CHARACTER: GWINDEL SVERGER (AKAKAAN)   Posted by Akakaan.Group: archive 0
 player, 329 posts
Tue 8 Nov 2011
at 22:37
Gwindel/Akakaan was played by Zipp, host of many RPoL games and also of Project Aon/Tower of the Sun fame. Zipp once ran a d20 version of Ragadorn Tavern called 'A Night to Remember', a game of find the Helghast. 'A Night To Forget' was a fun nod to the game in name only, and it came full circle when Zipp not only played in the game but asked to play a Helghast agent (using Askhati's Helghast agent class). He was disguised as a Dwarven Gunner class merchant. Zipp came in at the end of the set up week, hence the twisty nature of Zipp's goals. -e.

CS 19
END 31
WP 17
Missing finger on right hand -2 CS with gun
Occurred in the Wildlands during the game. -e.

A Thousand Masks
Unyielding Flesh
Cover of Night

Items lost/used during play:
 - Obsidian block (taken by Outler)
 - Bor Rifle (taken by Knud)
 - Boom Powder (ignited by Gwindel)

BACKGROUND (summary):
For a detailed breakdown of how Gwindel/Akakaan's background and mission formed, see the character creation thread below. -e

A Helghast of the mysterious Darklord Nhorg. Attached to the keep, knowing Captain Outler. and disguised as a merchant ferrying goods between Sommerlund and Bor. Upon Torygan's capture, was activated to assess the knight Odel, and also rescue Torygan.

Goals were sent at the start of the game to centre everyone as needed. They were only intended as suggestions if the narrative drifted or became confusing. -e.

Short term goal (intro thread)
 - secure any assets required for gaining access to Torygan

Medium term goals (after hand-over)
 -  assess Torygan and the Knight for loyalty
 - reveal yourself to them if prudent

Long term goal
 - secure Torygan's release (if loyal)
 - proceed to Ruanon with proof of Sheyer Vanalund's trechery


Question...maybe someone already is playing this and thus it wouldn't be appropriate, but what if I were to take on the role of a Helghast, meant to intersect with this group and eventually free Torygan?

My base character would be a dwarf.  Not easy to suspect.

EDIT: Oh, and my dwarf's name will be Gwindel Sverger.

Edgtheowson Comglomerate Holdings can not, at this time, confirm nor deny the rumours of previous infestations by Helghast. They can however confirm a job offering exists in the Helghast Public Relations division for a plucky if small character of outwardly non-human descent and inwardly Darklands spawned creation.

ie Yup, you can play a Helghast, but I'm not telling you if another Helghast exists. :D

In this pre-invasion atmosphere of Darklands togetherness, you might suspect all Helghast should be told if another is around, or course. So I'm sure your character would think he is alone right now.

Your character has originally had nothing to do with Torygan. Sommerlund's major cities are dangerous places to successfully negotiate due to the cursed Left Handed magics of the Brotherhood mages.

Instead, the Helghast efforts have been better served finding the cracks in the Sommlending armour to secret themselves in, or stirring up the neighbours of the Sommlending. This border keep is a perfect example of the former.

Barely more than thirty men and women stationed in this place, and yet this remote outpost still possesses a Captain of sufficient rank to have regular communications of military concerns, efforts and placements.

Indeed, being a border outpost the success of Darklands activities - and even the success in hiding those that need to be hidden - is also reporting to this place.

While the Darklords' person attentions are focused on the Second Black Muster, and Sommerlund's knowledge of what occurs in Kaag across the Durngrags is their main concern, monitoring the success of the distractions is also important.

And outwith Zagarna's personal arrogance at the blitzkreig that will deliver Sommerlund in a day, other Darklords are keen to ensure that even if Sommerlund is only weakened, one of Sommerlund's neighbours such as Vassgonia may be placed perfectly to take advantage and sweep through.

Your character managed to attach himself as the batsman of the Captain, his personal assistant. Whether your character knew the Captain before the man came to the keep, and engineered the downfall of the Captain so he was stationed to a lowly positoon, or whether you were stationed at the keep and took advantage of the Captain's arrival to insinuate yourself I'll leave to you.

I'm sticking with Helghast. One of the reasons is that it will be a less complicated back story, which is not (as you know) my normal state of affairs!  I'm interested to try a more black and white character.  Fill me in!

I don't quite understand what you mean about the "captain" part.  Do you mean that I, in disguise, have ingratiated myself with a captain and thus gained this post?  I'm thinking that the reason "Gwindel" is able to make it to this post is because of his unique disguise as a dwarf.  I imagine he's been bringing supplies and reports here for years and I think I'll play it that he offers his help to the party because he's going the same way on a trip to Sommerlund.

