The heroes’ warrior druid actually traveled with Arthur Tully as part of the harvest work crew that began his long and painful career. Rather than a petty criminal, though ,Valance was present in an official capacity, making sure that the ruffians and rogues did not inflict lasting harm upon Nature. Later, during the Time of Troubles, Valance joined forces with others who had come to respect or even idolize the Vagabonds, and soon he found himself in league with the mighty priest himself.
Valance made his share of mistakes during his time among the heroes, and spent many years forbidden to practice the holy druidical arts. But such a bond formed between him and Arthur Tully that the cleric remained ever by his side. Arthur championed Valance during his soul-wrenching sojourns in the Moonshaes, and maintained confidence in him thirty years later when they returned to the Bloodstone Lands.
The druid returned the cleric’s friendship. He was the last of the Vagabonds to see Arthur Tully alive, and in a farewell message, Arthur delivered the memorable statement, ”Brother to brother. My life for yours.”
Standing four and a half feet tall and weighing in at less than ninety pounds, Ocarina Barrillion was a striking beauty with long red hair. Known for her regal bearing and poise, the chief wizard of the Vagabonds came from among the most prominent roots of Bloodstone culture.
The half-elfin daughter of a Damaran duke and duchess, Ocarina grew up with a powerful knack for the arcane arts. Her early years were spent in study of the lightning-themed repertoire of the fiery tempered Darkstone Invoker. As she grew in power, though, Ocarina surpassed that theme with her own broader spectrum as a storm mage.
A planner and schemer, Ocarina spent months and even years carefully cultivating bits of information so she could have every aspect of an excursion thought out before traveling. She preferred to have every loose end resolved before trouble could rise.
As years passed by, and Ocarina became an arch-mage in her own right, she rose to be seen as Arthur Tully’s equal among the heroes. Though he was the king and ruler of Damara, she was his advisor and the master of the Bloodstone Guild of Wizards.
Possessed also of a fiery temperament, Ocarina’s prowess as a storm mage led to the defeat of dozens of creatures and the destruction of quite a few structures across the planes she roamed. This combination of mind and magical ability earned her the respect of her friends and foes alike.
Standing five feet nine inches tall,
this wiry rogue had blonde hair and attractive blue-green eyes. Though he was never so free-spirited as
some of the other rogue’s in the party,
One night, his father had sent him to town to get prepared for his older brother’s acceptance of his father’s title.
A magical attack was executed, and the
castle’s defenders found themselves surrounded by orcs, ogres and other evil
creatures. A rider, who fled under
The boy lived a hard life with his uncle, who cared very little for him. Finally, he ran away. He decided to make his own way using his wits, and his skill with the rapier. When he reached Damara before the fall of Haradraith’s Keep, he was nineteen years old.
Carbunkle Lochnagar Delachevieuxpied:
Frenetic and wild, the halfling bard that became one of Arthur Tully’s most trusted companions began his career as one of the biggest thorns in the cleric’s side. Possessed by a streak of seemingly endless curiosity, Carbunkle often wandered off from the heroes—not so much in the name of personal gain but just to explore theories or gather tidbits of heretofore unknown lore.
The loremaster began a collection of banners of ancient kingdoms early on in his career, and later developed an affinity for ancient libraries and musty tomes. After his resurrection and installation as royal loremaster in the halls of Citadel, Carbunkle worked to sate his thirst for knowledge on the tomes of generations of scholars and wizards.
Unfortunately, Carbunkle’s curiosity was
matched by his irritability and temper.
Known to fly into outrageous and indignant tirades, Carbunkle kept
quite a grudge, and his penchant for revenge caught the eye of dark powers
within the Mists. Those dark powers
were taking hold of his very soul before his first death in the
Remembered always for his humor and bravery, Carbunkle’s passing was mourned more heavily than most. In a lifetime filled with anger and rage, Carbunkle’s memory is one of glibness, cleverness, and good times.
