Design the Mayor of Caer Cyflen (January Community Contest)

2 years ago

Skog "Toeless" Smisdottr is a Sylvan Elf who hails from the remote Snow Dwarf village of Fjellpass. Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes what drinks like a dwarf, smiths like a dwarf, and curses like a dwarf, is actually an elf. Does that confuse you? Well, then, imagine what it is like for her!

Skog never knew her birth parents. As an infant, their trader's cart was ambushed by orcs on the narrow highway not far from Fjellpass. The adults were taken and Skog was left in a ditch to die. Luckily for Skog, a Dwarven smith travelling the same road found the girl in time to save her life, but not her toes. Although mostly clothed in heavy furs, her feet were bare and exposed to the elements. She lost all of her toes and most of her left foot to frostbite.

The smith decided to raise the child as his own. As is custom, he taught her his trade, making her a competent blacksmith. He forged special boots for her that allowed her to stand securely and to walk, albeit slowly and awkwardly. Her disability prevented her from effectively learning melee combat, but she compensated by becoming an excellent archer and hunter. Unable to give chase, she relied on stealth to stalk prey and marksmanship to ensure a killing blow.

Skog's childhood was tough. Because of the Snow Alliance, her village was friendly to Sylvan Elf travelers, but no other elves actually lived there. She was teased by the other children and looked at sideways by the adults. Even though dwarven life was all she knew, she was not a dwarf. She was always treated as an outsider in the only place she ever knew as home.

Her life changed forever when a party of adventurers from Caer Cyflen passed through the village. Their tales of dungeon crawling and treasure seeking were exciting yet bittersweet since she knew she would never be able to lead that kind of life, but what struck her to the core was the camaraderie they shared even though each member of the group was from a different race. When she learned that such easy friendship between races was the norm in Caer Cyflen, she instantly made up her mind to travel there. She left the very next day and never looked back.

In Caer Cyflen, Skog found work as a smith and as an archery instructor, but by night she spent her time in the pubs and taverns courting the friendships she never had in Fjellpass. Even in the cosmopolitan city of Caer Cyflen, an elf that acts like a dwarf was unusual, but unlike in Fjellpass, most people in Caer Cyflen considered it an endearing quirk. For the first time in her life, Skog was happy.

As the years passed and Skog's connections with the citizens of Caer Cyflen grew, she realized that as great as Caer Cyflen was, it could be better. In spite of the fact that the races got along better in Caer Cyflen than in any other place she knew of, there were still racial tensions, especially among recent immigrants. Certain jobs seemed to always go to certain races and some neighborhoods were dominated by one race or another. She ran for mayor and won on a platform of equality.

As mayor, Skog insists that city government positions are filled strictly according to talent, never heritage. Although she has no legal authority to require that private businesses do the same, she ensures that city contracts are only awarded to egalitarian recipients. This has had the desired effect. Although still not perfect, progress has been made. The Caer Cyflen of today is a shining example to the rest of Solasta.

Although she no longer makes a living with smithing or archery, she has not forgotten them. The mayor hosts an annual archery competition open to all. The winner receives a quill of arrows with arrowheads personally smithed by the mayor and enchanted by a prominent local mage.

At night, she still drinks in the tavern, making connections and listening to tales of adventure. These tales almost always fill her with joy. Almost always, but not always. When the tales turn to orcs, her manner changes. She keeps listening, but for information, not entertainment. When her adoptive father found her all those years ago, he also found a totem with a three-eyed wolf. It was clearly an orc clan totem, but one that nobody had ever seen before. Whenever adventurers tell tales of orcs, she asks about the three-eyed wolf totem. Someday she will find out where they are, and when she does she will have justice for the parents she never knew. She can't mete out this justice herself, of course, but she has power and influence now, and connections with adventurers who can. The person who brings her the head of the three-eyed wolf clan will get a reward that will make her enchanted arrows seem like children's toys.

2 years ago

Two quick raps against the plain, unadorned ironwood door roused Hayek’s attention. His eyes flicked around the office, suffused in orange by the glow of the setting sun, before settling on the book that lay face down at his feet, pages buried in the thick pile of Sassarene carpet. With a small grunt he leaned forward in the leather chaise and scooped it up in a large, heavily calloused hand, turning it over to discover a handful of pages were now heavily creased. Hayek’s eyebrows drew together in a heavy frown as his fingers tenderly bent the pages back into place, before closing the book and placing it underneath an artfully carved block of obsidian on his desk. It was only then that he turned his attention towards the knock on his door that had shaken him from his slumber.

“Enter,” he barked at the door, attempting, and failing, to temper his irritation.

In stepped Hayek’s aide, Lily Auroch; an austere woman whose implacable demeanour was unmatched throughout all of Caer Cyflen, and had stymied many an angry ‘citizen of note’ who attempted to barge into Hayek’s office with some complaint or another.

“Reminding you of your dinner meeting tonight”, cool and collected, as always. “Ghudpa Cin. The Burning Reed.”

