Part 3: Potential Party MembersUpdate 001A Character Submissions
Hello all. This update will present to you all the characters that the thread participants suggested be added to the party. To be fair, I will present them in Alphabetical order.
At the end of this update, I will make my personal selection known for the PC who will join the party directly. The other four slots will be filled out by votes in the thread, the process which will also be explained in the end of this update.
I will show off the proposed PC's stat line as they would appear in the game at Level 1, followed by the description submitted by the author.
Let's move on:
Aarth-Tsss was born in Gnass - only an unnamed child during Sss-Thsss's reign of terror. She grew up hearing tales of the monstrous Slith's madness, and how she had to be better than that - how she had to learn to not hate humans.
Then, one day, six humans came to visit the settlement. She did not speak with them, only watched from afar - and yet, somehow, she knew that this would be important.
And then Sss-Thsss died. Slain, by a human woman named 'Art'.
Aarth-Tsss chose her name upon coming of age with the intent of honouring this heroic woman, venturing toward human society in an attempt to mend bridges. One of the humans slew the cruel overlord - they were capable of great good. She was innocent, unknowing of what they could truly do.
And she learned.
She learned of the magi, of Linda, of Erika. She learned of the Empire, even then beginning its assault on Exile, and of the cruelty of Emperor Hawthorne. A human like Sss-Thsss -
- and like him, also slain by the heroine, Art.
The more Aarth-Tsss learned about her chosen namesake, the more she sought to emulate her. She signed on to assist the humans in repelling the Empire's vengeance - as the Slith monster was opposed, so should be the Human monster - seeking to learn more about this 'Art' woman, hoping to one day meet her. Praying, even - where the gods had not helped, Art had.
This has culminated in a rumor - that there was a mission to be accomplished, and that Art might - just might - be involved in it. A chance Aarth-Tsss could not pass up. She would meet her hero. And she would do anything in her power to help her.
Name: Adel Behdin
Traits: Magically Apt, Toughness, Frail
Heretic, homosexual, charismatic, there are a myriad of reasons why Adel was seen fit to banish to the underground at the age of 19. Born to a pair of priests of the Order of Prevailing Righteousness, Adel was expected to be a link in the chain. To have strong faith, to build a strong family, to fight evil with priestly powers and to never ask uncomfortable questions. Instead he was thoughtful, of wavering faith, of no interest in taking a wife. He was placed under the tutelage of a harsh elder priest who sought to scourge out the undesirable characteristics from the boy, putting him through hard work with little food or rest and teaching him priestly spells with a merciless edge to every rite and supplication. He turned his bitterness into introspection and through his magical tutelage developed his own perspective on faith. He's come to believe in the One Source: that all magic, priestly or arcane, comes from a single flow and that flow of energy is itself divine, benevolent and intelligent. He believes the Source to support harmony between systems, to be empowered by freedom and independence and quashed by imperialism and oppression. His teacher pulled some strings and had the boy banished to Exile for his heresy, slipping him right through the cracks.
Adel is gentle and thoughtful and always in good humor, an absolutely fundamental believer in goodness, charity, freedom and protecting the innocent. His new-found faith has made him a church of one and when he's not espousing virtue, he's conducting experiments to discover or contact the One Source, to truly see if his faith holds up under scrutiny. He no longer believes in gods, only in people and the turning of systems such as community, nature and magic. He's fascinated with magical artifacts and channeling magical energy and would gladly endanger himself to learn more about them or acquire means to enhance his ability to channel. To this end he's taken up the study of Mage spells as well as priestly, to expand his knowledge of different ways to channel spell energy. Those who channel magic live longer than those who don't. He believes this fact is integral to proving his theories and discovering the One Source to be truth, to those ends he wants to become a font of SP. He wants to break past the fundamentally understood limits of the human body storing magical energy and in that moment touch divinity.
Name: Ashley J. Boul
Traits: Nimble Fingers
Ash is a conman and thief. His days and nights are spent trying to get his hands on whatevers valuable. Which didn't make it terribly surprising why he wound up in Exile. However, exile itself wouldn't be enough to force him to change his ways. With all the legends springing up surrounding a certain exile company and their exploits, he found a new con. Simply put, impersonating people. Namely Art. As a person, Ash tends to be loud, brash, and to put it bluntly, all hot air. Hes happy to boast about "his" exploits and lie about whatever he can, but when it comes to actually doing anything, he generally tries to make others do the dirty work. As for why hes here? Probably was forced to go to the fort as means of escaping a bad wager or bad con. Hes there to 'prove' hes the real thing. And by that I mean slip away as soon as he can line his pockets with a few trinkets, or at least thats the plan.
