholar under House Cannith’s Alchemy Department. He was sent on an urgent mission to retrieve information about a curious device discovered some leagues off the coast of Stormreach Harbor. He was nearly there… until a dragon attacked the airship. The last thing he remembered was falling out of the sky, his body failing from the attack… and what sounded to him… like an Emergency Repair spell cast at him from one of his guards. As the spell took grip over him stabilizing his failing internal systems and central core, he plunged towards an unknown island, vertigo being his final companion…. he closed off his auditory and sensory systems… and braced himself for a fall that would likely be the last thing he ever did.
When he came to, he was greeted by a small company of heroes. The party was friendly enough, he was particularly pleased to make the acquaintance of a certain Warforged by the name of Talbron, a Sorcerer who had served in The Last War. Talbron expressed his concern for Hephaestas’ inability to recall completely the events that had led up to his being at the island. Strange indeed it was for a Warforged to have Memory-Playback issues, no matter the case – Warforged always had on-board memory recording devices, magically enhanced to operate even if the Warforged was in critical condition. However, it was stranger still for a Cannith Emergency Repair spell to stabilize a Warforged but not put it in, what the Warforged commonly call “Task Mode,” – where they lay dormant, and generally impervious to most damage, waiting until their masters recite their Reanimation Incantations, effectively reviving them like a person awaking from sleep. No, Hephaestas could not recall why he was there or what he had been doing. Normally, his self-diagnostics would have kicked in by now, rebooting his psyche to the last saved iteration.
Hephaestas joined the small adventuring party and stayed with them through many a dungeon, field, and forest. Their adventure came to a head at the mountain Misery’s Peak. The strange weather patterns and peculiar amount of monsters was linked to a Mindflayer attempting to control a White Dragon! After he and his new companions finished their quest, they sailed to Stormreach Harbor, where they each settled down for a bit; the sorcerer to his musings, the cleric to her tomes, and the rogue… Well, to the bar. Hephaestas wandered into town, thinking and looking for answers… Looking inside. Looking for his memory…
Perhaps it would figure itself out, perhaps he would remember what he was doing… or perhaps… he could forceably jog his memory…Perhaps…. he thought… as he absentmindedly walked right into a fearsome looking Half-Orc woman.
The Half-Orc woman, who after one look decided the warforged was no threat, infact – she was quite enamored with him, offered to travel with him to the city of Stormreach. She was puzzled by the complex but probably dumb “fancy-pants” armor that seemed to adhere to the warforged’s frame. The Half-Orc woman introduced herself as Fortuna, and the most Hephaestas ever got out of her was she was “on a mission.” During their journey she became accustomed to referring to Hephaestas as “metal boy.” He didn’t mind, though. He had enough things to spend his time pondering.
When they finally made it to Stormreach, it wasn’t long before the two ran into what they first thought was a child, but was indeed a Halfling, an apprentice sorceress at that. The Halfling mentioned she was in town in search of a friend of hers. Hephaestas and Fortuna offered to help her look for her friend, if she didn’t mind showing them around the harbor. The Halfling obliged, and the three set off in search of her friend.
They stopped at a local bar named the Phoenix Tavern. As they paused for some food and refreshment, they encountered a strange dark cloaked form seeming to stare at them from the other side of the room. The dialogue began something like…
“I think he wants to fight. His stare shows it.” said Fortuna. “No, no let’s not… do any of that,” the sorceress quickly countered. “Perhaps he just… fell asleep looking at us?”
“Yeah alright, I’ll believe that like I believe this Dirty Kobold was worth my drinking money, I’m going over to him. Only Fortuna allowed to stare at dumb cloaked boys!”
“Fortuna, I must agree with-“ Hephaestas began, but it was already too late. Fortuna was already stomping her way across the tavern, hand reaching over her back for
her weapon as the dark-clad form began to speak.
“Hello there,” the figure began. “I take it you found my staring… unsettling? I do apologize. It’s just that such a crew is hardly something I see anymore, let alone at the Phoenix, I assure you, it was only my curiosity. I take it the three of you are… up to something? Looking for something? Someone?”
“As a matter of fact…” Hephaestas started.
“We are!” The Halfling exclaimed. “It’s my…friend. He was supposed to meet me in the Harbor, near the Leaky Dinghy days ago, but he never showed! These friends of mine had been helping me look for him but… to no avail.”
“I’ll do it.” the figure confidently replied. “I’ve got nothing better to do at the moment… my orders have been….slow as of late. I gotta stay sharp. This shouldn’t take long.”
“That’s…mighty generous of ya sir,” the Halfling Sorceress began, “but I really don’t have the money to pay a huntsman… plus I’m sure my friend just got delayed. Truly. I’m sure he’s just fine.”
“Miss… with all due respect.” The figure interrupted, “It’s worth my time. I’ve detected… something, going on in this section of town. I’ve been staying at the lodgings here because I’m on a stakeout. Now, I don’t want to be rash… but my senses are keen, and if your friend went missing there could be a connection. Please, no money involved. Just allow me to accompany you, I’m not in it for the money.”
“Then what are you in it for, sir?” Hephaestas chimed in.
“That’s confidential. Just know my intentions are good. You have my word on The Flame for that. Oh and… call me Asche.”
“Suit yourself sir, we, er, I – appreciate your help.” the Halfling responded.
“Excellent.” said Asche, “Let’s begin our little investigation starting with that smuggler over there, I’ve done some scouting in this area and I believe his name’s…Cartamon.”
Their little investigation began with a search for the Halfling’s friend, Dale. But by the end of it… the four of them had uncovered a scheme involving Dar Qat and tons and tons of warforged parts and heartstones. Hephaestas was deeply troubled at how they were acquired and their intended use. He had taken one from one of the enemy alchemists in hopes to study it. However, on their way out of the Dar Qat cultist’s base, they encountered an Inspired. One who had grown quite mad with the Dar Qat delusions seeping into his head. The Inspired had attacked Hephaestas with psychic energy using the dream creature that was perched on the Inspired’s head and attacked Heph’s mind quite harshly. It was painful, yes… but it had also stirred something in his memory data archives… he was once… a what?
The story of Hephaestas will continue…