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  #16  
Old 12-29-2016, 07:40 PM
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Aurora's Arrival
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Sleep was a fanciful delusion for the victims of the gods’ wrath. While their captain had paid the ultimate price for his hubris and defiance, a few of his crew had managed to cling onto life and make it through the night drenched and tired, but otherwise uninjured. It could be said that Poseidon’s favor was with them, as his waters had refused to swallow them, instead conveying their bodies to nearby Ios, a great mercy when so many had perished.


The morning air was far from calm, the cacophonous cries of seabirds feasting on bits of the wreckage competing with the crashing waves as the sea breeze sought to bombard the exhausted survivors with the flurry of activity brought on by the light of day. As Apollo’s chariot crested the hills to the east, more of the island's interior came into focus. Along the shore were high cliffs to keep the waves at bay, while a small stretch of sand and pebbles held the former sailors and what remained of their craft. The harbor was perhaps a bowshot from north to south, and a third of that from shore to the first of the pines that carpeted the hills, enshrouding the rest of the land in mystery. Not another soul was in sight.


A small heap of serviceable weapons, shields, and protective equipment was slowly growing a few dozen paces inland, safely out of reach of the rising tides. Nearby a collection of garments and sacks began to dry in the dawn’s radiant light. It wasn't much, but it was more than the assembled people could really make use of. The bronze scales, rims, and spear-tips gleamed with the remaining dampness, an extra lustre granted by their overnight baptism. After the ordeal at sea, such supplies were a welcome sight. Unfortunately, none of the food had managed to wash ashore aside from a few baskets full of sodden bread. The salt water had rendered the rations useless, making obtaining nutrition a pressing concern.


Symeon, the self-important mystic, crouched behind one of the battered pieces of ship’s hull, muttering unintelligibly to himself as he picked through the wreckage in search of various scraps of papyrus, hoping to preserve what he could of the written material carried by the ill-fated vessel. Bold vultures gathered out of reach, but close enough that their putrid stench could easily be made out on the wind. "The gods may be displeased with our journey, but some must still smile upon us. Swords, spears, shields, and even a few of these incantations have survived this ordeal," Symeon called out to the others as he stood, a leather vest now girding his chest, a spear gripped in his right hand, and a bundle of rolled strips of papyrus held loosely in his left. "Perhaps we might search the island with confidence. Surely if the lords of Olympus wished our demise we would have perished along with our comrades in the night!" he added, a hopeful note breaking into his voice as he strode down the beach, hooking a cloth sack by the thong that held it closed with the tip of his spear and allowing it to slide down until it was halted by his hand.

Last edited by Ziether; 12-30-2016 at 01:16 PM.
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  #17  
Old 01-02-2017, 01:02 PM
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The WoodsmanName: Tralis Bittergourd
Race: Human
Class: Ranger
Concept: Bowman/Tracker


One Unique Thing: Tralis can sense the location of his deepest desire with a few moments' concentration, but doesn't always know what that desire is.


Personality/Appearance: Tralis wasn’t always a man of the wilds, and even to this day wouldn’t describe himself as such. To be honest, he’d rather be safely ensconced in a warm tavern, a hearty meal and strong drink before him, the sounds of civilization crashing on his eardrums, and the scents of desperate women tugging at his nostrils. On the other hand, society doesn’t want him anywhere near those things. His demeanor and presence puts an immediate damper on the normal activities of a community of any noticeable size. While his physique is impressive to some and his height stands out in a crowd, he is not a handsome man, whether he has chosen to take on the trappings of city life or allowed his features to become obscured behind a mask of dark, curly hair both atop his head and across his face.


Due to the frequency with which his welcome is rescinded in town, Tralis has become a master of tracking just about anything that can be tracked. Any creature or object that leaves a trace is another objective for him to recover or destroy, and he puts his skills up for the highest bidder. He has morals, though. Tralis will not work for anyone he finds unpalatable, and will abandon a job in progress if he discovers that either he or his employer have been deceived as to the nature of the target. Naturally Tralis fears that which cannot be tracked, chiefly winged creatures and other adversaries who have gained the capacity to pass without leaving evidence of their presence. He also dreads those whose skills in woodcraft are greater than his own, although he has a logical understanding that there are not all that many people who can lay claim to that.


