Aindros Calon - Andar of the Green - Caeleb Brionson - Dieter Ackland - Esrodin of Glorvardum
Folquet de Longpont - Galath Stormborne - Halin Yngvi - Jamalia - Jellorin Crinaster - Khrys of Emis - Lethey
Loris - Lyrin Gerrikson - Nixon Freeman - Penrith Aegirine - Phineas - Rylor Rotez - Teplin - Venya Selenorian
Phineas was born within the bounds of a Sotillion temple complex in Onnwal, the child of a couple of halfling Wealth and Luxury Retention Specialists employed by the temple to discourage and counter those who would seek to plunder its various luxuries. He only bears a forename due to his parents' belief that he should gain his own honorifics through adventuring.
Surprisingly law-abiding, Phineas believes that the wise follower of chaos decides when the law is to be followed, broken or shattered. Although he is so Good he is prone to stun careless spellcasters using a Detect Good spell, bitter experience has taught him him the irredeemably Evil nature of Hextorites, Scarlet Brotherhood agents and Pholtans.
Description & Personality
The first thing most people notice (or fail to notice) about Penrith is his height, as at only two and half feet tall he's short even compared to the more common Lightfoot halflings with which most surface dwellers are familiar. He resents being referred to as "stout", even if he does lack a Lightfoot's slenderness, and weighs about as much as a human sized suit of banded mail. His skin is ruddy, his thick black hair and sideburns closely shorn and his black eyes like two orbs of jet. Those who look closely can see that his flesh is marked with three wavy green lines just behind each ear. He's generally cheerful and optimistic, even when the odds seem against him, convinced that his god won't let him die until he has a suitable stock of tales and adventures with which to regale fellow worshippers of Brandobaris in the afterlife. He sees life as a constant search for new adventure, an ever growing story in which the lucky will thrive regardless of the risks they take and the unlucky cannot hide from their fate. His daily prayers consists of quietly talking to his god about his recent adventures and his plans and speculations about future possibilities for adventure.
He generally wears plain practical clothing in dark earth tones, set off by a plain steel helmet and elegant green leather bracers covered in glimmering mithral tracery. In addition to various items of magical jewellery, a cluster of wooden holy symbols carved with the holy footprint of Brandobaris hung around his neck. A dagger and several pouches hang at his belt, while a composite longbow, an assortment of rods and a backpack full of adventuring gear are slung across his back. A pink rhomboid ioun stone orbits his head.
Penrith was born in the winter of CY360 to a family of stonemasons in the deep halfling community in Parentarr, a town which lies deep beneath the Glorioles in the dwarven kingdom of Glorvardum. Though expected to follow in his family's footsteps as a stonemason himself, he showed little aptitude for the craft and from an early age longed to see more of the world. Yet at his parents' insistence he persisted with his apprenticeship for many years; not until he reached the age of thirty would they finally accept that he would never make a decent stonemason and grant their permission for him to leave Parentarr. However, this permission was given on condition that he first waited to be trained in some of the skills he'd need for survival in the outside world. They arranged a contract with the ascetics of Urogalan for him to spend five years in service as a guard and attendant on the community's mausoleums, during which time he was trained in the arts of meditation and self defence. This contract concluded in Needfest CY596 and he eagerly set off for Onnwal, sure he'd find adventure aplenty in an occupied land torn apart by war... only to arrive mere months after Scant was finally liberated from the Scarlet Brotherhood. After being caught up in the start of a new war in Onnwal's Headlands he briefly joined the 3rd Braetad Auxiliaries of the Free State Army, as a good way to meet new people and see more of the world, but was then drawn away from Onnwal by events in Sterich. There his valiant efforts against the Army of the Red Hand saw him gain the favour of the Crystalmist snow elves and finally led to his being awarded the rank of Baronet by Her Magnitude Resbin Dren Emondav, Marchioness of Sterich.
Description & Personality
An Oeridian man in his late twenties, Galath stands an imposing six and a half feet tall but from his build its plain to see that he prefers a long night's drinking to an honest day's work. His skin is deeply tanned and weathered from many years spent on a ship's deck, his grey eyes usually seen glaring at someone in anger or squinting towards the horizon as he gazes out to sea. His long, mousy brown hair is pulled back into a ponytail from which strands are forever slipping free, and he varies between clean shaven, stubble strewn and scruffily bearded depending on whether he happens to have found himself in the vicinity of a razor lately. He's prone to violent and unpredictable moodswings, particularly when drunk, a narrowing of the eyes often the first sign that his unruly temper is about to explode. Despite his skill, his personality means he'd have a hard job finding work if sailors weren't so eager for his presence on board ship as a guarantee of Procan's favour. For all his love of the sea he has a strange fascination with the Bright Desert, seeing in its endless dunes and blowing sands an arid reflection of the ocean's waves and storms.
He generally prefers to wear a simple linen tunic and trousers with a rope belt and bandanna, but when travelling on land or expecting danger he dons a suit of scale mail with spiked gauntlets and straps on a darkwood buckler. His weapon of choice is a light crossbow.
Galath's father was the captain of a merchant ship based in Hardby and his mother a priestess of Procan, his parents having met when his father hired his mother to bring Procan's blessing on a voyage to the Hold of the Sea Princes. He himself was born in CY568 during a Ready'reat crossing of Woolly Bay, his father having risked the late passage in an effort to get his mother home to Hardby before she entered labour. But such was not to be, the ship was caught in a savage autumn storm and nearly driven onto the Wild Coast before the weather cleared, and at the storm's height Galath entered the world squalling as if he wanted to rival the tempest that raged around the vessel.
