I decided it would be a good idea to go back over our cast and talk about the characters and npcs that are in the sessions so far.
Long Tom-4th level Bladedancer
Long Tom is a zealot in the service of Sethi. His cult believes that not only is life meant for living to its fullest, but that those who seek to cause suffering must be cleansed from the world. While the Celebrants of Sethi see these warrior priests as a bit odd, they do not turn away their blades in times of need.
Long Tom is a charismatic leader, and the most active member of the Sentinels of the Boarderlands. He is dressed in magical leather armor that looks extremely expensive and elegant, with ribbons hanging from the shoulders and gauntlets.
Long Tom is a bit Face Man and a bit Hannibal, always talking through what he can, and coming up with crazy plans for when talking won’t cut it.
Alfric ‘Kinslayer’-3rd level Dwarven Vaultguard
No one knows the full history of the angry, belligerent dwarf. All they knew of him originally was that he had a strange tattoo on his face and a certain morale…flexibility that the rest of them lacked. Since they have included other dwarves in the party, however, they have learned that he is a guilty of kinslaying in his past and is an outcast (‘I had to do it, he was weak and was going to destroy the clan…’ being about the only explanation Alfric has given).
Alfric seems to hate everyone and everything except gold. He is always spoiling for a fighter and often engages even when the rest of the party is considering attempting negotiations. He’s been in a few close calls (and still bares the scars from a knife he got in his back), but his thick armor and devil may care attitude seem to protect him from the worst of his excesses. Despite all this, Alfric somehow manages to get people to like him, or think his angry belligerence is cute rather than deadly (13 CHA).
Kenan-Tal-3rd level Cleric of Talia
Kenan-Tal is a backwater priest, from some tiny village so small it has no name. The strapping lad was found by a wandering priest and reared in the teachings of Talia. He is an extremely pious and naïve youth with a black and white understanding of his faith. Kenan-Tal is also a master healer, his former mentor was a master surgeon and trained him in those skills, making him the best healer in Threshold. The fact he doesn’t charge people for his skills truly angers the healers and chirurgeons of Threshold.
Since Alfric doesn’t actually do anything truly despicable in front of the party, KT has not had any problem. I think he thinks that that’s simply how ‘cultured folk’ act.
His armor is dented and old, showing rust and age (a hand-me-down from his former mentor that he has never bothered to replace).
Lucian-2nd level Tryshallan Nightblade
Lucian is a strange figure. With his shaved head and clipped ears, he strikes a brooding figure. Loyal to the Church of Dakanan, he has been trained as a divine assassin, stalking and killing the servants of Chaos wherever he can find them. His magic has been very useful to the party, as has his companion Nethen’s power (Tryshallan Spellblade, a recent casualty to a medusa’s gaze).
Lucian behaves more human than Tryshallan, a fact that often catches his companions off guard when they expect a more genteel response instead of his more brutal, pragmatic one. Lucian’s spells appear in a flare of geomantic shapes with precise lines and forms.
Lairn-1st level Tryshallan Bloodmage
Lairn is an odd fish, even for a Tryshallan. Naïve about the world, he takes to adventures as a tourist might. His language is highly inflected and old-fashioned. Lairn seems possessed of a dark side however, and when he flips, he literally changes. Darkness seeps from his eyes and his voice and manner become almost demonic. I’m not sure what the rest of the party make of this, seeing it not directed towards them they seem happy to ignore it. His spells are themed around darkness and blood, and are accompanied by the bloody mists, clouds of darkness, or the scent of open wounds.
His ‘raven’ familiar is another odd factor, as it is clearly not normal. It whispers dark secrets to the Tryshallan. The only question is when will he start listening?
Rage Claw & Lillith-2nd level Nar Gladiator, 2nd level Sylvan Witch
This pair of heroes joined the group and brought their own, wild responses to the group’s dynamic. Rage Claw, though bestial in appearance, worshipped the great Sun Dragon, and despised Chaos. In fact Rage Claw’s expectations of dwarven honor and lawful nature often led him to conflict with Alfric and they may well have come to blows if it continued. Rage Claw had no problem leading from the front or scouting ahead for the group, and was truly a monster in combat.