Despite his formative years in the city of Glitterhaegen, Tralis would claim himself as a man of no town, preferring to belong wherever his head rests. He is a practical man in many regards, living by hs appetites and working to allow himself to have said appetites between jobs. He has forsworn romance after a fashion, loudly proclaiming the futility of enduring love after the lover of his youth was forced to wed a distant nobleman against her will. At the time Tralis lacked the skills needed to effect her salvation, but he still keeps an ear to the ground in hopes that he might someday find her and give her a chance at freedom should she so desire. His fervent hope is to be permanently reunited, but he is realistic that their love may have faded into the mists of time and distance. In moments of intoxicated mindlessness he has betrayed his vows, but only a handful of times and never without instant, powerful regret.


Tralis’ appearance matters little to him, but the condition of his leathers and weapons is of utmost importance. The individual objects are innocuous enough, easy to explain as tools of his trade, but the sheer number of them makes any town guardsman worth his salt more than a little uneasy. Tralis doesn't give it a second thought, as he would be mightily embarrassed to be caught without the necessary implements. The bow, quiver, dagger, and axe lack any aesthetic embellishments, but are maintained in peak working condition, a reflection on Tralis’ focus on practicality over frivolity.


Background: Civilization is inherently chaotic, and that chaos is reined in with society’s attempts at order. The underlying chaos, the natural markers of the world were things that Tralis intuitively grasped from a young age in the streets of Glitterhaegen. His father, a woodcarver, used the youth's long legs and keen senses to run deliveries to clients, knowing his reputation would ensure payment was still made. Tralis learned to find people early. His mother found this fascinating, taking time away from her knitting occasionally to watch the boy stalk the avenues to track down a customer or supplier with uncanny precision.


The family was not wealthy by any means, but they made ends meet and had some coin to spare. This was true until Tralis’ tenth year when his mother took ill with a common respiratory infection, but never recovered. In his grief, Tralis’ father neglected his work, losing his leased workspace and ultimately the family home. Forced from bustling Glitterhaegen out into the countryside, Tralis was apprenticed to a trapper who prized the boy’s knack for finding their quarry quickly. He learned to hunt, to navigate the woodlands, and to make just about anything he would need to survive away from other people. He braided cord for ropes, carved bowstaves, and tempered small blades until his fingers bled, then continued until the calluses grew so thick that he could no longer feel himself working and had to trust to his training.


After a half dozen years Tralis’ apprenticeship came to an end and he took leave of both his master and his father. His father had remarried, and Tralis could not stand the woman, partially because she was only two summers his senior. He trekked deep into the wilderness on the trail of a rare horned tiger, ultimately emerging from the woodlands on the other side with its valuable pearlescent horns in tow. The money they provided and the reputation it garnered allowed the fledgling tracker to establish his presence outside of the small city of Kalanesh on the southern shore of Lake Calamity and start a life of his own.


Tracking game and uncommon creatures kept Tralis fed, but he had ambition. When word of a marauding bandit crew reached his homestead, Tralis filled his quiver and quietly stalked into the forest. A fortnight later he returned, a bloody severed head in a satchel for the magistrate. His body had been sorely tested, and it took him six weeks to return to his work, but it gave such a rush that Tralis could hardly resist the next bounty offered by the local innkeeper. One thing led to another, and soon Tralis had a name as a manhunter. Beasts continued to keep him afloat, but special commissions had him traveling across the Dragon Empire.
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  #18  
Old 01-28-2017, 03:19 PM
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A Yes, Halfling Racehalfling was born in the village at dawn
His face bore a mark, the shape of a fawn
The parents in awe of the portent they saw
Gave him the name Gareth Trikanaw

Gareth’s evenings were spent in the square
Learning to talk like the Street Performer Archetypeperformers there
Bending the will with a well-crafted saying
He practiced at home and kept up his praying

The young Yep, Bard, like everyone was harassing me (by the way, he's now 42 years old, equivalent to like 26-27)bard’s skill grew, he had quite a knack
He gathered belongings all into a sack
He set out to find his fortune and fame
But ridicule found him quite soon all the same

The young man lacked time spent out in the wild
Stories of monsters and villains reviled`
Tales of honor, and virtue, and love
Visions of kingdoms laid out from above

The boy needed hair on his chest, so to speak
The touch of a woman caressing his cheek
Inspired, the halfling set out once again
To find stories of joy, of heartache, and pain

To learn of adventure, Gareth followed some men
Deep into a dungeon, some foul creature's den
He saw steel flash, and dark red blood flow
Heard curses fly fast, like arrows from a bow

He watched and he wrote, and he fought by their side
Giving them courage after one fellow died
The minions of darkness swarming in their demesne
Pinned down the companions until all were slain

