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Old 10-14-2016, 04:52 PM
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Ustalav


Ustalav

The Immortal Principality of Ustalav, also called the Nation That Was, is one of the oldest kingdoms in Avistan. Its golden age long behind it, a period of peace and justice was overthrown when a powerful necromancer came to power named Tar-Baphon. Slain by the Last Azlant Aroden himself, Ustalav slowly decayed thereafter, overshadowed by Taldor and other emerging Human nations as the remnants of Tar-Baphon's legacy remained, corrupting the land. Almost a millennia ago, Tar-Baphon arose as a lich, called the Whispering Tyrant, and enslaved the population of Ustalav to his will. Choosing instead to let his adherents and heralds speak for him, the forces of Aroden struck out against Tar-Baphon. The battle was long and hard, breaking morale and reason, but in time, after much loss and led by Aroden's new herald Iomedae, the Whispering Tyrant was imprisoned in Gallowspire, his citadel high in the Hungry Mountains. Ustalav, now freed, was returned to the hands of a weak monarchy, and led by corrupt nobles, saw little improvement compared to other parts of the world. A dark and twisted place, it is only until recently that aristocrats have ruled, their power unchecked. Since the passing of Aroden, three counties in the north rebelled against their nobles, becoming the democratically-elected but still loyal Palatinates. During this same stretch of time, the new monarch moved the capital away from the central city of Ardis to Caliphas, a coastal city near Avalon Bay on Lake Encanthran. Threatened by Orcs to the West, Demons to the North, and bandits to the East, Ustalav is surrounded by enemies, and is no safer within its own borders.

Outside of its capital, Ustalav is ruled by nobles whose whims vary greatly and who squabble with one another, caring little about the darkness that creeps in their own lands. Monsters of all varieties lie in the shadows, and only those with zeal can stand against them. Ustalav is the Nation That Was because it now belongs forever to the darkness: but not without beams of hope. Ustalav is divided, geographically and politically, into three categories: the Northwestern Palatinate, where in 4670 AR, the counties Lozeri, Vieland, and Canterwall, bloodless coups led to a more democratically-ruled set of counties; the Soivoda, primarily in the East, where the nobility rules with unquestioning power and squabbles endlessly with one another; and Virlych in the Southwest, a desolate wasteland ruled by monsters, scarred by the taint of the Whispering Tyrant's reign and imprisonment.

Locales of Note:
Soivoda
  • Ardis-Called the Old Capital, and by many anti-monarchs the True Capital, of Ustalav, it is located in the black heart of the nation, and is the traditional home of Ustalav's monarchs dating back to the golden days of Soividia Ustalav. Since 4674 AR, the Capital has been moved to Caliphas, causing much resentment in Ardis. It is said that the streets are marked with darkness, and that the countryside surrounding it is no less wily, where decrepit beings unable to move to the new capital attempt to hold onto power.
  • Caliphas-Located on Lake Encanthran and Ustalav's largest city long before it was the capital, since 4674 AR and the reign of the Eunuch Prince Caliphas has been the new capital, in an attempt to retake control from the aristocrats. Since his death, however, the current Prince, Aduard Ordranti III, has little care for ruling and Caliphas has quickly come to look like Ardis, with a little more like and a lot more corruption, particularly from those fighting for the heart of the city.
The Palatinates
  • Castle Andachi-The last fortress before the Hold of Belkzen, this defensible position on the Blackwall in Canterwall sits at the edge of Lake Lias, at the foothills of the Tusk Mountains. Named for a former ruler of Canterwall (then called Tamrivena) named Count Andachi, it was a defense post against Orcs until Andachi was betrayed by a general, Kazavon, who was a Blue Dragon of great repute and power. Castle Andachi is avoided by all sane persons, said to be the lair of a great beast once loyal to Andachi and to Kazavon.
  • Courtaud-A small city at the edge of Canterwall and Lozeri, it is a dark town uninviting to strangers and in the throes of a being called the Devil in Gray, a being that makes the townsfolk nervous but not enough to make the council take action. The distrusting nature of the townsfolk fades when coins appear, however.
  • Lepidstadt-The largest city in Vieland and its capital, sitting on the mouth of several of the nation's greatest rivers and on a vast swampland. Noted as a place of great learning and civilization despite its relative location at the edge of civilization and so close to Kellid and Orc holdings, Lepidstadt is the home of one of Ustalav's greatest universities. It is here that the rebellion against uncaring nobles began, inspiring Lozeri and Canterwall to follow Vieland's suit; it is here that the precedent of a bloodless coup was also born, putting it in great regard to many who see warfare as a problem across Ustalav and Avistan.
  • Ravengro-A small hamlet on the edge of Lake Lias, the Great Blue Dot, Ravengro cares little for the outside world and trades only irregularly, but can be inviting once the townsfolk get to know a soul. For a brief time, Ravengro was the home of the nation's largest maximum security prison, Harrowstone. After a tragic fire took it and its wardens and inmates, Ustalav has not attempted another prison of its kind. Some say Harrowstone is haunted, but few have confirmed it. Petros Lorrimor moved here, to his wife's hometown, after retiring as a Professor, and raised his daughter here.
  • Schloss Caromarc-The tall castle to the northeast of Lepidstadt, this mountain-built castle is battered by the waves of the lake-swamp below it and is very remote. As such, it makes for a great escape for the former Count of Vieland, Count Caromarc, whose family once ruled the nation justly. A scientist of some repute, he removed himself and his family from the world for reasons unknown, leading to the denizens of Vieland to rebel. He sent a single parcel informing them of his willingness to step down, thus preventing bloody civil war in Vieland and in Ustalav. Since then, only shipments of food and research materials have been seen going in or out.
  • Tamrivena-Sharing its name with Canterwall's original name, Tamrivena is the capital of Canterwall and the location of the Palatine Council that rules over Vieland, Canterwall, and Lozeri. It is a storied town going back to the time of the Whispering Tyrant and of Kazavon, but Tamrivena is strong, keeping the law in one hand and a sword in the other. Justice reigns here.
Recurring Denizens of UstalavThe following souls are recurring characters in Ustalav, who appear multiple times in multiple places across Carrion Crown:

The Lorrimors

Petros Lorrimor (Old Human (Ulfen) Wizard)
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-Widely regarded in all corners of the Inner Sea as an expert on the history of the Whispering Tyrant and all things undead, Petros Lorrimor is an academic in the truest sense: no topic goes ignored on his watch. Born and raised in Lepidstadt, it was there he learned and taught for many years of his life. An eligible bachelor for many years in the eyes of his hometown, it was not until he began to travel around Ustalav and Avistan at-large that he took a notice of the ladies; he left many a swooning girl in every town, be it the Chelish beauties of Korvosa or the Taldan roses of Oppara, and many said he was the spitting image of the Pharaohs of old in Sothis. In that time, he was a charmer, a scholar, a friend to Pathfinders and adventurers alike, and a master of the arcane arts. However, ever an Ulfen man and son of grim Ustalav, it was the earthy beauty of a girl in the small town of Ravengro that captured his heart, his mind, and his soul. Her name was Kadarina, and she bore him a beautiful daughter named Kendra in his middle years. Though Lorrimor started a family, neither his reputation as an academic nor his lust for knowledge faltered, and though he traveled, he always made sure his daughter was well taken care of while he was gone. His theories were controversial, his knowledge profound, his insight astounding. Perceptive and charismatic, he made more friends than enemies, but even they never said it to his face, unless they served the forces of darkness. All throughout his life, Lorrimor served the greater good, in his opinion, for the darkness must be fought: if not by him, he would say, then who? His wife Kadarina died in 4699 AR, leaving him broken; two years later, he retired from the university at Lepidstadt and chose a quiet life in Ravengro, where many of his former students and friends brought him reprieve from the simplicity of rural life.

On 6 Calistril, 4711, Petros Lorrimor was found dead outside of Harrowstone Prison, his head crushed by a fallen gargoyle as he walked near those haunted grounds. As investigations continued into his death, it was discovered that he was not slain by the gargoyle but instead a spell from an unknown masked source, likely tied to what he was researching at the time of his death: the Whispering Way. His murder remains unsolved, and unavenged.

