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The Cast: the future Darokinian wartime ambassadorsby Ville Lähde
Note about the titles: In addition to the titles mentioned, the characters have also honorary titles in Vestland, Wendar and Minrothad.
(Some of the names might be "vaguely familiar" to you all. Well, we were young when the PCs were created.)
IVAN IVANOVICH: (Fighter 12), Court Lord of Karameikos, Duke of Estine, Vestland
Appearance: A very tall man for a Traladaran. Strong muscles. Face hardened during travel and hundreds of battles. Dresses in plate mail. He carries the helmet of Rak'Asta, with a lion-like visor, and the sword of Rak'Asta, a scimitar made from the tooth of a dragon.
Ivan is a former resident of Karameikos, who was born into a very poor family in the small hamlet of Verge. His father was a drunkard who beat up his mother whenever he had the time to stumble back from the village pub. The mother, a gentle weaver, raised Ivan and his sister in midst of this as well as she could. Her main goal was to get the children away from their father as fast as possible, and she succeeded. Ivan became a mercenary and his sister an apprentice of Lady Halia Antonic.
Ivan joined a group of adventurers when they together fled from a prison in the borderlands of the Black Eagle Barony. Since then he lived on the road with his comrades, although he never could develop any strong emotions of friendship with them. This may have something to do with the fact that he used to decorate himself into battle with two wolf-legtraps slung on his shoulders and a warmask crafted from an elven skull. Well, he never was a people person. When he revisited Verge to investigate the disappearance of the Antonics, the first thing he did was to beat the living daylights from his father and give his mother enough money to retire to Specularum. (Now his mother is living in Estine, Vestland.)
All this changed when Ivan become the new incarnation of the ancient king Rak'Asta. Although his disposition in regular matters hasn't improved, he is a much more convincing speaker when it comes to military tactics and leadership. He dropped the grim decorations and started preferring milk, raw fish and sleeping in sunlight, purring softly. In battle he hisses like a cat. He dislikes dogs very much (This is nothing new, actually. Once he threw Yuri Turambar's sheep dog overboard in the middle of the Sea of Dread. After all these years, Yuri still bears a grudge.)
During his adventures in Vestland Ivan saved the king Tenitar and became the Duke of Estine after the traitorous Vana Cullen. Now he is also the Protector of northern borderlands. His leadership has benefited the dominion, especially raiding has been successful. He has started mining for iron ore in the southern hills, and also has made a secret pact with sea elves. He trades metal objects for pearls. Ivan's military force is formidable, especially the crew of his longship the Redraven.
His close followers include Tedmusin, an Ethengarian hakomon; Olaf, an Ostlandi fighter; Rolf, the commander of northern outriders; and Leonidas, a cleric of the Lion God. He has a long-standing love affair with Ariannaid, the silver dragon/Hinterlander Aurakia worshipper.
YURI TURAMBAR (Thief 13), Court Lord of Karameikos, Duke of Western Wendar Borderlands (self-made title: The Master of Destiny)
Appearance: A short and sly individual, looks like a regular Traladaran. Extremely agile and dexterous. He likes to show off his wealth whenever he can. During travel he wears elven clothes crafted from strong leaves. Uses a leather armour and carries the legendary thief sword "the Backstabber".
Yuri was born into a relatively wealthy merchant family in the human community near Highforge. His childhood seemed promising, if not for his tendency to sneak a peek at naked wenches and steal his father's proceeds. After an especially heated encounter with his father over a botched deal, Yuri was promptly thrown out. He wandered for a while until he befriended the elves of Rifllian and was "adopted". He got his name "Turambar" from them. However, his desire for mundane goods didn't suit well with the elven way of life and he moved after a few years to Threshold. There he met a group of adventurers who were looking for a recruit after losing an elven companion due to internal clashes.
This started a long adventuring career, during which he joined the Kingdom of Thieves in Specularum. With Ivan Ivanovich he opened the best bar/brothel in the city. The establishment now functions as the HQ for the Kingdom of Thieves. But Karameikos proved to be too small for Yuri, and he continued his adventuring career. In Thanegioth Archipelago he met his wife Cymoril Stargazer (they have a child now, the first true half-elf ever in Mystara). After the Shadowlord incident he became a duke in the realm of Wendar.