He spent more of his childhood at sea than he did on land, travelling on his father's ship and always pestering the sailors for stories. His mother saw the circumstances of his birth as a sure sign of Procan's blessing and told him he was one of Procan's chosen, raising him to be a priest like she was. It was also from her that he inherited his dreadful temper, his constant quarreling with his parents coming to a head at the age of sixteen when he left his father's ship and hired on to a rival merchant's crew to make a point. He hasn't spoken to his family since, though he sometimes sees them around Hardby, and though he has many acquaintances and drinking partners there are none he counts as friends. He's often heard to say that the sea's the only family or friend he needs.
Every law is ultimately a way for one person to oppress another. No-one's ever needed a law to tell them that murder is wrong, and the people that write the law put themselves above it anyway. Now we've finally got that race of monks, councilors and lawyers on the run, and the nobles and magistrates needed thieves and peasants to do it. Will they just go back to their hovels and hides? I think it's all just about to get interesting.
Esrodin of Glorvardum is the younger brother of Hepp, two doughty followers of the Father of Battle. Hepp mysteriously went missing over ten years ago and Esrodin continues to search for Hepp unaware of his brother's fate. That search has now taken him to Greyhawk City itself where he hopes he may find news of his brother in the largest city in the Flanaess. The truth is that Hepp was imprisoned by the Ahlissans in the Calling Mines after being captured fighting for the Sunndians in the Greyhawk Wars. From there Hepp tried to escape with a group of fellow prisoners in 594 CY but was killed in the attempt, though securing the freedom of some of his fellows that day.
Description: A stocky 3' tall, Nixon may have the silhouette of a somewhat over-fed human (or even dwur) child, but he's unlikely to ever be mistaken for one. Even a casual observer will notice his shiny new mail shirt with a wicked-looking pair of hand-axes at the belt, longbow and quiver across the back and multitudinous daggers strapped here and there. They're also likely to notice the smouldering roll-up of cheap tobacco perpetually dangling from the corner of his thin-lipped mouth. He has sallow, unhealthy looking skin; a broad, flat nose; big ears and a chin full of stubble that merges into his cropped black hair. His large, pale-blue eyes are bulbous and always on the move, giving him an alert but shifty appearance which is entirely accurate. The only exception is when he's lying and/or dealing with authority, when their gaze becomes unwavering and surprisingly innocent-looking. Observers may suspect that Nixon has a little goblin blood, but also that it may be best not to mention this... To add a final thuggish touch, his neck bears faint but nasty-looking scars, in an unusual pattern that to an expert eye suggests a brutally precise hit with spiked chain. Less obvious is a scar on his left shoulder from a halberd wound nearly deep enough to end his two-weapon-fighting days forever.
Personality: In a world of heroes and fanatics of all stripes, Nixon might be considered refreshingly straight-forward, or shamelessly amoral and mercenary. He's fought bravely and well for the Onnwal resistance, but only because they were desperate enough to press-gang him, not as a valiant crusader against tyranny. He's also proven a reliable employee and companion, but again for pragmatic rather than ethical reasons. He intends to join the Wreckers, which will surprise no-one who's met him (except those who assumed that he already had).
Background: Nixon's cheerfully thuggish attitude would surprise those who knew him in his previous life. In those days he was Jeremiad Clutterbuck, the only son of a well-to-do couple of mushroom farmers. They made a profitable living provisioning the inhabitants of a hobniz mining community too small and deep within the Headlands to have been touched directly by the occupation. Life was good but dull for the young hobniz, and the tales of the occasional refugees from Brotherhood-occupied mines further west incited excitement rather than fear. Eventually he could bear it no longer, 'borrowed' some coin from his unsuspecting parents and struck out for adventure, choosing a new name to suit his new lifestyle. By the time he made it to the areas of organised resistance he was wearing battered studded leather and daggers looted from a battlefield, and blended right in with the more disreputable rebels. His subsequent experience has replaced his rather affected cynicism with some of the real thing, but he still jumps at every chance to risk his life for large rewards. When he started his new life Nixon choose Norebo, the god of risks and gambling, as an appropriate patron. Though this was a somewhat arbitrary choice at first, he is becoming increasingly devout. His experiences (particularly those of the near-death variety) have demonstrated time and again that the only difference between success and failure is luck, and he is now seriously considering becoming an official member of Norebo's church.
Career: Nixon's CV now includes bounty-hunter, bodyguard,
burglar item retrieval specialist, scout, caravan guard, spy information gatherer, and liberator of slaves. In the course of these jobs, he has visited Tenh (via the Phostwood), Sunndi, Naerie, the Vast Swamp, Scant, Kildeer, Ahlissa, the Iron Hills and the Storm Isles without gaining a single point of Knowledge - Geography or Knowledge - Local. He's also ridden three party members (one cross-country), including an episode fighting a ghoul whilst mounted on a cleric (best place to be). More-or-less by accident he has gained the respect of the Iron League, the Scroll of Merit and the gratitude of a merchant family, and has become a Saighden of the Tenhas. Thus far he has had two near-death experiences.
Brought up in Sornhill, Rylor is used to being mistrusted by non-Suel. A worshipper of Norebo (Father of Chance, The Dice of Fortune), with sapphire blue eyes and the classic blond hair of a purebred, he constantly has to defend himself against accusations of being a collaborator. Luckily for him, a slick tongue and a quick wit means he can talk his way out of most situations.
While his master broke away from the Brotherhood controlled church of Norebo in Scant, he never actually joined the rebellion and Rylor has been brought up to see both the excesses of the Onnwalon nobility and the cruelty of the Wreckers. Deciding to follow his master and not take sides in the rebellion, he has instead set out to seek fame and fortune travelling the seas and sands of Oerth.
Description: Venya is a female wood olve. The blood of her people accounts for her green eyes, pale skin and lean build. Venya is taller than most of her kindred, however, and her five foot six inch frame carries more obvious muscle. An observer who could not see her eyes or ears might easily think her a broad-shouldered and wiry human woman rather than an olve. Her hair is a nondescript light brown, and tends to hang in matted strands. Venya, like many of her calling, finds water distasteful, bathing only under duress. Her voice is a harsh mezzo-soprano, and she speaks Common with a heavy accent.
