Diero Gane grew up in a very involved community. His family was poor in gold, but rich in the people they knew. Several times a week, Diero would attend community dinners, where his mother Charlotte would cook and serve people in the town.
Diero was an impulsive and attention-seeking young boy. He would often comment blatantly on the people who came to receive a meal, blurting out how they looked or smelled. His mother was quick to cuff him, and tried to teach him to hold his tongue, a trait he never did manage to learn.
As Diero grew up, he helped his mother with all sorts of tasks around town: babysitting children, preparing meals, and often times volunteering to sweep and clean at the Wanderer’s Temple. Diero, needing to speak more than listen, often asked travelers who they were praying to, and why. At first his mother scowled, but many visitors to the temple were open to sharing their idea of faith with an impressionable and curious young boy.
Diero heard many stories, featuring many different Gods and realms of existence. He had never heard of such fantastical things before. Thus, he asked his mother who she believed in and she told him, “I believe in nothing but the goodness I can do for others. It matters not who or what you believe in, so long as you act in good ways.”
Diero took his mother’s words to heart, and did his best to act good, but began causing trouble for those he saw as not-good. He would stand to call out people who got two meals before everyone had even one. One day, a beggar was harassing a woman for a portion of her meal, and Diero stepped in to stop him. When he asked the beggar why he did it, he saw remorse in his eyes as he answered that he was only very hungry. Diero offered him a piece of gold, and urged the beggar to do the good thing and ask for help when he needed it.
A few days later the beggar approached Diero and his mother at the soup line, and asked for help. The Ganes shared a glance and a smile, and accepted the man to help serve the food in exchange for some extra at the end. The man introduced himself as Baris, and after a morning together, Diero and Charlotte offered to take him in.
Baris lived with the Ganes for several years, and became close to Diero. Charlotte was kind and welcoming, and although Baris made his attempts to flirt with her initially, she remained guarded and politely refused his advances, which he halted soonafter, grateful for what they had given him. Diero thought it was strange at first, but he wanted to do good, and the patchwork family was happy together.
Diero used to ask about his father when he was a child, and his mother would tell him that his father was an unworthy man. Older now, Diero knew that what his mother truly meant was that his father was not a good man. Diero never thought much of it, as he was very close to his mother and strove to be a good young man himself.
Diero was old enough that he could have been setting off on his own, or starting to work paid jobs in earnest. He stayed and helped his mother and Baris continue their work for the community. They received enough donation to continue, but not to earn enough to ever save. They had never needed more until Charlotte fell ill one autumn.
Diero did all he could to help his mother. He cut firewood alone, continued the community meals with the help of Baris, and spoke to townsfolk and travelers about medicine, and a cure for his mother.
Not a day later, the entire town knew of Charlotte Gane’s illness, and despite them all wishing her well, no one had a cure. Diero inquired at the temple, and found his saving grace.
On this day, as Diero spoke to the steward about his mother, a man kneeling in the hall rose and inquired about Diero’s need for medicine or healing. The man introduced himself as Orson Galimedi, a Paladin of Northtide, and that he would go with Diero to attempt to cure his mother.
Diero was awestruck by the Paladin. He was a stranger clad in shining armor who offered to help him for no reason and at no cost. Diero began to cry and thanked Sir Galimedi, calling him a hero. Orson assured Diero that he was no hero, merely a good man performing his duty.
Diero escorted the Paladin to his home, and upon entering saw Baris sitting in a chair in the hall, his face cupped in his hands, sobbing. Diero felt his own eyes well up as he raced into his mother’s room, took her hand and began speaking to her. She did not move, nor respond.
“No!” Diero screamed, tears bursting forth, hands clenched in desperation as he repeated his screaming of the word over and over again, as if it were all he could physically do. He stood up, paced back and forth, and began kicking items in the room. A stool, a bookshelf, the bed, before beginning to drop to his knees. He was caught however, by a pair of arms clad in armor, wrapped around his chest.
“You! You can help her right? You can still save her!” Diero wailed at the Paladin, wriggling free of his grasp and facing him, showing all of his anguish across his face. Galimedi knelt at the side of Charlotte’s bed, took her hand, and mumbled a prayer. He turned to look Diero in the eye, and for a moment, there was nothing but pain shared between them.