But appearances fool the sharpest of eyes
And Gareth arose with a chorus of sighs
His crew all deceased, the corruption unchecked
He looted their corpses, with much blood flecked

The men would not mind, he knew at first thought
He took up their weapons, and then he fought
Deep into the cavern, down a long winding stair
And slew the dark wizard who resided there

Gareth learned on that day that a hero is made
When others depend on one man not to fade
Back into the shadows, but thrust onward and fight
To right the world's wrongs, to set things to right

From that day forth, Gareth rode with the best
Many times was his sword buried in an orc's chest
He fought and he watched, and he listened and sang
As the sun shined above and the bright sharp steel rang

For ten years he journeyed and wrote of the deeds
Their exploits he witnessed, they planted the seeds
Of epics and ballads and plots to relate
The minions of darkness succumbing to fate

So this intrepid wanderer returned to his home
With all his adventures contained in one tome
He studied it hard, practiced and composed
Until he emerged it was time he supposed

To try his hand in the streets once more
He stood in the square and called out with a roar
"Come out and hear of adventurers bold
And the lairs of dragons and of treasures untold"

He stalked up and down the square all day long
Relating his tales, both in prose and in song
And when the sun set, at his feet he had found
His tip box was full, with gold did it abound

Gareth Trikanaw, the bard for this age
With wit like a jester, advice like a sage
His name you must know, his fame spreads like fire
Has come to this town, so come and admire!
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  #19  
Old 01-02-2020, 08:53 PM
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The BasicsName: Evgar Tennebrau
Race: Halfling
Class: Unchained Rogue (Chameleon)
Intended Role: Minor Face, Flanking Buddy, Major Stealth
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Crime: Dueling Unto Death (though plenty of others)
The Important BitsPhysical Description:
 


Personality:
 


Background:
 
Additional InformationRoleplay Sample:

“Ah, Evgar, thank you for answering my summons.” A small man, hunched over with years yet exuding all the presence of a man of consequence spoke without haste, not even deigning to grace the newcomer with his gaze as he ambled across the room toward the hearth, a crystal goblet shaking in his hand, threatening to spill the amber liquor it contained onto the plush rugs below. Unbidden, the insignificant-seeming halfling followed suit, waiting patiently until Baron Lentakh had seated himself before the fire before bowing to practicality and clambering up the stool set in front of the chair opposite the nobleman’s. Evgar’s own attempts to emulate the finery of his superiors were made into a laughingstock as he was forced to debase himself. Undoubtedly it was the baron’s intent that he be put in his place, but after years of operations, there was not much that could irk the little man aside from meddlesome clients fouling his jobs. The aristocrat’s tone had not indicated he was free to speak, so he carefully straightened his hose and waistcoat, eyeing the baron’s brandy with unveiled desire. You’ve got me here, my lord. Either offer me money or send me on my way.

Evgar’s chafing would not be relieved for several long minutes, the baron’s glances placing emphasis on his power over the halfling, no matter how his reputation elevate his status. Eventually, though, he did speak again, and rather than forcing pleasantries he struck to their business. "My son is nearly of age. Lord Carendil's only child is promised to the mewling fop Lord Hestarch calls his son. I trust you see what I need." Evgar could very well follow the baron's meaning, and the target made perfect sense in the constant jockeying for influence among the nobility. Marriages were the most certain way to solidify a grip on a powerful future.

"Lord Hestarch, you say. His son is," Evgar trailed off, for once uneasy with the prospect of doing the very thing that kept him in opulent clothing and in the company of handsome creatures of the court. "The boy can hardly have begun the voyage to manhood. I can do it, but this sort of action requires commensurate compensation. The more distasteful the undertaking, the more my purse will demand." Murder for coin was not a profession for the scrupulous, but Evgar had a sense of honor to him. Baron Lentakh wanted a child dead, and he would have to live with himself afterwards. Thankfully his people could fall under the effects of strong spirits easily, saving a few coppers. Careful to avoid openly naming the crime, he ran an immaculately manicured fingertip along the edge of the table between them. "How soon do you need it done?"

The old man sighed and took a sip of his nightcap. "The sooner, the better, my lad. I can tolerate a month, but a fortnight is preferable. I would not want you to be hasty, but there are many cogs in the gears of a baron’s life. You would have no idea how complicated it is.” The urge to roll his eyes was strong, but Evgar kept his hard blue irises trained on the foul human. The man might think himself greater than those of common birth, but the tiny assassin was altogether too aware that they all ended up as fodder for maggots in the end. At least these excuses for civilized beings paid well.