Venya’s neglect of her person does not extend to her possessions. Habitually wearing the heaviest armour she can afford (splint mail at present), she ensures that it remains polished and in immaculate condition. She takes a similar attitude to her customary armament: three quarterstaves strapped to her back, a sling and its bullets at her belt, and a cold iron longsword of fine workmanship by her side. Several wooden pendants hang from her neck; each bears the volcano symbol that denotes a follower of Joramy.
Background: The olven say that their lives are a slow stream, at the margins of which chatter and flicker the mayfly affairs of man. Born a decade before Iuz arose in the Howling Hills, Venya came to womanhood as the Lord of Dorakaa propelled the Flanaess into the Greyhawk Wars. More than her kin, however, Venya has taken to heart the lesson of her troubled times: what a millennium has built, a moment can sweep away.
Venya’s childhood was spent in a wood olven enclave within the County of Idee, where she was born in 468 CY. These years were not her happiest. Other children were wont to mock her looming stature and scarcely olven want of grace. Venya learned to retaliate with the fiery vituperation that won her the nickname of "the Burning Word". This sharp tongue meant that the young woman was left much alone. Thoughtful and serious-minded by the standards of her people, Venya welcomed her solitude.
In 573, a chance encounter changed Venya’s life, when a visiting dignitary from the Yeomanry elbowed her out of the way in the street. Rather than yielding, she stood her ground and gave vent to a stream of abuse; rather than ordering her flogged, the ambassador chuckled and asked her for her name. This man, Jenek Gevan, was a priest of Joramy, who saw that in this surly and eloquent olven woman the Maiden of Disputes had sent him an apprentice.
Before Jenek returned to his homeland, he taught Venya the ways of his goddess, and that wrath at what was wrong with the world was goodly and needful. In the Yeomanry, the Furious Inferno is worshipped in her aspect as the Mediatrix, who forges weal and resolution through constant contestation and debate. Venya learned these lessons eagerly. When Jenek departed, she set out from her village to bring the virtues of anger and debate to the rest of Idee.
In the decade that followed, Venya travelled tirelessly through her homeland. She saw much that angered her, but much also that she came to cherish. Then, in 584, her wrath found an all-too-deserving focus. Idee fell to the Scarlet Sign.
From that day onwards, Venya’s life was one of struggle. Unversed in arms, she nevertheless took up staff and bow to oppose the forces of the Brotherhood. When Graf Reydrich’s forces "liberated" Idee in the name of ascendant Ahlissa, she added eloquence to wood and steel, exhorting her countrymen to rise against the new oppressor. Her actions brought her the ire of her land’s new masters, but she was regarded as of little moment, and for long she eluded their grasp.
As this chapter in Venya’s life had begun with a priest, so it ended with one. On a day early in 593, a short man appeared unannounced at her lodgings, Rhennee by the cast of his features, but with pale skin and strange eyes. His chest was adorned by a symbol which Venya was then unable to identify, but which others have since recognized as the Insanity Rune, which marks a follower of Zagyg. He seemed knowledgeable about Venya and her affairs, and asked her to come to a local inn that evening, because "there were some people she had to meet". Curiosity and self-confidence overcame caution. When she went to the tavern, the little man was nowhere to be seen, but a score of men-at-arms were only too visible. The renegade was incarcerated in the Calling Mines.
Venya escaped the Mines with companions in 594. She goes no longer to her homeland, where, as she puts it, "I see Idee, and hear Naerie". However, her determination to oppose "the peddler prince Xavener and his catamites" remains undimmed. She has settled in the town of Sornhill within the Free State of Onnwal, hoping to bring down the Naerie Compact by using her diplomatic skills to exacerbate the tensions between Onnwal and Irongate that this treaty has brought. Venya hopes that the Szek (whom she holds in little esteem) can be brought to understand that the friendship of Xavener is not worth the enmity of Cobb Darg. In the meantime, she tends the Joramite shrine in Sornhill, and, like her brethren, turns her eyes towards the hot springs of Scant. The followers of Pyremius have vowed to defend these springs to the last man. Venya thinks this most convenient.
Lethey is a grey elf, tall and thin for his race, with unusually large and luminous eyes. He came to Onnwal as part of an obscure research project, and has since stayed. While he claims to have little interest in the political affairs of the country, he has shown interest in various scholarly and magical topics, and has signed up with the Warmages of Kildeer, in an effort to make a living.
Many find him hard to get on with. He is scathing of the bloodthirsty, yet ruthless in battle, openly mercenary, yet careless of money, cynical but trusting, and an indifferent but consistent follower of the good and the true. He appears to dislike all races equally, insists that no one values him save for his skill with a bow, and speaks scathingly of ideals with a passion and intensity that belie his words.
Description: Khrys is a female human of something more than twenty winters. Her golden skin tones and untidily cropped black hair announce her origin in the Baklunish West. Bushy black eyebrows surmount green eyes and a large, hawkish nose. By the standards of her people, Khrys is short and slim. However, the Baklunish length of limb is still apparent in her arms and legs. This athletic frame weighs more than her five foot three inch stature would immediately suggest.
Khrys’ demeanour is impassive; some who know her believe that she fears the betrayal an impulsive smile or frown might bring. She is likewise accustomed to hold her tongue if she sees no profit in speech. When Khrys does speak, her voice is surprisingly deep and melodious. Her Common is measured and delivered with a strong accent, but precise and elaborately constructed, echoing the florid cadences of her native tongue. Few of Free Onnwal know Ancient Baklunish. Those who do are apt to regard Khrys with puzzlement, as this unprepossessing, plainly dressed young woman expresses herself like someone expensively educated in the Caliphate of Ekbir.