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Kendra Lorrimor (Human (Ulfen and Varisian) Diviner)-Daughter of Kadarina and Petros Lorrimor, Kendra has the adventurous spirit and charm of her father and the looks and pragmatism of her mother. An only child, her companions in Lepidstadt were the books and tales her father told her, caught many a times listening in on Pathfinder guests when they came to visit and ask advice of him. The histories of Golarion, the adventures of Pathfinders, and dark stories of the North, of her homeland. Fascinated and fearful all at once, Kendra sought to imitate her father, much to her mother's chagrin. But though she had the desire to see the world and learn much like her beloved father, something stopped her. At a young age, Kendra began to receive migraines and visions, a mystery that Petros kept close to home. After the death of her mother, she and her father retired from Lepidstadt to sleepy Ravengro, the town of her beloved mother. Smart, perceptive, and every bit as charismatic as her late father, Kendra is now the last arbiter of her family left in Ravengro. After his will is reconciled, what lies before her? Kendra has been an ardent supporter of the people her father trusted, and acts as their intermediary to Ravengro. However, with her father buried but his death unsolved, she grows restless in her small town.

One does not hear stories of adventure and mystery growing up and idly pass up the opportunity to engage in one. Her father taught her that. Upon concluding their business at Harrowstone, Kendra has decided to join her companions in traveling around the world, as well as chronicling her father's exploits, perhaps in novel format.

Lorrimor's Chosen

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Samovar (Human Kellid Fighter; formerly played by mad_gondsman)-Born in the ruinous city of Gundrun, Samovar's father was anything but doting. Dedicated to the old ways and to maintaining tradition, Samovar had the weight of the world on his shoulders, for he was the son of the chief of their tribe. He did care for his son but expecting great things, this embodied it in the deep doubt Samovar holds in his heart, even to this day. Trial after trial Samovar fought and won, again and again, until the final trial came. Heading to the edge of the Worldwound, painted as his ancestors demanded and wearing totems tradition dictated, Samovar took the Ascent to gain his manhood. But from perilous heights come the most painful falls. Samovar fell, and once he landed, broken but alive, he saw shame in his father's eyes, knowing that he would never live this down. As quickly as he could, Samovar fled Gundrun, never to see his aged father again, and took up the mercenary's life. It was during this tenure he would meet Petros Lorrimor, who needed a hand to protect him. Seeing something more in him, Lorrimor strove to make Samovar a dutiful light against the darkness. Samovar, for his part, did what he was paid to do, and eventually even learned to read (if just barely). Whenever the Professor would call on him, he would respond in kindness, and the two were almost as father and son for a time, though Samovar always distant, always uncertain. It was Samovar whom Lorrimor called upon the most, and it was Samovar who was his most resolute companion. In the end, Lorrimor made him promise to be better than a simple sellsword, but as Samovar agreed, he knew he would disappoint. He returned to the life of a sellsword for almost a decade before he heard from Lorrimor again.

When next he heard from Petros, he was dead. Heading to Ravengro, he joined the others and was a pallbearer, perhaps carrying more weight than any other. Samovar was resolute in heading off the mystery regarding his mentor's murder, and defending Kendra against the townsfolk, while Samovar, the only one of the Chosen to have been to Ravengro before, had something close to a friendship with the head priest of Pharasma, Father Grimburrow. Samovar joined the others when he could in Harrowstone, but found himself under the effects of a powerful haunt for a time. After the Haunting of Harrowstone, he rode north to Lepidstadt with them, discovering an even greater mystery.

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Jamir Donnelly (Halfling Wizard; formerly played by phinar)-For a Halfling in a world unsafe for the little folk, Jamir Donnelly has gotten around. A free native of Magnimar, unrestrained by slavery as so many are, Jamir was born with an unstoppable source of curiosity in his personage and a talent for magic. It became clear as he grew older than he would need to study to better become a use to society (and to discover greater secrets) and he found himself with a scholarship of sorts to the Twilight Academy, away from former slave parents who failed to understand why he would want to go into the greater world. For five years, he studied, doing what he was told, only glimpsing into the darkness when he was sure there would be no repercussions. And then, one day, a visiting lecturer named Petros Lorrimor from Lepidstadt University appeared, giving a series of lectures as part of one of his tours across Golarion. Jamir was like a lost puppy, following the Professor around, going to all of his lectures, and absorbing all the knowledge he could from him. When Lorrimor left, Jamir instantly plotted to follow him, though he was held back for a time. He sought him in his next destination, only to discover he had just missed him in Absalom, the Patchwork City. Jamir was nothing if not intrepid, but could not afford to safely travel from Absalom onward. Working with academics and Pathfinders alike for a time, Jamir spent five years working in Absalom and lived with a comfortable bank account. When a letter arrived informing him of his much-sought-after mentor's demise, he sold everything and headed off to Ustalav, the last of his gold getting him there. He was a pallbearer at Lorrimor's funeral.

