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Historical Dead NPCsby The Stalker
I've come to wonder about something. It seems that Mystara is densely populated by all sorts of adventurers and other crafty folk, but what about Mystara's past?
Some time ago, I think that a player IMC read a priest spell description that required a bone from a high-levelled priest of the cleric's order. The player was playing a Cleric of Ixion, so he asked me what famous priests of Ixion he had heard of. A reasonable question that took me completely by surprise - it seems that we don't have a well defined cast of NPCs from Mystara's past, except for those of truly history-changing personalities like several Alphatian and Thyatian Emperors, Kings of Darokin, later Immortals (like Halav et al.), and people like Alexander Glantri.
I took it upon myself to make a few such characters, but we can never have enough. I also like such characters because the paladin who wants to get a Holy Avenger sword should go out and look for 'the legendary sword, Grummer, which was wielded by Aurelius the Pure, but lost long ago' rather than saving up the cash and buying it in the next magic shop. Finding such weapons by random is next to impossible.
So I want people to come up with historical NPCs for Mystara, but there are two criteria:
1) These people must all be DEAD!
2) Please no super-duper my-all-mighty end-all characters of ultimate power or skill (whatever the class). It's fine with heroic people (that's encouraged), but I doubt anyone here would appreciate Elminster's twin...
Let me go first with several of my own NPCs - it's a long list, so sorry. Note that they are *ALL* dead (and note that there are only two Alphatians, and one of them isn't even a mage :) ). [One warning though, several of the NPCs make references to powerful swords because I made a group of swords IMC. Naturally you can use the NPCs as you wish, but if I ever put those swords on this list, then these are the people their story will refer to.]
Allaindar, Elven Hero of Alfheim (dead). Allaindar was an experienced elven fighter-mage around 550 AC when the human wizard Illodious led an army of humanoid monsters against Alfheim. The invaders smashed upon the elven defences, and elven wizards, including Allaindar, used their spells against the monsters. Almost immediately Illodious appeared himself to aid his monster hordes with his powerful magic. A small group of elven wizards, among them Allaindar, then began a magical duel with Illodious, though the human was far more powerful. Mighty spells destroyed the land around the site, but though the elves could not defeat Illodious through magic, Allaindar succeeded in using his own magic to get close enough to physically attack Illodious, and some believe that he actually managed to slay Illodious with his sword though he perished himself. The land around the site of the magical battle was so utterly ruined that the elves could never succeed in growing any vegetation there, and the area was therefore named the "Wizard's Glen", the site at which Alfheim Town was later built.
Oliver Attleson, Darokinian Paladin (dead). Oliver Attleson lived around 500 AC in the city of Corunglain in northern Darokin right on the border to the Broken Lands, which naturally means that he had many opportunities to protect the city from invading humanoids. People of Darokin have claimed that he was successful at this partially because he wielded a powerful magical sword. Eventually, many Darokinian troops went south to fight in the brief Elfwar against Alfheim. Since Oliver Attleson knew the elves not to be evil, he refused to fight against them and remained in Corunglain, which sealed his fate as the reduced troops in the city meant that the orcs finally succeeded in conquering Corunglain, and though the city was reclaimed by Darokin a few years later, Oliver is believed to have been killed during the failed defence of the city.
Aurelius the Pure, Knight of Thyatis (dead). Aurelius was a paladin of Maat from Thyatis. There are many stories of his heroic and selfless deeds. For example, he has defeated red dragon attacks against Kerendas, and defended villages in the Duchy of Machetos from giants. He is also said to have travelled with various other adventurers in underground locations such as the caverns under the Altan Tepes mountains. Some sages claim to have found evidence that he collaborated with other adventurers (including the dwarf Oic, the human fighter Tiberius Tullus, a cleric of Diulanna called Messalina, and a mysterious, unnamed wizard) in a successful attempt to repel an undead attack in the catacombs under Thyatis City. The group is usually referred to as The Companions of the Pure. Aurelius' magical sword "Grummer" is believed to have been a holy avenger sword.
