A silver-tongued warrior mage dressed in noble's finery.
Player: Nick McNamara
intended gestalt: Magus(Bladebound & Hexcrafter)/Rogue(Spy) to Arcane Trickster & Duelist
Alignment: True Neutral
Mr. Rickard is a handsome, powerfully built human, slightly shorter than his kinfolk. He wears finery, jewels and other signs of status, such as a shiny white top hat and a master-craft pocket-watch. He carries a fine rapier on his hip, sheathed in a scabbard of silver and velvet. A heavy horn longbow seems out of place amongst these contemporary symbols, but is in no way of poorer quality. His face is warm, if hard from an active lifestyle. Long locks of blonde hair grace his shoulders, a well trimmed bread accents his jawline and his piercing dark eyes betray a vivacity and hunger contrary to his simple, calm voice.
CLASS Rogue 1, Magus 3
AC 16 ( + 3 Dex, + 3 Armor)
Masterwork Rapier: Atk + 6, Dmg 1d6 + 6 (power attacking)
Composite ( + 4) Longbow: Atk + 5, Dmg 1d8 + 4
Pistol: Atk + 5, Dmg 2d4
Masterwork Studded Leather Armor: AC +3, CP 0
STR 18, DEX 16, CON 16, INT 21, WIS 15, CHA 18
FEATS weapon groups (simple, light blades, firearms, bows), skill focus (bluff), power attack, combat casting
SKILLS Acrobatics +7, Appraise +10, Bluff +14, Climb +8, Craft (steamworks) +9, Diplomacy +8, Disable Device +11, Disguise +9, Escape Artist +9, Heal +2, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +9, Knowledge (engineering) +6, Knowledge (greography) +6, Knowledge (history) +7, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (nobility) +7, Knowledge (planes) +9, Knowledge (Religion) +7, Linguistics +12, Perception +6, Perform (violin) +11, Profession (forger) +7, Ride +4, Sense Motive +6, Sleight of Hand +7, Spellcraft +9, Stealth +8, Survival +2, Swim +8
FORTITUDE +6, REFLEX +5, WILL +5
Languages Common, Elven, Draconic, Sylvan, Dwarven, Infernal, Celestial
Equipment masterwork rapier, composite longbow of elven make, blue baroness pistol, masterwork backpack, masterwork chain shirt, masterwork pocketwatch, 3 smoke arrows, 20 arrows, masterwork violin & waterproofed case, small steel mirror, 50 ft silk rope, sealing wax, 10 various signet rings, masterwork tools (linguistics), masterwork thieves tools, waterskin, spring loaded wrist sheath (wand of disguise self), 5 tindertwigs, 2 wax blank keys, 5 wooden holy symbols, grappling hook, superior loaded die, bottle of cortyn wine, monocle, compass, superior lock, noble’s outfit & 100 gp’s worth of jewels, spellbook, broken black rapier, string of pearls
(TOTAL WEIGHT = 75) GP = 15
Oth Acid Splash, Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Daze, Detect Magic, Disrupt Undead, Flare, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Open/Close, Presdedigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic, Spark
1st Mount, Enlarge Person, Expeditious Retreat, Unseen Servant, Floating Disc, Magic Missile, Grease, Color Spray, Shield, Shocking Grasp, True Strike, Vanish
My Name is L. T. Rickard. My bosses called me Leonard Thomas; my friends call me Rickard. I was born above a bar. The city of my birth was Kazval, a collection of Veirsarrian factories with townhouses, shops, and thousands of homes spilling out around them. Great walls of stone surrounded the whole of the place. My dad was a guardsman on the wall, and my mom was an elf. Well, part elf. I don’t have the ears, see. My mom left the city when I was young, will all the elf-hate about the Alliance on the tongues of miners and merchants alike. My dad died a little while afterwards, so I spent my early childhood in a bar. My father’s name was Roderick, and my mother’s was Genevieve, and this is all I know of them.
As is to be expected living in a bar, my tolerance for alcohol developed quite swiftly. They served good stew at that bar, made with lentils, potatoes and fresh pork the owner would have shipped in from south country. The whole of the place smelled of fresh coffee, cooked meat and hazel from the garden out back. Many customers came through, some seedy and others of a more noble ilk. This was the blessing and curse of owning a bar on the corner of Market Street and Silverthorne: Rich people always complain, and poor people always brawl. Worse, with rich people comes guards, and with guards come brawls. One time the Old Friar brought his donkey in from the rain. Then such a brawl ensued. As such, The Pounding Donkey got its name. This was years before I was born. The chef at the time, Markos Rickard, took me in for his own son. He named me Leonard Thomas for his previous bosses. Leonard owned a fish market, and Thomas was a butcher.
