The Curse of the White Phoenix
A scraggly fellow clutching a pot of deadly golden coreyänder.
Virtue: Loyalty—Vice: Greed.
- Strength 3
- Dexterity 2
- Constitution 2
- Intelligence 1 (key)
- Wisdom -1
- Charisma -1
Trailblazer—Bonus Native Feat: move through any sort of natural surroundings at normal speed
Exotic Weapons Training (Blowgun)—Bonus Native Feat: allows use of weapon without penalty
Point Blank Shot—General: +1 ranged attack under 30’
Precise Shot—General: No penalty shooting into melee, -4 shooting at Elusive Targets
Jack of All Trades—Expert: Can attempt all Skills untrained
Plant Shaping—Native Generalist Power: Plant Healing, Plant Growth, Woodcrafting
Acrobatics 2 | Bluff -1 | Climb 7 | Concentration -1 | Craft (Poison) 5 | Diplomacy -1 | Disable Device 1 | Disguise -1 | Escape Artist 2 | Gather Info -1 | Handle Animal -1 | Intimidate -1 | Jump 7 | Knowledge (Fathahted) 5 | Medicine -1 | Notice 3 | Perform -1 | Ride 2 | Search 5 | Sense Motive -1 | Sleight of Hand -1 | Stealth 6 | Survival 3 | Swim 7
Uncle Canabramalamer is a bearded, dark-skinned, black-eyed man of average height, well-muscled, with an ugly face. When he has the time, he styles his beard into muttonchops as fashionable among the elites of the Empire hundreds of years ago, and when he wants to be impressive he dons a bright-green feather hat with a shiny bone buckle. The rest of his clothes are also mostly various shades of green cut in an ancient style. He carries by his side on a sturdy strap a gourd painted with nonsensical symbols (copied from old Imperial nautical charts), filled with soil and a scattering of little seedlings with tough, leathery yellow leaves, and strapped to his back a pointed stick of ironwood, used as both a staff and a crude javelin. Under his quaint surcoat jingle other objects, hidden from view.
He is loyal and deferential, seeking the approval of those he deems to be in authority, and hoping for wealth and social advancement in their employ. He is curious about all things Imperial. All especially impressive personages are assumed to be the Emperor in the flesh until proven otherwise. He has been told of the palace revolt which removed the last Emperor from the throne 30 years ago, but is skeptical of the news, muttering something about “the Hidden Emperor” and “most clever ruse”.
As far as his other beliefs are concerned, he is wary of most ninjas (muttering something about their being “not the REAL ninjas”), disdainful towards most other natives (“simpletons and barbarians”), and indifferent to pirates, who seem to be a shabby sort of Imperials. Dinosaurs are remarkable, being absent from Fathahted, except for pterodactyls, a Fathahtedian warrior’s most prized challenge.
Uncle Canabramalamer comes from the remote island of Fathahted, accessible only by the nimblest of native watercraft which dare its hidden reefs and forbidding cliffs. In his uncle’s uncle’s uncle’s time (somewhere between 60 and 300 years, had anyone bothered to count), during a very ill-omened year in which drought parched the land, the migrating sea-birds failed to arrive and the fish stocks failed, a mighty Imperial exploratory ship foundered on the rocks below, spilling its load of amazing and indescribable contents. The larger world outside of the nearest atolls had, until that day, existed only as a vague rumour based on the tales of the rare native trade party which arrived to exchange trinkets for the islanders’ exotic herbs; but now the material existence of the Empire was confirmed. Only two of the crew, Lu Porang, the expedition leader, and her personal assistant Min-Min, had survived.
Completely coïncidentally, the day after the wreck the late monsoon brought back the rain, a huge flock of petrels began building new nests, and fish again started to fill the nets. This, combined with the precious load of rice and salted sprats having saved the starved islanders from their famine until the birds and fish returned, and the crush Island Chief Remus developed on Lu Porang, prompted Head Shaman Auntie Toddeh to establish what can only be described as an Imperial Cargo Cult. The uniforms and properties of the vanished crew were distributed among the worthier villagers, and worn and used in whatever way Toddeh decreed as proper; the mannerisms and fashion of the two castaways studied and imitated, their words and songs repeated as incantations, their drawings and tales of life in the Empire studied for mythic significance. Even the furnishings of the cabins examined by curious divers were rebuilt in the Fathahtedian huts. When the old clothes fell apart, careful replicas were made from materials at hand. Each year, before the monsoon comes, a large war-canoe embellished with centuries-old Imperial insignia and loaded with sacrificial bundles is built, floated, then crashed onto the rocks while the Great-Aunts sing praises of the abstract Emperor whose subjects they claim to be, though he be known only as rote-smoothed stories.
Lu Porang resisted Remus’s advances until he learned her language, pledged allegiance to the Empire and caused the islanders to fashion a row-boat to her specifications. One night, Lu Porang, Min-Min and the boat vanished. They weren’t heard from again, as was expected, Auntie Toddeh having foreseen the sea-monster which would certainly devour them, and having explained this at length without being listened to or understood. “Strange indeed are Imperial chieftains, heedless of grave peril!”, thought the villagers approvingly.
Two generations later, a fugitive ninja lord chose Fathahted as a suitably obscure exile until the Imperial army gave up its fierce chase. He did not expect much trouble coëxisting with the natives, whether by bribery or extermination; he was sorely surprised by the ferocious resistance put up the Fathahtedians as soon as they learned he was considered an enemy of the Empire, but not as surprised as he was by the fantastic and outlandish, yet strangely familiar, appearance of the native warriors, clad in old-fashioned mainland robes patched with local grasses and feathers, festooned in chains of old coins, wielding replicas of Imperial weapons carved from bone and hardwood. After several years of vicious war, with heavy losses to both sides, the ninjas retreated, and the Fathahtedians added ritual ninja-slaughter to their repertoire of yearly Cargo Cult observances.
Canabramalamer is one of the rare young women and men chosen by lot to accompany canoe-traders who happen to pass by, to bring back news of the Empire, and seek out the Emperor to offer him tribute and fealty. So far, a few dozen such envoys have been sent out, and none have returned, the Great-Aunts blaming the allure of life at the Emperor’s own feet. He made it as far as the next island before being enslaved and sold—but escaped his captors with the help of another duped islander, a certain Yixactatyl Hernandez (“the nephew I never had”), and together they joined Hernandez’s old partner, Shì Dāwéi, to whom Canabramalamer immediately offered his services as a skilled woodcrafter, mediocre poison-maker, and unqualified medic, impressed by his authoritative and suitably antiquated moustache. He will, however, leave his employ with no hesitation for the right price and a chance to get closer to the Imperial elites. He intends to return to Fathahted as soon as he happens to meet the (Hidden) Emperor and give him the tribute he carries buried at the bottom of his planter/gourd.