High powered warrior/wizard
Jari Pitkanen was an optimised character unseen in the history of the Inner Sea. His spell power combined with his sword attack made him extremely formatible. His power sparked jelousy from the other PC’s, mainly Nig, who’s bombs at low levels were frightenly ineffective. Though his character was made of glass, Jari wound up being the party’s main tank since Stroker was frequently absent. This caused him to drop and die many times.
Jari discovered a sword on the island of Sumggler’s Shiv, and began talking to it, and apparently listening to what it told him. Interactions between the party and NPC’s were at a disadvantage every time this happened.
Jari stayed with the group all the way to the Ziggurat in Tarazon, then suddenly became enraged that the rest of the party was either felt that the adventure was not serious enough or was dead. He refused to go any further with the party and walked away.
After the PC’s cleared the outpost and the other factions came and went, Jari returned to Tarazon and began living in the feces filled Ziggurat eventually installing himself as the leader of the monkey men tribe. Whether it is he or his sword who leads is still undetermined.
Lenora Birch was the beautiful, vivacious daughter of Henry and Walda Birch. Henry, the miller for the rural, small town of Harse, is a prominent member of local society and good friends with Marcus Lynch—the mayor. Since they were both small children, Lenora had been all but betrothed to Nester, the mayor’s son, seeing as they were of an age and due to the close relationship between their fathers.
It was in the deep of winter, in Lenora’s sixteenth year when the elf wanderer, Enki Pitkanen, first appeared in Harse. The elf had always been a loner and had always shown little interest in settlements (particularly human ones), but decided to shelter in the town due to the severe weather. The multi-talented elf was well welcomed at first, but that hospitality soon soured.
The flower of love that bloomed in that harsh season between Lenora and Enki was fierce and at-first-sight. Their union was inevitable. When they went before Lenora’s parents to profess their love, Henry was inconsolable and vowed to disown his daughter if she persisted in said foolishness. Nothing, however, could dissuade her, and she and Enki left Harse, and ventured into the wilds of the nearby mountain range where Enki carved out an isolated but cozy home for himself and his love.
It was not long before Lenora bore Enki a son, named Jari after Enki’s father—a famous mage. Five years later a daughter, Rika, was born to them. The unusual family lived together in humble bliss for a number of years. When not out foraging and exploring the surrounding wilderness, as was his wont to do, Enki taught his son the simple theories of the arcane arts and educated him in languages and classical knowledge.
It was in another long and bleak winter, during Jari’s thirteenth year, when tragedy struck the Pitkanen family: in a matter of days, Enki, who Jari believed would outlive his own children’s children, contracted a violent fever and died. The rest of the family barely survived until Spring. At that time, at the insistence of Lenora, they made their way back to Harse. Arriving home for the first time in a decade and a half, Lenora pleaded with her father to accept her and her children into his home. The stubborn man refused, but offered an alternative solution. . .
Just the previous year, Nester Lynch had returned to Harse, wealthy and influential after years of soldiering—now retired from active duty and the organizer of a renowned mercenary group: The Band of the Iron Hand. Nester was more than happy to wed his childhood love and bring her and her children into his home. Despite fierce objections from Jari, Lenora accepted the offer.
At first, Nester was fairly cordial with his new wife, although he was at best cool and reserved towards her children. As time passed the situation worsened. Lenora had deeply wounded Nester’s pride when she eloped with Enki, and he still wore an ugly scar on his soul. The marriage was essentially built on spite. He would say things to her like, “I always knew that you would be mine. It was only a matter of time. Now you see what a real man is.”
While he moderately tolerated Rika, his interactions with Jari, outside of rote disciplinary commands, were limited to their “sparring sessions.” It was in these brutal lessons that Jari learned the art of swordplay—the only thing that truly defined a man, as Nester put it. During these lessons he also began to learn the depths of his stepfather’s perverse cruelty. Nester would leave the teenage Jari bruised and bloodied after each bout. He would mock him, and go on and on about the frailty of elves and the uselessness of magery, which Jari was forced to practice in secrecy, when he could at all.
More and more Nester turned to the bottle and his insults soon became delivered with fist as much as with speech. He would openly curse his "whore of a wife and her worthless, half-breed, mutt children. The members of the Band of the Iron Hand were often around and often privy to these brash displays. Being an all human band of mercenaries, the majority of them shared their leader’s disdain for other races, particularly half-breeds. Nester would even let members of his group have their own go at beating Jari around the practice yard.
Jari regularly begged his mother to leave Nester, and to set out with him and Rika into the wide world. Surely, he swore, anything must be better than this life of placid abuse that they lived. Lenora was virtually numb to it all, however, and lacked the will to attempt anything of the sort.
It was during the Autumn of Jari’s seventeenth year when the dam of hatred and abuse finally burst. Even though she tried her best to hide it, Jari soon learned that Nester had begun to beat Rika as well, made lewd suggestions to her, and even touched her inappropriately. Gaining this information while Nester was away on business, Jari knew that he had to act and act fast.
He went to the home of his grandfather, Henry Birch, and desperately plead the case of his mother and sister. No matter what had happened in the past, he argued, it was Henry’s duty to do everything in his power to free them all from Nester’s cruel grasp. The boy’s empassioned words softened the heart of the old miller and he vowed to bring the family to live under his own roof.
The next day Henry and Jari arrived at Nester Lynch’s estate with a horse-drawn wagon, took the shell-shocked Lenora and Rika in hand, gathered the most base of their belongings, and were on their way out when a heavily-drunken Nester rode up on his horse. Immediately realizing what was going on, the mercenary captain flew into a rage, declaring that Lenora was his and he would do with her as he pleased. “Your brats could die here and now as far as I’m concerned.”
It appeared as if he were willing to back up that statement as he drew a dagger and flung it into Rika’s breast. Jari was on him in an instant. Never before had the young half-elf been a match for his stepfather, but this day would prove to be different. Nester was taken completely by surprise. Wielding his bastard sword in one hand, he gestured with his other and threw forth a blinding, swirling cone of sparks and colors that stunned both man and horse alike. As Nester fell dazed from his steed, Jari lashed out with his blade; the brutal stroke killed the man before he reached the ground.
What happened next felt unreal to Jari. Henry swore that he would look after Lenora and Rika (whose wound turned out to be minor), but that Jari’s life would be forfeit if he stayed in Harse. If the local authorities didn’t convict him of murder, then the Band of the Iron Hand would kill him for sure. He was to flee far and fast. He was instructed to stay on the move and to always be wary.
Dazed, Jari kissed his mother and sister goodbye, and accepting the gold his grandfather offered him, set out blindly into the wide world, pulled by a strange destiny he could not understand.
The next few years were a whirlwind of travel, unwelcoming strangers, new experiences, odd jobs, and the occasional whiff of pursuit. Jari took the magery learned from his father and the swordplay learned from his stepfather and blended them into a fighting style all his own—a unique blend of skills that would serve him well in these difficult years.
It was in the port town of Magnimar in Varisia that Jari met Alizandru Kovack, Captain of the ship Jenivere. While not generally friendly, the capable and adaptable, young half-elf fugitive made enough of an impression on the Captain to secure a postition as a crew member aboard his vessel.
Embittered, alone, and confused, Jari now sails off into an open horizon, filled with adventures and experieces he cannot forsee. And somewhere, over that vast horizon of the unknown, in the hazy fog of fate an eerie hand-and-a-half blade, blacker than night, calls to him, promising answers, whispering, “Your destiny is within your grasp. . .”