The Two Banner War: Part Two
Ajani Baran (Ne'Arel)
On a warpath. Likeable even in such a mood.
The only being who Beric has willingly admitted is his equal, Ne’Arel has seen much in his years upon Valacirya, and some consider him to be the wisest of the five sentinels, even more experienced than Beric (in the ways of the New Gods, at the very least). He is the only being in Valacirya known to have died and been resurrected and suffered no ill effects despite having been dead for thousands of years. He originally was in charge of protecting Pelear from war, though contrary to popular belief he was neither on the side of the Lugzan (now called the Orcs) or the Peleari, but rather simply sought to neutralize conflict between them. The Lugzan destroyed Gwareth and drove the Peleari underground, and Ne’Arel was stripped of his power as a result. He was then slain by Baegar after seeking alliance with him, and resurrected by Pelor some time later (some historians believe it to have been approximately four thousand years, though estimates vary widely, with some as high as eleven thousand). He was then named Nerull, and fought alongside Pelor to destroy the Firmament’s hold on Valacirya. He was stripped of his power once more, this time by Beric himself, in FoA 198 inside Beric’s war camp near Corullon in Royce. To further humiliate Nerull, Beric turned him into a gerbil. In this form he retained the ability to speak, and accompanied the adventurers on a quest to Demara to recover the Circlet of Ellia the First Master of the Blue Cloak of Valiar. The party had the displeasure of encountering a Wordless, a dark servant of Pelor of unknown origin, and Ne’Arel was able to sap its power and use it to transmute himself back into a humanoid form. He proceeded to scry Beric and request that he be restored to sentinelhood, a request to which Beric assented. Currently he is fighting for Balance once more.
After the party exited the Deeps of Kur-Arn with the Stone of Kur-Arn in their bag, Ne’Arel told them that the Sentinels were never eagles, that they are not truly immortal, that they were not created by the Artisan at the beginning of time, etc.. Ne’Arel also informed the party that his name was in fact Ajani Baran, that he had been a fisherman before the Banishment of the Atnuuli, and that Beric had killed his family out of anger at their “heresy”. Once this information was presented to Aelem, Aelem became angry and protested that it was not true. He then cast a spell on Ajani (greater restoration) which was intended to restore Ajani’s memory to its original state. After taking an unconscious Ajani upstairs, he told the players that Ajani’s memory had been altered, probably by Luwan through Ajani’s consistent use of the prism. Upon awakening , Ajani informed the party that his memory lined up with Aelem’s, solidifying the belief that it was altered by Luwan.
On April 13, FoA 201, Ajani, accompanied by Aelem and the party, arrived at Beric’s war camp and joined an effort to convince Gaeryth Stonecloak to end his secrecy and come with the other Sentinels and the party to break the Pact of Neutrality. At first the effort was going well, despite approaching violence immediately upon Ajani’s entry into the central tent, but when "Jim"’s true nature was revealed, Gaeryth became so enraged that he attacked, throwing a knife into Aelem’s heart and lunging at “Jim” with a second. Ajani saved “Jim” from certain death and was ultimately forced to kill Gaeryth by cutting his throat, after suffering a stab wound in the back of his left knee.