Savage Tide; Pathfinder
The Jade Ravens
Based out of Sasserine, the Jade Ravens were a small mercenary company that is only ever comprised of an immediate group of adventurers, as well as their students and mentors. The Jade Ravens were most recently in the employ of the Vanderboren noble family, and had been going back over a decade, though the most recent roster of the Jade Ravens have only been members going back two years or so.
Rather than having a static leadership that oversees the group, the Jade Ravens were more of a name given to whatever adventurers happened to be in it at the time. Generally the Jade Ravens would train and vet a replacement when they graduate out of the group and move on to bigger or better things, making the Jade Ravens a definitively inexperienced group, at any given time comprised only of adventurers who have cut their teeth but not yet moved on to their own grand adventures. However, under the leadership of Tolin, the current generation of Ravens may be the last; no proteges have been tapped for any of the four members, and with each member gone a different direction and their patrons nowhere nearby, it seems as though the Jade Ravens have come to a close as an institution.
Tolin was a vain and brash (if handsome) human woodsman and the self-proclaimed leader of the Jade Ravens. Sporting short-cropped dark hair and a well-trimmed mustache and beard, he fought with a cutlass and longbow and wore half plate armor with green accents and enameling.
While initially scornful of the party on their first meeting when the group first arrived to work for Lavinia, Tolin reluctantly apologized after the party was responsible for saving himself and the other Jade Ravens during the assault on Vanderboren Manor. In spite of this, he seemed to dislike Othar for reasons that became apparent; in Othar’s absence, Tolin had attempted at various times to romance Lavinia Vanderboren, with low-to-no degree of success. His infatuation with his employer, inability to make progress in wooing her, and seeming unwillingness to let go of his affection left him angry and bitter not just with Othar, but with the rest of the Gang of Five. Kaskus, the only remaining member of the group who regularly spoke to Tolin, claimed that his presence aboard the Blue Nixie and his travel to Farshore was predicated on the assumption that he’d have the time and privacy to wear Lavinia down. Having failed, he began to curse his lot and his loyalty to the Vanderboren family, seemingly unaware that he was the architect of his own fate.
Foregoing his connection to the natural world almost entirely after making it to Farshore, Tolin’s time on the isle caused him to embrace a flashy, brutish fighting style that complemented his new attitude toward life; tackle things as hard as possible and look great doing it. He became progressively more reclusive, even from the other members of the Jade Ravens, until at last Dorian confronted him just prior to the Battle For Farshore in a desperate attempt to rally the Ravens to the colony’s defense. Impressing upon Tolin that Lavinia was just one woman and that he had it within him to find someone else, someone who might actually reciprocate his advances, and that he was better than his behavior, Tolin at last seemed to take the message to heart, leading his team to a victory during the battle where they managed to scuttle two of the invading Crimson Fleet frigates. It seemed as though Tolin had turned a corner.
Unfortunately, Tolins’ reprieve was as brief as it was shallow: with Lavinia’s preferred protectors, the Gang of Five, off exploring Golismorga, her brother, Vanthus, clawed his way out of his grave and abducted her, taking her to Scuttlecove. Thinking at last his moment had come, Tolin rallied the remaining Jade Ravens, stole the party’s skiff, the Hellfish, and set a course for Scuttlecove in an attempt to affect a solo rescue. While details of this misadventure remain emergent, what is known is that Tolin was taken in, seduced, and apparently poisoned and killed by a yuan-ti assassin working for the Crimson Fleet. His unmarred body was thereafter sold to Porphyry House as a prop, and it was from that den of infamy that the party recovered his body, given to them by Tyralandi in the aftermath of their raid upon it. After much debating the matter, Dorian finally convinced Othar to have Tolin revived and asked to come to the Abyss. Reluctantly, Othar agreed.
It seems, however, that Dorian overestimated Tolin’s measure as a man: upon being revived, he candidly informed Dorian that he hated them, he hated Lavinia, he hoped that she dies, that he blames all his miseries and problems on she and the group, and that if he had his way, he would leave as soon as possible and hope never to see any of them or the other Jade Ravens ever again. Shocked, Dorian finally came to the realization that Tolin was every inch as selfish, unrepentant, self-centered, and childish a creature as he had ever believed Avner to be, and that if Tolin wanted to leave, it was probably best for everyone if that’s exactly what he did. When the Sea Wyvern docked in Farshore, Tolin had acquired a canoe and left the island within the hour. He has not been seen since.
A dashing half-elven man with long, blond hair tied back in a ponytail, Zan was jaunty and smug, and seemed to almost fetishize his collection of daggers. He wore studded leather armor set with green embellishments and served as the group’s token rogue.
