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ID: 2246


February 1, 2006, 12:27 am

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Cheka Man

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Teldus, the Great Demathan Stuntsman


Failure.  For most, it is an occasional streak of bad luck to be suffered.  For others… well, it’s a living.


Teldus is undeniably handsome, and he bears a certain innate charm.  He is of average height and lithe build.  Locks of unruly, sand-colored hair brush across his round and pleasant face.  Cheerful green eyes are set into his face, which bears a bronze complexion.  A mischevious grin is permanantly engraved across his face.  He looks fairly young, perhaps mid-twenties, and there is a certain innocence about him.

Despite his charms, though, there is something downright goofy about him.  He walks with an exaggerated, pompous gait, looking arrogantly down his nose at anyone and anything he passes.  Though clearly sure of himself, he seems as though he might fall flat on his face at any moment.  He speaks with a silver tongue at first, especially toward women, but some of his compliments come across as just slimy.  He seems eager to impress and quick to frustration.

What Teldus wears depends on what capacity he is in.  If he is travelling the streets, he will try to look his finest: flowing robes, rich togas, fancy hats, garish jewelry.  His dress is always colorful, often bright blues, greens, and reds.  Though his clothing may appear swank at first glance, closer inspection shows it to be mostly cheap imitation.  When performing, Teldus’ garb is flashy versions of utilitarian clothing, normally a clean-cut tunic, slacks, cloth boots, and a belt with a large buckle.  Color is again prominent; bright emerald green is Teldus’ trademark.  On the rare occasion one finds Teldus in the slums or alleys, he disguises himself with shabby clothing and a hooded cloak, a dagger at his side if not in his hand.


Teldus Statilius Balfuskus was born in Avera, a small river town in the kingdom of Demath.  Avera is a poor town of impovrished people, and the Balfuskus family was the poorest of them all.  Teldus was a shy youngster with few friends, spending most of his time practicing acrobatic tricks and slight-of-hand.  One day, when he was eight years of age, a group of neighborhood children saw him practicing his tumbling.  Fascinated, they asked him to entertain them more.  Beaming, young Teldus gladly obliged them.  He performed a few more stunts and magic tricks before, in an attempt to do a triple flip, he fell flat on his face.  The crowd of youth burst into teasing laughter.  Poor Teldus tried to move on with the rest of the show, his nose bleeding profusely, but the remainder of his stunts proved to be pitiful failures.  The children eventually went away, laughing at the comical antics of the young fool.  Teldus could only walk home, weeping at the pain in his face but overjoyed to finally have an audience.

As he grew up, Teldus tried all the crafts that Avera offered.  He apprenticed as a shipwright like his father, but found it to require too much measuring and forethought.  He worked as a fisherman, but the nets were too heavy.  He had a brief stint as a successful merchant until customers realized he was short-changing them.  All he had to fall back on was his skills as a stuntsman and amateur trickster.  He still hung around the youth that had mocked him, the closest thing he had to friends.  They were valuable in providing him with social prowess.  He developed a strong sense of showmanship, drumming up excitement for his routines long after their nuances wore off.  This gang was still quick to mock him, though, and he became a sort of jester for the group.

At age 17, Teldus grew bored of live in Avera and left for the neighboring republic of Kierkedall, a larger and more illustrious nation.  Hitch-hiking his way to the capitol of Resaca, Teldus entertained for food and money enough to travel.  When he couldn’t earn enough, he learned to cut purses from local patricians and citizens.  After finally arriving in Resaca, he quickly learned the city was too urbane for his simple rustic tricks.  Compared to local acts by experienced troupes, Teldus’ acts were mere child’s play.  He took to thievery, too proud to beg, and slept in gutters.  The young Demathan drowned his sorrows in cheap alcohol to pass the time.  He became a skilled thief and continued to practice the crime even after several arrests.  He was even approached for membership into the Sewer Rats, the city’s underground criminal guild.  He politely declined, but kept close contact with the Rats for years to come.

