The Serpent's Eye

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Summary[edit]

A game journal using Jaws of the Six Serpents (Prose Descriptive Qualities) by Silver Branch Games for both system and setting. This Wiki page is for storage and journaling of game material for “The Serpent’s Eye” campaign.

The Actual Play thread is found here.

Karesh[edit]

Karesh is a thin dark-skinned Nilsomarian swordsman. He has shed his traditional veil, revealing a smooth clean-shaven face and smooth bald scalp to represent his self-reliance and straightforwardness. His chosen mask is instead a perpetual smile of amusement. He wears a white flowing ankle-length coat under his flared shoulder mantle, and carries the thin scimitar given to him by his mentor.

Backstory[edit]

Karesh grew up one of the lucky ones—an orphan of the vast and decadent city of Nilsomar who received the attentions of a kind old merchant named Yoosehd. Karesh followed the old man around and performed odd chores, living in the old dusty shop that sold brass trinkets, crystal objets, and books. During that time, young Karesh learned many things—the art of deal making, managing a business, and obscure booklore including some modest secrets of arcane nature he found in those old forgotten tomes.

As he grew older, it seemed that Karesh would one day inherit the old bachelor’s business. However, Yoosehd became deranged in his old age, oft possessed of paranoid ravings. One day, he blamed Karesh for stealing from him and cast him out, cursing him a hundredfold for evil deeds and conspiracy against his many kindnesses.

Saddened, Karesh returned to the ruthless world of the street, coming full circle to his life in days half-remembered when he eked out an existence as a cutpurse. However, the old gang would not have him back, being strange in their eyes and possessed of odd knowledge and displaying a fierce independence. In the end, his so-called friends framed him, selling him out to the authorities for evils he did not commit. He found himself suddenly in this familiar and unpleasant position for the second time in his young life.

He was cast into the arena where he learned to survive through quickness of foot and a good deal of luck. A famed fighter, Mufahd Halfhand, took an interest in him, and rather than slaying him, spared him and taught him the art of swordplay, especially of the flashy and stylish Benghareen school of fencing, used by the feared soldiers of Selmé’s temple, with their long flashing curved scimitars. Mufahd had long since won his freedom, but remained in the games for sport and to seek new recruits; he was a contractor of sorts, getting paid by anonymous masked lords or wealthy merchants to send young talent on suicide quests to assassinate their rivals for reasons petty and personal. The intrigues that they played in secret were time-honored games among the elite of Nilsomar.

Karesh served on one such mission in exchange for his freedom. He was sent to his target, but was set up to be ambushed by the palace guards. By luck, he learned of this and altered his plan of escape, never reaching the mark. He instead escaped the city, but not without a price on his head, and the enmity of both Mufahd and the sword master’s employer.

Character Stats (PDQ)[edit]

Strengths:

  • Good [+2] Peoples: Trade
  • Good [+2] Faculty: Quick Wits
  • Good [+2] Driver: Keep His Past Behind Him
  • Good [+2] Thief
  • Average [0] Charm: Pyrotechnical Display*
  • Expert [+4] Bengarheen Fencing
  • Good [+2] Knowledgeable
  • Good [+2] Acrobatic

Weaknesses:

  • Poor [-2] Impulsive

D = Damage; F = Failure; S = Shift

Invisible Urge Qualities:

  • Average [0] Fire Urge

Fortune Points: 2

Learning Points: 3

Story Hooks: None

Props: Average [0] Scimitar

Advancement Tracking: after first adventure, fencing Rank increased to 'Expert'

Notes

Karesh’s Charm can produce minor and flashy effects, including the alteration of existing open flames. These can take the form of colorful flames that dance for the duration, a single bright flash that snuffs out the flame, creating smoke (and causing all within the area to resist the TN or suffer Failure Ranks in temporary blindness), or burning sparks that may shower targets within the area (resisting TN for damage).

Cirian Drogo[edit]

Cirian is a ropy swordsman from the rolling highlands of Kalet. He dresses in the manner of his homeland with a kilt and shoulder brooch, and a flash of green can always be found on him somewhere. He usually wears a very broadly-brimmed hat. He carries a rapier with a gaudy and complex hilt. His good humor is infectious.

Backstory[edit]

Growing up in the large Drogo clan in middle Kalet, the chilly drizzle and backbreaking pastoral life suited Cirian well. Despite the conditions, his clan was famed for their 12-month crop production and their woodcraftiness, and somewhat feared for a sense of spirituality that resisted the understanding of all who traveled there. Drogo was as rambunctious as others his age, but studious in the teachings of lore and discipline from clan elders.

When still in his teens, his village was raided by slavers from Sartain. After agonizing travels and tribulations, Cirian was conscripted to a multi-ethnic mercenary legion and trained in the ways of military life. Still possessing the unflappable presence of his people, he quickly rose through the ranks, until he commanded his own company. It was said that his men always encamped on the softest grass.

After many years (and many officers' wives), he was tapped to be a personal bodyguard for one of the legion's top benefactors, a foul merchant named Verklempt. This life was soft but morally repugnant to Cirian, and he found others about him who felt likewise.

A course of action is beginning to form in his mind, one that may clear his conscience, but put him in grave danger. In a week, Verklempt and a large caravan will be travelling to a port town on the coast of the Sea of the Moon, interestingly near to The Empty Cup--home of strange stories, and a possible refuge called Mirage.

Character Stats (PDQ)[edit]

Strengths:

  • Good [+2] Peoples: Military
  • Good [+2] Faculty: Natural Charm
  • Good [+2] Driver: Grow in All Ways
  • Expert [+4] Warrior
  • Good [+2] Highland Swordplay
  • Good [+2] Spiritual Connection
  • Average [0] Charm: Growth Spurt*

Weaknesses:

  • Poor [-2] Uncivilized

D = Damage; F = Failure; S = Shift

Invisible Urge Qualities:

  • Average [0] Wood Urge

Fortune Points: 5

Learning Points: 3

Props:

  • Average [0] Hat
  • Average [0] Rapier
  • Average [0] Disguise
  • Good [+2] Bag of Gold
  • [Unknown Rank and Powers] Mysterious Turtle-Shaped Amulet Set with Pieces of Amber

Story Hooks: None

Notes

Cirian's charm has effect on substances that are or were once living, particularly plant substances. In a single spurt of growth, it has an area effect on all materials within 2 yards and has no mass limit, but growth is limited to a few centimeters. Typical uses are to cause plants and flowers to bloom, grasses and foliage to become more lush, and wooden objects to swell or increase size in some small way. Cirian has used this charm to jam a door into its frame, to render a ballista inoperable, to cause an enemy's pommel to splinter, to sprout the grains of an enemy's breakfast within his stomach, and of course, to charm many fair ladies with beautiful flowers.

Notes and Glossary[edit]

  • Po-Gormathon's Codex: The text with which Karesh is familiar that mentions the Followers of Ssarech, and the doom that will come to the world as a result of the cult's re-birth.
  • Prophecy of the Hand, The: A legend referring to five omens leading to the end of the world. Lord Jakarn mentioned that four of the said omens have already come to pass. By the next full moon, if the cult of Ssarech achieves in their goals, the last omen will be realized, whatever form that may take, and bring about an infernal doom.
  • Emerald Protectorate, The: The secretive organization that strives to oppose the Prophecy of the Hand. Lord Jakarn is one such member, as is Senullo. Other unknown motives may exist for this organization or individual members.