The terms on the baron’s end were simple enough. "Two thousand up front. Ten thousand on delivery. Another fifteen hundred expedience bonus if it is done within that fortnight. I detest the jangle of gold, and my stature makes transporting such amounts untenable. I require certified writs drawn upon the Crown’s bank, and no trace back to your own accounts. Is this acceptable?" There was no persuasion in his tone. There was no wavering. The desperate noble would either want his services at the price presented or would need to find another tool to get the job done. There were plenty of assassins in Talingarde, but they tended to either be drastically more costly than the halfling or were ultimately just bumbling fools.

It was obvious from the expression on Baron Lentakh’s wrinkled face that none of the gaudy hired blade’s words were to his liking, and he sat silently for a long moment before the lines of his face shifted, a defeated sigh accompanying a resigned shake of his head. “You are a vile creature, Evgar Tennebrau.” With a tinkle of a bell set next to the larger man, a simpering lackey arrived after a few brief seconds. “The cheques in the middle drawer, Kenswirth.” The servant disappeared as quickly as he had arrived, returning after a moment with a crisp leaf of parchment bearing the guarantee of the king’s treasury. Grumbling softly, the baron made out an order for exactly two thousand standard gold pieces, then passed it across the table. Evgar delicately folded it in half, then slipped it into a pocket on the inside of his waistcoat.

A small smirk slipped onto Evgar’s lips as he pushed himself out of the cushions on the opulent chair, then levered himself down to the carpets below. "Twas a pleasure doing business with you, your Lordship. I trust your satisfaction with my work will warrant further commission when you have need. Evidence of my success will be displayed by the usual manner." There was no point in tarrying. The payment had been secured, and Evgar would need to plan a method to insinuate himself close enough to the Hestarch lad. If only the smug baron could see the machinations that go into a mere commoner’s plans. Were money of no import I would just as soon see his ilk bleeding out in the streets. Maybe one day. With fond thoughts of a simpler future, Evgar allowed Kenswirth to free him from the baron’s estate, disappearing into Talingarde’s twilight en route to the home of a particular dwarf without whom his reputation would never have ascended to such heights.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:27 PM
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"I trust your oath of service to the goddess ensures this entire conversation is in the strictest of confidence," a weary dwarf sighed, hands nervously wringing one another as he fidgeted in his seat within the priest’s office in the back of the local shrine to Erea. "What I have to say needs to be said, but my wife doesn’t need to hear about it. She has enough on her slate with the pregnancy and my pending departure." Kyarek Ironheart forced his hands to rest on the arms of the chair and leaned back, looking up at the woman across the desk from him, her keen eyes not bereft of compassion. While she served the Mother of Knowledge, it was clear that she took her role as a spiritual advisor seriously. "It’s not like I can go to my own fellow Reyrgorans. Their perspectives are muddled by their devotion. That’s not to say my devotion has waned in the slightest, but it can be hard to reconcile that service with the duties one is saddled with when sworn to Emperor and Empire."

The kindly human reached down into a drawer and drew out a sheaf of parchment a, fine quill, and a few inkpots, arranging them to her satisfaction on the surface of the desk. "Of course. While I record your words for the sake of the preservation of knowledge, the only way the parchments will be unfurled again is at the verified command of my superiors, and they only do so when they believe such action to be absolutely necessary. No monarch or constable may order them to betray their judgment." The woman took a deep swig from a simple stone mug, wetting her lips with cool water. "You’ve been a boon to this town, Kyarek. You should know we’d do anything in our power for you. I’ll make sure someone keeps an eye on Vantria while you’re gone."

"Thank you. Well, I should probably begin." Kyarek steepled his fingers in front of his chin, the tips brushing against the painstakingly trimmed tip of his beard, the texture bringing his thoughts into tighter focus. "My childhood is inconsequential. Both of my parents still live in Gorak’s Hold, where I was born, as do my seven siblings. I am the disappointment of the family, as I left to pursue my devotion to Ryergor as soon as I had come of age. I left the Hold and made my way to Königsatz to present myself for candidacy for the clergy. I was young, eager, and fervently devoted to the furtherance of order above all else. Orderly society is important to my people, and Ryergor exemplified those values. I believed myself invincible, and my god’s violent manner appealed to that sense of bravery and impetuousness."

