CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Aerodus Cartalious - Rise of the Runelords

So I talk a lot about what you should do when making a character. Making sure it's something you like. Making sure you make it for the game you’re playing. Playing to themes when making a group. What I haven’t shown you is implantation. So today I’m going to post a character background for my current Rise of the Runelords character. Although the character is linked to some of the events in the books directly which events he’s linked to are not distinguishable from stuff I made up. So if you haven’t played the AP there shouldn’t really be any spoilers.

I first want to talk about how the character came up. The gamemaster wanted us all to be from Magnimar. And the premise, whether we were guilty or not, was that we were going to be tried for petty crimes and sentenced to travel to Sandpoint for some reason. Originally I wanted to play a half-orc pit fighter but I actually turned to the GM and said this party is actually missing something.

Now it wasn’t about missing a tank or a healer or what have you. Although we were pretty light on front line fighters being a Time Oracle, a Firebug Wizard and a Cartomancer Witch. Although my half-orc could dish out damage as a Rogue I felt what the party was missing was a moral compass. Every character was dark and flawed in there was no one to keep the group on track.

So along came the idea of a guardsman who would be sent down to Sandpoint with the “criminals.” We lost our front line fighter, if the half-orc could be called that and gained a trained investigator. And the truth is I liked the fit so much better.

To be fair I’d played the first book like five or six times. The groups falling apart each time for one reason or another. So I had a bit more knowledge when putting together my character. If you’ve GM’d or played books one or two, you’ll see how I made sure to give my character hooks that easily fit him into the story.

I wrote the background as an in character journal.

Entry One

This will be the first entry. My life has change in many ways today, and I believe my journey from here on out should be documented. If anyone should read this after my passing let it be known that this was the first day in the life of Detective Aerodus Cartalious.

Today bad news came on top of good. A messenger came from Sandpoint with ill tidings. It appears my twin sister Nualia has perished in a fire that consumed the church she was staying in. I’m saddened even though I barely knew her, she was still blood after all. I didn’t even know I had a sister or that I had been adopted until my parents had to explain why I was different from the other children. It turns out our parents had died quite suddenly of some sickness my sister and I didn’t catch. 

The family that took me in only had room for one child and a priest of Desna from the small town of Sandpoint took Nualia to stay with him in the church. I met her once after I found out, begged my parents to take me. She didn’t seem to handle being angel-blooded as well as I did, and knowing there was someone just like her didn’t seem to ease her mind. I know her adoptive father was a worshiper of the lady of fortunes, I hope Nualia fortune is to be more comfortable in the afterlife than she was here.

But there is little time to mourn, and no time to visit Sandpoint. I have been accepted into the ranks of the Magnimar city watch. I have skipped the academy process and will head straight into an apprenticeship with a senior detective. Taking a week off to travel even to a funeral would not look well upon me. I have even gotten a personal recommendation from Justice Ironbriar, who said I may be one of the finest deductive minds of my age. 

I don’t expect older detectives who had to go through the arduous process of the academy will take to kindly to my immediate acceptance to the guard, but with the obvious divine features bestowed upon my blood I am more than used to some small jealousy among peers.

I feel that this new beginning will bring many adventures across my path. With Sarenrea’s blessing I will be able to bring those to justice who will not change and offer rehabilitation to those who can. Too many cases go unsolved, especially in the poorer parts of Magnimar. I hope one day to be able to bring justice to my entire city.

Entry Two

One of the hardest aspects of this job is divorcing oneself from emotional investment, I don’t think that will ever happen for me. I grieve for every widow and feel sorry for all the souls forced into situations by their circumstances. There is enough true evil in this world without having to bring up every hungry belly that stole a loaf of bread. Detective Karick has been a great mentor. I don’t think his mind is as sharp as mine, but I think years of doing this have given him insight that I lack. Under his tutelage I hope to gain the experience necessary to have the same intuition as he does.

Our current case is nothing special, at least not to me, although some people would say it was because of the status of the victim. I’m pretty sure he was murdered by his own brother but Detective Karick has made it clear more evidence is needed before we can bring accusations against someone of his rank. I’m close, I know I am, and Karick does too. He hasn’t stopped backing my deductions but he has cautioned that I walk lightly. If this had happened in underbridge or the dockways we would have had this man in custody days ago. But there will always be politics no matter how much it turns my stomach.

