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Shadow of the Demon Lord: Crossings Double-Cross

Page history last edited by Adrian 2 years, 5 months ago

The Premise

Crossings always has its share of unsightly diseases doing the rounds, but the latest rash of afflictions is something different altogether. More than that, it’s been striking the great and the good as well as the low and the unsavory, which makes this unusual malady something the authorities cannot long ignore.

 

On top of that, strange creatures have been plaguing the nights around the dockside Tankards district, striking from the sky and infesting the victims with a deadly gift.

 

Six months on from the events at Avelton, past 'friends' once again find their lives entangled, times are yet again dire, and opportunity beckons for the brave or the foolish to tramp the alleys of Crossings and set things to rights, or at least leave them less wrong.

 

Useful Links

A map of the Northern Reaches:

A map of Crossings

Map of the Warehouse

Player Character Talents

Player Character Spell Descriptions

Variant Rules

Master List of Ancestries and Paths.pdf

 

CHARACTER STATUS TRACKER

 

The Characters

 

Ariadne, a Human Revenant Priest (played by XhaosDaemon)

 

ARIADNE

 

Ariadne is a 21 year old human of average height and weight, absolutely average features and is also returned from the dead, no longer casting a shadow and, if she speaks when angry, another entity uses her voice to interject strange and unsettling words and phrases into her speech. She is educated, honourable, dutiful and impulsive. 

 

Previously without religious inclination, this changed after she was sacrificed by cultists of the Demon Lord. The New God resurrected her and charged her with the duty to represent the god's interests in the world. A Priestess of the New God, of the Bearers of the Faith order.

 

The three mice she carries were gnawing on her body before she was transformed and returned by the New God. They have been given the ability to speak as a side-effect of the process and whisper the tenets of the New God.

 

----

 

Ariadne witnessed the horror wrought by demons firsthand. she's seen possession firsthand or survived an attack from a demon. She swore to fight the Demon Lord’s corruption and send its minions screaming back to the eternal darkness from which they were spawned, vowing to devote her unlife to destroying a terrible evil.

 

Cairn, a Clockwork Warrior (played by Kreen Warrior)

 

CAIRN

 

Cairn is 7 years old, 6' tall and 300lbs with no facial features or distinguishing marks and has a humanoid form. Built for war, he searches for meaning in a world in which he has no place. 

 

Found by Connor, who turned his key and he now owes them a debt. Since then he's been living on civilisation's edges. Cairn was built for some colonization project that never got off the ground; the idea being that clockworks might be sent ahead of the majority of human settlers to clear ground, construct homes and plant crops in preparation for the arrival of humans. Cairn was sent as part of the first wave. However, contact was lost and presumably some force came and destroyed the early "settlers".

Connor found Cairn when he was brought back by an uneducated peddler who looted the site where Cairn had been sent. The bronze plate was among the items he was found with, presumably "Albus" is the family name of someone who sponsored the expedition. At this point, beyond the obvious dream of all clockworks to hire someone to be a full time standby key-turner, Cairn would like to find out exactly what happened to his expedition and the fellow clockworks, and possibly get revenge.

 

Connor, a Human Warrior/Fighter (played by Fred)

 

CONNOR

 

Connor is 49 years old, tall, but otherwise perfectly average looking. He puts his and his friends' interests above anything else. He is courageous, cheerful but arrogant. He belongs to the cult of the New God.

 

Connor was born in Foundry and was recruited as a saboteur when he was 12 to work in the war between the many smelting operations. By 18, he grew tired of that life. Packing his things, Connor hit the road and travelled throughout the Northern Reach and a few other places in the empire.

 

When he was 23, this nomadic lifestyle came to an abrupt end as Connor was captured and turned into a slave. For five more years, he toiled under his masters, until a chance to escape presented itself. Pursued by his captors, Connor was saved by Caldheror, an Elven weaponmaster. The fey warrior took pity on the disheveled young human and taught him how to fight, as well as how to speak Elvish.

