Individuals Beyond Anderland
A few interesting, important, or otherwise noteworthy individuals from outside Anderland’s borders are described below. Because this campaign is (at least at the Heroic tier) centered around the Duchy, there are only a few individuals listed here; there are, naturally, large numbers of NPCs, villains, and everyday people outside the lands of the Duchy, but for now the people within Anderland are of greatest concern and interest.
Count Andru Constantin (male human, age 36): This man is despised throughout the Duchy of Anderland, as he is a known murderer, and his barbarous acts in the name of Bane have become infamous even in the Empire of Maldar. He owns estates in and around Castle Tenebrous, not far from the Anderland border. As first cousin to the Emperor of Maldar, he enjoys tremendous latitude in how he treats his citizens and as far as how much he can get away with while traveling in Anderland. In essence, he possesses “diplomatic immunity” while traveling; regardless of his crimes in Anderland, the authorities are only authorized to escort him back to Maldar’s borders. Were any serious harm to befall Andru, the Emperor would respond with vehement brutality. Count Andru is a devious, wicked, cruel, and malicious individual well suited to the worship of Bane. His most recent act of barbarism was to kill a pair of apprentice Wardens in Anderland. It is also rumored he was responsible for the kidnapping and sacrifice of a young druidic initiate, all to satiate his dark god.
Brandon McPherson (male human, age 27): Across the Empire of Maldar, few names elicit so much anger, frustration, and embarrassment as the infamous Brandon McPherson. Originally brought to Maldar as a slave from the distant lands of Brighathi Highlands in the south, Brandon murdered his overseer and his master within two days of his arrival. Thus began a massive manhunt for this escaped slave and murderer. Despite the best efforts of the Maldaran Intelligence Service and the best available bounty hunters, Brandon eluded capture and left the capital city of Theodosia. Three months later, his name resurfaced further north. This time, he led a small but clever band of bandits. These bandits began raiding Maldaran caravans, turning around and donating their profits to local farmers and refugees. Thus began an even more massive manhunt than before. Despite the odds, Brandon McPherson and his “Noble Men” continued robbing the wealthy and giving to the poor. At present, the bounty on his head stands at 10,000 gp, making him one of the most wanted criminals in Maldaran history. The imperials have struggled to convince the local civilians that McPherson is a dangerous criminal; their propaganda is undermined by the widespread and growing belief that he is truly a hero of the people. Only time will tell if the legendary “Gentleman Bandit” will reveal a more sordid side, or if he truly is a man of the people.
Demetrius “The Deathbringer” (deceased; male ogre): One of the most legendary, terrifying, and memorable warriors of the Maldaran arena in the past century. During his reign in the gladiatorial pits, Demetrius brought death or mutilation to more than three hundred gladiators. Throughout that time, he suffered over four hundred wounds, of which more than fifty should have killed him. As an ogre, his strength was a match for any five men, and he possessed preternatural speed and an uncanny ability to survive injury. In his decade as a gladiator, Demetrius earned every prize, award, and accolade possible. Until the end, Deathbringer was considered immortal and undying. Finally, Demetrius died in a death match against five gladiators. Although Deathbringer killed four of his opponents and nearly crippled the fifth, the surviving gladiator managed to kill the monster. This gladiator, a goliath named Cu Chulainn, never fully recovered from his wounds and did not get to enjoy the glory of his victory. Nonetheless, the legend of both Demetrius and his slayer remain popular throughout the gladiatorial circuit to this day, even though more than four years have since elapsed.
Elizah Jacobi (male eladrin, age 246): Despite his age, Mr. Jacobi appears of indeterminate age; indeed, at times he appears younger than at others. Although he owns permanent dwellings in Anderland, the Theocracy of Paladanthis, and Maldar, he spend much of his time traveling between his estates and overseeing his far-flung business interests. He owns a mercantile company, finances his own mercenary company, owns a number of iron mines east of Maldar, in addition to owning his own gladiatorial ludus (although he does not operate it) and other businesses. He has accumulated a vast fortune during his lifetime, and he has also collected favors from virtually every important, influential, or powerful individual in the region. In person, Mr. Jacobi tends to leave people somewhat nervous and uncomfortable. It is as if he naturally exudes an aura of the alien, as if his very presence were somehow an affront to the natural world. Thin to the point of being gaunt, Mr. Jacobi is pale with white hair and ice blue eyes. He is almost always accompanied by a pair of ogre bodyguards, although it is whispered that Jacobi is a master of dark arcane arts and has nothing to fear from mortal threats. Mr. Jacobi is wealthy and powerful enough that even the Mad Emperor respects the man, even if he dislikes him (in truth, no one likes Mr. Jacobi). There is a strong rivalry between Mr. Jacobi and Tobias Crowe.