Traits: Magically Apt, Nimble Fingers, Frail.
Cameron is a coward. He always has been and he always will be. He was a coward growing up in Baghra and hiding from the petty pickpockets and bullies; he was a coward when he snuck through the caverns of the giants, escaping the lawlessness of the Abyss for the safer caverns east; and he was a coward when he stole a book of spells from the under the noses of the Tower of the Magi.
Because, unlike many cowards, Cameron finds his fear doesn't paralyse him; it spurs him into action. He is painfully aware that he is surrounded by danger at all times: the blades of the Empire, the justice of Exile's government, and the monsters of the caverns. The world, Cameron reasons, is a dangerous place; the solution is to become more dangerous than it.
And, lacking the physique to learn swordsmanship, there's really nothing for it but to become the most powerful wizard who ever lived.
He thought he'd found a safe spot in Cotra to settle down and perfect his studies, but with one thing and another, he found himself drawn north. The military there was recruiting, and he figured the safest place to be right now was behind a large number of trained, armoured, and above all loyal soldiers.
Cameron is paranoid. Cameron is devious. And Cameron seeks out opportunity. People who don't understand him think he's motivated by gold, or by favours, or by magical knowledge, but really all that he's after is safety. It's just that Cameron measures his safety by the number of people he can kill in the first minute of combat.
Traits: Toughness, Good Constitution
"Most people down here think of Exile as a place for the politically undesirable or dissidents who need to be gotten out of the way. There's some truth to that, but me? I probably deserved being booted into Fort Emergence."
"I was born in Sharimik in the Valorim province Up There, but I grew up in Kriszan. My parents abandoned me and left for the Isle of Bigail to join some cult when I was ten, and it left me out on the street. I wasn't about to give up, so I fell in with a gang. Being tougher than most kids my age and some adults, I did decent enough. Our leader Griff was a careful one, always made sure to grease the palm of one of the guard captains, a prick named Arbuckle, and was careful about the targets we picked. We never rolled anyone too rich or too connected and we always spaced out our activities. At the time, I didn't give a shit, I just did what I was told to do by Griff. Whatever I was told to do. Didn't make much of a difference to me if it was threatening an cloth merchant's daughter with my mace to get her mother to pay protection money or beating a priest who was preaching against the small brothel we had opened. I did my job and did it well."
"That is, until we picked the wrong target. A weapons dealer who had bribed Arbuckle to provide new weapons to the city guards for an inflated price. He never saw me as I worked him over for his gold, but he saw Griff and that was enough. The next day, Arbuckle arrested all twelve of us and executed Griff in the city square in front of us. 'An example for those who disrupt the public order.' The rest of us were given a choice: Exile or the Army. Most chose the Army, I chose Exile. I had taken enough orders and wouldn't put myself in that same position again."
"Since I came down just before the death of that cheesedick Hawthorne, I wandered. Occasionally worked as a guard for a merchant moving between Cotra and Formello, occasionally worked as a sellsword going after the Sliths before Sss-Thsss was made into a leather bag, occasionally crushed a couple of Kitty skulls. I just did what a man who's good with a mace does when he needs to get beer in his mug and food on his plate. Since the Empire started flooding into the caverns, I figure the frontier's getting all the regular soldiers pulled into the meat grinder, leaving room for someone like me to make a bit of coin. Never been to Fort Ganrick, but figure it'll be worth the trip."
Caradoc is a fair-complexioned man in his early thirties with a broken nose and a couple of small scars on his face. He is well-built and dresses in plain clothes.
Personality: Caradoc is a thug, with all that entails. Mostly amoral, he doesn't really care how he uses his skills, just that he makes some money while doing so. He's fine with most anyone so long as they don't try to preach or moralize at him, but those he truly despises are hypocrites like Arbuckle. His parents' abandonment of left him with a skepticism of religion and the religious as well as a soft spot for children. He had to grow up quickly on the streets and it's always been something he's resented. He never hates those he fights, because he only ever fights in self-defense or for money, an opinion he gladly shares with anyone whenever the topic comes up.
