Ravenloft Campaign: Woven Fates

Greetings!
Tonight, I relate the story of a group of strangers that met here in the Land of Mists and, forced by destiny, wandered its roads in formidable adventure. Join us as I lead you from their first meeting along through their travels, their misfortunes and their shining moments. Grace them with your compassion in their losses; bless them with your support when the sky is dark and bleak. Do not forget to bestow your praise upon them as they vanquish terror and hold back the minions of darkness. Raise your arm to cheer for their victories!
And above all, share your glass with us for them, both in sorrow and elation, as you accompany them in the thorny road from lost adventurers to heroes of the mists.


Come, huddle with us by the fire here in the dark. The night is cold, but within the ring of Vardos, its evils cannot touch us. Tonight, you are a guest of the Vistani and nothing will harm you. Come, the Prastonata is over and now is time for the Doroq. Let the tales now unfold, let the revelations begin...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Nikola

Profile:
Nikola is 24 years old, and his harsh childhood has branded him with a deeply ingrained mistrust of human kind. As a result, he is very introverted, selfish and asocial, being easily labelled impolite at best and a worthless rogue at worst. His eyes are furtive and wouldn't look misplaced in a bandit. He is tall and slim, with green-brownish eyes and a deeply tanned skin.

Background:
As far has he knows, Nikola probably was born in the region around Ingelberg. He doesn't know exactly where, for all his childhood was spent roaming the land with his merchant step father, Delian, and his mother Denitza. Delian was a rude and ruthless man whose feelings towards Nikola were ambiguous at best: he probably hated him. It was usual to occupy him with impossible tasks so as to have an excuse to spank him afterwards. On the other hand, Denitza loved him above all and taught Nikola to read and write.
Delian was an unstable man, mostly due to his uncontrollable drinking habits. His violence was untempered, and Denitza suffered cruelly at his hands, being beaten every time he arrived home drunk... which was almost always.
Besides his mother, Nikola's only friendly companion was a little journal he had where he used to write his thoughts and visions of the world. He kept it secret and would not part from it ever. Not even his mother, whom he told everything, knew of his little relic.
Delian's alcoholic habits were worsening as time passed. Denitza could do little but urge him to stop, but he never did and one night spanked her to death. She grabbed a dagger trying to defend herself, but he caught it and stabbed her with her own weapon.
Denitza's last breath filled little Nikola's heart with an eternal incurable wound. Even today, he keeps a grudge for the thing that really took his mother's life: alcohol. Nikola keeps the dagger that took his loving mother's life away. It is both a memory of hers and an amulet.
He didn't blame (and still doesn't blame) his father, for he wasn't himself that night. He began to drink even more to forget his dark deed, but the depression that fell on Delian made them lose the business and their possessions.
Condemned to roam the land alone and forage for food, they relied on the pity and mercy of other people in order to survive. They were beggars in the city of Ingelberg for two years. Delian now forced Nikola to rob and steal so that he could get drunk in the pubs. Meeting his father empty handed would result on a ruthless beating. But the respect he had for everything Delian had taught him had raised a steep wall that prevented any retaliation from Nikola to his step-father's violence. Despite fearing him, he loved him for he was his only live remembrance of his mother and the one responsible for rearing him.
But the inevitable came and soon after his father died. He buried Delian next to Denitza and swore that he would not again return to that place while sore and grief plagued his spirit. His family legacy was a bloody dagger, cunning reflexes, a small pouch book and many sad experiences to share.
Nikola was alone now. He remained in Ingelberg time enough to "raise" some money and some decent clothing to travel. He was decided to leave that region and try his luck somewhere else. He believed that there could be a way to regain the warmth in his heart that he felt for brief moments while in the company of his mother. He just had to figure out how the world could give him that. He travelled north, reaching Keshgel. As this was a new town where he knew no one and had no sort of "reputation", he decided not to resort to his "deceiving skills" to gain a living. Ironically, he found work on a local jeweller where he was taught how to analyse precious gems. The shopkeeper needed someone to handle things at the shop while he made house calls to rich high class customers. Things went pretty well during the first months, but all became bitter when gems started to disappear from the shop and a local from Ingelberg recognized him and exposed his former reputation of thief and pilferer. The shopkeeper needed no better excuse to seize him and accuse him of the thefts. Nikola sworn his innocence but was nevertheless taken by the local guard and arrested. He was tortured in order to reveal where he had hidden the missing gems or to whom he had sold them.
Nikola held the torture thanks to 15 years of cruel treatment from his step-father, which had prepared him for that, at least. All this time, he claimed his innocence without anyone believing him, until one day the stolen gems were found at a rich class inn. Nikola was cleared of all charges and set free. Nevertheless, his reputation had been severely damaged. He was innocent, but everyone saw him like a common thief and his employer had to dismiss him because his regular customers would no longer enter his shop while the he was behind the counter. The only job he managed to get was sweeping inn floors and cleaning carrion. That was not the peace he was looking for. After a while, he knew he had to move on. He left north once again, and entered the woods that surrounded Keshgel.

His journey didn't last long. In his first night out, he was attacked by a savage wolf, but a hunter came by in the last minute and saved him. Severely mauled and unconscious, the man took him back to Keshgel and deposited him at the temple, under the care of Tersis Hauptmarsh. The hunter only said he had found him in the woods, being attacked by a wolf that he chased off, but he refused any kind of recompense from Tersis and all offers made by the priest to stay a while longer or take some refreshment. He left as quickly as he had come, without even telling his name.
Tersis tended to Nikola's wounds for a week before he finally woke up. He explained what had happened and that although his wounds were almost closed, he would still have to keep him around for observation for some more time yet. Nikola, knowing he was in Keshgel, didn't want to leave either, unless it was for departing north again, so he decided to stay for a while.

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