Konrad's Grogs

[size=150]Baldwin the Manservant[/size]

Characteristics: Int +2, Per +1, Str 0, Sta +1, Pre 0, Com +1, Dex +1, Qik 0
Age: 33

Virtues: Covenfolk (free), Custos (Academic), Educated
Flaws: Small Frame, Temperate

Personality Traits:
Loyal +2
Steady +3
Temperate +2
Animal Handling (dogs) 1
Area Lore: Southern England (native plants) 2
Artes Liberales (music) 1
Athletics (grace) 2
Awareness (alertness) 2
Bargain (herbs) 2
Brawl (dodging) 1
Carouse (staying sober) 2
Charm (being inoffensive) 2
Chirurgery (setting bones) 2
English (conversation) 5
Etiquette (townfolk) 2
Folk Ken (townfolk) 2
Guile (lying to protect his master) 1
Hunt (small game) 1
Intrigue (gossip) 1
Latin (conversation) 4
Leadership (servants) 1
Low German (conversation) 3
Medicine (apothecary) 2
Music (fiddle) 2
Philosophiae (natural philosophy) 1
Profession: Apothecary (finding ingredients) 4
Profession: Cook (simple meals) 2
Profession: Gardener (growing herbs) 5
Profession: Scribe (copying texts) 2
Profession: Valet (Konrad's needs) 4
Stealth (moving quietly) 1
Survival (moors) 1
Swim (long distances) 2
Teaching (servants) 1

Background: Baldwin was born as a grog in the covenant of Nigrasaxa. Given his industry and intelligence, he quickly found himself directly serving the magi. Clever and hard-working, he was the manservant to a magus by the time he was sixteen. He was even sent to a local grammar school to learn Latin so that he would be of greater use to the magus he served.

The particular magus Baldwin served was nearly a hundred, and found that his previous manservant had become too old to continue his duties. The magus specialized in Herbam magic, so Baldwin's duties were not just in the lab or in the sanctum. They were also in the garden. In addition to his other duties, Baldwin was assigned to maintain the magus's prized herb garden, a job he proved most capable at.

Baldwin served in this capacity for well over a decade-and-a-half. But just over a year ago, tragedy struck. While dealing with a minor demon that was plaguing the covenant, Baldwin's magus cast a spell and disappeared on the spot. He didn't return that day, or the next, or even the week following. The other magi at the covenant told Baldwin that his magus had disappeared into something called Wizard's Twilight, an odd place that Baldwin had heard vague rumors about from some of the older covenfolk. The magi said that at his age, Baldwin's magus might be gone for months, or even years. As a result, Baldwin was assigned to temporary duties, awaiting the time when his magus might return.

After a year passed with no word from the lost magus, the covenant's other magi came to the conclusion that it was unlikely that the poor fellow would return for some time, if at all. As a result, the Baldwin was reassigned to a new magus, a freshly-gauntleted fellow named Konrad. And so Baldwin packed up his things and moved to the servant's quarters outside of Konrad's new sanctum.

Now, just a few months later, Konrad decided to take a trip back to his home in the Rhine, taking with him both his manservant and his shield grog with him.

[size=150]Gerhard the Shield Grog [/size]

Characteristics: Int -2, Per +1, Str +3, Sta +2, Pre -2, Com -1, Dex +2 Qik +1
Age: 34

Virtues: Careful with Single Weapon, Covenfolk (free), Puissant with Single Weapon, Warrior
Flaws: Disfigured (large scar on face), Missing Ear, Optimistic

Personality Traits:
Brave +2
Loyal +3
Optimistic +2
Area Lore: Lower England (taverns) 2
Area Lore: Friesland (military units) 2
Athletics (running) 3
Awareness (bodyguarding) 3
Bargain (ale and whores) 2
Brawl (grapples) 4
Carouse (drinking songs) 2
Charm (lookng innocent) 1
Chirurgy (binding wounds) 1
Craft: Carpentry (boats) 2
English (military jargon) 3
Etiquette (military) 1
Folk Ken (soldiers) 1
Guile (lying to authority) 1
Hunt (fishing) 2
Intrigue (gossip) 1
Leadership (in combat) 2
Low German (swearing) 5
Profession: Boating (small boats) 2
Profession: Soldier (guard duty) 3
Single Weapon (longsword) 5+2
Stealth (hide) 2
Survival (coastal areas) 2
Swim (long distances) 2
Teaching (single weapon) 1
Thrown Weapon (stones) 3
Equipment: leather scale - full, longsword, heater shield, dagger, 2 throwing knifes. (Total Load 8, Burden 3, Encumbrance 0)