Belden Battlebur, Halfling Hero (dead). Belden was one of the halfling heroes who helped his people rebel against the orcs that had conquered what would later be known as the Five Shires. Though Belden was killed during the early parts of the revolt, his bravery inspired many halflings to stand up to their orcish lords and it thus an important part of halfling history.
Julius Drusarius, Thyatian High Priest of Ixion (dead). Drusarius was a typical cleric of Ixion, who served his Immortal in Thyatis City for most of his life. He is a prime example of priests who serve their Immortals and rise to great experience and power without resorting to much adventuring. It is possible that Drusarius did do some adventuring, as he certainly travelled Thyatis and possibly other lands as well, though some say that this was only in order to acquire materials needed for his spells or research. Drusarius is a revered priest of Ixion in Thyatis and is buried in Ixion's temple in Thyatis City.
Duric Orcsbane, son of Morur, Dwarven Hero of Rockhome (dead). Duric was one of the great dwarven heroes when the dwarves defeated the orcs in the Battle of Sardal Pass in 492 BC and founded their nation of Rockhome. It is said that during that battle, Duric killed many orcs with his magical sword, which was called "Orcslayer" (it has been considered strange by many scholars that Duric wielded a sword, so there has been much speculation about this sword). Duric is a famous and important figure of Rockhome's history, and it is probably not a good idea to insult his name in front of dwarves unless one is prepared for a fight.
Endracomt of Aasla, Alphatian Wizard (dead). Endracomt is one the heroic wizards of Alphatia's past. Some stories claim that he has worked various adventurers on many occasions, including the Company of the Golden Dragon. He is famous for saving people of Starpoint from a flight of dragons with his magic and Staff of the Magi, and there are many other stories of his heroic and selfless deeds. Strangely, some stories suggest that he wielded a rapier during some point of his career. The sword therefore became known as Amicus Magi ("mage's friend"). Sadly, Endracomt disappeared some years ago, when he travelled into the foul Alphatian nation called Blackheart to check on rumours of a powerful vampire archmage in the nation.
Philip Faulconbridge, Darokinian High Priest of Ixion (dead). Priests of many Immortals abound in Darokin's history, and Faulconbridge is the most famous cleric of Ixion to date. He fought fiercely against the Shadow Elves when they tried to invade Alfheim, and the accounts of his battles against hordes of goblinoids and various undead are legendary. Faulconbridge's early life as a cleric was spent in relative peace, but once he became experienced enough to found his own church, he instead founded a group of adventurers called The Scale of Ixion with himself as leader and senior member. The Scale of Ixion travelled most of Darokin and righted wrongs where they could. Eventually, Faulconbridge disappeared during an orcish attack of Darokin's northern borders, and not even his own adventurers knew what became of him.
Hrafn, son of Cnute, Warrior of Ostland (dead). Hrafn was the youngest son of King Cnute of Ostland, and since he would probably never inherit the throne, he joined his older brother Sven's campaign to settle the later Vestland and Soderfjord. There he helped fight and drive off the hordes of humanoids who already lived there. Hrafn was known as a silent and lonely man, which caused his sword to be known as "Hrafn's Tongue", as he was known for letting his sword speak rather than his tongue.
Gaius Keldonion the Elder, Thyatian Knight (dead). Keldonion was a military man during most of his life, and served for a long time in the Retebius Air Fleet, during which time he fought griffons and other flying monsters, maybe even a dragon or two. He also had the opportunity to combat the Alphatians on a few occasions. Though he was hardly an adventurer, he did have a few encounters with more common monsters, when he worked with the military in Kerendas. It has been suggested that a powerful magical sword may have fallen into his hands during one of these encounters, and that he later passed the sword onto his son, Gaius Keldonion the Younger, even though his son became the sort of free-spirited adventurer that he hated. Sadly, Keldonion the Younger was killed during a later adventure, and this broke the old man's heart, and he died within six months of hearing of the death of his son.
