Age of Worms
Character Holly Wrap Up
I don't know if we are going to get a chance to finish up the campaign, and so I wanted to post some of the individual story arcs that I created. Especially for the first four characters I had an extensive background developed.
What has come before….
Holly knows little about he past. The little that she does know about the world and who she is was from the people at the Emporium in Diamond Lake.
As a young girl, she came to age surrounded by a strange mix of men and women who were part of a traveling circus. For many years her life was one of travel and adventure, going from town to town in the region. That is until the troop decided to retire in the relatively stable and economical location of Diamond Lake and Holly gave herself the last name Queen.
She was always told that she had come about with the circus by accident, having been found in the neighboring region, while at location in a small hamlet outside of the Free City. However this is not entirely the case. For within the troup there are many friends and colleagues of her father.
At the time, she was well known as the daughter of her father, having been raised entirely by him from her birth. As her mother had died shortly after childbirth. For this reason, they had a very tight bound, and it was well known that he would do anything for his daughter. While Malcolm Lans was a kind man to her, to the outside world he appeared as little more then an intellectual thug. For you see at the time of Holly's "discovery", Lans was making a power move against his former employeer. Lans was a member of The Free City's underworld, a high ranking member in the Thieve's guild.
His move came months in the making, knowing that he was putting his life and the life of his daughter in risk, he had her moved to the safest place he knew of, the Travel Troup, where his associates would be able to protect and watch her.
Along with several allies he attempted to wrest control from the Grandfather, however, his attempt was not unpredicted. You don't run an organization of thieves without tricks up your own sleeves. The guild was torn in loyalties between the two rivals as a bloody rebellion raged. For many years the two guilds fought, on occasion the battle even spilled out onto the streets. To this day, those times are known as the years of two knives. However, in the end, ironically enough, the grandfather died of old age, and the guild was once more reunited under Lans. It was time to bring his daughter home.
Lans sent his loyal men out into the country side, looking for the troup. Unsettling, it had been over a year since his men had contacted him over his daughters condition. Shortly after leaving his daughter with the circius, the grandfather had learned about her were abouts, and had sent his own men to capture her as leverage over his rival. Lans men were good to their word, and protected her with there lives. But in doing so, she was left without a tie to her father.
The circius meanwhile, having many of there most talented fighters die from a merciless attack by thieves, needed a safe haven. Through the dead of night they found there refuge in the Emporium. Through a profitable deal for both parties, the emporium became known throughout the region.
Back in the Free City, Lans was increasingly unsuccessful in finding the location of his daughter. However, one of his men did bring back word of a slaughter of many members of the circuis several years ago and the survivors (if there were any) disappearing. Believing her dead with the rest, Holly's father gave up hope.
For many years her father worked to rule the guild from the shadows. Slowly he worked to remove his name from every public record and common knowledge, until he reinvented hiself as an upstanding, noble, buisness man. The guild once more began to grow, but under Lans leadership, they begin to heavily incorporate themselves into the law and goverment. He ruled them efficiently and without the unconstrained greed of the previous leadership. He was able to keep his men from only robbing the rich and powerful and at the same time, garnering genuine friendship with the common folk. Any who strayed from approved jobs was quickly punished.
After 15 years ruling the guild and setting himself up as an honest, public man, he ran for public office, as Lord Mayor of the free city, and with a wide majority won the post.
You would think that such an abundance of power would set up a structure of abuse. However, under the joint leadership by Lans, the Free City saw times of unpresidented prosperity. With a reduction in taxes and, not surprisingly, crime, the people saw there buisnesses grow. While in secret, the companies with the most profit, usually due to illicit activies, felt the effects of the thieves tax, which part of wound back up in the cities coffers.
While no longer Lord Mayor, Lans still rules the city from his joint thrones, as the shadow behind the current lord mayor, grandfather of the the thieves guild, and high Knight Inquisitor of Pelor's Shadowguard.