Hayek grunted in reply, and kneaded his temples. He could feel a headache building, and meeting with Ghudpa, that greasy little rat, would only make it worse. He needed an evening alone. He needed a drink.

In through the mouth -- one, two, three, four -- out through the nose. A long, drawn out breath filled the silence of the room before Hayek pushed away from his desk and turned to face Lily.

“Right. Still on about demolishing the Lucky Rose?” Lily gave the barest of nods. Hayek sighed again. “Just what I needed. Another evening of implied bribes and…” he waved his hand about his head, as if brushing away an insect, “... politicking.”

“I fail to see the distinction, Mister Hayek.” A sardonic twitch of the lips was all that betrayed Lily’s amusement at the man’s obvious distaste with the evening ahead of him. “It is with great regret that I shall retire to my bed, and struggle through the dusty pages of Tragedy in Tairmos.”

Hayek grimaced. “Still reading that pulp romance nonsense? Why not Goldflower’s treatises, or Vindmar’s memoires? Spirit’s take me, I have Pyke’s collected works in my office! First editions! Right there, just take them!”

Lily arched a single eyebrow. “To spend my evening in such esteemed company, Mister Hayek, would truly be a tragedy.” She turned on her heel, a single hand waving goodbye over her shoulder, leaving Jaro Hayek prepare himself for what appeared to be a most unappetizing dinner.

"Ghudpa Cin. Why does it have to be Ghudpa-fucking-Cin?"

Hayek went rummaging through a small wardrobe  behind his desk, picking out a well-tailored outfit of timeless fashion. He was a man not given to peacocking himself with flouncy sleeves, or brightly coloured cravats. As he reached for a pair of well-polished boots his fingers brushed against a tooled leather scabbard at the back of the wardrobe, and paused there. A small kernel of unease fluttered in his stomach, at the prospect of dinner with Ghudpa Cin, or… something else? Hayek’s brows drew together, and with measured deliberation he withdrew the scabbard and attendant smallsword, buckling it about his hips.

Something told Hayek that tonight was going to be interesting.


Jaro Hayek - (Human or Half-Elf) - Male

His Most Honourable Magistrate Jaro Hayek, former three-time Duelling Champion of Caer Cyflen, is a haggard man of middling age turned grey before his time.

Hayek’s story begins while he was still a young man of little consequence, strong of arm and swift of hand, who fell in with a crowd of street toughs where he dabbled in black marketeering, alleyway muggings, and petty extortion rackets. Occasional run-ins with the law were unavoidable but, somehow, Hayek managed to avoid any serious repercussions for his myriad misconducts.

That is, until one fateful morning, when an otherwise ordinary turf war turned into a veritable bloodbath. One thrown grenado, a half-dozen innocent casualties, and the law’s mailed fist came crashing down with righteous fury. Hayek, the only one there to escape grievous injury, was clapped in irons and thrown into the gaol to await sentencing by a Caer magistrate.

Days turned into weeks, turned into months, and Hayek languished in captivity until a representative from the Dueling Guild made a surprise visit. Word had spread that there was a promising talent who had fallen in with some nasty customers, and wasting away in the gaol on charges of assault and criminal conspiracy. The Guild, Hayek was told, could exert their influence to have him released into their care on parole and, provided he adhered to their conditions, expunge his laundry list of minor offences upon the conclusion of a five-year tutorship. Knowing not to look a gift horse in the mouth, Hayek agreed.

Over the next five years, Hayek was pushed through a brutal training regimine, honing his mind and body to whip-smart, razor-sharp readiness. It wasn’t long before Hayek was capable of besting all within the Guild’s walls be it with rapier, buckler, smallsword, or dagger, and the Guild began booking Hayek some minor jobs.

Duelling in Caer Cyflen is a lifestyle for some; for others, it is a means by which to defend their lives and livelihoods. The result is a sizeable, and stable, duelling industry, consisting of both hobbyists and professionals which is largely dominated by the Duelling Guild. Aside from maintaining the rankings of all registered duelists in Caer Cyflen, and hosting seasonal duelling tourneys -- which have grown into city-wide celebratory events -- the Duelling Guild contracts the services of a number of Guild-certified duellists of various calibre and cost for those individuals who haven’t the time or talent for bladework. Ordinarily, the Guild would take a small cut from the purse of jobs that they booked for their certified duelists; however, as Hayek had a significant debt to repay the Guild, they took the entire purse of his first several contracts.

A debt which, it must be noted, Hayek paid off far more quickly than even the Guild had anticipated. Jaro Hayek, no longer the young street tough but a grown man in the prime of his ability, shot up the rankings like a bolt of lightning and was soon considered one of the foremost duelists in Caer Cyflen. His duels became larger, the purses accordingly so, and public renown became as much a currency as gold. Perhaps somewhat arrogant in his ability, Hayek left the Guild to become a privately registered duelist, invoking their fury as few men had ever managed. Challenger after challenger was sent to defeat him, and each one was sent back beaten and bloody. Hayek became the most sought after duelist in the entire city, a celebrity, revered by the masses and feared by the moneyed.