The harder parts were coming up quickly, and Kyarek knew it. He paused, taking a drink from the mug on the near side of the desk, catching his breath and collecting his thoughts once more. "I was trained to champion the pursuit of righteousness and the establishment of that which was good and just. I was idealistic. I was a fool." With the words out of his mouth, the dwarf raised a single finger to forestall any response. Wiggling it for a few seconds while thinking, he lowered it with a nod. "I don’t mean to say that I have lost my faith. Far from it. Ryergor’s teachings guide my path, and I would love to see them exemplified in their purest state." A wistful expression swept over Kyarek’s face. "Even the most well-meaning people in power can allow the pressures of their responsibility taint that purity. I don’t blame the Imperial family. They are responsible for the top-level decisions, but they have to trust their generals and marshals as much as any unit captain must trust the judgment of their lieutenants."

A single tear broke from the corner of each of Kyarek’s eyes, and his breath caught, a small shudder shaking his chair. "Ryergor’s church taught me to become one with my armor, my shield, my gauntlet. I was shown the power of conviction. I was given the ability to use my own strength to protect the weak and oppressed. I became an engine of death, but also a voice of the god." Both hands gripped the arms of his chair tight, calloused tips turning white with the strain. "A chaplain of Ryergor is a brother to the rest of the company just as much as any soldier. He fights in the front lines. He brings the blessings and healing power of the divine into the battle. We went to war, and my ideals were dashed to pieces in front of my eyes. The war was just. The Emperor’s orders were sound. In the heat of the moment, decisions had to be made, and victory had to come first. When a child raises a crossbow and aims it at your brother-in-arms, they must be eliminated. Magic can warp the mind of the man next to you, turning him on the unit. Sometimes you can’t get to the enchanter or break the spell in time. Sometimes you have to jab the spikes of your gauntlet into your brother’s chest and watch the light go out of his eyes, the confusion overcoming them as their life slips away with the magic’s influence."

The tears were free-flowing, and breaths were intermittent, the grieving dwarf forcing his voice to remain as steady as possible. "I killed people, sister. I killed people that shouldn’t have been killed. The deeds were done in the name of Emperor and Empire, but they were done because it was safer than to do the hard thing. Every deed was just, but they weren’t right." Kyarek blinked repeatedly, clearing his eyes of the moisture that blurred his vision, staring across the desk, his face hardening. "I swore to never strap on the armor again except in time of dire need, and only for a righteous cause. I resigned my commission. I came here to escape that life, to put my life in Ryergor’s hands, not those of the Emperor or his lackeys. I’ve never met His Imperial Majesty. I bear him no ill-will, but I have little trust in those mortals in power."

"I have been conscripted, sister. The Emperor has demanded my presence aboard a ship set for New Marklend. I am to restore a lost colony, and it is for my proven skills that I am chosen. There is no defying the order, and no chance to find another to take my place. That much is certain." Kyarek closed his eyes, breathing steadily at last as he found the last of his words. "The lives I took in the war, they have weighed on me ever since. The faces haunt my dreams. The desperate young men and women engulfed in flames, their faces contorted in pain and terror, they scream to me. I preached righteous vengeance, and then I supported those who pointed them at simple warfare. I do not ask forgiveness. I only ask that someone know who I was." The tears returned unbidden. "Vantria knows where I go and why. She does not know it all. She thinks I go to do the bidding of the Emperor, then return. The summons makes it clear that I am unlikely to return. I cannot burden her with that. The one thing I wish from all of this is that you present the letter from the Emperor to her when she begins worrying. I cannot endanger her pregnancy."

The sound of quill scratching on parchment continued for a few minutes, the holy woman faithfully reproducing the dwarf’s words, her magically enhanced memory allowing her to recall all he had said, at least for a short time. With a satisfied nod, she attached her signature to the bottom and rolled up the parchment, sealing it with an official wax seal sporting the open book symbol of Erea. She looked up to find Kyarek extending his arm, the letter of conscription and a painstakingly crafted copy in his hand. She looked over the two, then signed the copy with a note guaranteeing its authenticity, then sealed it with two wax seals, both that of her goddess and another branding the paper as an official government document. "You are a good man, Kyarek. You have honor. You care about others. Let that keep your spirits on your journey. Go with grace, and may Erea’s knowledge aid your mission that you might find your way through the dangers and return to your lovely wife. I will keep you in my prayers, Chaplain." Both human and dwarf stood, awkward silence blanketing the room. The priestess reached out her hand, and Kyarek matched her, each grasping the other’s forearm in formal salute.

"Thank you."
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