In his further adventurers he managed to gain a powerful enemy, the Master thief Danakhriss. The two thieves clashed numerous times, the last time over the sword "Backstabber", which Yuri extracted from the lair of the beholder Azaziel. Later on there were bloody fights in the tunnels under Freiburg. Forced by a manifestation of Asterius the two thieves made a peace treaty which gave Yuri the control of Wendar, Heldann and the free city of Freiburg. Now he has built a strong network of thieves, that engages mainly in prostitution, drug trafficking and high-risk burglary. To his good luck his companions haven't found out his yet. He is very very ... very rich, and rules his dominion not with an iron fist, but with a strong bureaucracy. With the help of the elven clan "the Seekers" he has built strong forces to guard the border against the inevitable assault of Alphatian armies.
His close followers include: Matvey, a thief lieutenant (son of Pyotr from Sukiskyn, Karameikos); Miles O'Brien, a thief lieutenant (Hinterlander, defector from the guild of Danakhriss); Ethrigan, a thief-merchant in Freiburg; Shiva, a kapak draconian.
ALEXANDER PENHALIGON (Cleric 14), Court lord of Karameikos, Patriarch of the Church of Traladara, "Son of Halav", the Protector of Karameikos, and lord of Krakatos.
Appearance: A man of purely Traladaran stock (see later). Not very appealing, even when it comes to personality. Wields the mace of Petra (the head is shaped into a Traldar head imprisoned into a cage), dresses in the Platemail of Halav (a picture of Taranis and Thanatos emalled in the breastplate), and the helmet of Zirchev (a jackal-skin headpiece).
Of mixed Traladaran and Thyatian blood, Alexander (or Alex for short) was born in Kelven as a son of a soldier and a potter. He joined the group of adventurers in Kelven, after their long-time friend Kiril Petrevich from the Cult of Halav retired to Sulescu. Alexander was an ardent follower of the teachings of the Church of Traladara. Infuriatingly so, as his manners and disposition are not suited for the priestly work. A modern metaphor for his ministerial skills is an over-enthusiastic and bad car-salesman.
Alex's career changed suddenly, when he learned of the true history of his people in the Lost Valley of Hutaakans. The fabled skills of the Golden Age were learned from filthy jackal-breed, not from the gods. A bigger shock was when he found the tomb of Halav from Krakatos. Fortunately he was contacted by Taranis, who set some things straight in his head. During the following long adventuring years he seemed always to be a bit lost. But this all changed during his experiences with the cult of Hazar and the Iron Ring in 1009. He found the three lost artefacts of the Traladaran heroes and managed to gain a lot of allies with surprisingly good diplomacy.
After saving the whole of Karameikos from Hazar he started building a new temple in Krakatos (still using the Halav front for Taranis, as the time for truth hasn't come yet). He rules a small dominion of ex-slaves and Traladaran militants who were given amnesty by Staphan. His trusted ally Kiril Petrevich does most of the practical matters, as he is much better with people. Alex has a lot of close friends and allies in Karameikos and beyond, including: Retameron and Halia Antonic, Lord Zemiros Sulescu, Admiral Hyraksos, Aleena Halaran, Nipa Goodhearted (a Striker from Shires), the werebear Pooh and a Chevall in Riverfork, Dmitri Torenescu, Sascia of Rugalov, Lord Mildahil of Radlebb elves, and Estaish, commander of Elvenguard.
FLINT FIREFORGE (Silvery Dwarf 12), Court lord of Karameikos, a Protector of Heldann, Lord of Gyl Erid.
Appearance: Very muscular dwarf. Usually has a smile on his lips, and a good-hearted/stupid stare in his eyes. He has strands of silver in his hair and beard. Dresses in a chain mail made from living silver, and wields a living silver battleaxe. Bathes only infrequently, drinks quite much (usually potent spirits made from mushrooms). An all-around nice guy, if you don't mind the splattered blood that usually follows his trail.
Flint is an original member of the team and has survived miraculously the twelve years of bloody adventuring. He seems to have born under lucky stars, or more likely under a lucky moon, as his race was crated by the Moon God, the Silvery One. Flint was born in the Crystalmist Mountains in Larta, but due to his innate... well, stupidity, he didn't fare well in the religious culture bent on looking for living silver and crafting it. Thus he left his home and joined with Radagast Emry, who became his best friend. Together they faced the horrors in the caverns of Aphastes. Flint has seen too many friends die by his side, but this hasn't damaged his basic good disposition. His one big sorrow was always the lack of mate or any sexual life for that matter (especially when he was once duped by a female halfling prostitute in disguise).
During his long years of adventuring Flint never could find much meaning in life except in a bottle, a dining table and in the heat of battle. His lack of home was the only reason he could go on adventuring, as Radagast was the only thing that reminded him of his lost home. He harbours a bitter hatred for Aphastes who destroyed his home and robbed his race of the sacred living silver.
