Crom Valkyr

Crom is an ambitious young man who just can't understand why he doesn't yet have the whole of Riddleport eating out of his hand.

Description:

level 2 Human, Fighter Fighter: Combat Superiority Fighter Talents: Brawler Style Background: Occupation – Artisan (Diplomacy class skill)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES Str 20, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 8, Wis 11, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES Str 18, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 8, Wis 11, Cha 10.

AC: 21 Fort: 21 Reflex: 13 Will: 12 HP: 40 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 10

TRAINED SKILLS Diplomacy +6, Athletics +11, Streetwise +6, Intimidate +6, Heal +6

UNTRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +1, Arcana, Bluff +1, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +3, History, Insight +1, Nature +1, Perception +1, Religion, Stealth +1, Thievery +1

FEATS Human: Brawler Guard Level 1: Toughness Level 2: Student of Battle

POWERS Bonus At-Will Power: Grappling Strike Fighter at-will 1: Threatening Rush Fighter at-will 1: Brash Strike Fighter encounter 1: Surprising Stab Fighter daily 1: Villain’s Menace Fighter utility 2: Defensive Stance

ITEMS Spiked gauntlet, Adventurer’s Kit, Magic Scale Armor +1, Javelin (3), Battleaxe

Bio:

Crom is the son of a blacksmith merchant in Lubbertown who is torn between the allure of adventure in Riddleport and remaining at home to take over his father’s smithy.

Named for a mythological warrior god from his father’s favorite legends, Crom is tall and well-muscled, shaped from countless hours at the anvil. His short blonde beard blends with his straight blonde hair. He is a square-jawed man in his mid-twenties whose good looks, gigantic mirth and easy charm are at odds with his rough company and trade. He is outgoing, something of a thrill seeker and a man who seeks to live life to the hilt. He has somehow avoided most of the gritty realities of life in Riddleport and is more carefree, with a cleaner conscience, than most men his age. He carries an unadorned, but well-balanced longsword and often fits his free hand with a steel plated cestus.

Crom obsesses about his personal code of honor. He has his own set of ideals and morals and he tries to follow them without fail. He wishes that he could impose these on others and this is probably part of why he seeks such influence and fame. He wants to be so feared and respected that others will want to agree with him. He feels slightly inferior having not made much of a mark by his mid twenties. He is the oldest smith’s apprentice he’s ever heard of and his getting desperate to gain fame.

Crom has a tendency to be charmingly arrogant and rakishly confident, but he frustrates those who might depend on him. First, he perceives himself as more likeable than he may actually be considering he is always his own top priority. Second, his decisions are not often made intelligently. He fights like a lion, but not always when he should seeing every conflict as a chance to gain inflence and fame.

Crom has a penchant for gambling, women and drink. Not an uncommon type in Riddleport, but in Crom it causes much self-loathing because these vices get in the way of his ambition, yet he can’t seem to stop them.

He spent his younger years learning his father’s trade. When his family moved to Riddleport, hoping to find more customers than in their saturated home market of Korvosa, Crom was agog at the exciting rush of life in Riddleport: the danger, risk, and rewards. He spent much of his free time in the Publican House listening to the tales of the adventurers and sailors when they were in their cups. Crom soon befriended a young Captain by the name of Respada. He pilots a small vessel funded by Elias Tammerhawk dedicated to stopping the worst of the smugglers and pirates; those who traffic in young flesh or dare to disrupt the business of the cyphermages. Respada believes his commission, and others like it, is the first stage of a hostile takeover Tammerhawk plans for the current Overlord. Respada soon became a mentor to Crom, tugging at the opposite end of the rope from Crom’s smaller-horizoned father.

When his father couldn’t pay the corrupt local blacksmith guild’s bribe they refused to admit Crom despite his skill and years of training. Crom was unaware of the bribe and felt ashamed, though not broken-hearted, and quickly entertained a change of career as a mode to improve his self-esteem. He had become a regular at the publican house and as he grew in stature he also grew in prowess. Growing up he’d learned much of fighting from making weapons, but only in theory. Frequenting the taverns and seedier areas of Riddleport had given him plenty of experience defending himself. He also picked the brains of the corsairs and sentries who drank with him. Soon he had developed a suffocating style of fighting reminiscent of a barroom brawler. Crom takes full advantage of his size and strength by pummeling and throwing around his opponents between sword strikes. He soon earned a job as a deckhand on the Sowbelly, Respada’s ship. Here he became significantly more lethal as he was routinely pressed into enforcer and sentry duty given his imposing size and mein. Since those early days Crom has travelled throughout the seas around Riddleport and slowly gained more and more respect from the Captain. Since Tammerhawk looks the other way on any piracy victimizing smugglers and illegitimate traders, Crom has eeked out a decent living working as a buccaneer. He still visits his father often, assisting him at the bellows while he continues to encourage Crom to return to the smithy.

