Tales From Janus Valley
The spiritual shifter Keto lives a life of asceticism on the outskirts of the Trackless Fen. Cast out from his homeland because of his “cursed blood,” Keto spent many years wandering the wilderness as little more than the wild beast his family feared he would become. One fateful day, Keto found himself in pristine wilderness, far from civilization. There, for the first time, the spirits spoke to him. They told him that the source of all his troubles was that his life was out of balance. He hadn’t been accepted in society because of he lupine blood, but abandoning his humanity had brought only pain and loneliness. He had within himself the power to embrace both sides of his heritage, the civilized and the feral, to the betterment of all.
In the remotest reaches of the wilds, Keto trained. He found that he could invite the spirits of nature into his body, and gain their abilities. The claws of the bear, the speed of the falcon, the unstoppable force of the avalanche, all could be his. More importantly, for the first time in his life, Keto felt… whole. Keto’s travels brought him to the Trackless Fen, a hazardous marsh that he was able to survive thanks to his new abilities.
One day, Keto felt the call of spiritual distress. One of the not-uncommon shipwrecks had occurred on the Forbidding Coast, and the wreckage was washing into the Fen. Gangs of unscrupulous scavengers had already arrived, and were sifting for items of value. One such item was a lone survivor, a genasi woman who was badly injured. The scavengers clearly intended to sell her into a life of slavery, but Keto intervened. When the brigands turned violent, he was ready. Dispatching them, Keto took the girl to the relative safety of nearby Brackwash, where she could recover. The girl, once well, was haughty, but grateful. She was called Lucia, a wizard who had left her homeland in the hopes of perfecting her craft. Driven to do more good, Keto asked Lucia to join his cause. She accepted, and the two have been in business ever since. Shortly thereafter, Mazel allied with them, and with the arrival of the tiefling bard Sauvignon, their little group was nearly complete.