Since then, Jamir has been the brains of the Chosen, the one to research and plot and plan, for he lacks social graces and cares little for goodness for its own sake. An investigative partner of Pike and Andrzej both, sought mystery after mystery, hoping to discover what his mentor saw in the others. He joined them in Harrowstone time and again. Upon the conclusion of the Haunting there, he joined them in heading north to Lepidstadt, uncertain of his future after concluding Lorrimor's will but glad to have discovered a greater mystery tied to his mentor's alma mater.

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Kaljen Star-Struck (Human (Shoanti) Cleric of Gorum; formerly played by phinar)-Dreams are powerful things. Kaljen grew up in a suspicious world, one where even the most basic and fundamental elements of the natural world meant the gods were communicating with him. A robust child, he was promised to Desna, the Star-laden goddess of travel and luck, and the auspicious Shoanti saw a starsign as a clear sign he would be great. No one contended that, but when a star fell from the sky, Kaljen went to seek it. It was here that another divinity found its way into his life: the Battle-born Gorum, whom he swore to serve. His own tribe destroyed, he saved another from Orcs, whose survivors accepted him. He forged from that fallen star and taking on the tattoos of his people and his new people, as well as Gorum, he became sworn to serve Gorum. He headed to Lastwall, where he served dutifully for many years, defending against the darkness with a powerful attitude and a strange cadence. One evening, he came across an aged Professor, heading home to Ustalav, and led his unit to protect this Professor. He swore never to forget it, and Petros Lorrimor went on his way. Years later, a letter arrived for Kaljen, but out in the field, he did not see it for almost a week. As quickly as he could, he rode for Ravengro, missing the funeral but not the battle.

He delved deeply into Harrowstone from the beginning alongside other Chosen, and never faltered and never strayed. When Samovar was nearly felled by cold, Kaljen replaced him as the swordhand of the group, quickly supplemented by Runahildr, a fellow crusader. Once the Splatterman was slain and Kaljen freed of the duties therein, he and Runahildr returned to her Monastery at the edge of Virlych, only to discover she was required to stay. Kaljen, knowing that she was more tied to Lorrimor than he was, offered to take her place. Somehow, this alternative was accepted, and he is currently serving with the Order of the Lazuline Blade.
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Adivion Adrissant (Human (Taldane) Wizard)-Though no one seems to have met him, almost everyone has heard of him. Adivion Adrissant, of all of Lorrimor's Chosen, has been the most notable in his journals, and indeed, his correspondence. Calling himself "Lorrimor's Heir" upon introduction, it's not hard to see why, though still questionable. Adivion hails from Caliphas, the capital of Ustalav, and grew up in a semi-noble family, having only his younger sister and father for company. An extraordinarily gifted child, he found himself in the hold of magic early, quickly eclipsing almost every tutor. Understanding things far beyond his age and skill of magic, it was through this that he was discovered by the necromancer Auren Vrood, who held his skill hostage for a time by infecting his sister with a deadly magical ailment. Soon, a skilled mage named Petros Lorrimor appeared and helped to defeat this necromancer, who fell to his death on the rocks below the city. But this was not enough, and his sister soon died, devoured by the illness. Lorrimor and Adrissant never lost touch, and he visited him many times in Ravengro. Soon after the Professor's retirement, he traveled the country doing his mentor's work. Though he received a letter of notification of Lorrimor's death, he had not the heart to seek him out, and instead went slumming it across the Palatinate. He was found by the other Chosen in Lorrimor's apartment, where he introduced them to Judge Embreth Daramid and assisted them in their hunt for justice with the Beast of Lepidstadt.

