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    NPC Profile: Markael Antivadran
    Posted on Fri, July 18, 2003 by Trickster
    Mario_Greymist writes " Markael Antivadran is the often underestimated, little-known boon companion and Ducal Spy Master of Karll Lorinar, the current Duke of Urnst.

    NPC Profile: Markael Antivadran
    By: Mario_Greymist
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Markael was born to Sulla Antivadran, a Suloise half-elven druid of Celadon, and Marcia VanGellern, an Oeridian merchant’s daughter from Nellix-town, in the year 540 CY. Though slender of build like his father, he took after his mother in coloring: with dark brown hair and eyes that are neither brown nor green, but shifting between those hues. Like his father, Markael is fine-featured; roguishly attractive, which he used in his youth to woo common lass and gentlewoman alike. At only two hands above five feet, he is short of stature, shorter than either his father or mother, which belies his flat-muscled strength and whipcord speed.
    Like Karll, Markael was a student of the Whispering Pines Ranger School, the only one of its like in the Flanaess. Though a commoner three years Karll’s senior, and two years ahead of Karll at the Whispering Pines, the two young men became fast friends. The two share an abiding hatred for monstrous humanoids that prey upon mankind, but unlike his younger friend, Markael prefers to bring silent, unseen death to his foes.
    Over the years the two young men trekked across most of the Flanaess, fighting evil where they found it, aiding those that needed a kind hand, and enjoying a few kisses along the way.
    During the years Karll abdicated his duties to the Duchy of Urnst, Markael was disturbed by his friend’s seeming nonchalance towards the welfare of his homeland. Karll maintained that his duties as warden of Good, traveling about the wilderness and lending his blade of bow to the causes of Good, took precedence over his duties as a ruler. Markael disagreed with his younger friend and their conversations often ended in arguments, and in once instance almost came to blows.
    Disappointed in his longtime friend, Markael ceased traveling with Karll, and traveled west to the lands of the Paynims. It was here that he learned the light horse warfare and equine acrobatics that was the specialty of the nomad peoples. For a handful of years he served as a pathfinder for Alzharad’s Zouves, a mercenary light cavalry squadron that patrolled the foothills and desert for bandits and monstrous humanoids.
    In 582 CY the wandering magician and archaeologist, Hagen Gellor*, delivered a missive from Karll Lorinar, requesting Markael return to the Duchy of Urnst on a matter of urgency.
    Taking leave of the Zouves Markael returned to Leukish to find that Karll had taken up the reins of leadership after discovering the perfidy of this nobles and the treacherous evil of Lord-Mayor of Leukish, Hadric.
    When Karll asked, if a bit bluntly, for Markael’s help in putting right what had gone wrong in the Duchy, Markael could not in good conscience refuse.
    Older, wiser, and seeing that Karll finally understood what it meant to be a ruler; Markael set himself to the tasks Karll wished accomplished.
    Markael understood that the city was a wilderness with different rules than he was accustomed to. With the callous ruthlessness only a veteran woodsman, or commoner householder faced with culling a herd for winter’s meager times, could truly understand he applied his wilderness lore to the streets of Leukish and learned the hard lessons of urban jungle.
    Though Leukish had no overall organized crime, previous organizations having been forced from the city, underground warlords still ruled the criminal elements that festered throughout Leukish.
    In 583 CY, with the aid of a network of informants, street thugs, and Ducal Guard, Markael destroyed the burgeoning criminal empire of Meister Heischel Hochmann; a dastardly man with ties to slavers, the lands of Iuz, and those of the Scarlet Sign.
    It was during the raid against Meister Heischel’s manor that Markael was instrumental in the rescue of Dardrie Theefold, acolyte of Lydia, and destined for the slave blocks of the Pomarj. In the years to come the two would marry, a surprisingly welcome end to Markael’s womanizing ways.
    In 584 CY Duke Karll Lorinar ennobled Markael and bestowed the title Baron of Leukish upon his longtime friend. This was done less as a reward for service, than to provide cover for Markael’s clandestine operations as the new head of a fledgling secret police and cadre of spies.
    Intrigue comes easily to the Suloise, and the internecine feuds between the Urnst Noble Houses provide a fertile breeding ground for spies and agents provocateur. Within two years the Ducal Diplomatic Services had extended their intelligence gathering activities beyond the borders of the Duchy of Urnst.

