Character Bio: Zayde Alter

Here is a bio for a character I’m playing in another Pathfinder campaign. He’s an old dwarf wizard named Zayde Alter. References made to the world of Golarion will not be explained.

A Personal Greeting

“Hello, my young friends! I’m Zayde Alter! You can just call me Zayde if you want. It’s a lot easier, isn’t it? I have a terrible memory for names, myself. I once spent a whole month memorizing the name of this one gnome from Brastlewark who was trying to sell me alchemist’s equipment. As though I need any more flasks! Why, I have one of the old flasks the temple of Aroden used to sell healing potions in, back when he was still around. Ah, I miss that old temple. There was one priestess there who was really nice to me. She always told me… WHOA! Whoops! Tripped over my beard, hehehe! Ahem! Where was I…?”


Zayde Alter is 391-and-a-half years old. Born in the Five Kings Mountains, he he left his home for Cheliax when he was old enough to set out on his own. (This was, of course, before the death of Aroden and the corruption of Cheliax by the infernal Thrune dynasty.) There he studied the arcane arts under an elven master, a retired adventurer. Zayde, enchanted by his teacher’s stories, decided that he too, would become an adventurer, fighting through the unexplored parts of Golarion to bring back riches and knowledge to the civilized world. As a young man, he did have a brief adventuring career. It was while gathering a team to explore a long-forgotten crypt that he met the love of his life, a dwarven maiden named Bobill.


Zayde and Bobill had a short but very successful career as adventurers — Zayde wielding the power of flame and magic, Bobill smiting foes in the name of Torag. Stories were told about them in the bars of Laekastel, their town. They were local celebrities, at least for a while. But they wanted more than too be small-town heroes. They wanted to become explorers.

Then, tragedy struck. While investigating the mysterious disappearance of a family in the wilderness, the two dwarves stumbled upon the lair of a powerful demon, who slew Bobill. Zayde never got a good look at the demon, but he managed to grab Bobill’s body and escape from there.


Determined to get his love back, Zayde traveled with Bobill’s body to the city of Ostenso, where he begged a holy man who lived in the area to bring her back. Zayde had to throw himself deeply into debt to do it, but he paid for the diamond needed to raise her, and soon Bobill was back among the living.

Zayde and Bobill could not very well keep adventuring, since they had sold all of their gear to pay for Bobill’s resurrection. So, they took on normal jobs. They had always seen their adventuring fancy as somewhat self-indulgent anyway, although they never forgot their dream of becoming heroes. They promised each other that once they had the money to afford decent gear, they would go off and seek their fortune together, like they had planned.


While Bobill found steady work crafting jewelry, Zayde at first hoped to earn a small fortune quick, so they could get back to their adventuring life and actually leave Cheliax for somewhere more interesting. He tried his hand at a large number of professions, searching for a get rich quick scheme. Well, he never exactly got rich, but he started paying off his debts, and earned a respectable sum besides. It was enough to afford another diamond, this one on a ring he placed on Bobill’s finger.

Zayde and Bobill were married in Ostenso, with a traditional dwarven wedding, and soon had their first child, a son they named Goldem. In time, they paid off their debts. But now they could not pick up everything and become adventurers; they had jobs, children, and community lives now. When their children grew up and moved out, they told each other, then they would seek their fortune.

But this did not come to pass. The decades marched by. Their children had grandchildren, and their grandchildren had great-grandchildren. Zayde and Bobill soon found themselves the patriarch and matriarch of a small clan of dwarves in southern Cheliax. They passed down their wisdom and drive to their children, and Bobill told her husband that Bolka had blessed their marriage.

Zayde, at his son Goldem’s behest, stopped floating from profession to profession and settled into the very respectable, if stereotypical, life of a weaponsmith. He put his magical knowledge to good use, crafting nothing but the sturdiest and finest blades, axes, and hammers.


Shortly after the death of Aroden, crisis gripped Cheliax. With a paladin for a matriarch, Zayde’s brood bristled at the new, infernal order. When the People’s Revolt broke out in Andoran, most of Zayde’s children, led by Goldem, joined up with the fledgling democracy.

Zayde, remembering his ambition to be a hero, wanted to fight for Andoran too, but Goldem, a brave and proud fighter now, convinced his father that his skill in weaponcraft would be of more use to the new nation. So Zayde and Bobill moved to Almas, and got to work.

One day, the news came back to Almas that a great battle against Cheliax had been won. But Zayde’s son Goldem was amongst those captured. That was the saddest day of the old dwarf’s life.


Once the immediate war was over, Zayde busied himself with his crafting, broadening to less traditional magic items. He even made some adventuring gear for himself and Bobill. Now that their surviving children were self-established and war heroes, they could, theoretically, go adventuring like they’d always wanted to.

Alas, before they could set out, Bobill finally passed away of old age. Zayde mourned for her deeply. He has since decided that the best way to honor her memory would be to become a true adventurer again, like they had always wanted to. That’s why he boarded a boat, heading for Absolom, with vague ideas of joining the Pathfinder Society. He still wears his mithral wedding band, and carries with him at all time the first pair of magic pearls Bobill ever made for him, which she said represented their eternal bond.


Despite all the sadness in his past, Zayde is a sprightly, buoyant fellow. He is looking forward to being an adventurer again. A great-grandfather himself, he takes delight in the ambition and energy of younger folk. He can be cavalier about his own life, nowadays. This isn’t because he feels he has nothing left to lose, so much as he feels that his life achievements are already “in the bank.” He already has a clan in Almas to carry on his family, and his personal creations and crafts will last long after he is gone from this world. Besides, if the worst should happen, all he expects is to be reunited with Bobill that much sooner.


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