Most established villages have their neighborhood hermit and Enders is no exception. If only the folks of Enders knew who they harbored, it may have been a very different story for old Noam.
Not much seen outside his home. Often said to be wandering the woods and such. Straggly beard, worn (but sturdy) clothes, and a very sure step. Very polite mannerisms, there aren't any that have met him that dislike him. Just keeps to himself, doesn't bother anybody and they don't bother him.
Noam Splinter came to Enders a very long time ago, perhaps a decade or more. It was during a time of upheaval in the land and travelers were not uncommon. It was during the Prince Slayer Wars (as many now call them) and after when folks were running this way and that trying to avoid the fighting. See, during that time the two rival kingdoms were in the heat of a long standing land dispute over a batch of land separating them. One thing led to another and both Princes were assassinated. Not sure which one first, I don't think it matters. Well, that put them into an all out war, and that destroyed villages and which sent many a refugee walking, of which many decided to stay put right here in Enders.
So the wars ended, a large barony ended up coming into the fray and that baron actually ended up King. The two rivals weren't getting anywhere and their kingdoms were so weakened that nobody would have ended up winning either. Just as well that the Baron came in and put a stop to it and took over. Wouldn't have been any peace in the land between those two kingdoms after the Princes were killed anyway so that Baron saved us all I say. Peasants all
loved him for what he did and it has been nice ever since. The rivals are still rivals but are kept in check by the Baron, don't see any trouble coming from that direction.
So, as I was saying, it was no surprise really when a great number of people starting staying in Enders. Most left once the war calmed down but many decided to stay. Old Noam was one of those that stayed, and stayed to himself as well. He had money from somewhere, ran a tab at the markets and had a couple boys get a list from him weekly and come back with what he needed. Lived off the land mostly though, rarely in public. Odd really, those that have met him really like him, polite he is, but he resists all offers of friendship. Everybody has their demons though, I expect he is no exception.
Noam Splinter, a spy and assassin with a past he must hide.
Just before the Prince Slayer Wars, Noam was a top agent in the Baron's tight, but far reaching, circle of spies. There were no less than 4 accomplices, besides Noam, but he knew that the Baron's trust didn't run deep so their couldn't be many more. Noam only knew one other by site, his cutout. Noam posed as a server for one of the kingdom's but was a great source of information for the Baron. His use as information was only a precursor of what was to come however. Slowly the Baron's plans came into effect. A little skirmish here with the right banners flying, a floating body there and the two kingdoms were at each other's throats. Timing was critical and the Baron was ready. At an opportune moment the Baron ordered the assassination of Noam's Prince...and Noam complied. Within the week the other kingdom's Prince met a similar demise and the dice were rolled, and they came up double sixes. The kingdoms drove each other into the dirt and the Baron swooped in and gathered the pieces.
But there were loose strings, there always are with such a complex plot. But the Baron was ready to tie them and quickly a few people disappeared. Fearing for himself, Noam used his limited resources with his cutout's help and they learned that the Baron was closing his spy circle, permanently. The last warning was his cutout disappearing, so Noam didn't spend a second wondering and went into hiding, immediately, leaving everything behind. He had some things stashed though, he wasn't stupid. So, what is one to do in this situation? He hides. If he makes himself comfortable than the Baron finds him. He is simply a wanted man to the Baron's men, a criminal. Doesn't take much to come up with a reason for him to be one of the Baron's most wanted. So he hides. He could blow the whole plot open, tell the two kingdoms that is was all one large organized scheme to bring them to war. And then what, they go to war with the Baron? This country has already suffered enough and the Baron is actually doing a good job. The people love him. So here he sits, growing old and living. Not much of a life, but it is a life.
Roleplaying Notes:- Perhaps one of the kingdoms have heard rumors about this plot and have heard that one involved lives. Somebody that can confirm the rumors. A web of searchers goes out and the eccentric ways of Noam have caused some suspicion in the townsfolk and/or searchers.
- The Baron is starting to become a tyrant and the land is starting to once again fall into darkness and misery. It might be time for Noam to come out of his shell and reveal to those that can make a difference the plot he was involved in. Danger is everywhere and he needs to stay alive.
- His cutout, that disappeared, has actually survived and has come forward from the lure and need for cash. His story is not entirely believed and he is in danger from the Baron and the old kingdoms now. To save his hide he gave a very specific description of Noam when he last saw him. Adventurers or townsfolk may recognize the description once they see it.
- Noam's money has run out and, at his age, his stash is too difficult for him to get. He still has skills but they are not good enough for an intricate break-in. Perhaps the stash is in the Baron's castle or somewhere else high profile that can't show his face. Either way, he needs some help...and will those helpers somehow find out his past?
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? Responses (11)
A well-done character. I take it that given his training as as assassin and spy,he would be extremely dangerous to confront,even now when old age is begining to take it's toll?
Spies in fantasy. This is not a hard leap. Spies are one of the oldest professions, gathering information about 'the other guys' has always been important.
This character has depth and motivation. His background is well fleshed out and can be inserted into almost any world without too much problem. The players will think of him as one thing, but he is really something else. He is a conundrum to the characters, as his motivations will be unclear but his actions will be powerful.
And I like spies recently. Two thumbs and a tail up
And there is still the option that the ever-careful Noam himself makes a mistake, like, say, having a drink too much, and saying how it was... nobody believing of course, but a rumour like this has a tendency to spread, and be investigated.
An alternative could be getting finally a revenge. He knows a lot, and he could dig up old dirt on the Baron himself or some of his very trusted men. Or perhaps, as even the Baron gets older, he could start rumours of his senility approaching (it is in the family, you know) and suggest he should be replaced by a worthy heir, with all the honour that belongs to this keeper of peace. The power-hungry Baron deposed by his loving subjects... what an irony this would be.
An original and well thought out character with a solid backstory
Love the whole "old spy in hiding from his former masters" concept - loads of plot potential - my evil little GM's mind is already working overtime
Gets the Wish I'd Thought Of That award - 5/5
A very usable character, I like spies.
I like him. He's a great character wih a great backstory. The description you gave sounded an awful lot like the descriptions the neigbors give after the serial killer next door is found out.
'He was a quiet guy, never said much. He always seemed real nice...'
I love him!
Nice spy. Me like.
A great NPC with great ideas in tow.