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    Postfest VIII(UPF1): One Clear Evening
    Posted on Sun, November 11, 2007 by Dongul
    Crag writes "Sadly, with the upheaval of the wars, many leaders and scholars tend to forget the common victims who have no one to record their tales of woe.

    One Clear Evening
    By Crag

    Sadly with the upheaval of the wars, many leaders and scholars tend to forget the common victims who have no one to record their tales of woe.

    This roster of NPCs has been left intentionally morally ambivalent; all are redeemable or can easily sink further into despair and evil.

    I have provided a background and personal perspective without any stats to allow ease of use within various campaigns.

    Saska Kerrion (barmaid)
    On clear evenings, as I look over the harbor, my thoughts are as always of you, sending me back to a happier place. We always had to struggle didn’t we? Neither of our families came from the privileged plantation owners or the fleet.

    Still my family had found happiness and steady work inspecting the cargoes coming into port: even the “southern cargoes”. How we both would stand in awe when a sea prince would enter port, how the people would flock to the docks and cheer full of pride for our fleet. We were so sure nothing could harm us, not the cowardly northerners or the southern savages.

    How proud you were that day, when you showed father the dagger embossed with the crowned caravel, the mark of a seaman of the fleet. Granted The Fang was an older merchant vessel but it had seen battle and occasionally plundered the jungle for the richer cargoes. I was so proud. I remember so clearly, having a hold stuffed with cargo from the south, marching up to my father, offering your share as a bride price. Sadly, all of our plans would be meaningless as I watched you sail away on another voyage before we wed. The red monks and their savages sailed into port before you returned and shattered my dreams.

    Father and I managed to flee north with some meager belongings and a few valuables. But, some drunken louts saw the heirlooms and killed father. As for myself…

    I continued alone always searching for news of your ship; a rumor that former “southern” vessels sometimes trade in Seaton has brought me to this place. I have taken a position in a tavern as I wait for you to sail into port and take me away.

    Will you still want me? Hurry to me, my love.

    Cort Tasher (bandit)
    On clear evenings, as I look over the stinking marsh, my mind is uneasy. For almost eight years I have rode with the Plar and have seen little profit. Where am I to go? My face is well known. All that awaits me outside of this awful place is a quick death if I am fortunate and a slow one if I am not.

    That is if the Plar doesn’t get me first. Nobody leaves his service. Where are those piles of treasure I was promised.

    From what I hear around the fire, some of the boys are thinking of striking out on their own and the lizards have been fighting again which can’t happen enough if you ask me. They are disgusting creatures. Even more interesting is a scheme by the Plar to smuggle goods into Westkeep which could mean we won’t starve come winter, like we did last year. Some are even saying the Plar hopes helping Westkeep will help him get respect, even go respectable with a title and all. Some men have been fighting over who gets to be his guard captain.

    Fools, the day the “respectable folk” ask a favor, keep your dagger in your hand. Sure, when the need you, all smiles and promises. But, after all is done, the rope waits. Always the rope. Face facts Cort, you are as trapped here as if you were in a cell.

    Aulus Obersten (scribe)
    On clear evenings, as I look at these four walls, huddled in this cold room with nothing but a candle as I transcribe another pile of supply lists and complaints for the morning audience. What do I have to show for twenty-three years of faithful service but failing eye sight and a stooped back that constantly aches? I had no chance for glory; even the common peasant forced into the militia has stories that turn the girls’ heads.

    Just last week, while I was walking within the city to visit my mother's sister, a pair of inebriated fisherman knocked me down, ruining a good cloak. Rather then beg my pardon, the miscreants actually found mirth in my misfortune. When I found a guardsman, he had the nerve to tell me to be more careful as he greeted the drunken pair as old friends simply because they were in the same battle once.

    No sense ruining my health, calm down now, a scribe needs a steady hand for his work. Six bushels of oats, four barrels of galda fruit, slaughter three pigs…

    Kree Gareth (orphan)
    One clear evening, as I shiver in an alley, I remember once that I had a family. I had a father, a mother, and a home. Was it just last year? I was a happy 7-year-old. No, I won’t lie to myself. I was never truly happy, but I did have a family. My father was a carter when he could find work, when he wasn’t drunk - which wasn’t often.

    I thought that would change with the call to arms. My father was overlooked during the wars much to his bitter regret, he said, when a small group of bandits began threatening trade caravans. Rather then send guardsmen or call away his veteran militia from the harvest for a few bandits, he asked for volunteers. My father was brought home one night. The official told mother he had “volunteered” in a tavern and accepted the coin which he then drank away. Mother wept, but I was pleased to see my father march to glory. Later that night I heard my father weeping, begging my mother not to let them take him away at dawn.

    My father died later that month. Some say he was killed by bandits. Others because he tried to flee. My mother, grief stricken over his cowardice, died soon after. I was adopted by a local farm family and treated more like a draft animal then a son. Soon after I fled back to Seaton.

    Living on the streets by my wits is never easy. I take work, but I have taken from market stalls, even picked a pocket. Sometimes people will give me a copper or two to feed my sick mother.

    Jascon Pergant (guardsman)
    One clear evening, as I patrol the taverns looking for drunks yet again, my thoughts and dreams return to the battlefield. My unit was in battle that stopped the southern invasion. I marched with my unit to besiege Westkeep. Unfortunately, in route, I caught fever and was sent north to recover my strength. If the barracks gossip has any truth, I am glad I took ill.

    Truth be told, most guardsmen live in fear of being honored with reassignment to the southern fortress of Westkeep. It is whispered in the barracks that some captains are transferring “problem” guardsmen south as a punishment and a way to enforce discipline. Word is that Westkeep is little more then a military penal camp.

    I have been approached by a friend, suggesting if some gates were left unwatched for an hour or so, I could retire in comfort. But, perhaps I should inform my captain instead.

    "
     
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