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ID: 2663


October 31, 2006, 3:58 am

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Zumba, Lada, and Bugi


Never a more petty and larcenous trio will there be found.

Zumba is a large man with broad shoulders, shoulder length ratty blonde hair and an oft-broken nose. He has brawler’s hands, and a variety of knife scars on his arms. He wears loose fitting shirts to show off his chest and pants to that are dangerously too tight.

Lada is a willowy woman who is prominently disfigured be a scar that cuts through her cheek from the corner of her mouth to her ear. As an extension of this, she talks normally can cannot effect a full smile. She wears either a burgoise class linen dress, of the form fitting clothing of a thief.

Bugi is a thin man with a hunched, almost frightened posture. His eyes seem large and his head is bald, often covered with a sheen of nervous sweat. He wears travelers robes, or sometimes the garb of an apprentice wizard, a role that he pretends to. One day, he hopes he will find that all-empowering magical object that will earn him respect.

Zumba, Lada, and Bugi have been together for a long time, the three having grown up together in the same slum in the Little Shoe ward of Ozea. Surrounded by soul crushing poverty and desperation the trio found themselves drawn into the criminal underworld, starting their careers as couriers for the Boss of the Bellydingle District, the prostitute’s ward.

It was only the long and vicious scar across Lada’s pretty face that kept her from being recruited, willing or otherwise into the Bellydingle Guild. She worked as a screen for clients for a few years until her skill as a pick-pocket and a spy became noticed. After that, she was again paired with Zumba and Bugi, her childhood friends.

During that time Zumba had picked up a few martial skills, working as a thug for the Boss. He became proficient with using subdual weapons and tactics, since dead people don’t pay debts. He even dabbled in being a bounty hunter but chaffed at the close contact with the authorities, who offered the bounties to begin with, was lacking in appeal.

Bugi, the smallest of the three did some work as a house breaker and lock pick, but found his true calling after ransacking the room a traveling mage was occupying. After lifting the apprentice’s spellbook and a pouch of spell components, Bugi was convinced that he was to become a mage. To his credit, he has gained some mastery over cantrip level magic, his main skills being able to mend small things that have been broken, causing small stones to produce light, levitating and manipulating small objects that weigh less than 5 pounds, and a nearly invisible ray spell that causes fatigue.

On Their Own
Eventually the trio decided to leave the employment of the Boss of Bellydingle. On one hand, Lada was concerned that despite her talents, the Boss was thinking she would earn him more money wrapped in whore’s silk and on the flat of her back. Zumba, on the other hand, had racked up an impressive gambling debt at the pit fights, and was looking for an out. Bugi, ever being a follower was not going to be left behind.

The trio made good their escape from the Bellydingle ward, knifing two thugs and robbing the Boss and leaving him unconscious is the custody of the authorities. They became a traveling gang of criminals, lighting in a city long enough to contact the local guild and see if they were wanted and sticking around long enough for them to garner enough ill-attention that the road seemed like a better alternative to staying.

As things tend to go, the trio will hire themselves on to the service of some middle to senior guild member, Zumba being the muscle, Lada being the consummate lady thief, and Bugi being the rare and highly sought after spell-sneak…thief mage. Things tend to fall apart as Zumba follows his old vice of gambling and racking up an impressive tab at the taverns and brothels. Bugi tends to fall short of his expectations, and also has run afoul of the Mage’s Guild a time or two and barely escaped with his hide intact for it. Lada is the smartest of the three, but her fault is that she tends to draw the wrong attention when she tries to look the part of a noble born, but lacks the air of refinement and speaks in the clipped peasant tongue common in the Little Mouse Ward or Bellydingle.

Contacts and Gear
Zumba is fairly well armed, favoring weapons of intimidation such as cruaunte daggers, smaller versions of the cruaunte sword as well as the cestus, a mailed gauntlet. His main contacts are with the smugglers, fences and gamblers, he has tossed dice with murderers and played cards with princes gone slumming. As such, he can on occassion have strange friends in stranger places.

