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Cade Shilbrouk is the child of Gradian scholars.  After a childhood of reading about the world, Cade left home to see wonders and find adventures to write about in his own book. Eventually his path lead him to Castle Leydford, where he worked as a courier.


Backstory

Cade was born in Gradia.

 His parents, minor nobles and scholars, taught him to read and write and raised him in a life of comfort.  From reading the books in his father’s library Cade learned about wondrous things and far off places, and gained a desire to see such things for himself.  His parents disapproved of his ambitions, deeming them unworthy.  Eventually growing tired of having everything either given to him or taken from him by his parents, Cade left home and traveled east to satisfy his wanderlust, and to escape his gilded cage.

For a time Cade lived his dream.  He found adventure, wealth, friends, and even love in a girl named Anastasia.  During their travels together, crossing a bridge near the Badaria Forest, the pair were attacked by a monstrous troll.  After watching Anatasia and their horse get devoured by the troll Cade only escaped by running for his life into the forest and losing the troll in the thick foliage.  In a single moment Cade lost everything.

In time he settled in Leydford, where he worked as a courier.


Attributes

  • Major - Dexterity: Cade is quick on his feet and never misses a step. He has been able to jump from the castle wall unto a house, escaped danger by running along a thin wall all, and once even miraculously dodged a bullet.
  • Minor - Learned: Because of his upbringing Cade can read and write.
  • Minor - Literate in Elven: Despite being human, Cade can speak and read the Elven language.

Detriments

  • Major - Fear of Trolls: A bad experience with one lead to a great fear of them.
  • Minor - Bad Aim: He is incapable of using ranged weaponry as he tends to hit something that isn't his target.
  • Minor - Morbid Curiosity: If something is happening then Cade simply must know what is going on, even if sticking his nose into it is a bad idea.
  • Minor - Nyctophobia: After witnessing the horror of the servants of ash, Cade has developed a fear of what is in the darkness. This phobia affects him during high stress situations. Being near Seravith has proven to help him overcome this fear for a time.

Season One

After completing an exceptionally profitable delivery Cade returns to Leydford to find that a merchant is selling his drow slave. Acting on impulse Cade buys her for 40 silver. Shorty after Cade attempts to set the slave, named Seravith, free but she refuses by stating that she’d be killed because of her reputation and status if seen unchained. Cade reluctantly takes on the title of slave owner, and keeps Seravith as a travel companion and helper.

Cade’s life becomes hectic as he spends much of his time dealing with complaints about Seravith. While many of these are caused simply by the prejudices of the townspeople, the strong-willed drow also has a knack for stirring up trouble. Despite this Cade and Seravith become fast friends. Cade’s dogged, sometimes ferocious, defense of his “property” and his unwillingness to treat Seravith as a slave lead many to comment on just who is the master in their relationship.

After Cade experiences a number of dangerous situations (including a pair of near disastrous delivers to Dunstead Keep and the first exploration of the mines beneath Leydford), he seeks to improve his swordsmanship. He finds a teacher in Terric Gambol and the two strike a deal: Terric helps Cade with his swordplay, and in return Cade will teach Terric how to read. The two become friends, and Cade even plays a part in helping Terric evade the inquisitor hunting him.

Cade’s affection for Seravith becomes stronger as the pair face the threats looming over Leydford. Several times Cade flungs himself into danger to protect Seravith. When he is stricken with nyctophobia, Seravith comforts him through a panic attack and her presence becomes a way for Cade to steel himself against the fear. While talking to Terric about the other man’s own relationship with Katrina Cade admits to Terric, and to himself, that he loves Seravith.

