Cool! I hope to use some of the cyclops info for background in the KM game I'm running, and I'm especially looking forward to the next installment of "The Treasure of Far Thallai." The story and its characters really drew me in, and I feel sad that there are only going to be six chapters total.
Eventually I hope to have a chance at running or playing in S&S, but until then I'll enjoy the parts that I can!
In my Kingmaker game, my PCs have spared almost literally every non-monstrous foe they have encountered, and, with the aid of some uber-Diplomacy checks and quality RP, they have even managed to not have it bite them in the butt more than a couple times. What this means is that I have had to put a great deal of thought into various characters' back stories, because a couple of my players are just short of obsessed with uncovering this information. Thus, I've spent a (possibly more than) fair amount of time reading and re-reading the sections on the bandit lieutenants, and combing the forums for ideas. One PC in particular keeps asking about various details of Dovan's, ahh, unique fashion choices. She has already figured out that he is not actually from Nisroch. Dovan is doing his damndest to give away as little as possible and to slither his way into Her Majesty's good graces, but this gal has a way of finding out the truth.
So I was reading over the fourth installment of the Carrion Crown AP, when a certain image jumped out at me. Here is a side-by-side comparison of Dovan's tattoo and this image. `Nice tat, bro. I get that it's not identical, but it's strikingly similar, IMO.
Thoughtfully hidden away for those playing Carrion Crown::
The symbol on the right is the symbol of Dagon. The symbol on Dovan's belly looks like the symbol on the right turned into a tribal tattoo. My hypothesis is that, in his flight from Caliphas, Dovan had to find some way to quickly get across Lake Encarthan, and made some sort of bargain with cultists of Dagon. Maybe they got him safe passage, maybe they slowed down anyone following him, maybe they just told him they did. In any event, even a flashy and corrupt dude like Dovan is smart enough to not go parading around such a symbol openly, and probably had it modified into a vaguely draconic shape at his earliest convenience.
Another, slightly more amusing take on it is that he had no idea whatsoever what the symbol was, and got it because he thought it looked cool and dangerous. He seems awfully proud of the thing, what with the bared midriff and all.
Another detail of Dovan's costume that struck me was the crescent moon, sometimes with a little dot inside it. While reading "Prince of Wolves," I learned of an alternate method of Harrowing, in which the cards are arranged in a crescent pattern, with one card face-down in the center. Given that this method was used specifically in Caliphas, and by a Sczarni, which one could easily imagine Dovan having an association with, I thought it could be relevant. That's the reason for the crescent moons in my game, anyway.
What are other people's thoughts? ("You have put way too much thought into this," is a totally valid response...)
Other Dovan-y questions I have:
Why does he hate blonds? Best I could come up with is that whoever ran the Widow's Boudoir was blond. (Could also be he's just crazy.)
Why did he lie about where he came from? Are there people following him? I could see agents being sent after Akiros, but I'm not sure how realistic it is to expect people to follow a retired gigolo hundreds of miles. Granted, it was an abrupt retirement, but seriously, who cares? My only thought on this one is that maybe he was "on the menu" for that Carmilla Caliphvaso lady who is rumored to have somewhat deviant tastes, and who is powerful enough to make life inconvenient for someone foolish enough to not die at her whimsy.
On that note, the whole "combining sexual fantasies and murder" thing leaves me a bit confused. Are we talking about assassin-prostitutes here? If it's the more likely case that the prostitutes are the ones getting killed, why would anyone work there? Is there a sex slavery thing going on? Sorry for an uncomfortable topic, but I am having a difficult time wrapping my mind around what specific business model we are looking at here for the Widow's Boudoir.
Any ideas, however fanciful, would be appreciated. Thanks!
Does such a creature exist? If so, where does it reside? I recall reading a rather excellent story on this very messageboard starring the lovely Celeste, but other than that, I have had no luck in my search. It's a bit odd to me, honestly...there are so many strong and memorable characters in the AP, it seems they would lend themselves naturally to the medium. Admittedly, I'm more than a little spoiled; pretty much any other universe of fandom I've wanted to explore has been not just existent, but prolifically so, thanks to the friendly, geek-nurturing internet. It's possible that there really is none to be had, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
A second question I would pose, I guess, would be, what stories would you like to see told? Any characters you thought had to have an especially entertaining back story? Any relationships that were hinted at, but never really came to fruition? One of the big reasons I can so readily see a connection between an AP and fanfiction is that, while fanfiction often declares itself "AU," each instance of AoW, each with its own party of heroes, actually resides in an alternate universe, where events don't play out exactly like any other universe. This allows us to play with the variables quite a bit. The heroes have been alternately noble, despicable, and self-interested. The Free City has been saved, the Free City has been destroyed. Characters that barely get mentioned in one game can become rivals, love interests, or recurring villains in another. By exploring the AP in different ways, we get to see not just who the characters are, but who they might have been.
Perhaps the already dynamic nature makes the speculative fiction angle a bit redundant? I don't know. Anyhow, pointers either relating links or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
LAST-MINUTE EDIT: Of course I have lovingly perused the many and varied campaign journals offered on this and other sites, and I am grateful for those insights into other people's shared fantasy worlds. Just looking for the next step...
The first one was pretty decent, though there was some definite silliness to it. I should be getting the second issue tonight. Joss Whedon writing for it is a definite plus, though there's talk that he'll later be replaced by other writers.
I miss the TV show. I read too quickly for comics to provide much lasting entertainment...