Swiftslash Banterlock

Tiefling Sorcerer who campaigns for justice and humility, but is more than a little tempted by his wild wrath


Although Swiftslash wasn’t born under curse or blessing, the intrinsic insanity of his ancestry embedded itself deep within him even at the moment of conception. His father was a champion Tiefling bodybuilder maddeningly obsessed with peak physical conditioning. Always looking to gain any competitive advantage, he heavily abused PED’s (few were Ephedra-free). Surely, anyone who observes Swiftslash’s fighting style knows his father’s system never quite cleared the drug. His mother was the daughter of a wealthy, beloved political figure. Known as the darling of her race, she was all but worshipped for her charismatic grace. However, she constantly felt pressured to satisfy her husband’s desire for the perfect physique. In attempts to drop the extra weight of her third child, she decided to experiment with Tief-Tief, a drug roughly equivelant to the 1998 human drug Fen-Fen. The ensuing wild heart palpitations nearly killed her and her heart was replaced with a metal pump seven months into her fourth pregnancy. Unfortunately, this also manifested emotionally for the rest of her days. As you know, Swiftslash was her fourth child…

Born to parents of such physical chaos, Swiftslash’s wild magic and inclinations for chaos are understandable. In his youth, he showed wild uncontrollable flashes of sorcery, though neither of his parents had mystical training. Several times, he was disciplined at school for tussling with other Tiefling children, once even searing the boxer waistband of that little asshole Tyler Szymanski to his own forehead….wedgie-style. In attempts to teach him strong discipline, his father introduced him to a strict regiment of simple weapons handling that he himself had used to rise through the athletic ranks. Swiftslash met this new training with great enthusiasm and practiced obsessively.

He remained in a normal school setting until third grade when his bubbling chaotic rage accidentally caused him to impale his third grade teacher, Mrs. Jensen, with a thumbtack another student had left on her chair. His parents settled the lawsuit for a surprisingly low sum, raising questions from some around the village. Suspicions still remain, but were stemmed slightly when Mr. Jensen issued a public statement saying, “Well, she was kind of a bitch.” As part of the settlement though, Swiftslash was sent off to an alternative school.
Because of his family’s vast wealth and his precocious magical ability, he was placed in the renowned Marton Academy of Sorcery, a beautiful school embedded near the edge of an ancient forest. But as a result of being removed from public education, something dark happened to Swiftslash. Although his ferile essence had always boiled near the surface, his mother’s elegance and father’s obsessive drive had encapsulated his chaos in a bubble of politeness and good behavior. Now living among his peers at the academy, the chaos boiled over. His correspondence home began to reflect a deteriorating relationship with his parents, who responded with caustic pressure to obey his teachers. Within two years, the flow of communication had utterly ceased.

At the academy, Swiftslash underwent great changes. At first, the polite troubled child was replaced by a quite, brooding young Tiefling. He had obviously turned his emotions inward and his face usually was contorted into a look of sinister contemplation. His inner dialogue was often mixed with cocky superiority and blatant hatred towards the other children, and his teachers often worried about his anti-socialness. He continued to dedicate copious amounts of time to the ferocious melee training to which his father had introduced him.

But, as the next two years progressed, his proclivity for solitude was replaced with a charismatic air that caused the other children to gravitate towards him. Perhaps reflective of his parents’ charm, he soon had a small faithful following of other playground youth. However, there was something strange about this new ‘leadership’ role he was taking on, and many secretly wondered if there was a façade housing his old sinister side. After all, his schoolyard gang could often be found engaged in strange practices like magically grafting frogs and chickens or turning playground equipment into large towers of feces. On more than one occasion, it seemed like some of the children were simply following him out of fear, both physical and magical. His teachers, noticing the dwindling stream of parcels from home, wondered if a storm was brewing on the horizon.