    Like many woodsmen, Markael is hardened to killing, having spent many years hunting bandits and humanoids throughout the wilds of the Flanaess. He has no compunctions against killing if needs warrant. It is his willingness to kill that has allowed him to flourish in the underbelly of society; and has become a bone of contention between himself and Karll.
    He has learned that he must play different roles at different times, and in some aspects he has become a chameleon of personalities; donning each as the situation requires: at home and with his friends he is plainspoken and gregarious; at court he is obsequious and foppish, as Master of Spies, close-mouthed and hard-edged.
    Markael believes that Good must triumph over Evil; but he isn’t particular in how this comes about. His moral and ethical codes have changed over the years, especially since he has taken on unpleasant duties within Leukish and on the dark side of the street. He believes that the Duchy of Urnst needs to take a leading role in the war between Good and Evil, in that both he and Karll are in agreement, but he believes in matching open actions with clandestine ones.
    Markael is not above hiring, or manipulating, others into performing tasks that benefit the Duchy of Urnst, or the end goals of Good. Indeed, he often travels as a moderately wealthy merchant, drawing upon his mother’s contacts in Nellix-town and Seltaren, engaging adventurers in activities that aide his goals.
    Being not fully Suel, nor fully human, Markael has no particular racial or cultural bias and deals with everyone with a cosmopolitan evenhandedness. He will even deal with those whose actions border on evil should circumstances warrant he do so.

    Only slightly stronger than average, Markael prefers to rely upon his blindingly quick reflexes and mental cunning than brute force. When in the field he prefers muted earth tones, grays, browns and greens, and wears the lightest of armor so as not to hinder his movements. Ambidextrous, he carries, as preference, a short sword and a crescent-headed hand axe that he uses simultaneously. He has a cunningly crafted Baklunish composite short bow that is his preferred method for dealing with obstreperous foes.
    While at court he wears a hose and crushed velvet ensemble that enhances the foppish façade he cultivates for the sake of noble and gentle courtiers he regularly deals with. Few know if his true activities; most believing that he is simply Karll’s ‘yes-man’. While at court he carries a gold and bejeweled dagger in plain view upon his belt, but also carries a punch-dagger at the nape of his neck, and a wire garrote in the sleeve of his velvet tunic.
    As any good professional spy he changes clothes and appearance as needs warrant. He prefers to use the appropriate weapons and equipment for the job, but makes do with field expedients in a pinch.


    Markael Antivadran
    Age: 48
    Class/Level: Ranger 7th, Rogue 3rd
    Alingnment: Neutral Good

    Strength A little above average
    Dexterity Exceptional, greased lightening
    Constitution Hardy
    Intelligence Cunning, but not a genius by any means
    Wisdom Measurably above average
    Charisma Highly above average, a handsome rakehell.


    Copyright 2001 by Erik Riebe. Permission to use Markael Antivadran, his likeness and/or character concept for personal, non-commercial, use granted.


    *Hagen Gellor, Wizard Extraordinaire, Archaeologist Par Excellence, copyright 2002 Andreas Gionis, used with permission.

    "
     
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    Re: NPC Profile: Markael Antivadran (Score: 1)
    by Argon on Tue, July 22, 2003
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Not bad I don't often like to put non-human characters in charge of human lands but you put alot of effort into this NPC and it should be rewarded with at least one comment.
    With that said look forward to seeing more of your work.



    Re: NPC Profile: Markael Antivadran (Score: 1)
    by Mario_Greymist on Wed, July 23, 2003
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    I agree with you in regards to not placing non-humans is positions of power in human lands (as it destroys some of the flavor of Greyhawk). However, as Markael is only 1/4 elf, however, I don't really consider him a non-human.

    The nobles really don't consider him as being "in charge" as much as they think he is simply a warm body and a yes-man.

    I plan on posting character descriptions as well as story posts as the work continues, hopefully they will interest others as well.

    Caveat: I am refraining from posting actual stat blocks on characters as most of them are not role-playing characters as much as they are fiction characters. I have used a few in gaming, but most have never seen the light of the gaming table or heard the roar of tumbling dice.


    ]



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