You character's mission:
Anyway, an example of the latter type of operation the Helghast have been employing, Torygan the Black has been in the sights of the Darklands for a while now. So close to the invasion, he is a perfect distraction for the Sommlending King. And better yet, the perfect tool to weaken relations of Sommerlund with those around.

The man has even been useful in starting the destabilistaiton of Cloesia for Vassgonian political pressure. He then seems to have been useful for remaining uncaught, and causing even more wonderfully distracting troubles in Casiorn and Slovia.

Why, the lack of sympathy for Sommerlund could keep those places neutral for long enough that the Darklords forces could enter the Stornlands before it was realised the nature of the threat.

Still, that should be no concern of your character's. However, that apparently changed when the block of obsidian transferred troubling thoughts to him (it?) from his Darkland masters. Torygan the Black had been captured. Somehow, despite the best efforts of the Darklands, the man was now in custody and moving towards the very keep 'Gwindel' visits, to be placed in to Sommlending hands.

Torygan must be allowed to escape once more. He is too much of an entertaining distraction otherwise. And time has been invested that must be repaid.

A courier - a Sommlending Knight - is on his way to deliver a message to Torygan. This is to test the loyalty of both Torygan, the Knight, and the Knight's master to the cause. The letter will implicate the keep's lieutentant as a contact. If Torygan or the Knight betrays that trust, nothing is lost.

If Torygan and the Knight play their parts, then intercept the Knight. He carries a letter from his master - Sheyer Vanalund (Oren Vanalund's youngest son) implicating Sheyer in betraying his country to Vassgonia. Sheyer has already done enough damage to aid the cause. Better to kill the man - preferablly through Torygan - and lay his betrayal open. It will be a crippling wound in Sommerlund's side and psyche ahead of the invasion. Leave the keep with the Knight and Torygan - help will be on hand if you can get outside - and make all haste to Ruanon.

If you really want to be some outsider that that just drops by, that's fine - it preserves the dynamic of the keep - but remember this is going to be weird timing. Unless he visits every few weeks, in which case he can perhaps have hedged to stay for the hand-over.

Remember this is also a military hand over at a military post, and then military escort to Holmgard. Offering to help the party with the trip to Holmgard will probably be odd. Better to find a weaslier way to offer to stay with Torygan if that that seems required. Perhaps asking a favour for accompanying for the history of the occasion, or looking to your security since you were going to Holmgard anyway.

As to the Captain, he is the Captain of the keep. The reason he was stationed years ago to this place was for Adgana addiction. I'm sure under your helpful care, and with your 'special deliveries' he's found a way to battle that by becoming a functional alcoholic.

That leaves you free to raid the reports each visit.

The lieutenant tends to be the default person to run the keep, and so if you are 'betrayed' by either party the disarray will be welcome anyway.

Obviously, if you send suppliers to the remote outpost, you would have to go through the Ranger's outpost. Therefore, you'd probably know Knud quite well as he would be the likely person to guide you at the very least back on to the main road, if not come meet you aswell.

As said, once we've got your backstory, we can include you in the back and forth between the other keep people.

The Ranger's outpost does have a BCS mage. Then again, he can be toothless and a known quantity that doens't have the skills to detect Darkspawn.

So let me make sure I have this clear... the Knight and Torygan are both evil?  Or the Knight's master, Sheyer, is a betrayer and the Knight is bringing news of this to the crown?  And Torygan doesn't want to go to the crown, right?

As for Gwindel, I imagine he has been coming to the keep for years.  About five years ago, a Helghast (me!) caught a dwarf unawares on his way back to Bor.  Helghasts that have ventured into the mountain have failed to return so I was a little more clever about things and, very soon after returning to Bor, volunteered to be a runner bringing items for trade between Bor and the outside world.  As many dwarves prefer the insulation of their mountain home, I wasn't questioned too heavily in my readiness to accept this post and spend no time in the mountain proper, instead traveling continuously between Bor and Sommerlund.

My plan is to offer to accompany the team back to Sommerlund since I'm heading that way to pick up more supplies and know faster paths there (which isn't a lie: in years of traveling as both a helghast and Gwindel, I've picked up quite a bit of knowledge about the lie of the land).  In this way, maybe I could also avoid the ranger's outpost!

The others at the keep know me, I'm sure, from my constant trips in and out.

Maybe myself and Knud have even traveled together in the past and I can use that knowledge to make him trust me to take a less traveled path back.

Well, Sheyer Vanalund is probably evil because he is apparently offering to betray the crown. The Knight is possibly evil, depending on if he knows what his master is planning. After all, he is about to interact with a villan of Sommerund. Torygan is most probably evil, because he has almost certainly killed everyone he is rumoured to have killed.

Unlike the BCS, you don't have a Sense Good spell, so life is uncertain :D But yes, you have it right. Maybe.

