"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt
"Study the past, if you would divine the future." - Confucius
"When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes." - Oprah Winfrey
Awaken, and raise your eyes to Me, mine Evening Star. Open your eyes and truly see - for the first time in your short years - the world in which you dwell. Miserly, selfish, ignorant men dominate the world and call it governance. Fools spout nonsense and call it wisdom. The cruel instill fear in those they overpower and call it loyalty. No more. Thee I Exalt to put right these ills in the world - by the sweat of your brow, by the craft of your hands and by the guile of your mind, will you right these ills!
My name is Silver Star Bounding Fish. My friends call me "Starfish". I have very little memory of my parents and brother. My mother was a gentle creature of the sea. I remember her aquatic eyes, a trait I inherited from her and that she smelt of sea salt. My memories of my father are of a stern, serious bearded face. They both died, killed by the Wyld Hunt when they found our tiny island on the borders of the Wyld. My brother was fatally injured in our attempt to escape the hunters. We managed to swim away from the island, but he was too weak and I held onto him as he went to sleep and the sea claimed him. The hunters were coming for me in their boats. I swam farther to sea until I had no strength left and the sea took me as it had my brother.
I awoke on a ship full of men. They were not hunters, but fishermen. They had found me being carried upon the back of a dolphin. It clicked & cackled at them until they had fished me up onto the ship and then it vanished back into the waters. The crew did not like the look of me, a strange boy found so near the Wyld and were quick to be rid of me when they reached port in the city of Azure. I spent the remainder of my youth on those streets. I lived in a local scribe's cellar with four other children. We would prowl the city streets, begging & stealing and bring our findings back to the scribe each day. He would take what he liked from our findings and in return provide us with food and shelter. Having been taught my letters by my mother, he would sometimes allow me to help him in his work, sparing me from a day on the streets and rewarding me with some of his wine. I loved books and enjoyed the job of duplicating texts as it would allow me to read them as well and I dearly loved the divine elixir that is wine. His harpy of a wife hated me, though I never quite understood why.
When I was a young man, it was a failed pick pocket attempt that would forever change my lot in life. I had not yet even pocketed the silver & black jade compass from the tall man when I found his blade at my throat and his outstretched hand gesturing for the return of his property. I handed it back, expecting any moment for my life to be snuffed out or the guards to be called down upon me. The man sheathed his blade, smiled & gave me a bow before he was on his way down the street again. I was shaken, but wasted no time in scurrying away into an alley to assess my continued status amongst the living.
Two days later, a brown skinned dwarf with hair like fire approached the old scribe's wife, her husband having passed away a year earlier. He requested me by description and the old hag happily showed him to where I was sleeping off a night of too much wine, assuming it was someone come to claim me for some no good need or another. The dwarf, named The Amarant Gull, was there to extend an invitation to me from his Captain of the Cerulean Albatross, to join him for dinner and to discuss a profitable position amongst his crew.
I was intrigued. My welcome had worn thin in the cellar and it was only a matter of time before the shrew betrayed me. I was a grown man, rather large and not the greatest pickpocket known in Azure. My job options were somewhat limited to thug or goon, and I didn't have much of an appetite for either. So I accepted the strange invitation, wondering how this captain had come to know of me.
Once I entered the captain's quarters I understood all too well as it was the tall man I had failed to rob days prior. I was prepared to run and attempt to escape, throw myself overboard and hide under the docks if need be, but the man's kindly and welcoming demeanor quickly disarmed my fears. The two of us had dinner together, the best meal I could remember ever having eaten and the wine was fantastic. We talked and drank and talked some more. We spoke of our pasts, present and the things we wished for in our futures. We shared his bed and each other.
The Captain, he was called the Azure Ox, offered me an official position on his ship as cabin boy, though most of my chores involved his bed and person. I gladly left the city and the scribe's cellar behind and made the Cerulean Albatross my new home. It did not take me very long to realize what kind of ship I was on. I knew of the Coral Pirates, and that they had a vague under the table relationship with Azure government. I was kept away from the fighting for the most part, of which I was terribly grateful. I performed minor ship functions, but found a passion and aptitude for working with my hands. I would help perform repairs on the ship, weave nets and ropes, repair clothing, cook meals, brew wine, rum and beer for the crew. I learned how to work the forge and smith tools and components for the ship. The ship was improved and the Captain and crew benefited from the constant upkeep and upgrades I would make.