When I was ten I found my first sweetheart in a girl named Valentina Wright. She was the daughter of one of the maids, and we spent many a night sitting up on the roof watching the smoke from the factory spill out and upwards. When we could see stars, we would make a wish, for that was a rare occasion indeed. She once wished we could leave that place. The owner’s wife had come from a musical family, and in her youth she had played concert violin at the Essilvast Theatre, a large, spacious, affluent place that has since lost business and fallen into disrepair. She taught me how to play the violin. I wrote my first piece for Valentina. I was thirteen at the time.
On the eve of my fifteenth birthday, a crew from an airship came into the Bar. I was immediately captivated by their silk bandanas, scimitars and pistols. They wore big brown boots, and each man had a scruff of beard about his chin and a look of adventure in his eyes; the kind of look one only gains after witnessing spectacles of great wonder and rarity. My dearest Rickard had passed months before, and my teenage instincts were driving me to look for a change of scenery. I thusly saw, in these weathered airmen, a chance for a different life. The greatest of them was a large man with a grand blue tabard adorning his chest, a musket of quite incredible size in his one hand. When he ordered ales for his men, I leaped at the opportunity to serve them. When I got to the large airman, I placed his frothing mug upon the table to his left, and sat opposite him.
Before he took a drink I said, “Mr, if you can beat me in an arm-wrestling contest, then that drink’s on the house.”
He smiled and we got down to it. His massive calloused hand enclosed mine like a vice-grip around a brittle twig. He took my arm down with the force of a cannon shot, and I bit my lip to distract myself from the throbbing pain. He smiled, as did I.
“Mr, whatever do you do that makes your arm so strong?”
He told me, “I learned to rig up our ship’s flag all by my lonesome.”
I asked, “Mr, do you think you could teach me to rig up your ship’s flag all by my lonesome?” motioning my head in the direction of a packed satchel at the foot of the stairs.
I told him my name, and rushed off to get my bag. Valentina was there with tears in her eyes. We went out back and I asked her what was wrong. She told me she couldn’t leave. I told her our wish was coming true. She told me she just couldn’t, as her mother was sickly and she needed caring for. I kissed her and I told her I would return one day. I gave her a locket with a tintype of me in it. I’d saved for months to buy that locket: it was waterproof, and wouldn’t heat even in a blazing fire. I dropped it from the roof over and over until I was satisfied it wouldn’t dent or crack or break, and then I left it in the well for two weeks until I was satisfied water couldn’t leak in. She kissed me back and put it round her neck. I left.
I boarded the Blue Baroness at midday. And by twilight we were above the city. By midnight I could see a thousand stars. It was there I learned to fight, and cuss, and operate the rigging on an airship. An old man named Oilrig taught me how, but I never learned to haul the flag all by my lonesome. Duncan taught me to fire a musket.
One day, he got all of everyone together at night down in the engine room, and gave a speech about a change in scenery. We were about to mutiny. I liked the old captain though, and our way of doing things. See, while I liked him for taking me up into the sky, Duncan had gone bad like a fish somebody leaves out in the sun. Flies followed him everywhere. The next morning, I took me a parachute and jumped. I landed in a dusty road and vomited without the sway of wood beneath my feet and a strong wind in my face. I dried my tears at the end of that life, and hauled myself up with my survival pack and got to walking.
I survived the next few weeks on river water, fish, berries and game I felled with my pistol. It was Duncan’s pistol. I’d figured without it, there would be a few less bullets he could put into the Captain, so I’d stolen it just before my dive. One day, while I was hauling my stuff up into a tree, I heard galloping down the road. I looked out and saw a black horse with a cloaked rider. I stopped her, asking where I was. She had a pale face and sad green eyes, and a wiry red hair and hollow cheeks. There was a haunting beauty about her. She introduced herself as Rosalie, and told me I was on the road towards Zezmier. I offered her some gold for a lift. She agreed.
