Pregenerated Characters

Iconics: Erasmus of Brixellum

The fourth of the main iconics of this setting is Erasmus, representing the erudite mind of someone who is skilled in all the arts of knowledge, from magic to literature, astrology, alchemy and figurative arts. Notice most things in this setting come in four: four ecumanica seasons, four winds, four humours.

Many of the great intellectuals of this world, who can be qualified as polymaths, have followed religious paths, although this is not necessarily true. They could also be children of nobles, wealthy merchants, or apprentices who begin their careers in the workshop of some painter or higher-grade polymath, and then gain fame and wealth working for the great courts. The polymaths of this world are indifferently versed in various fields, particularly those of the arts, which are interesting for the player because they allow the creation of fascinating spells. By mixing the humors of the client with their own works, these can enjoy extraordinary capabilities. For example, a bishop might donate his yellow bile to be mixed with the powders and stuccoes of a sculpture to create a golem that protects a church. Each branch of knowledge opens up a wide variety of abilities that the polymath can use to support his spellcasting skills.

In 5E rules, this has ben temporarily translated in game terms as a “career” path for a wizard. Actually, this is a mix of bardic and artificer magic. The religious background can be chosen as well.

Erasmus of Brixíllum

Human male wizard 4, NG

Patron: The University of Ferrara
Sainthood: 0

Armor Class: 10 (no armor)
Hit Points: 28 (4d8 + 4)
Speed: 30 ft.

Ability Scores:

  • Strength: 10 (+0)
  • Dexterity: 10 (+0)
  • Constitution: 12 (+1)
  • Intelligence: 17 (+3)
  • Wisdom: 14 (+2)
  • Charisma: 13 (+1)

Skills:

  • Medicine +6
  • Arcana +6
  • History +6
  • Calligraphy +6

Senses:

  • Passive Perception 14

Languages:

  • Common
  • Latin
  • Greek

Equipment:

  • Dagger
  • Calligraphy kit
  • Common clothes
  • Belt pouch containing 10 GP

Features and Traits:

  • Polymath Expertise: Erasmus possesses profound knowledge in diverse fields, including magic, literature, astrology, alchemy, and figurative arts. Basically he can roll with disadvantage to answer every kind of riddle be it historical or scientific.
  • Artistic Magic: Capable of creating magical effects through art by mixing humors, be it his own of the committant.
  • Astrological Insight: Skilled in astrology for guidance and predictions. He often helps Floramonda find a meaning to her predictions.
  • Alchemical Affinity: Competent in creating various alchemical potions and substances, as per the Feat.
  • Patronage of The University: Access to resources and knowledge from The University of Ferrara and schools on Estense territory (the region of Emilia-Romagna).

Actions:

  • Dagger: Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 1d4 piercing damage.

Spellcasting:

  • Spellcasting Ability: Intelligence (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks)
  • Cantrips (at will): Light, Prestidigitation, Mage Hand
  • 1st level (4 slots): Identify, Shield, Mage Armor, Magic Missile
  • 2nd level (3 slots): Misty Step, Mirror Image, [an additional 2nd level spell of choice]

Personality: Erasmus is a profoundly curious and intellectually vigorous individual, deeply immersed in a lifelong pursuit of knowledge. His mind, always eager to explore the unknown, is a vast repository of information on a myriad of subjects. He relishes engaging in stimulating discussions on topics ranging from the esoteric aspects of magic to the intricate theories of the arts and sciences. Erasmus’s creativity is boundless, often leading him to devise innovative solutions to complex problems.

History: Born into a rich family renowned for its scholarly achievements, Erasmus was exposed to an environment rich in learning from an early age. His early years in Brixíllum were marked by rigorous academic discipline in a Benedictine monastery, setting the foundation for his insatiable thirst for knowledge. He later attended the prestigious University of Ferrara, where he distinguished himself as an exceptional student, excelling across diverse fields of study. His academic journey was not just limited to traditional learning; it also involved extensive research in magical practices, alchemy, and the arts. Erasmus was offered a religious career but declined, preferring a life of adventure with a mercenary company at the age of 30. He is now 65 and his bones ache terribly, his health is in rapid decline and suffers from a lot of illnesses which he can cure mostly by himself with herbs and sometimes pagan remedies he sometimes resorts to including amulets and mulled wines with spices and alchemical components.

