Tainted Hands
Rowdy Rivals

 

Name:  Kricket Name:  Cardel Name:  Liam
Race:  Human Race:  Human Race:  Human
Class:  Bard Class:  Fighter Class:  Fighter
Kit:  None Kit:  None Kit:  None
Age:  50 Age:  25 Age:  21
Alignment:  NE Alignment:  CE Alignment:  LE
STR:  11 STR:  12 STR:  9
DEX:  15 DEX:  12 DEX:  13
CON:  9 CON:  16 CON:  9
INT:  15 INT:  8 INT:  13
WIS:  12 WIS:  7 WIS:  11
CHA:  17 CHA:  16 CHA:  12
Level:  9 Level:  6 Level:  6
HP:  35 HP:  49 HP:  32

 

Appearance:  Kricket is an aging man of 50 years.  He has greying black hair, a goatee, and hazel eyes.  He stands at 5'10" and has a thin, but well-toned, build.  He looks very athletic for his age, and his face is relatively clear of wrinkles and other signs of aging.  He carries a rapier at his side and often wears a black tri-corner hat, black cloak, grey silk tunic, and grey pants.  His boots are also black and made of a fine leather.

Cardel is a handsome man of 25 years that stands at 6'1".  He is bulked-up, broad-chested and wearing very little.  In fact, all he has on is a leather loincloth, brown boots, a pair of bronze bracers, and a steel helmet with small horns atop it.  He carries with him a large battle axe that is exquisitely crafted and covered in dwarven runes.  He has long black hair and brown eyes.

Liam is a 21 year old man with a thin, willowy build.  He has brown eyes and black hair.  Often he wears black and green clothes, usually made from silk or cotton, and carries a bow and quiver of arrows over his shoulder.  His boots are made of black leather.

Personality:  Kricket appears a charming, swarthy man who is outgoing, friendly, and very chivalrous.  In truth, he is a manipulative schemer, a liar, and a lady's man.  He uses flattery and kindness to trick people into doing what he wants.  He often exaggerates the tales of his adventures, to make himself seem better than he is.  He is the brains of the operation, and through trickery and skillful manipulation, kept his competition as a slayer at a minimum.

Cardel is a bit of a dullard, who relies more on his strength and good looks than any wisdom or wit.  He's violent, brutish, and aggressive, and has a strong weakness for both drink and women.  He views women as nothing more than a way to pass the time and have some fun.  He does not respect them and is completely lacking in subtlety toward what he wants from them.  However, due to his handsome appearance, fame, and wealth, women are still drawn to him despite his pig-headed attitude.

Liam is moody and sullen, rarely speaking unless he has to.  He avoids social situations and unlike his father and brother, seems to express little interest in women.  Liam would much rather read a book than go on an adventure, but he has no backbone at all when it comes to his father's orders and his brother's bullying.

History:  Kricket was born in the year 616 to two slayers, a warrior and a sorceress.  His mother became pregnant on an adventure, and so Kricket was actually born in the depths of a rather nasty dungeon.  During childbirth, they were actually attacked by a giant insect.  His father held it off while his mother gave birth.  They named the child 'Kricket' since the insect was a giant cricket-like creature.  His family later moved to Voxis, to try and give Kricket a better chance at a normal life.  They continued to adventure, though, but when Kricket was 19 they were both killed by the Karik Orcs during an adventure.

A year later, Kricket managed to recruit his own buddies into a new slayer group, which he called the Tainted Hands.  They included a hobgoblin warrior named Garek, a goblin cleric named Zikar, a human mage named Raizhen, and a beautiful warrior named Teya.  The group had many adventures together, fighting many different monsters and all became very wealthy and famous.  However, that all came to an end in 646.  Teya obtained a new sword called Scalebiter, which is particularly effective against reptiles.  Eager to give it a try, she convinced the party to head to Kallow Wadi to slay a fire lizard for its eggs (which are very valuable).  The expedition was a disaster, though, when Teya was killed by the lizard's fire-breath.  The party was forced to retreat, leaving behind her body and possessions.

Shortly after this, the group split up.  Garek joined the Hobgoblin Insurrection under Daufarin, Zikar returned to the Temple of Shadowbite and eventually became the Nightmaster, Raizhen opened up a library and married before passing on recently, and Kricket insisted on continuing to slay monsters.

