Words and Character Art for a Fantasy Adventure Story.

Main Party


“You want to help people, Avani? Don’t make up stories about gods. Teach them they can be greater than their worst because they’re part of something that is. Show them evidence. Show them treasures. That’s what I’d do.”

Age: 22

Primary Element: Water

Physical: Tall athletic redheaded human female. Gray eyes, pinprick freckles.

Bio: Perceptive, confident, decisive, quick-thinking, and prone to casual swearing. An adventurous well-educated atheist.

Tori's ultimate goal is to create and curate a museum full of rare treasures. If there’s a better way to show the world that civilization is worthwhile, that people can produce greatness, and that life can rise above dull nasty brutish mediocrity, she hasn’t yet found it. The problem is, she’s stuck working as a thief and retail clerk for a black market. It may give her access to all the treasures her museum could ever need, but getting away with them all is more than one person can handle...

Likes: Treasures, history, epistemology

Dislikes: Clowns, tabloids, objectivism

Avani Lahar

Avani knew first-hand that it was never enough to break a foe’s forces. Any fool could break something. Righteousness required the responsibility of repair. Any repairs, if they were to be permanent, had to start from the bottom up.

Age: 19 (approaching 20)

Primary Element: Earth

Physical: Brown-skinned, dark-haired human female 5' 3" (160cm) tall. Superficially average in body type.

Bio: Kind, diligent, and devout, Avani wishes to serve the public’s spiritual needs. One day, without her knowledge or consent, her temple used her as a pawn in a failed coup and drove her to escape to evangelize without them. She soon meets Tori and they save each other’s lives, which Avani takes to be divine providence, though why Avani's patron god would cross her path with an atheist is quite confusing to her...

Though Avani is fully human, years ago she let her former temple elementally alter her body in a secret Earth-magic rite. Every part of her is highly durable and she possesses great strength -- and, unfortunately, weight.

Likes: Cooking, animals, movies

Dislikes: Guns, rudeness, flying


As Cirrus understood it, the big countries all agreed that killing a monster who wore or carried clothes was murder. Clothes were armor, a badge of civilization, a sign that the wearer obeyed rules and could be talked to like a person. Plus, pockets could carry anything.

Age: Forty-something summers

Primary Element: Air

Physical: In her true form, a semi-feline creature with light-blue-on-white skin called a wind tiger, big enough to carry Tori and Avani if she must. Her human form is built for power.

Bio: Imposing and brawny with a casual demeanor and a very direct-approach style of conflict resolution, Cirrus is on a years-long personal mission. She works for the exact people who can help her, but they demand mercenary service from her first, and the goalposts just keep moving.

Frustrated by her quest, she’d just as soon kill her bosses, but she wouldn’t dare turn on them without a god on her side. Fortunately, Avani seems to have a god watching out for her. Cirrus felt that joining Tori and Avani on their eventful path could get that god on her side, too...

Likes: Fighting, flight, children

Dislikes: Reading, enclosed spaces, mistakes



Age: 5

Physical: A brownish dire kiwi (Apteryx dirus domesticus), a strong and domesticated flightless bird the size of a horse. His saddle has a jointed handlebar section by which a rider can direct him.

Bio: Friendly, alert, as smart as a raven and as eager to please as a dog. Stolen by an adversary of the party yet tamed immediately by Avani. If pushed by necessity or danger to his rider, he can use his weight and strong digging claws to drive foes away.

When not serving as the party's pack-mount and pet, he spends most of his time eating, sleeping, or preening. He is satisfied with that. He is a good bird.

Likes: Food, digging, Avani

Dislikes: Predators, fire, indoor spaces



Crying was useless. Revenge was much more practical.

Age: Mid-20s

Primary Element: Water

Physical: Light-skinned, black-haired, blue-eyed human male a smidge shorter than Tori.

Bio: Ruthlessly self-centered, Addanc served as the top agent in Meddon's black market until Tori came along. He is very highly skilled, but not so skilled as Tori, and that drives him mad. Some of his hatred also stems from Tori rejecting his advances; he thinks he deserves everything he can take, so why not her?

Criminal tradecraft was his lifestyle and philosophy. When Tori leaves their mutual job, he blames her for having ruined it. He will never be satisfied until she suffers as he has suffered.

Likes: Winning, art forgery, womanizing

Dislikes: Embarassment, religion, Tori

"The Company"

In a sheltered city-state of wealth so old it rots, rich men judge each other by their private museums. The city's black market, the Company, deals in all the art and antiquities the nobility could ever want, often stolen from one client for sale to another. Led by the raiza Uskur, the Company commands several dozen agents, human and raiza alike. So long as field agents bring in valuables without also bringing police scrutiny, the Company allows for any extreme of behavior on an assignment, up to and including murder.

Despite the treasure trade, the Company's real wealth comes from dealing in vessels, the materials required for magic. The city-state of Meddon holds nothing more illegal, therefore they are highly sought-after by rich men wanting one and willing to pay.

"The Parent Company"

Somewhere out there in the world, a shadowy organization is dedicated to expanding aetherism by any means necessary. To that end they have a heavy hand in the trade of vessels and conduits, the tools of magic.

The Parent Company's interests include the antiquities black market in Meddon. An unknown figure known as "the Whale-Eater" seems particularly invested in it...

Art Credits:

Irma 'Aimo' Ahmed, Sarah Dill, Laura Duffe, Marianne Lauzon, Psudonym, and Lorraine Schleter.

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2007-2019 Jack Duffe, all rights reserved.