I never spoke of my parentage to anyone, my eyes being the only obvious betrayal, though it was not the only gift I had inherited. I could hold my breathe for far longer than others and I was extraordinarily sensitive to vibrations, able to touch a wall and hear a conversation or movement from far away. The crew eventually accepted me as one of them and any strangeness about me was forgiven. I was their crew mate Starfish, their strange little inventor, their Captain's lover and the man who kept them readily supplied with food and booze. I have very little contact with people outside of the crew, so it was never much of a concern. I would often be wearing goggles or specialized spectacles with multiple lenses for use in my trade, all of which would easily obscure my eyes from any casual onlooker's scrutiny.
These were the happiest of my years. But they would end when I was three and thirty years old. My Ox and I had accumulated a tidy fortune and we were on our last voyage before retirement to our manor in Azure. We had been blown off course due to a storm, finding ourselves having voyaged too far south. Or perhaps the Lintha ship on the horizon had sailed too far north, or a mixture of the two. Either way, we wanted no trouble and attempted to remove ourselves from the area and head back north without incident. But everything went wrong suddenly when we found ourselves caught up in an unnatural sargasso of swarming & writhing eels. We could not move, but the Lintha ship seemed to slip through the mire of writhing serpentine forms without any difficulty. Very soon they were alongside us and their crew began boarding our ship. The Captain barked at me to get below, but I found my way blocked by...not men. These were walking nightmares wearing men suits. The Lintha crew seemed to be already dead, bloated & split open with black & slimy eels spilling from them and writhing within their bodies underneath their skin. They fell upon us with an inhuman ferocity, killing my friends all around me and the terrifying eel creatures falling out of them, slithering into the bodies of our fallen crew. I dodged and hacked at them with an axe I had found, feeling that my needles would be useless here. I was trying to reach my Ox. I found him, just as a massive terror with eels spilling forth from where he should have had eyes, cleaved the Captain nearly in two, from shoulder down to hip. The world I had known up until that moment had ended.
I thought sunlight had suddenly broken through the storm clouds, but it hadn't. The sun was aboard the ship, it was all around me, within me, it was consuming me, transforming me, and I heard a voice from within the radiance.
I don't know what exactly had happened while I was in the embrace of the golden light. Or maybe I simply do not wish to remember. I returned to my senses and found that the monsters were gone. The storm had passed, the sargasso of eels and the Lintha ship were nowhere in sight. The surviving crewmen were sailing the ship north. None of them would speak to me nor even meet my eyes. Before I had only some strangeness to me, but I knew what they saw in me now. The gift from my mother allowed me to hear them when they thought they were alone, whispers of the anathema.
Anathema. Was I? Was I a demon? Could that beautiful Voice have been a demon's voice? Was I doomed to go mad? No - I felt like me. And I was pretty certain that Voice was no demon. And...I knew. I REMEMBERED. I was no demon. I knew this to be certain. But I was doomed regardless of what I was. The Empire would hunt me down and destroy me, just as they had my parents. It was only a matter of time before my shipmates' gossip reached the wrong ears and the Hunt would come after me. When we returned to shore I found the nearest pub and drowned my worries and woes in wine.
The next day the world continued and I returned to my manor, now mine alone as it turned out my Ox had drafted documents leaving everything that was his to me and I drowned myself in the sweet oblivion of our favorite wine yet again. And again. Each day and night became a wine & sleep hazed blur until I awoke one morning to find a white fox with multiple tails sitting alongside a brown tayra staring down at me. They were discussing how pathetic I was being, though the fox was appreciative of my fine taste in wine. The fox instructed me to get up and prepare myself. I had a destiny and it was time to embrace it whether I wanted to or not, as it was marching to embrace me that very moment. He stated that he had more pressing matters as he was a successful god now and beamed as he showed off his newest tail. He was leaving his friend The Typhoon, gesturing at the tayra that was nibbling on a grape, to help keep me on task.
