The Troupe

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T H E ∙ T R O U P E

L I N K S

B A S I C S

O O C ∙ S T A T S

  • Created by:
  • Notable Families:
  • Icon: Gold Doubloon
  • Contact Point: San, Alaine
  • Character Count:
13/15 (7 played, 6 cNPCs)updated 22 Aug 2020
  • Player Count:
5/10 (5 available)updated 22 Aug 2020

Table of Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Introduction
  2.   2.  History
  3.   3.  Archetypes
  4.   4.  Cultural Quirks
  5.   5.  Thread Archive

1.  Introduction

CC Art from Wikimedia

Our story starts in Portland, Maine.

The East End docks provide a steady flow of supplicant traders and seafaring merchants, who wash in and out of the innumerous taverns with the same briny constancy as the tide. They bring with them goods from all over the known world, treasures from Barbados, salt and spices from the distant West. The bright colors, the rich cloth, the sparkling jewels - well, it’s almost enough to make one forget about the stench of piss and fish guts that oozes from each rundown cobblestone alley, where the destitute and sick make their beds.

Some folk are born luckier than others, after all - Lady Luck is a poor man’s chapel.

Most evenings, as the taverns fill with their mish-mosh gumbo of patrons, the light from many lanterns and fires spill out over the East End like taunting will-o-wisps. Beyond them, the churning of the cold grey sea is a constant reminder of change; Dynamic, merciless and ever-shifting, it can bring even the most unlikely of suitors together.

Here is where our travelers meet; Each set on accomplishing their own goals, uncovering their own dreams, surviving each day to see the next. But Lady Luck has them all in her sights.

And nothing is more ferocious than a woman scorned.


2.  History

Merchants aren’t the only folk to deepen their pockets in the grimy streets of Portland. The flush, thriving economy brings all sorts of nobodies to attend the night’s flagrant frivolities. A young bard plays for his supper every evening at Mullen’s Bar, a skeevy little dive where the food is passably grueling and the alcohol strong enough to make even the North Atlantic sailors sit a while. He wants to sing about epic ballads, lovers from different lands who are separated by misfortune - but the audience only care for bawdy shanties, and because Malik and his brother Calrian haven’t eaten in a day or two, that is what they get.

Other individuals ply their own wares to the stagnant crowd; A gambler pulls out his cards, dice and stones and settles in with some gruff types in a darkened corner. A lady of the night crooks her finger at a dog from two villages over who excitedly skulls the remainder of his sour ale, the yellowed froth clinging to the hair on his lip. A shadow weaves among the uncomfortably warm press of bodies, lifting little trinkets and sparkling things out of a haphazard pocket here or there.

To the individual they seem like separate, disjointed fragments in an evening bursting with familiar potential - But the truth is that they are all small parts of a greater whole, a smooth-running con machine designed to milk as much as it can get from the luxuriant udders of the dockside merrimakers. The Troupe knows its business, the pitfalls, the risks, the greasy lingering taste of success.

All in all, it’s an ordinary night at Mullen’s; And like any ordinary night, it’s about to get messy.


PLOT: SAVING OLD MAN COOKIE

The Troupe have been working Mullen’s like a well oiled machine for weeks. A gang of the portside industry’s little people, comprised of a pickpocket, a lady of the night, a bard, a minstrel, a gambler and some muscle, they are all joined under the chaotic but somehow efficient finessing of Calrian, the broker. Some are friendlier than others, but all have nonetheless seen a huge benefit from partaking in the spoils of this subtle network.

For a time it seems like nothing could possibly go wrong. Mullen’s is frequented by members of the mercenary gang, the Brigade, who like to say they keep the order dockside; But the truth is many of the little people know them to be the bullies of East End, harassing whoever they please for as little an infraction as personal entertainment.

The Troupe’s had a couple run-ins with the Brigade, but have - until now - been cautious enough to keep their resentments second to their unscrupulous business methods.

Until, late one night while the tavern is bustling and the going is good, it all goes… Well, wrong.

It starts with an old man out front of Mullen’s. People assume he’s a homeless beggar, ‘cause he smells like skunk and looks no better. Really, Sawyer "Cookie" Cook is a dealer; He’s been in the game longer than most of the Troupe have been alive. The Brigade is looking for some fun, and after catching Cookie at his trade they start roughing the old man up.

Local pickpocket O’Brien has been invisible for so long that it’s hard to stand up now, but something about the merciless way the mercenaries are pushing the old fella around doesn’t sit right with him. Unexpectedly brash, he intervenes. Pausing to put down his frothy ale, minstrel Mateo Salcedo feels likewise, sickened by the display of corruption and by the first punches being thrown.

Word travels fast in a dump like East End. Hearing that some of his own are getting into trouble, Calrian makes an appearance, and is promptly sat down by a fist.

