Connor and Heather
The yang and yin team of Connor, the Urban Paladin, and Heather, The Mystic Cleric, is very effective as his pragmatism is balance by her optimism, her enthusiasm and idealism are tempered by his cautious paranoia, his wounds are healed by her, and she is kept alive by his sword. This effectiveness aside, Connor and Heather are not your normal adventurous members of The Church. Nor are they a couple.
Connor O'Cort is an Urban Paladin, more interested in Law and People than fighting EVIL in a dungeon somewhere. He has been nearly disowned by The Church, as he is the Dirty Harry sort of Paladin. But his Divine still invests him with power, even though The Church denies him.
Heather Langdon is his sidekick. (If asked, Connor is her sidekick). She has the ability to channel more divine energies than anyone her age should be able to. Being of a clerical magical bend, she is interested more in helping people than in church politics and obligations. This need to do Good, has estranged her from her order in The Church.
Both are from the West Isle, giving them their distinctive appearance of fair skin, reddish hair, and impish smiles. Both are in their early to mid 20s. This is a fantasy Ireland from a fantasy Europe. The campaign they were created for was set in a fantasy Ireland.
Connor is a brick of a man, good sized and solidly built. His features are as rocky and rugged as a brick as well, though his emerald eyes do glitter under his craggy brow. His reddish, blondish hair, is kept short to fit easily under caps and helms.
He wears "normal clothes" for the lower part of town rather than the uniform of his clerical order. He is a bit dirty, a bit scruffy, and a bit worn, in appearance. He will often be wearing bits of armor with his clothes, and often a chain reinforced leather vest.
If out looking for trouble, he wears a somewhat shiny suit of plate and chain. This would not be that unusual for a paladin, except that it has "less than heroic touches": small spikes that run along the edges and populate the shoulder plates, the sharp ridges on all the exposed edges and the gothic look of the plate. It is like his armor is that of someone "evil", and it is. He took it off a cooling corpse, cleaned off the black and red enamel (as well as the blood), and fixed the rent in the chainmail.Heather:
Willowy and graceful, Heather is the opposite of the solid muscle that is Connor. She is thin, with gentle curves, and nearly as tall as Connor (who is not a short man). Her wavy red hair and blue eyes frame her pug nose and cute smile. Her reflexes and dexterity are amazing.
She does not wear the floating robes of a mystic initiate that she is supposed to wear. She wears clothing of the everyday people she is among. Only a silver holy knot on a chain is the only sign that she is religious.
Connor was a child in Cort, a good sized fishing town on the eastern edge of the West Isle. He was a temple boy there at his mother's urging. When he got recruited for The Doggers, the temple guards, he thought he had found his calling. He was never a "good boy", but he believed in doing the right thing. In Cort, like most of the Eastern Canton, there were troubles between the Reformed Church and The Church. The Doggers in that Canton saw true action, rather than just ceremonial duties.
Forever the problem child, he was often at odds with his Senior. It was a classic case of doing things "by The Book" vs doing "what needed to be done". Connor constantly disobeyed orders and "going beyond his mandate" to help both The Faithful and "those other Faithful".
It surprised Connor more than anyone else when, The Light shone upon him. He was quickly ushered to Uthren. There he went through his trainings. He did passably at his scroll learning, but excelled at his combat training and tactics. Here, going against your Senior had more consequences, so Connor was always cleaning this or that, carrying heavy things, and doing duties away from the compound. He enjoyed the city, and occasionally did some good deeds while he was out.
Connor was assigned to a company, and he "sojourned" (the Church word for quested/ adventured) dealing with EVIL. It was monsters, demons, ghosts, and one small dragon. Connor, as was his contrary nature, questioned what harm most of these creatures did? One slum lord in Cort harmed more people every day than one lone Spectre in North.
After completing his apprenticeship, released more to get rid of him than as a sign he completed it, he drifted into the towns and cities. He never advertised himself as a paladin of The Church, unless forced to by circumstance. Working in the "scruffy parts of town", he helped root out real evil. He eliminated smugglers, slavers, those that would use children, those that assaulted the poor, those that organized thieves/ assassins, corrupt enforcers, those that took an unlawful share of wealth, or took someone's coin and provided not the services promised (like slum lords or scam artists), and so on. He actually enforced the laws of the land and tried to make things better. He often moved up beyond cleaning up scruffy areas of town, to the root causes - those really behind things. Since the evil found in cities often reached up into higher political places and wealthy pockets, The Church began to have difficulties because of his action. Censure after censure, disobeyed order after disobeyed order, the Church eventually washed their hands of him. Yet The Light did not. He is still invested with his abilities granted from The Divine.Heather:
Heather started as a young girl in the East Quarter of the Isles. Found by a local priest who discovered her during The Rite of the Children, she was soon whisked off to The Seminaries. She was quite the prodigy, excelling in all her teachings both mystical and theological. She challenged them with her arguments of faith. She defeated them in the arcane circles and exhibited great skill in her craft. She was charismatic and a natural leader. Everyone in the Adept Orders expected great things from her.