That love is put to the test during a mission in the town of Gillamore. While exploring ruins underneath the town, Seravith is injured and unable to walk. Cade carries her the rest of the way, prioritizing her safety above all else. As the party flees a large group of undead knights, Cade puts Seravith down to try to help open a gateway. Once the gate is opened Cade is forced through and is unable to pick up Seravith. He desperately fights the rest of the party to go back for her, but he is dragged kicking and screaming back to the entrance of the mine. Once the rest of the group leaves with the wounded, Cade and Tang turn back to try to find Seravith. Amazingly they find Seravith walking out under her own power, but Cade’s relief turns to confusion as the drow stabs him in the side. Morose and wounded, Cade avoids Seravith upon their return to Leydford until she corners him in their cabin. During the ensuing argument Cade confesses his love to her, and a remorseful Seravith explains that it was her anger at seemingly being abandoned and the influence of her haunted locket that caused her to stab him. The two reconcile and try to continue as if nothing had happened.

The stakes grow ever higher as an invasion by the Theozzian Empire looms. Terric is captured by an Imperial inquisitor and is presumed dead. Cade goes with a party to the Badaria forest lead by Myrindal Thesalor in a search for arcane knowledge to use against the Empire, then is dispatched on a scouting mission with Arn and Kat to the border town of Dawnmire where they discover the town taken by Imperials, set fire to an Imperial camp, and rescue Terric who is surprisingly still alive. Shortly after the Leydford militia joins the main Arilaandi army in a failed attempt to stem the Imperial invasion, and the survivors return to Leydford and brace for a siege. Exhausted after days of battle and both having survived near death at the hands of an Imperial inquisitor, Cade and Seravith become lovers.

Imperial forces lay siege to Leydford. After a day of hard fighting, Cade joins a desperate mission into the mines to see if there is an arcane archway in them. After fighting the mushroom men who infest the mine the archway is discovered but at high cost: Terric, who is now like a brother to Cade, is killed. Upon returning to the surface, Cade endures another day of combat. After nightfall ends the fighting Cade looks for Seravith, and sees her fleeing the keep. He tracks her to the entrance of the mines where she is hiding in the darkness, visibly terrified. When asked what happened she doesn’t explain, and instead orders him to leave and to find somewhere safe to sleep.

The final battle for Leydford unfolds the next morning. Despite a valiant effort the outer walls of Castle Leydford are overrun. Cade is shot in the chest by a “knightkiller” weapon, but survives and escapes with the others into the mines. Despite his injury he fights with the vanguard to clear the way for the Leydford survivors until they find refugee in a keep among the subterranean ruins.

Inside the keep Cade has a conversation with Myrindal, and the scribe cryptically warns Cade to not let Seravith ruin him with what she may have to do. Cade is further troubled when he is taken into confidence by Arnulf 'Arn' Ehrhardt, who reveals that Captain William Rallart has warned him about Advisor Fallgrith's plan. The Advisor will take only a chosen few, among them Seravith, through the portal and leave the rest of survivors to die. Cade doesn’t want to believe it, but he can’t help but notice that whenever he interacts with Seravith that day it seems hard for her to even look at him.

The Leydford survivors fight their way through both Imperial soldiers and mushroom men to reach the stronghold that holds the archway. Cade’s worse fear comes true as Seravith joins Myrindal, Advisor Fallgrith, and Lord Gavus as the guards prevent anyone else from approaching the activated archway. Despite his anguished cries Seravith enters the archway, leaving him and the rest of the Leydford survivors to die.

Cade joins the other fighters in a last stand, buying time for Iyendil to open the archway and allowing the survivors of Leydford to escape. Once he is convinced that they are safe, Cade seeks isolation. After days of nonstop fighting, the death of Terric, and being abandoned by Seravith, Cade breaks down in grief. He is comforted by his surviving friends, notably by Arn and Haskaal who welcome Cade into their brotherhood. Cade agrees to train as Haskaal's understudy, both sides stopping short of swearing any binding oaths.

Cade opens his book, the ongoing story of everything he has experienced. Turning to a page where he drew a sketch of Seravith’s eyes he moves to tear it out, but is unable to bring himself to do it. Putting the book away he rejoins the rest of the survivors of Leydford. At long last they get a night of rest.

Season Two

Five months pass.

Many of the survivors end up settling in and around the Arilaandi capital of Adwick, where they live try to live out anonymous lives, doing their best to keep the secret about what happened in Adwick lest they draw down the unwanted attention.