“She has passed on. It was her time.” Galimedi offered in a somber tone.
“You said you could help! You said you could cure her!” Diero yelled, his voice cracking in desperation.
“I could have cured her, but I cannot bring her back from the dead.” Galimedi said very calmly, which only seemed to irritate Diero further.
“What good are you then? What good have you done for us?” Diero retorted, unable to direct his anger any other way.
“I have tried, and I offered my assistance to you. There is nothing more to be done than grieve.”
Diero took in a sharp breath and wiped his eyes, attempting to appear calm and stalwart, though he was still trembling and could not stop the tears rolling down his face.
“You can teach me. You can teach me how to cure people so I can help them myself, as soon as they need it.”
The Paladin stood still, gaze fixed upon Diero for a moment, before blinking slowly and lowering his voice.
“I cannot. Nor can you learn only the magic to cure. To be a Paladin, means far more.”
“You don’t know the half of what that boy’s done.” Baris said, now standing in the doorway to Charlotte’s room, a tear soaked rag clenched in his fist. He squinted, almost sneering at Galimedi, and spoke in a low tone; possibly out of frustration and possibly because it was all he could muster without crying. “He took me in off the street, showed me the greatest kindness I’d known in my 56 years. He and his saintly mother came out to town three, four times a week to feed people and bring this town together. That boy’s given these people more of a damn than most people give their own families. He hasn’t asked for anything for himself in all the years I’ve known him and now that he finally did have to ask for help, he couldn’t get it in time, and now he’s asking for help learnin’ how to help more people and you’re telling him no? This boy knows more about being good than you must’ve learned in your fancy city. You want someone who could be looked up to and called a hero? Well it’s him!” Baris shouted the last two sentences, and pointed at Diero.
The room was silent for nearly a minute, all except the taps of Diero’s tears hitting the wood floor, which cut through the silence like bells across a courtyard.
“Diero,” Galimedi finally said, “you truly wish to become a Paladin? It will not be easy.”
“Yes,” he responded, sniffling and attempting to collect himself. “As long as I can protect people from ever feeling this misery.”
“When you are a beacon of light, you shine the brightest where suffering is strongest. You will know and see lots of suffering in this world, and you will be unable to stop it all.”
“That’s no reason I can’t try.”
Galimedi agreed to vouch for Diero at the capital, and offered to lead the funerary rites for his mother. Diero and Baris informed their neighbors and friends of the funeral, and within a matter of a couple hours the town had gathered to dig a grave, pick and arrange flowers, prepare some food and drink, and all other manners of funerary preparation.
The Paladin led the service, and Diero spoke as much as he was able to, before finally announcing that he was leaving town to become a Paladin. People cheered for him, told him he would be missed, and bid a joint farewell to both him and his mother.
As he rode out of town on the back of Galimedi’s horse, Baris stopped them to offer Diero a small hastily wrapped package.
“It’s all I have left from my old life. Even the clothes on my back your mother made me. I’m not that person anymore, heck I doubt I even remember how to play, but you Diero…you aren’t the same young boy I met either. So let this be the first belonging of Diero the man, and the end of Diero the boy.”
Within the package was a small lyre, that Diero had never seen before. Diero and Baris shared a knowing look, one of sincere kinship, and Galimedi urged his horse forward.
Diero Gane is a Human Paladin in his mid-late 20’s, who is Lawful Good, and will likely take the Oath of Devotion.
Diero values community and close relationships, and will do all he can to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
He is still a little brash, and often blurts things out without thinking, not maliciously, but out of the naïveté brought on by his goodly mother.
Despite being a Paladin devoted to Good, he is open and accepting of people from all walks of life, provided they have goodness in their hearts. He accepted the training offered by the Paladin order of Northtide, but remains tolerant and respectful of all good faiths.
Diero wants to do good in the world and keep people safe. He will go out of his way to stop disease and illness as a testament to his mother.
He also spent time learning to play the lyre given to him by Baris. He often plays for people who are suffering, or who have lost a loved one, and while he is not a bard, he is quite charismatic is his performance and influence on others, which he only ever uses for Good.