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Author Topic: The Trials of Blackwier (PbP, preliminary thread)  (Read 4508 times)
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Doomed Hero
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« on: December 09, 2008, 01:05:49 AM »

So for a while now I've wanted to explore what life under the shadow would be like for normal people in the occupied lands. The recent discussion about Legate behavior and beliefs has made me decide to stop thinking and start doing. So here's my premise-

The players will be playing regular folks in the town of Blackwier. The town smith, the tavern keeper, the local sheriff, the legate's personal aide, ect. Not heroes. Not even the town big-wigs. These are the folks who have to deal with the aftermath when the "heroes" come to town and shake things up.

The way I plan on running this will be fairly episodic. Basically, I'll present a scenario, or a problem, let play run until things either resolve or peter out, then basically fast forward to the next event the town will have to deal with. What happens when a Legate decides your child is to be taken away to become a acolyte, or a sacrifice? What do you do when you find out the family next door has been hoarding food? Stuff like that.

I should be able to accommodate as many players as want to join. If you're interested, these are the things I want from you-

1) A short description of your character and their role in the town.

2) At least one person that they like, and why. (this should be something that would be public knowledge)

3) At least one person that they don't like, and why. (also public knowledge)

4) something they are known for in town, other than their profession.



So to start with, I'm going to present a brief description of the town and few of the major players in the community. This is by no means a complete list. If you can come up with an NPC that you'd like to have in the town, let me know. Also, if there are any modifications to the NPC's I list, that's fine too. Whatever works best for your character. I want to encourage player-created content as much as possible.
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 01:23:42 AM »

Blackwier

This town of roughly 500 people sits between Eisin and Erenhead, about 100 miles from either. It's off the main road enough to be fairly unbothered, but close enough for heavy tithes to be expected.

The town was once a focus point of the war effort. A large keep sat on top of the tallest, widest hill on the edge of a small forest. The north side of the hill sheered down at an impassible angle, making approach from the forested south the only option for an attacking force. The keep was masterfully built, but stood no chance against the dragons. Now the keep is little more than a slag heap of crumbling melted stone. The fire burned the farmland and the forest for miles around, reducing the trees to bowder and sharpened husks. It was devastating at the time. Now, the soil is quite rich, thought the forest is all but gone. Instead of starting less than a mile from the town, it starts nearly 10 miles away.

The town itself grew up around the old keep. The family that was granted dominion over the land, the Leshters, built their manor on the south side of the hill, below the ruin. The family has been overseeing the land and making sure tribute is delivered to Lord Helrion Baden's boats in Erenhead. They pride themselves on the fact that their holdings have never been short in tribute in over 50 years.

The current Mayor, Madame Leshter, rules with an Iron claw. Her son and his tax men ensure that every family meets their quota. Those that don't have plenty of scars to remind them to work harder.

Recently a Legate named Kamar has come to the town to oversee the production of a new Temple of Shadow. The temple has been under construction for many years, but the legates that have come before always seem to be called away without notice. Without oversight, the project has been abandoned in favor of more manpower to meet the mayor's quotas.

There has been friction between the mayor and this new Legate because of the number of people that have been pulled away from thier normal lives to help with the temple's construction. The Legate has demanded that the Mayor reduce her expected quotas by half. He claims the armies and the nobles can do without a few extra bushels of wheat if it means the temple will be constructed faster. He has been overheard saying that the mayor has no real authority, that all true authority comes from Izrador, and that she would be better of working in the fields with everyone else.

The people have grown to like the changes brought upon by the sour, self-absorbed Legate in spite of his rabid devotion to the temple's construction. The spells and blessings he gives out seem to be worth the increased tension and the squad of orcs that follows him about.

Tere are roumors of a resistance group operating in the nearby hills. The group of the mayor's men that was sent out to investigate a month ago has not returned yet. No one seems to have actually seen these resistors, or even any signs of them, but it's said that a group of goblin slavers was found dead only 40 miles away, and that the last Legate to leave Blackwier never made it back to Erenhead.

The townsfolk have dubbed the resistance leader "the Hunter" and trat him as both a romanticized vigilante and as the Boogyman. Talk of such things is kept to a hush. Legate Kamar had the last person heard talking of the Hunter beaten severely.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 02:22:19 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
Doomed Hero
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 01:24:16 AM »

People of note-

Tosh Kamar- Sarcosan Legate, obsessed with completing the temple. Self absorbed, aloof, not very observant. Absorbed in old scrolls and books in Erenland history. Believes that service to the shadow is honorable, and believes in fairness for the faithful. Believes that everyone should be given the chance to best serve their god, and that sacrifice is best and most worthy when it is voluntary. Believes the wealth of a community belongs to the community (as long as they are pious). Preaches that claiming nobility or authority is an affront to Izrador, and that everyone should simply accept their place as his humble servant. Also claims that life has no value at all other than to serve Izrador.