Teldus did not give up on his dreams of fame, however, and continued to perform tumbling and magic tricks, no matter how small his audience was.  Few bothered to pay attention.  He eventually got a break, however: while attempting to do a song-and-dance number for a crowd at the popular Red Archer Inn, Teldus tripped and fell off the second-story balcony, landing on a table and shattering both it and his arm.  The proprieter of the inn banned him from ever entering the establishment again, but bemused patrons celebrated him as a hero for his antics.  Teldus was surprised to receive a considerable sum for his accident from his audience; one healer even set his broken arm for free.  Realizing the potential profit, Teldus set out to create new, entirely unique stunts and routines.  His spirits lifted and his purse weighted, he began to advertise himself as Teldus, the Great Demathan Stuntsman.  He performed all manner of ridiculous and stupidly dangerous stunts: boxing Andricho, the greatest gladiator in Kierkedall, got him a broken nose and a new coat; publicly humiliating the corrupt Senator Jermathus by hurling a rotten melon at him earned Teldus three weeks in jail and a new toga; leaping into the alligator-infested Winfax River nearly cost him his life, but allowed him to afford a public promoter and manager, Tsezar Aeron.  With each new foolish stunt, Teldus managed to earn a little more money and gain a little more fame.  Unfortunately, he still kept the habits of drink and thievery.

The highest - or, perhaps, lowest - point in Teldus’ career began in one fateful day at the Silver Harpoon Tavern, where he was joking with fans and enjoying far too much ale.  Teldus had challenged his manager Tsezar into a drinking contest.  Though he drunk Tsezar under the table, Teldus no longer had any inhibitions.  After singing a Kierkedallian national anthem that he had penned, a spectator joked that he should perform in the Grand Theatre, the largest amphitheatre in Resaca.  Teldus considered it a challenge, and he marched out of the tavern and towards the theatre, a small crowd trailing him.  The small crowd turned into a sizable parade with Teldus at the lead.  The two retired soldiers that guarded the Grand Theatre didn’t bother attempting to hold back the approaching crowd, which now numbered around 400.  Teldus took to stage and performed several song-and-dance numbers.  After attempting (and painfully failing) to perform acrobatics, he once again sung his Kierkedallian national anthem, but this time with a twist: as he sang, he stripped off his garments, tossing them to the side of the stage.  As he finished the song, a young jokester quietly removed Teldus’ clothing from the stage.  When Teldus turned and realized all his clothing was missing, he began to panic.  He wept and wailed, begging desparately for his clothes while the audience roared with laughter.  The crowd made poor Teldus perform stunts for each item of clothing, stunts which mostly ended in pain due to Teldus’ intoxication and grief.  After a full hour, all of Teldus’ belongings were finally returned to him and he ran off the stage.  The crowd wept with laughter and cheered as the pathetic show finished.  They swept Teldus off to the local bank where the wealthy of the audience adorned him in money, showering him with minted praise.  Teldus soon after passed out, and the bemused patrons deposited his earnings into his bank account so none would steal it; they would have no one robbing their pathetic jester.

Teldus awoke groggily hours later, remembering vaguely what had transpired the night before and curious as to why he was lying outside the bank.  He entered the bank to inquire his account balance.  The teller snickered at the sight of him, but handed him a receipt.  Teldus was stunned: in a single night, his bank balance had jumped from 12 silver coins to an astonishing 20 talents, a sum large enough to purchase any inn room in town for a month.  He rushed to his manager Tsezar to ask what exactly had happened last night.  Tsezar couldn’t recall either, but every patron in the Silver Harpoon Tavern could.  As he heard them recalling the uproarious act, he came to a painful realization.  As a performer, he had some talent but no hope of earning a living.  But as a buffoon, he could live well at the cost of his pride and respect.  The choice to Teldus was clear, and he began to plot his next moronic stunt.

