The Lorestaves: The NPCs at Causens’ Corner

Causens’ Corner in the Temples
The NPCs listed in this section are tertiary characters at best. They should be used in a narrative capacity. They are mouthpieces for the GM, and should not be coming into conflict with the PCs. They may prove to be available as some level of resource for the PCs, but other than that, their impact on the story will likely be minimal. These are not extraordinary individuals.

Alassorn of Karnhorn, the local cooper
37 year old Male Human Expert 2: CR 1; Size M; HD 2d6; hp 11; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 12; BAB +1; Atk +1 melee (1d6, club), or +3 ranged; SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +2; AL CN; Str 10, Dex 14, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 9, Cha 13.

Skills: Sleight of Hand +7, Craft (woodworking) +10, Disable Device +4, Forgery +7, Hide +7, Knowledge (local) +7, Listen +3, Move Silently +6, Profession (cooper) +4, Search +3, Spot +3.

Feats: Alertness, Skill Focus (Craft [woodworking]).

Possessions: Artisan’s outfit, club, dagger, pouch with 30 princes (sp).

Background: Alassorn is something of a success story. A career criminal, a turn at the oars of one of the Duke’s galleys killed Alassorn’s anti-social tendencies. Finally released after he had served his time, Alassorn apprenticed with the only craftsman who would accept him—Hesrick, the cooper at Causens’ Corner. Hesrick, unlike Alassorn, knew nothing of the criminal elements in the Temples and work only for legitimate businesses. While he survived, one could not call him successful. Alassorn, meanwhile, was willing to help out his old criminal cronies by supplying things like weighted barrels to easily dispose of a body in the bay, or false-bottomed barrels in which to smuggle goods. With the money made through his illicit dealings, Alassorn did something completely out of character—he acted honestly and in good faith. He purchased the cooperage from Hesrick for a price everyone had to agree was more than fair. Hesrick went to live with his eldest son who had a fairly prosperous farm outside the city and Alassorn was free to contract with whomever he pleased.

What He Knows: While Alassorn isn’t in the thick of the underworld, he hears plenty of stories and he has a good idea of who killed whom, especially since he may have supplied the means to hide the body. He also thinks he knows more than he does, crediting himself with deductive capabilities far beyond his actual capacity.

What He Will Tell: For enough coin, Alassorn will tell anything. It doesn’t matter if it is true or not. Of course, Alassorn is aware that occasionally stupid decisions can come back to haunt one, so he never sells false information to anyone connected with the underworld in the Temples. Outsiders, however, are fair game.

Tactics: It’s been quite some time since Alassorn has needed to protect himself, but he still remembers how to fight. He’ll try to escape from any fight, though, before he’ll willingly engage in one. If forced, he’ll fight defensively while trying to get a feel for his opponent. If he has a few rounds in which his opponent has not landed an attack, Alassorn will actually attempt to fight as regular, until he gets hit, at which point he’ll return to fighting defensively. If he has a chance to escape a fight, even one in which he’s doing well, he’ll take it.

Cessforn the Elder, the father of the local carpenter
72 year old Male Human Expert 3: CR 2; Size M; HD 3d6; hp 11; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 10; BAB +2; Atk +0 melee (1d6-2, walking stick), or +2 ranged; SV Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +6; AL CN; Str 6, Dex 11, Con 8, Int 15, Wis 13, Cha 10.

Skills: Craft (carpentry) +11, Craft (woodworking) +7, Diplomacy +6, Gather Information +3, Heal +7, Knowledge (local) +6, Listen +7, Move Silently +3, Search +5, Spot +4.

Feats: Dodge, Iron Will, Skill Focus (Craft [carpentry]).

Possessions: Artisan’s outfit, pouch with 15 dublings (cp) and 5 princes (sp), walking stick (can be used as club).

Background: Cessforn lived his entire life in the Temples. Born to a carpenter, he apprenticed as a carpenter and brought his son up to be a carpenter. When he looks back on his life, he has many regrets, mostly not having left the Temples for someplace safer. Still, could he have started over? Could he have afforded to leave an established practice? Luckily, his son is responsible enough to see to his father’s needs. Should Cessforn the Younger pass away, the Elder will soon find himself in a very dire situation.

What He Knows: Not a criminal himself, he has grown up around criminals. He knows much about the underworld, who is important and who is dangerous, but nothing that every other denizen of the Temples doesn’t also know.

What He Will Tell: He doesn’t really have anything to tell and he is too frightened of repercussions to tell what he does know.