We spent a good five days together. She divulged that he worked for the Crow Haven, a trade network that spanned the country. They dealt mostly in cloth and spices. She told me this on the third day. On the fifth day, I agreed to work for her, for she had a good position in the network, and it was good, honest money. We arrived in Zezmier that day. I spent the next few months learning the tools of the trade: how to spot the cost of a bolt of silk cloth or a sack of spice, where the highwaymen would lay in wait, the right streets to take, etc. I lived in a small house on the north side with Rosalie. Our place had a big blue chemical light affixed to the ceiling, and the whole place smelled like the spice we carted around daily. She played the cello, and we would spend much time filling the streets with our sound.
One day, the highwaymen got to her. They carved her up, took her goods and left. I picked up my blade and gun and got to hunting. I followed the trails in the snow, asked around, and they lead me to an old abandoned factory in the slums. I snuck in through a low window, and stepped quietly though the debris and twisted metal. Before I knew it, they were upon me. I pulled out my pistol and shot wildly. I felt knives bite my flesh. Eventually, amid all the hectic yelling and combat, the place fell silent. I’d won, but at the cost of much of my blood. I stumbled, nauseous and dizzy, through the nighttime shantytown of Zezmier. I passed out in an alleyway in the snow, making peace with Ilmarion, and closing my eyes.
I awoke like a gunshot into blazing warmth, a thousand bright stars swirling round my head. As my eyes dilated, I realized first that the stars were lights from dozens of candles, and that I was in a house. A man was there, with long grey streaked black hair and a pale, chiseled face. His eyes were piercing and bright grey. His lips were worn and cracked, and the scruff of a grey beard shadowed his cheeks. He had a large hole in his right ear, and scars across his face. He was garbed in a large black cloak.
He spoke with a gravelly voice: “I’ve saved you, so you can live to save me one day. Find me when you are strong. I am Greyhound.”
With that, he hefted a large fist and struck me across the face. I fell unconscious. I owe the rest of my life to Greyhound, and I will find him one day. The next years of my live are inconsequential: I met a gypsy, a young man who claimed to be two hundred, an old man who made baskets, a painter who died in a gutter and a king without a crown. I’ve wandered with my voice and my violin, singing my way to food and drink. I am twenty three years old.
THE TRUTH (not revealed to party)
He was born Peter Whitlock Jr. Named after King Peter the Cunning, the kindly lord of New Rhodes. His father, Peter Whitlock Sr. owned a music emporium in the Grey Topples, the lower-middle class sector of the city of Kasval. He used the emporium, [[Rickard Whitlock & Co.]], as a front for smuggling and black market trade. Rickard never existed: he was a figment Whitlock had conjured that existed only on paper. Whitlock had a separate signature, birth papers and purchase rights under the guise of this Rickard persona. When Peter Jr. was very young, about 4 or 5, his dad would tell him stories of how the money he was saving would get them out of the city and into the countryside, where Sr. had spent his happy early youth until the Veirsarrian military had confiscated their land and driven his family into the city.
Growing up in a music shop, Jr. became very adept at the violin. On his eighth birthday his father bought him a violin made out of cherry, which smelled of spice. He called it Rosalie. When Jr. first asked who Rickard was, his father would tell him that Rickard was a safe haven; a person Sr. would become when he was in danger or threatened, and the disguise and name would keep him safe. Jr. fantasized about this Rickard character, and would marvel at the magic the fake name and identity held. In reality, all the illicit deeds were done under the name of Rickard, who would thusly be the target of law enforcement if anyone were to find out. If they came to the door, Whitlock would redirect them to Rickard’s residence and he would take his son and flee the law.
Junior’s mother was a whore in the red light district. She had died in childbirth. Sr. became a drinker after that, and drank throughout his son’s childhood. This did not lead to neglect though, for he did everything for his son and loved him very much.
A lieutenant in the city guard was named Avery “Greyhound” Morgan, a tall, cruel, wickedly efficient manhunter. His ability to detect and take in criminals of all sorts was legendary and earned him his nickname. He also got the name for his physical stamina and speed. Greyhound was known to pursue theives and murderers in his plate armor with remarkable efficiency. He would vault hay bales and climb to roofs, refusing to concede the pursuit. He was very good at bringing criminals in.
