A band of once-famous adventurers that figure prominently in the Swollen Shadow Codex.
Nayer “All-Slayer” The leader of the band. Nayer’s name, given to him by his companions, belied his personality, as he was always compassionate, thoughtful, and loathe to kill needlessly. This warrior-bard’s exploits however, are the stuff of legend. Nayer is now a Haint.
Desomond Nayer was originally a Knight-Errant, a man with a title, yet no lands to defend or to support him. Brought up among what was considered the Burgoise-Nobility, he was as educated in etiquette and heraldry as he was in more pragmatic and some consider plebian concerns. This in turn left him a more rounded warrior and superior leader. His success as the leader of the Slayers is a testemate to that claim. It is known that in addition to being a warrior and a leader, he was also a musician, favoring the bard’s epics and the seven string lyre.
Thela, Nayer’s wife, she too is now a Haint, though in life, her skill with weapons was uncanny and unmatched. The Panther, her comrades called her.
Thela, unlike her spouse, came from a rather backwards forest community. Her childhood was filled with arboreal persuits of tracking, hunting, and the like. Raised in the manner of a tom-boy, she grew into a stunning young woman with a head of luxurious dark hair. This hair combined with her skill with the hunting knife earned her the nick-name of ‘the Panther’. She married Desomond after he proposed his love to her, and then at her command, went on a six month quest that culminated with him presenting her with the head of Gaarlim, the Ogre.
Abroin The Mage, deep thinker and once a King’s Diviner, Abroin fell in with the Slayers after tiring of court intrigue and politicks. Abroin escaped the battle with the Swollen Shadow, only to be slain by Nochnytennes in the Umbral Fens.
The eldest of the Slayers, Abroin was a graybeard wizard who had forsaken the comfort and intrigue of the royal courts for a life of adventuring. some think this was because there was a major dispute between Abroin and the Viceroy, a petty and meticulous man. Either way, the wizard brought a strong command of divination, and manipulative magics to the side of the slayers. It was his magic that allowed the survivors to escape from the clutches of the Swollen Shadow, though exhausted magically he was unable to defend himself from a pack of Nochnytennes.
Fairhog, Originally a robust, blonde-maned warrior and a rambunctious glory-hound, Fairhog, so named by the Slayers for his golden-haired locks, and his boar-like demeanor, Fairhog is now a Shade-Spectre, wandering the tunnel beneath the Umbral Fens, where the bones of his companion Abroin, lie rotting. Fairhog seethes with undead rage, at his ignoble fate, but cannot be roused from his own madness by PCs potentially trying to recruit his spirit to help them in the fight against the Swollen Shadow. A Shade-Spectre, combines all the abilities of a shadow-essence creature with the powers and nature of a spectre, a truly formidable opponent.
Vars Bandyleg, the bow-legged dwarf of the Slayers. This stubborn and irascible dwarf, also escaped the battle, and survived, though tainted by the Shadows, escaping not into the Umbral Fens, but deep into the alleyways of the City of Shadow itself. The Shadow-stuff seeped into his being, extending his already impressive lifespan tenfold. Vars however, is now an emaciated, beardless mockery of his former self. His stubbornness, and sense of duty remain however. He leads what is left of the “Silhouette Resistance”, hopelessly plotting liberation with the few Silhouettes who still recall the tales of the Luminous Years. Vars and his small helpless force of Skulkers can potentially become an ally of the PCs in their struggle.
Gazzo Sleep-Eye, so named because his eyes are never more than half-open, was the thief extraordinaire of the group. He is also the only member of the group to have definitively escaped the Swollen Shadow’s Realm, diving headlong into the teleporting smokes of the Farsmoke Thurible fragment, as the rest of the Slayers died or scattered. Gazzo now lives on the streets of Cilagros, in the time of its renaissance, humbly running a shadow-puppet show, telling tales of the Slayers adventuring days, and silently brooding on the fates of his former companions, some of their lost possessions and the secrets he had learned of the coming of the Swollen Shadow and its blighted realm.
Ravenscry, the seventh member of the Slayers, she was slain outright during the struggle with the Swollen Shadow and its Haints.
Being Half-Zehin, Ravenscry had long been used to ostracism and hostility. This had lead her into a dangerous life of crime as an enforcer for a thieves guild. Much to her chagrin, the guild quickly offered her up as a sacrifical lamb to the local magistrates to cover their own. Rather than perish at the gallows, her freedom was purchased by Vars, who saw something special in the lanky black headed girl. The two were fast friends, and rather than fear them, the Slayers came to appreciate her earthy sort of Zehini sorcery as a good compliment to Abrion’s slower ritual magics.
The scent of Zehin blood rankled the Swollen Shadow, reminding it of the Black Devil, of other powers in the world that were not so unfamiliar with it. Ravenscry was the first of the Slayers killed, in a manner so sudden and brutal that it would have even given a heartless Haint pause…
covered in the Plot (and sprinkled throughout the entire Shadow Codex)
Ofcourse these companions can also pop up as NPCs in any other world or scenario.