“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.”
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, granola, epistemology
Dislikes: Clowns, tabloids, objectivism
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. And any repairs, if they were to be permanent, had to start from the bottom up. With people.
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. Her religion, however, neither requires nor requests evangelism. The one temple she found who believed as she did used her as a pawn in a failed coup. 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-element rite. Every part of her is highly durable and she possesses great strength -- and, unfortunately, weight.
Likes: Nature, cooking, geology
Dislikes: Guns, rudeness, Sky-Fatherists
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 to find her children. She knows the exact people who have them, but they demand mercenary service from her before they’ll let her have them back – 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. Their similarity to her own children is an unexpected bonus...
Likes: Fighting, flight, children
Dislikes: Reading, enclosed spaces
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, 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: Bugs, worms, some fruits and vegetables, Avani
Dislikes: Predators, fire, indoor spaces
"No rules, no limits, no bosses, no gods!"
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, obstacles, Tori
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 Uskur (far right) and his sister Kurnung (far left), 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. There's nothing more heavily regulated across the world. The true scope of the Company's operation therefore necessarily lies outside the knowledge of its agents.
Somewhere out there in the world, a shadowy international organization is dedicated to expanding elementalism. Literally anything that can increase the world's net amount of magic is fair game, from building schools and funding charities to coups, enslavement, monster-breeding, and wars.
To that end they secretly control the global trade of vessels and conduits, the tools of magic, and maintain a clandestine presence in every elementally-inclined organization in the world.
The Nexus is made of four Divisions led by executive "Beasts," each of whom carries a monstrous sobriquet. One, "the Beast of Water, Cirein Cròin the Whale-Eater," seems particularly active in the region where the party travels...
Irma 'Aimo' Ahmed, Sarah Dill, Laura Duffe, Marianne Lauzon, Psudonym, and Lorraine Schleter.