Traits: Toughness, Cave Lore
Chester was born in Exile, in a small farming village, and has never known the surface world. When the Empire invasions started, he was just 13, and couldn't join the army yet -- but he started training with whatever weapons he could get his hands on, and built a shield out of planks to train with as well. He didn't have any family killed by the Empire, he just wanted to defend his home against the invaders. The day he turned 18, he walked down to his local recruitment station to sign up. He was a little disappointed to be sent to some remote outpost to deal with Nephilim bandits rather than going to the front lines, but he'll serve wherever he's needed most. And if that means a remote outpost, then he'll serve at a remote outpost. Hopefully if he does a good job here, this will lead to more important postings later on.
Earnest, honest, straightforward, Chester is exactly what he seems like. If this world had grenades, he'd be the guy who would jump on the grenade to save his buddies. Basically, think Captain America in personality, though not in any other way. (He doesn't throw his shield, he came by his muscles genetically rather than via a super-soldier experiment... He's not intended to be a clone of anyone.) He doesn't always pick up on sarcasm right away, making him a great unintentional straight man for more snarky party members to play off of. But he's not stupid either; if you're making fun of him, he'll figure it out and let you know he doesn't appreciate it. And if you ignore his polite request to stop, he'll let you know in other ways... like lizards showing up inexplicably in your bedroll. He may be a bit of a boy scout, but he's not going to let anyone push him around either.
Name: Conrad Ayers
Traits: Magically Apt, Sluggish
There are a few traits that don't mix well with being a mage. Conrad is most of those. Boisterous, loud, and with a love of stiff drink, he never really endeared himself much to his fellows at the tower. Combined with his general laziness about getting any work done, most of his teachers were glad to be shot of him once his initial training was complete. While he didn't fit in so well with his peers, he did have a natural talent for the art, soaking up the information given to him, and in the library like a sponge. One of his skill might have been on the fast track towards the upper echelons of the tower. "Hell no!" Conrad replied, and set forth for the lesser explored parts of Exile, seeking adventure, and wrongs to right. It would seem that books of magic were not the only ones he absorbed, mixing his extensive learning with more than a few stories of heroes saving towns from beasts and rogues. His heart is in the right place, however a little incident near the town of Cotra involving a troupe of actors derailed his quest, and the choice became either prison due to being unable to repay the damages, or work. And so he was sent to Fort Ganrick to aid in the garrison there. It hopefully won't be long till he works off the debt, but will he survive the boredom of guard duty?
Active. Extremely friendly. However he has a tendency both to leap before looking, and to see things in black and white. Likes to think of himself as the hero in one of his stories, but in reality, he's just wrecking an entertainer's wagon, thinking it's a dragon.
Traits: Nimble Fingers, Cave Lore, Frail
Thrown out by her tribe for being persistently drunk, Dmurr has an exceptional love and low tolerance for strange concoctions to spice up the dreadful quality of drink available in Exile, going so far as to make her own brews. She wanders the wilderness of Exile, seeking out more things to bottle. There should be something out there that could make the alcohol decent, if only she can find it.
Unfortunately for her, her quest was derailed by trying out a new mushroom brew in Cotra. The ensuing property damage, and the stolen booze in her pack, got her sent to Fort Ganrick, the better to sober her up and pay off the damages. She heard they have no alcohol of any sort there. It must be hell.
Cheerful and annoyingly friendly when she's had a bottle in her, Dmurr gets increasingly high strung and jittery the longer she gets between drinks, giving the illusion of being extremely focused(which she is, but only on getting her hands on the next bottle). Nevertheless, she has a well honed survival instinct, and is surprisingly capable of shooting straight even when barely able to stand straight.
Name: Geoffry Archer
Traits: Magically Adept, Sluggish
Mr. Archer is the only child of a modest background, neither poor nor affluent. Despite the name, Geoffrey was an all-kingdom fencing champion in his youth who became something of a minor celebrity. Despite his burgeoning fame, he kept a level head on his shoulders and remained humble. Nevertheless, despite a lack of hubris he was brought down. One day he was skirmishing with some spoiled brat son of a noble house and beating him quite badly. The noble, infuriated that a "peasant" like Geoffrey could be the better of him despite his insanely expensive training and "good genes", ceded defeat. While Geoffrey was wiping his brow, his opponent stabbed him in the left knee with his rapier, which was secretly enchanted to burst into flame on command. The damage was severe and, though he is mobile, not even magic could totally heal his affliction and he limps noticeably to this day. The injury actually causes him no pain, merely a weakness and instability in the joint, but he is very self-conscious about his limp.
