Riven Fantasy - Port Blacksand
Saw Tooth Salem
Sea elf noble is betrayed and thought slain by murderous reavers. A year later he is washed up on the shores of Port Blacksand. He had become a bloodthirsty and vengeful corsair. There were other changes too horrific to acknowledge.
High born sea elf is betrayed and falls from grace.
The local merchant prince holds him responsible for the sacking of a small but strategic outpost. He was the ranking naval officer that led the night watch when murderous reavers loot and torch the elven trader port. The defending force was easily overwhelmed, he had been setup. He was thought to be slain and taken back by the sea. This was only partially true. One year to the day he is washed up on a beach many hundreds of leagues distant. He had changed on many levels; the once proud and noble seaman had become a bloodthirsty and vengeful corsair. There were other changes, too horrific to acknowledge. The increasingly feral and flesh-eating buccaneer turned his back on elven society and religion. Something deep, dark and monstrous feeds on his hatred, his lust for retribution. It ate away at him from the inside, demanding, malevolent and corrupt.
He is an experienced and capable naval officer, a role typically occupied by sons of noble families. He swiftly acquires a very bad reputation as a vicious swashbuckling protagonist. Many call him a bloodthirsty reaver and whisper far worse about abberations and curses. Most sensible folk steer clear of this apparent bad seed. The very few wise and far seeing will do anything to avoid. A fortune was lost and hundreds died due to his reckless behaviour, his clan shamed and dishonoured. Far worse is to come; he has become a catalyst for all manner of atrocities and doom laden events. He is usually found in the role of mercenary on morally ambiguous or often morally reprehensible jobs. His racial background and experience lends itself to sea or coastal work. More recently he has ventured alone and far in land for weeks at a time. He gravitates to worshippers of the 'the old ways' and appears drawn to act on their behalf.
Personality & Views
As a sea elf he enjoys everything about being in and around the ocean. The seafaring life is still very much in his blood. He tries to recapture his lost nobility and enjoys these fleeting moments. There is much bitterness about loosing high life and hatred directed at those responsible but anyone in the vicinity will do. Whatever happened in the 'missing year' he cannot recall aside from occasional but horrific nightmares. He tries to maintain the old demeanour; noble, educated and honourable. This is becoming increasingly difficult as time passes. He is sliding down a slippery moral slope becoming increasingly feral, bloodthirsty and depraved. He knows this only too well but bides his time seeking the identities of those who betrayed him. Salem will have his revenge and it will be served cold.
Description & Current Status
Noble pretence conceals blood thirsty reaver. He is usually hired as a last resort by the very desperate. A noble demeanour on first impression with the usual fey elven features but a general down at heel, lank and unkempt look and feel. He is garbed in once fine but now tattered sea elven naval officers uniform. You can still see the holes where he was cut down and left for dead. At his side a nightmarish polearm fashioned from the fused bones and teeth of exotic marine creatures. He is apparently highly skilled in its use, a weaponmaster or similiar. A tar sealed mariners pouch slung over his back, or carried by a lacky where possible. This bag contains his 'tools of the trade', exactly what trade is best not discussed.
Well muscled with a ruddy complexion similar to a butcher; rather odd for an elf. When he smiles rows of sharp triangular teeth are revealed similar to a shark. This is the most obvious link to his recently aquired and rather grisly nickname "Saw Tooth Salem".
There are others, far darker, lurking, just below the surface…
5 things (primarily useful/interesting/good) that have happened to the character (recently?)
- Contacted by member of a hidden community of 'old sea' worshippers.
- Elven bard burd likes the whole troubled soul/angst ridden/fallen noble gig
- The local mercenary guild has accepted application pending probationary assignment
- At Spring Tide he will come, at slack tide when visibility drops and it can slither ashore.
- A local information broker has something but his asking for more coin than he has.
5 things (primarily unfortunate/bad) that have happened to the character (recently?)
- Attacked by local beggars, they had sought him out for unknown reasons.
- Shunned by elven trader enclave, an obvious outcast he was not welcome
- Worked over by the militia because on account of his "stoopid" ears.
- Sacked from previous employment blamed for accidents while loading ship at docks.
- Provoked into a bar room that ends with one dead and seven injured.
3 People of Note/Importance/Influence/Help/Trouble in the characters life (& why) (regular people, friends, mentors, antagonists, people of influence, overlord/boss/mayor/king, etc)
- "Tide" Cowled and dripping wet at all times. Grotesque beyond imagination, hunched human in general outline, scaly arms, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet. Shockingly wide but flabby lips, glassy, bulging eyes, croaking, baying voice. The messenger enjoys toying and makes the simplest interaction as annoying as possible.
- "Black Jak" Hails from some distant tropical island. The mountainous privateer captain likes dark magic almost as much as the dark rum. He calls Salem his "lucky charm", a private joke which he doesn't elaborate upon. A decent source of work rumours and gossip.
- "The Pale Lady" Mysterious elven renegade banished aeons ago. She plots and schemes against the elven nation that brought her low. He has unknowingly worked for her through an intermediary.
Equipment, Possessions & Cash
Sinister Polearm: Unlike most swashbuckling mercenaries he doesn't carry a trademark cutlass, main gauche or buckler. Instead a rather sinister looking weapon it is a union of sword and barbed spear. Having the ripping, slicing, and thrusting ability of the bladed spear and the hacking and pull slice of a hook sword. It was short, light and well balanced; useful for close quarters and moderate distance fighting. The main blade twists and bifurcates, presenting a number of gleaming white yet razor sharp hooks and points. The nasty seafaring polearm is fairly light, gets most of its danger from ripping and tearing – hardened swordfish spike/harpoon on one end (dam: 6), the rest shaped from some massive bone or a whale or other sea creature, with tiny sharp fish teeth spiralling up and down the haft except in a few places, with a curved and large sharpened rib whalebone with vicious sharks teeth embedded into both sides (2H polearm, dam: 8).
Shark Armour: tba
Sea Elven Noble (Admiral Style) Outfit: tba
Mariners Bag: About the size of a normal sack, the flap at the top over the drawstring top, sealed with tar to keep it water proof, inside:
- some basic seafaring kit, needles, thread, catgut, squares of sail, tin of wax, sharpening stone
- a brass compass (whose needle just keeps going slowly around and around…),
- elven knife (forest elven), covered in dried blood, very sharp (dam: 3)
- belaying pin (club, dam: 3)
- bleached scrimshaw, whalebone (carved with strange pictures of sharks & squid – feels warm to Salem's touch, not to others),
- tin box full of bloody & sticky fishhooks,
- several lumps of charcoal
- the head of a tattooed seafaring type, roughly severed as though bitten off in one go mostly desiccated human head with the face frozen in a look or terror eyes missing,
- and a small ornate tough glass container with the eyes & eye stalks in them…
Footstool: Basic wooden stool from Jolly Eel. It has a weird/curses nautical inscription that includes among other things a cat being stalked by a sea monster (similiar to scrimshaw). Nice bit of artistry from Tide. It is apparently a task of some description.
Dockside Townhouse: Old and once grand four story townhouse that's fallen into disrepair. Moody sea history and recent murders/burnings of previous owners (who crossed the thieves guild). Haunted. Warded. Rune covered. Open to sewers. Recent whipping based biz. Nuff said.
Shark Gut Contents: Gold ear ring (Hymla), Silver Hook (Slim Jim), carved oar and ship fragment (both dark sea rune inscriptions like footstool), dwarf foot (returned to armourer).