Powers and Perils

The Sea of Tears

This article details economic forces in the Sea of Tears region. Information given includes the mercantile strength of varous port cities, major ports, zones of piracy on the high sea and basic rules for sea encounters. The article also details criminal organizations operating in the area and highlights the most powerful criminals and merchants in the region. The purpose of this article is to build a firm foundation for campaigns based in the Sea of Tears region. The article presents regional economic factors, major merchants and insights into the powers that be in the criminal world. This will help the Referee create encounters when the party is looking for somewhere to go, or something to do to satiate their thirst for adventure.

Port Cities

The table below ranks the area's ports (based on a composite of wealth and available merchant shipping, with wealth resolving any ties) into four classes of port. Within the listing of each class, the ports are listed in a rough order of economic importance to the region.

Ports on the Sea of Tears

First Class Ports
Second Class Ports
21)PortaThaliba25)Ft. VerinXan*
22)ProviniBhamotin26)Nerid Nerid
23)SalaqaraDonara27)Araou Rogizini
24)SammaDonara28)Affea Clima
Third Class Ports
29)VizanClima32)Roghara Shanda
30)ChirosChiros33)Melecin Clima
31)ZarunZarun34)Fort KiraClima
Fourth Class Ports
* Located on the peninsula northeast of Xanthia in Xan. A military colony with a strong fleet presence and some mercantile activity. Excluding military personnel the normal population of the area is about 2500 persons.

NOTE - Tilal is located where the Eye of Tiamat meets the Sea of Tears. Because of this position, and because most of its trade is in the Sea of Tears, it is included in this list. Acghiza is the second largest Rogizini port, a major economic force, a military center and the seat of the empire's Grand Vizier.

Port Definition

First Class Ports

First class ports have extensive facilities and large harbors. Maritime industry is of great importance in the life of the city, with at least 20% of the population employed filling maritime needs. Warehouse, ship repair and ship building facilities are well-organized. The major merchant houses and shipping lines have a great deal of influence, both locally and in the region as a whole. In some cities. Rogh'sa and Sivas for example, they can be 'the tail that shakes the tiger' when they enter the political arena for some reason.

Second Class Ports

Second class ports have good facilities and harbors. The warehouse space and other maritime resources in the city are adequate to their needs. In most of these cities. facilities for ship building are small. (A notable exception is Maren where most of the nation of Marentia's ships are built.) Merchant houses and shipping lines operating in these cities are strong, but not overwhelming. They are powerful locally and have a little regional influence when they choose to extend themselves. They are a force, but not a dominant one.

Third Class Ports

The quality of these harbors ranges from good to poor. All have minimum facilities for supplying the city's maritime needs, i.e. enough to care for outgoing trade and reprovision ships that stop in. Most of these cities exist as trade or reprovisioning stops for vessels headed somewhere else. None have any ship building industry to speak of. Their merchant houses and shipping lines are not strong, though they can sometimes influence local policy. Those that are in strategic positions or have a strong reason for having such, have facilities for repairing vessels. (Examples would be Provini and Nerid.)

Fourth Class Ports

These ports are small and/or have desperately inadequate facilities. They are working ports because of some strategic need or valuable commodity that they produce. Few have sizable warehouse space or ship repair/ship building capability. The merchant houses and shipping lines extent in the area are offshoots from other nations or the independent effort of a few local entrepreneurs. (In Roghara the dominant force is House Chian, one of the great houses of Fomoria. In Zarun, ten to twenty small locals do their best to handle the business.) They are rarely a major power in area politics though they can have an important impact on the local economy.

Merchant Princes of the Sea of Tears

This part of the article details the five wealthiest merchants resident in the area. They may be used as non-plaver characters, either as enemies or as personages who sponsor players on adventures of your creation. The five are listed in order of wealth. (The monthly income listed for each man is his pocket money. i.e. discretionary funds that he uses as he sees fit, not the total income of his house.)

Riza Mullabi

Riza Mullabi - Merchant of Rogh'sa, Moneylender
*Reduced 20% because of his obesity.

Home Office


Major Offices

All other Rogizini cities. Malnon, Gom, Porta, Port Doman, Halle, Dechat, Vahear, Matan, Shimama and Kirazan.

Monthly Income


Main Areas of Business

Slaving (10), Gambling and Entertainment (8), Moneylending (7), Drug and Spice Trade (5), Fine Cloth (5), Exotic Goods (4).

Expertise - EL80 Rogizini, Gomese, Moneylender and Merchant (Slaver), EL60 Sair'acili, Climan and Fomorian, EL50 Jeweler, EL45 Herbalist, EL40 Mahelan, Dechan and Robari, EL30 Sign Language, EL9 Rhetoric, EL5 City, Hill and Desert Survival, EL3 Gambler, EL2 Fighting Dagger, EL0 Hand-to-Hand.

Equipment - Many items of jewelry (value = D100 + 50GC at any time), fine robes, fighting dagger.

NOTE - Riza is always accompanied by 1D6 + 2 Kacili guardsmen and 1D3 slave girls. The guardsmen are deadly (OCV7/DCV6, EL5 in combat skills) and loyal. The slave girls are always exquisite.

Riza's house, House Mullabi, has dominated the economy in Rogh'sa and most of the empire for three centuries. The basis of its power is moneylending, gambling and slavery. Its founder (Fashod Mullabi) was a hard man who clawed his way out of the gutter and became, possibly, the most successful slaver in history. Riza is a sly hedonist, devoted to personal pleasure, increasing his wealth and assuring that he is on the right side of the 'political fence'. At the present time he is a major supporter of the empire's Grand Vizier. Because loyalty is a foreign concept to him, especially when his survival is at stake, there is no one he would not use, betray or discard to save himself. If the Emir shows weakness, or his enemies begin to make strides against him, Riza will certainly change his allegiance. Until then, his money and resources remain a convenient cornerstone for the Grand Vizier to build his power on.