Background: Khrys is reticent about her life before coming to Onnwal, but on evenings in the tavern when the storm rages outside and all the light in the world seems quenched save for that which gutters in the fireplace, those whom she likes and trusts have heard her tell a story:
"On a time, in the land of my birth, there lived a certain man, and he was a man of stature and of substance. There are those who would call him a king, but it is ever the way with the tellers of tales to gild and to bedizen. Perhaps he was no more than an ambassador. Perhaps he was but a merchant, and perhaps his connexions were not of the most savoury. But he counted himself supremely blessed, for he had courted and won a beautiful wife, who bore him, in the fullness of time, three daughters.
"The youngest of his daughters was very lovely, and very innocent. But she... she died."
Here Khrys’ voice falters in the telling, and she gazes for a long moment into the fire before she resumes.
"The tales differ on how it happened, but on one thing they are agreed: his wife blamed him for their loss. He was much away on business, this man, and travelled in distant lands, for he was (as I have said) a man of stature and of substance. One day he returned to his ancestral home, parched and weary with much journeying. When he entered, he found a lover in his wife’s arms, and his own death in her eyes.
"Now, the eldest daughter had loved her father more than anything else in this world. Her mother feared her, and fenced herself about with wards and with custodians, with locks and with tutelary charms. Her mother feared her, but she did not fear her enough, for the eldest daughter was one of those who dance in shadow, and against such as her the locks and the guards were scant defence. She danced past the wards and she danced past the charms, and in the room where she was born, she spilled her mother’s blood, and she danced in it.
"So runs the tale. But most who tell it do not tell it to its close, for there is one in the story whose part they forget. They forget that there was a third daughter."
Khrys looks up. In the light of the fire, her eyes are very bright.
"The third daughter was like and unlike her sisters. Like the youngest, she wished ill to no man; like the eldest, she had known from the cradle that the shadows were her home. Yet she would not suffer herself to be a victim, and she deemed that to repay murder with bloodguilt was arrant folly. She sought out her sister and tasked her thus, begging the eldest to join with her in burying their dead, and make an ending.
"But she was too late. The eldest called her betrayer, and spat in her face. The younger foresaw, then, the horror that her sister would become. Without stint or limit is the bloodlust of my people, if once it be awakened. But she knew herself overmatched, and she knew herself alone. So, she left.
"And the name of the third daughter was Khrys. And that is the name I bear."
With that, Khrys drains her tankard, walks to the door, and is swallowed again by the night.
Description: Jel is a female human of Suel descent. She is small and slender, standing only five feet tall, and weighing perhaps one hundred and six pounds. Her slight frame and youthful features belie her twenty-five winters; most assume her to be at least half a decade younger. Straight, shoulder-length blonde hair frames a pale, narrow face. In repose, Jel’s features are comely rather than beautiful; when she is moved, their animation and intensity of expression are striking. Much the same applies to her voice, a soft, clear soprano of remarkable range and flexibility.
In most respects, Jel’s demeanour is archetypically Suel. There is one notable exception. The eyes of the Suel are usually blue or grey; Jel’s are brown, a brown so dark that it is almost black. The only other remarkable feature of her appearance is the sable raven that oftentimes perches upon her shoulder.
Background: The freedom to enjoy the fruits of civilisation in a society at ease with itself, and the fellowship of like-minded individuals, are all that Jel has ever desired. Two things brought her dreams to dust, and both of them are red: the Blood, and the Brotherhood.
The Suel merchant Bareem Crinaster of Kildeer had five children. His elder son, Orlek, would be groomed to inherit his father’s flourishing import and export business. His second son, Reldent, would join the priesthood of Zilchus. Two daughters, Finorel and Syrintha, would make advantageous marriages; the one to an impoverished but influential scion of nobility, the other to the heir of another successful merchant house. And then his wife bore a third daughter, Jellorin.
Jellorin was an odd, dreamy child. Solitary and shunned by her peers, she spent most of her time immersed in books, or chattering to an imaginary friend, whom she called "Pontifex". Bareem could not understand why other children avoided her, or how books which the girl wanted to read would find their way to her hands no matter how far above her reach they were stored. Then an elderly visiting relative noticed Jellorin’s eyes - the strange, almost black eyes no purebreed Suel should have - and reminded Bareem of a family legend. This held that the house of Crinaster was descended from a man who was caught in the Rain of Colourless Fire centuries past, but did not die. Instead, the fire entered into him, and into his bloodline, resulting every few generations in a dark-eyed child with a disturbing affinity for the Arcane.
These tidings left Bareem at a loss. Around the time of Jellorin’s tenth birthday, however, he noticed a marked change in his daughter. She became much more outgoing and sociable, and the odd phenomena which had accompanied her earlier years ceased. She also developed a reverence for Lydia, the Suel goddess of knowledge and music. These changes sprang from an inarticulate conviction which would only become stronger with the passing years: that everything which mankind and the other free races had achieved, music, poetry, and all that made life worthwhile, was the fruit of reason, order, and society. Jellorin had come to believe that the wild magic that was her birthright should be forsworn, as antithetical to everything that she held dear: irrational, destructive, indifferent to human aspiration, and, worst of all, solitary. Jellorin hated being alone.
Her father was naturally pleased at these developments. Bareem envisaged no difficulty in arranging a match for his charming and cultivated daughter every bit as advantageous as those of her sisters. By 584 C. Y., when Jellorin was sixteen, he had already begun making tentative plans in this direction.
These plans, like so many formed in that year, bore no fruit.
When Onnwal fell, Jellorin, along with the rest of her family, was evacuated to Nyrond, where the house of Crinaster had substantial trading interests. Dark tidings came from her homeland of books burned in Scant and knowledge suppressed at the behest of the Priesthood of Lydia. These stories had a shattering effect upon Jellorin, who saw them as the betrayal of what she adored in the name of her faith. In the first of her acts of renunciation, she stopped her ears to the Pure Song, and embraced the Oerid faith of the Father of Letters instead.