Description: Dressed in attire that befits his status as a polymath, Erasmus often wears robes that are both practical for his work and reflective of his scholarly prestige. He is frequently seen with various tools of his trade – from alchemical apparatuses to ancient tomes and manuscripts – evidencing his multifaceted interests and ongoing engagements in various scholarly pursuits. His demeanor is one of contemplation and focus, often lost in thought or deeply engaged in his studies. He carries a huge chest with him that hold tools of his trade including glassware for examining humors and astrological tools.

Erasmus of Brixíllum

Human male wizard 4, NG

Patron: The University of Ferrara
Sainthood: 0

Armor Class: 10 (no armor)
Hit Points: 28 (4d8 + 4)
Speed: 30 ft.

Ability Scores:

  • Strength: 10 (+0)
  • Dexterity: 10 (+0)
  • Constitution: 12 (+1)
  • Intelligence: 17 (+3)
  • Wisdom: 14 (+2)
  • Charisma: 13 (+1)

Skills:

  • Medicine +6
  • Arcana +6
  • History +6
  • Calligraphy +6

Senses:

  • Passive Perception 14

Languages:

  • Common
  • Latin
  • Greek

Equipment:

  • Dagger
  • Calligraphy kit
  • Common clothes
  • Belt pouch containing 10 GP

Features and Traits:

  • Polymath Expertise: Erasmus possesses profound knowledge in diverse fields, including magic, literature, astrology, alchemy, and figurative arts. Basically he can roll with disadvantage to answer every kind of riddle be it historical or scientific.
  • Artistic Magic: Capable of creating magical effects through art by mixing humors, be it his own of the committant.
  • Astrological Insight: Skilled in astrology for guidance and predictions. He often helps Floramonda find a meaning to her predictions.
  • Alchemical Affinity: Competent in creating various alchemical potions and substances, as per the Feat.
  • Patronage of The University: Access to resources and knowledge from The University of Ferrara and schools on Estense territory (the region of Emilia-Romagna).
  • Erudite Spellcasting: Erasmus has developed a unique style of spellcasting that combines his extensive knowledge and understanding of multiple fields. When casting a spell, he can choose to add his proficiency bonus to the spell attack roll or the spell save DC.
  • Versatile Scholar: Erasmus’s vast range of knowledge allows him to learn and comprehend spells from a wide variety of sources. He can choose one additional spell from any class’s spell list to add to his spellbook at each wizard level-up.

Actions:

  • Dagger: Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 1d4 piercing damage.

Spellcasting:

  • Spellcasting Ability: Intelligence (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks)
  • Cantrips (at will): Light, Prestidigitation, Mage Hand
  • 1st level (4 slots): Identify, Shield, Mage Armor, Magic Missile
  • 2nd level (3 slots): Misty Step, Mirror Image, [an additional 2nd level spell of choice]

Personality: Erasmus is a profoundly curious and intellectually vigorous individual, deeply immersed in a lifelong pursuit of knowledge. His mind, always eager to explore the unknown, is a vast repository of information on a myriad of subjects. He relishes engaging in stimulating discussions on topics ranging from the esoteric aspects of magic to the intricate theories of the arts and sciences. Erasmus’s creativity is boundless, often leading him to devise innovative solutions to complex problems.

History: Born into a rich family renowned for its scholarly achievements, Erasmus was exposed to an environment rich in learning from an early age. His early years in Brixíllum were marked by rigorous academic discipline in a Benedictine monastery, setting the foundation for his insatiable thirst for knowledge. He later attended the prestigious University of Ferrara, where he distinguished himself as an exceptional student, excelling across diverse fields of study. His academic journey was not just limited to traditional learning; it also involved extensive research in magical practices, alchemy, and the arts. Erasmus was offered a religious career but declined, preferring a life of adventure with a mercenary company at the age of 30. He is now 65 and his bones ache terribly, his health is in rapid decline and suffers from a lot of illnesses he can cure mostly by himself with herbs and sometimes pagan remedies he sometimes resorts to including amulets and mulled wines with spices and alchemical components.

Description: Dressed in attire that befits his status as a polymath, Erasmus often wears robes that are both practical for his work and reflective of his scholarly prestige. He is frequently seen with various tools of his trade – from alchemical apparatuses to ancient tomes and manuscripts – evidencing his multifaceted interests and ongoing engagements in various scholarly pursuits. His demeanor is one of contemplation and focus, often lost in thought or deeply engaged in his studies. He carries a huge chest with him that holds tools of his trade including glassware for examining humors and astrological tools.

Standard
Pregenerated Characters

Iconics: Theobald from Bononia

The introduction to the iconic characters continues with Theobald, cleric. The Church, in the world of Of Iron & Thorns is one and indivisible.