Of course, the folly of mortals is eternal, and Hayek was no exception. Though nothing was ever proven, it is widely believed that the Duelling Guild engineered Hayek’s downfall through the discreet application of tincture of nightshade, just enough to slow his reflexes and ensure his defeat at the hands of their new, hand-picked champion. Despite the significant backlash that the Guild faced from the duelling community, their plan worked, and Hayek quickly exited the duelling ranks.

Indeed, Hayek would disappear entirely from the public view for some years, before reappearing quite suddenly as a magistrate of Caer Cyflen. His misspent youth on the wrong side of the law, and settling disputes through more martial methods, gave Hayek a unique perspective on legal matters that the citizens of Caer Cyflen quickly grew to appreciate. It wasn’t long before he once again became a beloved public figure, though this time with significantly fewer individuals trying to kill him.

After administering the law for nearly a decade, few were surprised when Hayek announced his candidacy for the mayorship, and fewer still when he won in a landslide.

A gruff and straightforward individual, Hayek wastes no time and minces no words. Ordinarily such a demeanour would bode ill for delicate diplomacy, but Hayek’s indomitable will, iron-clad logic, and unwavering application of the law, have justified his stewardship of Caer Cyflen time and again. These days, Hayek spends most of his time in meetings or poring over thick tomes of dense judicial rulings, though rumour has it that he rises a few hours before the sun every morning to maintain his bladework.

While fully recognizing that the adventurers who frequent Caer Cyflen are an integral part of the city’s success and prosperity, Hayek has a none-too-charitable disposition towards them, torn between irritation at the minor troubles and inconveniences they cause while in town, and grudging admiration at the comparatively simple and carefree lifestyle they lead. While he would never seek to make undue trouble for the mercenaries or tomb raiders or “archaeologists” that frequent Caer Cyflen, nor would he be willing to bend the rules or otherwise favour them with leniency when they cause trouble.

Level 8
Kickstarter Backer Mayor's Ring (Bronze) Weaponsmith (Bronze) Armorsmith (Diamond)
2 years ago (edited)

Sir Mathew Cuningham (Human, Neutral Evil)

Sir Mathew Cuningham has come a long and thorny way before becoming Mayor of Caer Cyflen. He was born in a noble human family, but being the younger son had to rely only on himself. The family estate and surrounding lands were to be inherited by his older brother, and Mathew’s lot was to become a priest or a condottiere. The parents insisted the younger son to pursue a priesthood career, but Mathew had no desire to be a cleric. The young man chose the second option and left home with only an ancestral blade and father’s curse besides.

For several years Mathew wandered around the world, making a living with his sword and a game of dice until one day fate brought him aboard the “Black Gryffon.” Thus began a new chapter in Cuningham’s life. The ambitious young man managed to instigate crew mutiny and soon headed a gang of most desperate pirates.

Soon the lucky and cruel captain Mathew Cuningham had several daring feats under his belt and a reputation of one of the most bloodthirsty corsairs. Coldblooded and decisive, he often risked his head and the lives of the crew to make up a fortune by sea robbery and plunder. His name thundered loud enough to attract the attention of the authorities, and a real hunt for the “Black Gryffon” was announced.

That’s when the cunning of an experienced gambler told Mathew it’s time to leave the game while he still had a whole lot of money and an ace up his sleeve.

Without hesitation, he sacrificed the lives of his former comrades; they were sent to the gallows for their crimes. And Mathew paid himself off the representatives of the law with a part of his bloody gold. With an official pardon and a warm seat of the Mayor of Caer Clyffen to boot, Mathew Cuningham decided it was time to unmoor from the past.

The only reminder about the times when he was the scourge of the seven seas is a vast collection of exotic weapons. Mathew is very proud of this collection and likes to demonstrate it to his guests.
Barely anything betrays him as the former pirate. Nowadays, Mathew is a sophisticated aristocrat of forty-forty five years, who might occasionally drop a salty sea word in a conversation.

Sir Mathew Cuningham takes considerable care of his reputation. In the eyes of the townfolk, he tries to appear a true father of the town, who works tirelessly for their good. But it is just a mask for the masterful schemer and manipulator. In truth, his polite smile hides a predatory shark grin. There is only one god for Mathew - himself. Having town in his disposal, he treats it as his property and goes to any lengths to improve his well-being.

This causes his double-natured disposition to the adventurers. A self-made man, sir Cuningham perfectly understands how they could be both useful and dangerous at the same time. Because of this, he tries to manipulate them carefully to get maximum profits and benefits for himself and the town. But as a former fortune seeker, he feels kindred spirits in the adventurers. He could be inclined to show a certain sentimentality and indulgent patronage towards them. But nothing stops his attitude from changing if he feels a threat to his rule.