The rumours from Scant had a further effect, though one slower in its fruition. After the family returned to Kildeer in 588, Jellorin continued to brood upon the fragility of civilization, the ease with which it could be crushed, and the sacrifices necessary to defend it. In the winter of that year, she announced to her father her intention of joining the forces of Free Onnwal in their struggle against the Scarlet Sign. Bareem’s response was derisory. When his daughter walked out of the family home, he made no effort to stop her, believing that she would return humbled before too long.
The response of the resistance was equally dismissive. Free Onnwal had no place for a small, frail Suel woman. After numerous rejections, Jellorin settled in Longbridge, drawn thither by the efforts of the priest Ploellin to found a Dellebian Academy. There she sought a means by which she could make herself useful to the cause of her country. There too she ceased to be known by her original name. To those amongst whom she now lived, "Jellorin" (a name handed down in her family, so it was said, from before the Twin Cataclysms) stank of the Suel, and so of the Scarlet Brotherhood. The people of Longbridge preferred to call her Jel; now, only her closest friends know the longer version of her name.
Jel’s desire to be of use drew her irresistibly back to that which she feared and distrusted above all else, the Arcane. She learned the rudiments of book magic, seeing in its discipline and rigour a force more orderly and tractable than those which she had carelessly harnessed in her girlhood. In 592, a visit to the archives of the temple of Sotillion brought her into contact with Kaywen Dara’s protégée, Elysia of Atroa. The priestess was seeking to expand the War Company which she had lately founded in conjunction with the noniz druid Teplin and the Flan battle-mage Zareba. An Oeridian woman of the people, Elysia was inclined to look a little askance at Jel’s Suel lineage and vaguely aristocratic manner, but impressed by the girl’s clear (if nervous) dedication to the cause of Free Onnwal and her facility with languages (of which Jel speaks seven). The fledgling wizard was therefore recruited into the Thorns of Tassek.
Shortly thereafter, Jel bound a familiar. Vaguely expecting a cat or an owl, she was disconcerted when the call was answered by a carrion bird that fed on corpses. Thinking of the playmate of her childhood, she named him "Pontifex". The raven swiftly became Jel’s closest confidant; some would say that Pontifex understands Jel better than the Suel woman is prepared to understand herself. It was Pontifex who presented her with a harsh truth: if she wished to harness the Arcane in the service of Free Onnwal, she would be better advised to explore the potential of her own nature than to toil on with the book magic which she conned so diligently. In reluctant obedience to this reasoning, Jel broke her vow of fourteen years, and began to follow the ways of her ancestors. She continues to see book magic as the only reputable path of the Arcane, however, and is ashamed of the nature of her attainments, concealing them from those she meets wherever possible. Her own blood magic she still sees as a force inimical to the human accomplishments which are her passion.
Jel continues to serve the cause of Free Onnwal by the side of her comrades in the Thorns of Tassek. She gathers material for her projected opus, A History of the Brewfest Rebellion, and tries to ignore her deepest fear: that as her power to defend society grows, her ability to rejoin that society diminishes, and that the civilisation which she cherishes will have no place for the creature of wild magic she is forcing herself to become. In Kildeer, a Suel merchant grows older, waits for his errant daughter, and pays no heed to rumours that Baron Maldrenn’s men count amongst their number a strange little straw-hair witch.
Loris is a petite olven lady who has clearly been touched by eldritch magic as her hair, eyes and skin are pure white following an encounter with the legendary Soul Gem within the infamous Ghost Tower of Inverness in CY593. Her delicate features are however usually hidden behind a mask of anger and she can often be glimpsed arguing vehemently with silent voices.
Born in Celene, of a minor noble family, Loris' arcane abilities surfaced in the Hateful Wars of CY498-510 with euroz and jebli tribes in the Lortmills. After the wars Loris vocally opposed the isolationist policy of the government of Celene, fighting in the Gnarley against Pomarj humanoids and participating in ambushes alongside the olven Fealefel clan until Loris' outlaw activities became too much for her kin to bear and she was cast out.
Travelling under the assumed name of Loris 'the black', she was trapped in Onnwal during the invasion in CY584, barely escaping Scant in time and battling Brotherhood troops in the rearguard. Witnessing hochebi cutting down fleeing Onnwalons rekindled old passions.
Loris worked with small independent groups of patriots to free Onnwal from the Scarlet Sign until a chance meeting in CY591 with Torin, a human priest of Jascar who shared her hatred of the humanoids infesting Onnwal, caused them to band together to form the Phoenix Chatelaine, a War Company dedicated to eliminating their taint. Since the fall of Torin in early CY593, during an ill-fated sortie onto the resurfaced Isle of Woe, she has drifted from the ranks of the War Company and is now said to be in hiding from the forces of the Szek with old allies of the Fealefel clan in the Gnarley Forest of Verbobonc because of her rumoured links to the Emperor of the Bright Lands, Rary.
For her actions in cleansing a temple dedicated to Procan, Loris was invited to join The Transcendent Convocation of the Wielders of Wind and Wave, or The Aerie as it is commonly known. She is also affiliated to the Auran Circle of the Prime of Verbobonc and is currently consumed by research into the weather, particularly the study of lightning and electrical energy, in the hope of one day harnessing its brutal power, to what end she tells no-one but the voices in her head.
Due to her unusual colouration enemies and allies alike have recently referred to Loris as Loris 'the white' or 'the white witch'.
Folquet de Longpont is a composer and musician. Unkindly ones may point to his name and perceive a certain pretension, but his merry wit and ladykilling looks soon put one at ease; traits learnt at the feet of his hero, Cordo Ghent. Unfortunately, Folquet was captured by the Scarlet Brotherhood and imprisoned securely inside Obelstone Keep. From here he soon escaped in 594 CY and, after recovering from the nightmare of that fell place, he began to focus his life on helping others who had fallen under the sway of evil or Pholtans, deciding to take up the life of an adventurer. This chapter of his tale has yet to be completed.