I woke up from the strange dream. The strange fox was gone, but the tayra remained. I soon learned that we shared a spiritual bond and could communicate through it as well as share each others senses. My wine was gone. I needed more, but before I could make it down to the wine cellar, I found the servants had allowed in a visitor. It was Amarant Gull. The dwarf had survived the incident with the Lintha monsters, though he had lost a foot and an eye. He remained on my payroll as the ship's first mate, though the ship had no captain. He was wary, that was obvious, but respectful. He wanted to discuss the fate of the Cerulean Albatross. I assigned him captain and we discussed terms, shares, business and came to an agreement. Before he left, he stopped and expressed his condolences. He also stated that he and the crew had spoken of the incident and all had agreed, that for the respect and friendship they had for both Starfish and the late Captain Azure Ox, they would never speak of it again. Then he turned and left.
Their promise did seem to keep them quiet enough that the Hunt did not come knocking down his doors. But it seemed at least someone whispered of him, probably rum inspired gossip, but it had reached the ears of those who would listen to such gossip. And the Cult of the Illuminated were only too happy to listen.
Starfish stands 6' tall, has an pudgy wide frame with a large belly from being well fed and many a bottle of wine. He has tanned skin covered in coarse blond body hair, the naturally wild hair on his head is shorn to stubble save for a jutting tuft of blond hair that remains upon his forehead. His face sports a thick mustache that seems to have consumed his upper lip, under his large slightly crooked nose, which had been broken multiple times in the past, pointed side burns and a braided goatee nearly a foot long that is tied at the end with trailing red ribbon. His iris' are amber with large misshapen pupils like that of a fish. He has four hoops in his left ear and three in his right, with a bright blue gemstone in his earlobe. He wears a braided silver torc and a number of rings & bracelets on hands & arms. He wears the silver & black jade compass, the thing that had brought him and the man he'd loved together, on a steel chain around his neck. He has a series of pale blue stars tattooed on his right side, from his ankle up his leg and ending on his hip. He has another star on his chest, this one with a fish bounding over it. On his left shoulder is a blue ox. He also has a scar circling his entire neck from when he was nearly killed by a garotte before his poison caused his would be killer to lose his grip when his hands went numb. Starfish is fit, stands straight & tall, moves with a grace one would not expect of his size & carries an air of confidence that attracts the eye. He has an honest smile that he shares with others often.
When he was in the West, he typically wore light & breezy cloth pants with colorful prints, a simple leather vest and sturdy sensible boots. In the North, he's added a number of layers. He still prefers the colorful printed pants, but they're made of layered wool, lined with worsted yarn flannel. Atop his vest he wears a fine heavy wool and leather coat of rich blue & silver trim, it's entire interior riddled in pockets. He had made himself a variety of colorful scarves and wears a rabbit fur cap, with it's floppy ears intact to droop down over his own, dyed to match his blue coat. In addition to his wardrobe, he is always wearing an assortment of belts, pouches, scroll cases & bandoliers, filled with tools, throwing needles, flasks, ingredients and crafting components as well as a wineskins on his waist. He wears a larger satchel on his back designed for The Typhoon to comfortably sleep in & be able to ride perched up for a view from his shoulder. Since learning sorcery, particularly how to imbue items with elemental powers, Starfish has taken to frequently wearing only white overalls covered with a pattern of red roses, blue & gold fish. Few actually see the garment itself as it is typically enchanted to appear as something else. He also wears a heavy red cloak lined in white fur that he enchanted to keep himself warm and strolls around with a fine new walking stick enchanted to repair itself if ever broken.
The black and brown tayra, The Typhoon, would wander naked in the West save for a thin gold chain he liked to wear about his neck, but has found the North to be less hospitable, so he wears a thick red sweater and matching earmuffs, both of which are enchanted to keep him very warm. He hates the cold, particularly snow and will insist upon being carried rather than touch his paws to the horrible cold wet stuff.
When he is at home in the West, he and his estate are attended by dozens of servants. He only took four of them with him to the North to attend his needs as it was likely to be a long stay, otherwise he generally does not take his servants with him on outings or short journeys, leaving them at home to attend to matters there & await his return.