I do not believe this suspect is redeemable, but I am just an investigator not a judge. If I want him held accountable and imprisoned for his crimes I had better do my job and do it well. All I need is that one missing piece, that logical leap that ties everything together. It will come, it has to, but one can’t force it, even if that is my impulse. Perhaps some tea will open up those pathways in the brain and allow me to figure this out. Or perhaps not.

Entry Three

All hands have been called and I am ashamed to say it's exciting. Although the knowledge is not public thus far, Magnimar appears to have a serial killer. Three deaths all in the same grisly manner and nary a clue to be found. I have yet to go to one of the crime scenes but Detective Karick says it won’t be long at this rate. Even students from the academy have been brought in to take witness statements so the detectives can focus on each scene thoroughly. There are whispers of a name but so far I have not heard what it is. Detective Karick says naming criminals gives them more power, they become a boogie man to the citizen, which spreads even more fear than the murders themselves. I think when you name something you give it substance and it’s easier to stop something with substance and not just the killer with no name. Detective Karick says I’m young still and I’ll learn. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll give the killer my own name.

Entry Four

Today Detective Karick and I went to our first murder scene. I’ve seen a number of dead bodies but this was quite gruesome. Sadly a name has begun to spread before I could get my first glimpse so I couldn’t choose one myself. They’re calling him the Skinsaw man and he’s got the city in a terrible fright. Each of the bodies were horribly mutilated, as I am told the others were as well. In the flesh there was carved a seven pointed star, again as all the other bodies also were.

Although each body so far has been investigated by a different detective, all of the information on the case has been made available to all active hands. From what I can tell none of the victims have had any connections to each other. Straddling all social strata, varying in race, ethnicity, gender, and generally having nothing in common. It is quite a vexing mystery that I wish to crack, although I’m not sure how at the moment.

Entry Five

Justice Ironbriar has assigned Detective Karick to be the lead on the ground of the Skinsaw Man case. All of our findings are to be brought directly to the Justice. But this means I have now been to all of the latest crime scenes. And something hasn’t been sitting right with me. It isn’t just that all of the victims are different it’s that all of the murders themselves are different. They each happened at different times of day. The wounds appear to come from different directions probably due to height of the attacker. Even the depth of the wounds appear to be different meaning the attacker used more or less strength each attack. This seems unlikely do to the intensity of each killing. The murderer who kills so passionately wouldn’t hold back on any blow let alone all of them. I mentioned it to Karick and he said I should keep it to myself for now, but I’m just not sure.

Entry Six

The victim today was a dwarf, the first non-human victim thus far. Also the first victim that wasn’t a local to Magnimar. According to some notes found on the body, the poor soul was visiting from Alkenstar. Although I’m not sure many needed the notes to tell them that was the case. Like many of the victims nothing was stolen and on his person was one of those bizarre firearm contraptions. 

The little bugger must not have put up much of a fight, or was caught by surprise. The pistol (I had to look that up in the archives) was still tucked into his belt. I saw a competitor use a firearm once in the Serpent’s Run, it must have been older as it was larger and far clunkier then the one the dwarf carried. If the victim had managed to draw his pistol and fire I’m sure we’d have a dead Skinsaw Man.

The pistol though fascinates me. I would love to get a closer look at it and figure out how it works. From what I remember some kind of powder goes in with a little metal ball and then you pull a little lever and it fires. I’m sure there is something written on the things somewhere, I’ll just have to find it. Brigh is respected among the wizards of the golemworks, perhaps their library has something, anything on these new devices.

Entry Seven

I decided to go over Karick’s head and brought my deduction to Justice Ironbriar personally. But the Justice dismissed my findings calling them “baseless conjecture.” I’ve suddenly gone from one of the finest minds to the boy who cried goblin. And worst of all I imagine he’ll tell Detective Karick I went to see him. I don’t wish to be taken off this case, but something isn’t sitting right with me and no one is listening. I’ll investigate on my own if I have too.