Smug and convinced of his own superiority, Zan liked to let his knives do the talking for him. Even in the face of his own death by Drevoraz and the Crimson Fleet, he remained ungrateful to the party for saving his life. While aboard Lavinia’s vessel with the rest of his crew, Zan reportedly became sullen and withdrawn, turning to heavy drug use and drinking to pass the time of what he felt was an interminable sea voyage. After arriving in Farshore, he spent every day seeking out ways to dull his senses and escape reality, and during a brief moment of sobriety made it quite plain that he intended to drink himself to death as quickly as he was able. According to Kaskus and Liamae, it was only Zan’s dwindling sense of fraternity with the other Ravens that made him come to Farshore in the first place, and since arriving, he became progressively more miserable to the extent that he quite seriously would rather die than attempt to achieve sobriety long enough to affect an escape from his own personal hell.
While momentarily capable of achieving a mote of duty and vigor under Tolin’s renewed command, enough that he was a worthwhile contributor to disabling two Crimson Fleet vessels during the Battle for Farshore, it was a matter of hours afterwards before he fell back into his old habits. Desiring nothing more than to be off the miserable island and back in Sasserine, Othar eventually complied to his request to return him to his home. Surprisingly none the cheerier for at last returning home, Zan begrudgingly thanked Othar for returning him and promptly disappeared. It is not know what has become of him, but paradoxically, his cowardice and despair may have saved him from the altogether much more horrible fate faced by the rest of the Jade Ravens who went to Scuttlecove.
A solemn, dutiful dwarf with a stereotypically coarse, dwarven accent, Kaskus is a druid by trade. He was rescued by the party after falling in battle to the bullywugs who attacked the Vanderboren Manor. Supremely grateful to the party, he seems to have a very real sense of duty regarding saving Lavinia and her family and has become a good friend of the party in the days that followed. By far the oldest member of the Jade Ravens, Kaskus has a rather infamous past that he has spent decades atoning for. Recently returned from death by the Gang of Five who recovered his body from the Plaza of Hanging Ruin in Scuttlecove, Kaskus plans to retire on Farshore and spend his remaining days by the side of his new wife, Farshore’s doctor, Telda Syren.
A raven-haired beauty, Liamae was a human spellcaster of some skill who was arrogant and very confident. She carried (but almost never used) a dagger and wore elegant, luxurious green robes. She carried the manner of a woman raised in a high class home, but her origins were a mystery, perhaps even to the other Ravens.
During the assault on the manor, the party found Liamae being tortured in a sadistic game by one of the head bullywugs, who had set his pet rust monster on her after having stripped her of her clothing and possessions and forced her to wear silverware tied up on strings to entice the beast. The first of the Jade Ravens to be found during the assault, Liamae seemed much more concerned with rescuing the other Jade Ravens than killing the bullywugs or saving Lavinia, a telling move that said much about the kind of woman Liamae was. Irreverent, dashing, and haughty, Liamae fancied herself the biggest fish in a very small pond up until her voyage overseas.
With a flash of lighting, however, things changed for Liamae. During the storm that wracked the ship on the final leg of the journey, Liamae was struck by lightning and nearly killed. Liamae did not return to consciousness until the boat had safely arrived in Farshore, and when she awoke, she ascribed her survival to grace. Crediting the goddess of fortune with her timely survival, Liamae has become bewilderingly pious, making almost a complete personality turnaround from her former self. The change is so jarring, in fact, that the other Ravens no longer wish to keep her company, believing the woman they knew to be dead, replaced with a total stranger who they – frankly – don’t care for all that much. In Farshore, Liamae busied herself by tending to the spiritual needs of the colonists and inflicting her curious and insistent brand of piety on others, up until Lavinia’s kidnapping by her brother and Tolin reluctantly asking his fellow Raven for help in sailing to Scuttlecove to rescue her.
While Tolin and Kaskus had both assumed that Liamae’s new, divine outlook would be beneficial in Scuttlecove, what little information the gang could get out of Tolin and Kaskus or acquire from investigating the area indicated that she underwent still another transformation amongst the serpents of that city, permitting herself to enjoy the excesses and unique sins of the city until somehow she ended up in the “employ” of the Birdcage in service the Sisters of Lamentation, dressed in a full-body, leather, fetish bird suit, the subject of a geas that held her in thrall to her masters. While the party was eventually able to discern her location and broker her freedom for the cost of a crate of sannish, returning Liamae to the ship seemed to do little to fix her wounded psyche: until returning to Farshore, all she seemed capable of was alternating fits of catatonic fugue and hysterical screaming and crying, with one brief lapse into sannish use when she was seduced(?) by Aaron Islaran, for a brief while her roommate in recovery on the vessel.
Having now been returned to Farshore and the care of Vesserin Catherlay, the only individual whom the group knows her to have got along well with at all, the group hopes for an eventual emotional and psychological recovery under his care, though at the end the first month of rehabilitation and the party’s departure for the Abyss, Vesserin despaired to inform them that she still was not capable of seeing anyone who might remind her of the trauma she suffered in Scuttlecove. Upon their return, Liamae had made little progress, living as a shut-in too afraid to leave the chapel and unable to speak to anyone directly, only mutter and chatter to the gods above. Her ultimate fate remains to be seen, but the outlook for her shattered mind is not a sunny one.