Janus Karald

Janus Karald - Merchant of Sivas, Naval Lieutenant (retired)

Home Office


Major Offices

All other Marentian cities, Ba'Ru, All Bhamotin cities, Rogh'sa, Zarun, Aratad, Rhozad, A'iam and Felara.

Monthly Income


Major Areas of Business

Common Goods (9), Jewelry (7), Weapons (7), Food (5), Livestock (4), and Armor (3).

Expertise - EL8O Navigation, Marentian, Bhamoti, Zendaii and Ba'Ru, EL65 Merchant Jewelry and Weapons, all types, EL40 Rogizini, EL24 Seaman, EL10 City, Plains, Ocean and Hill Survival, EL3 Swords, Shield and Hand-to-Hand, EL2 Rhetoric.

The House of Janus has existed for more than 500 years. It owns, or controls, much of the industry in the Kingdom of Marentia (especially in Sivas). In the past, it played a major role in the foundation of the Karestian dynasty. Its elder, whoever he may be, is one of the most powerful men in this kingdom. The current elder, Janus Karaid, is an honest old man who served as an officer in the Marentian fleet for ten years. He does not believe in profit through chicanery. His shops and industries are completely honest in dealing with their customers. His products are always good quality and never over priced. Where he finds less moral conditions prevalent in his business, he fires the crook responsible. Janu feels that Maros the Reaver, his King, is the world's greatest monarch.

Fa the Trader

Fa the Trader - Master of House Galeir, Agent of the Climan Empire, Merchant and Entrepreneur.

Home Office


Major Offices

All other Donaran cities, Chiros, Nerid, A'iarn, Caldo, Aratad, Eured, Rhozad, Zarun, Maoun, Gatti and Porta.

Monthly Income

390GC (Of this sum 250GC per month is spent to support his espionage apparatus in addition to the funds provided by Clima. 75GC a month is hidden away in case of future need. He lives on 65GC a month and gifts from his friends.)

Major Areas of Business

Fine Cloth (8), Manufactured Goods (6), Timber (6), Exotic Goods (5), Jewelry (2).

Expertise - EL80 Climan, Armorer and Read and write all tongues known, EL75 Moneylender and Navigation, EL65 Trailing, EL60 Donaran, Salaqi, E'lici and Tongue of Young Chaos, EL50 Katai, EL40 Merchant*, EL33 Jeweler, EL20 Seaman, Trained wizard, EL3 General Skills, EL2 Hell Powers, Fascination, Compulsions and Theft, EL 1 Storm Powers, Decay, Corruption, Quarrels and Paralysis, EL12 City Survival, EL9 Hill, Mountain, Forest, Desert and Plains Survival. EL5 Singer and Rhetoric, EL4 Fighting Dagger, Horsemanship and Gambler, EL2 Swords and Sling.

*General knowledge in bargaining techniques, negotiations and haggling. Has some competence in business law as well.

Equipment - Fine clothing, fighting dagger, two rings (8SC, 2GC).

Fa Galeir is an effervescent and hyperactive man. He is married to a former slave from Katai and is a Climan agent. Fa has his fingers in as many pies as he can get into. When this endangers him, he stops at nothing to survive or avenge himself. He has served Clima for 23 years and is valued by his masters. It is through him that the Duke Salin reached Clima and was taught magic after his near death at the hands of Actin. His spy network covers Donara and extends into other lands as well. Fa came to Pelara nineteen years ago. He quickly established a good business and, with his charisma, intellect and energy, came to be one of the favorites of Duke Salin and other notables of Felara. Today, after Salin, he is the wealthiest merchant in Felara though he lives relatively simple. He has a reputation as a humanitarian, living simply so that his immense profits can do good for others. In fact, he is the leader of a Climan spy ring. His profits, plus 500GC a year from Clima, finance an operation that covers most of the Sea of Tears area.

Fa is an amoral man devoted to the service of his faith, but not to the point that he will die for it. The most important thing in his life is power. After himself, he cares most for his wife Pia and their children. He would go to extreme lengths to protect them, though not far enough to endanger himself.

NOTE - Fa is a pragmatist. He is happy with things as they stand but is prepared if he has to bolt. In five cities outside of Donara, he has hidden treasures (his savings for the last 19 years). The money hidden in case of emergency is:

Porta160GCTotal =1090GC

Jai Averg

Jai Averg - Baronet of Aratad, Merchant of Aratad

Home Office


Major Offices

Rhozad, Eured, Irava, Zarun, All Marentia and Bhamatin cities, Malnon, Tilal, Rogh'sa, Maoun, Araou, Pelara, Donara, Samina, Caldo, Gom, Shieram, Xantia and Eydan.

Monthly Income

320GC (Reinvests 150-200GC of his income each month into his business or acquiring new properties. The rest is given away, spent on lavish entertainments and amusement, etc.)

Major Areas of Business

General goods (5)

NOTE - House Averg does not specialize in particular items, as other houses do. Jai deals wherever a profit is to be had without excessive risk. (Some of his offices deal in illegal or stolen goods. Most do not. Jai does not favor such dealings and will not back those arrested or hurt by doing so. He will collect his share of the profits however.)