Oy Akbar, see you Friday?
Zumba, that’s Akbar Redmantle, the cities prime pyromancer, what are you doing trying to talk to him!
Well, he won 100 gold pieces off of me last time we played cards, but no big deal, I took 150 off of him the time before that…its a man thing Lada…

Lada rarely carries more than a ladies knife visible on her person. She generally has a dagger or two tucked out of sight. She is the face of the trio and has the main contacts with the Thieve’s Guild members, as well as with some of the mercantile guilds that pay protection money to the thieves guild.

Master Quintillius, good to see you sir.
Of course it is Lada, I assume that the object was planted on Lord Boliveare?
Yes, master, it was. He didn’t even notice me…

Bugi has his pilfered spellbook, the Larson Manuscript, which contains pretty much only low level spells. He rarely has the attention span to memorize more than the cantrips, but if there is a pressing need he can memorize some of the more impressive spells. He also has a belt of spell components, as well as an ensorceled hat that gives him the aura of a competent and confident man. He seldom, if ever removes the hat the reveal his now balding head. Of the tree he has the fewest contacts, avoiding mages if at all possible.

Bugi, come back, We are okay with Akbar
No, i’ve got some things to tend to Zumba, mage stuff…
Whatever Bugi.

Plot Hooks
One for the Money - The PCs have been marked by the trio in an upcoming scam. Lada will bump and roll one of the PCs planting evidence of a crime on him while Zumba alerts the authorities to their ‘guilt’. Once this is done the PCs can face the set-up, try to escape, etc. If they are apprehended, Bugi comes in and helps them out playing the good guy. He will come when Guild backed guards are in and will bail them out and provide evidence to their innocence gaining the PCs trust. What the trio do with them after that is up to the DM…they might even enlist as loyal henchmen to the PCs long enough to get their hands on some of the monster’s magical loot before escaping into the night.

Two for the Show - The PCs discover that someone has been impersonating them, wearing a wig to match their hair and bearing weapons that would match theirs, great for extravagant groups with platinum blonde hair and black swords, etc. The Trio has literally stolen the PCs identities and have been doing a fair number of crimes in this disguise. Outstanding bar tabs, gambling debts, bills at the brothel, theft of the noblewomen’s estates, and vandalism of things magical…Oh what a mess they are in now…

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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted manfred
May 23, 2006, 14:50
Now this is what I call an insider joke. :)
Voted Cheka Man
May 23, 2006, 15:24
Nice-the false identity thing is fun.
Voted Priv8eye
May 24, 2006, 7:04
Nice idea, nice characters.
Voted MoonHunter
May 24, 2006, 12:32
Nicely done trio. Depth and dramatic hooks. Good job. Paws up!
Voted valadaar
December 11, 2013, 14:07
What a great set of NPCs ready made to bring a little havoc to your low-level group.

Nicely done!


  • Associated ideas.
  • Rogue

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

the dead mechent of death

       By: celticring

To Dougles Nye money is power, a powerful wizard only newly into lich-hood

Originally the son of servants to a noble family, yet he found that life humiliating. "How could anyone stand to serve another?" he often wondered. His father, was a greedy man who offered an explanation one day “It’s all for the coin, every demanding, humiliating thing. It’s for the coin, boy."

So when Dougles began developing the potential for magic, he found a way out of a life of servitude. Learning magic though stolen books, he made his escape. Taking the all the possessions of the lord’s vaults with him. He set out to gain as much money as possible.

His gifts for magic allowed him many advantages other merchants could only dream of. Capitalized on the use of deviation magic, allowing him to always having what the city he is in needs most, whether that is wheat or weapons, poison or drug doesn’t matter to him.

Some would say he follows war, disease, famine, and political strife like a vulture looking for a nice carcass to claim. What they don’t know is he has a hand in the conflict he supposedly follows. Assassinating ruler to incite wars, casting spells that decimating crops, acting as an information broker to both sides in a conflict. Dougles is known as a man who can get what you need to some, to other a monster who capitalizes on the suffering of others.

The lich know as Dougles Nye, prefers the title ”The Merchant of Death” for that shows just how much power money has earned him.

Ideas  ( NPCs ) | January 7, 2010 | View | UpVote 5xp

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