This is enough for the rest of the Troupe; Though generally self-serving and non confrontational, each of them have grown to care for their network and its golden boy, and seeing it abused in this way is too disrespectful to bear. The throw-down becomes a fight. The fight becomes a brawl.

The brawl overtakes Mullen’s like a wildfire.

Somehow, through the chaos, the Troupe realise they’re at a loss. It’s all gotten out of hand - The Brigade will be thirsty for blood after tonight, and the majority of the network has had its anonymity compromised. Slinking out of the scuffle with their tails between their legs, they look to Cal’s swollen face for guidance.

He takes them on a journey to the only place he and his brother Malik can think of - home.

Except home doesn’t exist anymore, and they’re about to find more than the charred remnants of Krokar waiting for them.


3.  Archetypes

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Somebody has got to keep this train wreck together, and a man with a silver tongue is worth two brawny fellas in a fight, right? Talking one’s way out of trouble is a specialty, and talking one’s way INTO business arrangements makes sure that everyone gets fed. The pretty face helps, too.
Do you writes sad songs to play on your lute/mandolin/primitive stringed instrument, and are consistently dismayed when nobody wants to hear them? Do you have grandiose dreams about your Art? Do you consider playing basic shanties a crime to the craft? I'm sorry to be the bringer of bad news, but you've just been diagnosed with a terminal case of Bard.
PICKPOCKET - None Currently
It’s not easy, being invisible - but of course it has its perks. Slipping unnoticed through vendor crowds, stepping lightly and making no impression on those whose gazes slide over you like rabble, you take each opportunity as it comes. Oh, look - there’s one now! Have you checked your pocket lately?
GAMBLER - Leander Sadira cNPC
Lady Luck is a fickle mistress, but you are a preacher in her sacred church. You know each card in your deck as well as your mother’s face - the little folds and creases included. Who is to say if that ace had a rip in it before; Or if five more of its kind aren’t, at this present moment, waiting up your sleeve?
BARMAN - None Currently
Ain't no party without a Boozehound present. You take up the solemn and dutiful mantle of a wet sopping drunkard. Your friends affectionately refer to you as knowledgeable in this area, but the truth is that your pickled liver is the only expert, and that wuss knows how to keep his mouth shut. Ale? Wine? Cider? Piss? So long as the world is spinning, the Barman is winning.
FORTUNE TELLER - Salem
Maybe religion was once your thing, but now due to 'tragic backstory' you’ve gone rogue - if Lady Luck won’t provide, then some poor sap looking to be told what to do with their miserable life probably will. You specialize in all sorts of faiths and religions, and can lie well enough to persuade your clientele of just about anything, telling them exactly what they need to hear to dish over the goods.
MINSTRELNone Currently
Has the best handwriting in the group. Multilingual and a good translator. Helps the bard write a lot of the lyrics for their compositions. A sweet diplomat with a sweet sweet face, good for charming people who are mad at us (there are a lot of them out there). What a good boy. If he tried to lie even one (1) time his teeth would probably all fall out. Where is he now? Off gathering new material, we think...
MADAM & NIGHTGIRL - Adrianna Julia & Vivian du Prix cNPC
A skilled practitioner of the world’s oldest profession; Locally known as a nightgirl. You know a trick better than the next good-time Sally. Many men have professed their undying love for you (and your copious talents), but there is no lover quite as intoxicating as freedom. When the others fail to pay their share, your barter is more reliable than the setting sun.
SWEETBOY - None Currently
Those for whom a nightgirl is the wrong flavor must look elsewhere for a tasty treat. You are honey personified - there is nothing sweeter, nor stickier. You change your form per your client's request, knowing which version of yourself is most likely to reap the best rewards. We hope you enjoy your career choice, because your patrons certainly are enjoying you.
DEALER - Cookie
You can’t buy good kush from the dollar store. The dealer knows this. They also know that it’s bad luck to partake of their own stash, but Lady Luck is a generous mistress and so far, so good! A little bit for you, a little bit for me - what has any of us got to lose, except our minds?
There are a lot of travelers on the road, and not all of them are as gracious as your chosen family. Getting a head-start on preventing trouble falls to someone who knows what to look for, and who to keep away. Dutiful to the last, you will protect what - and who - is precious to you.
MUSCLE - Gaston Trouillefou cNPC
Maybe you worked as a bouncer before, or maybe you were a simple farmhand who grew strong dragging straw and sheep around. Maybe you are the most gentle person to walk this earth. Maybe you enjoy seeing a loan shark’s snivelling face fit neatly into your giant hand, and squeezing till it pops. You do you, friend - nobody is strong enough or mean enough to stop you, after all. When the going gets rough, the Muscle gets going!
Helping out those short on goods to gamble with can keep customers coming back time and time again, and that's what you're here for. Of course, sometimes those lasting debts require firmer... Persuasion... And a stronger hand on the helm to see them rightfully paid. You are two sides of one coin - you give and you take. Our Lady Luck may be fickle, but fair is fair.
CHEF - None Currently
You sure do know your way around a choice cut of meat. With practiced hands you wield the cleaver. Salt is your weapon, and herbs are your boon - What is more important than this is your ability to stretch one single squirrel into a whole weeks worth of stew. He who complains about grizzle gets nothing - and Lady Luck chooses who gets the liver!
BONESETTER - Adina Inferni cNPC
Where would our bumbling band of miscreants be without someone to kiss their boo-boos better? Well ok, maybe you are less likely to kiss than you are to kick; But be you gentle or jagged, you know your way around a mean-looking wound. Invaluable in skill and smarts, it is best practice to stay on the right side of the bonesetter if you want to stick around for a long time, as well as a good time.