Expertise - EL80 Aratad, EL60 Merchant (Cloth, Spice, Drugs, Weapons, Armor, Art, Musical Instruments, Salver), La'Ced, Zarunese, Irava, Marentian and Donaran, EL50 Moneylender, Navigation, Jeweler and Seaman, EL40 Scholar (Geography, Astronomy), EL30 Clothier, EL 14 City Survival, EL8 Plains, Hills and Forest Survival, EL7 Swords, EL6 Climbing and Musician (Oboe), EL4 Swimming, Bows and Tracking, EL3 Horsemanship, EL1 Maces and Shield, EL0 Heavy Lance.

Jai Averg is the heir of a Baronet from one of the finest, and poorst, families in Aratad. He came to detest charity from the wealthy who hoped to win favor at court by throwing brass to the Averg. When Jai was 11 he left home and stowed away on a trading vessel. He began his career as a cabin boy and swabber named Heur and never allowed his station to show. During three hard years Jai showed a good deal of talent. His captain thought him worth training and arranged his apprenticeship. While in training (the next five years) he ran a mercantile shop and made a substantial profit. From this shop, and an inheritance from the Captain on his death, he built his house into one of the major houses in the Sea of Tears.

Jai Averg is a stubborn individualist and fierce competitor. Though he is a kind man, he is also a consummate artist in mercantile dealings. It is his game, he loves it and relishes the opportunity it gives him to travel the world, meet other peoples and make money at their expense. It is a much more enjoyable life than accepting handouts to maintain the honor and pride of one's family name.

Muyan Xanabar

Muyan Xanabar - Baron of Sheirzi, Merchant of Gom

Home Office


Major Offices

Gom, Erdan, Xantia, Araou, Pelara, Kirazan, Port Doman, Shestar, Atier and Maboiba.

Monthly Income


Major Areas of Business

Spices (9), Exotic Goods (7), Drugs (6), Fine Metals (5), Stone (3).

Expertise - EL80 Gomese, EL60 Herbalist, Donaran and Fomorian, EL54 Merchant (Spices, Exotic Goods and Stone), EL40 Dwarf Elder, EL23 Miner, EL9 City, Hill and Mountain Survival, EL7 Rhetoric, EL5 Musician (Lute), EL2 Axes, Horsemanship, Swimming and Climbing.

House Xanabar was built by Muyan's father. Until a few years ago Muyan worked in the Xantia office and as a supervisor of the family mines. He is fond of Fomorian society and behavior. His best friend is Gorel Chian, his sisters husband and heir to House Chian of Fomoria. Two years ago Muyan's father was assassinated by the Brothers of the Night for testifying against one of their middle level leaders. Muyan assumed leadership of the house, returned to Sheiram and has spent the last two years getting the house in order.

Muyan's public goal is to expand until his house is the most powerful operation in the Sea of Tears. Privately he wants to destroy the Brothers of the Night, eradicate the secret Climan cults, and the hedonism and abusive slavery practiced in his nation and bring the capital to Sheiram where it belongs. He is a crusading reformer set to make his nation as perfect as his beloved Fomoria. As yet, Muyan has not found agents competent for these tasks but he is patient and can wait. In all ways he appears to be an industrious, Gomese merchant with no concern in politics. He has made great strides towards building his financial power base. In financing his secret projects, he will not expose himself. His agents are on their own if they get caught. He will not help them unless it is completely safe for him to do so. His survival is of paramount importance if his goals are to prosper.

Areas Of Business

Each merchant house has areas of interest listed. The number in parentheses rates the importance of that area to the house. A scale rated from 1 to 10 is used. The value listed for each area can be used, multiplying it times itself, to determine the chance the merchant takes action against those who damage that part of Ws business. If the action is intended to hurt him, and he finds out, double this chance. When players go to shops owned by these merchants the goods for sale reflect the preferences above. For each point above five add five to the availability chance. If the rating is 9 or 10. the item is present automatically. For each point below 3 subtract 10 from availability. If the rating is 1, the house can make the item available given time but never has it in stock.

Crime in the Sea of Tears

Criminal Strongholds

Certain cities in the area are reputed to be criminal strongholds. In these cities, legal authority fails to control the criminal element and citizens, especially the poor, are at the mercy of the forces of the night. The following cities are notorious in this way. The description for each of them details its major criminal forces including primary bases, political importance and relative strength.

1) Pelara

Pelara is the largest city in Donara and the busiest trade port in the area. It is notorious for its thieves and smugglers. Pelara's Thieves Guild is a monolithic organization. For the last eighty years, since Feral Manion's Month of Blood united the various guilds under his leadership, it has controlled the city's thieves, cutpurses, beggars and a large number of criminal specialists, i.e. ladies of the night, gamblers, fences, etc. Only the Smugglers and Assassins are free from guild control. In a city of 44,000 people, the total membership of the Pelaran Thieves Guild is nearly 2,000. It is a pervasive influence connected to all strata of society. The central base of the Guild is the Saffron Delight, a private brothel located in a two-story building in Pelara's Ghetto district. Beneath its basement are two sub-basement levels where guild business is taken care of. These levels contain a small hospital, dormitories, planning rooms, training facilities and the guild treasure house (believed to contain more than 400GC worth of treasure and equipment).

Before the Month of Blood, Pelaras dominant criminal guild was the Ancient Order of Silent Merchants (the Smugglers Guild). It has existed, under an unbroken line of clan leaders, for a millenium. The two clans who make up its membership have about 400 members. Membership is restricted to members of these clans. No outsider is ever admitted into this guild. If you aren't family you aren't.

The sacred watchwords of this society are secrecy and science. The major businesses are smuggling, kidnapping, the sale of information and the sale of drugs. It is often said in Pelara 'if you can afford it, the smugglers can get it.' The master of the Smugglers Guild is Xitan the Spicer. Its base of operations is an underground grotto connected, through ancient tunnels and the local sewer, to the Elite Spicer (Xitan's shop), a few warehouses and hidden bases outside of the city. The Smugglers Guild is an organized, efficient and dangerous organization. Their bases are well-hidden and were created, over the centuries, with exhaustive and calculated effort. Every member is a highly-trained professional and some are easily as deadly as trained assassins.