Lilith was stunning witch who drew her magic from the Fey courts and the old Tryshallan magic that lingers in the hidden places of the world. Few could resist her words when she turned her attention on them (+4 to reaction, +6 with seduction). Her magic was mostly of the healing and beneficent kind, and her insect familiar Krillick provided a great deal of aerial recon. Her ability to speak with animals came in handy on more than one occasion.
When last seen, he and Lilith were taking their share from the latest haul to buy a cabin in the Pale around Threshold. (The player had a new baby so had to quit).
Arakhe-2nd level Bladedancer
Arakhe was a fellow servant of Sethi, along with Long Tom. Between the two of the them, they provided a strong second rank with their spears and halberds. Arakhe was observant and cautious, and helped the party with a cool head.
His player’s work schedule changed so he was no longer able to play on game night.
Notable Hirelings and NPCs
Lord Caldwell-A wealthy merchant who has bought his way into the lower ranks of nobility. He has hired the party to clear out his recently purchased castle twice (above ground and basement level). He has also helped the party by sending work their way. A large man, going to fat, thinning hair and a small beard. He is usually found in the Raven’s Heart tavern when in Threshold.
Anika-a young female magician from the exotic south. She has dark hair and dusky skin, and wears scarves and shawls, colored as her magician’s rank, as is common in the southern imperial lands. For a long time, Anika has been the sole font of arcane power and knowledge, able to occasionally identify items for the party as well. She has an air of mystery and a sardonic humor that finds other party members on the sharp edge of it. She was asked to lift a coffin lid which left her exposed to a wight’s grasp and near death, turning some of her hair white in the process. She still nurses some resentment for that moment, making her bitterness come out more regularly.
Cronyan-a warden that accompanied Anika and dogs her every step. The party is not certain if they are a couple, or if Cronyan merely adores her from afar. Less effective than some other hirelings, Long Tom kind of hopes he’ll get eaten so he can replace him. But for now, the pair are inseparable, and Cronyan’s insistence that he be placed near her in any formation sometimes sticks in Long Tom’s craw.
Bruna-a warrior woman of the northern tribes, a spear maiden of the old ways, Bruna originally joined the party in service to Alfric. However, her staunchly lawful nature rebelled against the dwarf’s obvious self-centered, murderous nature, so she has left him and joined Kenan-Tal. She takes a protective stance towards the priest, looking out for him as a mother or older sister might. She is also a tactician, having learned the art of leading others in battle, something the party has no real experience with.
Anara-Anara is a quiet, slender woman, who is a skilled scout. She is capable at sneaking and hiding and is the only human they’ve met who recognized Alfric’s tattoo when they first met. She seemed to find it amusing that such a dwarf would be allied with a priest of Talia, and offered to join him. Anara has mostly served as a sniper. She knows more than she is saying, and her reasons for joining the party have never quite become clear.
Lysander-One of the first hirelings to join the group. He is an attractive man, lithe rather than strong. A good fit for Long Tom. Often served as spear back up. Made the mistake of looking a medusa in the eyes.
Havelock-Along with Guido, Havelock was one of the first two hirelings taken on board…and the first to die. He met his end at the hands of wight. He was cremated and his ashes spread…just in case.
Nethren-an elven spellblade that followed the taciturn Lucian into the human lands. Though he was a follower of the old ways, he still joined the human-acting tryshallan, perhaps in hopes of bringing him around to behaving like a tryshallan. Also made the mistake of looking a medusa in the eyes.
I have to say, I’m surprised at how few characters have fallen. Old School games have a real reputation as meat grinders, and though there have been some tense moments, luck and skill have seen the players through. I don’t fudge die rolls, making them in the open, and the players have a keenly honed sense of when their luck is running out and it’s time to retreat to town. I suppose having 2-3 ‘healer classes’ most of the time hasn’t hurt. But basically, I think they all have a high degree of player skill which really helps.