Sir Cunningham runs the town the same way he ran galleon, leading it with the decisive hand through storms of life. From the early morning, barely breaking a fast, he goes to the town hall, where he works until noon: learns the news, works with the papers, and sorts urgent matters. And after a short mid-day break, Mathew works again. Most often, he deals with lawsuits and petitions from the citizens, solves trade disputes and machinations. The Mayor also personally attends executions of criminals he sentenced himself.

At times sir Mathew makes inspectional trips around his entrusted town, taking an interest in the daily life of the townsfolk; or engages in charity to uphold his reputation. A rumor has it, the Mayor likes to visit taverns and fairs incognito. So he could listen to what the town folks are talking about with his own ears, not fully trusting to his informers.

Like a spider, he trapped the whole town in his web. An experienced puppeteer, he enjoys pulling strings. This power is the main passion in the life of sir Mathew Cuningham. But not all human is alien to him. From time to time, the Mayor likes to have fun. He arranges balls and hunts. In minutes of revelation, with a glass of wine in his hand, sir Mathew likes to indulge in memories from his adventurous past, coloring himself in the best light, of course. All in all, despite his generally positive external image, he remains cynical and stern up to cruelty man.

Evil Azgoul
2 years ago (edited)

Ya' hear about Raimund de Tovia, our beloved mayor? As many great careers, the start of his own was humble and unimpresive. He came here with a group of refugees escaping the Firbul Plague that decimated lands far away some around...20? Maybe 15 years ago? I don't remmember. Anyway, just after arival that bastard founded his brewery, not far away from Caer Cyflen, and he quickly surpassed the local brewers, putting them officially out of bussiness. It was all before that politician career, eh. Rain of gold he got from his humble enterprise elevated him to someone important here very quickly. He invested into another branches of business, buying the most profitable ones, with brothels, inns and workshops. Since than he expanded borders of his inluence far beyond our city, so much that local barons are seeking his favor in their private own affairs. He contacted merchant guilds abroad, infiltrated local guilds with his protegees and even made some agreements with distant dwarven city-states that profited him and our local guild, all at the expense of small craftsmen. He mobilised the local scum and made them his own dread and disciplined personal guard. Right after, he was elected a mayor, partialy because of the universal belief he can turn even dung into gold, partialy because he got strong support from local dwarven citizens, partialy because of his lying skills and charisma. And in big part because of his paid goons, who quickly intimidated any potencial rival who could rise and be considered a serious one.

As for his own life-story, he is believed to be former human noble in the distant lands of Tovia, now years after the Firbul Plague, abandoned and barren. He was also, depending on version, a paladin, a war veteran or a bounty hunter. The second version of the story is believed to be true for most. When asked, he doesn't give a clear answer, as he says it is too painfull and he doesn't want to go back to his traumatic past. Lately, he is engaged with Kunnegunda, the doughter of Simmon Sunflower, a merchant, the second ritchest man in Caer Cyflen. Hehe... if only poor moron knew who he chosen to be his son-in-law. You see, he may look like a strong man with well-kept hairstyle, over average, but not extraordinary stature and drilling grey eyes, but I know his secret. The one that could potencialy undermine his reputation, his influence and perhaps even career. You see, he is not a noble, not retired hero, he is not even human. He is a dwarf from Mogaard named Zeldig Ironthorn, the disowned son of common brewer, and he is "suffering" from gigantism. You know what it is? It's a condition when someone grows in size way above the average of it's own species. And that was what happened to him. All money he spent on his enterprizes he got from robbery and looting tovian towns abandoned by people fleeing from Firbul Plague. He was known thief in his native city even before, however it seems that today his old compatriots has forgiven him his petty crimes in the name of mutual profits. I must admit, the whoreson keeps the facade quite well. He has no qualms or shame to shave his beard to keep mascarade ongoing. I dont think he would have any qualms to "disappear" anyone who found about his secret either. The fact can be used in exortion at his expense, but be carefull with that. Also, I wouldn't recommended to bring his lies into the light. If you even menage to ruin him and some wealthy men, especially his rivals, will be pleased, also as many, especially the ones who takes profits from cooperation with him, could in retailation ruin your life.

He is fond of spicy food, strong alkohol and jewelry. Outside of his duties, he is pretty paranoid and aloof, although withing his public speeches he tries to be iovial and upbeating. The one who is the most close with is probably his current horse, with is atypical for a dwarf, but is helpfull in protecting his image. If I could point his biggest flaw, the one that might be one day fatal, it must be only one thing.


Level 4
Mayor's Ring (Bronze)
2 years ago

Laycie Rhee is a human female born in one of the noble families in Caer Cyflen. As an aristocrat, she was put through a tough education regime from a young age to become a "perfect noble lady" to be used as a tool to form a strong alliance with another noble family in the city. Alas, it was the art of magic that ignited her passion of all things (to her parents' despair), and while she was not gifted with dazzling talent by any means, her persistence paid off and soon she was recognised as a competent magic practitioner in Caer Cyflen.

