This is Snowburn Shadowbite – my Level 11 Haunted One Minotaur Path of the Beast Barbarian.
Who is Snowburn Shadowbite?
Snowburn Shadowbite was born in the mountains of Ulaan Taiga. His parents were stunned to see him emerge with grey-white fur – such a thing had never occurred within the Darkhad tribe.
From a young age, Snowburn was protected from outsiders and trained to be a vicious warrior, designed to protect the Mausoleum of all Khans.
One night, Snowburn heard strange voices outside the yurt that his family lived in. The voices encouraged him outside, sounding innocent and childlike. As he stepped outside, he was grabbed and whisked away, the white snow whipping around him as several evil cackles filled the air around him. When morning came, the entire Darkhad tribe awoke to find Snowburn missing.
For days, weeks, months… Snowburn has no idea how long the coven of annis hags corrupted him and played with his soul. They toyed with him, attempting to subvert his will to do their bidding. They drilled into his very being, pulling memories and twisting them for their own amusement. They beat him with untold weapons, designed to hurt him in every single way possible, making him animalistic and desire only to hurt others. They tied a small iron cage around his neck so they could keep tabs on him, in case he left their vicious domain.
It was one fateful day when another coven heard of this vicious beast. They wanted to see what was happening and see it for themselves. This coven of bheur hags were impressed with their find, but inevitably an argument broke out between the two covens. The argument escalated, and before long, they were fighting each other.
Snowburn remained silent, playing dead as spells whizzed overhead and blood splattered the ground around him. After several minutes, one annis hag remained, her clothes ripped more than usual and her body bloodied. The coven hag eye laid next to Snowburn’s massive fist, having been removed from around the neck of her compatriots after a particularly vicious lightning bolt to the head.
Snowburn lifted his fist and slammed it down on the tiny pendant. In a blinding flash, the final hag screamed in pain, her eyes popping as the psychic pain ripped through her body. Snowburn growled as his eyes shifted to a deep, blood-red colour. The blinding flash scarred his skin and fur snow-white, adding to the damage from the hags. As the final hag dropped, her screams seemed to suck into the cage around his neck.
As Snowburn got onto his feet by himself for the first time, he could hear the whispers of the coven echoing in and out of his head, coming and going. He knew that he would not be free until every hag in this region was dead – they all had to go.
He also knew that this was a task he could not complete alone. Snowburn was a child, and needed to become a mighty warrior to complete this task. He left the cave and found himself near the peak of Delgerkhaan Uul, one of the highest points in the Khoridol Saridag mountains.
After a month of trekking, he returned to his family. He was welcomed with open, but wary arms by those on the outskirts of the tribe, while others welcomed Snowburn in without question. All could see that he had faced something of unimaginable horror, that he had faced the darkness and come back from the edge.
There was no question about his bravery and commitment to the tribe. Every member of the tribe was willing to go to hell and back for Snowburn Shadowbite.
Snowburn was also willing to fight for his tribe. Any time combat took place to show honour, he stood up for his fellow minotaurs. However, few expected his bestial side to come forth in such a vicious manner. Whatever had happened to him had changed him and his relationship with nature. His rage had merged with something that saw him become… something else.
Once battle was over, he was back to his usual self… for the most part. He was still passionate about leading the tribe into the future and protecting their role in terms of the Grand Khan’s Mausoleum.
Others noticed that the iron cage around his neck was never removed. When asked about it, Snowburn brushed them off or changed the subject. It caused him some pain to leave it on, yet he refused to remove it.
“Strength through adversity,” Snowburn would say, “That is how you get what you want. I have lost, and I will win.”
Snowburn Shadowbite purports to follow Shamanism as a result of his experience. He tries to communicate to the spirits every morning and every night for 30 minutes, in an attempt to understand why he has been cursed in this way.
His lack of understanding has resulted in the support from other warriors in the Darkhad tribe. Fenmi Sharpfury leads the monks as a group of dedicated hand to hand combatants. Seeing the disturbance behind Snowburn’s eyes, she offered to help him find peace. Teaching him to meditate, he found that it was peaceful and a way to communicate, in his mind, beyond the traditional methods.
Snowburn asked the oldest member of the tribe, Aneter Bearpelt, about this practice. He talked about the concept of shamanism, where people talk to spirits of nature to seek favour and get answers to their questions. In some cases, they have helped them with the bigger questions in life. Aneter admitted that he only had a passing knowledge of the subject from previous generations.
Snowburn believed that meditation and shamanism would help him find a way out of this curse that had befallen him. He also thinks that it will help him find more hags to kill.
Since joining the current adventuring party, he has found a strong ally in the kenku artificer Scraw Tonk. While they cannot communicate with each other, he and Scraw have formed a strong bond through Snowburn’s infinite bag of popcorn and Scraw’s predilection for handing out magic mushrooms to almost anyone he meets. It has led to hilarious interactions as well as additional help in getting past a few guards.
Snowburn has also come to trust Avchragch, the water genasi warlock/cleric. While they have not always seen eye to eye, he has a healthy respect for her commitment to the old ways of burial. He does struggle to understand her combative ways of conversation, given his leadership styles, but it has not harmed their relationship significantly.
Snowburn has a vicious hatred for all hags. They spent time haunting his dreams as an adult, but the help of a shaman in a minotaur tribe saved him from further distress. The shaman made him an amulet that kept their nightmares at bay, and helped him identify hags in their disguised form before they hurt his fellow adventurers.
He does not trust Quorra, the aarakocra sorceror. He thinks that she is using the adventuring party for her own selfish means, rather than supporting the goals of Dayan Khan. He has had to do a lot of the heavy lifting when she has gone down, much like her brother. At least when Avchragch has gone down, she has had the decency to support him in other ways. Snowburn is still upset about handing over a nightstone so that Quorra could get a piece of some staff. He is convinced that Quorra would betray them at the first opportunity.
Azin, the yuan-ti monk, is from an order of assassins that had previously captured Avchragch and tried to capture both Quorra, Scraw and Snowburn. He is unsure as to her goals in the party, given the relationship between her order and the city they are currently in, as well as the wider party.
Jamielah is a efreeti of some sort that seems to wield enormous influence over the city they are currently in. While she and Snowburn have developed a cordial relationship, she has entrusted him with some secrets of hers that he knows not to reveal. Snowburn believes that it could be worthwhile to keep a healthy relationship with her going forward.