Introduction to Pathfinder: A Thespian’s Tale
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Pathfinder, it is a tabletop roleplaying game where you design a character and play a campaign that can last over a year. I joined this particular campaign when JR, Mitchell, Nate, and Ben invited me to at the beginning of our friendship last year. It is a villain’s campaign, and our characters are trying to ruin everything for the peaceful island nation of Talingarde. For my blog posts I thought that it would be fun to chronicle for you, dear reader, the exploits of our band of merry fiends from the perspective of my character, Rooklin Wendelwex. And with that I present to you, for your reading pleasure:
Pathfinder: A Thespian’s Tale
Chapter 1: False Prophet
Everything was so boring. Everything. This land. These people. The gods. There was not an iota of passion, of mischief, of fun to be found in any of them! No matter where my travels took me, I found only the same kind of gluttony in the heart of every mother’s child, every earnest lover, every valiant lord. They gorged themselves on peace and prosperity and other fattening desserts, and I was helpless to show them the error of their ways.
I tried – oh yes, I did! I tried to show them that it is better to be starving. They resolved to swat me away from their ears, as if I were a mosquito buzzing about. I was mocked sometimes, beaten others. I nearly quit.
It was Mitra’s fault. All Mitra. Mitra’s priests drugged the people with piety. Mitra’s knights coddled them with safety. Mitra’s inquisitors strangled every dissent in its infancy. How could I ever hope to beat him – scrawny, lonely, powerless me? I was but a humble Aasimar, however charming. Mitra was a god, a living idea – formidable, resilient, ineradicable. I knew I could never compete with the embodiment of righteousness itself on my own. That thought almost defeated me.
Almost. Then something changed.
As it turns out, it was my realization of Mitra’s greatest strength that showed me how to bring him down. Whatever else Mitra was, if anything, he was at least a powerful idea, and his roots had spread far and deep. I could never be omnipresent like that, but perhaps someone else could on my behalf. For you see, I had an idea of my very own.
My first act of devotion was to write the “Mantra”:
“Lord Jarobarsus, I hearken unto thee!
We are children of one another, I of you and you of me!
Become a servant to your servant and I will finally see,
That I by godless, lawless doom shall finally be set free!”
This was my plan. If I was careful, and clever, and just a bit lucky, then Jarobarsus might just accomplish that which I never could. This is how I became a prophet.
In ways it was difficult and in ways it wasn’t. Jarobarsus, unlike Mitra, was not hindered by the complicated burden of actually existing. He could be whatever I wanted him to be! Everywhere I traveled I would weave in whispers the story of Jarobarsus, who in life had been the most dashing of heroes, the most potent of lovers, the fieriest of temperaments, who had vowed to slay every god with his own magic sword.
In those early months, my faith garnered few followers. Most of the time the local clergy discovered my mischief-making before it had time to take root. Were it not for Wilburt, and his twin brother Egelbert, brutish men who were the two most useful idiots I’d ever met at the time, I doubt I would have ever gotten anyone to take me seriously.
They were unemployed soldiers who were down on their coin when I enlisted them from a forgettable hamlet in the south of Talingarde. Together with their muscle and my silver tongue, the faith was able to extract a few unscrupulous tithes here and there for its sustenance and support, so that it might continue the holy work of spreading the truth of Jarobarsus. I learned over time that the most fertile soil for my proselytizing was to be found in areas of remoteness and rudimentary culture, and so we set out for the most ignorant and disconnected region of Talingarde to be found. We went North.
Now this was my country. Frozen farms that produced tasteless crops were to be found once every few kilometers along rough winding roads through chilling woods and wind-bitten hill country. This was the frontier. Its people were sturdy and disagreeable and, most importantly, they were as bored as I was. We won over the odd disciple in our travels, mostly among the young and rebellious, but other than that, little progress was made until our path finally led us to the town of Aldencross, situated just down river from the Tower of Balentyne – one of the waystations along the Northern Wall. It was here, in the town that would serve as the nexus of my fate, that my story would truly begin.
Join me next time when Rooklin meets the rest of the group and invades the Tower Balentyne.