He found out about the music shop smuggling and, soon after, the dual identity of it’s owner. He captured Sr. and brought him in to be hanged. The emporium was liquidated and Jr was thrown out into the streets, the son of a whore and a criminal. He saw his father hanged in market square on his ninth birthday. With only the clothes on his back and his violin, Rosalie, he looked for a place to stay. He wandered into poorer and poorer parts of the city until eventually he reached the “swamplands”, the filth infested pit of the city. There, he found his salvation in the Lantern-light Comradeship, a collection of dozens of abandoned and orphaned children.
They were under the protection and care of Wicker Jimmy, a human centenarian. Jimmy was the King Solomon of the swamplands: people would come to him with quarrels or questions, for he was wise, fair and kind hearted. He got his name from the wicker baskets of food and supplies the people would bring him for survival, most of which he gave to the comradeship. Almost without exception, anyone who grew food or made clothes and utensils would give some to Jimmy. So it was that Peter grew up in the swamplands.
He made friends there. Leonard was the son of a city guard captain who committed suicide. Thomas was a half elf, who’s mother had been an elven maiden who fled the city after he was born. He also met his first love there, a girl named Valentina. She lived there with her sickly mother, and would tell Peter stories of growing up in a tavern that always smelled of coffee and stew. The four of them promised each other that they would leave the place one day.
When Peter was 15, Greyhound was named Guard Captain and Supervisor of the swamplands. He pledged to rid the filth in the area and make it whole and healthy again. His policy was that of heavy tax: he would starve the people, and hopefully enough would die that the strong few who lived would be able to start the place over. Overcrowding had always been the greatest difficulty in the swamplands. So it was that people lost their food and families were torn apart. Jimmy, with nothing left to be brought to his doorstep, died. The comradeship fell apart after that, and most of the children, including Valentina, who’s mother had died, were taken in by the guards and placed in custody in [[St. Summers Prison]], the city’s most prominent debtor’s prison.
Peter, Leonard and Thomas fled. with nowhere left to turn to make ends meet, they joined the Crow Haven, a crime syndicate that spanned several cities. Their boss was Black Lyler, a grim faced halfling ranger. Lyler put Leonard to work at stealing and Thomas to pimping. Peter was able to avoid these dirty jobs by playing Rosalie. He discovered that he had enough talent to play the streets for money. Most of this money went to the syndicate, but enough was left to keep him in clothes and food.
The next two years of his life were like this. Every night, he would fall asleep in a covered wagon, thinking, “Good night, Valentina, i’ll raise enough money to save you and we can go live in the country together.” Sometimes he could hear her back, “Yes Peter, i’ll always wait for you.” Peter met a lot of people in the Crow Haven.
One man, Oil-rig, used to work on an airship, but abandoned ship when the first officer committed mutiny and went pirate. He now worked as a bouncer. As time passed, Peter saw many deaths. Oil-rig, months after their meeting, was killed by a murdering psychopath. As he lay dying, he handed Peter his pistol, telling him to save a bullet for the mutineer first mate, Deadeye Duncan, who had killed the captain, Oil-rig’s closest friend.
Leonard was chased down by police dogs in the sewers. Thomas was found out by Greyhound, and soon after guards came for him. Peter came to his aid, and together, they eluded the guards and hid out in the Essilvast Theatre, an abandoned opera hall. They stayed there for four days. Greyhound came on dawn of the fifth day. There was a battle, and Thomas was slain by Greyhound and his henchmen. Peter held Greyhound at gunpoint. He accused Greyhound of being a fiend, a cold blooded murderer and an abuser of power. Peter spat curses at him, whispering the names of all his friends slain by the man, and pledging himself to vengeance.
He told him his name: Peter Whitlock Jr, the son of a man he’d hung. He told greyhound to memorize his face, for it was the last one he’d see. He shot Greyhound. Unfortunately, he had never before fired a pistol, so the bullet missed greyhound’s head and only tore off a chunk of his ear. Howling in rage, Greyhound charged Peter, but Peter ducked behind a podium and greyhound toppled over him. Peter ran. Since greyhound now knew him all too well, he changed his name and his life history. He became a wandering minstrel. He hired himself out to anyone who could teach him combat, and has sworn away his soul to vengeance. He keeps all this locked away, though, and goes by the name L. T. Rickard. The L. T. for Leonard and Thomas, and the Rickard for the imaginary identity a person can slip into and be safe from harm.