Longsword: Init +3, Atk +10, Def +9 (+12 with shield), Dam +9
Dagger: Init +1, Atk +6, Def +5, Dam +6
Knife: Init +1, Atk +6, Def +5,
Fist: Init +1, Atk +6, Def +6, Dam +3
Throwing Knife: Init +1, Atk +5, Def +4, Dam +5
Thrown Rock: Init +1, Atk +6, Def +5, Dam +5

Soak: +2 (+7 with armor)

Snapshot Personality: Having cheated death, Gerhard remains surprisingly optimistic for someone as badly scarred as he is. But to him, the worst has already happened. To him, each day is a day he should never have received, and is to be enjoyed. (Hmm, maybe he should be Carefree instead of Optimistic.) He is very loyal to Konrad since it was the magus who he credits with saving his life.

Childhood: Gerhard's family make boats in the town of Harlingen in Friesland. He worked at the family business until he was seventeen and ran away to become a soldier.

Background: It was during Konrad's last year of apprenticeship that a man staggered up to the outbuildings of the covenant, covered in blood and barely alive. The covenfolk couldn't tell who he was or even where he was from, since he collapsed into unconsciousness shortly after he arrived. But it was clear that he'd been in a bad fight. He suffered from multiple knife or sword wounds, and had had taken a blade to the face that barely missed the eye and left one ear hanging off by just a bit of flesh.

The covenfolk took him in, as any Christian would, but there was little they could do for him aside from binding his wounds. The injuries seemed too great for the poor man to survive. The magi of the covenant were not even told of the incident, for it was known that no one would care for the life of a wanderer like him. But Konrad, with his gentle Gift, was a different matter. He was more friendly with the covenfolk than the full magi were, and was considered less imposing and more approachable. He soon learned of the dying man and came to see him.

It was clear from Konrad's first look at the injured man that the fellow's chances were not good. But that meant little to the compassionate apprentice. He'd recently lost his sister and most of her family to plague, and was not about to let this man die without a fight. He tended the man's injuries, and used what magic he could to improve his patient's chances of living. He also convinced the covenfolk that it would be ill luck to turn out a dying man. Now, the man's fight for survival would begin.

Day after day, Konrad visited the injured man after his work as an apprentice was done; and little by little, the man's health began to improve. He had regained consciousness enough to eat and use the chamberpot, but he was still very weak. All Konrad could get from him was that his name was Heinrich, and that he was from the Rhine.

Weeks passed, though not without their crises. Twice it looked as if Heinrich would die, but each time, Konrad remained at his side until the crisis was over. Finally, it became clear that Heinrich would live, though it was equally clear that without Konrad's care - and the magic he used - Heinrich would now be with God.

During this period, Konrad learned more about his patient. Gerhard was a mercenary who had served an English lord for a time, but had been looking to head back to the Rhine when he was attacked by bandits on the road through the nearby woods. The bandits outnumbered him badly, but he wasn't one to go down without a fight. He took three of them down before he received the blow to his face. After that, he ran for it. They chased him for a time, but when he killed the first one to reach him, they let him go. They already had his horse and pack with all of his belongings. Seeing him dead wasn't worth the risk of dying themselves. After that, Gerhard had wandered through the woods, dropping his sword at some point, until he arrived at Negrisaxa just around sunset. The rest Konrad knew.

In time Gerhard could get up and walk, and Konrad knew that he would soon be able to tell the man he could travel again, if he were careful about it. During Gerhard's convalescence, Konrad said nothing to him about the covenant or the magi inside, allowing the mercenary to assume that the covenant was simply a center of learning. But people are people, and even covenfolk like to talk. The people helping to tend Gerhard had told the man enough for him to piece the rest of it together, including the fact that Konrad had used magic to drag him away from death's door. He was leery of wizards in general, having heard stories about them. But he owed Konrad his life. Besides, the apprentice wasn't at all like what Gerhard thought wizards were supposed to be. He certainly wasn't aloof from the common folk.

As he talked to the covenfolk, Gerhard also learned that the covenant employed soldiers. He even learned that certain of the soldiers were dedicated to protecting the magi. Gerhard asked if Konrad had such a protector and was told that he did not, still being just an apprentice. From that point on, Gerhard determined to be Konrad's protector. When he was fit enough to leave his bed, he went straight to the Turb sergeant and asked to join the grogs of the covenant. Once he was fit enough to demonstrate his fighting prowess, Heinrich was accepted. And when Konrad passed his gauntlet, Heinrich immediately volunteered to become his shield grog.

