Friday, 22 July 2016

Curse of Strahd 0xC - Final Introductions!

Our group is starting a new campaign!  This time, I will be running the group through an adaptation of The Curse of Strahd, using a "13th Aged" version of the 4e DnD rules, and starting in a Victorian-era Earthish setting.  To start things out, I worked with the (nine!) players to tie their characters are the final members! 

Jean-Paul Leroux - The Thief
I spend money freely

"Jean-Paul Leroux"

Elven Thief Rogue

Jean-Paul hadn't been home for a while - the years (or has it reached decades now?) have flown by anything but smoothly.  For a while, they were still hunting him - that's where he first met that funny gnome, "Kroissant". His codename, "Karim", had been much clearer, and Jean-Paul still wasn't sure why he changed it, but what was certain was that when Jean-Paul had a need, Kroissant had hidden him, and hidden him well.  That danger had now passed (mostly), but where one danger ends, another is only too eager to fall into its place.

The Russian - "Borya" - had assured Jean-Paul the business dealings would work.  Things were only 'legally grey', an area the pair were only too familiar with, but the whole plan had gone belly up, and now they both needed an escape plan - or a lot of money, soon.

As luck would have it, that was when the brightly-dressed fellow came asking for help.  He didn't say much, just gave Jean-Paul a letter, paid for his meal (in gold!), and promised much more, should he come and help the fellow's master out.  The reward sounded great, and would definitely help Jean-Paul and Borya out of their situation, but the location...the Svalich Woods...that was something they didn't wish to tackle alone.

Bringing Kroissant in on the deal was a way of trying to clear the debt owed to the gnome, whilst also gathering more bodies to ensure a swift victory.  From there, the trio start organising a caravan...they would need guards, and a guide.  Also, an actual wagon would be handy!

Kroissant de L'Oréal - The Illusionist
I change my mood quickly

"Kroissant de L'Oréal"

Gnome Star Pact Binder Warlock

Kroissant hadn't seen many people from his homeland before Jean-Paul fell into his life.  That had burned too many bridges, made it too difficult, too painful to go back.  But with Jean-Paul, there was a chance to make amends, maybe not directly, but in some small way.

Jean-Paul had needed to hide, and that was something Kroissant was only too good at.  The gnome made him disappear - invisible, some may say - until his pursuers lost interest in him.  And so Jean-Paul owed him - sure, he was good, but he wasn't free!

So, Jean-Paul was in trouble again.  This time, he assured Kroissant, there was great riches to be had, and he could have part of it, if only he came along and helped out.  Of course, there was more to it than that, but that could wait - the pressing matter was he had come to you so that your share could help pay this debt.

They needed to get through the Svalich Woods, that was the first step.  They needed a caravan, guards too (if possible), and a guide, for the woods were more treacherous than most.  Whilst the others worked on hiring some mercenaries, Kroissant sought out those that knew the paths of the woods. 

There were a few - some more expensive than others, some more skilled or experienced than others.  Some simply prettier than others.  But for some reason, none of that interested Kroissant, not that day.  The stars seemed to have aligned themselves, and one person, one well-dressed man (from Oxford!) stood out from the rest.  Not because of his offering price, nor his credentials, and definitely not because of his face!  No, this man stood out magically.  Something from beyond this mortal realm called to the gnome from him.  And Kroissant have been paying attention to these things for long enough to know: when the stars called out to you, you listen.

Sir Cecil Conrad Mallaby Quirke III - The Druid
I'm well known

"Sir Cecil Conrad Mallaby Quirke III"

Human Predator Druid

Sir Cecil hadn't really meant to get the job; he was just passing through the town, when he had heard rumours of the danger of Svalich Woods.  Going through it could take up to a week, but going around would most likely add a month or two onto your journey.  So, he had asked around, listened out for anyone headed that way, thinking he could pay to purchase passage with them.  Instead, he had come away with a paying position on their team, as a guide, no less!  Well, the money was certainly something he could do with, though it was a "pay on arrival" deal.  But that didn't bother him - it was already cheaper than he had imagined!

So, instead of enjoying his planned reading, Sir Cecil had poured over the local maps, planning a path for the caravan.  Two horses, two guards, four passengers, and a monk with a prisoner!  And then he started putting pieces together.  A monk...the prisoner must be a religious thing.  A 'disturber of the peace', or other heretic.  Like...Seb. 

Sighing, he inquired more about the company.  There was little surprise. It was Seb.

Sebastian Mallaby.

Sir Cecil had heard some stories about his crazy estranged great-third-cousin (four times removed?), but had hoped that they were not true.  After sneaking a look at the monk's prisoner, he could not be more certain - that tell-tale Mallaby nose and chin were there, the family ears, the hair that reminded Cecil of his favourite second cousin...this was the dreaded embarrassment to the family name.  What was he to do?  Would Seb recognise him, or had it been too long? Would he say something else to throw the family name into the dirt, or was Seb finally going to be quietened for good?  ...what horrors would a trial do to the family??

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