She was constantly pestering her seniors about working in the missions. She wanted to deal with people and help them, not heal the rich when they paid The Church, not deal with Order and Church politics, not do what is good for The Church, but what is good for the people. Yes of course, The Church did good works. They occasionally let her into the missions, but they did not want to squander a resource such as her on things anyone could do.
She quickly became tired of being a "trained bird" pulled out for special occasions or for rich patrons. Being so close to the administration of things, she saw the worldly side of The Church and it sickened her. Being tied to The Great Temple by her order vows, she could only leave when the Great Senior let her. She "arranged" to be listed as traveling to The Great Temple in the North. Through a small "clerical error" the arrival date was never filled in. She will arrive at the Great Temple in the North eventually. But for now, she will work for the good of the common people.
She wanted to do good and help people. That of course led her to a dangerous situation.Together
Connor had been wandering for a while when he first met Heather. Both were working to stop a child labor sweatshop that had connections to The Dark Church. The tale is a bit different depending on which of the two you talk to. Both claim to have saved the other and the day. In fact the two will argue like an old married couple about that day. No matter what is the truth, it comes down to their mutually helping the other out of the tight spot and together taking down the Noble Follower of the Dark One.
As things got "excited" in the district, the two traveled on. They have traveled along the roads. They travel to towns or cities and try to bring Honest Law (Connor) and Goodness (Heather) to the peoples. They have stopped any number of "wrong doings", mostly slavers, dark cultists, smugglers, and corrupt priests.
Sprinkle with magic items to match the power level of your campaign.
There is the matter of "that damm horse" that keeps following him around. It is a massive whitish Charger of good training. He tries to get rid of it, even sold it a time or two, but it keeps following him. And to be honest, it is handy to have around from time to time. It comes in like the cavalry all the time. It is a moody and temperamental beast, much likes Connor. (Think Tornado in the recent Zorro movies). However, according to Connor, "The dammed horse is more trouble than it is worth." Yes, if you are a DnD player this is his Paladin Mount. He just does not want oneHeather:
Sprinkle with magic items to match the power level of your campaign.
She still has her Order of the Adept Badge and Robes.
They will stop in any town or city, settle into the low quarters. Heather will often pick up an odd job here or there, or take a tiny payment for being a faith healer/ midwife (much less than The Church normally requires for spelled healing). She says she follows her "divine inspiration". However, it really seems to be what ever job she thinks will be fun. She is quite a skilled tavern server (but never a wench). She frequently picks up such employment. No matter what the job, her job seems puts her in a position to find things out about the town and the condition of things.
Connor comes across as a Hard Ass, who does less than savory work. He bills himself as "someone who solves problem". If he jumps some "low lifes" who are committing some crime, he will tell everyone that he was hired to do such by someone. If he has to investigate someone, he will say he is hired by someone to break in to said person's place. Thus he comes across as just another lowlife himself. This lets him work in the low circles.
After a while, people just assume the two of them are a couple, despite their protests otherwise. They do spend an awful lot of time together and Connor often breaks the fingers of anyone who gets "too fresh" with her.
Also after a while people begin to hire Connor to deal with various problems. In another time, he might be called a private detective". Those that are righteous, he follows up on with a vengeance and solves the problems and sets things to rights. Those that are less than righteous, he will often turn down saying, he has too many jobs right now or will look into them long enough to take down the evil. He and the local magistrate tend to be on "first name basis" after a time. Often time this friendship is on the sly to avoid tarnishing either ones reputation.
The two of them have picked up additional companions from time to time: Fineous a master thief with a heart of gold but a very random personality, Gort a kilted Northerner/ Orc, Zylas a wizard of questionable morals (aren't they all?) who find certain (evil) behaviors "distasteful", and The Monk Tuck (a fat monk with a quarterstaff who is also disenfranchised from the church).
They will stay for a while, usually a year or three, usually dealing with the evil that men do, and leave after it becomes semi-public knowledge that they are "the good guys".
He is not a Camelot kind of Paladin. Think modern paladin, think police officer.
Have you seen the Dirty Harry Movies? There you go. Do your best Clint Eastwood imitation (squint a lot and gargle some gravel), and throw off some one liners.
Connor believes in The Law and that the Law should be applied to all people equally. He wants the Laws to be as just as possible, and only when he feels they are unjust or unrighteous will he work actively against a law.
Note: Bending a law or six in pursuit of the law or justice does not seem to bother him.