The turning point in his life was the shipwreck of a group of silvery dwarves on the shores of Vestland. With Ivan Flint rescued them from old Modrigsverd caverns and a group of Aphastes followers. With them was Dalin, a learned cleric of the Moon God. Together they found the last deposit of living silver under the Red Fangs in Heldann and established a colony in Gyl Erid, the former citadel of Gylgarid followers. Flint was also happy to form a relationship and get married with a beautiful silvery dwarf maiden Möllö (ö is pronounced a bit like "u" in "burn"). Now Flint commands a rag-tag colony of a few silvery dwarves, some drunkard dwarves from Specularum, and a host of social outcasts from Norrvik and Rhoona. He is also a Protector of nearby freeholders, who pay him tribute for military expenses. Flint has made an uneasy deal with the Heldann League, but is thinking about ditching them. Butchering children isn't his cup of tea.
Right now Flint's colony is engaged in building an underground complex in the naturally formed caves under Gyl Erid and the Red Fangs. He finances this by mining gold (Gaming note: The b**tard actually threw 18 on 3d6 to see what he could mine!).
His close followers include: Ragnar, a Vestlandi mage from Uppsala academy, specialising in geology and rock transformation; Benny, a cleric of Forsett (as an absolutist he has hard time living among 200+ drunkard dwarves), Dalin, dwarf-cleric of the Silvery One; plus a dozen of his trusted and highly experienced dwarf lieutenants from Larta, Norrvik and Specularum.
RADAGAST EMRY (Magic-User 12), Resident of the Isle of Hydra, Minrothad. A Stream Mage, Court Lord of Karameikos.
Appearance: The only member of the team with any good looks to speak of. Usually wears a red robe. Can behave quite well in usual circumstances, but has a tendency mild egoism when it comes to weighing knowledge and experience (You know, the guy who starts explaining his answers further in Trivial Pursuit). Slightly outlandish features due to his Lartan origins. Nowadays seems to like Ylari style a bit due to his marriage.
Also an original member of the team, Radagast was originally your run-of-the-mill wizard. Bad health due to lack of exercise and too much reading, no strength to mention (now he has gauntlets of ogre power... give me a fireball and a botched saving throw!), and a sharp mind. His main interest in adventuring was to hoard spells, spell books, money and knowledge in order to become the greatest mage in the world. Like Flint he was a bit of a loner in the sense that his home was on the other side of the world, and Karameikos wasn't actually the haven for wizards.
A change in his worldview cane just before he was caught up with his friends in the Chateau d'Ambreville. He met an envoy from the Stream Mages, who was looking for fresh recruits. He completed the Test of Wizardry in their Wandering tower and chose the Hydra as his Totem. There he also met Ariannaid the Silver dragon for the first time (see: Ivan Ivanovich). This event seemed to give him a purpose in life again. Another significant event was his encounter with a Ylari female mage Mizra Amalisah, whom he and his friends rescued from the dungeons of the Iron Ring. Mizra was not only a mage, but also a recruit of the Stream Mages. During the following years mutual professional admiration transformed into love and fondness. The couple has a son, and another will soon be coming.
After he and his friends solved the mystery of the War Rafts in Minrothad, Radagast was granted an island prophetically (?) called the Isle of the Hydra (The group has continuously received hints of a coming era of world history, called "the Age of Hydra".) He and Mizra settled there and built a power of learning. Their cosy living was interrupted soon, however. The council of the Stream Mages sent them on a long quest to find the lost power of the Magical Streams. They set out on a long voyage to Pramayana, Slagovich, the jungles of the Serpent Peninsula, Hinterlands, Ochalea, Thanegioth Archipelago, and finally the new location of the Global Magical Axis. From there they travelled to the another pole via the magical axis and battled followers of Atzanteotl to save the local Stream Mages and their hobgoblin tribes.
His experiences during this voyage changed Radagast very much. In Thanegioth archipelago he personally sunk two troop transports full of young Thyatian legionnaires, and has had to live with this deed since. The trek round the Sea of Dread and the new global viewpoint put his own powers in a new perspective. Although he still occasionally whines about the small monetary rewards a wizard gets in this world compared to thieves and lords, and grieves after each emptied wand, he is still a much more sombre man, with a sense of the world and his place in it.
His close followers include: Two Minrothaddan mercenaries who followed him and Mizra during their quest; Dirlindan-Din, an elven wizard, a hobgoblin Stream Mage apprentice, and a group of pupils from the undersea triton kingdom.