Gaius Keldonion the Younger, Thyatian Warrior (dead). The son of Gaius Keldonion the Elder was much more of an adventurer than his father, which was one of the major disappointments of his father's life. During his years of shearing, the young Keldonion is believed to have been an early member, perhaps even founding member, of the adventuring group called the Lions of Kerendas. After his shearing years he returned to his father who demanded that he joined the Retebius Air Fleet, which he did. But after a few years, he had had enough of the boring military service and resigned as an active member to be only a reserve member of the fleet in the case of war. This angered his father, but young Keldonion followed his heart and adventured with the Lions of Kerendas for many years. Eventually, his father had to retire due to age, and when the Alphatians attacked Thyatis in 959 AC, young Keldonion rejoined the Retebius Air Fleet to fight for his homeland. At this time, his father decided that he would prefer to pass his magical sword on to his son during the war rather than not having it used at all, even though he strongly disagreed with the life-style of his son and never forgave him. After the war, young Keldonion kept the sword, but was eventually killed during an adventure.
Kogatai the Fierce, Ethengarian Raider (dead). Though few warriors other than Khans ever become famous, Kogatai is one of the exceptions, for he raided the surrounding lands to a degree that made him infamous. However, there are also stories of how he has fought and killed monsters, and thereby indirectly saved villages or towns of foreign lands through his actions.
Sir Magnus, Thyatian Knight (dead). Sir Magnus is a famous Thyatian knight from recent history. He is believed to have worked with the group of adventurers called the Lions of Kerendas on some occasions, but is mostly known as a lonely knight who travelled Thyatis and fought evil where he met it. He was a rather large man, known for always wearing full plate armour and wielding a huge magical Silver Sword. The sword was probably a two-handed sword, though it is quite likely that it was not made of silver, but rather some metal that looked a lot like silver. Sir Magnus travelled Thyatis for decades and fought dragons, giants, and orc invasions where he could until 989 AC, at which point he suddenly disappeared. It seems obvious that his adventuring against evil eventually caused him to meet a monster more powerful than he was himself, and which he fell victim to.
"Sneaky", Thief of Thyatis (dead). "Sneaky" was the name given to a famous thief from Thyatis City. He stole many valuable objects during his career, though it seems clear that he stole mostly for the challenge of the theft and never for the potential profit. The true identity of "Sneaky" was never revealed, though he had to fight for his freedom on a few occasions, which he did very well with a powerful short sword. Some sages have also speculated that "Sneaky" was actually a mortal identity of Korotiku, the Immortal of trickery also called the Trickster or the Spider.
Valera the Righteous, Thyatian Priestess of Ixion (dead). Valera was a courageous cleric from Thyatis, who adventured for many years with the famous group of adventurers known as the Lions of Kerendas. She was one of the founding members, and became a very experienced adventurer over the years as the group faced many challenges and group members came and went. Eventually, Valera had to sacrifice herself to fulfil her mission to destroy the undead and save her friends; in a huge series of caverns far under the earth, she was badly hurt when she and her allies fought a group of vampires and other undead, and Valera stayed behind and sacrificed herself so that her friends could escape alive. The Lions of Kerendas still exist, though few believe that it still consists of any of the original members.
Zacralum of Draco, Alphatian Warrior (dead). Zacralum of Draco was a warrior in the Alphatian army during his youth, and eventually became an officer. He participated in the Alphatian attack on Thyatis City in 959 AC, and was one those Alphatians who escaped alive, when the Alphatians were driven from the city by Thincol the Brave, the later Emperor of Thyatis, and his legion of gladiators and soldiers. Back in Alphatia, Zacralum decided to leave the Alphatian army, and instead became an adventurer. He was one of the founding members of the adventuring group later known as the Company of the Golden Dragon. The group was very successful in its early days, defeating many monsters and claiming many magical treasures. Eventually, Zacralum's dangerous life as an adventurer caught up with him, and he is said to have been annihilated by a beholder in deep caves under the Kerothar Mountains in the Alphatian nation of Stoutfellow.