Recently Margaret Weis made a call in her Facebook page for characters and organisation entries for her soon coming out game, Dragon Raiders.
It’s well known that I am pretty much in love with the setting and I loved the novel very very much, so it wasn’t difficult to come up with some ideas. Probably not very good ones, but hey, they’re mine!
What do you think?
Cirque du Chanson
The Cirque Du Chanson has been going on for the last 25 years. This group of merry travellers is one of the most renowned and well respected groups of performers in Cardosia. They travel fast and stay in any place for a week at most. Although they tend to perform in bigger cities, they have been known to visit small towns and even villages, where why perform their wonders for everyone to enjoy.
Although the circus has a crew of nearly 25 strong, only a few of them are notable for their skills outside the circus.
The whole thing is just a cover for a gang of spies and assassins for sale to the best bidder. They’re as well known as they’re feared in the underworld who stay out of their way whenever they can. Their combined abilities, their ruthlessness and their complete disregard for anyone who get in their way, are more than enough deterrent for anyone. The fact that they tend to leave clues behind that will point at someone else when they commit a crime make them even more dangerous than most other criminals.
The minds behind the entertainment.
Mr. Lontain – Master of ceremonies
Mr. Lontain has been a spy for the last 25 years. He was sent from [insert location here] because of his terrific accent skills, his incredibly persuasive manners and his ruthlessness as an assassin.
Lontain’s first name is not known by anyone. At 48, Lontain is a tall and muscular man with a very powerful charisma that gives him a tremendous presence when he enters a room. His charm and etiquette have provided with invitations to pretty much any palace he has wanted to get in.
His past is mostly unknown. The very few who know his origins have either been killed throughout the years, or keep that knowledge completely secret as they know death is a certainty. Lontain was sent 25 years ago to start the Cirque Du Chanson by the [insert kingdom here] government. He is completely devoid of morals and ethics. He doesn’t have any religious allegiance and will kill clergy, civilians, military, noble, poor… He still receives orders from time to time, and he will execute them without question or hesitation, regardless of who’s the victim or the consequences.
Whatever happened in his past, it’s given him an unquestionable loyalty. Probably the only thing he holds dear.
Although he’s known to be close to Lady Simonne, she’s just another pawn in his devious network of instruments he uses to achieve whatever goals he’s set.
Prefering to act behind the scenes, her duties at the Cirque are to keep everything moving. She manages and makes sure that everything that’s meant to be done gets done and done well. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly, though will happily praise and reward those who either do their job properly or help her in any way.
That is until they cross her.
An expert with poisons and legerdemain, Lady Simonne can drop a poisoned capsule or sprinkle some powder on any meal before anyone has the chance to find out.
Cold, calculating and single minded when she wants to be, this 43 years old woman doesn’t think much of the rest of the world. As an orphan, she grew up very badly treated and looked after by various foster families. She learned enough from Mr. Schmitt when she was 13, a well known alchemist with a liking for dangerous experiments, and, as Simonne found out soon enough, perverse sexual tendencies. Mr. Schmitt found a painful and long death when Simonne had learned enough. He is not missed and she was never prosecuted for it, even though she didn’t make any attempts to hide her involvement.
Simonne will kill anyone except children, and will never make an orphan if he or she can’t be looked after properly. However she will sell her deadly poisons without questioning who’ll be the recipient.
She found the Cirque du Chanson when Lontain stopped her from dropping some poison in a glass of wine at a party they both attended. Lontain only did this so he could have the pleasure of killing the victim, but he saw the skills of such posion-master as Lady Simonne would be very helpful and he offered a job in the circus. After a night of wild passion, Simonne joined Lontain 8 years ago and has become his right hand. For now.
Bertrand is just 18years old. He has been with the circus since he was 9 and was found by Simonne. Bertrand managed to steal a handkerchief from Simonne before she noticed. Impressed by both his nerve and his ability, and somewhat moved by his situation (thought she’ll never admit to it), Simonne brought him to the circus and brought him up, making him her extension when she needs to operate.
Bertrand sees Simonne as the mother he left behind. He is devoted to her, although he feels he will someday have to do something “better” than petty thievery.
Bertrand’s skills as funambulist are unparalleled. He can walk over a tight rope like anyone else can walk on ground, and once he puts his mind to it, he makes not a sound when he moves. Although he rather not kill if he can help it, he carries several poisoned daggers and some darts he’ll use when necessary.
He is not bothered about power, and barely so by money. The thrill of the theft and the satisfaction of getting where no one else can is what really gets him going the most.
Bernard is a 26years old dwarf. He is 4ft tall and pretty much 4ft wide. What he lacks is height he gains in muscle and one would have to be very foolish, very strong or very well armed to engage him in combat and have a chance to walk afterwards. He is a loner and cantankerous man, although he genuinely cares about the circus and its employees and companions.
He works as handyman and ironmonger for the circus, at least so it seems. He has the most incredible endurance and can run for days without needing to rest. Sometimes Lontain will send him to their next location one or two days in advance, either to serve as a scout, or to deliver a message.
