Third Age Waertagi

From: Nick Brooke (100270.337@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Thu 02 May 1996 - 12:44:52 EEST


What follows is most of the character sheet of Captain Gnethis, the Waertagi
character from our freeform game "How the West was One". I'm sorry I forgot to
include his Bite Attack percentage... hope this is useful despite that omission.

- -------
GNETHIS
- -------
Waertagi Captain of the Neleomi Breeze

Age: a meaningless question
Disposition: cold, suspicious, haunted
Religious Affiliation: Waertagi
Political Affiliation: Waertagi
Council Votes: none so far - but they promised the Waertagi one last time

BACKGROUND

You are Gnethis, elected captain of the Waertagi city-ship Neleomi Breeze. You
have steered your people on a Age-long voyage through Hell: now is the time for
the world to feel your vengeance!

As a member of the Waertagi race, you are descended from the Saviour-Prophet
Malkion's son Waertag. As everyone knows, Malkion was the son of wind and water:
Aerlit Kolating and Warera Triolina were his parents. The Waertagi worship the
mystical family of Malkion in the manner their founder taught: all the gods and
spirits of Air and Sea are known to you and give you aid, from Brastalos, the
deadly goddess of Calms and Waterspouts, to Sog, the spirit of Tidal Waves.

Waertag was the first person ever to make a boat and take to the sea. He was a
son of Malkion Founder and a Triolini born during the wonders and glories of the
Gods Age. In the Golden Age Waertag made many great adventures. Among them are
his wrestling with a great Dragon, in which Waertag mostly won. The result of
this is that your Waertagi race knew thereafter a special charm to call a Sea
Dragon unto them and, with more special magics, could fight it and defeat it. If
this was done then the dragon spirit would be bound to the old body and act as a
protective spirit for it.

The old body of the animal would be enchanted with great magics which would
convert the husk into a palatial and marvellous ship, sometimes as much as
one-half mile long and a quarter-mile wide. Each part of the dragon would be
used by the sea-going race. These are the origins of the great city-ships of the
Waertagi, like your own home the Neleomi Breeze. Aboard the first or these ships
Waertag gained his immortal fame in the Darkness when he sailed across the seas
of chaos to rescue his kinsmen, the other descendants of Malkion.

The immense ships of the Waertagi ruled the oceans of the Dawn Age. But they
were unprepared for the troubles of the Second Age, when the Jrusteli God
Learners broke the Waertagi monopoly on the construction and navigation of
ocean-going craft. They fought a dire battle against the assembled fleet of your
nation, and unleashed the deadly firebergs of Tanian against them: great masses
of burning water, an impossibility that destroyed half your people.

The survivors of the battle fled in terror, and for over two centuries the
Waertagi remained in obscurity, skulking off the major sea-lanes and living by
piracy and brigandage off the rich spoils of the Middle Sea Empire. You were
born in the closing years of the Second Age, when the great Armada of all the
Waertagi assembled in secrecy and sailed to challenge Jrustela once more. You
watched as the island-continent of Jrustela was lashed by typhoons and
hurricanes, hammered by tidal waves, and finally drowned beneath the waves of
death. You had won your greatest battle, but the cost had been such that the
Armada no longer had the strength to combat what came after.

At the end of the Second Age, a great curse known as the Closing struck the
Oceans. It radiated from Brithos, the island home of Zzabur the Sorcerer
Supreme, and swept all shipping from the waves. Your whole people, who lived on
board ships, were all but wiped out by this calculating act of genocide. Some of
the great city-ships were driven ashore and ruined; others were driven to the
immortal lands whence none can return. Most of them, though, did as your crew
elected, and took the Death Currents down into the immense Whirlpool of Magasta
at the centre of the world, sailing their ships into the waters of the
Underworld, to face the Otherworld as a whole rather than one at a time.

For a timeless Age, your city-ship sailed the primal Seas of Hell. Through the
darkness of the Underworld you journeyed in deathless ambience, questing ever
onwards. Vile things sought to sink your ship in the Stygian black waters, or
lure you aside from your voyage to be marooned on the furthest shores of Hell.
Your family and officers were snatched from you; your comrades in the crew came
close to despair. But you prevailed: against all the fears and terrors of the
Underworld, the course you set was straight and true. Your people had braved
Death while still living, and survived! Your mighty vessel rose from the Sea of
Styx to reach the circling River of Sramak that encircles the world, and thence
back to the Western Ocean, in the Inner World known to mortal folk. Now, now is
the time to make yourselves known in the world of men!

Sog City is the ancient home-port of your vessel. It contains a vast dry-dock
where her hull can be repaired (and healed!) from the damage suffered on its
voyage through Hell; it is inhabited by many thousands of Waertagi who could
join your crew to replace the many, many losses inflicted by the denizens and
dangers of the Nether World. You have sailed ahead of the Neleomi Breeze in a
small Fastship, to scout out the territory and prepare the way for your ship's
homecoming.

You arrived this morning to a rapturous reception by many greenskinned Waertagi
city-dwellers. Soon afterward you learned that you had fortuitously arrived at
the time of an Ecclesiastical Council.

You have decided to use the opportunity to orientate yourself to the new
political and economic situation. There will be many great western land and sea
powers at this Council and you will be able to see how the Waertagi can now
carve a new role for themselves.

POLITICAL OBJECTIVES

Your objectives will depend on how you are received by the locals, Waertagi and
human alike.

1. Repair the Neleomi Breeze - the last time your ship was in dry-dock was in
the late Second Age! However, you will need permission from the city authorities
for this.

