Name:           Aranek
Race:             Human
Age:               31 years
Height:          5' 6"
Weight:         145 lbs
Occupation:  Scout
Homeland:    Western Endhome
Father:          Lerdriss
Mother:         Ephireal
Weapons:       Longbow, hand axe/buckler, throwing knives

    Aranek of Endhome is a crafty scout in the ranks of Tir Thalor. He enjoys a reputation for the ability to disappear into the greenwood emerging later to lead others to it's secrets.  In the early days of his youth, he counted the forest as his greatest friend and ally spending almost all his time there.  Hailing from a wooded valley two days from the sea, Aranek is the third son of a cooper. His older brothers were raised by his aging father to care for the small business they would soon inherit.  Aranek found that as the youngest boy, he was often overlooked in preference to his kin who were eight years his senior. That fact bothered him little as he found much wonder in long forest forays and lazy fishing excursions.  
    One day while fishing on a grassy bank, the young boy spied a fox poking around on the other side of the creek.  Fascinated by the creature, he decided to practice his stalking skills by following it if he could.  For hours he wandered deep into the wood behind the small canine, excited by his own skills and perseverance.  Aranek lost the fox in a forest of vines however, and found himself very tired (and far from home as well.)  He lay down in a clearing of moss and slept, waking later to return home.  Upon his arrival, the folk of the small hunting village exclaimed joyously at his appearance and seemed amazed by his good health.  Puzzled by this reaction, Aranek soon found out why his return was so regarded; he had been missing for eight days.  It was later surmised that he had fallen asleep in a fairy ring.  Aranek had little grasp of the meaning of this event, and although there were apparently no further effects at the time, his experience would later affect his life's course.

     Around the time that Aranek turned fourteen, a mage named Ohlarhim who lived nearby appeared in town seeking an able apprentice.  Finding the village distrustful of his kind, the old wizard moved on without issue.  This visitor amazed Aranek with his careful wisdom and rumors of his wondrous powers. His inquisitive nature made the young man decide that it would be worthwhile to pursue this mage to see if he would share his knowledge.  Follow Ohlarhim he did and soon found himself in the mages tower among many other aspiring novices.  Aranek spent the next four years there as the mage's youngest and most promising apprentice (though Ohlarhim  never quite tolerated Aranek's propensity for climbing over the walls at night to wander the forest.)
     Now a young man of eighteen, Aranek's master secured a commission for him to serve as messenger and guide from the tower to the civilized world.  This was an opportunity to test his magics and hopefully relate to other mages as well.  During these days he often ran with scouting parties venturing into the deep wood.

      It was while journeying with one of these scouting parties that he met the Aerie of Tir Thalor, a mercenary army known as the "Great Defenders." Becoming enthralled with the path of adventure they followed, he joined their number as a battle-mage, leaving his tower's duties for a time (with his master's permission.)  During the battle of Innesmore, Aranek was assigned to the army of field marshal Granarinth Alandore.  While traveling with a small company of men on route to his post, he noticed several signs of others passing in the wood where none of his own number dwelled.  Later, after meeting up with Alandore atop a craggy bluff, he looked down to see the battle going well for Tir Thalor, but his keen observations in the wood secretly worried him.  Pulling a scroll from his belt, he cast the dolrashaa, spell of secret sight.  The result being what he feared, he bid Granth to see the vision and heed the spell's warning; a large group of enchanted, well-armed enemy skirmishers had flanked the mercenaries, and prepared to attack from the forest.  Granarinth at once directed reserves to the forest edge and the enemy was denied the chance for a surprise attack.  Further, the field marshal bid Aranek accompany him to finish the skirmishers, where they encountered an enemy mage casting a spell of subterfuge.  Aranek countered with a sphere of blindness which rendered the mage helpless, leading to his capture.  Impressed with Aranek's resourcefulness and ambition, he awarded the battle-mage a commendation and had him assigned to his personal force.  He was one of a hand-picked few to years later accompany Granth to a new land across the sea.
      It was on this new continent that he met the clan of F.A.L.O. and found them good company.  Soon after, he wished to return to his tower and use his experience to continue his training. Rather than risking the rough winter seas, Aranek chose to return to Endhome by means of a scroll given to him by Olarhim.  His master had bequeathed it to him for that very purpose.  Upon returning to his master, he oddly found it difficult, then impossible to learn new magic skills!  Inexplicably, his very ability to control the forces of magic quickly fled his body, never to return.  His lord tried in vain to help the apprentice, but to no avail.  Dejected and without hope, he bid farewell to his master's tower, as well as his dreams of wizardry. Returning to Field Marshal Alandore,  Aranek explained his predicament and feeling of uselessness, stating "My path is hidden from me, and the forest is tangled and thick..."  Granth sadly granted a year's leave to the man who had by now become his friend, and bid them meet at the end of that time to speak again.
    With the passing of the days and seasons, Aranek's confidence in himself slowly returned as he rediscovered his skills of the wood, and discovered a new talent for the brewing of fine mead.  He returned to Tir Thalor and took up the mantle of scout and archer, quickly proving his competence and confidence.  A short time later, Aranek was granted the rank and honor of Scandus Laurent, or 'scout of high praise'.  A long time member of Tir Thalor, a moonstone holder of F.A.L.O., and co- founder of his brewer's guild, Aranek is a man who has proven himself dependable and good-natured through many hearty adventures.