After his wounding, he naturally had to give up swordplay, which was the only life he had ever known. After a time, his savings ran out and his condition made it that he couldn't even earn a basic living, which left him on the verge of homelessness and starvation for several years. During this time, he developed a deep loathing for the wealthy classes who allowed decent people, him and others, to flounder and waste away while they lived in appalling luxury. Finally, a sharp mind and a quick tongue earned him a fellowship with a magical college where he excelled. During his studies he became a vocal opponent of the wealthy aristocracy and the monarchy that supported them, as he blamed that group for his crippling and fall from grace as well as much of society's ills. His acrid critiques of the ruling class made him a lot of enemies, and he was one of the final surface-dwellers exiled before the practice was terminated.
Pyrophobe. Due to the burning injury that destroyed his knee, Geoffrey despises fire in all forms and has since refused to use any fire magic for any reason. (This isn't in the game, it's just for flavour)
Geoffrey uses his rapier whit (pun very much intended) to cope with the anger he feels towards his injury and the hatred he feels towards the ruling classes and the wealthy. He is a tremendously generous and compassionate man towards the legitimately downtrodden and disenfranchised, but has no compassion or patience for the decadent, rich, or spoiled. He idolises the original Committee and especially Art for taking down Hawthorne, and holds her in very high esteem. Despite being a humble, if bitter, fellow, he tends to speak in a rather elite way, using a lot of technical terms and purple prose. However, it's merely a personality quirk and not a way of putting himself above others. (Think Karmas from Exile 1) Deep down, Geoffrey is slightly glad for this invasion as he badly wants to hurt the kingdom in any way that he can. On a lighter note, Geoffrey enjoys cheese and cats, though there's little cheese in Exile (I presume) and his new role in the party would preclude feline companions.
Name: Hawthorne Rekban
Traits: Magically Adept
The Rekban clan was a small but wealthy family living in Blackstone on the continent of Pralgrad. Such was the family's esteem for the Empire that Hawthorne's mother named him after King Hawthorne, who she often declared to him was 'the greatest man ever to live'. Unfortunately at the age of six, one of the family's rivals framed his father for the crime of theft from the treasury he helped manage, causing him to be executed and the remainder of the family Exiled below.
Without a father and with a name to engender the hatred of most in Avernum, young Hawthorne had to grow up fast. He got into fights at first over his name, and then over the way other people looked at him - and occasionally because of the way other people apologized for the way they looked at him. He worked as a boatbuilder's apprentice in Cotra for a few years, earning little, but enough to keep his mother fed. However, the caves of Exile did not agree with her, and an illness of the lungs killed her. It was during this time that a shipment of iron weapons were being sent south from Cotra to Almaria, as the war with the slith was just beginning.
Hawthorne was sent along to fix any problems with the boat en route. During that time, the craft was attacked by slithzerikai,and the crew butchered. Hawthorne hid in a cupboard on board, and was not seen by the slith. The boat foundered on the shores near the Honeycomb, the slith's attention drawn to another passing craft. Realising his good fortune, Hawthorne quietly lifted the entire cargo and managed to sell them piecemeal to adventurers, mercenaries, and so on. He wandered south, eventually making his way to the Tower of the Magi. There he bartered his way into an apprenticeship, and became a passable mage.
His habit of getting into fistfights with the other apprentices over very little, his slow progress learning spells, and his relative inability to study with the same proficiency as other, more talented apprentices meant that there was no place for him in the Tower after he finished his apprenticeship. So he went north, seeking a job as an adventurer.
Traits: Cave Lore, Good Constitution
Background: A soldier in the Slith War of Exile , Irving was part of an ill-fated attack on Sss-Thss's island fortress. An early injury to his leg took him out of the combat, leaving him to watch as his comrades fought their way into the fortress...and never returned. When a Slith patrol came looking for him, he was forced to take one of his squad's boats and flee into the Waterfall Warrens, the only place he could reach where they would not follow him. He stayed there, thoroughly lost, for the entire rest of the war, tending his wound as best he could, surviving off of fish and lichen, and fending off the many hostile creatures of the caves.