[...] I'm guessing Bor Brew will be a good import to bring to Sommerlund. If you have an export you like to take back, that might be a good quirk to mention.

[...] Saying you know a region better than a Border Ranger might cause some scoffing and disbelieve. Though as you say, you might actually be right! After all, you can take risky paths, fail, and then take other ones. Rather than be afraid of death!

If the opportunity arises, I will be sure and feed in this information and the idea that Gwendel did indeed seem to know some interesting short cuts Knud wold not have thought to try. Though it might lessens his Border Ranger discipline choice if you get for free something he wold have to take. So I'm going to leave it up in the air which of you would be right, for now. :D

The message from Sheyer indicating his acceptance of the Darklands terms was supposed to be accepted by one of your fellow comrades, and he would have continued the mission to destabalise Raunon.

Instead though, Torygan's nearness has presented an opportunity, and you have been assigned the one to carry it out. It's a nice co-incidence your master is determiend to take advantage of. And also a useful interrum step to test the loyalty of Sheyer and Torygan.

The knight is carrying the message (hopefully unopened) that shows evidence of the betrayal of his master Sheyer. It has been annotated with agreement of the Darklands and resealed, designed to be ultimately delivered back to Sheyer to reassure him of his position and rewards with respect to your master. Your impression is that the knight may or may not know the contents, your own master doesn't care about such messengers.

The knight is supposed to show this annotated message to a contact - you. The knight does not know who the contact is. The knight is supposed to give Torygan a second message only he will understand, which implicates - falsely - that the lieutenant is the contact that the knight needs to make.

It seems to amuse your masters to combine these matters in to a double test. If the knight delivers the second letter to Torygan, then you are not betrayed by Sheyer nor the Knight. And if Torygan does his part, then Torygan will be accepting of the Darklands suggestions, instead of acting against them for his own ends.

So yes, testing the extent of the Knight's loyalty is no bad thing. He may have full knowledge of what is occuring, and be an opportunist himself. Or he may be loyal to Sheyer (and, of course, Sheyer might be playing both sides against the middle).

As to your mission, it is really just to feel out the Knight and Torygan without arousing suspicion yourself. Aid, if possible, the exchange of the letter. If all goes to plan, then intercept the Knight and reveal yourself as the real contact, and then onwards to Ruanon for Sheyer's murder and revelation of trechery.

Obviously, what happens next depends upon how far everyone will go:

 - if the Knight (or Sheyer) is false, guard yourself against suspicion and either get the letter, or ensure it has full impact and falls in to the 'right' hands to do maximum damage. Still, it's very possible Sheyer could weasel his way out of things.
 - if Torygan is false, then probably best kill the man, and take up the mission of going to Sheyer yourself. If the knight is an opportunist, then you can even retain a contact in Sommerlund even after burning Sheyer!
 - if Torygan is true, free him, and take him to Ruanon to kill Sheyer for you (also leaving the evidence of Sheyer's betrayal). The combination of such events will surely be a solid blow against Sommlerund. Odel will certainly make it easier to gain access to Sheyer, but of course he would be a problem if loyal to Sheyer.

Sounds complex, but then that's just what happens, isn't it :)

I'll be serving Darklord Nhorg.  He's enigmatic enough to give the plot plenty of work around.

Cool. Being on the edge of things, not caring about being in the most insignificant part of Sommerlund and finding power in the 'shadows' of that area seem to be an interesting echo of you mission and assignment. Good choice.


Communicating with the Darklands using Mindveil, etc & knowledge through reports:
Reading Mindveil, I thin kthe idea was that the Darklord can contact the Helghast directly. However, it did not give a range, and it certainly didn't give a two way constant contact. Do you really think someone like Zargarna or Dakushna wants to hear all about how many kilos of wheat the keep has? :)

In all seriousness, I think rarely the Darklord could contact you anywhere, but it is one way. And given everything they need to do, and the amound ot Helghast and other agents, then they don't tend to constantly direct their servants unless it's important. The Helghast with the Magic Spear stuck in him probably wasn't being directed by a Darklord, wheras the six attacking Lone Wolf probably were, say.

I also think that the block of obsidian should be a poor man's version of the Darklord's words. It lets you share unspoken, raw thoughts with the person on the other side. Good for general communication, but if there is a disagreement in actions, or a choice required, or a nuance required, it breaks down. Only a Darklord's direct one way communication is perfect in inflicting his will.

Just my justifaction for Helghat still requiring scrolls with writing, and bowl
communicators like the one seen in jungle of horror, etc.

So perfect one-way communcaition = Darlords through Mindveil
Imperfect two-way communciation of general thoughts and feelings = obsidian
Nuanced communiciation, debate and communciation of unfamiliar concepts = written orders or face to face meetings.

