Owl-inspired druid sent by the Parliament of the Western Grove.
Rufous Strix, Half-Elf, 12th Lvl Druid. A member of the Western Grove Parliament, a group of druids inspired by the wisdom, patience, stealth, and strength of owls. His uncanny appearance includes reddish-brown hair, a hooked nose, and unusually large golden eyes with large pupils. Rufous wears masterwork darkwood bark scale mail which resembles feathers and wields a similarly designed darkwood shield. When held up and peered over, the reverse teardrop shield gives the appears of an owl’s wing. Both the armor and shield are “wild” allowing him to keep them on when wildshaped. He is clothed in a similarly designed brown cloak, with overlapping “feathers”. His mantle is a hood with a downward point in the front and corners pinched to resemble the ears of a horned owl. Although taking on the personna of an owl, Rufous (like all Parliament druids) has no reservations about harnessing the power all of nature and its creatures. Rufous prefers owls (or any raptors) as animal companions, for obvious reasons. He is armed with the normal array of druid spells, a flaming scimitar, and a staff of healing. Additionally, Rufous can spellcast while wildshaped, coordinate attacks with his animal companion, and draw healing power from the land around him.
Rufous Strix grew up being taught to love nature and all it has to offer. From the day he could talk, Rufous always spoke of the wise horned owl that lived in the large oak tree next to his home. The bird guarded their home from a branch every night. Rufous claimed the owl would perch at his window and quietly speak to him at night, telling him to love nature and doing great things within it. His parents loved his connection with nature and with this particular bird, but never understood the true depth of this relationship and simply passed it off as something of his imagination. Later, when he was much older, a man with large eyes in a grey cloak visited him while he was collecting wood in the nearby forest. The man was strangely familiar to him although Rufous did not recognize him as either family or friend. But when the man spoke, the voice sounded just like that of the owl to whom he had spoken these many nights. The man introduced himself as, Ninox, a memeber of the Parliament of The Western Grove. Ninox explained his duty to seek a successor—someone he could mentor—someone with a particular connection with nature. It was this moment that Rufous learned of his destiny. Despite their concerns, his parents had heard of these druids and knew of their wise and noble nature. It dawned on them much later that they never had any problems with animals around their home—and thus they were assured Rufous would be in good hands. Rufous without haste followed Ninox into the wildeness of the Western Grove, returning periodically to assure his mother and father that all is well. He had not told them, however, of his mission to save their world.