Horacio S. Longbottom
Horacio is morbidly obese. Though his Dwarven physiology puts him at only 4’ tall, those that lay eyes upon him are shocked to find that he weighs over 300 pounds. He has handsome features, with a button nose and full lips, and his large black beard covers up two or three chins. He wears a dull coat of chain mail, with a deep purple-colored tabard bearing the symbol of Dionysus, and carries a heavy hammer as a weapon.
Ever since the zombie infestation in the slums (which occurred during session 4), Horacio’s handsome countenance has been marred with a series of grotesque scars. He has lost weight, but only in places that were chewed off by the flesh-hungry beasts: the fat of one of his upper arms has been eaten away, and several dents have been made in his sizable belly.
Horacio spent his childhood under the shadow of his father, Sedgwick Longbottom, who devoted his life to finding the perfect combination of malted barley and brewer’s yeast required to craft the perfect ale. As soon as he was old enough to hold a pint of his father’s latest experiments—about 5 years old—Horacio became Sedgwick’s official taste tester, and spent the rest of his childhood in a blissful ale-induced haze.
When Horacio was twelve years old, he awoke to the sound of his father jumping and shouting with glee: “I’ve done it! I’ve finally done it! The perfect ale!” he cried. He came bursting into Horacio’s bedchamber holding a mug overflowing with frothy Longbottom Ale. Words gushed quickly out of his mouth as he explained to Horacio that the god of winemaking, Dionysus, had appeared to him in a vision, and told him that his quest for the perfect recipe had finally come to its end. Though he was hung over after a long night of healthy inebriation, Horacio took a swig of his father’s latest creation. It was the greatest drink he had ever tasted, and he knew from that moment forward that he would never find an ale, spirit, or wine that might rival its excellence.
Now, Warwick Shorttail, a Dwarven noble and head of the Shorttail family of brewmasters—a rival family of nobler stock, but far less talent and taste—heard of this great achievement, and sent word to the Longbottom family that he wished to host a great feast in honor of Sedgwick’s great discovery. Proud to have the arrogant noble conceding to his mastery, Sedwick accepted on behalf of the Longbottom family, and declared that he would bring with a dozen kegs of his fine ale for all to enjoy. The Longbottoms adorned themselves in their finest clothes—those being the clothes with the least amount of wine stains upon them—and headed to the hall of the Shorttails to attend the celebration.
But the jealous Warwick had the most sinister of ulterior motives for hosting this celebration: he knew that Sedgwick always carried his secret book of recipes chained to his belt, and he planned to take it for himself at the feast! Shortly after the Longbottoms arrived at the hall, they were seized by Warwick’s cronies, and beaten senseless. When they awoke, the whole family lay in the gutter—even the women and children!—covered in bruises and gashes. Fortunately, the family’s near-constant state of inebriation dulled the pain of these physical injuries, but nothing could sooth their greatest injury of all—the loss of Sedgwick’s recipe book.
Of course, the Longbottom’s appealed to the authorities to right the grievous wrongs committed against them, but to no avail. The vile Shorttails had bribed the police with several dozen kegs of ale, and in return they would not lift a finger in defense of the Longbottoms. Sedgwick fell into a deep depression, and in the years that followed could not bring himself to take back up the art of crafting ale. Meanwhile, the Shorttail family had forged a powerful monopoly with Sedgwick’s stolen secrets under their belt. The Longbottoms got by mostly by selling the fine cheeses that Horacio’s mother, Agnes Longbottom, created. By the time Horacio had reached his late teens, he had learned much about the art of winemaking, and thus was able to support the family by selling some of his own creations.
One night, after Horacio had single-handedly taken back three bottles of his own creations, he fell into a deep drunken slumber. As he slept, he was visited in his dreams by the great god Dionysus. The god told him that once in every generation, he descended unto the mortal plain to bestow great power unto those were faithful and vigilant to his cause—quenching the thirst of mankind! Horacio awoke with a start, and could feel immense power surging through him.
Horacio pulled on his boots, and waddled his way out of his family’s home—for by his teenage years, he had grown quite rotund, indeed. On his way out of the home, he grabbed hold of his father’s barrel-tapping hammer. As he hefted it in his hand, he wondered why he had never thought of wielding such a thing as a weapon before, as it seemed so perfectly natural to him now. He bashed his way through the guards at the entrance to the hall of the Shorttails, and slashed his way to Warwick’s private chambers. On his way, he completely leveled the Shorttail’s distilling equipment, and pierced all of their kegs and casks with his trusty hammer. Once he had reached Warwick, he channeled the divine power of Dionysus, and launched a psychic assault on the mind of the vile Shorttail, leaving him in a state of extreme drunkenness that would last for the rest of his natural life. With Shorttail lying beaten and permanently inebriated, Horacio re-claimed his father’s lost recipe book, and waddled home triumphantly.
Horacio brought the book back to his father, who lay drooling and muttering incoherently in his bed. He took his father’s hand in his, and cracked open the book of recipes. He then proceeded to recite his father’s prized recipe aloud. His father’s eyes widened, and he sat up straight, wiping the drool off of his chin with his sleeve. Horacio watched as his father listened intently, and saw as the burden of his family’s shame was lifted from his shoulders.
“My son,” said Sedgwick as he embraced Horacio. “You have restored honor to the Longbottom line, and delivered me and your entire family from a life of shame and destitution.” Then, taking the book in his hands, he flipped through each of its pages, and smiled fondly. At length, he closed it, and with a deliberate motion extended it towards his son.
“I want you to carry this, son, just as I did,” he said. “For it was you who fought so bravely to return it to the care of the Longbottoms, and in doing so you have proven that it is you who should carry the pride of the Longbottom line with you for the rest of your days.” Horacio fastened the book to his belt, and since that day it has never left his side.
Agnes and Sedgwick lived to ripe old age, and then passed away peacefully. With no other brothers or sisters, it was then up to Horacio to carry on the Longbottom legacy. He lived in a peaceful state for some time, running a tavern and brewing his family’s prized ale, but everything changed when Duncan’s crusade against the magical arts began. Fearing that he might be persecuted for channeling the divine magic of Dionysus, Horacio fled to Ravenshore to start anew. After he has established himself, he plans to found his own brewery, and ensure that ale of Ravenshore drinks Longbottom Ale, and not the cheap swill that the taverns pass off these days.