Xenos Philios

That’s right, doing terrible things with other languages now to fit letters —

How about a few interesting folks to meet on your travels? Love and friendship not, alas, guaranteed; but it’s not impossible ~


01. Linet Woodwalker

Born and raised in Rowan’s Cross, a sprawling broch complex in the Shadow, Linet sports both the milky eye-tint common to the locals and their casual unconcern for death and what might come afterward. The latter serves her well when she’s bartering her services as a guide and portal tracker to lost and confused newcomers to her neck of the (metaphorical and literal) woods; maybe not so much when her brashness takes her through the Shadow and into a Corerealm. Linet honours all her contracts regardless. It’s the principle of the thing — and once she reaches one hundred contracts fulfilled, the salt-and-shell curse will be lifted from her sister.

: driven : delver : practical : punctual :


02. Silphil

Most fleshy throats cannot pronounce this scintillant mathemagician’s actual name, so “Silphil” it is. It doesn’t mind; no more than it minds the necessity of simulating fleshy words in eerie tones by vibrating scores of its rapidly rotating light-rings together. Silphil wants the calculations of the afterworlds, and it collects them constantly and eagerly, identifying those calculations by its own inscrutable standards — proofs and poetic stanzas, perfect solids trapped in realm-stuff and intangible integers tangled in thought, it absorbs them all into its chiming form. It’s happy to crack mundane esoteric maths if approached politely, seeing it as a gentle hobby.

: melodic : flighty : acquisitive : enchanter :


03. The Water-Lion

There’s not a trace of actual felinity in this senior Ringwalker’s bearing; but any questions about his name are met with nothing but a faint smile and a shake of his head that sets his mane of silver-shot sooty hair swinging. The Water-Lion’s taught more would-be explorers than he likes to think about, these days, and far too few of those have come back to Guildhouses intact, a fact that gnaws at his innards and dulls his silver-bright eyes — and keeps his prodigious notations private and his riversteel blade in its scabbard. But the right reason, the right cause, could well lure him out; and he knows both many strange magics and the secrets of delving hearts and minds.

: experienced : timeworn : honourable : haunted :


04. Malifleur

He was the heart of a world, once. That’s what Malifleur claims, anyway, to anyone who listens — or finds themselves trapped in his grip, or entranced by the grinding rumble of his broken voice. He’s a sight to behold, certainly, with his titanic stature and his brazen skin, tangled crop of blood-rust ringlets and eyes like blue-green suns. Pay no mind to the wounds of throat, palms, navel, brow, eternally weeping ichor; pay no mind to the ghosts of shattered aureoles that dog him like a faded mockery of peacock-eyed lost glory. Malifleur brings far greater things to be concerned over: the goldshadow echoes of his might; his drive to claim any knowledge, any power that may restore him; and the possibility that his claims may be true.

: prideful : resentful : primordial : lessened :


05. Aatacana

Inquisitive and insightful, with a canny mind behind her lilting tongue, Aatacana has been traveling throughout the realms for a very long time indeed. She can be found throughout the Manifold Palaces — having less interest in the Foundations of the planes — and currently chases down whispers and gossip about the dreaming Mirror, willing to pay in starjewels and honey-dust and even mundane coin. Pay no mind to her great lemon-gold coils, or gleaming silver eyes, or to the simple fact that she is a massive serpent the thickness of a warrior’s thigh, festooned with hovering pouches and two “hands” of magical force.

: wanderer : secretive : dreamer : amused :


06. Master Thea

Oh she’s sharp, is Thea. You don’t wend your way to prominence as the captain of a merchantry that spans six realms without being sharp. Sharp as a blade, and just as likely to cut if crossed the wrong way — as many discover when they think they can pull the wool over the Master Of Fortunes. Thea’s tossed more than one such fool over the rail of an umbraship into the nothing between realms for that, and for less; her temper’s as sharp as her mind, these days, and none know what has her so worked up. Even when tallying up her earnings, her shimmering tail lashes like an angry cats’. Oh and never ask about that appendage, come to think — that will earn a bloodglass blade in the gut instead.

: cunning : vengeful : methodical : betrayed :

Dicember 2021 – boss

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