By the time he finally made his exit from the maze of waterfalls, the Slith War was long over. He returned to the army, volunteering his new survivalist skills to the cause as a scout and, when he has a map, guide. He's been assigned to keep an eye on this new group of recruits and make certain they don't get into too much trouble. A genial sort (and a bit lax on military discipline), he doesn't hold much of a grudge against sliths or nephils (after all, he knows that the ones in this group are not the same ones that killed his comrades in the war)...though he wouldn't mind going for a wrestling match against them. Just for fun, you know.
Traits: Magically Apt, Cave Lore
What is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women...these days, Kai-Lyss would be lucky to have food to eat and a place to sleep.
Once one of dread Sss-Thsss' warlords, Kai-Lyss had glory and fear heaped on their name, until Art came along; now, Kai-Lyss is now a mangy 'adventurer', outcast from their people and struggling to survive. The years have not been kind, and every day is a painful reminder of complete and utter defeat, of the destruction of one's hopes and dreams, of outliving one's place in history. Until Art came along, that is...
The irony of the situation is not lost on Kai-Lyss, but this is a last chance for glory, or failing that, redemption.
Traits: Nimble Fingers
Marianna's parents probably hoped that boarding school would make their daughter into an upstanding member of society. Sadly, the education she got was rather different; in between the theatre classes (which she loved) and memorizing the names of Emperor Hawthorne's distant relatives (which she hated), she spent most of her time sneaking out after curfew, tricking her fellow students into cheating for her, and lying her way out of everything. In her senior year, this culminated in an ill-fated dognapping of the headmistress's pet, Mr. Barkums, which resulted in Mari getting summarily expelled.
Rather than return to her parents in disgrace, she fled to the imperial capital, Solaria, and put her talents to use relieving the wealthy and unobservant of their valuables. Lies, fraud, impersonation, and a bit of old-fashioned larceny filled her pockets with jewellery and her ears with sordid secrets. But the Mr. Barkums Incident had taught her nothing of humility, and she got greedy. One of her nobly-born marks caught wise, alerted the guards, and then it was chains and dungeons and the portal. Exile is no place for a city-slicker, what with the horrible beasts and the lack of upscale coffee shops, but she's trying to make do.
Her main skill is deception; she's preternaturally good at misleading and manipulating other people, and can change personalities like most people change clothes. She's been faking it so long, she's almost forgotten how to tell the truth.
Name: Mercy (Real Name: Khaaa-Hss)
An exile of a different sort, Khaaa-Hss was forced from his home during the tyrannical reign of Sss-Thsss, as his political views did not endear him to his increasingly war-like peers. A curious and friendly sort, Khaaa-Hss's spent the years trying to find a place to live amongst the other races of Exile; however, he found them all too warlike for his liking. During Grah-Hoth's demon invasion, however, Khaaa-Hss found an unlikely home amongst the humans: fleeing the demons, he sought shelter in a nearby village. He was almost killed on the spot, had he not managed to croak out the word "mercy", the sum total of his knowledge of the human language at the time. His skill with alchemy and healing soon made him invaluable to the small settlement, and he was tentatively allowed to live nearby; before long, he became the village's unlikely doctor. The townsfolk called him Mercy after the first word he spoke to them, though thankfully he became skilled with the language rather quickly.
Mercy's been living amongst humans for years now, and has almost forgotten that most of humanity would distrust him. When war with the Empire started, he chose to help as best he could, applying his knowledge and magic as a medic for the forces of Exile. He refuses to personally engage in combat, remembering all too well the horrors of what his people became while under demonic influence.
Mercy is friendly and jovial, but a bit naive. He takes a diplomatic approach to conversation, and will try to make new allies anywhere he can. Should a fight break out amongst his companions, Mercy will be the first to try to calm things down. Trauma from his exile has made him skittish amongst his own kind: he'll seek to avoid dealing with them whenever possible.