Speaking of investigating on my own it turns out the Golemworks library did have a few sources of information on firearms. Nothing even remotely exacting or precise but I’ve copied almost every piece of information I could find in the two hours they allotted me access to their tomes. It seems the powder is some kind of explosive that propels the metal ‘bullet’ at high rates of speed from the tubular chamber called a ‘muzzle.’ There isn’t very detailed information on the workings of the pistol itself, but I believe I can figure out the manufacture of both the gunpowder and the bullet given enough time.

Entry Eight

If Justice Ironbriar said anything, Detective Karick hasn’t mentioned. I am thankful for this turn of events, especially since it has given me a chance to collect more evidence. Very few pieces of evidence have been left behind by the killer, or now as I suspect killers. One of the early victims had a stray hair. It was overlooked by the detective who took in that scene because it was brown just like the victims, but the latest scene had a hair that was pure white. An odd coincidence considering my own hair color, but still further evidence that there may be more than one killer.

Entry Nine

Today has been confounding on many levels, I found another hair at the newest crime scene. This one red, while the victim was a blond. I’ve also begun to notice that the seven point stars, the signatures of the killer have been slightly different sizes and the angles of the points vary greatly. I brought this information to justice Ironbriar feeling it was much more than circumstantial, but again I was rebuffed. He sternly told me not to go around spreading rumors because it would "Inflame the fears and imaginations of the masses." He had me removed and told me not to bring any more of my ‘evidence’ directly to him again, but to work through proper channels and bring it to Detective Karick if I must.

My dismissal by the Justice was not the only thing that threw me for a loop today. I swear I saw Nualia at the crime scene. But when I rushed through the crowd to catch her she disappeared. So many questions swirling through my head. Is she really still alive? Was I imagining things? Is it just another Aasimar who looks a lot like her?  Why did she seem so interested in the body? There are no shortage of the angel-touched here in Magnimar but I was certain when my eyes fell upon her that it was HER. I felt it in my blood and bones, but the mind does play tricks and I am not one to rely completely on gut feelings. But again there is little time to investigate on my twins behalf.

Entry Ten

I submitted all my evidence to Detective Karick and he took it without saying a word. He sent me home for the rest of the day. There was so much swirling around in my mind, like a maelstrom of thoughts everyone conflicting. It was hard to sit just idly by but Karick suggested I needed rest. It wasn’t till midafternoon I got a message from the Arvensoar, I have been taken off the Skinsaw Man case and reassigned. I am to lead a band of Sarenrea knows who to the town of Sandpoint. And to what? Guard a shipment on one of the safest roads on Avistan. Demoted from Detective to common guard and to have to stay through the Swallowtail festival as extra eyes seems overkill to me.

Truth be told I was furious at first. I had to talk myself out of resigning half a dozen times. The last of which I was halfway to the Arvensoar before I managed to convince my emotions that this was poor decision. Sandpoint might be in the ass end of Varisia but it is where Nualia lived out her short life. Maybe seeing her in the crowd was a sign this is what I was meant to do. At the very least I can finally stand at her grave and tell her I miss her. I can ask around about any friends she had, maybe someone there can tell me more about the sister I never knew.

Still I am at a loss there is something more going on here and I am being sent away. If I didn’t know Justice Ironbriar for the good, although stern, man he is I would suspect something sinister. For now I will have to table the search for the killers, I am sure now more than ever there is more than one.

Entry Eleven

Time to meet the troops. I do not truly wish to leave Magnimar but if I must, I must. I did something today I never thought I would do, I stole. But in honesty after all my service to the city and the way in which my evidence has been dismissed, this once I will say I am owed. The pistol from the dwarf of Alkenstar seems to have made its way into my pack. The Avensoar is moving at a hectic pace right now, I imagine it will not go missing for some time, but I’m on the cusp of figuring out how they work and it will be much easier with an actual firearm to reason out the hows and whys.

leather journal pathfinderStill I have no clue who I will be working with I’m told some of them may even be criminals. Sarenrea knows better than I what she’s doing but let us hope I can bring her light to whoever they are and show them a brighter path to walk on. Still I believe I’ll sleep with one eye open until I’ve got these rogues figured out.

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