OddsBodkins
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Q: What is Sturkas doing in The Hollows?

Thu 05 Dec 2019, 23:17

Been reading over The Hollows to prepare for my first adventure into the FL, particularly the NPC backgrounds. I'm a bit puzzled about why the "Rust Brother" Sturkas is loitering in this town of cowards and milksops, and why he's appointed himself a kind of sheriff or deputy. His backstory of regret suggests he's had a kind of parting with the Brotherhood, yet he clings to the ways and will take out a Raven Sister on sight.

I'm thinking of changing things up a little in the plot to throw the players right into the middle of an escalated conflict between Mrs. Pollmor and Yawim where Sturkas looks to become the benefactor of playing both parties off against each other, with possibly Yawim being framed for the murder of Pollmor, possibly by the players. But I don't know if that fits what a Rust Brother would do. Still learning the lore.

Thoughts?
 
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Ebrim
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Re: Q: What is Sturkas doing in The Hollows?

Fri 06 Dec 2019, 05:40

I remember getting the impression that Sturkas was just kinda settling down. Yeah, he hasn't given up his religious convictions but he's probably done with the organization as a whole and being an enforcer for it. He probably sees himself as doing good for the village, helping to maintain order, trying to use his skills to help others.

I don't think he would necessarily have designs on the village or be in some sort of quest for power. I think of him more as a former Rust Brother (though still a believer in Rust) so I don't think of his interactions with the town as anything more than Sturkas' interaction with the town.

That said, that's no reason why he can't be in your game, it just wasn't my impression of the character when I read it.
 
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lupex
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Re: Q: What is Sturkas doing in The Hollows?

Fri 06 Dec 2019, 10:46

I had him really wanting to settle down and maybe repent for past sins. He supported Mrs Polmer, to keep the status quo, and actually set Yawim on fire to discourage the rebellion. But that evening he approached the adventurers and paid them to escort the now badly burnt Yawim from the village to avoid having to kill the Dwarf at the insistence of Mrs Polmer. This totally changed the perception of the party towards the ‘evil’ Rust Brother, there are all shades of gray in my take on the setting.
 
OddsBodkins
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Re: Q: What is Sturkas doing in The Hollows?

Fri 06 Dec 2019, 22:22

Thanks for these perspectives @lupex & @Ebrim - this clears things up. Having Sturkas as a reluctant anti-hero of sorts does make more sense, and fits the notion that he'd switch sides "if he feels it suits him". 
 
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Ebrim
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Re: Q: What is Sturkas doing in The Hollows?

Sat 07 Dec 2019, 16:18

Yeah, I think Sturkas presents the opportunity (potentially early in a campaign) to portray at least the religious side of the Rust Brotherhood as more than comic-book bad guys. He has convictions that he's willing to act on but he's not a monster.
 
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Valyar
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Re: Q: What is Sturkas doing in The Hollows?

Sat 07 Dec 2019, 18:14

In my game, he was simply getting old and wanted to settle down, having some doubts on the darker side of the Church of the Rust. Nice opportunity to introduce it to the characters and provide also counterpoint, if they are not that setting-aware.
 
drsmitty
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Joined: Fri 09 Aug 2019, 03:26

Re: Q: What is Sturkas doing in The Hollows?

Wed 11 Dec 2019, 04:47

I'm getting ready to run this adventure, and had a similar question.  The background to the Hollows says the location was settled by "a number of Ailander free-thinkers".  In my reading of the canon material it seems to me a Rust Brother would not ordinarily be received in a community near or associated with Ailanders.  But if this was a strong Ailander community why is the Midwife Nirvea, a secret Raven Sister, in hiding?  Another angle to make it even more confusing is that we are told this location was originally a grave sight for victims of the Fourth Alder War between Zygofer and Algarod, and thus presumably a Alderlander sight.

I do like Ebrim's angle though on making Strukas a more complex and nuanced character.  Maybe this is an eclectic community located somewhere between the more concentrated enclaves of the more philosophically opposed Ailanders and Alderlanders.  The founders were Ailander freethinkers after all.

The final question that puzzles me is why I spent so much time thinking about this... ;)
 
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lupex
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Re: Q: What is Sturkas doing in The Hollows?

Wed 11 Dec 2019, 10:02

The village was built by Ailanders on the site of an Alderlander graveyard, not a contradiction just different time periods.

The rust brothers are pretty much enforcing Zygophers law, in most villages, and can travel through the blood mist so are a bit special. If a Rust brother decides to move into your village it’s probably easier to accept this as the new way of things. And if there is a rust brother in the village then any Raven sisters definitely have to stay in hiding (or at least hide their true nature), unless they want to take on the Rust brother directly.

The village may have been founded by Ailander free-thinkers but I would say that spirit has long since left this site.
 
AndreasDavour
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Re: Q: What is Sturkas doing in The Hollows?

Mon 16 Dec 2019, 11:49

I have had some serious issues with that Rust Brother in town as well. So far I've gotten the impression they are the genuine deal as total assholes. They practice human sacrifice and slavery, workship demons and (this is were I have a serious problem with the setting as written) they are basically murderous misogynists. My players will murder them, and I would cheer them on. I see nothing redeeming in their inclusion in the game at all. I would like to, but I have a hard time with it.
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