Traits: Nimble Fingers, Cave Lore, Magically Inept
You'd think a hunter, especially one as skilled as Mrrawn, would be the silent type. And indeed, when he's on the hunt, Mrrawn becomes almost eerily focused, and the only words he says to his hunting companions are all focused on the business of bringing down the prey. But back home, in the company of his friends, he's quite gregarious. He's always had a fascination with humans, and has often watched human towns from a camouflaged position, observing the humans going about their business and trying to figure out what they are thinking and why they do what they do. He's gotten some things right, and some hilariously wrong: for example, he thinks beer-drinking is some sort of sacred ritual devoted to the human's fertility gods, since humans who've engaged in heavy drinking will often end up participating in mating behavior shortly afterwards.
Recently, the elders of his village approached Mrrawn and suggested that it seems important to make friendly contact with the humans, and Mrrawn would be well-suited to do so. While Nephilim are a very individualistic culture and taking "orders" from any other Nephil would be a loss of face, a "suggestion" from the village elders carries almost the same weight as an order, and besides, this sort of thing is right up Mrrawn's alley anyway. So he packed his bow, snares, and provisions and set out for the nearest human town, Formello. He was greeted with hostility at first, but someone decided that he might be genuine, and sent him up to Fort Ganrick to fight the Nephilim bandits in the area as a test: is he loyal first to his race, or to the ideals of civilization? Since Mrrawn hates bandits, bullies, and any who would prey on those weaker than them, he has no problems with this idea.
Traits: Magically Apt.
Orssa was chosen by the Slith elders to serve as an ambassador for her people. Intelligent, magically talented and unusually gifted in the human tongue, her official goal is to cement Human-Slithzeriki relations following the fall of Sss-Thsss by working with the government of Exile. Personally she seeks to learn more about surface-worlder magic and to integrate it into the daily lives of her people. For the time being, she is content to acclimate to human customs, such as their bizarre desire to drape themselves in cloth.
Name: Richard "The Kid" Foxx
Background: Richard is one of the oldest kids to be born in Exile. Surrounded by adults 15+ years older than himself, and with few peers, he bitterly resisted any attempts to shorten his name, and as a result is universally called 'The Kid.' Naturally tall and rangy, years of work on the family farm have given him wrists of steel, broad shoulders and an incredible musculature, leading his drill Sargent to joke that even his hair has muscles, but a lack of contact with his peers and a spotty education - the best his exiled mother could provide between farm duties - has left him quiet and reserved, insecure with the much older or alien brethren he has found himself surrounded with.
Supposedly he was recruited to the army after a recruiter was attempting to find a nearby farm owned by some surface world veterans. Lost, he encountered Richard plowing his family fields for the next mushroom crop and asked for directions, whereupon Richard pointed the way, with his plow! Stunned, the recruiter asked him if he would be interested in helping to defend exile.
Still an awkward teenager at heart, Richard is determined to carve out a place for himself, and is strongly motivated to defend his homeland from all its enemies.
Name: Sss-Graa (James)
A Slith warrior who grew up in Gnass, at a young age his talent with pole weapons and his dedication to combat quickly earned him the respect of the elders. However when he became of age, his wanderlust got the best of him and he began to travel to learn more about the caves. His markings that told others that he was from Gnass helped him as they showed he came from the peaceful Slith and he took the human name of James to help blend in with humans. James has always been a slith of few words, allowing his actions to speak for him, however ale and wine tend to help loosen his tongue pretty quick. He heard the stories of the Exiles who killed the emperor of the Empire from the chieftains and upon hearing that one of them was looking for recruits, he made his way towards Fort Ganrick to further learn and explore the caves.
And those are your choices. Here is how voting is going to work:
First, I will pick one PC to join the party outright. After considering the Stats and the characterization provided, I have chosen Aarth-Tsss to be my personal selection. I made my decision based on a simple stat-line, as well as implementing a good character hook that would allow me to develop characterization in everyone in the party over the course of the LP.
Everyone who votes will list their preferences in order, from 4 to 1. The higher the number, the more weight that vote counts as. Two votes of '4' will weigh more than 7 votes of '1' for example. In addition, everyone gets two votes of (-1) to use, for submissions they feel really don't deserve a slot. These two negative votes can be stacked on the same character, or not used at all.
Voting will last for 72 hours, expiring at Midnight Mountain Time, 25 December 2013. I will then tabulate the votes, announce the winning party and prepare the next actual update for the LP with content.