Dis: A tale of Life and Death
Look: Haunted eyes, mighty thews, strange tattoos, leathers and furs
- Strength: 16 (+2)
- Dexterity: 8 (-1)
- Constitution: 15 (+1)
- Intelligence: 9 (+0)
- Wisdom: 14 (+1)
- Charisma: 12 (+0)
Eschew a convention of the civilized world.
You may be elf, dwarf, halfling, or human, but you and your people are not from around here. At the beginning of each session, the GM will ask you something about your homeland, why you left, or what you left behind. If you answer them, mark XP.
Gear: Axe (close), dagger (hand), bronze coin medallion, chainmail, dungeon rations (12 charges)
- Eerik prefers the fleeting profit of gold over the eternal value of glory.
- Essen is a respectable warrior. I can depend on her.
- I’m going to make Zerath Pi a man.
Full Plate and Packing Steel: You ignore the clumsy tag on armor you wear.
Herculean Appetites: Others may content themselves with just a taste of wine, or dominion over a servant or two, but you want more. Choose two appetites. While pursuing one of your appetites if you would roll for a move, instead of rolling 2d6 you roll 1d6+1d8. If the d6 is the higher die of the pair, the GM will also introduce a complication or danger that comes about due to your heedless pursuits.
- Mortal pleasures
- Fame and glory
The Upper Hand: You take +1 ongoing to last breath rolls. When you take your last breath, on a 7–9 you make an offer to Death in return for your life. If Death accepts he will return you to life. If not, you die.
Musclebound: While you wield a weapon it gains the forceful and messy tags.
What Are You Waiting For? When you cry out a challenge to your enemies, roll+Con. On a 10+ they treat you as the most obvious threat to be dealt with and ignore your companions, take +2 damage ongoing against them. On a 7–9 only a few (the weakest or most foolhardy among them) fall prey to your taunting.
Wide-Wanderer: You’ve travelled the wide world over. When you arrive someplace ask the GM about any important traditions, rituals, and so on, they’ll tell you what you need to know.
Mastadon is a Deathkin from Nim-Yola. Following the tradition of his people to go out to find adventure and face Death, Mastadon made his way south to the ruins of Apija-ro, where he took on a mission for the druids there. While on that adventure, though, he was in a part of the city that was swallowed by Dis. He has not been able to find a way home since.
In Dis, his size and strength reinforced what rumors some of the denizens there had heard of the Deathkin, so it did not take long for him to find work as a freebooter — sometimes providing protection, sometimes as a mercenary, and sometimes even as a hired killer. His exploits gained the attention of a kenku bard named Eerik, whose songs began to give him a small measure of fame. It was enough to attract the attention of a paladin of Vitali named Essen, who came, at first, to kill him. After a long battle, though, they gained a measure of respect for one another.
Mastadon, Eerik, and Essen took a room together at Ditchwater Manor. While on a job to recover a grisly book from the labyrinth city of Zobeide for their equally grisly landlords, they encountered a wizard from the city named Zerath Pi.
The party is currently providing protection for a caravan on their way back to Dis. It was on this journey that Mastadon was struck down by brigands. He bargained with Death and was returned to life. Now Eerik sings songs about Mastadon the Invincible, who will pursue his enemies even through death itself.
Questions for the Outsider
Who do you most want to see when you return home?
My grandfather, Umjon. He’s a warrior respected by the whole tribe. I grew up on the stories of his valor and cunning in battle. He believed in me like no other. I want to return home able to show him that I’ve justified his faith in me.
What is your favorite food?
Kirin flank, grilled on a sheet of metal heated over a fire.
What do you fear most on Nim-Yola?
The dracolich Rauglothgor. The Deathkin call him Raug. Raug lacks the bias towards humanoids that limits most human necromancers, and is happy to experiment with skeletal dragons, lurkers, worgs, and so on. He has experimented with death elementals, transforming frost giants into death giants, and turning the Deathkin into his Death Knights. From time to time, Raug’s evil becomes so great that the frost giants are able to put aside their ancient feud to aid the Deathkin in ending his schemes. To this day, however, none have discovered Raug’s soul gem, so he has returned from each defeat, waited a century or two while the Deathkin and their frost giant neighbors return to their feuding, and then struck again.
“Battle Song from Far Away”
Once again the battle song is sung.
Time to sharpen the blade and arrow
Clank of heels shock the sky.
Thunder of drum quakes the earth
When flame is burning our lands,
are you brave enough to fight the evil?
Even the cavalry of thousands has perished,
our song will be carried on
When flame burns down our land,
the heaven has gone forever.
From far away the battle song leads us forever.
Art by Choi Keun Hoon.