Description: Standing at a modest 5'5" and weighing around 120lbs, Jamalia has the dark blonde hair, bluish eyes and medium skin tones of a Suloise-biased mongrel. She is slim, with narrow but well-developed shoulders and the long, gracefully muscular limbs of a dancer or acrobat. Her mongrel blood has produced a mix that will never be called classically beautiful - the nose too sharp, the jawline too determined - but in general, she takes enough care of her appearance to avoid a charge of dowdiness.
Habitually, she wears the bright colours and flourishes of an entertainer's costume, but when she journeys in the wilderness these are usually covered by the drab tones of light leather armour and a travelling cloak. She is burdened with little in the way of travelling gear, preferring to scrounge mercilessly from her companions, but a modest arsenal of weaponry is usually to be found slung about her person. One light and one heavy crossbow are at her back; their associated bolt-quivers ride at her right side, and a shortsword (one that does not see much action, judging from the near-pristine condition of hilt and quillions) at her left. Daggers are also frequently to be found in various obscure locations within her clothing.
Personality: Extroverted, irreverent and possessing a highly warped sense of humour, 'catlike' might be the best description of this young woman. Her insatiable curiosity is balanced by a healthy dose of caution - or is that paranoia? - and while, given the choice, she would rather run from a fight or pick off her enemies from a distance with a bow, the presence of companions will usually shame her into the thick of things. Climbing and acrobatics are not just her living but her passion, and she will often engage in feats of aerial derring-do as much "To see what's up there!" as to impress an audience - any audience. She dislikes water, cannot and will not swim, and becomes both miserable and bitingly sarcastic in the rain. No-one has yet ascertained the origin or indeed the purpose of her obsessive fascination with collecting the soles of her fallen enemies' boots. Her lack of respect for any known god seems to suggest it cannot be a religious activity, and yet one might note the reverence with which she treats her 'collection'...
Background: A city girl - the less tactful might say 'street rat' - from childhood, practical morality was never something that really bothered Jamalia quite as much as where the next meal was coming from. The roofs and catwalks of the town were her home and her highway, and as she proceeded from irritating the city guards and throwing stones at itinerant scholars to more daring acts of burglary and housebreaking, she discovered a talent for the risky business of - as she puts it - "property relocation". Even she's not quite sure how she ended up being quite so heavily involved with the Onnwal resistance movement, but she suspects it has something to do with a drunken bet. At least now she can excuse her larcenous habits as 'due compensation' or 'gathering evidence'...
Description: At 4'3" high and 162lbs in weight, Halin is quite tall but with an average build for his height. His unkempt dark brown hair matches the dark brown of his eyes.
Halin usually wears an explorer's garb complete with bulging backpack and the telltale signs of a breastplate beneath. He usually carries a dwur waraxe locked to his right hand gauntlet and wears a darkwood buckler over a spiked gauntlet on his left. Around his belt are a number of other sheathed weapons and a quiver, but no sign of a bow. Underneath his classy argent vorax cloak can be seen numerous vial belts and several coils of silk rope. Delve beneath this plethora of equipment however, and you find a rather ugly young dwur with a grating accent and unpleasant body odour. When in Onnwal he is rather better presented, having bathed recently with his beard in a stylish braid. When travelling beyond Onnwal however, he does tend to let himself go.
Background: Brought up on the Headlands of Onnwal, Halin followed his father looking for new sites to mine. Surviving out in the wilds for months at a time, they would search the land for any signs of a valuable new vein of gold, silver, platinum, gems or rocks rich in the ores of lesser metals. Caught in Scant when the occupation force arrived, Halin's father was one of many who died in the defence of the Gate Hill district.
Along with the other minors, Halin was sent back to his ancestral home, the Citadel of Sarakast where he was taken under the wing of an elderly dwur, Waddell Scohelm, High Priest of Fortubo. He was taught of the evils of the Scarlet Brotherhood and how Fortubo turned his back upon evil Suel long ago. Being bright and strong, the High Priest apprenticed Halin, teaching him smithing and the ancient language of the Suloise, the language of their enemies.
When Halin came of age, Waddell sent him to Scant to work as a smith's apprentice and spy for the Free State. As a sign of respect, and because the tarkgel (humans) prefer to know a surname rather than a lineage, Halin listened to the High Priest's advice and took his father's name to use as his surname in Onnwalon society, hence Halin, son of Yngvi, son of Ranguur, became known as Halin Yngvi.
Halin was to keep his ear to the ground and report back whatever he could find out. Being an ugly little dwur, he spent a year there being ignored, finding out what he could for the Free State and keeping quiet about his reverence for Fortubo. However his nosiness didn't go entirely unnoticed and in CY592 Halin was forced to flee Scant, having only enough time to pick up his lightest armour and the barest essentials of equipment. He arrived in Sornhill with only six silver geese to his name and a thirst for payback.
He soon fell in with a motley crew of free-spirited adventurers who shared his desire to exact justice upon the Scarlet Brotherhood and he immediately decided to join the ranks of the Roses of Tassek War Company. Over the years since, he has played his part in the struggle for a free Onnwal, taken his rightful place as Khadaar-Zhel (Warrior of the Citadel of Sarakast), travelled to distant lands, explored other planes, honed his skills, battled against the Ether Threat, enjoyed the adulation of the Free State and risen to the status of Thegkanduurn (Thegn's Blood) of Dorinuur, son of Korinuur, Thegn of Sarakast.
Description: Aindros is 27 years old, 6'1" tall and weighs 183lbs, with platinum hair and slate grey eyes. Tall and lithe to the point of being slight, Aindros' physique belies his physical strength. His long flat platinum hair frames a gaunt face and deep sunken slate gray eyes; his pale countenance makes plain his Suloise heritage. A prominent scar runs down the right side of his face from his forehead to his chin, imparting a somewhat grim air to his crooked smile. The right eye itself is missing, a result of his recent imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Scarlet Brotherhood, and he keeps the empty socket (a rather gruesome sight) covered with a patch.