A relative latecomer to the Vagabonds, Gareth became one of the heroes’ staunchest allies. Powerful even among psionicists, Gareth made contacts between the heroes of the present and the past, even wedding the paladin Cara Purehearte. With Cara, Gareth founded an academy for psionically gifted individuals, teaching them to harness their abilities and use them for the greater good.
No matter how well situated Gareth
became, though, he always answered the call of his friends. The heroes who saved him from a giant
beetle outside the town of
Even when the heroes left the reality of the Forgotten Realms into a plane deep below the Lands of Mist, Gareth wrote Cara a letter and traveled into harm’s way. The tragedy was to be his, though, as fate would claim both his wife and his sentient gauntlet Serlyn within days of each other. None of this stopped Gareth, though. Resisting the self-destructive impulses that snuffed the life from Chaderick Taelon, the Darkstone Invoker, Gareth stood strong with his friends and was instrumental in the heroes’ greatest battle.
The first psionicist to travel with the Vagabonds, Francis was a young man, largely unpracticed in his skills. The heroes traveled with him only briefly upon their first return from the Lands of Mist, not even long enough to learn the man’s last name. Soon after joining forces with the Vagabonds, Francis left to seek his fate elsewhere, possibly retiring from adventuring completely.
Known for his many deaths and near-deaths, Tenada Greenleaf holds the position as Arthur Tully’s best friend. More than Carbunkle and even Damein Nobleblade and Duffy Stryker, the handsome gold elf progressed from sneak thief and pickpocket to spymaster of King Arthur’s realm. Overseeing the previously established Innkeeper’s Guild, Tenada worked with a cadre of mysterious vampires to provide the king whatever information he desired, no questions asked.
Tenada’s ability to look the other way allowed him to perform vast amounts of good through shady means, though his wavering conscience also led him into harm’s way. Once, his interest in manipulating his companions led him north with Damein’s magic sword—straight into the arms of slavers who killed him.
Once he was resurrected, Tenada made his way instantly back to Arthur’s side, and he traveled with him again into danger. Though his companions had grown much more powerful than he as he lay in the grave, he bravely stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Damein Nobleblade against a dragon turtle. In that battle, Tenada again was killed. He returned, though, a third time.
No matter how many opportunities Tenada has been given, his curiosity is never truly satisfied. Neither is his interest in personal gain. Even after Arthur Tully made peace with Strahd von Zarovich, Tenada risked the peace of the entire world to steal a sack of platinum coins from the dungeons of Castle Ravenloft. It’s not about the money, though. It’s about knowing that he pulled the heist that not even the biggest heroes in the Lands—his own friends—could uncover…
A loyal servant of King Charles I and a
good-standing member of the Anglican church, Alexander McCoy found himself
drawn into the Mists and wandering the Chateau d’Ambreville at the same time
as the Vagabonds. When the Mists
released him, it was not into his native
Alexander needed to adapt to the world, and the process took quite some time. Though he tried to be a ladies man, the women of the Forgotten Realms—particularly Dana Smith—turned out to be interested in matters far different from those he had come to anticipate growing up on Gothic Earth.
Standing just shy of six feet, Alexander had blonde hair and gray eyes. He fought with a pair of flintlock pistols, though he was also skilled in the use of both the rapier and swordbreaker. One bit of knowledge that he brought with him into the Forgotten Realms was his mastery of the Italian fighting style, which granted him more skill at parrying than most warriors known to the Realms.
Alexander took his own life after being cursed with the dreadful Dagger of Omens. Knowing that he was not cut out for this world, Arthur Tully agreed to resurrect the man, but only under the condition that he immediately plane shift Alexander to his native realm. Once back on Earth, Alexander joined the French Musketeers and made a new legend for himself under the name of Aramus, traveling far and wide with his friends Athos and Porthos.
Jacob “Nine-Fingers” McGraw:
A warrior priest of loud mirth and fierce combat ability, Jacob McGraw joined the heroes soon after their return from the Lands of Mist. As they worked to claim their haunted keep and eventually were installed as dukes of the northern border, Jacob and his tribe of Vaasan yak riders served as staunch allies and loyal muscle.