The assassins guild is not a major force in Felara at this time. Because of the strength of the Smugglers, the recent growth of the Thieves Guild and the traditions of the area, the Assassins Guild in Pelara is small. None of its guilds have had more than 25 members or lasted longer than 40 years without having to be rebuilt. Rarely have any of the assassins guilds had two strong leaders back to back, which is one reason for their 'seasonal' demise. The current guild, founded and led by Arno the Lame, has 15 members. Due to the influence of Arno, and the obvious talent of his successor (Actin the Black), it could beat the "40 year jinx" and become a force to be reckoned with. The current organization is a deeply buried, well-financed and brillianty led unit that is virtually untouchable.

Like the Smugglers, the rule of this guild is silence. An issassin who talks is dead. Seeing to his death takes priority over other guild contracts. All members are tattoed on their scalp, with a figure of crossed daggers. They learn a system of code words and hand symbols to make themselves known to other members when they must. All assasins in Pelara have a cover identity, i.e. a person they are when they aren't on the job. Most lower assassins are simple tradesmen. The leaders are well known figures who exercise some power and, in some cases, are quite wealthy. Advancement by murder is not tolerated in this guild. The penalty for killing a brother assassin is death.

NOTE - There is little market in Pelara for assassination. Traditionally, both the Donarans and the Elici prefer other methods of disposing of bothersome enemies. Kidnapping, beatings, humiliations of various kinds and imprisonment are most commonly prefered to murder.

2) Gom

Gom is known for its wide-open nightlife, the availability, of any kind of luxury imaginable and the Brothers of the Night. What thieves and smugglers exist in this city are poorly organized groups whose influence is negligible. The Brothers of the Night are a large, efficient organization whose tendrils extend from the gutter to the royal palace. Few men have the courage to risk their ire. Those who do seldom live long afterwards.

The secret base of the Brothers is a noble estate ten miles, east of Gom. It is owned by Count Nabar Meiijan, Colonel of the Eunuch Guard and the secret Master of the Night (his title as Guildmaster). It is a beautifully-designed, three-story structure with two basement levels. Its grounds contain stables, ponds, gardens and are surrounded by 1,200 acres of forested hills. Other bases and safehouses are located in the cities of Gom and Sheiram. They also have bases in Maoun, Araou, Roghara and Erdan. The guild's membership includes over 200 thugs and specialists, 300 spies and informants and 120 highly-trained assassins. It is a deadly force that plays an important role in Gomese politics. (According to rumor, when the current emperor returned the throne to Gom after his predecessors moved it to Sheiram a major factor in his decision to do so was the receipt of a death threat from the Brothers of the Night.)

3) Nerid

The business of Nerid is piracy. Much of the people's income comes from repairing and supplying vessels for the corsairs who base here. What legal authority exists mostly leaves the city to the pirates and rules the countryside. This compromise promotes business and eliminates the potential for confrontation. Effectively, Nerid is a free pot ruled by whoever can make his wishes stick. Its people are conniving, greedy and somewhat cowardly, in that personal survival comes well ahead of morality in their eyes.

The pirate who dominates Nerid is Cazil the Scar, master of the Falcon's Dream (a fast vessel crewed by 120 of the best pirates in the world). Most of his time in port is spent at the Silver Alicorn trying to impress Ghia Trell. As necessary, he sends his men around town to make sure that things are running his way. He also employs 50 thugs who make sure that his will is obeyed when he is on the High Seas.

Nerid is also a major clearing house for stolen goods. Many of its citizens are moneylenders or dealers in stolen goods. Only Porta has a larger piece of this action. Unlike Porta, these goods are not sold openly in Nerid. Because of the political exigencies of the area. Nerid tries to retain the illusion of being an honest community beset by evil men that they can not hope to control.

4) Porta

As shown in TOWER OF THE DEAD, Forta is a wide-open city run by its gang bosses. No pretense of normal legal authority exists here. In each of its gang territories one boss rules and his word is law. The most important gang in Porta is the Firehall Gang run by Qun Firemane. It has close ties with Porta's pirates and possesses vessels of its own. The most important, for its regional significance, is Mavan the Whore's Tavern Gang. Mavan is known from Pelara to Rogh'sa as a dealer in stolen goods. She will handle anything and has strong ties with Pelara's Guild.

Any criminal activity, with some variance due to the attitude of the local boss, is acceptable in Porta. It is an important base for pirates, sometimes being visited by notable pirates like Cazil the Scar and Noman Kha of Dechat. For precise information on bases, relative strengths, etc., see TOWER OF THE DEAD.

5) The Island of Shazizan

Crime has been severely punished in this emirate since the Rogizini Empire broke the Shazi pirates centuries ago. This has not stopped the locals from continuing to profit from crime. The citizens of this island are renowned smuglers and pirates. Kidnapping and graft are also old traditions in this land.

Shazizan is an unusual island. Its city is mainly populated by Rogizini settlers and is relatively crime free. Its Emir is dedicated to maintaining order. The streets are patrolled by heavily-armed constables and loaded with his spies. It is not a safe place for criminals, as his enforcement lietwork is efficient and his punishments are terribly harsh.

