Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Personalities of the Rainy City -- Part IV

Being a miscellany of curious and improbable persons at large in the Rainy City. Everything below is incredible hearsay and basest rumor.
  • The Sprites of Sump Tree House: In the cupboards, under tables, behind the oven, and over the eaves, but never, ever, in bottles, the sprites of Sump Tree House are a minor nuisance and source of mischief in the neighborhood.
  • Jaelin the Charmer: Hero Magician of the Sump, friend to many, enemy to none, his quest for a spell of the Second Order is now fulfilled!
  • Novellus the Noble: Confused, credulous, and credible, with long, thin moustaches, he gingerly makes his way across the channels in the Sump. A refugee nobleman from another world who has lost everything but his keen knowledge of all things equestrian and his sharp eye with a bow. He is considering taking up a new profession as a leech fisherman, on the good advice of Jaelin.
  • Vengus Ult: No longer a mere Pedant, he has promoted himself to the position of Savant. The guild has no say in this matter! And he has seen no sign of the knave Regulus, or he would have reported it. Nor has he heard of this "Silver Distillembic" of which you speak. Why do you ask?
  • Regulas: No friend of Vengus Ult's, and a good thing, for poor Regulas has not been seen for a fortnight.
  • Maleficas: Head Monitor of the Membership Committee for the Guild of Alchemists. He very much needs to find good Regulus. The guild takes care of its own.
  • Vasilli, a Wizard of No Small Renown: Vanished! His house on Smallside Lane lies open, the entryway gate banging in the wind, rain spilling through smashed windows. All his doors are ajar. All his vaults lie open. But who would dare enter the house of a wizard, abandoned or not?
  • The Whirling Blade of Smallside Lane: None who has seen it has survived. It stalks the streets of the Upper Mids, a wild elemental thing. You will hear it before you see it. Too late!
  • Behatted Gargoyles: Jaunty hats have been found all around the city, on lampposts, on signs, and keeping the rain off gargoyles' heads.
  • The Wizard's Apprentice with the Enchanted Sword: The families of those he slew that night clamor for vengeance, but the Parliament of Magicians has not made a ruling, and the youth has not been apprehended.
  • Ianus Tut: A refugee, once a princely god-king. Indeed. But hailing from a land of dust and sand? Ludicrous! His manse, the lowest house on Embassy Row. His beard, the most finely groomed on Embassy Row. A painter of suns and writer of strange sigils, he is a renowned wit of the Embassy Row Salons, even though everyone knows he is a common burglar. His neighbors report that he walk through walls to steal precious books and good silverware. But no one is perfect.
  • Nik Schwiller: One of Schwiller's boys, a day shift raftsman. A lover of fine tobacco and pipe, he can afford a smoke once in a fortnight. And tonight is that night.
  • A Boy of the Mids, with an Overlarge Jaunty Hat: He will be a great wizard one day, living on the Tower Cliffs! Everyone knows that is where the grand wizards build their towers. He has not even passing interest in Ambassador Ianus Tut or Embassy Row.
  • The Watch Box Wardens of Embassy Row: Paid from the communal chest, they watch silently from their boxes, always alert and comfortably dry.
  • The Grue Family Gatekeeper: Yes, he's heard about Ambassador Tut's nightly depredations. In fact, he's quite sure the rumors are true. He's lost a good pair of shoes himself, recently. Coincidence? He finds it doubtful.
  • Petticroft Grue: The old patriarch of the Embassorial Family Grue, with a wispy beard and fine silk smoking pajamas. This new neighbor, Ianus Tut, has stolen from him a most valuable tome on the ghosts of another world, Van Richten's Guide to the Spirits. He would pay a fair price for its return.
  • Nezur Killroy: Mr. Killroy is an expert in the recovery of lost and stolen goods. His pointed ears suggest fey and arcane talents. His employers cannot, of course, be named, for reasons of confidentiality. But he might see fit to offer his services in the recovery of a lost tome, if the fee is proper.
  • Marco Durban: Mr. Killroy's associate. His goggles imply a past life as a staid guild man; his horseshoe moustaches imply a current life as a rebel outlaw.
  • The Apprentice Alchemists of Guildhouse Square: They have double-checked their papers, and there seems to be no prohibition against selling common drugs even to non-guild "chemists" such as Vengus Ult. For the right price, of course.
  • The Tut Gatekeeper: A dull job, but not so bad when old Tut goes out to the salon. Then there's time even for a gatekeeper to warm himself up with a drink and good company. A fine coincidence that his good friend Jaelin the Charmer should stop by with a keg just when the master's away!
  • The Tut Cooks and Staff: They come in for the day, head home for the night, and never, ever go upstairs. Ambassador Tut has forbidden it. And besides, it is well known that the upstairs is haunted.
  • The Shadow in the Crypt: Master bedroom, or tomb? The floorplan and fireplace suggest the former. The grave goods, gold sarcophagus, curse of doom on the door, and shadow guardian suggest the latter. Do not disturb Ianus Tut's resting place! Certain doom awaits tomb robbers and disturbers of Ambassador Tut's canopic jars.
  • Schwiller: A night boatman who plies the Tower Straits. He asks no questions. What interest is it to him what is in the fat sack weighing you down so heavily, Vengus, or why your friend Jaelin looks a bit more transparent than usual. Frankly, Schwiller has much more to say about the weather.