Jacob was known by many names among his Vagabonds companions, most rarely answering to his actual given name. He was “Padre,” when the heroes needed a healer or holy man. He was also “Bruno” or “Bruno-Head” to Edward and to those who found the naïve ogre’s unique dialect infectious. He was also known as the Dwarf of the North among the heroes, especially in respect to Baron Swiftfiste’s southern roots.
Though Jacob spent much time off camera from the other heroes, he was ever a present force in Damara. He and his tribe defended the peace of both the heroes’ duchy and also their kingdom, most notably when they marched south with Gregor Stolnik’s barbarian legions to suppress the uprising of Minos Ree.
When his wife Niko was murdered, Kazeka
N’Ao sought revenge. As he drew his
blade across the body of his slain enemy, the Mists poured in around
him. He found himself wandering in the
underground reaches of Lamordia’s now-lost
Kazeka stood just over five and a half feet tall and was a wiry hundred sixty pounds. He had black hair and bore an oriental dragon tattoo winding around his right arm. A solemn man full of gravitas and valor, Kazeka believed in honor and ceremony. He taught Arthur Tully the tea ceremony and partook of it often with him.
Vowing loyalty to Arthur, Kazeka fought by the man’s side far beyond what could be expected. He died twice, and then returned as a ghost to defend the priest again. In return, Arthur resurrected Kazeka’s beloved wife Niko, giving them a handful of blessed years before fate intervened once again.
A dwarf fleeing drow in the
During her brief time with the Vagabonds, her dwarven senses proved vital. As they wandered seemingly endless caverns, it was Narana who could determine that they were actually nearing the surface, and that the holy symbol could be shuttled to a quick escape in a matter of moments.
A giant of a man, Damein Nobleblade was always massive in stature. When a single failing in the face of incredible wealth struck down his ability as a paladin, he grew into a mighty force of faith as well. Performing as a paladin in the Lands of Mist, where the mantle is so rarely bestowed, Damein proved himself in the eyes of his deity and was blessed with restored grace upon his return to the Realms.
Damein was one of the few heroes to survive the many years of changes and trials without ever perishing and without ever turning to true evil. Known for his decisive nature and flaming bastard sword, Damein eventually grew into the White General of Damara, a beacon of hope and strength in the northern nation. A friend of gold dragons and arbiter in disputes among the draconic races, Damein’s reputation developed far beyond mere human realms.
No matter how powerful he became, however, Damein never forgot his blood, a troubled family in the nation of Impiltur. When he rose to prominence in Damara, he sent for them, and installed them as castellans of Castle Defiant under the reign of Arthur Tully. This was Damein, a friend and loyal companion, ever willing to risk his life, even when that entailed fearlessly leaping through the Iron Gates of the Nine Hells to land on the chest of Asmodeus, holy sword arcing down again and again.
A graceful and merciless warrior from a land very different from anything known in the Forgotten Realms, Raiden is a Stone Dog of the Aiel Waste. Trapped in the Lands of Mist under unknown circumstances, the warrior joined with the heroes and stayed with them out of respect for their many mighty warriors.
Raiden saw the world in very stark terms. When someone raised a weapon against him, that man became his enemy. These terms were unwavering, and led to his murder of the rogue Bishop Squeemil when that man collapsed, helpless, after being possessed by the master thief Raven.
Throughout his years with the Vagabonds, the ranger proved to be the equal of any warrior in the group, though one questionable decision led to his death in the Chateau d’Ambreville. Claimed by the curse that took so many lives over the centuries, Raiden seemed to have become a victim of the strange world in which he wandered.
Later, when Raiden returned to life in the service of Zelda the Old Lady, he again fought by the heroes’ sides. When Arthur Tully rose to the throne of Damara, he retired to his old glade near the northern border, where he continued to patrol and ensure the peace of that region.