After the Battle of Milvian Bridge in the Second Era, the Church established itself as the Universal Imperial religion and since then, it has brutally and effectively suppressed every schism and heresy. Not only through a methodical eradication of heretics, but also through the manifestation of divine power in various forms. Damnation and holiness are real and concrete forces, visible to everyone in the form of mutations of human beings and the Order of Things. Immortal saints walk the earth, deformed creatures who were once members of heretical cults lead lives of misery far from the Light of God. After the Battle of Tours, the enemies of the True Faith have been rejected from the Empire once and for all. With the coronation of Charlemagne, the Second Era ends and the Church definitively establishes its temporal power over the lands of the Empire through its champion, the Holy Roman Emperor, a trascended human clad in an armor of pure gold and light who wields the flaming sword of the Archangel

“So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”.

Genesis 3:24

Wherever the Church is mentioned, it means a religion akin to our world’s Christianity, whose foundations reside in the book known as the Holy Bible, similar but at the same time unlike the real-world version. The Holy Book consists of holy texts, to which must be added the Mysteries from the Beyond revealed by the apostles, ancient creatures in stasis, now inhabiting desiccated bodies but still vibrant with divine energy. Their language is Enochian, the language of angels, and their bodies still whisper tales of otherworldly places, divine circles of light, and events yet to come. All these texts are kept in Rome, transcribed by a caste of monks who have taken a vow of silence, dedicated solely to the archiving and classification of the Mysteries.

Adept in the interpretation of Mysteries and channeling of divine energy, the clerics in Of Iron & Thorns benefit from the universal law called Pax Et Treuga Dei (The Peace and Truce of God). No citizen of the Empire, who has received a baptism, can willingly strike a cleric. This is not merely a theoretical limitation, but a material one. He is physically unable to cause him harm. In addition, clerics have difficulty entering consecrated lands, can operate healing magics by invoking divine power that are not accessible to cerusicians and healers, and are the only ones able to heal spiritual wounds, or perform exorcisms.

They also usually have access to the libraries and knowledge, and they can also access holy places normally forbidden to the non-ordained. Clerics who lose points of holiness and do not obtain an atonement, who should go down the path of damnation, suffer terrible consequences, although Satan protects them particularly effectively so that heresy can flourish within the Church. After the Night of Shrieks, the Church is itself divided between the Papacy and the Empire, and rumors say it is only a matter of time before the Emperor elects his own Antipope.

Monastic orders are many, the most famous currently being the Keepers of the Word of Christ in Rome in charge of the archives, the militant order of the Black Cross based in Bologna, which guards the monsters in the megadungeon under the city, and the inquisitors who beat the wilderness during God’s Truce when anointed peoples cannot wage war against each other.

Once more, you will find, the humoral stats in Theobald’s character sheet.

Father Theobald

Medium humanoid (human), lawful neutral, baptized Patron: The Universal Church Sainthood: 0

Armor Class: 14 (chain mail) Hit Points: 27 (5d8 + 5) Speed: 30 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
10 (+0)10 (+0)12 (+1)16 (+3)14 (+2)13 (+1)

Skills: Medicine +5, Religion +5, Insight +4 Senses: Passive Perception 14 Languages: Common, Enochian (language of angels) Equipment: Chain mail, mace, crucifix, vestments, sticks of incense, common clothes, belt pouch containing 10 GP

Features and Traits:

  • Channel Divinity: Turn Undead: As an action, can present holy symbol to turn undead within 30 feet.
  • Healing Hands: Can touch a creature to restore a number of hit points equal to his level.
  • Pax Et Treuga Dei: Protected by the universal law that prevents baptized citizens of the Empire from causing harm to him.
  • Access to Mysteries: Can interpret Enochian texts and has access to archives and holy places.
  • Holy Protection: Has advantage on saving throws against negative effects related to spiritual wounds or exorcisms.
  • Heretical Resistance: Protected against heretical influence; suffers consequences if deviating from the path of holiness.
  • Mystic Knowledge: Can perform healing magics unique to clerics, not accessible to ordinary healers.

Actions:

  • Mace: Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d6 + 1 bludgeoning damage.
  • Spellcasting: Father Theobald is a 5th-level spellcaster. His spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). He has the following cleric spells prepared:
    • Cantrips (at will): Light, Sacred Flame, Thaumaturgy
    • 1st level (4 slots): Cure Wounds, Guiding Bolt, Shield of Faith
    • 2nd level (3 slots): Lesser Restoration, Spiritual Weapon
    • 3rd level (2 slots): Dispel Magic, Revivify

Personality

Father Theobald is a dedicated cleric, deeply committed to his faith and the Church. He is knowledgeable in the interpretation of Mysteries and is skilled in channeling divine energy. Compassionate and wise, he provides guidance and healing to those in need, while remaining steadfast in his defense against heresy and darkness. Belonging to the Order of the Benedictines, particularly a branch that specializes in combating supernatural evils. He has a strong theological and intellectual foundation.