However, Laycie was still far from content with her life - most of her magic stunts happened within the city walls and she longed for something more dangerous, real and exhilarating. Unable to contain her desire, she signed a contact to join a band of adventures and took off on her first grand adventure.

Their mission was to clear out a den of goblins and orcs that were terrorising villages on the outskirts of Caer Cyflen. It took a few days to reach their destination and they faced some fierce ambushes from goblins, orcs and other savages along the way. It was everything Laycie had been hoping for - the rush of adrenaline as she hurled deadly spells at her opponents, the screams and howls ringing out her foes, and tallying up the kills at the end of battle... But something was not right. As the each day passed her discomfort grew but she was unable to pinpoint the cause of it.... Then it finally dawned on her.

I. N.E.E.D. A. B.A.T.H.

It was during a difficult battle against a brood of spiders that Laycie (or rather, her adventuring party) discovered her unique powers - as a sticky white shot of web from a pesky spider splatted against the back of her head and dripped down her robe - Laycie snapped.

While in her mind, she was in her happy place burning away the dirt and grime from her body, in reality she was bellowing "FIRE CLEANSING FIRE" as she hurled magical fire at the pesky spiders while her stunned companions did their best to shield themselves (and their loot) from her web-induced wrath. Even though Laycie had reduced the spiders to charred mystery meat, she continued to spew forth fire and fury - rapidly turning the cavern into an oven.

A pack of goblins had arrived from the depths to investgate the smell of cooked spiders and swiftly came to regret their decision as Laycie (now red eyed and frothing at the mouth) turned upon them.

Once her tantrum was over - her companions carried the sobbing and crying Laycie away from the smouldering bodies of the goblins, and remarked at her effectiveness in decimating their opponents. From then on her companions decided to take advantage of her unique powers and Laycie's group were always suspciously far from an inn, river or any form of bath during their subsequent adventures. A year later, a very ragged and smelly Laycie returned to Caer Cyflen, where tales of her "bravery" in securing the thoroughly burnt region around Caer Cyflen earned her the position of Mayor.

Now, Laycie is at peace, being able to take a warm bath whenever she wants and catching heroic tales of adventures at the local inn without having to suffer the horrors of being unclean.

2 years ago (edited)

“Mayor Starsong!”

I sighed, schooling my expression to the easy smile that served as my public face. It was almost scary how quickly the mask fell into place these days. I straightened my bodice and turned.

“Why, Elder Conner! How lovely to see you. I trust the grandchildren are doing well?”

The old man acknowledged the greeting with a brusque nod, immediately launching into a series of high-pitched complaints about vagrants, market prices and the increasing number of horse droppings befouling the high street. I only half-listened; the litany was virtually the same each time, and I knew he’d go away as soon as I apologized and promised to do better. It was frustrating, though—so much time wasted, when all I wanted was a few moments to myself, to strum a new piece or even indulge in a short nap.

Sometimes I wonder how I let myself get dragged into this.

I suppose it was my own fault, for thinking it would be an easy job. Everyone knew that Her Highness held the true power, the military might of Masgarth. The hidden reality was that most of the day-to-day responsibility—of making sure residents had food and fire, clean water and safe neighborhoods—fell to me. The position was pitched to me as a sinecure, an opportunity for wealth that played to my strengths: devising new ways to do the same old things, and persuading people that they wanted what I did. It took less than a week of meetings, speeches and safety inspections before I realized that the princess is even better at conning folks than I am. Or maybe, just maybe, she actually believed what she was selling.

I hadn’t an inkling of what the future held when I lost myself in the bustling anonymity of the city. Reinventing myself—again—to fit in with the locals was simple. It seemed half the adventurers in Caer Cyflen had dead parents, dead siblings, dead pets; my story of being orphaned in a tragic orc attack was accepted as a matter of course. I didn’t tell them that my mother was still alive, still hiding her identity, an elf of the New Empire living a life of exile. (Of my human father I knew nothing; she’d never told me anything, and I didn’t feel the need to press for details.) Translating the modest notoriety of a wandering bard into political support presented little challenge. After all, I’d been lulling people into compliance with my voice for years.

Looking back, I can’t remember how I ever got sick of new places, new people, the rush of captivating an audience with a well-chosen song. Now I was the captive, held hostage by need and conscience. It wasn’t even about the money; what coin I was permitted to claim as my pay went mostly to confidential informants (i.e., spies: the budget didn’t cover these) and the odd charitable donation (spread amongst the city’s myriad temples and almshouses). 

“I’m so sorry, Elder Conner,” I concluded. “I’ll be sure to speak with Adren about hiring more workers to keep things clean.” In your dreams, I thought to myself. I knew that any suggested rise in taxation to cover the added janitorial expense would be met by the populace with sullen disapproval, maybe even protests. 

Speak of the devil. Out of the corner of my eye,  I caught a glimpse of my accountant lurking behind a pillar. Clever boy; he knew enough to keep his distance until my nemesis had retreated.