Kricket fathered two children.  He eventually taught them both the art to Slaying and had them continue the legacy of the Tainted Hands.

Cardel was born in the year 641 to a barmaid Kricket knocked up at the Mirthful Miner Tavern named Griselda.  Griselda had no interest in raising a child, so she dumped him on Kricket.  Ever since Cardel has become famous, she's tried to get back in contact with him, but Cardel has had no interest in her at all.

Kricket was often too busy with his Slaying career to pay much mind to Cardel, so he would often leave him at the inn, under the supervision of pretty young barmaids.  This early exposure to women has had a profound effect on Cardel.  When he was old enough to adventure, Kricket began taking him with him on jobs.  By this point, the Tainted Hands had all ready broken up.  So Kricket took it upon himself to rebuild the group using his children.  Cardel took to it quickly, and showed quite a talent for it.  However, his lack of good sense and intelligence often got him in trouble that Kricket would need to bail him out of.

Liam was born in the year 645 to Kricket and Teya, members of the slaying group known as the Tainted Hands.  When Liam was a year old, his mother died fighting a fire lizard, so he never had the chance to know her.  Secretly, he always resented his father for this, believing he was somehow responsible for her death.  Liam was raised by Kricket after Teya's death, after the Tainted Hands split up.  When he and his brother were old enough to adventure, Kricket insisted on resurrecting the group, and making his sons members.  Liam greatly hated the idea of being a slayer, but he could not stand up to his father, so went along with it.


Campaign Events:  When the game started, the Tainted Hands were the most loved and popular slayer group of Voxis.  They received all of the best jobs and often rubbed elbows with the city's nobility.  Cardel had won the Wrath Day Tournament twice in a row, and succeeded in winning a third time, as well.  But when the Shadow Bats began to grow in strength and popularity, Kricket realized they could be a threat.  He studied them and saw that their ace in the hole was Jasmin, the lovely and deadly swordswoman.  He managed to seduce her, and often would use his magic to trick her into telling him what he wanted to know about the group.  Jasmin reminded him of Teya in many ways, and he wanted her to himself--but also recognized if she joined the Tainted Hands, it would boost their own popularity while crippling the Shadow Bats at the same time.

Jasmin, however, resisted.  Her love for Gaheris kept her tied to her group.  But then a young woman named Siara approached the Tainted Hands, asking to join them.  So a deal was made.  If Siara could convince Jasmin to join the Tainted Hands, she would be allowed to join, as well.

Siara's attempts failed, until she magically charmed her.  This split the Shadow Bats up, and made the Tainted Hands even stronger.  But Kricket soon learned Siara was not as clever as he had thought, as did Siara learn Kricket was not as kind as she first believed.  Siara later betrayed both groups to side with Elle, but when she was slain, Siara disappeared into the night.  With her charm broken, Jasmin returned to the Shadow Bats, as well.

Realizing that the threat of the Bloody Maw outweighed their rivalry, the Tainted Hands teamed up with Shadow Bats.  Cardel lost his free will when he drew the VOID card from a Deck of Many Things and Kricket was disintegrated in the battle with Teheth-Obz.

In the end, Liam was finally free to pursue his own destiny.  He took his mindless brother with him, as a bodyguard, as he went off to explore the world.

DM's Commentary:
 
The Tainted Hands were perhaps my most successful villains.  The PCs' attitude toward them ranged from infatuation to outright dislike.  Jasmin successfully slept with all three of them (some of them more than once).  I'm actually surprised they lived as long as they did--I would have guessed the party would have chosen to fight and kill them at some point, but somehow they held back.  Maybe they were afraid Jasmin wouldn't help them.  Or maybe they grossly overestimated their levels, like they did with the Nightmaster.

Relations:

Kricket Cardel Liam
Eskar Cautious Cautious Cautious
Jasmin Attraction Attraction Attraction
Daufer Indifferent Indifferent Indifferent
Aidan Indifferent Cautious Indifferent
Siara Attraction Cautious Indifferent

Favored Weapon:  Rapier (Kricket), Great Axe (Cardel), Short Bow (Liam)
Favored Spell:  Charm Person (Kricket)
Birthday:  Saffir 27, 616 (Kricket), Chrysote 8, 641 (Cardel), Agate 30, 645 (Liam)
Zodiac:  Gonto (Kricket), Renos (Cardel), Octhanus (Liam)

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