In his third year at the academy, everyone’s fears were maliciously confirmed. On a late September evening, Swiftslash and several of his classmates were walking home from their All-Regional Tiefball game when a blustery and violent thunderstorm sent lightning bolts spewing from the sky. The children fled for cover and found refuge in a large space created by giant overlapping monolithic stones. Observing the storm’s relentless fury, the children settled in for a time and began to talk. The conversation was mostly dictated by Thomas Prudepear, the son of a famously pious preacher who had achieved enormous popularity by declaring the old demon pacts to be contrary to God’s will. Thomas began to spout this and there about how inspiring the lightning was and how it truly showed how God would smite the wicked. Never one to pay particular attention to religion and such nonsense, Swiftslash just inwardly rolled his eyes. Thomas continued, “The only way us Tieflings can ever overcome evil is through order. That’s why I only practice Dragon Magic. My dad says that any other type of magic leads us into madness.” Swiftslash felt his hair bristle slightly. His Mom had always gone to a church, Kabala mostly, after all, she was a celebrity. But he had never gotten much satisfaction from going with her. The one thing he did know was that the rudiments of Wild Magic he had learned thus far made him feel more alive than even his melee training. He told Thomas he disagreed and how he felt that all veins of magic had their place. Sniveling little Thomas just scoffed. “What do you know anyway? Everyone knows your parents were so fucked up when they had you, it’s no wonder you can only do Wild Magic, Dragon Magic would be way out of your league. My dad says your parents probably don’t even know Dragon Magic.” At this point, Swiftslash felt a wild tempest of anger erupt in him. No one, especially Thomas, was good enough to insult his heritage like that. He grabbed Thomas by the throat and hurled him out of the makeshift cave. Blow after blow, he reigned all his chaotic anger into Thomas’s pointy pious face. Aided by the bloodlust of his ancestry and the powerful training of his young years, he raised up over the fledgling Dragon Sorcerer as the lightning crashed all around him. Finally, with both hands high over his head for one final blow, all the wild power of the thunderstorm channeled through him like a lightning rod and a chaotic bolt of lightning spit from him and struck Thomas with a brilliant flash. The other children, who had been too paralyzed from fear of both the thunderstorm and Swiftslash’s rage to do anything but watch from the cave, saw nothing but pieces of foul smelling refuse where Thomas had been. (Turns out, he had been full of shit) As Swiftslash whirled to meet their gaze with blazing demon eyes, they saw that the encounter had left a horrific falcon-shaped char mark over his face. As the demonic adrenaline wore off, Swiftslash came to his senses. When he realized his terrible deed, he followed his first instinct and shot off into the nearby forest. For hours he ran, but no matter how quickly his well-trained legs moved, they couldn’t keep up with his whirring mind. How could he have done this? In all his previous troubles, he had never felt this conscious explosion of anger; it had always felt more like random chaos belching out of him. But this time, he had malevolently channeled his own rage. Did this mean he was destined for evil sorcery? Was he inherently sinister? Would he have to live like an outlaw after this terrible act? These questions weighed heavily upon him as he finally stopped deep in the woods. He had to rest; he had to sleep.

No one heard much from Swiftslash over the next few years. Rumor has it that he traversed the forest roads as a mercenary. He spent most of this time in hiding, only coming out to angrily clash with pompous merchants and nobles. The only sign that he was even alive was the occasional caravan he turned into a fecal monument on the side of forest roads.

Nearly five years after going into hiding, Swiftslash reemerged in brilliant splendor. He was seen walking down the middle of the town’s merchant street wearing a dazzling hawkfeather cloak and carrying what looked like an obsidian-plated quarterstaff. His fearsome face still bore the charring of that day, but his jutting Tiefling cheekbones wore the mark well, giving him a look of charismatic power. He had obviously maintained his training as his brilliant azure skin glowed with magic and strength. But however regal he looked at first glance, there was no mistaking that fierce demonic savagery that had always plagued him. The townspeople marveled in awe and fear. They wondered how the brooding chaotic schoolboy had transformed into this powerful sorcerer alone in the woods.

Little did they know the arduous roads Swiftslash had journeyed. For the first two years, he had lived savagely in the forest. His only interaction was with the dregs of prostitution and tavern life, and he developed a crude surliness that he would never lose. He became crass and barbaric as he delved deeper into the inner chambers of his chaotic soul. During these years, he thieved and fought his way to survival, but some small thread of morality always remained, for he only harmed those filled with his most hated characteristics, pomp and pretention. These erratic years only served to perpetuate the wild chaos within him, and he had nearly succumbed to its magical havoc.

Then one day, his life changed forever. Hungry for food, he searched the roads (characteristically perched high atop a filth tower, of course). He spotted an ornate gold-plated carriage driven by four meticulously groomed horses. He could feel the hateful wildness simmer in him and knew he had to destroy such a haughty vessel. The wild energy consumed him in a trance and he leapt from the tree as a bolt of lightning struck the carriage. But what he failed to notice in his chaotic burst was the driver of the carriage, a diminutive old dwarf wearing haggard grey robes and a wispy beard. As he plummeted down, the tiny figure waved his hand and Swiftslash was suddenly paralyzed. He struck the ground hard and realized what had happened. The decrepit dwarf had directed his own fury right back in his face. No one had ever been nearly powerful enough to counter a Swiftslash spell before. Fear and rage struck Swiftslash as he watched the carriage and horses shimmer into nothingness. The tiny figure standing over him also stunned him. The old dwarf peered out from brilliant white eyes and an ancient face; he couldn’t see a thing. In a nearly inaudible voice he said, “You are a foolish young man.” Hate steamed through Swiftslash’s motion-locked body. “Learn to harness that rage and you may survive.” Then the dwarf vanished.
For hours, Swiftslash lie motionless, unable to move. He knew death was around the corner. If some owlbear didn’t find him first, hunger soon would. Thoughts began to whir through his mind; he hadn’t been so self-aware since that day he ran. He wondered what his parents would say, what his teachers would say, and what his legacy would be when he was found dead on this lonely forest trail. A slight tinge of regret hit him for the chaos he had caused his world. But it didn’t matter now, he would soon be gone. He wondered if anything awaited him in the world to come. Maybe Thomas had been right and a furious hell was polishing its irons for him. A last bubble of hate boiled in him. “Fuck them all,” he thought.

