The Carnival of Forgotten Souls is a simple plan. It was designed to add a bit of flavor to a campaign, possible hooks and encounters, maybe even a plot line or two...
And so the Carnival was created, complete with a cast of performers.
Many GMs feel the same way I do on this matter, 'I want to customize the cast.'
In this scroll is the answer. A collection of circus performers and carnival freaks for you to choose from to customize any traveling show to suit your game.
Any and all are welcome to add a freak or two, or perhaps a background personality who works behind the scenes if you prefer.
Tala the Boneless
Large in frame but curveless, Tala would stand amoung the tallest members of the Caravan, if it were possible for her to stand. Long, gracefully muscled limbs have long since gone to flab, four appendages that hang uselessly from her torso, bending completely unnaturally where they contact the wheeled chair upon which she spends the majority of her time.
Once a promising young fighter, in the service of a petty lordling, Tala ran afoul of a powerful necromancer, and in retribution for her deeds, the man chose to tear the bones from her limbs, and leave her still alive. Now completely unable to fend for herself, the girl was left at the mercies of her rather cruel employer. Yet, in her luck, she 'vanished' one night whilst the Carnival was in town...
'Step right up and see, ladies and gentlemen! The Rubber Woman! The Girl with no Bones!'
Upon the platform the huge woman sits motionless, her assistant standing behind her. And then, he seizes her arm, twisting it easily, tying it into first one knot, then another, then a third. A leg is seized, and with a giggle from her, the leg, too, is knotted, while she wiggles the toes and fingers upon the knotted limbs.
Swiftly, he unties the woman, and out come the twisted tubes, in to which arms and legs are shoved, in loops and figure eights, and in this contraption, she drops to the floor, where she can scuttle about here and there, on 'elbow' and 'knee', as she croaks, 'Bright silver for a bright song and fluid dance, me Lords and Ladies?'
With one hand, she grabs up a pan pipe, and tossing it to a foot, conveniently twisted near her face, she plays it, a sad and haunting melody, while 'stumbling' about on stage until the curtain goes down.
'Blast it, I want to dance for REAL!' Tala is bitter about her predicament, though she is grateful indeed to her fellow caravaners for the care they take of her. She has, of yet, to form any bonds beyond simple friendship, however, as she is too wrapped up in what she perceives to be her own inadequacies to notice any special attention given to her.
Igman is rather average in appearence, with the obvious exception that he has no head. His neck terminates as if severed and then capped if pressed against a sheet of glass - the cross section of the various structures of the neck plainly visable.
Igman is not truely headless, however. He had the unfortunate fate of imbibing a flawed invisibility potion See Flawed Potions which had the second flaw of being permanent. So far Igman has not been able to find a mage powerful enough to remove this effect. He can pass as normal some of the time through wearing full head helmets, cloth, bandagesm etc. Makeup and other skin coatings do not work and become invisible as well.
When interacting with other performers Igman wears a broad-rimmed hat with two eyes embroidered on it. It lets people know where he is looking in general and makes it easier to interact with him. He does not like wearing bandages or other full head coverings, finding them uncomfortable.
In addition to his invisable head, Igmin is an accomplished juggler and dancer and he combines the three elements in his performances. One of his props is a false 'head' which he juggles along with other odd items.
In another performance he enters the ring riding a black warhorse holding the false head in one hand and cackling madly as he chases the clowns around the ring.
Igman is resigned to his current fate - he makes good income from the Caravan and the other members treat him with respect. Given the chance, though, he would jump at an opportunity to become 'normal'.
With apologies to the Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. Flaming Pumpkins optional.
The Elf that wouldn't die was dead. Qil'Vanaros' Endless Dream Journey was not so endless, apparently. The carnival fell apart soon after. Oh, there were claims made by quite a few folks to the title of Ringleader to be sure, but no one with Qil'Vanaros charisma. The remaining members dispersed.
Qil'Vanaros (deceased), who lived to be 666 years, and upon his death, his entire remaining troupe, all tattooed that number on their thighs or calves in a moment of solidarity and tribute for the venerable, Elven carnival master. It was Qil'Vanaros who would delight the carnival goers with silver pieces, one to anyone who could correctly, and exactly, guess his age. The carnies of the Endless Dream Journey would always remember.
A splinter group of carnies and performers went off to find another carnival, another...family. This is their tale. They went to find the best, and soon arrived at the Carnival of Forgotten Souls. They lingered about, interviewed individually with Mascebus himself, and lingered once more, on the outskirts of the multihued and incense-scented pavilions, awaiting the word of their potential new Ringleader and Carnival Master. They wished to be part of a family again. They wanted to belong.