Tactics: Cessforn, if attacked, will defend himself. He doesn’t expect to last much longer in this world, and given the chance to go out fighting, he’ll take it. He won’t go looking for a fight, but if presented with one, he’ll start swinging his walking stick. He doesn’t have much of strategy.

Cessforn the Younger, the local carpenter
51 year old Male Human Expert 2: CR 1; Size M; HD 2d6; hp 9; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; AC 11; BAB +1 Atk +0 melee (1d6-1, quarterstaff), or +2 ranged; SV Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +3; AL LN; Str 8, Dex 13, Con 11, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 10.

Skills: Craft (Carpentry) +9, Diplomacy +5, Disable Device +4, Gather Information +2, Hide +2, Knowledge (local) +5, Listen +5, Move Silently +3, Spot +7, Tumble +6.

Feats: Alertness, Skill Focus (carpentry).

Possessions: Artisan’s outfit, pouch with 15 princes (sp) and 5 wrens (gp), quarterstaff.

Background: Like his father, Cessforn the Younger grew up in the Temples. It’s all he knows. He apprenticed under his father and actually has some skill in carpentry. He could likely move out of the Temples, but he has a wife and children and not much actual coinage, rather his wealth is in his business. Finding another place where he could live with his father close by for as little as the Temples would be difficult, if not impossible. As such, Cessforn works throughout Bowden, earning a fair amount of money, but lives and has his shop in the Temples.

What He Knows: Cessforn keeps out of trouble, he stays away from criminals and he forgets any rumours he hears on the streets. He knows how quickly fate can turn on a man in the Temples.

What He Will Tell: He will tell nothing, and he will insist that he knows nothing. Knowledge is far too dangerous in the Temples.

Tactics: Cessforn isn’t a fighter, but if his family is threatened, he’s more than willing to use the stout staff he always carries with him. He knows the Temples, which means he knows violence.

Not much of a fighter, Cessforn will fight defensively. He’ll try to give his family a chance to escape. That done, he’ll attempt to escape himself. If he is in his own neighbourhood, he’ll try to get those people who know him involved, at least to find help. Cessforn has plenty of friends—for a man of the Temples, he’s honest—so there might actually be people willing to help.

Fishmonger Gereslack, a pimp
38 year old Male Human Rogue 3: CR 3; Size M; HD 3d6+6; hp 22; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 14; BAB +2; Atk +3 melee (1d6+1, shortsword), or +4 ranged (1d4, dagger); SV Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +3; AL CE; Str 12, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 13.

Skills: Bluff +8, Disable Device +5, Gather Information +6, Hide +8, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (Local) +7, Listen +5, Move Silently +7, Open Lock +6, Search +5, Sense Motive +8, Spot +8.

Feats: Combat Expertise, Dodge, Persuasive.

Class Feature (Rogue): Evasion.

Possessions: Dagger, leather armour, pouch with 25 princes (sp) and 5 wrens (gp), shortsword, traveler’s outfit.

Background: It’s not as though a person grows up dreaming of becoming a pimp. Still, Gereslack had few options. He might have become a thug, he could have become a loanshark, but the fact is, he prefers trading in flesh. He pretends it isn’t a crime, that no one is hurt, forgetting that he took women and girls in desperate situations and forced them to sell themselves. He is not a romantic, though he will often say that he is. Along with pimping, Gereslack sometimes involves himself in people smuggling, moving young women and boys to use as slaves elsewhere.

Gereslack always carries his weapons with him and he wears his armour, but under his clothing. He always wears a heavy, large cloak in the hopes of hiding armour and weapons.

What He Knows: Gereslack is not highly placed in the underworld, but he does have connections. He knows enough to help an outsider navigate the underworld of the Temples. He also knows enough not to cross the wrong person or insult anyone who could exact retribution.

What He Will Tell: He knows that telling the wrong person the wrong thing could lead to his death, so he is very careful about what he says and to whom. However, if there is gold in the equation, Gereslack will likely take a few risks.

Tactics: Gereslack doesn’t like physical confrontations. He will try to talk his way out of any fight, either by bluffing or intimidating. Once the conflict has been avoided, he’ll pay someone to kill or otherwise remove the threat of the individual with whom he was in conflict with. If forced into a fight, Gereslack likes to feint. He’ll take whatever advantage is available and fight as dirty as necessary to win. If things look particularly bad, he’ll try to flee, or at least fight defensively if retreat is not possible.

Jileforis, a landlord
47 year old Male Human Expert 3: CR 2; Size M; HD 3d6; hp 14; Init +4; Spd 30 ft.; AC 14; Attack +2  melee, or +6 ranged; SV Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +6; AL CE; Str 11, Dex 18, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 16.