 

Connor spent two more years traveling, until he met Caitlin, a young farmer’s daughter who stole his heart. Connor married her and the two managed the farm when Caitlin’s parents passed away. With the birth of the couple’s fourth child a year ago, finances took a turn for the worst and Connor decided to look for work as a mercenary or adventurer.

 

Connor and Caitlin had to ask for a loan from one of Crossings' wealthiest (and somewhat unsavory) merchants, Zephrain Honeytongue, after two crops in a row failed. In order to assuage some of the debt, Connor accepted an offer by Honeytongue to work as his bodyguard in a fancy event the merchant was attending at the house of one of the city's elite (Honeytongue always wanted to be part of Crossings' high society). Connor misjudged the approach of a rat-faced merchant as an attack on his employer and reacted, crashing into a waiter and covering Honeytongue in pudding, some of which stained Connor's only set of fine clothes. After the ridicule he suffered, Honeytongue was way more draconian in exacting payments, which forced Connor to go adventuring.

 

He’s been at it for the past three months and sends most of his earnings back to Caitlin. He hopes to score big soon so he can go back to his family. 

 

---

 

After the events of Crossings, Connor has it in mind to clear his name of an old crime and has taken up employment as a guard. He's also focussed on his combat capabilities in response to the events of recent months, and has become a weapons expert.

 

Doctor Sterren Lark, a Human Rogue/Silhouette (played by Atlictoatl)

 

DOCTOR STERREN LARK

 

Doctor Lark is a middle-aged, average-looking man remarkable only for his relative wealth, his ability to entertain with an engrossing tale, his surgical acumen, and the heretical belief he was raised with that ushering souls to the afterlife is a privileged form of worship to the New God. He holds strong religious convinctions.

 

His ancestors were unexceptional, and his parents (still alive) live comfortably as ministers of a large heretical temple. Lark is an only child who received an education as a child and can read and write Common, saved some money as a doctor. He made a dangerous enemy, who actively seeks my harm and someone he loves was injured because of his actions.

 

He's not particularly outgoing or withdrawn, can adapt to a variety of social situations, gets on well with people close to him, neutral about others. He desires status and fears disgrace, is generally law-abiding and keep up oaths when it suits him. He is capable of good and evil, though mostly sees to his self interests and those of people close to him.

 

The guild of assassins is ensconced within a heretical group of devout New God worshippers, who believe that ushering souls out of this life is a high form of worship. Their murders are ritualized and staged, both so that the soul is consecrated to the New God and so that any who witness the staging can see the act of devotion and feel the stirrings of worship in their own heart.

The members of the cult all pursue professions that give them access to likely candidates, and the actual murderers have professions that give them skill with carcass display -- butchers, artists, and the like. Doctor Lark is not the only doctor, or even surgeon, in the group, and it's a good profession for him to ply his other trade, for he is able to encounter people who are suffering and can assess who amongst them are likely to pull through their illness and who is not. Which isn't to say that all of his displays of worship are on patients. Often, it's people he meets in the course of treating his patients, or others he meets in his travels.

As a doctor, he is a good one. He genuinely cares for his patients, though it is true that he sometimes hears the Voice of Claiming when attending to one. He can think of no higher service that he could do for those lucky charges.

Doctor Lark doesn't pick his acts of worship, you see. He is told when one is Claimed. The spiritual agents of the New God speak to him when they've found someone worthy of being selected.

 

Doctor Lark had an apprentice once (Emra Tannen), who went mad when exposed to the deeper secrets of Lark's practice. That whole terrible event is what turned Inquisitor Harkwold on to Lark, whose dogged investigation forces Lark to not stay over-long in any one locale.

 

---

 

With Harkwold dead, Sterren Lark is out to prove to everyone that he is, in fact, a badass. In the time since the events of Crossings, the legacy of the demon attacks on him stained his soul enough that he discovered the deeper secrets of Shadow magic. Sterren Lark attributes this development to be a Gift from the New God, as reward for defeating the virulent dog who hounded him.