The curious halfling
Froy came along in the following
weeks. He missed his cousin Roy, and
he journeyed briefly with the heroes in hopes of finding the warrior. When the keep was claimed and still no sign
A mighty half-ogre, Scourge found the
heroes during their expedition in the
Scarred and deformed from the blow, Scourge pressed on with the heroes, though his days were numbered. Soon after, a wraith sapped his strength, and within days of that encounter he was dead, poisoned by a devil’s infernal venom. He died, though, as he lived, battling evil and enabling others to achieve victories that may have otherwise eluded them.
A moon elf of the Damaran tribes, Silverleaf found the heroes and rarely made an effort to ingratiate himself among their ranks. Nevertheless, he found the respect of Arthur Tully, a loyalty that never wavered despite the numerous threats and thefts the elf committed. When Silverleaf stood at the heroes’ side, though, he always aimed his blade and spells at the enemy, leveling foes with fearsome ability.
Whenever danger passed, Silverleaf was a schemer and troublemaker. Inciting others to action was a skill of his, and it was Silverleaf who masterminded the scheme that left Tenada and Olan dead at the hands of slave traders.
Silverleaf put little effort into finding the heroes, but he still showed up from time to time due to a link between his blue elfin boots and Arthur Tully’s magical blue hammer, Sledge. The link could not be severed, and Silverleaf crossed borders of time, magic and space when they summoned him. Every time, he picked up as if nothing had happened, and when he left he generally took a few more magic items with him.
Amazingly, not a single hero among the Vagabonds—shy of, occasionally, Damein—held any malice in his heart against Silverleaf. He was beloved among them all, an ally no matter what. His unanticipated arrivals were met with smiles, and his departures with a shrug, for he would certainly be back again.
Not all bards perform with musical
instruments. Slivver was a
riddlemaster. His stock in trade was
riddles of intricacy and complexity.
He was looking for material among the crumbling architecture of
Ocarina’s cousin Dana was an elfin rogue standing just under four and a half feet tall and weighing ninety pounds. With honey blonde hair and blue eyes, she possessed the gold tint of Ocarina’s elfin heritage. Dana fought the enemies of Damara with her starwheel pistol and saber, though she quickly came into possession of a number of magical items, including a powerful earring of air elemental command.
Dana traveled with the Vagabonds for many years, acting as spy and tax collector in the realm of King Arthur Tully. She stood with the heroes against overwhelming foes, taking courage from the strength of those around her when she most likely would have preferred to run for cover.
Her rogue’s curiosity mingled with an intense desire to turn every situation into a victory in some way. Dana’s interest in winning and coming out on top almost led to tragedy on at least one occasion, when she saw an opportunity to beat a playful dragon at a game of strategy and took it. Defeat changed the dragon’s attitude noticeably, and the Vagabonds soon found themselves on the move yet again....
Shorter than five and a half feet tall, Bishop Squeemil was a mousy fellow who dressed in a beggar’s guise. Unshaved, with dirty blonde hair and brown eyes, he was unassuming. All of this, though, concealed a cunning understanding of human nature and a knack for getting the better of his enemies.
Bishop’s guise allowed him to gather information without being obtrusive, and gave him the opportunity to slip by places without being noticed. Combined with his roguish abilities of tightrope walking, wall climbing, jumping and appraisal, he was a threat most foes never saw coming.
For all his many skills, though, Bishop Squeemil could not read. Whereas most rogues learn to decipher script as their skills increase, this beggar never learned the art of letters. All he did, he accomplished through careful observation, keen listening, and clever speech.
A tall man with a lanky build, Duffy Stryker was a lifelong myrmidon. His brown hair and blue eyes gave him a rugged look, but few of his foes saw this as he transformed over the years into the Black General of Damara. Wearing a grotesque gargoyle mask taken from one of the Amber Family Invokers, Stryker metamorphosed into the nightmare of every enemy of the Realm, a role he savored.
After years training a force of warriors to defend the northern border of Damara, Stryker was known throughout the Bloodstone Lands as a capable leader and deadly fighter. With his dragonscale armor and vorpal blade, his reputation spread far south from his post.