Adren sidled up to me, murmuring in my ear. “What was it this time, loiterers? Pol the fishmonger overcharging for halibut? Or those new rumors of plague that keep circulating around the guard barracks?”

“He wasn’t so bad today,” I told him. “Too much refuse in the streets, stinking up his daily constitutional. We need more sweepers. There, I’ve spoken to you about it. My work here is done.” I dusted off my palms.

He snorted. “We can’t squeeze anything more out of an already strained budget. But I’m sure you know that. Eventually, Lin, they’re going to catch on and realize you’re just placating them.”

“They haven’t yet,” I shrugged. “People believe what they want to believe.”

“Well, they seem to believe that you’re the best person for the job.” He paused. “They’re not wrong.”

I groaned. “Sometimes I hate being competent.”

“If you weren’t competent, you would have died years ago,” he pointed out.

“Correction: I hate being the rare competent person in a sea of incompetence.”

“That’s fair, although I’d argue that general laziness is the enemy, not outright ineptitude.”

“Says the man who exercises all morning and buries his face in numbers and ink the rest of the day.  Color me unsurprised.”

He crossed his arms over his chest and gave me The Look. “How are you any different? You always said your music was the one pure thing in your life, and now your strings are just gathering dust. When’s the last time you did anything for yourself?”

“I had a pastry this morning. With icing. That counts, right?” He had a point, but I wasn’t about to concede; the encounter with irate citizenry had brought out my stubborn side. “Anyway, we’re not the same. I only exercise before breakfast, for an hour at most. Just enough not to lose the edge.”

“Sounds like you’ve already lost it.” Adren leveled an accusing finger at me. “I’d have expected the old Rivelin to knife-punch Grandpa Conner ten times over by now. You’d probably have gotten away with it, too.”

I arched a brow at him. “You’re saying I should remove people I find irritating? Shall I begin now?”

He chuckled and held up his hands in surrender. “Okay, okay.”

“Sorry.” I sighed, rubbing at my forehead. I could handle the teasing, but the look of genuine concern in his eyes was harder to parry.

“Look, just maybe...take a break this afternoon? I doubt there’ll be a major crisis in the next hour or two. Go home, get some rest.”

I nodded. “Maybe you’re right.” Maybe fortune would be on my side, and I wouldn’t have to spend the rest of the day putting out fires, figurative or literal. As I walked home past a knot of grimy travelers who handled their weapons like they meant it, I was overwhelmed by a surge of mixed nostalgia and envy. They could go anywhere, do anything. They were free.

And I had an entire city depending on me. Keeping the population happy and thriving was a constant struggle that took every trick I had in my arsenal. “You don’t have to give everyone what they want,” my mother once told me. “You just have to convince them that you can.”


  • Rivelin “Lin” Starsong, female half-elf
  • Background: Entertainer
  • Personality traits: Charismatic, conscientious, kindly, devious, stubborn, jaded
Kevin Davis
Mayor's Ring (Bronze)
2 years ago (edited)

Tell us about the past of your Mayor. What did they do before? Why did they want to become Mayor? How did they become Mayor?

Mungo "Tadpole" Mudwash, a half-ling typically referred to as "Tad," lost his father at a very young age in a fishing boat accident.  Tad had no siblings and never knew his mother.  After the death of his father, Tad found himself yearning to return to the open sea to honor his father, whom Tad kept near and dear to his heart.  After gaining fame and reputation for his boisterous personality and style/flair for his swordplay when boarding enemy ships, Tad found himself drawing both the praise and the ire of many pirates and sailors in the world.  Pirates and sailors wanted to BE him, but also wanted to defeat him.  The constant churn of pirates and sailors that challenged him to duels became too much for Tad and even though he never lost, he soon longed for a place to settle down.  Tad chose Caer Cyflen, after learning about the various factions and races that populated the city.  Upon arriving in Caer, Tad's boisterous personality and penchant for style/flair started earning him a reputation around the city as an excellent story-teller.  Using both hyperbole and charm, Tad developed a following that wished to see him put in a place of power in the city.  This following swelled up from the ground and started earning Tad an invite to dinner parties and lavish festivities hosted by the gentry and the nobility of the city.  It was during this time that Tad learned of some of the difficulties the city was having, both financially and politically.  There was immense squabbling between factions and races, although Tad was someone everyone could get behind.  Tad eventually rode this wave into positions of power, first on the city action committee, then serving as the local guildmaster.  Even though Tad loved these jobs, he still yearned for something greater and eventually became the Mayor of Caer Cyflen.

What are little details in their speech that will make players remember them? What's their personality like? Tell us about the daily life of your Mayor. What are their little pleasures in life? How do they feel about adventurers? 