So Gwindel might still require to meet up with another Helghats and actually pass on a written (or copied) report.

Sound ok? Mechanically, of course I'm trying to ensure your 'lowly' Helghast doens't become omnipotent and omniscient. :D  However, I think it is well within canon and makes for an interesting and believeable set of interactions with the Darklands and his fellow agents.

As for the reports, what you have said is what you have seen. Definitely the group was expecting to come yesterday. The Captian of that mercenary group apparently has some important standing because he managed to have one of the rare messenger birds used to fly to Sommerlund with the message.

There are conflicting reports that Slovia herself has captured Torygan more than a week ago, however your communications withe Darklands seem to indicate you should beleive the news Torygan travels from Cloesia - not Slovia.

The reports are annoyingly vague otherwise - the message of Torygan's return was delivered by messenger bird, so was not very detailed.

I'll be sure to throw in any information your character should know because of reports as we go. Sometimes, it's hard to knwo what's important until it's important :) Feel free to ask specific questions about plot points, that's usually easier for me to keep track of and inform you about - as you you might understand yourself having run your own equally twisted games :D

The red robes hint given to Velena:
Heh, who says I'm not playing double bluff and the simplest explanation isn't the right one?

For your character, actually talk of red robed men does indeed conjur up the first thought mntioned. Vordak. Then again, men is too strong a word, usually such creatures move alone or in the company of a giak troop unless there is a full invasion. Still, combined with the strange crows you start to wonder if something larger isn't going on outside the walls, awaiting your actions.

Otherwise, as you say Cener would be the only other red robed men the Darklands would be aware of that would make sense. Torygan was originally blazing a trail getting ever closer to Ruel. The man might have been trying to make a connection with them before his first capture in Slovia. The Cener do have a small presence in Sommerlund, but not one the Darklands have been in contact with that you know of. Certainly there are the rare report of suspicions of activity by the Sommlending, or requests from Redeemers and Herbwardens for occasional assistance. However nothing in reach of the Wildlands.

The Acoltyes of VAshna are mentioend a little more due to the fact this keep is between the Maakengorge and the population centres of Sommerlund. They are not so much red robed as red and black robed, but you don't know why Velena is asking, so she could be partially wrong. That would tie in to the connection with Sheyer Vanalund of Ruanon. Still, none of your communications with the Darklands - mental or physical - have hinted at tying up with such fervent and disgustingly human zealots.

I'm still a bit confused as to how we should correctly interpret mimicry...

[...]In this game, my only concern is that I have the ability to try and mimic a discipline in the case that someone says, "Gwindel!  Use your rapid shot on these guys!"

[...]no one should know your disicplines. No one should see the results. And there's nothing to suggest a penalty for non-dwarfs firing a gun. So just like if the rolls were reversed and Knud was the Helghast, you might have a hard time spotting when he was faking his Marks. It's even easier for you, because as long as you keep attacks private no one can know for sure you haven't used speciality attacks :D

Regarding mimicry, since it would look weird arguing it over at ashkati's game, it's not really useless to have the flexibility to pull off anyone else's discipline once, and then keep attempting that one discipline with a roll until you choose another to use. Plus it's got the narrative flexibility by the sound of it to attempt to mimic mundane actions too... so mimic a Cener's general walk, pass yourself off as a Cener later when they are looking for false spies.

Shoe on the other foot. You've taken a dwarf gunner to give the party some decent ranged ability (as well as the narrative fun). Knud is the Helghast. He gets his Helghast disciplines which is giving him a secret advantage. He then does about the same (apparently to your eyes as an external player) using the ranger disciplines as a ranger character would, fulfilling that purpose too. Then, he has a perfect argument given the shared history you guys have related, to start stealing all your disicplines (grabbing your gun if discarded, wiring explosives), and I'd have to back that play.

After about a third of a game, what use would your character be narratively? Wouldn't you be annoyed at him having basically 15 - 20 disciplines at his disposal and marginalising anything mechanical you tried to be in the game?

Even with a sliding scale of failure (whcih is another thing for the GM to have to worry over) how many times do you really use certain diciplines over a game?

That's my standpoint on it. I'm obviously going to look harder at a homebrew class. Feel free to argue the case again, I'm sort of relying on you and Torygan to do that for your respective classes, since I have to be on the player's side (despite my constant taunts to the contrary). Obviously, with the right handed sorcerer I have to be careful as Torygan has a target painted on him, whereas your character doesn't for the moemnt :) So I hope I have leeway to figure out a good balance while you are safe, maybe playing it safe with underpower for the moment, so when the chips fall where they may later you and anyone on the other side of you are balanced as you should be. The Helghats not too powerful, yet I haven't castrated your guy either without repairing the damage.

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:50, Sat 19 Nov 2011.