Thursday, October 9, 2014


In Sertorius, elves are immortal. They are susceptible to violence or disease, but not to old age. So they are more like elves from Tolkien. But they are also a bit dark due to their history. One thing Bill and I decided early on was to do a thought experiment on how immortality would impact the Elves over time. We came up with a few key conclusions. Our first was that the death of an elf would be significant. Just like we view our lives as more precious than the short lived lady bug, Elves probably view their lives as far more precious than the short lived Human or Orc. That meant how war was conducted would be important and we made a point of addressing that in the different Elven cultures. But we also realized that injury and death could still occur. We estimated that your average Elf would still die from violence or disease at age 700. This was just an average of course, many would live well beyond that, some would die much earlier, but it gave us a handle on how long Elves might expect to live, what they would consider a full life. This led to our next conclusions: many venerable elves would have permanent injuries and missing limbs. Here is an example of such an Elf from my own Vaaran Kingdoms campaign. This is the oldest Elf I've ever put into the game, so I made a point of giving him some noteworthy injuries (forgive the Skill formatting, Blogger is not terribly friendly to Tabs). 

Mangrai The Architect of Tongasha
Elven Scholar

Hardiness        3
Stealth             3
Evade              3
Parry               3
Wits                9
Resolve           9

Key Skills
Wrestling:                                1d10
Light Melee:                            1d10
Athletics:                                0d10
Speed:                                     1d10
Muscle:                                   0d10
Detect:                                    2d10
Deception:                              3d10
Persuade:                                 1d10
Empathy:                                0d10
Reasoning:                               3d10
Survival (All):                         2d10
Trade (Stone):                         3d10
Trade (Architecture):           3d10
Language (Singh):                    3d10
Language (Agarian):                2d10
Language (Pasaali):                  2d10
Language (Gruskel):                2d10
Language (Latar):                    3d10
Language (Khubsi):                 3d10
History (Varian Sea):              3d10
History (Sea of Aetorus):       3d10
History (Gulf of Anja):          2d10
History (Midbar Region):       1d10
Places (Varian Sea):                 3d10
Places (Klammerskel):            2d10
Places (The Sea of Aetorus):  3d10
Religion (Senga):                     3d10
Religion (Sarilla):                     3d10
Script (Sai):                             3d10
Script (Latari):                        3d10
Script (Pasar):                                     1d10
Creatures (Sertori):                 3d10

Wounds: 2

Mangrai is an ancient elf, perhaps the oldest in Gamandria. He witnessed the destruction of Nong Said first hand and knows the location of the Pillar of Drabu (an ancient artifact believed to contain Dosikan’s final words). However Mangrai has a thorny personality, having experienced the worst of the world in his 1,852 years. He doesn’t like to talk about the fall, regarding it as a sacred period that purged great evil from the world. He also feels those curious about it are just inviting the same kind of evil. He is happy to talk about the failings of Dosikan or the personal flaws of anyone he is having a conversation with.

Over the years Mangrai has sustained a number of permanent injuries. He is missing his left hand (lost at the fall of Nong Sai), his eyes were gauged out in Rashua leaving him bling, and he is missing his right arm (taken in Caelum). Presently he wears an iron hand on his right arm that is capable of scooping up objects.

Born in 400 AA, Mangrai was the chief architect of Tongasha and well liked by Dosikan. The feeling was not mutual as Dosikan was known for his temperament and executed Mangrai’s father, Pho Khun, for using the wrong color stone in a project. But Mangrai was adept at survival and concealed his rage.

Mangrai’s family had remained in Nong Sai after the Elven exodus. After so long in slavery they had no use for Ranua or her tricks and didn’t trust the elves to lead them to prosperity.

Mangrai helped bring Tongasha to a new age, vastly improving its infrastructure. He also oversaw many burial projects including the Temple of the Emerald Snake where he created a special chamber for The Pillar of Drabu.

By luck Mangrai escaped death when Nong Sai fell. One of the lucky few, he knew where to hide in the city. However he did lose his left hand in the destruction to infection.

In the wake of the disaster he travelled south and lived among the Halflings for a many years. There he eventually found his way into the court of King Ashqart (helping design fortifications during the war for control of Rashua). He served three generations of kings, until the reign of King Ashqart III. In 574 King Yaum-Kar came to power and put many of the Ashqart loyalists to death. Mangrai was merely blinded and sent back to Shahr where he stayed for some time before going to Agra where he remained for about three decades. By 780 he heard of an Orc empire to the west and was curious. He travelled there and became a Client of the Senator Pollio Agrippa. He served long in the family, becoming good friends with Agrippa’s great-great-great grandson Pollio Gaius (later known as Pollio Basto). While serving one of Basto’s descendants, a political crisis led to a series of trials in which Mangrai was wrongly implicated. His arm was taken as punishment for “treason” and he was made a slave. Still his skills were well known and he came to the attention of Juventar Tadarus a young but ambitious Senator who knew well the reputation of Nong Sai. Tadarus had recently been made an Aedile and purchased Mangrai to help him revolutionize Caelan architecture. Caelum was already quite advanced but with the help of Mangrai Tadarus created a more workable sewer system and perfected the public baths. Mangrai remained in the Juventar family until the civil war, when he was sold by Juventar Carus to Darios Tyrna Maorides of Palus. 

Mangrai’s future is cloudier than most. He has lived so long and has such little ambition of his own that deciphering his future is quite difficult.

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