I’m back with more character sketches based on random articles from the Fairytale Wikiand the Mythology Wiki. It’s really helpful doing these, not really because I’m making characters that I’d like to use in a campaign but because it’s handy to stretch my imagination a little. I encourage you to do it, and to steal these characters if they interest you.
Jack and the Beanstalk
Things changed dramatically for Madelyn Essert when she discovered she was the Rift of Jack and the Beanstalk (technically different than Jack the Giant-Killer, which is already a Rift in the core book… not that that matters). She came home from the store one evening to find that someone else’s groceries had ended up in her bag, a packet of beans she definitely didn’t pick out. She thought about keeping them but there was a smell to the bag and she was convinced that they had gone moldy so she threw them out. That night she had strange, dramatic scenes of climbing into the clouds and stealing from a giant in its castle. When she awoke, though, she found that some of the dream was true and those things she stole were actually in her apartment.
They may not look like much but these treasures have changed Madelyn’s life. The Goose-Printed Carpet Bag is particularly ugly but every morning when Madelyn opens it she finds riches in it: money, gold, jewelry, or other things. On the other hand, the Harp That Plays Itself is scuffed and dusty but it lives up to its name and when it starts to play it calms the mind and heals the body. She still has her life as a Bartender but she’s growing more and more distant from it. She’s also haunted by the idea that she never saw the giant die in the dream and someone might be after her. It might be a figment of her imagination but the feeling of being followed by a Shadowy Stalker is preventing Madelyn from feeling truly happy with this turn of events.
Even among the other inmates of the prison, Viktor Zemaitis (the Rift of Veles) was known as a tough customer. Put in jail for a string of armed robberies, Zemaitis has stayed there because of his repeated attempts to break out. Every time he gets very close but he has a personal vendetta with Warden Patricks (the Rift of Perun) who always stops his escape attempts. The two have grown to hate each other and Zamaitis has started to get self-destructive in his desperation. That is until Patricks disappeared. Now there’s no nemesis keeping Zamaitis in check and while he’s still in prison it’s only a matter of time until he makes another escape attempt. Without Patricks there, will this be the time when Zemaitis finally gets free?
The Princess and the Pea
Jessica Arden (the Rift of the Princess and the Pea) has had a lot of different jobs. Like many millennials she has never expected to have one lifelong career but even by the standards of her peers she has shifted careers a lot. Since graduating college thirteen years ago she has been an accountant, a comedy writer, an Uber driver, an electronic salesperson, a graphic designer, and a host of other jobs that lasted just a week or two. She can’t seem to settle on the right path for herself but she also is blessed with an adaptive personality that can adjust to any situation.
Jessica is a Quick Learner and picks up new skills with amazing speed. She’s also Supernaturally Aware of her surroundings and has impressed many bosses by noticing small details that her coworkers (even veterans) have missed. Her latest job is as a Project Manager for an effort to revitalize the downtown area, something the architect in charge was sure she was woefully unqualified for. Jessica impressed her, though, and the woman has given Jessica a lot of leeway in getting things done. This works well for Jessica who has always felt like a Natural-Born Leader destined for something great.
The Wandering Safehouses are a series of nondescript houses throughout the City which are used by organized crime to hide people and resources. The buildings (collectively the Rifts of the Navagrahas) are orderly and well-maintained but they hold an invaluable asset that make them incredibly valuable: magical portals that transport people between the different houses. Each of them has a back hallway that ends at a blank wall, but at certain times of day these walls actually allow someone to step through them and come out the blank wall of another safehouse. Which houses connect to which is a complicated system that requires experts to calculate it. In order to make the Wandering Safehouses more practical, trusted members of the gang that uses them have an app on their phones that tells them which houses are currently connected to which. The app appears to be a program to tell the relative positions of planets and lunar nodes for Vedic Astrology but if one knows how to look at the diagrams on it (or if one knows Vedic Astrology well enough to spot errors) then you can use the app to tell the current configuration of portals.
The only common thread between the houses is this network of portals, otherwise they are all scattered throughout the city and have different looks and architectural styles.
- The “Gold House” (Surya) is in the eastern part of the City and appears to be a small family home with bright yellow paint located next to a Roman Catholic church.
- In the southeast part of the City is the “White House” (Shukra), a language school for English as a second language that advertises only night classes (the better to cover nighttime arrivals).
- In the southern part of the City is the “Red House” (Mangala) a vacant former boxing gym in a rough neighborhood.
- To the southwest is the “Blue House” (Rahu), one of many identical houses on the residential block which is only remarkable for the white marble fountain and pool out front.
- In the western part of the city, the “Black House” (Shani) is a dour-looking house with grey paint and black shutters which sits across from a courthouse where many of the employees are paid by the mob.
- The “Silver House” (Chandra) is a beautiful private residence where the successful daughter of the mob’s leader lives. This is the one house in the network that is off limits to all but the central family.
- The “Green House” (Budha) is a small bodega with an apartment above (where the portal is). It is one of the most frequently used safehouses in the network.
- The “Yellow House” (Brihaspati) is a math homework help business that has apparently been closed for months, though work never seems to finish on it.
- The “Grey House” (Ketu) is the most mysterious of all, being just a blank room of cinderblock walls. Whether it is part of a larger building or is even in the City as all is a mystery, though it’s secure construction means its used for the most important things the mob has to hide.