Campaign of the Month: January 2014
Greyhawk 937 CY: The Age of Steam
Neacel Heir(47, Oeridian, brown hair, brown eyes, 5’9", stocky, Expert):
Laryn’s older brother was one of the few members of their family to choose an occupation not involving the capture or prosecution of criminals. Instead, Neacel apprenticed with a blacksmith, eventually opening his own shop and enjoying great success due to his excellent craftsmanship. His wares are especially prized by the wizards in Greyhawk City who use them to make magical items. There is often a lengthy waiting list to get swords and armor from the shop.
Slow to react, though definitely not lacking in intelligence, he prefers to ponder his options before making a decision. After his wife died from illness, he has withdrawn a bit emotionally from those around him other than his close family. Neacel loves his niece very much and worries about her constantly when she is on the job. He’s quite pleased by the amount of attention Caleb seems to be paying to Addy, and has encouraged the young man to keep visiting her. Appreciating the fact that Caleb seems to be the only person who can get an emotional reaction out of his niece, he fails to understand that it’s generally born out of her irritation rather than being properly flustered by his affections. Neacel is unaware of his son’s distaste for the officer and might be less inclined to welcome him around if he knew the reason behind it.
He is wary of Captain Chalk’s intentions and has been considering paying the man a visit to get some answers. The one secret he keeps is that Aderyn’s parents desperately wanted a more peaceful life for their daughter, and both expressed that they never wanted her to be a watchman.
Aethan Heir(23, Oeridian, brown hair, brown eyes, 5’10”, Expert):
A cunning blacksmith, Aethan’s real gift is in forging weapons. His swords are considered a true prize by anyone lucky enough to purchase one. Neacel feels that he has nothing left to teach his son, but the young man seems content as things are. He’s in no rush to see his father retire.
Quiet and intelligent, Aethan is favored by many of the young ladies in the neighborhood for his handsome face and genial manner. He is calm and steady like his father, but possessing some of his mother’s infamous mischievous side. Harmless pranks are one of his past times. Having a well known sweet tooth, many of the admiring girls like to bring him treats in an attempt to gain his attentions. He grew up with Aderyn and still enjoys spending time with her, listening to stories about her latest case.
He is suspicious of Addy’s new benefactor, Commander Chalk, and doesn’t particularly like the dangerous missions she is often sent out on. He also doesn’t care for Caleb who has been getting uncomfortably friendly with Aderyn and keeps stopping by the shop to ask after her. Concerned that the man is spying on his cousin for Chalk, Aethan often does his best to convince Caleb that Addy wants nothing to do with him — which seems to have the adverse effect of making the other man all the more determined. The two have an adversarial relationship currently.
Meirona Heir(Deceased, Oeridian, brown hair, brown eyes, 5’6”, Commoner/Oracle):
Wife of Neacel Heir and mother of Aethan, Meirona was was known to be gentle and sweet, but also mischievous and a bit strange. Her love of small pranks rivaled that of even some gnomes, but she also baked some mean chocolate muffins which served to sooth any injured pride. Happy in her role as the blacksmith’s simple housewife, Meirona really had nothing more she wanted out of life than to help her husband and dote on her son. She adored her sister-in-law, Laryn, and even served as the watchwoman’s neighborhood eyes and ears.
To the casual observer, Meirona was as plain as could be. To those who took a moment to know her, however, there was obviously more to the story. Meirona sometimes just… knew things. She would look at a person and remind them to pay a visit to their grandmother — the same grandmother who would suddenly pass away the next week. She would pause and tell one of Neacel’s customers that what happened wasn’t their fault — which was unnerving, but comforting to the man who hadn’t been able to save a comrade from an orc attack. Such stories were common regarding the genial woman.
Meirona had a peculiar gift of insight that gave her glimpses of the future and past. It was erratic, but constant. While she struggled at trying to call the power at her own whim, it would manifest suddenly and often, at random times. This was not a painful thing for her, however, and she always heeded the visions. Those who knew of her gift would often visit Meirona at her husband’s smithy in hopes she would see something for them.
She was only 25 when she learned she would die soon. Rather than rail against the injustice, Meirona quietly prepared. When she fell ill, Neacel and Aethan were aware this would be her end, and while sad, her assurances that there was nothing they could do soothed some of the pain. Meirona made her husband promise he would look after his niece — that he didn’t yet have — and happily informed her husband that he shouldn’t grieve too hard because she would see him again before too long. She quietly passed away shortly after. Every now and then, Neacel swears he can feel her presence and the smell of chocolate muffins.
Laryn Vayne nee Heir(Oeridian, light brown hair, brown eyes, 5’6”, deceased, Fighter/Ranger):
Laryn was a valued member of the Greyhawk City Watch. Stern and unyielding, she was an excellent watchwoman who enjoyed nothing better than chasing down criminals on foot and bringing them to justice. Laryn’s family history is a long and impressive list of decorated watchmen, barristers, and military officers. It’s often remarked that Aderyn’s personality is very similar to her mother’s.