Stryker was born with a psionic wild talent, an ability to disintegrate creatures and objects. It was a power that he feared would someday careen out of control and render him to ash. His traveling companion and sometimes friend Gareth do’Duren helped Stryker immensely, training him to control and harness this ability. Even while Stryker did not trust his ability, though, he made use of it to devastating effect. Most notably, he disintegrated Chancellor Blacksprite when a power ritual had rendered the lich impregnable to nearly any harm.
Violence was his means. From the brutalizing of Felix Mangrove to the choking of a man in Scurvytown, Stryker was a man of action, a relentless river that could rarely be diverted and never stopped.
Stryker and Damein formed two legs of
the tripod that, with Arthur Tully supported the
Comic relief mixed with a powerful wizard, Nathaniel Tallfellow was at once inquisitive and cowardly. A well-meaning and often naïve hero, Nathaniel (“Fremlin-Man” to Edward Oldladyson) was well known for his prowess when he could keep his palpitating heart in check. Many times, the sight of a monster or impressive foe sent the poor little guy running in fear for his life.
When he mustered his courage, though, Nathaniel was a mighty wizard. He spoke in a deeper voice that he believed made him sound imposing to those who would stand against him. He wielded a magical dagger that inflicted more damage when thrown. And, when he felt brave, he wore his lone garment as a hat rather than a loin cloth.
Nathaniel’s life was not an easy one. During the Grand Conjunction, a pit fiend bit off his foot. Once he recovered, he wore a peg leg with pride, remarking of the day he bravely stared down one of the most powerful devils in the Nine Circles. Later, though, a fireball claimed his life as he aided the Vagabonds in their investigation of Ocarina’s mother’s disappearance.
Nevertheless, Nathaniel returned to life in service of Zelda the Old Lady. He served as one of King Tully’s chief spies in the realm, locating traitors among the dukes and threats like Minos Ree.
If there is a single hero that the Vagabonds campaign followed it was Arthur Tully. He was the sole respectable fellow in the first days of the campaign, though his honor had been besmirched and he had been sent out to work with a band of rogues and cutpurses. As time went on, this mighty cleric was revealed to be a subject of prophecy. His youth among the dishonorable was a crucible in which his later glory was forged.
A heavy-set man standing six feet tall, Arthur Tully had brown hair and green eyes. In his youth he was talkative and helpful, but his time in the world’s spotlight hardened him and left him quick to judge those who came before him.
Arthur dealt with foes directly, calling down fire from the heavens or hammering at them with Sledge, the hammer of vengeance blessed in the Moonshae Isles.
A mountain of a man, Arthur never asked for the responsibilities that came his way, but likewise he never shirked them either. From the challenges of keeping a band of rogues in line to the overwhelming rigor of managing a kingdom of feuding duchies, Arthur was always up to the task so long as he could call upon his band of loyal companions, his Vagabonds.
All he truly wanted was obscurity. And when he traveled back in time to the years before his birth, he was finally given the chance to grow old in peace. Sadly, that was not to be his fate, though. Arthur came out of retirement not long afterward, leading the charge one last time against the Prince of Darkness himself.
Olan Whitebeard, Jr. Esq. III:
Though never trained as a rogue, Olan was one of the most prolific and successful thieves ever to travel with the Vagabonds. Always looking out for a new opportunity, Olan wandered off on entire adventures of his own devising while his companions focused on the greater good. Generally, Olan provoked endless ire in the heroes’ enemies and then rejoined the heroes for the final battle, which of course left little accounting for his deeds while gone.
Though most considered Olan to be some manner of rogue, he was in fact trained as both a cleric and an illusionist. He used his skills in both professions to see to it that the Vagabonds’ many enemies were overcome, in the most profitable way possible.
Olan died, characteristically, stealing
Damein’s magical sword with Tenada and Silverleaf. He returned some years later, stricken with
amnesia until cured of the affliction.
Olan’s most recent adventure involved descending into the
Best friends with Carbunkle Lochnagar Delachevieuxpied, the duo of Carbunkle and Olan struck gold more times than lead, and their reputation across Bloodstone and the Lands of Mist persists many years after their careers ended.