Crom and his best friend Siraj are itching for a bit more in life. Crom is especially hungry to make his mark in the fertile city of Riddleport. He feels invincible and as though the world is his oyster. At the same time, he frequently spends time helping his father out in his smithy and worrying about disappointing him if he doesn’t take over the shop. Crom has been lucky in life. He hasn’t faced any real hardships and any blood he’s drawn has been justified. His greatest fear is that running with the company he chooses will force him to do things he won’t be able to justify. He fears that his rise and respect will halt when he hasn’t the stomach to do what the true powers in Riddleport might expect. In Siraj, he feels that he has found a kindred spirit. They often banter about how they might unite to take Riddleport by storm.

Crom wants to become a person of importance in the seamy underside of Riddleport. More than money or power, Crom wants to become great, even as legendary as his namesake. He wants to be respected, admired and deferred to: the subject of those alehouse stories he heard as a youngster and of children’s games of fantasy.

(I think it would be cool to see Crom rise in rank and power among the illegitimates of Riddleport. If he could somehow be a thief with a code of honor/heart of gold that became powerful enough that even the scummy thieves had to begrudgingly concede to his reign.)

SECRETS

1) About a week ago, one of Boss Croat’s body men, a half-orc named Broga was found dead outside of Zincher’s arena minutes before his employer was to leave through that exit. Croat is angry and now fueled by the fear that this murder was a mistaken assassination attempt. The truth, which Crom hopes no one else saw, is that Broga was murdered by Crom himself. Crom was in the wrong place at the wrong time, mistaken for someone else, and the situation quickly got out of control. In the span of minute a confused jostling resulted in Broga’s body bleeding out in the street. Crom was merely defending himself, but he’s now worried about discovery and retribution.

2) Crom’s father, Erik, having come to Riddleport without much capital has taken out multiple loans from Lymas Smeed. Crom’s modest savings, gathered from piracy with Captain Respada and stored at his father’s smithy, has slowly been raided by his father to make payments on these loans. In the end it will take a miraculous windfall for Erik to ever pay back these loans and Smeed is known to shake down whole families to get what he’s owed. Crom has no knowledge of these loans.

CONTACTS

1) Archer’s best friend is Siraj Talal. The two grew close as family in their work aboard Captain Respada’s vessel. With no brothers, Crom values Siraj’s friendship and council above almost all else. Both of them aren’t much like the hard, wicked, depraved company they keep on the Sowbelly and have naturally gravitated to each other.

2) A mentor of Crom’s is his employer Captain Enzo Respada. Respada seems as close to respectable as a buccaneer can be. A stronger man than his own father, Crom uses Respada as his moral compass. In fact, he is always trying to learn how to retain virtue and a sense of honor and courtesy in an “opportunistic mariner’s” life.

3) Slim Skeller hates Crom. He is a few years older than Crom and is a fatherless rascal who hung around the Publican House just like Crom. He works as a deckhand in a lesser known pirate vessel and has developed a deep seated hatred for Crom. In their younger days Crom bested him in games of chance, athletics and womanizing, yet Skeller kept trying, hoping the next contest would be a chance for retribution. Crom doesn’t give him much consideration and, as such, doesn’t realize that Skeller is getting closer and closer to doing something drastic to shed his reputation as a loser and settle the score with his nemesis. A dog can only be kicked so much.

4) Crom generally does what he wants. He is large and imposing enough that most people give him a wide berth. There is only one person who seems to be able to truly push Crom’s buttons: Sandra. Once a street urchin, Sandra grew into an arresting beauty. Using her own wit and guile she has bested pimps, alley theives, and pirates who would turn her into a whore, wife, or mark. Now she works aboard Respada’s ship as his number one “procurer”, able to get permits and access whenever it is needed. She is also the subject of Crom’s intense passion. He loves her deeply even though she has shown only a teasing interest. Her resistance to being tied to any man keeps her out of Crom’s reach. However, she is not a “lady” and certainly has little real virtue. Crom tries to keep her on the straight and narrow, but she has more success getting him to deviate from his code of conduct. She is his one great vice, with the ability to manipulate him like a puppet on a stick.

Crom obsesses about his personal code of honor. He has his own set of ideals and morals and he tries to follow them without fail. He wishes that he could impose these on others and this is probably part of why he seeks such influence and fame. He wants to be so feared and respected that others will want to agree with him. He feels slightly inferior having not made much of a mark by his mid twenties. He is the oldest smith’s apprentice he’s ever heard of and his getting desperate to gain fame.

Crom has a tendency to be charmingly arrogant and rakishly confident, but he frustrates those who might depend on him. First, he perceives himself as more likeable than he may actually be considering he is always his own top priority. Second, his decisions are not often made intelligently. He fights like a lion, but not always when he should seeing every conflict as a chance to gain inflence and fame.

Crom has a penchant for gambling, women and drink. Not an uncommon type in Riddleport, but in Crom it causes much self-loathing because these vices get in the way of his ambition, yet he can’t seem to stop them.

Crom Valkyr

Shadow in the Sky combslice