Caste/Aspect: Twilight, Exemplar of the Cult of the Illuminated; Concept: Architect, builder & the harbinger of a technological reclamation; Anima: a shining silver star halo surrounded by a mandala of concentric gold circle gears with crimson, violet & azure clockwork fish swimming in alternate directions between each ring around the star; Motivation: Build, teach & bring back the wonders of the First Age for all people to enjoy.;
- Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3; Charisma 2, Manipulation 1, Appearance 4; Perception 4, Intelligence 5, Wits 2
- Abilities: Thrown* 1, Martial Arts 5, Athletics* 1, Integrity* 1, Performance 2, Presence 1, Resistance 5, Survival* 1, Linguistics* 4, Sail 1, Socialize 1, Investigation* 1, Lore* 5, Medicine* 4, Occult 4*,
- Craft*: Fire 4, Air 2, Water 2, Earth 2, Wood 2, Magitech 2
- Specialties: Carpentry (craft wood) 1, Poison (craft water) 3, First Age (lore) 1, Needles(thrown) 1
- Backgrounds: Familiar 3, Resources 5, Contacts 1, Backing 1 (Coral Pirates), Cache 2 (West & North), Illumination 2 (Exemplar: Martial Arts & Lore), Artifact 3 (wound mending needles)
- Merits: Strong Lungs 2, Vibration Sense 5, Past Lives 3
- Flaws: Vice (wine) 3, Fish Eyes 1, Throwback 3
- Languages: Seatongue, Old Realm, Skytongue, Low Realm, Riverspeak
- Essence Overwhelming: 1m/die; Instant; Reflexive; adds +1 die to Ability dice pool, to a max. of Attribute + Ability;
- Applies to: Martial Arts, Lore, Medicine
- Essence Triumphant:
- Applies to: Craft
- Essence Overwhelming: 1m/die; Instant; Reflexive; adds +1 die to Ability dice pool, to a max. of Attribute + Ability;
- Spider Leaps to Safety (Martial Arts);
- Nine Weavers Technique (Martial Arts);
- Ox Body Technique (Resistance);
- Invincible Essence Reinforcement (Resistance);
- Wound Mending Care Technique (Medicine);
- Flawless Diagnosis Technique (Medicine);
- Geomantic Mastery Spirit (Lore);
- Attunement Identification;
- Living Control Room;
- Craftsman Needs No Tools;
- Terrestrial Circle Sorcery;
- Ritual of Elemental Empowerment;
- Summon Elemental;
- Combo #1: Craftsman Needs No Tools + Craft Triumphant
- Virtues: Compassion 3, Conviction 3, Temperance 1, Valor 2; Virtue Flaw: Heart of Flint (page 105)
- Willpower: 5; Essence: 3; Personal Essence: 14; Peripheral Essence: 35 (28); Anima Power:
- DVs: Dodge x, Parry x, Mental x; Soak: 11B/12L/0A (armor (+eEarth); Mob 0, Fat 0, Hard x); Health Levels: 0/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-4/I
- Perfect Needles: Speed 4, Rate 3, Accuracy +2, Damage +1L/x, Parry DV n/a
- Red Jade Daibodkins: Speed 4, Rate 4, Accuracy +1, Damage +1L/x, Parry DV n/a
- Carried Possessions: Ox's compass, pouches & cases, craft & medical tools, perfect throwing needles (some are non-enchanted, a few are air enchanted (ice damage) and a few are fire enchanted (fire damage), flasks, poisons (#x coral snake, #x stonefish, 2x lily), medical, cooking & crafting supplies, journal, inks, pen (+eWood), lots of wine, floral & fishy overalls (+eWater), walking staff (+eWood), cloak (+eFire),
- Artifacts: Essence-Scrying Visor, Red Jade Daibodkins x2, Wound Mending Needles
- Hearthstones: N/A
- Home Posessions: casks of wine (including Taruzake wine), full workshop/tools, crates full of common crafting materials, reagents & seeds for an eventual herb & vegetable garden, a variety of comfort & decorative odds & ends,
- Intimacies: Typhoon (love; 8e), Ox(love; 7e), Fine Craftmanship (passion; 6e), First Age Lore/Tech (passion; 6e), Taruzake Wine (vice; 4e), Lintha (hate; 2), Red (comrade; 3e), Circlemates (fellowship; 3e), Venerable Silk (respect; 2), Cult of the Illuminated (responsibility; 3e),
- Athletic Measurements
- Horizontal Jump: x (x w/ penalty)
- Vertical Jump: x (x w/ penalty)
- Move: x (x w/ penalty)
- Dash: x (x w/ penalty)
- Lift: X lbs.