Teldus continues to earn living wages through buffoonery in Resaca.  He has gained a decent following, even keeping a few friends in the higher echelons of Resacan society.  While mostly liked in Resaca, Teldus does recieve the occasional threat by peeved citizens; his contacts in the Sewer Rats help to silence these threats when necessary.   However, he has a tendency to fall into bouts of depression, usually caused or assuaged by alcohol.  And when the stunts don’t pay well, Teldus still finds himself hiding in the shadows, waiting to cut the purse strings of unsuspecting passerbys.


Fine clothing, stunt uniform, coin purse, dagger.

Roleplaying Notes

The Promoter - A few of Teldus’ friends are “in the know” when it comes to Kierkedallian politics.  If the party can get on his good side, perhaps by funding his next stunt or providing him with enough liquor, Teldus may direct the attention of a Resacan elite to the party’s needs.

The Contact - Teldus still keeps contacts in the Sewer Rats, the Resacan criminal guild.  Teldus might be convinced to use his contacts to the party’s favor, either by contracting a hit or providing otherwise secret information.

The Leak - In one of his drinking bouts, Teldus leaks potentially scandalous information regarding a friend of his in the Kierkedallian Senate.  The said Senator happens to have access to a key item the players need.  The party overhears this information and must decide how to use this information to their advantage.

The Rescued - While in Resaca, the party witnesses Teldus attempting another risky stunt when it suddenly turns bad.  The party rescues Teldus from a painful death and the grateful Demathan offers the players a favor, be it money or some other token.

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted MoonHunter
January 31, 2006, 23:46
Okay. my original comment was "too long". It may yet be. I did smirk and snort through the entire piece, which was a bonus.

I find him kind of like Joxer the Mighty, but without the warrior aspects. He is comedy relief for the campaign.

I found the roleplaying notes kind of short. Sure the rest of the pieces explains it, but I like bullet points in the rp notes.
February 1, 2006, 0:29
Point taken on the length, Moon. I've noticed I tend to go overboard on explaining things. Perhaps my new goal should be shorter posts with equitable quality. I also added a few more role-play notes, though I'm afraid they're most reiterations of each other.
February 1, 2006, 0:27
Updated: Expanded role-play notes and added two paragraphs to background explaining them.
Voted manfred
February 1, 2006, 6:29
Eeeek! The Jackass for fantasy. Personally against my tastes but I do see such types are sometimes necessary. I like that he doesn't take his loss of dignity so easily.

Plot hook:
Cleaners - a small gang of pickpockets has started to visit his performances regularly, of course not for the fun. Teldus or his manager will naturally want them to be removed, but can't call on his buddies for it could start a guild war.

Problem - during one of his exploits, Teldus has broken something _really_ important. A piece of ancient art, a holy relic, whatever. Promptly sent of on a quest, the heroes are hired to prevent him from getting killed.
Voted axlerowes
January 23, 2012, 19:18

I love this, as the Moon said, it got me to snicker and snort.  It has a sort of classic roleplay feel to it, back when we kids roleplayed bluffing fighters, burely dwarves, and irreverant gnomes, before the days of vampire enui, the emotionally fractured detective and other such darker themed characters.  And it isn't too long, too long is rambaling, the writing here stays on topic, it is all about Teldus and his antics. I so glad this came up on the daily highlight and i got to read it.  

Voted Cheka Man
January 23, 2012, 22:25

Very funny.

Voted caesar193
November 25, 2012, 18:54
You know, from the description, I was expecting something else. Like somebody who causes failure in other peoples projects (like a priest of Mathom, for example).

But Teldus is great. I like how he is forced into doing something he hates- being a professional idiot.
Voted valadaar
August 7, 2014, 15:41
A good NPC, made even more possible through the existence of healing magic. Could you imagine what some folks would do with that? Hell, some people do just the craziest things _without_ the benefit of magical healing...

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