Jan 16, 2012

NPCs for Warren of the Leper Queens

Here's a listing of some of the more important and interesting NPCs who live in the Leprosarium who are not members of the Servants / Brides of Acephax. One of the best parts of coming up with material for Moragne is the names of people, which I try to model after medieval English ones (with French ones for the Lacallians). Bynames and nicknames especially are important, and I find that they help me to convey a lot of the setting colour and some of the themes without requiring too much work. As I understand the historical record, around this time in the real world people had last names, but they are not necessarily consistent with their parents' last names, nor are they used much except in court documents.

By the way, to translate this into other settings and to understand the text, the following correspondences are useful to know: Moragnian = Norman French, Thern = Anglo-Saxon, Lacallian = Carolingian French, Velling = Middle Welsh and Einer = Scots, both ethnically and linguistically. The order of precedence is baron, abbot, priest, knight or gentleman, yeoman or monk, villein, cottar, beggar, and everyone is very aware of where they sit in that order.

Important Dombatians:

Abbot Guillaume of Clairvaux - A Lacallian immigrant sent by the Dombatian Order to oversee their work in the Leprosarium. He speaks Moragnian, Thernish, and Lacallian, and can both read and write in those tongues as well as the runic script of the Church of the Hidden God. He is a member of the lower gentry, both by office and by birth, and retains his armour, weapons and horse though he has not used any in about twenty years. He has been initiated to be a Sanctified Brother of the Dombatian Order, and is therefore one of only two persons in the Leprosarium who can magically cure leprosy. He is willing to believe that there are gangs of thieves in Leprosarium, but not that actual demon-worshippers exist unless shown proof. He has the keys to the abbey on him at all times. His main concern is the welfare of the lepers themselves, and he actively tours the various villages to initiate various public works projects using the Order's wealth.

Oblate Curran - The senior secular officer of the abbey. He is the head librarian, the Abbot's secretary, the chief accountant and the order's disciplinarian. He speaks Moragnian, Thernish, Velling and Einer. He is the bastard of a knight, and he is keenly conscious of rank, both his own and others. He owns the second set of the abbey's keys. Oblate Curran is initiated to the level of a Novice.

Brother Morris Hamhox of Earlingshire - The fattest monk in the abbey, and the second most senior religious figure. He is the bastard of Baron Edrick of Earlingshire, which places him higher than Oblate Curran in authority. He is an sagacious fellow who is well-taught in medicine, law and natural philosophy. He is initiated to the level of a Sanctified Brother. He is literate and can speak almost every language known in Moragne. He suspects that heretics are operating in the Leprosarium, and has discovered one entrance to their warrens, though he has not yet explored it.

Prominent Local Persons:

Nick the Knocker - Nicholas Penny is the tax farmer who handles the collection of tithes, rents and fees for the monks throughout the territory. He is a yeoman by birth, and is the beadle of Sherwater Market. He is so nicknamed because of the large club he carries while performing his duties (which include supervising market days and breaking up affrays). He is usually accompanied by four fellow yeomen as guards and assistants. He and his guards are all former lepers cured by the monks. Nick's position has made him a wealthy, if not popular, man, and he lives in Penny Manor at the east end of Sherwater, which serves as a secondary storehouse for the monks when needs be. He has a close relationship with Oblate Curran, and the two can often be found in one another's company.

Walter the Knight - Walter is a yeoman by birth, and another cured leper. The Leprosarium has a reduced fee to the king of merely one horseman for 40 days each year (reduced ever since the monks cured King Randolph's sister sixty years ago), and Walter is that horseman. He lives in Mercy Green, and spends most of the time he is not soldiering causing merry hell despite holding the office of bailiff there for the monks. Sir William Herrod has a personal dislike of him, and suspects he is the leader of one of the bands of robbers troubling southern Drydale. Sir William is correct, though Walter's main goals are to vandalise and torment, rather than to pilfer. Walter continues to hold his position mainly because everyone is afraid of what would happen if he were to be removed.

Simon LeFikker - Simon owns the brothel ("The Green Twist"), one of the two inns ("The Drunk Carter") and several other useful businesses in Sherwater. He is a leper who was once an emancipated villein. His last name is fake-Lacallian nonsense, though he does speak a few words of the language. Perhaps unexpectedly for a brothel owner, he has a good relationship with the monks, as he is capable of drumming up a lot of cheap labour for whatever project Abbot Guillaume has in mind. He also ensures that the whores regularly visit Brother Morris for "health inspections" and prayer sessions. He is also one of the two men, along with Nick the Knocker, who decides which peddlers, farmers and craftsmen are allowed to sell in Sherwater Market. He has no patience for swindlers, and is known to drub the occasional man from Mercy Green who attempts to conduct unlawful trade in Sherwater. He can almost always be found lounging in the market sunning himself.

Holy Tom - Holy Tom is not ordained, but he serves as the itinerant preacher for the various communities in the Leprosarium. He is a madman, but his literacy and obvious education set him apart from the common lunatic. He is a leper of unknown origin. Though he is poor, local villeins and cottars feed and shelter him for a few nights at a time as he travels the Leprosarium. He is a popular, if pitied, figure. He is aware of the Servants of Acephax, though he does not know much useful about them. He does tell others about the Servants, but in such allegorical and overdeveloped language that most assume he is speaking figuratively about moral corruption.

Jack Arrow - A bandit of villein birth, Jack Arrow is originally from just outside of Carlaw. He leads a band of ten former soldiers, men he served with in an abortive campaign in the Northern Marches. He stays away from the lepers, and they from him, though he has been known to send a man or two into Saffork to buy supplies. He has a permanent camp south of the Oldwood. Lately, he has been given to dreaming of grander schemes, such as taking over Saffork and installing himself as lord, or perhaps simply robbing the abbey in Sherwater.