Connor is actually a master of intimidation. Between his size, his build, his glare, and the equipment he carries (a really big sword and that spiky gothic plate), he looks terribly intimidating. He then acts the part.
"Drop it and leave, or you can just die!" is his common line. It causes most of the local thieves and toughs to wet themselves, drop their knives/short swords, and run. While Connor is more than willing to kill people (for a good cause), he prefers not to.
"If I catch you doing this again...." trailing off, leaving the punishment to the imagination of the wrong doer in question is another common line.
"I can make him talk. Get me that cage of six starving rats, three plums, and a candle, from my place." Again, when said in an intimidating manner, the imagination of the wrong doer runs rampant. In fact, Connor just picks three random things. It is the fear and imagination that usually makes them talk. He never needs to actually do anything more to make someone talk. At worse, he might break a finger saying something like, "while we are waiting, lets play a game.. you tell me what I need to know and I don't break a finger." After the first one, they usually talk.
Connor is the master of the disarm. He carries a long sword. Using its longer reach he can often disarm street thugs and other minion before they can even close on him. However, he can disarm people in hand to hand just as easily. Connor often supports himself by taking away the weapons of the local lowlifes (directly or through intimidation) and sells them to the weapons smith (who in turn sells them back to the thugs, draining them of cash).Heather:
She is friendly, cheerful, and helpful, without being annoyingly so. People just seem to trust her and treat her like a sister, daughter, best friend, child they never had, or a noble princess.
Her goal is to help people. Anything else is secondary. She will always "break character" to help people out, often dragging Connor in on it.
"Trust me, I can help" should be engraved on her crypt, just because she has said it enough. (Followed by, "Don't mind him, he is just a grumpy ass", on Connor's tomb next crypt over. )
She has a knack with children. She can get the fussiest baby to be quiet and the most unruly child to behave. She also has a perfect "mommy voice" when she needs it. Some see this as "being touched by the divine", as it is mentioned in the scripture about the divine's way with children.
She is quite chaste, despite local rumors to the contrary. (She will flirt a bit. In honesty, she is all talk, no action.) She feels the religious vows of The Church quite heavily. She actually follows all of them, even though many priests just pay them lip service.
Heather uses a "big swingy thingy" in combat. Given her nearly supernatural dexterity and agility, she is almost effective with it. She has also been trained to use a knife and hand to hand by Connor, because "Sometime, I won't be around."
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? Responses (7)-7
Not bad, and I kinda like them. But for the length of it, I wasn't really surprised anywhere. There were some funny points (the paladin's horse he doesn't want), and some not quite (another fat monk with a quarterstaff), but it is all on the level.
But I miss something more. They are both goody-two-shoes, clerical characters acting outside of their traditional roles... and that's about it. That is not to say there is anything wrong with them. They are just very predictable.
Actually, Connor is not a good two shoes. I think you missed in your reading the Clint Eastwood/ Dirty Harry reference. This is not a paladin, this is a "police officer" of the Dirty Harry/ Lethal Weapon/ Die Hard mode. He is not a nice person, he is just on the side of law and order (though he does only pay lipservices to both).
He is not about Stoping Evils, he is about "making the city a decent place to live", as a Human Slumlord can torment more people than any Evil Dragon 1000 miles from the nearest big habitation. That is why he is different.
He his counter point, the good two shoes so to speak is Heather. She is not a lawful stupid or Mother Theresa type. She is a street minister: smart, savvy, and who understands the real world.
So did you only read the top part of the write up and miss the bottom part where this was all explained?
Since the Dirty Harry reference is right in the first paragraph, no, I didn't miss that. :)
Still not bad, and still kinda like them. Good cop/bad cop duo of sorts, they are still not very surprising. But if played well, they can be quite amusing (I remembered now that I liked Dempsey and Makepeace ages ago, if you know that one). Them's a good stereotype.
A solid pair of NPCs - good as bit players or recurring allies.
I love the Random Submissions section, yes I do.
And what valadaar said.
Personally when I began to read the sub I was a bit confused as to why two people didn't both have their own sub. As I got deeper into it I could see how both presentations would be lacking without the other one's presence.
Together both of them make a sold "anchor" if you will to base some really good city adventures around. They're also handy to toss in as a reminder to players that not every paladin and cleric is the stereotypical "Hero in Shining armor and woman of the cloth."
For smaller campaigns with only one or two players, they could also be fleshed out more into major npc's that the characters travel with on their adventures into the various darker sides of city life.
While like Manfred said, it didn't surprise me at any point, but it kept a down to earth feel to both of them and presented just enough detail in all the right places to give a great handle on their personalities and modus operandi.
Over all a very good sub that really "fits" into most settings.
Straightforward, iconic, likeable. Continue the good fight, Moon.