Namun Womley, the Vanishing Centaur
Dragon-Child, The Sentient Python
The Four-Legged Girl, Tatya
Hanging Kang, who feels no pain
Loiha the Hex Witch & Husband
Vallace the Whipmaster & Lion Tamer
Eekus, The Purveyor of Pandemonium, or 'Purv' for short and The Headless Kobold, a dead, headless, mummified dog, but don't be tellin' that to Eekus.
to be continued...one at a time.
Namun Womley, the Vanishing Centaur
Namun was born into a centaur tribe, which believed in culling the weak. Namun was weak. Namun was culled. Not slain, but tossed out like a newborn foal with broken legs. Miraculously, as the thrashing baby centaur lay dying in the bush, Qil'Vanaros happened upon him, and saved the young Homo Equus Stallionensis Mysterioso', (as Qil'Vanaros sometimes announced Namun for effect) from starvation and predation.
Or so Qil'Vanaros would have you believe if you ever asked him the story.
In truth, Namun Womley was an up and coming adventurer', human as can be, and a member of a fateful band of heroes. While exploring ruins better left unexplored, the group came upon a statue of some forgotten god. Namun imprudently 'touched' the statue, figuring something beneficial would happen, (after all, the statue was smiling) and died on the spot. Attempting reincarnation, the band's priest prayed for...'someone just like Namun, but stronger and faster!' and Namun came back as a centaur.
To make a long story shorter, Namun went on to touch yet another statue, later during that same mausoleum crawl, and was cursed again, this time with a more insidious hex. In the end, the newly created centaur, with the mish-mashed brains of his former human self, was the only one to escape the inevitable slaughter.
Namun began from that day forth to completely vanish from sight periodically, sometimes once a day sometimes more often, and sometimes he would go days without vanishing. There was no rhyme or reason to his curse. When Namun disappears, he does so fully, becoming immaterial, as if he was being whisked away to some alternate dimension. Interestingly enough, Namun himself has no memory or awareness of what happens to him, when he disappears. His nature is to this day a mystery.
Wandering aimlessly for many years, while switching professions from sword-for-hire to depressed drunken lout, Namun cursed his new form more times than he could remember. It took him years to grow comfortable in his new awkward form. He was small for a centaur, smelled horribly, ate and drank too much, and people in general didn't want much to do with him. Namun 'kicked around' for a long time, becoming a loner, and suffering from a terrible malaise.
Eventually he stumbled upon the Endless Dream Journey, joining the troupe as his life had little meaning. Namun became one of the more famous 'gets' of Qil'Vanaros. After all, not many carnivals could boast of their very own centaur, and a vanishing one to boot!
'Enter beyond the curtain, ladies and gentlemen, see the Vanishing Centaur!'
'So, I don't see him vanishing. He's just standing there looking drunk and smelling awful. When does he vanish?'
'When he wants to', Qil'Vanaros would patiently respond to the catcalls. 'And apparently, he doesn't want to at the moment.'
'But I paid a silver to see him vanish! What's the silver for then?' insists the annoying little boy.
'Have ye ever seen a centaur before?'
'That's what the silver is for.'
When not on exhibition or display, Namun is a disheartened drunk. Lusty and lascivious to an extreme (he blames his 'horseness'), he will hit on any female of almost any race if given a chance. Shabby and scabby (He has a horrible case of mange), Namun mostly keeps to himself. He has a love of music that borders on the excessive, constantly asking the musicians of the troupe to 'play for him'. When hearing a particularly pleasant melody or song, Namun will close his eyes, and think back to those glorious times, when he still sported two legs instead of four. It would take an extremely charismatic individual (a woman) to convince Namun of the great advantages of his centaur form. For the time being, he just doesn't see it that way.
All said and done, Namun is helpful around the carnival, using his superior strength and equine abilities to move heavy objects and do various tasks of menial labor when called upon. His constant state of severe depression prevents him from having any really close friends among the carnies however.
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? Responses (7)
I'll hold off on a vote for a little, but if that 1st addition is any sign of how this is going to turn out, I know how I'll be voting! :)
These are fun to write. :p
yep, freaks, geeks, and carnies. Gotta love em!
I am voting on the idea of this when it is complete. I will alter my vote should this be forgotten and not finished or added too. I like this as it is a twist of sickness that is welcome in any game. It is a fresh look at an uncommon concept. The fantasy circus...
Kudos and keep it coming.
Interesting little Scroll you have here.
Okay, here's my vote now - an interesting array!
Hey, guys! This scroll has been languishing for four years now! Doesn't anyone have any other people to add? This is a pretty small circus right now. Come on, folks, help turn this from MacNally's Carney into The Fantastic Barnum and Baileys World-Renown Circus!