The Crooked Kin
The Crooked Kin were a traveling band of entertainers, brought together because of their varying freakish appearances. While no where near as macabre as their show implies, they are proper showmen and live up to their names in the name of entertainment... and a little coin. They were encountered by the Chosen of Lorrimor on the road to Lepidstadt, stopped and looking for one of their number who had gotten lost. Once the Chosen had found her poor body, the Crooked Kin joined them in Lepidstadt, forever grateful.
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Kaleb Hesse, the Ringmaster (male Human (Taldane) Expert)-An albino man with red eyes and long, white hair that hangs below his knees, Kaleb wears a tall red top hat, a long red coat with gold buckles, and striped trousers. He is the de facto leader of the Crooked Kin. His voice is like gravel dragged along an iron cage's bottom, and his temperament is not dissimilar. When questioned he answers that he was raised in County Ardeal, outside of Ardis, and has encountered quite a few real "freaks" in his day. Stigmatized for something beyond his control but relatively normal compared to his companions, he stands as their frontman. Despite his morbid behavior and tone, he does care for his fellow showmen and women and would never allow them to be endangered. When Trollblooded needs help, and during shows, Hesse acts as the animal tamer, his whip being put to good use on the freakish monstrosities they keep caged up.
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Hap Tarvin, the Flea Man (Human (Taldane) Expert)-A short, hunched man with a distorted appearance, Hap performs with his flea circus, the Magnificent Carnival of Miniature Wonders. While no true Dwarf himself, his strange stature, and his bitter outlook on life, come from his laundress mother's circumstances and treatment of him as he grew up in Carrion Hill. An adulteress against a traveling husband, he disowned his would-be son upon his birth, rejecting his freakish appearance and blaming his wife's infidelities, which were well-known to the community. After leaving her and taking with him their money, his father was killed under mysterious circumstances on the road outside of town. Hap grew up rejected by the other children, if not by appearance than by reputation, and he fell to love insects more than anything else. He learned in his boredom, for he was rejected by his own mother, that he had a handy skill in training the otherwise idiotic fleas to do a number of strange feats. Upon becoming an adult, he left his alcoholic mother in hopes it would finally make her happy (he also stole a fair amount from her, wealth-wise) and joined several circuses before he was run off from them, his attitude too dark for most. Finally, he fell in with the ever-hopeful Zar who introduced him to Hesse. He acts as the accountant of the Crooked Kin, and is Hesse's confidant, if not second-in-command.
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Lidia Gerod, the Bearded Lady (female Human (Taldane) Commoner)-Standing nearly 7 feet tall and possessed of a fine ginger beard down to her waist, Lidia acts as a sort of “mother hen” to the other members of the troupe. Most men are jealous of her beard, if not admirers of her buxom bust, but Lidia has little interest in men, or women, for that matter. Her childhood was relatively normal, and it was not until adolescence that her well-meaning merchant family discovered she had a beard. For years, she shaved, terrified some would notice the amber upper lip she had, but the cuts and nicks often gave her away. By adulthood, she was regarded with comedy, and by twenty, she had learned to stand above the belittement others wished to see her fall by. She became empowered by it, and while her trader parents in Caliphas sought to see her married off, she found no enjoyment in the pleasures of the flesh from anyone and instead sought to join showbusiness. While not a singer, she made for a great mandolin player, and joined a few circuses. Rejecting the treatment of what others called "freaks," she defended them, collecting as many as she could into a group. But lacking a natural showman's lead, she took second fiddle to the albino Kaleb Hesse. When they broke off from one show and became the Crooked Kin, she was happy to let Hesse and Tarvin believe they were in charge. She is content with being there and defending her fellow Kinsmen and women.
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The Pinheads-Aleece (female Human (Varisian) commoner, deceased), Lettie (female Human (Varisian) Commoner), and Poppy (female Human (Varisian) Commoner) are sisters, all of whom have microcephaly. Fraternal triplets, doctors believed it was their mother's womb that did not allow their brains to grow to full height, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Whatever that is, the three girls were raised for a time by their Varisian traveling mother, but they were a harm on business. Being difficult to discipline and to teach, she eventually left them at the Monastery of the Veil, where they were raised by monks of Pharasma. Seeing that they had no place in the clergy, the three sisters were raised as servants, and as servants they worked dutifully. Aleece was always the most clever, Lettie the most social, and Poppy the most delicate. They looked out for one another, and one evening, a passing circus saw them and offered the Monastery money for them. Fearing they would be labeled slavers, the Monastery accepted a donation instead and allowed the girls to join of their own free will: and willing they were. But soon they found themselves mistreated, underestimated because of their appearance, for their intelligence truly outmatched many in their trade, and taken advantage of. That is, until Prince Zar and Lidia Gerod came across them. Convincing them to join the Crooked Kin as it formed, the three sisters later adopted the young Wolf Child, the only ones who would listen to them. While heading to the trials of the Beast of Lepidstadt, Aleece was called into the marshes outside the city and murdered by a conniving Phase Spider. While she was avenged, her sisters were distraught and her body burnt. Lettie and Poppy remain in the Kin, caring for the Wolf Child and grieving, while also working as they can.
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Prince Zar, the Human Caterpillar (male Human (Mwangi) Expert)-This Mwangi man has no arms or legs. Zar, as his true name is, was once enslaved to a Chelish sideshow, and from birth was raised to show off his freakish appearance. In his dreams, he thought himself a prince, taken away from his home, and soon, began to negotiate a means by which he earned money. By thirteen, he was old enough to buy his freedom, and so he did. The dreams never left him however, and in selling his freakish appearance he had to make it more alluring. He began to craft tales, told to him by other Mwangi and Garundi, of the tribes of the Mwangi Expanse, of the demon-worshiping and the darkest hearts there. Of ancient flying cities, of gorilla-guarded ruins, of serpent-headed gods. A charismatic showman, Zar has a way with words, and though he is devoted to Desna, he sells himself otherwise. It was he who dreamed up the idea of a circus entirely based around "freak"-show attractions, but treated equally instead of "freaks." Meeting Lidia Gerod, he formulated a plot to bring others like them into the fold, and soon, with Kaleb Hesse as their ringleader, collectively earned enough to create the Crooked Kin, their own sideshow. Zar has never stopped dreaming, and his persona of "Prince Zar, the Human Caterpillar" is supplemented with tales of "Darkest Garund," where he recounts his "people's" history. He is in a relationship with S'jeer, whom he jokes has enough limbs for the both of them.