"Stupid snow. Stupid cold. Stupid North."
- Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3; Charisma 3, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3; Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
- Abilities: Martial Arts 2; Integrity 2, Presence 3, Resistance 2 (Heat +2), Survival 2; Investigation 1; Athletics 3, Awareness 2, Dodge 4, Stealth 4
- Willpower: 4; Essence: 1
- DVs: Evade 4, Parry -, Mental 3; Soak: 3B/0L/0A; Health Levels: -0/-2/-4/Inc.
- Bite: Speed 4, Rate 2, Accuracy +1 (6), Damage 1L
- Athletic Measurements
- Horizontal Jump: 10 ft
- Vertical Jump: 5 ft
- Move: 5 yds
- Dash: 11 yds
Other Important Individuals
- Ashen Lion: One of Starfish's servants - identical twin to Scarlet Crane. He is young, tall & lanky with a permanent bored look to his heavily bearded features & generally sloppy commoner dress. He is slow but focused & dedicated to his job. Ashen Lion is literate and fond of books. Starfish has give him material and instructions to educate the others so that they understand the Cult of the Illuminated philosophy.
- Scarlet Crane: Another of Starfish's servants - identical twin to Ashen Lion. Tall & lanky like his brother, though his demeanor is more lively and he tends to be very neat & only has a small neat mustache. He is ever eager to please anyone who will let him, even other servants...or even strangers - he just desperately seeks approval. He had designed a staff uniform he thought the others servants should wear, which was rejected, but he still insists on wearing it.
- Sagacious Night Daughter: a fierce dark skinned & dark eyed girl with long black hair that along with a variety of colorful bandannas hides the wyld mutated bat ears her birth graced her with. She is proud and quick to anger, but manages to keep her rage in check (although often she takes to the kitchen to help prepare (hack up things most violently) the next meal. She was Starfish's maid in Coral, employed after they had met through a tavern brawl & realized not only what each other was, but that they got along as well, but is now the majordomo of his household in the North. She is fond of flowing dresses and bright colors.
- Swab" fished out of the sea with amnesia & somewhat limited wits, Swab served as cabin boy on the ship for a few years before following Starfish into retirement. Another of the wyld mutants Starfish had taken under his wing, the short chubby man is largely covered in orange fur with matching hair & beard as well as feline eyes, pointed ears and a cat tail. He generally covers up with obscuring clothing, gloves and a hat, hides his tail in his breeches and wears dark spectacles that Starfish made for when he's in public. At home he likes to wear little more than a kilt & vest. Unlike the others he has not altered his garb as much as he prefers to remain near the hearth to compensate for the change in temperature.
Projects and/or Downtime
- Construct lift for the mines (with Wood Enhancement on ropes & pulleys) - COMPLETED
- Construct mill (with Wood Enhancement on spokes & Water Enhancement on mill stones) (5/5 weeks) - COMPLETED
- Construct lift for The Watch (with Wood Enhancement on ropes & pulleys) - (2/2 weeks) - COMPLETED
- Summon & strike a deal with elemental skilled with crafting, summon a 2nd per it's suggestion & enlist them to lead construction projects in Starfish's absence - COMPLETED
- Instruct Sagacious Night Daughter to interview potential apprentices for permanent hire for construction and crafting projects - (not yet completed)
- Construct aqueducts (with Fire Enhancement on keystones to prevent freezing) - (3 of 6 weeks)
- Construct green house - (0 of x weeks)
- Construct public baths & saunas (with Fire Enhancement in key plumbing) - (0 of x weeks)
- Construct forum for government - (0 of x weeks)
- Construct tower of the dead per Sijan's specifications - (0 of x weeks)
- Construct Starfish's home w/ workshop (with an assortment of Enhancements; Air & Fire on windows to produce warm breezes & Wood on western incense to keep them burning continuously, Fire in pipes for hot water, etc) - (0 of x weeks)
- Construct/Replace public housing project (this is likely to wait until Starfish researches & learns the spell Raising the Earths Bones) - (not yet completed)
- Construct sewer system for valley (will contemplate potential enhancements) - (0 of x weeks)
Earned: 17 (3 combo)
Spent: 17 (3 combo); Unspent: 0 (0)