Regarding Bladwin:

  • A bit strange that a servant that is unaffected by the Gift was assigned to a Gentle-Gifted magus. Seems like a waste of a valuable skill.
  • Ability Block: Martial is pretty much the same thing as Noncombatant, a Personality flaw. It's a bit like taking 2 Personality flaws, which grogs are not allowed to do...
  • Craft: Cooking should be Profession: Cook
  • Herbalism requires a virtue (in A&A). For what you want, this is the same as Profession: Apothecary, which he already has.
  • Note that his score in Latin is too low for him to have learned what he knows from books. Much too low for an academic (he cannot study nor scribe books).

Regarding Gerhard:

  • Throughout the background, he is called Heinrich. :wink:
  • You are correct that only Standard equipment will be possible. Grogs are outfitted based on the wealth of the covenant -- and you don't have a covenant at this point. A longsword is ok (even though it is Expensive), but chainmail on top of that... well, less so.
  • Area Lore: The Rhine should probably be changed to the name of a mundane area. "Rhine" is usually taken as meaning the Hermetic Tribunal of that name, it is not considered a coherent region from a mundane standpoint. The language specialties for Low German (or the other languages) from GotF p.138 are good examples for regions. The table of contents of that sourcebook also lists a fair number of regions.
  • Thrown Weapon (stones)? I had a laugh at that one. I assume you were thinking about throwing stuff down from fortifications during a siege? Mercenaries weren't used much to defend fortifications, but rather for dangerous things like attacking fortifications instead.

Regarding Bladwin:

  • I was flailing about for a third Virtue for Baldwin. I suppose I could just give him two and drop Ability Block ... But if anyone can think of another Virtue that would fit the character concept, I'd be happy to hear.
  • If you think the General Flaw Ability Block: Martial should have been categorized as a Personality flaw, then I'll adjust accordingly.
  • I'll change Craft: Cooking to Profession: Cook. I've seen it done both ways in different games and wasn't sure what was proper here.
  • Baldwin has the Virtue Herbalism.
  • Based on what I read, it seemed like the Ability Herbalism was different than the Ability Profession: Apothecary. However, I'll be more than happy to drop one if you think they're redundant.
  • I'll up his knowledge of Latin to 4, probably with points taken from dropping one of the Abilities noted above. I'd forgotten about the need for level 4 to read books. I was just thinking that I didn't want to give him an unreasonable level of knowledge in Latin.

Regarding Gerhard:

  • Oops. I'll correct his name throughout the description.
  • I'll stick with just a longsword and what armor he can afford.
  • I'll rename his Area Lore accordingly. I was thinking modern day when The Rhine is a mundane area.
  • I don't think a Thrown Weapon specialty of stones is laughable. Plenty of kids learn to throw stones. I figured that Gerhard retained that skill from when he was a kid. And remember, it's just a specialty. The skill also means that he is skilled in trowing knives, javelins, and whatever else is throwable. He's just particularly good in throwing stones. FWIW, I wasn't thinking big rocks like you'd toss from a wall, I'm thinking small stones from around golf ball to baseball sizes that you'd throw from the ground. You know, in a melee you might pick up a rock and throw it at your enemy as a makeshift weapon. Not laughable at all in my opinion. :confused:


Ability Block: Martial is skirting on a personality flaw, and is completely covered by what Noncombatant does. That's where my misgivings are. Just thought I'd share. Not a deal breaker, particularly for a servant.
Herbalism is out of bounds. Character Creation House Rules of the saga -- not from core book. And I don't have A&A anyway. :laughing:
Latin 4 is good. I'm not worried about Latin. His main job is as a servant, so Latin help deal with the magi. But as a servant he won't have much time to pursue academic interests.

You should edit the original stats instead of reposting them. It avoids confusion as to which stats are the correct ones.

It's not the skill itself that made me laugh. It can be a useful skill. It's just the image of the big tough mercenary throwing stones, like a peasant would. I would have thought he would have picked up enough skill in a more advanced thrown weapon during his years as a mercenary, like axes or javelins. But I'm fine with it. :smiley:

There are always rocks around. :smiley:

And like I say, it's not that he can't use other thrown weapons. He's just particularly good at throwing rocks.

FWIW, I also figure that he also likes to skip rocks over the water.

I've adjusted everything based on your comments. Let me know if I missed anything.