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S’jeer, the Vudrani Princess (female Human ("Vudrani") Aristocrat)-Born with four arms, S’jeer dresses in exotic silks and speaks with a thick accent. Her appearance hides a deeper nature, however. There are two stories related to S'jeer's origins, but both begin in Kaer Maga, the City of Strangers, which does boast a large population of Vudrani in Varisia. In her version of the tale, she was born under an auspicious star, where a white elephant appeared and told her mother that she was going to give birth to a majestic child. Her mother being a princess of furthest Vudra, this was taken to be a joyous occasion and she was born with four arms. However, the cults of that city, many of them Vudrani, saw her as a threat to their stranglehold, and sought to see her killed. At age seven, she was told by her mother to join the circus that made the Korvosan routes, and from there she became a seer. Now, she tells fortunes and awaits to retake her forgotten kingdom. However, her tale has a number of discrepancies, the least of which is a problem with her seer abilities: she uses a Harrow deck, which is not a tool of fortune telling in Vudra, but in Varisia, her homeland. Easily answerable, but no one who speaks Vudrani or any similar tongue understands a word she says, and her accent is too thick to be believed. The other tale, often told when she is not around, is that two Varisian prostitutes in Kaer Maga fell in love and had a deformed child with too many arms. Cultists sought her out and raised her, and she was going to be sacrificed to one such cult when she made a run for it, joining a circus. From there, she became a princess, a seer, and now, a member of the Crooked Kin, though not a founding member, many are quick to remind. Regardless of the truth, she is a skilled fortune teller, able to con but tell the truth all at once.
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The Swarm of Clowns-These three men, Gerik, Josef, and Tam (all middle-aged male Human (Taldane) Expert), each have an extra limb (Josef has three legs, the others have three arms). They are each of them fantastic acrobatics and jugglers, as well as skilled classically-trained clowns. Beyond this fact, they have nothing in common except that they happened to find each other in the same circumstances: in the circus, and under a lot of pressure to play up their extra limbs. Unlike S'jeer, who is also attractive, the Swarm of Clowns are not particularly attractive, regardless of their clown make-up, and their redeeming feature is that they all three work well together. Each one comes from a different background, none of them are forthcoming about it, but it's easy to piece together a history once they all meet, the last of them meeting the other two in a show called Barrabas' Court. Josef joining last, they soon came to realize that the abuses they faced from the ringmaster there was fairly insufferable. Almost everyone suffered that way, except those enforcers he kept closest to him. The Swarm of Clowns, as they were even known then, were not among those close to Barrabas, but one man named Andrzej Zaituc was. Each resented the other in their relationship, the Clowns hating Andrzej for his willingness to do Barrabas' will, and Andrzej because of the means by which they left. Thieves of no short terms, Barrabas almost flogged someone to death over their theft. The Swarm of Clowns eventually happened upon the Crooked Kin, who needed clowns and extra hands, as it were. They felt quite at home there, though they almost fought Andrzej when the Chosen of Lorrimor's Will appeared, bringing ruin to their relationship. But they chose to be the bigger men, and buried the hatchet with Andrzej. Though he may not realize it, they respect him for that show of character.
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Trollblood, the Giant Man (male Human (Ulfen) Expert): A shockingly ugly Ulfen man nearly 8 feet tall, Trollblood entertains the crowds with fire-breathing and his feats of strength. Trollblood was born in the hoary frozen heart of the Land of the Linnorm Kings, where circuses fear to tread. His ugliness quickly saw him a target for many a winter priest, fearing that the gods were bringing him into the world because the Jadwiga of Irrisen were coming for them. While this was not remotely true, it mattered little and his mother sold him to a traveling Varisian caravan one summer, under whom he was raised as almost a slave. Muscular and powerful, as almost all Ulfen are perceived to be, Trollblood, as he was named (no one cared to remember his Ulfen name) learned to fight for himself and care for himself. No one else would. Caring little for the affections of others and knowing he was kept around for his appearance, he was taken in by a kindly blind Osiriani man in the caravan named Baruch. He taught him to breathe fire and to craft a performance face, a persona to match his appearance. While initially prickly, Trollblood is a softy at heart, and likes to listen to songs sung by those with skill. After Baruch's death, Trollblood left the caravan and joined the Crooked Kin, newly formed, and soon became a mainstay in the show as its strongman and fire-eater.
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The Wolf Child (male child Human (Varisian) Commoner)-The story surrounding the child is actually not far from the truth. Covered in hair and scrappy, the boy has no civilizing element to him, and acts very much like a wolf. No one knows where he comes from, and why his hair is blond despite his otherwise very Varisian features, but the ten year old was in fact raised by wolves. Two years ago as the newly-formed Crooked Kin traveled through the Shudderwoods, where a pack of wolves hunted them. Eventually Trollblood caught one of their ranks, finding that the wolf was, in fact, a boy. Fearing he was a lycan, the Kin were about to kill him for his perceived werewolfishness when the Pinheads promised to take care of him and make sure he didn't hurt anyone. While Hesse disagreed, Gerod convinced S'jeer and Zar to side with her and the boy was spared. Through many bites and howling nights the boy was taught who was nice and who was not (he has yet to warm up to Hesse or Trollblood), the boy has converted no one to being a sadistic murdering werewolf, and the circus has earned a profit from him and his hairiness. He mourned the passing of Aleece, whom he was particularly close to, as any wolf would, and has been sullen of late.