Father Theobald’s specialization within the Benedictine Order is in demonology and angelology – the study of demons and angels enabling him to identify, understand, and combat various supernatural entities effectively.

History

Father Theobald has devoted many years to the Church, acquiring profound knowledge along the way. He has been a firsthand witness to the palpable forces of holiness and damnation within the Empire, dedicating his existence to maintaining the Church’s teachings. His steadfast faith, coupled with his skill in deciphering Enochian texts, renders him an invaluable ally in the perpetual conflict between light and darkness.

Father Theobald was ostracized from his monastery for extending aid to Corio, the converted Celt. Subsequently, he joined the company of Floramonda Malvasia, driven by mutual objectives to combat supernatural threats. His expertise as a scholar and spiritual mentor enhances the combat capabilities of the company. The premonitory powers of the Malvasia house, possessed by Floramonda, advised her to welcome the monk and the Celt into their ranks. To date, she has had no cause for regret.

Description

Father Theobald has deeply set eyes, reflecting his vast experience and knowledge of religious mysteries, conveying a sense of understanding and compassion. His face bears the marks of the disciplined life of a clergyman, waking up several times day and night to pray as written in the Rule. His hair is black, neatly maintained except for the distinctive tonsure, a traditional mark of his clerical status, where the top of his head is shaved. He is dressed in traditional clerical vestments, brown and unadorned, and he wears his crucifix with rosary beads around his neck or belt. Adhering to the principle of “sine effusione sanguinis,” (“without shedding blood”), Father Theobald carries a blunt mace.

Standard
Pregenerated Characters

Iconics: Dama Floramonda Malvasia

The first of the iconic characters to be unveiled in the coming weeks in anticipation of the release of the Kickstarter module is Floramonda Malvasia. These iconic characters can be considered the default pregenerates to be played in the adventures of this series.

Floramonda, of the Romagna (the eastern coastal half of the Italian region the adventures are set) lineage of Malvasia, represents the archetypal fighter. On the sheet below, three particular characteristics deserve a quick explanation, which will be further explored in future articles and in the adventure, as they’re not part of the SRD.

The first set concerns the humoral values, the four elements that make up the balance of the characters’ physical, mental and spiritual health. Ideally all four of these values should be kept in balance, however there is one of these that in the PG’s neutral state tends to be the main one, e.g. Floramonda is o sanguine character, which means her prevailing humor is blood, but nevertheless in her distinctiveness all four humors within her are in a state of equilibrium. Further details about the humors are given in the adventure but will also be published here in Reference Document format on the site in a future section.

The second trait also not part of the SRD and used for the adventure is the House. Not all PGs have a Household of origin. Belonging to a noble family has advantages and disadvantages and especially direct involvement in the conflict between papacy and empire. Noble characters have a blood bond with their lineage that manifests itself in different ways in the game. The Malvasia, in this case, are a lineage linked to the world of astronomy, of the stars. As much as astral influence has its own role in the rulebook (for example, it influences with the timing of cure from ailments) the Malvasia have a particularly deep connection with it: they are, so to speak, “‘star touched.'” This results in a special ability that can be invoked in adventure when Floramonda is under a starry sky. Each lineage has its own specific characteristic and power in this setting. As mentioned before, however, being a member of a lineage, by contrast, also means being part of the power play that is escalating day by day in the dawn of spring that succeeded the unforgettable Night of Screams.

The third value is a checkbox. Has the character been baptized? This makes all the world of difference in several ways in the setting of Of Iron & Thorns. For example, a baptized character cannot strike a clergyman in any way because of the universal pact called the Peace of God. For all intents and purposes clergy characters are automatically protected by a sanctuary effect toward all baptized people. In return, the unbaptized have a special susceptibility to demonic possession and other disadvantages that will be described elsewhere.

Floramonda Malvasia

Medium humanoid (human), lawful good, baptized
Patron: Saint Dominic
Sainthood: 1

Armor Class: 16 (splint mail, shield)
Hit Points: 30 (3d10 + 6)
Speed: 30 ft.