Many have thought that Lans move against the Grandfather was an unbidden grab for power, and he was quick to reinforce this concept. But in reality, in was partially in revenge and at the request of his true masters, The Inquisitors of the Shadow Guard of Pelor. The shadowguard is an ancient order, began at the founding of the Free City. It originated with Ranger Priests who stalked the lands, clearing it of the tortured dead. Creatures born of darkness and foul ambitions. In the early days, the land was riddeled with such creatures, having been left over from previous wars and left to feed on the creatures in the cairn lands.
As the city grew, the ranger priests found there skills useful to the emerging underworld, without sacrificing there previous loyalties. While they engaging in illicit activies, they worked against the guild and with the priesthood to reduce the effects of the guilds worst crimes, always without the guilds knowledge.
While at times they took positions of leadership, it wasn't until the rise of Malcom Lans that they controlled the entire guild.
As a young man he had joined the guild out of a sense of disperation and lack of choices. Being smart and naturally talented he quickly gained the attention of many. After a particular brutual robbery, leaving many of the victim's family dead, Lans spoke up openenly against the guild, even at the risk of his own life. It was at this time that the Shadowguard recruited him into their ranks, indocterine him as a secret priest. They explained there mission and togehter they enacted there own justice at the ruthless murdering thieves, all at the bequest of the grandfather, believing it was his own idea the whole time.
It wasn't until he met the love of his life, a young elven women, Shashan Aumber, that he questioned his role. She was a ranger priestess of the god elven god Naralis Analor. There order in many ways was similar to the ancient Shadowguard, before they took on this more Urban role. Her party were following a powerful Cleric of a lost religion into the city. He was wanted for hedious crimes against the elven people, not least of which was murder and brutual battles of worm infested undead that devestated large patches of the elven homeland woods. Once they arrived into the city, they met with there brother religion priests and the shadowguard.
For many months they tracked the abominations throughout the city. The demonented cleric continued to elude them, even as they destroyed his minions, always one step ahead of them. There time together developed into love and eventually into a beautiful baby girl, Holly Queen.
It was shortly after this that Shashan learned of the Clerics location deep underground in an ancient temple. Not waiting for the Shadowguard, she took her men and they raided the temple. What they found was a trap.
Lans returned to the temple and found his love gone. Gathering his own pursuit he followed. They found a ferocious battle raging, already many of her man had perished, only to rise again, teaming with necromantic maggots. Calling upon holy fire, Shashan single handedly kept them at bay. Slowly lars worked his way to her side and together they destroyed the last of the minions. The cleric put up a tremendous fight, but in the end he too was overwelmed. It was then that they realized, through the battle, Shashan had become infected with the green maggots, and they had already worked there way to her brain. Quickly becoming overwelmed, Lans had little choice but to grant her peace.
Going through the cleric's things, Lans found letters between the Cleric's worshippers and the Grandfather. The grandfather had brought the cleric here. From the evidence, it was clear that he had learned of the Shadowguard and he was going to use the cleric to amputate them from the guild.
Where we are at…....
Lans, quite by accident has learned that his daughter is alive and well in Diamond lake, having heard of her exports about her adventuring. He has sent his agents to watch and guard her. It is through them that he will make contact. Unsure of her temperment, he will be slow to reveal his true identity, instead thrusting her into moral gauging situations as membership into his guild. Only after passing these will he reveal his true nature and ask her to join the Shadowguard.
Lans is getting quite old and is ready to pass on leadership to a willing successor. He has many responsibilities that he now believes can only be intrusted to someone of his own blood. In Holly he sees his only true love, having never got married, of Shashan.
What will happen….
The Pelor Shadowguard and Naralis Analor's Night Stalkers have abilities identical to the Minature's handbook Skull hunters. However, with the Night Stalkers, the prerequisite sneak attack damage is replaced with the equivalent favorite enemy (undead) from the ranger class.
Eventually it will be learned that there is still a threat of undead under the city that Holly and the other shadowguard will have to root out. Together they will delve deep and find evidence leading them to the next stage in their quest.