Others
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Olga von Schillern-Plötze (Changeling Witch)-It's hard to tell how much of what Olga has said is truth and how much is lie, and it is hard to understand what she is becoming, but what is clear is that there is a darkness in her heart that not even the brightest light can pierce.

What she claims is that while Petros Lorrimor was exploring the damned city of Adorak in the Virlych region of Ustalav, he came across a hag's coven that chose not to spare him. Instead taking from him his seed, he eventually broke free and slew all but one of these creatures. The one that escaped, protected by her dark forces and now becoming a matron over much territory near the fallen city, was pregnant with child and gave birth to a beautiful, ethereal little girl, whom she named Olga. The child was raised with the purpose of going out and infiltrating the strongholds of her mother's enemies, then destroying them from within with wit and beautiful and malice from their raising. Olga was given such a raising, but found the malice wanting, or so she said.

Any researcher of hags can confirm such a child is possible, and is called a Changeling.

When the Chosen gathered in Ravengro upon Petros Lorrimor's death, she appeared as well, claiming to be Kendra's sister. While attempting to curse some of the others and having no letter of her own, she made few friends save Carlo, whom became enraptured with her. The two quickly strayed from the purpose of solving Lorrimor's murder, and led on by her, they quickly came to blows with the others, Samovar in particular. Kendra disowned her "sister" for her many crimes, and soon Carlo and Olga fled the city, heading northward. That night, they finally consummated their relationship, and in doing so, Olga became... something else. What, Carlo is not certain, but he escaped with his pants below his knees and his wits' end, barely alive but not unspoiled, scarred both physically and mentally. What became of Olga thereafter is hard to trace, and almost no one is willing to question what became of her, or want to see her again. What becomes of a Changeling once its intended purpose is reached?

Last edited by Sassafrass; 01-11-2018 at 06:36 AM.
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