Tad is an excellent story-teller with a penchant for exaggeration and amplification of his stories which grow taller and wider every time he tells them.  His low, groveling voice, is instantly recognizable to everyone around him before they even put eyes on him.  Even though he is constantly clearing his throat, for no other reason than habitual, Tad's voice looms large over the city of Caer Cyflen. Growing up close to his father, he developed a strong need for family and thus, he treats everyone he meets as family.  Tad enjoys thinking of himself as everyone's father, and most of the people in the town enjoy thinking of Tad as their father.  His firm but gentle hand has guided Caer Cyflen into a period of prosperity.  Having learned business and supply/demand on the open seas, leadership and assertiveness while serving on the city action committee, and an ability to inspire those around him as a guildmaster, Tad is equally suited for this new life as Mayor.  On a day to day basis, Tad can be seen wandering around the city, both inquiring how people are doing, but also inquiring about how their business is operating.  Tad wants everyone to come together and work towards a common goal, which in his mind, is a time of peace and prosperity.  Tad enjoys listening to others talk while playing cards or drinking ale in the tavern, where you can find him most nights.  And even though Tad has never taken a wife, he can be seen leaving certain houses around town late into the night, paying no mind to hide these activities by walking back to his house, whistling into the cool night air a song of conquest, glory, and romance.  At times, various adventurers find their way into Caer Cyflen and this is when Tad gets most excited.  He loves to invite them into his office, pour out some ale and offer playing cards, wanting desperately to hear the heroics of the latest adventure.  He routinely questions them, looking for any parts of their stories that he can steal for himself, but also to reflect back the dangers of that lifestyle.  Tad sees these adventurers as part of a grand adventure, but sometimes to himself, he reflects back on the hard life of traveling and plundering.  After sending the adventurers out on another quest, Tad smiles ear to ear as he walks them out of his office, but to nobody but himself, he sighs a heavy sigh and worries that they will never make it back and he will relive the grief and loss that has been a part of his life since he was a young boy.

Level 1
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2 years ago

Nobody said being mayor of Caer Cyflen would be an easy task, especially not Ingeborg Haraldsdottr, its mayor of five years. Born to a dwarven merchant family selling mechanical toys, she was heavily involved in the city’s mercantile scene through her shrewd management of her family business and deep connections with the city’s nobles as well as other merchants. With long straight hair often tied in a bun, piercing hazel eyes, and a charming smile, she was quite the catch among her community. Yet despite many offers to marry her once she came of age, she turned them all down to focus on her family business.

Her entire life changed when a prominent noble demanded a gold-coated toy horse carriage for his son. Unfortunately, it was out of stock at that time, but that didn’t stop him from demanding it until she demanded him to leave. In the end, he launched a boycott against her family business that nearly bankrupted her, not helped by the city’s watchmen turning a blind eye to robberies against her while investigating her human counterparts immediately. Had it not for her connections with other merchants and a sympathetic noble who was a regular client, she would’ve been left completely penniless.

This event prompted Ingeborg to eye for the position of mayor in order to enforce law and order for all, fight corruption, especially among the nobles, and possibly even improve the city’s infrastructure through dwarven technology. She didn’t hesitate to seize her chance when the previous mayor announced his resignation. Much to her anger, the noble who nearly bankrupted her was also a candidate, fueling her desire to win even more. Despite his false accusations of her overcharging prices for her toys and their inferior qualities, Ingeborg managed to win the position through her sincerity, dedication to her ideals, and the exposure of her rival's lies. Her victory was seen as a milestone for Caer Cyflen's dwarven community, who saw her ascension as a step towards their acceptance. For years, they were at best tolerated for their technical expertise and at worst kept under tight surveillance to prevent them from becoming too influential.

As mayor, Ingeborg quickly put her policies to practice by appointing officials deemed trustworthy and full of integrity, launching investigations against allegedly corrupt nobles, training watchmen to enforce the law equally regardless of various factors, ensuring fair trials for all, including her former rival, increasing trade to the city, and encouraged the use of dwarven technology to improve infrastructure. Even Caer Cyflen's dwarven community gained more acceptance, when people saw the hard work she did for the city. Things went well for the first three years until her treasurer was found guilty of embezzling the funds she entrusted to him. Exacerbating matters was the conviction of several watchmen of corruption three months later, but what finally changed her was an attempt on her life by a supposed friend among the watchmen who envied her position as mayor. Although the city prospered, its crime rate lowered, and its dwarven community having more respect than before, her once bright demeanor was never the same. Once she was diplomatic and approachable, freely mingling with others, visiting her family and friends whenever she could, made the occasional joke, and tried to solve disputes with little tension as possible. Now she has become blunt and aloof, rarely staying in balls for no more than an hour, distancing herself from her family and friends, almost never smiling, and even keeping a personal guard with her at all times. One day, she had everyone, including outside visitors, inspected for any suspicious behavior. The few hundred people convicted of committing even the pettiest crimes were put on hasty trials. Few were pardoned while the rest were sent to the gallows. As a result, some of her former supporters now cursed her name and yearned for her replacement.

