Here’s our fearsome cast of characters, along with whatever info I have on hand (some still cling to the days of pencil and paper character sheets, but those that have gone electronic are shared here with you…) The great character illustrations are courtesy Paul.
- Tommy “Blacktoes” Burrowbank, a halfling from “around” with an attitude (Kevin, retired)
- “Serpent” Ref Jorenson, an Ulfen druid with a pet constrictor snake (Paul)
- Sindawe “Woman-Killer” H’Kilata Narr, a Bonuwat Mwangi (Chris)
- Wogan, a cleric of Gozreh from Cheliax (Patrick)
- Melako “Ox” Chaalu, a Garundi slave from Rahadoum (Bruce, retired)
- Their ship, the Teeth of Araska and its crew
Thomas Burrowbank (aka Tommy Blacktoes for his penchant for painting his toenails with black polish) was born to a small family indentured as cooking servants to one of the minor noble houses in Cheliax. Accused of theft, Tommy’s father was executed and he, his mother (Tish Burrowbank) and his twin sister (Sara Burrowbank) were exiled to survive in the streets of unforgiving Cheliax. At the tender age of 9, Tommy slipped away from his mother and sister and gained passage on a small trading vessel that ultimately put in at Riddleport.
Tommy has spent the last 4 years of his life living by his wits on the streets of the debauched city. He is driven by his lust for adventure (fueled by the natural curiosity of his race) as well as a passion for things material. Tommy also has a burning desire to one day return to Cheliax and exact his revenge against the noble house that destroyed his father. He envisions finding his mother and sister and taking them away from their poverty, but secretly fears how they will view him (if indeed they still live) for his desertion 4 years ago.
In Riddleport Tommy has made a bit of a name for himself as a jack-of-all-trades. He earns coin as a crewman to various trading ships that put in at Riddleport, and has developed a love for the open sea. He is also for hire as a spy for rival merchants of the River District looking to gain a competitive edge, an appropriator of goods (typically lifted from their owner), and a person who knows the latest information – for a price. His activities over the last couple of years and (his ability to seemingly disappear like a ghost) have unknowingly earned the attention of several of the crime lords of Riddleport. Whether this is a good or bad thing remains to be seen…
Tommy is a rogue’s rogue and has few true friends, and only one person with whom he has a genuine, yet reluctant trust: Saul Vancaskerkin, the proprietor of the gaming establishment The Gold Goblin. He is quite charming and attractive, but uses this to strategically position himself for his own advantage and personal gain. He is however quite bright and smart enough to know whom to cross and whom to not…usually.
Tommy is 3’2” tall and weighs 32 pounds. He has long, dirty blonde hair that he wears braided and drawn into a ponytail. He has striking green eyes that flash when laughing or angry. Tommy is usually seen wearing a dark blue, silken shirt under a black leather vest, black leather, knee-length pants with leather calf-wraps and spats (another curious fashion statement) over the tops of his feet. Tommy wears a scarf to match the blue silk shirt wrapped about his head. He is a fan of gaudy jewelry and trinkets, and his pointed ears sport many studs around their outer edges. His favorite is a plain gold hoop (the only piece of jewelry with any real or sentimental value as it is the mate for the one his sister wears – or wore). Tommy is very skilled with his sling staff and prefers to use this from a distance when forced into combat. If pressed, he does not hesitate to defend himself with his sword or dagger (which he keeps hidden in his right calf wrap).
- Tommy Blacktoes, Rogue 3
- Tommy Blacktoes, Rogue 4
- Tommy Blacktoes, Rogue 4/Assassin 1
- Tommy Blacktoes, Rogue 4/Assassin 3
“Serpent” Ref Jorenson is an Ulfen man with pale skin that never tans or burns, pale blue eyes, and dark hair. He is very tall and long of limb and tends to hunch over, making him seem very spiderlike when he moves. His combat gear is a scimitar and hide armor. He has a very large pet constrictor snake called Saluthra.
His father, a man from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, seduced his mother,a beautiful traveller, when he was young; a year later a baby was deposited on his doorstep. Rumors tell that the woman is a witch or fey from Irrisen.
Ref felt a strong pull towards the sea all his life. The song of Gozreh compels him to wander the land and sea. He loves to spin tall tales.
- Serpent Jorenson, Druid 1
- Serpent Jorenson, Druid 1/Ranger 1
- Serpent Jorenson, Druid 1/ Ranger 2
- Serpent Jorenson, Druid 2/Ranger 2
- Serpent Jorenson, Druid 2/Ranger 2/Barbarian 1
- Serpent Jorenson, Druid 3/Ranger 2/Barbarian 1
Sindawe has an exotic appearance – a Bonuwat Mwangi with green eyes, bald, jet black Fu Manchu-style moustache, scar tattoos (on his right arm – a beating anatomical heart, on his left arm – a tiger’s paw raking, and various tribal markings on chest and face). He wears a vest stylized to look like a tiger’s head and britches adorned with colorful shells, pieces of glass, and coins (yes, there are streaks of rust). He has a quiver of javelins across his back and many knives in his belt and vest. His feet are bare. His hobbies are scrimshaw and collecting maps.
