Companion: Farkas Keszthely (the Wolf of Keszthely)

Concept: an educated fighter forged in the Mongol invasion of Hungary, cursed by a Mongol witch, now leading a few men and selling their services as mercenary troops and caravan guards in the Keszthely area.

The character is written as an independent mercenary captain, but I could change it into the oppidum's guard captain, or even the leader of Ophelia's grogs, with just a few alterations. As a mercenary captain he would not have to be tallied in the Covenant's expenses, but he would have to be paid for specific missions.

History: Farkas (wolf in Hungarian) was a novice in a monastery, about to take his final vows, when the Mongols arrived. He hid while they pillaged his monastery, then decided to fight back. Having seen how ineffective the knights' tactics were, he decided to adopt and adapt the Mongol's own, using stealth, speed, and hit-and-run tactics. His greatest accomplishment was killing a young Mongol leader (of a dozen scouts) and stealing his sword, armor and horse. But this was also his downfall: the Mongol's mother, a witch, cursed Farkas so 'all would see him for the monster that he was'. To his despair, Farkas discovered that doing anything out of altruism or kindness would see him change into a wolf: unless he is paid for the act, even such a small thing as opening the door for someone or helping them stand up when they fall triggers the change. This made going back to his monastery, or even enlisting in a noble's retinue, impossible - and causes him great distress, for at heart he is a kind man.
After the Mongol withdrew, Farkas started a career as a mercenary, and later a mercenary captain. He eventually settled semi-permanently in Keszthely, content to hire out to the merchants and nobles - and magi - around. He particularly seek opportunities to serve magi, hoping they might know a cure for his malediction.

Virtues: Educated, Mercenary Captain, Improved Characteristics, Warrior
Flaws: Compassionate (minor), Greater Malediction: turn into a wolf, as per the Lycanthrope flaw, for Sun duration after performing an altruistic act for another (any service for which he is not adequately paid)
Plenty of room for more virtues and flaws, I just don't see the need... although I might go for Wealthy to beef up the character's abilities

Characteristics: Int +1, Per +1, Pre +1, Com +1, Str +1, Sta +1, Dex +2, Qik +1

Age: 38

Languages: Hungarian 5 (military vocabulary), Latin 4 (military vocabulary), Romaic Greek 4 (military vocabulary)
General: Animal Handling 3 (horses), Area Lore: Hungary 3 (geography), Awareness 3 (in combat), Bargain 2 (weapons), Brawl 3 (dagger), Carouse 1 (power drinking), Charm 1 (opposite sex), Chirurgy 2 (binding wounds), Civil and Canon Law 1 (Hungary), Concentration 2 (in combat), Etiquette 2 (magi), Folk Ken 3 (magi), Guile 1 (disguise), Hunt 1 (tracking), Intrigue 1 (gossip), Leadership 4 (in combat), Order of Hermes Lore 1 (Transylvania Tribunal), Ride 4 (in combat), Stealth 2 (steppe), Survival 1 (steppe), Swim 1 (crossing rivers),
Academic: Artes Liberales 2 (astronomy)
Martial: Bows 4 (horsebow), Great Weapon 1 (longspear), Single Weapon 4 (longsword), Thrown Weapon 1 (javelin)

horse bow (Lords of Men), composite bow (Lords of Men), 60 arrows for each, longsword, heater shield, dagger
horse, saddle, bridle, pack-sacks, horse gear
Full chain mail, metal reinforced jerkin (not to be worn together !)

Soak +3 (reinforced leather) or +10 (full chain mail)
Longsword and Heater Shield: Init +3, Atk+11, Dfn +10, Dam +7
Longsword and Heater Shield, Mounted: Init +3, Atk+14, Dfn +13, Dam +7
Composite Bow: Init -1, Atk +10, Dfn +5, Dam +8, Range 30
Horsebow, Mounted: Init -1, Atk +15, Dfn +9, Dam +9, Range 15

Is this an infernal curse or witch? It's an interesting idea, but the 'justice' of the curse is completely inverted. This monk daring to fight back and use the methods of the enemy shouldn't strike the mongols as him being some kind of monster, not unless he takes it a far extreme. I couldn't see any power that she appealed to for this curse saying anything but "What do you want from me? You son knew what he was doing, what did you think was going to happen?".

Having said that, if the witch was infernal (or she turned to the Infernal), than this would be an appropriate curse, as that is how the Infernal thinks and operates. Because then, not only does he become a monster, he loses the ability to be altruistic or generous and leads him further to sin. If you want to make it an infernal type curse, then you might put some redemption into his virtues and flaws as well as his back story. Maybe he wants to be forgiven for breaking his monastic vows and taking up the sword, and also forgive the Mongols in the process?

I admit I hadn't thought about it that far, but an infernal curse sounds interesting. On the other hand I don't want to detail the witch if I can help it, in case the ST has his own ideas regarding Mongol witches. For that matter the ST might have his own ideas regarding the suitability of a Mercenary Captain with an infernal curse in the Transylvania Tribunal (as in, would the Tremere have arranged his death long ago ?)

Oh, and in the backstory as is, he hasn't taken his final vows yet, which means he didn't break them when taking up the sword (which saved me a whole lot of trouble trying to fit in the broken vows as flaws, particularly since I didn't want to burden a companion, who's only there to be played when my magus is too busy, with a Major Story Flaw). I did give him the compassionate flaw so he would fight against the curse as much as possible. It might be interesting to give him a Guardian Angel though :slight_smile:

Guardian Angel? Eve has a spell that can clear that right up.

Certainly check with Jebrick regarding Mongol witches, but even if they are different, this one could have been allied with the Infernal. Just the nature of the curse strikes me as infernal. She's mad that her son (an invading Mongol) gets killed by the people they're invading? The nerve!

I'm a bit torn on the Mongols but I'm leaning towards Infernal ties ( given what they did to passify some cities and areas). If not directly a Infernal like army, they sure would create a good number of infernal auras. It would not be a demon lead army but Hell would be influencing some aspects.

Well, in the Mongol's defense, after the initial pacifying (which did start by killing anyone even remotely connected to the previous administration and going down from there until everyone still alive was too shocked to even think about rebelling), they really were decent administrators to the conquered people. Much better than the average European kingdom...

That sounds to me like some demons are working at corrupting them, but still have a way to go. Of course that's as a society, there would have to be some mortal pawns already corrupted to influence the rest.

I would agree with the real world Mongols but the ME mongols are a bit different. It is the setting for the game that can make this difficult since China and the far east do not exist in ME. If they did then that is another ball of wax that would not work well.

for now, consider them an Infernal influenced army. Or at least their magi would have access to infernal powers.

I thought the far east did exist. Its occasionally mentioned in various supplements.

When I say far east I'm talking of Cathar. Persia is known but beyond is this vast grassland ( and thus nothing). The Mongol hoards come out of Persia first and then spread to other regions. As far as the characters know they are normal barbarians but their shaman have an infernal taint.