Author Archives: JK

The Raven Queen’s Pick of the Litter

Toshik’s friend was named Joshif, but everyone called him Rabbitface. They were playing in the field when the Necromancer opened the gates of the ruined temple. At first, Toshik, Rabbitface, and the little halfling girl just heard people shouting. Then, it got worse. The hideous, guttural noises that the ghouls made, the crunching of bones. They stood silent and frozen with fear. Then, they saw him. The Necromancer was running through the woods – running for his life. Toshik would never forget his face, the eyes close together, the shabby beard and scabs across his cheeks, the terror in his green eyes. Toshik’s father was killed that day by an undead monster. Joshif’s entire family met their fate in the terrible hands of those creatures. Toshik’s mother adopted Rabbitface and the two became brothers in tragedy. The little halfling girl, Ivy Forrester, moved away with her Aunt Miira to work in Neverwinter eventually Ivy and Miira owned a small pub in Trimbleton. Toshik had a different path and Rabbitface went where Toshik went.

Toshik became aware of two things after the traumatic events of what the townsfolk of Mackle’s Finding called “Temple”. One, he began to have strange dreams, premonitions, he dreamed of ravens; two, his hands were nimble. He could hide small objects, distract others, misdirect…Toshik took advantage of this. Playing “Dragonbane” or “Five Lords”and using Rabbitface as a lure. He would draw in a crowd by acting frustrated as Rabbitface beat him and won larger sums of money. Toshik had memorized the deck and was lightning quick at counting the cards and sleight-of-handing winning cards into Rabbitface’s draw pile.

When he slept a female presence began to visit him. She never used words, but she spoke in images. Sometimes softly, sometimes with rage. She promised he would avenge his father’s death. She promised to help him do it in return for his devotion. He came to know her as the Raven Queen and she offered him unnatural gifts and protection. She offered him power and importantly, revenge.

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The Ranger from Trimbleton.

Sometimes the good guys start bad. Dwyer Fenwrehr never knew his parents. He grew up a street urchin in the small town of Trimbleton just north of Luskan. As happens with lots of kids like this, he spent his teen years working with a gang of small-time pickpockets and charlatans who were able to eek out a living bothering travelers and rich folk. He showed a lot of promise and the big bosses took notice. His keen senses and quick study of human behavior made him a first pick for complicated jobs. He could tell you how many men were in a room without looking and sense when an ambush was brewing.

When Dwyer reached his early twenties, he caught the eye of two prominent business men. One was legit, Jimmy Gundry. One was not, Benithar Therat.

Gundry was a logistics guy, a big fish in a little pond. He had a few crews that moved goods, animals, and sometimes people in caravans between towns and did his job very, very well. Mostly he dealt with folks in Trimbleton, Gottles, and a mining town at the Spine of the World called Mackle’s Finding. Jimmy made Dwyer a part of his delivery crew whenever he could.

Benithar, on the other hand, promised a lot and the jobs went sour a lot. Dwyer knew this, but he wasn’t scared of this. He trusted his senses and didn’t trust Benithar, so he figured he could make it work.

His very first job for Benithar was one that went sideways, really, really far sideways.

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