Bernard is probably the only person who knows Lontain’s past. And the only one who has survived. Some say it’s because Lontain has a way to uncover all if anything happens to him. Others say he’s a relative and they share a common past and a common goal.
The truth is not known and it probably never will.
Bernard carries with him a magical maul at all times. What it does is not known either. He never uses it in public and never leaves it anywhere. Anyone foolish enough to try and take it from him is likely to find a painful death at the fists of this pugnacious character.
Perrin is probably the most dangerous member of the circus.
At plain sight, he’s just a 7 years old little boy. Innocent eyes, big smile, charming voice… The kind of child you want as a son.
Nothing could be further from the truth. This misogynist psychopath is 18years old with a strange condition that has made him remain with the looks and body of a 7 years old little boy. He was badly abused and rejected by every woman he encountered when he reached his puberty years. His insecurity quickly became paranoia and his paranoia hate. He killed his first woman when he was just 14.
He came across Simonne by chance when she saw him in the street and offered to help. When he tried to kill her, Lady Simonnne surprised him back with greater skill and dexterity and subdued him. Tied up and gagged, he was brought to Lontain, who found out what was going on and offered him a job in teh circus upon one condition: No women would be hurt or bothered while in the circus. Any mission that entailed killing a woman would be given to him.
He accepted quickly and has stayed in the circus for the last 4 years. He hates Simonne with a passion, since she’s the only woman who’s escaped. He knows she’s stronger than the rest and is waiting for the right time to teach her a lesson… Her moment will come.
Menard is probably one of the most tragic victims of Lontain’s devious and sick mind.
Lontain needed a scholar in the circus to read and decipher some of the rare tomes and magical devices he comes across. Menard was extremely respected in the magical world and Lontain thought he would be perfect. Lontain orchestrated a terrible murder in which Menard would be framed.
When it was found out, Lontain offered Menard a way to escape. It was that, or faceing death for a crime he didn’t commit, so Menard, oblivious to Lontain’s machinations, accepted, packed his bag and joined the circus. To this day he knows nothing of the genesis of his situation and Lontain makes sure he is unaware of the murders and crimes that happen in the circus.
Menard is an extremely knowledgeable wizard and scholar. He is rather powerful and his magic alone can erect and pack the circus tent within a day. He can read pretty much any book and magical glyph.
At 65, he’s a rather frail man with a very sharp mind and probably the only one in the circus Lontain is weary of. If Menard used his knowledge of spell for offensive magic, there is no one in the circus would be able to withstand his power.
Niece of Menard, Ann-Marie refused to let her uncle go alone. She refuses to believe he’s a murderer and will look after him with every fibre of her soul. Ann-Marie’s family were farmers who never had enough time for her. Her brother, 5 years her elder, took advantage of that situation to abuse her when she was just 13, and it continued to do so until she confided in Menard two years later and he put an end to the abuse. How none of them will say.
Ann-Marie is an extremely beautiful young woman of 21 years of age. She has been blessed with a voice that can melt steel and performs in the circus regularly, being one of the major attractions. Sometimes she will be invited for private performance and Lontain will carefully choose which ones to accept and which ones to refuse. Partly to keep her “exclusive” to the elite and partly to make sure he can distract crowds with her performance while theft and assassinations take place.
Ann-Marie is aware that something rather wrong is happening, but she’s not been able to find any evidence. Regardless, Menard will stay with the circus until his name has been cleared and she’s going nowhere without him.
She’s bidding her time and will strike back at Lontain as soon as there is any evidence of his misdoings. She knows it is a dangerous mission, but one she’s prepared to undertake and die for if that helps her uncle.
Adam is Lontain’s son, even though he is totally oblivious to this. When he’s asked about his past, the only response has been “your mother was a whore who stayed with us for a while and we kept you because you’re helpful here. Nothing more.”
23 years ago, when the circus was still new, Lontain made the only mistake in his career and conceived a child. He allowed himself to be found out by the mother and she made sure mechanism would be put in place if anything happened to her or the baby, effectively forcing Lontain to take care of the baby.
A woman of considerable power, Lontain had to do her bidding for his whole life was in great peril. Greater than he knew. One doesn’t want to have the Arcanum on his back.
Lontain’s parenting skills were less than ideal and Adam grew up a solitary and sultry child who found refuge from his disciplinarian father with the circus animals. When he turned 7 years of age, it became obvious how much empathy he felt with animals. Wyverns would gladly have him around, the horses would actually be protective of him and even dangerous animals like the bears and the two lions who lived in the circus at one point were like puppies with Adam. Anyone else, though, would do well to keep their distance. As Ricard Ronceau, a former member of the circus, found out when he lost the hand he used to slap Adam in the maw of the bear. He didn’t lose his life only because Adam is a gentle soul who despises violence.
He’s less and less secretive about his love for Ann-Marie as the days go by, but still scared of what Lontain would do if he found out. Although he won’t openly admit to it, he’s also rather scared of Menard’s reaction, though due more to respect than fear.