The Verden Realms
A gentle bear of a man, husband of Vivian Taur'on, father of Princess Haven Taur'on, and retired canine impersonator.
Honestly, if you had asked anyone in Taur’on who would be the man to win the heart of Princess Vivian, no one would have picked Casper of Dorcross. Standing over six and a half feet tall, broad of shoulder and square of jaw, Casper is a striking figure under any circumstances. Add in his shaggy, unkempt, shoulder-length brown hair and full beard, he looks anything but a proper courtly gentleman. In fact, most would call him rather bearish and rustic. But, considering he is a fourth-generation druid, that should come as no surprise.
Raised at the royal dog kennels at Dorcross in Fario, Casper’s parents trained their son in the druidic arts from the time he was a babe. At six years old, he had already perfected the ability to shape-shift. It was not uncommon for his parents to find him shifted into a puppy and playing among the young kennel pups. His skill was so outstanding that it caught the eye of his uncle, the Kennel-Master of Fario, a man that specialized not just in training the best canines in the country, but also training the best spies that Fario has to offer.
The Kennel-Master tried to convince Casper’s parents to allow the boy to train with him, but, they felt their son had too kind of a heart to burden him with the pains that spies suffered. They declined the offer; however, time has a way of changing things.
When Casper was nine, his parents were both killed on an expedition to Lion’s Gate. Rumors abound as to who was responsible, but most blamed one of the rebel elven groups that lurk on the border. Young Casper was placed into his uncle’s care, and therefore his uncle’s training.
By the time he was sixteen, Casper had infiltrated over twelve different families for his uncle. In each instance, the family would receive an adorable little puppy from the kennel with a big red bow about its neck (Casper always thought the bow was the perfect touch!) As the family’s lord would discuss politics and strategy behind closed doors, the new puppy would playfully chew on table legs. When the Kennel-Master would return to check on the puppy’s progress, a quick switch and Casper would return home for debriefing.
In short, Casper was damn good at his job. At twenty-four, he was given a rather different assignment. He was to infiltrate the Broken Order and retrieve information about their leader, Gawain. As well, any info he could learn on the young Princess rumored to be running with them would be an added bonus. Casper figured this would be an easy gig.
Getting hired on with the Order was not difficult, as they were in dire need of a good druid. As he explained his skill, a few of the Order thought it would be a good joke on the younger members to see how long he could convince them he was merely a dog. While he was able to trick the majority of the Order, Vivian somehow spotted his act almost immediately.
Over the next few months, he and Vivian squabbled constantly. She would call him a bearish brute while he would chide her for being a pretty princess. Then, the two were paired up to track down a group of murderous bandits in WrathMourn’s woods, and something changed between them. They became fast friends, and soon, much more.
However, Casper realized he had to be honest with Vivian if he was to have a future with her. He admitted to his true profession to both her and Gawain. As well, he came clean to them about his reasons for employment within the order. Vivian informed him that she had known from the beginning; after all, she had read enough intelligence reports to recognize the rumored “Hound of Fario” when she met him. Relieved, Casper immediately sent his formal resignation to his uncle and proposed to Vivian the next day. Whereas many intelligence masters would be furious at such a ‘betrayal,’ Casper’s uncle realized that having him so entrenched in his new family had other benefits for Fario.
While some worried that Casper might not be loyal to the Taur’on family, one has only to see how he looks at his wife and daughter to know where his loyalty lies. As he has told his old friends, he was the Hound of Fario. Now he is Vivian’s Lap Dog, and he quite enjoys the change.