Due to a blood feud with the Okeke clan, most of the adult males of Sindawe’s family are dead, presumed dead, fled, or in hiding. The women folk have fled or are living with other families. His father, Mogaba, was an infamous pirate widely feared for his brutality and cunning and supposedly was slain by the crew of a Chelaxian Q-ship. Mogaba left his family when his sons were still young. His sister and brother-in-law stepped in to help raise them. His mother, Manyara, was slain during the blood feud with Okeke family. His uncle, Samanya, a reasonably honest merchant, was slain by business rivals from the Okeke family. He taught the brothers sailing during an extended multi-year merchant expedition.
Three members of the Okeke clan slew Samanya and Manyara for reasons unclear even today; some have speculated “ruthless commercial rivalry” or revenge for various acts of piracy by Mogaba. The feud ended immediately after the Okeke extracted promises of peace from Bolade, Sindawe’s aunt. Bolade, a famous and honored monk, fled to a remote area of Mwangi interior where she maintains an extended family enclave.
Over the next 8 years Sindawe and his brothers, Mosi and Ochiba, learned martial skills from various sources, sometimes far from home. They re-united on the anniversary and hunted down the 3 Okeke directly responsible for murdering Samanya and Manyara. In the process they slew 2 other members of the Okeke family. Then they hunted down 4 more that were likely to carry on the blood feud. None of these fights were remotely fair. Mosi was killed during the final fight. Ochiba and Sindawe and most of the remaining family fled to avoid reprisals.
Sindawe owns a treasure map and pages from a journal showing the secret location of an El Dorado island in the far most western oceans. One of Mogaba’s men delivered the map to Sindawe shortly after Mogaba’s death. To Sindawe this island represents wealth enough to restore his family and a connection to his estranged, dead father. However, he doesn’t fully understand the depths of Mogaba’s evil for the island’s full wealth can only be truly realized if its inhabitants are slain or enslaved.
- Sindawe Narr, Monk 1
- Sindawe Narr, Monk 4
- Sindawe Narr, Monk 5
- Sindawe Narr, Monk 6
- Sindawe Narr, Monk 7
Wogan is a Chelish man of average height and weight. Intense black eyes and a full beard braided into tendrils tied with small white bows are his main features. He usually wears a vest and blue and white vertically striped pantaloons. When expecting trouble he dons his blue-green studded leather armor, a pair of pistols, boots and his trusty trident.
He was born in a small fishing village near the southern end of the Arch of Aroden. His father died when Wogan was young, lost to the sea. His mother lived with his elder brother’s family. He has a younger sister whom he hasn’t seen in years as she was married to a man from the Chelaxian interior. After his mother died, there was nothing holding Wogan to his small village so he signed up with the first passing ship as a healer and sea-priest. It’s easy enough for him to find work; every ship wants a Gozran priest if they can get one.
Wogan’s hobbies include fishing, drinking, and placating the fickle god Gozreh. He enjoys firearms and chastity.
Melako “Ox” Chaalu had the misfortune of being born to a desperately poor family of tenant farmers from the Gamadu clan. The clan’s holdings are deep in the Rahadoum hinterlands, far up a tributary of the Uta River. After the rains failed again the clan elders decided that ten of the clan’s children must be sold to a traveling merchant so the rest of the clan could survive. His parents had no money and no standing with the clan, so he was among those selected. From there he was trafficked through the slave-markets of Manaket into the hands of Captain Marcellano, a Chelaxian merchant captain and master of the Aroden’s Hand.
Captain Marcellano was cruel and relentless in both his business dealings and his attitude towards his crew. Under his tutelage, Ox developed both the skills of a sailor and a persistent dislike for life as Chelaxian chattel. But his time with Captain Marcellano had an ending; as the Captain gained wealth and power he retired to his estates in Westcrown and hired others to run his ships. As part of these changes, Ox was traded to the crew of the Albers.
Ox very much lives up to his name. He is dark-skinned with the sharp features typical of most Garundi, but he is built like a brick wall. He keeps his head shaved, though under the harsh sun he may wear a keffiyeh wrap. He normally wears a pair of canvas pants belted with wide leather and a red sash, though he also has light armor for when the occasion demands. He will only carry his boarding pike and cutlass when they have been issued to the crew, but always has a utility knife and marlinspike handy. On shipboard he never wears shoes, as he is often called to climb into the rigging.
Ox has always had an interest in rope-splicing, though his talents are clearly more functional than artistic. Never one for unnecessary conversation, Ox has recently developed an interest in religion: it is obvious to him that Rahadoum’s decision to turn its back upon the gods has been instrumental in converting a once-bountiful nation into a sand-blasted wasteland. He has yet to find one that really appeals to him.
Sadly, Bruce took a job in Dallas so Ox is in retirement as a Reaver; he headed off at the woman Selene’s behest to join the Grey Corsairs, a secret Andoran anti-slavery group.
Teeth of Araska
Their pirate ship, liberated from pirate captain “Grudge” Treeg off the Devil’s Elbow.