You'll come to know our player characters (hereafter PCs) a little better over the coming weeks. But by way of a bit of introduction, here's something of an outline.
The party met in Aeryn, once an independent kingdom, now a Duchy incorporated into Vestland, one of the three provinces of the Kingdom of Zare. I won't go into the details of their meeting at this stage (perhaps one of the intrepid adventurers might take on that task in the future), but suffice it to say, they were oddly matched form the start.
Alric, a farming lad of human descent, was a young lad of no little brawn, with some knowledge of weapons, and out looking to better his lot. Alric made his name slaughtering 0-level ruffians with an ironwood greatclub, getting gnawed on by dire wolves, and inaugurating the immortal phrase, "I smell like a bear."
Breygon Sylvanus, a Half-Elven ranger, was a fellow of both town and woods, of uncertain parentage, and jaded after a career squiring brainless nobles through the tame and track-ridden woods of Aeryn. A man of few words, he excelled at felling foes from bowshot, until Alric left the party and he suddenly became the meatshield-cum-moulinex. He now spends a lot of his time trying to get in touch with his Elven heritage, bits and pieces of which keep popping up at the most inconvenient moments.
Gwendilyne, a halfling thief of extraordinary talents and extraordinarily bad judgement, made the acquaintance of her future partners while trying to drag a sack of stolen coins through a busy marketplace. Gwen's patented catch-phrase is, "I don't get mad, I get stabby!", and when faced with the possibility of sharing treasure with others, has been known to say "Boooo!" Gwen's Spot check is so high that she has been known to succeed even on a critical failure. Gwen recently became the proprietor of The Halfling's Hearth, a small tavern in the bustling town of Bymill, and is looking forward to opening it again, in order to fleece customers wholesale, instead of merely retail.
Joraz, a sober and reflective student of unarmed combat, sought to avenge his slain master, and recover his master's greatest written works from his killers, with the ultimate goal of reconstituting the Order of Tyrellus. Joraz was distinguished as being in the forefront of battle; and, since he doesn't wear armour, he is also the only member of the party to go below 0 hit points more than twice. Third time was the charm; he's dead now, and the party's new side-adventure is "looking for a diamonds worth a total of at least 5,000 gp."
And finally Qaramyn, a College Wizard of the Order of Light, was hoping both to prove himself, and to come to grips with the burgeoning arcane powers that made him more than mortal. Qaramyn's guiding ethos was formed in one of his early battles, when he discovered that the one thing he enjoyed more than a really heavy study session was burning people alive.
Alric and Qaramyn have both, regrettably, left the party; Alric has taken up a position as Lieutenant of Guards in the great city of Vejborg, on the south coast of Zare, while Qaramyn has accepted a position in the Royal Library in that selfsame city. Both will, doubtless, be back. In the meantime, their lamentable absence has been filled by two new arrivals:
Lyra Alyra, a Hiarsk (hereditary half-elf, rather than recent half-breed - more ancient history to follow!), began life as a rogue, but when her inborn talents as a sorceress emerged, she decided to follow a different path. Somewhat lacking in an internal moral compass, Lyra goes where the wind takes her, and looks DAMNED good doing it. Lyra has been having odd dreams lately, and the party is still wondering when they're going to get some use out of that Wand of Enlarge that she dropped 6,000 gold on.
And let us not forget Bjorn Guthbrandr - a fish out of water if there ever was one. A monstrously enormous warrior-cleric of Esu, the Allfather, Bjorn is a long way from his Jarlin home, doing his best to bring the blessing of the Mikkelseggr, the Big Man, to the heathen, and crushing a few skulls along the way. Bjorn stomps through life wearing a dead paladin's armour and carrying the biggest damned hammer anyone has ever seen, which he uses as a Seven-Iron on ogre heads.
Bjorn and Lyra, incidentally, share that special bond forged as the result of being the only two members of the party who have actually tried to beat the crap out of each other.
So much for the adventurers. In my next post, I'll bring you up to speed on some of the nasty things they've survived (or not survived; sic transit gloria...oh yeah, I already did that joke).
Also, more will be written about their early adventures, the first of which was a test of strength that saw them each recuited as members of the Watch of Aeryn (mostly to keep them off the streets). In this guise, after some weeks together, learning each other's strengths and weaknesses, and vanquishing a nest of bandits into the bargain, they left the ancient Duchy, setting out for an isolated fortress - and finding more along the road than they bargained for.
Because, hey - don't they always?