Monday, April 27, 2009

Personalities of the Rainy City -- Part I

Being a compendium of some of the illustrious personalities of "The Rainy City." 

All these characters made an appearance last night in our D&D heist game in the rainy city. Both PCs and NPCs are included in the list. Most of the personalities of these characters were invented on the spot, sometimes with the aid of a name list. Some of the events of the adventure are noted or hinted at in the character descriptions.  

The Rainy City: A Rogues Gallery
  • Pizarro: Wizard and entrepreneur,  owner and proprietor of Pizarro's Steam Baths, the hottest new bathing spot in the Rainy City. It stands proudly at the edge of the waterfront in the Bluffs, clouds of steam pouring forth into the rain from its three storied windows and rooftops. It is said that beneath the steam baths Pizarro has set a flametongue sword on a great black stone, and it is by its heat that he creates the steam his patrons so enjoy. Others say he has bound a demon from hell in those cellars. Still others rumor that the steam comes from the fiery breath of a dragon. 
  • Kraul Geist: A freelance "security expert" who will evaluate your anti-theft measures and offer you the best of advice on keeping scoundrels away from your most valued possessions. Kraul is the man who, upon hearing various rumors from Hyperion (below), set the heist of the flametongue sword in motion. 
  • Hyperion the Hated: Wizard and entrepreneur, master of flames and fires. His own fledgling steam bath business is faltering badly. Pizarro's successes vex him. Still, he is magnanimous, speaking often and loudly about what a terrible shame it would be if someone were to steal Pizarro's magic sword. 
  • Vengus Ulf: Non-guild alchemist who offers a variety of salves, unguents, elixirs, and tonics to those who cannot afford to pay guild prices. He works from the front room of his townhouse at the edge of the wharves, just east of the Trades District. He would surely join the guild, if only they would approve his application.
  • Pallas the Pallid: *cough* *cough* A good customer of Ulf's. Not a healthy man, he suffers from the dampness and lack of sunlight. Now his wife has begun spending all their money at the baths, and he can no longer afford guild prices for his medicinal treatments. 
  • Jaelin the Charmer: Alf who lives in a treehouse in the Sump, the overgrown swampy slums that sprawl out along the western part of the city. Jaelin does not understand human money. Is he interested in demons? "Everyone is interested in demons." 
  • Maleficus: An old school chum of the alchemist Vengus Ulf, where "chum" means they were classmates and have a long history of antagonism and barely concealed hostility. Newly appointed to oversee guild memberships, he stops by Vengus's "house" to talk about why Vengus should consider joining the guild... soon. 
  • Schwiller the Boatman: A boatman who plies the bay that cuts through the channel harbor that cuts through the city, beneath which the ancient ruins of the great school of magic lie submerged. Schwiller uses a pole to push off the towers of the school and so navigate his way across the channel. His many sons are also boatmen. 
  • Zamdor: A boatman with an eyepatch. It is his opinion that there is a dragon beneath the steam baths. He's not sure how they feed it. 
  • Quintas: His fine boat has a roof! An elegant way to travel for the discerning customer. 
  • Axatos: Rumor has it he's next in line to become guildmaster of the Alchemist's Guild. An old school chum of the alchemist Vengus Ulf's, where "chum" means Axatos was the school bully during Ulf's tenure at the school. Axatos enjoys visiting the "Elite Baths" section of Pizarro's. Only the finest baths for him.  
  • The Esteemed Mr. Fingo Bunk: The most famous burglar in the Rainy City. It is reported that he cased visited the steam baths just before the PCs arrived.
  • Libitina: A pretty girl who works the ticket tent at the steam baths. She bears a striking resemblance to Elania the Smuggler. If her name badge did not state so clearly "Libitina," one would certainly be forgiven for mistaking her for Elania.
  • Verres the Pig: The fattest man in the fine baths. A regular visitor who speculates freely on the source of the steam. 
  • Mad Dog Konstantinos: Gang lord and murderer from the Sump. He has really begun to enjoy his visits to the steam baths with his cronies. The visits help him relax. 
  • Oculam the Oracular! A well known wizard and patron of the baths. He sees all! He knows all! Do you believe him? You do! 
  • Nameless Guards stationed in the central building, not yet open for business: The first is handily knocked out when the door hits him full on the night of the heist. The second surrenders immediately and gladly shares everything he knows about how to find the secret doors that lead to the lower levels. 
  • The Steam Beetle: Chained at the bottom of the stairs, this chittering creature guards the entrance to the chambers below the steam baths. It shoots scalding steam 5' from its mouth at any who approach, so beware. 
  • The Troglodytes: They run the machinery beneath the baths that pours water into the central heating chamber once each hour. They are terrified by sorcery, and when some a half dozen of their number fall into an enchanted sleep cast on them by the Jaelin the Charmer, the other two run off to hide in their barracks, pushing their beds up against the door to bar it closed, and throwing all their worldly possessions -- a bag of 500 copper -- to the burglars in hopes of buying them off. 
  • The Salamander: Trapped beneath the steam baths, bound within a pentagram to the black stone in the central chamber, it is the salamander that causes the steam. Once each hour, the trogs  operate the machinery that releases a torrent of water into the chamber. The native heat of the salamander boils it to steam, which is then channeled through pipes to the steam baths above. Once freed from his servitude, he seeks to burn down the whole of the baths and burn up Pizarro. But first he must contend with the terrible wet conditions of the rainy city, and then he must find his hated captor.
  • Nameless Guards stationed in the administration building, which the burglars try to quickly loot on their way out: Not as easily fooled or as easily cowed as the nameless guards from the central building. These nameless guards are the other sort -- they'll shake your hand while using their other hand to try to cut you to death with their swords. And a hell of a job they can do of it, too. 
That ends the rogues gallery. If I've missed anyone -- or missed any details -- I'm sure one of the guys will chime in. I'm also happy to talk about what anything I mention in the descriptions actually means, if anyone is wondering about any particular character or detail. 


  1. Nice post. I love reading this sort of thing. The Salamander idea is great.

  2. Really evocative stuff. I love reading about this setting!