Every morning after breakfast, Ingeborg would oversee Caer Cyflen from the top of her manor's tallest tower. She started with the merchant district, with its black roofs forming neat blocks and rows. Then she set her eyes on the Princess's palace, with its walls towering over the rest of the city. After that, she inspected the rest of the city. Should any disaster like a fire happen, she would rush out of her manor and into the city hall to gather a force to deal with the disaster. Otherwise, she would close her eyes, take a breath of fresh hair, and whisper, "If only I could turn back time and undo the damage I have wrought" while a tear rolls from her eye.

Afterwards, Ingeborg would go to her office in the city hall and start working on any paperwork she left off from last night. Though she completed most of them already, there were still a few left to work on. On her desk was a mechanical toy bear she occasionally played with whenever she got bored and a plate of fresh fruits prepared for her before her arrival.

One day, when she was inspecting her paperwork as usual, an official entered her office. "Mayor Haraldsdottr, I have a report you might be interested in," he said.

"Make it quick," she replied.

"We have discovered a rising number of adventurers visiting the city over the past few months. Some of them claim to be investigating the Badlands, while others came simply to make a profit."

"Inspect them for any suspicious behavior as usual, and do not hesitate to put them under arrest if they commit any crimes. Should any of them request an audience with me, tell them I will meet them once I finish this paperwork."


After the official left, Ingeborg went back to her paperwork as usual. The thought of so-called adventurers, though always arousing her suspicions, never truly rankled her as long as they abide by Caer Cyflen's laws. Despite the abundant reports she had received about their adventures, she never took any interest in their supposed exploits, always concerning herself within Caer Cyflen's affairs. Whenever outside forces threatened the city, she would request help from the Princess to send her forces to deal with the matter. So far, few adventurers have requested assistance on their journeys, and these requests often involved providing them with supplies when the marketplace ran out of them. Nothing urgent, as these people should be capable of taking care of themselves in the journeys ahead, or so Ingeborg thought. In the end, all that mattered to her was maintaining law and order in the city, no matter how harsh the penalties were.

2 years ago

Mayor Bolario Gorestag


 - A corpulent, mustachioed man of middle age, Bolario appears to be a man of excess. Although not lavishly dressed like many other aristocrats, he nevertheless enjoys wearing bright colors, most often obscured beneath the thick bearskin cloak that rests across his shoulders. 


 - Bolario was born into wealth and privilege. He is one of many sons to a prominent local Baron, and while he was educated to be a member of government, he unfortunately never possessed the talents of his siblings, and showed very little promise. Often indecisive, lacking in judgement and insight, and easily fooled, Bolario was a great disappointment to his family. It was only through a great deal of machination, cunning, diplomacy and sacrifice that his parents were able to arrange for Bolario to take the position as mayor.

 - Bolario, for the most part, is largely unaware of how much of his ascension was due to the exhausted efforts of his parents, and the value of his family name. Regardless of how he ended up becoming mayor, he would have failed in the task horribly by now if not for the skills of his loyal aid and seneschal, but more on that to follow later.


 - He may be a man of few talents, but there are two traits Bolario possesses which have served him well. Firstly, he is an exceptional host. A jovial, good-natured, humble, raconteur with a keen understanding of decorum and etiquette, he is quick to win people over. He is a man fascinated with everyone's "story", so he is a good listener and has a broad resource of anecdotes and tall tales to tell. 

 - The second trait which serves to his advantage, if you can call it that, is that he is greatly underestimated. Those who have met him quickly realize he is an "easy mark", but he's a likable enough fella that few have any real interest in taking advantage of him. He is just left alone, with few true allies or enemies. He is neither particularly beloved by the locals, nor disliked. He keeps to himself most of the time, and is just regarded as a feature of the city.

 - Those unscrupulous few who have decided to take advantage of the mayor have been caught by surprise when they discover the mayor surrounds himself with some very competent and loyal aids. 


 - Bolario is a bit of a hoarder. His office looks like a curator's shop, with an assortment of trinkets, statuettes, books and ornaments on display. His passion is collecting interesting and unique bobbles, jewelry and furniture, and he enthusiastically attempts to trade or barter when he encounters an object that catches his interest. 

 - Although he is not a selfish man, he is quite self-absorbed. For this reason he rarely notices trouble, and is slow to act, until the demand for his attention is unavoidable. He tends to make alot of money from his position as mayor, and while it is not his primary pursuit, he enjoys the wealth very much and is reluctant to part with it. If he must, he will pay for the service of adventurers or mercenaries, but it may take a bit of pressure from the constituents and advice of his councilor.

 - Bolario likes to eat, drink, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Much like a housecat, he likes to stay warm, comfortable, well fed, and typically prefers to avoid others as often as possible. He ducks responsibility whenever he's able, but if cornered he typically does the right thing. 


 - The mayor's councilor/seneschal is a man of surprising cunning and perception. While Bolario is very aware of the competence of his councilor (a fact he takes great advantage of), even he doesn't realize quite how skilled the man is. Anyone wanting an appointment with the mayor must first go through the councilor; a man who appears calm, friendly, and polite. The man hides a mysterious and shady past, yet is very loyal to the mayor.