(We are taking a breather from CoC for a bit, and giving Shadow of the Demon Lord a try).
Our story begins in the remote village of Respite, a small community dedicated to the heresy of the Sun King. Founded five years ago by refuges from the war-torn borderlands between Coventry and Manachaea, they established the settlement in a small valley in the foothills of the Moorfog Mountains. Once the valley was bountiful, but recently a pestilence seems to be making their livestock and crops sicken. Some whisper it is because the Morfairsing, that accursed forest, has grown too close, tainting the woods at the vale’s edge, while others believe a witch has come to lay her curse on them, to torment them for being god-fearing folk.
Though the town is mostly human, a handful of non-humans have settled here as well. Because of local prejudice, four of them have become loose friends, frequently playing cards at Respite’s one Inn & Tavern, Godsworn, or working together as nightwatchmen for the village Militia. The key members are:
- Edwin O’Flaherty is a Goblin that settled in town seeking to make a quick buck. As such he is an “upstanding” member of the Militia, but runs a side-business as a fence for the less-than upstanding Innkeeper Philipe Goodheart. The Mayor, Rickard Bailey, turns a blind eye because Edwin keeps in well supplied with Crimson Leaf, an addiction they both share.
- Panare Bre’ad is a Faun who moved here with her sisters some years ago. Their mother had been a “free spirit” in her youth, and as such none of her daughters had the same father. While her sisters, Rhiannon Stargazer & Lanja, are both human, Panare’s father was something… else, leading to the rumor that their mother was a witch. While her sisters are more scholarly and manage an herbalist shop, Panare’s rambunctiousness left her drawing the short lot when it came time to pick a member for the town Militia. As a conscript, she spends most of her nights with the Night-watch, but makes a little extra on the side as a rabble-rouser for Philipe Goodhart when the Innkeeper wants to stir up the locals indirectly..
- *Mazagog Lagzag” is a bitter, brutal Orc who killed a man while on his rite of passage, taking his sword as a trophy. Only he found the man had laid a death curse on him as well, a curse that puts him in terrible pain should he ever kill another.Sold into slavery by his tribe for being a wuss, he eventually was purchased by Mayor Rickard Bailey, who holds him as his indentured servant and personal valet. Though he serves his master loyally enough, he still sneaks off to sacrifice small animals in the woods to the Dark Gods of his Ancestors, preying his curse might one day be lifted so he can kill again.
- Number Four is a Hobgoblin Soldier who was separated from his unit while scouting the edge of the Morfairsing. Found near the edge of the Hungry Wood, half-starved and unable to speak a lick of the common tongue, Edwin and Panare found they were the only ones able to speak with him and persuaded the Mayor to let him settle with them as another addition to the night-watch. Respite has come to accept him as possibly the best tracker in town.