Skills: Bluff +10, Diplomacy +10, Gather Information +8, Hide +6, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (local) +8, Listen +6, Profession (landlord) +7, Spot +3.

Feats: Iron Will, Martial Weapon Proficiency (longsword), Persuasive.

Possessions: Courtier’s outfit, daggers (3), longsword (masterwork).

Background: Jileforis came to the Temples as a child. His father was a failed businessman who had lost almost everything, including the family lodgings. As a young man, Jileforis left home with the intent to make money. He remembered the life he had previously led. Jileforis became the practical partner of three, the two other offered money and connections. Jileforis brought the ides and insured their implementation. Soon, Jileforis no longer needed his partners and so he took what he could and left. They soon faded into the Temples, while Jileforis rose to the top. Along with properties, Jileforis owns boats, warehouses, and a trading company. He continues to visit his tenements in the Temples, always bringing some hired muscle.

Jileforis does not carry coins with him because he does not pay for anything with his own hand. If payment is required, one of his toughs will deliver the payment. Jileforis always travels with at least 4 toughs. One of the toughs will have Jileforis’ purse, which will include 35 wrens (gp) and 10 braces (pp). Jileforis always carries his longsword, and is not averse to using it, though only when doing so presents no danger to him.

What He Knows: Jileforis makes it his business to know everything. He knows who are the criminals and the decent citizens. He knows those craftsmen he wouldn’t allow to work for free and those he would pay double. He knows who can get what and how much it will cost. If something needs done, Jileforis knows how to get it done.

What He Will Tell: He tells nothing unless he can profit, substantially, for it. A few coins is meaningless. Once a secret is out, its value is gone. If he knows of a smuggler who can bring him in a certain product, then sells that information, something could happen to the smuggler or the price could increase because the smuggler now has more customers. Jileforis always considers the long-term.

Tactics: Jileforis has thugs to do his fighting. He didn’t rise to his position so he could dirty his hands in fisticuffs. He’ll have his toughs level the opposition, or at least screen his retreat. If absolutely forced into combat, Jileforis will fight defensively, all the time attempting to intimidate his opponents, or buy them off. Any opponent that stops his attacks based on threats or promises will have a price on his head the second Jileforis is out of danger.

Wesent Tailor, the local tailor
36 year old Male Human Expert 2: CR 1; Size M; HD 2d6; hp 7; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 12; BAB +1; Atk -1 melee (1d6-2, quarterstaff), or +3 ranged; SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +5; AL LN; Str 7, Dex 15, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 5.

Skills: Appraise +7, Craft (clothing) +10, Diplomacy +2, Forgery +7, Hide +4, Knowledge (local) +6, Listen +4, Move Silently +5, Profession (tailor) +7, Search +4, Spot +3.

Feats: Dodge, Skill Focus (Craft [clothing]).

Possessions: Artisan’s clothing, pouch with 10 dublings (cp) and 10 princes (sp), quarterstaff.

Background: Wesent Tailor’s parents were indentured to a rich family who lived on an estate just outside of Bowden. Wesent escaped at a very young age and has not seen his family again. He arrived in Bowdern destitute and afraid. He spent some time running with a gang of young thieves but never felt as though he belonged. He had come to know many people in the Temples, and had only found one man he thought he could trust. He became an apprentice to a small, insignificant tailor who only succeeded in keeping their two bellies full. When his master grew ill, Wesent took over the business. What little money they had stashed away, Wesent spent on a funeral for his old master. Now, Wesent does what he can. He is not particularly good, but he makes a living. He cannot see a time when he will have enough wealth to marry and start a family, but he has no other skills on which to fall back.

What He Knows: Wesent spent much of his youth on the streets of the Temples, and he has maintained contact with a few of his old friends. He knows as much as most people in the Temples know, though he has access to other information through his friends.

What He Will Tell: He won’t tell anything unless the profit from doing so was enough to get him out of Bowden and set up elsewhere. Nothing he knows is worth that kind of money.

Tactics: There’s very little that Wesent will fight for, save his small shop. He’d just as soon receive a beating as fight back, hoping that by not fighting back, the enjoyment the bullies or thieves take from beating will be minimal, and that will persuade them to move on. If his life or shop is threatened, he’ll take up his quarterstaff and hope to drive off the attackers with a show of strength. Since that won’t be forthcoming, he better hope they are worse fighters than he.

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d20 System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, and Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

The Lorestaves: The NPCs at Causens’ Corner Copyright 2009 Fraser Ronald

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