When an adventurous soul — or two, or eight — ready themselves to hurl headlong into a newly-found dungeon or maybe to chart unknown lands (maybe an island rose from the sea, even, or a cloud bank lowered enough to show the spires atop it), sometimes they want to hire on some extra hands before they go. Not even just to swing an extra sword, but to help with everything else that needs done on an adventure.
And then, of course, there’s the times when some hopeful helpful soul decides to offer their labours ahead of time … (now, don’t take advantage of that!)
For the times when an interesting new face is due amongst hirelings and helpers, there’s this little table.
All of these folks are, at start, Normal/0-level/however your game phrases it, and they aren’t trained for combat; with some encouragement, training, and maybe an ambush or two, though, maybe they’ll even pick up the rudiments of an adventuring lifestyle!
01. Tanare Pawsen — coil of rope, herding dog: adept at handling animals, domestic and merely tamed; claims he and they understand each other without words, and maybe they do
02. Vika Glaem — willow baskets, iron snips: seems to know every secret berry field, mushroom patch, and hidden spring within ten leagues of her hometown
03. Norwi Willoweve — pouch of flavourings, pot-in-a-poke: now here’s a rare and valued bird — they’re a virtuoso at camp cooking, making even iron rations into something actually pleasant to eat
04. Ren Dama — bark-paper scrolls, writing kit: delicate of fingers and fussy of details, recording absolutely everything with whatever means he has at hand, including attempting maps
05. Merry Duskr — hooked staff, spindle and roving: unschooled but eager to learn, and one would swear she has a sixth sense for weak structures and failing light sources
06. Bonra Curthi — shoulder yoke, leather pannier: they insist on carrying as much gear as possible, which is a lighter load for the party but perhaps just a bit of overkill — and yet, they don’t seem even winded
07. Vikren One-Eye — pouches of herbs, collection of linen squares: has a broad and prodigious knowledge of herbs, poultices and possets, and he’s happy to share them for the small comforts they are
08. Iilimani Foxfire — prayer beads, weathercloak: an acolyte at a local temple or shrine, she’s willing to vouch for any whom she works alongside and who at least listen to her words as she works
09. Acan Brighthorn — lacework iron lantern, trained corvid: actually a scion of a high family a cousin or two removed; they’re a little awkward on ‘common’ social graces at times but learning quick, and will remember those who take it all good-naturedly
10. Sefrit Duskwell — garlic drops, silvergilt pendant: can often sense the approach or presence of the unliving — or is good enough at reading signs to make it look that way — and he will not explain why that is
11. Janu Burran — pouch of whimsies, tiny whittling knife: perpetually making and then toying with little amulets, good luck charms and wardaways, hedge-lore really … but suppose she’s correct?
12. Kelvran Summer — sheaf of illuminated manuscript, hand-copied map: they fled a scholastic, monastic life and regret nothing; short on experience, long on surprisingly intriguing trivia and scraps of legendry