Cade returns from a prolonged courier contract only to encounter Myrindal and Seravtih. Even after five months Cade is conflicted in his feelings toward Seravith as he still has feelings for her even after being left behind. As the Leydford survivors being to make plans in response to being discovered by the two people who left them behind, Cade finds himself taking the middle ground: while he doesn’t believe the Myrindal’s and Seravith’s claim that they abandoned the others as part of a scheme to ensure their survival, but he does believe them when they say that the survivors of Leydford will be left alone as long as they don’t cause trouble.

While struggling to come to terms with his feelings for Seravith, he is approached by the owner of the tavern, Brian, who tells him that any friend of Iyendil is a friend of his. Initially surprised since the existence of the dryad is supposed to be a secret, Cade comes to befriend Brian and the other two tavern workers: the cook/artist Christos and the barmaid Quinn. These new friendships are put to the test as a Gradian Councilman arrives in Adwick...the same Councilman caused Quinn to flee Gradia to escape an arranged marriage with him. Despite several efforts to hide Quinn from the Councilman, including having her seek refugee with Iyendil, trying to fake Quinn’s death, and Cade trying to convince the Councilman that he is married to Quinn, the barmaid is eventually falls into the cluthes of the Councilman. n a last ditch effort to escape the man she despises, Quinn uses a broken bottle to slit her own throat in front of the Councilman. Once the man leaves, Cade saves Quinn using a healing potion she had given him earlier with the instructions of “you’ll know when to use it.”

While Quinn has escaped her past, Cade’s haunts him in the form of Seravith. Distraught by her own trials and confused by the distance that Cade has put between them, Seravith confronts Cade with and ultimatum: either they go back to how their relationship was in Leydford, or they are nothing to each other. While Cade no longer feels the affection he once did for the drow he doesn’t want to give up on their relationship completely and as such finds himself unable to give her an answer. Taking Cade’s indecision as an insult, Seravith leaves in a rage. Hurt and confused, Cade eventually returns to the tavern only to discover that Seravith has threatened his friends there. He tries to leave in the belief that his relationship with them has brought them into harms way, but Quinn and Christos won’t let him. After several failed attempts at reconciliation and more threats against the tavern crew, Cade comes a conclusion: he comes to believe that Seravith never really loved him, and only saw him as a possession. He eventually encounters Seravith on the street and gives her a formal response to her ultimatum: “No.”

While dealing with his personal trials, Cade continues to work both as a courier and as a sellsword. He goes on missions to Barleyroll, Badaria forest, and Ambershire in support of the continuing war against the Theozzian Empire, and as a courier he travels to and from Adwick on a regular basis. His work as a courier leads him to accidentally become involved in a slavery ring, and he and Vestele find that a heavy crate they are to deliver to the lake contains a young man named Yule. A plan put together by them and Yrsa fails to convince the men who are to take the delivery that the crate was stolen, and they are forced to kill them. Shortly after Cade and Vestele are brought before the noble who hired them to deliver the crate and they are blackmailed into working for the man lest the nobleman uses his position to make life hell for the two peasants. However Cade, with notable assistance from Hegg, begins to try to build a case against the Nobleman, including trying to find the man Yule who has vanished since he was freed.

Cade and the Tavern Crew endure other trials, such as the death of Brian, and the Tavern becoming a target during the gang war between the Serpents and the Brass Skulls. Cade finds himself falling in love with Quinn despite her own feelings for romance and Cade’s fear that such a relationship will bring down the wrath of Seravith. This situation comes to a head when a rumor started by Quinn results in the destruction of Arn’s forge as part of the ongoing gang war. Fearful of the repercussions that will fall upon her, Cade goes to Arn and takes the blame for the rumor, resulting in the seeming destruction of the friendship between Cade and the men he considered his brothers. Shortly after Cade is confronted by Christos. Already physically wounded and emotionally distraught, Christos lays into Cade: punching him, venting his frustrations on him, and banishing him from the Tavern. Feeling he has lost everything Cade takes a couple of courier jobs that will take him from Adwick for a number of days, and leaves.