Madame Lesher- Mayor. Technically owns Blackwier and the surrounding lands. She claims to have the blood of old nobility. She primarily gathers tithes to give to the tax collectors. Many people appriciate this because it means they do not have to deal with the tax collectors themselves, but many believe that she is forcing excessively large tithes on the town. She hates Legate Kamar because of his belief that the wealth of a community should belong only to the community (assuming they are faithful and pious).

Val Leshter- The Mayor's son. Leads the Tithe collection squad. A known sadist. Likes exercising his authority and doling out punishment. When a quota is not met, it is his hand that wields the lash. he knows he is hated, but he arogantly believes his position and his family will protect him.

Dolan- Master Builder, mason, architect. Large aging Dornishman. A "don't rock the boat" sort of guy. Has a strange kinship with Caan, the hobgoblin. Has been commissioned to oversee the construction of the new Temple being built in town.

Kalast - Blood Mother Orc. Veteran of the mountain. Assigned to guard the legate Kamar. He believes that this post is insulting, but he takes advantage of the supposed lack of threat to indulge in laziness and occasional bullying. Leads his squad of 4 with bitterness and anger. He keeps one of them with Kamar at all times, and allows the others to do what they want. They hate him, but they enjoy his lax attitude and fear his experience. They know they do not dare challenge him.

Yorick Swift Water - Gnome Adjudicator, responsible for measuring the town's resource production and use. Also makes sure that any needed supplies from outside the town are brought in. Liked by nearly everyone, but distrusted. He has been known to trade favors from townsfolk for special consideration when it comes to passing out supplies. Spends most of his time gone. Leaves his Hobgoblin assistant in town in his stead.

Caan- Yorick's assistant. A Hobgoblin. Hates inefficiency, (and so hates most people) is harsh with farmers whenever he does his investigations, and even when he is gathering their requests. Often asks for proof that what is requested is actually needed. Has an amiable relationship with Dolan. Avoids the Orcs whenever possible, and bows and scrapes to them when they cross paths.

Danner "Dandan" Dandaral- Formerly an experienced horse-breaker. After he was overheard talking about the Hunter in the tavern, Legate Kamar set his Orc guards on him. His right hand and arm will never be the same, he is blind in his right eye and he has difficulty talking. his wife, Dalia, cares for him now and tries to keep him indoors, but he still longs for the outdoors. he is a daily reminder of what the price of insubordination can be.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 02:26:51 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
Pheros
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 03:17:32 AM »

Cool...i'm in!

Kessel son of Valender

Kessel is an Erenlander teen, short with broad shoulders and unkempt black hair.  His dark eyes almost always look at the ground not far from his feet, and he is rather shy and quiet.  Though his parents and older brother are all farmers, he is apprenticing under Dolan as a stone mason, and shows quite a bit of promise in this work.  His quiet focus is exactly what is required for the time-intensive precision work of a mason.

Kessel has nothing but utmost respect for Dolan, but views him with too much awe and subservience to consider him a 'friend'.  Legate Kamar, however, he views with a great affection.  Not only did he give enough work to Dolan to allow him to take Kessel on as an apprentice, but the Legate's presence has muted the effect of Val, the person Kessel despises most in town.  Kessel has witnessed so many beatings of his parents and brother at the hands or order of Val for slack in quotas that he has no love for the man (he was spared most of them due to his younger age, but that didn't mean he couldn't hear their cries).  And now Val has taken a barbaric interest in Kessel's younger sister Marnarie.  Even if he didn't fear Val as much as he hated him, his natural inclination toward passive obedience would prevent him from doing anything overt against him, but he does hope the Legate will soon dispose of him.

Kessel is known around town for his strong back and willingness to help others unquestioningly.  He doesn't have the sharpest mind and doesn't ask questions when others request help, which could quickly put him in situations far out of his experience or control should anyone try to take advantage of him, but so far this hasn't happened.
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Sholano
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 12:56:34 PM »

Sounds like a plan, let 's do this thang. Let me know if I can get away with this.

Toren

An Erenlander in his late twenties, tall and wiry. His lightish brown hair is worn long and tied back, mostly out of a disinterest in sitting around long enough to cut it, and it often gets in the way of his pale green eyes. When he was still very young, his father was taken by disease - bonerot plague, or so they told him. Since then, his mother Rani did her best to bring him up alone, but it wasn't an easy life.

Fortunately for the both of them, Danner Dandaral took an interest in the boy's life. He taught Toren a little about horses, and helped out when he could, although on occasion Rani did worry about Dandan's tendency to talk more than he ought to.