StrDexConIntWisCha
16 (+2)12 (+1)14 (+2)10 (+0)15 (+2)13 (+1)

Humors: as mentioned before Floramonda is sanguine. Her temperament is often abrupt, she gets impatient quickly, but she is also driven by strong passion. She has advantage on saving throws toward negative effects on blood humor damage (e.g., bleeding).

Skills: Athletics +4, Insight +4, Intimidation +1, Perception +4, Swimming +2
Senses: passive Perception 14
Languages: Common

Actions

  • Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: (1d8 + 2) slashing damage.
  • Javelin. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.
  • Equipment: Splint mail, shield, longsword, 2 javelins, backpack, bedroll, mess kit, tinderbox, 10 torches, 10 days of rations, waterskin, 5 GP.

Features and Traits

Condottiero: Floramonda’s lineage and her family’s position has enabled her to receive a contract of condotta, a type of feud that allows her to recruit groups of soldiers to establish agreements with power figures such as nobles and clerics, to form small mercenary armies for battles and other enterprises. As the undisputed leader of her group, Floramonda uses her privilege to enter into business contracts involving the group.

Heirloom: the stargazing House Malvasia of Bononia (Bologna) has been blessed with a powerful connection to the stars. When undertaking a new feat or making choices such as a path in the wilderness, or predict an ambush, Floramonda can perform the equivalent of a ritual under the stars to get an idea of the best choice, her eyes turn black as opals, and she can invoke the effect of an augury spell. This heirloom can also be used by the DM in a nonlinear, strictly RAW way, for example, to suggest to the player that the character has a strange premonition, or senses danger. Don’t bind yourself only to the numbers; this setting is best enjoyed by leaving an overall sense of indefiniteness. You can also use your heirloom as an inspiration. Heirlooms are flexible, Floramonda’s star touched characteristic is also somehow connected to some deep horrors from beyond the stars which were common during the First Era.

House Malvasia is serving House Malatesta, and is therefore officially a papal Guelph House. As such, official encounters with imperial Gibelline houses like the House of Este will be handled with great care. Floramonda’s main antagonist is the condottiero Luigi Dal Verme. Her lord is and her lord is Cornelio Malvasia, currently living in Bologna.

Nocturnal Danger Sense. at nighttime Floramonda has advantage on Dexterity saving throws against effects that she can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, she can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated. She also has advantage om ST vs fear/unknown.

Sainthood (1): her first step into sainthood allows Floramonda to invoke an inspiration when following the word of the bible.

Martial Archetype: captain of venture (use banneret from official supplements).

Personality.

Tactics. Floramonda is a capable fighter, relying on her martial prowess to win battles. She prefers to engage in melee combat, using her longsword to take down foes. She also carries javelins for ranged attacks. She is a skilled tactician and is able to quickly assess a situation and come up with a plan of attack. Her impatience sometimes prevents her from formulating plans in detail but this is a point of her character that she plans to work on, for the sake of her followers..

History

Floramonda is the fifth of five children, born in Bononia (Bologna) twenty-five years ago (the 14th year of rule of emperor Fredrick I). From a young age she was a person of action, and despite her unyielding faith in Christ she had to quickly give up cloistered life as a nun after not even a year. Palace intrigues and complex ceremonies were not for her, and as soon as she could follow her brother outside the walls as a squire, she found her love for the craft of arms. Malvasia’s supernatural ability to foretell trouble has saved her from the battlefield twice already, the second time only a few months ago in the fall of last year when she was engaged in Cyprus fighting against privateers to defend cargoes of fine wines from the east bound for the marketplace of Bologna. She had the ship dock prematurely after getting a signal from the stars, saving her from a tremendous storm. Winter was just around the corner, and because of God’s Truce, the period when no Christian is allowed to wage war (this is also the period when abomination hunters flock to forests and remote places to hunt for monsters, but that is another story), Dame Floramonda decided to return to her lands. She was in Romagna part of the Church State, in Castel Pandolfo at the court of the lords of Ariminum (Rimini), when storms raged across the world last winter at the birth of Emperor Frederick II’s grandson at Christmas. After months stranded in Ariminum at last the fields became clear, if muddy and hardly practicable, and Floramonda headed eastward where conflict with the Empire would be more likely and violent, in search of companions to set up a venture company. Stopping first in Bononia where her wealthy family sold fine wines, she finally joined the other PGs, heading north to the Estense capital. The Este are the richest and most decadent family in service of the Empire, but their court has always been a safe haven for artists and neutral ground for ambassadors. It’s the perfect place to collect information and find a good engagement. Under the blessing of the Church, of course.

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