Forward

Friday we get to move forward with this story. AJ has a basic world. We plan on posting a page for the Riva Contingency so you can check out the world lore stuff. We appreciate you sticking around while we got this set up. We hope to tell a decent story come Monday, but we have no idea where it’s going. Chapter 1 will be just getting the gang all together.

But let’s not languish anymore and introduce our last party member. Rosana. They are not based on any specific past character — someone completely new.


Rosana was new to Ashbourne. But Macabre Genesis was always their home. The guild spanned the known world, supplicants to the Raven Queen, but their dealings were less about soul snatching, and more about providing the Queen’s men with their desires. Everything from whores to weapons. 

And Rosana was just an artisan with whom the guild employed. Their machinations were renowned throughout the guild and their potions drew in even the most rich of patrons. There were rumors of a draft that could cure the malady that fell over the denizens of the Wellsorrow Region. The guild tasked Rosana with finding the source, replicate it for the guilds disposal and eliminate the source once they had the recipe.

Their only clue came from an anonymous source, a note written in Infernal as a childish rhyme.

There once was a boy held captive in a cell. He broke out and his dear old mother fell. To Ashbourne, he fled. A Boogle to be bled. For the addiction to be fed.

The Goblin’s Notebook

AJ has been looking for a campaign manager for the DnD world she’s creating cause Dabble just isn’t cutting it for that. It is but it isn’t. AJ found The Goblin’s Notebook. She’s having fun with it. You can chain things together with relationships. There are quests and organizations, creatures and things and it’s all in markdown. And for those of you who know AJ, you know there is a big love for markdown in AJ. It’s limited on the free version, but it’s very cool. AJ likes it.

I hate to truncate my rambling, but we have another character to introduce. Miranda Elovar who is in my world, but you’ve not met her yet as Mandy. She is in some of our AUs, though not sure you’ve read any with her in it. But she’s good friends with Alex.


Real Name: Else Orlantis

Preying on the weak had always been a thing for Else. Her parents had taught her their tricks of the trade and Else’s gift of song and her enchanting voice made it all that much easier to make the marks fall for her and she could steal their money while they slept.

Else found herself far from home with a man who claimed to be from nowhere. He was handsome in a way, but it was the cool demeanor that drew her to him. Her seduction had only worked because he had wanted her to come to his bed. And when she stole his belongings, her life changed forever.

Their dalliance not only cost her her way of life but also conceived a child. One in which her now master ferried away a family to raise while she worked for him. Else now did what he said, followed his rules. And maybe one day she’d be able to see her son again.

Her current mission: return that which was stolen from him.

Get Cozy?

AJ was watching The Sandman this weekend, and a man who can’t die was truly impressed with Chimney’s. In the olden days of yore could you imagine all the ashes from the indoor fireplace? All the smoke?

I don’t really think the next back story is something you are going to curl up around a modern or olden fireplace — it’s much too short, but hey, get cozy and I’d like to introduce to you Alushtas Maskan. Or in the Common Tongue Rain Fire. Who you might better know in my worlds as Ryan.

Backstory

Born in Shadowfell. Lived in Shadowfell. His father was never present, but the best of the best raised him — the most devoted to the Raven Queen herself. Alushtas was the son of her most trusted Soul Bringer. 

Alushtas was proud the day the Raven Queen called to him. Gave him the gifts of Holy might. The cold darkness of the Shadowfell felt brighter with the knowledge the Queen had given him. 

And when his father failed to bring the Queen the soul of the doctor, Alushtas pledge himself deeper into the fold. But Alushtas’ devotion was tested when his father asked him to watch over the son of the doctor — his half brother.

Alushtas prayed to the Raven Queen and waited for an answer. His devotion brought one of the Spirits of Shadar-kai to him. The spirit lead him through the Leech and pointed the way to Diremore — the town of his brother’s birth. The Raven Queen had forgiven his father — and it was now Alushtas job to bring back the boy his father begot to complete his father’s failed job.

Getting Closer

We have got the options available for each characters first scene, AJ just has to write them. So we’ll start with them on Monday. We will leave each one on a precarious ledge and you’ll help us decide which way to go. AJ has some thoughts on the way we’d like to go. But we expect there will be a big denial of those paths by the roll of the dice and your choices.

So this is how we are going to do it. We’ll roll the appropriate dice and that will be our vote. We’ll check to see what you guys think, and if they match great, if not we’ll take the higher count. ie: There are 4 options for the first round. If we get 3 votes, but roll a 4 the 4th option would win. If you only have 2 votes, well then option 3 would win.

At least that’s our thoughts at the moment. That could change as we move forward.

Today you get al’Zand Elovar’s back story.


Life was rough for al’Zand as he grew up. His mother a prostitute and his father a John he never knew. He grew up in the brothel his mother worked. Saw all kinds of depravity from a young age — from gambling to killing. He’d seen it all before the age of ten.

And by twenty, al’Zand had made a name for himself. It might not have been the best name, but it was a name. During his childhood, al’Zand had picked up any musical instrument that was left by the patrons of the brothel. He taught himself the songs of merriment and wrote a few himself. He was very good at entertaining.

All the girls loved him. Most of the Johns thought he was amusing. And al’Zand took his playing to the streets. But the streets were a dangerous place for a boy with no money. So al’Zand started playing cards, and dicing with boys on the street — gaining a few coins here and there to make his life easier. Stealing a few coins from the Johns at the brothel when he returned. He even managed a few games before the owner kicked him out.