Upon his return he is confronted by Quinn, who admonishes the courier for going to such lengths to try to protect her only to then seemingly run away. She tells him that he doesn’t have to take on challenges like that alone...that they can face them together. Cade reconciles with Christos. Still feeling isolated from those who were aligned with Arn, who has since left Adwick, Cade takes Myrindal’s offer of shelter in the Scribery, along with Quinn whom Myrindal hired on as an assistant because of her literacy and quick wit. Seemingly despite herself Quinn reciprocates Cade’s feelings, and the looming threat of Seravith is expelled when the drow leaves Adwick. After a night of drinking, Cade and Quinn become lovers.

Then one day everything changes.

Several of Cade’s friends return from a long mission against the Empire, bringing with them a man calling himself Byron Gambol. The hooded man sounds and look enough like the long dead Terric to leave Cade shaken. Byron meets with Cade in private later, revealing that he is not Terric, but rather a man who took up the name of the son of the High Inquisitor to bolster the rebellion in the Theozzian Empire. Cade understands, and agrees to play along with the ploy.

Meanwhile Cade witnesses Quinn fleeing the city on horseback with a pair of unknown men. He follows until one of the men escorting her threatens to kill him if he keeps following them. Cade’s confusion only deepens when he returns to the city to find that Quinn’s horse had been stolen from Zack the stable-hand, who was her friend. A distraught Cade goes to the tavern and there he, Christos, and Rynn search for clues about Quinn’s sudden exit, and they find several letters left by her. In her notes to Cade she apologizes for having to break his heart, that it wasn’t her choice to leave, and that she was sorry she could never tell him how much he meant to her. Tucked away in one of the letters is a small note addressed to Quinn from her sister who is being “watched over” in Sunmoor...the capital of the Empire. It soon comes to light that Quinn was an Imperial spy, and that her handlers pulled her out shortly before she was discovered by the Arilaandi authorities. Cade is devastated by what appears to be another betrayal by someone he gave his heart to. He finds himself unable to hate Quinn, going as far as to recover the necklace they shared from the river after he threw it in. Instead he focuses his hatred on the Empire as he sees that as the source of what has taken so much from him.

Cade’s ties to Adwick begin to erode. He already feels alienated from most of the Leydford survivors because of what happened to the forge and Quinn. Even his friendship with Iyendil is seemingly lost as she faces her own trials and treats Cade coldly, going as far as to revoke his access to her grove. Even the situation with the slaver noble comes to a close when Hegg and Eli find Yule and manage to turn one of the nobleman’s servants against him to get evidence and bring him to justice. With only a handful of friends left and no one left to protect, Cade slowly becomes more and more focused on his hatred for the Theozzians.

These feelings come to a head at the battle of Oakenbrook, where Cade is conscripted into the spearhead. It’s a bloody battle and Cade is in the thick of it. He comes to the conclusion that his is where he belongs, fighting against the Empire directly. When the battle is over and the victory is won, Cade approaches one of the leaders of a group who came to reinforce the Arilaandi forces on behalf of Byron Gambol. Cade tells the man that he is interested in joining with the eastern rebellion, and invokes his relationship with Gambol as an in. The leader of rebels tells Cade that it will be considered, and that he will be contacted.

Cade returns to Adwick. In the period of calm that follows Cade makes peace with Arn, who has returned. Even with that Cade feels that there is little left keeping him in Adwick. He shortly meets with one of the leaders of the rebellion, the Red Lady, who is preparing to return to the east. He completes a task with her, and she accepts him into her group. Cade returns to Adwick one more time to say his good-byes. He and Iyendil manage to reconcile before he leaves.

After saying his good-byes, Cade leaves Adwick. He takes one more look at the city and those in it...then runs east.

Trivia

  • Cade has a habit of talking to the enemy very causally, often distracting them in ridiculous ways.
  • Cade can sometimes be seen lost in thought at the most inconvenient times.
  • The working title for Cade's book is "Luck".

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