Laryn was the one who uncovered connections between the Vayne family and a sudden rise in disappearances in Greyhawk City. She picked Sial as being the most likely person to be swayed into helping her, refusing to be diverted from her case. Eventually gathering enough evidence to make the man concerned, her persistence was rewarded when Sial came back with enough proof to convince the city authorities that something truly disturbing was going on. The raid on the Vayne family home brought to light all the horrific experiments that Teivryn, Sial’s middle brother, had been performing using the family’s criminal connections. The assassinations of Llawthen and Dyvnallt Vayne that were carried out the same day brought the syndicate to its knees. Sial voluntarily surrendered himself and spent 10 months in prison.
When he was released, Laryn was waiting. Knowing the man had nothing left, she offered him a place to stay and a job working in her brother’s smithy. Impressed by his surprisingly noble soul, Laryn found herself in love with Sial in short order. The two married and had a daughter, Aderyn. Laryn continued to serve as a watchman for the next 11 years. She and her husband were killed in a mysterious fire that consumed their home. Authorities found much about the incident to be suspicious, but they were unable to turn up any suspects or even find the cause of the blaze.
Sial Vayne(Oeridian, honey blond hair, gray eyes, 6’0”, deceased, Bard):
The youngest, and favorite, son of crime lord Llawthen Vayne, Sial grew up in the heart of a powerful criminal empire. The Vaynes were exceptionally clever, weaving layers of deceptions to protect themselves from discovery. There were only ever tangential connections between them and their subordinates, all of whom were tenaciously loyal. Truthfully, even most of the authorities were convinced the family was perfectly legitimate. It was this environment that taught Sial to be savvy and ruthless.
Bright and charismatic, Sial quickly became his father’s choice for a successor. Able to sway people’s opinions and loyalties with a disturbing ease with his silver tongue, he seemed destined to elevate the family’s already considerable fortunes. His status as favorite was partly due to his personality and partly because of his strong resemblance to his mother, Aderyn, whom his father dearly loved. Lady Vayne died when Sial was still quite young due to simple accident. The entire family was heartbroken by her loss, and Llawthen always felt as though a part of her lived on in his youngest child. Unlike his brothers, Dyvnallt and Teivryn, Sial possessed a soft side. There were certain depths he would not sink to, something that brought the siblings into conflict on occasion.
He was at first amused when Lt. Laryn Heir of the Greyhawk City watch approached him in an attempt to dredge up more information regarding his family’s activities for an ongoing investigation. The woman surprised him with her determination and dedication — and even more when she utterly rejected his suave advances. Refusing to give up, Laryn kept coming back with more and more evidence about the Vayne’s recent plans. Her keen observations and ability to make connections startled Sial, who discovered there were things going on that he was unaware of. Deciding to do his own digging, the Vayne scion found something that forced him to act. Whatever it was shook the young man badly enough to willingly topple his family’s empire.
Things happened quickly when he agreed to aid Laryn. His middle brother, Teivryn, evidently arranged for the assassination of both their father and their older brother, Dyvnallt. It became obvious that Teivryn was behind the entire plot, with the other Vaynes none the wiser. A raid on the Vaynes’ palatial estate by the Greyhawk City authorities turned up mountains of proof of their sinister activities. Teivryn managed to evade capture, but his gruesome scientific and magical experiments were laid out for all to see. The middle brother had been crafting monsters from sentient beings and selling them to the highest bidder, and he had expanded his operations through kidnapping and trafficking in slaves.
With the Vaynes’ power base shattered, Sial gladly turned himself in, serving only 10 months in prison. Laryn was waiting patiently when he was released, having been impressed with the man’s honorable character. For his part, Sial was enamoured of the stalwart and determined watchwoman. It didn’t take long before the two fell in love and were married. Their daughter, named Aderyn after his own mother, was Sial’s new pride, and he happily left his criminal past behind.
Neacel put him to work in his smithy and discovered the man had a knack for spotting the products that would best be used for making magic items. Sial would choose the best items and set up contracts with the School of Magic and Wizards’ Guilds. He found the far more relaxed pace of legitimate business rather agreeable.
He and his wife, Laryn, were killed 11 years later in a mysterious fire that consumed their home. Authorities found much about the incident to be suspicious, but they were unable to turn up any suspects or even find the cause of the blaze.
The only child of Laryn and Sial Vayne, Aderyn was raised by a mother who instilled a sense of duty and justice in her at an early age. She has taken her lessons to heart, and followed much the same path in becoming a watchman herself. Knowing that she is performing a service to her community, and the world at large, Aderyn is driven to track down criminals who have evaded other authorities. Currently she lives with her uncle and cousin when she is not on a case.
Though not naturally domestic, Aderyn has worked very hard to take care of her uncle and Aethan. She has a shelf full of cookbooks and has taught herself to sew and knit with the same meticulous care that she lavishes on her difficult cases. The neighbor girls who bring food by for Aethan tend to irritate her since it implies that her own cooking might not be up to snuff.
Dispassionate and methodical, Aderyn tackles all things in her life with a plan. Even if she has to make it up on the fly, there’s always a rational approach to every situation. Considered something of a stick in the mud by even her peers, Adi rarely cares about other people’s opinions. She has a job to do. Duty is paramount. She’s been known to tread over many toes in order to properly dispense her duty, in fact, and won’t let social mores and politics interfere with justice. In effect, Adi has very little in her life outside of her work and her small family. Her uncle and cousin would very much like to see her develop interests in things that don’t involve her duties. She has an unusually long stride born from doing routine patrols of Greyhawk’s streets.