About The Bunyip's Best Friend
A man walks in (Description):
A man walks in. He has long been on the road and wears a worn woolen grey cloak on a studded leather armor with grey trousers and dust-painted thigh-high boots. He seems to be in his late twenties, though you can't be sure of his age because the cowl of his cloak and the wide-brimmed leather hat that he wears on top on it mask most of his face.
Under the cowl and the hat:
The man has a rapier at his left side and a big knife tucked in a sheath on the same side. He carries a plain long bow (currently without his bowstring) and a quiver of arrows. He walks to a table in a corner of the room, puts down the large traveller's backpack he was also carrying, throws his leather hat on the table, unbuckles his rapier's harness and puts it against the table before seating himself.
LE Male Human Fighter 1 (Favored Class: Rogue)
Init +5; Senses Perception +0
hp 12 (1d10+2)
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +0
Melee rapier +4 (1d6+1/18-20), dagger +4 (1d4+1/19–20); rapier and dagger +2/+2 (1d6+1/1d4)
Ranged longbow +4 (1d8/×3), dagger +4 (1d4+1/19–20)
Special Attacks none
Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +2; CMD 15
Feats Quick Draw, Two-weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse
Traits Fast-talker (+1 trait bonus on Bluff checks, and Bluff is always a class skill for you), Reactionary (+2 trait bonus on Initiative checks)
Class Skills Bluff* (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str).
Languages Common, Giant, Goblin, Orc
Studded leather..........................(25 gp, 20 lbs.)
Total Weight = 85 lbs. (medium encumbrance)
Gear (always carried):
In the belt pouch:
Weight = 42,5 lbs. (light encumbrance)
Gear (in the backpack):
Bedroll, Blanket (winter), Cold Weather's outfit, Flint and steel, Entertainer's outfit, Oil (1-pint flask), 3 Rations, Rope (hemp, 50 ft.), Sack, Shovel, Soap
Weight = 42,5 lbs.(light encumbrance)
Starting wealth: 175 gp
Current wealth: 5 gp + 2 sp + 8 cp
Attewyl has no parents for he was raised as a slave, and as far back as he can recall he's had a master instead of a family. But he ever secretly hoped that he was not born a slave.
He fantasizes often about his name, which means in the Old Tongue “he who lives near a stream” : perhaps he was born to a family of loyal, gentle and caring folks - living in a farm near a beautiful river maybe ? - to which befell some tragedy which was cause for his abandonment at an early age.
Anyway, he always knew deep down that he was not destined to remain a slave.
For most of his life, Attewyl was a slave to Master Ermas. Ermas was an alchemist, as gifted with potions as he was socially inept, who lived in the rugged and out of way hills known as the Green Wretches (named after some wandering goblin tribes which frequently made camp around there and the marshy nature of the land at the foot of the hills).
Ermas, far as he was from civilization, was nonetheless a man of some wealth because he had loyal customers which came all the way from distant towns to buy his concoctions. One man in particular – a politely unobtrusive and plain looking fellow with dead-still eyes – would come regularly to buy poisons designed to be ingested, put in a drink or on a well sharpened blade. Rafe Wolfstan (for such was the name of this quiet fellow) was an eager buyer of anything lethal or painful.
Because Ermas was relatively rich he could afford a manor and an orchard, both well tended by a staff of nearly twenty slaves, plus five men-at-arms with a sergeant and an overseer to look after the slaves.
Ermas was not a unusually cruel man, but he cared only for the merchant or commodity value of his living property. If anything, Ermas appreciated his slaves keeping him company because it was easier for him to get along and communicate with them than with the average free person.
Gruthank was a monstrous mongrel, an hulking half-orc with a bad temper and a swift leather whip laced with metal. Gruthank talked to his charges only in orcish : he couldn't be bothered with learning the civilized and “weak” human tongue. Many a newly bought and hapless slave died prematurely because he couldn't learn the coarse language of his brutal overseer fast enough to timely obey his commands.
Attewyl had no problem learning orcish as he was growing up. It seemed sometimes that he spoke it even better than Gruthank, not that the half-orc minded. He learned goblin too, which was useful to prudently communicate with the surrounding goblin tribes.
Fortunately Attewyl was smart, a fact which did not escape the notice of his master, so he wasn't put to swamp duty.
In time, Attewyl even learned to brew philters and other generally toxic stuff. During one of his visits, Rafe Wolfstan remarked that he was pretty gifted at it.
During all these years at the manor nearby the swamps, the only caring person that Attewil knew was another slave : a woman named Melia, six years older than him.
Attewyl could never thank her enough for her wise lessons. And her simple kindness and love. He always felt that she helped him become a human being instead of a breathing piece of property.
But one day Ermas sold Melia to a goblin tribe for a pouch of exotic herbs. The goblins took Melia away never to be seen again.
Infuriated, Attewyl raged at his master, who had him promptly punished by Gruthank. Somehow, Attewyl survived his punishment. Confident that the matter was settled, Ermas got back to work in the lab with his properly subservient assistant.
Almost a year after the selling of Melia, Attewyl overheard a secret conversation between Rafe Wolfstan and Gustav, the sergeant of Ermas' men-at-arms. Rafe Wolfstan promised gold to Gustav if he killed his employer. Gustav accepted. After he was gone, Attewyl made his presence known to Wolfstan, who found the young eavesdropper intriguing.
All went uncannily smoothly. It seemed to Attewyl that some hidden and astute part of his being began whispering instructions to him for the killing of the man he loathed. It felt good too.
That night Gustav dispatched his men away on the pretext of a patrol far away from the manor on account of some roaming goblins. When Ermas went to bed that same night Attewyl served him his herbal tea as usual – spiked with a paralysis-inducing chemical.
Then Attewyl went to Gruthank's bedroom, and told him that Gustav wanted to kill him in his sleep and rob Ermas after he had died. When Gustav silently entered Gruthank's room a few minutes later, the half-orc leapt upon him and strangled him with his trusty whip.
Attewyl quite enjoyed the sight of the struggling sergeant, with his hands vainly groping at the rope cutting in his neck beneath his gasping mouth and his purple head with bulging eyes. Then he stuck a knife in the back of the half-orc. Alas, it wasn't enough to kill the brute. Letting go of the dead sergeant Gruthank roared in pain and tried to grab Attewyl to crush him.
Appaled, Attewyl fled in the marshes (which were very familiar to him) pursued by the bloody bellowing half-orc. Fortunately quicksands caught the overseer and promptly swallowed him, while he thrashed about in rage and fear.
Attewyl came back to the manor. He entered his master's bedroom and sat quietly in the chair by the bed. Ermas' eyes – the only part of the alchemist which could move – found his.
Finally Attewyl grabbed the burning candlestick which stood on the bedside table.
Attewyl watched the manor burn. To the slaves who came out of their mud houses he said that the master was dead, and that they should go before the guards came back. They disappeared into the hills. He couldn't go with them.
In the morning, Attewyl hid from the guards when they came back. They searched the scorched husk of the manor. They found nothing and they left.
Rafe Wolfstan arrived late in the afternoon. Attewyl was seated on a small mound overlooking the smoking ruins of the manor.
Wolfstan dig a fat purse out of his leather coat. He untied the knot which closed it and walked to the ruins of the manor. There he slowly spilled some golden coins into the ashes of the wreckage.
Attewyl glanced absent-mindedly at the purse in his hand. There were many golden coins inside. He tied the purse shut and put it away in his trousers' pocket.
After that, Attewyl stayed silent for a long time. Finally he looked at the sky above him. There were no clouds, only the dark blanket of the night pricked by the stars. And then he had to ask :