As he prepared to close those chaotic eyes for the last time, a crimson hawk landed directly in front of Swiftslash. It gazed at him curiously. Normally, he would have roasted the bird with a ball of chaotic fire, but today, he thought he might try to show some love to the last creature he would ever see. He smiled at the hawk and prepared to say good-bye. Suddenly, he felt a burst of energy rush through him and the hawk soared off into the sun. Strangely enough, Swiftslash could see everything through the hawk’s eyes. He soared over the town as people milled about their day. He saw cruelty and kindness, obedience and rebellion. Finally, he sped over the forest and descended into a strange compound. It seemed like an old smithyard that hadn’t been used for centuries. There, with the tiniest anvil and hammer, was the old dwarf, ironing out a brilliant staff from some strange metal. He beckoned to the hawk, which perched stealthily onto his hammer. Suddenly, Swiftslash was standing before the old dwarf, and he could move again. But he was still paralyzed, this time by awe. The dwarf addressed him, “I expected you’d die in your hate, but even the smallest compassion you showed my hawk shouldn’t leave this world. Let me help you.” Swiftslash didn’t know what to say. He didn’t dare confront this obviously powerful dwarf again, so he simply nodded. “Very well, then we will harness your energy, turn chaos into order, rage into justice.”

For the next two years, Swiftslash dwelled in the smithyard under the tutelage of his wise sage. The dwarf was a powerful old sorcerer named Pax Lumina. He had been an advisor to millennia worth of empires (except the human Romans, he just avoided that clusterfuck) and had immense powers. Most surprisingly, he was a Wild Magic sorcerer, something rare for people of high position. He taught Swiftslash that he was right to hate pretention and arrogance as such were the traits of societal demise. He trained Swiftslash vigorously to channel his chaotic energy to strike a foe down at will. But, he warned, unjustified attacks only lead to a resurgence of chaos. Swiftslash learned that although he would always be tempted by this wild energy, only through discipline would it truly be useful to him. Yet this temptation still haunts him today. He also discovered his elemental proclivity to be for obsidian, and that the hawk was an animalistic representation of his powerful savagery. From Pax, he learned his powerful spellcasting abilities as well as the usefulness of his natural charisma and diplomacy. Of course, he continued to hone his physical capabilities with the brilliant obsidian staff Pax had crafted for him. As Swiftslash grew into a strong powerful sorcerer, he began to understand morality and justice’s place in the world. He yearned to reestablish his relationship with his family. After those two years, he left the yard under Pax’s blessing in hopes of returning home to his parents.

However, the darkest day of Swiftslash’s life was yet to come. As he neared his old home, his chaotic instincts swelled, and he knew something was amiss. He smelled the burning before he saw it. He broke into a sprint and as he burst through the clearing of his old country home, he fell to his knees. There, in a burning requiem, was his childhood, ablaze with some unholy Dragon Magic. He knew his family was dead, and a necrotic grief overwhelmed him, causing him to enter a seemingly eternal trance state.

In his trance, he wandered aimlessly through grey clouds for an eternity. Finally, a crimson flash cut through the murk, and he followed it despondently. When he could bear to go no further and willed to succumb to his grief, the hawk landed. When he lifted his head, he saw the souls of his family, and spoke with them. They exhorted him to embrace his demon ancestry. By harnessing his chaotic powers, they said, he would properly avenge them by bringing mercy and justice to the Tiefling race. This is what they desired. Then, the god Moradin swept his family up and said “Go. Be.”

Swiftslash broke from his trance with new resolve, assuaged grief, and a strange burning on his chest. He looked down and saw a crimson branding on his blue chest. It was Moradin’s hammer, seared into him like his new moral code was burned into his mind.

It didn’t take long for him to extract his vengeance. He quickly learned his family’s murderer was Percy Prudepear, the pompous priest propagating pious poop to the populous. After turning the Prudepear estate into a majestic Shitsicle, he impaled Percy with a surgical lightning bolt so focused no one knew it was even Wild Magic. His focused resolved bade him to return to town for the last time. He would announce his intentions.

As he now entered the marketplace, he knew an inevitable confrontation awaited. Surely, local law enforcement would require him to pay for his transgressions. Morally or not, he had now murdered the entire Prudepear line of shitsacks. As they encircled him, his savage temptation nearly exploded and his demon eyes glowed. It would be so easy to destroy all of these lackeys with their silly billyclubs and whistles. But instead, he thrust his obsidian staff into the ground. A blinding circle of light encapsulated him and the townspeople shrank back at his might. He bellowed to them, “I am Swiftslash Banterlock. I will exhonerate myself through my just deeds. May Moradin’s hammer guide me in my quest. Soon, justice and order will again rule our world. Now I go to bring home Tiefling glory.” Then, he disappeared in a glimmering splash of color.

Swiftslash Banterlock

Miir Kutch