Dhampyr Brawling Fighter
Colwyn Cussler’s great-great-great -grandfather was bitten by a vampire near the end of his life, but the Cusslers are a stubborn lot and Old Man Cussler didn’t die from the wound or rise as a vampire when he finally passed on five years later. Old Man Cussler was also something of a rake even until his final days, and all of the descendants born of his final progeny bore the mark of his brush with vampirism in varying degrees. Colwyn (or “Cole” to his friends) is the latest beneficiary of the Cussler family curse. Standing at just 5 foot and 7 inches and possessed of only a wiry 160 pound frame, Colwyn possesses immense strength that belies his size.
After 15 years of tending to the Thrane family farm near Sigilstar, Colwyn became bored, as many of the Cussler youths are wont to do, and ran off to live a life of adventure. He paid his way by winning bets of strength against much larger opponents, and from many of them he picked up tips on street-fighting, wrestling, and good old-fashioned brawling. After a year of this, Colwyn grew bold enough to enter in a small underground fighting tournament. He managed to stumble his way to victory, but not through virtue of skill: All of his opponents had underestimated him due to his size and were unprepared for his incredible strength and dexterous footwork. Colwyn spent the next couple of years on the fighting circuit, learning what he could, and earned a reputation as a dangerous opponent, acquiring the nickname “Demon Fist”. Through trial and error, hard-fought experience, natural talent, and sheer Cussler cussedness, Colwyn had taught learned in a handful of scant years what takes others a lifetime to master.
He began dominating the local fighting circuit and again grew bored. He left the Sigilstar area and took the lightning rail to Aruldusk to compete in the country’s largest fighting tournament. After making short work of his first few opponents, Colwyn advanced to the semifinals with ease. It was there that Colwyn met Neilum. As barehanded fighters go, Cole and Neil could not be more different: Neil was disciplined, skilled, and focused; and Colwyn reckless, unorthodox, and wild. Their clash in the ring was explosive and incredible, and fighting fans in Thrane talk about it to this day. It lasted only minutes to the spectators, but to the combatants themselves, the match stretched on for hours as both were pushed to their absolute limits. As Cole remembers it, he emerged victorious but exhausted, advancing to the final round against a minotaur gladiator named Tanjik. Although the match took place the next day, Cole fell quickly to the minotaur and he immediately blamed the draining semifinal match against Neil for the loss.
Disgruntled by the loss, Colwyn packed up his belongings and boarded the lightning rail back to Sigilstar. As fate would have it, Colwyn shared a cabin with his semifinal opponent, Neilum. As Cole claims, Neil challenged him to a rematch, and the two began a duel that culminated in a confrontation on top of the train’s roof. As the two closed to end the battle decisively, a sudden jolt knocked the two off the train as they grappled and struck each other, dumping them in the river. As they emerged from the water, Cole laughed uncontrollably and Neil, too, was amused by their short-sighted behavior, ending their hostility towards one another and starting a lifelong friendship.
Since that day, Cole and Neil have been steadfast travelling companions, earning their way as adventurers, mercenaries, and bodyguards as the jobs come. They have tried several times to hold a definitive rematch to settle the score, but something always comes up as a last-minute interruption!