As Toren grew, he started to take an interest in the herbalist's trade, which was heartily encouraged by both his mother and Danner. Danner showed him how to move around in the forest, and on hs own, Toren slowly learned It had been a long time since the village had anyone who knew much about healing or herbs, and slowly, the sick or injured started to make their way to Toren. He kept this as quiet as he could, not sure how the Legates would take it, but mostly, they seemed to ignore him - a healthy populace can work harder.

Then one day, Dandan let his mouth flap too much around the wrong people, and was beaten nearly to death. It was time to return the favor, and Toren found himself helping Valia as much as he could. Watching his friend and mentor suffer, Toren found a slow resentment starting to burn in his heart for the person who did this to him - the Hunter. If that idiot wasn't running around in the hills stirring up trouble, none of this would've happened.

Toren's usual nervous energy started to get the best of him at this point, and he took to longer than usual outings in the forest, trying to burn some of it off. It's gotten to the point, these days, where the other villagers have started to nervously joke about his wanderlust.
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2008, 02:40:18 PM »

Pheros- Looks great. How old is your sister, what's she like, and what's her role in town?

Sholano- Also great. I'd like to make your mother, Rani, the town midwife/healer. This would give a reason for you to take up herbalism.

Give me a few more details about your NPC's and I'll add them to the town roster. Maybe others can use them in their character's stories too.

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Sholano
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 03:23:36 PM »

Excellent. I wasn't sure how healers stood in Midnight villages, that's the only reason I didn't do that myself. Quick rundown follows.

Vaguely Irish-looking woman, a bit worn-looking, but probably pretty in her prime. Her failure to save her husband's life weighs heavily on her, even now, and that's part of why she taught what she could of healing to her child. She tries to keep her spirits up to deal with her energetic son, but as she's growing older, a deep sadness is starting to permeate her demeanor - especially now that Toren has more or less taken over as town healer.
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 03:29:55 PM »

Looks good.

Note to other interested folks, I'm not adverse to people playing "bad guys". Even hobgoblins, orcs or apprentice legates would be ok. This is a game where a mixed-alignment PC group would be just fine.
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Pheros
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 04:59:01 PM »

Marnarie is about 11 years old, and starting to mature as a woman, meaning that Val is looking at her as a potential bride.  Up until now she has spent most of her time helping out around the family's house cleaning, cooking the little food they have, and just making it moderately livable, so that their parents, as well as their older brother Chel can work their alloted fields to produce for quota.  Valender (their father) completely disapproves of Val's interest in Marnarie, but cannot say anything outward against it for fear of Val and his men's wrath.  He's hoping another in town will take an interest in her and act before Val does anything, but he can only bide his time.  For her part Marnarie dislikes Val but doesn't fully comprehend his intentions toward her.  When he comes around to talk to her she is only grateful that he leaves without lashing any of her family.

Chel is in his early twenties, and will take over the family house and fields from his parents in the future.  Quiet and a hard worker, Chel feels heavily the great weight of responsibility thrust on him to keep the family in good standing with Madame Lesher.
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2008, 01:59:23 AM »

Bump.

C'mon folks. I need more people for this to be fun.
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2008, 05:26:40 AM »

Orlan Durke

Orlan is a fading spirit. A man in his late fifties, he doesn't expect to see many more winters before he is considered too much of a burden. In his childhood, Orlan's grandfather and guardian after his parent's untimely death, Sem, did him the great disservice of telling him stories of just kings, ages of freedom, and times of plenty. Orlan has lived his life in endless despair, often coming to tears when remembering the miracles his grandfather spoke of in his fairy tales. Sem died at age fifty-four, and told stories of peace until the day he died. Orlan never fell in love. Orlan often wondered why he held on to life, but something kept him. Whether or not he knew it, something about Sem's stories gave him a shred of hope.

Orlan is obedient, but aloof. He does what he needs to do to keep the orcs off his back, but doesn't go out of his ways to make friends. He has a nasty habit of ridiculing his peers for their shallow ignorance and projecting his weakness onto them. Some others in the village remember a day when Orlan was accused of killing a young man without provocation, but many other's vouch for his pure heart.

Orlan can't stand Dolan. He sees him as a souless and spineless puppet, but like his other judgements, tends to only voice them in passing with those he trusts.

he hates and loves Toren, as he sees much of his childhood in him. One of the few people he confides in, when Toren will listen.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 04:00:27 AM by Altus » Logged

Loyalty. Vigilance. Precision. A swift death to all who oppose the King. This is my mission. This is my life. Until the Sun rises again, Aiden, I am at your side.
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2009, 03:05:15 PM »

I bump this, for to have it be seen.

One more. Just one more is necessary for a decent game, methinks. Any takers?
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