In the countryside, Rogizini authority is tolerated while the sun shines. At night, Rogizini authority is ignored for the most part and crime runs rampant, especially against Rogizini citizens and foreigners. The most powerful gang on the island is the Silvered Shadow Society. It is composed of skilled criminals and fanatics, many of whose families have been members for ten generations. Underlying the society's criminal power, is an ancient cult worshipping the Lords of Shadow, the gods of the island's most powerful minority before the Rogizini conquest. The members of this cult, including Bacien the Tall (High Master of the Silvered Shadow), worship their gods through ritual theft, kidnapping and murder. They inspire fear throughout the island. Their power, and the market for their services, extend throughout the island and into Rogh'sa. Acghiza, Halle and Tilal.

The headquarters of the Silvered Shadow Society is an ancient shrine hidden in the island's northern hills. Within this cavern is a shrine to the Lord of Shadow, a barracks area, an armory and tunnels leading to a hidden cove. The main entrance to the cave is set 100 feet up a cliff. It is reached on rope ladders dropped down by ever-present and vigilant guards. The only way to sneak into this cave is to find the hidden cove and sneak up through the tunnels. All other approaches are watched.

6) Tilal

Tilal is a cosmopolitan city. Its Emir cares little about the everyday lives of his subjects. His concerns are his pleasure and his armed forces. Because of this laissez faire attitude, and the city's location, Tital is a wild city noted for the availability of almost anything, moral or immoral. In fact, the immense wealth this climate generates has done much to prevent the unification of its guilds. Until the recent past, a 'free market' environment existed in Tital's criminal world with everyone grabbing what they could. In the last year, this has changed as major factions in the underworld have gone to war. Most of those involved fight for survival. The instigator, Alessandra Makel, fights to unify all under her leadership.

The dominant leaders in this war are Alessandra Makel and the Fox, a Dechan who is greatly feared. Backed by powerful magic, and solid connections at court, the Alessandra is well on her way to unifying Tilal's criminals. If she can eliminate the Fox, Tilat is her's for the taking. Her base of operations is her Manor house in Tital. This is a two-story building surrounded by gardens and a high wall. it is heavily- guarded at all times. The total strength of her faction is 30 mercenary soldiers, 120 thugs, 50 thieves, 150 other specialists and A'kal the Ancient, a powerful wizard from A'korchu.

The Fox is a master thief and assassin. His base is hidden in the basement of a wine shop in Tilal's poorest district. Its location is a closely guarded secret. Men have died for finding it. The Fox's organization is not large. He has 20 highly-trained elite (trained as assassins and thieves) and 30 lesser thugs following him. Of these, only the elite know where his base is. They would kill themselves rather than reveal its location. Financially, and sometimes militarily, the Fox is supported by the Silvered Shadow Society (who want him to eliminate the threat that Alessandra represents). His goal is to regain lost holdings in Tilal and enslave Alessandra. Beyond these forces, Tilal has five independent thieves guilds and two assassins guilds. All have less than 50 members (D100/2 rounded up) and no more than three safehouses (1D3). One of the assassins guilds is run by Allessandra's brother. The others are in danger of being taken over.

Notorious Criminals of the Sea of Tears

Allesandra Makel

Allesandra Makel - Courtier, Lady of the Veil*, Mistress of the Palm District Thieves Guild, Mistress of Palair Shan (Chamberlain of the Emir of Tilal)
*A Lady of the Veil is a noblewoman who serves or has served as the companion of an Emir's wife. 'The Veil' is the common name for the palace where the Emir sequesters his wives.

Expertise - EL80 Rogizini, EL74 Herbalist, Sign Language, Read and Write Rogizini, Dechan and Gomese, EL60 Moneylender, Dechan, Gomese, Korchi*, Climan, Bhamoti and Marentian, EL55 Trailing, EL51 Thief, EL50 Eagle Husbandry, EL40 Disguise Artist, Deftness and Locksmith, EL8 Dancer, Actor, Healer and City Survival, EL6 Rhetoric and Throwing Dagger, EL3 Fighting Dagger.

*Allesandra has a wizard from A'korchu in her service. He has taught her his tongue and how to act like a magic-user.

Equipment - Fine Clothing, Fur Cape, Necklace, Ring, Silver Belt*. Throwing Dagger.

*The belt grants the bearer +15 I and Em, EL2 Protection and EL2 Immunity to all forms of magic. Its benefits are not included in the statistics listed above.

Alessandra is an intelligent, amoral woman. Her plan to unify the guilds of Tilal is her great passion. Since allying with A'kal the Ancient (MEL10/EL5), a Korchi wizard, she has made major strides towards the fruition of her dream. For four years she has been using A'kal, connections at court and friends in Dechat to force unity on the guilds. She plans to control every criminal operation in the area and form the most powerful criminal guild in the world. She is motivated by greed, lust for power and a personal need to prove that she is as good as any man. She conceals these motivations very well.

NOTE - Alessandra pretends to be a magic-user to intimate potential enemies. She is quite good at this because of Akal's instruction and her talent as an actress. Where intimidation will not work she will use any esource at her disposal to get hat she wants.

Arno the Lame

Arno the Lame - Scribe, Messenger, Master of the Petaran Assassins Guild.
*+ 30CV for level as an Assassin.
**MR when acting lame, otherwise use a MR of 13.

Expertise - EL80 Deftness, Donaran. Elici and Salaqi, EL65 Herbalist and Read and Write languages known, EL60 Trailing, Portan,Dechan, La'Ced, Aratad, Rogizini, Fomorian, Gomese and Marentian, EL51 Scribe in Donaran, La'Ced, Aratad and Rogizini, EL40 Disguise Artist, EL12 Short Sword and Throwing Dagger, EL10 Hand-to-Hand, Assassin, Miscellaneous Throwing Weapons and War Staff, EL9 Horsemanship, Fighting Dagger, Executioner and Rhetoric, EL7 City, Plains, Forest. Hil, Underground I and II Survival, EL6 Actor, EL5 Sword, EL4 Climbing and Swimming.