Golan Bloodstone, Captain of the 5th Cohort (male goliath, age 33): One of the most celebrated and renowned members of the Death Titans, Golan is a fearsome and cunning warrior. Captured on a raid of his village when he was only 13, he quickly proved his value to the Maldarans. At the age of 16, he survived the tests and gained entry into the Death Titans legion. Since that time, he has risen through the ranks and demonstrated remarkable leadership abilities. His cohort has proven instrumental in enslaving numerous other goliath tribes over the past decade. Amongst the Titans, he is revered and considered a Chosen of the Emperor. To other goliath, however, Golan is the worst possible sort of traitor. Because of his efforts, hundreds of goliath have perished, and hundreds more have lost their freedom to become Maldaran slaves. Golan is a wealthy and powerful individual with his own keep and vassals, and his career in the Death Titans is likely to climb straight to the top. He has added to his crimes by owning his own stable of goliath gladiators – he profits from their blood and pain.
Kupral Andrasti (male dwarf, age 78): Many years ago, Kupral served as a miner in the brutal iron mines for his Maldaran masters. This form of servitude is typically a death sentence for humans, but Kupral’s dwarven constitution allowed him to survive. By dint of underhanded dealings, bribes, and careful manipulation of others, he coerced his master to trade him to the owner of a gladiatorial ludus. From there, Kupral proved himself a remarkable and theatrical gladiator. For a time, he was known as the Champion of Theodosia. He earned sufficient gold to buy his freedom and he retired from the gladiatorial life. From there, he used his knowledge and ability to open his own ludus. Within a decade, the Ludus of Andrasti became famous for its gladiators throughout the Empire. For the past forty years, his gladiatorial school has raised and trained some of the biggest names in the arena (one of his gladiators, Cu Chulainn, successfully killed the invulnerable gladiator known as “Deathbringer,” see above). He is an extremely wealthy individual with the ear of many of the Empire’s greatest citizens. To date, his efforts to gain entry into politics and become a more respectable Maldaran citizen have been frustrated – people of breeding and lineage appreciate his skills as a trainer of gladiators, but they do not believe a dwarf and former slave could ever enter the political arena. Kupral is a devious, dangerous, and manipulative creature. He knows how to coerce, control, and influence people, and he knows how to destroy his enemies.
Lassiverius Blacke (male tiefling, age 31): One of the most successful and infamous of the Slave-Takers, Lassiverius is renowned for his skills in tracking down slaves. He has retrieved more runaways than any other bounty hunter, and he has retrieved them from surprising distances and against incredible odds. His unorthodox methods do not seem suited to most people, but those methods work for him. He has a reputation for never losing his temper, never raising his voice, and never revealing his true emotions. He is also infamous for his vast collection of potent magic items, items that provide him an important edge on his hunts. There are numerous sinister stories about his devotion to Asmodeus (something that ordinarily would get him into severe trouble with the Church of Bane in Maldar). He must truly love his job, as he is wealthy enough that he need never work again in his lifetime. A visit from Lassiverius Blacke is considered an ill omen; bad luck seems to follow him, yet never affect him personally.
Malachai Drago (male human, age unknown): One of the most infamous, despised, and hunted individuals in Anderland, Malachai was somehow closely connected with the attack of the Night Dragon some twenty years ago. Some stories suggest he helped summon the creature, while other tales hint that he actually created it through the use of blood magic. Whatever his involvement, he has long been sought by Anderlander law enforcement and the d’Anderville family. He is wanted not only for questioning as to his involvement in the attacks, but also he is wanted for suspicion of treason, conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, and other foul crimes. In the year leading up to the Night Dragon’s attack, Malachai led a small but dangerous cult of fanatics and Blight Mages. This cult, known as the Servants of the Fallen, perpetrated a number of horrific crimes, including kidnapping and sacrifice of children, arson, and poisoning the water source for two villages. Unfortunately, Malachai escaped capture and has continued to elude the authorities. Some people believe Malachai actually perished during the Night Dragon’s attack.
Emperor Vasev Gogoyrov (male human, age 49): The current emperor of Maldar, Gogyrov has become known as “the Mad Emperor,” and his actions frequently prove his worthiness of the title. For all his strange ways, Gogyrov has demonstrated a keen, if erratic, mind. He is preternaturally able to tell when someone is lying to him, and he is infamous for his ingenuity in inventing new punishments. The emperor’s primary ambition is to fold the Duchy of Anderland into the empire, changing that realm from a vassal state to a direct part of his domain. There are few more dangerous, unpredictable, and devious men alive in this current age than the “Mad Emperor.”
Vassily Kostonov (male human, age 33): Vassily serves as an imperial tax collector for the Empire of Maldar. “Old Vassily,” as he is known, travels back and forth between Maldar and the Duchy of Anderland. Every spring and every summer he returns to Anderland to collect taxes for return to the empire. Although most people strongly dislike Vassily for what he does, he nonetheless enjoys a surprising degree of acceptance amongst the Anderlanders. For one thing, he is hopelessly corrupt. He eagerly accepts bribes and gifts in exchange for overlooking a silo of grain or underestimating the value of herd of cattle. At the same time, people have learned not to cheat or lie to Vassily; when necessary, he reveals a devious and cruel streak for punishing offenders.