These are hirelings I have made for our Trophy Gold game but are clearly useable for whatever medium you use for pretending to delve into demon-haunted ruins for “the gold and experience,” as China Miéville said.

Whenever I asked questions about the characters I realized that for me almost all of the answers were YES but I’m sure you’ll have your own answers and your own questions.

Jagged gold coin with what might be a sun on it.

Will I ever put together a fictional duo with names as good as Chatwyn & Sprunt? I doubt it. The search terms that got me there are hazy, maybe 15th century British surnames? I saw Sprunt and knew right away that was the name for our guy with the spiked mace. Chatwyn followed suit.

	Among Treasure-Hunters, this duo has a well-earned reputation for being reliable and near-impossible to rattle, even in the midst of the horrors the ancient forest can vomit forth.
	Their views on weakness are harsh. If any of the Treasure Hunters should hit 5 Ruin the duo will seek out (and sometimes even dsicuss) ways to leave them behind or push them more fully to their doom.
	"Doom's edge turns folk desperate and desperate folk is dangerous to those around them."
	Lovers or Comrades? Survivors of a failed revolution or the last servants of a dead noble house? None know. What is known is that for the right price they will venture into the Old Kalduhr with you.
	Some say the only thing that could break them is having to decide what to do if one of them should reach doom's edge.
	Burden 4 because they will never agree to be separated.

	12 Iron 

	Spiked Morningstar
	Tent (2 person)
Jagged gold coin with what might be a sun on it.

Aksil is who got hired in our Friday game and I like them very much. Their name came from doing some searching on Berber names from Morocco.


	Aksil ventured across the continent to see the legendary forest that felled the Kalduhri Empire, having heard stories from their mother, whose witch-tutor had told her tales of the Old Kalduhr.  
	In the fort, Aksil is friendly, boisterous and full of good humor. Once in the forest, Aksil is quiet and often veiled, not wanting to draw the forest's attention.
	As they have grown older, their dreams of opening a tea shop and some day returning home are dimming. they are worried that too many of the forest's demons have tasted their blood and that if they should perish here their soul will never make the long journey back to their ancestors in the Sea of Bone before the Forest claims them.
	Tea Pot &
	3 cups

	Burden: 2
Jagged gold coin with what might be a sun on it.

One of the many problems with grabbing art from the British Library’s flickr account is finding cool warrior women. I had this image saved for a long time and decided they could fight in skirts when I saw an image illustrating what girding one’s loins meant back in the old days. The names were taken from Lithuanian villages, an homage to my mother’s side of the family.

	The Rubis Sisters escaped the forest village where they were born before they could be sacrificed to a demonic forest spirit, now they venture into the forest on their own terms as hirelings, never delving together so that the forest demon who they escaped from will be less likely to pick up their scent.
	When danger looms, they gird their skirts and take out the ancestral daggers brought from their homes. They are guarded by defense wards worn around their necks.
	How many Rubis Sisters are there? Is Rubis their family name or the name of their village?
	It is whispered that when they have stockpiled enough weapons and saved enough gold they will return to the village that tried to sacrifice them and make sure that never happens again.
Skills? Roll or choose from Trophy Gold's second page.
	Village Dagger
	Necklace Wards

	Burden: 2
Jagged gold coin with what might be a sun on it.

Dhea was made by cutting and pasting a witch about to be burned onto the armored body of one of her captors. The name Dhea came from nowhere. I wonder if she’ll be burned or lead a new religion or find some other path.

	Dhea only recently arrived at Fort Durhin. Her fame is oddly growing because she put up posters, made from cut-outs from wanted posters and the Governor's Proclamations, advertising her services to Treasure-Hunters looking for a hireling.
	She is called The Living Sister because a small but growing following of laborers and beggars say she has worked miracles among the sick and the destitute and has strange tattoos of antlers that peak out from the edges of her garb. It is only a matter of time before someone comes looking for a Witch to either burn on a pyre or recruit for a cult.

		Burden 3
Jagged gold coin with what might be a sun on it.

This is another pic I had been sitting on for a while. He almost seemed too put together for Fort Duhrin but I decided that was part of his strangeness.

     Is Olde Prince an awakened Kalduhri monarch, born during the empire's golden age? Is this enigmantic and odd creature a mannekin construct with a mask woven from Kalduhri arcane science and ancient faery glammers? Or are they just a strange old man in a suit of armor and tattered leopard-skin cape who loves Kalduhri poetry and seeking treasure in demon-haunted broken places?
	You will likely find the Olde Prince sitting somewhere quiet and isolated in Fort Duhrin, humming a strange tune with a smile as if they are enjoying a joke only they know. If you ask him why he is going into the forest covered in iron armor but with no weapon he'll likely say something like, "Well, then, we will have to find a treasure I can swing at a monster first thing..."

						Full Harness (counts as 4 pieces of armor!)
						Book of Ancient Kalduhri Poetry

						Burden: 5
Jagged gold coin with what might be a sun on it.

I wrote about Piye and broke my own damned heart. If you use these NPC’s in your games and Piye gets home, please let me know. I found his name in a list of ancient Kushite monarchs.

	Piye bankrolled a merchant caravan of epic scope. He charted a dangerous and ambitious path. His caravan would trek across the Sea of Bone's oasis-forts. He pushed on to the golden city of Ambaret and from there through the strange borderlands towns. Finally, the caravan arrived at the strangest of bordertown of all -  Fort Duhrin. The original plan was to do all of this and return having made a fortune. 
	It was a gamble but his cousins, siblings and children signed on as guards, scouts, and drovers. Bandits, beasts, disease, and worse plagued them. Piye lost this gamble and now needs to send what remains of his family back home in as safe a manner as possible.
	If you hire him, he will get what treasure he can and send some family home before setting out into the forest again. But if during the delve you gain his trust, he will tell you that for 10 coin, he will fund another caravan and show you the finest delves across the entire wondrous world. If you pledge to fund this caravan his Ruin will go to 4, even if you are lying.
		Summon & ward 		Burden: 2
Jagged gold coin with what might be a sun on it.

When we played I only had Chatwyn and Sprunt, the Rubis Sisters and Aksil. The rest will be in town if the players should survive their first delve to return to Fort Duhrin. I am rooting for them but the forest and the fort seem determined to devour them and their dreams. If you meet any of these NPC’s in your games, please let me know how their fates turn out.

Jagged gold coin with what might be a sun on it.

Here they are without text in case you want to add in your own backstories or stat-blocks. If you use them I’d love to hear about it.

A stag in black in white with fire in its eyes and a flame floating between its antlers, its light reflecting off the stag's antlers and head.

Felt like a fitting way to end this article.
The End
Lich Collection

8 thoughts on “Hirelings

  1. Pingback: 1 – Into the Forest, Trophy Gold: The Roots of Old Kalduhr – Githyanki Diaspora

  2. Pingback: 2 – Down, Trophy Gold: Roots of Old Kalduhr – Githyanki Diaspora

  3. Pingback: 3 – Out from the Roots, Trophy Gold: Roots of Old Kalduhr – Githyanki Diaspora

  4. Pingback: Hirelings 2: The Creepy Lot – Githyanki Diaspora

  5. Pingback: 5 – Sweet, Trophy Gold: Roots of Old Kalduhr – Githyanki Diaspora

  6. Pingback: 7 – HARPY, Trophy Gold: Roots of Old Kalduhr – Githyanki Diaspora

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