NOTE - All Weapon EL's include +3 levels for Assassin skill

Equipment - (As Messenger) Staff, Short Sword, common robes, pouch. two throwing daggers*.

* (As Scribe) Common robes, staff, papaer and ink, fighting dagger, two throwing daggers*.

*Hidden. the blades are treated with BL4 Immediate Death poison.

Arno the Lame has been an assassin for 43 vears. He has been Pelara's Master Assassin for 21 of those years. During his long career he has never been caught, and rarely suspected of, fulfilling a contract. People who know his true identity, outside of guild members and "brokers', can be numbered on one hand. None of them live in the city of Pelara, at his suggestion.

Arno has devoted his last ten years to teaching young assassins and laying the foundation for a Permanent Pelaran guild. (He has only stain four people personally in this time.) He has retired as an active assassin. Only when a job is especially intriguing to him, as a challenge or from some possible gain, will he take a sabbatical from retirement. Because the guild is small (less than 15 members), Arno teaches them all and is their personal advisor. He is a tireless instructor. His best pupil, and heir, is Actin the Black.

Bacien the Tall

Bacien the Tall - High Master of the Silvered Shadow, Smuggler, Pirate
MEL10EL3(Shadow Weaver)

Expertise - EL80 Deftness, Locksmith and Rogizini, EL60 Shadow Tongue, Navigation and Cerulean, EL55 Marine Carpenter, Trailing, Read and Write Rogizini, EL35 Thief, EL11 Swimming and Fighting Dagger, EL10 Climbing, EL9 Bows, Horsemanship, City and Hill Survival, EL8 Scimitars and Shield, EL6 Two Weapon, Spears, Rhetoric, Tracking and Hand-to-Hand, EL3 Throwing Dagger.

SPECIAL - Bacien is an innate Shadow Weaver trained in all forms of Shadow Magic. All powers, innate and trained, use the power level listed above.

Equipment - Scimitar, Scalemail, Buckler, Metal Helmet, Fighting Dagger, Composite Bow, the Ring of Shadows*.

*The symbol of the cult leader. When it is worn by a Shadow Weaver, it provides 30 mana points per day for Shadow Magic, allows the wearer to regenerate 1D6 energy points per day in addition to his normal energy recovery and allows him to use Soul Sight on any shadow, at the ring's power level, for a casting cost of 2 energy points per use. It is an MEL14/EL6 magic item that is more than a thousand years old.

Bacien is descended from a long line of Shadow Weavers, dating back more than 1,500 years. He has been High Master for five years. Before 'taking the ring' he was a pirate and smuggler. He is happy with his current life and does not want more power or strife. He loves the night and is quite uncomfortable in daylight. Except for this neurosis, he is a kind man with a decent sense of humor. He only hurts others when he must, for business or religious reasons. He does not go out of his way to harm his enemies and does not enjoy inflicting pain on others. When possible, he is placid and generous to all. When the situation demands that he act, he is as cruel and deadly as necessary to get the problem resolved immediately. He has little patience with those who disturb his tranquility.

Cazil the Scar

Cazil the Scar - Pirate

Expertise - EL80 Salaqi, Navigation and Seaman, EL60 La'Ced, Portan and Rogizini, EL50 Dog Husbandry, EL13 Swimming and Climbing, EL12 Broadsword, EL10 City, Plains, Hill and Ocean Survival, EL9 Shield and Fighting Dagger, EL8 Bows, EL7 Gambler, EL6 Healer and Dog Healer, EL5 Other Heavy Swords, Throwing Dagger and Hand-to-Hand, EL2 Rhetoric.

Equipment - (Battle) Scalemail, Metal Helmet, Composite Bow, Broadsword, Metal Shield. Fighting Dagger, Throwing Dagger (Set in shield sheath above hand grip).

(Other) Leather Armor, Broadsword, Fighting Dagger, Two Throwing Daggers, Three Necklaces, Two Armbands, Four Rings, 1D3 Dog III (1.4 x normal size).

Cazil was born twelve miles north of the city of Salaqara. At the age of eight his father was hung for rebel activity and all his property (a small farm and 15 dogs) was confiscated. Homeless, Cazil's mother took the family to live with relatives in Shiben. Growing there, knowing that his father was murdered, Cazil became a hard and stubborn man. He has an ability to understand the motives and actions of others. As a loyal Salaqi and to honor the memory of his father, he despises Donarans and makes an effort to plague them. In his career, he has learned to dislike the Climans (for their interference with freedom on the seas) and the Rogizini (because they are effete and cowardly fops). He is a devoted worshipper of Mannannan Mac Lir (elder God of the Sea) and Morrigan (A Goddess of War). Ten percent of each cargo he captures is sacrificed to these gods.

Cazil enjoys power but does not needlessly cow his followers. He leads through charisma and courage, often placing himself in situations that force his men to fight like devils to save him. He is loved by his men and feared by enemies. His life is dedicated to good times, the pursuit of adventure and winning the love of Ghia Trell. As a pirate, his raids are aimed at Donaran vessels though he will not pass up a plump Climan or Rogizini ship when he finds one. The reward offered for his head, dead or alive, is 40GC in Donara, 30 GC in the Rogizini Empire and Clima.

The Fox

The Fox - Free-Lance Assassin, Thief, Agent of the Silvered Shadow Society

Expertise - EL80 Dechan, Thief, Deftness, Trailing, Locksmith and Read and Write Tongues Known, EL73 Disguise Artist, EL63 Seaman, EL60 Rogizini and Cerulean, EL15 Bow*, EL12 Climbing, Swords*, Scimitars*, City and Ocean Survival, EL19 Throwing Dagger* and Shield, EL9 Assassin and Two Weapon*, EL8 Horsemanship, EL6 Swimming, ELS Rhetoric,

*Includes + 3OCV and + 3EL for Assassin skill.