2. Find out who caused the Closing and gain vengeance on them and their allies!

3. There was a time when the Waertagi ruled the oceans and carried all of the
trade goods of the world. Now you see that many powers ply the sea lanes. You
must get their measure and see if there is any way of taking part of this sea
trade - and even destroying them and re-establishing your old monopoly.

4. Are the local Waertagi factions on your side? You have learned from
fisherfolk of the existence of two septs of Waertagi, a green-skinned native
population and a shipwrecked colony of blue-skinned mariners. As a visiting
Captain, you should be able to get these people to work for you.

5. Gather news! Your crew would be fascinated to find out what is happening
throughout the West, especially in relation to naval matters. After all, you've
been rather out of touch recently.

6. Trade! Trading has always been a mainstay of the Waertagi people, and you
have plenty of interesting goods with which to tempt the dry-land human folk.

7. Sell your boarding passes. You hear that there is a belief that Sog City will
be sunk by a tidal wave and only a few people will be saved by a Dragonship. Is
this an opportunity to make some fast money?

WHO YOU KNOW

Abdelcar, Vadeli Observer: this race has been disowned by most right-thinking
people as illegitimate (outside the Natural Laws and the Law of the Prophet
Malkion). In the past they have been implacable enemies of the Waertagi.
Moreover, in this Age of the world they are a powerful seafaring nation. You
remember meeting this Vadeli once, soon after you were born, at an ill-judged
peace conference.

Judge Grudd, Mayor of Sog City: a human who preserves the fragile rule of Law in
Sog City. He may become a foe, if you decide to reclaim the city for the
Waertagi through your contacts with the Blues and Greens, but there is no need
to let him know this yet.

Guisidio Capratis, Bishop of Neleoswal: this man is from the trading nation of
Pasos which has a powerful fleet in the region.

Pelinorius Staarki, Vice-Chancellor of the University: a human who seeks to
expound the Mysteries of the Deep. His meddling and false prophecies have
escalated the mood of crisis in the city, stirring up dissension between the
Blue and Green Waertagi natives. Moreover, he is believed to be in communication
with the Brithini Overlords who secretly rule the city from their Brass Citadel.

Portin Dunbar, Hereditary Conciliator of the Council: he supervises the council
and will be the one to give you the vote that is your right.

Sathsuis, Bishop of Nolos: this Rokari bishop is a representative of the fleet
of the Duchy of Nolos.

RELIGIOUS ATTITUDES

You are a follower of those teachings of your ancestor Malkion known to his son
Waertag. These are a closed book to the land-dwellers, whose petty
preoccupations with Castes and Commandments have no relevance upon the ocean
wave. Particularly unusual is their dismissal of all gods, spirits and other
entities of Power as "pagan" - Malkion himself was the child of Wind and Wave!

The Waertagi have traditionally remained neutral in the religious controversies
of the West, and although it is not necessary for you to maintain this age-old
posture, it is what the locals will expect of you. Neither your crew nor
yourself will be willing to "convert" to any Malkioni sect.

However, you can use this fact to sell your votes to any faction that will
support your aims and objectives.

RUMOURS

1. Some human sailors were complaining that horrible sea monsters had been
attacking their ships. They blamed them for many mysterious disappearances of
ships. Hmm... this sounds like the friendly sea creatures your city ship uses to
sail and navigate the oceans...

2. An old and wise beggar said to you when you cursed Zzabur and the Brithini
for the Closing that the Vadeli shall not be blamed for nothing.

3. A merchant said that there were many people in the city seeking to gain
commercial trade with Sog City and with Loskalm.

TRADE GOODS/SPECIAL ITEMS

Arktanian Oysters. You have a limited supply of this magically-potent substance,
which many sorcerers make use of in their Immortality Spells. They can be sold,
or exchanged for favours and other commitments. Moreover, as Immortality Spells
are usually prohibited to pious Malkioni wizards, anyone who wishes to buy these
from you is probably easy to blackmail. Worth at least 100 crowns each.

Styx Water. You have a very small quantity of this potent liquid. When applied,
it can induce forgetfulness and sleep, and destroys the Undead. Worth at least
50 - 100 crowns each.

Boarding Passes. You have a large number of boarding passes. By ancient (indeed,
Scriptural) custom, the holder of a boarding pass is permitted aboard any
Waertagi vessel that is travelling in the desired direction and has spare cargo
capacity. Your supply includes both individual passes (sufficient for single
passengers) and block-bookings (which could be used to transport large bodies of
troops). No Waertagi ship will ever transport a passenger who does not possess
one of these talismans. Worth at least 50 crowns each - depending on the level
of hysteria!

SPECIAL SKILLS/MAGIC

Ancient Mariner: You are a man who has been through Hell and back. You have a
tale to tell, and a glittering eye with which to transfix your audience...

Carouse: You are adept at having a good time and youre the life and soul of the
party. However, you can also use this to extract information.

Contact Blueskins: As a Waertagi Captain, you can contact the stranded Blueskins
and attempt to enlist them.

Contact Greenskins: As a Waertagi Captain, you can order the native Greenskin
dockers to work for you.

Intimidate: You can impose your will on another character.

Magical Damage Resistance: If an assassin or knight attacks you then they cannot
do their full amount of damage.

Summon Sog: At the price of a human virgin sacrifice, you can summon a vast
tidal wave. This is normally done to bring your ship into dock, but it could
have other uses.

====
Nick
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