Bad luck just seems to follow him everywhere. Some say its a curse, others its just in his head. But there's one thing everyone can agree about Poor Josias: he is a sad, sad man.
Josias is an aging man, with fair wrinkled skin and drooping features. Sad brown eyes peek out over droopy jowls, and a shock of ashen gray hair sits atop his head. He wears a faded red plaid shirt and homespun pants under a dark brown overcoat. His hands seem eternally thrust into his coat pockets, and his head is bowed low and sad.
Poor Josias was not always so. At one time, Brother Josias Faroe was a blessed and happy man. A wandering priest of the fire god Tinay, Josias preached across kingdoms and counties, converting many to his faith. So successful was he that he made enemies. Many priests of other faiths pursued him, but his converts kept their beloved preacher safe. However, there was one enemy they could not save him from: Weskae, the goddess of water.
Tinay and Weskae, brother and sister, had been rivals since creation. They quarreled constantly, each trying to outdo another. The results could be devastating: when Tinay made a brush fire, Weskae sent a flood; Tinay a raging forest fire, Weskae a hurricane. When Men were created and discovered the gods, Weskae and Tinay fought each other for followers. For millenia, they had been at a stalemate, each gaining a fair number of worshippers. Josias, however, tipped the scales, and the followers of Tinay soon outnumbered Weskae's due to the priest's conversions.
As Tinay bragged and boasted, Weskae plotted how to deal with the wandering monk. Her followers had tried to stop him, but Tinay's faithful worshippers had halted any attempts to silence Josias. Watching him from afar, she finally hatched a plan. One night, as Josias travelled, she breathed out a heavy rain over him, forcing him to encamp off of a deserted highway. Away from Tinay's followers or any other guardians, Weskae sent down her angel RagÃ¡l to the sleeping Josias. Armed with a sword of water, RagÃ¡l cut the mystical ropes that connected Josias to his god, and tied to him a rope to Treobach, the god of misfortune (who owed Weskae a favor). The sleeping Josias was completely unaware of these happenings, and RagÃ¡l slipped away back to the spiritual realm.
When Josias awoke, he felt unusually sad, and instead of the joyful fire that usually burned in his heart, he felt instead a sluggish moistness. Concerned but undeterred, he packed his things and headed to the next town on his list, the prosperous trade town of MÃ³r. He arrived in the town square and prepared to speak, but somehow, he did not have the spirit to preach. He tried, to be sure, but his words lacked enthusiasim and strength. A few listened, but went away more saddened than joyous. After a few hours of tidious preaching, Josias tired and began to walk the market streets. The townsfolk seemed to be unusualy clumsy, he noticed. People tripped on the smooth cobblestone, merchants gave the wrong change, guards fell asleep at their posts, the sword-swallowers... well, it's best left unsaid what happened to them. Even the sky seemed disturbed, dark clouds rolling in without any wind, the moon—a thing sacred to Treobach—rose too early. Something seemed to be deeply wrong with the world.
Looking for answers, Josias went to the local temple and prayed. He prayed fervantly and fiercely, but Tinay did not seem to respond with signs as usual. He prayed late into the night, but heard or saw nothing. As his eyes grew heavy with sleep, he went to Tinay's shrine in the temple to light a prayer candle. He struck a match, applied it to the wick... nothing happened. The match burnt to its stub. Josias took another, struck it, and still the candle was cold. He lit match after match, til his box was empty, but no candle would light. Josias came to a startling conclusion: his god had abandoned him. Filled with a deep sadness and sense of abandonment, Josias gave up his habit, took on the clothes of a poor man, and left MÃ³r.
From that day forward, Josias wandered from town to town, making money as a beggar where he could. Every town began to seem the same: the people foolish, the streets uneven, the iron rusted, the clouds dark, and the moon ever in the sky.
As he wanders from place to place, a few people recognize him. They call him Poor Josias, both a reflection of his poverty and his demeanor. Some consider him a bad omen, and whenever the skies turn dark and the moon rises early, they know Poor Josias is coming to town.
Anyone in the party familiar with urban lore knows of Poor Josias. A cleric or paladin might even know his old career as a priest, and a savvy or enlightened one could know his plight. Whenever Josias is in a town, the clouds darken and the moon rises. Bad things tend to happen wherever Josias goes. If Josias is in town while the party is on a mission, it is likely to be bungled.
Old Debts - The party is enjoying a drink at the local tavern when poor Josias comes in. As barmaids trip and mead mugs break, a local priest comments to the players on Josias' curse. The priest happens to have a sister who is a priestess of Weskae and a visionary. Feeling pity for the old man, the priest asks the party to go and seek out his sister, who resides in a not-too-far-off convent, to try and counsel peace between Weskae and Josias. The party goes and finds the nun who receives a vision from the angel RagÃ¡l, who informs the party that Weskae and Tinay have cooled recently and peace may be possible. If they can bring Poor Josias to the convent, perhaps something could be arranged. The party returns to the town and confronts Josias, informing him of his plight (he had always been in the dark, assuming Tinay had abandoned him). Josias is enthused, and the players must escort him to the convent. The road is rough, however, with wandering bandits and a steady rain. Combat might mean more trouble than usual, with Josias associated with the players. Assuming they make it to the convent, the visionary nun finds trouble: the angel RagÃ¡l's mention of Josias has enflared Tinay's and Weskae's rivalry once again. Acting as a celestial interpreter, the players must negotiate between the two dieties before a fight breaks out between the feuding siblings. And it seems Treobach doesn't want to give up Josias so easily either. With some luck, they'll arrange a price: Tinay must be offered a ruby to pay offense, Weskae a sapphire for the price of Josias, and Treobach an obsidian for what amounts to a bribe. Leaving Josias at the convent, the players must go and seek the respective stones—large ones, mind you, gods to not appreciate frugality—and offer them at a local pantheon temple. On returning to the convent, they are greeted joyously by Josias, who has finally been reunited with his god. He has little to offer the players in terms of wealth, but as a refreshed zealot and influential preacher, the players are forever friends of Tinay and his worshippers.
Not Registered Yet? No problem.
Do you want Strolenati super powers? Registering. That's how you get super powers! These are just a couple powers you receive with more to come as you participate.
- Upvote and give XP to encourage useful comments.
- Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
- Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities (super powers).
- You should register. All your friends are doing it!
? Responses (6)
I think this is an extremely interesting character with a great deal of utility as an NPC. A miriad of uses come to mind just offhand and the proposed adventure is a good one. Nice job!
Oww. Those poor sword swallowers, having that gag reflex kick in right when it gets down to the bottom. It hurts just to think about.
Great mythology! The Sword of Water cutting Josias' ties to his god, the sword-swallowers, matches not lighting, and Old Debts...very nice work!
Oh and you feel for the guy
Poor him. 5/5
Cute, and sad NPC at once. Good work!
A neat NPC that could be worked into the tapestry of one's world. Adjust the gods as needed.