 

Hans, a Faun Rogue (played by Captain Astounding)

 

HANS

 

Hans is a 19 year old faun, tall for one of his kind at 5'6". He's average looking for a faun, and believes if he puts his best foot forward people will see the good in him. His personality is basically idealistic, although he can often be vulgar.

 

He was abandoned as a baby in the woods once his ancestry was discovered, but found and raised by a trapper. He warned the nearby village of a monstrous threat and is now always welcome there. He's spent time as a hunter, sailor and a spelunker. After returning from the sea, he was taken in by bandits and lived rough. Eventually he was captured and jailed in Crossings with Ruff, until he managed to barter his way free.

 

Ruff, a Goblin Magician (played by Nick the Lemming)

 

RUFF

 

Ruff is 23 years old with a pudgy build and two extra fingers growing out next to each ear. His personality is generous, imaginative but aloof. 

 

He has the odd habit of saving his bodily secretions to gift to others, and is just trying to stay alive. Also, he once spent two days thinking he was a fearsome dog. 

 

Ruff (his new name, his old one is long forgotten) was an itinerant musician, but since there isn't much call for a soloist drummer outside of military units, and by drummer, I mean that Ruff likes to bash things together a lot to make noise (something that doesn't bother him, since he can stick his extra fingers in his ears if it gets too loud), so he dabbled a little in stolen goods (moving around as a pedlar when his music was not in demand), which got him into trouble a couple of times, but luckily (or was it?) while hiding from a mob he had the (mis?)fortune to be discovered by an old woman whose latrine he was hiding in (hey, he's a goblin), who turned out to be a witch, and when Ruff (still wasn't his real name back then, what was it, something or other, Bash? Pan? Something or other anyway) pleaded for mercy, the witch took pity / advantage and in return for doing all sorts of tedious, menial chores (which Plink (maybe?) didn't mind so much really), the witch (he never did ask or find out what her name was, the locals who visited always called her ma'am quite politely, real politely in fact) taught him a few tricks about divination (the main form of her income, though that suggests money, and which was more in terms of gifts, a pie here, a rabbitskin there, that sort of thing) and hexery (the other income stream, from people who didn't want help to get ahead, they just wanted their rivals to get un-ahead), and this went on for a while, with a few ups and downs of course, like the time the old hag turned Crash (was that it? I think it might have been) into a dog for a couple of days for something or other, you know, Ruff (that's where he got the name you know, from being turned into a dog, that was all he could say, or, you know, bark) is a goblin after all, they do get into scrapes, but anyway when visiting one of the local villages, Ruff was captured and held on some charges or other (Ruff isn't quite sure what they are, they're probably made up anyway, or real, since Ruff does, as has already been made abundantly clear, get into scrapes), but anyway, that's why Ruff is here in the hut with a guard outside waiting to be picked up by some men to be taken to some town or other for trial.

Oh, and Ruff tends to have a case of stream of consciousness / verbal diarrhea.

 

Since Ruff was supposed to be running errands for the witch, and never returned (due to being captured - he does at least have a good excuse, even if the witch wouldn't listen to it), he's guessing she's going to be pissed off with him, so going back that way is probably not on the cards.

The fleshy rods are a divination tool - you throw them down on the ground while cackling madly, and watch as they try to scurry around to form a pattern (they're basically legs from a giant spider that still have some sort of animus. The witch had demanded them, so he had bought them off an adventurer who went looking for trouble and found giant spiders, but since the money to pay for them was the witch's, they're stolen goods really. Ruff as to keep them in the bag, otherwise they'd try to scurry off to join the rest of the bits of the giant spider, and bring it back to life.

----
Since the events of Crossings, Ruff has continued his apprenticeship without further 'tuition' from the witch, expanding away from her teachings and towards the study or pure, academic magic, seeking to sate his thirst for knowledge and power. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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