Many adventures are about dungeons, or epic events. Some are about political drama, or secret cults. Others are about people. Desecration, on the surface, is a rescue mission. The quest, and the adventure the players discover take center stage. However, the driving force behind the adventure are the NPC’s. In this article we are focusing on 3 of these. In particular, we are focusing on the NPCs that the characters will be tasked to rescue.
There are, within this drama, three people of adventurous persuit, not unlike our happy player characters, that seek in their travels to do works benifit their goals. For one, it is the triumph over evil, the other, a life worth living, and the third, a guide now tasked through devotion, and perhaps love, to protect his allies and see them succeed. Below we see for ourselves what sets these characters to seek out a temple only known by the ravings of an old man, a retired scout and bitter resident of Hillbury.
Bealan ‘ath’ Logonol
Bealan is a Knight and Protector of the Faith. He considers himself a crusader, and seeks to vanquish evil. However, his version of evil also includes pagans and barbarians. He is an accomplished swordsman and cavalier, and a capable leader. However, his religious convictions often leave him at odds with the various groups he has traveled with. He constantly imposes his beliefs on others and expects that tribute be paid from all loot collected to the church, before it is divided among the rest of his companions.
His most recent companions have only just joined him. They met when the caravan was collecting guards for its journey. His primary reason for wanting to see the temple is to simply remove whatever taint may be there. As a secondary objective, he hopes to find any treasure that can than be given to the church in tithe. His companions know about his plans for the treasure, but consider it the price of doing business with him. As neither of the other two are prominent combatants, they need is strength and sword, and are willing to part with the tithe to get whatever is left over. They grudgingly take part of his prayer rituals before setting off, just to keep him satisfied. Indeed, Bealan seems to have found two companions that he feels he has really connected with, even if their devotion to the faith is somewhat lacking in his eyes.
Bealan sees all savages, pagans, and barbarians as sub-human. Only those who have accepted “the true faith” are on any remote level of consideration as human beings. Converting such is only a passing thought to him, as in his experience it is often a pointless attempt. He would much rather move on past them, kill them all, or subdue and subjugate them rather than deal with them on any level. For those not formally involved in the church (other knights, monks, and priests) he looks down on them as being only partially faithful and most likely tools at their best. To the church and those officially involved he harbors his only measure of respect. He considers all such his brothers and sisters, and affords them respect bordering on admiration and genuine love. For this reason he is greatly respected in the church, even if the rest of the world finds him to be a boorish nuisance.
Bealan sees himself as the group’s leader, partly because he is the only true member of the church. He does not take suggestion well, and considers any motivation not in line with benefiting the church suspiciously. However, he does trust his companions, and respects their skills. His tactical leadership is very strong, though his social tactics are lacking at best.
Vivian Trap Springer
Vivian is a runaway. All she mentions about her past is that she gave up the “oppression” of her parents to live free and be young. From the tidbits she does mention it is clear she grew up in a port town, which has led her to hate the smell of fish. She drinks often and heartily, and is a bit rough with her tongue, often breaking into tirades against random offenders for little reason whatsoever. She is a fair of face and complexion, and has seductive look about her, and she knows it. She often uses her looks to flirt her way past guards or the constabulary as well as to distract marks.
Vivian is little more than a common pick pocket. She has some skill with knives and has learned some lock picking and trap springing skills on her few adventures with other treasure hunters. She hides her true nature as a thief from Bealan because of his religious overtones. She is sometimes frustrated that her flirtations don’t seem to have any effect on him. She has no amorous feelings for him, but still finds the challenge of disarming his resolution intriguing.
Her inexperience makes her a liability to her comrades. However, she hides this inexperience with carefully crafted falsehoods about her adventures and skills. Still, she is not without some merit and skill, just not as much as she makes out to have.
Garret was the lead scout and tracker for the caravan guard. He specializes in the trade way network and is a familiar fixture among the towns along its roads. Garret joined Bealan’s expedition partly due to his affections for Vivian, who he has become very attracted to over the course of their journey. Vivian seems to be oblivious to his desires, which is frustrating to Garret, but also seems to contribute to his desires. In truth, Vivian is also attracted to Garret, but sees in him a want for a slower lifestyle and settling down, which she is not ready for. It is because of Garret that Vivian shows so much concern for her companions when they become trapped in the temple.
Garret is a stern and silent wanderer. He’s a skilled tracker and huntsman, but a poor combatant in a fight. He generally sticks to using his crossbow to get him out of trouble. He is a skilled marksman, and frequently uses this skill to kill game and sell the furs and meat to the communities and caravans.
Garret plans to use his share of the treasure (if one is found) to purchase a small farm and settle down. His plan includes convincing Vivian to join him, though he hasn’t made this part of his plan known to her.
When the party first meets Garret he will not say much to them. He will simply nod his head if introduced to them, but will not offer more. If any PC seems to be interacting with Vivian in any way that seems more than casual he will become icy and removed. If Vivian seems to return any advances he becomes argumentative and cold directly, and deliberately, towards that character. For instance, if the PC’s offer to join the adventurers Garret will abruptly refuse them their chance while also glaring directly at the offending character. This will earn him some surprised glances from his own companions.