Equipment - (Killing*) Two Short Swords, Bow, 10 arrows, Throwing Dagger (Treated with BLI2 Death Poison), Leather Armor, Red Silk Mask.

(Other) Scimitar, Fighting Dagger, Two Throwing Daggers, Fine Clothing, 2D10GC Miscellaneous jewelry.

*Equipment used when he sets out to kill someone.

The Fox (Jaibar Silan) comes from a long line of Assassins. At an early age, his lack of discipline and failure to abide by guild rules forced his father to disown him. Out of love, his father gave him 48 hours before he made it known to the guild (thus allowing him to stowaway on a boat and get out of Dechat alive). Since then, he has built a small empire in Tilal, keeping his true identity secret to avoid attracting Dechan visitors. His goal is to avoid death and retake what Alessandra's guild has taken from him. In doing so, because of her Dechan connections and her refusal to be his woman, he is intent on enslaving her.

The Fox fears two things, magic and his twin brother (Mor Silan). He makes every effort to avoid a direct conflict with either. This is one reason why Alessandra's plans have borne fruit. The Fox's power base is his connection to the Silvered Shadow Society and the cadre of thieving assassins who serve him. Man for man his followers are better than any others in the area. When he can come up with a plan that negates or eliminates the magics that serve Alessandra he will pounce. Until then he fights a guerrilla war against her gang.

NOTE - Mor Silan is not included because Dechat is in the East. He is an EL13 Assassin, is not a Thief and is an accomplished poisoner. He is, arguably, the worlds greatest assassin. He is definitely the world's most talented poisoner.

Nabar Meirjan

Nabar Meirjan - Count of Shi'gom, Colonel of the Eunuch Guard, Master of the Night

Expertise - EL80 Gomese, EL65 Deftness, EL60 Read and Write Gomese and Fomorian, EL60 Sair'a'cili, Fomorian and Rogizini, EL5O Trailing and Herbalist, EL40 Merchant (Slaver), Artist (Ceramics), Potter and Moneylender, EL9 Swords*, EL8 Hand-to-Hand*, Fighting Dagger* and Horsemanship, EL7 Climbing, City, Hill, Underground II, Desert and Plains Survival, EL6 Tracking, Assassin, Executioner and Shield, EL5 Maces* and Horse Archery, EL4 Eroticist, EL3 Swimming and Rhetoric.

*Includes + 2OCV and + 2EL for assassin skill.

Equipment - (As Colonel) Sword, Fighting Dagger, Platemail, Full Helm, Signet Ring (10GC). When mounted also has a Flail, Banded Shield, Composite Bow and 15 arrows.

(As Master) Short Sword, Fighting Dagger, Black Robes and Mask, Necklace (12GC), Ring (5GC).

Nabar is the current elder of the Hai'gomas clan, the former rulers of Gom. When they were desposed the surviving members of his family swore fealty to the new dynasty. At the same time, they formed an underground society to fight their way back to power. Over the decades there has been schisms in this group, leading to the formation of different rebel societies (some devoted to Climan mysticism). All retain some loyalty to Nabar because he, in their eyes, is the rightful emperor.

Nabar, leader of the Brothers of the Night (the most powerful of these groups), feels the fight for the throne is foolish. He has no love for his rebellious kinsmen, especially those who are backed by the Climans. Unless they endanger his position he will take no action against them. They are family. His sole goal as Master of the Night is to make money and remain the true power in Gom. He will not risk his position for foolish dreams.

Nabar is an intelligent and stubborn man who cares nothing for the rights of others. He feels that the strong deserve what they can get and, as one of the strong, he has the right to take what he wants. He stops at nothing to win, or have his own way, no matter how trivial the case may be. According to rumor, men have died for beating him at chess.

Tevus Skel

Tevus Skel - Master of the Pelaran Thieves Guild.

Expertise - EL80 E'lici, Locksmith and Deftness, EL67 Thief, EL60 LaCed and Portan, EL55 Disguise Artist, EL35 Read and write Donaran and Sign Language, EL39 Trailing, EL8 Fighting and Throwing Dagger, Hand-to-Hand and War Staff, EL6 Climbing, City, Forest and Underground II Survival, EL5 Sap (Club), EL4 Rhetoric, EL0 Other Maces and Gambler.

Equipment - Sap, Fighting dagger, Two throwing daggers, War Staff, Jeweled Key*, Two rings (12CC, 2SC), fine clothing.

*The key is his symbol of office as Master of the Guild. It is needed to bypass the traps guarding the guild's treasure. Caring for this treasure is one of the Guildmaster's primary duties.

Skel has been a member of the guild for 45 years. During the last 12 years he has been Guild Master. He maintains his rule through cunning, brute force and control over the greed of his Underlings. His primary weaknesses are a love of gambling. at which he has little skill, and an enjoyment of beautiful women, notably the Lady Serena. These weaknesses have made him the pawn of Duke Salin and allow Serena to control his actions somewhat.

NOTE - Salin's control over Tevus Skel is unknown to most guild members, who affectionately call Tevus 'the old feret. If they knew he was a pawn, they would kill him. Serena's control is invisible. Eventually, it will lead him to membership in the Sisters of Sammael (a Climan mystical society working against the Donaran government and the Prince in Pelara).

Ghia Trell

Ghia Trell - Owner of the Silver Alicorn, Moneylender, Fence, Rumored Mistress of the Duke of Nerid
*Ghia's has a Creature Power which ties her to the Unicorn and innate power to use Peace. Unicorns find comfort in her and she has a passionate fondness for them.
** +1 DCV for Acrobat skill.