His equipment is spartan and obviously well worn, though in good repair. Aindros wears a chain shirt and shield, and carries a longsword among his many weapons. His movements are equally sparse and efficient and mark the martial training that he undoubtedly has received in the past.
Personality: Silent and withdrawn, Aindros speaks little and when he does it usually of a somewhat melancholy nature. His laconic nature is by no means a mark of hostility, as he can be warm and even friendly when engaged, but rarely remains so, as his mind wanders to apparently darker thoughts.
One thing is clear, Aindros has a consuming and abiding hatred for the Scarlet Brotherhood, exceeding even the extremes that are considered normal in Onnwal. When discussing the Brotherhood, his normally wan eye alights with anger and his emotions flare through both his venomous words and his agitated posture. Those in even brief companionship with Aindros quickly learn how to shift the topic to brighter subjects, specifically those that will distract his attention.
Since his recent captivity in the hands of the Scarlet Brotherhood, Aindros has become increasingly isolated and brooding. Turning away from the Onnwalon society that now views him as an outcast, he finds comfort only in his companions, particularly the sorceress Jel, the paladin Devrin, and especially his frequent companion, the dwur fighter Halin.
Background: Aindros' quiet nature leaves many of the elements of his past a mystery. He says that he hails from Sornhill, and, like many, has suffered loss in the invasion and subsequent occupation. However, when pressed, his knowledge of Sornhill is lacking for one who claims to be a native, though he is obviously somewhat familiar with the area. Clearly he is from somewhere along the Storm Coast, as his accent is distinct and his knowledge of the region is quite good, but exactly where is unclear. It is also obvious that he has suffered loss beyond what he is willing to admit, though exactly what loss he has suffered is also unclear. The only comment that he will make on the matter is "they wanted blood... I'll give them blood...", beyond that, he says nothing.
Description: Standing 5'3" high, with a wiry frame weighing 130lbs, Caeleb is a young lad of only eighteen summers. His Oeridian blood is plain to see, sharp grey eyes glaring from a square olive skinned face strewn with freckles, the start of a beard beginning to darken his strong jawline. An unkempt ponytail trails down his back, hair that hints at being a striking shade of auburn were it washed more often.
Caeleb's mud-encrusted wilderness gear of drab greens and browns is well suited to a life lived in the great outdoors, and beneath his varicoloured cloak and tunic can be glimpsed a shirt of glistening mithral with spiked pauldrons and a plain darkwood buckler. An adamantine battleaxe and several quivers of arrows are slung across his back beside a bulging backpack, while two ioun stones orbit his head.
Companion: Caeleb is accompanied by a war-hound called Rover, his sixteenth of that name. Rover is clad in light chain barding and weighed down with adventuring gear, and occasionally condescends to heed his master's orders.
Background: Caeleb was born in a small village of miners, trappers and hunters in the High Headlands Cantred of the Eastern Marchlands, on the second Starday of Ready'reat in the autumn of 577CY. The middle child of five in a family of hunters, he was raised, like his two brothers, to follow in his father's footsteps. But from a young age he idolised his uncle Alden, a skilled bowman and a member of the Hillstalkers. Whenever Alden visited, Caeleb would drink in his stories of war with eager ears. It was Alden who told him of the worship of Phaulkon and carved him his first holy symbol, though this was confiscated by his father as an icon of "foul Suloise gods" as soon as his uncle had left.
That was the last time Caeleb ever saw Alden, who was captured by the Brotherhood before he could visit again. So when news of the Brewfest Rebellion reached the village, Caeleb boasted of how he would join the Hillstalkers like his uncle before him and drive the Scarlet Scum from Onnwal's shores. His father soon baulked his boyish dreams, forbidding him to leave the family. Thus he spent the next seven years chafing at the bit, channelling his frustration into mastering the art of the hunt, until the day he turned sixteen and ran away from home to join the rebels.
He made his way north to Sornhill, eager to prove his worth on the front lines. Seeking others to team up with, he met Zareba and Teplin in a tavern and was introduced to the Thorns of Tassek. Despite his sometimes curt and impatient manner, his skill with a bow and knowledge of the wild saw him joining the Tassek adventuring community.
Following that, the actions of the prophet Tarnedas eventually drove him to reject the worship of Phaulkon and begin paying at least lip-service to the faith of Jascar. After returning the child Veryanna to Sornhill, he was accepted for trial by the Hillstalkers and finally achieved his dream of entering their ranks, since when his services to Onnwal have earnt him the Gilded Laurel of Azharadian and the Order of Valour. Since his death while escorting a caravan through the Iron Hills, he has become somewhat more ruthless and impatient (and remains as cynical as ever), always determined to see a mission through to the end as efficiently as possible with minimal collateral damage. He was a member of the Sornhill Skirmishers and rose through their ranks to become a Sertern, but when they were disbanded at the end of the Brotherhood's occupation he transferred his commission to the Free State Army, becoming a Sertern in the Auxiliaries of the 3rd Braetad under Braetern Finian Wrack. He has recently joined the Thorns of Tassek Adventuring Company and become an ally of the archmage Tenser.
Description: A male Flan over six feet in height, Lyrin's sturdy runner's build weighs fourteen and a half stone and his light copper skin is already weathered and scarred from years of outdoor living and countless battles against agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood and other foes of freedom. Mischievous amber eyes beam from a broad strong face, mercurial features framed by wavy black hair bound in a dozen shoulder length braids. A neatly trimmed beard surrounds a wide, generous mouth that can switch from smile to snarl in a heartbeat. He has occasionally been known to adorn his face with warpaint in shades of vermilion and blue.
Those who can penetrate both the magical and mundane layers of his disguise note that his unnaturally tough skin is composed of fine scales with a faint sheen of brass, his teeth are vicious fangs and sharp talons adorn the ends of his fingers.