That’s when times got even harder after that. Money was tight. But a game was easy to find, and al’Zand found one every night. He even found a man willing to pay him to win games for him. Until the day al’Zand found out they rigged the next game. Instead of going in, losing his shirt, al’Zand ran with the money he’d made for his patron and caught the first ship out of his homeland — never to return.

His stop lead him to a city teaming with gambling and money to be taken, but his patron found him and al’Zand fled again on another ship, this time as stowaway. Without a booked passage, it was harder to track him — at least that was his plan.

al’Zand met a woman with golden blond hair and a beautiful voice. She introduced herself, and soon the boat was rocking in more ways than one. Else Orlantia was a con woman who tried to steal from him the moment he fell asleep. But he caught her. 

al’Zand thought they had parted ways at the next port, but she waltzed up to him and the innkeeper in Ashbourne and introduced herself. “We are the Great Elovars. Maybe you’ve heard of us? We could play a few songs tonight, entertain your crowd for room and board?”

Party of Five

We decided that in order to give enough time for voting AJ would put together a party of five characters. One for each weekday of the week. We will roll initiative at the start of each week to determine who goes first.

ae’Nyx’s back story is complete. AJ’s going to work on al’Zand’s and the others this morning. Hopefully we’ll be able to present them throughout the week.

I don’t think we’ll get to the story just yet. AJ’s working on each of the five of us and the world around us. It’s not a whim. And with reluctance, I will make sure AJ doesn’t get too far into the world building, but AJ wants to make sure each of us has the back story we need. Our Character Sheets are changing as each of us gets our backstory.

It may not be the final version, but here is my current Level 1 Character Sheet.

And without further adieu I present to you ae’Nyx Riva’s backstory


Aelfwyn, the only doctor in Diremore, bore the son of a patient whom she cared for. At first Aelfwyn thought ae’Nyx was dead as he came out ashen and cold to the touch, but his cries of shock told a different story.

Strange things happened around ae’Nyx from the beginning of his life. Aelfwyn never took the child anywhere and when he learned to walk, she locked him in a closet while she had patients. 

When ae’Nyx was five, his eyes glowed red, his body language changed, and the words he spoke were foreign to Aelfwyn. She converted a small patient room into a locked room for ae’Nyx and locked him away after that. She shoved food under the door and never unlocked the room. Whatever he did inside, she never knew.

Inside his locked room, Boggles and other creatures of the Shadowfell visited ae’Nyx. Their home was close enough to the Leech; they appeared inside the locked walls searching for his despair. The voice of the creature inside his head was his only company. It taught him things, things ae’Nyx could never make up. It gave him the recipe for a concoction that would keep the voice at bay. ae’Nyx had tricked the voice into revealing the recipe in a devious game of ‘you can’t do that’. He named the concoction Tranquil after the effects it had on the voice.

The concoction requires the oil from the Boggles that visited ae’Nyx and a plant that his mother gave him to sedate him. Unfortunately, the voice in his head got its revenge because the drug was also highly addictive, without a steady dosing schedule of the liquid, ae’Nyx would not only hear the voice again and lose control over the possession the Shadar-kai had over his body, but would also be in severe pain and unable to function the longer he went without.

During one long instance of his withdrawal, ae’Nyx succumbed to the inner Shadar-kai and when his mother offered food through the grate in the door, the Shadar-kai grabbed his mother’s hand and pulled her through the grate. Her screams rang in ae’Nyx’s mind whenever a bell tolled after the incident. 

The Shadar-kai pulled her body through until he had the keys and released ae’Nyx from captivity. Instead of fleeing the scene, the Shadar-kai made a vial of the wretched concoction so that ae’Nyx could live through the pain of losing (and killing) his mother.

Upon finding his mother’s remains, he fled Diremore for Ashbourne, intending to let no one suffer like himself. 

*edit* We removed a bit in the beginning. Still applies for those who got to read it, but we left it vague like the others.

The Problem with Fantasy

So whenever AJ dips her toes into fantasy worlds we get stuck in this massive place of world building. It’s the number 1 reason why AJ uses the real world as a template for my stories. As a veteran of world building AJ knows that with less things to ‘make’ there is more time to write. And the less we get into explicit details we have no need of. Things like how many fucking shoemakers are in a town. Yeah we don’t really care.

But AJ spent most of our writing time yesterday working on maps and book covers and coloring 3D models to create some graphics and such to share. And cause this is where AJ gets stuck when we try to write in fantasy lands.

But we still don’t have a plot and AJ plans to write back stories. So we might not be ready on Monday.

But at least you get to see the process of creating a world. This is how AJ does it. We started with my character, and all that randomness sparked a story and a world and AJ’s working on making D&D things happen in her head. There isn’t a lot of information out there that AJ can use to not work on so many details so AJ decided to make her own little neck of the woods with D&D implications.

So I introduce to you Wellsorrow. A region of whatever world where the Shadowfell touches the world too closely and saps out life and causes despair. The region is about the same size as the state of Rhode Island the map is about 50miles by 35miles (each hex in the map being 10 miles wide). It is not very populated since the whole area around the The Leech (the place where the Shadowfell touches the Material Plane) makes the whole area hard to live in. And then there is the Red Dragon Auguin who claimed a wide swath of land the other side of the river so any farms or animals you raise would be under attack all the time.

Made with Inkarnate.com

AJ has some ideas of what’s going on in this little picture, but I want to share with you me and Alex.

And last but not least the book cover that is more about the vibe of my character than it is about the story. But both Alex and I have a story to tell. That’s probably going to be the first choice we make. We’ll get to that in a minute. First the book cover!

Alright and now to the big question we’ll roll for if we don’t get a majority vote from my readers.

Who should go first: me (ae’Nyx) or Alex (al’Zand)?