Previous Members
Ruckus - MUSCLE
Tough, mysterious, has a sketchy past but may actually be a nice guy. Or he could punch you in the face!
Nicolas de Orsa - MUSCLE
Adrianna's loyal bodyguard and an all-around tough guy. Joined when Adri did, and left when Adri did. Didn't come back with her, though...
Griffin Winsor - BOOZEHOUND
Recovering alcoholic and the resident boozehound, Griffin escorted an old friend of his back to Portland in the winter of 2019. He never returned, and the Troupe assumed he found a better life, or maybe, a worse one?
Indis NartholielDREAMER
Every good crew worth their weight in salt has one of you - the oddball, the vague, the wishy-washy, the transient. When folks are around you for too long they start to feel strange, like reality isn't as firm as they'd hoped. You have a way of unsettling even the most stoic of your brethren. Needless to say, they are pretty sure you're harmless... For now, anyway.
O'BrienPICKPOCKET
Long time Trouper and friend, O'Brien left in search of a missing friend in the summer of 2020.
Mateo SalcedoMINSTREL
Over-excited by La Roja's opening, Mateo's stolen adopted child Orphan ran away. Mateo went out to find him with promises to return to the Troupe!


4.  Cultural Quirks

  • LADY LUCK - Our Merciless Mistress of Misfortune
The grand Lady of the house herself! Never in the flesh, but always on the tongue - Lady Luck is both a prayer and a curse into to an ambivalent, unkind universe. Picked up from the rough sailors of East End, the Lady is colloquial slang used in a wide variety of verbal situations. Caught the downstairs itch from a night-girl? Lady luck has played you again! Got away from an armed escort of the Brigade through sheer fortune and -0 skill? Lady Luck fancies you tonight; Best take a bet with the gambler and win your riches!
Irreverent condemnation or breathless praise of Lady Luck is a generally non-religious affair. Nobody really believes that there is a manifestation of fortune out there, deific or otherwise. The reality of it is much simpler: It’s always fun to have someone, or something, to blame for the absolute uncaring randomness of fate. The more tight-knit our band of travellers becomes, the more incestuous their use of particular offhand phrases and ideologies - Lady Luck being prominent among them.
  • HIERARCHY - Like Herding Cats
The Troupe tend to be an informal lot of scamps and tramps, each with their own grand ideas of self-importance and skill. Because of this, there is no formal hierarchy within the group; Each member’s participance is bartered for by the protection, familiarity and company that being in the Troupe provides. So long as they continue to contribute to the communal wealth and/or wellbeing of the gang, each member is considered equal.
In practicality, Calrian is often the face of the formation, the man-with-a-plan. Many in the Troupe are well used to going along with his hair-brained get-rich schemes by now, and tbh his charisma stat is OP and really needs to be nerfed. Because of this, he is often considered the de facto informal leader of the group. It’s sort of like watching a cat herd cats.
  • CARAVAN - Where there's a will, there's a way!
Transport is an important aspect of the Troupe’s ability to flee from persecution. I mean - Their ability to, uh, courageously spread their immeasurable talents! Yes, that sounds about right.
For the most part, they travel as a cohesive group. Since becoming dispossessed of their income and livelihoods in Portland, it is important that they maintain the ability to move to where the wealth is, from pack to pack and port to port. The majority of their worldly goods are easily packed in a hurry. Some members may have their own modes of transport - horses, mules, and the like - whilst others rely on the covered vardo-style wagon pulled by Malik’s big white Chianina steer, Mondo. Mondo keeps a very slow pace, being a beast of exquisite size rather than speed, so foot travel alongside the wagon is viable and often necessary. In true winter, they tend to hunker down, as realistic travel with a cart can be impossibly difficult through tall drifts of snow.
  • TITLE - Subtitle
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5.  Thread Archive

2018 - Subtitle

NOVEMBER
DECEMBER


2019 - Subtitle

JANUARY & FEBRUARY
SPRING
SUMMER

2020 - Subtitle

WINTER
SPRING
SUMMER
FALL