Expertise - EL80 Aratad, EL60 La'Ced, Salaqi and Poilan, EL58 Read and Write Tongues known, EL37 Moneylender, EL29 Elder Tongue, EL10 Dancer, EL9 Throwing Dagger, ELB Acrobat, Musician (Tambourine, Flute, Pipes, Lyre, Harp, Finger Cymbals), Singer and Eroticist, EL7 City, Hill, Forest and Plains Survival, EL6 Gambler, Fighting Dagger and Two Weapon. EL5 Rhetoric.

*General Knowledge used in influencing men and performing. She is accomplished at teasing men into doing what she wishes.

Equipment - Fine Clothing, Two Fighting Daggers, Throwing Dagger, Ring (7GC, a gift from Mal Drask, Duke of Nerid).

Ghia grew up in the hills of Eured. She was a quiet child who shyly avoided fellow villagers despite their liking for her. At the age of 13 she met a Unicorn and discovered both the power within her and something to love. She could not return to village life after this experience. For six years she wandered the forests and hills, revelling in the Unicorn and coming to know other Elder creatures, especially Centaurs, Satyrs and Dryads.

At the age of 19 Ghia began to pine for humanity. After years of searching she came to Nerid and found a city where freedom is the only law. In the years that followed, she founded the Silver Alicorn and became a prosperous taverner and dealer in stolen goods. Despite this low profession. she retains her love of the Unicorn and is often gone for weeks at a time enjoying the wild hills. She is being courted by Cazil, the Scar and, reputedly, is the mistress of Nerid's Duke. In fact, they are friends and she is a virgin. Mal started the rumor to protect her from suitors who, otherwise, would never consider taking no for an answer.

NOTE - Ghia's power depends on her virginity. It she loses her virginity she loses her innate power and her tie to the Unicorn. She will never take a lover willingly.

Zokar Ravan

Zokar Ravan - Free-Lance Thief and Smuggler
* +3 for Acrobat skill
**Supernatural Agility, his right shoulder bears a purple birthmark in the shape of a cat's head.

Expertise - EL80 Aratad, Herbalist, Navigation, Thief, Locksmith, Deftness and Trailing, EL65 Seaman, EL60 Smuggler, Merchant (Poisons), Portan, Zarunese, La'Ced and Marentian, EL19 Throwing Dagger, EL16 Acrobat, EL14 Dancer, EL13 City, Underground II and Ocean Survival, EL11 Musician (Lute), EL10 Two weapon, Hand-to-Hand, EL9 Fighting Dagger, EL8 Singer, Climbing and Rhetoric, EL6 Swimming, EL3 Swords.

Equipment - Fine Clothing, Two Fighting Daggers, Four Throwing Daggers, Serpent Ring*.

*The ring gives the wearer total immunity to Fascination, double MDV against any spell that works by affecting his mind and BL10 immunity to any serpent derived Poison.

Zokar is a talented, compulsively independent, criminal. He has run afoul of many criminal organizations in his career. All failed to bring him down. From his base in Rhozad, Zokar smuggles, deals in poison and steals the choicest plums he can find. He leads a small gang (9 picked men and 3 women who are all top-flight professionals) that is a potent criminal force on the northern shore of the Sea of Tears. He steals in La'Ced, Zarun, Donara and Marentia and uses Porta to sell his poisons and fence stolen goods. He does not engage in criminal activity in the Confederacy of Aratad, his home base. Zokar is motivated by the challenge of his art. He tries to steal the most beautiful or inaccessible items he can find. He does not engage in common theft. What he steals is spent, given away or kept in his hidden museum so that he can enjoy them and remember the excitement.

Xitan the Spicer

Xitan the Spicer - Merchant and Scholar, Treasurer of the Old Faith, Member of the Inner Five, President of the Merchants' Protective Association, Master of the Smuggler's Guild.

Expertise - EL80 E'lici, Navigator, Locksmith, Deftness and E'lici. EL65 Read and Write Donaran, E'lici and Rogizini, EL60 Moneylender, Disguise Artist, Merchant (Spices), Portan, Donaran, Salaqi, La'Ced and Rogizini, EL55 Scholar (Elici History and Theology), Herbalist, Woodworker and Marine Carpenter, EL50 Smuggler, EL45 Seaman, EL9 Tracking, City, Underground I and II Survival, EL8 Sling, EL7 Gambler and Fighting Dagger, ELS Throwing Dagger, Horsemanship, Swimming, Climbing, Hill, Mountain and Forest Survival, EL4 Swords and Two Weapon, Actor and Rhetoric, EL3 Hand-to-Hand.

Equipment - Fine clothing (3SC), fighting dagger, sword, two rings (1GC and 7SC), fur cape, two throwing daggers*.

*One concealed up each sleeve.

Xitan's family has controlled the Smuggler's Guild for centuries. He is dedicated to maintaining this tradition. As part of this dedication, he has built a solid reputation as a Merchant and is responsible for the formation of the Merchants' Protective Association. (The MPA is a coalition of small merchants who work together to protect themselves from thievery and to present a united front at court. Potentially, they could be a power in Pelara.) Since succeeding his father Xitan has had problems with the Thieves Guild. He thinks they are trying to absorb his guild. For this reason, he is their bitter enemy. The two guilds are on the verge of war. Xitan is devoted to E'lici traditions. Since the death of his father he has been a leading figure in the Elici underground religion the Old Faith). He is their primary source of operating capital and a very wealthy man.

Richard Snider
Heroes Vol. II, No. 2


The Sea of Tears

Scans of the original article.

Design: Kurgan

Location on PL Maps