Lyrin wears a pair of plain leather breeches, held up by a thick leather belt studded with iron and a stout steel buckle bearing the symbol of Tritherion, tucked into a pair of plain and sturdy kneeboots with carefully wound woollen puttees of drab green around their brims to keep water out. A plain white linen tunic covers a chain shirt of darkest matte black mithral, with a silken sash checked in the green and gold colours of Free Onnwal around his waist and a matching scarf of thick cloth in the same colours around his neck, which can quickly and easily be pulled up to cover his nose and mouth. Also around his neck hang three holy symbols of Tritherion worked in silver, and two chains vanishing beneath his collar. He is protected from the elements by a hooded woollen cloak of varicoloured thread, fastened by a steel brooch also in the shape of Tritherion's symbol. He normally wears this cloak with the hood down, his head covered by a steel cap worn beneath a wide brimmed leather hat with a blue band, around which orbits a small crystal prism of dusty rose hue. Snug fingerless archer's gloves of fine leather guard his hands and wrists, backed with ornately engraved silver wristbands. On the ring finger of his left hand is a small silver ring in the shape of a coiled serpent, and on the middle finger an ornately engraved gold band. Across his back are slung three guisarmes, a lance, a longbow with three quivers of arrows and a heavy flail, while at his belt hang a longsword, a rapier, a dagger and a sap, as well as an Everburning Torch, a belt pouch and several spell component pouches.
Familiar: The head of a viper can often be seen peering out from one of Lyrin's pockets, its scales patterned in dark green and dull tan yellow. This is his familiar, Carolk, so named after one of Tritherion's three holy animals.
Background: Born amongst the Flan tribes of the Headlands on Godsday of Growfest 576CY, Lyrin's mother Shala was of pure Flan heritage and his father Gerrik an Onnwalon from the Storm Coast. Lyrin's miscegeny left him ostracised by his peers despite the predominantly Flan cast of his features, and though his childhood hardened him it did not make him happy. When word came to their village of the Scarlet Brotherhood's atrocities and the fiery deaths of the Farmers, Gerrik vowed to return to his homelands and fight the usurpers, and Lyrin seized the chance to leave the Headlands with his father.
For four years the two of them travelled the lands of Onnwal, banding together with other patriots whenever opportunity allowed, never missing a chance to strike a blow against Onnwal's oppressors. From Gerrik Lyrin learnt to be at home in the wilderness, and to harness and subdue the first stirrings of the sorcerous power he now commands - power which would be a death sentence were he to return to his tribe. From the blood of his mother's people came his swiftness, his temper and his strange dreams of flight.
Yet finally his father's fortune ran cold - a skirmish between their band and a squad of the Brotherhood's hated hochebi in late '91 left Gerrik dead, two red-fletched arrows nestled in his chest. Lyrin vowed that day to take vengeance for his father's death, and his hatred for hochebi and their kind grows stronger year by year. Wandering the land in the Avenger's name, he fell in with Andar, Elysia, Teplin, Zareba and their companions, eventually joining them as one of the Thorns of Tassek.
Such fealty to a nobleman, however, chafed with Lyrin's Trithereonite ideals, so in Wealsun '93 he joined with Fox and Devrin to found a new War Company, the Roses of Tassek. He also became a Curate of Onnwal's Established Church of Tritherion and a Squire of the Knights of the Chase, but his wanderlust and increasing discomfort with the Onnwalon Szek's curtailing of civil rights in the name of the war effort have led to him forsaking Onnwal (and the Roses and the Established Church with it) to live a nomadic life across the wider Flanaess. He has travelled to places as far afield as the Kingdom of Fruztii, the Land of Black Ice and the Ataphad Islands to the north, the Dry Steppes to the west and the Amedio Jungle and Hepmonaland to the south, vigorously spreading liberty and retribution wherever he goes and developing a talent for deceiving the enemies of freedom with an endless variety of disguises.
Andar is a slight young man originally hailing from a small croft just outside Sornhill. He has the dark hair of a Flan but his eyes and facial features show tales of his Suel blood. He and his family fled to Sunndi when the town was occupied, there the young Andar became quiet and withdrawn, spending more and more time amongst the trees. It was here he met a band of wandering olve who taught him some of their skills and introduced him to his companion Winston, a wolf who has saved Andar's life many times.
When he heard of Sornhill's recapture by the forces of Free Onnwal he returned to help rebuild the town. On his way home he met a noniz named Teplin and his wolf Ashigar and despite their many differences the noniz brought the quiet young man out of himself. Just lately Andar has been converted to the worship of the Ale-Wife and can now often be seen encouraging his companions to enjoy themselves in an expansive manner which would have been unheard of before his return home.
Teplin is a dark-haired noniz from the hills east of Sornhill. Realising that the scourge of the Brotherhood was not going to go away, he took himself from his warm and comfortable hole to join with the 'barbaric' humans in their attempts to drive off the invaders. He has found friendship with Andar of the Green, Elysia of the Fallnos Vale and Zareba of the Flan, and together they are starting to make a name for themselves. In an attempt to duplicate this success he has also joined the Free Onnwal Navy, and more recently the service of the Duchess herself.
Teplin can often be found wandering near Sornhill, balancing his time between the city and its people, and the wild places still untouched by the invasion. He rarely goes home again, knowing how hard it was for him to leave the first time.
He is notable for his curled pipe and his odd philosophical views. Only danger seems to shake him from his usual good humoured calm, and it is possible that he is more fond of the edge that peril brings than he would be comfortable to admit.
Up to the top -
Aindros - Andar - Caeleb - Dieter - Esrodin - Folquet - Galath - Halin - Jamalia
Jel - Khrys - Lethey - Loris - Lyrin - Nixon - Penrith - Phineas - Rylor - Teplin - Venya
This page last updated: 13th October 2008
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